Anyone try the Synergy 5050 (fryette) 1u tube poweramp?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Gmork, May 6, 2018.

  1. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    because tubes

    Also I don't see any issue running it in a tight rack if they warranty for that usage. If it blows up at least its not your fault.
     
  2. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, the modules definitely take on the character of whatever power amp they are run through. I imagine they're initially based on the original preamp circuit and then tweaked around the synergy/fryette power amp depending how much time and which route the amp makers take in making it match the original vs the synergy power amp. Depending on how all that designing/testing played out, the closest approximation to the actual amp is probably somewhere between the two. The three cathode switch setting on the synergy modules probably help a bit in adapting for different types of coloration as well.

    It makes sense that lots of folks looking at the synergy stuff would be folks looking to get as close to the actual amp as possible. I'm probably a little easier to please in that I'm typically chasing characteristics of amps more so than an exact match of any in particular, so I'm just thrilled to be able to have that SLO grit or VH4 grind available to me. I haven't tried the SYN5050 yet, but based only on the amps I have run those two modules through so far, the power amp I'd most like to run it through is actually in a regular amp head. I went the route of using the Syn2, helix, and a rack power amp instead though because it fits in one box and is easy to change everything with one press of a footswitch.
     
  3. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    Considering I got my rm100 for $350 (no modules) your initial investment will be small. There's a guy making a replacement midi board for $200. So that and installation you could run dual channel modules for around 6-700 bucks depending on your tech and how cheap you get your head. As for power tubes in the head, you can run 2 pairs of different types. The optimal setup most say is KT88/el34 to get the grit of the brit and American thunder in one package. I sent in a KH-3 and had it modded to the Engl preamp (Angel E) with 4 band EQ and it's pretty aggressive. I go back and forth with my 6505mh into the same power section and it's hard to decide between the two. More grit and aggression with the Angel, more good fizz and different character with the 6505. I also have the SL+ which is the best stock Marshall mod probably. Not as gritty as I would like, need to do the 800 eq mod on it. Last module is just your standard Blackface clean, which takes pedals really well.

    I agree the syn1 is a bit much to get your feet wet. And the syn2 at $800 unloaded is also pricey considering you can get a used ax8 or a new Helix LT for not much more. I don't see anything in the new line that entices me much more than the old Salvation Mods you can get. It's the 2 channels that gets them over though.
     
  4. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    The SLO is an interesting example because even the hot rod 50/100s, which I'm told have SLO pres (or maybe the avenger, I can't remember), don't really deliver that close of a SLO tone. Not the right transformers. Same reason I don't bother with the jet city stuff. Seems like you'd need configurable transformers -- saw Kyle Rhodes talking a bit about maybe pursing that, or rather begrudgingly admitting he's researching down that avenue.
     
  5. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Every once in a while I look into the module stuff, synergy and salvation in particular, but there’s a high cost to entry with the chassis (the old egnater and Randall stuff is impossible to find here), and I just know it would be a money black hole, you’re always just one more module away from completion.

    Plus there are certain compromises made with a rig like that versus an amp head or versus a good modeler (which has its own compromises).

    The hot rods have other changes in the preamp, different pot values and a few resistors and capacitors. It’s more of a hot rodded jcm800 I think (thus the name I guess). But modding the preamp to SLO spec isn’t hard, like 8 parts or something.

    Avenger is I think just the lead channel out of the SLO, and no fx loop (though I think you can have one as an option). So no clean channel bleed and no coloration from the fx loop, plus onetics transformers rather than deyoung.

    Configurable transformers sounds interesting... maybe with multiple primaries that are wound differently with different impedences. I bet something like that would end up giant and heavy though.
     
  6. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    To be clearer it came up in the question of ~"Have you ever thought of incorporating a modern switching power supply into an amp?", so presumably not the multiple primaries / tapping different spots thing. It's a funny interview though -- too bad it's crammed in like 3 hours of chat on one of those Tone Talk things with Dave Friedman, makes it hard to link to. He really has the expression of like, "C'mon man, you're ruining my winter NAMM 2019 surprise here"
     
  7. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    The idea of having a module with your name on it,
    and it not sounding as good as the next one that has
    your competitors name on it is preposterous.

    Who wouldn't want their module to be the most
    kick a$$?

    The competition factor is a plus in my book.

    Plus, ask Dave Friedman what he thinks about
    the current EL34 & 6L6 offerings out there on
    the market right now.

    He's big on the Russian military grade 5881's atm.
     
  8. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    The only thing holding me back is the entry price
    for the receiving units (Syn1 / Syn2)

    The fact that they "reconfigure" the voltages
    and whatnot for all the different modules loaded
    into them is super cool.

    The ability to have a whole new boutique amp for
    every birthday and/or X-mas @ $399.00 is too tempting.

