Most effective tonal swaps/fixes in an amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by stevel, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. stevel

    stevel Member

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    If this one has been asked before, link me please.

    Otherwise, I'd like to know what you think the Top 5 things you can do to an amp to improve its tone.

    Let me know how you're listing them - like, simplest to most complex, least expensive to more expensive, more tonal improvement/change versus less tonal improvement/change...

    Things I would think of are:
    a. Tubes (oops, let's assume no SS).
    b. Speakers
    c. Placement (on the floor, on a stand, in a corner, etc.)
    d. Electronics (replacing caps, or other components, tearing out a PCB and handwiring, etc.)
    e. More "drastic" things, like changing the Grille Cloth, adding an extension cabinet, and so on.

    TIA,
    Steve
     
  2. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    1. Speakers
    2. To0bZ
    3. Output transformer
    4. Small parts :MMM :MMM :MMM
     
  3. highrise

    highrise Member

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    fixed ;)

    IMO tubes determine whether the amp is "sweet" or not...output tranny determines the character. That's why I placed it higher.

    Any one of these things can ruin an amp if it's bad quality.
     
  4. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    In my own personal experience...

    1. Speaker
    2. Circuit tweaks/mods (this could be #1, depending on the extent of the mods)
    3. Tubes
    4. Getting to know how the amp responds with all of my guitars.
    5. Changing the pickups in my guitar.


    I have a 6th option...

    6. Adding a good boost/OD pedal. (Barber LTD for example) A great pedal that adds harmonics to the clean channel, and if set subtly, can boost the OD as well.
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Non-invasive-

    Speakers
    Tubes

    Invasive-

    Circuit mods
    Transformer
     
  6. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    After speaker and tubes, I think you should add:
    - player
    - guitar
    - room

    My amps all have good output trannies. I think it would be hard to substantially improve on them. Another thing that made a huge difference was a better multimeter. My cheapo actually had significant error and I was biasing my tubes wrong too low.
     
  7. Braciola

    Braciola Silver Supporting Member

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  8. rastaman

    rastaman Member

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    Speakers and/or cabs.
     
  9. stevel

    stevel Member

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    So it seems overwhelming (with a sample of 6 :) that Speakers are the number one influencer of tone.

    Steve
     
  10. phillygtr

    phillygtr Member

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    www.amptone.com

    The above link has some good insights about tone. A lot of it has to do around the subject of EQ -- e.g. EQ before the amp (pickups, tone knob, EQ pedal etc.), post power tube saturation EQ -- e.g. speaker selection.

    I would have to put speaker selection way high on the list of easy and effective tone changers.
     
  11. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I look at this way if speakers and tubes don't make it for you, you have purchased the wrong amp. Stop dicking around and buy something different, keep searching until you find what you like. If you like the amp however and could be happy with it as is then changing stuff might be fun for learning.

    Guys that buy Fenders and spend $ to make them Marshalls really leaves me doing this. :huh
     
  12. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    +1 Been there done the Fender => Marshall thing. Most effective there? the POD. But it still only sounds like a Fender trying to sound like a Marshall.

    If you like the overall sound of your amp, but find one little aspect annoying, a tube swap might do the trick.

    You can spend years and $$$$$ trying to find that sound you hear in your head. I did this without the years. I finally settled on a 6505+ with V-30s and a pedalboard with just the crap that I use that bears very close resemblance to Tom Morello's. I'm not particularly in love with it, but this is as good as it is going to get. Now play. :phones
     
  13. phillygtr

    phillygtr Member

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    True that.
     

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