"Jose" mods are diode clipping?

mlj_gear

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Messages
2,908
Yes. But they still primarily use tubes for clipping distortion and solid state gain stages for overall clean amplification, whereas Jubilee uses tube gain stages for clean amplification and solid-state diodes for clipping. You have to evaluate what is important regarding circuit operation instead of staring the schematics blindly.
That's fine, but it has no bearing on whether each amp has an all-tube signal path. And again, I am not saying there is anything wrong amps that don't have all-tube preamps.

Also, throw a (solid state) overdrive pedal of your choice in front, and whether the signal hits a 12AX7 or a TL072 op-amp right after that will almost certainly have tonal consequences.
 

G34RSLU7

Member
Messages
1,988
In an effort to stay completely pure and stay clear of any circuits that borrow from historic designs, I now plug my guitar directly into a toaster. It sounds terrible, but I feel so righteous that it makes up for the poor tone. Beat that, posers. :cool:
can i put that in my signature? love it!

edit: nevermind apparently it wouldn't fit because it's too long!
 

L13

Member
Messages
73
i tried a few blackstars in various music stores and they seemed meh.
yet somehow ULI JON ROTH slays everything and everybody with 2 full blackstar stacks Live.
I know he uses a red fuzz pedal from greece but I am not sure what he uses for his main gain tones, maybe just his blackstars cranked hella loud.
I know he still owns his prized 72 super trem that he recorded all of the classic scorpions stuff with and it does not leave his crib anymore.
none the less they work for him incredibly well, but i reckon Uli can make anything sound amazing.
maybe they hook him up with special ones?
POO FLINGERS UNIONIZE AND UNITE!
 

Uli Jon Blackmore

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
804
i tried a few blackstars in various music stores and they seemed meh.
yet somehow ULI JON ROTH slays everything and everybody with 2 full blackstar stacks Live.
I know he uses a red fuzz pedal from greece but I am not sure what he uses for his main gain tones, maybe just his blackstars cranked hella loud.
I know he still owns his prized 72 super trem that he recorded all of the classic scorpions stuff with and it does not leave his crib anymore.
none the less they work for him incredibly well, but i reckon Uli can make anything sound amazing.
maybe they hook him up with special ones?
POO FLINGERS UNIONIZE AND UNITE!
I have hung out with Uli a few times including 3+ hours with he and his band in their tour bus after a show in 2019. There were only 4 non band members, one of them being Uli's daughter, so I had plenty of time to talk to him about his music but also some about his equipment. The red pedal is a Russian Big Muff clone (he once mistakenly said that it was a Fuzz Face in a video interview) and he also sometimes uses a fuzz face. He did specifically say that the fuzzes were only for special effects or as he put it, "when things go all apocalyptic". His primary tone is the Blackstars set pretty clean but then hitting them with a vary powerful variable boost incorporated into his Sky guitar.

Also, Uli uses Blackstar Artisan 100 amps which are a far more expensive, handwired, and non-hybrid tube amp as compared to the lower cost Blackstar models.
 
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Axe-Man

Member
Messages
5,987
I paid my money and bought a Bugera. It was a nice amp. Nothing fell off or went wrong with it. I liked it and it sounded like a 5150. I even wrote a review as it sounded great.

What Bugera amp have you owned? You seem really embroiled in this.

I said Behringer and Bugera were a ripoff company. We’re talking audio interfaces, mixers, pedals, amps...on and on and on it goes...

Last I read, they had a big legal team to manage their rips offs to tie companies they ‘clone’ up. It’s a bad business practice and I’ve not owned any of their products since I discovered this.

Friedman called one of his early amps Marsha for crying out loud. I’m not defending them so I don’t know why you keep referring to it. I don’t plan on owning any Friedmans either but that’s simply due to the laughable prices they command.

