Show us your... amp!

Another purchase, so I thought I'd start a thread for people who like to yak about the other two-thirds of their sound. TBF, I don't think my speakers would interest many here because, y'know, bass requirements differ. Still, here's the latest that I've long had an interest in but it's just the off-auction pic as I haven't received yet. An Impact 60:

and rather than me blather on about it, plenty of info on Sixten's Impact site: I'd be very interested to get the Impact 100W he mentions; cathode-biased 4xEL34 - interesting even if it does burn up most current-production tubes.

I'm going to transfer over some earlier posts that clogged up "Show us your guitar" thread so apols and scroll down to those that have seen them already. Please punt in any/all of your amp/cab/combo pics and why you do/don't like... :)

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There's only one kind of DR103 I don't like, and that's the kind that has been given to someone other than me :) . It takes me back to the shop in '81 where I bought my CMI. Stuff like Hiwatt and Orange sitting around with <£100 price tags; I wish I'd cleared the store out.

JJ electrolytic caps a good choice (really annoys me when beardy vintage types sniff at "non-original" caps) and your 2nd man's made an effort to wire them in the Dan Reeves style. Interestingly (and I say "interestingly" in the way that makes my anorak rustle like an old volume pot), those Mazda/Brimar ECC83s are not East European but made by Thorn. In looks, they closely resemble Mullard/Philips '83s but sound very different; with a lot less gain and much more neutral frequency response. I'd be tempted to send you something different for V1, to see if you liked it.

I'm not overkeen on the New Sensor "Svetlana" EL34s but, then, I'm a bass player. Without wanting to pay Mullard prices, I'd consider the original "Winged C" Svets or the very latest Shuguang EL34B, which are supposedly getting Mull-like.

A nice amp, and always a pleasure to stare at in pics.

any advice on pre-amp and output valves will be much appreciated, which would you use Bass? other than Mullards? I remember you saying the new reissue Mullards are not worth a quack, like these?
do me a favour, have a scout about and see what you can find, don't mind going to US to get them half price either.

I think the New Sensor "Mullard" EL34s are cack. For modern EL34s, the Shugs and the Groove Tubes EL34M seem to slug it out (Shugs win on price, of course). As for ECC83s, you might find some with a bit more grunt interesting. Unlike EL34s, there's no tiresome biasing involved and you can swap around and see what you prefer. I'll put a little selection together and send them down to you, if you'd like.

By the looks, you have an ECC81 in the socket marked "81". Again, I have a cracker for that. I'll talk some more with you about it.

Hang on Lee!

I've had another look at the reverse-angle pic of your DR103 innards. Only the last ECC83, to the right, is a Mazda. It looks like the two to the left are clearly labeled as Mullards. The looks of a Mazda/Brimar and the Mullard and Philips ECC83s are practically identical, so I wrongly assumed they were all Mazdas apart from the PI. There is no better ECC83 in a Hiwatt than the Mullard. V1, the most important socket for input gain and initial tone shaping, is the one aloof from the others and this already has a Mull. The PI is indeed the one marked "81" on your chassis. Some people put an ECC81 in there to tighten things up but, originally, an ECC83 would have been there and swapping this out might improve matters for you. The Mazda is in a position that has such a marginal effect on sound that I wouldn't bother swapping it.

I have picked up something to play with. Apols for a Fleeblink, but I haven't found my photocard reader yet:

Looking at the wiring (all over the place, hardly a Dan Reeves Hiwatt), it looks like a cathode-biased 2xEL34. This is handy, as I'll be able to swap power valves in and out without mucking about matching and biasing. OTOH, it has banana-style speaker outs so I'll have to sort out cabling to a guitar cab.

As I suspected/hoped, the valves are very good. A Mullard GZ34 rectifier, two Mullard xf2 EL34s (sadly, one has "comb-over" flashing but the other one looks strong), three Mullard I61 ECC83s and a Brimar boxplate for the PI. Looks like the original user had very particular (and commendable) taste in glass.

I meant to sell my Laney 60W PA, but was offered a straight swap for an Ampeg B25 from across the pond. How could I refuse? Unfortunately, the 7027As had been replaced with Svetlana 6550s (not a bad choice, mustard mitt) but I have some original, Tung Sol 6550s (not those incredibly crappy Russian reissues) to put in their place. I haven't played it, but the kit is in my living room. A bass player with a (valve) Ampeg. Now, that's called "smug"

[img]...not a very good picture but its the only one i have...[/img]

Looks nice, Neil. Tell us more about the combo, please (and welcome in :) )

1bassleft wrote:
Looks nice, Neil. Tell us more about the combo, please (and welcome in :) )
thanks....the combo is a Marshall 1962 jag "limited edition" same amp as a Bluesbreaker /jtm45

Ah, a very nice combo indeed. If you haven't seen it, you might find this site (although dauntingly tech-sounding) interesting reading:

One of the contributors, LordValve, I know well and can vouch for his knowledge of both amps and valves. If all that talk of ditching speakers, replacing caps and inserting resistors seems unnecessary or expensive, do bear in mind the advice when you consider replacing the power valves. Sovtek 5881s are rubbish and really shouldn't be in there. The Chinese-made Valve Arts or Golden Dragon KT66s (along with a rebias, any valve tech would do this anyway) should be a big improvement on just having another set of 5881s installed. Replacing power valves is routine maintenance after 2-4 years anyway, depending on how much and how loud you use it. Well, it is with Russian and Chinese valves. Genuine GEC (old British make) KT66s could last ten years and beyond. I've given up on GECs because unused ones really do sell for £150 each and used ones are the biggest sharkfest going. Approx 50% of used ones I've bought have turned out to be shagged, and I bet the seller knew it before listing them.

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