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samal50

can a single 8" high quality guitar speaker "move air" or not?

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Generally no. Not with "any" 12" speaker. It might compete with a crappy 12" but not a good one. Let's allow 1" all around for the surround and frame and for the 8" speaker you get a circle with an area of about 28.3 square inches. For the 12" speaker you get a circle with an area of about 78.5 square inches. Which one do you think can more more air? The 8" speaker will need to move almost three times as far (2.78 times if you're interested) to move the same volume of air. Eventually it will come to the end of its excursion and won't be able to move any further without damage or severe distortion. At low volumes the smaller speaker might sound okay but crank it up and the difference becomes more pronounced. Generally you need a 10" speaker or larger and most amps favor 12's.

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I'm curious about the opposite too; if bigger speakers sound good at low volumes?

It depends on the speaker. Some speakers get part of their sound from what's called "breakup," which happens at a certain volume, kinda like drive on an amp. Less volume, less "breakup." OTOH, if you play clean or get your sound primarily from your amp you'll be fine. And since the 12" will probably be able to get get louder it's generally a good idea to have extra capacity.

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I don't know what it is but I've not heard an 8" that I like. I've heard 6" and 5" that sound great, but for some reason 8s sound like do to my ears.

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Go look at one of these amps. Pat Quilter is change everything you know about amps.

 

 

I saw his Avaitaor amp in a shop, but not the Micro Pro 2

 

[video=youtube;GB30KQd-iQY]

 

 

Looks like they have 1 in open box, plus they always give you 10% off, ask em fro another 10% of

who want's an amp hat is in an open box :D

 

There's a travel bag you can get for it and you will want one of the 2 foot switches they make for it.

 

You'not gonna move a lot of air with a Fender Tweedy Champs or something like that.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/quilter-labs-mach2-combo-8-micro-pro-200-mach-2-200w-1x8-guitar-combo-amp

 

Quilter is going to or has disconnected there Aviator series. However I found this one.

https://www.zzounds.com/item--QUIAVIATOR8GOLD

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You can find all kinds of 10's, 12's even 15" speakers for guitar but 8" are slim pickin's.

Just google and look for guitar 8's and you have maybe a dozen or so being made as replacements. The specs aren't all that impressive either. Check the specs and there isn't a clear superior speaker in the bunch.

 

I wish there was a decent one being made. My little Marshall combo I use for practice has one of those Park speakers in it (likely a branded import) and its lost its edge.

 

EV used to make a good powerful 8" replacement. Ampeg made them too long ago. Not sure about JBL.

 

Today you have a motley collection of basic replacements like Jenson Mod, Jensen Ceramic 8, Jensen Alnico, Celestion 8/15, Eminence Patriot 820H, Mojo Heritage 8, Guitar Warehouse 8" Weber 8" & Weber 8A125

 

I'm sure other manufacturers make at least one. All are between 15~25W and all have SPL levels in the low to mid 90's so they aren't overly efficient.

 

 

I have seen some amp manufacturers making some 2 X 8" and 4 X 8" speaker cabs. If the speakers had higher wattages it might be fun having something that light weight. With single speaker combo's I have two amps with 8's and they don't quite cut it for me for tone. I use them for practice but they are pretty thin sounding compared to a 12" or even an 10". A 10" can sound nearly as bold as a 12" and a 4 X 10" cab can sound amazing for driven tones. Gives you all the mid drive without Mole Bass tones muddying things up.

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I wonder how these Quilter amps compare to the ZT Amp lunchbox (about $300 cheaper)? I like what I see and hear, not sure if it's because they were mic'ed or what but I wonder if these are usually only good for "quiet" rock bands? Red Hot Chili Peppers rehearsed using a ZT amp lunchbox and it held its own (from the video I've seen online).

 

The Quilter Mach2 is a 200 watt, 2 channel amp (100 w per channel). I wonder if both channels can be utilized simultaneously to get the 200 watt power?

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Posted (edited)

Does a boost pedal actually help with driving a tube amp beyond its peak? One such boost pedal that caught my eye was the whirlwind "the bomb", which is 26db, not sure what that means though.

 

the amp I'm trying to "drive" is the isp technologies vector fs8, which is full spectrum, 175 watts. I've read that some people don't think it's loud enough so they got a pair. I only have 1, perhaps a boost pedal can drive it to another level?

Edited by samal50

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A boost pedal will slam the input of an amp harder, and create earlier breakup / distortion - if the amp is already running at its limits in terms of volume, the boost pedal is not going to make the amp significantly louder - just dirtier sounding.

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Posted (edited)
Does a boost pedal actually help with driving a tube amp beyond its peak? One such boost pedal that caught my eye was the whirlwind "the bomb", which is 26db, not sure what that means though.

 

the amp I'm trying to "drive" is the isp technologies vector fs8, which is full spectrum, 175 watts. I've read that some people don't think it's loud enough so they got a pair. I only have 1, perhaps a boost pedal can drive it to another level?