So what is a Jose Marshall? Is is a Marshall? Point to a Marshall that is a Jose MV mod amp or one they invented. I bought my clipper circuit Yeti because Marshall don’t make them, cost a lot for PCB amps and yes, Marshall do make some iffy amps by your very own track record. My Yeti was $600 less than a DSL50 at the time. I didn’t buy it for street cred, hypocrisy or any such nonsense. It was THE best made and sounding amp available at that price point BY FAR.

I said BS make a lot of amps I’d rather not own due to at times questionable build and Bugera/Behringer are a clone company. Is any of this not true?

Let me fix that for you -- The guitar, guitar amp, and guitar pedal industries are IP ripoff industries. They rip off things CLOSELY.

The Yeti isn't a Marshall based amp with a Jose mod? Sorry, the only thing Bugera did wrong per TGP rules, is to make affordable amps that were designed to sound like more expensive ones. When all the Dumble cloners make $4K clones, when Metro, Friedman, and a bunch of others make expensive clones, when other companies make expensive Vox and Fender clones, they get all kinds of praise here, but when Bugera suddenly comes out with amps that sound as good as the amp someone on TGP just paid $3K for, naturally, the guy who just paid that much for a tone someone else is getting for $500 is going to be a little annoyed and will look for a reason to criticize that $500 amp. Hence the Bugera hate that went on here, and to a degree still goes on.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,516
I paid my money and bought a Bugera. It was a nice amp. Nothing fell off or went wrong with it. I liked it and it sounded like a 5150. I even wrote a review as it sounded great.

What Bugera amp have you owned? You seem really embroiled in this.

I said Behringer and Bugera were a ripoff company. We’re talking audio interfaces, mixers, pedals, amps...on and on and on it goes...

Last I read, they had a big legal team to manage their rips offs to tie companies they ‘clone’ up. It’s a bad business practice and I’ve not owned any of their products since I discovered this.

Friedman called one of his early amps Marsha for crying out loud. I’m not defending them so I don’t know why you keep referring to it. I don’t plan on owning any Friedmans either but that’s simply due to the laughable prices they command.

So what is a Jose Marshall? Is is a Marshall? Point to a Marshall that is a Jose MV mod amp or one they invented. I bought my clipper circuit Yeti because Marshall don’t make them, cost a lot for PCB amps and yes, Marshall do make some iffy amps by your very own track record. My Yeti was $600 less than a DSL50 at the time. I didn’t buy it for street cred, hypocrisy or any such nonsense. It was THE best made and sounding amp available at that price point BY FAR.

I said BS make a lot of amps I’d rather not own due to at times questionable build and Bugera/Behringer are a clone company. Is any of this not true?
I've owned a Bugera V22 and a Bugera V5. I don't own them any longer. They were great amps. I also currently own two Blackstars and have owned others in the past. Also great amps. I have zero personal stake in either Bugera or Blackstar. It just annoys me when people misrepresent things.

If you want to talk about their tone or their quality, that's fine, but hypocrisy really annoys me. On a forum where people rave about all kinds of clones and copies of amps, and also rave about their "all-tube" boutique or otherwise expensive amps that have all kinds of solid state wizardry going on inside, seeing people being hypocrites and criticizing companies like Bugera and Blackstar for doing the same thing gets annoying, tired, and old.

Bugera is no more a clone company than Friedman, Ceriatone, Fuchs, Metro, Valvetech, and a million other companies that are raved about here. But when Bugera makes an affordable amp that sounds as good as someone's $3K amp, they get a bunch of hate and accusations of stealing someone else's design. Sorry, that's just annoying and I'll call out the hypocrisy every time I see it. Same with the "but ..... diodes..." garbage.
 

Axe-Man

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Messages
5,987
I like Nik’s company but I was a bit iffy when he straight up cloned the BE, Butterslax etc and may still do Wizard, Diezel etc.

I also don’t get the uber priced clone love myself but it’s their money!

I specifically wanted a well made diode clipper amp as I knew it would do the gainy thing well. I’m about to play around with some zeners and mod it to a Chupacabra preamp because I’m enjoying the modding experience (it’s actually half Chupacabra it turns out).

