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Thread: Best sounding SS amp you all have encountered?

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    Senior Member Slobrain's Avatar
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    Best sounding SS amp you all have encountered?

    Well,
    I'll try to see who all wants to get in on this one.
    We all have had SS amps before we went to tube amps but I wanted to ask from anyone wanting to participate in this subject what SS amp they really liked for clean and distortion and any other thing they could bring in to this subject? also the most hated SS amp too?

    I had lots of amps since 1979 and for the first ten years were mostly Peavey SS amps. Then I went tube.
    The worst was athe mid 80's Peavey SS bandit 1x12 combo as it had horrible buzzy distortion and shared the EQ with the clean channel. All around nasty sounding.

    The best was maybe a early 80's Peavey Renown 2x12 that I ran thru an old marshall 4x12 cab in the clubs. This amp at the time fit the hard rock style I was playing, Sabbath, Crue, Ozzy, Priest, Scorpions and many others.

    Slobrain

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Best would be an old 70's amp called the crossmix made by pignose. A 75 watt combo. I bought one years ago after hearing a band in a bar with 2 guitar players both using them and getting an awesome tone, especially for ZZ top. Thickest tone i've ever gotten out of any amp. I remember using it for the first time in a bar we played many times and i had replace a boogie MK3 with it and the bartender remarked on how good it sounded. And i never knew her to ever remark about anything concering the band's tone in any respect. Don't remember why i sold it but i wish i had one know if i only had the room. I like those 80's marshall lead 12's a lot too, but they aren't loud enough to gig with. Worse by a million miles was a peavey practive amp who's name i can't even recall. I think from the 70's. It was so bad it was literally unusable. the second worse was my first amp ever.....a 70's peavey pacer. Not as bad as that last one, but pretty horrible.

    By the way, this is based on drive tones. I didn't like the cleans much on any of them.

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    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    I don't care what anyone says, the Peavey Bandit combo that Slobrain hates sounded great for metal

    I have a Fender London Reverb combo kicking around too, that gives some nice clean tones. I don't like the drive sounds on it much, though. It's a 100 watt SS amp with graphic EQ and spring reverb. It looks pretty similar to a blackface Deluxe, so I was thinking of gutting it and building a Deluxe clone in the cabinet.

    I also had an old Kay SS practice amp that sounded surprisingly good when cranked and abused with a drive pedal.

    The guitarist in our band has one of those Vox AD60VT thingies, and it sounds decent, if a bit dark sometimes. I don't know if they count as solid-state, since they have "A" tube in there somewhere.

    I tried to build several SS amps myself, but they all sounded completely like crap. I never got anything I liked till I started using tubes. One day I'd love to try going full circle by building a solid-state or hybrid amp that I can live with. Technically my Toaster project is a hybrid, but it's about 90% tube, so it doesn't really count at all. I like the idea of Albert Kreuzer's JFET bass preamp, where the JFETs are supposed to overdrive in a similar way to tubes, so I think I would start with that concept.

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    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    PV has made about 10 amps with the Bandit name and the current "Transtube" Bandit sounds pretty good to me. But I think my fave SS amp is or was the Fender Princeton Chorus.

    The PV transtube approach is simply darlington pairs of small transistors wired up like tubes. No, they don't sound like actual tubes, but they don't sound bad either. A tube guy could look at the schematic and follow it. If you are of a mind to try a JFET preamp, consider trying small signal bipolars in pairs wired darlington as well.

    I am not so convinved it is easy to get a great sound out of op amps, but discrete transistors is a different animal.


    In my world, having "A" tube does not make you a tube amp. Still firmly in the SS camp for that Vox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    ...
    In my world, having "A" tube does not make you a tube amp. Still firmly in the SS camp for that Vox.
    Let's hear it for heresy...

    I think the Thomas Vox Royal Guardsman and Beatle are actually not bad. They have a low-gain power amp with marginal feedback, driver transformers for the output devices to add transformer mojo, and a secret-sauce limiter ahead of the power amp for verisimilitude.

    Yes, you can adjust them to sound terrible, but a well tuned one is about halfway between solid state and tubes.

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    Definitely the Thomas Vox stuff.
    prolly sounds good because of the limiter circuit, but they had MRB (precurser to the wah) plus a great fuzz circuit.
    Look at the crazy money the 7120's get (think Revolver and Pepper)
    Plus they look so damn cool!