First, AFAIK the FS8 isn't a tube amp. Second, 10 dB usually sounds "twice as loud," so 26 dB is about "4 1/2 times as loud." In other words, a lot louder. As Phil pointed out, at that point you run the risk of overdriving your amp into mud. Keep it sane, a few dB boost as needed for playing leads but not to make your amp louder. 175 Watts is plenty of power, the main limiting issue is going to be the 8" speaker. Have you actually tried it to see if it's "loud enough" for your purposes?

Edited by DeepEnd

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So when are boost pedals ever needed, when using a tube amp? Which I don't have by the way, but in the near future, maybe a Bassbreaker 007 (7 watt tube combo amp) could benefit from a boost pedal?

 

A boost pedal will slam the input of an amp harder' date=' and create earlier breakup / distortion - if the amp is already running at its limits in terms of volume, the boost pedal is not going to make the amp significantly louder - just dirtier sounding. [/quote']

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Samal...I'm curious as to what you are trying to accomplish with all the odd gear choices and selective questioning?

 

You pick amps that are not good live performance amps and then come in here asking how to get around it...why not ask the right question the first time?

 

Using a boost with a 7 watt amp? Pointless...you are not getting more volume than the amp itself can generate, all you are doing is oversaturating the signal, and as Phil said, it isn't louder, just dirtier [more distortion], and by the way, that 26dB you were wondering about is input signal gain, not volume.

 

Typically, a good guitarist runs their amp well below maximum volume, and the advantage of a boost pedal is an instantaneous increase in perceived volume, plus a fatter sound, without the change in tone that rolling up the volume knob on the guitar can cause.

 

You are playing in a band with a live drummer on an acoustic kit, and therefor need an amp capable of being heard over the drums...so a 7 watt amp is not, EVER, going to get you there unless you mic it into the PA. You need, at minimum a 15-20 watt tube amp with a 1X12 cab [a 1x10 would work, but not as common]. So stop buying solid state stuff with tiny speakers thinking that wattage is all you need. If you have the money, there are some solid state amps which will do this for you, like Quilter, but they are in the pricey range over $1000, whereas a 15W 1x12 can be found new for under $600....used for even less.

 

Your ISP Technologies Vector FS8 is designed to use with digital amp-modeling pedals, so if you don't have anything like that, then you have the wrong 'amp'. The FS8 is a full range/flat response system, meaning it adds NOTHING to the input signal...you get out what you put in, so boosting it without a modeling parameter gets you basically nothing. Plus that 8" speaker is problematic, no matter how much volume you think 175 watts is going to get you, that unit won't project off the stage...it is little more than a pricey floor monitor, IMHO... which is not bad if you use a modeling system that goes direct to the board and use the FS8 as a stage monitor.

Edited by daddymack
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I see. I could use the Vector FS8 as you described. As far as digital amp modeling pedals, I'm not sure if you meant any multi effects pedal that has modeling amps. In my case, I have a BOSS SY-300 guitar synth pedal. I also have a pair of powered PA speakers (Electro-Voice ZLX-12P), which could function as FOH speakers and the Vector FS8 as the stage monitor. I think that was my intent in getting these gear to begin with.

 

I guess a booster isn't really needed then so I was just curious for future reference. I looked into the Electro Harmonix Analogizer, which also functions as a 26dB booster. Can this pedal actually make a guitar synth sound less "digital"?

 

Samal...I'm curious as to what you are trying to accomplish with all the odd gear choices and selective questioning?

 

You pick amps that are not good live performance amps and then come in here asking how to get around it...why not ask the right question the first time?

 

Using a boost with a 7 watt amp? Pointless...you are not getting more volume than the amp itself can generate, all you are doing is oversaturating the signal, and as Phil said, it isn't louder, just dirtier [more distortion], and by the way, that 26dB you were wondering about is input signal gain, not volume.

 

Typically, a good guitarist runs their amp well below maximum volume, and the advantage of a boost pedal is an instantaneous increase in perceived volume, plus a fatter sound, without the change in tone that rolling up the volume knob on the guitar can cause.

 

You are playing in a band with a live drummer on an acoustic kit, and therefor need an amp capable of being heard over the drums...so a 7 watt amp is not, EVER, going to get you there unless you mic it into the PA. You need, at minimum a 15-20 watt tube amp with a 1X12 cab [a 1x10 would work, but not as common]. So stop buying solid state stuff with tiny speakers thinking that wattage is all you need. If you have the money, there are some solid state amps which will do this for you, like Quilter, but they are in the pricey range over $1000, whereas a 15W 1x12 can be found new for under $600....used for even less.

 

Your ISP Technologies Vector FS8 is designed to use with digital amp-modeling pedals, so if you don't have anything like that, then you have the wrong 'amp'. The FS8 is a full range/flat response system, meaning it adds NOTHING to the input signal...you get out what you put in, so boosting it without a modeling parameter gets you basically nothing. Plus that 8" speaker is problematic, no matter how much volume you think 175 watts is going to get you, that unit won't project off the stage...it is little more than a pricey floor monitor, IMHO... which is not bad if you use a modeling system that goes direct to the board and use the FS8 as a stage monitor.

