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Author Topic: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
bear

Posts: 153
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Post paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 20, 2012, 17:51
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I got thinking today about a few amp ideas that were tried and liked but kinda fell out of the market. Both happened to be reverb features, but I'm game to hear about more.

In the 90's, Holland, a boutique company playing in the tweed Fender territory, had an amp or two with a separate reverb amp with its own speaker in the combo. Wet/dry mix was a function of the level of the reverb amp to the dry amp. Conceptually pretty neat and you can tailor the reverb amp to fit the task a bit better, but I haven't really seen anyone run with it in the single-box approach. (Wet/dry rigs are certainly built up by a bunch of players, but not in such and easy grab-and-go format.)

The Boogie Quad preamp from the very early 90s was pretty full featured, what with its 2 channels with rhythm and lead modes, dual graphic eq's and reverb. And what a reverb. The circuit had a long pan and a short pan in parallel to mix the decay characters. It's a very sweet and smooth sounding reverb with lots of density. Demeter had a rack reverb that had a similar dual pan setup, but I haven't seen any other amp or preamp take this approach since. Another bonus is that beyond the on/off switching, there's a "more" switch jack on the back panel -- it's a really handy thing to have on/reverb/more-reverb rather than having to run back to your amp to adjust your reverb level. That's a trick that could probably be stolen pretty readily if Randy Smith hasn't patented it.

Any other ideas worth a second look? Any best forgotten after your last disparagement?

Digital-
Larry

Posts: 192
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 20, 2012, 22:05
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I have a hard time liking amps which share a single set of tone knobs for both clean and dirty channels.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 21, 2012, 05:16
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It makes more sense if the idea of the amp is that you're in for the amp's basic tone with the bonus of having a boosted version of that tone. Getting the "Fender clean" and Marshall or similar dirt going at the flip of a switch, well the builder can play tricks that hopefully agree with how you dial an amp, but it's dicey. Without any attempt to tone tweak in the channel circuitry, a single set of controls and a clean amp/dirty amp approach is just a recipe for frustration, especially getting the treble right.

mwseniff

Posts: 149
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 21, 2012, 10:24
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Quote from bear on August 20, 2012, 17:51
I got thinking today about a few amp ideas that were tried and liked but kinda fell out of the market. Both happened to be reverb features, but I'm game to hear about more.

In the 90's, Holland, a boutique company playing in the tweed Fender territory, had an amp or two with a separate reverb amp with its own speaker in the combo. Wet/dry mix was a function of the level of the reverb amp to the dry amp. Conceptually pretty neat and you can tailor the reverb amp to fit the task a bit better, but I haven't really seen anyone run with it in the single-box approach. (Wet/dry rigs are certainly built up by a bunch of players, but not in such and easy grab-and-go format.)

This is actually an old design from the 60's. I have repaired several old Guild Thunderbird 1-12" amps that had a separate amp and 8" spkr for reverb. The input of the reverb tank was driven by tapping the output of the main amp at the speaker and feeding it to the input side of a low impedance reverb tank. I have also seen a couple of no name reverb amps that had a kit that tapped the output of the main amp to drive the reverb input. There were also some audio hifi devices that added reverb by tapping the speaker out and amplifying it with a second small tube amp.

joe
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Posts: 224
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 25, 2012, 14:01
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Quote from Digital Larry on August 20, 2012, 22:05
I have a hard time liking amps which share a single set of tone knobs for both clean and dirty channels.

Hehe — I have a hard time liking amps with more than one channel! 😉

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 28, 2012, 01:08
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Quote from joe on August 25, 2012, 14:01

Quote from Digital Larry on August 20, 2012, 22:05
I have a hard time liking amps which share a single set of tone knobs for both clean and dirty channels.

Hehe — I have a hard time liking amps with more than one channel! 😉

I don't mind amps with more than one channel (necessarily), but I never use more than one of the channels (almost always the "clean" one).

joe
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Posts: 224
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 30, 2012, 10:09
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I've never owned a Duncan convertible, but that amp, with its switchable tube sections, definitely has a certain cult status. I'm not sure if it needs to exist in the digital age, but it was an interesting idea that most definitely fell by the wayside. Same with stereo amps — I love my stereo Magnatone (at least on the rare days when it isn't broken), but again, I don't know that it needs to exist anymore.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: August 30, 2012, 14:11
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The Egnater and Randall preamp module preamps and amps always struck me as an updated version of the convertible, though I never got into the full details of the Duncan. I've run across many positive reports of the Randall/Egnater stuff but just am philosophically not a preamp distortion guy so I never followed up on them.

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: September 9, 2012, 00:31
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The recent Gibson/Trace Elliot Goldtone/Velocette amps used a separate power section for each speaker in their 2x12 combos. No doubt based on the old Gibson triangular stereo amps? You could run them in stereo or as two separate combos; also, in many vintage Gibson amps, the reverb could be run as a (very wet) power section, with the amps volume turned off.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: paths less traveled -- amp ideas that fell by the wayside
on: September 9, 2012, 08:52
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I had known that there were stereo amps in the Valco family -- hadn't been aware for Gibson before the Goldtone. I'd grab the Goldtone if it came up at the right price: simplified Vox top-boost circuit in a compact-ish stereo package to play with effects.

(The non-reverb Goldtones and Velocettes are the one for tube purists -- no pesky solid state since no reverb or loop circuits.)

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