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FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Anyone mod a Ramparte?

Contributing Member

Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Dec 12th, 2016 07:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just picked up one of these for $100. Wanted a low wattage tube amp to supplement my HRD...plus I always thought these things were beautiful -looking- amps. I knew full well about their issues, but for $100 I figured I can either fix them or live with them. Yep...it hums....just like I expected it might.

It does have a few sweet spots that make it something worth the $100 so I'm putting new JJ tubes in later this week and I have a better speaker to install in it, the stock speaker from my HRD. I also ordered a new power cable, some have claimed that helped with hum.

Anyone mod one of these? And if so what you do? If I really take a liking to it and have a tech try to fix the hum...I'd be open to tweaking a few other things.

(This message was last edited by daveg at 09:51 PM, Dec 12th, 2016)

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Dec 13th, 2016 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

I installed JJ's and didn't see a whole lot of difference/improvement.

Didn't really go much further as there are much nicer amps in the house.

Keep us posted.

Contributing Member

Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Dec 17th, 2016 11:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

Swapped the tubes and replaced the speaker with the stock Eminence Legend that used to be in my HRD and tried a couple of different power cords.
The speaker swap improved the sound a lot. The stock speaker in the Ramparte has a weaker magnet than the Legend. It hardly pulled on the tools as I removed it, the Legend would grab the screwdriver if you let it. Removing the stock speaker was a bit of a problem and I ended up having to cut 2 of the 4 screws below the bolt because once the bolt was half way off the entire screw turned with the wrench. No big deal...just a minor detour. The Legend speaker is just better all around than the stock, especially the lows and mids.
The previous owner had already swapped out the tubes with JJ's...obviously I didn't look to closely. But I used the ones I just purchased since I paid extra for low noise, matching and burn in.
The power cord helped. I'd bought one from Best Buy that dampened the hum a little. Then I remembered I had a very heavily insulated power cord I had from old analog video equipment I'd acquired from the TV station I work for. That cord cut the hum WAY down. The amp is still by no means quiet, but the hum isn't nearly as noticeable when played at bedroom levels.
Too bad this amp had so many flaws stock. A better speaker really produces some really nice clean tones with my Strats, the hum problem is inexcusable. I feel sorry for anyone who bought one and is new to playing or tube amps...it had to be pretty discouraging. I may or may not have a professional try to work out the issue completely...don't know yet. I also thought of just using the cabinet for a custom build...it is the best looking cabinet I've seen.

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Dec 18th, 2016 08:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

Pretty sure we're the only two guys on this entire forum that has one.

Contributing Member


Hoarder of instruments
Dec 18th, 2016 09:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

My modding consisted of installing a Jensen C12K in mine. It gave it more volume and better bottom end.

I really loved it for jazz gigs but had to sell mine as I'm downsizing. It was either the Ramparte or my DRRI

FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Anyone mod a Ramparte?

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