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Author Topic: smokey amp question  (Read 2822 times)

travelingsales

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smokey amp question
« on: March 25, 2005, 09:17:19 pm »

Howdy,

After reading about these things all over the place, I finally got one a few weeks ago and I have to say it's just as cool as advertised.  I have a question though, and my electronics knowledge is failing me, so I figured I'd ask here - if I run this thing direct into an instrument input (say on my tube amp) am I going to blow anything up?  

Being of an experimental mind as I am sure most of us are, I have done it at various points already, and it sounds really cool but I would rather not be risking my preamp section if the signal out of the smokey is too hot for the amp.  I think the smokey output is  either .5 watt or 1 watt, but I am not sure how this relates to the 1MOhm impedance of the input on the amp.  I am pretty sure it's ok, but if someone could run the math out to show me WHY it's ok that would be awesome.

Thanks in advance,

Mark
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lord

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2005, 12:01:37 pm »

It is unbelievably rare for pre-amps to "blow up".

Amps blow up when they are seeing power levels beyond the physical tolerances of the components involved. The current (and consequently power) into any high impedence pre-amp input is miniscule in comparison.

The sum total of the "math" you need here is called ohms law, which is rather well documented elsewhere.

It would cheer up this thread if someone could tell us a story about actually blowing a pre-amp to bits in real life.
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j.hall

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2005, 07:17:58 pm »

i have a rack drawer i fitted with four smokey amps that bruce built custom for me with a AC power adapters so i wouldn't have to change batteries all the time.

i've been using these things on just about every mix i've done in the past 4 years without a single problem.

aux send to the inpt of a smokey, output of smokey to line in of console and away we go.  haven't a single problem yet.

bruce is working on a +4dB version of the smokey for me so i can interface that incredible tone with recording gear a lot easier.

i just spoke to him last week about this.  he's really swamped with other projects but once he gets to it, i'll be sure to report.

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travelingsales

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2005, 10:29:17 am »

OK, I will avoid turning the forum into an "electronics basics" class as best I can, anyway I think it makes sense that since my resistance in this case is about 1 million ohms and my voltage differential is presumably no where near 1 million volts that a very small number of milliamps are actually flowing into the preamp section of the amplifier.

To get the discussion off of math, I checked the smokey website and  they need empty but uncrushed hard packs of cigarettes donated, because they "do not employ an army of chain smokers" and are having trouble getting enough packs to keep up with demand.  They are offering credit towards all Zinky stuff (smokeys, tube amps, etc) for pack donations.
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drumsound

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2005, 05:18:46 pm »

Plug your Smokey into your guitar amp as a distortion.  It'll sound great.
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j.hall

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2005, 08:42:11 am »

travelingsales wrote on Sun, 27 March 2005 09:29

 They are offering credit towards all Zinky stuff (smokeys, tube amps, etc) for pack donations.


now that's really awesome.

bruce's tube amps are seriously great!

and he simply doesn't know how to build something that won't withstand a hurricane.
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lord

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2005, 06:59:33 am »

I smoke luckies in the soft pack. I'm so out of luck with the pack credit there.

Travelingsales ... you figured it out. Good on you.
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Otitis Media

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2005, 10:47:40 am »

I have plugged my smokey into all sorts of different stuff without hurting anything.  

I do dig the tone of it when close-mic'd with a dynamic, though, rather than direct through the Audient.  

Dan
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J.J. Blair

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2005, 02:42:50 am »

You know, from the title of the thread I thought your amp was smoking, as happened to me last year.  I had a conversation with Bob Dixon at Amp Hole that went almost exactly like this:

me: "I need to bring you my B-15.  It started smoking."

Bob (sarcastically): "Yeah, and what's wrong with that?"

me:  "Well, this is a non-smoking studio."
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

j.hall

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2005, 04:25:04 pm »

man, if those B-15's didn't sound so good, i'd just let them slide right out of my memory and use that chunk for something else.

i have pictures of me and a soldering iron, with a staff engineer at CRC (chicago recording company) holding a flash light, while i fix a B-15 right in the middle of a session.

i made a brief mention of every one leaving me alone cause i didn't really need to be distracted and end up discharging a filter cap into my arm.......oddly enough, the room cleared out and i was left in silence with the staff engineer.

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J.J. Blair

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2005, 05:51:28 pm »

Apparently, their output transformers are known to catch on fire.  They do sound great though if you put a good one in that doesn't burn your studio to the ground.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

j.hall

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 08:03:49 am »

they also sound great when they are properly grounded and not shocking the bass player into oblivion.
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lord

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Re: smokey amp question
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 11:58:52 am »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 25 April 2005 08:03

they also sound great when they are properly grounded and not shocking the bass player into oblivion.


That's a feature.

Just to get back on topic, I think smokey amps  might have more power than the last B-15 (N?) that rolled though here. When was the last time a 30W bass amp could do any damage? JFK's inaugurational ball?

I was sorry to see it go though. Classy amp.
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