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Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:44 am

I recently had the pleasure of playing this bugera amp through a 1x8 orange cab.
https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... egEALw_wcB

I think that could be my perfect home setup as you can switch the amp down to 0.5w and crank it and get a lovely tone at a low volume.
The only downside is that it lacks an fx loop.
Putting aside warranty issues, how difficult do you think it would be to add I am fx loop?
Alternatively, are there any low wattage tube amps with a loop? When I say low, mean low. Even 5w is to loud to be honest!
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:06 am

Blackstar HT5 has an fx loop. The HT1 doesn't though.

Fitting a loop is not a trivial process in a valve amp, you'd need to go to a good tech and it wouldn't be particularly cheap.
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:13 am

Only chance with that Amp is to feed your post preamp fx from the headphone output and amplify that with a separate speaker like a small studio monitor. This gives you a dry/wet setup that would work and also let you record only the dry sound if you wanted to...
But getting something that can run what you want would be ideal. But a 100 quid won't get you far I'm afraid.
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:08 am

I wonder who's lunchbox 5 watter THAT bugger is a rip of?

It would be easier to get an HT-5 with a proper FX loop (at +4dBu and neg ten) and build or buy a 20W power soak.

The Five has a push-pull output stage, much more akin to those in bigger guitar amps.

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:34 am

I had an HT5 for a while, cracking amp which does everything well and, especially, high gain tones brilliantly. But I don't use high gain much so I sold it to fund my 18 Watt combo project. Highly recommended though and sounds ideal for your needs.

edit :- or maybe a Marshall https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Marshall-DSL1HR-1W-Valve-Head-with-Reverb/26GP
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:13 am

Thanks for the replies chaps.
It’s a shame that it’s not an easy modification to make. In my mind it was adding a couple of 1/4” jacks into the right place in a circuit but it seems that there’s a lot more to it than that.

I love the HT5, played one in store a few times but at 5w it is still a bit too loud for what I want at home. I hadn’t thought of a power soak though. That could work.

Unfortunately I’m not a Marshall fan, I’ve just never got a sound I liked from one. Much more of the fender and Vox persuasion.
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:16 am

FWIW the 10" speaker in the HT5 sounds better than the 8" in my Valve Junior (much as I love the little brute). Even with a power soak (quite an easy DIY job) it will have a fuller more satisfying sound than a budget 8".
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:28 am

Sam Spoons wrote:FWIW the 10" speaker in the HT5 sounds better than the 8" in my Valve Junior (much as I love the little brute). Even with a power soak (quite an easy DIY job) it will have a fuller more satisfying sound than a budget 8".

The latest HT-5 has a 12" speaker (not sure what but it is a Celestion) so OP might be better looking at the head version, the amp can be run into any speaker from 4 to 16 Ohms.

Should there be the posiblity of gigging, the HT-20 is powerful enough for the average pub and could still run into a power soak of a modest 50W rating. The amp uses the ubiquitous EL34s at well under their ratings in a mixed cathode biased and fixed biased circuit. They will probably last a decade or two!

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:32 am

ef37a wrote:I wonder who's lunchbox 5 watter THAT bugger is a rip of?

The basic amp appears to be based on a Vox Lil Night Train, though with added reverb, power soak and the valve LED feature, which were probably influenced by an H&K amp.

Lil' Night Train
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Bugera T5
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:36 am

I am obliged Wonks.

B******S!! Their rip of the HT-5 and 20 is even closer cosmetically.

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:45 am

At least the Bugera T5 adds to the basic design of the Vox. Both will be made in China.
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:02 pm

ef37a wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:FWIW the 10" speaker in the HT5 sounds better than the 8" in my Valve Junior (much as I love the little brute). Even with a power soak (quite an easy DIY job) it will have a fuller more satisfying sound than a budget 8".

The latest HT-5 has a 12" speaker (not sure what but it is a Celestion) so OP might be better looking at the head version, the amp can be run into any speaker from 4 to 16 Ohms.

Dave.

My mistake Dave, I think my old HT5 had a 12" too now you mention it which was much of the reason I bought it.
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:14 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:FWIW the 10" speaker in the HT5 sounds better than the 8" in my Valve Junior (much as I love the little brute). Even with a power soak (quite an easy DIY job) it will have a fuller more satisfying sound than a budget 8".

