Amp experts come to my rescue!

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by inscho, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. inscho

    inscho Senior Member

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Memphis
    ok so the amp and cab forum wasnt a help!

    Hey everyone I am new to posting on the TGP forums but I've been lurking about for a few months. I have been playing for 12 yrs but I spent 10 of those years with the same guitar and practice amp. I just recently have started learning more about gear. I'm somewhat knowledgeable with effects and guitars, but when it comes to amps I really do not know anything.

    My question is whats upgrades can I do to my stock Ampeg R12R Reverberocket reissue to get the most out of it? Tube replacement and speaker replacements?

    I play mostly indie progressive rock sometimes heavy on effects.

    My guitars are:
    Fender Cyclone w/ duncan hot rails and pearly gates
    Fender 50th MIM strat w/ EMG DG20s

    here are a couple of comments from the HC user reviews:

    "the stock tube compliment is 3 12ax7s for the preamp and 2 6L6s for the poweramp section. the factory tubes are crap - the power tubes rattled like hell. i had mine re-tubed with new 12ax7s and EL-34s in the power section. improved the sound tremendously in my opinion"

    "The 1st thing I did was replace the stock speaker with a Celestion Vintage 30 (the Celestion website is great!) ... Every thing improved, the bass response, breakup, highs, even the volume ... Next I replaced the 6L6b output tubes with KT-66s (like in old Marshall "Bluesbreakers"} they are a direct replacement and the sound is bigger more bottom sweeter highs glassy and almost 3D in effect ... You will need however to scrap the metal 6L6 tube retainer and get the old Marshall style spring retainers (check the Torres engineering website for these, and the tubes too} ... Finally I replaced the Sovtec 12ax7 pre-amp tubes (they are the "shortplate" type) with old British Mullard "longplate" 12ax7s (you can use almost any good "longplate" tubes} ... The Torres or Groove Tube websites can help you here ... or check out eBay ... The total result is an amp that can run with most any "Custom" amp made, the sound difference in night and day! ... By the way the distortion in the overdrive channel is HOT ... think Jazz-Fusion ... pre mods I rate the sound a 7 ... post mods 10 (yeah 10!}"

    I am on an extremely strict budget, so buying a new amp is pretty much out of the question, I am also a fan of the oddball quality of the amp.

    Any advice is welcome!

    Thanks again!


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  2. AL30

    AL30 Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    What, exactly, are you trying to get out of the amp? From your post it sounds like you are happy with the amp "as is".

    Since you're on a tight budget I would think the easiest "mods" you can do is swap tubes. Pre-amps will allow for some changes in tone. Yes, I know you have Mullards - but swapping pre-amps is "plug and play". It's easy and you don't need to re-bias. Different pre-amps have different gain factors

    http://www.thetubestore.com/gainfactor.html

    So, if your amp is too hot you could tone it down a bit with drop-in replacements. Different brands will also sound different. Pre-amps usually run from around $8 - $25 for new ones. NOS is a whole differnt story.

    Other than that... maybe add a pedal or two. You could also try different guitars, pick-ups etc. I'm not really sure what you're trying to get out of the amp but it sounds like you're already there. If you're happy with the amp put the "gotta tweak it" mind set in your back pocket. If it ain't broke...

    AL
     
  3. inscho

    inscho Senior Member

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Memphis
    thanks for your response,

    Overall I like the amp; it was a good buy for 300 dollars. The clean channel is pretty good, the dirt channel is pretty thin but I like the tone. I am currently running a RAT and a Jeckyll and Hyde for my overdrive, but I would like to take advantage of my amp's.

    A speaker replacement seems to be the one thing everyone recommends. I gotten comments to put in a Weber or a Celestion.

    So I guess my main questions are:

    What can I do to make my amp's overdrive richer?

    Is the stock Ampeg vintage speaker the best quality and sound for this amp?

    What would change about the sound if i switched from 6l6s to EL34s?



    I apologize if I am being too vague...
     
  4. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,072
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    CT
    Problem is, there are no rules...

    No one can say, "Do this this and this, and your Ampeg will be all it can be"

    It ain't that easy.

    So your amp is 10 years old you say? Definitely time for some new tubes!
     
  5. AL30

    AL30 Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Well, I tried to post a few hours ago but due to my cranial malfunction - nuthin' happened.

    So, after re-reading your post I agree with Russ B. Get a fresh set of tubes in there before you do anything. Once you do that it will be much easier to assess your situation.

    AL
     

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