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Valve jr. as an "acoustic" amp?

#1 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:57 AM

I just purchased a vj head on sale for $99. Now I'm wondering about an issue I consider to be confusing to many; that mysterious beast called an "acoustic amplifier". IMO an acoustic amp is largely the result of someone in marketting coming up with an idea for selling more amplifiers, "Hey, what if we put a different face on it and sold it as an 'acoustic amplifier'." For which that guy received a healthy bonus that year. As I've asked around at guitar shows and various retailers I've yet to receive what I consider to be an appropriate answer to my question, "Just what is an "acoustic amp" vs. an "electric amp"? "Cleaner", "less distorted", "voiced different", "sealed back to the speaker" and so forth have been the most common replies. OK, but where does that difference exist in the "acoustic amp"? In the case of an "acoustic head", say this head; http://guitars.music...Head?sku=583793, what makes this an "acoustic device"? Surely it will play with an electric guitar's input just as any "electric amplifier" will make sound with an acoustic guitar's output.


Assuming most amplifiers will be designed with a reasonable amount of (possible) neutrality allowing the user to tailor their own sound rather than the head imposing a non-relenting character on the sound from intentional frequency shifting or other circuit pecadilloes, how, in your opinion, does the VJ stack up as a system which can also accept the input from an acoustic guitar? For now, my experiments with the VJ head will be limited to rolling a few tubes and finding an appropriate speaker. I've been looking at a few raw drivers to put into a DIY cabinet and for both the tubes and the driver I've stayed away from those items which immediately begin describing the "crunch" of overdriven inputs. I play clean with a small amount of added reverb from an outboard device, acoustic blues to Gatemouth Brown and some nice Scotty Moore stuff are the mainstays. Even if I'm trying to sound like the Beano album, I avoid excessive distortion. More "Alberta" than '60's "Crossroads". I play my Martin more than I play my Stratocaster yet either is for my own enjoyment and volume levels are of the living room sort. Five clean watts into a 95dB speaker will never be taxed.

So what's the opinion out there?
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#2 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:43 PM

What makes you say that guitar amps are neutral? They're anything but, which is why players have very specific preferences that they tend to lean towards.

The vjr is possibly the worst choice you could make for an acoustic guitar amp, frankly. It's virtually incapable of producing clean, articulate sound at any volume that would be considered usable (in the case of an acoustic, you've got to at least get above the volume of the guitar itself, right?), and it's generally a very dark, rather dull and mushy tone, in general.

For acoustic guitar, much like keys, you want an amp with lots of clean headroom that is capable of producing a full range of frequencies, not just the little slice of bandwidth that a typical electric guitar amp produces. That's why you'll generally see bass ports and tweeters of some kind, along with a traditional cone speaker, in your average keyboard and acoustic guitar amp cabinet. There's an awful lot of upper and lower harmonics generated from the acoustic guitar soundboard that would be utterly lost in an electric guitar amp. In general, an acoustic guitar amp has to be far more sophisticated than a typical electric guitar amp, because you're attempting to reproduce all of those magical harmonics of the acoustic guitar in amplified form, whereas with an electric guitar, there's not the same complex myriad of harmonic overtones present at the source.
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#3 User is offline   Andyroid 

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:41 PM

+1 to what m-theory said.

I would like to add, an acoustic amp is basically a PA in combo format. Usually when you play an electro-acoustic live, you will plug it into the mixing desk of a full rig. For smaller, more portable setups you use an 'acoustic amp'. Actually you'll often see a microphone input on acoustic amps.
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#4 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:17 AM

View PostAndyroid, on 25 October 2010 - 07:41 PM, said:

+1 to what m-theory said.

I would like to add, an acoustic amp is basically a PA in combo format. Usually when you play an electro-acoustic live, you will plug it into the mixing desk of a full rig. For smaller, more portable setups you use an 'acoustic amp'. Actually you'll often see a microphone input on acoustic amps.



I don't understand "PA in a combo format". What distinctions are you drawing between a "PA" and an amplifier/speaker system? There are acoustic "heads" as I've linked to in my op. So, why would you want to restrain this to a "combo format"? An amplifier feeds to a speaker system, right? Are you saying I can't choose which speaker system to run off an "acoustic" amplifier?

I am not arguing about plugging directly into a mixer or board but you can also do that with an electric only instrument. What distinction are you making here between an "acoustic" and an "electric" amplifier?

Finally, is it your opinion an amplifier cannot be an "acoustic amp" unless it has a mic input? Why can't I just place a small mixer in line to bring two inputs down into one output which would feed the "acoustic" amp?
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#5 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:54 AM

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I don't understand "PA in a combo format". What distinctions are you drawing between a "PA" and an amplifier/speaker system?

A PA amp, a keyboard amp, and an acoustic guitar amp would all be more in line with your hi-fi amps, than with your typical tube guitar amp. They're designed to amplify a much wider range of frequencies, and to do so as cleanly and efficiently as possible, given the specific output wattage of the amp. Electric guitar tube amps not only have a much narrorwer frequency response range, but also benefit from the fact that they produce distorted tones, even when the notes SOUND "clean." The warmth and fatness of a typical tube guitar amp is because of this inherent, albeit sometimes unheard distortion.

While you most certainly can plug an electric guitar straight into a PA mixer, the resulting tone will be "sterile," "lifeless," and even "harsh." It's really about the worst option there is for amplifying electric guitar signal.

Conversely, you can certainly plug an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar tube amplifier, but the resulting tone will be limited in frequency response and distorted. Neither of those characteristics are ideal for acoustic guitar, since much of the beauty of acoustic guitar tone comes from the clear ringing out of complex harmonics that resonate from the soundboard, and across the entire guitar.

