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Author Topic: Tech 21 Trademark 30  (Read 1574 times)

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Offline gc

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Tech 21 Trademark 30
« on: August 12, 2015, 08:16:51 PM »
Here's a pretty sweet little amp that doesn't get talked up a whole lot.  Don't see any gut-shots posted and nothing as far as schematics.  Don't have a schematic but I thought I'd post a few pics & give it a bit of a compliment.

Made by Tech 21 NYC.  These are the folks that make the SansAmp pedals:  bass DI, Character series (California, British, Blonde...amp-in-a-box pedals).  They make a lot of pedals & a few amps.  This Trademark 30 is based on their GT-2 pedal and offers emulation of Tweed, British & Calif amps (they just can't come out & say Fender, Marshall & Mesa).  Small & light it has a 10" speaker, drive, tre/mid/bass eq, volume, spring tank reverb & 3 position switches for amp, gain structure (clean, high & hot) and speaker (flat, Brit, US).  Has a 4 ohm speaker w/ extension jack, serial effect loop, XLR DI jack, headphone jack & one input.


I got this one as a non-op.  Powered up but no sound.  Well...I got it & plugged it in & it made a nice initial speaker pop and subsequent slight hiss.  So...it made sound.  Guitar plugged in=nothing out.  Nothing out of headphone jack either.  Plug guitar into effects return=sound.  Effect return loop is between preamp & output stage, so output ckt is ok.  Problem is in preamp.
Pull chassis & stick test tone thru input jack & start tracing using probe & Radio Shack audio amp & probe.


Cursory spot check found signal made it thru the Drive pot but nothing at eq/vol pots.  Removed hardware & took out PCB.


Easy find.  The PCB material used is pretty stout.  And, as with most new manufacture, the pots & jacks are actually used to hold the PCB in place on the chassis (in place of standoffs).  Apparently this amp took a rather solid hit during shipping or ??? and the 5-in-a-row pots absorbed the shock, snapping at the wafer.  No visible marks on the chassis or cabinet.  Surprised me to have the 1st pot fall out when I unfastened it.

These boards are also utilizing SMD/surface mount components & lead free solder.  Trick if you have trouble getting the lead free stuff to flow when removing:  add a bit of leaded solder.  Heats up better & flows into Solder Wick or sucker much better.  Getting these stubs out without lifting the traces on the PCB was a hoot.  I much prefer working on the old tech stuff. 

New Linear taper pots installed. 


One last shot of the Toroidal power transformer used on these units.  Output amp is a TDA 2050 power amp that uses the back of the aluminum chassis as a heat sink.


All back together & it works just like it shoulda-oughta.  And it sounds great.  I've only had it up & running for less than a day but it's one of those that you just want to play more & see what it does next.  Huge volume & sensitivity jump between the Tweed setting & either Brit or Calif.  Killer sounds with a Strat all around.  10" speaker does a credible job.  It would sound huge thru 4x12's...but I don't have 4x12's.

Tech 21 is an excellent company that makes excellent products.  Customer support is 2nd to none (i.e. they are very helpful & easy to work with).  And their stuff works as advertised.  I had one of their Hot Rod Plexi pedals that 'wouldn't turn on'.  Turned out to be a missing spring that was of unique shape.  I called them & they sent me replacements free.  And the pedal sounded...pretty much like a Plexi (depending on what you plugged into it).  Good people & good stuff.  Worth checking out if  you get a chance.

g

Offline agradeleous

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 08:51:21 PM »
I believe for a good bit of time that was Spirals amp .... I know it was and we all know how he made it sound :) nice amp Gc keep it !

sure wish I could find stuff like that here .....

Offline frankenxtein

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 09:50:34 PM »
Looks like a nice easy to glance down at , clean design , but ooooh slide switches >:( That's a pricey little .....

  Need Lower Profile knobs  ;)

     Had a couple mini pots broke same place on a Lyon LA5 toy amp , traces lifting on this new and improved stuff  :P ..... Then the solder didn't want to stick , it was touch and go. 

Just a thought ..... Those little aluminum heatsinks everyone thinks are roach clips might have helped, These traces are like decals maybe?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 10:03:46 PM by frankenxtein »
Okay ... lets do this one more time ... take 43 http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1277143

Offline Jahva

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 11:55:24 PM »
Nice job GC... nice looking Amp. Not heard of them before... not surprising... there are many things I'm not familiar with!  :-\
When you use on a tune let us know!  8)
If.... it's a temporary lull... why am I bored right outta my skull?
Man, I'm dressin' sharp an' feelin' dull
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Offline Joom

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 12:01:28 AM »
Great looking piece of equipment, GC, and nice work on it.  Good pics, they always make a good story more interesting.

And as Jahva said, let's hear it...  ;)
A few quick and dirty cheaters from the old days, just for kicks...... www.twotrackmusic.com/joomcheats

Offline gc

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 02:18:27 AM »
AG,  this one was an eBay purchase.  Seller kept knocking the $$ down.  I finally had to see what was wrong.  No schematics scares most folks off.  That & not being equipped to work on the SMD & 1356 pin chips that some of the newer DSP tech stuff is made of.  I took a chance & was glad I did.  Design of the amp is pretty straightforward.  I forgot that Spiral had one of these.  Can't afford to keep it for long.  Gotta keep this stuff moving.

