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Clarky

A 500W head with valve preamp for £249!!!!!

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[quote name='bremen' post='277996' date='Sep 5 2008, 04:30 PM']Wonder what sort of quality valve they use in it though?[/quote]
I suppose that is a nice easy thing to change tho.

Still dead interested in the LH1000. I was comparing its features to the Ashdown Little Giant (coz both are 2x 500W power amps) but the Ashdown loses on at least three counts:
1. lack of ability to bridge the power amps
2. lack of valve
3. lack of availability still

Obviously the Hartke is bigger and heavier but I'd choose it based on "bridgeability" alone.

EDIT - yes, I am comparing chalk and cheese, I know! :)

Edited by Merton

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[quote name='bremen' post='277996' date='Sep 5 2008, 04:30 PM']Haha, Alembic nicked the design from Fender, then RG Keen (whoever he is) sticks the schematic on his site and has the cheek to slap a copyright warning on it.

Alex is right about the unclippability of the input stage. And it does look like a bargain, specially considering how much Alembic charge for their version of it. Wonder what sort of quality valve they use in it though?[/quote]

Sovtek in mine ( I swopped it out for an old but good Brimar )

Will.

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Only just caught up with this thread, I've got an LH500 which I got to use as a back up for my LM11, and also to drive a couple of extra speakers if I need to, for outside gigs, marquees etc. Needless to say it wont be getting much use, in fact i've only used it once at a rehearsal, through a couple of Omni 10.5s. What I can tell you is the BFM/LM11 combination is superb, with exceptional clarity where pretty much every nuance of your playing is heard , certainly on stage, and I'm told, out front, too, right down to the low B. I usually have the LM2 controls flat, as there's so much tonal capability on my AC preamp, I can make all the adjustments i need using that. I found the LH500 to be warmer sounding than the markbass, and by boosting its mid control I could get it to cut through the mix nearly as well as the LM2, although the B string wasn't as defined.Volume wise, I reckon its as loud, too.I must add, that in my opinion, the BFM cabs are responsible for a great deal of the clarity. Like I said, this is based on one outing with it, but on the strength of that, I'm pleased with it so far. I might gig it on Saturday, and report back! Its not going to replace the Markbass, but for what I bought it for, its ideal, especially the price tag! (£239 shipped)

BTW I plug the bass into the "passive" input and roll off the volume a little, works fine for me.

I'll see about bringing the LH500 to the SE bash, if anyone wants a go, depending on transport arrangements

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[quote name='andyonbass' post='278028' date='Sep 5 2008, 05:02 PM']I'll see about bringing the LH500 to the SE bash, if anyone wants a go, depending on transport arrangements[/quote]
This will incur the wrath of those in the SE bash rigs poll but I'd love to see/hear one... :)

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[quote name='Merton' post='278032' date='Sep 5 2008, 05:09 PM']This will incur the wrath of those in the SE bash rigs poll but I'd love to see/hear one... :)[/quote]


I know, that's why I said "I'll see about" bringing it!! :huh: i'll post on the other thread see if it can be included in the poll

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[quote name='andyonbass' post='278028' date='Sep 5 2008, 05:02 PM']I'll see about bringing the LH500 to the SE bash, if anyone wants a go, depending on transport arrangements[/quote]
Damn. I wont be able to find out how much better than my Shuttle it is.

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I quite like the simplicity of the LH500, no mad Eq sliders, no crazy frequency options, the preamp circuit idea is a plus for me too, I don't really get along with all valve set ups, so I'm thinking about getting hold of one.

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I actually like the sound of this purely on the principle of simplicity. My perfect amp would just have a volume knob and an on switch, and sound great without tweaking :)

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[quote name='andyonbass' post='278028' date='Sep 5 2008, 05:02 PM']I'll see about bringing the LH500 to the SE bash, if anyone wants a go, depending on transport arrangements[/quote]
Oh yes please mister. I'm thinking about one of these (or the 1000) with (among others) Omnis or a barefacedbass Compact or 2 for me new rig...

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='277990' date='Sep 5 2008, 04:23 PM']In my old SWR Grand Prix one side of the 12AX7 valve was use as the input buffer, with a choice of passive or a padded active input. The preamp gain knob came after this, then the EQ, then the output gain. (The other half of the valve was used in the aural enhancer). Turning the preamp gain down would not stop you clipping the input with a loud bass, that's what the padded input was for. This is the same for all SWR designs.[/quote]

Cheers alex. I am still confused but no change here.
I owned an SWR grand pre and SWR SM900 for many years, certainly cutting back the pre amp input level was needed to obtain an optimal signal level when I used it...

And without the adjustability of a gain level control I dont see how you can do otherwise....

edit, just looked at my manual for the SWR. This is straight from the SWR manual and is what I am talking about:-
[quote]GAIN CONTROL
The Gain control adjusts the volume of the preamp section. Since the Gain control is similar to
a “pad,” a small amount of signal will be heard even with the Gain rotated fully counter-clockwise
(with the Master Volume up).
After all EQ settings and the Aural Enhancer are set, the Gain control should be raised until the preamp
clip LED barely flashes upon striking your loudest note. This will insure maximum signal-to-noise ratio
and prevent unwanted clipping of the preamp section[/quote]

So unless you have an adjustable input gain how can you obtain maximum signal-to-noise ratio ?

