Other Amps

Amp roll call

26

"a mysterious chickenhead knob on the back panel labeled "WHOOPASS" which makes it go from reasonably clean to utterly berserk."

LOL that's awesome. I wonder if it's a tone stack lift, a la David Allen's "Raw" control... basically removes the tone stack, slowly turn the amp into a tweed- more gain, more volume, more mids.

27

at some point i'm going to put it in the shop to be checked over and optimized. it would be nice for the tone control to have a wider range, and that would let me find out what the Mystery Knob is actually affecting. i was speculating that it was messing with the bias on one or both power tubes because with WHOOPASS cranked the sound reminds me of the seriously over-biased silverface Princeton Reverb i played in the 80s/90s. that was one hollerin' amp...made you see why Mesa started out building in esse Princetons with dual cascading gain stages and a single 12. it was a good halfway there when you set it above 6. the Hammond exhibits the same kind of slightly grainy breakup as that Princeton.

28

the most recent thing i bought was a Vox AC15...i forget the model number, but it has a Top Boost channel and came with a Celestion Greenback. but the amp i started using most recently is a weird little head i was given by Charlie Pastorfield. he had no idea what it was, so i did some research and figured out that it's a Hammond AO-35 tube amp driver from the reverb unit in an A-100 organ. 2 EL84 power tubes, 2 preamp tubes, and a rectifier tube. this chassis was the blueprint for the Dr. Z Carmen Ghia amp, but that had only volume and tone knobs while mine has gain and master volume plus a mysterious chickenhead knob on the back panel labeled "WHOOPASS" which makes it go from reasonably clean to utterly berserk. i have no idea what the Mystery Knob does, or how...i am quite ignorant as to the workings of amplifiers. but it definitely boosts gain somewhere in the circuit. you can hear the inherent noise of the circuit get louder as you crank it further up. anyway, it's a terrific little amp. right now it's in a fairly shabby homemade cabinet. i'm going to have a new box made; in honor of its obscure lineage i decided to call it the Mystery Machine, and will cover it in purple Tolex with a MM logo like the Scooby-Doo van on the control panel. it sounded great at the UG Roundup through a 12" Weber California D120 clone that Charlie also gave me, and i'm eager to try it with a Greenback and the 2×12" cab i'm going to do with Fane-alikes, either the Reeves or the Weber Thames. i thought of getting vintage Fanes, but good ones go for $250-350 USD and that's too dear for my budget. i think i'm going to try an Alnico Blue in the AC15 and put the Greenback in a separate 1×12. i've come to believe that the kind of speaker you use is almost as important as which amp and type of pickups you use, and am trying to give myself as many options as possible for recording. i also want to replace the 2×12 with alnico Jensens i had in the 00s, which i really liked and worked very well. i generally prefer 2 speakers in a cabinet rather than one for that additional bit of tonal complexity you get from two not-quite-identical speakers...however, i'm afraid of mixing two different brands of speaker in one box because i already have enough choices to boil my brain. but anyway, it's a really neat little package of EL84-powered dynamite that can do anything from nice quiet jazz to Rust Never Sleeps. thanks, Charlie.

– macphisto

AO-35s are great Rat Rod platforms. This one has been converted to run 6V6 power tubes.

29

interesting. i wonder if you could convert one to EL34s to get a Baby JCM800 sound.

31

Most recently, a Milkman Sound Pedal Steel Half and Half. Tube front end, Class D power(300 watts). 33 pounds, USA made by Tim Marcus in SFO. Well-known to steel players, not so much outside that community. Expensive, but the bee's knees for BOTH six-string and PSG.

32

Very nice! Milkman makes great stuff, and you can't beat Class D for lightweight power.

33

interesting. i wonder if you could convert one to EL34s to get a Baby JCM800 sound.

– macphisto

Not sure if the PT could supply that kind of current.

34

AO-35s are great Rat Rod platforms. This one has been converted to run 6V6 power tubes.

– Powdog

Now we know dudes are eaten up with the Hammond reverb amp... I also had heard the earliest Dr Z builds were mods of this chassis. But don't forget Leslie had a very similar 2 6BQ5 amp for the reverb part of the models with reverb like the 122RV and 147RV. that went thru oval speakers like early Gresch/Supro amps had.

I think these Leslie reverb amps were developed around the same time as Hammond's and although Hammond fought Leslie for the longest time, still cool about this. I wonder how similar they really are. A schematic would tell the story there.

35

I'll go with the Bob Howard Pile of Amps presentation, as it's easier than explaining myself. (And if a picture is worth a thousand words, I'm fixin' to save 5,000 words, for which I know many will be grateful.)

Here's the Wall-o-Amps, three industrial shelves and a floor (composited from a pic of each shelf individually, because there are too many obstructions to get a single pic of the whole thang.)

• Top: pair of Fender Excelsiors, both modded, flank the Silvertone Twin Twelve cab (with bonus L'il Smoky and the only fuzz perdle DCB cares about).
• Third: mint 1960 Princeton; Silvertone 1484 head for cab above; fabuwwous Music Man RD-110/Fifty with caning by my wife. (Plus a couple bonus rows of pedals from the reserve team. Well, varsity. But currently on the bench.)
• Second: JB-modded blackfaced silverface Deluxe, circa 1968; Valco-made something, late 40s-early 50s, logoed "ICM" or "CIM"; Music Man 112-RD/Sixty-five w/cast big-magnet EV 12. (And, you know. More pedals.)
• Floor: Peavey Classic 30, blond tweed w/Cannabis Rex; Vox AC-10 Special Something; Peavey Classic 30, black tweed w/stock but much maligned Blue Marvel (which I quite like).

