#1
I have a friend who has an ENGL Powerball and it has 4 preamp tubes. Now, we were thinking that maybe some SS was going on on the gain of that amp, we had the idea that +preamp tubes=+gain, now some people corrected me.

I would like to know how the gain is achieved in the preamp. Including tube, SS and Hybrid preamps.

Thank you.

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#2
Each 12AX7 produces a gain of 100 per side. So therefore three of them can provide a maximum of 100^6. Now, one of the stages may be a cathode follower for the tone stack which is running at unity which reduces it to 100^5.
Now in reality, one will tend to wash some gain off between stages which reduces it further.
With a hybrid you can introduce even more gain from the SS components.


Edit: the fourth tube will be the phase inverter - no gain from that one.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Aug 2, 2015,
#3
Cathbard is your man on this topic but I was the one that told you to start a new thread.


This is for a Dual Rectifier but it does help demonstrate how the preamp tubes are used. Think of each preamp tube as having 2 stages of gain with V1 (a) and V1 (b) feeding V2 (a) and (b) and so on. Now - don't bank on that though. Different amps have different set ups. So this is for example purposes only. In my Splawn amp, V2 (a) is actually the input stage. V1 is then used for cleans. In my Splawn Quick Rod, not my Rectifier.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Engl+powerball+preamp&espv=2&biw=1455&bih=726&tbm=isch&imgil=uYxhnKIn1XKuRM%253A%253B3RUMIskKKJoxpM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fmilas.spb.ru%25252F~kmg%25252Ffiles%25252Fschematics%25252FEngl%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=uYxhnKIn1XKuRM%253A%252C3RUMIskKKJoxpM%252C_&usg=__6vvzhjeMK0q5oXOECp1r9FWncw4%3D&ved=0CFQQyjdqFQoTCN6Us5Xqi8cCFUE7PgodISYAdg&ei=8cy-VZ7YEcH2-AGhzICwBw#imgrc=5o3rt9HEPDXhyM%3A&usg=__6vvzhjeMK0q5oXOECp1r9FWncw4%3D


I'll keep searching for more info on your friends Powerball. It is safe to say that the 4th 'preamp tube' in the Powerball is a Phase Inverter. So 'probably' there are 3 preamp tubes and if ran in triode as mentioned above will have 2 stages for each tube. This would not include any tube or stage used for clean channels, reverb, FX loops, tube rectification, etc.


Edit: I see Cathbard is here


Solid state preamps use solid state components only and to most people's ears - do not sound as harmonically rich or as organic as tube preamps.

Hybrid preamps use a combination of both.

After this basic explanation - the lines start to blur quite a bit and there are many different variations and spin offs of what we've spoken of so far.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 2, 2015,
#4
OK. I may be wrong on the Powerball tube order. I'm seeing some other posts where people are talking about V5 - thru V8 as the preamp

Maybe that is an Engl thing. Will keep looking but wanted to get that out right away. Maybe Bob was right on this one
#5
For example, my RA runs like this:

V1A Hi & Lo 1st Stage
V1B Hi 2nd Stage

V2A Lo 2nd Stage & Hi 3rd Stage
V2B Hi & Lo tone control drive Stage (?)

V3A FX Send
V3B FX Return

V4A Clean 1st Stage
V4B Clean 2nd Stage

V5A Clean 3rd Stage
V5B NA

V6A Reverb Send
V6B Reverb Return

V7 Phase Inverter

Mesa Royal Atlantic
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#6
Well, on that you have a maximum gain of 100^3.
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Aug 3, 2015,
#7
Quote by Perverockstar69
For example, my RA runs like this:

V1A Hi & Lo 1st Stage
V1B Hi 2nd Stage

V2A Lo 2nd Stage & Hi 3rd Stage
V2B Hi & Lo tone control drive Stage (?)

