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Messages - QReuCk
« on: May 17, 2013, 10:15:23 AM »
Sometimes I start typing, end up with an indigest page covered with words, and someone comes in, and manage to say the same thing in 2 lines, being far more understandable than my long text.
Maybe I should work on my boss's main recommandation: "learn to be more synthetic in your reports".
« on: May 17, 2013, 08:06:43 AM »
Of those amps, the only one I have used is the Fender FM212R.
As far as I know, it is pretty much as reliable as you could get. The one I played on belongs to a music school and has been used and abused not only by guitar teachers and their students, but also by bands who signed a contract for using the music school rehearsal room. I recently someone play bass guitar on this (far from recommanded), and I know this thing has served to amplify voice, keyboards, etc... for years without any problem. Its clean chanel is pretty good once understood the right amount of tone knob on the guitar and EQ settings on the amp and its output volume is more than enough to gig.
The drive chanel can sound decent, but you will probably want to stay away of the "more drive" switch. So consider a good overdrive/distortion stompox to complement it if you need overdriven tones.
Overall and with the exception of high gain settings (more drive + a lot of gain), It is pretty respectfull of the character of your guitar and playing style and does react to playing dynamics, volume and tone knobs variations. But even for rehearsing with 2 drumers I like my Peavey Envoy 110 (40W, single 10' speaker) far better than this one, especially if I put an EQ in front of the Peavey.
In case of problems, a FM212R is on the "don't repair" list for Fender dealers, so if it brakes under waranty they will simply give you another one. When not under waranty, depending on who you speak to, they might not want to spend time on it, although it is pretty simple and as such not that hard to fix (just not economically realistic).
DSP based units such as the mustang IV are, guess what? DSP based. This is a completely different world. When testing them, you should be carefull to test how it reacts to playing dynamics, guitar knobs and pickup configuration, because that's the main weak point of entry-level DSP based units.
If they brake, they won't be repaired and that's not just an economicall decision. Repairing the DSP part is just not feasible by a regular tech. Repairing the power amp, powerinput or jack connectors usually are, but that's pretty much all about it.
My preference goes to analogic SS amps. If you search a good used one, my recommandation would be to seek Tech21 TM120 (discontinued and maybe a bit complicated preamp, but built like a tank and very good sounding - have one myself, which costed me 290€ used, and really like it, especially for live usage thanks to the 3 independant preamps it features and wonderfull tones you can get from it), Peavey Bandit (also on the advanced-circuitry side of the SS type and would require a 12' additional cab to be turned into a 2x12, but steal analog and sounding great). I've also heard good things about Hiwatt Maxwatt 100's and Randalls.
Another option would be to buy a FM212R anyway as it may be the cheapest 100W poweramp with 2 12' speaker you can find, begin with it and if you feel you need something different tonally, you just have to focus on the preamp part (some good analog preamps are available on the market for just a handfull of $ more than a distortion stompbox) and maybe the speakers, but that's not even sure you'll need a change here.
Oh, and if you go to a music store, prepare for the vendor not understanding you, cause they usually are not aware that you can sound good with SS gear too...
« on: May 17, 2013, 03:00:02 AM »
I'm not a better man than any one here, i'm just someone who happens to have been teached some engineering and math stuff a long time ago and have a tendency to overthink sometimes
Regarding your approximate concept of tube tone, we do agree:
Tone shaping (guitar pickup, guitar tone and volume circuit, even picking technique, guitar cable, components that might be added/set before the first buffer; then if you put it in pre-clipping EQ/tone tweaking stage) - half wave clipping - tone shaping circuit - half wave clipping - tone shaping circuit - (repete those two for the number of triod stages you have) - tone stack - symetrical clipping (push pull stage) - tone shaping device (guitar speaker).
In my opinion, chosing between high input impedance or not is a choice (I do not pretend one is "better" than the other) impacting the first tone shaping stage of your rig even if it's not the one you would think you act on if you are working on *an amp* or *a stompbox*. Good on you if with your choice you make a good sounding overall rig, which is the case here. And I've heard a lot of people make good use of very low input impedence devices (old school fuzz boxes for instance), I just can't get my head around it as it implies some dynamically changing tone shaping. That doesn't mean it's not right to do so.
