Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Blackheart Little Giant Top-New toy in da house ...
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index -> Amps
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Blackheart Little Giant Top-New toy in da house ... Reply with quote

While I once owned a Groove Tubes Soul-O-30 Reverb Top and didn?t like the sound even after swapping the tubes so many times, I was stuck with my Fenders DRRI (my keeper) and BluesDeVille and swore that I?d never ever walk such narrow paths in the future.
But the BDV had to go because I've needed cash and decided to keep only that stuff I was really playing with.
At the same time some guys over there at JapanAxe started their major cheering offensive about their tube ?half pints?, the Epi Jrs.
I've read all their comments about the stock version, their following modding and pimping ? and I guess I had been seized already by the ?virus? at that time ?
Well ? at the end of May I?ve got mine ? a wonderful Blackheart Little Giant Top ? I couldn?t resist, it was a real bargain ?



It has just what you?d expect from a tube amp, no bells and whistles ? it?s perfect ? for me ?perfect? is something if you can?t remove anything substantial ?
Either playing with 5 watts power or switching to the 3 watts mode ( the 3 watts start to crunch earlier, the 5 watts are louder, of course ), bass, middle, treble and vol chickenhead control knobs, jacks for 4, 8 and 16 Ohm speakers at the rear ? there?s nothing left to be desired ?
OK ? two things, the first one is just a matter of personal taste ? a REVERB !!! I like playing clean with a little bit of reverb ? so an Electro Harmonix Holy Grail digital reverb pedal is doing that for me now ?
Second spec I'm missing is a 'standby' switch ... just for warming it up safely ...
I?m completely happy with that Little Giant.
Of course I began tinkering with the tubes just 2 days later ?
I?ve found a TAD 12AX7-C and a NOS 5751 for the preamp section and a TAD EL-84-STR left in my pool box for the power ? I prefer the 5751 vs the AX7, because I had swapped it into my DRRI some time ago and noticed a tremendous upgrade in sound ( my personal taste )...
... and you remember perhaps that I own two 2x12 cabs with ToneTubby speakers and Weber Blue Dogs ?
So it's looking like this now ...


Wow ? what a beautiful warm, chiming sound with silky highs, clear mids and a nice deep bass growl.
I think it loves the SCs of my strat more than the HBs but it can also depend on the pups ?
Bass on 4 o?clock, middle on 2, treble and vol on full and the sun begins to shine ? you can do that on the 3 watts mode, the amp begins to crunch from 1-2 o?clock ? but not in the 5 watts mode ? it?s simply too loud then.
Ringing, sparkling clean sound at lower volume or in the 5 watts mode ? Mark Knopfler would like it !!
Very pedal friendly, Tonebone Classic(with 12AX7), Fulltone OCD and my 808-clone MEK TD-1 give a tremendous sound for Classic Rock and Rock ballades, all is possible from ?gilmourish? to ?claptonish? to AC/DC ? but NO metal ?
What should I tell you additionally ? ????
OH YES - I love it !!!
It?s providing the same excellent tone and manufacturing quality like my formerly Crate Vintage Club VC50 amp ? obviously I own his little son now ...
Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Smokin' Tone
Guitar God


Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 112
Location: KY

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool! I just gutted one for a guy. Here's some pics of the new amp.



_________________
Steve
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin' Tone wrote:
Very cool! I just gutted one for a guy. Here's some pics of the new amp.




Wow ... that's great !!!!!
Please tell me what you've done there upgrading it ...
I'm very curious to know !!!!
Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
AlanN
Guitar God


Joined: 06 Oct 2007
Posts: 1070
Location: Lancashire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Second spec I'm missing is a 'standby' switch ... just for warming it up safely ... "

Someone correct me if I'm wrong please, but I thought that depended on what kind of rectifier you had? That is, a solid state rectifier needs a standby, but a tube rectifier would warm gradually and ramp up as it went?


Edit:

(Kevin O'Connor)
Quote:

Hi Guys

Standbys are not needed in guitar amps. They are a nice thing to have for servicing but operationally not needed. TUT3 explains why.

Keeping the filter caps powered is good for their health, but then you have high-DC sitting on them if you are servicing. The downside is the high stress on the SB switch placing it in the DC path. Opening/closing definitely causes a thump and the switch life will be deteriorated by arcing.

If you must have a standby, place it after the rectifier and diode-block it from the filter cap. Add a resistor to ground from the main rectifier (330k-1W). This protects against cross-conduction failure (see TUT4).

C&K 700-series switches have all the safety approvals and are rated for 5A and 1kV insulation. They can be used for SBs and triode switches provided there is space around them. Be wary of using the PCB versions (mounted on a PCB) for direct control of these functions.

The presence of Power Scaling in the amp does not change the SB issues.

Have fun


Some may see his first statement as controversial, but I work with some world-class electronics and electrical engineers who build valve amps who say "he's right for most cases".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlanN wrote:
Standbys are not needed in guitar amps. They are a nice thing to have for servicing but operationally not needed. TUT3 explains why.