FX,  Tiz a nice clean design, no?  And way pricey.  New & broken I got this for @ $125 inc shipping (bargoon).  That & @ $5 worth of TT Electronics pots from Mouser (conductive plastic element stuff).  Affordable & seem to work just fine.  Ended up being pretty much worth my while.  Some traces are pretty hardy.  All will lift with enough heat.  I used an adjustable solder station set to @ 600 deg or so.  Factory solder didn't want to give it up.  Heat sinks work but sometimes soak up so much heat that it becomes another balancing act.  Some board traces are so fragile that no matter how diligent you are one will fry.  On a bad trace lift I'll just solder in a wire bridge.  Mixing leaded in with the no-lead always works...so far.

Jahva,  Tech 21 is probably most recognizable to bass players for their SansAmp Bass DI.  Their amp-in-a-box stuff (Character series) all sound great & can be used straight into the desk for recording (inc speaker sim).  But then I have a bunch of amp sim vst's that do the same thing...some a bit better.  'Better' being the subjective term.  I mentioned the Hot Rod Plexi pedal.  It's not cheap & it is a straight up stomp box w/o speaker sim.  But...load that at the front end of a sterile solid state amp & it makes it scream.  In front of the little Champ 600 I've got & it was a mini Plexi.  They make great stuff.  Just works.  Not cheap but solid build & a marvelous company that stands 110% behind their product.

Mr. J,  Yes...I'll see what I can come up with as far as an actual instrumental type recording ( I think they call it a 'song') and post something.  Have not done that in a long time.  Something interesting about this aging thing...as I was dragged back into the world of amplification and moving air, I find that my hearing is not really liking the moving air part.  Cans & monitors out of the box are ok, but cranking an amp gets me ringing & aching.  Life is cruel.  Nah...life just is.  I'm just glad that I still have the ability to tinker with this stuff.  I can live with only playing 'in the box'.  Still...nothing like cranking the real deal.  Interactive thing that just sounds & feels better.  Earplugs.  Then...turn it up.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 03:31:47 AM by gc »

Offline gc

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 02:41:34 PM »
These traces are like decals maybe?

There are a lot of companies that offer repair parts for PCB traces.  Everything from pens that lay down a conductive line to paint-on stuff to pads & the like that either go on using epoxy or are backed with some adhesive.  Some are geared towards pretty sophisticated application methods & some are simple.  I've not tried any as the basic parts tend to be relatively expensive.  I settle for either using the extended leg of a component, bent & soldered to a stable section of the damaged trace after scraping the protective crap off.  Or making a wire loop to replace a damaged pad eyelet.  Mainly to establish a sound mechanical connection that won;t likely vibrate loose.

Offline frankenxtein

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 05:23:43 PM »
Hope you can make a bit of a profit  on that amp , I thought it looked new. Saw one of those pens pretty cool.

Actually the surface mount stuff is ok, as long as it's not broke.  ;D   

Here's something that's going to take it a bit further. 
http://spark.autodesk.com/blog/wire
Okay ... lets do this one more time ... take 43 http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1277143

Offline agradeleous

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 08:37:42 PM »
and heres an old vid of Mr Spy himself from 7 yrs ago .. man has it been that long ? most likely longer  hahahaha

Tech 21


Offline gc

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 06:59:30 PM »
Direct into the PC interface.  Fired up EZD as metronome & ran one rhythm & one lead guitar track.  My bass player has been AWOL.  Epi LP P90's.  Reaper just came out with release 5 & that's what I used to record.  Not the truest representation of the actual amp as I tinkered a bit with FX.  Still...I'm having fun.  Just can't keep up with myself.

If I get all crazy I'll record a few different settings.  Just screwing around on this but I might try to make it into a lullaby for the grandkid.  Same old 145 I usually do.  Has potential for the basis of a tune, perhaps.

g

Offline agradeleous

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2015, 07:35:41 PM »
dang that thing sounds good :) the song is great Gc :)

Offline frankenxtein

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2015, 11:05:59 PM »
Joe Perry in a box  8) ahhh and a new Reaper to boot  ;)
Okay ... lets do this one more time ... take 43 http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1277143

Offline Jahva

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2015, 12:08:34 AM »
Effects yeah but it still cuts through nice... I always believed tone comes from the fingers... so it just might be your attack of the git!  8)
If.... it's a temporary lull... why am I bored right outta my skull?
Man, I'm dressin' sharp an' feelin' dull
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Offline gc

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2015, 01:47:35 AM »
Had Reaper not come out with the new release I probably would have recorded something more like 'Mel Bay chords & amp features show & tell'.  But Reaper has a new GUI look & I got lost making sure things all still worked.  Getting a nice drive & compression from EZD helped set the mood.  I stuffed delays, multi band comp, reverb & I don't remember all what else in there.  Felt good playing it but it's not like sticking a mic in front of the amp.  Ended up more like a DI box loaded with features into the DAW.  Still...that's one of the things that this amp does pretty well.  I just can't get too attached.

One vst that I used on the tracks is Vesco freeHAAS  The site has 3 free/donationware vsts available.  All are worth checking out.  Sometimes they are magical on a track.

The Autodesk/Voxel8 vid FX posted was pretty interesting.  Maybe Gibson will start using that technology.  And Amazon can deliver using a 3D printed drone. 

Offline frankenxtein

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Re: Tech 21 Trademark 30
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2015, 01:28:59 PM »
Felt good playing it but it's not like sticking a mic in front of the amp.
Yep , but ..... It sounds really good  8) , since it's a DI manufacturer it better sound good eh? Sell it  ;) quick  :P
   
   Thanks for the link ..... I've been using strictly Reaper , and it's built in plugins on mixdown lately ,  I need to get out more.  ;) But I'm lazy
Okay ... lets do this one more time ... take 43 http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1277143