#1
I've seen a few amps that have a line out that's post power amp and with a power soak that can completely mute the power amp. So this gave me an idea for amp manufacturers, make a tube amp with just one power tube and use this available technology

Just to have an easy example, let's use a JCM800. It has a preamp volume and a master volume. Now the master volume controls how much signal would go to the power amp; and therefore how much power amp distortion you would have. Usually you have to tie power amp dirt to how loud you are. In this scenario you would send the signal to the single EL34 and only have to worry about how much distortion you want from the power amp. Then take the line out signal to a high wattage, SS, crystal clear power amp. You would have a second master volume to control how loud you want to be without having to make any sacrifices between power amp dirt and volume.

I don't know, is this feasible? Is the idea just plain ******ed?

And just to be clear, this is really just an idea I thought could be cool. I'm not interested in buying an amp or anything like that.
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#2
The problem is that tube amplifiers have an output transformer that needs to see a load or else it or your power tubes can blow.

What you said is kind of what an attenuator works like. It takes that signal from the amp and lowers it. If you were able to lower it to the voltage of a guitar signal (couple hundred mV), then you might be able to go into the input of another amp, but then there is still the problem of load matching. It may not work.

EDIT: Didn't read your first paragraph. If they have a line out, then it totally possible to do this. But...

Playing loud sounds better anyway
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Last edited by jakub421 at Jul 9, 2014,
#4
What you described is highly unpractical.
You would need an attenuator with a line out, a tube power amp, a solid state power amp and some funny circuitry.

That would work in theory, but to do that people just use smaller amps and/or attenuators.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#5
Quote by tas38
I've seen a few amps that have a line out that's post power amp and with a power soak that can completely mute the power amp. So this gave me an idea for amp manufacturers, make a tube amp with just one power tube and use this available technology

Just to have an easy example, let's use a JCM800. It has a preamp volume and a master volume. Now the master volume controls how much signal would go to the power amp; and therefore how much power amp distortion you would have. Usually you have to tie power amp dirt to how loud you are. In this scenario you would send the signal to the single EL34 and only have to worry about how much distortion you want from the power amp. Then take the line out signal to a high wattage, SS, crystal clear power amp. You would have a second master volume to control how loud you want to be without having to make any sacrifices between power amp dirt and volume.

I don't know, is this feasible? Is the idea just plain ******ed?

And just to be clear, this is really just an idea I thought could be cool. I'm not interested in buying an amp or anything like that.


This is EXACTLY how Eddie Van Halen got his early tone. I have a rig extremely similar to EVH's that is INSANE at duplicating early VH tone with all the punch & dynamics at ANY VOLUME. Many guys here have heard my clips that will back this up. It sounds virtually exactly like the first VH record. I use a Mojave Amp Works Scorpion (basically a 50W plexi built with military-spec hardware & can run for years fully cranked) with a variable-level line out. The Scorpion speaker output is connected to a THD Hot Plate set to "load", & drives no cabs, just load for the power amp. The line out goes to a rack Lexicon echo/reverb & then to a clean power amp which drives the cabs. I've used this rig for years, & everyone who plays it cannot believe the tone & response/articulation you get. If anyone has any questions on how to do this in more detail, I'd be glad to help.
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#6
@spambot - I know it's probably not the greatest idea in the world, but I see some pretty cheap amps that already have a built in sponges (Bugera v5 for example) So I didn't think it would be that bad. The solid state power amp can have a small footprint (22Cal, 44Magnum, and Crate Power Block).

@riffhog - That is pretty much the same idea I'm throwing out. Can I ask what made you decide to do it? Were you trying for more headroom/quieter dirt or just copying EVH?
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#8
Quote by jpnyc
EVH’s early tone came from running European 220v Marshall amps on 120v American power. The other stories about his tone are lies he made up at the urging of DLR. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/eddie-van-halen-reveals-his-biggest-lie/

Think about that for a second. How many clubs/venues have 220V outlets on stage? Not many I'd bet. The Variac plugs into 110/120V outlets, & only accepts 110V plugs. I know. I had a Variac for years, but it didn't make much difference IMO, & I don't need it with the Mojave Scorpion. 220 plugs are way different from 110 plugs. BTW-once the supply voltage is turned down below 70-75V, the amp won't work properly. EVH said he turned his down to 50V sometimes. I'm calling horse shit. Another lie. I've done it with several Marshalls & the Mojave, & they all are useless anywhere near approaching half voltage.
EVH lied about lots of shit, yes, but he used a Variac to lower the voltage on his 110V Marshall to approx 88V so he could crank it way up with less stress on the amp. He bought many Marshalls in the old days, & it was screwing around with a British one when he thought of trying the Variac. All the old recordings were done with his 110V/100w Super Lead that was virtually stock, & not heavily modded as many believe (ask Mike Soldano-he's checked it out). Bottom line is that killer screaming tone is from a re-amp rig rich with power amp distortion.

tas38-I did it because I wanted that tone. There's nothing else like it. It's incredible. You can get that tone at whisper volumes with all the touch sensitivity & tone, & it just gets better as it get louder. The rig is a pain to lug around, which is why I have other amps for most stuff, but when I'm playing VH songs, nothing can touch this rig.
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Last edited by riffhog at Jul 9, 2014,
#9
Quote by tas38
@spambot - I know it's probably not the greatest idea in the world, but I see some pretty cheap amps that already have a built in sponges (Bugera v5 for example) So I didn't think it would be that bad. The solid state power amp can have a small footprint (22Cal, 44Magnum, and Crate Power Block).
I reckon the thing in the V5 is more of a triode-pentode switch for the first two settings and a bypass of the power amp in the third setting using only the 12ax7 power brought down to whatever impedance's needed.

