Guitar Amp Head Kit

Questions and Answers

Which full valve guitar amplifier should i buy?

I am looking for a full valve guitar amp for around £300.
It needs to be loud enough to play with a quietish drum kit.
Currently i have looked at an epiphone valve senior in both and combo and cab and head form. I have also looked at some smaller amps such as the vox ac4 but am a bit worried about its small size. Any advice would be greatly welcome. Many thanks in advance.

Posted by James D
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Well I have the Valve Jr. And the AC4. The AC4 is a good sounding amp, but even though it is only 1 watt less, the Valve Jr. Is much louder. The AC4 is a great practice amp but not enough to jam with a drummer unless he is pretty quiet and you really crank the amp. Never heard one of the new Valve Sr. Models but with all of the goodies they added it should sound really good. I had my Jr. Modified but it still doesn't have all the cool stuff the Senior has. I think you would really like the Epiphone and at 20 watts you will be more than loud enough. My 5 watt Jr. Will get very loud. All I own are low watt class A valve amps, it's the only way to fly!! The Marshall Class 5 might be worth looking at also.

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Questions and Answers

Best tube amp head for blues under $2000?

I have a sick american made Bolt cab with v30's and everything, but im not crazy about the head (bth100). Im probably going to save up for 2-3 amp heads to go with my cab. I am a very versatile player, but dont want to suffer the lack of tone through a modeling amp. Im thinking 1 head for blues-rock and one for metal or one for blues one for rock and one for metal. I know what i want if i get one for metal, but i dont know what to go with for a blues clean/warm overdrive tone. I am always open for combo suggestions, but would prefer a head. I also want a good warm clean and overdrive in the amp. I dont like using distortion pedals because i have never played through one that i like, and i seem to like distortion in-amp better. All-in-all,
-amp head
-blues tone
-overdrive in amp
-preferably new, but if its exactly what i watn ill go used.

Posted by bob
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I would look for an old Boogie MKIIC+ Simul-Class, or a blackface pre-CBS Fender Super Reverb. Larry Carlton used these amps for his signature tone early in his career. Either of these will probably consume your entire budget, but I don't think you'll feel any sort of buyer's remorse!
Here's a MK IIC+ head and cabinet with the EVM 12" speaker. The EVM 12 is *the* speaker to pair with this head. I would buy this in a heartbeat if I were looking for one:


Something to know about Boogie MKIIs: the original USA-made GE Sylvania 6L6 power tubes that the circuit was designed around stopped being manufactured decades ago. The original, unmodified Boogie MKII amps draw a very high plate current that will burn up most 6L6s in around 30 seconds. Boogie did make a modification kit available to reduce the plate current so the amp could be used with other 6L6s. IDK whether that changes the tone or not, but you should know whether you are getting the modded version or the original version. NOS tubes for this amp go for a pretty penny (like $250 a pair) but they can be had. The Philips ECM 6L6 will also work in an unmodded MKII+ without blowing up. The Philips tube has just a tiny bit less warmth than the GE Sylvania; probably noticeable only to a tone freak who has spent a lot of hours playing an unmodded MKIIC+ with the Sylvania-made tubes installed. All considered, a GREAT amp, esp if your ears are capable of discerning the tonal difference between a fully functional MKIIC+ and something that only comes close.

Heres a couple Super Reverbs too:



Note that some schlong is selling kits for making a silverface amp into a blackface one… So make sure you do your homework before buying any of these amps: know what the characteristics of the real McCoy are, in particular what it should play and sound like. A good way to do this would be to go to local music stores that carry vintage gear and ask nicely and respectfully to allow you to play their expensive vintage gear. Explain that you are in the market and would consider buying from them but need to educate yourself before committing the cash. If you do find the right amp at a local store, I'd jump at it in favor of an online dealer, because you have somewhere to go with the amp if there's a problem. Not that you can expect much warranty on an item that is 30 years old, but a good shop will be interested in your repeat business beyond the sale and will probably give you some sort of approval period or short warranty period, and help you out if you encounter a problem.

I also like the tweed Fender Bassman reissues and the tweed Blues DeVille reissues. A lot less pricey than the previous pair, can be bought new, and sound really REALLY good. The DeVille has a warm, musical clean tone that would please any jazzer and it's also capable of a sweet, singing, saturated Santana-like distortion. If I were going to pick just one amp of all of these, the DeVille 4×10 with 6L6s is the most bang for the buck. You can pick them up new for under a grand or used around $500. This one has a new set of tubes (worth $100) so I think his price is on the money:


The Boogie actually began life as a hot-rodded Bassman FYI.