 

 

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Boosters make wonderful EQ units. They are pre-zoned for electric guitar and many allow active contouring of treble AND bass. The bass controls alone go miles toward credible and intelligible guitar tone however loud or driven.

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So when are boost pedals ever needed, when using a tube amp? Which I don't have by the way, but in the near future, maybe a Bassbreaker 007 (7 watt tube combo amp) could benefit from a boost pedal?

 

 

Boost pedals are generally used in one of two ways - as a volume boost, or as a dirt boost.

 

When running into a clean amp with lots of available headroom, a modest boost of 6dB or so can be used as a level boost - the signal will still stay fairly clean, but the volume level will increase.

 

When running into a tube amp that is set to the edge of breakup - IOW, to where it's just starting to break up and distort - the boost pedal will send it over the edge and into full overdrive. That's the way that players like Bluesbreakers and Cream-era Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher and Brian May tended to use their boosts - for more grind and grit, as opposed to a level increase.

 

 

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When you have a bunch of pedals in series whether they are true bypass or not, all that extra wiring adds resistance which reduces your signal level, and it typically has added capacitance as well which reduces the frequency response. Using a booster pedal can help compensate for those losses and give you a signal that's strong enough to feed the amp properly.

 

They way I set it up is to A/B compare the amp with the guitar running through all the pedals with the pedals bypassed (dry) and compare that to my guitar plugged straight into the amp. (I can even use a meter to determine how string the guitar signal is) Typically the pedals drop the voltage even when they are bypassed. Adding enough boost to compensate for the losses lets you run the amp at a lower gain level.

 

Of course if your amp does have more power this is less of a problem because you have plenty of power in reserve.

It depends on the number and types of pedals you have too. Boss pedals for example are buffered even when bypassed so the signal will remain strong so long as the pedal is powered.

 

Some people do use booster pedals to boost an amps volume up too. I'd be cautious here. If its a Tube amp you cant do much damage besides fatigue your tubes early or maybe wear the speaker out if its close to the power amps maximum ratings. Most of the loudness effects are Psycho Acoustic however. The preamp with be more gained up which make the amp sound louder but the power amp is only going to allow the signal to be pushed to use up the clean headroom and after that it clips off any additional volume increases.

 

Transistor amps are far more venerable to being pushed beyond their specs. If you had a solid state amp built in the 50, 60, 70's and added a booster it wouldn't take long to overheat the preamp transistors and either weaken them or blow them outright. Same thing with the power amp transistors. Older transistors didn't have a whole lot of extra headroom and typically began to overheat quickly.

 

Over the years manufacturers have developed SS devices that can handle much higher temps without breaking down so its usually safer to drive them harder but to be honest, I don't advise using booster pedals to try and get more out of the amp. If your amp sucks for volume its simply because your amp sucks for volume. you could try a higher SPL speaker if you need more volume, but its unlikely to make a 7W amp with an 8" speaker compete with a live acoustic drummer very well. You'd either need to mic the amp or you need a bigger amp.

 

Personally I wouldn't want to try and compete with any drummers I know using less than a 35W tube or a 100W SS amp.

I like having the amp tones clean so I can use pedals for drive. If I was using an amp with channel switching without the pedals I could probably get by with a 35W tube amp so long as the drummer didn't pound the drums with baseball bats. 35W tube can be OK for small gigs. Haven't found many low wattage SS amps that sound good enough to compete with a drummers and survive his cymbal wash running less then 100W however.

 

A Tube amp is rated for clean watts which is usually run at half way or maybe 70% before they start to overdrive. A 35W tube amp may get 35W clean watts and maybe an additional 10~15W additional driven watts with the volume maxed out.

 

Most SS amps on the other hand, get full clean RMS with the volume maxed out at 10. Like the Tube amp it gets its best sounding tune with the volume run at 50% so a 100W SS amp actually has closer to half that in power levels you'd actually use. I don't know anyone who maxes out their SS amps. They'd much more likely run them between 30~70% of max. .

 

That means a 100W SS amp sounds pretty darn good running at 30 to 50W and you have a little extra and never have to risk overheating the transistors making the power levels out. I have a 65W SS amp which is barely able to match a drummer pushing a 10" speaker. A 12" would be better.

 

I've used 15W SS amps with 8" speakers and cant keep above a solid snare drum, no less the kick. There's a reason for that too. Most snare drums are 12" and most standard kick drums 22" which when hit are going to produce bass frequencies that undercut a small practice amps 8" bass tones. If you don't mic it the drummer doesn't have to work very hard to make you disappear. No amount of added modeling or boosted gain seems to rectify the issue either. If the power transistors don't have the push and your speaker lack the size you simply aren't going to compete with the tones drums produce. Luckily SS components are extremely inexpensive so there isn't a big problem buying an amp with the extra wattage reserve needed then run it at lower volumes.

