Thursday, May 28, 2009

Filmosound modded amp

I was being so good! I hadn't bought a piece of guitar gear in 9 months. Considering I built me rig from nothing in the previous 3 years... that says a lot! The key to not buying gear is to stay away from the gear page and craig's list. I know the rules, but the other day I slipped. I went on to CL innocently enough, I wanted to see if anyone was selling Ikea shelves so I could get them cheaper. as soon as I had typed my fingers just naturally finished with "/msg". Oh well, now that I'm here I might as well see what the gear world is doing. "awesome vintage squire -$200", pass. "Free huge grand piano if you pay $400 to have it moved", pass. "Hand Built Point to Point Super Charged Tweed Deluxe Style Tube Amp", Oh? What's that? Click.
Here's what it said:
Hand Made, Hand Wired, Point to Point all tube guitar amplifier. This amp is much like Fender's late '50's Tweed Deluxe. Two 6V6 in a push pull configuration, 12AX7 driver/phase inverter and 12AT7 in the preamp position. Although this amp is much like a tweed deluxe, significant tweaks have been made to make the amp more usable and more fun. The amp is in the head configuration, so you can use any speaker combo you like. The amp has 8 and 16 ohm speaker taps. One volume and one tone control and a fat/lean switch to accommodate a variety of pickups. Additional circuit alterations have been employed to make the amp "hotter" and more dynamic than a stock 5E3. Very touch sensitive and versatile for a simple amp. Quite loud for 15 watts. Pure tone. Built into an old film projector chassis. No circuitry from the original Filmosound (because stock filmosounds sound awful). All new quality components, 50 year old iron, old stock tubes.
I'm interested... what's the price? Cheaper than either of my delays? Hmmmmm. About 3 hours later I was knowledgeable about Tweed Delux and Filmosound amps, had planned out a matching cab and speaker to pair with this head, and had come up with plenty of reasons why I needed this amp. The only thing left was to find out if it sounded good. Luckily for me, there was a youtube video of one of his earlier amps:


I think I've mentioned before that ever since I got my Tele (G&L) I've wanted a Fender style amp. I just hadn't found the right tone/price combo. I was pretty excited to try this amp out. I went over last night and it sounded good! I brought it home but one of my roommates was sleeping so I'll have to wait to hear it with my pedals and cab. Right now I'm going to use my 2x12 with scumback's but I'd like to get a 1x12 with a Weber 12A100 (clone of a Jensen P12R).

Are you wondering what's the deal with filmosound? I was too. Filmosound made projectors in the 50's with a built in tube amp and external speaker. Apparently you can plug a guitar right into it and it sounds ok. Anthony, the guy who built this amp essentially gutted the filmosound amp and rewired it and upgraded components so it's more like a Tweed Delux. It still has the original tubes and transformer. He's not the first to do this, but he's possibly the only one doing it now and from what I can tell there are probably less than 50 in existence made my anyone. Here's a good read if you're more interested in this style amp:

Here's the blog of the amp builder who sold it to me:

Here's what it looks like!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The secret to good tone

Bad tone = bad hands + transparent gear

Bad tone = good hands + non-transparent gear

Good tone = good hands + transparent gear