Ceriatone, Getting close.....

Rotorcraft230

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Keep up the great work!
Your son is a very lucky guy!
He is a good kid, I’m fortunate enough to have this time and passion for music to be able to teach him something about building and everything that goes with it. We both enjoy each other’s company. Our house is a typical ranch style with two formal rooms in the front in .the larger room I have a desk in the corner and the band practices there the other smaller room is his cave.

Not hijacking OP. LOL
 

pwrmac7600

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Hey how do you like your AH now that you've had it for a little bit of time? Curious to know, I'm still waiting on mine.
Sorry, I just saw this. I really Love it. It turned out to be everything i was hoping it would be. As far as a comparative to the BE, I don't actually own a BE so i can't give a good comparison. But from the few times I have played a BE, I would say the amp has the general BE Experience.
I currently run the amp with the Era switch in the middle, which is the "plexi" mode, and then I run the structure switch in the up position which is the most gain.
So it gives me a really good modded plexi sound, but not a diode clipped plexi tone. But it does turn it into a highgain plexi, but it retains that plexi knock, just sounds a touch more modern.
All in all I really am still in love with this amp.
 

Mjh36

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Sorry, I just saw this. I really Love it. It turned out to be everything i was hoping it would be. As far as a comparative to the BE, I don't actually own a BE so i can't give a good comparison. But from the few times I have played a BE, I would say the amp has the general BE Experience.
I currently run the amp with the Era switch in the middle, which is the "plexi" mode, and then I run the structure switch in the up position which is the most gain.
So it gives me a really good modded plexi sound, but not a diode clipped plexi tone. But it does turn it into a highgain plexi, but it retains that plexi knock, just sounds a touch more modern.
All in all I really am still in love with this amp.
Excellent, I was hoping you'd say it's still great now that you've had it for a little bit. I've never played a BE yet, but I think you nailed it on the switches as far as the sweet spot in that amp. From what I've heard in demos that'll be how I'll run it too. Keep it classic era but give it some juice. Good stuff man rock on.
 

Mjh36

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Well @pwrmac7600 and @ampeq finally got my AH-100 Deluxe delivered a few days ago. He told me when he would ship it but I never got a notification and it just showed up one night. So it was a total surprise!

It has some great sounds but honestly I'm kinda "meh" about it. I got it for the versatility. The independent channels with a good clean sound was a deciding factor. And it does some sounds excellent. Great loud cleans, great high gain stuff. But it does have the obvious tonal footprint of it's ancestor. That being a little modern and dark. Even still, I was hoping for a little more glassy, airy, bite and kerrang. Also, I wouldn't quite say low gain is it's strong suit for me. Seems like I kinda need to get to moderate gain before it starts feeling at home where it wants to be. Does it sound good? I'd say it sounds great. But just not what I was totally looking for. It'll do for now though. It took a year lol. Plus, there's a mod I saw that looks quite easy and brings some high end bite and aggression back.

However, unfortunately I seem to have lost the diode clipping option on the back on the "Era" switch. The first night all 3 positions seemed to work. But since then, "up" and "middle" sound the same, with "down" being transistor clipping I believe. Luckily, I think... it might be an easy fix. I'll contact him, but the way it's laid out, it's gotta be limited to a small area and a few components. Picked the right guy to happen to. I build pedal clones and solder everyday so I'm not shy about opening it up. Either way I like the no clipping option the best so it's not a big deal... but still a bummer to have to deal with. Also, my footswitch stopped being able to switch gain channels, but it's just a loose solder joint on the LED inside, even easier to fix, that's no big deal.

We'll see how the mods go. I knew what "sound" I was getting into when I ordered this one, just wish it wasn't that polished and darkened. I'm thinking the KK or Chupa or Plexi '51 All Access would be more my style. I might order a kit of one those I could finish that within a year for sure! But I'm also thinking about a Headfirst Cali 50w kit. But if you want a great modern brown sound, this amp does it great.
 
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EJstrat&JVM

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Well @pwrmac7600 and @ampeq finally got my AH-100 Deluxe delivered a few days ago. He told me when he would ship it but I never got a notification and it just showed up one night. So it was a total surprise!

It has some great sounds but honestly I'm kinda "meh" about it. I got it for the versatility. The independent channels with a good clean sound was a deciding factor. And it does some sounds excellent. Great loud cleans, great high gain stuff. But it does have the obvious tonal footprint of it's ancestor. That being a little modern and dark. Even still, I was hoping for a little more glassy, airy, bite and kerrang. Also, I wouldn't quite say low gain is it's strong suit for me. Seems like I kinda need to get to moderate gain before it starts feeling at home where it wants to be. Does it sound good? I'd say it sounds great. But just not what I was totally looking for. It'll do for now though. It took a year lol. Plus, there's a mod I saw that looks quite easy and brings some high end bite and aggression back.

However, unfortunately I seem to have lost the diode clipping option on the back on the "Era" switch. The first night all 3 positions seemed to work. But since then, "up" and "middle" sound the same, with "down" being transistor clipping I believe. Luckily, I think... it might be an easy fix. I'll contact him, but the way it's laid out, it's gotta be limited to a small area and a few components. Picked the right guy to happen to. I build pedal clones and solder everyday so I'm not shy about opening it up. Either way I like the no clipping option the best so it's not a big deal... but still a bummer to half to deal with. Also, my footswitch stopped being able to switch gain channels, but it's just a loose solder joint on the LED inside, even easier to fix, that's no big deal.

We'll see how the mods go. I knew what "sound" I was getting into when I ordered this one, just wish it wasn't that polished and darkened. I'm thinking the KK or Chupa or Plexi '51 All Access would be more my style. I might order a kit of one those I could finish that within a year for sure! But I'm also thinking about a Headfirst Cali 50w kit. But if you want a great modern brown sound, this amp does it great.
thanks for the honest review, now you have something to mod for sure, maybe not far away from a Chupa? :dude:
 

Zado

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Well @pwrmac7600 and @ampeq finally got my AH-100 Deluxe delivered a few days ago. He told me when he would ship it but I never got a notification and it just showed up one night. So it was a total surprise!

It has some great sounds but honestly I'm kinda "meh" about it. I got it for the versatility. The independent channels with a good clean sound was a deciding factor. And it does some sounds excellent. Great loud cleans, great high gain stuff. But it does have the obvious tonal footprint of it's ancestor. That being a little modern and dark. Even still, I was hoping for a little more glassy, airy, bite and kerrang. Also, I wouldn't quite say low gain is it's strong suit for me. Seems like I kinda need to get to moderate gain before it starts feeling at home where it wants to be. Does it sound good? I'd say it sounds great. But just not what I was totally looking for. It'll do for now though. It took a year lol. Plus, there's a mod I saw that looks quite easy and brings some high end bite and aggression back.

However, unfortunately I seem to have lost the diode clipping option on the back on the "Era" switch. The first night all 3 positions seemed to work. But since then, "up" and "middle" sound the same, with "down" being transistor clipping I believe. Luckily, I think... it might be an easy fix. I'll contact him, but the way it's laid out, it's gotta be limited to a small area and a few components. Picked the right guy to happen to. I build pedal clones and solder everyday so I'm not shy about opening it up. Either way I like the no clipping option the best so it's not a big deal... but still a bummer to have to deal with. Also, my footswitch stopped being able to switch gain channels, but it's just a loose solder joint on the LED inside, even easier to fix, that's no big deal.

We'll see how the mods go. I knew what "sound" I was getting into when I ordered this one, just wish it wasn't that polished and darkened. I'm thinking the KK or Chupa or Plexi '51 All Access would be more my style. I might order a kit of one those I could finish that within a year for sure! But I'm also thinking about a Headfirst Cali 50w kit. But if you want a great modern brown sound, this amp does it great.

The chupa and the AllAxS maybe, but not the Yeti, which is indeed darker and smoother. Still, if you want the kerrang I wouldn't go with a modded jcm800 design, but straight to the source. With that said if you have the puffy trimmer on the back of the amp, that can indeed help ya if set low enough
 

Springfield Scooter

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Well @pwrmac7600 and @ampeq finally got my AH-100 Deluxe delivered a few days ago. He told me when he would ship it but I never got a notification and it just showed up one night. So it was a total surprise!

It has some great sounds but honestly I'm kinda "meh" about it. I got it for the versatility. The independent channels with a good clean sound was a deciding factor. And it does some sounds excellent. Great loud cleans, great high gain stuff. But it does have the obvious tonal footprint of it's ancestor. That being a little modern and dark. Even still, I was hoping for a little more glassy, airy, bite and kerrang. Also, I wouldn't quite say low gain is it's strong suit for me. Seems like I kinda need to get to moderate gain before it starts feeling at home where it wants to be. Does it sound good? I'd say it sounds great. But just not what I was totally looking for. It'll do for now though. It took a year lol. Plus, there's a mod I saw that looks quite easy and brings some high end bite and aggression back.

However, unfortunately I seem to have lost the diode clipping option on the back on the "Era" switch. The first night all 3 positions seemed to work. But since then, "up" and "middle" sound the same, with "down" being transistor clipping I believe. Luckily, I think... it might be an easy fix. I'll contact him, but the way it's laid out, it's gotta be limited to a small area and a few components. Picked the right guy to happen to. I build pedal clones and solder everyday so I'm not shy about opening it up. Either way I like the no clipping option the best so it's not a big deal... but still a bummer to have to deal with. Also, my footswitch stopped being able to switch gain channels, but it's just a loose solder joint on the LED inside, even easier to fix, that's no big deal.

We'll see how the mods go. I knew what "sound" I was getting into when I ordered this one, just wish it wasn't that polished and darkened. I'm thinking the KK or Chupa or Plexi '51 All Access would be more my style. I might order a kit of one those I could finish that within a year for sure! But I'm also thinking about a Headfirst Cali 50w kit. But if you want a great modern brown sound, this amp does it great.

The Friedman BE and Ceriatone AH have never been my favorite sounding amplifier but...

Ive never heard of them described as dark, and needing a little more "glassy, airy, bite and kerrang" either!

Its also very unfortunate that you have experienced not 1 failure, but 2 different failures already, in a brand new amp.

It sounds like you are already planning on some sort of modifications of your own ???

That will be interesting.

It also sounds like your the right guy for it to happen to, as you mentioned that you build pedal clones and solder everyday , so your not shy about opening it up.

Very unusual circumstances here, as defective Ceriatone built products seem to be few and far between..... let alone 2 defects in the same product.

Im courious on what mods you are planning to do, to make it have more "glassy, airy, bite and kerrang" ?
 

Mjh36

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The Friedman BE and Ceriatone AH have never been my favorite sounding amplifier but...

Ive never heard of them described as dark, and needing a little more "glassy, airy, bite and kerrang" either!

Its also very unfortunate that you have experienced not 1 failure, but 2 different failures already, in a brand new amp.

It sounds like you are already planning on some sort of modifications of your own ???

That will be interesting.

It also sounds like your the right guy for it to happen to, as you mentioned that you build pedal clones and solder everyday , so your not shy about opening it up.

Very unusual circumstances here, as defective Ceriatone built products seem to be few and far between..... let alone 2 defects in the same product.

Im courious on what mods you are planning to do, to make it have more "glassy, airy, bite and kerrang" ?
Hey man thanks and I see you got your Chupacabra not long ago too!

Here's my EQ on the amp right now. Bass and Mids are close to 0. Treble and Presence about 10. Any switches I have set to the least compression and whatever is brighter. Doing that gets me just about where I need to be. I mean it has most of the characteristics that we're talking about, just not enough, too smooth, no bite. I'm still having fun playing it, I could live with it if I had to it's still very nice and the cleans are great.

I saw a video from Jason at Headfirst Amps talking about parts of that BE polished circuit. One thing he mentioned was desoldering just a leg of two 500pf plate capacitors to bring back some high end and aggression. Says Friedmans, Bogners, others do it too. I'm no expert and don't want to mess with it too much if I ever want to sell it, but that sounds easy enough. Great video but he starts to talk about the mods at @25:50. I'm really thinking of getting his Cali 50w kit too, sounds like it has that classic top end.

 
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Zado

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Might be a tube issue as well. What are the tubes? and the speakers?

How are the NFB and the resonance set? Those are some extreme settings to me honestly.
 

Mjh36

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Might be a tube issue as well. What are the tubes? and the speakers?

How are the NFB and the resonance set? Those are some extreme settings to me honestly.
Actually that did sound a little exaggerated. I probably have the bass and mids at 3, treble still 9-10. Low on the resonance, NFB and presence set high. I don't usually have settings like that either, but there's just something to the midrange it's too broad so I try to cut that and but also chasing higher order harmonics that are just almost there. Speakers are a 2x12 with Creambacks and I'm going through my IR library trying to find a fit. I'll look into the tubes they sound fine but who knows. They're the stock JJ's I'm assuming but haven't looked. I don't want to be too hard on this thing, it does keep me playing but it's not the Marshall flavor I thought I wanted.
 

Zado

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Actually that did sound a little exaggerated. I probably have the bass and mids at 3, treble still 9-10. Low on the resonance, NFB and presence set high. I don't usually have settings like that either, but there's just something to the midrange it's too broad so I try to cut that and but also chasing higher order harmonics that are just almost there. Speakers are a 2x12 with Creambacks and I'm going through my IR library trying to find a fit. I'll look into the tubes they sound fine but who knows. They're the stock JJ's I'm assuming but haven't looked. I don't want to be too hard on this thing, it does keep me playing but it's not the Marshall flavor I thought I wanted.
Ok it's not gonna fix the thing, but kill the resonance and swap pre tubes with some EHXs. Short plate JJs are very reliable and long lasting but sound very smooth in the upper end, definitely take away some bite
 

Mjh36

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Ok it's not gonna fix the thing, but kill the resonance and swap pre tubes with some EHXs. Short plate JJs are very reliable and long lasting but sound very smooth in the upper end, definitely take away some bite
Will do. That might do the trick. It's like a great dish missing a little salt, I just need a little more. I don't have any EHX but I forgot I do have a new set of Tung-Sols and Svetlanas I'll give them a roll.
 

Zado

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Will do. That might do the trick. It's like a great dish missing a little salt, I just need a little more. I don't have any EHX but I forgot I do have a new set of Tung-Sols and Svetlanas I'll give them a roll.
If you don't need to completely turn upside down the sound of the amp, but just a grain, then TSs are a good choice. Nik most of the time ships his amps with short plate JJs (ecc83s) preamp tubes and JJ E34Ls power amp tubes, which is a wise commercial choice: reliable, long lasting, very low microphonics, huge sound under gain. Problem is they tend to sound quite dark (some describe ECC83 JJ tubes as "dull" or "lifeless"), and too low end-ish (E34Ls are the fattest tube around imho), thus lacking some bite and cut. On the other end, TungSs are quite bright and articulate. Again, it may not solve your problems, but I'm positive you may dig your amp better.
 

Mjh36

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If you don't need to completely turn upside down the sound of the amp, but just a grain, then TSs are a good choice. Nik most of the time ships his amps with short plate JJs (ecc83s) preamp tubes and JJ E34Ls power amp tubes, which is a wise commercial choice: reliable, long lasting, very low microphonics, huge sound under gain. Problem is they tend to sound quite dark (some describe ECC83 JJ tubes as "dull" or "lifeless"), and too low end-ish (E34Ls are the fattest tube around imho), thus lacking some bite and cut. On the other end, TungSs are quite bright and articulate. Again, it may not solve your problems, but I'm positive you may dig your amp better.
Yup you are right on the tube combo. E34L and ECC83S. Just opened the back and about to try out some sets, so I'll report back.

Also, fixed the footswitch problem. The red LED leg was touching the inside of the bezel or something causing a short. I just clipped it and put a new one in. Switching between channels 2 and 3 works again.
 

Zado

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Yup you are right on the tube combo. E34L and ECC83S. Just opened the back and about to try out some sets, so I'll report back.

Also, fixed the footswitch problem. The red LED leg was touching the inside of the bezel or something causing a short. I just clipped it and put a new one in. Switching between channels 2 and 3 works again.
Good, one problem solved! Let me know about the tubes!
 

Mjh36

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Good, one problem solved! Let me know about the tubes!
Well good news we have everything sorted out. Tung-Sols definitely helped just enough. I put in a split pair of EHX/Mullard power tubes as well. I would be happy enough as-is. You're right about those JJ's.

Fixed the footswitch problem. One of the LED's was touching the inside of the bezel within the footswitch, shorting to ground. So no footswitching was happening but it's back now.

I did fix the Era switch as well. Took the amp out and had a look and there was one wire they had forgotten to install, wasn't even there when compared to the layout. So I only had No Clipping and Diode Clipping, now I have the Transistor Clipping. Phew! Super easy fix luckily they sent this amp to the right dude who knew just enough to do this.

While I was at it, I did de-solder a leg of a 500pf plate bypass capacitor on V2. That did the trick. So much so I put the original JJ's back in and the sound is fine. I'd say I still have most the settings the same, but there's way more treble/high end now. I don't need to have more. Like lifting a blanket off the speakers! I'll eventually put some other tubes in after some testing but it cuts through a lot better now.
 

Zado

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Well good news we have everything sorted out. Tung-Sols definitely helped just enough. I put in a split pair of EHX/Mullard power tubes as well. I would be happy enough as-is. You're right about those JJ's.

Fixed the footswitch problem. One of the LED's was touching the inside of the bezel within the footswitch, shorting to ground. So no footswitching was happening but it's back now.

I did fix the Era switch as well. Took the amp out and had a look and there was one wire they had forgotten to install, wasn't even there when compared to the layout. So I only had No Clipping and Diode Clipping, now I have the Transistor Clipping. Phew! Super easy fix luckily they sent this amp to the right dude who knew just enough to do this.

While I was at it, I did de-solder a leg of a 500pf plate bypass capacitor on V2. That did the trick. So much so I put the original JJ's back in and the sound is fine. I'd say I still have most the settings the same, but there's way more treble/high end now. I don't need to have more. Like lifting a blanket off the speakers! I'll eventually put some other tubes in after some testing but it cuts through a lot better now.

Glad things got sorted out! It's very unusual seeing Nik's crew messing up with a circuit, sheez happen I guess. Now you're liking the amp right??
 

Mjh36

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Glad things got sorted out! It's very unusual seeing Nik's crew messing up with a circuit, sheez happen I guess. Now you're liking the amp right??
Yeah... uh... I thought it was sounding fine yesterday. It was sounding awesome. But I'm just buttoning things up now, and out of nowhere though the gain channels sound like I have a weak chorus pedal on. Something doesn't sound right, like out-phase-sounding almost. I'm plugged straight in. I'll have to do some more sound tests to see if I'm hearing it right. But man.... come on. I didn't touch anything hardly. The only thing I can think of is a few times working on the footswitch LED, it would make the channels change super fast as the leg intermittently was touching ground. Didn't sound good to do, but I don't think that would do any drastic damage, however I don't know either. I had to have it connected to figure out that problem.

I'll try a preamp tube swap again... See if something happened. I feel like this is snowballing. I'm no amp tech but I knew enough to fix a couple problems, but if more complex stuff starts happening I don't really have the tube knowledge on hand to diagnose and fix everything.
 

Springfield Scooter

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Yeah... uh... I thought it was sounding fine yesterday. It was sounding awesome. But I'm just buttoning things up now, and out of nowhere though the gain channels sound like I have a weak chorus pedal on. Something doesn't sound right, like out-phase-sounding almost. I'm plugged straight in. I'll have to do some more sound tests to see if I'm hearing it right. But man.... come on. I didn't touch anything hardly. The only thing I can think of is a few times working on the footswitch LED, it would make the channels change super fast as the leg intermittently was touching ground. Didn't sound good to do, but I don't think that would do any drastic damage, however I don't know either. I had to have it connected to figure out that problem.

I'll try a preamp tube swap again... See if something happened. I feel like this is snowballing. I'm no amp tech but I knew enough to fix a couple problems, but if more complex stuff starts happening I don't really have the tube knowledge on hand to diagnose and fix everything.
How about posting gut shots of the pedal.
 

Zado

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Yeah... uh... I thought it was sounding fine yesterday. It was sounding awesome. But I'm just buttoning things up now, and out of nowhere though the gain channels sound like I have a weak chorus pedal on. Something doesn't sound right, like out-phase-sounding almost. I'm plugged straight in. I'll have to do some more sound tests to see if I'm hearing it right. But man.... come on. I didn't touch anything hardly. The only thing I can think of is a few times working on the footswitch LED, it would make the channels change super fast as the leg intermittently was touching ground. Didn't sound good to do, but I don't think that would do any drastic damage, however I don't know either. I had to have it connected to figure out that problem.

I'll try a preamp tube swap again... See if something happened. I feel like this is snowballing. I'm no amp tech but I knew enough to fix a couple problems, but if more complex stuff starts happening I don't really have the tube knowledge on hand to diagnose and fix everything.
Damn, sounds like a total nightmare :(
 


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