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Topics - joecool85

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Guitar News / NAMM 2020 - New Fender Mustang amps, and Princeton
« on: January 16, 2020, 09:13:45 PM »
Fender has just released the Fender Mustang GTX50 and 100 and the LT50.  The GTX is the bells and whistles version of the Mustang, while the LT50 is a higher end version of the existing LT25 model.  For $250, the LT50 is quite an interesting amp that features 60 built in models (all can be customized), a 12" Celestion speaker, and 50w of power.  The GTX is similarly equipped but with bluetooth, wifi, and more presets.  The GTX50 prices out at $379, and the GTX100 at $499.

The new Princeton is a hand-wired 1964 style version, and can be yours for the sum of $2,299.99 USD.

Guitar News / Ashdown releases two new 200w pedal board amps
« on: January 15, 2020, 10:56:20 AM »
The Ashdown Newt (for guitar) and Ashdown Ant (for bass) are pedal-sized 200 watt amps.  Not much in the way of extras, they feature four knobs (treble, mid, bass, output) and three buttons (mute, scoop, pad on the Newt, and mute, shape, passive/active on the Ant).  At $400 each, they're a bit rich for my blood.  But that is a whole lot of power in a tiny form factor.  Maybe it's worth it to some for the ultra portability?

Guitar News / NAMM 2020 brings new Boss Katana, Artist MKII
« on: January 15, 2020, 10:51:27 AM »
After 4 years with the Boss Katana series amps, the second revision is out and it looks pretty sweet.  They claim it to be a professional grade amp, capable of gigging and recording.  While this may seem laughable to some, being that it is a modeling amp, if you read around online, it seems that the previous generation Katana has been very well regarded.  For $599, this looks like a lot of amp for the money.

Vox has launched a new series of pedals based around the Korg Nutube.  They feature fancy waveform displays on their topside and Nutube electronics on their insides.  At the same time, Korg has released a DIY Nutube OD kit that is...solderless.  Not sure how I feel about that as it is basically an IKEA effects pedal kit now.  Knowing Korg, the quality will be there no doubt, I'm just not sure the customers will.

Guitar News / Vox Cambridge50 - Nutube at NAMM 2020
« on: January 07, 2020, 03:52:48 PM »
Vox has released it's new modeling amp, the Cambridge50.  It uses a Nutube based preamp just like their MV50 series of micro amp heads.  The Nutube was co-developed with Vox and Korg and is basically a tiny flourescent tube used as an amp tube.  They glow blue and sound great.  Rated for 30,000 hrs of use, running on 5v, and weighing practically nothing, I feel that Nutube (or similar) technology, will replace old style vacuum tubes like the venerable 12AX7 etc - and very soon!

Priced at $299 and coming with a 12" Celestion, I think this amp could be quite a bargain.

Orange has released another of their wildly popular micro heads.  This one is for bass and is dubbed the "Bass Thing."  At 500w, it should turn some heads.

Guitar News / Milkman Sound releases new hybrid micro amp - "Amp 100"
« on: January 03, 2020, 01:26:12 PM »
Milkman Sound has released a new iteration of it's Amp.  The Amp 100 features a 12ax7 preamp tube, FET boost, digital reverb, and 100w of class D solid state amplification.  I like that the FET boost happens between the gain stages on the tube as well, keeping the direct link between guitar pickup and tube clean.  The video makes it look great.  Being a micro amp head, it only weighs a few lbs and would fit in a backpack without issue.  At $699, it's unlikely I'll find out soon, but if anyone does, please share!

Guitar News / Behringer releases SM57 clone
« on: January 02, 2020, 11:58:30 AM »
Behringer is attempting to bring a clone of the Shure SM57 to market for only $20 USD.  The concept is fine, but I'm concerned about execution as Behringer hasn't always been known for quality products in years past.  Regardless, more options is always a good thing, right?

Schematics and Layouts / Fender Frontman 25 DSP FM25DSP schematic
« on: July 12, 2017, 01:17:43 PM »
Fender doesn't have this file on their site anymore, and I just had to track it down (thanks  So I figured I'd share it here.

Unfortunately, Teemuk's thread was deleted.  I have made this post to at least have the link available to everyone.  I apologize for any inconvenience.