The idea would work just fine, but it'd be a pain in the ass to implement as there already are ways of achieving the same results.

If you want to overdrive a power amp and have a low volume output then you use an attenuator, if you want to raise the volume of that you remove the attenuator, and if you want to raise the volume more than that it's likely because you want to run your amp through some sort of PA system, for which you might wanna put a mic in front of the guitar cab since a distorted guitar not passed through a guitar speaker is generally regarded as bad sounding, and if you want to put a cab emulation there you might as well either use something designed to do that and act as a load box, say a rivera rockcrusher or a two notes torpedo, or skip the amp altogether and go for a POD/AXE FX/Kemper PA.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#10
Quote by Spambot_2
I reckon the thing in the V5 is more of a triode-pentode switch for the first two settings and a bypass of the power amp in the third setting using only the 12ax7 power brought down to whatever impedance's needed.

The idea would work just fine, but it'd be a pain in the ass to implement as there already are ways of achieving the same results.

If you want to overdrive a power amp and have a low volume output then you use an attenuator, if you want to raise the volume of that you remove the attenuator, and if you want to raise the volume more than that it's likely because you want to run your amp through some sort of PA system, for which you might wanna put a mic in front of the guitar cab since a distorted guitar not passed through a guitar speaker is generally regarded as bad sounding, and if you want to put a cab emulation there you might as well either use something designed to do that and act as a load box, say a rivera rockcrusher or a two notes torpedo, or skip the amp altogether and go for a POD/AXE FX/Kemper PA.

Attenuators in general suck some of the tone's dynamics & feel. I've played a couple that aren't that bad, but it's not nearly as good as a re-amp rig. If you're already using an attenuator/load box, then to move to the next level will only cost you the price of a power amp. You can use a cheap Power Block, or even an old home stereo receiver from a garage sale, although a nice tube Mesa, Randall, or H&H would be much better (& way more $$).
The line out feature seems (IMO) to work better when it's built into the amp rather than using the line out on an attenuator (like THD), although the THDs do pretty good.
I agree about the mic'ing. I prefer the sound of a mic'd speaker for my rigs, but direct to board can sound pretty damn good when done right (although I do not like relying on that-speakers are predictable).
Mic'ing the re-amp setup is great because I adjust my stage volume so I really don't need a monitor, & the sound guy controls the PA level. That's the beauty of it...the tone & dynamics are the same at almost any volume from the power amp. I don't want to be onstage with an un-attenuated Mojave Scorpion. It'll punch you in the nuts FROM BEHIND I never wear ear plugs, so that's out of the question.
Luca, once you try a rig like this, you'll want one
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#11
Quote by riffhog
Bad Attenuators in general suck some of the tone's dynamics & feel.
FTFY
Quote by riffhog
Luca, once you try a rig like this, you'll want one
I'd much rather get a Powerball II and turn the master volume down, though I'll try that kinda rig when I have the chance
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#12
Quote by Spambot_2
FTFY
I'd much rather get a Powerball II and turn the master volume down, though I'll try that kinda rig when I have the chance


Can't go wrong with a PB2. Speaking of getting punched in the nuts...
That's why I usually use an amp I can plug straight into with no FX, like the PB2. Raw savage beastliness that I alone must control
Waiting for the NAD....
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Riffhog for President


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There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


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#13
Quote by riffhog
Waiting for the NAD....
Waiting for the ****ing money to get one

But when I'll do it'll surely be an epic new white amp thread.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#14
For years there have been tube preamps (usually rackmounts) and tube power amps. In essence, these take your basic guitar "head' and turn the combination into their two basic components (think stereo gear).

For example, I have a Carvin Quad-X. Four discrete channels, six FX loops, each channel has a different tap into up to 11 12AX7 gain stages (there are nine 12AX7s in this thing), plus active controls, noise gate, bass cloaking (HPF), etc. There's also a cabinet simulator (4x12) and several kinds of output direct to PA, Mixer, etc. You can also run the thing into a tube power amp if you like. In fact, you can run it into pretty much any power amp, solid state or otherwise. The Mesa Triaxis works the same way. The modern day equivalents include the Pod HD, the 11R, the Axe-FX series, etc. with the exception that they aren't tube.

Again, you can run any power amp stage you like, including a single EL84 or 6V6 (ala the Epiphone Valve Jr). No need to get attenuators and all that involved...