Since DCB said no one had mentioned Peavey, I'll mention Peavey. For my lifetime favorite amp, it's a tossup between the Classic 30 and the Music Man 110. They're all well-balanced tonally, not scooped, not mid-pushed, neither spiky nor muddy. Round and clean and pleasing. I just like'em (and not for lack of choice).

That said, it's possible the Music Man 65 is the Best Clean Combo Amp Ever in the History of History. To be confident of that, I'd have to do a side-by-side with the Gretsch Executive.

36

Elsewhere around the studioffice.

Still doin' that Peavey EL thing with the Delta Blues 15. Had one, liked it, sold it. (Dunno why.) Got another one. Keeping it.

And the wonderful '66 Reverberocket. There's nothing like these mid-60s Ampegs. (Not shown: Portaflex B-12XT 2-12 guitar combo, pretty much exactly like this'un.) https://reverb.com/p/ampeg-....

37

Geez, it's starting to look like the storage rooms of those amp shops DCB visits sometimes for us.

Blast of stages past: BillyZoomed Bandmaster head (heavier iron) w/2-12 JBL cab; Kustom 100 w/2-15 cab. Might also be JBLs. Head and cab obviously weren't purchased together, but the colors match better in so-called real life than in these pics. Or they look like they do.

38

And my entry into the Ethan Powdog portfolio, though not one of his gorgeous wood cabs (which I don't deserve anyway).

1-12 Neo cab, typically driven by one of the three Modern World amps sitting atop it: Hotone Britwind, Quilter Interblock 45, Hotone Mojo Diamond. (And note the beautifully recessed plush leather handle on the cab. Detail!)

If the question is what amps get used most, in the last year or so, during scattered jams with The Son, it's been this one, paired with Tech21 Trademark 60 (not shown).

39

But what really get used most, averaging a couple hours a day, are these - with the mighty speaker rig shown resting atop the Mooer.

Such are the conditions of life in the here and now. Much as I love'm, amps are for me increasingly anachronistic luggage of Glory Days Past.

Not that I don't have a hankerin' for something like the Supro Ruger shows, or the Balthazar that caught my eye here (http://gretschpages.com/for...) ... or something by Ethan or Muggsy (whose DeLisles are lush-sounding marvels).

It's just that they would be furniture more than instruments, and I'm a bit overcrowded as it is.

Maybe eventually my curiosity, interest, and attachment to things past will find some balance with what I can realistically make use of.

40

Here they are: AC15C1, Blackstar HT-5R plugged into a Peavey cab with a 15" Black Widow, also two Hotone amps being used more like pedals- - the Brit Inv. and Purple Wind. Not pictured is the Fender Rumble 40 bass amp.

42

My collection is nothing compared to all this stuff seen here. Just:

DV Mark Little Jazz I kicked this off with, GK MB 150 bass amp, Fishman battery Loudbox Mini (my most used amp)

But........coming soon straight off the Powdog bench, my Last Tube Amp Ever~ 10 watts blowing thru a 10 stuffed into a Champ case w/ spring reverb.

There will be no more after that since that is the scene I make the least these days. Still gotta have something.

Dang forgot to mention the 1965 Gretsch Gadabout but it's just passing thru. Even tone maven Bob Howard gave it passing marks.

43

Now we know dudes are eaten up with the Hammond reverb amp... I also had heard the earliest Dr Z builds were mods of this chassis. But don't forget Leslie had a very similar 2 6BQ5 amp for the reverb part of the models with reverb like the 122RV and 147RV. that went thru oval speakers like early Gresch/Supro amps had.

I think these Leslie reverb amps were developed around the same time as Hammond's and although Hammond fought Leslie for the longest time, still cool about this. I wonder how similar they really are. A schematic would tell the story there.

– DCBirdMan

Rebuilding a big ol Leslie to be the thump section of a Premier 71 clone.

44

Ok so that is a regular Leslie power amp -- there wre a few of those. The best known ones were 2 6550s idling along at 45 watts or so.

45

I purchased this little guy to keep in the motorhome, and that is where it is! The sound is impressive for its size. Runs on 6 AA batteries or AC power.

46

Nice stuff here.

Just got a 1965 Gibson GA77RVT-L with the JBL D130F. It replaces my 2004 Gibson GA60RV. I bought a 1967 Altec Lansing 418B that will be going into it as well as some slightly more vintage red arrow top hat knobs and glass jewel lights. Hotter tubes as well as it isn't putting out anything like 50 watts. Sweet clear and warm, a full and slightly punchy sound. Nice but it won't get angry without some help.

48

Some recent iron:

Roland Spirit bass combo Alamo bass combo 80’s Marshall micro stack 80’s Marshall split 50 reverb Hard to find Marshall 110 speaker cab for my class 5 head(thanks JD!) Silverface Fender vibro champ Silverface Fender Princeton reverb


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