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Author Topic: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound  (Read 17586 times)

spud

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My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« on: April 01, 2012, 02:17:39 PM »
Hi guys,

I just played at a party last night with some guys that I've been jamming with - we're starting to put together a pretty good band.  This was our 6th or so session playing together and the singer has only been playing with us for the last 3 practices so this "gig" (party) was only his 4th time with us.  We played about an hour (we only felt comfortable playing about 12 songs of 25 we've been working on) and I think it went really well - the people kept saying how good we sounded, esp the singer - he is killer.  Well, I'm not happy with my sound.  I have a 1993 Marshall Valvestate 8080 Combo (80w) with the original 8 ohm Eminence OEM speaker in it.  The other guitarist is playing through a Peavy Valveking 100/120 W half stack.  Obviously, his sound is much fuller/deeper, with way more punch.  My amp sounds thin - I think it sounds like a toy.  He says it's the speaker and I need to get a 4 x 12 or at least a 2 x 12 sealed back.  I think that's part of it but I'm also suspecting the SS power amp in my Marshall just won't cut it.  In the room we practice in I can get a reasonable sound out of it but we were playing outdoors last night (backyard party) and my amp was just not putting out even though it's a 80w amp (well that's what it's rated for). 

Obviously, the simple solution would be to buy a half stack like his and that would be it - well, money's tight and I don't have the $700.00 or more it would take to do that (I want a good amp, not something cheap).  So some ideas I've got on how to "fix" my set up for minimal investment of cash. 

1) I have a separate speaker cab - a Jet City 1 x 12 that I got for super cheap at a local music store.  They were getting rid of all their Jet City stuff and the price was so low I couldn't resist.  It has a 16 ohm Jet City Speaker in it made by Eminence (not sure of the "model" as it just says Jet City on it) and is a totally sealed back cab.  So my question is: can I run this safely with my Marshall amp?  My amp has a hard wired cable going to the speaker and no "speaker output" jack.  I could install a jack really easily but it would just be coming off the same leads just going to a jack.  I guess my question on this is can I run the 16 ohm Jet City speaker cab without hurting my amp?  Also, related to that question:  can I parallel the Jet City cab with my amp speaker safely - this would be about 12 ohm load (parallel)?

2) As I mentioned about paralleling the Jet City cab and the internal speaker, if it's not safe can I install an 8 ohm power resistor (50w or more) wired in series with my internal speaker (or the cable) to raise the impedance to 16 ohms and with that in parallel with the jet city it would be ~8 ohm load for the amp.

NOTE:  One thing I've heard is that it's safer to go up in speaker impedance (like to 16 or even 12) than to go down (to 4 or 2) with a SS power amp (or any amp really) - is this true?  Does this matter?

3)  Is it ok to "seal" up my combo cab as it is now an open back (almost the entire rear is open)?   The other guitar player said it would make my amp overheat but there's nothing at the bottom of the chassis that is dissipating heat - no vents, no heat sink fins, just a bank chassis.  If needed I could put a small fan somewhere to help reduce the heat but at this time, the amp has no heat issues and is always pretty cool running so I'm not sure if this necessary.  Related to this, if I can seal it up, I'm thinking of leaving a "port" to see if I can "tune" it for best sound/bass response or should I just seal it completely.

4) Another thing is I've considered replacing the internal speaker with a high efficiency model like the Emi Wizard or even a Vintage 30 as I'm not sure of the OEM speaker's efficiency rating - probably sucks.  I've also heard good things about the Private Jack.  So that might be a low cost option - probably not more than $100.- dollars or so.  I've also considered replacing the speaker in the Jet City cab with a Wizard or Private Jack or something along those lines.  I'm open to any opinions on speakers that might be good for this (keep in mind that this amp is Marshall's attempt to create a JCM like sound in a lower priced SS/Tube hybrid amp so that's the sound "signature" that this amp is intended for).  Obviously, I'd do the internal one first but I was concerned that if I replaced it with an 8 ohm one, I'd have the same issues like I discussed in #1 (12 ohm total parallel impedance load).  If I replaced it with a 16 ohm, I'd have 8 ohm's in parallel but if I wanted to just run the internal speaker alone, I'd be back to a 16 ohm load.  So back to the question #1....is 16 ohm ok?

