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Thread: 6ak6-tone-experience?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    6ak6-tone-experience?

    I have a tiny PP output transformer that I'm itching to use for something different. I'm nonplused by the litany of PP 12au7 power tube amps because I haven't heard one I liked at all. Always shrill and blatty even with simple circuits. Looking into it, it seems that when you run triodes PP there's exceptional cancelation of the second harmonic and, if you choose to clip the tubes, a preponderance of third and fifth harmonic. Perhaps this is what I'm hearing. Also, the ratio on this little OT is a bit low for an au7 anyway. So...

    How do the 6ak6's sound. Could I expect a tone more typical of the tubes we use for guitar amps? Anyone here ever built with them?

    P.S. I also have a small SE OT that would be great for a parallel, single ended 12au7. And I happen to have a bucket of 12au7's that I pulled from a Conn organ. So that's a project I will get to eventually. But right now I've got a Jones to build a real, PP pentode amp, only tiny
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    no experiences with the 6ak6, though i'll throw out a couple ideas that came to mind reading your post. they won't be anything you don't already know, but they're all i can muster on one cup of coffee...

    if you feel like you get too much even order cancellation, it might be worth trying to intentionally mismatch the PI outputs so it's not such an ideal diffamp. and maybe use a concertina and add a CF somewhere in the circuit. i think adding a totally unnecessary CF tends to add a little even order harmonics in those cases where they seem lacking.

    my experience with small pentodes hasn't been all that rewarding. i've never been able to get tone that I really liked out of anything smaller than a 6bq5, so i use an attenuator.
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    i've never been able to get tone that I really liked out of anything smaller than a 6bq5, so i use an attenuator.
    Hmmmm...

    That's been my MO for a long time and I've actually been pretty happy with it. But what the hell am I supposed to do with a 3W 13.5k/8R output transformer? It's not like I can just leave it sittin' there
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Ok, here's an idea.

    The little pentode tone issue may not actually be an issue. May be more of a volume issue? That is, they probably sound like what we know pentodes to sound like, but two or three watts just sounds different than fifteen? Not often brought up, maybe speakers just don't sound right operating at five percent? So here's an idea. What if I build the little pentode amp with 6ak6's, but instead of making it a head or a combo intended for a speaker I'll run it into a reactive dummy load with a voltage divider and make a preamp that actually sounds like an overdriven amp! Or build as stated and use the divider off the dummy load to feed a 200W SS power amp.?. I could make it similar to my favorite design that has PLENTY of gain, but only when clipping the power tubes. So with this idea I can capture that tone in a preamp. Maybe include a speaker simulator so it can be plugged right into the PA!?! Imagine being able to get cranked amp tone and the only thing you need to load is a preamp! It could work. Analog modeling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    How do the 6ak6's sound. Could I expect a tone more typical of the tubes we use for guitar amps? Anyone here ever built with them?
    A couple of years ago, I found a few threads on the Internet by Printer2, describing his 2-watt, push-pull 6AK6 "mini 5E3". Here is a link to one of those threads: So your 5E3 is still too loud huh? - diyAudio

    Photobucket has recently changed their terms of service, removing all the formerly freely hosted images - including the pics Printer2 posted of his 2W mini 5E3 back in the year 2014. However, he posted a sound clip of the same amp to a different hosting site, and that sound clip is still available for download (click on the one named "5E3 6AK6 Tod.mp3"): https://onedrive.live.com/?id=443A2F...3A2F0DB3904EFD

    Obviously tastes differ, and I don't know if you'll like that clip or not. But to me, that clip sounds great, really nice rock guitar tone.

    How quiet is it? I asked Printer2 that via PM. He measured around 103 dB SPL at 1 metre using a vintage 12" speaker. In other words, instant ear-damage loud, and if you live in an apartment, lose-your-lease loud, cops-will-knock-at-your-door loud. Only 2W? Sure, that's +3 dBW, and if you run +3dBW of power into a speaker with 100 dB SPL@1W@1m sensitivity, 103 dB SPL is exactly what you should expect to get!

    Inspired by Printer2's amp, I designed and built my own 2W, push-pull 6AK6 amp. I used a "source-o-dyne" phase splitter made with an LND 150 MOSFET, and I deliberately unbalanced the source and drain resistors by about 12% (1 dB) to allow even harmonic distortion in the output stage to come through to the speaker. I used a selection of $1 valves from ESRC Vacuum Tubes elsewhere in the amp.

