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Author Topic: 100w/50w Hi/Low Switches/Circuitry *** Any GOOD switches that ACTUALLY WORK???  (Read 13631 times)
Toppscore
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« on: January 18, 2013, 06:02:11 AM »

Question:
Are there good Hi/Low switch modifications or circuits that actually work?
Worth the time and money?
Won't ruin the sound/tone when not in use?

If I buy the 100w Ceriaton amps, are there modifications or switches
that will ACTUALLY reduce the volume by a true 50%?

I heard that the 50% power reduction from 100w  down to 50w does not deliver a 50% reduction
in volume.  One person suggested a reduction to 25watts and another person stated that
10watts or a 90% reduction of power will reduce the volume by 50%.


I've read that most Hi/Low switches do not make a difference in volume when reduced.
Most of my playing time will need the 50w power, but on occasion, will need the 100w screamin' tones.


What do you think?
Anybody know of GOOD Hi/Low switch modifications or add-ons?

Thanks for reading. Toppscore


***If there are no good viable products that are not a waste of time and money,
is my Weber Mass 200 the best option to "tame" the volume???  
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 06:04:01 AM by Toppscore » Logged

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Pickmaster
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 08:59:37 AM »

Ceratone (Nik) already does this modification and many others. You have to specify what mods you want before ordering an amp.

Cheers.
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tboulette
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 12:14:30 PM »

Reducing the POWER by 50% does not result in a 50% reduction in volume.  Perceived volume to power is a logarithmic relationship.  A 10W (not 50W) amp is roughly half the volume of a 100W amp.  I've got a 1W amp that is still pretty loud!
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Toppscore
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 12:22:19 PM »

Ceratone (Nik) already does this modification and many others. You have to specify what mods you want before ordering an amp.  Cheers.


Thanks, Pickmaster.
Are buyers of Ceriatone amps happy with the Hi/Low switch?
Do some find it really helps while others have a hard time noticing the difference?

and, do you feel the Hi/Low switch when NOT in use affects the original intended sounds/tones?

Thanks for your response.   Toppscore Cool
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Toppscore
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 12:23:40 PM »

Reducing the POWER by 50% does not result in a 50% reduction in volume.  Perceived volume to power is a logarithmic relationship.  A 10W (not 50W) amp is roughly half the volume of a 100W amp.  I've got a 1W amp that is still pretty loud!


This is an amazing fact.

Maybe some amps SHOULD have a 100w and a 10w/15w alternate circuit.
What do you think?
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1983 Concert II * 1983 Twin Reverb II Amp Head
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T Wilcox
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 05:48:08 PM »

I would suggest you get a C-lator as well whether you go 50 or 100 watt. Even if you do not use the effects loop it will provide you with one of the most useful master volumes of any of the other amps I've ever tried.
In other words there will be no need for an attenuator or half power switch with the OTS amps whether you go 50 or 100 watt. I built 2 50 watters because I dont think I'd need the extra headroom you'd get from 100 watts but have since been in a situation where I wished I had gone 100 watts.
Now if you get a trainwreck express an attenuator you may need. Based off the your previous posts I doubt you would like the TW express ( you said you dont like Marshall's ), I built one and out of the 6 amps I now have it gets the least play time. The volume knob on that amp goes from off to loud as heck.

Todd
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wyatt
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 07:03:11 PM »

Reducing the POWER by 50% does not result in a 50% reduction in volume.  Perceived volume to power is a logarithmic relationship.  A 10W (not 50W) amp is roughly half the volume of a 100W amp.  I've got a 1W amp that is still pretty loud!


This is an amazing fact.

Maybe some amps SHOULD have a 100w and a 10w/15w alternate circuit.
What do you think?

Honestly, power supply, transformers, and speakers are all decisions that make a 10-watt and a great 10-watt amp and the same for a 100-watt amp...and they aren't the same. Ultimately, when one attempts a swiss-army amp, they have to start making compromising. Whether tube swaps, attenuators, power-scaling, master volume, etc., you'll always have side-effects trying to get bedroom- and stadium-level volumes from one amp.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 02:44:30 AM »

When Nik built my OTS 100 May 2012, i asked for the half power mod, which is a toggle switch on the rear panel.
In half power mode all four 6L6s are still in operation, but switched to triode mode from pentode.
This gives the usual reduction in expected volume & clean headroom from  100 to 50 watts, but the tone is a little different.
Four 6L6 in triode gives a smooth & warmer tone than two 6l6 running at 50 watts.
It`s not quite as punchy as 100 watt pentode mode.. but i prefer the triode 50 watt choice to both 100 & 50 watt pentode.
Actually.. i think these D clones run around 90 watts, so half power probably around 45 watts.
Anyhow, i can recommend triode mode as it gives the obvious volume reduction, but also a nice change in tone character.
Hope that make sense for ya..!  Wink
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hywelg
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 08:13:39 AM »

wyatt is right. Stop chasing low power in a high power amp. It aint there.