Well, sorry for the long email.  Really appreciate any insights from you guys on what would be the best option/solution or even if you have other ideas.  I realize that it would ever get to being the equal of the half stack but I'm just looking to get the sound NOT TO SUCK - as I'm feeling it does now.  I guess I really need more bass/low end, more punch/tightness, and I need to move more air. 

And yes, I fully realize that a longer term solution is to build a 50w or so Tube head and get a decent 2 x 12 or 4 x 12 setup.  I'm working toward that but I'm currently in the middle of a Tweed Deluxe build that is now in it's third year!  Still haven't drilled my chassis yet so I'm still not committed to my layout and keep changing it (the wonders of VISIO - I call it virtual amp building).  Anyway, after I get this issue resolved with my current setup and if I can get it to sound Ok (and I make progress on that Tweed Deluxe), I'll get to work on that 50 watter - probably a Trainwreck variant as I just love that tone it has. 

Thanks in advance for all the input/advice -

Jim  (aka Spud)

Prologue: 

BTW if you're interested here's my Tweed Deluxe stuff as it stands now:

http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh7/spudjds/Public/Builds/AMPS/5E3/

Also, here's all my DIY and Guitar stuff on Photobucket:

http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh7/spudjds/Public/

I welcome any comments. 

Thanks again.

spud

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 02:52:24 PM »
Hey, just realized this might have been better to post to "Players Corner".  Not a big deal but if the admins want please feel free to move it there if for nothing else, house keeping.   

Thanks -

Jim

mexicanyella

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 09:28:57 PM »
Before deciding your amp is a problem, make sure you've given some thought to these points:

From my experience, an open back combo will not behave like a closed 4 x 12 and won't flap people's pants as hard, but that doesn't have to be a negative thing. I've found closed 4 x 12s to produce a fairly focused beam of sound, which can really zoom out off the stage but can tear some people's heads off while not being as audible as you might like elsewhere in the room (obviously not as much a factor if everyone's playing at modest levels and miked through the PA).

Open-back combos don't project as well, but produce a more diffuse sphere of sound around the amp. In some ensembles and styles of playing, this might be preferable, and getting the amp up off the floor or at least tilted back and aimed at your head, or aimed across the stage at everyone in the band's head like a sidefill monitor...that might help you compete in terms of cutting through the onstage mix.

As far as sounding thin and toylike...what kind of music are you playing, and are you cutting out a bunch of mids? It's a Marshall, baby! The mids are where the magic is--check out some early Walt Mink music!--and also constitute the frequencies that are easiest to make seem "loud" to us. Especially if the other guitar player scoops his mids, you've got an opportunity to expand here. Before chasing off after other gear, make sure you've explored your eq settings...in the context of the band's mix, not solo. What might not be an ideal tone by yourself can sound great in a mix. Give some thought to conserving sonic real estate so everyone's not stepping all over each other. If one guy has scooped mids, the other guy can dial up some mids, be heard and not be in the same equalization "zone."

I'm not familiar with the 8080 specifically, but if it has no ext. speaker jacks and has an 8-ohm speaker in it, it probably wants to see an 8-ohm load. Two 16-ohm speakers in parallel make an 8-ohm load; you could install a 16-ohm speaker in your amp and combine it with a 16-ohm cabinet in parallel and have more volume that way, and just live with somewhat reduced output when using the amp without the cab, due to the impedance mismatch. But before doing that, or replacing the speaker with a more efficient one, I'd try eq-ing it with "cutting through the mix" in mind and experimenting with where the amp is onstage and at what height/angle. I have heard Valvestate heads through various cabinets in bands before and thought that they could sound good, so don't start buying stuff until you have exhausted the options with what you already have...consider its compact size and easy portability! With your one-trip load-out, think of how helpful you can be to the other bandmembers in helping to load out their gear! Yeah!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 09:32:51 PM by mexicanyella »

