Unique Tube Amps for Guitar

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The Amps

Sixteen

Retro

Retro 6V6

DynaMite

Dyno Tweed

Octal Champ

Mini Champ

Jazz Tank

Fanon Restoration

Living Room Amp

Sleeper

The Retro

The Retro is a Heathkit A7E mono amp converted into a guitar amp. It has a unique set of tubes (6SN7 and two 12A7's) in ultralinear mode. The sound is absolutely amazing! It has the original paper-in-oil capacitors, which give a creamy clean. Turning it up to 5 gets a smooth distortion.

The Retro is an extremely dynamic amp that really lets the guitar's tone shine through. You can really hear a difference when you switch pickups and change your picking to get different sounds.

Hear for yourself (sorry about the quality, I'm figuring out how to use my Boss BR8 recorder).

The recordings were made with the Retro through an EV SRO 12" speaker (no effects). The guitar is a Samick Les Paul with a pair of Dimarrzio humbuckers. I switched pickups but did not touch the amp during the recordings.

The Retro has a James tone stack tuned for guitar. It has a flat response with the treble and bass on 5. Turning up the treble and bass results in scooped mids. In the recordings, the bass is on about 2 and treble is on 10, which gives it a mid dip and a bright tone.

More preamp gain is available by pulling out the treble pot. This adds preamp distortion.

The amp does have negative feedback, which helps create those beautiful clean sounds. A simple modification would be to lower the feedback (by changing the resistor), which would add more "grit". Personally, I like the clean and smooth overdrive.


Check out my tube guitar amp repair blog (on MySpace)

Natural health research and writing is my main career. I'm a licensed naturopathic physician. www.naturdoctor.com and LinkedIn

Building and selling tube amps for guitar and HiFi is a hobby based on my previous career as an Electrical Engineer. Ampersand Amps