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

Pulse amplifiers from MCM Electronics - cheap tube amps and cabs

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Ringo, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN

  2. patrickjcrum

    patrickjcrum TDPRI Member

    23
    Dec 30, 2013
    Tatoine
    Ha, beat me to the punch....I got the email too...they are just 15 minutes from my house...seriously thinking of picking up one of the 15watt heads, just to play with. they have a 90 day warranty..so i can always return it...Hopefully it has a schematic...then I can at least use it as a base to mod/build something...like you say---can't buy the parts that cheap.. Thing is--I can't find ANYTHING on the web about them....So I thought I'd turn to the experts here....
     

  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    patrick, let us know!
     
    patrickjcrum likes this.

  4. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England
    "Cheaper, ever cheaper until the thrill of the bargain overcomes the stench of low quality."

    Pardon but I see no tubes here. If there are tubes in there...show me.

    That's why I don't advertise that I collect vintage electronics. I'd soon be gifted with a barn full of old computer towers and broken VCRs. No tubes in there.


    Want a cheap amp that has tubes in it? Track down an old Peavey Deuce or an early Classic, the ones with the aluminum bands on either side of the grille.

    $100 is a princely sum to pay for an old Deuce unless you buy one of mine of course.:D Make sure you get the footswitch. That means you paid $50 for the footswitch and $50 for the amp.

    It's a hybrid amp which means it has a solid state preamp with a big fat tube output. It still sounds "solid state" but at least you have the bragging rights that come with tube power.

    The old Peavey amps were U.S. made in Meridian, Mississippi.

    If you get sick of your Deuce it has enough JRC4558 chips in its preamp to build half a dozen boutique Tubescreamers.
     
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  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    I think he's referring only to the head versions:
    " The 12AX7 preamp and 6L6 power tubes provide pure tube tone for sparkling cleans, overdriven crunch, or high gain fury." heh

    The photos of the backs of the heads do show tubes in them things
     

  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England


    Well lookee there.

    In my world "pure tube" means no silicon in the signal path especially A/D convertors. DSP = modeling amp.

    Pics of the backs of the heads also show a lot of exposed wiring in and out of the transformers. That means there is 400v or so rattling around outside of the chassis. Perhaps not the best way to do it...

    I stand by my 35+ y.o. Peaveys. If they ain't broke yet they probably won't break any time soon.

    When they break I still have a quartet of 6L6 tubes, a footswitch I can sell and a handful of chips I can use to build Tubescreamers.
     

  7. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    I'm pretty sure the DSP in the Pulse amps is for the effects and the 60 watt head is the only one that has that, the 30 watt head has reverb.
    Most newer cheaper tube amps are using either ss reverb or digital reverb.
    I like the older Peavey amps too but you're comparing two totally different things.
    And around here I rarely see any Peavey amp for $100. I'd be all over some older USA made Peavey tube amps for $100 but just don't see any, people ask more than that for the old Bandits etc...
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
    bparnell57 likes this.

  8. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Apr 28, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Interesting... a quad 6L6, 60 watt tube amp for $249 !?
     

  9. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    I'm with Muchxs, this isn't much of a tube amp. Hybrid at best.

    While I can't obviously judge an amp I never tried or heard, I'm always suspicious of the "tube" bait.

    Anyways, who knows. If you wanna try it, let's hear what you think.
     

  10. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Where are y'all getting the idea that these are hybrid amps? There are tubes visible in the posted pictures of the back of the amps.

    According the listed specs note for the 15 watt version which has NO reverb or effects
    12AX7 preamp and 6V6 power amp tubes

    The 30 watt version 12AX7 preamp and 6L6 power amp tubes w reverb

    The 60 watt version 12AX7 preamp and 6L6power amp tubes w reverb and effects

    I probably won't buy one but I thought it was interesting enough to create a post about the amps.
    FWIW there are a LOT of inexpensive all tube amps around these days, some made in Asia, the Panama amps made in Panama and others made elsewhere.

    Tough crowd ....
     

  11. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    The one 12AX7 in these seems to me like the phase inverter /driver. The preamp must be solid state. So, hybrid. Not the end of the world but still.. Then again this is the music man formula... Who knows. I'm not holding my breath about these amps but i might be surprised..
     

  12. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Apr 28, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    the sentence "12ax7 preamp and 6v6 power tubes" does not imply that there's only one preamp tube.

    It's like saying "blue plastic and red rubber balls"
     

  13. Mart the Hat

    Mart the Hat Tele-Meister

    472
    Feb 11, 2013
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Zooming in on the rear photo of the 60 watt head, it does look like one 12AX7 and a pair of 6L6, but it's possible there could be another 12AX7 out of sight. Still, with two channels and switchable gain, it's likely to be a hybrid preamp if not SS throughout. The transformers also look like they might be on the small side for a 60 watt amp, but it's hard to judge from the photo.
     

  14. Alamo

    Alamo Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 15, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    They remind me of the Ibanez TSA line. it is possible that it's a rebranded production. no?

    [​IMG]
     
    middy likes this.

  15. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Possibly made by the same company but no TS in the Pulse amps.
    I emailed MCM to ask how many 12AX7s are in the amps, maybe I'll get a reply.
     