Diode clipping IMPE with lots of (not just high gain) amps, makes the amp. Most amps are lesser amps without it in fact. Again, only the high gain Megalith didn’t need boosts as it was the biggest, tightest, most modern crazy thing with just 3 gain stages. No idea how Michael did it but it was pretty insane.

I love my AC15 HW but that also really benefits from a OD.

I've owned a Bugera V22 and a Bugera V5. I don't own them any longer. They were great amps. I also currently own two Blackstars and have owned others in the past. Also great amps. I have zero personal stake in either Bugera or Blackstar. It just annoys me when people misrepresent things.

If you want to talk about their tone or their quality, that's fine, but hypocrisy really annoys me. On a forum where people rave about all kinds of clones and copies of amps, and also rave about their "all-tube" boutique or otherwise expensive amps that have all kinds of solid state wizardry going on inside, seeing people being hypocrites and criticizing companies like Bugera and Blackstar for doing the same thing gets annoying, tired, and old.

Bugera is no more a clone company than Friedman, Ceriatone, Fuchs, Metro, Valvetech, and a million other companies that are raved about here. But when Bugera makes an affordable amp that sounds as good as someone's $3K amp, they get a bunch of hate and accusations of stealing someone else's design. Sorry, that's just annoying and I'll call out the hypocrisy every time I see it. Same with the "but ..... diodes..." garbage.
 

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,878
I'm sorry, outrage aside, there is a HUGE difference between a pair of diodes clipping to ground and that op-amp laden preamp. In one case tubes are being used to shape tone AND amplify the signal, with a distortion generator that is solid stage. You can even argue that the audio signal doesn't pass thru the diodes, they're responsible for clipping it off, and only the discarded parts pass thru them. In the other, the shaping of the signal is almost completely done in solid state, including distortion. The "amp in a box" pedals that reconstruct a tube preamp using FETs are more tube-like than that. All the audio signal passes thru many multiples of transistor stages (an op-amp has at least 6? transistor gain stages). So, while the power tubes are providing amplification, they aren't doing a lot of tone shaping. This is not to shame the amp, my Tech21 amp is ALL solid stage, as is my quilter and my Crooks and they all sound really good. It's just in no way an "all tube" amplifier.

Oh, as to the comment about essentially all amps using solid stage stages, that's plainly ridiculous. If you mean caps and resistors as linking devices and to form filters? Sure, tube amps can't be done without those. If you mean for amplification or clipping-out of my perhaps 100 amps, I'd guess that less than 10 have some form of solid state clipping. Not even sure my Cameron does, it's the one with the extra gain stage! But the other higher gain amps-Marshall Rock Head, Mk III Mesa, Carol-Ann, Fuchs, Orange, Hiwatt? Nope, no transistor amplification or clipping, and no diodes.
 
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Rc7321

Member
Messages
215
I was reading about the hate for blackstar and their diode clipping, but then I read that the "Jose" mods actually are doing the same thing, as well as some popular boutique hot rodded marshalls you can buy today.

So what's up with this?


Very few amps authentically modded amps by Jose Arredondo actually contained clipping diodes. Most did not.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,516
I'm sorry, outrage aside, there is a HUGE difference between a pair of diodes clipping to ground and that op-amp laden preamp. In one case tubes are being used to shape tone AND amplify the signal, with a distortion generator that is solid stage. You can even argue that the audio signal doesn't pass thru the diodes, they're responsible for clipping it off, and only the discarded parts pass thru them. In the other, the shaping of the signal is almost completely done in solid state, including distortion. The "amp in a box" pedals that reconstruct a tube preamp using FETs are more tube-like than that. All the audio signal passes thru many multiples of transistor stages (an op-amp has at least 6? transistor gain stages). So, while the power tubes are providing amplification, they aren't doing a lot of tone shaping. This is not to shame the amp, my Tech21 amp is ALL solid stage, as is my quilter and my Crooks and they all sound really good. It's just in no way an "all tube" amplifier.

