New amp!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bluesbreaker59, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Okay so I took a roadtrip this past weekend to Willie's Guitars in St. Paul, and picked up a used Marshall Bluesbreaker combo for a killer price ($950)

    Its just dead stock no "vintage" mods.

    I was thinking about changing the amp up a bit to make it sound a bit "spongier" at lower volumes, with a better clean tone. So I was going to change the two can filter caps to lower values, 32x32 and 16x16, respectively and then buy some new tubes.

    I'm not really interested in going for the Clapton tone with this amp, so I don't really want KT66's. Would like to stick with 6L6's or 5881's.

    Considering the following right now:

    NOS JAN Phillips 6L6WGB
    Tung Sol RI 5881
    TAD 6L6WGC
    NOS GE 6L6WGB

    Also maybe a couple of preamp tubes, because it appears all 3 of my old Mullard 12ax7's have been damaged somehow sitting in my tube box.

    I pretty much have to stay with new production stuff, because I just can't afford to go all NOS right now. Gimmee some thoughts.
     
  2. ChrisGS

    ChrisGS Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    I did a Metroamp board kit with the 16/16-32/32 filtercaps in my friends Bluesbreaker and it sounds real nice .
    I think the lowered filtering really sweetens the sound and feel when playing clean . The next change we did to the amp is paired-up one of the Greenback speakers with a Redfang and that sweetened up the sound even more . I also put a .68 bypass cap on the second gain stage...the amp can rock too .

    I have the TAD shortbottle 6L6's in a Bassman clone and I think they would be great in the Bluesbreaker .

    Currently the amp has Valveart KT66's but as soon as it's time for tubes I want to convince my friend to try the TAD's and then the other tubes that you mentioned .

    Chris .
     
  3. KLB

    KLB Member

    Messages:
    3,047
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Location:
    West of the Sun, East of the Moon
    My vote goes for the RI TS5881 over the TAD 6L6WGC. That, and put in some 8 ohm Heritage G12M20 speakers wired in series.

    As for the 2nd stage .68 cap, it will add an upper midrange/low treble focus that you many not like if you mostly play single coils. On the other hand, it can be a useful tone compliment with neck HBs on mahogany guitars. OD pedals may sound better without the cap. You can put it on a switch and have it either way.

    Experiment with the negative feedback. The 16 ohm --> 27K value may be too smooth, dark and controlled for you. You can put a 100K pot in series with the wire from the OT so you can vary the NFB.

    Have fun!
     
  4. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Well I generally like darker amps, paired with bright guitars. Because the brighter guitars are almost always more "lively" sounding, IMHO. My two Heritage guitars both have PAF type pickups, and my 150CM is certainly on the "lively" side already, so I don't really need anymore brightness, so I probably won't use that .68 bypass cap if it adds treble or upper midrange. I generally prefer a tone that is full of low mids.

    And maybe I'm weird, but I really dig the English reissue Greenbacks, its one of my favorite speakers, for use with a JTM45 or Plexi type amp.
     
  5. ChrisGS

    ChrisGS Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Hey guys ,
    About the .68 cap thing , I was thinking that it would be too bright as well , so we A-B 'd with the cap in and out just by holding the cap in place against the 820ohm cathode resistor, and then taking it off .

    My friends main guitars are a Fender Strat w/Riograndes , a G&L Legacy(strat) and a G&L ASAT Classic(tele) .

    And to refrence to amps ; his main amps were two Blackface Vibrolux Reverbs , and an old Ampeg Reverberocket , but now the Bluesbreaker is #1 .

    He also owns a 2-12 combo JCM800 50W Master Volume w/EL84's that never gets used...too bright and nasal-y ,

    It may be worth it to experiment with that cap .

    Chris .
     
  6. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Well I ended up going for the Tung Sol 5881 reissues and then 2 JJ's and one Ei for the preamp tubes, and I put some LCR caps on order from Metro amp, so I should be ready to rock in a few days.

    Hey how hard is it to change can caps? How dangerous? I can solder pretty well.
     