 

Its like my car. I drive a Mustang 5.0. I like having a big engine and extra power there but most of the time I drive it like a luxury vehicle.

Its there when needed but it barely gets used most of the time.

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Posted (edited)

I see. So a boost pedal could be used in place of an overdrive or distortion pedal instead, when one has a tube amp? I've seen people on youtube demo combo amps/cabs without any distortion pedal but the amp has distortion when cranked up (they say that it's the natural distortion from the amp itself without the use of any overdrive pedal whatsoever). I'm not sure if it was tube amp that was demoed but probably a solid state.

 

 

Boost pedals are generally used in one of two ways - as a volume boost, or as a dirt boost.

 

When running into a clean amp with lots of available headroom, a modest boost of 6dB or so can be used as a level boost - the signal will still stay fairly clean, but the volume level will increase.

 

When running into a tube amp that is set to the edge of breakup - IOW, to where it's just starting to break up and distort - the boost pedal will send it over the edge and into full overdrive. That's the way that players like Bluesbreakers and Cream-era Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher and Brian May tended to use their boosts - for more grind and grit, as opposed to a level increase.

 

 

Edited by samal50

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Some boosts are just a gain stage with an amount knob. Since these are essentially preamps, it's a natural progression to tone and drive knobs. You can end up with everything on the face of your amp, on the floor as well. All that happens is at any given stage, the signal or some specific spectrum of it can be increased or decreased. Exceeding the capacity of any subsequent stage results in clipping/overdrive/distortion/enter own term. This can be tubes or solid states. The natural distortion being claimed is usually a hot preamp driving the big tubes into clipping. I'm not sure if a SS power stage can be clipped in this manner or needs a pre-clipped signal to fake it. Regardless, with modern tech advances the sonic distinctions are fading.

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. . . The natural distortion being claimed is usually a hot preamp driving the big tubes into clipping. I'm not sure if a SS power stage can be clipped in this manner or needs a pre-clipped signal to fake it. Regardless' date=' with modern tech advances the sonic distinctions are fading.[/quote']

"Clipping" in a SS amp sounds pretty bad. The resulting distortion is odd numbered harmonics (3KHz, 5KHz, 7KHz, etc. for a 1KHz signal) vs. even harmonics from a tube amp.

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"Clipping" in a SS amp sounds pretty bad. The resulting distortion is odd numbered harmonics (3KHz, 5KHz, 7KHz, etc. for a 1KHz signal) vs. even harmonics from a tube amp.

 

Granted I lack insight on the specific differences beyond the simple facts but I would like to see innovations that allow tubeless and musical SS clipping.

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I see. So a boost pedal could be used in place of an overdrive or distortion pedal instead' date=' when one has a tube amp? [/quote']

 

Yes.

 

I've seen people on youtube demo combo amps/cabs without any distortion pedal but the amp has distortion when cranked up (they say that it's the natural distortion from the amp itself without the use of any overdrive pedal whatsoever). I'm not sure if it was tube amp that was demoed but probably a solid state.

 

Some amps do have the ability to produce distorted or overdriven tones without any assistance from pedals - that includes both tube and solid state amps. You can generally get even "more" dirt from them with a boost pedal slamming the input of the amp harder, but that generally works best with tube amps and not solid state amps.

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Granted I lack insight on the specific differences beyond the simple facts but I would like to see innovations that allow tubeless and musical SS clipping.

So would I. The Vox Valvetronix amps use a 12AX7 as a power tube and then boost the signal with a SS circuit. That's about the best present option I know of. Clipping happens differently in tube and SS amps though. When a SS amp clips you get something like the red trace with the tops and bottoms of the waves chopped off. A tube behaves more like the yellow trace, rounding off the wave, more like compression. You'd need a circuit that creates both even harmonics and compression to get a tube-like sound.

 

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So would I. The Vox Valvetronix amps use a 12AX7 as a power tube and then boost the signal with a SS circuit. That's about the best present option I know of. Clipping happens differently in tube and SS amps though. When a SS amp clips you get something like the red trace with the tops and bottoms of the waves chopped off. A tube behaves more like the yellow trace, rounding off the wave, more like compression. You'd need a circuit that creates both even harmonics and compression to get a tube-like sound.

 

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Marshall did this in the 90s with their ValveState amps...they sounded great but were unreliable for extensive gigging [don't ask how I know ;) ].

 

I have to say that Quilter has somehow figured out how to get their amps to simulate tube clipping pretty darned well... I was a skeptic for years until I spent time with one...then I bought it!

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Marshall did this in the 90s with their ValveState amps...they sounded great but were unreliable for extensive gigging [don't ask how I know ;) ].

 

I have to say that Quilter has somehow figured out how to get their amps to simulate tube clipping pretty darned well... I was a skeptic for years until I spent time with one...then I bought it!