J M Fahey

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 09:47:16 PM »
1) get/buy/steal/build a 4x12"
2) fill it with good 8 ohms speakers.
At least Jensen MOD1270 or any Emi Legend/Blackpowder or Emi Governors or G12T or Greenbacks or V30.
The order follows the cost.
3) add a backpanel jack connected to the power amp and solder a plug to the internal speaker.
In a rehearsal or a small place use the internal speaker; un a larger venue unplug it and connect the 8 ohm 4x12" .
4) do not add speakers in parallel with the internal one.
16 + 8 ohms means 5.3 ohms, not 12.

mexicanyella

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2012, 10:20:17 PM »
In my post above, I meant to add that if you're using a really distorted sound right now, even if you're not sucking out most or all of the mids, you should try backing the gain down in increments and maybe cranking the amp's output louder if needed.

In my first band, the lead singer/rhythm guitarist used an 80-watt Laney 1 x 12 combo and a strat, and he kept up fine with my 100-watt half-stack and the bass player's 350-watt Harkte...using a low-to-medium gain sound, but loud.

spud

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 12:35:30 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys - I appreciate you taking the time. 

Mexi:

Since I posted I've spoken with some other guitar players and they pointed out some of the points you've made.  The closed/open back cab is definitely a factor.  And I'm definitely with you on the eq settings - right now my Amp settings EQ wise are Bass=10, Mid=8ish, Treb=4-6 (depends on the song).  Gain wise I'm at about 6 (out of 10) so I'm not maxed out and the way I've found sounds good is to put the MV at around 8 or so and control the level with the channel volume.  On the Clean channel the Gain=volume but on the Lead Channel there's a sep gain and volume for that channel.  On my Guitar I'm running it mostly on the neck pickup and even then I turn the tone down to about 7 or less.  If I use the bridge the treble/tone is down even more but that could depend on the song.  I'm going for beefy, meaty tone but everything I've tried just doesn't get it.  Reason I was lamenting about the amp is that it's a MOSFET back end and you know the old saying about tubes and the lower/deeper bass they can get because of the harmonic content.  I really beginning to think this is true.  That said, I'm still going to tweak the eq and see if I can't get it to sound better.   Oh and we play mostly classic rock - CCR, Grand Funk, some country, Seger, Skynyrd, stuff like that. 

JM: 
Yes, I'd love to get/steal/make a 4 x 12 but not with my money situation at the moment.  As for the making option, I'm "wood working challenged" so that would take me 3-4 times as long as someone with those skills.  As I mentioned, I have that un-used cab with the 16 ohm and I've already started the work to install the jack.  And yes, how you describe is how I'm planning to do it - jack in the chassis and solder a plug to the short cable attached to the speaker (using spade lugs) then plug it into the jack as needed.   One question about your comments: Yes I found out I had calculated the parallel impedance wrong - just by simple logic I should have seen that since 16||16 is 8 ohm 16||8 has to be less than that - Doh!  But IF (when), I replace the internal speaker in my Valvestate with a 16 ohm speaker, I can run that in parallel with the Ext Cab without any issues right? 

Again, thanks for all the great input. 

Jim
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 01:13:37 PM by spud »

spud

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 01:09:29 PM »
Oh, one thing - I've never used the Jet City cab as I bought with the intention of converting it to a combo - putting my Tweed Deluxe (TD) into it.  Since I'm not so good at wood working I figured that I could maybe cut here and there and get the tweed chassis to fit into it.  I measured everything and it seemed like it would fit.  So I took it apart and it's been that way since.  So to break in the speaker (which is brand new) I took the PT destined for the to be completed TD and capped of all the secondaries except the Heaters and the CT's.  The Primaries I wire nutted to a power cord (with 3 prong plug).  I got a jack and attached 2 wires to it and twisted them and wire nutted them to the heater leads.  The CT's I attached to the power cord ground.  I plugged the speaker into the jack and it's been humming along for about 12 hours.  How long should I run it like this to break it in? 

