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Build your own ultra-low-power EL84 tube amp *new*

I was thrilled that someone pointed out an article about a DIY project for inductive loads (see below), in response to my calls for new types of power tube saturation gear.

Posting on the Net about guitar processing has been very rewarding this time around! The Net is becoming pretty cool. Part of this good response is because there is a lot of much more sophisticated thinking than a couple years ago about the factors involved in guitar tone.

Two years ago people took seriously the proposition that a preamp tube would convincingly emulate a traditional guitar amp with saturating power tubes. But then Stevie Ray Vaughn, through tonal masterpieces such as "Let the Good Times Roll" proved that a preamp tube was insufficient. Now, it's kind of embarrassing reading all these ads and blurbs who go on and on about how authentic their gear is "because it has a preamp tube". SRV used a *solid state* overdrive pedal -- he was, to our surprise, *not* an all-tube purist about the preamp stage! Some of SRV's distortion was solid-state! Yet his tone still ran circles around preamp tube distortion boxes driving a non-saturating power amp. He didn't complain that the Ibanez "Tube Screamer" was false advertising because it has no tubes. He put his attention on its great compatibility with his all-tube guitar amps, implying that the *proper combination* of solid state and tube saturation is the important consideration. Companies who make tube preamps show their misguidedness two ways: by putting down solid-state distortion, and by ignoring power tube saturation.

Michael wrote:

>Craig, you should design a simple project with a low-wattage power tube,
>transformer, and inductive load.

At 06:55 PM 10/15/96 -0400, Anderton at aol.com wrote:

>Thanks for the idea. I'm not that savvy with tubes, but I run into people who
>are and they might be interested.

Michael wrote:

> What the world really needs is a 2101 designed from the
> ground up to incorporate all the stages, in proper order,
> found in a recording studio:
> pre-distortion eq and eq-type effects
> distortion
> post-distortion eq and non-echo effects
> low-wattage power tubes and output transformer
> inductive load or speaker isolation cabinet
> post-saturation eq and time-based effects
> non-saturating power amp
> monitor

Mike Steffes wrote:

On the subject of inductive loads to produce power amp tone at
line or headphone levels, there's a good DIY article by Gerald
Weber on page 48 of the November '96 issue of VINTAGE GUITAR.

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