A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER

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batsbrew
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2009/12/16 12:26:26 (permalink)

A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER

just discovered this, wanted to know if anybody knew anything about it.....




A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER

(my apologies if this has been covered before)

GAGA-50-- Advantages: All-tube, 5 pounds, 50 watts


lighter and smaller than typical tube amps & lighter than comparably powered transistorized amps

no audio output transformer or its limitations and distortions

freedom to use any number or combination of octal output tubes

widely adjustable output tube distortion vs output volume level

immediate recovery from overdrive; touch-responsive output tube distortion

drives any load and sustains dead shorts or total disconnects at full power

automatic bias and automatic idle / standby of any number or combination of output tubes

lower operating temperature, greatly extended tube lifetimes (expected)

increased reliability and stability, improved amplitude and phase accuracy

more perfect coupling of output tubes to speaker (i.e., no parasitics or saturation)

more tube-like operation of output tubes (i.e., lower current, higher impedance)

triode-like characteristics presented to speakers, even from pentodes

advanced, fully regulated, switching power supplies

no heavy power transformers, magnetics or choke filters

world power ready: plug and play anywhere

powerful, agile, innovative: brings true tone closer

full power over unmatched, wide frequency response

top-quality parts, USA made, high-end audio pedigree, experienced designers







http://www.milbert.com/guitar

http://www.thegearpage.ne...33571&postcount=42


post edited by batsbrew - 2009/12/16 16:37:53

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#1

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    Dave Modisette
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 12:52:53 (permalink)
    But WAIT!
     
    It also comes with a Shamwow cloth! 

    Dave Modisette ... rocks a Purrrfect Audio Studio Pro rig.

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    #2
    ohhey
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 12:59:54 (permalink)
    Mod Bod


    But WAIT!
     
    It also comes with a Shamwow cloth! 


    Call within the next 15 minutes and you get, not one, but TWO Shamwow with your order. That's TWO Shamwow and the amp for just 87 payments of...
    #3
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 13:05:59 (permalink)

    DAVID BERNING’S ZOTL
    http://www.positive-feedb...gizmoabducted.7n5.html
    (3RD TOPIC DOWN)

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    #4
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 13:07:01 (permalink)

    Technology

    White Papers

    ZOTL Technology vs Audio Output Transformers

    This paper demonstrates the electrical performance of an amplifier using the ZOTL technology versus the identical amplifier using a high-quality audio output transformer and presents these differences using oscillographs.

    Electronic Devices and the Amplification Process

    This paper shows how a curve tracer can be used to explore the attributes of the ZOTL technology and contrast it to the shortcomings of the audio output transformer. Also shown is how this tool can be used to optimally design an amplifier.

    Patents

    5,612,646 Output Transformerless Amplifier Impedance Matching Apparatus

    This patent teaches the principles behind the Berning ZOTL technology that can properly match the impedance of vacuum tubes to the impedance of speakers without using audio output transformers. The impedance conversion is done with dc-dc switching converters operating at fixed frequencies well above audio frequencies. The actual voltage and current impedance transformations are done via special high-frequency transformers. This is an RF carrier system that eliminates the frequency-dependent distortions present in audio transformers, and can enable the amplifier to have a wider frequency response and be dc coupled.

    4,163,198 Audio Amplifier

    This patent details a hybrid tube-FET amplification stage that forms the basis of the Berning TF-10 preamplifier. An important advantage of this amplification stage is the elimination of the parasitic feedback capacitance and thus providing a stage with improved transient response.

    3,995,226 Audio Amplifier

    This patent describes the screen drive philosophy that has become an important part of many of the Berning power amplifier designs to the present day. The screen drive allows tubes to be operated at much higher efficiencies, much higher power output, and at greatly enhanced reliability. Whereas the patent shows transistors driving tubes, the same principles apply to presently implemented versions of tubes driving tubes. This is also known as the "enhancement" amplifier.

