Fryette Valvulator GP/DI Guitar Amp

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Dan Phelps
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Post by Dan Phelps » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:48 pm

Gregg Juke wrote:Total aside/thread hi-jack here, as I'm unlikely to fund/buy one of these in the near future
(boutique amps will not make me sound any more like a guitar player, which is a fool's errand), but I just read through and wanted to say:

1) Great read; it's always cool when a designer/consultant/person involved with a product responds to a thread like this (not counting cheesey shilling; does that sort of chicanery still go on on the Internet?)

2) I am a David Torn fan as well; are you a composer (of the film variety), or just an afficianado of well-played Beck/Summers/Fripp/Manzanera/Holdsworth-y type soundscape stuff? I've dug Torn's playing since the Everyman Band, and enjoy his film work as well... (sadly, there's a Lou Reed connection there too).

GJ
Hey Gregg...

Well, what David does resonates with me on most all fronts...I'm a guitar player, so I love his raw playing (you owe it to yourself to listen to him just "messing around" with minimal processing on his Soundcloud page). I'm into expansive soundscapes and textures, and he is an originator/innovator of that kind of stuff. And I have done *some* scoring, and I am a hack engineer, so I appreciate his work in those fields, too.

So, I guess he's just one of my favorite musicians, all around. Have you heard the Splattercell album "OAH"? It's brilliant.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:30 am

Dan Phelps wrote:
Jim Williams wrote:I heard them at NAMM and was not impressed. I still use my 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb, (paid $160 for it used), and my pair of Fender Showman heads from 1965/1967. I paid $75 each for those.

Yes, I'm one of those consultants that has designed commercial guitar and bass heads. I still prefer the classics. After all, how many have replaced the Telecaster and Les Paul?
If you didn't like the sound, fair enough, but what do the prices of vintage Fenders have to do with anything? They're arbitrary in this conversation.
It is an illustration that there are quality, affordable alternatives available. Not just Fender, but all the other amps that have been made for the last 50 years, there's quite a few of them around, if you shop carefully.

Or, pay retail and put some other guy's kid through college.
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:16 am

Thanks Dan, I'll have to check that out...

As far as vintage vs. modern, I think that there are obvious virtues and vices for either approach.

It's great to have people making new stuff that's good. It's also great to find that one piece you've been looking for at a great price; it's the reason I still stop at garage sales and estate sales when most of the time, you still find the same beige pants, Montovanni LP's, and Panasonic portable cassette players. But every once in awhile...

Dan-- Thanks for the heads-up, I'll check that out.

GJ
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:59 am

Jim Williams wrote:
It is an illustration that there are quality, affordable alternatives available. Not just Fender, but all the other amps that have been made for the last 50 years, there's quite a few of them around, if you shop carefully.

Or, pay retail and put some other guy's kid through college.
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Post by Bro Shark » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:06 am

Jim, for all your technical ability and know-how, I'm surprised you've never figured out how to fix your turntable.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:42 am

:oops: :lol: :oops: :lol: :oops: :lol:

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Post by Dan Phelps » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:55 pm

To me it's not even a vintage vs. modern conversation. That implies that you are discussing the relative merits of two tools that do the same thing.

It would he like saying "I heard that Metric Halo at AES and I wasn't impressed. I'll just keep using my A827 that I bought for $500 bucks..."

Ok. Those things are both similar in that they are involved in the recording of audio, but the functions and feature sets are vastly different.

I won't ague the sonic merits of Jim's vintage deluxe reverb vs the Fryette because that would be silly. Because the DR is not ALSO a direct box, reamp, tube DI, and direct recording solution. And the Fryette is not a 20watt (?) combo that I could throw in my trunk and jam with a band without a PA.

They may both be fruit, but it's still comparing apples and oranges.

Maybe I am just feeding the troll here, but it's also ridiculous to suggest that I go find a vintage Deluxe Reverb (that is anything more than an empty shell) for $160 :roll:. That's not even enough money to buy the parts to build one yourself.

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Post by dfuruta » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:23 pm

i would also be very surprised to hear a convincing metal guitar sound coming out of a 1960s fender sans pedals

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Post by Jim Williams » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:25 am

Contrarian is my style, I'm anti-lemming.

My 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb is fitted with a fully adjustable tube effects loop with a hardwired bypass switch, DI outputs, master volume, presence control and does 80 watts with a pair of high biased GE 6550 power tubes. It has 100 watt transformers fitted. Yes, it "does it all" too, but with tone. The Showman's have various preamp designs fitted as well.