And according to Hartley Peavey, the output transformer of tube amps could very well perform also some dynamically changing tone shaping, which is hard to perfectly emulate, but also very hard to understand in for me.
« on: May 13, 2013, 08:55:24 AM »
Prior to answer questions 1 and 2, you may want to have your speaker ohm ratting question answered.
Basically, SS amps are not as selective as Tube amps in this regards. Usually any 8ohm load will do, but you can be pretty safe with 16 also.
« on: May 13, 2013, 04:25:46 AM »
I won't be of a lot of help since I am not used to work on amps, but I kinda lurk here to learn helpfull things.
First questions to ask are:
1° are these amps working? If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
2° if they are not working properly, what are the symptomes? Descibe how it reacts to a guitar plugged in.
3° you seem to have the schematics for one of these. Post it here, It will definitively help your case. Maybe start with fixing the amp for which you have the schematics, it will be easier for people here to help you with this one.
4° try to take some quality pics of the board of the other amp, it may help.
« on: May 07, 2013, 06:23:18 AM »
I agree that tone focus is key for the following reason:
- high order harmonics do sound bad, and some of them are even not hamonically correct (especially those from 7x fundamental frequency and higher). Filtering them out both before and after clipping is a good idea, especially after heavy clipping (square wave signals contain a lot of them). Before clipping they usually are a lot less prominent due to the natural behaviour of a guitar.
- when playing several notes (chords, double stops, etc), you will generate some intermodulation distortion, which is not bad in powerchords (the only case where the intermodulation actually adds harmonically related frequencies), but will be dissonant for most other intervals. The more clipping, the more intermodulation. You can filter some of it with low end filtering after clipping but the best way to limit that is to reduce the bandwidth before clipping, especially lowest end, cause you want to avoid clipped-generated harmonics of the lowest notes of your chord with the same amplitude as the fondamental of higher notes of your chord (especially considering a major third will be generated as the 5th harmonic... not that good in a minor chord...).
- highs ride on lows. Clipping apply to the overall signal. So your highs will be asymetrically clipped (here comes the south after even harmonics) with a modulation of this clipping. To me it sounds quite good, but applies only when a) your clipping device sees some harmonics that are there already b) you do not squash them by changing the whole thing into a square wave anyway (ie clipping the lows so hard you don't even let any room to still have the original highs in the signal). So this applies more in the region between clean with a bit of warmth and slight crunch.
It seems your device uses just these concepts, and it sounds good, so you must be doing something right. What I'm more interested in these days is the last of the conceptual aspects I detailed above. Accoustically, an electric guitar will have a lot of harmonics, but with a lot less amplitude than the fondamental and first octave. Put some low input impedance stompboxes and a long guitar cable with capacitance problems after a passive pickup and you have very few harmonics to enhance your "warmer clean" tone.
« on: May 03, 2013, 03:46:51 AM »
Oh and back on topic, you published a schematic of something that according to the sound sampled you put does work great. So even if I am always tempted to digress and ask for details that are not always relevant to the point (best way I found to learn things), you must be doing something right even if I don't fully understand how you do it.
And by the way I did some more testings and found out that exacerbating this resonant peak doesn't sound very pleasing when dealing with a higher gain setting that what I'm used to (I can live with that though as I very rarely use this kind of tone).
« on: April 26, 2013, 06:10:21 AM »
Thanks for the answer.
Rest assured I do think I have more to learn from you than you from me.
Interesting point you have... and presented like this I fully agree with it: I do think as a general rule high Q band cutting is often better than high Q boosting.