If you want a low power amp get one designed and voiced to do the job. I have tried Powerscaling, attenuators, pentode/triode switching, pulling output tubes, and everything has an effect and always not good. Attenuators down to around 6dB are OK, powerscaling in moderation is OK, lower sensitivity speakers (but you'll not get the speaker you 'prefer' in a lower power version, so another compromise), etc etc.

But actually, the OTS is already well suited to lower output volumes because of the way its designed, the output section is designed to run clean all the way up. You just need to voice it slightly differently for lower colume and possibly a few other mods to increase the touch sensitiyity in the pre-amp.
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Toppscore
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 06:35:48 PM »

T Wilcox:
Thanks for the info.  Much appreciated.
Will be investigating the C-Lator.  Seems like great technology and useful.
The late "signal boost" before the signal hits the speakers is cool.

Going 100watt amps is, IMHO, the way to go for full tone.
I've a 1983 Fender 105w Twin Reverb II,
a 1964 Fender 85w Twin Reverb
a 1968 100w Fender Showman Reverb
and a 1960 Fender 40w Super Amp that needs to be tamed
before blowing out it's 2x10 Jensen P10R speakers Shocked Shocked


Therefore, getting a 100w Trainwreck clone and a 100w Overtone clone
is more desirable if the C-Lator or Weber Mass 200 will do the job.
Maybe throw in the Ceriatone Hi/Low 100w/50w switch in the initial build, anyway Undecided

Toppscore Cool




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1960 Fender 6G4 2x10 Super Amp * 1964 Bassman Amp Head
1964 Twin Reverb 2x12 * 1964 Super Reverb 4x10
1983 Concert II * 1983 Twin Reverb II Amp Head
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Toppscore
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 06:38:16 PM »

Reducing the POWER by 50% does not result in a 50% reduction in volume.  Perceived volume to power is a logarithmic relationship.  A 10W (not 50W) amp is roughly half the volume of a 100W amp.  I've got a 1W amp that is still pretty loud!
This is an amazing fact. Maybe some amps SHOULD have
a 100w and a 10w/15w alternate circuit Shocked  What do you think?

Honestly, power supply, transformers, and speakers are all decisions that make a 10-watt and a great 10-watt amp and the same for a 100-watt amp...and they aren't the same. Ultimately, when one attempts a swiss-army amp, they have to start making compromising. Whether tube swaps, attenuators, power-scaling, master volume, etc., you'll always have side-effects trying to get bedroom- and stadium-level volumes from one amp.

No "Swiss Army Amp" for me. Just wondering what is possible or desirable.
Simply just purchase the proven amp kits/clones that Ceriatone stands behind.
Take care. Toppscore Cool
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Love Fender Dumble Trainwreck Tones * 1954 Fender 5D6 4x10 Bassman
1960 Fender 6G4 2x10 Super Amp * 1964 Bassman Amp Head
1964 Twin Reverb 2x12 * 1964 Super Reverb 4x10
1983 Concert II * 1983 Twin Reverb II Amp Head
1968 Showman Reverb Head * 1968 Bandmaster Reverb Head
2012 Fender G-DEC-30w
Toppscore
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 06:41:40 PM »

When Nik built my OTS 100 May 2012, i asked for the half power mod, which is a toggle switch on the rear panel.
In half power mode all four 6L6s are still in operation, but switched to triode mode from pentode.
This gives the usual reduction in expected volume & clean headroom from  100 to 50 watts, but the tone is a little different.
Four 6L6 in triode gives a smooth & warmer tone than two 6l6 running at 50 watts.
It`s not quite as punchy as 100 watt pentode mode.. but i prefer the triode 50 watt choice to both 100 & 50 watt pentode.
Actually.. i think these D clones run around 90 watts, so half power probably around 45 watts.
Anyhow, i can recommend triode mode as it gives the obvious volume reduction, but also a nice change in tone character.
Hope that make sense for ya..!  Wink

Thanks. Will have to study this "triad" tube management option.
Love getting different tones from amps. Seems cool Grin
Add the C-Lator to the triad mode output and maybe get more cool tones Shocked

Does the "triad mode" work in the 50w amps? or just 100w amps?


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Love Fender Dumble Trainwreck Tones * 1954 Fender 5D6 4x10 Bassman
1960 Fender 6G4 2x10 Super Amp * 1964 Bassman Amp Head
1964 Twin Reverb 2x12 * 1964 Super Reverb 4x10
1983 Concert II * 1983 Twin Reverb II Amp Head
1968 Showman Reverb Head * 1968 Bandmaster Reverb Head
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 06:47:03 PM »

wyatt is right. Stop chasing low power in a high power amp. It aint there.

