Seeking alternative to the HT-5's dull sounding cabs

Discussion - HT-5 amplifiers.
LonePhantom
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Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:18 am

I'm not sure if you mentioned it, but the big thing, along with speaker changes in the HT-5 is swapping out the preamp valve. I put in a gold pin Tung Sol 12AX7 and was amazed at the difference it made. Much better sounding, more lively, more complex tone.

Crunchifyable
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Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:31 am

On the subject of attenuators, I built one myself based on a trainwreck / Dr. Airbrake, about 130 bones. So it can be done relatively cheaply and simply (2 resistors, 1 rheostat, a case, and some recycled lamp cord).

In hindsight, I should just buy amps that have them built in, but I think mine sounds okay, definitely best just to take off a few db rather than attenuate a lot of the signal. it's actually going to be a pre-requisite for me, that new tube amps, anything meant to be low wattage, have a .1 or less watt mode, or have an attenuator built in. Attenuator built in was the main selling point for me getting the C5 (that and that it seems to be easy to mod and still made in the England).

And yeah...It's funny...sometimes I think the HT-5 nails a sort of brown sound, but when you compare it, it's not really there. So close maybe? In a way, probably everybody and their brother was imitating that sound in the 80s anyway...so makes sense that this one imitates it pretty well.

Like I could hear a clip of the HT-5, and first thought is "brown sound"...but listen to VH I or II, and hear something else. Some online store did an ad for the HT-5 on youtube, and they were playing "Can't wait to feel your love tonight" and it sounded...spot on.

The HT-5 really is a late 80s metal dream come true so to speak. But harder to coax other sounds out of it. Can be done, but it's really an odd ball amp. 12bh7 breaks up...weirdly.

WDeranged
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:00 am

Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:12 am

I got the Tubemeister 18 today, it's safe to say that the Blackstar HT-112 cabinets weren't my problem, this amp sounds and feels really good through them, there's huge dynamic headroom even on the gain channel...I think this might have been my major issue with the HT-5 feeling unresponsive, the gain channel is squished flat right away whereas the TM18 starts off totally clean and slowly ramps up the squeeze.

It's shocking how bright this amp is, it can get dangerously fizzy if you're not super careful with the gain so it's not a perfect honeymoon, it's going to take me a few days to find the sweet spots...the clean/crunch is just killing me though, easy to achieve and really nice, very Gilmourish. The attenuator is a godsend but even at 1w cranking the master at night is just impossible with my neighbours :evil:

On the whole it's a big step in the right direction, I'm just relieved that after a Spidervalve and HT-5 I can finally feel my guitar strings.

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majikmojo
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Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:07 am

this guys owns both...to me they both sound good but i think the 5 wins by a hair....
the extra power of the 18 might be handy for gigging though


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na5mml18 ... re=related

WDeranged
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:00 am

Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:42 am

He's got them both sounding pretty damn similar there but in person the amps behave very differently, the TB18 is more picky about where you put the dials but chords jangle and chime in a way I just can't get out of the HT-5, on the other hand it's difficult to get that really solid chunky palm mute sound from the H&K.

I've only had an evening with the TB18 but I'd say that the HT-5 does have a more satisfying heavy sound, if I didn't feel disconnected from the dynamics I'd have stuck with it, it feels like the HT-5's gain channel is getting more immediate compression, I'd have to turn the gain up past halfway on the TB18 before it distorts like the HT-5 does with the gain on 1 :?:

The TB18 is the winner for clean and crunch though, it just naturally does the sounds I've been trying to coax out of my HT-5 for ages, I'm satisfied...for now :roll:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lpMrel5 ... ure=g-vrec

This guy gives the most faithful demo I've seen of the Tubemeisters.

Crunchifyable
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Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:35 am

Yeah...I really think under 0.1 watt is best for home use. I've heard people getting good results with the the new limited 1 watt marshall combos in the 02 watts in lower power mode.

I found that my Class 5 sounds better with my attenuator than with the built in one, so maybe attenuators are the way to go.

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MetalOctane
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Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:57 am

Fixed my cab issue for now. Picked up a 1960A for $350 and it works well with HT5. Not really why I got it though... I will be adding a Marshall 50-100 watt head to it as soon as the funds allow and the right deal surfaces.

BTW, I compared a tubemeister 18 to my 5 side by side (max gain on 18 and about 1 o'clock on the B*) and I thought they were very similar. The 18 did have better highs and is more versatile but, for my particular tones, it wasn't worth twice the price. (what the store was asking for the 18 head vs. what I paid for my HT-5RS) It's great there are so many options out there right now.

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majikmojo
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Location: hollywood florida

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:20 pm

i agree completely WD - i can cleary hear the "jingle" in the clean channel on the 18 - sounds purty really
and the crunch is very good also
and as you say the 5 gets it with "marshal heavy" gain (sorta)
i can also hear a little more darkness in the B/S and i like that too but it could be the HK cab
the 18 does sound a tad bright to me but contollable
gotta give to HK for looks though - that thing is sexy...lol


octane - i have my eye on a JVM210H in the 50watt range...so far i like what i see and hear

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MetalOctane
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Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:47 pm

The JVM's are sweet majik! The prices seem to be easing their way down too. From what I've read, they are very mod friendly and can be tweeked to get just about anything you want from them.

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majikmojo
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Location: hollywood florida

Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:07 pm

yea - typical marshall mod friendly and yes the price is approaching reality now - lol

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