• Using Preamps and Pedals Vs. All-Tube Amps

    7 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms

    Using Preamps and Pedals Vs. All-Tube Amps

    It goes without saying that there’s nothing quite like an all-tube guitar amp cranked up to its sweet spot. In fact, many tone aficionados will tell you that this setup is the only way to go if you’re serious about your guitar tone. However, weight and portability are often a factor with all-tube amps (with the exception of smaller, more compact designs like the V3M). And if you’re in a position where you’re downsizing your transportation to save on gas or just do not want to lug a heavy amp to the gig, you may find yourself wondering if there’s something else that can come close to the sound of an all-tube amp. And while nothing will sound exactly like it, there are a few options that may prove to be worthy substitutes. 

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  • What is Tube Bias? Why Do I Need to Bias New Power Tubes?

    8 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms

    What is Tube Bias?

    Sometimes we learn to do something without understanding why it is important. For example, these days most players with tube amps know that we have to get our power tubes biased when we replace them. But the reasons why always seem just a bit mysterious because the related folklore among musicians clouds the issue. You could play a tube amp all your life without knowing or caring about the reasons, especially if you have a great tech to maintain it. Still, having a grasp of the general concept can give you more options in fine-tuning your amp's performance. It could also provide just enough information to get through a tube failure in a pinch.

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  • Your Amp's Standby Switch: What It Does and How to Use It

    21 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms

    Your Amp's Standby Switch: What It Does and How to Use It

    While longtime tube amp owners are familiar with operating the standby and power switches, the process may be slightly confusing for new guitarists or those switching over from solid state amps. Solid state amps only have a power switch that turns the amp on and off, but all of a sudden there’s another switch next to it on your new tube amp! Fortunately, the standby switch is very straightforward, yet absolutely essential. So essential, in fact, that all of Carvin Audio’s 50 Watt or more all-tube guitar amp models - such as the V3, X100B, and BELAIR come loaded with one. This article will explain what the standby switch does and how to use it.

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  • Guitar Amps: How to Choose the Right Tool for the Job

    2 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms

    Guitar Amp: Choosing the Right One

    Buying a new amp for your guitar or bass can be one of the most exciting parts of your musical experience. New sounds and options can promise new inspirations. So when you do get the opportunity to pick out a new amp it isn’t unusual to find yourself rushing home to try it out. Unfortunately we sometimes realize later on down the road that we’ve overlooked something important we should have thought through when we went shopping. In order to make sure you get the right tool for the job, stop and think about some of the following considerations.

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  • Your Guitar Solo: How to Get Heard

    5 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms

    Guitar Solo

    Delivering a face melting guitar solo isn’t just about pulling it off, it’s also about making sure that your guitar sound comes through loud and clear to really let your playing shine. Oftentimes, the tone you dialed in for a nice crunchy rhythm guitar just doesn’t translate to a searing lead tone. While it may be simply an issue of volume in some cases, it may be that you need a significantly different sound for your solo to cut through. To avoid playing the most rocking solo of your life with no one in the audience actually hearing it, try these tips.

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