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Author Topic: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread  (Read 157301 times)

drobinson9

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2011, 01:16:28 PM »
When we ceased trading the price was £499 plus delivery. Not bad for a combo that sounds and behaves like a vintage Marshall without the hassle of valves etc. As far as I know, we haven't had a single breakdown, touch wood I even kept the bluetonesales@aol.com email open for post-sales problems, but nothing as yet (I think!). Email address is still open, lol!

Here are the youtube clips I put up a little while ago, in response to some queries - the amp also does clean up beautifully in response to changes in the volume control on your guitar.


drobinson9

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2011, 01:21:00 PM »
Oooops, here are the youtube clips....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN2To3CSuGE

Done in my kitchen, recorded on a cheap Sony digital camera, but not too bad, I think.

J M Fahey

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2011, 03:30:59 PM »
So you needed an OEM cost for each amp, already in your warehouse, properly boxed for delivery *and* with a good, expensive Celestion to boot, of no more than £300 plus *minimum* guaranteed sales of , say, 20 units a month , just to make ends meet for a small 2 guys operation who really live out of something else.
No wonder it was difficult to keep working.
I can compare it to the excellent (in their market niche) Sessionettes, which in their time were highly regarded and sold thousands, yet could not keep the factory open after a few years.
Oh well.

drobinson9

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 07:42:09 PM »
Well, yes, but we would have carried on if we could have found a way of assembling the amp here in the UK, at an economical cost.

C'est la vie, eh?!

joecool85

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2011, 09:40:20 AM »
Well, yes, but we would have carried on if we could have found a way of assembling the amp here in the UK, at an economical cost.

C'est la vie, eh?!

That's too bad.  Have you thought about selling the parts as kits?  Not the whole chassis with speaker etc, but at least the "guts"?  I know there are some that would be interested.
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
"New" amp: Fender Frontman 25 DSP (FM25DSP)
thatraymond.com

J M Fahey

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2011, 01:01:12 PM »
I was hinting at something similar, that's to say to reduce the sandwich size to actual mouth size.
Making a "full" commercial amplifier out of thin air is very complex (I know for sure) but taking some (really not that "special") parts away, you can chop off what's expensive yet not cost-effective to you.
In the Bluetone combo I saw, you might chop:
1) the speaker (so offering it as a head).
It's expensive and you just "pass it along".
Much worse, there will always be somebody who hates it and prefers another one.
That way, the end user can choose the speaker he prefers, from a reclaimed unknown pulled from another amp to a gold plated handbuilt by Monks in the Himalayas $3000 unit.
2) the cabinet: you may make the chassis same size as some popular Fender combo or Marshall head, for which there are tons of aftermarket builders.
You sell just the ready-to-mount working chassis , no soldering involved, just tightening 4 (supplied) bolts.
User can choose from bare chipboard to exotic wood covered in Komodo dragon skin.
I'm sure these two parts make up around 50% of the OEM cost, not being an essential part of "your sound"
3) you can use less LEDs  ;) , I'm sure that was expensive ;D
Oh well, just kidding, it's just that I love having people who do good things back in the racetrack.
Good luck.

joecool85

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2011, 08:14:37 AM »
Great ideas Juan.  I'd buy a kit like what you're describing - especially if it was cost effective.
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
"New" amp: Fender Frontman 25 DSP (FM25DSP)
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Jot

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2011, 01:00:03 PM »
Thanks for the ss amp history. You asked whether anyone had additional information on the Thomas Vox amplifier design. Here's a link to a fascinating letter from the designer of the Thomas Vox ss Buckingham/Viscount amp:

http://www.voxshowroom.com/us/amp/sava.html

J M Fahey

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2011, 03:31:52 PM »
Quote
Great ideas Juan.  I'd buy a kit like what you're describing - especially if it was cost effective.
Fine with me, now you "only" have to convince the Bluetone Guys (heyyyy !!   excellent name for a Blues/Ska band!!)  ;)

drobinson9

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2011, 05:24:43 PM »
Hi, we did play the Birmingham Guitar Show 2 years running as the Blue Tone Blues Band!

The amp designer is Alex Cooper, who designs all the consoles at Midas Consoles. I think he's a bit busy at the moment, since Behringer took over Midas a little while ago!

SG123

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2011, 09:02:39 PM »
Have Bruce amplifiers been mentioned?

Some info and pictures here:

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/14957-bruce-amp.html

Frank

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2011, 05:49:15 AM »
Hi

Just found this forum yesterday. The history of solid state amps must have more mention of both the american and UK made Vox amps. These are important pieces of amp history.
In 1965 Thomas Organ Vox designed a series of ss Vox amps featuring lots of effects. These had english sounding names such as Buckingham, Westminster, Viscount, Beatle a.o. but were US made and solely sold in the US. These amps were used by many american top acts, such as Iron Butterfly and Paul Revere, and even briefly the Beatles on their last US tour.

Dick Denney of Vox UK (the proper Vox) brought home some ideas from the Thomas amps and first designed the Triumph made Vox hybrid amps 715, 730, 760, 7120, 430, 460 and 4120 with solid state pre-amps as a testing bed for the all
solid state series Vox amps of 1966. The all ss UK series, with models Traveller, Conqueror, Defiant, Supreme, Dynamic Bass, Foundation and Super Foundation are among the best sounds solid state amps of the 60'ies. They had a class A output stage and transformer, and a sophisticated pre-amp with tremolo, reverb, fuzz and mid-range boost effects. The Beatles famously used Vox Conqueror ss amps on Sgt. Pepper, Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine and even the White Album. The Stones also used these amps.

I personally own a Conqueror and a Defiant of the late 60'ies, and they truly are fantastic sounding amps. The fuzz and overall sound is easily reckognisable as a Beatles type of sound.

There is a lot of info about these amps at http://www.voxshowroom.com/

Frank

J M Fahey

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2011, 06:20:34 AM »
Very interesting.
Please post some MP3s, I'd *love* to hear them played today, with modern instruments .


Frank

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2011, 05:27:25 PM »
I'll have to work on some samples of the clean amp sound, but for a starter here is a couple of recordings of the Vox Conqueror through its brilliant channel with the fuzz on and MRB-effect (mid-range-boost) on. Guitar is either a Washburn Falcon or an SG with humbuckers (it's a long time ago, and I don't remember for sure):

http://www.etcetera-music.eu/public/instruments/Vox/voxspec_files/lemonmix.mp3
http://www.etcetera-music.eu/public/instruments/Vox/voxspec_files/wholelo.mp3

Frank

joecool85

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Re: Solid-state guitar amplifier history -thread
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2011, 09:44:37 AM »
I'll have to work on some samples of the clean amp sound, but for a starter here is a couple of recordings of the Vox Conqueror through its brilliant channel with the fuzz on and MRB-effect (mid-range-boost) on. Guitar is either a Washburn Falcon or an SG with humbuckers (it's a long time ago, and I don't remember for sure):

http://www.etcetera-music.eu/public/instruments/Vox/voxspec_files/lemonmix.mp3
http://www.etcetera-music.eu/public/instruments/Vox/voxspec_files/wholelo.mp3

Frank

Wow, great tones out of such an early solid state amp.  I had it in my head that solid state guitar gear didn't start getting good till the late 80's/early 90's - you proved me wrong!
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
"New" amp: Fender Frontman 25 DSP (FM25DSP)
thatraymond.com

 

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