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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,393 Member Since:04/02/2011

#4 [url]

Apr 19 17 10:00 AM

Worth mentioning that guitar gear is pretty "classical," by this point; there are a few archetypes around which most modern things are based, on some level.

Most of the boutique offerings available now are based on one of three archetypes-- Fender, Marshall, or Vox.

The ones that are Vox-inspired tend to have EL84 output tubes more often than the other two types. They also tend to have EF86 pentode front ends more often than the other two types. Those two things are sort of "Vox hallmarks." Amps that have those characteristics (particularly those having both) typically share MANY (if not MOST) other aspects of the Vox AC30, AC15, etc. topology as well.

So it might not be that you love the sound of EF86 or EL84 tubes specifically. It's more likely that you just really connect with Vox-inspired amps.

Exceptions are few, but one I can think of right off the bat-- The Fender Pro Junior has EL84 output in class AB, biased hot. Yet it doesn't share many other aspects of the Vox tradition, and doesn't sound particularly Vox-like. So that would be a good test-- if the Pro Junior has "that thing" you like, maybe it IS the EL84 after all. Otherwise... you just like Voxen.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 19 17 10:04 AM. Edited 2 times.

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,535 Member Since:24/03/2013

#9 [url]

Apr 19 17 11:42 AM

My #1 amp for around 10 years has been a Zinky 25 watt combo that uses a pair of EL84 power tubes. I don't think the design is particularly Vox-like - there's no EF86 involved - but Bruce Zinky hasn't offered to send me a schematic so I can't be totally sure. In any case, it does have chimey overtones and midrange detail for days when cranked up.

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,535 Member Since:24/03/2013

#10 [url]

Apr 19 17 11:46 AM

soapfoot wrote:
Worth mentioning that guitar gear is pretty "classical," by this point; there are a few archetypes around which most modern things are based, on some level.

Most of the boutique offerings available now are based on one of three archetypes-- Fender, Marshall, or Vox.

The ones that are Vox-inspired tend to have EL84 output tubes more often than the other two types. They also tend to have EF86 pentode front ends more often than the other two types. Those two things are sort of "Vox hallmarks." Amps that have those characteristics (particularly those having both) typically share MANY (if not MOST) other aspects of the Vox AC30, AC15, etc. topology as well.

So it might not be that you love the sound of EF86 or EL84 tubes specifically. It's more likely that you just really connect with Vox-inspired amps.

Exceptions are few, but one I can think of right off the bat-- The Fender Pro Junior has EL84 output in class AB, biased hot. Yet it doesn't share many other aspects of the Vox tradition, and doesn't sound particularly Vox-like. So that would be a good test-- if the Pro Junior has "that thing" you like, maybe it IS the EL84 after all. Otherwise... you just like Voxen.

Hang on, doesn't class AB require 2 tubes, for the whole "push-pull" setup?  Or am I remembering something incorrectly?

Another hazy memory I have: there were a good number of EL84 designs that hit the market about 20 years ago (plus or minus), including the Fender Blues Junior and Pro Junior, and at the time I heard people saying that it was because nobody was making a reliable/decent modern-production 6V6.  That situation has changed since then, of course.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 359 Member Since:11/10/2013

#11 [url]

Apr 19 17 12:00 PM

When i can post samples again i will, but, its def that vox sound I am thinking of, shimmering would be a good word along with chimey lol. its this sort of bell like slight breakup, open and not compressed. i listened to a hand wired newer vox and it wasn't really the same, it wasn't bad but I am sure with fiddling it could probably get there. a 1965 or so vox i listened to sound really good. i read also that the hayseed amp by valvetec? i think, it sounded very very good as well. I think Dr Z may have one as well.

but thats def the sound and am wondering what makers then nail that sound today in a new amp? i think it is the el 84's and ef 86 combo with whatever else is happening. A 12ax7 channel sounded good on one. the EL 34's seemed harder? def better for more modern rock? i know i am not describing half of what all goes into this but its just when i hear that sound inevitably when I have been reading spec's its the 84's

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,535 Member Since:24/03/2013

#12 [url]

Apr 19 17 12:08 PM

You kind of have to play your guitar through an amp to know if it's going to work for what you do.

As a bass player, I've done several gigs with a great local guitarist who uses a pair of vintage black Fender Deluxe Reverbs and gets AMAZING, shimmery tone. One time he was doing a gig that was sort of a going-away party for a singer who is a mutual friend, and I was invited to bring my guitar and sit in for a couple of songs. So I brought my favorite guitar and I was pretty excited to play through his amazing rig... and I HATED it. It was totally wrong for the way I play, and for the sound I was trying to get out of the guitar I was using.

You probably won't have as much of a surprise as I did, but still - it's a good idea to try a bunch of different stuff in the flesh.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 359 Member Since:11/10/2013

#13 [url]

Apr 19 17 1:40 PM

very true jesse. when i bought the 65 amps london pro back in the day, i did so having head the youtube videos. when i got it home form gearfest to my room and guitars it really wasn't anything like it, nor could i get it close. it sounded good and eventually I got it where i liked playing it alot but it was a shock when i first hit that A chord!

