Show 157 – Amplifier Transformer Upgrade and more

More electric guitar geekery. This week we hear what happens when you upgrade the 4 transformers in an Orange Rockerverb 50 with quality transformers from Mercury Magnetics.
In rapid fire we cover: Favorite guitar strings; Money no object – dream guitar amp; Favorite little guitar amp;

Our guest this week is Jeff Brooks. Jeff’s guitar workshop is called Dark Art Foundry, he also plays guitar in Sisaret and for Dr. Folkman.

This episode is sponsored by TC Helicon.

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Dark Art Foundry – Jeff’s guitar workshop
Mercury Magnetics – Quality amplifier upgrades

10 thoughts on “Show 157 – Amplifier Transformer Upgrade and more

  1. It’s funny that this show would be about amps when I just bought my new dream amp.

    My father in law decided he wanted his Super Champ XD back so with booked shows in the coming weeks I was on the hunt! I tend to be a clean player with only a slight trace of dirt when I turn on my tube screamer.

    After checking the bank account I noticed my budget was going to be rather low, and so with low expectations I headed out to see what I could find to at least get through the gigs I have booked…

    My fourth stop was a pawn shop where I found my amp of choice, and one I have wanted for a few years but never once thought I could afford… A 1995 Ampeg Reverbrocket 2×12 tube combo for $50 less than my maximum budget! Clean tone for my country and rockabilly shows and the spring reverb is really lush!

    I must be doing something right to get an amp like this for so cheap… Did I mention it was made in USA?!

  2. Jon, if you do one day decide to get the Deville new, make sure you get the newest III version (you can tell it’s the latest version if the knobs are behind a black panel instead of the original shiny one). They’ve made some good tonal improvements in the recent model. But you can find Devilles on Craigslist ALL the time. Amp works well with pedals. I just tried one recently and really dug it.

  3. I hate to be the bad guy..but I liked the Dirty(un modded) transformer sound clip better…I felt that distortion was more pleasing at first listen.. The modded clip had a ton more gain, and made the distortion sound too thick. I also noticed the Bass seemed to cover up some of the notes( which I thought was the opposite of the un modded clip… I build my own recording gear, and upgrading to better parts ie (transformers, resistors and capacitors) does improve your sound…You also have to keep in mind, the older used parts can be worn out and tired from the abuse of being used..Also parts have specific value ranges that you want to stay in…For some older Fender amps, they are using the brown carbon composite resistors, these Carbon resistors cause a lot of noise to be introduced into your signal as they heat up…Replace with a nice brand new metal film resistor, and BAMMMMM- super clean signal with less heat and noise being introduced signal..

  4. Hey guys, thanks for always having a great show. HRS definitely is one of my top resources to further my recording knowledge and to give me new ideas. I love that a lot of times there is just as much valuable information in the comments section as there is in the segments. My question is about your discussion on how you mount your fiberglass absorption panels. I was wondering if you could share some pictures of how your corner panels are mounted (especially Jon since I am also renting my home and need a less permanent solution). The description about how you mount the panels on flat surfaces (hang on nail, drywall screw or picture wire) is very straightforward but a few shots of Jon’s bungee cord trick would be immensely helpful. Thanks again and for always taking as many comments as you have time for.

  5. Hi guys,

    Long time listener. I recently took on a recurring project recording and editing a corporate podcast. I notice listening to you guys that I don’t hear a lot of breath noise, lip smacks, etc. I have one client who prefers for any these sounds to be completely edited out.

    I’m wondering, do you edit these out manually? Do you use any plugs to assist? Or do you have any general tips this type of for voice over recording, I.e. Mic placement, Mic choice, etc?

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    C. Randall

    • Hi C
      Putting a noise gate on the channel helps a lot with breaths, but I do a lot of manual editing too. Put the DAW into shuffle mode and delete anything that you don’t like. Breaths, long pauses, ums and uhh etc.

      It takes longer but its worth it.

  6. Question 1:
    A little while back, Jon mentioned that he was going to have a chance to try out a pair of Yamaha HS80M monitors, did that happen?
    Question 2: I have looked around for a solid supplier of parts and plans for some near field monitors. I appreciate the calculations in making a properly tuned speaker, but I don’t need the learning curve, I just want dependable drawings and the properly matched guts for the boxes. Do you know of a complete supplier for this DIY project in the US or hopefully Canada? Ideally, I’d like to see a “click here to make a near clone of X Monitor”.
    Question 3: I am going to be recording a song that will have a few lines at the end sung by a large women’s choir. The actual choir will be created by multi-tracking one very capable woman. Do you have any tips on how I should approach this?
    Thanks very much.

  7. Forgot to mention, ideally, I would love to build active monitors, not passive, and this is where I am having a hard time finding someone who will supply all the guts.

  8. Yea, I am a little weird. Ive always heard ‘think out of the box’ but all my life i have been looking for the box so i can crawl in and be normal for a change.

    When it come to transformers i wonder if a transformer upgrade would be worth the time and effort for a solid state amp. I could definitely hear the difference and it sounded great but that’s not the particular sound i’m looking for. I’m kinda like Joe in that i was pretty partial to the unmodded distortion sound, but i guess in the end you’ve got to go for what sounds good to you… my problem is that i used that as an excuse to gig with a peavey bandit for way longer than i should have.

    ride the chicken

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