Anybody remember the 'Ice Cube?'

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by StrangerNY, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    For some reason I got to thinking today about old rigs I used to use, and I remembered a little gadget that plugged in to the reverb leads of Fender amps called the Ice Cube.

    [​IMG]

    I used one while doing some recording in the 70s. It basically turned the Fender reverb circuit into a distortion circuit.

    Anyone still have one?

    - D
     
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  2. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I don't know where mine went sadly - it was an odd box for sure and not my favorite, but it did nasty it up quite a bit. But I remember :)
     
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  3. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sure...wasn’t it that thing the Titanic ran into?
     
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  4. parademe

    parademe Tele-Meister

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    A ship ran into a rapper?! Far out...
     
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  5. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    I bought one off of ebay awhile ago for my Princeton, but haven t used it yet. I use to by-pass my reverb in it w a simple sheilded cord. Trebley , but usable. Safe? Couldn t tell you. I think the Ice Cube is just resistors and caps to kill the highs you get from a direct by-pass.
     
  6. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Frank'n'censed said:
    Sure...wasn’t it that thing the Titanic ran into?
    A ship ran into a rapper?! Far out...

    All I remember is the punchline
    Iceberg, Goldberg . . . what's the difference?
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yes, I do.
     
  8. Pepi

    Pepi Tele-Afflicted

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    Had one but didn't really like it much. Very noisy ... sold it on Ebay a few years ago
     
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  9. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had one in a silver face Twin back in the mid-70s. It had a master volume without the pull-boost. Between that and the Ice Cube, I could get dirt at reduced volumes. It probably sounded like crap, but what did I know?
     
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  10. ranjam

    ranjam Tele-Holic

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    If I remember rightly, when I took one apart 'back in the day', it was nothing more than a 220K resistor in series with the 'Input' and 'Output' jacks. The weird part for me was one labeled 'Twin Reverb', as any Fender amp with Reverb had the same preamp and Reverb circuit, and the RCA jacks spaced about 3/4" apart. Why would there be a need to label them to specific models?
    If I really have any memory, I seem to recall these 'designed' and built by a fellow names David Hicks, who was writing for Guitar Player for a while.
     
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  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting. Someone once told me it had a resistor to simulate the load of a reverb tank, but this would likely need a much lower impedance than 220k.

    If it's just a 220k in the signal path, that seems like it's just acting as a grid stopper resistor. It will shave a small amount of highs, and prevent blocking distortion between the driving stage and the recovery stages of the reverb.

    I was under the impression, that without a load to simulate the tank, it could damage the reverb transformer, in the same way you could damage an output transformer with an output load drastically different than what is intended..
     
  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I remember them coming in on amps back in the 80's. Never played with one to hear it though.... I remember red ones too...
     
  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Heres a red one!!! IMG_3309.JPG IMG_3308.JPG
     
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  14. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, owned one years ago tho only had a Champ at that time so I moved it on.
     
  15. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I had to relplace a tone of components in my buddies early 70's super reverb after he used one of those and blew out his reverb circuit, it reqiured a full st of tubes and melted a ton of parts
     
  16. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    A friend used one back in the day with his SF Pro Reverb. I don't think it was a good idea. That amp sounded just fine as it was. And he couldn't use the verb.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  17. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I actually CALLED David Hicks in the early '90's as he was a GP mag amp columnist I dug, plus he ran an ad for his " Hicks Mender" plug in thing made for BF/SF Fenders, similar to Ice Cube

    I think I was calling Oklahoma, told David I had a '67 Pro Reverb, and I remember he talked me OUT OF buying his own product as he said it was not going to give me the sound I was hoping for.
    I wish I remember more about the Mend er and 'what' I was after- I just remember appreciating his honesty, rather than trying to make a sale!

    Edit- Just Googled ( and now remembering) the Mender - it was a module that you plugged into the first 2 preamp tube sockets- then you plugged your preamp tubes back into it's sockets, and it cascaded the gain stages ( with a Gain knob built in)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  18. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I didn't know about the amp version of these. There was an Ice Cube that you installed in the guitar itself to get distortion. You wired it to a pot to vary the amount of distortion. It had the same physical construction, but a smaller cube.

    At the time, it was said that the device was just 2 Germanium diodes back-to-back in parallel across the signal and ground of the pot. If that was the case, the diodes conducted at a very low voltage and would "flat top" the sine wave form and produce distortion. Not a true square wave fuzz tone, but distortion. The most common germanium diode was the 1N34A which conducted at 0.3 Volts, so the thing wouldn't work as well with Fender-style single coils as it did with humbuckers. I don't remember hearing about anyone sawing one in half to see what was inside. I do remember these things in Stew Mac catalogs and in guitar magazine ads. 25 or 30 Dollars.
     
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  19. ranjam

    ranjam Tele-Holic

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    Remember a doohickey Mike Soldano sold that did plugged into the two 12AX7 sockets (IIRC) but then used the triple triode like a 6K11 to make your Marshall sound like a Husqvarna?
    I can't imaging an Ice Cube hurting anything. There's no DC; just an AC signal. It becomes a parallel signal that isn't very clean. There is no grid stopper in a stock Fender circuit, so it would hit the 12AX7 hard otherwise. And with a stock 220K shunt resistor, it's kinda sorta like a 50% reduction going into the recovery stage. After the recovery stage there's the 100K control, and then a 470K series resistor and a 220k shunt resistor. So the 'boost' is attenuated quite a bit before it comes back into play. How it can hurt anything but your ears is baffling.
     
  20. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    There was a second version of the Ice Cube that had a small slider on the bottom which allowed you to still use your reverb, the slider set the relative amount of boost/reverb. I have the original one somewhere in my pile of old stuff. It was just a resistor encased in plastic, you can make your own for about a buck. The first version disabled your reverb in favor of the increased gain, it just used the part of the reverb driver tube for gain instead of driving the reverb.
    Al
     
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