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Thoughts on unorthodox guitar rig

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(@trguitar)
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OK, so I got this Epiphone Valve Junior half stack. The head has a volume knob and thats it. Unless you want to go deaf you need an attenuator to get good distortion from this little tube amp. I have a little pedal called a SansAmp Tri OD. It is made by Tech 21 and is a totally solid state (non digital) tube amp emulator and IMHO is the best non tube tube sound out there. I have used it with this amp before and it sounds good. I used a delay pedal for some reverb. The Tri OD is designed to go into the power amp in of an amp so if you have to put it in the front end (as in my case) you need to maintain unity gain to avoid unwanted distortion. Hence, my hair brained scheme as follows:

SansAmp Tri OD ---------- digital rack mount processor for effects (It has an input level with meters to visually monitor for unity gain or no clipping. I set the output to the center position.) -------------- Stereo EQ ------------------ Valve Junior head

It sounded good ........ real good. I refined the chain by adding my Boss tuner pedal and Cry Baby in front and using my Fender 4 X 12 cab instead of the single 12" cab. I run the second chanel of the EQ to my PA, after all the SansAmp is designed to go straight to a board with it's speaker emulation.

Thoughts? Opinions?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

if it sounds good, it is good. i'm not familiar with the equipment, so i don't understand where your confusion is coming from.


   
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(@trguitar)
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Topic starter  

I'm not confused ....... at least not on this. :lol: It's just kind of an unusual combination of gear I suppose. The EQ is a home stereo model and I'm considering buying a rack mount model that is actually music gear, not home stereo. I guess you could say I have assembled a half arsed rack I suppose.

Does anyone else play through a motley collection of gear before going into their amp?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Does anyone else play through a motley collection of gear before going into their amp?
If I had enough gear to call it a collection, then I probably would... :wink:

But really, whatever works. Just 'cause it's unorthadox... who cares?
And if someone does care, does their opinion matter that much?

I've seen odd bits of Radio Shack stuff, modified toys, automotive parts (well, modified car radio pieces), and even a cheese grater with a tele pickup duct taped to it used on stage, so I wouldn't worry about replacing it with "proper music gear" if you like what you're hearing.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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If it sounds good, it is good. And a lot of home stereo equipment is really good music equipment- it's all down to what you plug into it.

I've used a lot of unorthodox components in my home gear, mostly cause the "right" components are hard to come by, and the "unorthodox" ones are usually lying around the spare room someplace.

The only thing I'd add- I've sometimes had problems with voltages not matching, connections and jacks that I'd hand wired not being too solid, and generally...the more cobbled together the setup, the less reliable.

So if you're going to use it playing out, play heck out of it at home, first. Make sure it won't let you down when you get out.

And enjoy,

Ande


   
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(@moonrider)
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OK, so I got this Epiphone Valve Junior half stack. The head has a volume knob and thats it. Unless you want to go deaf you need an attenuator to get good distortion from this little tube amp.

Heh . . . other guitarists freaked when they saw my little Epi VJ on stage. "OMG! You GIG with a 5 WATT AMP!?!?" It had all the stage volume I needed. About 3/4 of the way that little puppy would grind it's butt off :D

As far as the "unorthodox" rig? Whatever works is good.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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(@trguitar)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the comments and thoughts everyone! I am of the belief that if it sounds good it is good but was curious what others thought. Now that "that" is all said and done, I've decided to make the rig a bit more usual. :roll: I replaced the processor with a cheap delay pedl I have and it might actually sound better. (It is an old digital processor) I looked on line and found Musicians Friend has their Danelectro Fish N Chips EQ pedal on sale for less than $29. It has really good reviews and a few folks on the boards here have endorsed them so I ordered one. Now I will have a collection of pedals going into my tiny amp head that I have the choice of using its 1 X 12 cab or my 4 X 12 Fender cab. Alas, very normal and usual after all.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@anonymous)
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Does anyone else play through a motley collection of gear before going into their amp?

well, i have a bunch of cheap but good pedals that i've collected over the years, and 3 expensive boutique pedals i won in a contest that seem kind of out of place... $200 autowah next to a $10 wah, $150 distortion next to a modded ds1, stuff like that.


   
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(@johnnie-black)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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You need an attenuator for a FIVE WATT amp?

Five watts isn't even enough to be heard over an acoustic drum kit

Hey there :) Please enjoy my guitar blog :)


   
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(@trguitar)
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To play live, no, you would need to mic it up. However for home practice, yes, you do need an attenuator. Have you ever played through one? It starts to break up nice around 2 oclock. It's a class A tube amp. Watts and volume are noy directly proportional. A 5 watt amp is about 1/2 as loud as a 50 watt amp. To get this little monster to distort nicely, I need to peg the knob. Here is a little excerpt from an article.
Power outputFor electric guitar amplifiers, there is often a distinction between "practice" or "recording studio" guitar amps, which tend to have output power ratings of 20 watts down to a small fraction of a watt, and "performance" amps, which are generally 50 watts or higher. Traditionally, these have been fixed-power amplifiers, with a few models having a half-power switch to slightly reduce the listening volume while preserving power-tube distortion. The relationship between perceived volume and power output is not immediately obvious. A 5-watt amplifier is perceived to be half as loud as a 50-watt amplifier (a tenfold increase in power), and a half-watt amplifier is a quarter as loud as a 50-watt amp. Doubling the power of an amplifier results in a "just noticeable" increase in volume, so a 100-watt amplifier is held to be only just noticeably louder than a 50-watt amplifier. Such generalizations are also subject to the human ear's tendency to behave as a natural compressor at high volumes.

Power attenuation can be used with either low-power or high-power amplifiers, resulting in variable-power amplifiers. A high-power amplifier with power attenuation can produce power-tube distortion through a wide range of listening volumes. Speaker efficiency is also a major factor affecting a tube amplifier's maximum volume. For bass instruments, higher-power amplifiers are needed to reproduce low-frequency sounds. While an electric guitarist would be able to play at a small club with a 50-watt amplifier, a bass player performing in the same venue would probably need an amplifier with 200 or more watts.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Made more confusing by the fact that the system for rating wattage doesn't seem to be especially standardized anyway- Read some amp schematics. There are some forty watt amps out there that, internally, are awfully similar to some 60 and 75 watt amps, and some 4, 6, and 8 watt amps that, if you look at the "guts," should be identical in output.

Plus, a LOT of amps are rated at the "maximum clean" point- good for a PA. But a lot of us geetar players want to get PAST clean volume...and pushing a tube amp sounds good, but makes the wattage ratings a little misleading.

(A five watt tube amp, pushed into tube overdriven distortion is often loud enough to rehearse with a drummer, depending on the amp. A 15 watt tube amp, pushed into the same distortion levels is often loud enough to tick the drummer off. Even the 1/4 watt tube amp I've recently test driven would be hard on domestic relationships at overdriven levels.)

Watts don't mean much without other info. Most of us aren't "engineer enough" to know, from wattage, how loud an amp will sound. If you need to know how loud it is, you have to try it out.

Best,
Ande


   
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