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Don Wallace
07-14-2008, 10:55 AM
Especially when you put a DOD FX-56 "American Metal" pedal in the middle of that chain!

Ah, pedals! Another world altogether. Who remembers the famous Fuzz Face? I don't use very many, but I do have a little digital delay that I like for slapback. I think it is a DOD, about 20 years old.

2F/2F
07-14-2008, 10:58 AM
I prefer the Big Muff Pi myself...for a fuzz pedal. The Fuzz Face has been reissued, BTW. Have not tried it.

Aurum
07-14-2008, 11:30 AM
Also, the days of giant stacks of huge amplifiers are now over and no one but the most stubborn of heavy metal dinosaurs goes there.

Oi! I resemble that remark :D :D :D

Anyway I thought that Marshall have a selection of empty stacks for setting the stage for the true Spinal Tap look

And they go all the way up to 11 !
:p

Don Wallace
07-14-2008, 11:51 AM
Oi! I resemble that remark :D :D :D

Anyway I thought that Marshall have a selection of empty stacks for setting the stage for the true Spinal Tap look

And they go all the way up to 11 !
:p

I sold my 1958 Tremolux a few years ago, and it went to 12! Nyah nyah.

Empty stacks. That wouldn't surprise me! What is the photographic equivalent? :D

Steve Smith
07-14-2008, 11:56 AM
Ah, pedals! Another world altogether. Who remembers the famous Fuzz Face? I don't use very many, but I do have a little digital delay that I like for slapback. I think it is a DOD, about 20 years old.

Slapback delay is all I use. I have a valve Watkins Copycat for that.


Steve.

Don Wallace
07-14-2008, 11:59 AM
Slapback delay is all I use. I have a valve Watkins Copycat for that.


Steve.

Steve, they were my favourite back in the day, along with the German-made Echolette (not sure of the spelling). I have a 1960 Fender tape echo that needs repair and if I get around to it, the DOD may take a back seat.

Kirk Keyes
07-14-2008, 02:58 PM
I don't play guitar, but I do have a vintage fOXX Tone Machine that was given to me in the early 80s. It's covered in fuzzy red velour, and the couple times I've heard a guitar played through it, it sounded wonderful.
http://foxxpedals.com/products.htm

I see someone has one with a buy-it-now for $360 on the bay. Mine looks better than that one!

My only other vintage effects is a Roland SRE-555 Chorus-Echo tape delay. It's the final evolution of the RE-201 Space Echo. It does tape delay, chorus, stereo spring reverb, something called "Sound-on-Sound", and it rack mountable. And it weighs like 25 lbs. I bought mine in Minneapolis in 1990 (I like to think that Prince once owned it) for $100. I carried it home in a big suitcase. Now I see one on the bay with a buy-it-now for $1450!!!

My 2 year old likes to twist the knobs on it when she gets tired of playing my Roland Jupiter-8...

AutumnJazz
07-15-2008, 02:09 AM
This is an important point and I think it is important to distinguish between audio systems and guitar amplifiers. With the former (and I am not an audiophile, so I could be wrong), you want faithful reproduction of the sound source (whether CD, disk, whatever). On the other hand, guitar amplifiers colour the sound of the original signal and this colouration is an integral part of the sound.

If you were to amplify exactly the sound of a metal string vibrating on a solid hunk of wood (e.g., a Fender Telecaster), it wouldn't sound very interesting. However, each element in the chain, from the electromagnetic pickups on the guitar, to the tube amplifier, to the speakers, are designed to modify and colour the sound. What we recognize as the sound of an electric guitar is not a faithful reproduction of the sound of that vibrating string - far from it - but a sound rich in particular kinds of overtones, attack and decay transients, and so on. Furthermore (and every guitarist knows this), a tube amplifier responds differently depending on the way you play (the way you touch the strings, pick, and so on), particularly when it is running really "hot."

As several folks have pointed out, there is now a huge cottage industry in tube guitar amps, and most of them are more or less reproductions of 1950s/early 60s guitar amps, with some modifications which make them more versatile in modern performance situations. Also, the days of giant stacks of huge amplifiers are now over and no one but the most stubborn of heavy metal dinosaurs goes there. Much more common is a low wattage tube amp, just like the 50s and 60s, but now miked and run through the PA.

For all you amp nerds, just for the record, my amplifer is a 1960 Fender Concert 4x10 (brown tolex) with a "voice of God" tremolo. I have a matching Fender reverb tank from the same era. Sounds like honey.

Oh believe me, I know the differences between a transducer amp (headphone/speaker) and a guitar amp. I was speaking of transducer amps.

Steve Smith
07-15-2008, 03:17 AM
If you were to amplify exactly the sound of a metal string vibrating on a solid hunk of wood (e.g., a Fender Telecaster), it wouldn't sound very interesting.

But that's only because it's what we are now used to.

If 1940's amplifier technology was much better i.e. very high fidelity, what we now think of as the 'standard' guitar sound would not have happened. We would have just had the boring hi-fi guitar sound.

