Mesa Boogie is sending my me a new 12AT7 to replace the one I replaced the pre-amp tube I smashed after the Hosei Bunkasai session. The rattling I heard was not shards of glass in the chasis or even another tube damaged by the clumsy step-up transformer — it was just a defective tube.
Until it arrives, I’m using a NOS General Electric 6021 that I found in Akihabara in V4. This is the tube than drives the reverb, and I prefer the sound. To track down the rattling problem, I did some deeper than usual research about Boogie amps and vacuum tubes in general, which in turn prompted some deeper experimenting and listening with my Studio.22.
My conclusion is that I need a new amp with more clean headroom, power and a speaker-mute for silent practice. However I don’t know if I really have the budget for that. Even though I found some good amps being auctioned for a few ichi-man notes, it’s hard to justify the expense when I probably will only gig with the thing twice a year.
Meanwhile, I’ve been shopping for overdrive pedals as a substitute for my H&K Tubeman. I found a Barber Direct Drive auctioned at a good price, and got it on a whim. The compressor on my pedal board is also made by Barber, so I figured it was worth a try. It sounded great, but it wasn’t the sound I wanted.
I was lucky to find a Maxon 0D820 for only 10,ooo yen on Yahoo. It’s a shade of green that could make you hate the color green altogether, but it operates at 18 volts and can be used as a clean boost with no special effort. Driving it with my Barber Tone Press gives me a very warm, subtle edge for solos with my GB-10.
Speaking of which, I replaced the original wooden bridge with the black ABR-1 I originally got for my Tacoma. The intonation on the G-string is a bit sharp, so I wanted to give it a try and it just happened to fit the GB-10’s base. Besides fixing the intonation, the sustain is MUCH longer now. The guitar sounds a bit brighter and louder, too. That could also have something to do with set of GHS Bright Flats I just string it with yesterday. I can’t wait to see how all this stuff sounds at my next gig on December 9th in Shibuya.