    The output transformer is an OT5PP from Musical Power Supplies; the primary is rated at 22.5k anode-to-anode, or 5.625k from each end to the centre-tap. Power comes from a 48V Hammond transformer, feeding a voltage tripler to put about 225V on the 6AK6 anodes. Filaments are powered from a thift-store refugee Sony 8V switching power supply, with a suitable power resistor in series to drop voltage to 6.3V at the heaters. The 6AK6's are biased to about 10 mA quiescent cathode current each, so around 2.25 W total (anode + screen grid) dissipation, well within the 2.7W rating.

    My amp was too loud also, and I ended up tinkering with small-signal pentodes and beam tetrodes in the preamp, and a master volume, so I could get a little bit of overdrive at volumes no louder than a quiet acoustic guitar, unplugged.

    My amp sounds nothing like Printer2's amp, but on the whole, I like the way it sounds. Mine is geared more towards good clean, and slightly overdriven, tones, because that's what I tend to use most as a guitarist. In my own playing, I really don't care much for "power chords" and motorcycle-engine rock tones, just due to the nature of the music I enjoy most.

    I'm pretty new to this business of trying to extract musically-interesting distortion from valves, so I'm still tinkering with my design. Someone like you, with so much experience under your belt, could probably get a 6AK6 amp dialed in to suit your tastes quite quickly.

    -Gnobuddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    May be more of a volume issue? That is, they probably sound like what we know pentodes to sound like, but two or three watts just sounds different than fifteen?
    I think we talked about this in an earlier thread on this forum. In addition to the Fletcher-Munson effect changing our perception of timbre at low volumes, remember the analogy I used about how an actual lion's roar scares the @#%&! out of a person standing near the lion, but if you turned it down to cat-meow volume, it wouldn't affect us the same way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ...and make a preamp that actually sounds like an overdriven amp!
    This is essentially what my design has evolved into, as well. I have a small-signal beam tetrode as the last stage in the preamp, the idea being that, when overdriven, it will sound like a good single-ended 6V6 amp, except at milliwatt powers rather than several watts. That little beam tetrode feeds the master volume, which feeds the power amp section (using the 6AK6's).

    Having the desired timbre come from the preamp, and a more or less clean "power" amp (two whole thundering watts!), is the only way I can think of to have valve-guitar-amp goodness at any volume I want, and not just at the usual ear-splitting levels that guitarists are forced to play at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Maybe include a speaker simulator so it can be plugged right into the PA!?!
    And now you're getting close to another idea I've been pondering lately!

    I play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and bass at the weekly jams I go to. Hauling three guitars and three amps lost its appeal very quickly, so I've been playing everything through my little acoustic guitar amp acting as a small P.A., via a small Mackie mixer, and a fistful of guitar FX pedals.

    But I keep thinking about building a little valve preamp with three inputs, one for bass, one for electric guitar, one for acoustic guitar. Maybe one switchable XLR output, or perhaps three, one each ofr bass, electric, acoustic guitar. A couple of small-signal valves inside, mebbe a small beam tetrode, tone controls, some signal conditioning, some sort of steep low-pass filter/speaker emulation for the acoustic and electric guitar amps, and maybe a balanced output stage driving an XLR connector to feed the P.A.

    Hauling three guitars is a pain too, so I want to try putting a piezo pickup on one of my electric guitars to see if I can get passably close to plugged-in-acoustic-guitar tones with it. But that's another project entirely!

    -Gnobuddy

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Wow! I really like the 5e3 clip you posted. Because it sounds like a 5e3, but if it were running at lowish voltage and a little hint of pentode, rather than only beam tetrode in the tone. But the bottom line is that it sounds like a guitar amp Not "my" sort of amp, but I can hear past that. I'm feeling pretty positive right now. Thanks.