I believe that the comment about there being a mic input on many acoustic guitar amps has to do with comparing the design of the amp itself to be akin to a typical PA amp design, with regard to distortion-free, high-headroom amplification. Many, but not all, acoustic guitar amps, have a mic input, so that the average coffee house performer can bring just a single, small amp to a typical gig.

As to specific topology, it doesn't matter whether the amp is in head form or combo. Either will drive a speaker load. For most acoustic players in need of on-stage amplification, combo format is easier to tote around, so that's become the more common format, that's all.
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#6 User is offline   Versatile 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

View Postmtheory, on 26 October 2010 - 10:54 AM, said:

A PA amp, a keyboard amp, and an acoustic guitar amp would all be more in line with your hi-fi amps, than with your typical tube guitar amp. They're designed to amplify a much wider range of frequencies, and to do so as cleanly and efficiently as possible, given the specific output wattage of the amp. Electric guitar tube amps not only have a much narrorwer frequency response range, but also benefit from the fact that they produce distorted tones, even when the notes SOUND "clean." The warmth and fatness of a typical tube guitar amp is because of this inherent, albeit sometimes unheard distortion.

While you most certainly can plug an electric guitar straight into a PA mixer, the resulting tone will be "sterile," "lifeless," and even "harsh." It's really about the worst option there is for amplifying electric guitar signal.

Conversely, you can certainly plug an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar tube amplifier, but the resulting tone will be limited in frequency response and distorted. Neither of those characteristics are ideal for acoustic guitar, since much of the beauty of acoustic guitar tone comes from the clear ringing out of complex harmonics that resonate from the soundboard, and across the entire guitar.

I believe that the comment about there being a mic input on many acoustic guitar amps has to do with comparing the design of the amp itself to be akin to a typical PA amp design, with regard to distortion-free, high-headroom amplification. Many, but not all, acoustic guitar amps, have a mic input, so that the average coffee house performer can bring just a single, small amp to a typical gig.

As to specific topology, it doesn't matter whether the amp is in head form or combo. Either will drive a speaker load. For most acoustic players in need of on-stage amplification, combo format is easier to tote around, so that's become the more common format, that's all.



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#7 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:17 AM

View Postmtheory, on 19 October 2010 - 05:43 PM, said:

What makes you say that guitar amps are neutral? They're anything but, which is why players have very specific preferences that they tend to lean towards.

The vjr is possibly the worst choice you could make for an acoustic guitar amp, frankly. It's virtually incapable of producing clean, articulate sound at any volume that would be considered usable (in the case of an acoustic, you've got to at least get above the volume of the guitar itself, right?), and it's generally a very dark, rather dull and mushy tone, in general.

For acoustic guitar, much like keys, you want an amp with lots of clean headroom that is capable of producing a full range of frequencies, not just the little slice of bandwidth that a typical electric guitar amp produces. That's why you'll generally see bass ports and tweeters of some kind, along with a traditional cone speaker, in your average keyboard and acoustic guitar amp cabinet. There's an awful lot of upper and lower harmonics generated from the acoustic guitar soundboard that would be utterly lost in an electric guitar amp. In general, an acoustic guitar amp has to be far more sophisticated than a typical electric guitar amp, because you're attempting to reproduce all of those magical harmonics of the acoustic guitar in amplified form, whereas with an electric guitar, there's not the same complex myriad of harmonic overtones present at the source.






"What makes you say that guitar amps are neutral? They're anything but, which is why players have very specific preferences that they tend to lean towards."

I didn't say "guitar amps are neutral". Here's what I said; "Assuming most amplifiers will be designed with a reasonable amount of (possible) neutrality allowing the user to tailor their own sound rather than the head imposing a non-relenting character on the sound from intentional frequency shifting or other circuit pecadilloes ... "

That leaves a lot of room for amplifiers to have a discernable character IMO. I've yet to listen to any amplifier where some character doesn't eventually become obvious, with most amps it only takes a few minutes at the most to figure out what the designer was going for. However, considering the signal chain of pick ups to pre amp to amp to speaker, I would make the pre amp and amp the "most" neutral components in that chain. Surely switching instruments or even changing pu's feeding into the same "head" will show drastic variations between the possible selections. Listen to a few sound samples from the various speaker manufacturers and take a look at their frequency response graphs and it should become obvious the transducers in the chain - those things which convert one form of energy into another, i.e., mechanical energy into electrical energy or vice versa - are the most likely to stray from neutrality. Maintaining a reasonably transparent amplification chain is quite a bit easier to accomplish than at any other point. That isn't to say amplifiers, and particularly budget amplifiers, do not have a "sound".

Having played around with the VJ head by rolling a half dozen tube combinations and personally using or hearing it at the guitar show with no fewer than eight different guitars, I would stop well short of calling the VJ's sound "very dark, rather dull and mushy tone". We all hear differently and have our own prioroities but I find the amp easily capable of producing clean sound at levels which are capable of rising above any acoustic guitar. There's volumne potential in a speaker and, if you want higher volumes, you'll do best with a high sensitivity driver. But it is a budget amplifier, there's no denying that. Highly successful budget products generally tend toward a certain musical truth which can be heard through the restrictions of the designer's monetary concerns. I would characterize the stock VJ head as lacking in ultimate dynamics more in the low level, micro-dynamic scale than in the large macro peaks. It compresses smoothy and not at all without some sweetness on large, continuous peaks, but that's not what an acoustic player is all that concerned with as the instrument already has its limits in this area. And, to restate my own personal position, high volume levels are not what I'm after. Many of the head's flaws can begin to disappear when you play the amp within its limits and with better than stock tubes. At the moment the combination I've installed is a Svetlana 12AX7 (which I would put in my home amplifiers) and a TAD EL84 - the first time I've tried a TAD tube. Overall, I would call the VJ head's consistent tone to be intentionally "tubey" with a "warmth" that is meant to say "vintage tubes" to the inexperienced listener. This wouldn't appear to be a flaw that cannot easily be overcome first through speaker selection and next with a very small bit of modification within the parameters of the stock circuitry. But tubes and speaker selection have already proven the VJ head to be quite adaptable IMO.