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    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    R.G., I read your pages on the Thomas Vox amps and they seem a very interesting design. I always wondered what would happen if you took the output section of a Thomas Vox (or rather a modern clone with high power silicon trannies and maybe even a current limiter :shock: ) and made a new driver transformer with loads more primary turns, so you could drive the transistor output stage off a single 6V6 or whatever? Then you could make the rest of the preamp out of tubes too. I think it would make a fine sounding hybrid. You could probably use two single-ended Champ or table radio OTs, in fact, rather than a custom transformer.

    I think the TV output stage will have a rather high output impedance, unlike most SS amps, so I expect it would act like a pentode power amp in terms of speaker damping. That may be good or bad. You could always add feedback from the speaker to the cathode of the driver tube, like in the Fender 300PS.

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    Last edited by Steve Conner; 02-13-2007 at 11:20 AM.
    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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    I don't know about the best, but Zuzu got a Vox Berkely a few years back that doesn't sound bad. We found it in a pawn shop. I turned on the "E" tuner switch, and then we turned the amp on, and told the guy there was a problem with it, because it had this droning note...and he believed us. I told him I MIGHT be able to fix it, and we would take it if he knocked the price way down. We carried it and the matching cab out for about $150.

    I can tell you about the absolute WORST SS amp I ever had. A Kustom 200. YIKES that thing sounded bad. Stick some ice picks in my ears, please! I think I was about 19, tried out for a band with my BF Bandmaster, and the guy told me I needed a 100 watt amp to keep up. I believed him and traded it in. OUCH!! I didn't get in the band, and I don't even remember what happened to the Kustom. Maybe Fogarty has it.
    BTW, I did find another BF Bandmaster in a pawn shop a few years ago for $125. So, everything is good.

    Brad1

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    Kustom?
    John Fogerty got em to sound good with Creedence....maybe the 200 is just too damn clean, but I've worked on several over the years (a 100 2 weeks ago) and they sound alright.

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    Ampeg G410s are pretty loud

    Best overdrive on a SS amp I have owned (and this is quite limited list in general because I haven't owned many SS amps) would have to be the Crate GX20R that I was using out here. Being that it was free helps a bit but the overdrive is fine for jamming for practice and the amps clean is pretty decent too.

    Worst overdrive I have had was the overdrive on a Crate C212 (I think that was the model) It was just plain bad. Clean was pretty good.

    The Best clean SS amp I own (or have owned) is a 73 Ampeg G410 that is as loud as I have ever heard. I never had it fully loaded with speakers and usually had to play it through the speakers in my crate 212 but it is very clean at any level before I start going into speaker meltdown zone. The Tone stack allows very wide control with the mid control frequency select and ultra high mode. It was great with an Ibanez slam punk infront if it if you wanted to get really dirty and with mid cut and high and low boost. It did what I needed at the time. I have purchased another one as it was cheap thinking that it would just be cool to have that much of air movement potential but I know I will never need that much volume. Now I'm thinking what a tube overdrive pedel infront of it would do? Of course when I bought it the speakers were blown and the 2nd channel preamp was blown but for 40 bucks and the clean channel still working it was a steal (hell The cabinet I think would be worth that). definately something not to pass up if you are looking for something that is loud clean and usually affordable.

    worst clean SS amp I had was a Fender sidekick 30 bass amp. To be fair it probally just didn't have enough power and was a cheap amp at a relatively cheap amp price. It would ovdrive if cranked but not in a good way. Just all around mediocre.

    eh thats my mindless ramble for the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    I always wondered what would happen if you took the output section of a Thomas Vox (or rather a modern clone with high power silicon trannies and maybe even a current limiter :shock: ) and made a new driver transformer with loads more primary turns, so you could drive the transistor output stage off a single 6V6 or whatever? Then you could make the rest of the preamp out of tubes too. I think it would make a fine sounding hybrid. You could probably use two single-ended Champ or table radio OTs, in fact, rather than a custom transformer.
    It's an interesting thought. One problem is that you need two output windings, both about 8 ohms. This is because the output is dual NPN, totem pole style, and has to be that way for the existing output stage. It might be possible to redesign the output for a complementary NPN/PNP stage with some tinkering, but I haven't looked into that. A custom transformer with single primary/dual speaker outs would work OK. Maybe.

    Another issue in the transformer-driven solid state stages is that the driver transformers were almost always wound multifilar for the tightest possible coupling from primary to secondary. Much tighter than the primary-secondary coupling usually is in tube OTs. It's only an issue if you try to close the feedback loop, of course, but if the coupling is too loose you can't do that.

