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Thread: Solid State Amp upgrades

  1. #1
    Neophyte
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    Solid State Amp upgrades

    Hello, I have a Randall from the 70's, it looks like a Commander (2x12) but there are no serial numbers so who knows. Any way, I like it and I want it to sound better. I've tried to do some research and it looks like I will need to buy quality capacitors, resistors and potentiometers. I really don't know much about any of this stuff. I'd just like to hear some suggestions on brands and anything else I should look into. (I've upgraded the speakers already.)
    Thanks so much for your time, it is appreciated.
    Last edited by MustangMorris; 12-14-2014 at 12:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Well I just highlighted your thread title & used it to search on Google-
    And Bing
    And parts
    And here

    Hopefully someone here can give you something more specific.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  3. #3
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    I have not heard about anyone modding a solid state amp before…

    Basically, you:

    1 - Learn to love it, as they do here:
    The Official "Randall Army" sign up thread! | Harmony Central

    2 - Find creative ways to get rid of it, as many of the commenters suggest here:
    What upgrades could you do to a solid-state Fender amp?

    3 - Swap out the speaker and hope for the best.

    4 - Get a pedal or preamp with a tube in it.
    Last edited by doublewah; 12-14-2014 at 03:14 PM.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  4. #4
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Reading how some people think highly of the Randall Commander, I would think twice before making any changes to it.
    "I really don't know much about any of this stuff" makes me think you may not be too handy with a soldering iron.
    Again, think twice before you do this, especially since there may be no audible improvement from putting in quality parts.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  5. #5
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    dw;
    "I have not heard about anyone modding a solid state amp before…"

    Peavey steel amps get upgraded all the time! There are even kits to buy. Most important parts to upgrade seem to be the chips. The upgrades use Burr Brown chips. One needs to find out what chips are in the amp, and see if there are better ones available. There probably are, but I have no clue. Maybe doing a search online for "upgrades for xxxxxchip?"
    Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end

  6. #6
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    Some of the older Peaveys have sockets for the chips which make the job very easy, and quick. Newer amps have the chips soldered to the boards making changes much more difficult. I think guys desolder the old chips, and solder in a new socket that they can just plug the new chip into, without soldering. Chips easily destroyed by heat, so solders is best!
    Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end

  7. #7
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Hu, thanks for that interesting info. Replacing the chips makes sense, kinda like putting expensive tubes in a tube amp. And I agree about the chip sockets. Swapping a chip in a socket is relatively easy (just be careful not to bend the pins), but desoldering a chip is a bugger job. Do that once or twice and you will be stocking up on chip sockets.

    As I said, I had not heard of tuneups for SS amps. So I Googled it. I did not find anything of use about this of use other than what I posted above. Your info is better than anything I found. Any links to articles or forum chats about this?
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    I knew someone would have answers...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  9. #9
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    You could go to The Steel Guitar Forum, and do a search. Any info will be in the Electronics section. But it will all be about Peavey amps. Can you find a number and manufacturer on the chips in your amp?
    Xing
    Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end

  10. #10

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