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Amp Conundrum

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by RPtele64, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Your cheapest option is to service amp and buy a few pedals, and it should work out fine. If you buy used and it doesn't work out, you can completely recoup your investment. A "just serviced by reputable amp tech with receipt" old amp will sell at a higher price, most likely, so you recoup most of that investment if you decide to sell, and the pedals are easily sold if you ultimately go a different route. And/or the pedals can be useful with your next amp purchase.
     
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  2. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I know you're asking about pedals for your amp, OR getting a Vox... and I'm not sure what your budget is...

    But I would suggest at least TRYING something like a Princeton Reverb and a decent overdrive pedal. Princeton reissues are available in most music stores, I think, so you could test it out in store if there was one nearby...

    I also have a 64 reissue Tele, and it sounds amazing through a Princeton Reverb with a Timmy.
     
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  3. RPtele64

    RPtele64 TDPRI Member

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    Honestly, I have around $1,000 to throw at this issue. Maybe a bit more if I sold the National amp (which IS for sale on Reverb if anyone wants to check it out, DM me for a link to the listing).

    Also, I really really thank everyone's opinions so far. Varied, but all good, and definitely gives me something to think about.
     
  4. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

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    Keep the National! Or send it to me to properly dispose of the unruly thang. The thing about old simple amps...their charm is that they can be crazy responsive...especially single ended with ptp wiring (imho/ime). Thus its an opportunity to work on your pick attack. I absolutely adore the responsiveness of a simple amp because you can get a lot of character just by your fingers and pick attack.

    Perhaps try lowering the pickups, 2nd check/replace the git's tone cap. And definitely have a good tech look over the amp...have add an external spkr shorting jack so than you can easily switch out cabs/spkrs of the same ohm to easily deal with spkr frequency and vol/efficiency issues (and/or get a weber z-matcher).

    Next would be to get a compressor for pick attack issues, an eq for the ice pick issues and a reverb, tremolo and delay...maybe something like a eqd dispatch master or the like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  5. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Tele-Meister

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    In the long run, its the cheapest alternative to an endless rabbit hole.
     
  6. Refugee

    Refugee Tele-Meister

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    What he said. That National has probably never been looked at. Pretty sure they're easy to work on. Probably just need to swap out some glass.
     
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  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think so. If he finds his Yamaha THR's digital tone lacking, and prefers the sound he gets from a vintage tube amp, then I think something like a Princeton Reverb with a couple of pedals will make the OP happier. I also second the recommendation that he look at the Princeton over a Vox-- at least give it a spin. A "clean pedal platform" like a Princeton or Deluxe Reverb with a few decent analog pedals is a pretty tried-and-true method for getting truly great tones.
     
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  8. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    Home player here. I went for the Vox AC4HW1. Fabulous little amp.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    https://reverb.com/item/39725764-national-unknown-late-1950s-or-early-1960s

    Nice looking amp. It needs tech service due to its age. Fresh caps and proper service might yield you a great little single ended amp. That is a nice Jensen Alnico speaker there. What has been done to the speaker lead?? Someone has been doing something to the amp during its lifetime. One would wonder what has been done. If you were closer, I would want to look at it and maybe make an offer.
     
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  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Oh...and do nothing unless you recap it. There is no reason, ime, to butcher the baffleboard to run a different speaker. Unless I am mistaken, that speaker lead mod would allow one to run another speaker load other than the in cab Jensen. Just make sure that there is an impedance match when doing so. IF someone has run an improper higher load, the OT could have suffered damage that would cause it to yield unpleasant sonics, ime.
     
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  11. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    I did this with a '50's Bell HiFi amp that I bought in a second hand store--it didn't sound right at all with guitar plugged straight in, but an EQ pedal (and a bunch of RCA adaptors) helped shape the tone correctly for guitar. Sounded cool, but not as good as the made-for-guitar amps that I already had.