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,393 Member Since:04/02/2011

#14 [url]

Apr 19 17 4:23 PM

jesse decarlo wrote:

soapfoot wrote:
Worth mentioning that guitar gear is pretty "classical," by this point; there are a few archetypes around which most modern things are based, on some level.

Most of the boutique offerings available now are based on one of three archetypes-- Fender, Marshall, or Vox.

The ones that are Vox-inspired tend to have EL84 output tubes more often than the other two types. They also tend to have EF86 pentode front ends more often than the other two types. Those two things are sort of "Vox hallmarks." Amps that have those characteristics (particularly those having both) typically share MANY (if not MOST) other aspects of the Vox AC30, AC15, etc. topology as well.

So it might not be that you love the sound of EF86 or EL84 tubes specifically. It's more likely that you just really connect with Vox-inspired amps.

Exceptions are few, but one I can think of right off the bat-- The Fender Pro Junior has EL84 output in class AB, biased hot. Yet it doesn't share many other aspects of the Vox tradition, and doesn't sound particularly Vox-like. So that would be a good test-- if the Pro Junior has "that thing" you like, maybe it IS the EL84 after all. Otherwise... you just like Voxen.

Hang on, doesn't class AB require 2 tubes, for the whole "push-pull" setup?  Or am I remembering something incorrectly?

Another hazy memory I have: there were a good number of EL84 designs that hit the market about 20 years ago (plus or minus), including the Fender Blues Junior and Pro Junior, and at the time I heard people saying that it was because nobody was making a reliable/decent modern-production 6V6.  That situation has changed since then, of course.

Yes, class AB is push-pull, and requires two output tubes. The Pro Jr. has a pair of EL84 in class AB.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 24 17 10:19 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,393 Member Since:04/02/2011

#15 [url]

Apr 19 17 4:31 PM

Part of that "vox thing" has to do with the speakers used in that era, too-- and also with under-filtered power supplies, which modern makers are more reluctant to do.

The silver and/or blue Celestion AlNiCo speakers in the old Voxen... some of them had Fanes, too... are part of the sound.

But also what gets tricky-- the old Vox amps had really little filtering on the power supplies. Like a couple of 16µF sections and an 8µF section(!) on the original AC30.

This made them prone to being a little noisy, and also HIGHLY prone to intermodulation "ghost notes" or "wolf tones" at higher volumes, as they started to distort... but it also made them respond a certain way as they approached and transitioned into overdrive.

Many modern builders and "cloners" will "improve" the amps by adding additional filtering. Which tightens up the low-end some (and might even extend it a touch), and makes it quieter, and reduces the problematic IM distortion and its resulting wolf notes. BUT... some of the 'snarling' essence is often lost, too, in my experience.

brad allen williams

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 359 Member Since:11/10/2013

#16 [url]

Apr 20 17 8:39 AM

Thanks for that info! I have been looking into the whole process of making these, not that I will, but interested from when you plug into the jack how the sound flows and thru what

some of the old vox's sure sound amazing.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#17 [url]

Apr 20 17 9:26 AM

Might be worth trying out one of the Vox AC4TV amps, IMO. I was really surprised by the little thing. Sort of like the old Fender Champs or Princeton, but with a legit Vox EL84 sound.

As far as the boutique options go, the Matchless and some Dr Z have that vibe. But if I wanted a step up from the little Vox, I would still look at the Vox AC15 or 30, in addition to the boutique stuff. They have made higher end point to point as well as printed circuit versions in recent years, so you can get high falutin' with the brand name Vox if you like. I think the printed circuit board ones are great though.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 359 Member Since:11/10/2013

#18 [url]

Apr 22 17 6:31 PM

I found a small 15 watt amp that really hits the mark for me in terms of this sound, the fender bassbreaker? 2 EL 84's and an awesome range of sounds. I am going to try one out and see how that works.

anyone here used or heard one?

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tb av

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,155 Member Since:24/04/2011

#19 [url]

Apr 23 17 7:31 AM

Have you played an old Ampeg Reverbrocket?

They sound good and different and can get chimey and have a different sort of distortion. My friend has one that Tom Lucas reconditioned.

I can't see any of your links.... maybe cut/paste the youtube video title so someone else can locate/post it.

I don't think I've ever played a real Vox amp. But that Ampeg doesn't sound like a Fender, Marshall, Supro, or basically anything else I have played.

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wireline

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,123 Member Since:24/01/2011

#20 [url]

Apr 23 17 7:47 AM

And yet, the epitome of Fender sounds, original Tremolux, uses EL 84s...

Most Peavey amps chasing the tweed market for a while (Classic 30, Classic 50) use EL84s, but sound nothing at all like Vox, or Fenders really. My Frenzel Super Deluxe uses all octal preamp tubes, yet sounds nothing like another boutique with the same pre - I suspect it's a Gestalt thing with tubes, curcuits, and 'that sound' however you define it. All components make up the end result, not just characteristics of one

Ken Morgan

Please...Give It A Rest

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