Toy/Mini-Amps

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Toy/Mini-Amps

Post by vvv » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:40 pm

Anyone use 'em? I find they can be fun, especially with distortion pedals, altho' I believe in the past that I've come close to smokin' 'em with a Big Muff.

I have 3: a First Act, and Epiphone tweed, and a Zues.

You can hear 'em, no effects at all (other than mix-down delay on the lead Zues track), 4 guitar tracks played with a G&L F-100 middle pos. pups (bridge pup on the lead), all recorded MD421n into ISA1 near, NOSr2 ribbon (Chinese) into a UA710 about 3.5' out room, the First Act tracks for wide rhythm and the Epi tracks panned narrower, the Zues for lead, here.

They look like this:
Image

(And yep, that's my leg in the mirror.)
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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:35 pm

I used to have a little battery powered fender twin I loved, and I've used those tiny marshal stacks on records a few times. It's a very particular sound :) Nowadays I've been using a squire bullet for essentially the same purpose (blended in to help harshen up a guitar tone a bit).

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Post by vvv » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:51 pm

Speaking of a "squire bullet", I was just checking out a band what got good reviews at the Pitchfork fest this weekend, Parquet Courts, and in their video here one guy is playing a Fender Bullet, the other a Squire, what I thought was 8) .
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Post by kslight » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:48 pm

Sometimes I'll record through this little green guy...solid state thing that's called a "tape tester" or something like that with a speaker. Crusty and middy but it fucking cuts for certain parts.

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Post by RefD » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:47 pm

i have a little 1 watt Realistic amp (320-2040) i bought in 1984 i use for this.
it has a pretty tough yet detailed clean sound through the "aux" input and the "mic" input makes for a really explosive amp-blowing-up fuzz/distortion.

next in line of succession is one of a pair of Vox Pathfinder 10s with the treble rolled all the way off, but that's AC-powered and reasonably loud to be lumped into this category.
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Post by vvv » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:16 pm

Those Pathfinders, what are a good cuppla steps up, are awesome - love mine!

These what I'm postin' about, are shite, useful shite, but shite.

I love them, too.

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Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:21 am

I reamped a track through a Pignose (the classic battery powered one, but I was using an AC adapter...) with a cheap ribbon (Nsonic NS1) in front of it. I put it all in the shower (water was off...) and closed the door. One of my favorite guitar tones ever and the guitar player liked it too.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:18 am

Many a Frank Zappa cut was done with the Pignose.

It was always a Fender Champ for me. Sounds more like a real amp.
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:57 am

My brother has a Pignose (original) that I lust for. I have these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98397575@N ... 4547586357 ...

I want to get an Orange that I saw awhile back.

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PS-- Plus I have the two Vox amps pictured here. One is a mini, one is a practice amp, but I don't think that I'd call either a "toy" :wink: .

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Post by vvv » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:42 am

FWIW, something I always wanted to try that I read Zappa did, was put something (he used a Pignoise {sic}) in a metal file-cabinet.

I was gonna do it, but then junked the file cabinet ...

That said, I do use the bathroom a lot, and sometimes even for recording small amps! :twisted:

Image
Image

(To hear them, look for the songs with the pic's, here.)
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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:59 am

Having seen my share of Frank Zappa tracks cut, the most inventive use of the Pignose was as a feedback "creator".

He placed the Pignose very close to the guitar and then split the signal. The Pignose created feedback but the actual guitar track was very clean. All of Frank's guitars were wired with my on-board preamps/EQ's so they were easy to split and send a very clear low impedance signal outbound. It was a unique and leggato sound, sort of like what my Fernadez "sustainer" guitar does today.

BTW, that can't be a musician's bathroom, it's too clean.
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Post by vvv » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 am

Re the feedback generator: I read about exactly that years ago I think in Guitar Player - same time as I read about the file cabinet reverb, early or mid 80's mebbe. And in fact, I have taped the little Zues amp to my guitar before for just that purpose, after trying AM radio speakers, etc., in order to get low-volume feedback when I lived in apartments. :lol: I recall something about his custom electronics, too - so that was you!

Re the Fernandes: I love those guitars; I have one that is simply on/off with volume and tone, and one that is on/off/, pull-boost on the tone control, and a switchable boost, and then volume. Both of mine are strat-type, and really nice players, also. 8)

Re the bathroom: I have teenagers who keep it clean as one of their chores. :twisted:
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Post by IanWalker » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:44 am

I have a couple little oddball ones. No brands on them, so I can't say a whole lot more about them.

One has a speaker that can't be even three inches (can't see it through the grill, and I haven't ever measured it, but its pretty damn small), that proclaims "Solid State" on the panel on top. It has two inputs (parallel, I think - no noticeable gain difference between the two), and a master power/volume knob.

I have a Eko Lark II that is pretty low-output, but sounds cool through that amp. Give it a 15dB clean gain boost (via a Boss GE-7) and close-mic it with a LDC, and its got a GREAT glassy tone. A little compressed, but not fuzzy at all. That much added gain on that and you still have to work it pretty damn hard to get it to break up. Its kind of nuts.
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Post by ashcat_lt » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Watched a documentary on Black Metal a while back, and they were saying that this type of horrible little amp was instrumental to the sound of the original recordings. Something about throwing out all conventions re: musicality and tone...

Unless it's defective, I don't think the Big Muff can actually hurt the amp, though it might be able to help the amp hurt itself.

No, the Vox AC4 does not qualify as a toy! I get all kinds of feedback about how great it sounds, and always at a manageable volume.

Re: feedback generator - I have one of these
Imageclick it!
Stick the thing on the headstock and it rings for days. Course, you have to figure out how to play the guitar with a cable going to the wrong end!

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Post by vvv » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:21 pm

ashcat_lt wrote: Course, you have to figure out how to play the guitar with a cable going to the wrong end!
If it's not too un-PC, perhaps you could think of it as "alternative lifestyle guitar"?

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