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What do guitar players need to think about when buying amps?


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@HANGAR18...

I think that the phenomenon you are so aptly describing is normally called "sag".  It happens in tube rectified tube guitar amps when the power tubes write a check that the tube rectified power supply doesn't have enough cash on hand to give.  It takes a few moments to finish paying off the electron debt.  Sag is part of the touch and tonal magic of the amp.  OK, great, but...to get that to happen that 20-30-40 watt push pull power section (output tubes in pairs)  amp has to be caaaaranked up waaaay too loud for it to happen under 88-98db venue front of house volume ceilings.  It's more of a relic from Woodstock type of presentation to the front of the house in outdoor venues allowing old school, huge stage volumes.  One thing that happens, during that time the power tubes are being starved while being thrashed is a drastic increase in distortion with lots of harmonic dressing on the tone salad,  evident in chords when struck hard on the strings, sag causes a very compressed sounding, distorted chord attack   Single note work, in contrast, seems to have a compressed attack, more singing sound in the sustain, harmonic content increases in long sustained notes when sag is occurring.   

One boutique builder's short lived but great build and sonics is the Maven Peal line of tube guitar amp heads.  They featured amps from 15 to 100 watts in their line.  They were solid state rectified tube amps but they had an adjustable sag control knob.  Only amp I have ever known of that had that feature,  used ones infrequently can be found 1500-2000-ish on eBay.  The build, iron, and tone sets are sensational.  Any of them can run in a practical stage setup volume and still deliver the goods in spades.

You could use an attenuator to get that to happen at sensible settings, but there will be a darkening of your basic tones from them that increases with how much the output gets attenuated, along with a significant decrease in output tube life...

So if the manufacturer of that amp talking about no sag in his amp, likely it will be solid state rectified and have a substantial power transformer...  

Edited by 212Mavguy
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1 hour ago, 212Mavguy said:

@HANGAR18...

I think that the phenomenon you are so aptly describing is normally called "sag".  It happens in tube rectified tube guitar amps when the power tubes write a check that the tube rectified power supply doesn't have enough cash on hand to give.  It takes a few moments to finish paying off the electron debt.  Sag is part of the touch and tonal magic of the amp.  OK, great, but...to get that to happen that 20-30-40 watt push pull power section (output tubes in pairs)  amp has to be caaaaranked up waaaay too loud for it to happen under 88-98db venue front of house volume ceilings.  It's more of a relic from Woodstock type of presentation to the front of the house in outdoor venues allowing old school, huge stage volumes.  One thing that happens, during that time the power tubes are being starved while being thrashed is a drastic increase in distortion with lots of harmonic dressing on the tone salad,  evident in chords when struck hard on the strings, sag causes a very compressed sounding, distorted chord attack   Single note work, in contrast, seems to have a compressed attack, more singing sound in the sustain, harmonic content increases in long sustained notes when sag is occurring.   

One boutique builder's short lived but great build and sonics is the Maven Peal line of tube guitar amp heads.  They featured amps from 15 to 100 watts in their line.  They were solid state rectified tube amps but they had an adjustable sag control knob.  Only amp I have ever known of that had that feature,  used ones infrequently can be found 1500-2000-ish on eBay.  The build, iron, and tone sets are sensational.  Any of them can run in a practical stage setup volume and still deliver the goods in spades.

You could use an attenuator to get that to happen at sensible settings, but there will be a darkening of your basic tones from them that increases with how much the output gets attenuated, along with a significant decrease in output tube life...

So if the manufacturer of that amp talking about no sag in his amp, likely it will be solid state rectified and have a substantial power transformer...  

YEp! That's it! Sag... Great explanation.

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30 minutes ago, HANGAR18 said:

YEp! That's it! Sag... Great explanation.

I dunno, I think PRS makes some SWELL amps, including the Blistertone, the Dallas (iirc, someone here at the HOC had a sweet 4x10 combo), and my personal fav - the HX/DA, which I have loaded with a pair of KT77s. 😎

 

fr.gif

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15 minutes ago, myoldfriend said:

I dunno, I think PRS makes some SWELL amps, including the Blistertone, the Dallas (iirc, someone here at the HOC had a sweet 4x10 combo), and my personal fav - the HX/DA, which I have loaded with a pair of KT77s. 😎

 

fr.gif

You can buy that Dallas if you want. I had to sell it and many other amps during covid to buy food and stuff.

https://mattsguitars.com/products/paul-reed-smith-dallas-4x10-combo

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21 minutes ago, HANGAR18 said:

You can buy that Dallas if you want. I had to sell it and many other amps during covid to buy food and stuff.

https://mattsguitars.com/products/paul-reed-smith-dallas-4x10-combo

Negative.  Not even Criss Angel could get that beast past my wife 💀

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