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Thread: Best Harp Amp I've EVER heard.....

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    Best Harp Amp I've EVER heard.....

    Without a doubt, the best harp amp I've ever heard was a Premier Twin 8 that one of my customers brings in here every so often for routine maintenance. It's basically a Champ-type circuit with a S-E 7591A power section, and in order to sound RIGHT, a NOS 7591A must be used, because the replacements just neuter the amp totally. Over the years, I've kept this amp going by repairing solder connections, noisy resistors, replaced the speakers (w/Jensens), cleaned pots, replaced jack. The usual. But I have NEVER heard an amp sound like this for harp! Sounds pretty nice for guitar too. Real Rev. Billy tones, with a smooth high-end response. The amp is built SO cheaply, and I think this is what gives it the vibe. I've offered the customer lots of $$$ for the amp over the years, but no dice, he will NOT part with it, and I wouldn't either!

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    John R. Frondelli
    dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

    "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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    Supporting Member loudthud's Avatar
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    I must assume you have never seen another one. Do you have a schematic? There was one on ebay that ended today. Seller is in Hawaii ~

    Found a hand drawn schematic online at

    http://www.harpamps.com/premier/schematics.html

    The schematic specifys a 6L6 output. Could be more than one version.

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    Last edited by loudthud; 07-02-2008 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Additional info

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    Premier Twin 8...

    Look over at Schematic Heaven; iirc, there are 5 versions, some with a 6l6, the rest using the 7591. The Model 50 is essentially the T8 minus the trem. I built one (with help from several folks here and elsewhere), and like it a lot, using a new 7591, a Hammond 275-0-275 P/T, diode recto, and two surplus Randall 8's...ymmv...

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    Supporting Member loudthud's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to build one because I have some NOS 7591's. But I'm curious, what makes people dislike the re-issue 7591's. Is the transconductance too low? Do they just not have enough gain? Are there any mods that could be done to the circuit to make it work better with the re-issues?

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    Re-issue 7591s are down-bottled 5881s, unless some tube factory has really stretched things in the last year or so. The transconductance is half or less of real 7591s.

    The 7591 is unique, a super-gain 6v6 sized tube with 6L6 power handling. It was one of the last tubes designed new, along with the 8046(?). These were intended to replace the 6L6 in hifi applications; the 7591 with the same power at smaller size, the 8046(?) with more power and higher current (= lower ratio in the OT and better frequency response) for higher end amps.

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    Vero Amps stopped using 7591's because of microphonics, both new production and NOS.
    http://www.veroamps.com/news.html

    I built a twin 8 clone, but I really didn't care for the tone controls, far too interactive for my taste.

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    Senior Member TheTinMan's Avatar
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    The Twin 8 and the Premier 76 both appear to have no cathode resistor on the first triode stage. I've never seen that in a guitar amp - what's it doing?

    Thanks,

    Chip

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    These amps are "grid leak" biased, very common in the early 50's (see 5C? Fenders). From the mid 50's onwards cathode biased preamps became the norm.

    Works better with some types of mic than others, can struggle when hit with a big signal.

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    Right on about the new 7591's. Just rebottled/repinned tubes. Sounds AWFUL in the old Premier. Not enough drive to push the output into saturation, so it's just this crunchy mess, and NOT in a good way!

    I've seen the 6L6 versions of this amp. Not nearly as dynamite. Of course I can clone it, but I know it won't have the same mojo. Most cloned vintage amps almost never do.

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    John R. Frondelli
    dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

    "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    I've been building a harp amp clone version of this amp for many years using a KT66 and cathode biased preamp tube.
    For the lower power player and a decent PA, it can't be beat and sounds even better with a single 12" to me.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
    Denver, CO. 80022
    www.missionamps.com
    303-955-2412

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    Maybe a little OT..?
    Anybody tried EL 34 's?

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    Started looking at those hand drawn schematics and had to clean them up a bit.


    Fair warning I've not built this and I have a few discrepensies that are noted on the schematic but all seems in order.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	twin 8 schematic.GIF 
Views:	5834 
Size:	50.2 KB 
ID:	3367  

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    Junior Member acatasus's Avatar
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    I use...

    I've heard that the Twin 8's a great. I was looking for one but I couldn't find just the one I wanted at a price I wanted to pay. Nonetheless, I do have four harp amps that I am really happy with and that inspires people to comment. Or maybe its my playing that inspires them, but the amps help.

    I have two amps for small venues. One is an Epi Valve Jr. Combo, my only new amp. Very nice and loud for its size- Breaks up well. Tricky- Ones older than mine have a bad hum, and newer than mine are relatively lifeless. I guess I have the Goldilocks version. It's just right. There are many possible mods for this baby, but I use it out of the box. I use this at one of my homes for a practice amp.
    My other small amp is a Premier 50. It is older than I am. I'm 61. I love this amp. It uses car radio tubes. The 5y3 was replaced with a solid state rectifier. I challenge anyone to notice. This is a terrific harp amp AND it is my coolest looking amp by far.

    My middle size amp is a Danelectro Special 38 I think it's called. It is fairly rare and is also older than I am. I know because it was made in Red Bank NJ and they moved out of there by 1947. It has a 12 inch speaker and uses 12AX7's and 6V6's and a 5Y3. I use this one most. What tone!

    My new BIG puppy is a Silvertone 1484 head & cab (2X12). It dates to the late 60's. I changed the preamp tubes to 12AU7's. At first I wasn't sure but as the tubes break in, the tone is rearing its head and I like what I hear.

    I use the following pedals:
    Toadworks Meat Jr.
    Danelectro FAB reverb (for a limited number of songs.)
    I ordered a new Danelectro Cool Cat Overdrive pedal. I'll let you know.

    I drive these with a new Sure Green Bullet with a vintage CM element. I also use a Sure 545. I also have an EV mic- can't remember the model. Very hot!

    I have two other fun mics that I use only rarely but that have interesting qualities of their own.

    That's my set up. It works for me!

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    I have a 1940s version of this amp. It is a Premier Model 50 with the following tube complement: 7Z4, 7C5, 7F7.
    Anyone have a schematic on this thing???

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timrichter9 View Post
    I have a 1940s version of this amp. It is a Premier Model 50 with the following tube complement: 7Z4, 7C5, 7F7.
    Anyone have a schematic on this thing???
    Somebody sent me this a while go... might help.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
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    www.missionamps.com
    303-955-2412

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce / Mission Amps View Post
    Somebody sent me this a while go... might help.
    Thanks. I had found that one, but the tube compliment was different. Mine has
    a 7F7, 7C5 and 7Z4

    will probably trace it out sometime when I have some time.

    Thanks for the reply, though. I appreciate people willing to offer help!
    Tim

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timrichter9 View Post
    Thanks. I had found that one, but the tube compliment was different. Mine has
    a 7F7, 7C5 and 7Z4

    will probably trace it out sometime when I have some time.

    Thanks for the reply, though. I appreciate people willing to offer help!
    Tim
    Isn't the 7Z4 just a full wave rectifier?.... like a 5Y3 but different.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
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    www.missionamps.com
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    any chance of getting a schematic on this amp I am a harp player and now that I am retired forced to retire from an injury at work I am working on some old tube amps and guitars for something to do I would like to try building an amp like this one you say is the best you ever heard. how thick is the wood on the cabinet ?do you know what year it was made?

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	silver1482.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	77.7 KB 
ID:	21435I would like to add my favorite to the original post.
    A Silvertone 1482.
    Awesome blues harp amp.
    Stock tubes, caps, speaker.

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