My preamps setting are often around the onset of clipping and as a consequence I try to maintain the other rule of thumb in my thinkings: Every filtering before the preamp (or first clipping stage) serves only the purpose of shaping the response of the clipping. Predicting how this will affect the clipping is very difficult as highs ride on lows (the assumption that pretend we can treat each frequency separatedly when thinking about it is an over simplification that might not work very good). Currently, even if this oversimplification works a bit to grasp the concept, it doesn't replace to me fiddling with any possibility before the clipping stage and hearing what happens. And my hears tell me both my guitars sound better (especially for clean to moderately overdriven tones) when buffered at a 3Mohm input than straight into the amp (which are more like 1Mohm if I remember correctly).
Well, as you say, I still got a lot to learn, and I really appreciate your views on this. Confronting different views does help learning things.
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:11:55 AM »
Thanks QReuCk and Roly,,
I guess my reply would be, ok try it suck it and see?
Yes you can up the Z if you want but you will likely run into trouble trying to balance the clean sound which will then have the hump as well as a lot more treble ,,which is EXACTLY what you Don't Want for this type of sound.
This mismatch is what sends the novice round the twist (did for me ) because quite obviously a lot of modern amps have way more bandwidth than is needed for rock guitar tone and finding the balance between the clean sounds and OD sounds is hard to balance even for professionals.
Disclaimer: I do play with multi chanel amps that have separated
EQ for each chanel...
And as far as bandwidth is concerned I do think you can have a big part of the benefits of presenting a high input Z to your PU's without suffering all the troubles: I don't know exactly what physical phenomenon it is linked to, but if you allow your PU's to resonate and filter out the excessive high end, you will still have the rich sound of the attack (heard cause these harmonics are on a very different octave than the root so they don't need to be at the same amplitude) rapidely decreasing into a more filtered sound (high order harmonics from the instrument
do fade pretty quick). I won't say it sounds amazing with very high gain, but for clean or for moderate crunch I think it sounds pretty cool, especially if you attack quite heavily with the right hand (oh and don't set the pick ups too close to the strings, nor the strings too close to the frets, these things need some air to vibrate).
Well that's what I came up with after a few tests with commercially available boxes, but it might not fit perfectly another player. Trouble is: you have to think your tone from one end to the other. One of these ends being the player himself, it's not easy to come up with a do-it-all solution.
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:32:24 AM »
'tho I'd be more inclined towards a Source follower, but the thing is, presented with a very high Z the natural pickup resonance isn't damped and this makes it sound richer, this...
That's what a good buffer is made for: present a very Z to the pickup while feeding the following circuitry with a more manageable low impedence signal.
Edit: Actually typed too fast, as in "before reading your (very informative) link". Anyway, I do think a good buffer at the input of the phabb zone will do exactly that, provided the first guitar cord and contacts are of very good quality.
Nice sound clip by the way.
« on: April 16, 2013, 05:06:55 AM »
As far as I know, you got +1 chip point anytime someone click on the [informative] button and -1 anyone click one [useless], the later of which doesn't seam to happen very often.
Is my post informative, or is it just a blatant try to obtain some credit from a post totally unrelated to the original topic?
Back on topic, I see no more to add to what has already been said. Could be interesting to compare the full frequency response of the two makes of speakers your comparing (not only the rated efficiency, but the full curve for each speaker, and also the measurement process used to generate them, which can vary a lot from one manufacturer to another).
« on: March 15, 2013, 06:54:05 AM »
To be heard, bass notes have to be at a considerably higher power. That's why the average bass player uses an amp 5times more powerfull than the guitarists he plays with.
They also generate a higher signal amplitude, which might push the speaker into its excursion limits. That's the main concern when plugging a bass guitar into a guitar amp. If it's just for training at home, you can get away with cutting a lot the bass bands of the amp's tone stack to prevent damage and avoid playing too loud.
Another one is that depending on the circuitry, your amp itself can enter into occillation if driven hard with frequencies lower than what it is designed for.
On another hand, a fairly high number of guitarists do plug a looper stompbox with integrated rythm box in it into their guitar amps without any troubles. These rythms sometimes contains very low frequencies (but they are recorded and compressed, which is a different matter than an uncontrolled live instrument.