Oh, as to the comment about essentially all amps using solid stage stages, that's plainly ridiculous. If you mean caps and resistors as linking devices and to form filters? Sure, tube amps can't be done without those. If you mean for amplification or clipping-out of my perhaps 100 amps, I'd guess that less than 10 have some form of solid state clipping. Not even sure my Cameron does, it's the one with the extra gain stage! But the other higher gain amps-Marshall Rock Head, Mk III Mesa, Carol-Ann, Fuchs, Orange, Hiwatt? Nope, no transistor amplification or clipping, and no diodes.
Huge differences aside (and frankly, I'm not buying it...it's just a different implementation..doesn't make one better or worse), what do most people do to their glorious "all-tube" amps as soon as they get them? Yep, they throw a solid state pedal in front of it to make it sound better. As for Marshall, the Jubilee and Mini Jube use diodes for distortion, there are one or two Dumbles that also use SS components for added gain, so assuming Fuchs and other people are accurately cloning them, they will also have diodes or some type of SS clipping/distortion going on. Mesa? My TC-50 has the "Tight" setting which according to Mesa is essentially like adding an OD pedal in front of it. And you know what? It sounds better in tight mode.

Even a simple plexi circuit, it sounds great if you can crank it up, but what do most people do with them? yep, solid state pedal in front to either tighten up the bass and add some drive, or in some cases they get all their dirt from the pedal.

The "Blackstars sound like crap because they use diodes therefore are not real tube amps" claim is pure garbage.
 

HeavyCream

Member
Messages
3,210
Look, when it comes to Blackstar, it’s not like their just typical all tube amps with diode clipping. There are tubes in the preamp and tubes in the power amp so they have the right to call it an “all tube amp”. They definitely took advantage of that fact and use that term frequently in advertising. But, thanks to forums like TGP, anyone who searches BS, will find out what the deal is, along with a fair amount of fallacies I’m sure.

The truth is, the Blackstar HT amps have a hybrid preamp and a hybrid power amp. They have a SS phase inverter, among other important parts of the circuit. The difference between the BS’s and many other amps with diode clipping is if you get rid of the diodes/SS stuff in the signal chain, the amp will still work. This can’t be said for the BS’s.

There are many amps that introduce SS clipping to the signal these days. Some switchable some not. Some prefer to chose which OD pedal they use and how it’s set, some would rather have it onboard. It’s really not a big deal.
 

GT100

Member
Messages
3,682
No tube gain stages with the popular Jose mod but Jose did do a crazy complicated Jose mod with all manners of switches and an extra tube for another gain stage. To my ears it’s one of the worst sounding (thin, bright and clangy) Jose mods and seems infernally complicated.

Atomica, Yeti/Chupacubra, Fortin (lol) etc all are 3 gain stage + cathode follower and diode clipper Jose mods.

This involves switchable bright caps, a clipper, MV, res/pres etc and quite different values in the preamp (and poweramp) to a JCM800.

They are basically a modded JCM800.

99% of people boost a high gain amp so you’re using diodes already. This way it’s built into the amp and matches perfectly from the get go.

They don’t just add gain, they make the amp quieter too. A JCM800 is loud as and the clipper circuit REALLY brings things down to usable levels.

Oh, they sound rather awesome too!
The 800s have diodes because the ecc83 they were getting at the time were too noisy.
Lloyd
 

plexified

Member
Messages
502
If the TGP existed in the 60's the the solid state rectifier taking the place of the tube rectifier would have caused a melt down. But since it didn't its clearly overlooked.

If your gonna slag clipping diodes or a literal Grind Pedal installed in your front end 'in addition to' your tube compliment. . .

Stop discriminating against the solid state rectifier. . . Bridge, full wave or aghem. . . diode strings.

On a serious note I'll take any one of the afformentioned amps and rip. There really isn't much to complain about with the amount of options around. The speakers or cabinet is far more important than splitting diodes and op amps.