  7. ChrisGS

    ChrisGS Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Changing the cap cans is pretty easy to do ...But , DO check that there is no DC voltage on the caps first with a meter . If there is , discharge the caps . Sometimes the caps have a "memory" and will re-charge themselves even though the amp is not plugged into the wall , so be carefull and check for that again with a meter .

    The cap that is in the "16/16" position sometimes has long enough wires , that you can un-do the clamp on top of the chassis , and pull-up an inch or so of slack on the wires , and solder the cap above the chassis . Otherwise , if there isn't enough slack you'll have to unbolt the circuit board and maybe unbolt the jacks and pots from the faceplate and carefully "flip" the pots and circuit board over to have access to the cap terminals underneath the board .

    If you don't want to go through that , you may want to just change the main power filter(the one by the power tubes and rectifier) to the 32/32 value and leave the 50/50 in place over by the preamp tubes .

    It's been explained to me that most of the sag takes place at the main power filter anyway .

    Just be carefull and neat .

    Chris.
     
  8. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    wow, i was at willie's on saturday, and i saw your amp, there were 3 bluesbreakers, i'm pretty sure i pointed at your amp and said that's the one i would get, excellent price. i think the tag said the price was just over $100, they had alot of marshalls in stock. enjoy.
     
  9. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

    Messages:
    4,961
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    We need pics!
     
  10. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Yeah they had 3 BB's priced at $1295, $1195 and $1095. I chose the one for $1195 and then Nate knocked $250 off the price tag. I was the guy with the red Heritage 535, playing all the stolen BB King licks. I brought my own guitar to try out the amps, because you gotta know how its gonna work with your own equipment.
     
  11. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

    Messages:
    3,769
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    lol... hey I was at willies on Saturday as well (I think everyone in 200 miles was too.. what a crowded store!)

    I was the guy messing around with the 50watt JCM800. ... hmm, I wonder, some guy was looking over the bluesbreaker combos and asked me if they could get "obnoxiously loud for a second"... I of course said BY ALL MEANS! ;) wonder if that was you.

    Enjoy
     
  12. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    That was me. The short stocky guy with the red 535. I couldn't hear myself and was SICK as hell. I've had an upper respiratory thing for about a week now. But I went to Willie's to run some guitars up for a buddy of mine, and just happened to bring my 535 so I could check out the cool amps.

    There was one guy in there ringing out a Vibrolux Reverb in my ear for quite a while trying out a bunch of Anderson's, he was a good player, I just couldn't hear the Bluesbreaker at all.

    This is actually just gonna be my backup amp that I leave at band practice, my main squeeze is still my Victoria Double Deluxe.
     
  13. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    small world.
    yea it was packed on saturday, cool shop.
     
  14. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

    Messages:
    3,769
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    LOL..yeah, that guy needed to turn down. At first I thought he was cranking the vintage Vibro to hear if it had any problems, then I noticed he was switching guitars and playing... which meant he was guitar shopping.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but i've learned that I gain more knowledge on how good a guitar is and sounds by NOT plugging it in. The resonance, feel and problems such as buzz and dead notes are FAR easier to hear without the coverups of amplification..

    just my .02
     
  15. rastaman

    rastaman Member

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Georgia
    I may be showing some ignorance here but are you referring to the 1987XHW combo?
     
  16. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,750
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    Congrats on the amp- I've done the filter changes and it makes a nice difference, as does experimenting with the caps on the volume pots. I liked GT12AX7M preamp tubes in V1 and V2 when I had my amp. It was heavily modded towards the Clapton bluesbreaker, but the original with 5881s was pretty nice too, more like a bassman but with lots more guts and the whole amp didnt warble when you cranked it to 10!!
     
  17. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Yeah I've done the "Beano" mods before to a JTM45 RI head that I had for about 2 years. I had KT66's, vintage Mullard preamp tubes, changed the caps, changed all the small parts and even changed the OT to a Mercury Magnetics RS clone. It was a great sounding head, but really the biggest changes I noticed were the filter caps and better tubes. The OT was nice, but I didn't feel that it did as much as the "cheaper" mods. Just MHO, of course.
     
  18. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Nope I'm referring to the 1962 combo, also called the Bluesbreaker reissue.
     

Share This Page