I thought Marshall used their tube in the preamp rather than the power amp? I actually almost bought a used ValveState amp before I found my Roland Cube. When I pointed out that the reverb didn't work, the owner didn't want to take a chance it couldn't be fixed by just installing a new tank. I'm acquainted with Quilter's reputation but I haven't had a chance to try one. :(

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Still made, but they are like a grand.

 

 

[video=youtube;5sW7n8TNv1c]

These are not, but you can find one for like 4-5 hundred.

[video=youtube;WAXQKAE8Tbc]

 

I have a Gibson GA5.

[video=youtube;J9-xnl4DbSw]

 

 

One of my fav lp's of all time was done on a champ.

[video=youtube;BKAYGVIkbok]

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Posted (edited)

I thought Marshall used their tube in the preamp rather than the power amp? I actually almost bought a used ValveState amp before I found my Roland Cube. When I pointed out that the reverb didn't work, the owner didn't want to take a chance it couldn't be fixed by just installing a new tank. I'm acquainted with Quilter's reputation but I haven't had a chance to try one. :(

 

Yes the tube was a 12AX7 preamp tube...as to SS pre and power/output tubes, that was MusicMan back in the 70's...https://www.vintageguitar.com/12887/...hd-130-reverb/

great amps, heavy to haul...I see them around on occasion, but not often.

Edited by daddymack

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Marshall did this in the 90s with their ValveState amps...they sounded great but were unreliable for extensive gigging [don't ask how I know ;) ].

 

I have to say that Quilter has somehow figured out how to get their amps to simulate tube clipping pretty darned well... I was a skeptic for years until I spent time with one...then I bought it!

 

Marshall uses the tube in the front end. They use Mosfets in the power amp which use a drain and gate which are operate closer to a tube then a standard transistor amp.

 

Only the larger Valvestates have the preamp tubes. The smaller ones don't. I've had one of the 100W heads since they were new and have has zero problems with it gigging on a regular basis. Same with the two 15W versions I've owned. I Keep regular tabs on used and blown gear on eBay because I am a tech and buy units needing repair or refurb then resell them at higher costs. There may be 1 Valvestate per month that comes up and allot of those have clear signs of abuse. When you compare the Marshall to other amps, you quickly find there is easily 20 blown Fenders amps to every Marshall you find. Maybe there are fewer because the amps are worth more and therefore more profitable to repair them, but on any given day, Valvestate amps are much tougher to find.

 

From the listings I've seen I suspect the blown ones are caused by people connect extra speakers and overload the heads. The pots, jacks and switches aren't nearly as good as what you find in most tube amps of course. They are worse then any other SS amp being manufactured and even better then many of the low budget amps. You can do much worse when it comes to SS amps when it comes to tone and durability.

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Yes the tube was a 12AX7 preamp tube...as to SS pre and power/output tubes, that was MusicMan back in the 70's...https://www.vintageguitar.com/12887/...hd-130-reverb/

great amps, heavy to haul...I see them around on occasion, but not often.

 

I have a mint condition Music Man 65 Head form the 70's. Its even still got its chrome intact.

Heavy and durable, but it isn't one of my favorite amps. It comes close to a Fender amp, but in my opinion, they would have been better amps with a Tube front end, or even a Tube front end and SS power amp.

 

Power tubes with a SS preamp really doesn't do that much for tone. At least not with the preamp they chose. I think the biggest flaw is the preamp knob adds overdrive when you crank it up. If you dial back the master volume and turn up the channel volume it ads an overdrive which isn't that good. It doesn't sound like a tube amp and it doesn't sound like a decent overdrive pedal either. Its pretty unusable by todays standards, I'm able to use other pedals in front of the amp and run the head mostly clean but it would have been much better if they had a separate clean and driven channels instead of having the channel volume overdrive.

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Posted (edited)

So would I. The Vox Valvetronix amps use a 12AX7 as a power tube and then boost the signal with a SS circuit. That's about the best present option I know of. Clipping happens differently in tube and SS amps though. When a SS amp clips you get something like the red trace with the tops and bottoms of the waves chopped off. A tube behaves more like the yellow trace, rounding off the wave, more like compression. You'd need a circuit that creates both even harmonics and compression to get a tube-like sound.

 

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The biggest problems on early Transistor amps was the high levels of Crossover distortion in A/B amps which is composed of mainly 3rd order harmonics. A standard SS amp was NOT designed to be pushed to distort. They were designed to be run 100% clean. They later started adding overdrive circuits and drive channels where the preamp was overdriven. only some newer designs have played around trying to get the power amps to distort the way tube amps do. If you accidentally overdrove a SS amp you'd get what's called hard clipping which is musically unusable. Its very much like having a blown speaker.

 

Its also highly risky to push a SS amp that hard. Ne amps typically have voltages set where even at max volume you never reach the point where the transistors hard clip. In many vintage amps the power amps were weak enough where you could push the preamp hard enough to get the power transistors to reach the point of acting more like a switch then an amplifying device. This was typically short lived because there is such a small margin between hard clipping and blow outs, most amps didn't survive being pushed it hard clip. The power transistors would simply overheat, short out and smock the amp.

