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You all seem to know what your talking about so: Solid State..


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Don't freak out, I play a reworked (completely) and tone blocked OLD Joe Pass which sounds unreal, unfortunitely I have to work with the amp I have and its an OLD Fender Head 100 Solid state, but electronics being basic: Can I add tubes or a tube to the pre amp circut? Here are my questions:


1. Is it possible to add a few 12ax tubes to the pre amp circut? If so, how...I want to warm up the amp...get rid of the hum as well if possible. Its an older 100..but still works well.


2. Can the circut be split so you can use it for vocals as well as guitar? If not explain the Hi-low imputs and proper method for use please...thanks.


3. Can I add a midrange speaker to a cabinate. for better vocals..Gentz Benz 2x12 without a crossover?


If you can help with any of this I'd appreciate it.


Be well...


Don't wip lash me, I know a good speaker cab and lousy amp...but money is tight what can I do?

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I'll answer like I answered someone else a couple weeks back, when they asked if a guy could convert an old FM tuner into a guitar amp: Yes, of course. You can literally take a lawn mower and turn it into a guitar amp, if you want to go through the trouble to do so. The question is, "Is it worth it?" In most cases, no, it's not.


In this case, why on earth would you waste your time fiddling with and rebuilding an amp that's worth very little, rather than just go buy something that's more suitable? There are scores of real decent amps for very little money these days.


On preamps, you should know that the magic of tube amps doesn't come from the preamp section, it comes from the output section. You can easily build a FET preamp section to very closely emulate the front of almost any tube amp. But, that's only the front end.


What you're talking about here is a complete redesign of an amp that wasn't all that to begin with. You change one thing, and other things change along with it. Are you an EE? If not, how are you going to know what changes to make, and what those changes will do to the rest of the amp?


It's never a good idea to run vocals and guitar off the same amp.


I know a good speaker cab and lousy amp...but money is tight what can I do?

Sell what you've got and get something decent that makes sense. First of all, if you need to amplify vocals, get a small PA. They can be found for very little money, all over the place. Start shopping. Ebay, thrift stores, pawn shops, craigslist. People are getting rid of old Peavey, Roland, Kustom, and other PA stuff all the time, for next to nothing.


Beyond that, for guitar, take some time first to figure out what it is you want. You haven't said whether this is for home practice or live gigging, so we have no idea what size amp would make sense. You also haven't indicated your playing style, musical interests, etc.


You might do well with one of those $99 modelers out there for the time being. It would certainly make more sense than gutting and redesigning what you've got. One thing to bear in mind, with regard to modding amps; SS amps are built on PCB. This makes them extremely difficult to make significant design changes to. Many tube amps as well, are PCB built. You have to recognize this fact up front. The only amps that you can really get creative with and alter dramatically, are point to point or tagboard-built amps, because you can completely change component placements without difficulty.

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Listen to m-theory.


You would be miles ahead to sell what you have now and take that money and put it towards what you want/need in the way of musical gear.


You already know how to do your instrument set up with an amp. For vocals and further amplification of other instruments you need PA gear which anymore is a strictly solid state affair.


In PA you have 3 areas of concern:

1. Inputs - microphone(s), instruments, cd/mp3 player, anything else you might want to listen to

2. Processing - mixer, eq, amplifier

3. Output - speakers


Despite the hype of sales people and people who have foolishly spent lots of money buying the hype of sales people, understanding and using PA gear to get a good sound is much easier than most think and you don't have to spend bucket loads of money to get a good sound.


The first thing to remember when working with PA is that the PA exists ONLY to amplify what is put into it. This is why it is called Sound Reinforcement. You are only reinforcing the sound put into the system. If what you are putting into it is louder than the PA then the PA will NOT help you. This means that the PA needs to be louder than your loudest instrument. This is easily achieved by one of two means:

1. Have a more powerful PA with more speakers or...

2. Turn down the loudest instrument.

3. There is NO third alternative!


The second thing to remember is that EVERY component of a PA is critically important. DO NOT skimp on anything and this especially means cables. Cables are like your blood veins they carry the life of your system. Quality is cheaper than the cheap stuff because you only have to buy it once. This does not mean that most expensive stuff is the best (as it often is not). It does mean that you have to shop for quality.


Today there are many good quality products available that inexpensive. where those products are made is irrelevant. Some come from Europe, some from Japan, some from China and some from the US. Name brands and country of origin do not make the sound. Only the product does that.


Now, let's talk budget. I'm not going to try to tell you tales or try to sell you a Rolls Royce. But you have to look at this realistically. At a bare minimum you will be spending at least $1500 for a small decent quality PA system. Sorry, there's just no way around this. This will be enough to handle 4 inputs and maybe up to 8. You can save some money if you find sales at stores or buy some good used equipment. This will be enough PA to cover coffee houses, churches, small bars, backyard parties and other small gatherings.


Since you are in Tennessee you should have a local store that you can deal with. I would also recommend a mail order/online outfit called American Musical Supply http://www.americanmusical.com/ . AMS offers good prices on a good selection of gear with good service to boot plus free shipping. Their biggest advantage is their 3-pay plan. Use your credit or debit(bank ATM) card and any product over $249.00 can be purchased this way. Any product over $1000 is a 5 pay plan. There is also a $3.95 processing fee which is added on to your first payment. This means that the price of the item(s) that you order is divided into 3 (or 5) equal payments. You make the first payment when you order and the the other 2 (4) payments will be an equal amount over the next 2(4) months. Let's say you buy an amplifier tomorrow for $399.00. You would pay them $136.95 (remember the $3.95 processing fee) tomorrow then on March 15 you would pay them another $133.00 then on April 15 you make your last payment of $133.00. The great thing is, they ship it to you when you order it. And one more thing, I have no connection with this company other than being a satisfied customer.


Another company called Zzounds http://www.zzounds.com/ does the same thing but divides the payment into 4 equal payments making each payment lower. They offer similar pricing, similar products and I hear they offer good service. I have never dealt with them because in order to use their 4 pay plan you must give them your Social Security number. I don't do this for ANYONE online.


For speakers there are only 2 that I could in good conscience recommend, the first is the Yamaha Club V speakers. these are good speakers, durable and will perform according to spec. The second are the Behringer DSP412 or DSP 415. These sound good and have the added benefit of having the amplifier and processing already built into each speaker cabinet. These WILL save you some money, time and some work.


I'm going to stop here because I can't suggest anything else until I know more about what it is you are wanting to do.

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Well first of all you don't mention if the amp is bad or you just not happy with what you hear...welcome to the club. A lot of it might have nothing to do with the gear especially if you are just learning (no ofenese...we've all been there). Some of the best jazz tones and jazz players play through SS amps. As M states the magic in tube amps is in the big botttles...output tubes. You could just about get any pedal to duplicate or improve on the preamp section of any amp IMO.



The hum could be all kinds of things...from bad home ground, bad patch chords and yes to the amp it self. But a lot of times amps get blamed for things that are not the amps fault.


Anyhow just adding my +1 to what's already been adviced.

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I like m-theory's idea of converting a lawn-mower... very steam-punk.


But cost-effective? - no. Imo it is cheaper to buy a suitable amp than build one. Adding a valve section to a valve amp would require considerable knowledge in design and high cost outlay for components (transformers).


It is not normal to have cross-over networks on guitar amps, some bass amps do. Guitar speakers can cope with the full 4 octaves of a guitar, plus harmonic over-tones.


OTOH you can buy valve pre-amps for guitar. But a solid state mic-mixer/pre-amp might do the job better and allow you to have guitar and vocals, even an old 4-track Porta-studio from fleabay would do, quite well too.

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