    I think the TV output stage will have a rather high output impedance, unlike most SS amps, so I expect it would act like a pentode power amp in terms of speaker damping. That may be good or bad. You could always add feedback from the speaker to the cathode of the driver tube, like in the Fender 300PS.
    The output impedance before feedback will be that of the output transistor used as an emitter follower. Since the gain is low for these devices, maybe 50-75, then the impedance will be high for a transistor amp, but low compared to a pentode. Feedback is what really lowers the output impedance a lot, so you're right, it's going to be much bigger than an equivalent SS amp with high feedback. But less than a pentode output circuit.

    It's an interesting place to start.

    I must have spent US$200 on old text books before I pieced together the explanation of how that thing works. There was no single place I could find that had an overview of that output stage that was complete and made sense in modern terms.

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    To Drewl:
    The fuzz circuit in the TV amps is a minor adaptation of the Vox Distortion Booster, which is a silicon version of the Fuzz Face.

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    Senior Member Don Symes's Avatar
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    The Sunn Beta Lead, I thought, was the best sounding and most flexible SS amp I've used - especially with a stereo guitar (separate output per pickup).

    Two identical channels, one set a bit cleaner than the other, one for the neck pickup and one for the bridge. A per-channel FX loop, plus a master loop and remote A/B/Both channel switching. I got my ES345 to sound like an organ for 'Easy Living', and generally pretty darned good for other tunes. 100W output

    The Sunn Alpha is a single-channel, 50W version with the same preamp.

    Schematics and PCB layouts are available in the repair manual, too (hint, hint).

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    Triode Electronics make an interstage transformer with multiple secondaries. You could use a SE like the Thomas Vox did, or use a PP driver as well as an H bridge poweramp.

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    Senior Member Slobrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daz View Post
    Best would be an old 70's amp called the crossmix made by pignose. A 75 watt combo. I bought one years ago after hearing a band in a bar with 2 guitar players both using them and getting an awesome tone, especially for ZZ top. Thickest tone i've ever gotten out of any amp. I remember using it for the first time in a bar we played many times and i had replace a boogie MK3 with it and the bartender remarked on how good it sounded. And i never knew her to ever remark about anything concering the band's tone in any respect. Don't remember why i sold it but i wish i had one know if i only had the room. I like those 80's marshall lead 12's a lot too, but they aren't loud enough to gig with. Worse by a million miles was a peavey practive amp who's name i can't even recall. I think from the 70's. It was so bad it was literally unusable. the second worse was my first amp ever.....a 70's peavey pacer. Not as bad as that last one, but pretty horrible.

    By the way, this is based on drive tones. I didn't like the cleans much on any of them.
    Hey Daz,
    I have read that either Lee Jackson or Paul Rivera maybe built this amp for Pignose. Lee worked there when the crossmix was put out in maybe 1978.
    The crossmix was supposed to have a distortion circuit similar to a rat pedal for the thick sound it had. Yeah, those 70's pacers were pretty aweful sounding, I had one too

    BTW, This thread is turning out nice, many cool posts on old SS maps.


    SLO

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    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    R.G., I beg to differ about the output impedance. (Maybe we should take this discussion to the new solid-state forum that doesn't exist )

    I think it will basically be the output impedance of the transistor as a common emitter, which tends to infinity. Ie, the output stage is a voltage controlled current source, and the control voltage is what comes out of the driver secondary winding. But the negative feedback through the bias network will lower the output impedance.

    As for the requirement for tight coupling, I think that may be because the leakage inductance of the transformer is in the output stage's local feedback loop, betwee the bias network and the base. If it needed multifilar winding, I guess it would be about impossible to use a tube driver like I suggested.

    Arthur B, I have an interstage transformer for a Fender 300PS kicking around here. (And an output transformer too, evil cackle.) But the ratio of a tube interstage transformer is totally wrong for a TV output stage.

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    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Yeah, i heard that too about the pre being modeled after a rat. And actually i can believe it because it has that sound to a degree tho more refined so that it's tighter. I always felt rats are fantastic sounding when used right and when they are tweaked a bit. But they're very tempermental in a few ways including which amp you use and how clean the amps is. The pignose sounded to me like a rat in it's ideal enviornment with a few tweaks. I think i also recall Rivera being involved but memory is kinda foggy. I remember also having a lab series and a boogie MK3 at the same time and setting them side by side and trying to get the boogie and LS to sound as thick as the pig, but nothing i did would let them get close. That was one amazingly thick sounding amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slobrain View Post
    Hey Daz,
    I have read that either Lee Jackson or Paul Rivera maybe built this amp for Pignose. Lee worked there when the crossmix was put out in maybe 1978.
    The crossmix was supposed to have a distortion circuit similar to a rat pedal for the thick sound it had. Yeah, those 70's pacers were pretty aweful sounding, I had one too

    BTW, This thread is turning out nice, many cool posts on old SS maps.


