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Everything posted by tunghaichuan

  1. Update: Just checked a V2 VJ OT against a Champion 600 chassis. The stock OT is slightly smaller than the VJ OT. Also, the stock OT is very close to the 6V6 tube, almost touching it. It looks like the VJ OT will fit but just barely. I will have to unbolt the stock OT and mount the VJ OT in the chassis to see if it fits okay. It may not work with a 6V6 with a larger diameter, such as the JJ 6V6S. More later. tung
  2. The 7.5K primary on the stock V2 VJ is a better match for a 6V6 than an EL84. I would speculate that it was probably a champ OT to begin with. I believe the mounting centers match as well so the VJ OT should bolt right up without any modifications to the chassis. Thanks for the idea. I was considering replacing the stock Champ 600 OT with another, and it didn't even occur to me to use the V2 VJ OT. tung
  3. I bought an older, used 25W MiniMass a while back. The rheostat was flaky so I emailed Ted Weber to see if I could buy a new one. He sent me a new 50W rheostat free of charge, great customer service. My unit is now a 50w MiniMass. As said in previous posts, they are good for knocking off a few dBs but when turned all the way down, it sounds like a blanket over your speaker cabinet. Mine lacks the treble switch as it is an older unit, and it could sure use one. Here is a schematic: http://freestompboxes.org/members/soulsonic/schematic/WeberMiniMASS.gif tung
  4. I've tried a few Boss distortion and OD pedals for the Valve Junior. In fact, a modded VJ head is my main amp right now. I run Boss pedals into the front end for my sound. For OD pedals, I like the OD-2 Turbo OD and the SD-1 Super OD. I have a Digitech Bad Monkey and a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver, but they don't sound as good to me. The BD-2 works better as a clean booster: volume all the way up, gain all the way down, EQ to taste. For distortion I like the Boss MD-2 Mega Distortion and the DS-1 Distortion pedals. Unlike most people, I like the sound of the stock DS-1 through the VJ. The MD-2 takes a little tweaking to get a good distortion sound dialed in. HTH, tung
  5. Chris, I've never seen a Socal 50 in person, just the schematic. I would guess from looking at the pictures that the bias pot is on the PCB. So you'd have to remove the chassis every time you wanted to change the bias. As far as the schematic is concerned, since the amp is still in production, I'd rather that you requested it from Epi's customer service: Customer.Relations@gibson.com HTH, tung
  6. Epiphone's customer service department was kind enough to send me the Socal 50H schematic. The amp is adjustable fixed bias. Depending on the brand of tubes that come with the amp and the stock factory settings, it may be a good idea to have a tech adjust the bias for better tone. The good news is that Epi put in a adjustable pot to set the bias. Some amps just have a resistor that needs to be swapped out to set the bias, which can be a PITA. Some amplifier manufacturers are known to bias the amp on the cold side so that the tubes last longer. This doesn't necessarily mean that Epi does this. Bottom line: the only way to be sure is to have a tech check the bias. This isn't something that you want to do yourself without amplifier safety knowledge and experience. It is too easy to damage the amp (or more importantly yourself) if you don't know what you're doing. You will definitely have to have the amp re-biased when you change the output tubes. tung
  7. One guy I knew said that the Hellicasters were like three country & western Steve Vais in one band :- I think he meant it as a compliment. LOL tung
  8. Three of my favorites, yet criminally underrated: Buckethead. The guy is weird, and way out there, but his playing grabs me. Some criticize him for his weirdo schtick, but I'm not so sure it's an act David Lindley. This guy can literally play anything with strings on it, guitar, banjo, fiddle, bazouki, saz, oud, you name it. He's been making tasty world music for decades. Bill Frisell. He just keeps getting better and better. tung
  9. I ended up sending it back. I had a hard time getting the chassis back into the cabinet due to the damage. For me it wasn't worth it. I got another at Guitar Center a few weeks later for about the same price. tung
  10. I bought a MF VJ blem a few months ago. When I got it I noticed a huge gap between the face plate and the front panel. When I took it apart, it obviously had been dropped. The power transformer had buckled the chassis downward. Just a heads up, not trying to scare any off. tung
  11. I built the first version of the Real McTube a few years ago. It was a project in an electronics hobbyist magazine, when they still published such a thing. It sounds terrible. Like a really bad fuzz tone. Very buzzy, harsh distortion. Zaphod_phil over on the AX84 BBS posted some advice for adjusting the cathode and plate resistors to improve the tone. But I've never tried the changes. I found the Real McTube to sound better as a clean boost: gain all the way down, output level all the way up. YMMV tung
  12. I've tried a few OD/distortion pedals with my stock V3 VJ amps, and they all work very well. I've tried a DigiTech Bad Monkey, Boss DS-1 Distortion, Boss Blues BD-2 Driver, Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive, a Boss OD-2 Turbo OverDrive, and a Carvin UD1 Ultra Distortion. All of these are dead stock, no mods whatsoever. The Bad Monkey doesn't have as much gain as the others, but it is fat and warm sounding. The EQ knobs actually have a surprising amount of range as well. The Blues Driver sounds pretty good too and as a bonus, you can use it as a clean boost. The stock BD does have this nasty, grating top end that is hard to get rid of, though. The Turbo OD is a cross between the DS-1 distortion and the Super OD. Surprisingly enough, my stock DS-1 souns very good. A lot of players end up modding these because they don't sound so good with some amps. However, when I played the DS-1 through my 5F2-A Princeton clone and it sounded terrible. In fact. only the Boss Super OD sounded good. The Carvin I got cheap on a blowout. It only sounds okay. Lots of gain on tap, but hard to dial in. Finally, I used to have a Tech21 Double Drive pedal. This really did a pretty good impersonation of the Mesa Mark series. I played it through a 5E3 clone, but it did nail the Mark Series tones. YMMV through a VJ. tung
  13. My $.02: I've tried out the Roland Cube series, and they are killer. For SS amps they can't be beat. You also might want to check out the various combo amps from Tech21. They are analog SS, but sound very good. Their 30w amp with a 10" speaker, the Trade Mark 30, sounds great and is not that much cash. For tube amps, the VJ and Blackheart offer tremendous bang for the buck. I own both, and I would say that the Blackheart takes pedals better than the VJ, but the VJ has a better natural OD sound. The Blackheart is built better, although the VJ is a close second. If you're into high gain/metal sounds, you'll need a pedal. The VJ and BH do bluesy OD, but not super saturated, high gain sounds. I've owned Marshall Lead 12 amps in the past and they sound very good. To make them sound better, swap out the crummy speaker that comes stock and put a better speaker with a bigger magnet in it. The stock speaker in a Lead 12 sounds tinny. If you're set on getting a mini stack practice amp, the 80s Lead 12 micro stacks have the same electronics, speakers and construction of the Lead 12 combo amp. They are on Ebay all the time. I was able to try out a Fender VibroChamp XD the other day at Guitar Center, and I was blown away. What a killer sounding amp. The amp has a 12AX7 and an SE 6V6 output section. Lots of killer tones in that amp. The FX are only so-so, but they don't suck. For $250 it is a great deal and it has a 5 year warranty. For more power and two channels try out the Super Champ XD, it has the same preamp sounds and FX, but has a 15W push pull output section with two 6V6s. Aparently the phase inverter is a cathodyne type a la the 5E3 rather than the later LTPI type of the later Blackface circuits. tung
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