"For acoustic guitar, much like keys, you want an amp with lots of clean headroom that is capable of producing a full range of frequencies, not just the little slice of bandwidth that a typical electric guitar amp produces."

I don't understand the use of the word "keys" here. What does that say? I also do not understand why you think an electric guitar is any less "full frequency" than an acoustic instrument? Are you suggesting electric guitar amplifiers are incapable of reproducing the range of human hearing, 20-20kHz? Do you have any proof that electric amplifiers are more restricted in their response than are acoustic amplifiers, or is this just more of what you've been told and come to believe? Wouldn't it be necessary for any decent amplifier to reproduce a good slice of the harmonic content of any instrument atatched? Otherwise, how would you recognize which instrument was being played? Isn't it the harmonic structure of the instrument that gives it an identifiable character and tone? Ash/alder/maple have different harmonics than does mahogany/spruce/rosewood/ebony and solid wood has a different harmonic "tone" that does hollow or semi-hollow body? Those are all "sounds" an electric guitar amp would be expected to reproduce. Steel strings have a different character than do bronze strings. Heavy gauge different than light. Why? Because of the harmonic structure of each material. So, why would you say an electric guitar amp has just a little slice of bandwidth?



" That's why you'll generally see bass ports and tweeters of some kind, along with a traditional cone speaker, in your average keyboard and acoustic guitar amp cabinet."


Bass reflex cabinets have nothing to do with the sound of the head. A bass reflex cabinet (one with "a hole") can play lower frequencies than a cabinet with an open back. That has nothing to do with the frequency range of either an acoustic or an electric guitar which are both commonly tuned to 82Hz low E. The keyboard can reach at least another octave beneath that frequency just as a bass guitar will. I can choose which speakers and which enclosure type I prefer and not affect the sound of the amp. But, what is a "traditional cone speaker"? Are your electric guitar systems not using "traditional cone speakers"? If not, what are they using?


"There's an awful lot of upper and lower harmonics generated from the acoustic guitar soundboard that would be utterly lost in an electric guitar amp."

Again I don't understand that statement. "Lower harmonics"? To what are you referring? Fundamentals? Or harmonics? Both instruments - electric and acoustic have the same fundamentals. Both instruments must produce harmonics to be recognizable first as a guitar and second as a specific type or model of guitar. Just as you recognize one piano or one saxophone from another, it is through the harmonic structure of the instrument. http://search.yahoo....harmonics&type=


"In general, an acoustic guitar amp has to be far more sophisticated than a typical electric guitar amp, because you're attempting to reproduce all of those magical harmonics of the acoustic guitar in amplified form, whereas with an electric guitar, there's not the same complex myriad of harmonic overtones present at the source."

Once the fundamental is in place, harmonics reach out into infinity - the old idea of never being able to finally cut a string in half. Please clarify what you're trying to say there.


Anyone else have any opions on this?
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#8 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

View Postmtheory, on 26 October 2010 - 10:54 AM, said:

A PA amp, a keyboard amp, and an acoustic guitar amp would all be more in line with your hi-fi amps, than with your typical tube guitar amp. They're designed to amplify a much wider range of frequencies, and to do so as cleanly and efficiently as possible, given the specific output wattage of the amp. Electric guitar tube amps not only have a much narrorwer frequency response range, but also benefit from the fact that they produce distorted tones, even when the notes SOUND "clean." The warmth and fatness of a typical tube guitar amp is because of this inherent, albeit sometimes unheard distortion.

While you most certainly can plug an electric guitar straight into a PA mixer, the resulting tone will be "sterile," "lifeless," and even "harsh." It's really about the worst option there is for amplifying electric guitar signal.

Conversely, you can certainly plug an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar tube amplifier, but the resulting tone will be limited in frequency response and distorted. Neither of those characteristics are ideal for acoustic guitar, since much of the beauty of acoustic guitar tone comes from the clear ringing out of complex harmonics that resonate from the soundboard, and across the entire guitar.

I believe that the comment about there being a mic input on many acoustic guitar amps has to do with comparing the design of the amp itself to be akin to a typical PA amp design, with regard to distortion-free, high-headroom amplification. Many, but not all, acoustic guitar amps, have a mic input, so that the average coffee house performer can bring just a single, small amp to a typical gig.

As to specific topology, it doesn't matter whether the amp is in head form or combo. Either will drive a speaker load. For most acoustic players in need of on-stage amplification, combo format is easier to tote around, so that's become the more common format, that's all.





"Electric guitar tube amps not only have a much narrorwer frequency response range, but also benefit from the fact that they produce distorted tones, even when the notes SOUND 'clean.' The warmth and fatness of a typical tube guitar amp is because of this inherent, albeit sometimes unheard distortion."


