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Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntable?

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Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntable?

Postby The Kathmandu Cat » 07 Feb 2018 05:33

Hello! A complete newbie to the world of turntables and vinyls. I have a small Fender guitar tube amplifier (only 5 watts with a 6 inch speaker) called the Champion 600 which I don't use at all.

Will it be possible to use that with a vintage Yamaha turntable that I'm getting soon as a hand it down from my uncle? I'm planning to buy decent bookshelf speakers and want a true analog tube circuitry. If it's possible would I have to do some kind of mods to the small tube amp to deliver more power and oomph or is all this not possible at all?
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby Spinner45 » 07 Feb 2018 06:32

Nope.
Guitar amplifiers do not have the needed RIAA equalization needed for turntables.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby docdan » 07 Feb 2018 06:37

mmm it would work "in a pinch" but you would need a preamp for the turntable (depending on the cartridge you used), and hopefully the guitar has a line-in input rather than just pickup inputs. But guitar amps are usually not designed to be flat (from 20-20Khz) but often are intentionally "colored" and band restricted to what guitars can reproduce, along with intentional distortion features. Not to mention it won't be stereo. And 5 watts? will probably distort alot...

So you could get sound out (given proper preamplification, which would also handle the RIAA equalization) but it would unlikely be considered "hi-fi". There are plenty of cheap, true hi-fi tube amps available and would be a better choice.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby JoeE SP9 » 07 Feb 2018 16:53

Spinner45 wrote:Nope.
Guitar amplifiers do not have the needed RIAA equalization needed for turntables.


What he said. You need not only a phono preamp but you also need two channels of amplification. Guitar amplifiers are essentially single channel.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby JDJX » 07 Feb 2018 17:34

Yeah... what others have said.....
You need a "phono pre amp" and a stereo "power amp"

For a bare minimum expense with a perfectly good sound for the money, I would recommend somethings like these......
I have no idea what is available in, or can be shipped to your country but, both are considered very good low budget units. :)

Phono pre amp.....
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ART-DJ-Pre-II- ... SwPypaVlr2

Power amp......
https://www.ebay.com/itm/LP-2020A-Lvpin ... SwevdaM4c9
*Thorens 165 with M97xE
*Lounge Audio phono pre
*NAD C-350 amp
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby The Kathmandu Cat » 07 Feb 2018 19:56

Ok . Thanks everyone so it’s definitely not a good idea. So whats a good true hifi stereo tube amp on a budget? Can’t spend more than 300-400$ for one maybe stretch that to 500$ if its worth spending the extra bucks. Thanks again!
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby KentT » 07 Feb 2018 21:41

Won't happen for your budget, be in properly repaired and working condition. Most tube amplifiers are more expensive, demand extremely efficient speakers (often very large), a decent tube Fisher or HH Scott or Dynaco integrated amplifier alone will cost around double your highest price you envision or even an Eico. And good efficient speakers which play nicely with most affordable tube amplifiers are expensive also with anything close to full range sound. Not a cheap undertaking unless you are lucky, you know to repair them properly.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby JDJX » 07 Feb 2018 23:50

The Kathmandu Cat wrote:Ok . Thanks everyone so it’s definitely not a good idea. So whats a good true hifi stereo tube amp on a budget? Can’t spend more than 300-400$ for one maybe stretch that to 500$ if its worth spending the extra bucks. Thanks again!


Actually, you can indeed get some nice tube amps within that budget.
They wont be the very absolute best but, nice none the less.
Keep in mind that you can also spend thousands on a transistor amp but that is not necessary either to get great sound.

IMO, it would be better getting something inexpensive to first get you going....
Then, you can take you time to and do your research about amps , also learning a bit more along the way.... and get a tube amp that you really want.

Don't forget that you also need speakers and they are all important for great sound, no matter what amp you get/have. :)
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby noisefreq » 08 Feb 2018 22:26

Anybody familiar with Emil Beaulieau?
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby JDJX » 08 Feb 2018 23:30

noisefreq wrote:Anybody familiar with Emil Beaulieau?


Yes but, what does a so-called "noise artist" have to do with this topic/thread?
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby noisefreq » 08 Feb 2018 23:55

His live performances often consisted of him playing turntables through guitar amps to various affect.

Personally, I thought it was ingenious.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby genewiseman » 10 Feb 2018 19:22

If your champion amp is an old original, they are valuable amps. You could sell it for enough money to get a good stereo system to use with your turntable.

PS I checked the auction site and Champion 600 reissues aren't all that high but the one original that I saw was a "buy it now" for $1199.00. That doesn't mean it will sell but they are high.
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby Bill_Ashton » 13 Feb 2018 01:01

RE your reissue Champion 600. They are a nice little guitar amp. Two troubles, one in that it uses an acoustic suspension speaker in an open baffle, two in that the grille cloth is very non - porous. Biggest prob is #2.

As a guitar amp, it is a combinatio
n of the old tweed Champ and the later Champ with treble and bass controls. Fender took that "tone stack," which was really subtractive only anyway, and built it into the amp as a fixed RC circuit. There are modifications that could be done to get that circuit out, essentially giving you a tweed Champ...but that would not Help you RIAA-wise. If you got a cheap magnetic cartridge preamp and the appropriate cables and adapters, the sound probably would not be too pleasing to you.

Enjoy her for what she is, a cool little bedroom guitar amp!
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby Bill_Ashton » 13 Feb 2018 01:08

Just an add for those not aware, this is a single-ended Class A amp, with a solid state rectifier, 6V6 power tube and single 12AX7 preamp. It may be designed, though not certain as I haven't seen the schematic in a while, to intentionally get more gainy and distort as the volume is turned up...
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Re: Can I use a small guitar amplifier to amplify a turntabl

Postby Spinner45 » 13 Feb 2018 02:04

Bill_Ashton wrote:Just an add for those not aware, this is a single-ended Class A amp, with a solid state rectifier, 6V6 power tube and single 12AX7 preamp. It may be designed, though not certain as I haven't seen the schematic in a while, to intentionally get more gainy and distort as the volume is turned up...


Guitar amps like that are not suitable nor compatible with high fidelity sources.
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