Other Amps

Amp switching

1

Anybody use amp switching vs pedals for distortion?

This is assuming you want a perfectly clean sound as well as occasionally a fully/ mostly distorted sound as I do in my rock/pop trio.

I was trying it out with one of my BF vibrolux builds for clean and a BF deluxe reverb for dirty.

I was wanting to try a less contrived more natural distortion.

Sounds pretty cool, and the two together sound glorious. However I was thinking a princeton build might be in the offing as to get the Deluxe distorting enough I had to be pretty ^%#^%$ loud.

Any ideas as to a good build for the distortion amp? I thought of a tweed deluxe but I built one as my first build and I didn't like the minimal EQ, changed it into a 5F11 vibrolux and I still found it a little dark.

2

Is this for live, recording, or home use? As a sound guy, this would be a bit messy to deal with as it would require another mike and channel on the board. I can see how it could be useful for a player, tho.

3

For any application. I play live mostly, and record a few times a year. The band in question has weekly rehearsals.

Actually live I usually go stereo with a mini leslie extension cab too. (3 microphones) Generally sound guys (and even more so recording engineeers) like me as they get to have some fun with their PA. (also the rig sounds good, I go 'stereo' as my Space echo has dry and echo outs) I finally made myself a stereo amp a year or so back. (two 7189 based deluxe reverbs in one cab with 2 x 12" speakers)

With a two amp switching rig I wouldn't be using my stereo setup.

It is obviously more work but with little amps not such a backbreaking task..and it still fits in the smart car.

I did think of one solution. My (homemade) deluxe has a plug in SS rectifier I made for it, so I could just pop a 5U4Gb in which would drop the voltages making it distort a little earlier thus quiter)

4

Put the least efficient speaker you can find into the dirty amp, and/or use an attenuator?
My experience with attenuators is that if you want to make an amp distort at bedroom levels, it never really sounds good, but knocking off a couple of dB's to get you out of the "pain" zone (which usually translates to one or two "clicks" on most attenuators) can sound perfectly natural and make exactly the difference you need.

A friend of mine has a slightly different variation of two-amp switching : he keeps both amps going all the time and doesn't switch between them, but the dirtier amp has a pedal in front of it. Usually some kind of preamp or EQ that can go under unity gain (a volume pedal would work too) and he uses it as a preset volume knob really : pedal on is significantly below unity gain and cleans up the amp, turning it on is full signal to the amp, resulting in more drive and full volume. Works suprisingly well.

5

Thanks for the ideas. The first thing I did with the amp before even trying the idea was to take out the JBL D123 and put in an old 20-25 watt alnico Rola which I knew to be less efficient but still nice sounding. Then I tested it before I put up this post and it was too $#^# loud (I had my vibrolux on at least 4 to match it.)

Your friend's idea is cool and I was giving it some thought, but I guess one could never get JUST the dirty sound, one would always have a blend. I don't have an attenuator at this point.

I found a 5U4GB put it in and biased it a little cooler with the voltage drop from the tube rectifier. I'll see if that combined with the speaker helps when I rehearse this wednesday.

This is all kind of funny because it's the exact opposite of what I usually strive for in an amp.

6

For any application. I play live mostly, and record a few times a year. The band in question has weekly rehearsals.

Actually live I usually go stereo with a mini leslie extension cab too. (3 microphones) Generally sound guys (and even more so recording engineeers) like me as they get to have some fun with their PA. (also the rig sounds good, I go 'stereo' as my Space echo has dry and echo outs) I finally made myself a stereo amp a year or so back. (two 7189 based deluxe reverbs in one cab with 2 x 12" speakers)

With a two amp switching rig I wouldn't be using my stereo setup.

It is obviously more work but with little amps not such a backbreaking task..and it still fits in the smart car.

I did think of one solution. My (homemade) deluxe has a plug in SS rectifier I made for it, so I could just pop a 5U4Gb in which would drop the voltages making it distort a little earlier thus quiter)

– Toxophilite

That sounds like a great stereo +1 setup. How is the Leslie powered?

I go stereo from time to time when there's space and I won't get the hairy eye from the rest of the band or sound crew.

Why not try the Deluxe and a Princeton.....or two Princetons?

Or better yet a Princeton and a Pro Jr. The Jr. will break up faster, and those two amps together can be pretty loud.

Best of luck. I love the chase.

7

Here's the stereo amp build thread http://gretschpages.com/for...

The little leslie is powered by the amp which primarily has echo in it via an extension jack. I should probably put a multitap OT on that side, maybe someday.

As I only have the one amp for stereo which is smaller than a pro reverb, space isn't a consideration and soundmen seem to enjoy it. Also, I'm the bandleader so no-one gives me the hairy eyeball about my gear

I don't currently own a princeton ar anything smaller than a deluxe. All my amps except my super reverb are home built. I have a vibrolux, a deluxe reverb, a two channel deluxe, A 'stereo deluxe reverb', and a little amp I originally made as an echo half of a stereo rig that's a converted hammond AO-44 amp. It makes good distortion but at stage volumes it's more of a fuzz box and pretty little sounding as it uses a 10" speaker and a tiny cab.

Also I want my distortion amp to have tremelo.

8

Maybe a EL84 based Princeton build should be in the works. I have these chassis kicking around. The middle one is an old Bogen school record player amp that was 2 EL84 based with an EZ81 rectifier and 3 preamp tubes. Some reshaping of the chassis, new tube sockets mounted on edge tweed style and it would fit nicely in the cabinet behind it. (which originally contained the amp on the left) . I'm already very familiar with the most of the princetons features (most of my amps has a variation of it's tremelo and bias steal circuit)

The Amp on the right is a Hammond AO-43 a great platform for a deluxe reverb, or one of the 18 watt variants (Marshall. Matchless etc.). My vibrolux uses one of these but with a bigger OT.


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