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Old school amp for new school sound

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:29 pm
by mrmega
I have been considering an old Silvertone, Harmony etc amp.


Any suggestions?


Does the hum associated with them go away when you change the 2 prong plug to a 3 prong?



Any paticular models that have 2 ... maybe 3 tone controls that you reccomend?

I have seen a lot with 8 speakers. What kind of frequency response do they get? Would I be better served holding out for one with a 12" speaker(s)?

I want to avoid a muddy sound, looking for clear but not brittle highs.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:10 pm
by jeffl
Are you gonna play harp or guitar through it? Are you gonna gig with it in a band, or solo, home & rehearsal, or what...? Are you thinkin' 6-15 watts, like mosta the old little combo amps, or are you lookin' for 15-30 watts, or bigger...? Set us up here, Big One. This is always fun.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:16 pm
by mrmega
I am looking to play electric guitar in the studio (Strats, Tele, Les Paul Customs etc). I wouldnt gig with it. Mainly slide and Rythym.

Wattage isnt the issue for me, Its all about tone in a controlled studio environment. Might look to drive it to breakuop with the volume, or maybe push it with a boost or overdrive pedal. SO if a low wattage amp offers these thngs its all good if not, I would turn to a higher wattage.


Related question: Can an old amp like that take having the front end pushed with a LOUD boost or would I risk frying the input stage?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:11 pm
by JLynn
The silvertone 1482 is a great little amp and it has tremolo and verb that to boot. If you find an old amp that's humming it probably has more to do with the old oil in paper caps drying out and not working efficiently. Replacing those caps is a pretty modest job for an amp technician to do for you. Adding a ground plug is a good idea more for safety than anything else and something I'd have a tech do along with the cap replacement.

There are several other cool small amps but of all the ones I've seen these silvertones seem to be much more affordable and readily available at the same time. Folks are paying way too much for those old Supro's and the like. Another bargain/vintage line to look at would be the old Ampegs but those may be a bit louder than what your looking for.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:35 pm
by ricochet
You can't fry an input stage of a tube amp by overdriving it.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:37 pm
by jeffl
The guy who owns the music store I frequent just finished recording and mixing a CD for his blues band, and he's been selling off the old studio amps he used: '78 Champ Silverface, '68 Guild Maverick (killer tube w/SS rectifier, 50 watts but compact), '63 Ampeg ReverbRocket,Gibson Skylark, '62 Gretsch 6161. The Ampeg and the Gretsch would sell for $450 -$800 depending on seller; Ampeg is 25 watts and the Gretsch around 16.Both of 'em have nice reverb and tremolo. The Champ's a one-trick pony,but it does the same trick well every time. The Guild Maverick is a stone cold killer with a voice all it's own, and dorky late 60's "modern" styling. He also had a '53 Fender Deluxe that brought obscene dollars.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:10 pm
by thebluesbox
call it a sales pitch if you want or horn tooting, but I put amps like you discribed together as fresh new looking amps with various coverings. The amp you just detailed is this to the Tee.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &rd=1&rd=1

What I do is what a lotta guys start out to do and never finish or get it off the ground. I put vintage gear together customized into great new cabs with varous speaker combinations and create some great amps.

The chassis of this above amp is a silvertone 6V6 power tubes 6X5 rec and 12ax7 pre. This thing begs to be pushed to over drive with the volume knob, its simpley that kinda amp, the vintage old school crank me amps from the 60's.

Older amps do hum some what, some worse then others, and some hardly even noticable for many reasons, one is they are old period, others can be minimized with a cap job and some sheilding new tubes and 3 prong grounding it etc. But too much off all of that and you end up with a new amp thats not quite vintage anymore.

If your interested in some different custom work email me, I have a few more projects in the making as we speak, need a little different things like different covering, different handle or hardware, a certain speaker etc. I can hook you up. The best part about what I do is Im a musician too and I am in the mix so I know what Im looking for in sound and I know what sounds good. Also I have seen what others charge for custom boutique jobs and the ones I turn out are a fraction of that, making these much more affordable for the workin man! I know I am one :-)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:50 am
by jaybee
I just bought an Epiphone Valve Junior head, 5 watt tube amp, they have them in combo with an 8" speaker too. The head sounded great through the 2x12 speakers of an old LabSeries L5 we have in the rehearsal room.
US price for the head is around $100...