What is a tube amp and what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by 7 Dying Trees, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. petereanima

    petereanima Br00tal Bubbly Mofo

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    late reply i know, but i just read it and wanted to add a quote from the Diezel guys:


     
  2. Scali

    Scali Banned

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    I think it depends on how the amp is designed?
    On my Marshall 6101 when I put it in standby, the signal will slowly drop out and distort until it's gone. Clearly a sign of the caps discharging. It does the same if you just turn it off (I'll see if there's something in the manual that recommends how to turn it on/off).
    Aside from that, modern amps are required to have 'bleed resistors' on the caps. Basically this is an artificial leak, which ensures that the caps will always discharge to ground. I'm not sure how long it actually takes for the caps to bleed empty however, but it's probably below lethal levels in only a few seconds at most, so it's probably safe enough to open the amp right after it's turned off/unplugged.

    Vintage amps are a death trap however. If I see how some of those old 50s/60s Fender amps were built... geez, I'd be scared to go near one.
     
  3. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Modern amps have bleed resistors, yes, but I've had a mid-late 90's rivera amp that retained charge for a very very long (as in keeping the standby light lit up) which would happen if you flipped the standby on, the powered off, as opposed to powering off.

    It's not required by any means, ie, modern amps as you point out, however, as a general hard and fast rule, especially when dealing with vintage amps (ie, the ones you should not try to service unless you know what you are doing, or how to discharge caps) it works.
     
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  4. winterlover

    winterlover Banned

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    what's an amp load i have to get then?

    and also i have another question.
    if an amp's bulbs are supposed to glow red and have faded what wpuld be a good way to make them red again? i thought maybe a paint pen, what would be the best way you think?

    thanks again everyone
     
  5. CrushingAnvil

    CrushingAnvil \m not jesus land m/

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    Awesome Thread, Jimbo! If only I could memorise that list :lol: I'd land a job as a sales rep a little quicker ;)

    +1

    :lol: you've got to be shitting me, dude...
     
  6. chrismgtis

    chrismgtis SS.org Regular

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    So that's why the tubes in my amp went bad. :realmad:

    Well I guess after 10 years or so that was expected.

    I really didn't know the standby switch had such a purpose though until now. :lol:
     
  7. WarriorOfMetal

    WarriorOfMetal The Dragonrider Contributor

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    You know what I just realized seems to be missing from this thread? Descriptions of how to tell when your tubes need to be replaced.
     
  8. ohio_eric

    ohio_eric Contributor

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  9. ShreddingDragon

    ShreddingDragon Silence the discord

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    My cab is 8 Ohms and amp says 8-16 Ohms. What does that mean?
     
  10. chucknorrishred

    chucknorrishred SS.org Regular

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    dam, i hade a pig nose tube practice amp that i ended up selling a long time ago, i would use it as a head for a marshal half stach i had

    anyway u can also change the tubes out really easy and experiment with the way dif tubes sound
     
  11. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Means your head can either run into a 8ohm cab, or a 16ohm cab. Use whatever setting on the head matches your cab.
     
  12. KillerKay

    KillerKay Bread makes me poop.

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    Tube amps kicks solid states ass.
    Solid state :bowdown:-> Tube amps.
     
  13. ShreddingDragon

    ShreddingDragon Silence the discord

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    I sort of figured, but what's keeping me worried is what the manual mentioned as "transformer damage due to a no-load scenario" possibility. Here are shots of the head outputs and cab input:

    I normally plug into the upper center jack.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    How should I properly do this? Use the upper right jack, and put the shorting plug into the one underneath it? Sorry to bug you about this :D
     
  14. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Not entirely true, at all. I'd quit believing that now, it will make your life much easier.
     
  15. Hellbound

    Hellbound €£¥€£¥€£¥€£•

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    This is so very true. Stop believing all the tube amp being better hype. Just got back from my local music store and played a Line 6 Spider III. Made my life much easier. I was amazingly able to play so much cleaner without one mistake and pinch harmonics on command! Then I got home and plugged into my Engl Tube amp.
    Compared to the Line 6 I was horrible I could hear all my mistakes and gosh darnit I had to work at it to sound good.

    Lol, just messing around but seriously the one thing I hate about solid state amps are that they IMO make it so much easier to play that some do not realize how sloppy their playing is until they have gone with the tube route(my life story)This is just my opinion......but As far as recording purposes I have grown fond of what some solid state units can do....but oh the warmth of a nice tube powered amp is the best.
     
  16. snuif09

    snuif09 SS.org Regular

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    if i set my tubescreamer to the max and the gain on my DC-5 to 10 i get the same effect you need to be more gentle with the gain on most SS amps since they have buttloads of it :p

    but yea me likey tubes altho i would kill for an axe-fx but then again thats the holy grail of amps imo
     
  17. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    What amp is it? You'r eprobably ebst off starting a new thread in the gear section, as someone will have owned one of whatever mesa it is at some point and be able to help you :)

    the shorting jack worries me, plugging in a lower load to an amp can actually fry the oputput transformer and all the valves, so a shorting jack sounds like suicide unless it autodetects it inside, but, I don't know what the amp has or whether it has something like that in it.
     
  18. ShreddingDragon

    ShreddingDragon Silence the discord

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    It's a Road King 2. I already started a thread a long time ago, but without pics I guess no one really had any idea what I was on about :lol: It's here: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/gear-and-equipment/112163-cab-impendance-question.html

    And this is the rear panel view, from Mesa's website: Mesa Boogie Road King Rear Panel Enlargement

    There are channel-specific switches that allow you to choose whether you use only cab A, only cab B, or both A + B. I always keep them only A, so it shouldn't try to put anything through the B jacks, right? What I've understood from the manual is that IF I were to suddenly switch to B, I'd destroy something unless the shorting plug were placed in the relevant B jack.
     
  19. Varjo

    Varjo ss.org frenulum

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    Hey I've got a question for ya and I'm new to tube amps.

    Is there any kind of an list to what are the differences between tube manufacturers? I've been thinking of getting a Engl E530, which uses 2xECC83 tubes. A quick google shows that at least Sovtek, JJ and Mesa make these tubes, with varying prices, but I have no idea of the differences. I'm assuming there is one, since people often also tell who's tubes they have when they are discussing their tube amps.

    Now before a flame war starts, I did use search but didn't find any straightforward enough answers. Also, I'm not asking what are the best tubes, but what are the differences in general.
     
  20. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Construction, longevity, quality of components.
     
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