PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head



Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby Iommic Pope » Wed May 24, 2017 10:55 pm

goroth wrote:Iommi's suggestion is good, and it's a bit different to everyone else.
Laney pro tube pre

2xKT88 output, tune it to around 80 watts.
Overspec the transformer.
Pentode/triode mode to get the power down.
2 speaker outs with switchable ohmage.
Deep knob to control flub.
Built in rangemaster.

Oh my god, yes.
I forgot to mention the kt88s.
Matamp did a short run of power slaves in the early 70s that were kt88 based. I'd definitely be looking to them.
The beautiful thing about the 6 know protube is that the low input is ridiculously clean at low gain and takes pedals like nothing else. Its also got such a flexible eq range that pretty much any clean tone is attainable.
On the high input its hotter, and sounds a bit more plexi/800 like, but is still a mad pedal platform and quite versatile.
Paired with a decent kt88 output stage you'd get a fucking incredible array of sounds out of it, and retain headroom.
But the option to push it into full Art of Self Defense meltdown would be worldburning.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby ibarakishi » Sun May 28, 2017 6:01 am

everyone already said to make the cleans perfect and make it take pedals well, so i won't say that again. Personally i would vote for something that could be switched from a higher wattage (something around what aen was saying with the amp they tried to do, maybe 50 being the max) to a lower wattage (around the 15-20 range) that was in a lunchbox style format like the Terror series (metal enclosure is great for places like i live in because in the humidity, wood has a ton of problems, but with metal, so long as it is covered or treated with something, it will last a lot longer and you don't have to worry about it so long as you take care of it okay). If you didn't have the switchable wattage, i would personally lean towards a lower wattage amp. This would be a smarter marketing decision too, especially for a first amp. But i am probably in the minority on this. Also, like others already said, make the knob options simple and minimal, along with the aesthetics. One of the biggest things for me living in Thailand is that most people only make stuff that works for 120V power (small companies), so if you made something that had a 120V-240V tolerance, you would really be doing a huge favour for non-USA people, especially in places where buying converters is hard to find and really expensive in rural areas. For traveling and shipping, having the size of your head be as compact as safely possible and have it be as light as possible (while still being sturdy) is another huge thing for people like me too. I know i am in the minority, but just things to think about from a non-american resident. Overseas, like here, lunchbox style amps are extremely attractive to people for all of these reasons. And retailers here can sell them cheaper due to the lower import costs as well. If you don't care about people outside of the USA, then basically disregard everything i have said and make it as big and heavy as you want. I agree with aen too about if you have a distorted channel, you should really just aim to make it sound like an amp on fire, or just not even attempt to make on at all. But these are just my thoughts, i am sure others think differently.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby maggot » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:25 pm

goroth wrote:Iommi's suggestion is good, and it's a bit different to everyone else.
Laney pro tube pre

2xKT88 output, tune it to around 80 watts.
Overspec the transformer.
Pentode/triode mode to get the power down.
2 speaker outs with switchable ohmage.
Deep knob to control flub. Built in rangemaster.


I agree with everything that Goroth said IF you're going for a high gain amp. Love the Pro Tube pre (possibly without the diodes, though, if it had a boost), and you need a boost to make it sing the best, so why not stick a Rangemaster or something in there.

What I'd personally like to see, though, is simpler and more inexpensive. Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, no more than 2 or 3 preamp tubes, MAYBE a deep switch to go between tighter and chubbier in the low end. Either way, I agree with Goroth on the high power, 2x power tube configuration with either KT88 or 6550. I'd want headroom, but I try not to buy a tube head with more than 2 power tubes (unless they are EL-84s or something super-cheap and lightweight like that). Cheap option: metal cage/expensive option: box.

Control panel look: 4 giant knobs taking up most of the space.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby slomatic » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:05 am

Hey Rick
I'm a fan of your guitars, I'd a blast on a couple over the last year or so, great guitars!

My pre-requisite is volume, at least 100 watts. Baxendale EQ, nice and simple. To me, headroom isnt too important as I never play clean, but it'd need to be able to handle fuzz. Goes without saying, low end is king. Laney Supergroup/Klipp would be a nice starting point, and a little different to Matamp/Orange.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby samzadgan » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:38 am

I think you have enough suggestions on tube amps, so i cant really add to that...so, I'm gonna suggest a SS amp.

a loud (100w+) solid state all analog amp that stays clean and takes fuzz and dirt pedals well. I'm thinking something that goes back to the old Acoustic and Sunn amps of the 70's, great loud and rich tone voice with lots of mids (and low mids especially). If it can be put into small package then great, but please design them to look better than some of the other solid state amps out there. I think Orange made a nice looking amp, in the CR120, but personally, i didn't like how it reacted with pedals, especially fuzz.

affordability would be cool too. Maybe I'm being selfish, but thinking from the perspective, that I already have a great amp (like a Matamp) and i want a backup or replacement for when i want to travel light, yet still have tones and volumes intact.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby mathias » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:54 am

slomatic wrote:Hey Rick
I'm a fan of your guitars, I'd a blast on a couple over the last year or so, great guitars!

My pre-requisite is volume, at least 100 watts. Baxendale EQ, nice and simple. To me, headroom isnt too important as I never play clean, but it'd need to be able to handle fuzz. Goes without saying, low end is king. Laney Supergroup/Klipp would be a nice starting point, and a little different to Matamp/Orange.