    SLO

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    Senior Member TD_Madden's Avatar
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    My Gibson G-55 ('71 I think) has a decent tone......I have a Reverend 1250 in it and it's not TOO SS'y.....not real loud, either. The funky parts (phaser and harmonic-something) I just keep turned off...even the single-spring internal reverb isn't all that cheesy......

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    Ampeg Ss For Shred, Lab L Series For Rock, And A Roland Jc120 For Clean.

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    Last edited by gtrboy; 02-13-2007 at 09:08 PM.

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    Anybody else play an Acoustic 150? That was a very powerful ss amp, super cleans. And the for bass players among us, I suggest a moment of silent respect for the Acoustic 370, which was the fattest baddest bass amp on the planet until the SVT came along.

    Worst SS amp? Late '60's, I think, 1967 Gibson GSS100. Very trick looking with 2 - 2x10's, sounded terrible.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    R.G., I beg to differ about the output impedance. I think it will basically be the output impedance of the transistor as a common emitter, which tends to infinity. Ie, the output stage is a voltage controlled current source, and the control voltage is what comes out of the driver secondary winding. But the negative feedback through the bias network will lower the output impedance.
    Differ away. I never thought I had the only possible interpretation of a circuit.

    But... the thing is an NPN totem pole with a load between one emitter and one collector and the ground of a split supply. The driver secondaries float with the emitters. The top half has the load tied to the emitter of the upper transistor and a fixed upper voltage supply between the ground end of the speaker load and the collector of the transistor. Even given that the base drive winding floats, I think that makes this section an emitter follower.

    The bottom section is more problematic. That might well best be seen as a CE stage.

    Probably the reason this amp sounds good is that we're both right about half of the output stage and the differences in output impedance from top to bottom make for asymmetrical drive on the speaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    As for the requirement for tight coupling, I think that may be because the leakage inductance of the transformer is in the output stage's local feedback loop, betwee the bias network and the base. If it needed multifilar winding, I guess it would be about impossible to use a tube driver like I suggested.
    Yep, there is no question that the problem with the tight coupling is that the leakage and self capacitance of the driver transformer is added to the forward response of the amplifier. A couple of references early in the search were pretty emphatic about that.

    Actually, I think the driver transformer isn't all that hard to rewind. If I ever get a burned out one, I'll give it a go. All you really have to do is to figure out the number of turns on primary and secondary and make up your multifilar wires out of a number of lengths of magnet wire in parallel, then wind away.

    I've experimented with sneaking ten turns of fine magnet wire into an existing Beatle driver transformer and measuring the voltage on it while the primaries and open secondaries were driven. That gives me a reasonable grasp of the turns involved. I'd have to look it up, but as I remember the primary was about 300t, the secondaries about 60t each, making for a penta-filar windng. The way to make a new one would be to make up a hank of wire of five sections of smaller magnet wire and two sections of six-sizes-bigger wire for the secondaries, twist that just enough to keep the wires together, then whip on 60t of the bundle. After that it's just phasing and connecting the primary sections all in series. The window usage will be poor for that style of winding, but it gets it to be multifilar and probably the wires would squash into a rectangular windonw.

    Probably.

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    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    Even given that the base drive winding floats, I think that makes this section an emitter follower.
    Well no, I say that it's the very fact that the base drive winding floats, that makes the top section a common-emitter stage just the same as the bottom one, with the same high output impedance.

    The floating winding means that an output stage section only has two terminals for current to go in or out. Therefore, it can only have one impedance between those two terminals: it can't matter which end you look from.

    Therefore both the top and bottom sections must have the same impedance, which I say is that of a common-emitter amp with some local feedback.

    This also implies that a complementary version with NPN and PNP transistors would behave pretty much the same as the original, so we might as well use all NPN.

    I also think the leakage inductance in the _local_ feedback loop between collector and base could be what makes the transformer so critical. Or maybe the transistor driver stage in the TV amps leads to a much higher loop gain than a tube driver, what with transistors having so much more gm than tubes. After all, the Fender 300PS has a feedback loop around two transformers, without much in the way of interleaving, and it's stable.