"Unheard distortion"? Well, I hate to point out the obvious, but you just said what we hear is from that distortion, right? So, how can we hear it and not hear it at the same time? Even when the amp sounds "clean"? I understand that the overall harmonic distortion of a loudspeaker is ten times that of the worst amplifier THD. But I don't understand what you saying. I understand many people feel tubes have a certain harmonic structure - mostly even order harmonics - but I don't understand what you're saying. Can you give a real world example of an electric guitar amp that has a less broad frequency response than an acoustic amplifier? Maybe a link to the specifications or measurements of each amp would prove your assertion. As I stated above, I don't see the "harmonic" differences you claim. A "guitar" has fundamentals which reach to approximately 1kHz. The harmonics are then 2kHz, 3kHz, 4kHz, out to 8kHz and so on. How does an "electric" guitar amplifier inform our ears of all those variations I've mentioned above if it can't even make the first few harmonics of the instrument?



"Conversely, you can certainly plug an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar tube amplifier, but the resulting tone will be limited in frequency response and distorted."

Why? Clean is clean. And it's not out of consideration for an acoustic player to want just a bit of added gain or drive to acquire a litle bit more sustain in certain applications, is it? Unless an amplifier manufacturer has intentionally tried to produce a "distorted" sound, then I don't see why an electric guitar amplifier must be distorted? There's nothing I can see in the VJ circuitry that would produce this inherent distortion you claim is there.



"I believe that the comment about there being a mic input ... so that's become the more common format, that's all.


Fine, but there's no stead fast rule about mic inputs or combo units or any of the rest. None of that has anything to do with the VJ head acting as a suitable "acoustic" head.
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#9 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:48 PM

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"Assuming most amplifiers will be designed with a reasonable amount of (possible) neutrality

That's an incorrect statement. Guitar amplifiers have a LOT of character that they add to the overall tone, which is what my point was. They're NOT designed with "a reasonable amount of (possible) neutrality," except in the sense that they all amplify electric guitar signal and many utilize similar design architecture at one stage or another. That element, however, has more to do with the designer either being too incompetent or lazy to create his own ORIGINAL design, or the designer intentionally copying particular elements of previously proven design, specifically in order to NOT create neutrality, by design. In short, electric guitar amps aren't designed to be neutral.

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That leaves a lot of room for amplifiers to have a discernable character IMO

Ok. Now, you're saying that they're NOT neutral, I guess. ??

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That isn't to say amplifiers, and particularly budget amplifiers, do not have a "sound".

Now, we agree, although there needn't be a qualifier.

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I don't understand the use of the word "keys" here.

"keys" = keyboards, or more specifically, electronic keyboards, in this discussion.

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I also do not understand why you think an electric guitar is any less "full frequency" than an acoustic instrument?

I can see that.

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Are you suggesting electric guitar amplifiers are incapable of reproducing the range of human hearing, 20-20kHz?

Plug your electric guitar into a 31 band graphic EQ, and you'll quickly see which frequencies matter and which don't.

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I would stop well short of calling the VJ's sound "very dark, rather dull and mushy tone".

Tone is subjective, of course. It's an opinion, and mine is no less valid than yours in this instance. I find the amp, in stock form, to be very dark, very bland, and very "unremarkable," in terms of amplifying a clear, articulate, ringing electric guitar tone.

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Many of the head's flaws can begin to disappear when you play the amp within its limits and with better than stock tubes. At the moment the combination I've installed is a Svetlana 12AX7 (which I would put in my home amplifiers) and a TAD EL84 - the first time I've tried a TAD tube.

All tubes are rather dependent on their particular gain, conductance, and microphonics characteristics. It's impossible to generalize, particularly with regard to new production tubes, because those three characteristics of measure are simply all over the map. There's no such thing as consistency in modern era tubes, except that they're consistently inconsistent. The only means of assessing and making qualified statements with regard to how a given brand and model performs, is to carefully measure and select tubes within a narrow scope of measure, and compare to other brands of a similar measure. Otherwise, you might be applauding the only good tube in a given 100 lot, or dissing a randomly selected one of poor measure. It's a crap shoot, in other words.

With regard to the Vjr. there are really two key design elements that are deeply flawed from the factory: One, is the 22uf coupling caps, which create significant low end mushiness. Smaller caps work much better in those spots. The other major design flaw is the VERY hot bias of the output tube, which causes nasty harsh, buzzy distortion, and contributes greatly to the overall mushiness of the amp, not to mention greatly shortens tube lifespan.

One CAN play somewhat clean on the amp, but not at very high volumes. I found on my two, while they were in stock form, that my Les Paul would begin to distort at about 10-11, and turn to complete mush by 2:00 on the dial, while my strat was only slightly better in that regard. Overall, the amp just isn't designed to play clean, imo.

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Wouldn't it be necessary for any decent amplifier to reproduce a good slice of the harmonic content of any instrument atatched?

You seem to keep forgetting that we're not talking about hi-fi amps. We're talking about electric guitar amps. Different animals, entirely.

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So, why would you say an electric guitar amp has just a little slice of bandwidth?

Because, it doesn't need to reproduce bandwidth that's not necessary. Why waste amp efficiency reproducing 20hz when the guitar produces nothing in that range? Why reproduce 20k, when virtually nothing but hiss appears above about 15k?

Acoustic guitars WILL produce harmonic overtones that an electric will NOT produce. Beyond any of this, however, is your own ears. It seems that you don't have a whole lot of real world experience in this area, and that's what causes you to rely so heavily on absolutes and attempting to draw hi-fi design logic into guitar amp world. Suffice to say, the wheel has already been invented and in use for decades. There's really no reason for you to try to reinvent at this point. Electric guitar amps work really well for electrics, but not so well for acoustics. Acoustic guitar amps work very well for acoustic, but not electric. If that doesn't fit into your world of understanding, try both for yourself. After all, tone IS subjective, so maybe you'll go against the grain, and find that, for you, the exact opposite holds true. Nobody will disallow you from holding that opinion, if that happens to become the case. If you want to use your Vjr as an acoustic amp, go for it. I still contend that it's a terrible choice for that role, but again, it's YOUR ears that make that determination for YOU, not MINE.
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#10 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 01:04 PM

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"Unheard distortion"? Well, I hate to point out the obvious, but you just said what we hear is from that distortion, right?

