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Is it possible to get more clean headroom from a small solid state amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by fuman, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. fuman

    fuman TDPRI Member

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    I have a Peavey Transtube 20-watter that I really like. It's small and lightweight. I am mostly an acoustic player but I bought a Telecaster recently and am having a blast with this thing. I infrequently jam with other musicians, sometimes including a drummer. I'd like to do more of this. The problem is that this amp is right on the cusp of adequate for the style of music and the people I play it with. The overdrive channel is plenty loud. But the clean channel is kind of meek. It soun ds good, but I can't get much volume without it breaking up.

    I'm guessing the answer to my question is "no," but would a clean boost allow me to coax more volume from the clean channel? The thing that gives me hope is that the pre-amp is what seems to drive the volume boost on the drive channel. It starts to distort fairly early, that being the pint, but it's not linear and the degree of distortion doesn't get crazy until you move it up over half, and the volume is what I need before the distortion goes beyond what I want.

    Buying another amp is a non-starter. I love tube amps, but I don't play enough electric to justify the outlay and am happy enough with the sound -- and I've owned quite a few terrible solid-state amps to know that this one is real good. On the other hand, if I am going to spend $100 on a Booster pedal, maybe I will knuckle down and buy an amp. Thoughts? Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

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    A more efficient speaker can help (again, it'll be about $100...).

    If you like the Rage, maybe move up to an Envoy or a Bandit.

    Also, if you roll off the low-end, you'll get more clean headroom. You may not even be getting the low end out of the speaker, so why burden the amp with it?
     
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  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A boost pedal can't add headroom. If you are out of headroom it will just supply more distortion/compression.

    You could find a more efficient speaker. This will make the amp "louder" (on the books up to twice as loud in theory if you can find a speaker that is something like 3-4db plus more "sensitive"). But will also almost certainly change the sound.

    Have you tried maxing the master on the gain channel and using the "drive" as your "volume". You might find a sweet spot that is louder than the clean channel with a level of distortion you can tolerate.
     
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  4. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Holic

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    A boost pedal won't do it, the amp will still distort at the same output level. A more efficient speaker could help. But I really think you should consider another amp with more power. There are lots of decent low cost amps on the market, especially if you buy used.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    QUOTE; "Have you tried maxing the master on the gain channel and using the "drive" as your "volume". You might find a sweet spot that is louder than the clean channel with a level of distortion you can tolerate."

    If the clean channel won't get you there Mark's suggestion may help and this is true of most any amp with both master volume and a gain controls. Set the master higher so it hit's that "sweet spot" where the volume "blooms" and bring the gain up as high as you can without adding any grit or breakup. It's the best way I know off to coax max clean headroom from an amp.

    A clean boost pedal may gain a small amount of headroom when it's offsetting pickups with lower out put as some Tele have but not enough to overcome an amp that simply doesn't have the power needed to produce the clean volume you want. Their main purpose is actually to drive an amp to break up or add volume to a clean solo or riff. To get more clean headroom you simply need a more powerful amp or a more efficient speaker in the one you have and even that may not do it.

    I'd suggest looking locally for a used 60w Peavey Bandit like these.

    https://reverb.com/marketplace/amps?query=peavey bandit 112&condition=used

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=peavey+bandit+65

    You'd be much better off going this way than spending $100 on a clean boost and you can also sell your 20w version to help offset some of the cost. JMHO

    EDIT; Still another that will serve you well as both an amp for your jams and with your acoustic and goes for $199 new shipped. I would look into this one.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Kata50
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  6. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Weber Cali? Or my external 115 cab with the K130 in it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Start shopping for a bigger, used, SS amp. There are bargains out there.
     
  8. tlimbert65

    tlimbert65 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, that's the answer. If you like the Transtube sound (I do), a bigger Transtube will sound the same, but louder. Look for an older Bandit.
     
  9. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Considering I paid $40.00 for the last Studio Pro [Silver Stripe] I have... Is has plenty of power for loud and clean. Bandits are even louder.

    You might also look for an old SS Fender 212 Stage-160. The go for 150.00 at most when not cosmetically perfect. With two 12" G12-100T Hot Celestions and lots of SS watts, it will do clean in spades. And probably closer to Fender cleans than most every non Fender SS amp. And a real accusonics reverb can like all the other Fender amps too.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Before you swap speakers, see if plugging into a cabinet gives you more of what you want, if so then pursue locating a speaker.
    The Bandits are loud as stamped on the label. They are bigger and heavier too.

    Check the placement of your amp -- get it off the floor! Make sure it is eighteen inches or more in front of a wall, might be a sweet spot as you get it closer to take advantage of the sound bounce. Put it on a stand so it blasts out at ear height for all those in the audience (standing or sitting).
    Experiment with a half inch to three quarter inch thick scrap of plywood that you clamp to the back of the case and stuff cloth in any gaps to get a tight seal. See if the 'closed back' version of the amp gets you more directional volume. When I was building fancy audiophile home stereo speakers the closed back versions performed better with smaller boxes than the ported ones. You might find the same. There are interior space volume calculations that may make that case you have optimal but it's worth an experiment. If the clamped on panel helps then you can use screws.


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