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Old 2008-10-13, 07:35
New Blood
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 22
Modding Tube Amps

Im looking into modding my 6505+ head. I cant find any sites anywhere does anyone know how to go about doing general mods.
Old 2008-10-13, 16:59
Soulinsane's Avatar
Pirate Lawd
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hanger 18
Posts: 6,520
I do it for a living and I can tell you it can be very dangerous. Tube amps are nothing to fuck with. They can KILL you. I have never been inside a 6505 but I assume it would be similar to the 5150. There are many different web sites dedicated to modding tube amps ( some I don't agree with ). It all depends on what you are looking to change.

To start, I always want to know what cables, FXs, guitar wiring ( pick ups ), speakers, and tubes are used. Upgrading those things first normally enhance tone far greater that people think without opening the amp. Unless other features are to be added, begin there.

Next, I do a simple clean and inspection inside the amp. Dust can build up and cause parts to heat up or semi short. I note the solder connections and try to date the capacitors. It helps to know the difference between quality and economy parts as well. Changing values can be tricky but have a profound effect.

Another awesome mod, but expensive, is to upgrade the transformers. In the case of a 5150 I like to add a choke as well. Transformers are the heart and soul of any tube amp. Nothing you do will ever affect the performance of your amp like top quality transformers. Mercury magnetic transformers are by far the best you can get. I became a dealer/tech for them this year I like them so much. Awesome quality but you get what you pay for.

Best bet would be to find someone local that works on vintage electronics. Old TV repair guys are basically analog tube tech gods! Find one and see if they might be willing to show and teach you about tube electronics. Most of them are getting pretty old and are retired and they might not take you serious at first. They have a wealth of knowledge that only tube guitar amp guys can appreciate in todays world.
Authorized Mercury Magnetics tech/dealer
Old 2008-10-16, 17:40
the_bleeding's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,816
Oh father souli, you are t3h man.

As for a recommendation for the 6505, do some research on replacing the power resistor with a choke. It will make a huge difference, and it only takes 10 minuets.
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
Old 2009-08-12, 03:21
New Blood
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
We hold a certain mystical fascination with old and new tube type amps – the digital stuff is the future, and will one day be the norm, but like a Mustang Shelby Cobra Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s “Rat Fink”, we dig the crazy old stuff. It’s fun, it makes sense, and it’s a reminder of our Kollective Kustom Kulture Past that we draw on for inspiration. Used Mercedes Dallas Fort Worth discount consumer electronics From tweed era Fenders to the high-gain Mesa Boogies, Soldanos, and Bogners of the ‘80’s, ‘90’s, and into this new millennium, it’s the stuff of music videos (gawd, the wall o’ Marshall stacks in ANY hair –band video from MTV back in the 1980’s) and countless books on the subject of collecting, restoring, and modding tube amps.
Old 2009-08-13, 11:59
Soulinsane's Avatar
Pirate Lawd
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hanger 18
Posts: 6,520
I'm not sure where you are going with this Angela, but the metal gods help you if you are one of these new spammers raiding these forums. I don't agree that digital music will replace tube/analog music on all accounts; at least with metal/rock music. Digital/Analog recording and digital/analog mastering are the best mix in my accounts. Isn't guitar an analog instrunment in the first place?

BTW, I have replaced 6 power resistors with MM chokes and power tranny's in 5150 ( not to mention output trannys ). All with some outstanding results. I haven't worked on a 6505 yet but they seem to be the same amp in most places; from what I have seen of schematics.
Authorized Mercury Magnetics tech/dealer

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