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Thread: Boosting a tube amp??

  1. #61
    Junior Member SZjammin83's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    Quote Originally Posted by devastone View Post
    I think you answered your own question.
    First off... NO QUESTION IS A "DUMB QUESTION". This information about tube amps, or anything else for that matter, doesnt come conveniently pre-programed into our heads. It's something we ALL knew JACK-@%$# about (aside from the fact that it makes an electric guitar sound loud) until we learned in one way or another, usually from asking someone who does know (which with tube amps can be a MUCH less expensive way), or from sitting down with one and just going for it, which I personally do not recommend. A good Tube Head you can safely price around $1000 new, give or take. Say you buy one and a cab, you take em home set em up, plug your guitar in, flip the power, give it a bit to warm up, and then take it off standby and you hear a noise but it wasnt from the cab. You assume you're ok, roll up the volume on your guitar, take a good strum, and............. NOTHING!! You still leave it all on (because you are new and no one told you if you EVER even THINK there may be a problem with your tube amp, IMMEDIATELY shut it OFF) and as you're lookin it over, you spot the problem and you're happy because it's a simple fix, you just forgot to connect the audio cable in the cab into the output on the back of your head! WRONG!! Unfortunately, you'd most likely get it situated and find nothing changed... Because, most likely you just TOASTED the transformer, which is only one of, if not the most expensive component in your amp!... JUST LIKE THAT, somewhere around a grand just got flushed down the drain if you dont have a warranty. And even if you do, if you're clueless enough that you're honest about it with whoever's customer service, well then, they just recorded you telling them how it was your fault and they don't HAVE to cover it if they choose not to. And best case, it gets covered (likely only partially) and you are still out an amp for what can easily take WEEKS before they get you all set again.

    One seemingly simple mistake, that wouldnt be an issue of ANY kind with a solidstate amp, can ruin the WHOLE party quite literally. And if you don't know, it's all too likely a thing that can easily be overlooked, especially in all the excitement a person feels when they are getting ready to play their own tube amp for the 1st time.

    Moral of the story.... NO QUESTION IS A DUMB QUESTION

    That's one of the MAIN reasons these forums are here my man! For us to share our collective experience, and to help eachother out! Now, sometimes we may ask questions and get an answer or answers we don't want to hear (I'm talkin ANSWERS not opinions here), like "no, a 120watt tube head is not designed to be played at bedroom level"... FACTS... No matter how much we may hate to hear it, it's just the TRUTH. Now, another may follow by saying his sounds great in his bedroom at low volume. This is his opinion, and it's great that he happens to like the sound of his 120watt head in his bedroom, he's happy and that's what is most important. The FACT that the amp was not intended in any way for such a purpose does NOT mean that it CANNOT be used this way, and it does not mean some people won't find they like it just fine. You may use the same amp the same way and like it yourself after asking the question and getting the answer, which IS infact the TRUTH, but you decide to go for it and like the outcome. AND... If you do so, and feel this way, IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU IGNORANT OR STUPID IN ANY WAY!! A person likes what they like, and EVERY human being has the right to exactly that. These lines too often get blurred, and it's unfortunate. I have a garage, and a 120watt head, and I play it LOOOOOUD, and YES, that IS exactly what it was designed for, and if I was asked that question, that's the answer I would give without a doubt. HOWEVER, if the person who asked then decided to buy the same gear and use it in his bedroom and then decided he liked it. GOOD FOR THAT GUY! And if he jumped back on and told me I was wrong. He'd be wrong then... And while I may even mention it to him, I'd still let him know that I'm very glad he likes his gear and I'm happy it makes him feel good and want to pick up his guitar. Things in this world are far more than black n white, even with FACTS involved. The HUMAN element is a variable that puts the spin of personality and personal preference on anything you hold it up to, and it's far more powerful, meaningful, and interesting than ANY facts ever could be! So be comfortable in your skin, always, and keep on asking questions. I can assure, in the end, you'll end up FAR brighter than ANY person glued to the idea they can wing it all on their own, AND you'll save yourself from a #%$@-ton of mistakes along your way!

  2. #62
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    Quote Originally Posted by SZjammin83 View Post
    First off... NO QUESTION IS A "DUMB QUESTION".
    Not going to quote your whole post, but I wasn't saying that his question was dumb, I agree, no question is a dumb question. I was trying to reinforce that his findings seem to be the answer, and yes, that is the way most of us learned by doing and experiencing. Seems like you are coming into this forum a little hot and looking for a fight.

  3. #63
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    Quote Originally Posted by SZjammin83 View Post
    Fact- 50 tube watts IS infact, WAY too much for use within a house.
    No, it isn't - even dimed.

    The trick is knowing how to tame the volume (without it sounding like crap).
    Lefty Lounge Lizard's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza



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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
    Guitaramped.com

  4. #64
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    I actually agree with LLL. No amp is "too much" in wattage wise, It's just about how you set them up and dial in your tone. Which is one of the reason I always prefer to use boost in front (more separate gain stages allows more flexibility tone wise). Reamping, which LLL is big promoter of, is another option.

    However if you have too little power, you're going to have much more trouble trying to keep that tone when setting your rig for more power.

    I used to be those people saying you don't need big wattage amps, but after struggling for years I've decided 40-50 watts is just about right for most situations. I currently have 20w Egnater (which is LOUD for 20w, runs 4 power tubes) and I barely can keep up with drummer.

    I been playing with an idea to set another one parallel with, because I love the simplicity, tweakability and the way it sounds.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
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  5. #65
    Mojo's Minions dave74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    I like the mid-wattage stuff also. 50w is about perfect to cover everything practice to performance.

  6. #66
    Junior Member SZjammin83's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    Quote Originally Posted by devastone View Post
    Not going to quote your whole post, but I wasn't saying that his question was dumb, I agree, no question is a dumb question. I was trying to reinforce that his findings seem to be the answer, and yes, that is the way most of us learned by doing and experiencing. Seems like you are coming into this forum a little hot and looking for a fight.
    I sincerely apologize. I need to be more careful in the future. I meant to reply to the gentleman's quote who felt his question might be perceived as dumb. I am the last person to seek out or look to create problems, or pick fights. That was not my intention at all, and I have no qualms admitting when I've made a mistake, and I have in this case. When I saw your reply, and looked it over, I realized my mistake, and it does look a bit like I was pointing a finger at you, and I am sorry for that. I'll keep this in mind in the future, and do my best to pay closer attention to what I post, and how I post.

    My soul intention there was to Express a little encouragement in Hope's it might help someone to feel more comfortable with asking questions in the future. It's so easy to make mistakes if you don't know any better, and some of the mistakes that can be made in this department can be costly, or worse. And questions arent just limited to how not to make a mistake, they're also a great way to get ahead and learn anything n everything you possibly can from others experience(s) as well.

    Sorry if I offended anyone or if I came off wrong forum

  7. #67
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    All good, I had to go back and see what I was posting about to see if it could be interpreted as patronizing (it wasn't meant to be), I would never tell someone their question was dumb, at least not until I had answered it multiple times, and then I would just point to previous answers (it happens).

  8. #68
    Senior Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boosting a tube amp??

    SD-1, TS or the like needs to be low gain, high volume. So you basically turn the gain all the way down (or almost all the way), and the volume all the way up (or almost all the way).

    Fulldrive 2 is magical for this. Set the gain and the boost low, volume to unity or just a hair higher. It tightens everything up. With a Marshall, SD-1 set up with the volume all the way up, gain all the way down and tone to taste is reference Marshall tone, especially for 80s metal or hard rock.

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