Valve amp + SS amp: a novel idea?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rockin John, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. I recently bought (for just £10:D :D ) a vintage Laney Supergroup 50 Watt valve amp. Repaired it, used it and fell in love with the sound imediately. Yup, I really love that thing. Anyway, I used it through my 1 x 15" in it's well undersized cab.

    Trouble is, of course, it's not loud enough.

    So how's this for an idea......?

    I've built a dummy load for the Laney and have fitted it with some resistors and a pot to pull-off a small quantity of the signal: the actual signal developed across the speakers...well, dummy load in this case.

    That signal is the fed into a 200 Watt, home brew, SS slave which drives the 1 x 15" in the little cab.

    Result = the actual valve sound but amplified to a decent level.:D

    The eventual aim is, of course, to replace the dummy load with (say) a 2 x 10" cab but tap-off some signal for the SS in the above manner.

    I've honestly derived great and genuine pleasure playing a vintage valve amp. What's more I should now be able to do it with quite a small, portable set-up that's loud enough as well.:cool:

    OK, I've not actually tried it all together yet, but all the components work individually. Stand by for rehersal next Tuesday night.

    Wadda y'think, folks??????

  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    I believe this is a similar principle as what Warwick is doing with their pro-tube line of amps. Granted, they only have a 1-3 watt power section feeding the SS power amp but the idea is the same.

    Sounds like you're getting the best of both worlds.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    A lot of old valve amps have slave in and slave out jack sockets.

    You could line out from the ss amp and blend in the valve sound from the slave in.

    You could slave out from the valve amp into the ss amp and blend the sound.

    You could get a splitter or a pedal Meyer Voodoo or ZVex SHO that drives two amps and blen the sounds.

    These three must be safer than playing with high voltage:)

    oh option 4 AKG D112
  4. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    John, I like it! Anything that's home brewed gets my vote. That is a great concept, too. I have thought about something like that myself. I'd love to know how it turns out!
  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sounds nice. I think. How does it sound so far???
  6. Well, like I say, the Laney into the 15 cab sounds really...hmmm...yeh, it sounds really sweet. Sort-of quite delicate in a way. The mids and highs are good. Bottom end, quite good too, although with such a small cabinet I guess there'll be some bottom lacking. The jury's out on that one.

    I guess I should say I'm running a Yammy RBX270 fretless with TI flats.

    To be honest I've not had the time to really experiment yet. Naturally there's plenty of growl when overdriven. That works OK on some songs but, of course, not on all.

    No, Chris, there's no slave outs, just the two speaker jacks. I'm not inside the Laney for any of this, BTW (well, I was to repair it of course). No, it's all done outside the box. I come out the Laney spkr jack into the dummy load box, tap-off in that box then out into the SS. Built a full set of boxes, leads, etc to do the job. It's quite safe.....

    Sound wise, the trick in it for me is tapping into the actual speaker signal. So, whatever sound is generated by that circuit, is used to be further amplified.

    And then there's that lovely old fashioned valve head sitting there........


  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    A 50w preamp then :eek:
  8. Yeh. Something like that.....:D :eek:

  9. Sounds good - unfortunately I'm too lazy to do these sort of things and buy stock stuff!!

    I take my hat off to you!
  10. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    that's how the interstellar overdrive works too.
  11. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    You could alternately use a DI box with a speaker input jack, like an Avalon U5. That way, you could also feed a PA with a signal from your speaker.
  12. Just a quick note on the progress for those who've asked.

    I tried out the system Friday night: only had about 10 minutes to set up and give it a whirl....

    But it works:D :D

    A few bugs to iron out but the idea looks very promising indeed. These not enough drive to the 200 Watt so these's a resistor value change to do. Also, there's some hum from the Laney that comes through. That's probably because that amps been a bit butchered inside before I had it. Plus, there's probably a ground loop problem to sort. Phasing the two amps will also have to be done when I replace the dummy load with actual speakers.

    But, on the whole, very promisiong indeed. It's probably a really good way of playing valve amps with few £££ to spare.