Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amp Myths Debunked

Printed Circuit Boards 
The only advantage a printed circuit board has over a hand wired PTP circuit is that it costs a lot less.  If you were to put a LOT of money into a PCB you could probably make it perform as well, but then you will have lost the only advantage it has.  PCB's are used in cheap amps for one reason only, to make them even cheaper.

That's why the Memphis Mini is hand wired point to point on a turret board.  No printed circuit boards.

Mounting Pots and Jacks on the Circuit Board
Cheap amps that have the pots and jacks mounted on the circuit board instead of the metal chassis are well known for developing noise and reliability issues.  The mechanical forces are death to component connections, particularly the thin fragile traces of metal on printed circuit boards  But it is a cheap way to make cheap amps..

That's why the Memphis Mini has the controls and jacks mounted firmly on the metal chassis, not the circuit board.

Small Transformers
Tiny transformers do not make a harp amp sound better.  They might give a guitar amp a sparkly singing quality, but they kill  the low frequencies to do it.  That's just not what we want with a good harp amp.  It takes some bigger iron to deliver the punch and volume you get with the MM amp.  Custom amp makers including Meteor, Sonny Jr, Harpgear, Mission and others use oversize transformers for bigger tone and more bottom end.

That's why the Memphis Mini uses oversize transformers

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