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Author Topic:  If you were desiging an amp specifically for the steel....
Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 5:23 pm     Reply with quote

What features would you include?
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 5:41 pm     Reply with quote

self-loading.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 6:46 pm     Reply with quote

Tone. Power. Possibly an effects loop between preamp and power amp.
Although with so many boutique amps out there, why design another? The first three that come to mind will all customize to order....
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2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 7:42 pm     Reply with quote

All the ones in my Telonics... Smile
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 7:51 pm     Reply with quote

"If you were designing an amp specifically for the steel....what features would you include?"



1.) A GOOD reverb! It really makes no sense that you can't buy a modern amp for less than $1500 that's got a decent reverb in it. (Especially when you can buy a great stomp/reverb unit for under $100.)

2.) Combo amp w/light weight design. (Yes, the cabinet should be light, too.)

3.) A 1x15" or 2x12" neo option, w/canted speakers.

4.) Paramatric EQ (at the least) w/graphic EQ option.

5.) A back-lighted recessed control panel. (Please - no silly knob guards required.)

6.) 200-250 watts is plenty. (The 3 guys in the world that need more can just buy 2 amps. Razz )

7.) A 12' cord would be nice, too. Mr. Green

8.) EFX loop for those who desire.

9.) Please, no Molex connectors or plastic jacks!

10.) Pre & post gain controls.

11.) A good handle, instead of the cheapie strap-dingies.
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Jerry Roller


From:
Van Buren, Arkansas USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 7:58 pm     Reply with quote

It would be a Standel Hybrid. Few controls with spring reverb, solid state pre-amp with tube power supply.
Jerry
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Bill C. Buntin


From:
Cleburne, TX
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:26 pm     Reply with quote

The best I've ever seen and heard was Evans stereo with 2 external 15" cabinets.
I had close to $2k tied up in it. Counting rev. Delay, eq. It was heavy, bulky but sounded awesome.

For me, It would be,;

Made with close tolerance components. Audiophile grade.

portable but with evans like super clean quiet preamp, fx loop, and a made to order like lexicon mpx that is equally quiet.

The 2 channel amp would have very high ceiling or maximum headroom. Like +100% guaranteed extra headroom.

Custom speaker cabs made from really high end marine grade plywood or high density fiber board.

JBL Or Old Klipsch quality speakers.

I think Lane is right. This is already available, essentially. Just Expensive.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:27 pm     Reply with quote

I usually agree with everything Donny says.
But my Milkman makes me differ with a couple of his points.
Point 3: the new neo 12s sound GREAT. I'm not sure we'd need 2 12s; my Half and Half doesn't NEED the 15 in the extension cab, it can play a gig all night long on its own, I just think it sounds fatter and warmer with the two cabs in series.
Point 4: a passive tone stack a la Fender/Milkman seems to work just great. If the values are chosen right. Hell, I've heard folks say that Phil Bradbury's one knob Little Walter gets the job done
The rest of his list looks good. But more than I need or want nowadays.
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2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 10:30 pm     Reply with quote

The reason I'm asking is that I'm probably going to be asked by an amp company to help design a steel amp.

Please tell me what you'd like to see in such an amp )As Donnie has done,) and not about other amps.
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My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Jim Bloomfield


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 10:51 pm     Reply with quote

Something that can also sound great for armpit guitar. Maybe a switch on it for steel/guitar...
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 11:43 pm     Amp Design. Reply with quote

Head separate, ohm switch, high powered, all tube, good Reverb, good Eq voiced for pedal steel, knobs that can be seen in low light, possibly a light weight flight type case instead of wood, extra electrical plugins in the back, and shrink it down as small as possible with point to point wiring. I know transformers are heavy, but technology could someday reduce the iron needed to fire up these tubes. My 100watt Twin in a separate head cab.weighs in at 50lbs., and the two single 15" JBL D-130F speaker cabs. I just built weigh in at 35lbs. a piece. Makes it much easier to move them around.....Mike, be sure and let us know how this works out for you.
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Marty Broussard


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:43 am     Reply with quote

The only thing I would add is for that amp company to possibly consider the design of the Freyette Aether amp wherein the Power Section is a Separate Box from the rest of the package. In addition, to that concept, if it's achievable/practical, have the flexibility of different Power Sections for a particular player's need----small room = lower wattage; larger venues = more power. (I only mention separate Power Sections because I'm too ignorant to know if you could have Selectable Power on one amp without effecting the tone.) if Selectable Power is practical then I wouldn't mind carrying a 100+ Power Section because it would be a separate box to carry.