 

You can read the stories on the first SS Vox amps made by Thomas Organ were the Beatles used them on tour. They were blowing them up left and right when pushed to be loud enough for audiences to hear.

 

There were many SS amps that had drive channels which are as good as many drive pedals used today. They use the same circuits in many cases. The drive is done in the front end and the power amp runs 100% clean.

 

Tube amps typically have soft clipping which is favored by most players because it comes on as described, starting softly and becoming harder as the signal amplitude increases. They were dynamically responsive with a broad range of clip softly based on the strength of the input signal. Its has a "Wider" clip range based on playing dynamics and the player has a much broader range in how hard they can hit the notes and get the notes to clip. light attack, light clip, harder attack, harder clipping, hard slam, even harder clipping. Its a 1:1 experience which you only fully understand when using the gear.

 

Most SS, this clipping range is greatly reduced. You might be able to get something clean when playing light but by the time you get to a normal pick attack going you've already achieved maximum saturation. Digging in hard causes no additional clipping. The saturation curve is much more vertical then tubes can be.

 

A clean SS amp which goes from clean to clipping is darn near vertical. There is no ramp based on string dynamics, it goes from 100% clean to 100% square wave with nothing usable in between. Because of the unpredictable nature of the hard distortion when pushing an amp too hard, the amps were often unjustly hated by players. some had wonderful cleans but they hadn't been designed to prevent the hard clipping.

 

Most new amps on the other hand can be pushed as hard as possible, even using booster pedals and never achieve hard power amp clipping.

 

The other thing is the difference and strength of the gain stages. Tube amps typically have two or three gain stages in the preamp. 4 if there is a drive channel. The inverter is 1:1 and simply splits the signal into half waves and each power tube amplifies half the wave which combine to give the speaker a full wave.

 

A SS amp running at lower voltages and having amplification devices with smaller gain factors typically needs more gain stages in series to achieve the same loudness as a tube amp. You can easily have 4 gain stages fed into and inverter then medium power transistors feeding power transistors.

 

The gain of each stage is smaller so your dynamic range playing going from clean to full saturation is narrower.

 

Of course the more gain stages you have the more times the signal is replicated at a higher volume. The more times you make a copy of a copy the more details are lost and the more noise and distortion gets added to the signal

 

FETs have been around a long time can function nearly identical to how tubes operate except at lower volumes. They sound far less sterile and react well to the players strings. The Gate works much like a screen in a tube screen does allowing current flow. Mosfets are some of the best power transistors you can use because they produce allot of wattage, with low heat, low distortion and low noise.

 

The only thing I've seen that might wind up making a big change in amps is the NuTube technology recently introduced by Korg which is really interesting. if these can be used in series in place of transistors, and actually overdrive and compress like normal tubes do we may see an entirely new breed of low cost amps that have the power consumption and weight of a SS amp and the drive and tone of a tube amp without the need of high voltage transformers and fragile tubes.

 

Unfortunately there aren't too many amp manufacturers using them yet and I don't think i'll still be around when the patents expire where anyone can use them.

 

Edited by WRGKMC
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I've had one of the 100W heads since they were new and have has zero problems with it gigging on a regular basis. Same with the two 15W versions I've owned. I Keep regular tabs on used and blown gear on eBay because I am a tech and buy units needing repair or refurb then resell them at higher costs. There may be 1 Valvestate per month that comes up and allot of those have clear signs of abuse. When you compare the Marshall to other amps, you quickly find there is easily 20 blown Fenders amps to every Marshall you find. Maybe there are fewer because the amps are worth more and therefore more profitable to repair them, but on any given day, Valvestate amps are much tougher to find.

 

From the listings I've seen I suspect the blown ones are caused by people connect extra speakers and overload the heads. The pots, jacks and switches aren't nearly as good as what you find in most tube amps of course. They are worse then any other SS amp being manufactured and even better then many of the low budget amps. You can do much worse when it comes to SS amps when it comes to tone and durability.

 

Obviously our experiences are very different. My V65R was in and out of the shop, due mainly to the circuit board's fragility, or maybe bad soldering, solder joints were the failures nearly every time. The amp apparently did not like being moved and bounced around in a car trunk...it was just too finicky for my workload. I was playing five nights a week, all over L.A. and Ventura counties, with three different bands back then, and after the fourth failure, I bought a Blues Junior and never looked back. I really liked the sound and weight of the V65R, but with the schedule I had to keep, it was not practical for me. I never ran an extension on it, and I had replaced the reverb tank [since repurposed] right before I retired it.

 

I will gladly send you the chassis, minus the tube [repurposed] if you will pay shipping and handling ;)

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Marshall did this in the 90s with their ValveState amps...they sounded great but were unreliable for extensive gigging [don't ask how I know ;) ].

