A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby mrfett on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:55 pm

Honestly DaveW you went a little over my head, but I appreciate the instructions :)

I'm really, really happy with this amp the way it is, but I still haven't tried to get it to overdrive. I'm waiting on a BadCat Unleash so that I can push it a bit and see what happens. Until that arrives though, it's on the absolute minimum setting, and even then I use a volume pedal to lower it more lol. This is an effing loud amp for a townhouse :P

my only complaint is the excess noise. it's noticeably noisier than my other (much lower wattage) amps. when it's idling it will sometimes pick up radio signals, and in general alway has a pretty significant background buzz going on. I've been tempted to contact Jeff and ask him if he thinks he could make it more quiet, just for recording purposes.
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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby bloodspoint on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Mine is noisy, too, compared to similar wattage Fender and Marhsall amps. Not sure if that's a design flaw, or a result of the way it's wired, or what. Live, I don't think it's an issue, but it is kind of noisy for a recording amp.
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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby mrfett on Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:05 am

OK so I got my BadCat Unleash which has allowed me to CRANK the amp and hear the overdrive. It's sweet! The Unleash also gives me an effects loop (not completely necessary but I figured I'd play with it). So I stuck my delay and reverb pedals in there and was happily playing, and then I turned on my overdrive pedal and boost at the same time (they're not in the loop). SQUEEEEEAL!!! Whoa so ok, gotta figure out what's up with that... I try the Unleash/Effects Loop with my Marshall turned up all the way: no squeal. Hmm... maybe it's a microphonic tube then? So I pull the amp out (it's against a wall), unplug it and take the back panel and preamp tube covers off and try tapping each tube with a wooden stick: nothing. All the tubes seem totally fine. OK, it must be a power issue with my pedals, although it's strange neither of the other amps (a Vox and a Marshall) I use the pedalboard with have problems. So I put the back back on and decide to just play a while to see if anything seems amiss. ON THE CONTRARY: it's GLORIOUS! No hiss, no noises picked up, even the reverb is quiet!

So... yes I've been using the amp in the same corner with quite an extensive set of pedals plugged into it, including a Radial Headbone VT for switching between the Marshall and the Sound City. The pedals are all being powered by a good solid Voodoo Labs power supply, but some of them are sharing ports (chained). It seems I have a bit of troubleshooting to do, but I think it's appropriate to share something the guy at my local repair place told me when I asked him about the hum I was experiencing. He said some vintage amps just don't like ABY boxes, and that sometimes you need to experiment with where you're putting the amp, because it'll be noisy in one spot and silent in another. It looks like I have to spend some time figuring this stuff out, but that I should say: on its own, the amp sounds glorious and is pretty damn quiet. I think my noise issues are mostly user error :oops:
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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby mrfett on Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:25 am

just in case someone comes across this same issue: it turns out the squeal was caused by two metal patch cord plugs (one hooked up to a pedal outside the effects loop and one hooked into a pedal inside the effects loop) touching each other. When I separated them the squeal went away!
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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby mrfett on Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:40 am

OK well I still haven't gotten to a full proper review of the Concord, but I did make a review for a guitar and I used the Sound City for the entire thing:

[youtube]CcIZeWKXqdE[/youtube]

Hope someone finds it useful :jam:

Hmm... I'm not seeing the video. Here's a direct link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcIZeWKXqdE
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Re: A New Concord Owner's Thoughts

Postby Donald Boulanger on Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:19 am

I was actually considering purchasing the very amplifier your write up is about... it would have required me to drive to Maryland to get it though, and... the price was a bit steep; I found one in Fishkill New York (still 5 hours from my house), and my son and I drove out on a Saturday afternoon last summer and bought it. The seller was an 'amp tinkerer' (buys and sells amps... works on them nominally); he had cleaned it up nicely, and replaced the filter caps. The amplifier was not a cheap purchase, but I am a big Hiwatt fan - with the Partridge transformers, very high head room (this amplifier will not distort), and Dave Reeves pre-work with Soundcity before Hiwatt, I had to have it.
The amplifier is a beautiful 'Knopfler-esque' sounding clean in sensitivity 1 mode, and very 'blurry clean' (kind of like late 70's Fleetwood Mac live tone) in sensitivity two (I agree that the volume begins to get out of control... even slightly past 1 on the volume slide). I have had additional work done on it (resistor plate replacement), and will need to have more work done to it ('white noise' issue after about 10 minutes of play, lasts about 5 minutes, and then ends with a series of pops); I have a renowned amp repairman in western VT. that is excited to work on it, and Cranky's in MA. that will perform a '20 year service' and sort out the noise issue (I'm guessing it is related to the reverb tank or the db boost off of sensitivity 2) - either way, it's going to cost me plenty and I know it. I really don't care however... I have a legendary amp built by Dave Reeves in 1973 in London - I'm making the investment.
I really don't understand folks who say the amp is ugly... what? The amp is a beautiful work of art that exudes it's time era... if anything, I am paranoid of somehow 'breaking it' permanently, and losing it for good - it will never see performance outside of my house.
Once I have the performance squared away, I will buy another amp as a 'mainstay' performer... something much smaller - maybe a SWART Space Tone Atomic Jr., or a Princeton Reverb 65 reissue.
Anyway... lucky you for landing that amp - I was vacationing with my wife in North Carolina last July, and I had it in the back of my mind to swing through Maryland on the way back and buying it... I have corresponded with Jeff Bober on the amp (question about tubes and the sensitivity switch) - sounds like you got a good one.
Cheers!
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