Best regards
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"Technique is really the elimination of the unnecessary..it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to achieve the smooth flow of energy and intent" Yehudi Menuhin

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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 6:11 am     Reply with quote

I suppose it's something only us old timers have seen, but anyone who's ever turned on a Shure Vocal Master PA head on a dark stage will appreciate the simple genius of their back-lit front panel. Cool
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Marco Schouten


From:
Assendelft, The Netherlands
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 6:59 am     Reply with quote

2 channels with separate tone settings for each channel. Good reverb and delay. Control knobs that can be locked.
Lighted panel.Combo with removable head. 1X 15 or 2X 12 inch neo speakers. Back that can be open or closed. Effects loop. XLR out.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 7:09 am     Reply with quote

A street price approximating 50% of current boutique offerings Rolling Eyes

h
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 7:31 am     Reply with quote

Lane Gray wrote:
I've heard folks say that Phil Bradbury's one knob Little Walter gets the job done

I wholeheartedly agree with Lane (and Phil) that one knob for tone gets the job done, if properly executed. A Pro Junior on steroids would seem perfect to me.

With the EQ on some amps, you can spend more time diddlin' with the knobs and sliders in your quest for "tone" than it takes to learn how to play pedal steel in the first place.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 8:49 am     Reply with quote

Are you going to try to make an affordable/budget steel amp, or another entry in the semi boutique/boutique amp?
There MIGHT be room for the former, with the new Peavey having such a high price point. A quality front end, with a preamp designed to get the popular steel voices, and a Class D power section, and maybe some onboard effects.
Combo and head options would be nice.
But I'd suggest that instead of seeking advice first, decide what YOU would want on your amp, and then come back asking "does this sound like the kind of amp y'all would buy?
You're never going to find an amp that will be everyone's ideal, but you CAN make an amp that many people will dig.
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2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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David Cubbedge


From:
Toledo,Ohio, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 9:10 am     Reply with quote

I'd make it sound exactly like my Twin Reverb but 50 lbs lighter!
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George Seymour


From:
Notown, Vermont, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 9:12 am     Reply with quote

Combo style, Modeling capabilities. Fender Mustang three come to mind as a successful lower price point modeling amp pretty amazing. Kemper has this now but in a head type combination I think the progress of modeling technology is soon to be here that will be indistinguishable from our favorite tube oriented amps , probably this technology will always be too expensive to be practical for the weekend warrior who potential he is watching his pennies
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 9:24 am     Reply with quote

250 watts,digital reverb, and above all else,an EQ that has the range to tame the midrange honk we all fight so much with most amps.
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Tim Marcus


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 12:23 pm     Reply with quote

David Cubbedge wrote:
I'd make it sound exactly like my Twin Reverb but 50 lbs lighter!


that was precisely my Logic when designing the Half and Half Wink
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Steve Sycamore


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 12:48 pm     Reply with quote

Switchable between solid state and tube preamp with variable gain would be really nice!

Also variable compression, or even better, envelope controlled dynamics (separate attack and sustain controls).

Parallel clean and gain channels with a mix control.

Very high quality speaker/mike/room emulation for direct outs. Look at, for example, how the Mesa Recto Preamp and ADA MicroCab does this.

Separate DI output to be used to record an unprocessed track that can be re-amped.

Pre-EQ send and return for patching in volume pedals or effects (like the Nashville 400).

Stereo outs with reverb. (The reverb unit generates the stereo field).
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 1:54 pm     Reply with quote

The company in question is the re-constituted ZT Amps. There has been a lot of discussion here about the now discontinued model they called The Club'.

The club, which puts out 200 watts and weighs just 22 pounds, is designed for rock guitarists who want some crunch to their sound. They are supposed to distort. It's possible, but difficult to get a clean sound out of them. They are great rock guitar amps, but are less than ideal for steel.

Some steel players use them because they weigh so little. I admit, I really like that. I sometimes take mine to a blues jam, where a little crunch is OK.

The company has been sold, and the new owners are thinking of making both a clean, jazz guitar amp, and one for steel. Nothing has been decided yet. This is just talk at this point.

If this happens, in all probability the steel amp will be a small combo, probably with a 12" speaker. Possibly with a 12" and two 6" inch, with bass treble and mid-range controls, and an effects loop.

Some good ideas have been posted here. I will be meeting with new new owners next week at the NAMM show, and pass them along.
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Steve Schmidt


From:
Ramsey, MN, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

I've never played thru one or even seen one but the Milkman Mini sure seems to be the ideal amp. Not sure what more you could want. Right now I use a 66 super reverb with a single TT-12 speaker and I absolutely couldn't be happier. 40 watts is loud and certainly plenty enough for me.
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Bill C. Buntin


From:
Cleburne, TX
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

Mike is it going to be a tube amp?
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