What is "as good" as Constellation but with a Master Volume?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pageburst, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll tell ya. Komet amps especially the Connie wonderful tone producers. It's just not the same with an attenuator.

    Is there anything out there with the same touch snsitivty and harmonic richness but with a useful MV or power scaling switch.

    Thanks
     
  2. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    I'd like to know also. The only other EL84 amp thhat approaches the Conny IMO is the D13 ERT33 . . . .but it's a non-master . .though it has a 1/2 power switch and is more controlable.
     
  3. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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  4. hogy

    hogy Member

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    There's your answer.

    Everything is a compromise. There's Bowie Knives and there's Swiss Army Knives.

    A van hauls the kids, a Ferrari is much more fun, but it gets lousy gas mileage and doesn't parallel park all that well.

    Bacon tastes better than oatmeal, but isn't as healthy.

    You have to make a decision.
     
  5. voojo

    voojo Gold Supporting Member

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    That's news to me! :dunno

    My grandpa ate bacon everyday, put gravy on everything, smoked unfiltered cigarettes and lived to the healthy age of 41!
     
  6. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Nothing I have ever heard. The Constellation is one of the greatest blues/rock amps that I have ever heard, and it's cleans are sublime, and completely under the radar!
     
  7. dayn

    dayn Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    How about an attenuator in parallel?
     
  8. GDking

    GDking Member

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    I see your family has great genes!



     
  9. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    You could have a post PI master volume installed, but many would consider it blasphemy to pop another hole in that amp.

    Maybe the builder would do it, then you could call it a "builder installed" mod.

    However, I doubt you're going to get quite the magic of the Connie without letting the power tubes cook as well, which I'm sure is a big part of the Connie magic.
     
  10. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    You will not find it. The Connie (likely) is one of the ubiquitous Marshall 18 watt types/variants (in this case, it's likely an "18 watt" type circuit with four output tubes (for 30+ watts) on one channel, and a slightly different pre-amp circuit on the other. Otherwise, my bet it's an 18 watt at heart).

    Anyway, regardless of it's actual lineage, you cannot effectively put a MV in that circuit. There simply is not enough gain and it doesn't work that way. These things rely on power amp distortion, so that volume that's on there already acts as the MV. If you mod it to force some sort of master volume onto it, it will completely change the character of the amp, and most likely all you'll do is make it not overdrive at all.

    If you think about where the distortion comes from in these kinds of amps, you'll see why there's no master volume: The tone in these old-school amps is precisely because they don't have a bazzilion pre-amp tubes, and rely on power amp distortion for overdrive. Anything you do to lower "volume" anywhere in the amp, except post power tube, you lower distortion. (and if you wanted to play clean all the time, you'd just do that now)

    Your better bet is to buy a Hot Plate, or maybe a regular 18watt clone of some sort. If you want this sort of tone, you have to deal with loudness at the output, not internally.

    Andre
     
  11. hogy

    hogy Member

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    No.

    No. :rotflmao

    That works very well, but you get at most a 50% reduction in power. That is a surprisingly small subjective difference in volume.

    That said, it does sound much better than the "half power" switches found on some amps.

    An attenuator in parallel and some inefficient speakers can get the amp down to the level of say, a Deluxe. The Constellation was designed to cover the whole range of guitar tones from sparkling clean to full scream controllable from the guitar. In a band context. On a stage or in a studio. It makes no sense to lower the volume further because there won't be enough headroom left to get a loud enough clean tone.

    If you absolutely must use a Constellation at TV volume I recommend running it into a load and re-amping it. I wrote about it before, maybe a search will bring it up. The Ultimate Attenuator is a similar concept that works for very low volume.

    EDIT: found my old post on this subject. It was in reply to a question of adding power scaling to the Constellation. It explains a good (albeit not exactly simple) solution to the volume problem for those who want to use the amp at apartment volumes.

