Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Just need a clean amp, how hard can it be?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by omlove, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. omlove

    omlove TDPRI Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    new york
    Thanks you all for your kind response. I am indeed very new to electric guitar and amp world and may have not completely understood the setups yet.

    So now the situation seems it's not tube rattled by the speaker. Instead, it's the volume is too loud (volume knob past 5 for intance) and bass of eq (bass knob) is too much. Together they make the speaker a bit loose or farting.

    But I was in the same amp room at Sam Ash and none of the Boss or Roland had that rattle or fart however loud or bassy I set them, while every PRRI does it on low E string even with normal volume. This must be somewhat related to tubes not the speaker.

    I am so confused...
  2. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    With a lot of amps turning down the bass as you get louder definitely helps.
    Dukex and ellisvertellis like this.
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    This is because newer amps (and solid state particularly) are exactly specced, and controlled to avoid 'farting'.

    Like I said, the PR is the power transformer from a 5watt Champ. It's c. 1964 designed to give students a low-vol and lower-cost intermediate amp with the then-premuim features of tremolo and reverb. If you were a pro then, you'd get a Deluxe, Pro, Vibrolux or Twin depending where you were playing.

    Part of what you are hearing is the power section failing to give the tubes the power they are demanding to reproduce the preamp-boosted output from your pickup. Partly it's the power tubes and output section saturating. Partly it' s blocking distortion in the cathodyne phase inverter.

    Not many buyers would dream in 1964 of turning up to the point of distortion. Bear in mind Lennon was still playing a lot of gigs with a Vox AC15 on clean settings and McCartney through a T60 solid-state bass amp that today would be a practice amp....

    If the sine waves on a solid-state amp go square, next thing that will happen is the output section and/or speaker coil will melt. Whereas tubes don't instantly turn sine waves square, but start clipping them. They can go square wave and just as destructively if you persist in increasing gain, but will live mostly indefinitely in that in-between sweet zone. That's what tube nuts live for.

    SS makers carefully chop or reduce power or even just bandwidth to protect them at extremes, with thermal overloads and the like. '10' on one of them will likely deliver maximum or near-max rated power - clean, prior to distortion. So you will get 30, 50, 100 watts. The 'distortion' you are hearing is created in the preamp and the power amp is a clean amplifier - like your car stereo amplifies AC/DC tracks without self-destruction..

    The PRRI is 12 watts on a good day. More like 10 before distortion. Not many modern motorists would tolerate a 1964 car today, crossply tyres, drum brakes, unassisted steering, no safety glass, seatbelts, airbags, subs and stereo etc. Why do we tolerate the anachronistic PR today? For those magic tones/sweetspot in zillions of recordings, and because it's a lower volume blues/rock/country machine.

    It sounds like, you may be a solid state sort of guy at least in this phase of your electrified development. Nothing wrong with that. The mystique and mystery of tubes aren't for everyone. Lots of good players use solid-state. Bass, PA, keys, acoustic amps, jazz, country, rock. It's cheaper, easier more convenient and smaller/lighter than an equivalent tube amp.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  4. DaphneBlue

    DaphneBlue Tele-Meister

    Jul 22, 2017
    ok I've read it all. I've had the same problems with rattles (I went nuts) and everything ended when I bought a blues cube hot.

    I'd go for a ss amp if I were in your situation:

    - at 1 or 2 on the volume knob they sound great and it's hard to find a tube amp that is efficient at low volume.

    - if blues cube series sounds good to you but is too expensive and neutral check orange crush 35 rt. It sounds and feels good. Peavey bandit is a good option, too.

    Now, if you just want to try something before buying:

    for example I have a lovely blues jr that rattles. I don't know where it comes from but once a sound guy created some kind of pad (made of tissues and duct tape) and stuck it on the back pannel of the amp: no rattles anymore.

    it might help but if it doesn't work, just get a ss amp and enjoy.

    sincerely yours,

  5. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 25, 2016
    Sorry if you mentioned this and I missed it, but were you trying out all of these amps with the same guitar? With so many variables to consider, it would be helpful to eliminate the possibility that something on your instrument is the cause. If your pickups were too close to the bass strings, for example, they'd be more likely to sound bad no matter what you played through.

    I don't know if it's applicable to your question, but my Blackheart 5w combo had a terrible glassy ringing as well as very little clean headroom when I first got it. Replaced the cheap 12ax7 with a nice 12at7 and solved both problems. It's now wonderfully clear and warm up to about noon on the volume, which is more than enough for apartment-level use.
    jimytheassassin likes this.
  6. cbh5150

    cbh5150 Tele-Meister

    Oct 23, 2009
    The outer banks of Chicagoland
    Are we sure the OP isn't talking about cabinet and/or tube rattle? I have had similar issues with various combo tube amps where there would be various degrees of rattling with the same certain notes (mostly with lower notes on the low E and A strings). I had much less issues with a separate head/cab setup, and virtually none with any SS or digital combos.
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    There's a vid of the speaker removed from the cabinet doing the same and he says the other PRs he's tried do more or less the same. It's vintage Fender fart.

    It's reduced with lower gain preamp tubes, or improved speaker.
    cbh5150 likes this.
  8. omlove

    omlove TDPRI Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    new york

    Thank you Dacious, I think I've got the gist. It's mostly likely I'm hearing vintage Fender Fart as the main problem. Secondly is speaker not tight or powerful enough. Thirdly is the design of the circuitry simply saturates the tubes with too much demand, it's like asking 5f1 to do a twin thing. And fourthly as volume goes up I should decrease the bass to balance, and most of the time should not even turn the volume up too much.