I joke around with the Grind pedal because its 20db of solid state boost stripping bottom end flup into the front end. Sounds glorious slamming the tubies. Uli Jons' Sky Guitar has it basiclly built inside his axe, its a mind blowing axe... robo tuners instead of locking trem etc.

The amp Ossi From Blockhead and Three Monkeys demos is an increadible sounding amp, its the whole circuit tune and the exact diodes used. You can't get them anymore and using any old modern set is not going to cut it FWIW , Dave F knows.

I can get the BUGERA 6262 to sound as good into my vintage Plexi Era 4X12's so I bought one. @ $350 I stole it.
 

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,878
I have no problem with SS amp or amp sections. I do have a problem with bad advertising. And I still insist there's a world of difference between two clipping diodes and a whole op-amp based preamp. It's not that it doesn't sound good, or is invalid as an amp, it's just bad advertising. No, the Fuchs OD models don't have clipping diodes or FETs. There was an FET gain stage that could be switched in on the Dumble ODS BUT it was clearly advertised as such. And all tube amp with a gain stage you could add in. Same with MusicMan amps-SS preamp with tube power section. Same with Peavey hybrid amps, Marshall hybrid amps. Lots of folks have done it and it sounds great, there just a difference between a hybrid, listed as such, and an "all tube" amp with huge sections of preamp being SS.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,516
I have no problem with SS amp or amp sections. I do have a problem with bad advertising. And I still insist there's a world of difference between two clipping diodes and a whole op-amp based preamp. It's not that it doesn't sound good, or is invalid as an amp, it's just bad advertising. No, the Fuchs OD models don't have clipping diodes or FETs. There was an FET gain stage that could be switched in on the Dumble ODS BUT it was clearly advertised as such. And all tube amp with a gain stage you could add in. Same with MusicMan amps-SS preamp with tube power section. Same with Peavey hybrid amps, Marshall hybrid amps. Lots of folks have done it and it sounds great, there just a difference between a hybrid, listed as such, and an "all tube" amp with huge sections of preamp being SS.
A true hybrid amp is one of two options

1. Solid state preamp + tube power section
2. Tube preamp + solid state power section.

That's it. The Music Man and Marshall hybrids are true hybrid amps. The Blackstar HTs are not. They are tube amps with tube preamps and tube power sections that employ some solid state components.




A hybrid amplifier involves one of two combinations of tube and solid-state amplification. It may have a tube power amp fed by a solid-state pre-amp circuit, as in most of the original MusicMan amplifiers.

Alternatively, a tube preamplifier can feed a solid-state output stage, as in models from Kustom, Hartke, SWR, and Vox. This approach dispenses with the need for an output transformer and easily achieves modern power levels.


Which of those are you saying the Blackstar HTs are? I have two of them. Both have tube preamp and power amp sections.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,516
Look, when it comes to Blackstar, it’s not like their just typical all tube amps with diode clipping. There are tubes in the preamp and tubes in the power amp so they have the right to call it an “all tube amp”. They definitely took advantage of that fact and use that term frequently in advertising. But, thanks to forums like TGP, anyone who searches BS, will find out what the deal is, along with a fair amount of fallacies I’m sure.

The truth is, the Blackstar HT amps have a hybrid preamp and a hybrid power amp. They have a SS phase inverter, among other important parts of the circuit. The difference between the BS’s and many other amps with diode clipping is if you get rid of the diodes/SS stuff in the signal chain, the amp will still work. This can’t be said for the BS’s.

There are many amps that introduce SS clipping to the signal these days. Some switchable some not. Some prefer to chose which OD pedal they use and how it’s set, some would rather have it onboard. It’s really not a big deal.
I'm actually curious about this. I have two Blackstar HT amps. Are you saying that if I remove all the tubes from them they will still work just fine?
 

teemuk

Member
Messages
3,053
They will not. Blackstar amps use overdriven tube gain stages as primary mechanism for clipping distortion on the preamp. They also include solid-state clipping diodes to acquire even more cascaded overdrive and compression (in similar manner to e.g. H&K amps or Marshall Valvestate series).
So they are a mixture of both technologies, hybrids.

