Power Scaling Kit Selection

The Cutting Edge of Power Scaling Technology from the Inventors of Power Scaling

Selection Guidelines

The first selection parameter is how the amplifier is biased: cathode bias or fixed bias. In general, this resolves to the following kit requirements:

Fixed bias: SV1 + RBX

Cathode bias: SV2 + VCK

Switchable fixed/cathode bias: SV1 + RBX

The above selection covers 99% of all guitar amps, but there are a few exceptions listed below:

1 – Cathode biased with grid-modulated tremolo:

2 – Fixed biased with bias-modulated tremolo:

3 – Cathode biased but single-node supply:
SV84 + VCK

4 – Cathode-biased with single-node supply and grid-modulated tremolo:

5 – If your amp is MusicMan RD-series or Peavey TX-series:
SV2 with a modification to R12

6 – If your amp is a Gibson G5, RV-series, or similar:
SV84 + VCK

7 – If your amp is actually a preamp:
SV84 or SV2

*Most bias supplies in fixed biased amplifiers are too low in voltage and/or too high in impedance to fully support the Power Scale regulators. For these amps, our RBX Raw Bias Auxiliary Supply should be used. It is never a mistake to use RBX. See the note below.

Note that the older products SB-1, SB-2 and SB-84 PCBs are still available for licensed users of these products.

When Do You Need the RBX Raw Bias Supply Kit?

Most guitar amps that are fixed biased have very poorly designed bias supplies. Most are barely adequate to support the tube grids connected to them, and few have enough control range to actually turn the tubes ‘off’.

There are two problems with these stock bias supplies.

First, they are usually “high impedance”, which means they are derived from the plate winding through very high-value resistances (100-220k) or through capacitors. A high-impedance bias supply cannot support proper bias-set networks, nor will it support a bias regulator.

Second, these bias supplies lack enough voltage range to properly control all samples of tube that may be plugged into the amp. Resistively derived bias supplies can have this range, but will lack the current needed for a bias regulator. Decreasing the series resistance creates a high amount of waste heat, and the bias regulator could be damaged by excess voltage to its input. Capacitively coupled bias supplies are inherently limited in both their voltage range and current output.

A separate bias winding has the potential to be “low impedance” and also to be high enough voltage to properly support a bias regulator. Marshall’s 1959 and 1992 models use bias windings of sufficient voltage to properly support a bias regulator using RBX-LT. Although many Fender amps have separate bias windings, these are all too low in voltage to support a Power Scale circuit, as are Hiwatt’s bias windings. These need to be fully lifted from ground and wired using a voltage doubler. See our book, TUT2, for details.

So, unfortunately most fixed biased amps will also require RBX Raw Bias Auxiliary Supply to attain proper performance from the SV1  Power Scale kit. The very earliest Power Scaling kits included RBX along with a BMK Bias Mod Kit, but these add-ons are not required to achieve Power Scaling, nor are they universally missing or required with newer amps, so the kits were separated so that installers could buy only the parts they needed. This also made the basic Power Scaling kit much less expensive.

For a detailed selection procedure, see:
About Our Power Scaling Kits

For more information about Power Scaling, see:
Power Scaling Q&A

Who can install Power Scaling for you?
Licensed Power Scaling Builders and Installers