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    #5
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 13:08:18 (permalink)
    in other words, i think you guys are missing the point.


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    skullsession
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 17:39:25 (permalink)
    I just started saving again....

    HOOK:  Skullsessions.com  / Darwins God Album

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    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 17:44:31 (permalink)
    it's a communist plot.

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    #8
    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 19:48:09 (permalink)
    "more perfect coupling of output tubes to speaker (i.e., no parasitics or saturation)"

    Why bother playing a guitar amp if you are not going to get to savor the parasitics and saturation in your output tranny?

    Isn't this straight out of hi-fi land?

    best,
    mike
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    35mm
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/16 20:39:41 (permalink)
    I only took a quick look, but it seems to be only 5 pounds because it's just a mini head in a sheet metal casing, and those valves (tubes) look to be very vulnerable poking out like that. Make it road worthy by putting it in a vented case, and it's going to be a bit bigger and heavier. There are other mini valve amps about now.
    #10
    Guitarhacker
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/17 07:50:10 (permalink)
    Yeah.... a protective case will add some weight but still... nothing like...oh... say an Ampeg head.

    Where were these amps when I was gigging.....


    Actually I can recall a friend of mine....another guitar player, setting around in electronics class one day discussing transformerless audio output stages....(due to weight issues with lugging amps around) ...... the teacher happened to overhear us, and made the comment ....."It'll never happen" and then went on to explain why there would always be transformers in audio output stages...... I guess that;s why he was a teacher and not an innovator..... but he sure did know his stuff about circuits of all kinds.

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    #11
    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/17 08:27:33 (permalink)
    What's the point Bats Brew?

    I don't think I am missing any points... :-)

    1) Transformerless Output stages are old news in hi fi land.

    re:
    "The David Berning Company has produced high-end home audio equipment since 1975. Reviews. Milbert Amplifiers has built top quality tube car audio equipment since 1986. Reviews."

    2) Any of hi power pentode tubes they suggest using in the amp are capable of putting out 80-120 watts when using a output transformer to reflect the impedance the tubes were designed to see. 50 watts is a dead give away that this amp is not all that hi tech... ( and I did read the part about "some people say it sounds like a 100watt amp"... well I'll bet it doesn't sound anything like a 100watt Ampeg VT22...meaning loud AND CLEAN ) they haven't solved any big issues... they just figured out how to make an amp cheaper. I hope they sell it cheaply.

    3) Why make a deal about swapping tubes? Is the amp designed to sound great with a certain set of tubes? It seems like no one really has a strong opinion of which tube to use... and I suspect that is because when the tubes are only working at half pop and not looking at the impedance they were designed to run into... that the character or tonal quality we associate with those tubes isn't evident in the same way.

    For example the EL34s shown in the pictures in the web page have been used in many large amps... some reputed to be clean and wicked... and others are known to be crunchy warm and brown. It's the relationship between the tubes, the circuit, and the output tranny that really effect the character of the *tube* part of a tube amps power stage.

    4) switching power supply. The power transformer for a 50 watt amp weighs 5 pounds... or at least it should ;-)... some companies cheap out on that and go with a lighter piece of *iron*. Others really cheap out and use a switching power supply. I think it's great they are using a a patented overload protection system on the power output stage. I wonder what they are doing on the power supply stage. Failure mode for a switching power supply is FIRE. That's not what I want to throw in the trunk and take out to a party. :-(

    5) Availability: Not Yet... but get ready to spend $2,000.... That's freaking crazy!!!! :-) It seems like marketing strategy straight out of the home hi-fi and high end car audio world.    :-S

    6) Oscilloscopes.... they are comparing tone to a real tube amp by using an oscilloscope... I thought that went out in the '70s.

    I going with a big yawn on this one... but thanks for the heads up... when behringer introduces this at the $189 price point it will be something to consider more seriously.

    all the best,
    mike
    post edited by mike_mccue - 2009/12/17 08:29:46
    #12
    Ron Vogel
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/17 10:32:18 (permalink)
    Transformerless output = high prbability of electrocution....no thanks!


