Dabeck Custom High Gain 50 Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mark Williams, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    I just took delivery on a Dabeck Custom High Gain 50 Head built by David Smith in Texas. Everything you've read here on the Gearpage about David's work is true! He actually did take what I had to say and built an amplifier for me that gives me exactly what I wanted & a lot more. I'm not going to write about "harmonic complexities" (partly because I'm not sure what that means), etc., but I will say that I've never had as positive an experience in getting gear built for me or as perfect-for-my-tastes an amplifier as I did in this case. This particular amplifier has two gain controls that, when used with the master & tone stack, yield an incredible number of variations of tone and gain. It has two modes, drive & normal, and it also sounds great at any volume--from bedroom-quiet to blasting. I can get the smoothest overdrive I've ever heard with this amp.
    I'll also say, like others have, that David is a great guy & a pleasure to deal with. I've had contact with lots of other amplifier builders, though, who were genuinely great people & each a pleasure to talk with. The best thing here is that David Smith is a great guy who builds a great, great amplifier!
    You have GOT TO PLAY THROUGH ONE OF THESE!:dude
    There's a picture here if you'd like to see:
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v239/poppanoo/?action=view&current=DABECKHG50CUSTOMFront.jpg
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Mark, is this a unique design of David's, or are there other amps out there which also use this feature......do you know?
     
  3. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure, PW, but I don't think the two gain controls are a unique design of David's. I'm sure he'd be willing to tell you about that for sure, though. He's at: david@dabeckcustomamps.com. When I told him I like to have lots of gain available, for some reason, even if I don't use all the gain often & that I like to play dirty--with grind--most of the time, he suggested we use the two gains (one "pre" and one "post" gain control) along with a 100-watt power supply for a 50-watt output head with extra filtering to "expand the voicing potential".......in a one-channel, two mode amplifier. He did a lot of tweaking--determined to get everything just right--before sending it ahead. He has made it very clear that he guarantees his work for "his life," and he has repeatedly told me that he's more than willing to have me send the amp back at any time for adjustments in voicing, modification, etc. I don't think I'm going to need to do that, though. By the way, this amp can use EL34's (which it has in it now), 6L6's, 5881's, 6V6's, KT66's, KT88's and so on if you wish. There's an external bias control on the top of the chassis inside the head cab. -- Also, I tried a few NOS Brimar 6057's I had in place of the JJ ECC83 S pre amp tubes, and, to my taste, it's even better now. Thanks.
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool sounding design from a cool builder.

    Sounds like a winner, Mark! :cool:
     
  5. sparkman

    sparkman Silver Supporting Member

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    Just wanted to post my experience with Dabeck amps. He has modded two amplifers for me, and his work is extremely impressive!!!!!

    One in particular is a high gain afffair, the amp just screams!!!!

    David's a great guy, and does a great job!!!!
     
  6. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    Amen to that, jimistheman!
    What were the mods David did for you? What were the amps he modded & what was the difference in the sound? Just curious about the details.
     
  7. thegame

    thegame Member

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    Sounds interesting. Are these high gain amps more in the hard rock vein, or can they do tight metal tones as well?
    thanks
     
  8. sparkman

    sparkman Silver Supporting Member

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    David completely gutted two amps of mine--one is a lower gain model, and the other is the higher gain model. Both were p-t-p amps and were pretty lifeless until David put the sonic mojo into them.

    The high gain model can easily go from harder rock type stuff to tight metal tones. Both amps are extremely versatile--it's really amazing.

    I'm sure his custom built amps are unbelievable!!! Also, he's a great guy, and truly wants to help you achieve the tone you're looking for--what more can you ask for?
     
  9. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    My overdrive/gain tones are more the hot-rodded Marshall type of tones (but much better than any I've heard before), not so much the metal thing. But that's what I asked for. I'm sure David could do metal-type distortion as well.
     
  10. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    I tried replacing the JJ ECC83 S preamp tubes in the 50 Watt HG Dabeck head with some NOS Brimar 6057's. As much as I loved it already, it's over-the-top fantastic to my taste with the Brimars in it.
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    JJ's have never been my favorite preamp tubes (far from it, in fact), and I've used Brimars and think they sound fantastic!

    What power amp tubes does the Dabeck use?
     
  12. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    My Dabeck came with EL34's but it can use any of the power tubes with that base (6L6, 6V6, etc.). It had JJ EL34's in it when it arrived, and, though I also have never liked JJ's or Teslas much, it sounds so good that I'm afraid to change them. Eventually, I'm going to try some NOS Sylvaina "big bottle" EL34's.
     
  13. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    Mark, do you have the ability to make clips?? I'd love to hear what it sounds like.

    I live in that same tonal ballpark, classic rock to hot-rod Marshall tones. I've tried many amps in that vein, and so far, the Cameron-modded Marshall I have now is the best (can't wait to play the new Tyler thru that baby!)
     
  14. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm afraid I don't have the ability to make clips here at home, Mike. I think Cory ("chubbywolf" here on the Gearpage) has the ability to do that, though. According to David, the drive channel on Cory's channel-switching 50-watt Dabeck head is very similar to the drive mode on my Dabeck.
    I'm sure the new Tyler will sound great through your Cameron-modded Marshall (Don't forget to let me know how you like it), but, from the sound of it, you really need to somehow try one of David Smith's Dabeck amps one of these days. You'll be beyond impressed, I think.:D
     
  15. chubbywolf

    chubbywolf Member

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    I am in the process of arranging another session to do soundclips. I feel like the sound quality of the last ones were fine, but I think the new ones will be better, a showcase more amps.
    I would love to get some clips of my 50watt channel switcher, the Fat45, the new 18watter, the "back in black" model, and the now infamous tweed twin.

    Any ideas on what kinds of tones/guitars you would like to hear. I have a wealth of instruments to draw from. Les pauls, SGs, Korina V, teles, strats, SG Jr w/P90. Give me some suggestions.

    CWolf
     
  16. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! :D
     

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