« on: March 15, 2013, 06:45:05 AM »
Phabb, not sure it is what the OP wants to achieve here. My english is not that good so I might be mistaken, but I think he wants the harmonics of the overdrive sound to continue being generated when the note decreases. That's exactly what tube enthousiasts DON'T want to happen (they usually want the harmonics being generated only when feeded with strong signal and prefer to be able to control the amount of distorsion from the volume pot of the guitar). Here the OP for personal taste wants the oposite and I think that's fine (colours and tastes, you know...).
Bad news is that the way clipping works is input volume sensitive. So when the note fades, the clipping also fades. This is not that much noticeable when using a lot of gain, but when using a slight overdrive you clearly here it.
Two ideas here using a pre-EQ then the tone stack of the amp:
1° bass boost a lot with the pre-EQ use very moderate gain on the clean chanel then boost the highs/high mids on the tone stack. This will clip the lowest harmonics and fundamental a lot, producing a very noticeable fuzz that doesn't need a lot of gain to be interpreted by your hears as fuzz=> as the fuzz is noticeable even at low input volume, you'll here it a bit longer when the note decreases.
2° try the opposite: cut the bass bands with the pre-EQ, boost a bit the mids to high mids and cut the highs above 3KHz, you don't need them to compete with the harmonics your preamp will generate. At the preamp, you can get away with quite a lot of gain, cause you prevented the bass bands to clip too much (they are not clipped) and the mid bands generate harmonics that do not compete with the high harmonics from your instrument (cause you did cut them at the pre-EQ stage). You will then have a lot of compression but not that much fuzz, except when playing very harmonically rich chords (like 9th or 13th). Use the tone stack to adapt your averall tone and reemphasise the bands you did cut before the clipping stage.
Decide what you like best and fiddle with both the pre EQ, gain and tone stack to obtain what you are after. You might find a few new sounds you like, even if they are not exactly what you were after.
Pre EQ can be anything from trying different pickups/pickups configuration, any coloured booster or a stompbox equalizer (some prefer parametric ones, but graphical ones can do the job and are usually easier to find).
Hope that helps a bit.
« on: March 12, 2013, 05:43:55 AM »
I happen to be the happy owner of another Envoy 110 from 1995.
Although I recently bought a Tech21 Trademark 120 which is even greater for my band, I still use the Peavey when I don't want to carry the big stuff, and when I want to amplify my retro-fitted passive piezzo nylon accoustic.
With the stock speaker, it has a great transparent clean chanel.
From my experience, this amp benefits a lot from pre-EQing/clean boosting/buffering (any pedal format EQ will perform these 3 functions at the same time if you place them between the guitar and the amp as you're forced to do anyway with the Peavey that doesn't have an effect loop).
« on: November 09, 2012, 08:17:26 AM »
With your criteria, I would definitely go full analog SS or dare I say hybrid design (not convinced with the gain in tone though, but as they usually can be sold for a slightly higher price point, manufacturers tend to pay more attention to speaker selection in these cases than with 100% SS, and a well placed 12 AX7 might have some technicall interest).
From what I gathered, you could like:
- Roland Blues Cube 60 112 (don't bother trying the cube60XL, which is a really different design, only the blues cube is analog and almost universally praised for its clean tone)
- Tech21 Trademark 60 112 (beware that each chanel has its own medium, but bass and trebble are in the master section, which might not be that good considering chanel one can either be too bassy or to bright depending on the position of the bright button)
- Peavey Bandit 112 (not super standout clean on its own, but drive it with a slighly boosted M shape or frown curve EQ and hear what happens)
- Hugues and Kettner Edition Blue 60R (very nice clean tone)
- Some older SS Fender (don't remember the exact name, but I tried a SS 50W with one 12' speaker that did sound decent - stay away from frontmans though, they are really not on par with older SS models)
- Laney LV100 (which is really a 65W) and LV200 (same with hybrid design)
As far as tubes are concerned, I think the Peavey Valveking might fit your criterias, as would do a Laney VC30 if you can source a used one in your area.