Tube guitar amps distort, always. When you're playing "clean" through one, it's STILL distorting to a small degree, if you you cannot hear actual note distortion. What we HEAR is a warm, thick character to the notes. You don't hear fuzzy notes, right? That's what I'm referring to. Whether or not you believe that tube guitar amps distort to some degree, even when the notes sound clean, doesn't change the fact that they DO.

http://www.mercuryma...l09Hamernik.pdf

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Fine, but there's no stead fast rule about mic inputs or combo units or any of the rest. None of that has anything to do with the VJ head acting as a suitable "acoustic" head.

So what? That wasn't the point of the comment regarding some acoustic amps having a mic input. You're twisting words and misconstruing, once again.

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Why? Clean is clean.

No, it's not, as previously illustrated.

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And it's not out of consideration for an acoustic player to want just a bit of added gain or drive to acquire a litle bit more sustain in certain applications, is it?

Of course not. Ask Curt Cobain. But, don't use that outlying, far-from-the-norm consideration to be anything close to the norm for acoustic players, because it's simply not. The vast majority of acoustic players want clear, clean, amplified reproduction of their unamplified acoustic guitar tone.

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There's nothing I can see in the VJ circuitry that would produce this inherent distortion you claim is there.

Ok. That doesn't, however, mean that it's not there. Put the amp on a scope, if you don't believe me.
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#11 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:51 PM

OK, you still have a problem differentiating between "a neutral component" and "the most neutral component in the signal chain".

You still don't get it that I do not play loud and distortion is not what I'm interested in. "Fuzzy tones"? According to you; it's distorting but it's not distorting so you can hear it distort but what you hear is distortion. :blink:

Transformers and active devices (tubes) distort. If I'm not saturating the OT's to the point of distortion and the stock power transformer doesn't allow the rail voltage to sag under my needs, then the only other devices which could cause "distortion" would be the tubes themself. I would use either of these tubes in a home audio amplifier (I have Svetlanas in my audio system and the TAD tubes are a selected type which has to meet certain standards very much like Groove Tubes) so I'm not seeing that they are always distorting. This is one of your claims like class A amps are always under stress just because they're on.

You really, really have a problem following what I've said and you continually misstate my claims and misread my actual words just to "debunk" something I haven't claimed or said.

A 31 band equalizer?! You are kidding, right? Nothing above 15k other than hiss?!!!

You just don't get this "harmonics" thing, do you?

"Acoustic guitars WILL produce harmonic overtones that an electric will NOT produce."

But you haven't proven that to be true. Yet, by the very nature of "harmonics" there will be a high frequency harmonic structure we do not readily hear (perceive is more accurate) and that specific structure of tones is what informs our ears as to type of instrument, materials and so forth. And these harmonics are - by their nature - present out to infinity. One instrument doesn't get a special dispensation from the Pope not to have wide bandwidth harmonics.

Once again, you've simply repeated the same thing you'd said before thinking this time wishing will make it come true. And that pretty well sums up your two posts and all of them I've read so far.

Thanks, if you come up with any objective proof for what you've claimed, let me know.
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#12 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:17 PM

Let's try this, does anyone know of a magazine or website that actually take measurements of an instrument amplifier's performance?
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#13 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:46 PM

http://www.recording...view/Page1.html
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#14 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:28 AM

Jan, I really don't for the life of me know why you bother asking anything here, unless it's just to give yourself an opportunity to be argumentative and pretend that you know more than someone else. You clearly haven't any interest whatsoever in somebody else's opinion, whenever it differs with yours, and since you clearly have virtually zero real world experience of your own, and yet aggressively cast aside advice and input from those who do, I really can't see any point for your questions. You already know everything there is to know. You're an audio God, amongst mere mortals. We all can only bow to your magnificance and brilliance. We're in awe and are so fortunate to be in the presence of such a brilliant mastermind. Thank you for blessing we humble idiots with your astounding glory, almighty one.
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#15 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:41 AM

Oooooooh, you're a sly one, Mr. Grinch! [sneaky]



Let me get this straight; if I don't simply accept what you say without question, I haven't any interest in other people's opinions? Even when I thank you for them.

If I indicate I do have real world knowledge and experience, they aren't sufficient for you because I am a "hifi" experience person? And you see a vast gulf between "audio" and "guitar audio" because you claim to know "guitar audio".

If I disagree with your opinions, I am insulted with this sort of post?

Nice community spirit you've got going here. Did I ever thank you for your welcome-to-the-forum note?



mtheory, you've already proven to me this is what you will resort to when questioned. Wouldn't that attitude, if you were in my place, make you just a bit leery of the person providing the take it or leave it opinion? I'm just the person asking the questions and providing support for my opinions.

In case I haven't stated it yet; you are entitled to your own opinions and I can see you have many of them all firmly entrenched and unmovable by objective disagreement and facts to the contrary. I thanked you for your opinions and said I would move on to what others had to contribute. What more do you want? Why are you insulting me for that? Do you have any idea what the concept of a "forum" is and how it is meant to operate? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/forum

You are not entitled to your own "facts" in that you fail to present any. I've asked you for objective proof of what you claim and you simply repeat your opinions without even a glance towards proving them.


