Mods and Odds

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Uch as the Hot-Rod enthusiast is forever tinkering with his `wheels` to be `just a little different`, so are guitar players forever tinkering with their guitars and amplifiers in an effort to be `just a little different`. We are always swapping pickups trying to get the sound that will put us one step ahead of the other poor soul who doesn`t yet know of the latest `big thing`.

Mods and Odds
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

We look out for the latest pedal that will give us the overdrive sound of a vintage tube amplifier `cranked up` (rather than just `crank up` the amplifier itself). We are usually just one string gauge, or one `NOS` tube change away from being the next guitar God. And amplifier `mod merchants` lure us over to their benches with Svengali promises of sounding like the latest guitar hero. Since tube guitar amplifiers are the easiest thing in the world to `play with`, many `gurus` have come out of the woodwork. Some have exceptional ideas, while others just add a 12AX7 to the input of your Marshall. And then there are also those with little or no tube training/experience, yet firmly believe that their vast solid-state experience can help you make your tube amplifier `better`. It seems to have helped their wallet more, and thankfully these `toys` get relegated to the dust bin in due course. There are tube gurus who have made more money selling their Do-It-Yourself modification `kits` than they have by repairing or building amplifiers. Boutique amplifier builders shroud themselves in mystery with concealed circuitry (putting silicone over components so we can`t trace out a schematic) and voodoo mantra about `proprietary components`. When you finally do get to see a schematic, it looks suspiciously like any Fender. his is the basic input circuit common to 99% of all tube guitar amplifiers. It is also a wonderful place to begin...

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