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Topics - edvard

Back in 2018, I was pondering creating a basic SS amplifier that had all my best ideas in one box.  Now it's 3 years later and I still haven't built it, but I've been breadboarding!  I've re-thought my opinions on 2-channel amps, and eventually came around to a new question... Is the clean channel nothing more than the default when you turn off the dirt?  Like the wire that goes straight from input to output when you switch a pedal off?  That sounds so boring, but can there be more to it? 

I worked up an idea of making the clean channel run through a tone control and then through a single gain stage, which is how tube amps of yore were laid out.  I'm not trying to purposefully emulate tube anything, it just struck me as a novel design decision that will alter the response of the gain stage and maybe introduce some pleasing audio anomalies.  Or at least, that's what I'm hoping...

What do you folks think are essential elements of a good default clean channel?  Squeaky-clean crystal clarity?  Just a little grit on the top for flavor?  Tone shaping ideas?
  Some simple compression/limiting maybe? (Yes, Phatt, I remember your suggestion of the simple compressor.)   
Yep, just the thinking part for now, though I already have most of it worked out.

Here are my first thoughts:
1 - Start with the speaker and power section.  I get the nagging feeling that designing a SS amp is akin to pairing up a distortion box with a 3-band EQ and power amp, so we start with the limitations (power watts and budget) and work down from there.  I'm thinking 50 watts is a good compromise between "I might have to gig with it someday" and cranking it up to a dull roar while the wife is out shopping.  I want the best speaker I can afford that doesn't have "British Voicing" (to my ears that means "sounds like a box"... sorry, that's just me).  I am also torn on the issue of the power section; basically I have 3 choices: Discrete, Chip amp, and MOSFET.  They all have their pros and cons, but that's for further discussion...

2 - Single channel.  In the '80s I cared about channel switching.  These days, I don't need to go back and forth; I have re-discovered my guitar's volume control so I can go from "Really Crunchy" to "Not So Crunchy" without having to set up two different tones. 
However, just writing this paragraph is making me think I may change my mind.  More about this later...

3 - Don't try too hard to emulate tubes, except for soft limiting in all clean gain stages.  An elegantly designed overdrive stage doesn't do much good if your signal hits the rails before it even gets there.

Thoughts?  Opinions?  I've read a good part of TeemuK's excellent book, so that's given me some good groundwork.  I'll lay out details in following posts, and give a complete schematic at the end for any other intrepid solder junkies.
The Newcomer's Forum / Hello from the new guy
March 17, 2018, 10:30:24 PM
Howdy folks, I'm here because I want to learn about building and modifying solid-state amps.  I have used many SS amps, but was never satisfied with any of them (probably because I never had the money for a decent one).  These days I still don't have the money, but I do have buckets of parts and a soldering iron (and I know how to use it!!).

I've built pedals for myself and friends, and lately I've built my first guitar.  I've been reading a LOT and I think I'm now ready to explore the world of high(er) power guitar foolery.  I have a LOT of questions (for other threads), so let the hijinks ensue...

I've read Teemuk's book (or at least, most parts of it; great resource, my hat is doffed), perused Elliot Sound Products, and bought a handful of chip amp modules just to make noise with until I can get something better built.
Anyways, onwards and upwards...