Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tweed Champ Clone

About seven years ago, I had the desire to build something.  I settled on a guitar amplifier.  I ended up buying a tweed Champ kit from Marsh Amplification.

When I purchased the amp, I opted for a smooth cone Signature series 8" Weber speaker as an option over the ceramic speaker.  I was also sent a lacquered cabinet.

The quality of the kit was great.  I had some problems that could be chalked up to it being my first build.  Once I got it straightened out, it has worked flawlessly.

After playing with the amp for a couple of years and loaning it out for a few recording 
sessions, the original speaker died.  

I really liked the sound of the smooth cone Weber in the amp.  After reading an evaluation of 8" speakers in harp amps written by Brian Purdy of Harpgear amps, I decided that I was going to pick up a smooth cone Vintage series Weber speaker.  I settled on the 8A125-O speaker with a H dust cap.

Compare the two speakers, the original Signature series on the left, the Vintage series on the right. 

How does it sound?  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pre-WW2 Valco-made Amp

It's been a while, since I've had the chance to write here.  I thought I would write up an entry about an old Valco amp with a Tower label.  I was given this amp in exchange for some web development about a fifteen years ago.  Here are a couple of photos of the amp.

Since, it appeared original, I decided that it should probably be looked at.  I took it to Skip Simmons Amp Repair in Dixon, CA.  He checked it out and touched up some solder joints and pronounced it good to go.  When I asked Skip about it, he said that it was likely made by Valco, but he had never seen one before.

A few years later, I was curious about the amp.  After doing some research on the Internet, I couldn't find any information about the amp.  I posted some questions on the Valco Amp site.  I received no response.  At this point, I was content knowing that it was a Valco-made mystery amp.

A while ago, I was considering trading it when I received an e-mail from Terry Dobbs (a.k.a. Mr Valco):
"This amp is the same circuit as the first Valco made Supreme amps, however, it was made before WW2 by the same company that made the National Dobro amps, in other words, before Valco was Valco. It has a 10" 4 ohm field coil speaker, 5y3, 2-6V6's, 6sc7 and a 6J7. Single volume and no tone control and two inputs. It is a nice little amp and they sound great when serviced and working right."
Okay, enough talk...  How does it sound?  Let's take a listen...

What do you think?