    Also, don't let the two preamp tube thing scare you away,
    that's four gain stages. Plus the phase inverter tube
    is in the Syn1 / Syn2 and power amp.
     
  9. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Oh yeah I remember that, he was talking about power transformers. I never knew that most of the current draw required goes to the tube heaters. Certainly would be cool to see.
     
  10. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    The buy-in price can be pretty off-putting, so I just wanted to offer up a little info in case it helps ease that for anyone else. I recently picked up a SYN1 too so I didn't have to haul a 100lbs rig up two flights of stairs to use my modules at my desk and got $100 off on it using an ebay 20% off coupon. They run those 10%-20% off coupons or 10% ebay bucks promos pretty regularly. Sweetwater carries the synergy stuff and has an ebay store so it can take a little off the top on the units or modules (or anything sweetwater carries really) if you are patient. If they hadn't capped it at $100 I might have sprung for the SYN5050 instead while the getting was good, but it's a nice chunk off if you're looking at the syn units or modules.
     
  11. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I’m really curious to hear from some experienced people what the syn5050 sounds like. I have my doubts with those tiny transformers that will fit in a 1u rack unit.

    My 2/50/2 will have much larger transformers than that and even they are not that big compared to my amp heads.

    I guess if anyone can pull it off it will be Fryette, he seems to really know what he’s talking about when it comes to tube amps.
     
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  12. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    Just a heads up ebay is running one of those 20% off coupons today that I mentioned in my previous post. Capped at $100 but good for snagging a SYN1 or a module (or any other piece of gear today for that matter) on the cheap. Code is PICKDADSGIFT and ends at 7pm pst today.
     
  13. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    LOL? I was expecting HALF that. That Synergy stuff is insanely expensive to build a functional rig.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The price doesn't surprise me too much. I honestly don't understand power amp prices though. If I can buy a full amp head for $1500-$2000, why are power amps more than that on their own most of the time?
     
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  15. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Maybe, because with Tube poweramps, it's like you are buying 2 amps since they can be stereo or bridged. And they are specially built to be transparent and with high headroom that will work better with preamps. Plus they have fans, better heat sinks, and have form factor options (rack vs standalone).
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Making something rackmountable doesn't cost a thousand dollars. My full amps have fans and heat sinks. Those also have full preamps, switches, channels, effects loops, more tubes, more complicated (I would assume) circuits/designs, the same big transformers, etc. I mean, solid state power amps don't inflate prices like that, despite doing all of those things as well. I've got an 1100watt PA amp that was all of $400 new I think. It's great. It does all of the above except that there's no tubes. I understand that tube amps are more expensive for a number of reasons, but thousands more? I dunno, something about that whole setup strikes me as off.
     
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  17. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    because you aren't saving much money with just a power amp. It's not like the power amp part is just half the amp and should cost half as much. It actually ends up being much more to separate the preamp and the amp.

    you have to pay for twice as much of the small things like switches, chassis, etc.

    the biggest issue is the power transformer. The cost of a power transformer specced to carry a full power amp and preamp isn't much more expensive then just the power amp transformer. once you build a separate preamp you need another power transformer just for the preamp. The output transformer cost is also all in the power amp.
     
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  18. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Let’s not forget amp head = 1x preamp, 1x poweramp

    Rackmount power amp = 2x poweramps (it’s stereo after all, with two output transformers, usually all custom wound so they’ll fit in the limited rack space).

    Rack poweramps are also made and sold at much lower numbers than amp heads. There are certain fixed costs involved in developing and building tube amps. If you can only spread that out over 500 units made, it will cost more per unit. If instead you’re building a head, which appeals to a wider market and will sell better, you can maybe make 2,000 or more units. Boom, fixed costs spread over more units = lower cost per unit.

    At the end of the day if you think it costs too much, you’re free to not buy it. Rack gear isn’t very desirable these days so resale sucks, so chances are you will find great used prices.
     
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  19. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    I think mnemonic hit the nail on the head with he economics of it, regarding the SYN5050 specifically I think it's largely because it's Fryette designed and if you check prices on his stuff the 2x50w offering is a 2/50/2 and it's $1600 new. The guys working on the synergy stuff are pretty well regarded in the amp making industry & I don't think any of the ones I've seen mentioned have a reputation for cheaping out on components. I don't know much about component costs, but I imagine getting transformers that are robust enough to meet those guys' standards and also fit in a 1U tube amp doesn't come too cheap either. Combine that with the volume they expect to move and some type of margin to incentivize dealers to carry them and you get a relatively high retail price.
     
  20. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    I also don't see how it's that overpriced. Grabbing the power amp and the preamp rack and all the modules will cost you way more then a Kemper...

    but the power amp is only 1200.

    Using off the shelf parts It would cost me somewhere around 800 to build a power amp and I couldn't get it into a 1u chassis without having someone custom make the transformers for me.
     

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