What exactly is wrong with asking you to prove what you claim? You and another member seem to have quite a bug under your skin about being asked to verify what you have said. If I am, as you claim, such a "zero real world experience" type, why not help out with some real world objective facts rather than just repeating your opinions - opinions, I might add, which make no sense to my real world experience. If you dislike my proof for harmonics which extend out into infinity and describe to our ears what instrument is playing, prove me wrong. But do not insult me for placing my proof into the discussion. I'm not a newbie, mtheory, and I can read. Once you've stated an opinion, I can see what it is. If it makes no sense to me, runs counter to what I believe to be factual or requires clarification, I'm then going to ask you for some proof of what you have said. Asking you to provide some form of proof is not asking you to just repeat what you've already said. If I wanted that sort of mind numbing discourse, I would be on the politics forums.

Tell me, mtheory, have you ever run across the concept of "transference"? http://search.yahoo....nsference&type=


This forum's moderators appear to be very intolerant of disagreements which rise to even the slightest bit of insult. One thread has aleady been shut down due to another member's preference for not knowing anything. I'm going to assume this is what you're attempting here, mtheory, and say I find it quite rude behavior on your part. I'd like to have this thread go forward and I'd prefer to have other members input their opinions and information without the fear of disagreeing with you. I've posted one review of the VJ which runs counter to your opinions of the amplifier. Why not go provide that person with your opinions and insights and leave me alone until you can proivide more than the same opinions repeated in exactly the same way over and over? So, to repeat for you, thank you once again for your input. If you should come across any objective proof for what you've claimed, let me know.


I hope to hear from others with their information on the VJ head.
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#16 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:39 AM

If you refuse to believe the things I've seen with my own lying eyes and heard with my own lying ears, TRY THEM YOURSELF.

* READ the article from Mercury Magnetics that discussed that tube amps for guitar are very different from tube amps for hi-fi, and that guitar amps DO distort, ALL THE TIME. Don't take my word for it. After all, I've only read it for myself and offered it up as proof to you. Read it for yourself, and you MIGHT just find yourself surprised!

If not, you can always contact Mercury Magnetics and argue with them about it, since you seem to think you know so much more than their engineers.

* Grab a 31 band eq, plug your guitar into, and PROVE TO YOURSELF that virtually nothing matters below 80hz or above 15k (more accurately for electric guitar, 10-12k, in reality). Instead of mocking someone who's done this for himself, I'd suggest you actually TRY IT. You MIGHT just find yourself surprised!

* Take your class A Vjr to a local amp tech, have him plug it in on the bench, throw it up on the scope, and see for yourself that a Class A amp is full on, all the time. Don't take my word for it, but also, don't mock me because I happen to have seen it for myself. See it for yourself, and you MIGHT just find yourself surprised!

* Take a tube amp, any tube amp, into a tech, have him throw it up on the scope, and try all different tap and load combinations, to see for yourself what is the most efficient for that given amp. Then, do the same with several other amps. Eventually, you'll see a pattern emerge, and that pattern is that YOU CANNOT MAKE A BLANKET STATEMENT about what loads are best for EVERY AMP, because EVERY AMP is DIFFERENT! Don't take my word for it! I'm an idiot, remember? See it with your own lying eyes, and you MIGHT find yourself surprised!

Get yourself an acoustic guitar amp and an A/B pedal, and switch back and forth between your Vjr and the real deal, and see for yourself that an acoustic amp IS designed better for acoustic guitar. Don't just mock those who've tried it for themselves. Listen to it for yourself, and you MIGHT just find yourself surprised!

I'm real sorry that I'm just not going to waste my time seeking out the "proof" that you're asking for. Not because I don't think it exists, but rather, because I'm convinced that you won't believe it anyways. It'll be a complete waste of time. I KNOW what I've seen and heard. THAT is what I'm basing my comments on. Can you provide proof to me that I haven't seen and heard what I've seen and heard? Because, if not, then you've got even less than I do, don't you? I've at least got personal experience backing me up.

How about you try being polite instead of arrogant, argumentative, and demeaning? If you'll be honest with yourself, I'm sure you'll see that you really haven't given yourself the footing to be arrogant or condescending to anyone. After all, you were the one who tried to convince others to hook two 16 ohm cabinets in series, and plug that 32 ohm load into the 16 ohm jack on a Vjr, among other misinformation, right? You should've learned a bit of humility by now, one would think. You've proven beyond any shadow of doubt that you don't, in fact, know everything after all.

Btw, I've not insulted you. If anything, it's YOU who's insulted me, by mocking my comments and suggestions. What I HAVE done, is to try to inject some correct information along the way, in order to counter your misinformation, so that others reading won't be misled into doing something that might actually cause harm to their amp.
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#17 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:05 PM

What is your problem? That someone disagrees with you?!

Are you that intent on shutting down this thread for your own enjoyment? What's the matter with you?!



"If you refuse to believe the things I've seen with my own lying eyes and heard with my own lying ears, TRY THEM YOURSELF.

You're making me repeat myself since you can do nothing other than repeat yourself. I am not responsible for what you have or have not seen with those lying eyes of yours nor what you think you know but do not. Please do not make me restate that again. You make up stuff about what I've posted and then expect me to defend your thoughts - that is impossible. I have never once claimed high end home audio is not dissimilar to guitar audio, in fact, I've said just the opposite. However, the basic principles of amplification do not suddenly make a U-turn and head out into LA-LA land when there is a different source feeding the inputs to an amplifier. This "grab a 31 band eq' is absurd. I don't have a 31 band eq and I have no desire to acquire one. I don't use eq as I have explained in my previous posts. Nor do I play loud or with the amplifier distorted. However, it is what I can only take as your total lack of understanding as to how fundamentals and harmonics operate in a musical instrument that would lead you to make such a suggestion. Once we are beyond the third harmonic of any fundamental the relative level of the higher harmonics falls off rapidly to a point where they are -20, 30 or 40dB beneath the fundamental tone. Using an eq to further roll off such low level information doesn't tell me much other than by your own logic higher order harmonics are present. If you roll out 20kHz and hear no change in the perceived sound, what has that proven? This is just another red herring you feel proves something while it only serves to distract from the fact you have no proof what I claim for harmonic content is not accurate.