    I think I'm leaning towards SS after all these experience. I'm considering a Blues Cube at this moment, as DaphneBlue suggested. I couldn't justify the price though, so perhaps to have a little patience and find a used one will be my solution.

    Thank you all. Really appreciate it.
  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Well, bear in mind that although modern amps make some things easier, everything is a compromise. As Ringo sang, 'you wanna sing the blues, you know it don't come easy'. You want the tone, you have to (l)earn it.

    The 5F1 to Twin analogy is good - 5F1 breakup is still past voice level. Do you know, Eric Clapton recorded virtually all '461 Ocean Blvd' with a SF Champ......? Clean and dirty.

    And a PR on the right settings does make a fantastic recording amp, and small gigging amp. I could not use mine at home in the evening on 4, the neighbours would have been complaining.
  10. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    Are you still pushing those?

    stratoman1 likes this.
  11. LP26

    LP26 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Earth (Part-Time)
    I have a Henriksen Bud. It's solid state and has fantastic clean tone with electrics or acoustics. It also has a headphone jack for silent playing.
    It's 9" x 9" x 9" and weighs 18 pounds. It has the capability to go LOUD if need be.

    They ain't cheap, but I'm pretty certain it would suit you needs perfectly.
  12. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015

    + build your own or buy an inexpensive cab with a 10" or 12" efficient speaker well-matched for Fender cleans, such as the Eminence 1258.

    The TSA15H does Fender cleans VERY well.

    And having a separate head/cab set-up helps reduce the risk of tube rattle/E-note fart-outs, as well as give you the flexibility to try different speakers and cabs.
    cbh5150 likes this.
  13. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    If you go SS do check out the mustang III v2. It does great cleans....the twin model is fantastic. Cheap and light too.
  14. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Want a clean sound- get a twin. I had one from the 60's with 2x12" JBLs.
  15. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    How hard can it be? Very hard if all you try is crappy amps.

    Anything in the vintage style line from Deluxe Reverb on up to Twin. They all do excellent cleans. The Deluxe will break up the earliest, and it won't get close to doing so in your apartment.

    Don't worry about the volumes in some of the bigger amps. That's why they have knobs on them. Just because you only play the Twin on 2 all the time, doesn't mean it doesn't still sound like the best darn amp ever invented...

    The problem many people have with tube amps is they shop by volume. Potential volume. If you need the amp to break up at a specific level - you play in a certain size venue, and refuse to use a pedal for dirt - then it matters. Otherwise, just get an amp that will always be clean to the max loudness you might play. Then use a pedal for dirt.

    Deluxe Reverbs won't break up in your apartment. Twins won't break up. Period.

    The Princeton is it's own thing. You need to like it for what it is. Again, don't shop by "size". They're not a bunch of nesting Russian dolls.

    But if you do want a very small amp, you should try a silverface Vibrochamp. It sounds like a mini Deluxe Reverb, more or less. Put it this way, you can only sound so good with a single 8" speaker, but the VC sounds better than it's supposed to.

    It's been mentioned, but the EQ of a Blackface type Fender is not like any other. Treble and bass need to be higher than you might expect for quiet playing, but as you turn up the volume, turn down the bass and treble. Esp the bass. It's not uncommon to keep bass on 2.
  16. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003

    Of course it isn't.

    Once again you must be doing something wrong,there is no way NOT to get a KILLER clean sound out of a decent tube amp no matter how LOW the wattage might be....

    Example...these are my main 3 amps (a VOX HW at 4 watts,a custom made Tweed Deluxe 5e3 at 12 watts and a Marshall 1974x at 18 watts),they all produce a FANTASTIC clean tone


    MARSHALL 1974X



    So once again you are doing something wrong.
  17. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 8, 2009
    Horsham, UK
    If you like the Katana or the Blues Cube, get one of those. You're better off getting something you like rather than trying to force a tube amp that will bug you just because convention says they are "better".

    Tube amps can/do sound great, but they can be finnicky as you've found, and they tend to the loud side (yes even the little ones) and for where I live that ain't great. I've got three valve amps myself myself, but at home now I'm using almost exclusively a Yamaha THR5 and playing amplified way more than I ever used to...
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I don't know how much money the OP has, but Cubes are a safe bet. And that's the word on the street!
  19. omlove

    omlove TDPRI Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    new york
    Thanks again everyone. The generosity of people on tdpri is overwhelming.

    I just got a Roland Cube 30x off CL and I think I'll be done for a while. It's really good and it's getting that 5E3 tone in my head really close.

    I came to realize that for hobbiest like me, it's futile to chase the tone. As tube amps won't overdrive until certain volume and that's determined by the venue where one gigs. It's just not practical to try to duplicate the clapton tone that I heard live in my living room using just the amp and crank it up to distortion volume. There are so many "best amp for bedroom level" threads. My realization is there is none. You've got to be gigging musicians to enjoy that volume and tone.

    With that said, I thank you all for educating me and getting me knowledge of electric guitar and amp up another level. I'm an engineer by profession and very much OCD about my guitar stuff. So the less fuss the better. I'd rather practice my chops than obsessing with better gears. And I think Roland has done a fantastic job getting the tone - that Cube 30x was 10-year-old technology isn't it?
    ellisvertellis likes this.
  20. Michel347

    Michel347 Tele-Meister

    Nov 9, 2011
    I got a Katana a year ago, and it is one of the best amp I ever got, and it sounds so nice.

    rave and viccortes285 like this.
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