V3A FX Send
V3B FX Return

V4A Clean 1st Stage
V4B Clean 2nd Stage

V5A Clean 3rd Stage
V5B NA

V6A Reverb Send
V6B Reverb Return

V7 Phase Inverter



Yeah - I couldn't find that for the Power Ball. You could pay Cath off to read the Power Ball schematic for you and regurgitate what he sees into layman's terms.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 2, 2015,
#8
http://img2.tapuz.co.il/communafiles/29083724.jpg

here is another example on an Orange Rockerverb 50 MKI. they are labeled on that pic.
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#9
First of all there are people here who can explain this better than me, and who know more about it, so listen to them.

Regarding your question from the other thread, I'm pretty sure the powerball is all tube (including the fx loop drive and return). I just looked at the schematic, and there doesn't seem to be any SS stuff in the signal path. There's some SS stuff (like with most amps which have any features at all), but I'm fairly sure it's related to the channel switching stuff. there seem to be some zener (?) diodes protecting the power tubes, but I don't think that counts as SS gain or distortion (i.e. being in the signal path). And obviously the rectifier is solid state, but again that doesn't count to not make it all-tube.

This is a massive over-simplification, and the other electronics regulars can explain this better, but in a lot of the Engls the signal path is shared among all of the channels, just with different tone stacks and/or tubes being kicked into the signal path to increase the gain or change the tone, which saves a lot of tubes compared to if you had completely discrete channels which didn't share tubes.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 3, 2015,
#10
Its probably the way the amp is eqd circuit wise i think. Two 12ax7s can have a lot of gain, its very unlikely one would max it up on the gain knob, after a point it just too much distortion causing a loss in clarity of notes. So having useable gain is more important than having a lot of it unnecessarily of no use.
#11
Quote by steven_ferns84
Its probably the way the amp is eqd circuit wise i think. Two 12ax7s can have a lot of gain, its very unlikely one would max it up on the gain knob, after a point it just too much distortion causing a loss in clarity of notes. So having useable gain is more important than having a lot of it unnecessarily of no use.


The 6505's 6 gain stages would like a word with you.

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#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
First of all there are people here who can explain this better than me, and who know more about it, so listen to them.

Regarding your question from the other thread, I'm pretty sure the powerball is all tube (including the fx loop drive and return). I just looked at the schematic, and there doesn't seem to be any SS stuff in the signal path. There's some SS stuff (like with most amps which have any features at all), but I'm fairly sure it's related to the channel switching stuff. there seem to be some zener (?) diodes protecting the power tubes, but I don't think that counts as SS gain or distortion (i.e. being in the signal path). And obviously the rectifier is solid state, but again that doesn't count to not make it all-tube.

This is a massive over-simplification, and the other electronics regulars can explain this better, but in a lot of the Engls the signal path is shared among all of the channels, just with different tone stacks and/or tubes being kicked into the signal path to increase the gain or change the tone, which saves a lot of tubes compared to if you had completely discrete channels which didn't share tubes.


love this info, has the details I was looking for.

Sorry if sometimes I'm not clear enough but english is my second language and at given times is not easy for me to express the ideal way. I'm improving though.

Thank you all! I'm glad to see there are people willing to help instead of making fun of someone that is guilty of some ignorance.

Mesa Royal Atlantic
Orange Rocker 15
Marshall Class 5C
Emperor 4x12 Silver Bells
Yamaha THR10
PRS Swamp Ash Limited Custom 24
LTD Viper 500 with Duncans
#13
Quote by Cathbard
Each 12AX7 produces a gain of 100 per side. So therefore three of them can provide a maximum of 100^6. Now, one of the stages may be a cathode follower for the tone stack which is running at unity which reduces it to 100^5.
Now in reality, one will tend to wash some gain off between stages which reduces it further.
With a hybrid you can introduce even more gain from the SS components.


Edit: the fourth tube will be the phase inverter - no gain from that one.