    Try it--it might give you a cool retro sound with the amp you've got, or, sell it and buy something more suitable with the balance. You can use the EQ pedal with the new amp, if things don't work out to your liking.
     
  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve been eyeing that amp. It sounds like a great match for a Tele. I think all modern amps and reissues of classics should have some form of “power scaling” or attenuation. I can’t understand why Fender hasn’t introduced a “vintage modified” series with power scaling!
     
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  13. metalosophy

    metalosophy Tele-Meister

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    I think you'll get a lot of mileage out of one of these:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Vox/Ca...ybrid-Guitar-Combo-Amp-Black-1500000313551.gc

    You'll be able to play quietly, or loud, and you're not going to break it. For $300 it's a steal, maybe a bit redundant with the THR, but the great part is you can easily return it and not feel bad. Robust little guy.

    The VOXAC15 vs AC10 is going to be a marginal volume difference, both are too loud for your home, if that's a concern.

    I have a 100w tube combo that's too loud for my house, but I still use it!
     
  14. metalosophy

    metalosophy Tele-Meister

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    For the same price as the amp you could buy a graphic EQ pedal, a boost, and a compressor. I personally don't think you're going to get the results you're after with the National amp. But I could be wrong.
     
  15. RPtele64

    RPtele64 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, I am not doing anything to change the amp. It was represented to me that it was all original. I think that is part of the coolness and specialness of the amp.

    I'm going to ponder a bit.

    In other news, I was just playing on the THR and my FIL who is in town for Easter was sitting on the couch (where he couldn't see me playing) and asked what song that was because he thought it sounded great and wanted to listen to it later on his phone. Like I said, the tone isn't horrible on THR at all, but it will also never be more than a practice amp. And I don't mean to sound snobby, but there is just something great about a real tube amp sound as opposed to a solid state amp. I don't mean to knock solid state amps at all, just to my ears I hear something in those tubes, especially when I am playing.
     
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  16. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    You could try a smaller capacitor value on your tone knob. The standard caps used are too big and limit the range. Standard tele cap value is .047uf. If you use a small value like a .01uf, you will get a more gradual taper on your tone knob and less total treble loss on max. Caps are only a dollar and a much cheaper buy than a pedal even if you need a soldering iron.

    Pedals are designed for goosing an amp not taming it. I think you’d be on a wild goose chase trying to find a pedal to calm down a tele.

    If you’re considering a Vox, check out the Vox Pathfinder, MV50 AC and the AC4. These are all great amps to use at home and easy to rein in the volume. If you need something to play with a drummer, get an AC15. Good luck!
     
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Getting your amp properly serviced will only increase, not decrease its value. People understand that the caps need to be replaced, and if the transformer needs replacing that is not going to decrease the value, either, as long as the correct one is chosen. Plus you can always keep the old parts in a bag and include those with any future sale.
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maintaining originality applies to speakers, transformers, amp covering, and grille cloth as well as the circuitry. Changing old electrolytics is like like changing spark plugs, tires, and oil 8n a vintage car....if you want to drive it, those aspects need to be maintained.

    I will disagree that non-original transformers do NOT affect value. Transformers and the hear5 and lungs of an amp, and their originality IS a huge part of vintage value. The well-being of those original transformers opis also why replacing electrolytics is so important. In the worst case scenario, a failure in an electrolytic cap can take out a vintage transformer. In my world there goes a big part of the value. The amp becomes a player grade amp. It is a pity to neglect to properly care for these vintage amps IF one is going to play them. Old electrolytics do not allow an amp to yield proper sonics, ime. Many times, problems in a circuit disappear with recapping and good general service....and the true sound comes to the surface.
     
  19. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Tele-Meister

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    The Helix has both of those...plus a ba-zillion others amps, pedals, can launch rockets and satellites...bascally make all of your wildest dreams come true.
     
  20. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry, might sound good to you, but I’ve tried the Helix. I like it for recording but personally don’t think it sounds as good as a tube amp for live sound. JMHO.
     
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