Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: "Dialing In" a Simple Vintage Tube Amp

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    0

    "Dialing In" a Simple Vintage Tube Amp

    The mechanics and nuances escape me, as I play more acoustic guitar.

    I have an early 60's Gibson GA-5T.
    It has 2 instrument jacks (incidentally, I've learned that jack 1 is louder than jack 2)
    It also a volume knob...and a tremolo knob.

    I am playing a '55 ES-125 through it.
    So the guitar has one P90, one Vol, and one Tone knob.

    To make things simple, please tell me the steps you would take to "dial it in."
    Assume no pedals/effects...assume amp is on with all setting at zero...both guitar knobs at zero.

    Where should everything be set to start ... what steps do I take ... what am I listening for?

    (again...no bass/mid/treb/OD...nuthing eklse to contend with.

    How do I make this guitar play thru this amp at their best?
    And no...style/lessons is not the answer, wise-guys. hahaha
    I like my playing and simply want to learn more about tweaking amps' settings.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Canada, somewhere north of Fargo
    Posts
    12,654
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,189/24
    Given: 5,521/11
    Rep Power
    24
    I always start with tone controls on amp set half-way up. Volume start from zero and bring up to comfortable loudness. Adjust tone to what you like as far as how much treble. (guitar volume around 7, tone full up)

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    0
    No tone controls on amp, at all.

    Start with guitar Tone at 10...guitar volume at 7 ...ok.
    And then turn amp Vol up until I hear "break-up" ... ???

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,934
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,695/2
    Given: 1,220/1
    Rep Power
    18
    It would help to know what kind of music you play and what tone you're after. Blues player? Clean jazz player? Metalhead?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    It would help to know what kind of music you play and what tone you're after. Blues player? Clean jazz player? Metalhead?
    Let's say Blues/Old RocknRoll. After all, these are vintage components.
    Not folk.
    Not pop.
    Not Jazz.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    0
    I mean, are there not procedures one would go through with their guitar (and ONLY their guitar) to find where this amp sounds best?
    Please...speak to me like I am a 2-year-old. Whadda I do?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #7
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Canada, somewhere north of Fargo
    Posts
    12,654
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,189/24
    Given: 5,521/11
    Rep Power
    24
    To be honest, we're much more electronics focused here than a amp user type forum would be.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

  8. #8
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,934
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,695/2
    Given: 1,220/1
    Rep Power
    18
    If you're looking for a Blues/Rock sound and have no pedals, I'd dime the amp.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  9. #9
    Professional Lurker eschertron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Great Black Swamp
    Posts
    2,367
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 522/0
    Given: 1,369/1
    Rep Power
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    If you're looking for a Blues/Rock sound and have no pedals, I'd dime the amp.
    +1 on that. If you are looking for the amp to speak its character then set the volume full on the amp, use the vol on the guitar to find the level or 'sweet spot' you're looking for.
    One additional tweak I use is to start with the guitar's tone knob on 10. I turn up the guitar's vol until its a little more than I want, then roll off the tone knob to lower the volume and mellow the tone a bit.

    Truth be told, every amp/guitar/user combination is different. Not every situation can be calibrated by the same set of rules. But starting with everything "up" except for one of the volume controls, then adjusting that to taste can get you an idea of the range of that control. Then reset and run through a different combination.

    edit: tremolo is a cool effect, but it's just that. an effect. fall in love with the sound of your rig before playing too much with that.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  10. #10
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    33,497
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,543/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    57
    Do this: stop looking for some exact thing. It is like asking how many shakes of salt should I put on my steak? The only ears you have to please are your own. There is no right and wrong, there is what you like and what you don't like.

    Only the guitar? Well it has two controls: volume and tone. Tone is basically dialing away the highs. For a given amplifier setup, plug in the guitar, and turn up its volume until it is as loud as you'd like. I'd start with tone all the way up, so the guitar is at its brightest. The I might turn down the tone until I get just the amount of edge I like. Mostly I run my guitars with the tone at max, because I like a bright guitar. My friend Scott likes really dark tones, so he rolls his tones back a lot. personal choice.

    Most guitars have a couple pickups, one back by the bridge, the other up by the end of the neck. The neck pickup tends to have a fuller tone, while the bridge pickup tends to be brighter. usually a switch selects one, the other, or both. I tend to mostly use just the neck pickup, but again, personal taste. Flip the witch, decide which you prefer. Since you have only one pickup, you can skip this step.

    Really, that is it, set the volume and adjust the tone to suit your ears.

    Your amp has only a volume control? OK. Between that and your guitar volume control you can set the overall volume. You MAY find that turning the amp way up and the guitar down sounds different from turning the guitar way up and the amp down, for a given volume. A couple seconds spinning knobs will tell you that.

    Even on amps with a full set of tone controls, I find it simple to dial in my tone. I usually center the controls. then I turn the bass up and down until I hear the level of fullness I like. Then I twiddle the treble to get the amount of brightness I like. That leaves the middles, which I bring up until it fills in nicely. All by ear, all to my personal taste. You might hate my tone, you might like it. Doesn't matter, you need a tone you like.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  11. #11
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Kapaa Kauai
    Posts
    3,312
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 489/6
    Given: 56/1
    Rep Power
    16
    It’s a 5 watt amp right? Everything on 10 on the amp. Bring the volume up on the guitar until you like it. Roll off the tone control if too bright. Be careful if its the original speaker. Depending on how you are playing you might want to replace it with something more robust. You might benefit from a compressor and or a boost pedal for playing rock and blues. I had a Skylark that screamed back in the day.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  12. #12
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    33,497
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,543/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    57
    And for a very fun experiment, disconnect the tiny speaker, and connect the amp to a 4x12 cab of your choice. Amazing.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  13. #13
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Kapaa Kauai
    Posts
    3,312
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 489/6
    Given: 56/1
    Rep Power
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    And for a very fun experiment, disconnect the tiny speaker, and connect the amp to a 4x12 cab of your choice. Amazing.
    Yep.. or even a modern 1x12” closed back cab.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-20-2018, 12:02 AM
  2. 71 Vintage Ovation "Guitar Dude" K-6442 SS Amp - Need Schematic
    By Jecarroll7 in forum Music Electronics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-16-2014, 06:57 PM
  3. Kustom Electronics "The Bag" talkbox-vintage 1969
    By REVO in forum Guitar Effects
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-24-2013, 08:50 PM
  4. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-20-2012, 02:48 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-22-2011, 03:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •