By Annalise Thayer. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 05:22:26 AM.
The second option for a more vintage sounding preamp tubes is the long plate tubes Sovtek makes under its own name as the 12AX7LP (the "lp" stands for "long plate"), and the tube Sovtek sells as the Mullard 12AX7 "reissue." The two tubes look identical, except for the name, but the quality of the Mullards is much better, I think. In addition to Sovtek, Groove Tubes also sells a US-made 12AX7M, and it looks like TAD is now selling this tube as their new TAD 7025. Also JJ has a new long plate tube called the JJ ECC803.
An acoustic guitar is so named because the hollow design of its body provides a natural means by which the acoustics can be optimized, so that the sound of the guitar is naturally amplified, and therefore needs no exterior or additional means of amplifying the sound. Electric guitars are quite different, and without an external, electrical amplifier, strumming or picking the strings will make almost no sound at all, and certainly nothing much more impressive than pinging a rubber band! It is for this reason that electric guitars do use external amplification, but there is a common misconception or misunderstanding as to what exactly the external amplification does.
The part of an electric guitar which detects this movement is called the pickup, which are basically magnets wrapped tightly round with very fine wire. As any electrician will tell you, a magnet wrapped round with coils of wire is an electric generator waiting to happen, and the vibrating movement of the string next to this mini generator is enough to create an electric current. This electric current is sent as a signal to the amplifier, and it is at this point that the tone, voice, sound, colour, and any distortion effects, are generated, and of course, the volume boosted.
The key takeaway is this: when you are playing electric guitar, you are typically working with unbalanced cable runs. Unbalanced cables are fine. In fact, many super-expensive stereo systems use them. The key is that you do not want unbalanced cables to be too long. If the cable is too long, the signal can degrade and you can get extra noise on the line. The setup strategies I showed you above will keep your unbalanced cables at strategically short lengths, but still give you plenty of room to roam around on stage. Now go rock the house!
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