Jim 

mexicanyella

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 07:05:21 PM »
 

"Mexi:

Since I posted I've spoken with some other guitar players and they pointed out some of the points you've made.  The closed/open back cab is definitely a factor.  And I'm definitely with you on the eq settings - right now my Amp settings EQ wise are Bass=10, Mid=8ish, Treb=4-6 (depends on the song).  Gain wise I'm at about 6 (out of 10) so I'm not maxed out and the way I've found sounds good is to put the MV at around 8 or so and control the level with the channel volume. "

I would suggest backing off that bass. You're probably fighting a losing battle (and eating up headroom) trying to get all that bass going. But the stuff people are going to hear offstage is not the pants-flapping low-end chunk (especially with a 1 x 12 open-back), however they will hear mids and highs, and that's where a lot of the tonal character resides anyway.

I have found that while it seems counterintuitive, sometimes small amps can make some righteous sounds if you run the eq knobs pretty low and slam the signal elsewhere in the chain. For example, I have a one-channel Peavey with pre and post gain, plus bass/mid/treb. With my single-coil guitar, with pretty low-output pickups, I can get a nice rhythm grind that's bright and cutting but not harsh if I run the bass on 2, mids on 3, highs on 4...but make up the gain by pushing the post gain hard, like 6 to 10, and then setting the grit level to taste with the pre gain...in my case, I like it about 6. This makes a surprising amount of noise from a 12-watt SS amp, with light speaker breakup but it sounds bluesy, not "about to catch on fire." A similar approach might work for you; try backing all the eq down and cranking the channel's post gain and master harder and see what that does. Maybe knock the pre gain back a number or two and see if shifting the gain boost later in the chain, with less in the EQ, sounds "rootsy and organic and cool" or just "stupid." Can't hurt to try it.

From the music you listed, I think this could work for you; none of those bands relied on large amounts of chunk coming from the guitars.

Keep in mind that the bass guitar and drums have physics on their side for producing low frequencies, and if you step out of that realm somewhat you are making it easier to hear them do their thing, while keeping your efforts in frequency bands your equipment's better set up to deliver. Again, even if the sound you get is not ideal to your ear when soloed, it's how it sits in the mix that counts, if you're in a band.

Keep us posted on how the experimenting goes. Maybe you'll find that you just don't like your amp, but if you can make it work for you it's cheaper and easier to carry...

phatt

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 03:59:03 AM »
Go find a graphic EQ   (I use old 70's HiFi types as they only cost $10,,, Hint)
Or go find a Parametric EQ,,,, they can be very powerful When used right.
** Used in Gain Cuttting mode are very powerful TONE tools 8|

I Agree with Jaun,,,, Speakers maketh the sound. :tu:

And you have not mentioned the ******Pickups Used *****.
This can make or break the whole thing. 8|
Phil.

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 10:01:39 AM »
I'm not convinced you need a 4 x 12", although they certainly do have a signature sound.  Before I'd go that far I would replace your current speaker with an Eminence Legend.  Also, I would do Juan's suggestion and keep the internal 8 ohm and build an 8 ohm cab, then use one or the other.  You could do an internal 16 ohm speaker and a 16 ohm cab, but then half your wattage will go to the internal speaker and the other half to the four speakers in the 4 x 12", limiting your "punch".  Best to use one or the other in my mind.
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spud

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 11:10:45 AM »


I would suggest backing off that bass. You're probably fighting a losing battle (and eating up headroom) trying to get all that bass going. But the stuff people are going to hear offstage is not the pants-flapping low-end chunk (especially with a 1 x 12 open-back), however they will hear mids and highs, and that's where a lot of the tonal character resides anyway.

I have found that while it seems counterintuitive, sometimes small amps can make some righteous sounds if you run the eq knobs pretty low and slam the signal elsewhere in the chain. For example, I have a one-channel Peavey with pre and post gain, plus bass/mid/treb. With my single-coil guitar, with pretty low-output pickups, I can get a nice rhythm grind that's bright and cutting but not harsh if I run the bass on 2, mids on 3, highs on 4...but make up the gain by pushing the post gain hard, like 6 to 10, and then setting the grit level to taste with the pre gain...in my case, I like it about 6. This makes a surprising amount of noise from a 12-watt SS amp, with light speaker breakup but it sounds bluesy, not "about to catch on fire." A similar approach might work for you; try backing all the eq down and cranking the channel's post gain and master harder and see what that does. Maybe knock the pre gain back a number or two and see if shifting the gain boost later in the chain, with less in the EQ, sounds "rootsy and organic and cool" or just "stupid." Can't hurt to try it.