    I have been going over a lot of circuits to build my own recording head. I also want light, small...yada, yada. The one constant is the transformer output. Plus, we are talking character too, I wonder if it would be too sterile for guitar?


    BTW, I'm building a Supro/Valco based 5w head with a switchable front end tube selection to go between tweed and 60's tones.

    I'm stuck in the past, but my foot's tapping forward 
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    #13
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/17 10:32:52 (permalink)
    i guess you're just not paying attention, mike.


    Patent 5,612,646 Output Transformerless Amplifier Impedance Matching Apparatus 

    MARCH 18, 1997


    this is a relatively new patent, for devices i doubt you've ever seen before, unless you're into those super expensive hi fi amps.


    you obviously have not read any of the technical papers and/or links supplied with this thread/review/issue/cool thing.






    the reason my boogie is so heavy, is because of the two huge transformers.




    have you never owned, or played with an amp that can exchange more than one tube set?
    thd bivalve?
    emery super baby
    etc?


    it's way cool.


    especially if you own a studio, and like the idea of multiple amp sounds out of a single amp.


    the way this thing is designed, means the sound of the amp is no longer coupled to the transformers.


    a decent bogner shiva head, is 2300 bucks.
    so why do you think this price point is wrong?


    oscilloscopes, are used daily, by anyone that works on circuits, amplifiers, speakers, all the stuff that an electronic musician uses.


    dude, get your head out of the sand.



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    #14
    Cheeto
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 10:14:24 (permalink)
    Spec, papers, and reinventing the wheel are all one thing.

    What it really boils down to is how does this thing sound?

    Does it sound like a 2k amp?  Call me pessimistic but I really cant see that happening.

    #15
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 10:33:07 (permalink)
    yeah, how can anybody see it happening, til they can play one?

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    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 10:56:03 (permalink)
    Batsbrew,
     I saw the patent stuff before I posted yesterday. It's part of a legacy out transformerless tube output stage patents that go back to the mid seventies.
     You may even notice that I referenced the patent and it's overload protection features in a previous post in this thread.

     When these guys sell the patent to Behringer... you'll see this amp for $189.

     :-)

     google: "transformerless tube output" and you'll find that people have been trying to find a way to avoid the cost of a output transformer since the '50s.

     This generally has traction in the hi-fi crowd because they have legitimate concerns about saturation and phase coherency in output transformers. UL output transformers are big, heavy, expensive... that's three strikes against profit potential... and one can demonstrate that the transformmer could always be even more "hi-fi".

     But with guitar amps... we, you, I, a bunch of other guys... never went for that hi-fi stuff. I will only speak for myself but as a electric guitarist I knew that I wanted all the "bad" stuff that came with transformers. I can hear what I like about them.

     When I posted a picture of my Silverface collection last month the thing I was "showing off" was the availability of 5 different output transformers and there tube circuits. Each of those amp models has a different sound that depends on the tube/tranny/speaker combo to make magic.

     When I switch form the Deluxe Reverb to the Vibrolux the tone change is clearly evident... but it's not something you can duplicate with a peadl or a model. It is clearly the sound of the output stage... the tube/tranny/speaker combo.

     So, my point is... if a guy is gonna bring a transformer-less tube guitar amp to market they are gong to need more than a patent.

     Ironically I just read this book:

     Power Makers



    It's really the story of the electric industry. One of the underlying themes is how patents and the exclusivity they seem to provide are used to attract investment by presenting new opportunities for expansion into a market. The history of the electrical power industry provides ample examples of how patented innovations served only to attract investment without furthering the state of the art. Exclusivity has it's allure... but the market will weed out the good from the bad.

    Behringer, $189, the box will say "new and improved".

