Vintage amps: my experience so far

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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-11-02 @ 14:34

80 watts of tube goodness, and you can refinish the cabinet as well.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Scali » 2017-11-02 @ 14:46

Do guitar amps count?
I've got one of these:
6101-tiny.jpg

A Marshall 6101 30th Anniversary edition, 100W of all-tube glory.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Errius » 2017-11-02 @ 15:29

A silver Technics SU-V6. It has a matching SL-Q33 record player to go with it.

They're at another house right now and I can't photograph them though.
"This player wasted $25 real dollars on this terrible mount. This player is therefore likely to have wasted money buying their character online."
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-11-03 @ 04:57

gdjacobs wrote:80 watts of tube goodness, and you can refinish the cabinet as well.

Yeeesss. The cabinet is actually beautiful right now! The thing just looks as if it would sound cheap. But it doesn't. Good stuff.

Today I picked up a Pioneer PL-518 turntable with an Audiotechnica AT120E cartridge. Time for some vinyl sweetness. I need a phono preamp though - it's in the mail. Both a solid-state one and a tube kit. We'll see which sounds better.

Boy, am I on a roll right now. I need to stop spending money. Although I must say I'm getting screaming deals on all this stuff.

Edit: After using this thing for a while, it really sounds SMOOTH. I know people say you can't tell the difference in a blind test between tube and solid-state, but there's no way. The sound of this thing is noticeably smoother than any solid-state amp out there.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-11-03 @ 11:11

keenmaster486 wrote:After using this thing for a while, it really sounds SMOOTH. I know people say you can't tell the difference in a blind test between tube and solid-state, but there's no way. The sound of this thing is noticeably smoother than any solid-state amp out there.


Nobody argues that you can't tell the difference in a blind test. Jack Carver's argument was that there wasn't anything mystical about tube amps which couldn't be replicated with solid state. With solid state, engineers have been able to create more complex designs which improve fidelity often to the point of being transparent. You can accomplish the same thing with tubes, but cost and power use ramp up much faster due to the use of more tubes, more complex tubes, or both.

I find tube amps interesting because they are a very different technology to what I'm accustomed to with a lot of historical relevance. Though they're often not as technically correct or perfect, they're still quite wonderful because of their heritage and unique engineering.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Scali » 2017-11-03 @ 13:06

For guitarists at least, the beauty of tubes is that they distort. The more they distort, the better. It not only gives a particular sound, but it also gives a particular feel to the guitar. As tubes distort, they also compress the signal, which means the guitar effectively becomes more responsive to your touch. A great tube amp really makes you play better, because you can really play *with* the amp.

In theory you wouldn't want any distortion when playing back hi-fi recordings. However, in practice it seems that people enjoy the imperfections of tube technology, they say it gives a 'warm' sound. Which it does.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-11-03 @ 14:45

Scali wrote:For guitarists at least, the beauty of tubes is that they distort. The more they distort, the better. It not only gives a particular sound, but it also gives a particular feel to the guitar. As tubes distort, they also compress the signal, which means the guitar effectively becomes more responsive to your touch. A great tube amp really makes you play better, because you can really play *with* the amp.

In theory you wouldn't want any distortion when playing back hi-fi recordings. However, in practice it seems that people enjoy the imperfections of tube technology, they say it gives a 'warm' sound. Which it does.


Tubes behave in a far more benign fashion when driven to the limit where transistors (especially BJTs) respond with clipping and extraneous high frequency harmonics. The distortion happens to be more useful for you guitar people. Of course, amplifier design can have a strong influence on the sound you get for both tube and solid state designs. With a little more complexity, tube amps can be built with less distortion and more linearity (headroom, improved feedback control, etc) and solid state designs can be made to sound much like a stereotypical tube amp.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Scali » 2017-11-03 @ 15:34

gdjacobs wrote:Tubes behave in a far more benign fashion when driven to the limit where transistors (especially BJTs) respond with clipping and extraneous high frequency harmonics. The distortion happens to be more useful for you guitar people. Of course, amplifier design can have a strong influence on the sound you get for both tube and solid state designs.


