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Messages - joecool85

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Guitar News / Famous guitarists who play solid state amps
« on: January 19, 2022, 04:03:10 PM » did a great article about famous guitarists who play solid state amps.  It seems everybody knows about people like BB King playing a Lab 5, or Kirk Hammett using a Roland JC-120 for his clean sound on a few tracks.  Some interesting ones though are the users of the Marshall MG series amps (Wayne Static) and *Marshall Valvestate (Billy Gibbons). 

So, who are your favorite artists using solid state amps?

* To be clear, the Valvestate does have a tube in the preamp, so it isn't completely solid state.

Honestly, the best way to make small speakers sound good is to remove the bass frequencies until they stop "farting" when you play.

Past that, choose a small speaker with the best frequency range - at least 100hz to 5,000hz.  Normally high end is fine, you can focus on the low number.  If much higher than 100, it just won't have any bottom end at all.

Next you need to pay close attention to SPL.  The SPL rating will be dbm/w meaning that it is the volume of the speaker using 1w of power at 1 meter distance.  The higher the rating, the louder it will be with the same power versus another speaker.  Many cheap small speakers have SPL ratings of 75-80dB.  I recommend at least 90dB.  Comparing an 80dB speaker with a 90dB speaker at 1w, the 90dB will be exactly twice as loud!

Here is the best small speaker I've found so far:

I sell this with the Honey amp kits.  It is "ok" sounding, but about the best I've heard from small inexpensive speakers.  Like mentioned above, to make any speaker sound "right" means paying attention to the enclosure.  Open air most speakers sound terrible - even large ones.

For reference, most 10" and 12" guitar speakers have ranges around 80-85hz to 5,000hz or so and SPL ratings between 93dB and 101dB.

If looking for a small 9v practice style amp, you could always try SSGuitar's own Honey Amp:

Schematic and other info are in the Honey Amp section of the forum here:

I'm looking at doing another version of this and rather than using the LM386, use a much cleaner and quieter PAM8302A.  Not sure how much interest there is for this though, so it's still in the beginning stages.  The upside is that it would yield about 2.5w of power and run on a single 3.7v lipo battery with very high efficiency.

Orange has released the Orange Super Crush 100.  They have this as a head as well as a combo unit.  According to designer Ade Emsley, this amp doesn't use opamp circuitry but rather single ended jfet transistors.  With two circuits, reverb, and independent eq sections for clean and overdrive, this unit really rocks.  It has what I consider to be (from the video clips) the best sounding solid state overdrive sound I've heard.  This is worth a listen, check out Ty Tabor's demo here:

MSRP is $499 USD for the head, $699 for the combo.

Amplifier Discussion / Re: newbie question about cranked amp overdrive
« on: December 28, 2021, 08:00:35 PM »
I'm not trying to be difficult, but unless I am blind, there is no model # in either of those posts.
Schematics are found by model number.  If we had the number, perhaps we would already be looking at the schematic, which would make for a much more fertile discussion.
Apologies if there is no model # to be found on the unit, but if so the OP should just say that.

You aren't being difficult.  The model name is "Guitar/Bass/Organ amp" by Montgomery Ward.  There should be a model number as well though which no one has shared.  This video shows one of the same name, but very different configuration (head/cab vs combo anyway) vs what was linked to by Phatt.

Amplifier Discussion / Re: Hartke HA5000 tripping relay
« on: December 24, 2021, 08:14:01 AM »
Finally I had a chance to change all of the electrolytics on the offending amplifier board. That was it! The amp is working great now and sounds good too. Thanks Enzo for pointing me in the right direction. Your help is always appreciated.


Rock and roll!  Glad to hear it's working and good job with the repair!  :tu:

Amplifier Discussion / Re: Hum increases with 3-prong cord
« on: December 24, 2021, 08:12:50 AM »
I understand about the idea that a lot of things can cause hum but I just was wondering sing the whole idea of the polarity switch and the "death cap" was to ground the side that produced the least amount of hum.
Wiring an older amp with a new 3-wire cord, and using the standard wiring code, it might not connect the amp hot & neutral up to the side that hummed the least.

I've never tried swapping the black & white wires to see if that changes anything.
I also can't tell what, if any, effect that the use of a driver transformer has on the overall rejection of hum.
It is the Epiphone that floors me.  When I got it, it was working, sort of, but there was no real appreciable hum.
The whole front panel and chassis seemed to be the ground plane.  Every ground was haphazardly connected to the nearest point, i.e. Cathode resistors to the back of a volume control, Pre-amp B+ capacitor and cathode resistor grounded together, etc.  Just about every "bad" layout connection you could name.
Added the 3-wire grounded AC line and there is now hum in the system.

It is next on my schedule so I will take another look at the wiring.

So far you have mentioned;
A Gibson 100 head, a Vox, a fender,,,and now it's an Epiphone.
Can you please just focus on one Amplifier as it's just not feasible for the members to keep up with constantly changing units.

If you have a hum in many many Amplifiers then it's highly likely something else is causing issues. :-X

Working on amps *Outside of the Chassis* can lead to induced hum from Fluro lights, Computer Equipment and many other sources of RFI/EMI.

So do you have ANY amplifier that does not hum?

Agreed 100%.  My brother used to live in a house that no matter what I did my amp would make a ton of noise.  Never did get to find out if it was interference from something in the house or if the power was "dirty" - he moved.  Fluorescent lights can cause issue and inexpensive LED lights can as well, especially high power ones like the outdoor flood style lamps.

Amplifier Discussion / Re: Sears Transistor Part Numbers equivalents
« on: December 03, 2021, 07:05:29 PM »
Probably something common like 2N3055.

Use the Silvertone part number and go to the NTE web site and look up their cross.  It may not be exact, but it will tell you what NTE thinks the part needs to be.

If the amp is working, I'd leave them alone.  Transistors don't wear out like tubes do.

I second this.  Also, if you provide us with pictures it may help.

Honey Amp / Re: Got my kit!
« on: December 02, 2021, 11:54:19 AM »
Photos of the build—I have a couple of these Trader Joe's tins, which I kept because I like the shape and size, a little more room to maneuver inside than an Altoids tin. I used some nylon standoffs and screws to hold it off the metal, which works well enough.

Looks like the input jack and power jack aren't soldered yet, or just not enough solder?  Neat build though, I like the enclosure a lot!

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

Amplifier Discussion / Re: Peavey Bandit as speaker cab
« on: November 18, 2021, 11:25:59 AM »
I've seen it done before where the speaker goes to a female 1/4" jack, the amp has a female 1/4" output jack, and then when using it as a combo you use a short 6" speaker cable to tie them together.  Want to power a different speaker?  Just unplug the speaker and plug a longer cable from the amp output into another cab.  Want to use the Bandit speaker (like you do) as a cab for another amp?  Just unplug both ends of the 6" speaker cable and plug a longer cable into the Bandit from the amp serving as a head.  Clean and simple.

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.**

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