This is a standard Hot Rod Deluxe amp except for the fact that it has a 50 watt Jensen speaker instead of the more common Celestion or Eminence speaker.
if I'm not mistaken there is a bright cap on the volume pot attenuating the bass at lower levels to give more apparent loudness and clarity, reducing the value will make the volume less touchy below 9:00 though going too low will change the character of the amp when playing clean and quietly... ignore the drive feature, if you want tube distortion turn the amp up until its hurting you. These amps produce a passable medium-size fender tweed overdrive when driven hard as god intended.
also, I do not believe there are any transistors in this design, though heavily modernized, ts still very much based on the blue print of the various 50s narrow panel tweed fenders like the deluxe and bassman. The building blocks of the circuit are very simple and very retro. Maybe it has a transistor driven FX loop. Not sure. I would stay away from the effects loop even as a spot for an extra volume pot, a lot of FX loops really degrade your sound in amps like this. In a gain banger it can be a nescesity, but its rather pointless on this design and is just a bunch of extra components getting between your music and the speaker. Its not a straight preamp out and power amp in at high impedance, there's buffering going on, so activating it just to add that volume box is adding a lot of funk into your signal chain not to mention the capacitance of 2 cables and an extra potentiometer chewing up your dynamics and treble response.
Yes, my mistake, a typ-o I meant to say "resistors" I know a big difference but hey, mistakes happen. Thanks for your input regarding the sound. It seems I made a poor choice in this amp as I will rarely play it loud "as god intended" and the superfluous drive channel only deepens this wound. I got it because my old amp did not have a dedicated clean channel which I really wanted - the best of both worlds. Oh well, C'est la vie!
Edit: After sitting down and really giving it a go again, I think you are right Jim that really this amp sounds best when driven through the clean channel with nothing added to the signal path. However, I have found that using the volume box and some lower gain tubes in the preamp section really helps to tame this amp to a usable tone at lower volumes. The drive section actually sounds pretty cool to my ears too. And yes, there is certainly a great deal of compromise here; one is tempted to just give up on tube amps altogether, embrace the living room couch and buy a modelling amp or something, but for me using this tube amp in these different ways is worth the effort and still sounds better. It sounds good in the living room and will likely be nice at gig volumes too.
if you are feeling happy then that's great, I just spoke up because you seemed dissatisfied, thought I would suggest a useful mod and a way to get great drive from all stages of the amp in a very traditional manner (though not at bedroom levels, but they make single ended and 1 watt amps for that sort of thing).
And I am all about tubes. Over the years I have owned dozens of tube amps and currently own 5.
I see your point. I admit it is a bit of a leap of faith for me. I bought it used where the seller may or may not have known about the repair issue and after the extra expense I feel a little more committed to this amp. One of the cool things is how is sounds pretty great with that pristine clean. The tubes do make a nice difference too.
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