Thanks alot, Alan, for leading me on the right path ...
I've thought that a standby switch would be needed for the health of the tubes ...
I'm referring to the Fender DR owner's manual ... but it seems to be something different ...
Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Smokin' Tone
Guitar God


Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 112
Location: KY

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is actually an upgrade kit that Mojo sales. In addition to a hand wired board it adds a tube rectifier and replaces the 3-5 watt switch with a standby. I agree that neither of those are needed for a single ended amp such as this. A customer ordered the parts and asked me to install them. The amp does sound better after the upgrade. The distortion was a bit buzzy before. I actually thought it sounded better in the 3 watt mode. Not that it sounded bad but now it has a much tighter distortion and more definition. I replaced the Dijon caps with Sozo's and upgraded the tubes. I also installed a bit bigger Heybour output transformer. The chassis is really nice on these and are made with the tinkerer in mind. Definitely some cool looking little amps.
_________________
Steve
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot m8 ... I've assumed that it was one of the Mojo kits ... they are a phantastic upgrade ...
But - I'm not the man who could work that out what you've done there ... and so my LG will stay as is ... the only thing I can do is tinkering with some tubes ... unfortunately ...
I'm happy with it though ... my Strat is sounding awesome ...
Thanks again ...
Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
rgrafend
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 Steve
Back to top
Smokin' Tone
Guitar God


Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 112
Location: KY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


_________________
Steve
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DaveWW
Guitar God


Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 1451
Location: North East UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guy's

Just resurrecting this post as I've recently bought one off ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RAT-HOTROD-BLACKHEART-5-WATT-VALVE-GUITAR-AMPLIFIER-AMP_W0QQitemZ350097546672QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350097546672&_trkparms=72%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14

It's not that actual one but it's identical. Following my experimentation with power scaling on my little fender champ 600 I wanted something else to compare it to. I actually bought the first one of these that Andy did but it didn't have a master volume switch, which I thought was needed, so when he stated adding extras I returned it for an upgrade which Andy very kindly did just for the cost of the parts.

It absolutely smokes - I'm a bit sad to say that whilst my little Champ is nice but it's no comparrison! The subtle creamy harmonic overtones I can get from this thing are amazing. The addition of the valve rectifier is particularly nice and the revoiced tone stack and switchable 6V6 output valve makes it really versatile. I'm stoked

Oh yes, and I took tudors idea of a Holy Grail Reverb and it's all that's needed to go from Jaz through blues, stevie, hendrix AC/DC and beyond.

If anyone is looking for a nice amp, particularly for home use, I can really recommend one of these.

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveWW wrote:
Hi Guy's

Just resurrecting this post as I've recently bought one off ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RAT-HOTROD-BLACKHEART-5-WATT-VALVE-GUITAR-AMPLIFIER-AMP_W0QQitemZ350097546672QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350097546672&_trkparms=72%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14

It absolutely smokes - I'm a bit sad to say that whilst my little Champ is nice but it's no comparrison!
...
If anyone is looking for a nice amp, particularly for home use, I can really recommend one of these.


Wow ... Dave ...
Congrats on your little gem ... what a great job have they done to the LG !!!
I'm more than being at risk to 'look a little bit closer ' to that modded something ...
... and I'm able to relate to your comments on your Fender ... My DR is wearing its dust cover nearly all the time since I've bought the Blackheart Head ...

Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to keep you in the loop, Dave ...

I'm in contact to Andy ... very nice and immediately answering guy ...
Instead of purchasing a more expensive PTP Top, I'm considering to 'pimp up' my LG the way you've described ...
Roger
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DaveWW
Guitar God


Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 1451
Location: North East UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Roger,

Yes, He's a very helpful guy.

His work is definitely worth every penny. I'm sure you won't regret it - his amp have a growing reputation and his feedback (and the amp's ) is also very good!

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tudor
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 1542
Location: AC - Germany

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveWW wrote:
Hi Roger,

Yes, He's a very helpful guy.

His work is definitely worth every penny. I'm sure you won't regret it - his amp have a growing reputation and his feedback (and the amp's ) is also very good!

Dave


Dave,
I'm convinced that Andy will give his best ... that was my impression when having emailed with him ... very reliable guy !!!!
And he knows exactly what he's suggesting or recommending his customers ...
I have to consider if I'd either buy a complete stuff/Top from him ... or send my LG to him to mod it this way you've recommended already ...
OK - some mental work for the WE, I guess ... the Master Vol does attrack me, the stand-by switch and the option for the 6L6 and the rectifier ...
Seriously - is it such a tremendous change ???
Roger
BTW - That was my 1500 ... should I cry 'HURRAY' ????
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DaveWW
Guitar God


Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 1451
Location: North East UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger,

I have to say that I haven't tried the standard BLG as the one I originally got from him was modified although it only had the standby switch, power scaling and the twin reverb tone stack. I loved that amp but found that the power scaling, although good, lost some tone a low volumes and from mod's I had done myself I knew it worked better with a master volume.

So as I said I swapped the one I had bought for one the same as on the ebay listing link which has the addition of the switchable 6V6, the valve rectifier, the master volume and a boost.

Like I said I really liked it first time around but the difference with the master volume (coupled with the power scaling) and valve rectifier IMHO is huge. The 6V6 is also a really nice touch giving loads more clean hgeadroom - all you'll ever need for home use and makes it a much more versatile amp. In this configuration you ooose the pentode/triode swith but as the 6V6 is quieter and with the master volume you certainly don't need it.

So to sum up IMHO the difference is likely to be massive and I'm not even comparing it to a standard off the shelf amp!

Hope that makes sense.

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index -> Amps All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group