From the music you listed, I think this could work for you; none of those bands relied on large amounts of chunk coming from the guitars.

Keep in mind that the bass guitar and drums have physics on their side for producing low frequencies, and if you step out of that realm somewhat you are making it easier to hear them do their thing, while keeping your efforts in frequency bands your equipment's better set up to deliver. Again, even if the sound you get is not ideal to your ear when soloed, it's how it sits in the mix that counts, if you're in a band.

Keep us posted on how the experimenting goes. Maybe you'll find that you just don't like your amp, but if you can make it work for you it's cheaper and easier to carry...

Mexi - Thanks for the ideas - I'll check out your suggestions - I suppose I just thought that I was too bright and wanted to "warm" up my sound so I ran up the bass and dropped treble and recently I've been playing with the mid trying various settings and that's where I last had it.  I've also been trying various gain/volume/mv settings.  I should probably explain - and this would also go to Phil's post - some more about what I'm using as far as guitars and amp. 

Guitars: 

- 1982 Ibanez Artist (AR-100) with Humbuckers - this is my "main" guitar and use it for most things. 
- 1993 Charvel Strat copy with single coils - - this is my "single" coil guitar for use on the songs that need a single coil sound
- 1993 Fender '57 Vintage reissue Strat - I don't use this right now as I need to do some work on it

Amp:

1992 Marshall Valvestate - 2 channels, Clean and OD - Clean has Gain, B, M, T:  OD has Gain, B, M, T, Contour, Vol, - There's in/out effect loop with effect mix (dry/wet), Reverb, Master Vol.  Also, each of the channels has a OD level switch - in the clean it just adds a little grit but on the gain channel it takes it from pretty good crunch/dist to "JCM-900ish" scream.  Some people don't like the JCM setting because they say it gets buzzy but if you adjust the eq it tones down the buzz.  Now the contour is pretty cool, if you max it you get a really scooped out sound and at the minimum setting the opposite - it gives it a really good mid boost/peak.  I don't like the minimum setting and the scoop can be good for some stuff (metalish or just really high gain lead sounds).  I usually run it at around 6 of 10. 

Overall, I play both rhythm and lead - more rhythm probably.  Lately I've been switching between the Charvel and the Ibanez when I need to but I really don't change the amp settings other than to switch to the clean channel.  I usually don't run the Charvel on the OD channel as it's not shielded (something I need to do) and can buzz/hum a bit if the gain is up.  I tend to use an old Boss OD-1 to boost the clean channel with the Charvel if I do a lead.  I also have a dist box that I use on the clean if I want some more dirt for lead but for rhythm I just use the basic amp - sometimes the boost and just control volume with my guitar.  I tend to use the Ibanez more for the OD/higher gain stuff - we do some Santana and it works well for that.  One thing I should say is that I tend to play a lot of stuff, even my leads, on the neck pickup of both guitars - I like a warmer/mellower tone that's not so trebly/biting/buzzy - I guess it's the Santana influence, trying to get the "woman" tone.  ;-)

Phil, I'd been thinking about building a small eq since I saw some plans and a PCB someone sells to make one.  Where do you find the graphic EQ you mentioned for that cheap?  Aren't they rather large?  Where do you put them while you're playing?  Parametric is also interesting.  Oh, as far as pickups, all stock - I was considering changing out the Charvel ones for some SD and possibly getting the stacked humbuckers for the bridge - I'd like them to be switchable between SC and HB mode.  Still, to change them all out would be a chunk of change too.  I really don't want to mess with my Ibanez as I've read they are now rather sought after and mine is in really good shape - I got all my equipment new and have been the only owner/user.  I tend to take good care of my stuff - other guitar players are amazed that they have so few scratches/dings in them for their age, well, I don't to drink to excess, don't do drugs and I put them back into their cases when I'm done using them - no extraordinary measures.  Maybe it's the hard shell cases - I like to get hard shell with my instruments and "back in the day" lots of music stores would throw in a case to sweeten/close the deal. 

