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Author Topic: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve  (Read 533 times)

JB074

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Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:32:54 PM »

Morning All,

I'm in a bit of a quandry -

Last week I purchased a Marshall 1960AHW 4x12 with the intent of running it from various combos or heads I have laying around.

Problem is, I do not specifically have any 'marshall' heads, for example JTM45 / plexi / jcm800 / jvm410 etc.

Now obviously a 4x12 can be brutal from a power handling capacity, but I'm looking for something in the 20-50w range in terms of a head.

There are so many heads on the market now that I just cannot keep track of them, much less have time to demo any.

I wish to avoid modelling amps, as they are not really my thing.

I already have fender bassman, twin reverb, JC120, AC30, and a boss katana 100, any of which I could plug into the cab, but I am not sure.

What I do know though, is that I am not an "orange" guy, and while I love a plexi as much as the next guy, I'll need a decent reactive load to keep the peace with the neighbours if I want to get the right crunch out of one - not to mention I like having my hearing.

So does anyone have a suggestion?

I'm halfway between a hybrid and all valve.

It's really easy to get lost in all the choices.

I guess the last option is to build my own again, but I'm sure those of you who work on stuff will understand what I mean when I say I just want to plug in and play.

hit me up with some suggestions - I know there are far too many out there to choose from.

Oh, just as background on tone - I play pretty much every genre except djent.  I have LP's, strat's, hollowbodies and offsets. I don't have any P90's.

feel free to paste URL links to stuff you like, because I'm lost in choice.
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J M Fahey

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 08:35:48 AM »

Maybe this is not the best Forum for what you ask.

1) what you ask is based on taste or opinion which leads to endless discussions, we are more into the practical end.
More often than not based on feet on the ground tech or experience based  solutions instead.

2) there are lots of Forums with hundreds or thousands of members who will happily argue for years on tube lettering, cap colour, Mojo, "who-uses-it" and all that jazz.
Many of them have bought and sold dozens of amps, heads, cabinets, guitars, pedals, and have an opinion on them,
That many are mutually contradictory is part of the game.

3) you bought a hat first, and now are searching for somebody with a head to fit.
You bought a **killer** (no doubt about that) but quirky and very specialized cabinet:

a) it is 16 ohm only.  Can not be switched to 4 ohm like the standard 1960 which is a far more useful impedance.
That alone forces you to use a tube head ... and even so, not any , but one which has a 16 ohm tap or is straight 16 ohm only, an even rarer breed.

SS heads can happily drive 16 ohm cabinets any day of the week ... but at a heavy penalty of power loss because of mismatched impedance.

Most common SS amps put out around 60W into 8 ohm and/or 100W into 4 ohm ... both will put out around 30W into 16 ohm ... "too much cabinet for too little driving power".

b) So most probable scenario for your expensive cabinet is using it mismatched into your tube heads (Bassman and Twin are 4 ohm out) or as an extension, or straight as a low power extension cabinet for the Katana ... plus your JC120 is Stereo, not sure how you can connect a single, mono , mismatched impedance cabinet to it.
Your AC30 is the only one really matching it, and as a main cabinet, not extension.

c) IF you had bought the regular 1960, situation would be very different:
* it is mono/stereo, with a multi impedance back panel
* can be used (just flipping 2 switches) as: Mono 16 ohm (same as yours and meant for British style Tube heads) ; Mono 4 ohm (practically anything else), ; stereo 2 x 8 ohm which nicely fits your JC120 , either as extension or main speakers.

d) so I suggest you ask at some Tubeheads-only Forum instead, lots of them all over the place.
And chock filled with *opinion*

e) so you do not feel you are leaving empty handed: *the*  head for your cabinet is a 50 or 100W Plexi or classic JCM800.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 08:45:34 AM by J M Fahey »
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edvard

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 04:39:11 PM »

Two thoughts:
Can the cab not be re-wired for a lower load?  From pictures I was able to look up, the speakers are 16 ohms each, wired series/parallel.  If you wired it all parallel, it would come down to 4 ohms.

See illustrations below.

While that would bring the overall load down to something more useful, it won't magically transform the individual speakers into 4-ohm units, so the frequency response will likely be somewhat different from a standard 1960 cab.
I realize that would also limit your choices to amplifiers that are capable of handling a 4-ohm load, but as JM stated, that's at least more common.

Second thought:
While a 16-ohm load would reduce the power available from a solid-state head, isn't that what you want?
Quote
while I love a plexi as much as the next guy, I'll need a decent reactive load to keep the peace with the neighbours if I want to get the right crunch out of one - not to mention I like having my hearing.
 
Though I agree with JM's opinion,
Quote
"too much cabinet for too little driving power".
it might still work for your purposes.

I would NOT plug a 16-ohm cab into a tube amp that doesn't have a 16-ohm output.  There are all kinds of reasons why not that I won't get into here.  Suffice to say that it's not good for the output tubes or the output transformer to mis-match loads.  Solid-state is a little more tolerant, just with the afore-mentioned imposed power capability limitations.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 04:49:41 PM by edvard »
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JB074

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:42:52 PM »

I understand the implications of this particular cab.
I'm not afraid of Ω mismatching on an SS / hybrid - I know what occurs -
Hence my statement about the reactive load.
I'm not sure if I was clear enough about that or not.... but if the amp is clearly not suitable, some of which I am well aware already aren't without a reactive load - then the reactive load (power station / hotplate) will go between.
It may give me a chance also to test a UA Ox. Or an excuse to purchase one.