    Anyway, you have me fired up enough to try building this hybrid output stage now!

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    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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    Senior Member Slobrain's Avatar
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    Hey Fellas,
    cool thread, gets me inspired just reading this stuff

    Well I got the Peavey Renown in today from an Ebay auction and boy I had to clean it up, looks like a rat was living in the back. LOL

    well it fired up ok and one problem I found was the scorpion speakers had come unglued from the base of the speaker basket so I'm hoping Enzo can help with ideas of how to glue these back.

    I plugged in this 26 year old amp into my 2x12 cab with celestions and tweaked it for a while and bam... It sounded like I remember from the mid 80s club days playing heavy rock. It was considered heavy metal then but I guess it grandad rock now.

    Any way I was talking to a buddy that had a GK ML250 from 1985 and he was saying how he really thought that amp was so killer sounding but then it blew up
    I still remember him playing this amp thru a Marshall 4x12 and thinking how damn good it sounded back in the day. he was playing the song (In my dreams) by Dokken and seem to nail the tone.

    Anyone remember the GK ML250, little stereo amp?

    Slobrain

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    Well no, I say that it's the very fact that the base drive winding floats, that makes the top section a common-emitter stage just the same as the bottom one, with the same high output impedance.

    The floating winding means that an output stage section only has two terminals for current to go in or out. Therefore, it can only have one impedance between those two terminals: it can't matter which end you look from.

    Therefore both the top and bottom sections must have the same impedance, which I say is that of a common-emitter amp with some local feedback.

    This also implies that a complementary version with NPN and PNP transistors would behave pretty much the same as the original, so we might as well use all NPN.
    Good point. It's certainly worth looking into.

    I think that the originals were all NPN because that's the only cheap, good outputs that they could get. The original is a house-numbered 2N3055. I think that the availability of only NPNs plus familiarity with transformers led to the driver transformer use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    I also think the leakage inductance in the _local_ feedback loop between collector and base could be what makes the transformer so critical. Or maybe the transistor driver stage in the TV amps leads to a much higher loop gain than a tube driver, what with transistors having so much more gm than tubes.
    Which local feedback loop is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    After all, the Fender 300PS has a feedback loop around two transformers, without much in the way of interleaving, and it's stable.
    Stability depends on the size of the forward gain as well as the number of poles and phase shift. An equal-TC phase shift oscillator with a gain under 27? , 29? will not oscillate either, even though the amount of phase shift is clearly sufficient. The amount of phase shift limits how much gain you can use, and the amount of gain limits how much phase shift you can have and remain stable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    Anyway, you have me fired up enough to try building this hybrid output stage now!
    Good! Give it a go. I'd like to see what you come up with.

    If I were not so enveloped in other stuff, I'd like to get out the old Beatle head, disable the feedback loop and measure the output impedance.

    Here's a thought. The old TV amps sound much better to my ears than they ought to sound by conventional wisdom. I put this down to the limiter ahead of the power amp. What if it's both the limiter and a high output impedance? The high output impedance would give the amp a looser grip on the speaker just like a pentode stage with little feedback.

    There is just so darned much to explore and so little time!!

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    I think it is funny that the old SS amps from the 60ies and 70ies that earned the bad reputation of SS amps, now are said to be the best sounding ones.

    It reminds me to the Fender guitars from the 70ies that a few years ago nobody would even have touched and that now start commanding "vintage" (=exorbitant) prices.

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  26. #26
    Senior Member
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    How is the Peavey Dweezil Zappa amp?

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  27. #27
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    the old Roland Cube 60 seemed pretty good esp. with a good external speaker. Made every gtr. sound the same way, but in a good way. The overdrive on the amp sounded like the Toto record on which Steve Lucather used some solid state amp (least that's what my fog-filled memory recalls).

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  28. #28
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    Worst SS amps:

    Anything by Univox, The first SS fender bassman (hard to find today thank God)

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  29. #29
    Senior Member TD_Madden's Avatar
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    I like my (horrors!) Crate PowerBlock through one of my old Gibson GG-100 (circa 1965 or so) 2x10 sealed cabinets (8 ohm).

    Can't believe it's SS when gain/tone/volume is set right. Loud as hell too.

