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most interesting guitar amp you'll ever see...

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(@frequeniquity)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 18
Topic starter  

I'm a big fan of gadgets and the like when I stumbled upon this amp. Here's a description taken from engadget.com

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000223023355/

I'm utterly in love with the Zvex Nano Head. It's a tiny, handmade, hand-painted tube guitar amplifier, which sounds like a vintage Marshall amp but is quiet enough to use at home without scaring people two streets away. One of the great things about music technology is that it isn't really that technical. Any proper geek can make a guitar, an amp, an effect pedal or even a basic synth on their kitchen table. It's not like building a cellphone, or a PDA.

One of the coolest kitchen-sink effects builders is Zachary Vex from Minneapolis. His Zvex pedals are hand-built by him, and hand painted by his buddy Jason Myrold (you can see both their signatures on every pedal). His Nano Head is a jewel-like beauty. The blue box is a bit smaller than an iPod, with two tiny valves protected by a steel roll cage. On one side is a one-inch fan. The big transformer takes the voltage in the box up to 230v so the tubes work properly, and it all generates a lot of heat.

The sun/cloud switch controls brightness and the fat man/thin man switch controls bass. There's even a tiny speaker hidden at the bottom. The Nano Head isn't a gimmick. It's surprisingly hard to get a good guitar sound from a 100 watt stage amp like a big Marshall stack, mainly because it's incredibly loud - microphones get overloaded, and it's totally impractical at home.

This amp has just half a watt of power, but it's still enough to drive big four-by-twelve speaker cabinets. It just drives them about 20 decibels quieter than a normal amp.

Of course, all this hand-making costs a bit. The Nano Head sells for around $400. But if you're having trouble making up your mind, this might help: Those tiny little valves? They were originally designed by the military for use in ballistic missiles. How cool is that?

Here's the link to the actual site

http://zvexamps.com/

You can dance, you can dance, everybody look at your pants.


   
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(@rollnrock89)
Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 342
 

Whats cooler, walking in with a huge billion pound head, or pulling that thing outta your pocket?
sounds interesting anyway.

The first time I heard a Beatles song was "Let It Be." Some little kid was singing along with it: "Let it pee, let it pee" and pretending he was taking a leak. Hey, that's what happened, OK?-some guy


   
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(@frequeniquity)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 18
Topic starter  

here's a pic

You can dance, you can dance, everybody look at your pants.


   
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(@bstguitarist)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 353
 

Tubes are really cool, even when they are not in amps. They give a pure sound, and are more authentic that Solid state.

Just my 2 cents

Bstguitarist
KB1LQC


No matter what anyone says, these four men were the Innovators! of modern Rock & Roll!

Morse Code... Music on it's own


   
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(@fiberoptik)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 86
 

How exactly does a tube work anyway..., and why does solid state suk :)


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

Tubes are really cool, even when they are not in amps. They give a pure sound, and are more authentic that Solid state.

Just my 2 cents

Bstguitarist
KB1LQC

If only it was that simple. Even in the region of linear operation (not overdriven or saturated), tubes amps for audio reproduction and instrumentation amplification produce more distortion and coloration than solid state (bipolar and the various FET transistor amps). Tubes are far from pure. However, people tend to like that tube coloration, as it is primarily manifest in even order harmonics that sound "warmer" and "fuller" and more musical to the human ear. Why? Because, components of an even harmonic series coincide with musical octaves. As a tube amp is operated in a saturated or overdriven mode, the even harmonics increase further, giving the lovely, harmonic-rich tone that is also desirable for some instruments such as our guitars.

OTOH, solid state amps when operated below saturation or overdrive points usually produce very little distortion and usually much higher fidelity (accurate and undistorted) reproduction of the input signal. This is what many call "sterile" and "lifeless" if used for instrumentation amplification. If one pushes a transistor amp into saturation, then the overtone (harmonics) produced depend upon the type of transistors and the circuit topology. Bipolar transistors produce both even and odd harmonics, FETs predominantly even harmonics (as a tube does, but not exactly). Other contributions to distortion depend upon the class of the amp (A, AB, B), whether the amp has push-pull, single-ended or complementary driver and output stages, type and amount of feedback .... However, the saturated sound of a solid state amp (esp. bipolar) is likely to be more mathematically complex and contain more non-musical (out-of-tune, so to speak) odd harmonics that sound harsh.

The thing to know is what amp works best for what type of sound and amplification. That little ZVex amp in saturation will sound great and can best be made louder by feeding its output to a good quality Hafler or Bryston solid state amp operating in linear (non-saturated) mode. Why? The ZVex creates the beautiful tones and the solid state amp makes these louder without changing them.

BTW, many jazz players prefer solid state instrument amps to reproduce the natural sound of their jazzbox guitars. For them, the inherent coloration of most tube amps just won't do.

I own several amps -- both tube and solid state. Each is very good for certain tones and applications.

-Greg

-=tension & release=-


   
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