Edited by david_l_perry

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[quote name='david_l_perry' post='278148' date='Sep 5 2008, 07:31 PM']So unless you have an adjustable input gain how can you obtain maximum signal-to-noise ratio ?[/quote]

If you use a sufficiently low noise preamp then you don't need to maximise the signal to noise ratio. Similar quality/design valve gear tends to have lower self-noise than equivalent s/s gear.

With my Avalon U5 and RIM Custom bass there is effectively zero noise - U5 is -100dB and passive well-shielded humbucking pickups.

Alex

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[quote name='david_l_perry' post='278148' date='Sep 5 2008, 07:31 PM']Cheers alex. I am still confused but no change here.
I owned an SWR grand pre and SWR SM900 for many years, certainly cutting back the pre amp input level was needed to obtain an optimal signal level when I used it...

And without the adjustability of a gain level control I dont see how you can do otherwise....

edit, just looked at my manual for the SWR. This is straight from the SWR manual and is what I am talking about:-


So unless you have an adjustable input gain how can you obtain maximum signal-to-noise ratio ?[/quote]

your other option would be the good old volume knob on your bass, although this would limit you to finding a sweet spot and having the ability mid gig to bump up your signal whilst playing, though i'm sure with a bit of playing you could find an output level that would give you a certain amount of felxability in that department.
but like alex has said in this situation there SHOULD be enough headroom already to deal with the lack of input gain variability.

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[quote name='lowhand_mike' post='282798' date='Sep 12 2008, 05:39 PM']your other option would be the good old volume knob on your bass, although this would limit you to finding a sweet spot and having the ability mid gig to bump up your signal whilst playing, though i'm sure with a bit of playing you could find an output level that would give you a certain amount of felxability in that department.
but like alex has said in this situation there SHOULD be enough headroom already to deal with the lack of input gain variability.[/quote]


No input level control? It just seems wrong with a valve in the system.
How do you get the right amount of "valve sound" in the mix without a control on the head's preamp?
Use my bass volume control? Are you joking? How do I get it to exactly the right place in the middle of a gig on the bass volume knob if the right place happens to be 77% of full on?

I don't see how this can work (for me).

However that's Very Big bang for the bucks so I guess you could buy a Visual Volume pedal or other floor based signal limiter with the change.

And, "Worst Feature Ever": I'd have to stick a correctly spelled sticker over the "Brite" switch label..

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[quote name='OldGit' post='284827' date='Sep 16 2008, 10:45 AM']No input level control? It just seems wrong with a valve in the system...[/quote]

Seams wrong even without a valve in the system.....but hey what do I know...

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i may sound like a retard but couldnt you just use somethin like the hartke vxl as a gain control?

Edited by darbs

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[quote name='OldGit' post='284827' date='Sep 16 2008, 10:45 AM']No input level control? It just seems wrong with a valve in the system. How do you get the right amount of "valve sound" in the mix without a control on the head's preamp?[/quote]

Why does everyone assume that the reason a valve is in a preamp is to provide some measure of dirt? The Dual Showman / Alembic / Hartke topology uses the valve as a high impedance, high headroom and low distortion input buffer and then as a low distortion output gain. It is not designed to get you distortion, dirt, overdrive, etc. It is solely there to provide a clean fat sound, much like valves are sometimes used in high-end hi-fi.

[quote name='david_l_perry' post='284945' date='Sep 16 2008, 12:52 PM']Seems wrong even without a valve in the system...[/quote]

If you don't need an input gain control then why have one? Most preamps need an input gain control because they have insufficient headroom and too much noise to work well without.

Alex

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='298561' date='Oct 3 2008, 01:23 PM']Why does everyone assume that the reason a valve is in a preamp is to provide some measure of dirt? The Dual Showman / Alembic / Hartke topology uses the valve as a high impedance, high headroom and low distortion input buffer and then as a low distortion output gain. It is not designed to get you distortion, dirt, overdrive, etc. It is solely there to provide a clean fat sound, much like valves are sometimes used in high-end hi-fi.[/quote]


Could it be that for years we've been told that by amp manufacturers?

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[quote name='OldGit' post='298564' date='Oct 3 2008, 01:28 PM']Could it be that for years we've been told that by amp manufacturers?[/quote]

Well you should know better than to trust them! They claim you can get 100dB+ sensitivity and strong response below 40Hz out of a compact 12"! :)

Not all manufacturers claim valves are for dirt - I don't believe SWR or Eden ever have. Or Alembic, or Demeter, or...

Alex

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='298583' date='Oct 3 2008, 02:01 PM']Well you should know better than to trust them! They claim you can get 100dB+ sensitivity and strong response below 40Hz out of a compact 12"! :huh:

Not all manufacturers claim valves are for dirt - I don't believe SWR or Eden ever have. Or Alembic, or Demeter, or...

