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How Do I add a LINE OUT to a vintage amp?


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Finding "the sweet spot" is a challange but I keep experimenting - I want to get an Equalizer Pedal some day but for now I basically have found "the sweet spot" on all 4 of my amps and with a tubescreamer on my tube amps and the spot to set that at too...


Now I'm hooking them to my Mac for even more effects (my SS amps only as they have LINE OUT and 1 has HEADPHONE OUT which works fine too) - I probably have 175 - 200 VST and AU (Mac) plug-ins I've "collected" and Logic Express and Ableton's LIVE 5 and they're so cool to experiment with. Like having 200 Pedals thrown in a box to test out!!!


I may break down and bring 1 of my Tube Amps to my local shop to see about a LINE OUT as Micing the damn thing is a pain and it "disturbs" the wife... she can't see why @ 55 I'm still so "NUTS" about Rock & Roll and "Making Noise" - I told her "Cause you got OLD AND I DIDN'T"


How hard would it be to add a LINE OUT to 2 Vintage 60's tube amps? They're both Combos - 1 is my Avatar... I'm not an electronics type so speak "down" to me - I do electrical, A/C, etc - just not real good with electronics - I have soldered though.

"well fellas... there's 1 other thing yer gonna need to make it in Rock & Roll besides all them guitars and amps and drums and things. They call it A SONG..."
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Not a good idea in any sense of the word.


First, a line out from this amp will sound nothing like the amp sounds from the speaker. The only line outs worth using for anything are heavily compensated for the fact there is no load on the amplifier from a speaker. (Which itself greatly affects the overall timbre you hear.)


Otherwise, the preamp output of such an amp will sound like a** compared to the sound you hear from the speaker in the cabinet.


That would be more than enough reason to not add a line out to your amp, but there are other considerations.


Alteration of these amps will greatly reduce their value on the market, should you ever decide to sell one or more of them. If this were a great advantage and you made your living from these amps I'd say you had a difficult decision. As you're talking about making your home life minimally easier by adding a line out that won't sound good... Is there really a choice other than to leave it alone?


Finally, this isn't so easy as tapping the signal prior to the power amp. If you want to approach anything close to a decent sound you'll need some kind of EQ compensation to simulate a load and the frequency response of your speaker. As manufacturers have been working on this in the analog realm for 30 or 40 years with minimal success, I'd have to say again it would be difficult if not impossible to get a good sound AND it would be prohibitively expensive.


In the digital realm they're getting closer, as is evidenced by modeling effect devices that adequately provide a multitude of popular amp sounds with effects for $100 - $400. If you want to "cheat" by not recording the speaker output of these amps then I say forget it and buy a quality interface with a high-Z input designed for guitar, get Gig Rig 2 and have a ball. You won't even have to fire up the amp to get a great recorded timbre. Leave the vintage amps for playing with others. ;)


One man's opinion. YMMV.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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Well...since you are so into the VST plug-ins and what not...then why even bother with the amps?

Heck...most people that prefer an amp...well...they prefer and amp without the modeling and the plug-ins...etc.

Like Neil said...a line out is NOT the same sound as the amp w/speaker.

Maybe you need a smaller amp...and/or a nice speaker coffin...?

When I don't want to disturb anyone...I use my 5 watt Epi head...and I take a bunch of heavy quilts and drape them over the cab & mic.

Or you can stick the amp in a closet. Put some sound absorption in there, close the door and jam away. That should keep the wife happy. :)


But if you really like what the software can do for you...then just run the guitar DI and you can forget about mic issues altogether.

Get yourself a nice SansAmp box (IMO...one of the best no-amp sounds out there)...and save the amps for the live gigs and for live jamming...or just use them when the wife is out shopping! :thu:


miroslav - miroslavmusic.com


"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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yeah - I see your point - I have Guitar Rig 2 and Amplitube 2 and Rock Amp Legends and Izotope's TRASH and Slayer 2 and probaly everything known amp sim wise - also a Zoom G2 I hook in direct - BUT - I want my Vintage Tube Amp into my Mac... PERIOD.


The Mini_mass Attenuator has a line out... might be an option but I was hoping for just a few bucks at Radio Shack to be able to "roll my own"... guess not 'eh.


Oh well - back to the drawing board - IT CAN BE DONE - just have to put my thinking cap on... THERE IS NOTHING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE with the right medication ;)


Miroslav - just saw your post - might try the soundproof box ideas... Also my only Mic is a cheap KARAOKE (spelling?) Mic I found in the bedroom - seems to work but I need a decent one to Mic a sweet vintage sounding amp with.

"well fellas... there's 1 other thing yer gonna need to make it in Rock & Roll besides all them guitars and amps and drums and things. They call it A SONG..."
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