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Topics - joecool85

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Guitar News / Biggest selling amp this year - Mustang Micro!
« on: November 23, 2021, 08:56:58 PM »
According to and, the biggest selling amp of the year (in volume, not dollars profit) is the Mustang Micro.  Interestingly, DSP and solid state in general completely dominated the top 10.  Tube amplifiers only showed up in 4th, 5th, and 8th in the top 10 with 4th and 5th place being Orange's micro series amps that use tube preamp and solid state power amps.  Rock on SS gear!

Guitar News / EHX Howitzer - not sure how I missed this one!
« on: November 22, 2021, 11:42:40 AM »
Back in March, EHX released the 15w Howitzer pedal amp.  The difference with this and the older 5mm, 22 Cal, and 44 Magnum, is this has a full preamp in front!  3 Band EQ, normal and bright modes, gain, and master volume.  It also has an effects loop if you want to add some reverb or other inline effects.  Nice little class-d amp with reasonable preamp in front.
 I think that from the clips I've heard it sounds great clean and with light overdrive.  When you crank it into saturation it leaves a little to be desired.  With a street price currently at about $140 USD, it's still hard to beat though!

Positive Grid is releasing a wireless foot controller for their Spark amp.  Dubbed the Spark Control, the controller connects via bluetooth and allows the guitarist to "change presets, toggle effects, control backing tracks and a ton more".  Honestly, wireless control of an amp is something I never thought of, but now I don't know if I can live without!  What a great idea!

Price TBD

Guitar News / Favorite pedals of 2021 - go vote at
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:39:32 PM »
Vote for your favorite effects pedal:

And don't forget to vote for your favorite modelling pedal as well:

** is not in any way affiliated with, I just like their content and frequently use them as a news source.**

Peavey has announced updates to it's Vypyr series of amplifiers.  Now they have more amp models, more effects, and a reworked semi-open cab to "improve volume and tone".  I'm not normally big on the "a billion options in one amp" units, but I have to say, I'd like to sit down and play with one of these.

Pricing is $179, $349, and $499 for the 20w X1, 40w X2, and 100w X3 respectively.

Late this summer, Victory released it's new amp head called "The Kraken".  It uses a couple military spec tubes for preamp duties feeding into a 180w class D solid state power amp section.  Boasting two channels, reverb, 3 band EQ, footswitchable channels, effects loop, and simulated speaker outputs - this little guy has it all...if you can cough up a cool $999 USD.

Guitar News / Bogner Ecstasy Mini - The mini solid state amp that rips
« on: November 04, 2021, 02:04:29 PM »
Bogner has done it again, this time on a mini level.  The Ecstasy Mini is an absolute face melter.  Street price is $329 USD.

Honey Amp / LM386 specs - max wattages etc
« on: November 02, 2021, 10:49:11 AM »
All data below based on LM386N-4, 8 pin DIP with 1.25w package dissipation, and max PSU of 22v

Current datasheet from TI:

Maximum power without heatsink, sorted by speaker output in ohms:

4 ohms (Figure 7 on datasheet) = Max 0.35w @ 6v (clean 0.25w) [Min 0.35w @ 6v]
* Need heatsink above 11v
* PSU recommendation: 7.2v NIMH or 7.4v Li-ion

8 ohms (Figure 8 on datasheet) = Max 0.85w @ 12v (clean 0.5w) [Min 0.3w @ 6v]
* Need heatsink above 14v
* PSU recommendation: 9.6v NIMH or 11.1v Li-ion

16 ohms (Figure 9 on datasheet) = Max 1.6w @ 16v (clean 1.2w) [Min 0.2w @ 6v]
* No heatsink required
* PSU recommendation: 11.1v Li-ion, 12v SLA or 14.4v auto power

The Suhr Discovery Analog Delay has been released.  It looks to be an absolute beast of an analog device: built with old-school bucket-brigade IC tech, can store up to 127 presets, 17-2000ms delay range with digital readout, tap tempo input, multiple division modes (1/3, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16), and an array of controls.  Plus it is built here in the USA and looks to be made of sheet steel stamped into an approximation of a 1/32 scale Sherman tank.

This looks to be a very professional piece of kit, and comes with an appropriate price tag coming in with an MSRP of $549 USD.

It seems to be all about pedals this year, and here is more of the same...sort of.

Chaos Audio Stratus is running a Kickstarter for their new pedal that they claim will be the last guitar pedal you will ever need.  Controlled by your smart phone, this pedal is all digital and only has one physical knob.  A winner?  I doubt it, but interesting none the less.

Next we have the TC Electronic Zeus Drive.  In their now-familiar stompbox size, they are offering for $60 USD a great little "Klon style" overdrive.  I think I may need to play with this one in person!

Boss is commemorating 40 years of the SD-1 Super Overdrive and 30 years of the MT-2 Metal Zone.  Say what you will about these pedals, but you can't argue they have staying power!  Plus the black looks killer!

You pay a $10 premium for the new paint bringing the MSRP for the SD-1 is $59.99 USD, and the MT-2 in at $112.99 USD.

Schematics and Layouts / schematics and manuals
« on: May 04, 2021, 11:44:22 AM »
I've had a few people ask about these so I figured I would share them.  Attached are the manuals (with schematics) for the LM1875 and LM3886 kits BrianGT sold at for a long time.

TC Electronic has released their new Skysurfer Mini Reverb, a small footprint version of their original Skysurfer.  It packs all the same functionality, but with smaller switches and knobs and much less wasted space.  For only $50 USD, this one sounds like a keeper!

Honey Amp / Getting started with your Honey Amp
« on: April 03, 2021, 09:05:08 PM »
Thanks for purchasing your Honey Amp!  Time to put it together and start making music!

None of the parts in your kit will be labeled to match component numbers in the schematic.  IE, a capacitor won't be labeled "C1."  This means that you need to know how to read component values.  Luckily, this isn't difficult and there are a lot of resources to help you along the way.

AMZ's Capacitor Calculator:
Capacitors have varying types of labels on them.  Electrolytic capacitors (they look like tiny soda cans) are usually labeled with plain text that will tell you the size and maximum voltage of the capacitor (10uF / 63v etc).  Pretty much all other capacitors use a code.  To break this down, use the link above.

Resistor Calculator:
Resistors don't typically have values printed in numbers on them.  Instead, resistors use color bands.
 Thankfully there are charts, graphs, and calculators online available to help you decode this color band system - I like this one for it's simplicity.  It's easy to use, and it makes it easy to start learning how the color codes work so they make sense.

The rest should be pretty straight forward by following the silk screening on the PCB.  IE - it shows the direction to put the IC in, same with transistor and even diodes.

Now that you have identified your components, it's time to start soldering.

Always start with the shortest objects first.  When I say this, I mean the components that are the closest to the board.  In the case of the Honey Amp, it works well to start with the 1n4148 diode and resistors.  Put them in place, bend the leads slightly and then turn the board over.  Solder them on and then clip the remaining lead.  Continue on until you have installed the tallest component.  Now you are ready for off-board wiring.

Honey Amp / Honey Amp Docs
« on: April 01, 2021, 09:37:12 PM »
Enjoy  :tu:

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