Well, that is a tough one to answer. But, the simplest way is to alter the caps and resistors in the amp. Yeah that is vague, but... For most of the guys that have hot rodded amps it is to clean up the sound, tighten up the sound, change the tone stack or increase the gain. Or possibly some if not all of those at once. Really it just means modifying it to your tastes.
For example, one of my amps is a Fender Blues Junior. This is a popular small amp that has great potential for modifications to improve tone, volume, reverb, etc.
Check out this link and it shows available mods for this particular amp.
Again, this is specific to the Fender Blues Junior. However, these same mods could be done to any amp using the same principles.
That's a myth, Eddie never added another tube stage, he just had his Marhsalls modded by "Jose" for more gain and that brown sound tone. Then dropped the line voltage down to around 90 volts with a variac.
Exactly. But so many idiots did this in the 80's to primo vintage Marshall amps that it became a commonplace thing to see these sweet amps hacked up on the market (Ebay, etc) in later decades... hence my saying, "don't do that". And of course, that's not the only stupid thing they did to get that elusive "brown sound".
Death by Uberschall said:
Eddie never added another tube stage, he just had his Marhsalls modded by "Jose" for more gain and that brown sound tone. Then dropped the line voltage down to around 90 volts with a variac.
The whole Jose Arredondo (sp?) modding thing hasn't been proven conclusively. I've unfortunately been subjected to countless Eddie-tone stories and theories on other BBS's over the years, so I've heard them all (as well, love old Eddie and Eddie tone, but am *not* a brown-sound pursuing whore). The only theory that sounds correct (to the best of my memory) is the one whereupon Eddie used one Marshall head, unmodded, into a dummy load off the speaker out (drops it to line level signal), which then ran into the input of another Marshall head (unmodded as well) and it's speaker cabs. This would make the 1st Marshall head like a stomp box into the 2nd Marshall head. He also had a tap off the dummy load (same principle as the line out on a Hot Plate) running into a few FX and then to a separate power amp (stereo) and then to other speakers.
I follow this "wet/dry" rig concept (sans 2 amps) when playing out - a great way to get time-based FX *post* power-tube instead of *pre* power-tube (whereupon the repeats in a delay, for ex, sound crappy and not clear). Just like recording your guitar dry in the studio, and then doing post-processing with the FX.
It'd be like this:
Hotplate - Line Out - Quadraverb (FX) - Stereo Power Amp - 2 Speakers (wet tone - stereo capability)
Speakers (dry tone)
The other thing many people don't even consider when it comes to the "brown sound" is what Ted did in the mixing booth on the early albums.
Yes, you can mod a solid state amp - but to increase the power output it would require re-working the power supply (with another power transformer), and re-designing the output stage. Not worth it IMHO, and most techs used to tube amps would not know what to do with it.
You are much better off doing one of the following:
1 - get speakers that are rated for a higher SPL rating
2 - get another amp with more power
- or -
3 - not worry about the power and just put a mic in front of it for gigs. Have the sound guy give you more of it in the monitor if you can't hear it.