Fans of Big Iron, Gather Here

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by budda, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    RM100 with 4 KT88's. This one requires the side handles for carry. The transformers are huge. Supposed to be a Plexi/Superbass power section from what I've read. Matt at Motor City Mods has actually discovered this thing makes a great bass amp and made a bass module for it. He keeps telling me to run el34's, the amp has too much bottom, but I like it. I'll throw a pair in eventually. It's not very Marshally right now with this setup.

    Peavey Ultra 120 (old teal stripe). Not as loud as a 120w should be. My 5153 50w was louder. But you could feel the bottom end under your right hand better with the Ultra and it's the tightest amp I've still ever owned.

    B52 AT100 (Surprisingly good) Inherited that one, was in an old band members garage and didn't work. Got dropped and a capacitor leg popped out. Popped it back in the sleeve and glued it lol. Good power for modelers and great clean channel for pedal platform.

    6505mh. Unfortunately looks like my power section is boned. Somehow the speaker defeat switch got bumped. Still works as a preamp, been using that way into the rm100 thru a loop switcher. When I get money I wanna have it fixed and converted into a rackmount head with a larger OT if possible and 6v6 instead of el84. Didn't really enjoy the thing on its own thru a cab at our practice volume.

    Big Iron is like the pulse in these amps. Goes from your right hand to the power section to the cab to the floor. You can make the smaller ones sound as good almost, but they sure don't feel as good.
     
  2. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Hell Yeah! I think I have said it so many times on this board I don't really need to post in this thread. Big Power = Big Depth. There is definitely something that just stands out about big amps in the low end. They just have more depth, clearer mids, and just sound and feel bigger overall. It is just not an EQ thing, because you can't use an EQ pedal in the loop of a 20w amp and get the same depth.

    I mostly play at home also, but you can still tell even at lower volumes. The amp I have owned for years is an old 2-Channel Triple Rectifier. That thing sounds like a sledgehammer to your eardrum. In the past I have owned 120w amps like the 5150 and VHT D120. I think the D120 was the only amp I have owned that rivaled the Triple Recto. I also have a Marshall 2203 based clone I built that has extra depth knobs. I have had some other larger amps also, like a Mesa Mark III, and several tube amp SS rack amps. I still have a Matrix GT1000FX also.

    I have pretty much always thought the 100w versions sounded better than the 50w versions of the same amp, and definitely better than the baby 20w versions. It is not about volume.... it is about depth.
     
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  3. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    High wattage amps tend to have more dynamic range and low end clarity and that's probably what a lot of you like. To me that dynamic range can become a bit too much on clean and edge of breakup tones and for those I'd rather have a lower wattage amp.
     
  4. pearl_07

    pearl_07 SS.org Regular

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    6505+
    Dual Rectifier Tremoverb and Roadster
    Mark V

    There's no replacement for displacement. I've always been a full sized amp guy, but I did venture into the lunchbox realm with a Mark V:25 for a year as my primary amp. I think my ears tricked/fooled into believing a 25 watt head pushing 2 4x12's would be plenty sufficient, and it was but I immediately sold it once I tried my friend's Mark V which I ended up buying from him. The depth from larger transformers and tubes is something that hasn't quite been replicated in smaller amps or digital units, and even then I think I'd rather just have the real deal at that point. There's plenty of examples where bands try to go completely DI/digital, and they end up later compromising with 100+ watt power sections with their Axe Fx or they just go back to a full sized head altogether.
     
  5. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Too dynamic?
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Not sure what you're trying to say here. Lots of people think clean tones are too dynamic. That's why people use compressors. I personally really like the dynamics of a good clean channel and no extra compressor, but lots of people would rather control dynamics via the equipment than with their hands.
     
  7. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I think that is my first time reading that statement in 10+ years of being on forums.
     
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  8. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    There's having dynamics and then having the kind of dynamics where it gets a bit too loud if you hit the strings hard. You can use a compressor or an amp that naturally compresses a bit more so it evens out nicely while still giving you a good amount of dynamic range.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Features, mostly.

    I played a Mesa Roadster for years because it was a four-channel amp with a great clean sound, great lead sound, and a great rhythm sound, that could still cover a lot of other ranges in a pinch. At that point, if you wanted a high gain amp with more than two channels, it was pretty much a 100 watt head you were getting.

    Today, you have a little more flexibility. Towards the start of the year I bought a Mark-V, and the reason I went with the full 90 watt amp rather than the 25 or 35 still came down to features - it had an extra channel and three additional preamp modes (one of them, Edge, has become a surprise favorite of mine), and while the 35 still offered the solo boost, the 25 didn't. I also already owned a 4x12, and thought a lunchbox amp like the 25 would look a little silly sitting on top of a cab that large.

    I haven't had any problem with the V being too loud, but even then I mostly run it in 90 watt mode, because the low end seems a little bigger and more open there than in 45 or 10. And, it's not like you're getting the poweramp of a Mesa to distort at anything approaching "sane" volume anyway. :lol:
     
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  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    That's exactly what I LIKE about an edge-of-breakup clean tone, though. :lol:
     
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  11. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    It's comfortably my least favourite mode on my Mark V, how are you dialling it in?
     
  12. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Agree, nothing like BIG iron...and big tubes.

    Not to say that it can't be done with something like EL84's.

    It's just not common practice for the bean counters to let a 25 watt amp go into final design stages with a nice big output transformer.

    ...unless your name is Mike funkin' Soldano !!!!
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    It's pretty meh with humbuckers, but if you have a Strat lying around, particularly a darker one with a rosewood board, dial it in with the gain maybe at 1-2 o'clock and a fairly bright EQ from the channel, graphic off. It's instant Texas blues.

    I should shoot some video with that channel just because it's so unexpectedly awesome, though the Strat I have that really sounds the best there could use a fresh set of strings.
     
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  14. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    Are you talking about the new EVH 5150 amps, or the old Peavey 5150?
    Curious!!!
     
  15. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    This was in reference to my Peavey 5150 Block Letter :yesway:

    It's been a long time since I've played my EVH 5153 50w with the footswitch to bypass the loop since I normally control the amp via midi in my rig and keep the loop on for convenience. I don't remember there being much or any noticeable difference on the EVH with the loop on vs bypassed, but I'll see if I can dig out the footswitch and experiment a bit :yesway:
     
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  16. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I recall mills custom amps being floated around here - has anyone tried their 200w or 400w offerings?
     
  17. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    All this talk makes me wish I was in a group gigging again. I think tonight the 5153 is getting cranked while the wife is at work... or maybe the Marshall... ugh can't wait.
     
  18. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Every once in a while some of those old 90’s rack poweramps shows up on eBay (you know, the Peavey Classics, Marshall 9005, 9100, 9200, MESA 295, 395, very rarely an old VHT 2150, 2100...) the ones that were 3 or 4 rack units with full sized transformers, and sometimes more than 100 watts per side.

    I’m always tempted but that gear is getting old and will likely need full retubes ($$$), recaps, maybe other maintenance work, plus the market for them is almost non-existent so once I buy it I’m stuck with it for life.


    Also, this song gets stuck in my head every time I see the thread title

     
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  19. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, sometimes I think it would be awesome to have something like a Mesa Strategy 500 to run things through! lol. Sadly, the lights in the house would probably dim every time I turned it on....
     
  20. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Replacing tubes every few years is a small price to pay for tone.
     
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