I had the idea of a JTM45 already, and the reactive load to enable me to dial it in at a slightly lower dB (trying to keep it around 100dB) but the philosophy was first, reactive load with what I have and 'see', second, purchase a new amp head, then maybe also an Ox, if I don't like the way the power station attenuates.

Most of my heads have a switchable output, some do not, and I am aware of impedance requirements.
Also the reactive load counteracts any mismatch between head and cab, so again, not concerned. Could also rewire as suggested. That's a far more obvious solution to direct input 'freedoms', which was on the cards down the track, after I've broken in the cab.

I was unashamedly asking for *opinion* on heads you may have used that you like the sound of or conversely do not like.

But if you feel that you wish to keep your opinions to yourselves, that's fine. Part of the logic for asking was exactly for the reasoning you mentioned. I am not interested in tubeheads forums with one-eyed love for fender vox marshall or some boutiquey brand, when it cannot be presented in an objective comparison environment.

thanks anyway, the points are valid for people who don't understand what damage can be done through a mismatch of impedance. Apologies if I was not clear enough - I thought I was speaking to an audience of peers and perhaps I was not clear enough.
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Enzo

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 09:06:01 PM »

It isn't a matter of keeping it to ourselves, it is a mater of being able to help you.  I can tell you I like a Fender Twin reverb.  I like a little GK ME series head.  I sold my Sovtek MIG heads, nut I liked them.  I think my favorite solid state amp is a fender Princeton Stereo Chorus.  I don't think in terms of tube or solid state, as all that matters to me is how it sounds.  In my tech job as a service guy, sure it matters, but that is a different story.

The problem is, you don't know the tone I like to get or why I like them, and one man plays the same amp I love and hates it.  I have no idea what you like  So it is kinda like going to a restaurant, and asking us what you should order to eat.  I like salmon, but you might not.  My sister hates it.


You only have a half dozen posts, we don't know you.  We cannot assume what you do or do not know - about impedance or anything else.


As to that big 4x12, I used to have one of those tiny transistor amps the size of a cigarette pack.  Tinny sounding little thing, but fun.  But connect it to a 4x12 and all of a sudden it makes a big sound.  Sure it is a fraction of a watt, it won't fill an arena, but it sounds good.

I worked on a lot of old amps.  I have to say I never played a Gibson amp I liked. A lot of guys love Matchless amps, the ones I played I really didn't care for.

Marshalls.  Biggest name in the business, or one of them.  I am not really a fan.  Too shrill and strident.  But others wouldn't play anything else.  having said that, some smaller combos sound good...for a MArshall, Like an MG50 or variant.  Someone else is going to punch me for saying that.
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JB074

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 11:46:47 PM »

having said that, some smaller combos sound good...for a MArshall, Like an MG50 or variant.  Someone else is going to punch me for saying that.

 :lmao: :lmao:

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edvard

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 01:45:32 AM »

...
I was unashamedly asking for *opinion* on heads you may have used that you like the sound of or conversely do not like.
...

My apologies, but I plead the hive-mind of the internet.  Ask opinions on a ham sandwich and by the second page it's a full-blown smackdown on whether French Crullers are better than Danishes.

What kind of music do you play?  I am assuming something Rock-oriented but I don't like to assume.  If you lean towards the harder side, I don't think you can go too wrong with a Randall RG series.  I can personally vouch for pretty much any Peavey heads for clean tone, and some TransTube heads have switchable loads. Beyond that, not sure.
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JB074

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 11:38:45 PM »

...
I was unashamedly asking for *opinion* on heads you may have used that you like the sound of or conversely do not like.
...

My apologies, but I plead the hive-mind of the internet.  Ask opinions on a ham sandwich and by the second page it's a full-blown smackdown on whether French Crullers are better than Danishes.

What kind of music do you play?  I am assuming something Rock-oriented but I don't like to assume.  If you lean towards the harder side, I don't think you can go too wrong with a Randall RG series.  I can personally vouch for pretty much any Peavey heads for clean tone, and some TransTube heads have switchable loads. Beyond that, not sure.

I play a lot of varied stuff, from surf rock to slayer. I play a bit of country, a bit of 80's but most of my love is 70's hard rock. So you're all wondering why I don't have a plexi....
I mostly have 'clean' amps - blackface twin reverb, JC-120, Vox AC head, thr100 yam, katana 100 1x12. for dirt a heavily modded fm100H fender head, which is a one-trick pony.

I'm looking for a slightly crunchy head for this vintage marshall 4x12 1960ahw cab. If it's a 50-100w head I will need to attenuate it, or it will need to have a low-power mode. And at least at this stage I'd prefer to drive the 16Ω cab without rewiring - not that it matters terribly for an SS output stage.
I've spent many years repairing rackmount power amps and I don't need or want a huge gig setup.

I have thought about reworking a small SS amp and putting a tube preamp channel in, but I can buy stuff like that off the floor in a shop too -

Just throw some ideas out there - I don't care if it's a head for Jazz or a modded high gain unit - I'm just out of ideas.
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JB074

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 02:32:56 AM »

This ad got my attention (attached)
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J M Fahey

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Re: Need some ideas for a new head purchase - SS/Hybrid/Valve
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 11:39:03 AM »

It´s designed to grab attention  :cheesy:

Now that he actually sells it, is completely different; price is outrageous, it could command $20/25 TOPS if it were in good working order, which it is not.
I have never seen such RUSTY jacks and handle, not sure it even works and certainly any control there must be scratchier than somebody rolling naked in Poison Ivy.
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