Alex[/quote]


Ok Thanks Alex ..: :)

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='298561' date='Oct 3 2008, 01:23 PM'][b]Why does everyone assume that the reason a valve is in a preamp is to provide some measure of dirt?[/b] The Dual Showman / Alembic / Hartke topology uses the valve as a high impedance, high headroom and low distortion input buffer and then as a low distortion output gain. It is not designed to get you distortion, dirt, overdrive, etc. It is solely there to provide a clean fat sound, much like valves are sometimes used in high-end hi-fi.



If you don't need an input gain control then why have one? Most preamps need an input gain control because they have insufficient headroom and too much noise to work well without.

Alex[/quote]

I don't think any has assumed that.

Use the Ashdown ABM for example, there is a volume control for the instrument signal as well as an active/passive switch. They seem to have acknowledged that not all instruments have the same output volume and users might want to have some sort of control to the overall output voume without having to compress/limit the signal.

You can also control just how much "dirt" you want from the valve (clean/grind). As far as I can see the Hartke essentially has just one setting.

Don't get me started on the EQ options :)

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I can only say that the Hartke LH amps do NOT NEED an input gain.
If worries about SNR are stopping you buy one, then you are mistaken - there is no problem and if you do experience any unwanted background noise the problem is more likely with your instrument.

The sound is very clean and rich in tone with plenty of headroom and as good or better SNR than many amps with or without input gains.
Turning the volume control up, simply increases the volume!

If the spelling of brite is the worst feature, then these amps more than make up for that in sound quality which is both hi fi and gutsy - try one before judging is my advice and if you'd still rather spend double on a lightweight digital amp with an input gain, fine - it's your money.

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[quote name='Protium' post='298613' date='Oct 3 2008, 02:48 PM']I don't think any has assumed that.

Use the Ashdown ABM for example, there is a volume control for the instrument signal as well as an active/passive switch. They seem to have acknowledged that not all instruments have the same output volume and users might want to have some sort of control to the overall output voume without having to compress/limit the signal.[/quote]

The Hartke has a knob for overall output volume. That is your control for overall output volume. Job done!

[quote name='Protium' post='298613' date='Oct 3 2008, 02:48 PM']You can also control just how much "dirt" you want from the valve (clean/grind). As far as I can see the Hartke essentially has just one setting.[/quote]

This preamp design runs the valve at such a high voltage that you can't get grind from it unless you use a booster pedal before it. You may not like that but others do. It's far more authentic implementation of a valve preamp than the wimpy lower voltage attempts in just about every other head on the market!

This is a dual channel version of this preamp - it lists for $1350:

[url="http://www.alembic.com/prod/f2b.html"]http://www.alembic.com/prod/f2b.html[/url]

Alex

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[quote name='redstriper' post='298621' date='Oct 3 2008, 02:57 PM']I can only say that the Hartke LH amps do NOT NEED an input gain.
If worries about SNR are stopping you buy one, then you are mistaken - there is no problem and if you do experience any unwanted background noise the problem is more likely with your instrument.

The sound is very clean and rich in tone with plenty of headroom and as good or better SNR than many amps with or without input gains.
Turning the volume control up, simply increases the volume!

If the spelling of brite is the worst feature, then these amps more than make up for that in sound quality which is both hi fi and gutsy - try one before judging is my advice and if you'd still rather spend double on a lightweight digital amp with an input gain, fine - it's your money.[/quote]


Done that, spent triple, actually .. :)

As I said It probably won't work [b]for me[/b].. unless by some very happy and extremely cost effective co-incidence, the sound that Larry has give it suits me most of the time ...

I'm just a tecno numpty that wants to have different sounds rather than a "one sound fits all" solution, louder or quieter ..

I still want an input control that[i] changes[/i] the sound, like we've had for years with most mainstream amps.

I don't really know, or care about, the stuff that makes that happen inside the box I just want tone variation.
It's alwys been: input knob sets the sound, (modified by the tone controls), output knob sets how loud it is ..

On this amp I can't see how I can achieve that.
It reminds me of the olden days before master volume guitar amps when lead [email protected] in WMC's just [i]had to[/i] turn the wick right up on their Marshall to get the same sound as Jimi did in the studio .. and the subsequent invitations to GYGAFO "get your gear and f... off" we'd receive at half time ...
But I digress ..

Edited by OldGit

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='298639' date='Oct 3 2008, 03:12 PM']The Hartke has a knob for overall output volume. That is your control for overall output volume. Job done!



This preamp design runs the valve at such a high voltage that you can't get grind from it unless you use a booster pedal before it. You may not like that but others do. It's far more authentic implementation of a valve preamp than the wimpy lower voltage attempts in just about every other head on the market!

This is a dual channel version of this preamp - it lists for $1350:

[url="http://www.alembic.com/prod/f2b.html"]http://www.alembic.com/prod/f2b.html[/url]

Alex[/quote]

You missed what I was saying there. IMO the design would benefit from an input volume control.

Edit: OG has hit the nail on the head in the post above. No control on input, limited control on EQ.

I bet $1000 of that preamp is down to the Alembic marque :)

Edited by Protium

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