Your argument is, as I see it - and other than the fact you have more than twice now insulted me rather than discuss with me, "Acoustic guitars WILL produce harmonic overtones that an electric will NOT produce. No proof, just that's your opinion as you've stated it several times. OK, I agree with you, acoustic guitars have a very different sonic finger print than will a Stratocaster. That does not mean, first, there are no hollowbody or semi-hollowbody electric guitars with sonic identities very similar to that of a straight acoustic instrument. Those instruments, even when amplified, are recognizable by the harmonic structure of the materials. Your logic, if I can call it that, seems to deny the existence of such things and, if you haven't seen it with your lying eyes, it does not exist. Second, my point is made by the idea that each instrument has a sonic identity made up of the myriad of harmonics structured to identify to your lying ears whether it is an acoustic or a solid body guitar. If the harmonics did not exist and did not extend out into infinity with a very identifiable character, we could not kow with great success what we were hearing to the point we can eventually obliterate the very character of any instrument or player. Therefore, yes, acoustic guitars sound different than an electric guitar due to the infinite variety of harmonic structures or "overtones"as you call them. No one is denying that. But the amplifier doesn't know what you're plugging into it, it deals with voltage and current and that's all any amplifier is about. As such it is the most neutral component in the signal chain. Got that? There is more variation from neutrality or towards it in each end of the signal chain. Speakers, pick ups and microphones are not neutral.


Take your class A Vjr to a local amp tech, have him plug it in on the bench, throw it up on the scope, and see for yourself that a Class A amp is full on, all the time. Don't take my word for it, but also, don't mock me because I happen to have seen it for myself. See it for yourself, and you MIGHT just find yourself surprised!

I am surprised here in that you wish to bring up everything we've disagreed about and for which you have never provided any sort of proof in an attempt to what? prove I am wrong now? That, fellow, is childish. To begin with I really have no idea what "full on, all the time" means. I've provided you with several descriptions of how class A amplifiers operate. What "full on, all the time" means to that, I haven't a clue. Whether class A amplifiers are as you claim, "This is Class A, so it's "pushed" every second that it's on. It doesn't matter if the volume is at "zero" or at "10," the amp is "being pushed" if it's on", is something I strongly dispute and we've been through my reasoning and my proofs for how such a circuit operates. You, on the other hand, have provided nothing other than what your lying eyes have seen. All proof to the contrary won't even be read. If you, sir, feel you are being "mocked" by the facts, then you, sir, have some very serious issues.

As to which loads are best for which amplifier, I am once again lost in your mumbojumbo. The amplifer's output circuitry sees nothing but the input of the output transformer as it buffers the output circuits from the variations in speaker loading due to inductance, resistance and capacitance which are not completely stable in an active loudspeaker. The transformer then allows the user to select which tap performs best with which speaker load. I really don't see that we are in absolute disagreement here. What I will disagree with you about is the fact a purely resistive, non-reactive load resistor on a test bench is not the same as a very real world, highly reactive and not at all purely resistive loudspeaker load - most especially once you begin to push the amplifier and the voice coil of the speaker into the heat produced by overdriven distortion and amplifier clipping. What the amp does on a test bench is not a good simulation for what the amplifier might do in real life.


Eventually, I will try the VJ head out as an acoustic amplifer and compare it to other amplifiers. Would you like to shoot me now for asking about such a comparison? I think you would.


"I'm real sorry that I'm just not going to waste my time seeking out the "proof" that you're asking for. Not because I don't think it exists, but rather, because I'm convinced that you won't believe it anyways"

Try me. If it is so easy to find, try me. I truly enjoy proofs and information. You might not understand that but I trhive on knowing more than I had. If you actually prove me to be in the wrong, then I will admit that. I have no problem doing so. But I will not accept an opinion that says "all amplifiers distort" to be proof that a particular amplifier always is distorted beyond what we can actually hear except for when it is what we are actually hearing that is the distortion. Try a few links, do some research to find what other people think and say, mtheory. What would you do should you discover your lying ears have had it all wrong all this time? In case you missed the link I supplied a "forum" is a place where ideas are exchanged in a civil and unpretentious manner.


How about you try being polite instead of arrogant, argumentative, and demeaning? If you'll be honest with yourself, I'm sure you'll see that you really haven't given yourself the footing to be arrogant or condescending to anyone. After all, you were the one who tried to convince others to hook two 16 ohm cabinets in series, and plug that 32 ohm load into the 16 ohm jack on a Vjr, among other misinformation, right? You should've learned a bit of humility by now, one would think. You've proven beyond any shadow of doubt that you don't, in fact, know everything after all."


What in the world do I have to do to get you to accept the fact that I stood corrected once you mentioned the total impedance of each cabinet? Even should I agree with you, you won't accept that truth either. "Humility" is a word that shouldn't even be allowed to come from your keyboard.


"Btw, I've not insulted you. If anything, it's YOU who's insulted me ... "


You have a screw loose. Now I suppose you're going to argue with what my lying eyes have told me?!


mtheory, for what I sincerely hope is the last time; do not make another attempt at getting this thread shut down. You got problems with me, take 'em out on your guitar. I prefer not to think about you and your nutball posts.
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#18 User is offline   mtheory 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:49 PM

Quote

What is your problem? That someone disagrees with you?!

