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Small Amp Question


guitardustin

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Alright so I sold all my big amps and just bought an '66 Vibro Champ because I don't really play out anymore and wanted some smooth tube grooves without pissing my neighbors off.

 

So now I found some dudes who want to jam and here's my question. Everybody says "plug that {censored} into a 4x12 and it will be awesome" But will it really be that much louder? I don't really ever play clean so thats no an issue, but I also don't really want to play on 12 the entire time. While the little VC does sound interesting cranked, this thing really shines with the volume about halfway up.

 

Would a little 2x10 wake it up enough to jam with a drummer and bassist? And how the heck would I do it because it's got an old school mono RCA speaker jack?

 

Hugs,

 

Dustin

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No. Power comes from the amp, not speakers. If the cabinet is more efficient or if the speaker in the combo is getting pushed hard enough to compress, you may pick up a little, but don't expect it to become a Super Lead just because you plug it into a bigger cabinet.

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Dustin, I personally don't think ANY 6W amp is really going to hang with a full band - not while staying clean. I think 15W is about the limit in terms of getting away with that... a Princeton (12W) can just about do it...

 

The other factor in the loudness equation is the speaker efficiency. If you have relatively inefficient speakers, more of the amp's actual power is converted to heat, not sound. The more efficient the speaker is, the louder it will be for a given amount of power input. Speakers can make a BIG difference in the perceived loudness of an amp, but you're not going to find something efficient enough to make a Vibro Champ loud enough to hang with a drummer, even if it's plugged into a 2X10 or 4X12 cabinet.

 

Here's an article you may find helpful / interesting...

 

http://www.harmonycentral.com/docs/DOC-1951

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Dustin, I personally don't think ANY 6W amp is really going to hang with a full band - not while staying clean. I think 15W is about the limit in terms of getting away with that... a Princeton (12W) can just about do it...


The other factor in the loudness equation is the speaker efficiency. If you have relatively inefficient speakers, more of the amp's actual power is converted to heat, not sound. The more efficient the speaker is, the louder it will be for a given amount of power input. Speakers can make a BIG difference in the perceived loudness of an amp, but you're not going to find something efficient enough to make a Vibro Champ loud enough to hang with a drummer, even if it's plugged into a 2X10 or 4X12 cabinet.


Here's an article you may find helpful / interesting...


http://www.harmonycentral.com/docs/DOC-1951



Awesome, thanks for the info Phil :thu:

This might be the easiest way to convince myself that I need a Vintage Princeton to match the champ. I played a Silverface PR in my local shop today that sounded awesome. The Push/Boost thing sounded god awful and so did the Vibe/trem compared to my champ but for straight up cleans and reverb it was beautiful.

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Awesome, thanks for the info Phil
:thu:

This might be the easiest way to convince myself that I need a Vintage Princeton to match the champ. I played a Silverface PR in my local shop today that sounded awesome. The Push/Boost thing sounded god awful and so did the Vibe/trem compared to my champ but for straight up cleans and reverb it was beautiful.

 

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of the various Princetons than me. :) The tremolo in a Princeton is bias trem, so it isn't terribly hard for a tech to fix or even to mod, and when it's running right, ot should sound very good. I recently subbed out the 1 Meg resistor for a 220k resistor in my Princeton Amp's tremolo circuit so it would throb a bit deeper. Works great now!

 

As far as the pull boost circuit, that was added to the Princeton in the late 70s. It's not a particularly good sounding circuit, and you can have it removed - or just ignore it. :)

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You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of the various Princetons than me.
:)
The tremolo in a Princeton is bias trem, so it isn't terribly hard for a tech to fix or even to mod, and when it's running right, ot should sound very good. I recently subbed out the 1 Meg resistor for a 220k resistor in my Princeton Amp's tremolo circuit so it would throb a bit deeper. Works great now!


As far as the pull boost circuit, that was added to the Princeton in the late 70s. It's not a particularly good sounding circuit, and you can have it removed - or just ignore it.
:)

 

With the trem and pull/boost circuit aside, are the years and circuits all that different? They had it priced at $749 I believe, which I thought was decent. The tag said it was from 1978 and was in great shape except for some scratches on the faceplate. Really sounded excellent as long as I stayed away from the boost and trem. Pretty much all controls at noon sounded soooooo good.

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There have been a few major circuit revisions / changes throughout the life of the "Princeton." The earliest units date back to the late 1940s and were tweeds, then in the early 60s, they changed over to the 6G2 circuit, then the blackface... there's not a lot of difference between a BF and a SF Princeton until '77, then that pull-boost model made its debut, although there were a few changes made here and there... a different bias resistor and some other very minor changes. A SF like the one you are looking at can easily be changed over to BF specs - they never used Ultra-Linear transformers in the smaller amps, so no worries about having to swap out iron to do the conversion.

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Never forget what the Champ, Bronco and VB where designed as - Budget Student Amps.

 

While being neat little tone devices, their limits are easily found. I describe them as toggle switch amps, it goes from a low dB clean to a harsh mush in an instant. Sure you can play with NOS tubes and better efficiency air movers, but your still stuck with a 5-6watt amp that will leave you craving mo.

 

If your budget allows, shelve it as a tribute to days gone by and at a minimum get a 5E3. At 1.5 on both Vs, you can get your VB, up from there you get into a space your frontal lobe will gel with.

 

DW

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Never forget what the Champ, Bronco and VB where designed as - Budget Student Amps.


While being neat little tone devices, their limits are easily found. I describe them as toggle switch amps, it goes from a low dB clean to a harsh mush in an instant. Sure you can play with NOS tubes and better efficiency air movers, but your still stuck with a 5-6watt amp that will leave you craving mo.


If your budget allows, shelve it as a tribute to days gone by and at a minimum get a 5E3. At 1.5 on both Vs, you can get your VB, up from there you get into a space your frontal lobe will gel with.


DW

 

 

Ha, agreed and well put. While they are "budget student amps" they still do get a nice tube overdrive sound without severe hearing loss. I just don't gig like a professional musician so I can't really justify a 100w marshall sitting in my apartment either.

 

I just wish I weren't such a vintage retro gear snob and could pull off a VT Lunchbox or something, but I'll admit it, I like having a cool vintage amp that cost too much to plug into.

 

I had a Blues Jr for a while that I gigged with, but as soon as I stopped playing out, it just sat around never being cranked like a tube amp should be.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Harmony-H410-Vintage-Electric-Guitar-Tube-Amp-sg-/300655832161?pt=Guitar&hash=item46007bec61

 

I just got one of these, 1965, with tremolo, point to point, class A, about 5 watts. I could see it keeping up in a mellow band, roots/americana kinda thing, but not a full on rock band. I sure do love the tones in it though!

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That's awesome, I love old Harmony stuff. That's kinda how the Vibrochamp is believe it or not. I think I could do it as long as the drummer takes it easy a bit, but I definitely won't be rocking any socks off.

 

This thing literally sounds like it's going to jump off the floor when I hit it with a dimed fuzz face though, pretty cool sound, just probably not loud enough

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i've heard a 5w amp keep up with a band....but it does depend on the speakers too.



but i've always gone by the school of thought that its not just the amp but more speakers = more air moving. more air moving is a good thing.

 

 

Here we go again. More speaker doesn't equal more air moving. With more speakers, each speaker moves less air because the power is divided among them. It's kind of like two fans on low speed or one fan on high.

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