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onelife last won the day on April 27

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  1. I looked at the schematic. The negative grid bias to the power tubes is supplied from a separate tap of the power transformer. You can help isolate the problem by using the Pre Amp Out and Power Amp In jacks. Try plugging a guitar into the Power Amp In jack (you may need to boost the signal with an effects pedal that has some gain) and see if you get the same type of distortion. You can also take the Pre Amp Out and run it into another amp (be careful, the signal may be quite high) or take a look at it with your oscilloscope.
  2. I also suggest looking at (and listening to) the Boss Katana. I bought the inexpensive 50 Watt model for practice and portability but now I use it for almost everything. It has several amplifier 'types' including one for acoustic and the settings can be dialed in then stored in multiple memory locations for easy recall when you switch guitars.
  3. Based on the symptoms you describe, the first place I would look would be the grid bias on the output tubes. The grid bias may have its own power supply or it may be achieved by means of resistors from cathode to ground. What make and model is the amp and what does it use for power tubes?
  4. Ritchie Blackmore's intro to "Still I'm Sad" from the first Rainbow album...
  5. it sounds to me like a tube issue - tubes can become microphonic and, in cases of extreme gain, sometime cause acoustic feedback within the amp itself your best bet would be to replace all of the tubes and, if that doesn't solve the problem, take it to an experienced tube amp repair person
  6. it looks like the Send and Return jacks on that diagram have been mis-labelled.
  7. I played through a Subway Blues for a while and, although I really liked the sound of it (and FOH loved it - especially on the half power setting of ten watts), it ate EL84s (cooked of course) and started making sounds that had nothing to do with my guitar. The PCB is very similar to the Studio 22 with the tube sockets mounted right on the board. The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, which I often see in my shop, has the tube sockets mounted on separate smaller PCBs connected to the board with ribbon cables.
  8. It's different when you are the one playing. The player is trying to reach level 10 but only gets to 8.5. The player dwells on the 1.5 space between 8.5 and 10 while the audience, sitting at level 0, only sees the 8.5 and are wowed by it. A couple of weeks ago my bands played on opening night at our local music festival. We were well prepared and I was reasonably happy with the ways things went but I didn't think it was anything special. Later in the evening, there was a very good guitar band from the other side of the country onstage and after their set I complimented one of the guitar players. He surprised me by saying "coming from you, that means a lot." I was surprised because I thought they were way better than we were. It was only the next day when some of my friends told me how much they enjoyed the stellar performances of my bands the night before that I realized what we had accomplished - because, again, I had been dwelling on the bits that we missed. Clapton was a big influence on me too. One very significant part of that was when he said "why listen to me when you can listen to BB King?" so I went out and bought some BB King records. I didn't know who BB King was at the time but listening to those records changed my life and made me the guitar player that I am today.
  9. thanks for that - i see what you mean about the tilt yeah, the string gauge thing - it's always been an issue for me 13-56 sounds so much better but does put a lot of strain on the structure - sometimes i'll tune down a full step or even a step and a half and use a capo just so i can use the bigger strings my 'cheap' Yamaha F-310 handles 13-56 well and sounds fantastic for such an inexpensive guitar
  10. Thanks for that Freeman. I actually have a Yamaha CPX900 from the local high school that I'm cleaning up and re-stringing for the next semester coming up. I strung it with 13-56 (which I use on my acoustics) and am having the same issues. I just picked up a second hand Epiphone DR90 (low end made in china) to have for my students who don't bring their own guitars. It has the same issue with 13-56 but it sounds much better with the heavier strings. I will make use of your setup tips. One question though... you mention that acoustics should have a "dome top." How do you determine whether it is the proper dome or a problem with the bridge being pulled up?
  11. I've been playing the guitar for a very long time. People tell me I make it look easy and it actually is easy at this point - it just tok me a long time to figure that out. My Yoga teacher is the same age as me and has been doing Yoga for approximately the same length of time that I have been playing the guitar. She makes it look easy and is able to do the poses with the minimum effort required - for her it is easy. A forty hour work week is about 2,000 hours so it would take five years to reach 10,000 hours - ten years if you only practiced four hours a day - twenty years at two hours a day etc. I got serious about the guitar fifty years ago and I practiced a lot more than two hours a day. When I look back on it I agree with the 10,000 hours theory, although the actual number would be different for each individual and I also agree with the OP that looking ahead to climbing the mountain that is 10,000 hours might influence someone to give up.
  12. When you adjust the bias are you actually measuring current flow or are you determining current flow by measuring the voltage drop across a given resistance? Do you measure each tube individually or is their just one adjustment for the quartet? Your amp definitely looks like it was modified or experienced a makeshift repair so it is difficult to diagnose without being in the same room and getting an up close look.
  13. I too have been a tube guy for 50 years. I hauled around 100lbs of Twin Reverb/EVM12L for 15 of those years because nothing else would do it for me. I also paid for the amp a second time replacing tubes during those years. I used a Mesa Boogie Subway Blues for a while. A great sounding tube amp that devoured EL84s which went down spitting and hissing and generally disrupting the show. The very thing that makes tube amps great is also their weakness. The first solid state amp that really worked for me was and early digital amp, the Yamaha DG80. I still have it and it's still the best amp I've ever had. Twenty years of regular use with the DG80 and not a single stitch of maintenance required. Last year I sold the last of my tube amps and my arsenal now consists of the DG80, a Fender Mustang IV and a Boss Katana-50. I like the consistency in sound and overall operation of the modern amps compared to the effects of the slow deterioration of the sound that happens with tube amps. I recall one incident with my Twin where I was playing a six night gig in the same room. After three nights I replaced all the tubes in the amp and, with everything else being the same, the change was so drastic it felt like my guitar strings were made out of different material.
  14. I would suggest that, before you decide, take a look at the Boss Katana series - they come in 50 and 100 Watt versions and, IMO, are the best bang for the buck amplifiers that I have tried. I like the Katana-50 for its portability (vastly different from a Twin) and, last week I played one outside without going through the PA. It was loud enough and the cleans remained clean even when turned way up. https://www.boss.info/ca/categories/amplifiers/katana/
  15. I was reading a bit where Geoff Emerick talked about bouncing on a four track. It's a destructive process so they had to 'commit' to mixes earlier the project than we do now. He also pointed out that if they came up with a good idea that didn't quite fit the bounced mix, they couldn't use it. In the mid '90s I was working in a ProTools studio and taking advantage of the new to me editing power of the program (I became particularly fond of the Undo feature). I was asked to create a soundtrack for a short animation project but was only given an hour to to it The animator gave me a time line with descriptions like "frenzied" and "quieter." I quickly played and recorded the bits and put it together within the time frame and it turned out really well for the client. I thought about how I would have been overly critical of my playing and, had I been given eight hours to do the project I probably would have made more use of the technology and possibly ruined the freshness of my original tracks.
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