I Want To Build/Buy.....

18watt-specific Tech Talk - Building, Fixing, Parts, Mods...

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The Ballzz

I Want To Build/Buy.....

Post by The Ballzz »

My first time here so please be gentle. :lol: I hope I'm posting in the right place. I am wondering if anyone here can either point me to a kit maker, help me by designing a kit for me or building an amp that suits my specs. The pride of building it myself would be awesome, but just having an amp that does what I want it to would be sufficient.
A-18 watt power section
B-Preamp section with more control such as on a Bluesbreaker or such
C-Nicely functioning effects loop for line level, rack mount stuff. Parallel would be nice but serial would do OK.
D-Power scaling or master volume that won't destroy my sound/tone/dynamic range when taming the volume monster.

I do tend to run my amps pretty much floored, as I play with a light touch, no pick and my sound is generally predicated on being on the edge of perpetual, full blown/full range feedback along with all of it's associated harmonic/tonal goodness! I use no foot pedals other than a true bypass wah. The effects loop is for time based stuff as I am an echo/delay junkie. I' looking for something with just enough volume to balance with a not too aggressive drummer but controllable enough to modestly reduce volume to appease picky club owners. We always play with enough PA to mic everything for control.
Any Help Appreciated,
Gene
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The Ballzz

Re: I Want To Build/Buy.....

Post by The Ballzz »

Oh yeah, BTW I'm not looking to get volume down to "bedroom" levels, I just need the capability to moderately control volume, without losing all my tone and dynamics.
TIA,
Gene
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AC Cobra
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Re: I Want To Build/Buy.....

Post by AC Cobra »

Add a single ended stereo chours to that and that is what I am after.
The problem is that in order for your delay to sound right you need to get most of your gain (distortio) before the effects loop, and the 18w gets most of its distortion from the power tubes. So you can
A: run a overdrive pedal then your delay into the amp
B: come up with a higher gain preamp, put your delay in the loop, and keep the distortion on the power amp moderate
C: run the guitar into the amp and put a mike infront of it, then add your delay after the mike through a solid state and and/or the PA.
Each has its ups and downs. I dont think you want to do A, and C takes the most gear, but probably sounds the best.
I am woking on option B right now, but my tone search is on hold while I work on guitars for customers.
You will probably want to use a VVR and scale the power to the power amp and phase inverter to reduce the volume
Effects loops are a touchy subject, but I am going to try the zero loss effects loop from metro. Seems like the only one with the voltage avaible to work properly.
Best of luck
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zaphod_phil
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Re: I Want To Build/Buy.....

Post by zaphod_phil »

I would recommend an 18W TMB variant. With that you get one classic style 18W channel, with single Tone and Volume control, where most of the distortion comes from the preamp. You also get a Plexi-inspired preamp channel with Treble/Mid/Bass (ie TMB) tone controls as well as Gain and Volume controls. This channel develops distortion in the preamp as well as the power stage, and it can have an FX loop in as well. And you can jumper the two channels together for even more tonal variations. For "bedroom level" playing, I would recommend either a VVR mod to scale the output power level or else an attenuator on the output. Some builders can also provide an option to cascade the two channels into each other for super high gain if you want.

There's a few places you can go to get 18W TMB amps - both in kit form or fully built. And you can ask them to include the extra FX loop and VVR/attenuator. A few that quickly come to mind:

- GDS http://www.gdsamps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

- Trinity http://www.trinityamps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

- Ceriatone http://www.ceriatone.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Graydon Stuckey of GDS is one of the original founders of this community, and has a rock solid reputation. Stephen Cors at Trinity has also been with the 18W community for a long time, and also has a sterling reputation. Nik at Ceriatone is a great guy, but unfortunately has had little involvement with this community and there have been some issues with their engineering practices - see for example http://www.18watt.com/forums/viewtopic. ... 7&p=236547" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; So I might hesitate a little at fully recommending Ceriatone, but you may still want to check them out.

JMPGuitars can also provide some fully-built single-channel TMB 18W variants - www. jmpguitars.com There are probably some others around who can provide an 18W TMB amp, and my apologies to anyone I've missed.
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Nature abhors a clean tube amp

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