    That's my small minded opinion. :-)


    #17
    Doc_Hollingsworth
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 11:04:44 (permalink)
    Hmmm. I have had this conversation with my Dad who is a retired Electronics engineer. The better lighter tube amp conversation that is. His summation....

    If you want the real tone that you're looking for you got to get the amp that's going to give it to you. And to understand why, it's because the whole thing tubes, caps, resistors, etc. all work as a unit to provide the tone. It's why my dad says we'll be stuck with heavy audio output transformers and cabs until someone builds something similar to the Focusrite Liquid Channel for guitars (Digidesign Eleven Rack is headed in that direction).

    In other words something that combines accurate modeling with input and outputs that present the proper loads, sag, etc. to both the guitar and the speakers.

    When it comes down to it. I can still tell the difference between a modeled Marshall 2210 from the real thing.

    Most of the web page is definitely marketing, from a hi-fi audiophile point of view. And poorly done at that. If it were me I would have taken a different bent. Like how would you like to achieve the sound of a Marshall JMP 45, a Fender Bassman, or a Mesa Stilleto all from one lightweight amp. Or something along those lines.

    And then alude to the fact that it can also do all these other things.

    But from what I've read. That's not what the product is about. Its simply a wide audio spectrum amplifier. So what?... What's next? A wide spectrum guitar pickup that won't color the tone of your strings? (EMG X series pickups anyone?) Or wood that won't color the purity of sound?

    I get your point. It's just not going to do what I want it to in the studio or on the stage. I'll stick to heavy transformer Marshalls and Mesas. Its get's me the tone and I don't have to think too much about it.

    Added - I guess I'm small minded too. I like my tone.....
    post edited by Doc_Hollingsworth - 2009/12/18 11:07:43

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    #18
    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 11:08:09 (permalink)
    "oscilloscopes, are used daily, by anyone that works on circuits, amplifiers, speakers, all the stuff that an electronic musician uses.


    dude, get your head out of the sand. "

    Sorry, I missed this because the type is small and my eyes are old.

    Just wanted to extend an invite the next time you are Tally, stop by, we'll fire up my oscilloscope and make an afternoon of it.

    I don't think we'll learn a bunch about the tonal nuances of a tube amp with it.

    It seems to me that research in that area was pretty much exhausted by the late 1970s... there's lots to read... but it's easy to see by the resurgence of popularity in old 1930's radio amplifier circuits that guitarists didn't think they benefited from that research.

    I don't think the hi-fi folks have come to a consensus about it either. :-)

    If you want to talk about sand... we can drive out to Cape San Blas. It is said to some very nice sand... I'm sure you'll agree.

    all the best,
    mike
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    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 11:22:53 (permalink)
    "have you never owned, or played with an amp that can exchange more than one tube set?
    thd bivalve?
    emery super baby
    etc?


    it's way cool.


    especially if you own a studio, and like the idea of multiple amp sounds out of a single amp."


    Sure



    The bottom three can run anything a Emery can... and always could... and I think you know that. :-)

    The others are versatile as well... requiring only the most minor adjustments. OK I can't pop a pair of EL34s in them without rewiring the sockets, but I have a Kustom 4 Valve for that.

    I wonder if you know that more often than not a "bias adjustment" on an amp tech bench is merely a check with a meter. Most amps don't actually have a bias adjustment and a true adjustment is done by soldering in new components. A bias balance is common... but mainly useful for running badly matched tubes. My point is, tube swapping is not as big a deal as some may think.

    I'd like to emphasize that I am of the opinion that the power tubes, the transformer, and the speaker make for unique combinations of tone. I enjoy the fact that a guy like Mr. Leo Fender... a person who did not play guitar... had the good taste to produce some of the most well balanced reciepes for combinations of the power tubes, transformers, and speakers

    I think when you compare the results of an end users opportunity to swap out a bunch of tubes while using one or no transformers to the results from playing predetermined combinations of tubes, output transformers, and speakers, that have been revealed by decades of shared experiences, to make excellent tone that the end user will be hard pressed to compete with the limited combinations available with just one or no transformer.

