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Can I Get Tube Crunch @ Home fm My 40W Fargen Blackbird?

CrazyFingers

Member
Messages
198
Hi,

I have the 40W 6L6-based version of this amp--Fender Blackface voicing, single channel, no master volume.

I play a strat and an ES335 through it. I absolutely love it for cleans and it takes pedals really well.

I am interested in getting some natural tube crunch from this amp. The problem: I play & record primarily in my basement and I cannot do this at reasonable volumes.

Should I consider trading for something with less power or a master volume?
How about getting something like a Hot Plate?
Ben F. can't put power scaling on it (no room) so that is not an option.

Thoughts?
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,310
Different ubes won't help much, an attenuator will definitely help but not everyone likes the sonic effects.

A 20, or possibly less, watt amp is probably what you reallly need.
 

riffmeister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,699
get a speaker cab and isolation box......and crank away!

(p.s., you can make an iso box pretty easily)
 

GearHeadFred

Member
Messages
1,643
I have gone down both both the reduced power tubes and hot plate routes.

40W is a lot in a quiet home. Even 15W is a lot in a quiet home! I have swapped to 6V6s in BF-type amps to get earlier 'breakup joy', but it's a subtle shift.. still way north of the "quiet home friendly" line.

The hot plate is a good tool for controlling stage volume.. I use 1 or 2 clicks down to prevent stepping on others in the band with the amp turned up to it's sweet spot. But drastic attenuation leads to crappy tone.

I don't have the answer for you.. in fact, I suspect there is no good answer.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,094
I'm not telling you to ditch the killer amp (i want a fargen too) but the Gries 5 is perfect for what you are looking for. 5 watts can get WAY loud as well, but this breaks up pretty much anyway you want it to at the volumes you are looking for - it doesn't do really hard gain though (doesn't sound like you need that).
http://www.griesamps.com/id4.html
 

CrazyFingers

Member
Messages
198
I'm not telling you to ditch the killer amp (i want a fargen too) but the Gries 5 is perfect for what you are looking for. 5 watts can get WAY loud as well, but this breaks up pretty much anyway you want it to at the volumes you are looking for - it doesn't do really hard gain though (doesn't sound like you need that).
http://www.griesamps.com/id4.html

I have considered switching amps and have considered the Gries 5. The problem is that I really love my Blackbird and I don't think I could justify having two Feder-ish amps. The Fargen gets a beautiful clean tone and I can get really nice tone with pedals too (I use a Barber Small Fry and a Pedalworx Cactus Crunch). The only thing I'm missing is that real tube crunch. Now if I knew that the Gries had comparable tone, quality, etc. to the Fargen.....

Another option I am considering is complementing my Fargen with a lower-wattage or power-scaled amp with a gain channel and an entirely different character (a Marshall/VOX voiced, ELxx based amp e.g Reinhardt 18, Fargen MiniPlex).

The two different amps would cover a huge range of tones.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

Thanks to all for your comments!
 

esoteric pete

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,863
i put a weber 12F150 and NOS phillips 5881 power tubes in my 40w BB, its still loud, but gives up the good a *tad* sooner...
 

joemesser

Member
Messages
1,669
The clips of the Fargen Miniplex that I've heard have totally blown me away.....those were recorded at extremely low levels. So low a calm speaking voice could be heard over them! Keep the 40W BB for your cleans!!
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,094
"Another option I am considering is complementing my Fargen with a lower-wattage or power-scaled amp with a gain channel and an entirely different character (a Marshall/VOX voiced, ELxx based amp e.g Reinhardt 18, Fargen MiniPlex)."

