Allen Brown Sugar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by calieng, Aug 20, 2005.


  1. calieng

    calieng Member

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    Just finished the chassis on the Allen Brown Sugar. I thought some of you who are interested in building one might like to see a few pics. Once again the quality of the components are excellent. The major difference in this amp compared to other Allen amps is the cathode bias of the power tubes so no rebiasing is required to swap tubes. It can take 6L6, EL34, and other octal tubes with the 5AR4 rectifier or 6V6 with a swap to 5Y3 rectifier.

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  2. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    Hey..nice build!!!

    Interesting amp, can you report back as to how it sounds with the various tubes? Curious as to how EL34's would sound in that amp.

    -Rich
     
  3. calieng

    calieng Member

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    Sure thing.

    The cabinet is still probably a week away from delivery but I will try running it through some other speakers today.
     
  4. calieng

    calieng Member

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    It bypasses the tone stack and therefore adds gain. It's a pretty standard feature on most Allen Amps.

    The amp itself sounds really sweet with a lot of sustain even on low gain levels. With EL34s it gets a little Plexi but the 25uF cathode caps still keep the response well within Fender territory.

    The amp is very touch sensitive and rich sounding...more of a Santana singing sound than the grind of the typical blackface amp.

    I really have to try it out a lot more to give a good review but that is some first impressions. So far I am very impressed with the tones.

    P.S JJ EL34s now have a blue coating on the glass? Must add mojo :)
     
  5. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a fun project and looks like you've done some very nice work! Congrats!

    Please post a clip or two when you get a chance...
     
  6. calieng

    calieng Member

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    Thank you!

    ...but my soldering is better than my playing ;)


    I try to post a clip once I get the cabinet and get it all finished.
     
  7. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    that is some excellent wiring and an excellent layout.
    I've seen many (even boutique) amps not layed out as well nor wired as clean.
    Great job, that sounds like a killer amp with the ability to change to all those tube setups.
     
  8. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey don't sweat playing anything fancy. I think a clip that does a good job demoing an amp's capabilities just gives you an idea of how it sounds clean, how it sounds with a bit of edge and how it sounds when it's pretty overdriven. Just some simple cowboy chords and power chords, a few single note lines and double stops and the bases are pretty much covered. Doesn't have to be a song or anything. Sure it's fun to hear a really great player ripping on some demo, and that may be important if you're trying to sell amps. But you're not trying to sell anything, so I wouldn't sweat it.
     
  9. calieng

    calieng Member

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    Thank you. I still have a few things to tidy up but I got it pretty much built in one night.

    This amp may yet be my favourite Allen amp. The Encore is more versitile with the master volume and tremolo but this one sure does have a sweet tone. I've been playing it through a 2-12" with a Reverend Alltone and a Weber Silver Bell until I get the cabinet and speaker. It is definetely a different amp from the Accomplice/Encore/Old Flame which all sound similar (and also great in their own way).

    I suppose the cathode bias is the biggest difference in where the tone comes from as well as the Brown era tone stack. Also, this one mostly uses Sprague Orange Drops where as the other models mostly use Mallory 150 caps.
     
  10. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    How loud is the amp? I'm real curious about the Brown Sugar. Have been checking out various 15-inch speaker amps lately, and this one is high on my list. I'd love to hear one. Anyone in the North Jersey area have an Allen?
     
  11. calieng

    calieng Member

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    You can get most of David's amps in a 1-15" cabinet. The Brown Sugar is rated 30 watts. Through the 2-12" cab it is plenty loud for small to medium sized gigs. I'm not sure how efficient the 15" speaker is. You would need an attenuator for bedroom use if you want to crank it since it does not have a master volume.
     
  12. Straleno

    Straleno Member

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    Can you switch between EL34's and 6L6's at will, or do the sockets have to be rewired in some way?

    I've been eyeing this amp for a while... please post some clips when you can!
     
  13. calieng

    calieng Member

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    It can run 6L6 and EL34 by simply pulling the power tubes and swaping them. 6V6 with also work but should also swap to a 5Y3 rectifier.

    I hope the cabinet arrives this week. It is a 1-12" with an Eminence Red White and Blue speaker. I'll try to record something once I have it finished.

    Thanks.
     
  14. CNOTE

    CNOTE Member

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    Great post Leon!!

    I'm going out back to the Smokehouse and get those Cowboy Chords I put away in the old Trunk.:dude
     
  15. Hand of Doom

    Hand of Doom Member

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    Nice work! How close is this to a brown Super?
     
  16. Straleno

    Straleno Member

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    Hey Cali,
    Any updates? Still liking the Brown Sugar? You get that cabinet yet? Clips??
    I don't mean to nag, but, well, um... OK, maybe I do.
    Thanks!
     
  17. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Bumperino. The Brown Sugar has always tempted me.

    taco
     
  18. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    Looks great, calieng. Can I have the amp when you're done having all that fun building it? :D
     
  19. calieng

    calieng Member

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    ...how about a nice Crate instead... :)

    I have the amp finished and it turned out real nice.

    The 1-12" cab is well built and nice looking with a fairly compact size (a slightly larger 1-15" cab is also available).

    The Red White and Blues speaker works well with the amp. It has some nice chime and decent bass. In some ways a bit of a neutral sounding speaker. A speaker swap could tweak the amp sound to individual tastes.

    I liked EL34s in the amp but finally decided on TAD short bottle 6L6s. I am actually considering modding the Encore for EL34s since it has the master volume and more gain on tap.

    The Brown Sugar can get very loud but has more clean headroom than the Encore or Accomplice. It's a very rich sounding amp. It lets you hear the wood in your guitar. You want to play a Lester/Strat-cord-amp setup to really enjoy this amp...no pedals or effects or other crap to degrade the sweet tone.

    I'll try to post some pics again later this week.

    Cheers.
     
  20. calieng

    calieng Member

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    Never heard one but I do have a Tweed Super. There are some similarities in tone between these amps...but they are certainly not identical. The Super is fixed bias and the Brown Sugar is cathode bias and also has reverb. The Brown Sugar has a little more chime and 3D sound.
     

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