Amplifier manufacturers in the 1940's and 1950's were not thinking about how they could use the inherent distortion and harmonic content to augment the guitar's sound, they were trying to get a pure a sound as possible but were not able to due to the limitations of the technology at the time.
It was musicians who realised the potential of using the amplifier's shortcomings to their musical advantage.

Even in the 1960's Fender engineers were trying to get a more hi-fi sound. In the early years after Fender was sold to CBS, engineers managed to introduce modifications and new models using distributed load output stages for more linearity. Things which Leo Fender was not totally in favour of as he prefered keeping things simple.


Steve.

Don Wallace
07-15-2008, 08:08 AM
If 1940's amplifier technology was much better i.e. very high fidelity, what we now think of as the 'standard' guitar sound would not have happened. We would have just had the boring hi-fi guitar sound.



That's what I was trying to say. Thanks Steve!

Steve Smith
07-15-2008, 08:24 AM
That's what I was trying to say. Thanks Steve!

I'm envious of your Fender Concert!

Despite loving valves and being a builder of valve equipment, I actually gig using a Line 6 Flextone amplifier.

This is an modelling amplifier which emulates the sound of classic guitar amplifiers. It is actually very good and is ideal for gigging as it is one box which does everything I want as it has a tape echo emulator built in as well.

My Copycat and home made valve amp does go out occasionally but I need to re-build it into a more portable package.


Steve.

Photo Engineer
07-15-2008, 08:28 AM
All of this effort to get more sound and more effects. Sounds like a digital guy using photoshop to get more color and distort the image.

How about plain old classic guitar with no amp? That is music to my ears.

So, without an amp at all, I hear what I think is better sound and at the right sound level.

PE

Don Wallace
07-15-2008, 08:58 AM
All of this effort to get more sound and more effects. Sounds like a digital guy using photoshop to get more color and distort the image.

How about plain old classic guitar with no amp? That is music to my ears.

So, without an amp at all, I hear what I think is better sound and at the right sound level.

PE

I see your point, although it is not quite the same thing. As Steve said, the electric guitar sound we know now is the product of some rather simple technology that was not particularly high fidelity. You might say that we have been socialized into this sound.

As for "plain old classic guitar with no amp," it is definitely one of my favourite sounds. I no longer play professionally (at least not much, although I do teach) so most of playing these days is on an acoustic guitar (for the guitar nerds in the forum - and there appear to be lots - it is a Beneteau, handmade in Ontario, Canada. About a 00 Martin size with wide nut, slotted peghead, rosewood sides and back. A real fingerpicker).

When I do play professionally the odd time with my acoustic, the sound guys are always annoyed because I don't use a pickup and instead insist on a microphone placed in front of the soundhole. Sort of like guys who insist on film. There are no pickups for acoustic guitar that sound as good as a decent mike. Go ahead, try and convince me. I have played most of them. If anyone has seen Allison Krause and her band recently, they sometimes perform with only ONE mic for the whole band, just like in the 1930s. They position themselves around it and when there is a solo, that person steps closer. I love it but it is more demanding on the player.

The BEST sound, as PE suggests, is no amplification at all, not even through the PA with a mic. That limits the audience of course, but it is awful nice.

As it says in the signature of someone in this forum, everything is analogue, even digital (eventually).

chrisf
07-17-2008, 03:48 PM
Yep...I use vacuum tube guitar amps exclusively. Tubes are a little more expensive now than they used to be, but they sound great. There is no comparison...just like film.

I make 'em, guitar amplifiers that is, with tubes. The US made the best quality tubes. veroamps.com

ic-racer
07-19-2008, 12:07 PM
I make 'em, guitar amplifiers that is, with tubes. The US made the best quality tubes. veroamps.com
Sounds great, nice clean layout also.

Steve Smith
07-19-2008, 12:12 PM
The US made the best quality tubes.

Being British, I will have to cheer on the home team. Mullard!

I love the look of your amps, especially the Paramount.


Steve.

Aurum
07-19-2008, 12:38 PM
Certainly got a sweet looking art deco thing going on with those cabinets.


Hmmm RCA vs Mullard, a bit like the Yellow box vs White box thing that goes on here.:D

MattKing
07-19-2008, 03:10 PM
Just musing here...

If we are talking about audio amplifiers (as compared to guitar amplifiers), I've often wondered if the reason that tube amps sound good is that the distortion they add essentially compensates for the "flattening" effect of microphones and speakers.

In other words, even if they aren't as accurate electronically as solid state, the colour they add may offset the other effects of the amplification or recording and amplification process.

Matt

rmazzullo
07-23-2008, 07:51 AM
At the bottom of the page (link is shown below) is a video of a gentleman in France who makes his own triodes. Shows you how he builds and processes them, piece by piece. He even makes his own tube bases from an injection mold (looks home built as well).

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://paillard.claude.free.fr/&langpair=fr%257Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Bob M.

Steve Smith
07-23-2008, 08:02 AM
A video of a gentleman in France who makes his own triodes.

That is fantastic. I was expecting a crude glass bubble with a few wires sticking out.

He's got a sellable product there.

His manufacturing equipment and jigs would make for some uniformity in a hand made product - very impressive.



Steve.