Don't let the largely solid-state front end fool you: largely those SS gain stages are not there to introduce distortion (they could be any technology and one couldn't spot a difference) and primarily you still get similar preamp tube gain stage clipping as in all-tube amp. The important clipping stages are tube-based. (An all tube amp just uses most of its tubes for clean amplification and maybe 1 to 3 gain stages max. for actual clipping).

Jubilee, as said before, is an example of amp where preamp tubes introduce practically no distortion at all and distortion is created with solid-state clipping diodes. Difference is huge to circuits that overdrive cascaded (tube) gain stages or emulations of such (e.g. Peavey Transtube).

Blackstar power amp is technically hybrid because it employs both semiconductors (phase inverter stage) and tubes (power tubes).

Technology by itself does not define what something will sound like. The argument is more of pedantic nature.
 

HeavyCream

Member
Messages
3,210
I'm actually curious about this. I have two Blackstar HT amps. Are you saying that if I remove all the tubes from them they will still work just fine?
Lol. No, of course not. The tubes are still vital components. If you removed the SS clipping from amps like the Jubilee and JCM900, the amps still work. If you remove all the SS stages and SS Phase Inverter from the Blackstar HT circuit, it won’t work. I’m not saying they’re necessarily bad amps. But, they’re on another level of mixing tube/SS tech vs a tube amp with diode/FET clipping. In many cases, they’re more trouble to repair than they’re worth if they fail. That’s one of the biggest negatives to me.

It seems like some guys are mad at BS for calling them all tube amps while others get mad at those guys because they like their BS. I wouldn’t necessarily tell anyone not to buy a BS but I think people should know what they’re spending their money on.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
10,516
Lol. No, of course not. The tubes are still vital components. If you removed the SS clipping from amps like the Jubilee and JCM900, the amps still work. If you remove all the SS stages and SS Phase Inverter from the Blackstar HT circuit, it won’t work. I’m not saying they’re necessarily bad amps. But, they’re on another level of mixing tube/SS tech vs a tube amp with diode/FET clipping. In many cases, they’re more trouble to repair than they’re worth if they fail. That’s one of the biggest negatives to me.

It seems like some guys are mad at BS for calling them all tube amps while others get mad at those guys because they like their BS. I wouldn’t necessarily tell anyone not to buy a BS but I think people should know what they’re spending their money on.
So like I said, different implementations, but still a combination of tube and SS components. Doesn't make one a hybrid and the other not a hybrid.

IMO, and in accepted terminology, neither are hybrids. The definition of a hybrid guitar amp is very specific.

Again:


A hybrid amplifier involves one of two combinations of tube and solid-state amplification. It may have a tube power amp fed by a solid-state pre-amp circuit, as in most of the original MusicMan amplifiers.

Alternatively, a tube preamplifier can feed a solid-state output stage, as in models from Kustom, Hartke, SWR, and Vox. This approach dispenses with the need for an output transformer and easily achieves modern power levels.


So all of you guys claiming that whenever someone asks about Blackstar amps you grab your pitchforks and tell the people asking that Blackstars are hybrids because you "just want them to know what they're getting", you are the ones giving out misinformation.

I guess ultimately, that combined with the hypocrisy is what I have an issue with. You're creating your own category of "hybrid guitar amp" in which the only amps that fit in that category are Blackstars. I wonder when we'll see the same torch and pitchfork crowd show up in every Friedman BE thread and "inform" people asking about it that it's a hybrid.
 
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Stig Ø

Member
Messages
745
I own a Marshall 2205 which also uses diode clipping. Is that design the same as the Jubilee with respect to the diodes not being engaged with the clean channel?
Not sure if the circuit is the same. It probably isn’t, as they sound different, at least that’s what I’m told. They do share a trait in that the clean channel is completely diode-free, however.
 




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