Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Nanovalves first outing

Today I took the Nanovalve round Ruperts house for our regular Sunday practice session.

This was the first time I was really able to actually crank it up and play it for a bit. This has dispelled my initial disappointment. You can get some really quite nice overdriven sounds out of it although it is pretty tinny and there's definitely a rattle from it on full chat.

Wound up though it is still far too loud not to annoy the neighbours and I ended up playing most of the time with it at a low volume and using my old Boss MZ-2 to give me the distortion I wanted.

When I got back I had the back cover off and connected it up to a nasty 1x12 cabinet I built for my Smokeydock project.

The difference was astounding, all the rattle disappeared, it was no longer tinny and got even louder.

So much though an amp modding habit isn't something I want to develop I think I'm going to start messing around with it. The objectives are.

  • Tame the volume
  • Get rid of the rattle
My mate Jaygee has suggested that an L pad would be a good way to deal with the volume on a low power amp like this and it makes sense. Modding the circuit for a master volume is a whole load more aggro and  involves learning how to safely mod valve amps which I can't be arsed with.

The rattle could be harder to pin down. I think some of it is one of the valve protector cages rattling as it's poorly formed and a bit loose. Although it could be anything in the cabinet rattling to be honest as trying to bend the cage back into shape didn't really help. I wouldn't be surprised if the speaker is very buzzy.

So I can try another speaker and/or take it to bits and try to find the rattles. Alternatively it might be an amusing conceit to build a new cabinet for it. Either as a 1x12 combo or a tiny little head.

Anyway, for now I've ordered an L pad and mounting plate which I'll stick in the existing cabinet. At lower volumes I imagine these problems will go away.

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