    P.S. Italia is a company making some mediocre electric guitars (but they play and sound good) that include a resonant box with a piezo pickup. Mine is surprisingly decent. By that I mean "for an electric guitar". So it's not going to stun you with acoustic guitar tone accuracy. But then I've never strung my acoustic guitar with 10 gauge nickel strings and I don't have it setup with a 5/32nds action! Still, way better than other efforts I've heard to accomplish the same thing. Another nice feature is that the piezo is a separate jack, not a switch. So you can A/B switch with your foot on the fly. I'd use it without reservation for a live gig where I needed to switch acoustic/electric within the same song. Certainly before resorting to one of those stand up guitar stands. That $h!t looks cumbersome as hell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Wow! I really like the 5e3 clip you posted.
    I'm glad you liked it! I also think it has a nice rich rock tone. No shortage of bass, either, unlike many little DIY amps. Probably because of a good choice of output transformer, and the 12" speaker. IMO, Printer2 really created a masterpiece there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    P.S. Italia is a company making some mediocre electric guitars (but they play and sound good) that include a resonant box with a piezo pickup. Mine is surprisingly decent.
    Thanks for the tip! I'll look into that possibility, but the budget is tight, and I may end up having to use a fifty-cent piezo disc and a home-brewed preamp. I know how to make a good accelerometer out of a cheap piezo disc, let's hope that also works as a good acoustic guitar sensor!

    I actually do have 10 gauge strings on one of my acoustic guitars. Heresy, I know! I use a pretty heavy-gauge pick, which helps compensate for the thinner and brighter tone of the thin strings. Some aspects of my playing technique with that guitar are also geared towards preventing excessive "jangle" from the thin strings. Plugged in, all it takes is a graphic EQ pedal to make those thin strings sound as beefy as a set of .012's. I love the power a graphic EQ has to transform your guitar sound!

    -Gnobuddy

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    I just checked, I have some of Printer2's missing "2W 5E3" pics saved on my computer. With the understanding that this entirely Printer2's work, and not mine, I could probably post some of them here...I have a feeling he wouldn't mind, these are all pics he already posted for the world to see, until Photobucket took them away.

    Lemme know if you want me to post any of them, and I will.

    -Gnobuddy

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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    I just checked, I have some of Printer2's missing "2W 5E3" pics saved on my computer. With the understanding that this entirely Printer2's work, and not mine, I could probably post some of them here...I have a feeling he wouldn't mind, these are all pics he already posted for the world to see, until Photobucket took them away.

    Lemme know if you want me to post any of them, and I will.

    -Gnobuddy
    I don't need to see the pics. But thank you. I know what a build looks like I haven't read his build article yet. Going there now.
    "The man is an incompetent waste of human flesh. He should donate his organs now to someone who might actually make good use of them." The Dude re: maybe I shouldn't say, but his name rhymes with Trump

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    the problem with low-wattage amps is that they still produce a decent amount of power, as far as getting too-loud-for-the-neighbors goes. as much as we like to crank amps, we have to admit that if you've got efficient speakers it only takes milliwatts to make something "too loud" for someone else's ears.

    it's an interesting idea to build something smaller and smaller until you find that magic micro-amp. and i understand how hard it is to not build something when you've got an oddball piece of iron there, just taunting you...

    for me an attenuator has been a good enough solution to the too much power problem. let us know how it plays out, chuck.
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I agree about the volume. Doing some short math I figure my attenuated practice level right now is about one watt (probably just shy of that). So two watts (probably a hair more) is going to be comparatively loud. But there's that level of volume that allows for some acoustic feedback which I would like to get. It's probably good that I've developed a skill for dodging flying objects and I keep a pillow in the shop.
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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Make a 6cl6 pp amp. I'll mail you a few, i have a 100 and will never get to that project until about 2025.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    I don't need to see the pics. But thank you. I know what a build looks like I haven't read his build article yet. Going there now.
    Oh, I'm sure you know what a traditional build looks like!

    But I should have been clearer - one of the pics (he posted a GIF file) is a schematic (without part values, but may be useful). Another pic is a screen capture of a spreadsheet bill of materials (which, of course, does include component values).

    Some of the build pics are also revealing, for example, you can see that the output transformer is actually one of those inexpensive 70V audio line transformers. Given the strong bass in the MP3 clip, I wouldn't have guessed that - those little audio line transformers often have very low primary inductance compared to "real" valve OPTs, and there are frequent mentions online of thin bass in DIY builds because of that. But it seems the combination of OPT and speaker that Printer2 used has no shortage of adequate bass.

    -Gnobuddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    ...we have to admit that if you've got efficient speakers it only takes milliwatts to make something "too loud" for someone else's ears.
    A few years ago, I discovered that I could hear ten microwatts of 1 kHz sine-wave into an old Weber speaker. The speaker was on my workbench, and I was sitting on a chair pulled up to the same bench, with my ears two to three feet away from the speaker.