 

I have to say that Quilter has somehow figured out how to get their amps to simulate tube clipping pretty darned well... I was a skeptic for years until I spent time with one...then I bought it!

 

Which specific Quilter amp? All of them? including the one with 6" speakers or what?

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But are the distorted or overdriven tones from such amps considered "natural" and not from a built in effect in the amp? I'm assuming everything really is an effect, right? But for the sake of argument, let's just say without the assistance of external pedals. In my case, I have the Peavey Rage 258. Its got really good distortion even without the assistance of a distortion pedal, but this distortion I would think is nothing more than a built in effect that can be controlled by twisting the knobs, just not in pedal form.

 

I'm also curious if using a solid state bass amp head (Peavey Minimax) to power up a cab "meant" for tube amps, say a Fender Bassbreaker, to use a guitar/synth with (BOSSY SY-300), could this setup work? Does a boost pedal like the Whirlwind "The Bomb" be of benefit, despite the setup isn't exactly 100% tube but more like a "hybrid" of sort lol.

 

 

Yes.

 

 

 

Some amps do have the ability to produce distorted or overdriven tones without any assistance from pedals - that includes both tube and solid state amps. You can generally get even "more" dirt from them with a boost pedal slamming the input of the amp harder, but that generally works best with tube amps and not solid state amps.

 

 

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Which specific Quilter amp? All of them? including the one with 6" speakers or what?

 

I have the Aviator head...but their technology is in all their amps. If you go with the small speaker models, there is also a direct out XLR jack so you can go to the board. I'm in the process of modding a 1x12 8ohm 120W cabinet to use with the Aviator head, may even make it into a combo amp down the road when I build a higher quality cabinet from birch ply

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But are the distorted or overdriven tones from such amps considered "natural" and not from a built in effect in the amp? I'm assuming everything really is an effect' date=' right? But for the sake of argument, let's just say without the assistance of external pedals. In my case, I have the Peavey Rage 258. Its got really good distortion even without the assistance of a distortion pedal, but this distortion I would think is nothing more than a built in effect that can be controlled by twisting the knobs, just not in pedal form.[/quote']

 

The Peavey Rage is a solid-state amp through and through; there's very little difference between its onboard "distortion" and a distortion circuit mounted in a pedal. Both are going to clip the waveform (your guitar's signal) and thus cause it to sound distorted.

 

Tube amps also clip the waveform when they're driven beyond their design parameters (their clean amplification capabilities) but the onset of distortion tends to be more gradual, and is input-level dependent - which is why a boost pedal can push a tube amp into overdrive. Some tube amps are designed with an over-abundance of input gain in their preamps, which allows them to produce overdriven / distorted tones without any outside assistance. They're producing their distortion in a different way than a solid state amp or pedal does, but the end results are sonically similar.

 

There's also power amp distortion, which is something cranked-up low-wattage tube amps excel at, but that solid state amps don't really "do."

 

I'm also curious if using a solid state bass amp head (Peavey Minimax) to power up a cab "meant" for tube amps, say a Fender Bassbreaker, to use a guitar/synth with (BOSSY SY-300), could this setup work? Does a boost pedal like the Whirlwind "The Bomb" be of benefit, despite the setup isn't exactly 100% tube but more like a "hybrid" of sort lol.

 

The speaker cabinet can be a contributor to an overdriven / distorted sound, but that really depends on the speakers themselves. Some speakers start to break up "early" - with relative low power levels hitting them - while others tend to stay clean, nearly all the way up to their maximum rated power handling levels. Whether you hit them with a solid state or tube power amp doesn't really make a difference on speaker breakup. The boost pedal isn't really going to have much of an effect on the power amp; you might get a bit more volume when you engage the boost, depending on how you have everything gain-staged, but generally it's going to hit the preamp harder, and cause it to distort. That distortion will generally be more pleasing if the amp uses a tube preamp, and less so if it's a solid state preamp.

 

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Obviously our experiences are very different. My V65R was in and out of the shop, due mainly to the circuit board's fragility, or maybe bad soldering, solder joints were the failures nearly every time. The amp apparently did not like being moved and bounced around in a car trunk...it was just too finicky for my workload. I was playing five nights a week, all over L.A. and Ventura counties, with three different bands back then, and after the fourth failure, I bought a Blues Junior and never looked back. I really liked the sound and weight of the V65R, but with the schedule I had to keep, it was not practical for me. I never ran an extension on it, and I had replaced the reverb tank [since repurposed] right before I retired it.

 

I will gladly send you the chassis, minus the tube [repurposed] if you will pay shipping and handling ;)

 

Yea, Maybe the fact it was a combo you had more issues. The vibrations of the speaker combined with an original solder job that wasn't so hot.

My 100W is a head so its likely protected from the vibrations. There again, I've abused the crap out of the two 15 waters I have. Hauled them around, cranked the hell out of them. One is a Valvestate and one is a newer MG. Neither have tubes so there's less circuitry there. The Reverb tank in the Valvestate hasn't held up very good. The tank is built into the chassis frame and I barely get any reverb out of it, probably from getting banged around in transport. The 8" speakers in those little amps aren't so hot either.

