Trainwreck express Owners and clone owners.

kg*

Silver Supporting Member
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321
I recently acquired a Ceriatone expression. It has the three way bright switch and ppi Master Volume. I’m just trying to find the sweet spot settings wise. So far I like the bright switch in the middle which I believe means that it’s off/no boost. Good settings for humbuckers. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
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7,588
I have a clone that has a different taper to the pots than a real one, so probably not much help with specific settings. I will say that making sure your tube bias is in a good place is helpful, and at least with my amp I like a little less gain in V1, so I replace the 12AX7 with a 5751. Go ahead and set it so that its a little too bright and gainy with the guitar knobs on 10, then use your guitar controls to control the amp. Try to minimize pedals between your guitar and your amp. They're pretty loud amps, so for most situations an inefficient speaker or attenuator is helpful.
 
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They are super bright amps and not a lot of bass response.
IMO, a richer preamp tube like RCA might be better..
Speakers play a big part. No secret to settings tho..
I could never get a good sound without the bright switch on max..
 

killer blues

Member
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4,028
I recently acquired a Ceriatone expression. It has the three way bright switch and ppi Master Volume. I’m just trying to find the sweet spot settings wise. So far I like the bright switch in the middle which I believe means that it’s off/no boost. Good settings for humbuckers. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks
where is the volume set? if this amp isnt in the happy zone it wont deliver the goods. the power tubes have to start cooking. master volume is a waste on this amp. if it was any good kf would have put one in. he wrote a paper on master volumes.
 

kg*

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
where is the volume set? if this amp isnt in the happy zone it wont deliver the goods. the power tubes have to start cooking. master volume is a waste on this amp. if it was any good kf would have put one in. he wrote a paper on master volumes.
I’ve. Been keeping it around 1/2 to 3/4 up.
 
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kg*

Silver Supporting Member
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321
is the master dimed and the preamp volume at 1/2 to 3/4 up?
No have the master at 1/2-3/4. And the preamp volume at around 1 o’clock. Today I’ve had both master and preamp at about 1 o’clock.
 

killer blues

Member
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4,028
dime the master it should remove it from the circuit. set preamp volume to 1oclock. tone controls and switches depend on single coils or hbs.
 
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Z Boogieman

Member
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161
I have had that same Ceriatone amp for several years now. It definitely is an interesting amp to experience. I have tried several forms of attenuation, multiple speaker choices, tubes (NOS, vintage, EL34, 6V6, various bias settings, etc.).

Basically, I decided the stock JJ tubes sent by Nik, just make the amp work in a satisfying, consistent, repeatable, predictable manner.

I have just about tried every conceivable idea.

It is best to start with the PPIMV dimed, volume between 9 and noon. Use the guitars control knobs to control what you want to hear from the amp. With the guitar volume knobs fairly low it is glassy clean, particularly with a Stratocaster. Rolling the knobs and throwing the pickup switch, does it all.

The amps 3 way switch basically does this: down is jangly highs, all the way up is clarity highs. The middle is a fuller tone with somewhat muted highs.

Then there are the other transformer and choke switches. Mine also has an optional half power switch.

Learning what everything does takes some time.

My ears prefer a couple of my Stratocaster guitars with this amp, but a Les Paul is also very good.

I prefer pushing the amp as hard as possible, controlling with the the guitar.
For home use, I use my Traynor DH112 cab, with the stock 16 ohm Greenback, in closedback. A 412 cab is what I wish I could use. Even with just one Greenback, it is very, very, loud, and full sounding. Using the PPIMV, an attenuator, half power switch, or FDM speaker, it just takes too much of what sounds really amazing away.

This is one amp that I feel needs nothing else to sound good. No need for effects.

Once you find what sounds awesome, you can try volume control measures, to see if you can tolerate the compromise. The magic is using this amp on the edge, as it was designed to be used.
 
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VICOwner

Gold Supporting Member
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2,449
Ken Fischer used Amperex Holland Bugleboy tubes in the preamp. They are a little darker than say a Mullard I61. I prefer the Amperex 12ax7 also in a Trainwreck style amp to tame some brightness. I also change the 2nF/150k coupling cap/resistor filter between the 2nd and third stage to 10nF/68k or 10nF/47k. This reduces gain slightly and gives a touch more low midrange.
 

kg*

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
Ken Fischer used Amperex Holland Bugleboy tubes in the preamp. They are a little darker than say a Mullard I61. I prefer the Amperex 12ax7 also in a Trainwreck style amp to tame some brightness. I also change the 2nF/150k coupling cap/resistor filter between the 2nd and third stage to 10nF/68k or 10nF/47k. This reduces gain slightly and gives a touch more low midrange.
Cool good to know. I haven’t actually looked to see what preamp tubes are in mine. I’m going to assume they are JJ’s but this amp is atleast 4 years old since the guy I got from said he owned it for 4 years. But the Pacific Transformer says Dec. 2005 so it might be a bit of an older Ceriatone expression. Those amperex tubes are expensive I see.
 
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kg*

Silver Supporting Member
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321
Ok here is another question. What is a good speaker to pair this with. A 1x12 or 1x10
 

Mattbedrock

A player who collects
Gold Supporting Member
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I have built a couple of clones, sold one, kept one. I like it with everything at noon or so, but it’s a loud sumabich. I leave the bright switch off (middle) with singles, up for hums. I usually play it through a 2x12 - either a 1936 with Weber’s - Legend and a CV123 or a 1936 with greenbacks.

No master in mine, but I have used an attenuator to keep soundmen and singers from losing their minds.



 
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kg*

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
I have built a couple of clones, sold one, kept one. I like it with everything at noon or so, but it’s a loud sumabich. I leave the bright switch off (middle) with singles, up for hums. I usually play it through a 2x12 - either a 1936 with Weber’s - Legend and a CV123 or a 1936 with greenbacks.

No master in mine, but I have used an attenuator to keep soundmen and singers from losing their minds.

Awesome. I like your head cabinet. I want to find somebody to make me a head cabinet that resembles the original Trainwreck ones.
 

Trem-o-lux

Member
Messages
919
They are super bright amps and not a lot of bass response.
I also change the 2nF/150k coupling cap/resistor filter between the 2nd and third stage to 10nF/68k or 10nF/47k.

I built a clone maybe 20 years ago, and at that time there were pages and pages of internet debate about what was the correct schematic. That 2nF/150k really sets the character of the amp and I can hear why you changed those values.

I felt that it was good amp with its own character, but it didn't fit my needs at the time so I took it apart and built something else with the same chassis and transformers...
 

VICOwner

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,449
Awesome. I like your head cabinet. I want to find somebody to make me a head cabinet that resembles the original Trainwreck ones.
Faith Amps. Mike Cauley
He makes a really nice cabinet but you have to drill the supplied faceplate veneer to fit your chassis.
I don’t consider the Amperex, Mullard, Telefunken nos or anos tubes expensive because they typically last 20-30 years.
here’s a few pictures of a lower wattage Express amp I’m finishing the cabinet on now. The amp is fabulous.




 

kg*

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
Faith Amps. Mike Cauley
He makes a really nice cabinet but you have to drill the supplied faceplate veneer to fit your chassis.
I don’t consider the Amperex, Mullard, Telefunken nos or anos tubes expensive because they typically last 20-30 years.
here’s a few pictures of a lower wattage Express amp I’m finishing the cabinet on now. The amp is fabulous.





excellent! Thanks for th me info on the cabinet makee!
 




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