    I was living in a rented suite on a 20-acre farm at the time, and it was a very quiet environment. Still, I hadn't expected to be able to clearly hear microwatts of power into a speaker. I thought I must have made a mistake in my AC voltage measurement, or my math. But when I calculated the estimated SPL, it all made sense. Ten microwatts - that's 10^(-5) watts, or (-50) dBW. Put that into a speaker with 95 dB@1W@1m sensitivity, and it will make an SPL of +45 dB. According to typical SPL tables (like this one: Noise Level Chart: dB Levels of Common Sounds), that is somewhere between "babbling brook" and "light traffic". Quite audible, and in fact, that 1 kHz test tone was loud enough to be annoying after a few seconds!

    That led me to sit down and do some calculations on guitar amp power vs expected SPL. I decided on 70 dB SPL (about as loud as a vacuum cleaner) as the loudest sound that would be acceptable in an apartment. How much power does it take to generate 70 dB SPL at 1 metre distance from a speaker with 95 dB@1W@1m sensitivity? Three point two milliwatts!

    As another data point, I once briefly owned a VOX AC4TV, and found it too loud to use at night on the 1/4W (250 mW) setting.

    So there you go, with a typical guitar speaker, the "right" amp power for overdriven guitar tones in an apartment setting is somewhere between three and three hundred milliwatts!

    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    it's an interesting idea to build something smaller and smaller until you find that magic micro-amp.
    Been there, failed to do that...when the output power was the limiting factor, either my overdriven guitar sounds were too loud, or my clean tones were too quiet. And other physiological (Fletcher-Munson) and psychological (loud sounds have more emotional impact) factors came into play. I never was able to get guitar sounds I really liked with that approach.

    So I re-thought the plan, and decided to have a preamp that generated the timbres I wanted, and a master volume, and a mostly "clean" power amp with a whopping two watts power capability. For me, that approach has been a lot more successful. I can get guitar tones I enjoy at SPL levels comparable to playing on an unplugged acoustic guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I understand how hard it is to not build something when you've got an oddball piece of iron there, just taunting you...
    I have a few 6LY8 triode-pentodes and a couple of 70V audio line transformers lying around. I keep thinking I have to turn those into a two-bottle mini "18 watter" some day. The triodes are the same as the ones in the 12AX7, so just two 6LY8s should be enough for both a push-pull phase splitter, and the output pentodes. Add a 6JW8 in the preamp and you can have both a triode and a pentode channel...no overpriced EF86's necessary!

    (Actually I think both the 6LY8 and 6JW8 have little beam tetrodes in them, not true pentodes.)

    -Gnobuddy

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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    Make a 6cl6 pp amp. I'll mail you a few, i have a 100 and will never get to that project until about 2025.
    Too many watts! And what's up with that .65 amps of heater current? I'm planning a 2W amp here with about 40mA available from the HV wind and 1.2A from the filaments.

    Looks like a neat tube. Supposed to process video with low distortion. I'll guess that's going to be at much higher frequencies than we deal with normally Still, could be a great tube for a pair of mono blocks and home listening
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    ...for example, you can see that the output transformer is actually one of those inexpensive 70V audio line transformers. Given the strong bass in the MP3 clip, I wouldn't have guessed that - those little audio line transformers often have very low primary inductance compared to "real" valve OPTs, and there are frequent mentions online of thin bass in DIY builds because of that. But it seems the combination of OPT and speaker that Printer2 used has no shortage of adequate bass.
    Indeed! I started looking into it the moment I read the thread It seems there's a lot of useful iron out there for less $$$ than the boutique stuff. Of course that's because it's made by the barrel so guys can buy eight of them over the counter without falling over from sticker shock. That extra five percent of goodness from OT duty specific transformers starts to fade when you realize you can get a nearly equal unit to the task for ten to fifteen bucks!?!
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    You guys! With your milliwatts and such... Christ on a rubber crutch, are you practicing in the lobby of the municipal library? It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise

    No, you're not playing it cranked up at midnight. But it should still be fine with appropriate timing (read: wife isn't home right now, or whatever) but you still need that thing I talked about earlier. Acoustic feedback! It's part of what makes an overdriven amp sound right. The idea behind a two watt amp isn't that you can play it at midnight (or in the moonlight if you're at the AX84 site). Rather it's more like "Well, it's not a cranked fifty watt amp". That's got to be better. At some point you reach diminishing returns. I absolutely REFUSE to practice with headphones. That $h!t is worse than sex with a condom.
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    A-FRIGGIN-MEN TO ALL OF THAT!

