Bedroom Amps

The Low Wattage Guitar Tube Amps

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Bedroom Amps Overall Description

The Muse Guitarist’s studio has seven recording environment source groups designed to capture guitar performances using different collections of studio equipment.

This section will detail the Bedroom Amps group shown below.

The seven recording environment source groups:

1. Core Guitar Pedals – Front-end pedal collection for a “Dry”, direct input, performance track from a professional recording console channel strip. This creates the “Always On” primary guitar tone for all other recording environments.
The XLR Direct Output of the JHS Colour Box feeds the MOTU 8Pre ADAT #2 input 1

2. Stage Amps – The two high wattage tube amps:
- A vintage boutique ’82 Jim Kelley F.A.C.S. 30/60 with 6V6 power tube combo amp with upgraded new power supply capacitors and tube set driving a Scumback BM75-LD large diaphragm 12” speaker
- A modern 2021 Fender '65 Wine Red Twin Reverb 85-watt 6L6 power tube combo amp, a Sweetwater exclusive, driving a Neo 2x12 Celestion Creambacks combo cabinet

3. Bedroom Amps – The two low wattage tube amps:
- A Marshal style Blackstar HT20R MK II 20/2-watt EL84 two channel tube amp with reverb driving a custom Blackstar 12” speaker
- A Tone King Gremlin 5-watt upgraded EL34 tube amp driving a custom Blackstar 12” speaker. I did not like the KT88 stock tube-sound, and it is cathode biased so I replace the KT88 with an EL34

4. Wet/Dry/Wet Amps | Dry Amp – Wet/Dry/Wet | Dry Amp – A high wattage hybrid solid state amp:
- A Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 Floor solid state, tube emulation, 200/20/2-watt four channel amp head
- Two 12” Eminence speakers, a Redcoat Wizard and a Reignmaker, are the “Dry” amp speakers inside a Bugera twin 12” Eminence speaker cabinet
- A selectable mono effects pedalboard in the Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 has onboard Reverb, Delay, and Modulation choices: Chorus Flange, Phase, and Tremolo for the Mono effects chain.

5. Wet/Dry/Wet Amps | Wet Amps – High wattage solid state and tube amps:
- A Hartke HD 150 150-watt dual purpose amp: stereo effects mix left channel or a Bass guitar reamp mic’d amp feeding a custom Hartke 15” speaker
- A Bugera T50 Infinium 50-watt upgraded tube amp driving a Hughes & Kettner TS-112 Pro 12 cabinet with an ElectroVoice EVM12L 250 watt 12” speaker

6. Acoustic and Room Microphones:
- A Nady-TCM1050 condenser tube microphone with adjustable polar patterns for Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Dialog, and Room Tone recordings
- A Lauten Audio LA-220 condenser tube microphone also for Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Dialog, and Room Tone recordings in stereo

7. DAW Direct Outputs and Reamping:
- There are ten direct outputs from various points within the pedalboard chain
- Any track can become a Reamping Source using the MOTU 8Pre-es Analog Output 3

It is possible to record 24 performance tracks simultaneously from the Reaper DAW custom new musical portrait template.

The intent is NOT to use all 24 recorded tracks.

The goal is to capture as many different tone collections as possible and choose the one, or ones, that work best for the composition.

The song tracks not selected can be archived or deleted to reduce the total number of tracks being processed and delivered.

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Blackstar HT-20R MKII 20/2-Watt Combo Tube Bedroom Amp:

The Blackstar low wattage tube amp’s role in the Cave Studio is to blend its classic British Marshall EL84 tube tones with an American sounding EL34 tube tone.

Signal from the LPD Buffers use a TC Electronic Transmission System to convert the unbalanced guitar signal to balance lines to eliminate room electronically induced noise.

In the HT-20R MKII designation, the “R’ stands for Reverb.

For blending with the Tone King Gremlin, the Blackstar’ reverb is used as a room tone “Space Wrapper” to sonically separate the two-amp tones.

The Blackstar has settings that can add an American vintage tone wrapper or a British one. The Bedroom environmental source uses the British settings.

The Bedroom environmental source has four 12” speakers, one in each of the amps, and a custom built two 12” Celestion 75-watt Creamback speakers, Seismic open-back cabinet.

The Blackstar is mic’d with a Sennheiser e609 dynamic mic dropped from a cable and lays flush against the speaker grill feeding DAW MOTU 8Pre-es mic preamp #5, DAW 5

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Tone King Gremlin 5-Watt Combo Tube Bedroom Amp:

Signal from the LPD Buffers use a TC Electronic Transmission System to convert the unbalanced guitar signal to balance lines to eliminate room electronically induced noise.

The Gremlin is a high-quality Tone King’s version of a sparkly clean American amp.

It is a stripped-down, basic tube circuitry design, and used as a clean, no reverb, blending amp tone source.

It has a built-in Tone King proprietary Reactive Load Box, but it is not used as it colors the reduced volume to too much for our use.

The Tone King is mic’d with a Sennheiser e906 dynamic mic dropped from a cable and lays flush against the speaker grill feeding DAW MOTU 8Pre-es mic preamp #6, DAW 6

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Bedroom Tube Amps Shared Two 12” Celestion Speaker Cabinet & Direct Outs:

The Seismic twin 12” speaker cabinet share a Celestion G12H Creamback speaker with each of the two Bedroom amplifiers:
- The left Creamback G12H is wired with a custom cable for 12 ohms for the Blackstar HT-20R MKII
- The right Creamback G12H is wired with a custom cable for 12 ohms for the Tone King Gremlin

Two dynamic microphones are used to feed two DAW channels in the Reaper Musical Portrait template:
- The left Blackstar mic is the Cave Studio Shure SM-57 #2 feeding DAW MOTU 8Pre-es mic preamp #7, DAW 7
- The right Tone King mic is the Cave Studio Shure SM-57 #3 feeding DAW MOTU 8Pre-es mic preamp #8, DAW 8

There are two balanced line outputs used to feed two DAW channels in the Reaper Musical Portrait template:
- The Blackstar XLR balanced out feeds the MOTU 8Pre ADAT #1’s line-level preamp #7, DAW 15
- The Tone King TS unbalanced line out feeds a TC Electronic Teleport to convert from TS unbalanced to XLR balanced for long cable line transmission. This eliminated the noise that was splashed on the 25’ unbalanced cable that was initially used.

The Electronic Teleport's XLR balanced out feeds the MOTU 8Pre ADAT #1’s line-level preamp #8, DAW 16