Amps where the power stage is less a part of the sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by therhodeo, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Like a tweed deluxe or AC-30 the power section is pretty integral to the sound of the amp. There are other amp styles and circuits where most of the sound is preamp and the tubes are truly just used to amplify that. What amps fall into that category?
     
  2. gtr37

    gtr37 Member

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    A lot of the hi gain modern amps ,the preamp provided the overdrive and tone the power sections is big and clean
     
  3. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Yeah Mesa is one of the big manufacturers that come to mind. I know they said thats why the Mk.V 25 should sound fine with EL-84's. I guess I'm more interested in more vintage sounding designs.
     
  4. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Actually, most amps played at lower volumes will be less power amp stage influenced.
    I love power tube saturation, but not at the expense of my hearing. I have looked for amps that have the tonal spectrum I desire and are able to get into some power tube saturation by use of a power scaling dial, or really good global volume control.

    For me, it's about the feel as much as the tone.
     
  5. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Yup. If the amp is kept at a low volume, the power tubes won't effect the tone much. If any amp is cranked near the max of it's limits, then the power tubes come more into play. So if you don't want a lot of power tube character in your amp, just get one with enough power that it's not near it's limits at the volume you intend to play it at.
     
  6. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    If pre amp driven design didn't sound as loose in the lows, and fizzy in the lows and highs I would be so much more interested.

    If we are talking less than gig volumes, I prefer an amp which relies less on the pre amp and boost it with a OD/gain/boost pedal. At gig volumes, a mix of pre and power amp without the need to boost has been what works best for me.
     
  7. csweldon

    csweldon Member

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    D-Style amps are a good example. IME The Fuchs ODS sounds better loud like most good amps, but the overdive is still smooth and warm at low volumes. Heck, the demo of the VVT X-Preamp through the Crate Powerblock still sounds good, remarkably similar to the regular X-amp. Granted, that's a YouTube video so you don't get the complete picture, but I bet it's close enough for rock n roll!
     
  8. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I use a rack setup and am looking for preamp ideas to use with SS power. If that helps understand my question any better.
     
  9. csweldon

    csweldon Member

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    I know Jon Silberman uses a setup like you describe using Twin Reverb preamps into solid state power amps, maybe shop him a message?
     
  10. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    The SMS CTP is one that I've considered for cleans but I'm looking for dirtier stuff now. I really should have put more details in the OP. I really want Rocktron to come out with their Valvesonic series but who knows when or if that will ever happen.
     
  11. csweldon

    csweldon Member

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    Maybe something like the Randall RM4 might be good - there are some good clean modules, as well as nice OD modules. I had an RM20 with a Jaded Faith PlexiTweed module, and got some great OD even with the master turned way low (it was, at that point all preamp and still sounded great.) The custom modules really are nice. I bet the Jaded Faith Overdrive Special would work great too! Lots of options, and easy to change if you'd prefer something different.
     
  12. amphog

    amphog Silver Supporting Member

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    Fryette's new attenuator can be used as a power amp.
     
  13. wbm68

    wbm68 Member

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    Look into ENgl pre-amps
    http://www.englamps.de
    go to products and rack gear for the details

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Too modern and heavy for me.
     
  15. 80sboy

    80sboy Member

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    Less power amp and more pre amp usually means "modern and heavy". The further you go in that direction the more it sounds like a distortion pedal.

    If there's a truly vintage sound confined entirely to the preamp I'd love to hear about it... but I don't think so.

    You might actually have better luck with the power amp running into (gasp) a digital modeller.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  16. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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  17. wbm68

    wbm68 Member

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    Just because they can do modern and heavy does not mean that they are limited to that. In fact they can do a lot more than that. They are very very flexible amps. I have an Engl Powerball II and it is a very versatile amp.

    You can also look into Boogie pre-amps
     
  18. xchemie

    xchemie Member

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    Mesa Mark V:25 has a huge amount of power tube distortion with the master cranked beyond 3 o'clock. It becomes difficult to discern any difference between the green and red channels...
     
  19. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I use a digital modeler (Digitech GSP1101) into a SS power amp now. I have no prejudices against that.
     
  20. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Anything 50w and over with a master volume and/or gain/preamp control. IMHO
     

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