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Amp gimmicks that work


la bam

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A mute button is an essential for me. On board compressor not really, but drive and sub harmonics I have been known to use via footswitch. I don't find tweeters douch for me. 

I like the idea of flip top amps, I see Ashdown have done an Origin.AL fliptop now which would be good for carting stuff about. I love a kickback Combo, my old Hartke kickback sounded fantastic and it was always tilted, same with my old GK Backline. 

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For myself I like my amplifiers to be simple.

I use clip on tuners so no need for a built in tuner.

To mute my system I pull the instrument cable plug out of the amp's input jack slightly so no mute needed.

UV lights are just used to illuminate panel markings. I did very much like the electro luminescent panel from the HH IC100 series amps. I though it was cool.

I don't use rack effects so an effects loop is wasted on me.

Edited by BassmanPaul
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As someone that owns a MarkBass head (the goldline ltd edition 500w) with a near invisible markings on the EQ and gain/volume knobs, I would appreciate something like the more recent Gallien-Krueger heads that have an LED light for the mark so you know if they are centred or are wherever, even in the dark.

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2 minutes ago, Witch Hazel said:

powerCon.  i've never seen it for an amp either - i think it's mostly used for lighting? 

Yeh, I've had a few power amps using this fitting. Mainly pa amps. I like the 'click' reassurance it's in and you know it wont come loose.

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8 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Never seen that before. For speakers, yes. But not for mains power. 

In theory it's just another connector, like an iec kettle lead.

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5 minutes ago, la bam said:

Yeh, I've had a few power amps using this fitting. Mainly pa amps.

that makes sense, i've never used PA gear but i can see the advantage.  i do hate IEC cables with a fiery passion, so i certainly wouldn't object to a proper lockable power cable replacing it.

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18 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

That was one of my first real amps , I’ve still got a HH V-S bassamp , and it’s still going strong 🙂

D9EEB1A4-805D-41AE-B6F2-FE7A875D0C26.jpeg

I remember using those in rehearsal rooms back in the late 80s, great amps.

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18 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

That was one of my first real amps , I’ve still got a HH V-S bassamp , and it’s still going strong 🙂

D9EEB1A4-805D-41AE-B6F2-FE7A875D0C26.jpeg

Yeah I had one, too, but those concave chrome knobs always had reflections (they do in that pic, too) that confused things...

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On 18/07/2021 at 20:27, Sparky Mark said:

Yeah, but if they couldn't make simple LEDs work reliably that doesn't bode well for other aspects in my book. A perfectly good design compromised by a tacky marketing gimmick (IMO of course; YMMV).

Shame, you missed out on a good amp...mine had the LEDs blow, it was a £20 repair...nothing else so much as flickered in a lot of gigs...I rather liked them...

The Magellan's a better amp, tho...and no lights...

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Just now, Muzz said:

Shame, you missed out on a good amp...mine had the LEDs blow, it was a £20 repair...nothing else so much as flickered in a lot of gigs...I rather liked them...

The Magellan's a better amp, tho...and no lights...

Agreed, but there are so many good amps around at any one time that a reason to discount one is welcome on occasion. 

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59 minutes ago, Witch Hazel said:

that makes sense, i've never used PA gear but i can see the advantage.  i do hate IEC cables with a fiery passion, so i certainly wouldn't object to a proper lockable power cable replacing it.

You don't really need a Powercon on an instrument amp. They can handle higher currents than an IEC, which is why larger PA amps use them. However, no instrument amp will draw the kind of current that makes one essential. The fact that they are lockable is a bonus, although you can get locking IEC plugs and sockets.

Edited by Dan Dare
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1 hour ago, la bam said:

Yeh, I've had a few power amps using this fitting. Mainly pa amps. I like the 'click' reassurance it's in and you know it wont come loose.

Do you mean the 230 volt AC mains supply for the PA amps?  If an electrical appliance is 'class 2' which means it is doubly insulated, it doesn't need an earth connection.  I haven't seen a class 2 amp, they always seem to be class 1, which require an earth connection, via a third pin (the top one).  The powerCon leads have 2 conductors, not three, at least that is what I saw when I clicked the link above, so there is no earth connection provision with them.

Class 2 equipment in the UK and EU will have a particular logo, a square inside a square:

https://www.iso.org/obp/ui#iec:grs:60417:5172

If an amp is class 2, a 2 core cable and plug could be used to provide 230v AC, in which case a 2 core socket, like a speakon, could theoretically, be used, as long as it is rated for 230v AC and to at least 13 amps.

Most class 2 kit in the UK is smaller stuff, mobile phone chargers, some lights etc but I have seen class 2 irons, so there are larger current drawing class 2 appliances out there.

Edited by BillyBass
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25 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

You don't really need a Powercon on an instrument amp.

sure, you don't need it.  but i've worked in IT long enough that i'll take a lockable connector any day over one that can slip part way out and stop working while appearing visually fine.

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9 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

Do you mean the 230 volt AC mains supply for the PA amps?  If an electrical appliance is 'class 2' which means it is doubly insulated, it doesn't need an earth connection.  I haven't seen a class 2 amp, they always seem to be class 1, which require an earth connection, via a third pin (the top one).  The powerCon leads have 2 conductors, not three, at least that is what I saw when I clicked the link above, so there is no earth connection provision with them.

Class 2 equipment in the UK and EU will have a particular logo, a square inside a square:

https://www.iso.org/obp/ui#iec:grs:60417:5172

If an amp is class 2, a 2 core cable and plug could be used to provide 230v AC, in which case a 2 core socket, like a speakon, could theoretically, be used, as long as it is rated for 230v AC and to at least 13 amps.

Most class 2 kit in the UK is smaller stuff, mobile phone chargers, some lights etc but I have seen class 2 irons, so there are larger current drawing class 2 appliances out there.

Theres all kinds of connector from what I've seen, 2 pole, 4 pole etc. I'm sure I had one on an old matrix 500 ukp amp.

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2 hours ago, Sparky Mark said:

Agreed, but there are so many good amps around at any one time that a reason to discount one is welcome on occasion. 

I'm tending to agree with this approach, although mine at the time (a few years ago now) was to buy one of each, try it and then sell it on. The Streamliner stayed longer than most...I did think the Magellan was the best of the whole bunch*, though, and still do...

* And by 'bunch', I mean the 6" x 8" x 1" Class-D amps, a la MarkBass, Tonehammer, GK Fusion, etc, etc...I've had 'em all...well, most of them...

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

On 22/07/2021 at 20:53, dangoose said:

Nice lights make everything sound better to me😎 Functionally, a mute facility is the most useful feature. 

 

 

Why? All you have to do to mute any amplifier is pull the guitar cable slightly out of the input jack. :)

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On 18/07/2021 at 12:27, Sparky Mark said:

Yeah, but if they couldn't make simple LEDs work reliably that doesn't bode well for other aspects in my book. A perfectly good design compromised by a tacky marketing gimmick (IMO of course; YMMV).

Actually, it wasn’t an amp design issue. The LEDs were an early SiC type, some ended up with intermittent lead bonds to the die inside the LED package. This defect inside the part didn’t even begin to show up until after about 3 years of production and thousands of Streamliners sold, and affected maybe 10% of the amps, and we replaced them at no charge for over 10 years. In North America, when an amp comes in for service, we still replace them at no charge.

 

Yes, it was unfortunate. There was no way that we could have predicted it. Fortunately most players were more forgiving.

Edited by agedhorse
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