I have no problem whatsoever. I just have a passion for speaking the truth, and in this particular case, that means clearing up some rather obvious misinformation that you've been spreading about.

Quote

You're making me repeat myself since you can do nothing other than repeat yourself. I am not responsible for what you have or have not seen with those lying eyes of yours nor what you think you know but do not.

Fine. Refuse to find out the TRUTH for yourself. But then, stop pretending that you know everything, when you most certainly do NOT.

In spite of your unquestionably rude behavior, I honestly have no direct issue with you, other than your obsession with making erroneous, false comments and stubbornly ignoring reality when it's offered to you. I really don't care that you haven't the courage to even attempt the experiments that I've suggested you try for yourself. It only shows that some people are quite content to remain ignorant, and that's fine too. You can do just fine through life believing misconceptions about whatever it is you wish to cling to. I don't care. You can even continue to be rude and insulting to me, since that appears to be one of your very few strong suits. I pity you in that regard, but I can accept that it's probably the best you can offer.

The only thing that I really care about is that you provide accurate information to others here. None of us are experts in this stuff, or we wouldn't be hanging around message boards, looking for information, right? I learn something new every time I open up or start to build an amp or pedal, and learn even more when I get to spend time with someone who DOES know what he's talking about. But, when I do know something, I'm not afraid to comment about it, and that includes when I see someone else making what I know to be misleading statements. If that bothers you, I'm sorry, but the only cure for that I could offer would be for you to stop making misleading statements. When you don't know something for certain, either admit that or don't say anything. Don't spout off nonsense and then get defensive and rude when you get called on it. That's not cool or impressive to anyone. In general, you've behaved like a pompous, spoiled little crybaby in virtually every post I've seen of yours. Do you honestly think that speaks highly of you?

Keep on arguing that you know all about class A amps, by showing us that you don't. That seems to be working really well for you. Meanwhile, I stand quite firmly and confidently with what I've been saying all along, because I, for one, have seen the proof with my own lying eyes, whereas you have not. You argue on a completely baseless foundation. Some would find that just a tad irrational. But, go ahead and call ME the screw loose, since that seems to be working real well for you also...Really seems to be building your case and credibility.

As for the "proving that all guitar tube amps distort, all the time," I've already done that, but, as I'd previously stated, and as I'd thought all along, NOTHING that I provide for you will suffice. You wish to discount what the lead engineer at one of the premier transformer makers in the world has to say about it? So be it. But, again, don't pretend that your refusal to believe what those who actually KNOW say about it equates to proof that YOU are correct, because I can assure you, it is not. You're flat wrong, yet again, and once again, you refuse to accept that. So be it. You've made yourself very clear that you're going to remain stubbornly ignorant on this subject, too. Fine. Again, it seems to be working out really well for you thus far, so why change now?

Quote

If you roll out 20kHz and hear no change in the perceived sound, what has that proven?

Uh...it's proven that it's not necessary for electric guitar amplifiers to waste energy amplifying those frequencies, whereas the same can't necessarily be said of acoustic guitar amps, since acoustic guitars splash out considerable harmonic under and overtones that an electric guitar doesn't. It has to do with the resonance factor of the guitar itself. Again, if you don't wish to believe this, don't. I really don't care. But, don't call every other person on the planet, including the very engineers who've been designing and building acoustic guitar amps for many, many years, morons, simply because you, with no basis whatsoever, have taken it upon yourself to disbelieve them.

Quote

What in the world do I have to do to get you to accept the fact that I stood corrected once you mentioned the total impedance of each cabinet?

But, you haven't. You STILL believe that all tube amps perform best with a higher-than-recommended impedance load, which is what you were foolishly attempting to argue before. Your claim is still absurd, whether or not you were aware of the speaker ohmage of the Vjr cabs. You were STILL trying to argue that, in all cases, tube amps perform best under higher-than-recommended loads. This is simply not the case, at least not for guitar amps. It might be so in hi-fi world, but not guitar amp world.

Quote

do not make another attempt at getting this thread shut down.

I'm not attempting to get anything shut down. All I'm doing is handing you a shovel and watching you dig yourself in deeper and deeper as you go on. I'm enjoying the spectacle, frankly. I never told you to say misguided things and then get all weird and defensive when I called you out on your misinformation. Your self imolation is all you, I'm afraid.

Quote

I prefer not to think about you and your nutball posts.

I don't blame you one bit. If I were you, I'd be pretty humiliated about them as well.
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#19 User is offline   Jan Vigne 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:15 PM

mtheory, I don't know who or what is playing PONG! inside your head but I am done with you. You are a rude and insulting individual who has a desire to see this thread shut down because I dared to disagree with your unfounded opinions. You've placed me in a position where I have to sit back and take what you dish out without the ability to respond in kind if I want this thread to continue. [cursing]


"Oh, and yes, I've been lurking and posting around here for probably 5 years or so. When the brilliant masterminds at Gibson decided to overtake the forum and host it through their server, they magically made it impossible for me to post with my other moniker, m-theory. I contacted them more than once to alert them to the issue and request resolution, but my requests were ignored, so I finally just created a new name and carried on."



And on and on and on and ...


Couldn't post, eh? Did you ever once stop to consider the possibility the administrators were trying to send you a message?





Two questions for anyone else out there; are there any other opinions or information you have on this topic of the VJ amplifier, and, is there an "ignore" function on this forum?
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#20 User is offline   Gibson Brands 

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:29 AM

If this "spat" continues..all parties will be suspended for a period.
Gibson Customer Service

1-800-4GIBSON

service@gibson.com

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