-- You and I (and MANY others around here) are thinking the exact same way. What I do love about the Gries 5 is that it's 5 loud watts WITH a MV that works great and gives up the goods you are looking for a much lower levels. Hard to do from what I understand.
But yeah, I'm right there with ya - I'm gassing for a Fargen miniplex mk II, Reinhardt, Suhr Badger, etc. bad...
Someone mentioned the Carr Mercury as the amp that can do it ALL at lower volumes... I haven't heard any clippage though and I'm sure it's pricey as well.
 

picnic

Member
Messages
2,294
Crazy Fingers, Wait for the Egnater Rebel to hit GC around March. $500, 0-20 watts, 2x6V6 or EL84, MV head. I played one a few times at NAMM and it was great. Clean BF to Marshally crunch.
Now about that BB,,,,
 

joemesser

Member
Messages
1,669
"Another option I am considering is complementing my Fargen with a lower-wattage or power-scaled amp with a gain channel and an entirely different character (a Marshall/VOX voiced, ELxx based amp e.g Reinhardt 18, Fargen MiniPlex)."

-- You and I (and MANY others around here) are thinking the exact same way. What I do love about the Gries 5 is that it's 5 loud watts WITH a MV that works great and gives up the goods you are looking for a much lower levels. Hard to do from what I understand.
But yeah, I'm right there with ya - I'm gassing for a Fargen miniplex mk II, Reinhardt, Suhr Badger, etc. bad...
Someone mentioned the Carr Mercury as the amp that can do it ALL at lower volumes... I haven't heard any clippage though and I'm sure it's pricey as well.
Yes, the Carr Mercury gives it all up at any volume, awesome amp!! Check that one for more of the cranked Fender type vibe. Obviously going for differen't OD tones than the Miniplex.
 

M I K E D.

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
563
You probably dont want to use a pedal but a COT 50 would take you there w/ the least muss and fuss and sounds amazing.
 

larryl

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
46
Ben is building me a Blackbird 20 with London Power Scaling. I am a home player and was looking for a quality builder to give me a volume solution in a great amp. Ben said this will give me all the head room i will ever need and killer tone at low volumes.

Why don't you sell your 40 watt Blavkbird and move down to a 20 or 30 watt? with the scaling option?
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,254
a weber mass will run you a hundred bucks. i think it's worth it to see if the tone is to your liking when you crank it at attenuated levels.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
Talk to Fargen and see what they say about having the amp re-biased for
either 6V6's or EL34's

Replacing the 6L6's with 6V6's should drop the amp down to around 18-20 watts.
Much better for home recording and most of all,
you won't have to buy another amp.

EL34's will get you more of a Marshall OD and warm up the cleans.

Changing out the pre-amps tubes to something gainier can also
re-voice the amp for home use.

All of this should be really simple to do.

You can also have a good tech install a half power switch.

I don't see any reason to buy another amp.
 

Bottle_Rocket

Member
Messages
176
The wattage is not the problem, the fact that you don't have a Master Volume is the problem.

I have my "bedroom" amp set on the 55watt mode, Blackface Channel, Pre-Amp volume on 4,5, crunching up nicely... Master Volume set as low as I want it.

Not the same thing as Power Tube distortion.
When you push the power tubes hard you get a real touch feel and dynamic response. Pick harder and it opens up.
 

Seegs

Member
Messages
10,169
my Fargen DC can run 6L6s with a 5AR4 or 6V6s with a 5Y3GT...I specified it that way so I could run it at Fender Deluxe volumns...this lowers the breakup volumn and is easy to do...you could check to see if yours can too...

if you can't run 6V6s...you can....as one poster mentioned try some 5881 power tubes in it...lower breakup volumn...

Do you have a combo or a head/cab.? If you have a head/cab. arrangement you can just get another 1X 12" cab. with a lower wattage speaker with earlier breakup...if you have a combo you can also replace the speaker in it for one that breaks up earlier

thirdly you can use various pedals to get the job done...a clean boost or treble boost would work nicely...my Klon does this nicely as does my Telenordia Treble booster TA-24...

lastly humbuckers...a good LesPaul will get you there nicely...

Chow,
Seegs
 




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