Cheap Vintage Amp

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Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by Barry on Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:09 pm

Our buddy Racing has been stirring a lot of interest over in the Mats forum with some mods he's made to an inexpensive Chinese made tube amplifier that he's found, and which he swears has awesome "vintage" sound and power...and for little money! (the best part!) Laughing

If you're interested in tube sound go have a look see what he's up to:
http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6551

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by Racing on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:26 am

Thanx for the heads up Barry.

Yeah.
Ive redesigned an el-cheapo china amp on fellow guitarist Anders Harnings orders.
(aka D-drop)
A while back Anders dropped it off at the shop of mine with the words,-"it sounds of crap,see what you can do"-
So...i did..Laughing
(From the onset he just ordered a couple of them to check them out FTW)

For the record.
With the mods ive pulled this has become a cheap little amp with a BIG sound.

From time to time when modding tubeamps you at best can make qualified guesses as far as the outcome soundwise.
This one though came out extremely nice,and hence i for one at least think it would be something for those interested in a tuber to pickup as they can be had according to my specs directly from the manufacturer-KLD-dirt cheap.(for a brand new tubeamp that is)

..and i guess we could call it a vintage amp from many respects.

No...its not fender-esque in any way.
More along the lines of an old Marshall 45 watter from back in the day.
It is a two channel amp with a boost switch rendering an amp that will go from clean-at gig volumes-to ....well....rather distorted albeit not metal distortion.
More along late 80s heavy metal at will.
Voicing of it is just to "warm" to cater to the later metal stuff.(As is the OEM set bias of the power tubes)

IMO as they come from KLD they are basicaly useless as they are distortion machines,only with a vintage voicing.
Useless IMO.

Although speced at 30 watts in reality it is run hotter,and that due to the chinese ripoff of the russian 6N14P powertubes.
These are of the EL84 variety but in contrast to most EL84s can be run at a full 12w each without any ill effects.
The ones that have been delivered to Anders customers around here that i have checked have all touched in around the 38-42w mark rendering an amp that will go from a whisper around the house to catering a full blown gig at need.
Its loud enough when called upon.

The basic design of it is really a Peavy Classic with a twist,and i in turn took it from there.
My main objectives of course being to "clean it up"-just not to much.

The thing though with this amp is its retail price.
In our experience around the 160 euro mark.

KLD offers various ways of dressing it as far as cab,knobs and what have you not.
However what weve experienced is that although they offer that service via their homepage...yeah well...
None the less....
All in all its about the same size as an Egnater Rebel approx(Ie;somewhat larger than a Tiny Terror)
IOW rather small and as such is easily tossed around.
An amp small enough to take under the arm and bring it wherever really..

Word of advice for those that might be interested is to order a couple of sets of power tubes from KLD while at it.
Point is that to run as hot as they do the powertubes NEED to be of the aforementioned 6N14P type to live and KLD sells these very reasonably.
(approx 20 euros for a quartet-Ie,4 pcs)

Further,i dunno if KLD can cater to that,but my specs for the amp calls for V1(the entry pre-amp tube) to be a 12AT7/EEC81.
This for LESS gain,especially when in clean,and more headroom.
The ones weve had delivered weve had to replace the OEM 12AX7/EEC83s ourselves.
In our case weve used common JJ EEC81s.

Anyone in need of the OEM schematics as well as mods...just shoot me an e-mail.

For the record.
This is an "all" tubeamp.
The two parts of the amp that are not is the loop and the reverb.
None of which are into the mix if neither of these functions are used.

The amp has provisions for 4-8-16 Ohm cabs and a footswitch.


Last edited by Racing on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by grogg on Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:55 pm

Hi Jesper,
Mine still havent turned up. Ive got a few other mods that Im going to try as well as yours when they do arrive, will let you know what they are if they make improvements.

For any others from the UK out there interested in this amp PM me because the airfreight costs are a killer and sea freight is only cheap if in bulk. Better if you club together and get the lot shipped in one, I might be able to help here.

Ive bought the OEM 30W one Jesper is talking about with a view to putting it in my Vox AC30 combo which has a solid state amp that sounds awful. Also bought a 5W studio head. If theres any interest will let you know about the latter.

Greg

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by grogg on Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:18 pm

The amps have turned up, fired up the 5W and now I know exactly what Jesper means. Soundwise its all wrong.
Got the 5W head and wired it up to 2 x 12" Celestions, its loud, louder than 5W, but thats not what I want from a 5W amp!. I want a good warm sound, presence and right sort of valve distortion. No buzz, I hate buzz, at low volumes you cant have buzz.
I wouldnt buy it from a shop as it stands soundwise. For me this is a development project.

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by grogg on Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:37 pm

Ive got the 30W Jesper has been talking about up and running now and its fabulous....

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by Racing on Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:53 pm

Thanx Greg.

Yeah.
I think so to.
In short,i did something right in the case of modding the 30 watter... What a Face
Glad to see the chinese at least adhered to SOMETHING i told them specwise!!

Fact is...it sounds of pure old fashioned rock n roll when called upon and as noted it became VERY guitar sensitive.
Distorts rich n full....and just plain delivers.
(Speaking of which it also reacts very strong to which box you hook it up to. My favourite 412 cabs for it are a REAL cheap chinese "JJ Labs" that sports a quad of G12-75 rippoffs and is ported and then an old handbuilt swedish "Lfving" with 4 old blackbacks from -72. Point being that the two cabs widens the array of the amp-Ie;they react very differently,the older box of the two being the one that gets more...."warm")

Now...the THING is that it does this at a price anyone out there can afford and that is the REAL culprit of it.
Have in mind...its all tube...and powerful to boot.

Greg.
FWIW.
As youve probably noticed the mastervolume works for both channels.
I normaly end up with the volume for the clean channel around 1 o clock.
The volume for the lead i more or less bottom out,and the add gain over the gain lever at approx 9 or so.

Mid i bottom out.
Bass depends on cab,but from 3 o clock to bottomed out.
Prescense around 1 to 3 and treble around 1 to 3.

For the lead channel i basicaly leave the boost button engaged and done deal.

If you like me get around to swapping the entry tube,V1,for a 12AT7....try setting the master for just a tad over midways with the lead setup per above...and let her rip... cheers cheers

Now...THAT is just plain rock n roll...

Shes loud..."the little amp that could".... lol!

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

Post by grogg on Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:34 pm

Yeah.

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Re: Cheap Vintage Amp

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