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Thread: D123 or D130 for guitar amp use?

  1. #1
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    D123 or D130 for guitar amp use?

    I'm sitting here watching the Derek Trucks Band's Songlines Live DVD (early birthday present) and thinking how wonderful everything sounds over the 030 system in my living room. I'm a long-time frustrated guitarist, having given it up over 35 years ago because I got far more enjoyment out of listening to good players than I did trying to be one. Well my lovely wife, obviously attune to my desire and frustration, gave me a (cheap, used) Epiphone Les Paul Classic for Christmas. So, I'm knocking around on it and thinking I could probably put together a practice amp from the old junk I've got laying around here. I'm thinking of using either a spare D130 or D123 and a spare Crown D150-II or PS-200. I know Harvey thinks highly of the D123 for guitar (times four though) so I'm wondering what I might have I can use for input and what kind of input a standard electric guitar might need. I know I played my EB-0 bass through my system (same 030) when I was a kid, but I don't remember how I hooked it up. I'm obviously not looking to tour with this rig, just to have something to let me hear my mistakes in the privacy of my own home. So, do I need a preamp and with what kind of input level? I know; dumb question!

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    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    You looking only for clinically clean tone, or some shaping &/or overdrive? There are a million things on the market, and at least a half dozen things in my house that would work...I have an old Chandler Tube Driver that's rack mounted, it's pretty much exactly what you're describing.

    Quick quote to answer your question:


    Input Impedance: Typically 1M, 500K minimum (humbucking pickup guitars have volume pots up to 500K, single coil pickup guitars typically of 250K) Tone Controls: Magnetic guitar pickups are inductive, and require compensation, although this opportunity is also used for tone enhancement, not just correction. Without compensation, they have a strong low middle emphasis and little high frequency response - overall a very muddy and muffled sound. This is why typical hi-fi Baxandall treble & bass controls are unsuitable.
    je

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    You looking only for clinically clean tone, or some shaping &/or overdrive? There are a million things on the market, and at least a half dozen things in my house that would work...I have an old Chandler Tube Driver that's rack mounted, it's pretty much exactly what you're describing.
    Thanks for the answers and the specs. My experience is from the days before all the effects were available to an amateur and I've only owned one solid-body electric (Hagstrom III) before, so I was just looking for clean tone and a path to the power amp for the guitar. Is this the unit you have? http://ebayitem.com/140196730351
    Seem to go for about $100 on The Bay and require a 9v power supply and foot switch to operate. (Looks like the same tube in my Mac C20). I could probably just borrow my daughter's little Fender practice amp but this was just an idea I had ("brain fart" my kids would call it).

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Thanks for the answers and the specs. My experience is from the days before all the effects were available to an amateur and I've only owned one solid-body electric (Hagstrom III) before, so I was just looking for clean tone and a path to the power amp for the guitar. Is this the unit you have? http://ebayitem.com/140196730351
    Seem to go for about $100 on The Bay and require a 9v power supply and foot switch to operate. (Looks like the same tube in my Mac C20). I could probably just borrow my daughter's little Fender practice amp but this was just an idea I had ("brain fart" my kids would call it).

    Thanks.
    Yep, that's the piece, and there are many more in the world that will do just what you need. It doesn't HAVE to overdrive, it just CAN- clean is entirely possible. That's actually what the footswitch is for, you don't need it if you're not switching between two sounds. You may even want a touch of compression, as the amp & speaker you describe are capable of more dynamics than most generic guitar amps, and beginner guitarists aren't usually terribly consistent in their picking. That's not meant to discourage, rather to let you know that what you'll hear through that rig is likely to be almost too accurate, so a little fudging might make it more pleasant while you're developing technique.

    I've used my 2135 for guitar and loved it, it's a close cousin of the D130.

    je

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    .....a little fudging might make it more pleasant while you're developing technique.
    A well-crafted euphemism!

    For others with an interest in guitars, and specifically a Gibson Les Paul, tonight on the Discovery Channel (10pm in my EST time zone) a UVA science professor famous for his course in "How Things Work" will host the new show "Some Assembly Required". As part of this second episode, they take a trip to the Gibson factory in Nashville and chronicle the production of a Les Paul. Could be interesting if only from a technical standpoint. http://discovery.blogs.com/some_assembly_required/


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    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    A well-crafted euphemism!
    You're welcome! Honestly, I hate to see someone's desire to play diminished if they become disheartened early. I think the gear you're proposing can work, I was just making a suggestion from experience. I still play guitar like a drummer, after ~25 years of playing. If I played directly into a clean power amp, there ain't NOBODY that would want to listen, including me.

    Good luck, and thank your wife for such a cool gift. My wife's given me a Guild D4M and a Danelectro Baritone over the years. Very nice.

    je

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    If you ain't gonna crank it way up, a single D123 will work great for playing around the house with just about any guitar amp.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Thanks Harvey. I guess that would be the easiest route; just stuff the D123 inside a guitar amp that will hold a 12" speaker. I just figured using a spare Crown amp might be fun, too. I'll keep my eye out for a cheapo practice amp with a junky 12", too.

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    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    E-Bay Item number: 250205858474

    Would this be a happy place for your D130? One for your D130, one for my 2135? Hmmm...

    Is this Heather's Aberdeen, MD dude?

    je

  10. #10
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    E-Bay Item number: 250205858474

    Would this be a happy place for your D130? One for your D130, one for my 2135? Hmmm...

    Is this Heather's Aberdeen, MD dude?

    je
    Yep, thats him! He comes up with some intriguing stuff in all his travels ...
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Senior Member sonofagun's Avatar
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    IMO (and from some, but limited exp.), just about any component preamp should work OK. I used to drive twin JBL 15" with a dyna ST-70 and the PAS-3 preamp - think I used a low level input and a guitar sounded excellent, but perhaps someone else here may know more.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Not that I wouldn't be interested in them, but I already own two C35s stashed in a friend's basement (with his motorcycles) and I also have Heather's 4320s in a storage building, too. Plenty of cabinets. Always room for more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    E-Bay Item number: 250205858474

    Would this be a happy place for your D130? One for your D130, one for my 2135? Hmmm...

    Is this Heather's Aberdeen, MD dude?

    je

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Oh, OK, from the original question I thought the missing parts of the equation were preamp and cabinet- but it's just preamp, then?

    je

  14. #14
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    I thought the missing parts of the equation were preamp and cabinet- but it's just preamp, then?
    Pretty much. Thanks.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Pretty much. Thanks.
    There's a Jackson JX-3 at a Pawn Shop near me, priced at around $100 (cash might lower that). It's got a usable clean sound, tube preamp, real knobs, and it's pretty easily re-sold for the same amount 'cause some shredders really like them. Nice no-frills, single space rack mount, but a bit of a colorful faceplate. Lemme know if you're curious.

    je

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