  16. Fulco

    Fulco TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    5
    Oct 4, 2016
    LA
    Hey Everyone,

    There seems to be an abundance of cynicism here. I can understand that. However, consider this: I have been a huge fan of Peavey for years. Still am! Also Crate amps, as some my scoff. Solid gear at great prices, and reliable gear in my opinion. I'm talking price point here, not Marshall, Orange, Hi-Watt, Laney, price points, etc… Chinese made amplification is always a crap shoot; but all in all, the Pulse 60W looks very cool and retro at least in the photos. I love white tolex amp head and cab gear. If you wanted to just build an amp head chassis, the wood, glue, corners, handle, work, time, and money would probably equally the $249 just for that alone without any of the guts. i.e: tubes, wiring, power-supply, knobs, bells and whistles, etc… From a shear guess, if the head lacks anything, it’ll probably be on the low end. I’m not suggesting it will, but low end and warmth is usually where cheaper gear lacks the robust nature of a class “A” piece of gear. Cheap gear can also get a tinny or screechy tone. Besides the cool look, I'm not so sure the head won't sound pretty decent. With the right EQ settings, guitar, and of course player, it may be a cool, hidden find.

    I just pulled the trigger on the PULSE 60w head and should have it in a few days. I called the company and confirmed that it’s actually a 30 day return policy, “NOT” 90 as listed on some websites; and buyer pays return shipping. I do not believe there is a re-stocking fee. The white tolex, video promotion, the girth it seems to have, and of course the price, was enough for me to take the dive. I paid $288.83 total that included the channel pedal, not the effects pedal, and tax… It was cheaper buying directly form the company than on Ebay where I came across the PULSE 60W. I will use with a 2 X12" custom Utah speaker cab wired at 16-ohms.

    I will post again once I give her a ride. Fingers crossed!

    Peace

    PS: The Ibanez Tube Screamer amp head doesn’t come in a 60-watter. Just saying.
     

    Attached Files:


  17. radu7

    radu7 TDPRI Member

    4
    Oct 16, 2016
    Alabama
    I picked-up one of the 60W Pulse heads and the 2x12 cab along with the channel and effects footswitches. Seems to be solid and decently made. It sounds pretty good for the money, but I did have some issues and the head is going back for exchange due to the external effects footswitch not working (tried two different switches and the problem is in the head and not the switch itself) and one of the power tubes red plating twice within the first couple of hours of use.

    I noticed a distinctive low-frequency hum coming from the speakers and when I looked in the back of the head the rightmost power tube was super hot (both were just barely glowing before) while the left one looked as before. I put it in standby for a few minutes and then tried again, played fine for a few minutes and then did it again so I shut it all down and sent an e-mail to MCM customer service and requested an exchange.

    I tried it again the next day just to see if it would do it again and oddly enough it has not had the red plating issue again in about a week of messing with it, but haven't put more than three hours total playing time on it. I should also say both times the tube red plated I barely had it turned up. The volume was only turned up to the point where some signal was getting to the cabinet. It is a loud amp and past that I think the neighbors would start to complain. I did get an attenuator (also from MCM) and put that between the head and cabinet and it works well.

    Hoping the replacement head will be OK. I think it would be great setup as long as these issues aren't common.

    The only other thing I can say is that, and this mainly goes for the speaker cabinet, they must box these things up before the tolex glue has dried. I don't know if they are all this way, but mine smelled so strongly that it was hard to stay in the same room with it. It has gotten less over the past week or so though as the glue or whatever it is has gassed off. I've heard of this with other brand amps too so it's not a knock against Pulse, just an observation.

    Tone-wise it sounds very nice. The clean channel is superb. The drive channel, in my opinion, is very muddy and I'll probably put an EQ in the effects loop to help that. The tone adjustments on the amp itself are very subtle and adjusting them doesn't do a lot to help shape the tone, but it does have a small impact. The drive channel with the lead boost enabled is pretty good though, and if you like a little crunch turn the gain all the way up and have at it. With the attenuator in place I cranked the clean channel up all the way and there was only a very small amount of breakup going on. About as much as with the drive channel and the gain set to its lowest.

    I'll post another update in a few weeks after I get the replacement head and get a chance to test it out.

    Edit: The Pulse amps seem to be the same as these, just different finish/label:

    http://www.carlsbro.com/product-view/evo-60h-60-watt-compact/25/

    Which is ultimately manufactured by 'Soundking':

    http://www.soundking.com/tg-guitar-series/guitar-amps-tg60h.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

  18. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Check out the "shop". Fully equipped. Three, I said three, wire strippers ;) Oops! There's one more behind the light. FOUR wire strippers!

     
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  19. Fulco

    Fulco TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    5
    Oct 4, 2016
    LA

    Ok, I received the Pulse 60 watter and believes it sounds more like a 40 watt than a 60 regarding the overall volume; at least with my Utah 2x12" cab. The tone is there all day. The effects are cheesy, but are ok at small splashes. I think she's a keeper all in all, and may even get another for my daughter who plays guitar in our family band. She's using a Blackstar Club HT 40 that we are not thrilled with. The amp pops on stage and really looks sharp! Can't beat it for the bread and I hope she lasts and doesn't fizzle out. I have a strong Anvil road case so I think I'm set. I'm considering the matching 2x12" cab...

    Peace
     

  20. radu7

    radu7 TDPRI Member

    4
    Oct 16, 2016
    Alabama
    Thanks for the update Fulco. That's good to hear. The matching 2x12 cab seems to be pretty decent for the price. It's an MDF enclosure and not plywood and weights about 60lbs. I've not had a chance to really push mine as my amp head is on its way back to be exchanged, but did get a chance to turn it up about halfway on both clean and drive (with and without boost) and it sounded just fine.
     

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