This sound rad to me. Key deets: 100 watts, Baxandall EQ, low end, Klipp.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby waltdogg » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:51 am

how about an amp that's more of a swiss army knife than just a clean pedal platform? there's tons of people who love plug and play simplicity for clean and dirty tones, not just a few iflers who suggest clean platform specifically. you'll be looking like you're only catering to the fender, hiwatt, nmv 100 watt, loud and clean only, etc crowd. actually kinda surprised that's the number one suggestion in i love doom lol.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby Corey Y » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:27 am

I don't think I'd bother designing a pedal platform amp, unless that was your main goal from the start. If you were looking for a plug and play amp that's doom friendly, but not so niche that no one else would want it, I would focus on being able to shape the gain and the tone for variety. Maybe by using a depth control, a la the old Matamp/Orange amps (and a lot of popular high end dirt pedals), a 2 band passive EQ section and active mid level/freq control setup, similar to how SVT bass amps have (but voiced appropriately for your application). Then you could go from thick and explosive, saturated fuzzy tones, to tight and crisp on the edge of breakup Marshall tones and in between. The only thing I don't think you could easily keep in there would be modern high gain sounds, but who knows. I would love to be able to go from a slammed Matamp GT120 type tone to a pushed Marshall JTM45 or 2204 style tone with one amp. Maybe have two gain/depth controls with a switch, if you want to get crazy. These are my off the top of my head ideas about it.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby mathias » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:38 am

waltdogg wrote:actually kinda surprised [clean pedal platform is] the number one suggestion in i love doom lol.


I think it's because a lot of great fuzz and distortion pedals sound bad into a crunchy amp. But, some pedals are designed to work with amp crunch, and sound better. :idk:

Also, because "modern high gain" sounds aren't quite doom either? :idk:

I think the Science Hellhawk you've got waltdogg, is really versatile for both loud and quiet playing volumes and both clean and crunchy/ high gain sounds. (Sorry to bring other builders' amps into the thread, PureSalem, but it feels like comparisons must be made.) My guess is that the cleaner channel on the Hellhawk takes pedals just fine? And I know you were playing in a doom band, so I'm guessing the crunch was adequate...
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby Corey Y » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:54 am

mathias wrote:I think it's because a lot of great fuzz and distortion pedals sound bad into a crunchy amp. But, some pedals are designed to work with amp crunch, and sound better. :idk:

Also, because "modern high gain" sounds aren't quite doom either? :idk:

I think the Science Hellhawk you've got waltdogg, is really versatile for both loud and quiet playing volumes and both clean and crunchy/ high gain sounds. (Sorry to bring other builders' amps into the thread, PureSalem, but it feels like comparisons must be made.) My guess is that the cleaner channel on the Hellhawk takes pedals just fine? And I know you were playing in a doom band, so I'm guessing the crunch was adequate...


Sorry to tangent this thread, but I totally agree with this and I've seen some terrible demo videos from reputable and knowledgeable pedal builders stating the opposite. I watched a video that was essentially "listen to how this fuzz sounds through a clean amp" and the fuzz pedal was set intentionally terrible. Then "listen to how great it sounds through a cranked amp!" and then they set the fuzz to a more reasonable setting...and it sounded like ASS. I mean, I know tone is subjective, different strokes, cool...but I cringed. I have made tons of recorded fuzz demo clips and I keep getting the "how do you get a ___ to sound like that??" question over and over. I literally only just plug into a good sounding clean amp with neutral settings and play with the pedal settings until it sounds cool. A good pedal platform amp is super simple...and kind of not even really necessary. There are tons of amps that are great pedal platforms, you're just ignoring 75% of its built in features. Which I understand, makes some people want an amp that doesn't have those extras and just exactly what they need. I've successfully used a Traynor YBA-1, Carvin X100-B, modded Showman clone (50W, normal channel only, with a 3 band tone stack), Sound City B120 and L120, Hiwatt Custom 50, Marshall JCM800, Peavey VTM10 and a bunch of other stuff and got great heavy doom fuzz, overdrive and distortion tones. Some were easier to dial in at different volumes or with different pedals. You could probably do it with almost anything really, you just might be wasting a bunch of extra features in some cases or turning knobs a lot more than you would with other amps.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby mathias » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:17 am

A real big problem in the industry is chasing vintage/retro sounds/specs and catering to blooz lawyers. Gain stages seem to suffer because either "that's how it sounded" or "that's what sounds good with my Blues Jr / Two rock / Dr. Z / dumbo amp."

Being in a niche means things are a little harder to nail down but you can stake a claim for what *you* want to do. More points of comparison with Science: his deal is amps that are reliable and get loud for live use, because he was in bands and touring a lot. Things that didn't fit that niche (the Shiv) got cut because it didn't make sense to have a 30 watt amp that needed different parts. He wasn't catering to those that can't use a 50 watt head at home.

So I guess going back to your original post, PureSalem, can you nail down the sound and the niche you're after a little more? Can you cut everything from an amp that is superfluous to that sound? Etc.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby waltdogg » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:04 pm

the hellhawk is essentially a very dirty amp but makes a great pedal platform so...
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby Corey Y » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:20 pm

waltdogg wrote:the hellhawk is essentially a very dirty amp but makes a great pedal platform so...


Just depends on what you call dirty and how you like your pedal tone. Mileages, variances and such.
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Re: PureSalem: Help Us Design Our First Amp Head

Postby waltdogg » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:33 pm

true. but it's a matter of fact the hellhawk has the dirtiest power section out of all the science amps, so it's definitely not intended to be loud and clean but it does loud and clean just fine for me.
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