Anyone know anything about old Gretsch tube amps???

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Anyone know anything about old Gretsch tube amps???

Postby Mississippi John » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:06 pm

I hosted my monthly roots and blues jam last night at the local pub. A friend of mine showed up with her harp set-up, including this old Gretsch tuber and a custom bullet mic. she has sat in with us a number of times in the past, but never with her own mic and amp. Well, the sound was pretty good - the amp/mic combo got a really dirty sound!!! onyl problem was that the amp seemed to me to project a little too much high frequency treble. She agrees and wants a new amp.

It looked a lot like this one http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... PIC&ih=004

but I've yet to confirm model numbers.

As you can likely tell from my post so far, I am no harp player! But I am curious about old amps (although I confess to knowing nothing about them either). I would like to help my friend out and see if this amp can be made to sound a little better. Before I invest any time or money, though, is anyone out there familiar with these old amps? and if so, can you tell me if it is worth the effort??

Cheers!

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Postby bosco » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:39 pm

John-

What volume setting was she able to turn the amp up to before/or if she encountered feedback? It's standard practice to cut the treble way back and the bass up for a good harp tone on most tube amps. Problem is, on an old amp with a single tone control you are usually cutting gain as well when you turn the tone knob below the halfway point or neutral.

If she was only getting the amp up to 1/3 volume or so before feedback, you can diminish the level of the first preamp tube. This will let you turn the amp to a half volume setting or more before feedback, which in turn will allow you to turn the treble down and still have sufficient stage volume.

This is all explained in detail in the "Harp" section at the BigRoad mainpage-

http://www.bigroadblues.com/harp/index.html

I highly recommend you take twenty minutes and read the harp tutorial there, it will be time well spent to understand the concept and allow you to assist your friend before she dumps the amp and heads in another direction. Best of luck-

keep on harpin'...

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Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:24 pm

I see also that it had jacks for regular and treble. I guess I'd wanna try it in both regular jacks and see if there's any difference. And I'd definitely try it with the tone dialed almost all the way back to zero and then feed the tone up little by little. I've played through a coupla Gretsch amps of that vintage but they both had "Accordian" jacks and those worked great for harp.
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Postby Mississippi John » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:03 am

Gentlemen:

Those are both terrific observations and suggestions!!! I'll follow up on this and post my results in due time. Thanks for taking time out to reply!!!

Cheers,

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