That's why certain amps are specifically designed to distort, like mine. It has 3 different channels... Clean, crunch and lead. Especially the lead channel has tons of distortion. This is a 'real' Marshall, but the distortion circuitry for the lead channel is based on boutique amp shops that used to 'hotrod' classic Marshall amps for more distortion in the 80s (by adding additional 'cathode follower' tubes in the preamp), most notably Soldano and Bogner.
There's also another 'school of thought', which started out with Fender amps, and hotrodding those. This gives a completely different distorted sound, mainly since the EQ circuitry is in a different place (at the front of the pre-amp, while Marshall has the EQ after the pre-amp).

gdjacobs wrote:With a little more complexity, tube amps can be built with less distortion and more linearity (headroom, improved feedback control, etc) and solid state designs can be made to sound much like a stereotypical tube amp.


There have been various attempts of trying to get tube-like distortion from solid state circuits. The analog circuits were never all that convincing. Somewhere in the 90s, some companies started to use DSPs to try and model the behaviour of tubes and their distortion in the digital domain. These have been far more successful in approaching the sound and feel of real tube amps. But I don't think the term 'solid state' applies here. These are known as 'amp modelers'.
Some of them even combine DSPs with some actual pre-amp tubes for a better sound and feel.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-11-03 @ 21:17

Bob Carver replicated (as a black box) some exotic tube amps in solid state back in the 70s, more or less as an exercise in professional skill. Yeah, not guitar amps in his case, but certainly similarities to the task. He had to introduce distortion characteristics of the tube amp design he was cloning the output of.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-11-06 @ 00:26

I'm listening to the CBS Great Performances version of Beethoven's 5th Symphony conducted by Bernstein, which I picked up at the local record store for five bucks today.

100% analog in the entire audio chain from the fingers of the musicians to my eardrums and everything in between. And I wouldn't be able to tell you it wasn't a "perfect" digital recording were it not for the occasional clicks and pops.

I wouldn't be able to tell you if it sounds better or worse. It just sounds very, very good.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-11-06 @ 00:51

Double post, but this thread needs even more pictures. I'm the one who started it so I ought to post some pics here!

My newest setup:

The receiver (Sears Silvertone 3026):
Image

The turntable (Pioneer PL-518 with an Audiotechnica AT120E cartridge):
Image

The speakers (Polk Tsi100's):
Image


I must say this system sounds pretty darn good.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-11-29 @ 18:28

keenmaster486 wrote:Double post, but this thread needs even more pictures. I'm the one who started it so I ought to post some pics here!

My newest setup:

The receiver (Sears Silvertone 3026):
Image

Always love the look of blackface vintage receiver. From which year does it come from?

Sansui also has QRX-999, the black-faced version of QRX-9001, and 990, which is the black-faced version of 9090 DB.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-12-05 @ 17:20

Hmm, I think it's from sometime in the early 60's - not sure specifically though!

One of these days I'm going to get my hands on one of those Ampex tape machines.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-12-11 @ 17:27

keenmaster486 wrote:Hmm, I think it's from sometime in the early 60's - not sure specifically though!

Nice vintage look nonetheless.

keenmaster486 wrote:One of these days I'm going to get my hands on one of those Ampex tape machines.

Prepare to shell out five thousand Pound Sterling, then.
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-12-11 @ 18:54

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Prepare to shell out five thousand Pound Sterling, then.


That's about right :lol:
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-12-12 @ 08:24

keenmaster486 wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Prepare to shell out five thousand Pound Sterling, then.


That's about right :lol:

You really love reel-to-reel THAT much? :shocked:
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-12-12 @ 08:26

Nope, just like to dream :lol:
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-12-14 @ 15:46

keenmaster486 wrote:Nope, just like to dream :lol:

Okay, what's so special with reel-to-reel tapes? Do they sound better than vinyl?
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby keenmaster486 » 2017-12-14 @ 15:58

They only sound better than vinyl when they're the original master tapes from which the vinyl was pressed - or perhaps one or two generations away. Otherwise reel-to-reel is highly useful for high-quality analog recording purposes, which is what I would be using it for =)
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Re: Vintage amps: my experience so far

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-12-15 @ 01:28

keenmaster486 wrote:They only sound better than vinyl when they're the original master tapes from which the vinyl was pressed - or perhaps one or two generations away. Otherwise reel-to-reel is highly useful for high-quality analog recording purposes, which is what I would be using it for =)

So, you record a lot?

In any case, what was your first amplifier?

Image

The above amplifier is Standard Electronics SR-157SU. The amp shown in the photo is not mine, but it is exactly the same model as mine.
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