    To summarize, I'm not a big fan of the *we didn't figure what a good combination is... so you should spend the rest of your life trying to figure it out by swapping tubes*... type of guitar amp design.

    So, while I have indulged in liberal tube swapping... it is just not my thing these days.

    I want the good stuff and it's easy to get because there are millions of great amps already around.

    best,
    mike
    post edited by mike_mccue - 2009/12/18 11:29:12
    #20
    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 11:36:50 (permalink)
    "a decent bogner shiva head, is 2300 bucks.
    so why do you think this price point is wrong?"

    Well, If I did buy a $2300 boutique amp... I'd probably enjoy knowing that it cost that much because the parts and assembly labor justified the cost. I know what it would cost me to make a Bogner... and $2300 seems quite reasonable.

     I don't think I'd enjoy paying $2000 for a guitar amp that had $200 parts and labor while the rest went to RnD. Especially if I felt that the RnD was done specifically to create a unique, exclusive, patented product that did not actually improve the breed of the product category.

    Behringer, $189, new and improved, five stars at Musicians Friend.

    all the best,
    mike
    #21
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 12:21:21 (permalink)

    mike- 

    ok, forget the sand, that was a stupid thing for me to say.
    LOL
    my apologies.
    i grew up in florida, i should know better.

    ;-)




    I don't think we'll learn a bunch about the tonal nuances of a tube amp with it.
     (oscilloscopes)

    agreed.

    i think, and have always thought, that the "MOJO" of a tube amp---that magic quality----is something that is inherently not easily reproduced

    i base this opinion, on the fact that i've played dozens of different amps of the same model, marshalls, for example, and even the ones that were built at the same time, same model, etc, SOUNDED different.

    same with boogies, Hiwatts, Fenders, ampegs.

    there's too much going on in there, that is variable.

    so, finding a special amp, can sometimes be a lifetime search.

    the bias issue....
    wow. agree with you totally on all of that....
    that's one of the reasons i went with a boogie.

    it's a headache i just never wanted to be bothered with.

    now granted, the few times i've gotten to work in a real studio, where they had a posse of amps that have been custom biased, i thoroughly enjoyed that...
    but for a working guy who wanted an amp that would never let me down, the boogie was a no brainer.

    but i like the idea of a self biasing amp, based on the PURITY of the bias balance.
    i don't know how to word that correctly, but mike, i'm sure you know what i mean.

    i guess i'm saying, it'd be great if the biasing had NOTHING to do with the amp sound.

    that's what i'm hoping ends up happening here.

    somehow, there has to be this magic/perfect "DECISION", in the wiring of the preamp/tone stack/ power side, that lets the tubes actually do their best stuff....

    and anybody/everybody knows (should know) how just changing the speakers out, can make or break the entire package (i know you totally get this part, mike)





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    #22
    mister happy
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 16:48:26 (permalink)
    :-) It's all good... just talking amps with a buddy!!!

    And I am thankful for the OP link... it was good reading.

    best,
    mike
    #23
    Cheeto
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 17:12:44 (permalink)
    Like how would you like to achieve the sound of a Marshall JMP 45, a Fender Bassman, or a Mesa Stilleto all from one lightweight amp. Or something along those lines.

    Perhaps good thing they don't state that, I find it is always best to avoid those amps that make those claims.  All you will ever get is an imitation, not a duplication.  Just put the real deal (amp) next it and it all becomes apparent.  Want the sound of a JMP45, then get one, etc.


    #24
    batsbrew
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    Re:A NEW TYPE OF TUBE GUITAR AMPLIFIER 2009/12/18 18:18:18 (permalink)
    i know i'd never buy an amp like this to sound like something else.

    i think the whole idea here is, a clean slate.


    i rather like that idea.

    it's time for something fresh.

    everything, is starting to sound like everything else to me.


    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
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    #25
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