If you want a low power amp get one designed and voiced to do the job. I have tried Powerscaling, attenuators, pentode/triode switching, pulling output tubes, and everything has an effect and always not good. Attenuators down to around 6dB are OK, powerscaling in moderation is OK, lower sensitivity speakers (but you'll not get the speaker you 'prefer' in a lower power version, so another compromise), etc etc.

But actually, the OTS is already well suited to lower output volumes because of the way its designed, the output section is designed to run clean all the way up. You just need to voice it slightly differently for lower colume and possibly a few other mods to increase the touch sensitiyity in the pre-amp.



Thanks, Hywleg!
So you do not recommend the C-Lator or Triad Mode option or a Weber Mass 200
applied to a 100w overtone?  Maybe under special situations?

Believe me, I can easily play 40w-50w amps as well as 100w amps,
but it is nice to care in one amp, a 100watter, and have some "GOOD"
options at lower volumes.

Actually, my 1968 Fender 100w Showman Reverb and 1964 Fender 85w Twin Reverb
both sound very good at low volumes with nice tone output.  So, I know what you
mean that the Overtone 100w plays well at low volumes.  Thankk for sharing Smiley
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Love Fender Dumble Trainwreck Tones * 1954 Fender 5D6 4x10 Bassman
1960 Fender 6G4 2x10 Super Amp * 1964 Bassman Amp Head
1964 Twin Reverb 2x12 * 1964 Super Reverb 4x10
1983 Concert II * 1983 Twin Reverb II Amp Head
1968 Showman Reverb Head * 1968 Bandmaster Reverb Head
2012 Fender G-DEC-30w
hywelg
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 05:37:51 AM »

So you do not recommend the C-Lator or Triad Mode option or a Weber Mass 200
applied to a 100w overtone?  Maybe under special situations?

Not for taming volume no. The C-lator is only necessary if you want to run effects. It has some effect on the amps response and is a different master volume thats all. It isn't necessary to run effects either, lots will work without it. (Nova reverb works fine for me, Pickmaster uses some without  a *lator).

Triad mode is useful for an overly bright amp, its not good at all as a volume switch as it makes the amp duller.

An attenuator will only take some volume off before it has an effect on the tone. I don't know about the Weber Mass, I use a Hotplate which is fine live to -8dB but for recording you'd not want to go below -4dB, but only with Fender style amps, it doesn't work well with EL84 amps, the Airbrake works better. And the Marshall Powerbrake works well with Marshall amps but not with Fender style amps. All attenuators are not created equal. If you have plenty of cash you will be able to experiment, otherwise look to the Fuchs Casino range, Blackjack21?
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wyatt
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 01:14:43 PM »

When Nik built my OTS 100 May 2012, i asked for the half power mod, which is a toggle switch on the rear panel.
In half power mode all four 6L6s are still in operation, but switched to triode mode from pentode.
This gives the usual reduction in expected volume & clean headroom from  100 to 50 watts, but the tone is a little different.
Four 6L6 in triode gives a smooth & warmer tone than two 6l6 running at 50 watts.
It`s not quite as punchy as 100 watt pentode mode.. but i prefer the triode 50 watt choice to both 100 & 50 watt pentode.
Actually.. i think these D clones run around 90 watts, so half power probably around 45 watts.
Anyhow, i can recommend triode mode as it gives the obvious volume reduction, but also a nice change in tone character.
Hope that make sense for ya..!  Wink

Thanks. Will have to study this "triad" tube management option.
Love getting different tones from amps. Seems cool Grin
Add the C-Lator to the triad mode output and maybe get more cool tones Shocked

Does the "triad mode" work in the 50w amps? or just 100w amps?

Triode switching will work in a 50-watt amp, it turns off part of each power tube, but still uses all the tubes.

Myself, I'm not a fan of triode/pentode switching (some people are, your mileage may vary). Triode mode completely changes the dynamics of the power amp and makes everything "squishy" and undefined. The attack on the note becomes softer, the overdrive becomes less defined and duller, etc.  In can turn a high-gain amp to sonic mud.

It is a good insight that the typical ODS/OTS style amp, like many "hi gain" "cascading tube" designs is built around a big, clean power amp designed to deliver the preamp's tone without smoothing it over and muddying it up with power tube distortion. The exception is the Bluesmaster, which attempts to get some of the less-focused, less-defined, thicker Marshall tone going on. Amps like the OTS, Mesa Mk. series, Soldano, 5150, etc. can all sound great a low volumes because the power amp is mostly there for amplification, and has a lesser affcet on tone.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 02:05:45 PM by wyatt » Logged
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