Quote from: Teemuk
My book about solid-state guitar amplifiers is finally ready and can be downloaded in portable document format (pdf) from:

Big thanks to joecool85 for hosting the file.

People with slow Internet connection, be warned: The file is about 31 Megabytes so it will take a while to download.

The K-20X doesn't have a line in.  What this means is that to play to a backing track I need to have a CD player or radio etc playing over a speaker while I play my guitar over the amp's speaker.  This works but is clunky and can also get loud.  Rather than purchase a Vox Amplug or similar ($40 or so and have great reviews, I still might do it at some point), I decided to go the cheap and DIY solution and raid my parts drawers.  What I found:

1 x small wooden box
1 x 1/8" stereo jack
1 x 6' stereo 1/8" cable cut in half
4 x 200 ohm fire-resistant 1w resistors (1/8w would have worked and they don't need to be fire-resistant, but it's what I had)

With this I made a passive mixer designed for headphone level signals (the same design can work with line level signals but use 10k resistors). Now I plug this into my amp (with stereo 1/8" -> 1/4" adapter), and cell phone, then plug my headphones into the passive mixer box and BAM! I'm rocking to tunes and not bothering anyone in the house. If only somehow my singing could be dampened...

I don't have a schematic, but the gist is this: For each channel coming from each device you put a resistor in line with the positive.

So Device One's left positive goes into a 200 ohm resistor.  Device Two (amp) has it's left positive go into another 200 ohm resistor.  Both of these resistors terminate at the left positive of the headphone out jack.  Do the same with the two right channels, tie the grounds all together and you're done!  Easy peasy and works a treat.

Amplifier Discussion / My K-20X
« on: February 27, 2014, 12:17:45 PM »
I've been playing guitar for 12 years now and the whole time I've owned this amp - Dean Markley K-20X.  It's been through a lot.  Over the years I have added a line out (just like the K-20, not sure why they got rid of it on the K-20X), added a speaker out jack and removed the rear wooden "bar" on the back side of the amp.  I now have replaced the permanently attached power cord with an IEC jack w/fuse.  Not only does this allow for quick cord replacement, but also easier storage, the use of a 90 degree cord so you can put the amp closer to other devices, and it puts the fuse in an easily accessible area (back panel).  The old fuse location being on the PCB was not only inconvient, but arguably unsafe (putting mains current and voltage to the PCB).  The mains wiring now bypasses the PCB completely making the amp safer and easier to service.

As a side effect, I needed to relocate the power transformer to have room for the back side of the IEC jack.  It is now directly under where it use to be, same mounting holes and all.  This puts the transformer outside of the metal enclosure.  This potentially removes some noise (though so far I haven’t noticed a difference).

Now the pics!

Attached schematic as it currently stands, minus speaker cutout switch which is spst inline with speaker + lead (2/24/2020)

Amplifier Discussion / Holmes Tech T-25, DC at speaker
« on: February 24, 2014, 09:16:52 PM »
I'm working on this old T-25 amp and am getting 17.3v DC at the speaker while connected to a lightbulb limiter. The Poweramp utilizes a tda2030a. I think it's blown, what do you guys think?

Of note, the mains wiring on this had been an unsafe mess. I've fixed that, now just need to make the now safe amp work...

Amplifier Discussion / Whoops...messed up my line out voltage divider
« on: February 17, 2014, 01:41:29 PM »
Years ago I added a line out to my k-20x by using the 10k/1k voltage divider the k-20 used. Except evidently I wasn't paying full attention when I did it. I put the 10k inline from the positive speaker lead to tip on line out, then a 1k from the negative lead to line out sleeve. I should have put the 1k from tip to ground to complete the voltage divider. Luckily I only ever drove a lm 3886 with it. I'm going to fix this soon as I'll be in there anyway doing an IEC jack mod.

Amplifier Discussion / Adding a balanced line out?
« on: March 13, 2013, 01:59:24 PM »
My brother has a Hartke Bass Head (I believe the 2500).  He wants to add a balanced line out.  He had an issue recently where the sound guy wouldn't hook him into the PA because that was all he would work with, wouldn't take the preamp out (effects send).

Anyway, is there a way to add a balanced line out?

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