    Justin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise
    I understand your point of view, it's a very popular one among electric guitar players.

    But then you look around, and notice that all the surviving disciples of "the godfather of loud" - the ones who played through 50W and 100W and 200W guitar amps on stage, turned up to full - are now either deaf, or have severe hearing loss and tinnitus to torment them. (Imagine a sound like a small jet plane taking off inside your ear - all the time, all day, every day. )

    Me, I enjoy music better if I don't have ringing ears and a headache - and hearing loss - at the end of the evening. Evolution never designed our ears to cope with 100 dB sound levels, never mind the 115 dB you can get from a 15-watt amp and a 103 dB sensitivity speaker. 200W amp? Horrors. You can probably hit 130+ dB with a 4x12 cab or two. That's loud enough to cause virtually instantaneous "permanent shift of hearing", as the medical profession calls this type of permanent hearing loss.

    OSHA says you can tolerate 85 dB SPL for several hours a day - but most people don't realize that (a) that assumes dead silence for the rest of the 24 hour day, and (b) OSHA was heavily biased in favour of factory owners, who don't like to spend money on reducing SPL levels.

    So the reality is that several hours of sustained 85 dB SPL music (which takes only 0.1 watt into a 95 dB speaker!) is loud enough to cause some hearing damage over time. No way around that, short of wearing earplugs - you can't argue with the limitations our evolutionary past wired into us.

    Not trying to tell you what to do, of course. Just trying to look out for another musician.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Acoustic feedback! It's part of what makes an overdriven amp sound right.
    Throw a compressor (or distortion pedal) in the chain, turn up its gain, and you can get acoustic feedback without ear-splitting SPL. Using a compressor or limiter like this can be pretty interesting, I think it's easier to control the acoustic feedback this way.

    -Gnobuddy
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    "Using a compressor or limiter like this can be pretty interesting, I think it's easier to control the acoustic feedback this way..."

    Control? Where's the fun in that? Not to mention, CHEATING!

    I think this can all be settled by acknowledging that we're all in this together, but we're all different. Myself? I'm more the "Sonic Youth Approach" than the "Santana Approach..."

    And nothing is too loud when you had the chance to CRANK a Sovtek Mig-100, a 1978 JMP-100, a VT-40, and a Super Twin...

    Justin
    "Are you practicing in the lobby of the municipal library? It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise (!!!)" - Chuck H. -
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  22. #22
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Eh? Speak up! I couldn't hear you.?.

    Yes I have mild tinnitus. Believe it or not you actually learn to ignore it at my level and I don't have any trouble with jumbling or peripheral noise. Sometimes you just have to gauge the level of damage against your lifespan I wink, but I'm not kidding. Live till you die or die so you can live. It's a choice. I deal with it every damn day since I'm a service industry contractor with multiple repetitive motion disorders

    Whatever OSHA decides is going to be the lowest common denominator because they hate when people file law suits. Most ears are more resilient than that. I'm living proof if ever there was. And if I'm worried about a two watt amp (or even a fifteen watt amp) then my @$$ is a banjo. Damn the torpedoes (thanks Tom) I'm going to enjoy my guitar while I can.
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    Damn the torpedoes or give me deaf!

    Justin
    "Are you practicing in the lobby of the municipal library? It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise (!!!)" - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  24. #24
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Say what?
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    then my @$$ is a banjo.
    Come on, Chuck, surely you can pick something better than a banjo!

    Which reminds me of a joke: What's perfect pitch?
    Answer: A perfect pitch is when you throw a banjo in the dumpster, and it lands on an accordion!

    I've got some tinnitus too - in my case, probably from driving a too-loud muscle car in my twenties. Hearing damage is cumulative, another reason I watch my exposure to high SPL these days.

    Sorry to hear about the RSI - been there, done that, got to the point where I couldn't even drive a stick-shift without severe pain. I switched jobs, and stopped using computers almost entirely for a year or so. That let my arms, wrists, and hands recover enough to resume somewhat normal activities, cautiously at first.

    It's been years now, but I still have to watch that I don't type too much, or spend too much time on high-speed guitar picking practice exercises.

