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Discussion in 'Amp-a-ridifiers' started by duceditor, May 10, 2018.
Your killing me @duceditor with all your cool gear
Several videos on YT about these. Here is a pretty recent one, but I only listened to a couple of minutes.
Hey, there has to be some advantage to getting old and not being quick to sell stuff!
His SRV stuff toward the end rocked. No pedals by he had the sound. That's kind'a cool!
Easy way out Don, switch the LP pups to the SG. One stone, two birds.
Since I had to check this cool amp out online, it of course has now popped up on my FB feed, but with a discounted price. First it says a 3% discount using TTFB3 cart code, then when I was at this link, a popup opened saying another 5% off site wide was available. I didn't load it into a cart to confirm, but here is the link.
You'll need to balance the savings of buying it that way vs the potential support that comes with buying it through Wangs Amplification USA. -An American company.
I chose the later but each of us has different priorities.
My Review of the Mini 5 on Amazon
So Much More Amp Than You'll Likely Be Expecting!
Had another experimental session this morning -- this to try to place where in my music making the Wang Mini 5 will fit.
I started with my `88 Les Paul and played that with various amp levels -- all volume equalized post amp with a Carl's Custom Speaker Soak.
That guitar sounds gorgeous through the amp at any level. That because no matter how much "gain" there is the guitars own texture and voice still come through and dominate.
I next tried similar run thrus with Les Paul CM and the Epi Special to similar affect: That the Mini is a revealer off tone, not a creator or it.
The Mini takes pedals well -- well, it does if the pedal itself has a musical timbre. Again it is a revealer. I could well imagine a loved pedal (or guitar for that matter) having deficiencies that were revealed for the first time through this amp. To borrow and old expression The Mini 5 "does not suffer fools gladly."
If I was to nickname the Mini 5 -- and indeed, thinking of it I believe I shall! -- It is "The Truth Teller."
For fun, after the above, I went over to an amp that is anything but a "truth teller." (This is an interesting realization to me.) That is the wonderful (need I include the word "anyhow"?) Sweet Baby.
The point here being that the Sweet Baby has its own sound. It is the 'Laylaish' creamy tone. Trying to change that is like fighting nature.
And that is were I am at so far -- left with a very powerful understanding that will shape not just additional sessions, but in the end I think how the two amps are each used.
Truth telling is scary. Being surrounded by creamy goodness less so.
There is room for both in my musical story telling. And yes, sometimes I prefer my music to lie.
Pardon me for citing my own post, but I did so for a reason. No one else (that I know of) has here talked about the wonder of Wangs amps.
I just now saw a discussion/review of one -- the larger 2204 HW -- in, of all places, Vintage Guitar magazine. Their words rang a bell with me for they touched on what I have come to see as the maker's stand-out qualities. To quote:
"Wangs’ #2204 HW could stand toe-to-toe with other boutique heads at three times the cost – perfect for club warriors who need upscale tones at an affordable price. Versatile, light, and dependable, the #2204 HW truly delivers.
The #2204 HW is bright even with the Treble and Presence rolled back, but produces lush articulation, deep overtones, and awesome clarity. The louder it gets, the better it sounds."
Uh huh and uh huh.
Seems true across the line. My wondrous little Mini 5 (don't let its small size or watts fool you) is all those things. And I got it delivered for $200.
Some have asked, quite reasonably, 'is the Wangs Mini 5 powerful enough to gig with? Will it fill a good sized room?'
My answer is yes. So long as the drummer uses brushes.' But still I didn't think it'd be used to fill a hall quite this size.
Carnegie Hall that is. Yup, that's a Mini 5.
Who the artists are I do not yet know. But I guess they/he like clarity and articulation.
Don, have you taken the cover off the bottom to see what's in there? I haven't found any photos of the insides on the net.
It'll fill a hall designed to carry acoustic sound and an audience that is tame. It wouldn't fill a coffee house on a busy afternoon though.
No I've not.
Wangs' more classic styled amps/heads are sold in two versions. Full "Point-to-Point" models indicated by an "HW" in the name, and "Hand-Soldered PCB" where the components are attached to a heavy glass board. I'd expect the Mini-5 to be the later.
I suppose that depends on the room size. The Mini is loud enough to play gigs of the type that I used to play (we are talking a long time ago) in Greenwich Village clubs -- folky/jug band type gigs without a drummer.
It is much louder than I'd have expected. Playing way to loud to allow conversation in my good-sized music room (25x40 ft?) with the Black Box band ripping through a couple of cabs plus a sub I have it at less than "2."
Five watts sounds like not very many but its only 4.5db less output than a 15 watt Deluxe Reverb -- considered by many to be the quintessential club amp. And that is not even taking account of speaker efficiency.
I was more wondering if there's an output transformer in there. Web photos of similar small amps do show transformers inside.
I agree that five watts is absolutely enough to be quite loud. The rule of thumb is that a 10 dB decrease is perceived to be about half as loud. (even though 3 dB is half the power) That means a 5 watt amp is about half as loud as a 50 watt amp! That little 5 watt '57 Princeton I built a couple weeks ago will damage ears when it's cranked up good, if the ears are within about ten or fifteen feet.
I have a friend who is a talented drummer capable of playing quite softly when needed. Many times I've played with him using maybe a watt, and things are well balanced. It's the drummers who proclaim they play like John Bonham you have to watch out for.
Well here is a pic that I think is a Wangs VT-1H. So, assuming the more powerful Mini 5 is similar, then I guess the answer is yes.
On another thread someone, on seeing only one transformer, asked how this valve amplifier could work. Because a power transformer is essential for safety regulation reasons, I half jokingly suggested a cathode follower output stage. Google for OTL (output transformerless) amplifier if you're interested.
While an OTL option might have been possible here, it's pretty certain that there's a small output transformer inside that Mini 5 chassis.
I see at least 2 transformers with the Mini 5.
Is that a small one inside, and the larger one on top?
Yes. Inside the metal frame with the 2 tie wraps and the yellow tape and external is the large goldish color black.
The catch is that the photo of the guts is not a Mini 5, it's a VT-1H, but I'm thinking the Mini 5 probably has something similar inside it.