I build/modify/re-design all of my MI gear here, all the guitars are active with custom circuits, some with EQ. I've been doing this since 1970 so I do have some experience at that stuff. You can hear those circuits on all the Mahavishnu Orchestra stuff and on all of Frank Zappa's guitar work as well. Dweezle still plays them, they still all work. Check them out when he comes to your town.

My Fender amps look completely stock on the outside, in brand new showroom condition. Most think they are re-issues. I played a Fender Deluxe Reverb in 1967, but that amp was stolen. Got my current one in 1980, for $160.

Yes, I do my own work here. Please don't hold that against me, you can do it too, if you have the inclination.

ANY quality tube amp can be reworked into about anything you want, it's not rocket science, it's 1950's tube technology. Yes, there are metal-heads (I can detect them from the bruses on their foreheads) that use Fender products.

I will argue that construction quality is better in those older designs. There is a reason my old Fender amps are working like new, even though they are older than most of you reading this. Time will tell if the current crop of amps has that longevity.

I visit NAMM every year and check out the amps. It's rare I find one with any worthwhile tone, most are clones and/or are too fuzzy for me. That might be why old Marshalls and Fenders sell for so much $$$ these days. If you must record electric guitar silently you will eventually discover that you will need to move some air to compete against the best.

No, I don't own a turntable. I used to cut laquers, (once called a "mastering engineer"). I focused so much on disc errors and noises, that's all I hear on vinyl. Back then I would play a freshly opened LP and then give it away, couldn't take the losses from the second play. I was a tape guy then, a converter guy now. Love my BurrBrown conversion, don't miss those scratchy plastic discs at all. I do miss the smell of analog tape in the morning...
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Post by llmonty » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:24 am

Waste of time and space. I will give the benefit of the doubt that Jim's posts overall are 50/50 useful/crotchety. And I am being generous in weighting the value of the useful posts over the real estate taken up by irrelevant posts.

Yes, the alternative for potential consumers of this ~$500 compact box with an interesting combination of tools, built in an an interesting way is to spend the going rate ($1-3K) for a vintage amp, and then to send it to you for modding that will cost several hundred dollars and destroy said the value of the amp in the process. :roll:
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Post by Bro Shark » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:40 am

No, you don't get it. You need to build a time machine and travel back to 1980.

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Post by Dan Phelps » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:54 am


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Post by Dan Phelps » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:31 am

Hey Jim!

I don't for a minute disrespect you, your knowledge, or your talent. I know that you have serious skills and experience earned over a long time of listening and tweaking.
I think we're just gonna disagree on this, and that doesn't make me hate you. I know that I could learn how to mod all my own stuff, but ultimately it's a lot more fruitful for me to spend those hours/days concentrating on making music, which is my livelihood. So if someone makes a tool that meets a bunch of needs, is inspiring, and is relatively affordable, then I get psyched about that. Working faster/smarter = making more music, and that's the goal.
I love quality audio, but sometimes I just have to make compromises to get work done...like recording guitars direct. I've been in a season where I haven't had a room to set my amps up in and let 'em rip, so I'm making the best of the current situation. And ultimately I'm willing to occasionally sacrifice the 10-15% of audio fidelity loss in order to get more music made, which is (again) my highest priority.

So, I get psyched about the Fryette thing because I think it can help me get to creativity (under certain circumstances) faster and more painlessly. It won't replace my Fender, Benson, Toneking, Divided by 13, or Swart amps. It will be another, different tool.
Last edited by Dan Phelps on Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:15 pm

LOLZ @ Jim.

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Post by vvv » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:46 pm

llmonty wrote:Waste of time and space. I will give the benefit of the doubt that Jim's posts overall are 50/50 useful/crotchety. And I am being generous in weighting the value of the useful posts over the real estate taken up by irrelevant posts.

Yes, the alternative for potential consumers of this ~$500 compact box with an interesting combination of tools, built in an an interesting way is to spend the going rate ($1-3K) for a vintage amp, and then to send it to you for modding that will cost several hundred dollars and destroy said the value of the amp in the process. :roll:
I am reading this as you saying that JW's posts are 50% "not useful", and I'm calling you out on that.

He may indeed be "crotchety" and that may indeed be fair criticism from the close-minded, thin-skinned and insecure readers he pisses off, but I'll here and now assert that his posts, like those of few others around here typically have far more information and far more entertainment value than about 95% of the posters around on any of these music forums I know of (g-slutz, etc.)

And I don't know him, own nothing he's worked on and I don't recall ever having directly addressed or been addressed by him - but I have learned from him and learned to respect him and been entertained by him.

I now await him cutting me for appearing to defend his ancient ass. :twisted:

(In my mid-50's, I'm ever so much younger than he! :lol: )
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