Cathbutt -- you'll like this.
This is a Carvin Quad-X (I've had one for years). NINE 12AX7 tubes and (as I recall) up to 11 gain stages, depending on which of the four channels you choose.



Most of the specs are listed in the Spoiler, below. Price is over 20 years old and slightly younger Quads had MIDI control and more. But SIX FX loops?

(Invalid img)
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 3, 2015,
#14
Quote by dspellman
Cathbutt -- you'll like this.
This is a Carvin Quad-X (I've had one for years). NINE 12AX7 tubes and (as I recall) up to 11 gain stages, depending on which of the four channels you choose.



Since you initially mentioned these, I've been looking for one for the right price.

It'll happen...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#15
Cathbutt xD

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#16
Quote by Arby911
Since you initially mentioned these, I've been looking for one for the right price.

It'll happen...


I think I picked mine up for around $300-350. But you *definitely* want to get one that has a (working) foot pedal with it.



I used to cart around a small rack that had this, a Mesa Triaxis and a Carvin TS-100 in it. That's a lotta tubes, and the good news is that no one ever dropped that rack.
I think the Triaxis has about five 12AX7s, the Quad nine and the TS100 another three or four, plus four EL34 or 6L6 power tubes. Replacing broken tubes in that thing would have been expensive.
#17
Quote by dspellman
I think I picked mine up for around $300-350. But you *definitely* want to get one that has a (working) foot pedal with it.



I used to cart around a small rack that had this, a Mesa Triaxis and a Carvin TS-100 in it. That's a lotta tubes, and the good news is that no one ever dropped that rack.
I think the Triaxis has about five 12AX7s, the Quad nine and the TS100 another three or four, plus four EL34 or 6L6 power tubes. Replacing broken tubes in that thing would have been expensive.


I've seen them with footswitch for $500, but I'm holding out for less. It's likely that as modelers become ever more popular these will become even less so, and I can wait.

$300 is reasonable, $200 even more so...

I'd like to put it in front of a good solid state amp, since I have less than no desire for power tube distortion.
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Last edited by Arby911 at Aug 3, 2015,
#18
Quote by dspellman
Cathbutt -- you'll like this.
This is a Carvin Quad-X (I've had one for years). NINE 12AX7 tubes and (as I recall) up to 11 gain stages, depending on which of the four channels you choose.



Most of the specs are listed in the Spoiler, below. Price is over 20 years old and slightly younger Quads had MIDI control and more. But SIX FX loops?

(Invalid img)
That's as many preamp tubes as there are in my RM100.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#19
From the Powerball II manual:

the tubes and their function:
V 5 - ECC83 (12AX7): input stage, 2. gain stage; grade: FQ selected
V 6 - ECC83 (12AX7): Lead driver stage, 4. stage; grade: selected
V 7 - ECC83 (12AX7): FX buffer stage, poweramp driver stage; grade: selected
V 8 - ECC83(12AX7): phase splitter; grade: standard
V 1 - V 4: 6L6GC: power tubes, poweramp, matches sets
#20
Quote by Cathbard
That's as many preamp tubes as there are in my RM100.


You're counting the plug-in modules with two each?
There's no mechanism to "borrow" a gain stage or two from a nearby module -- I always wonder if Bruce considered that at some point.
#21
Yeah, I was counting the ones on the modules.
V1 is common (on the main board), so you've got up to 6 gain stages. That's plenty.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#22
Quote by Perverockstar69
love this info, has the details I was looking for.

Sorry if sometimes I'm not clear enough but english is my second language and at given times is not easy for me to express the ideal way. I'm improving though.

Thank you all! I'm glad to see there are people willing to help instead of making fun of someone that is guilty of some ignorance.


No problem, I understood you just fine.

I know a lot of people say the engls sound like they're solid state, but actually most of them that I've seen schematics for (apart from the gigmaster) actually are genuinely all-tube. (The reverb driver is often solid state on the ones which have reverb.)
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?