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But are the distorted or overdriven tones from such amps considered "natural" and not from a built in effect in the amp? I'm assuming everything really is an effect, right? But for the sake of argument, let's just say without the assistance of external pedals. In my case, I have the Peavey Rage 258. Its got really good distortion even without the assistance of a distortion pedal, but this distortion I would think is nothing more than a built in effect that can be controlled by twisting the knobs, just not in pedal form.

 

I'm also curious if using a solid state bass amp head (Peavey Minimax) to power up a cab "meant" for tube amps, say a Fender Bassbreaker, to use a guitar/synth with (BOSSY SY-300), could this setup work? Does a boost pedal like the Whirlwind "The Bomb" be of benefit, despite the setup isn't exactly 100% tube but more like a "hybrid" of sort lol.

 

 

 

 

Natural. There's nothing natural about distortion. In fact amps prior to the 60's were all pretty much designed to produce the cleanest tones possible. Then one guy decided to crank the crap out of an amp and record it. Shortly after someone heard it and built the first Fuzz pedals saying they produced a reed/sax type tone and from thee on its been a never ending quest for different types of drive tones. Prior to that you had players doing jazz, Country, rockabilly, Blues etc which were all done with really clean tones. Drive was an unwanted side effect.

 

Even all the early Fender amps, they didn't have distortion as a wanted effect they had distortion due to cost and quality factors. What happened is allot of players started pushing amps beyond their capability and peoples ears got accustomed to the hot overdriven sound. Anyone born during or after the 60's pretty much took distortion for granted and probably didn't realize it was the result of abusing an amp. Came with risks in the early days too. certain amps like the early Vox weren't built to be driven hard and often blew up in flames.

 

I owned one of the original Moserite amps that had a built in Fuzzrite distortion. The drive channels built into many amps are basically drive boxes built in, with some variations added. Many newer amps have gotten much more sophisticated and can have all kinds of amp modeling which includes different head types and cab sections. The speakers used in some of the Newer amps are full range speakers with a much flatter Hi Fi like response and all the mids and coloration come from the circuitry.

 

Older amps that have built in drive can be all over the map for quality. The oldest I currently own is probably my 1976 Sunn Concert Lead head. Its drive channel gets that drive tone Leslie West made famous overdriving a PA head at a recording session when his guitar amp blew up so he used a PA head instead, then used a channel volume to overdrive the power amp. Sunn added overdrive in later amps to get that Mississippi Queen sound from them. Sounds like garbage by todays standards. I have a Peavey Studio One amp with a distortion channel which is awful too. Maybe when the amp came out you could get some tones that sounded contemporary, but by todays standards its pretty bad. Same thing with A Fender M-80 head I have. The drive is one of the worst I've heard from a Fender amp.

 

On the other hand, the Blackface SS amps they came out right after those Red Knob series were one of the best SS drives going at that time. Very tube like in tone. Then they botched it adding Ice Pick tones to one of their earlier modeling amps in the mid 2000's only to fix the problems with their Mustang series. For some reason Fender has a really hard time getting and keeping a good formula for their SS amps. Marshall, Vox, others nail their tube counterparts extremely well. Fender, which pretty durable over all, seem to miss the mark more often then they nail it.

 

As far as bass amps go, often times they can sound pretty decent for clean rhythm or jazz guitar, but given the heavy duty speakers and circuits you wont get much drive from them unless you have one of the oddballs with Fuzz built in. (or use separate drive pedals). Some of the vintage Bass amps, like the Bassman were actually favored by guitarists as loud clean amps. You'll likely find most SS bass amps have EQ's contoured for bass guitar strings, not guitar strings.

 

The speakers often roll off at much of the high frequencies too. A typical guitar speaker will produce tones over 5Khz. A Bass speaker may be real strong on bass frequencies and produce very little over 3Khz. What highs they can produce may sound sterile and suffer from poor dynamic touch response or even have intermodulation distortion simply because the cone paper is extra heavy duty. What makes a bass guitar sound good is a tuned cab which takes advantage of the speaker resonance. Regular Guitar is mostly midrange and rolls those lows off. having too much Bass guitar resonance will interfere with a bass player and can even wind up being masked by a Bass player with a decent rig. each player in a band has to work within his own frequency ranges or risk being masked by others.

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Posted (edited)
Still made, but they are like a grand.

 

 

[video=youtube;5sW7n8TNv1c]

These are not, but you can find one for like 4-5 hundred.

[video=youtube;WAXQKAE8Tbc]

 

 

I did a lot of recording - including bass - with a silverface Fender Champ. I cooked the original speaker and found an old Jensen 8" alnico radio speaker that just happened to be 3.6 Ohms and it sounded great for many years.

 

 

 

 

Edited by onelife

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