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Is It possible to "mod" an amp head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by peaveyuser, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    Well fairly straight forward question. Would it be possible to mod an amp head IE: you found a old vintage amp that has a great tone but the problem is it doesn't have enough watts to gig with well (ie:100 watts, but ya need 200) would it be possible to modify it to get more wattage, and therefore enough power?
  2. if there is a preamp out on the head just get a power amp.

    other than that, i dunno :D
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Most likely not without significant expense. If it's a tube amp, you'll need to stuff more tubes in there. How are you going to do that? If it's solid state then you'll need to stuff more SS componentry in there to increase the output.
  4. While it is sometimes possible to improve performance and power with older amps by modding them, generally, what you're asking to do is not practical.
  5. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    OK so increasing wattage isn't practical but any other types of mods you can do to increase volume?
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Just get two. :D
  7. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    Sometimes older amps need some maintenance to clean them up inside and replace old capacitors that lose their ability to hold a charge. Sometimes new tubes liven it up.

    But to make it louder by modifying it? Nope. Amps are just like people. They're mortal.

    Take a line out from the amp, and feed it into another power amp.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No. There are mods you can do to change frequency response, especially in the EQ, or change the voltage going into the tubes (for tonal changes or to use a different type of tubes, not recommended unless you are an amp repair pro), or simple stuff like changing the color of the on/off light or installing a mute switch or a master volume knob... But none of those things will make an amp louder.

    You just have to suck it up and buy a bigger amp, or do like the other guys suggested and use your existing "cool tone but not loud" amp as a preamp to feed a larger modern power amp.
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    A high efficiency speaker can give you the equivalent of two to ten times your current output, depending on what you're now using. The bad news is that you'll probably have to make your own, the good news is that you won't need a larger amp.
  10. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    And how would I get to making this speaker or possess it? Would it cost much?
  11. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    You can do anything with a circuit, some tubes, and a soldering iron. Technically you could do what you said, like say add a bunch of tubes to an amp to make it louder.

    Itd be rediculously expensive. Youd have to change out the transformer, probably the casing its in to accomodate more tubes, as well as various other parts. For what you want to do itd cost you 3 to 4 times as much as the amp is worth, and in the end itd probably be pretty unreliable.

    IF you really like the tone do what everyone else has suggested. get a seperate power amp. If that power amp needs to be tube pick up a tube power amp. Itll be MUCH cheaper than trying to mod an amp.

    The main reason guitarist mod amps is to add features or change the tone, not to add power.
  12. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I have an ADA MB-1 with the dual transformer mod (provides more power to the tubes). I have no problem with modded amps as long as the work is done well and it's a useful mod (and it doesn't deform a quality vintage amp).
  13. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    OK so I've come to the conclusion that a modded amp isn't the way to go (to expensive, unreliable, to time consuming) but I am interested in these High efficiency speakers, does anybody know how much they would cost to make or buy, how much work it takes and the effect on the sound?
  14. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I was waiting for someone to suggest this! Yeah, a higher efficiency cabinet may get more "ooomph" outta that 100 watts.

    Mayve take it to GC and try out some other cabs with a high SPL...or you could add more cabs...as long as the amp can handle the Ohm load.

    For example: If you are using 1-12" speaker cab at 8 ohms...add another for a 4 ohm load! You'd get more watts from the amp due to the lower load and more cone area for sound to come out of!!
  15. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    All your questions can be answered here:


    I recommend the OmniTop 2x15" for maximum output from a lower power tube head with minimal cost and build time:


  16. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    Here's the thing I'm pretty sure the amp is a solid state.

    Thanks for the advice

    Well It's weird I'm pretty sure the amp is 100W at a 4 ohm load but it has two outputs for that 4 ohm load. Here is an example http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-ViewAdL...iji.ebayimg.com/i5/01/k/000/77/b1/74a9_18.JPG

    Hmm I'll look into this, thing is I'd like to see the plans before I shell out the money, maybe an example or a parts list to at least know what I'm dealing with.
  17. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Visit the forum then, lots of builders/users in there to help out:


  18. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    If it's not stereo it has two outputs so that you can run two 8 ohm cabs to arrive at a 4 ohm load. 100 watts into 4 ohms SS isn't much power. Even if it is stereo I'd use a pair of 4 ohm 2x10s, at least.
  19. EW57


    Aug 3, 2006
    The biggest investment will be your time. The plans/blueprints are a steal by themselves, let alone when you factor in the tech support available in the forum.

    Its all very impressive stuff, in fact, one of Bills cabs replaced two of my Ampeg cabs.
  20. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    You can change the color of LED lights on amps. That pretty much the only practical thing you could do.

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