The latest HT-5 has a 12" speaker (not sure what but it is a Celestion) so OP might be better looking at the head version, the amp can be run into any speaker from 4 to 16 Ohms.

Dave.

My mistake Dave, I think my old HT5 had a 12" too now you mention it which was much of the reason I bought it.

No worries Sam! The mk1 had the G10-N40, not a bad guitar ten at all. Some folks actually prefer it to the current 12" but then gitists are notoriously fickle people!

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:13 pm

On the subject of power soaks, can anyone point me in the direction of a good diy project for one?
I have an attenuator which sits in the fx loop but I’d rather one that sits between the amp and speaker which I believe is an entirely different kettle of fish.

If I have said power soak then I can just continue using my Peavey classic 30 and not have to worry about a new amp!
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:01 pm

gingertimmins wrote:On the subject of power soaks, can anyone point me in the direction of a good diy project for one?
I have an attenuator which sits in the fx loop but I’d rather one that sits between the amp and speaker which I believe is an entirely different kettle of fish.

If I have said power soak then I can just continue using my Peavey classic 30 and not have to worry about a new amp!

The simplest way to make a power soak is with an "L Pad" which is a special form of high power potentiometer used to control tweeter levels..But! Do not be fooled by the ratings!

A pad marked "100W" is designed to go into a cab RATED to 100W total input, the actual pot can cope with perhaps only 20 watts or so. The trick therefore is to buy an 8 Ohm pad and an 8 Ohm 50W metal clad resistor. The resistor goes in series with the pot and the whole lot connected to the 16 Ohm output of the amp. Power soaks MUST be rated to at least 1.5 times the amplifier rating. That Peavey will not put out more than 40W at serious clipping but some nominal 50W fixed biased amps can easily hit 80W+

If you want to get down to whisper, milliwatt levels you will need to play around with a few more resistors. Good idea too to fit a cheap "600 Ohm" line transformer and have an earth free line out. Headphones can be accomodated as well.

Sort of thing SOS magazine should be offering IMHO but they don't seem keen on DIY projects?

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:06 pm

gingertimmins wrote:On the subject of power soaks, can anyone point me in the direction of a good diy project for one?

There's a DIY project here which you can use as a basis, but I suggest you take on board Dave's comments above and modify accordingly. Personally, I'd also keep those electrolytic capacitors well away from potentially hot resistors!

https://guitar.com/guides/diy-workshop/diy-workshop-build-your-own-attenuator/

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:13 pm

Nice one gents, thank you.
That should be a little project to keep me busy over the festive period!
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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:18 pm

ef37a wrote:Sort of thing SOS magazine should be offering IMHO but they don't seem keen on DIY projects?

I grew up with all those electronics mags of the 60s, 70s and 80s, too, and I learned a lot from building (and modifying) countless DIY projects... But that's not what SOS is about, and
It's not what the vast majority of the readership are interested in. The world is a different place...

Added to which, there would be costs involved in developing DIY projects and overheads in producing PCBs etc which would be impractical in the current publishing climate. And then there's the potential litigation aspect to put further dampeners on the whole idea!

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:23 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:Sort of thing SOS magazine should be offering IMHO but they don't seem keen on DIY projects?

I grew up with all those electronics mags of the 60s, 70s and 80s, too, and I learned a lot from building (and modifying) countless DIY projects... But that's not what SOS is about, and
It's not what the vast majority of the readership are interested in. The world is a different place...

Added to which, there would be costs involved in developing DIY projects and overheads in producing PCBs etc which would be impractical in the current publishing climate. And then there's the potential litigation aspect to put further dampeners on the whole idea!

H

Yes, I quite understand Hugh. Shame innit?

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Re: Adding fx loop to tiny amp?

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:33 pm

It would be a cool feature to occasionally write up a cool diy project, whether it be a pedal board, some sort of mini synth or even just instructables on making cables.
I’m sure many people don’t even realise that diy is an option. I never until a few years ago when I decided to rewire a guitar. Now I diy everything I can...I’ve even just built a false ceiling and plastered it- something I never in a million years would have thought I’d be doing!

So yeah, it would be nice to have cool but simple diy projects brought to our attention.
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