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  30. #30
    Lifetime Member Rob Mercure's Avatar
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    Autotranny output PVs

    For a while there Peavey made several SS models that used an autotransformer to couple the output transisitors to the speakers - the Special Solo Series was one - and these SS amps really sounded nice when used with humbuckers in a rock and roll band. Quite a few local musicians loved these thangs in the 1970s - one even traded in his Marshall (with serious "boot" back with the PV) for one of the SSS's.

    A few years ago I was given that same amp chassis and cabinet, with speaker, which had been more-or-less "gutted" by some unknown but still had the autotranny. It's in my "get around to it" pile but someday I intend to reconstruct the basic PV circuit.

    Rob

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  31. #31
    Senior Member Slobrain's Avatar
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    Hey Rob,
    A buddy of mine has one of those old solo series specials with the auto tranny. Its a 1x12 and actually sounds pretty good too. When he got the amp the speaker was blown so I installed a celestion 80 in the amp and its got a nice rock sound to it. Maybe I should try to snag it from him at a cheap price

    BTW, I see those old bandit 65's going fro a pretty good price on Ebay, I guess they are becoming collectors items? I had about 4 or 5 versions of the bandit over the 80's even into the early 90's as they made good practice amps. Seems the distortion on the 65 was real buzzy but I bet some one out there could figure a way to get a better distortion by somehow modding these. Or a good trick would be to gut the B 65 and build a tube amp in it, that would throw allot of musicians in the clubs when hearing that amp huh...

    The reviews at harmony central say that the Bandit 65 were favored by the Nashville studio players because they had a great clean sound with reverb and if you wanted to add dirt, just use a pedal. Hhmmmmm...

    SLO

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    Call me a dinosaur, but I'm not much of fan of ss amps. That said, I once had a Gibson Lab Series L-5. Aside from the typical solid state deficiencies, such as artificial sounding and all the usual complaints, this amp was a useful and versatile tool for making very loud sounds with a band. It came with very poor quality speakers, but I put a pair of JBL E-120s in it and it actually sounded pretty good for clean sounds within the context of a loud band. The distortion was, well, solid state.

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  33. #33
    Senior Member hasserl's Avatar
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    I've got a solid state 2 x 10" combo amp from Mitchell out of Riverside CA, circa '77 - '78, called a Sand Amp 100. I believe the Sand Amp reference was not so much for the silicon used in the amplification, as for the material used in the cabinet. The cab is double walled and the space between the walls is filled with sand. It has a closed back with a large front open port. The amp sounds great, as good as most any tube amp I"ve played, though not real high gain. It was my practice and gig amp for years back in the day, and I still have it out in the garage underneath a stack of more recent finds. I dug it out awhile ago and plugged it in and was reminded of what a good amp it is. I could still use it today. I still have the old Ibanez Tube Screamer I use to use to get more grind out of it when I needed it.

    Another real nice SS amp is one of my newer purchases, a Crate Powerblock. If you haven't tried one of these yet do yourself a favor and go try one. I picked mine up cheap, brand new and in the box for about $79.00. This is now my backup amp I take along with me to gigs. It's so small and light it's incredible, but it packs a lot of power and sounds very good.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slobrain View Post
    Hey Fellas,
    cool thread, gets me inspired just reading this stuff

    Well I got the Peavey Renown in today from an Ebay auction and boy I had to clean it up, looks like a rat was living in the back. LOL

    well it fired up ok and one problem I found was the scorpion speakers had come unglued from the base of the speaker basket so I'm hoping Enzo can help with ideas of how to glue these back.

    I plugged in this 26 year old amp into my 2x12 cab with celestions and tweaked it for a while and bam... It sounded like I remember from the mid 80s club days playing heavy rock. It was considered heavy metal then but I guess it grandad rock now.

    Any way I was talking to a buddy that had a GK ML250 from 1985 and he was saying how he really thought that amp was so killer sounding but then it blew up
    I still remember him playing this amp thru a Marshall 4x12 and thinking how damn good it sounded back in the day. he was playing the song (In my dreams) by Dokken and seem to nail the tone.

    Anyone remember the GK ML250, little stereo amp?

    Slobrain
    Yeh, I remember those, used to have one. I recall hearing it in the music store and how awesome it sounded with a Strat. When I got one it didn't sound as good for some reason. Indeed those G+K's like to blow up...

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  35. #35
    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    I've heard a few people raving about how good the Crate Powerblock is. Apparently it has a switching power supply AND a Class-D digital power stage, so according to you guys it should suck :-O I once messed with one and it seems very light for a 150(?) watt amp.

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    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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