    "If you have an Airbrake with a line out feature you can use it as a silent load and then use the line out level in a re-amping set up. My own set up for home use looks like this:

    -Komet into Airbrake used as load
    -from Airbrake line out into EQ
    -then into Lexicon LXP-1 or similar reverb/delay unit
    -into clean power amp (I currently use an old Eico tube mono amp, but you don't have to get that fancy, a good solid state amp will even do).
    -into guitar speaker cab (I like ridiculous overkill, so I use two Marshall 4x12s for that cinemascope sound even at TV volume, but any good sounding cab will work).

    This setup gives me much, much better tones and feel that power scaling, and leaves the amp intact, plus it allows me to add time based effects after the amp, where they belong."


    Link here:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showpost.php?p=4492599&postcount=12
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  12. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    Yeah, well I'd still bet this thing is effectively a variant of the 18 watt. It's pretty much too simple NOT to be (there's only so many ways to get sound out of a tube and using 4 el84's to get there...). So you add a second differently voiced preamp, two more power tubes, a different OT, a relay for channel switching, and remove the tone control - voicing the amp instead. None of this is a drastic change and I'd be surprised if the difference was anything more complicated. Maybe it's a bit more Vox, though w/o a tone stack, you're back to the 18 watt-like circuit. (not saying it's a clone, I'm saying it's substantially similar)

    For $3400...? That's the "NO" There's AT MOST $200 worth of actual componants used to make this (the actual circuit, not including the cab). It's under $50 - well under - without the trannies. For that kind of markup, the damn thing better drive me around all day and make me dinner. Everyone has to make a living, but there's $3000 of "labor" in this price, most of which has nothing to do with sound. That's just nuts. Sorry.
     
  13. hogy

    hogy Member

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    You're completely clueless.
     
  14. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    have you heard clips of the ultimate attenuator? sounds really really good. maybe try that.

    Jordan
     
  15. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    That's the funniest thing I've read in a very long time. Thanks for the laugh!

    I'm beginning to think we need a sticky explaining boutique amp pricing...
     
  16. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Ah, dude, you do realise that hogy is Komet don't you ?

    To answer the actual question asked, for beatiful cleans and OD at low volumes, BAd CAt HC30. This is not to engage in a poissing contest to say it's as good or better than the Connie, just that it will give you very nice tones at low volumes, IF that is what you want.
     
  17. Axeplyr

    Axeplyr Supporting Member

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    :rotflmao

    New to the board? Not getting off to a good start here.

    :munch
     
  18. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Dude,

    If you came here to be an @$$hole, go somewhere else.

    B
     
  19. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    I understand Boutique pricing, and I know how to build amps. If Komet can actually get $3500 for these things, more power to them. I'm a capitalist at heart. It still doesn't change the FACT that we're talking $3000 worth of labor markup for what HAS TO BE a basic amp circuit from the 60's with some particularized improvements. Why WOULDN'T Hogy say it was justified?

    I'm not at all saying these aren't good amps with increadible tone, but I know enough to know that there's nothing secret going on. Komet has not invented some new magical way of producing great tone. Do you think Dumble hid what he did under epoxy because he was using a secret componant, or because he knew anyone that was able to properly see what he did would be able to duplicate it for $5 in componants?

    Sorry if I haven't learned to bow to the Gods here.
     
  20. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Nobody is asking you to "bow to the Gods here". We're all just a bunch of gear heads and there are all kinds of amazingly talented folks on this board.

    The fact is that you are entirely clueless about running an amp business and your numbers are laughable (We pay more for the output transformer alone than you allow for the whole amp, not that that's any of your business).

    This isn't new, I've heard these types of idiotic comments for ten years now. By spouting off nonsense like that you make yourself look like a dunce. There are too many grown ups here who know BS when they see it.

    To quote the immortal words of Mr. Randall Aiken: "How do you make a million dollars? Take two millions and start an amp company."
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008

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