A Bit Of Insight From The Mind Behind Victoria Amplifier [PODCAST]

In this episode we sit down with the founder of Victoria Amplifier, Mark Baier, to discuss some of the design fundamentals of early amplifiers.  Mark covers the basic differences between Tweed era amplifiers and Blackface amplifiers, as well as how different types of transformers affect the overall character of an amplifier, and the theory behind various preamp tubes and their ability to modify an amp’s sound.


  • Should be noted that switching V1 tubes (the phase inverter) does not work in all amps. If you experiment with doing so, be careful and turn up slowly. In many cases you’ll get howling and uncontrollable nonmusical results. Unfortunately.

    • Cliff,

      Just to be clear to other readers, V1 is never the Phase Inverter. At least not in any of the hundred or so amps and schematics that I have seen. V1 is the 1st preamp tube and the first gain stage of the whole preamp section. The Phase Inverter is the last preamp type tube before the output tubes and while it does provide some gain in most cases, its main function is to change phase for push-pull output sections.

      However, your advice to start with a low volume when changing tubes is definitely good advice, whether in V1 position or any other position.

    • 6:12 pm This is a great list, I can see testing a bunch of these out and sending the best ones off to clients to use when sending me images for their web designs. Thanks!.-= Boston Web Des‚´nÃiÂgs last blog .. =-.

  • ah, yes. I forgot to mention the transformer insight! Awesome stuff. Maybe Mark should write a book on this stuff!

  • Fantastic plain speak info about gain structuring and the effects of different tubes in different areas of the circuit. And also the reason why tweed amps resonate more than blackface amps, even though both are pine.

  • Incredible amount of knowledge presented……..Simply put…….AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I got answers to questions about transformers that I have had for years…….

    Thank you!!!

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