Questions and Answers

General guitar question?

Ok, this is a rather long, multi-part question, so I'll be as brief as possible.

1) I have two SG's and a Hondo made Strat that has a 3/4 size body with a full size neck and one humbucker. I really like the strat, as it was my first real guitar, but it will NOT stay in tune, the little nut holding the input jack fell off when my brother borrowed it and he forgot to tell me till he gave it back. The strings all sound really… Flat and nasal sounding. I think this is because of the cheapo bridge or tuners, but I'm not sure. The electronics do not work at all. Is it worth $100 + to have it fixed and have a new trem put in it?

2) Regarding the SG's, the electronics in my Epiphone are also shot, even though I can find nothing wrong with the wiring. Would it be worth it to have a tech put this Http://…
in it? And would changing the pickups make a noticable difference in the tone? And would this neck fit on an Epiphone G-310 SG?

3) I have a Line 6 Spider 3 30 watt with a broken gain knob. The knob just broke right off, leaving the little rod thing in the amp. How would I go about fixing this? Also, my amp sounds kind of "nasaly". Could I do something in the EQ like cut the mids to make it sound diffferent? I run a Boss DS-1 through the clean channel, so maybe I could do something on the stompbox?

If anyone has an answer to any one of these problems, I appreciate your advice greatly. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Ian E
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Hi Ian…
Number One…The won't stay in tune might be because the neck is full sized and the body is 3/4 scale. That would change the intonation radically I'd think. One way to tell is to measure from the nut to the 12th fret and from the 12th fret to the bridge saddles. If they are not the exact same measurement. BOOM!, no proper intonation.
The little nut for the jack is no problem. Just go to radio shack or something and buy a phone jack. And use the nuts to replace the ones on the Hondo or replace the whole jack. It could the nasal sound is your amp like you mentioned. The MIdrange is what give the sound presence.
Higher midrange give the guitar sound more body. I usually set my spider 3 to about 6-7 on the midrange. For the strat you want full bass, high treble 8-10 and midrange 6-8. Higher midrange makes it too much "there" and less makes it sound far away and thin.

As for Electronics…What the heck are you doing to your guitars, dude? LOL I've never had a problem with electronics in 35 years of playing electric guitar. Now…you don't say what the problem electrically that you If you have volume or tone controls dropping out when turning them or are scratchy sounding then the upgrade kit might be worth doing to the epiphone.

With the Hondo…..Jeez…probably not worth the effort….It would probably be cheaper to get a Squier HSS strat to replace it. SCheck the neck scale first if it's equal then you could fix it….
Since you have sound, you must mean your volume and tone knobs don't work…. The bridge is not the tone problem. Replace your volume and tone control pots or just get a new wired pickguard with pickups:

and a new set of machine heads

or if they fit:

I like these idiot gave a review on the product saying he had a hard time putting string on these. It is easy as pie to change strings and you don't have all the long string ends sticking out from the pegs. You just need to trim the string a bit before you put em on. So you don't have a lot of excessive winds on the pegs. But I had them in my 78 Strat and I LOVED how easy it was to change strings.

Oh…and changing the pickups on the SG won't make that much difference…It already has humbuckers…you might get a little more gain and sustain with a higher grade humbucker, maybe some Alnico V 's would sound a TAD better. Better to play with the amp settings, most guitars sound is from the amp not the guitar. Guitars DO have their own tonal qualities, more from the woods and construction though. An Amp can make a big difference.

As for the neck…I believe the Warmoth necks are designed to go on Fender guitars. To convert the scale of the fender from 22 frets to 24 frets. And if the LP necks are for a Gibson/epiphone….I think LP necks are a little thicker and wider than an SG neck. Plus did you check the prices for one?!!! It'll cost you $400 to get a cheap one…..

EDIT..forgot about the knob…
If the post is still sticking out, all you need ins areplacement knob. You can get one at Radio Shack or wherever. Just buy a knob similar in size and they mount with a set screw that tightens on the flat part of the knob or just slides over the slots on the round post.
That should not be a big deal.

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