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> Crank It Up!, Cool way to get cranked tube tone from your tube amps!
Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 1 2008, 10:15 PM
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Still skeptical (and I have been discussing this with tommyboy all afternoon over PM).

I don't think that power amp distortion explains the mojo you are experiencing, it has to be something else. As I explained in my PM for the benefit of others, the explanation above isn't really convincing. The main volume in this type of amp really just throws away signal at the input. Throw all the signal away and its on the 0, but move it to 10 (or even 11!) and it is dumping zero signal. The output of the power amp is a fixed proportion of the input as modified by the master volume, so the idea that the amp is somehow working harder because you turned the volume up misses the mark - the amp only works harder if you give it more input (e.g. dime the master volume). The only way to get saturation out of the power tubes is to feed it enough input that the tubes saturate, and that means they are throwing out max power, and will be loud.

So, whatever the mojo is, it isn't that, at least not form that explanation, and as I understand tube amps ...

still, its interesting, i'd dearly love to know what this thing is doing to beef up the tone!


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tommyboy
post Dec 2 2008, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Dec 1 2008, 03:15 PM) *
Still skeptical (and I have been discussing this with tommyboy all afternoon over PM).

I don't think that power amp distortion explains the mojo you are experiencing, it has to be something else. As I explained in my PM for the benefit of others, the explanation above isn't really convincing. The main volume in this type of amp really just throws away signal at the input. Throw all the signal away and its on the 0, but move it to 10 (or even 11!) and it is dumping zero signal. The output of the power amp is a fixed proportion of the input as modified by the master volume, so the idea that the amp is somehow working harder because you turned the volume up misses the mark - the amp only works harder if you give it more input (e.g. dime the master volume). The only way to get saturation out of the power tubes is to feed it enough input that the tubes saturate, and that means they are throwing out max power, and will be loud.

So, whatever the mojo is, it isn't that, at least not form that explanation, and as I understand tube amps ...

still, its interesting, i'd dearly love to know what this thing is doing to beef up the tone!


What can I say. Andrew is one very cool dude. He and I chatted all afternoon like he said. I think Andrew is right in what he's saying. I've been all over the internet trying to find something that would explain my mojo situation.

I'm getting some sound clips together so other can hear what I am. In the mean time I emailed Russell Bartholomee to see what his explaination was as to how his volume box works and here is his response.

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the kind words and for trying to stick up for me (and your ears). There is some mis-perception out there, some of which is based on other products, and some of which is based on an imperfect understanding of how most tube amps are set up.

The volume box goes in the effects loop between the preamp and power amp sections of the amp, adjusting the overall level between one and the other. Since all of the tone and EQ controls are in the pre-amp section, as well as a significant amount of tube distortion (people forget the preamp tubes and how important they are to the overall tone), it is a very useful thing to be able to set that where you want it and then adjust the overall level with the turn of one knob.

For those who will surely want to say that the volume box is merely a master volume, it should also be pointed out that while master volumes do this for the drive channel on most tube amps, they don't do a thing for the clean channel. The volume box gives the player control over the clean and drive channels at the same time. Used in conjunction with the master volume, you get even finer tune control over your drive channels level. You can eek out tones impossible with the master volume alone. Of course, if your amp lacks a master volume, the volume box gives you one as a bonus.

It's true that the volume box doesn't reduce the power amp level, as would a power soak or Hot Plate. Those devices cost a few hundred dollars, though. And in all honesty, the effect achieved by the volume box is so similar that I can't see spending 10x the amount of money. But I'm admittedly a fan of my own product. Luckily, a few thousand other customers on eBay have been as well, so people don't have to just take my word for it.

Thanks again for your enthusiasm. Hope this helps.

Russell


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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 2 2008, 03:05 AM
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Very fair I thought - he certainly isn't making any over the top claims, and seems pretty genuine - and as he rightly says, his box is a tenth the price of an attenuator.

It's still somewhat of a mystery though - can't wait to hear that comparison!


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FrankW
post Dec 2 2008, 03:13 AM
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What I find interesting is that the power section is also being cranked according to Tommyboy. If that's the case, there must be something to the claim. Pushing the power section is the key. If that part of the circuit figures into shaping the tone while using this box, then it must be a winner. I wonder about the life of the tubes at that point.
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Muris Varajic
post Dec 2 2008, 04:20 AM
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I'm not gonna wait for samples or anything like that,
I'm gonna order a piece right away! biggrin.gif


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tommyboy
post Dec 2 2008, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Dec 1 2008, 09:20 PM) *
I'm not gonna wait for samples or anything like that,
I'm gonna order a piece right away! biggrin.gif


I hope you have the same results I have! You will be a very respected voice about this device.

I'm curious what amp you'll be trying this with?


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Muris Varajic
post Dec 2 2008, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (tommyboy @ Dec 2 2008, 02:17 PM) *
I hope you have the same results I have! You will be a very respected voice about this device.

I'm curious what amp you'll be trying this with?


With Engl. smile.gif


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fatb0t
post Dec 2 2008, 08:54 PM
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Muris do you really need add ons with your engl? ahaha
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Muris Varajic
post Dec 3 2008, 10:55 AM
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QUOTE (fatb0t @ Dec 2 2008, 08:54 PM) *
Muris do you really need add ons with your engl? ahaha


Well it'll be nice to try it on low power,why not. smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 3 2008, 11:29 AM
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Im thinking about gettin attenuator, it is not too expensive, and does the job for sure smile.gif


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