    -Gnobuddy

  26. #26
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Yep. It's like that. Getting old I mean. Living with pain truly sucks, but you get use to it.?. It certainly beats the hell out of the alternative. That is, since the pain is chronic NOT living is the only way around it. I use anti inflammatory drugs, usually aspirin. I love opiates but I don't dare go there for that very reason. I'd over use and end up a dysfunctional addict. So... Strictly recreational there
    "The man is an incompetent waste of human flesh. He should donate his organs now to someone who might actually make good use of them." The Dude re: maybe I shouldn't say, but his name rhymes with Trump

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  27. #27
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    What's perfect pitch?
    Answer: A perfect pitch is when you throw a banjo in the dumpster, and it lands on an accordion!
    Other way 'round. The idea being, a heavy accordion will crush the banjo. A banjo landing on an accordion, there's a good chance both will survive. Say, did you ever leave an accordion in the back seat of your car and park it in downtown London?
    Chuck H likes this.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    A friend of mine picked up a banjo and cranked out the opening of Stairway on it. Unexpected, and a place I never thought a banjo would go.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    I think this can all be settled by acknowledging that we're all in this together, but we're all different.

    Justin
    Indeed!

    -Gnobuddy
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Other way 'round. The idea being, a heavy accordion will crush the banjo.
    Okay. It's another low-IQ day for me, apparently!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Say, did you ever leave an accordion in the back seat of your car and park it in downtown London?
    A little confused here...am I missing something?

    -Gnobuddy

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    A friend of mine picked up a banjo and cranked out the opening of Stairway on it. Unexpected, and a place I never thought a banjo would go.
    I've heard Bela Fleck play a banjo and make it actually sound beautiful. But he's the only banjo player I've ever heard who can do that.

    I once saw a video clip of an interview with Fleck in which he said that he became interested in the banjo because of its history, but was quickly frustrated by the rather primitive traditional playing techniques used by banjo players. So he started to apply classical guitar playing technique (which has had centuries of development in Europe, and evolved to become became very sophisticated and very extensive) to his banjo.

    The rest is history, he became the first true banjo virtuoso.

    We're a long way from 6AK6 sound now... (What happens if you blast a 6AK6 through a banjo? Should you be happy that you destroyed a banjo, or sad that you destroyed a 6AK6?)

    -Gnobuddy
    Chuck H likes this.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Only jazz banjoist I can think of.



    I may be missing something, but ins't there a joke:

    Guy wants to get rid of an accordion, so he leaves it in his unlocked car hoping someone steals it. COmes back to find two more accordions sitting in his car.
    Chuck H, The Dude and Gnobuddy like this.
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  33. #33
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    I've heard Bela Fleck play a banjo and make it actually sound beautiful. But he's the only banjo player I've ever heard who can do that.

    I once saw a video clip of an interview with Fleck in which he said that he became interested in the banjo because of its history, but was quickly frustrated by the rather primitive traditional playing techniques used by banjo players. So he started to apply classical guitar playing technique (which has had centuries of development in Europe, and evolved to become became very sophisticated and very extensive) to his banjo.

    The rest is history, he became the first true banjo virtuoso.
    if wonder if he tuned it like a guitar instead of keeping it in Gmaj.

    i think those open string chordal tunings have a way of fencing you in.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  34. #34
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I don't care that the thread is drifting. That good sounding clip is too convincing to be squashed by any "reasoning". I will be building this thing from mostly scraps and report at some later date. I mentioned I already have the OT, but I'm so intrigued by the prospect of line transformers that I might break the budget and order a thirteen dollar part just to see.

    I just shelled out some likes too. Some funny stuff here and I almost sprayed my keyboard with beer (again!). But my favorite moment is where Gnobuddy singled out that quote from Justin. It passes for banter in context, but reads like the sort of thing people just need to hear out loud sometimes to stay centered when featured on it's own. So special thanks Justin and Gnobuddy.
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    "The man is an incompetent waste of human flesh. He should donate his organs now to someone who might actually make good use of them." The Dude re: maybe I shouldn't say, but his name rhymes with Trump

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  35. #35
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    "Using a compressor or limiter like this can be pretty interesting, I think it's easier to control the acoustic feedback this way..."

    Control? Where's the fun in that? Not to mention, CHEATING!
    well, if we're going to call people out for cheating, then we need to take aim at people who use attenuators.

    being one of the guilty i just can't bring myself to do it.
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

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