Hi Jeff, I really enjoy your column in Premier Guitar – it has helped me understand a lot about amps. I have three questions relating to my Fender Super
I really enjoy your column in Premier Guitar – it has helped me understand a lot about amps. I have three questions relating to my Fender Super 60 combo amp. I have replaced my preamp and power tubes with 12AX7s and 6L6GCs from Ruby Tubes. Changing the preamp tubes smoothed out the raspy distortion (now similar to Santana smoothness) and got rid of the hum. What would I need to do to get a modern rock sound?
Also, this is a very loud amp. I understand that removing certain tubes can cut the power in half. Which ones would I remove? And finally, when I bought the amp, it had an EV 12L speaker, which weighs more by itself then the amp does without it. I love the tone with the EV, but need something lighter. What speaker options are there to replace the heavy EV with something lighter that will have a similar or the same tonal characteristics? The help is appreciated.
Thanks for reading Premier Guitar. I’m glad you enjoy my column and I’m happy to hear that it has helped you.
For its time in the eighties, your amp probably had a “modern rock sound,” but as we all know, times change. I’ll try to answer your power and speaker concerns and since this is a DIY-themed issue, I’ll go one step further and give you a few small circuit modifications to try.
Let’s first discuss the possibility of removing tubes to reduce the output power. While removing output tubes is a possible option in some amps (consult the manufacturer prior to attempting this), it is not an option for your amp. Output stages which use four output tubes can generally have two removed in order to reduce the output power; since your Super 60 only uses two output tubes, the removal of one would leave half of the output transformer unloaded. In short, this is not a happy situation for the transformer.
There are a couple of other options you could explore, the first being the use of an external attenuator. Numerous companies produce attenuators which can be inserted between your amp and speaker. This will allow you to reduce the amount of power being sent from your amp to the speaker.
Another option would be to install power reducers in the output tube sockets. THD makes a unit called a Yellow Jacket, and they can be installed in the output sockets of your amp, enabling the amp to utilize EL84 tubes in place of the stock 6L6 tubes. This will effectively place the output in the 15 to 20 watt range, a more-than-manageable power for most situations.
As for the EV speaker, you have the typical EV love/hate relationship – love the tone, hate the weight. Since corporations and guitar players seem to be downsizing nowadays, speaker companies are answering the call with a few choices. Jensen, Eminence and Celestion all offer models utilizing neodymium magnets, a lightweight magnetic material, cutting some heft from the design. After reviewing the selections from the three companies, I would choose the Tonkerlite by Eminence. In my opinion, it stands to be potentially closer to the EV than any of the others. You simply won’t find anything that sounds the same, but unfortunately that’s the price to be paid for making weight the more important parameter.
As I mentioned earlier, here are a few internal tweaks that I would try in order to give the amp a more “modern” sound. These will in no way effect a huge change in the amp, as that would require much more extensive modification. I have not previously attempted these modifications – they were simply developed after reviewing the schematic of your amp. If you like them, great. If not, you can simply return the amp to stock with no harm done.
Please note: any involvement inside the chassis of a tube amp can result in contact with some potentially lethal voltages! Do not attempt to perform any type of servicing unless you first turn the amp off and discharge the filter capacitors. If you do not know how, find someone who does. Neither Premier Guitar nor I will assume any responsibility for damages suffered by you or your equipment. But enough with the scary disclaimers – now for the mods.
- Replace the .0047”f coupling capacitors in the first and second gain stage (C102 & 105) with 0.01”f 600V caps. This will provide a slightly fuller signal range in the signal path.
- Replace both the 0.047”f and 0.1”f caps in the tone stack (C6 & 7) with 0.022”f 600V capacitors. While the prior values are great for the “traditional” type of Fender tone, I feel the .022 caps sound better in higher gain circuits.
- Replace the 120K resistor in the power supply (R167) with a 100K resistor. This should raise the plate voltage in the first couple gain stages by approximately 30 volts.
- If it’s not already a part of your amp, install the bias control. The schematic actually lists the 5K bias potentiometer (R171) and 8.2K series resistor (R178) as “optional,” so install them if necessary. If you do so, remove the 10K bias set resistor (R158).
Co-Founder and Senior Design Engineer – Budda Amplification
©2007 Jeff Bober
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Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
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Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
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For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.