Joe - your post hit as I typing this.  That's a good plan but I"m no where near the 4 x12 in terms of ability to build or buy.  I think I'm going to replace the internal speaker with a 16 ohm and in parallel with the external 16 ohm that should be 8 ohms right?  I was thinking an Emi Wizard but it says on the Eminence site that it's more for closed back cabs not open so I'm looking for something with super high efficiency like the Wizard (103 db!!!) so I won't loose so much "volume" when I put the 16 ohm load on the amp.  That way, I can use my Jet City cab with the 16 in there in parallel with the internal for 8.  I suppose another option is to replace the Jet City speaker with the 16 ohm Wizard and move the Jet City into the Marshall to see how it will sound.  That way I can parallel the 2 or use the ext or internal - with some reduction in power output.  - I think that's my plan. 

So for now, I'm going to do the following - work on the eq settings, as I beleive and as Mexi has pointed out, this is core to my sound.  Try to get/make a low cost graphic or para eq per Phil's idea.  Continue with breaking in the Jet City speaker and getting the cab put back together to use with my Marshall for now.  Order the Emi Wizard when I get my Tax refund!!!  I've already done the jack as Juan recommended, it was super easy - there was already the perfect sized hole in the bottom of the chassis where a wire crimp/holder thing was installed to hold the hardwired speaker wire.  I just removed the wire from the speaker (spade connectors) cut off the ends and installed a 1/4 cliff type jack (hole is perfect fit -no drilling required).  Made a speaker wire from some 16awg speaker wire I had (stuff that you use for stereo speakers - 2 parallel, copper/silver leads in red/black plastic) and attached spade connectors and a 1/4 plug to the ends.  Works good.  Now I can run a speaker wire to the ext cab and play through that or plug in the internal speaker.  I could also make a "Y" cable to run both the internal and external at the same time - in parallel.  But that will be after I get the other 16 ohm speaker - which ever one I decide on.  Right now the Wizard looks like a good candidate.  I'll look at Juan's list of speakers and see if any of them might be good for the open back Marshall or the Jet City.  Not sure if he really only meant them for the 4 x 12. 

Lastly,  in light of the size and cost of getting and fitting out a 4 x 12, would a 2 x 12 be worth considering? or would it be case of just a "bit more" and you'd have a 4 x 12 so why not go for it.  One very big consideration is the size and weight issues of lugging it around. 

Thanks again for all the great input - really helps me to figure this out.

Jim

mexicanyella

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 06:28:39 PM »
Well, you've got some avenues to explore, which ought to keep you entertained for awhile. I'll readily admit that I probably wouldn't have been too receptive to my own advice in my first band, when I really wanted a rig the size of a refrigerator for the visual and sonic impact. But even if you're in that boat, hopefully trying some of this stuff (lowering the input gain a bit and compensating with boosting gain farther in the chain--to push the output section and speaker harder with a louder, cleaner signal--and lowering all the EQ values to regain some headroom) will work somewhat in the meantime, or keep you from having to buy anything.

Along those lines, try edging that contour knob (I forgot about that feature) juuust a little farther than you're comfortable with toward the mid-peak extreme and just live with it a while while you play in the band, and listen to its effect on your position in the mix. It might be the kind of thing that you get more comfortable with as you experiment. Or maybe not.



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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 07:37:01 PM »
If it's in your budget . . . I have these suggestions. I realize that much of this has already been posted.

Keep the back open on the Valvestate. Open back cabs are 'louder' as the sound comes all around the cab. The sound isn't forward focused  - that's a good thing. Keep the Jet City cab. The closed back cab has more low end. The two will balance nicely. And this rig will be MUCH easier to gig with. Take that tube head/4x12!

Replace both speakers with 16 ohm speakers. Use them in parallel. That'll max out your power with an 8 ohm load in parallel..

I recommend Celestion G12M greenbacks. It's a 25w speaker and should have good sensitivity. (Someone had an excellent post on this forum on speaker sensitivity and perceived 'loudness'.) I prefer them because they have a darker tone. Combined that's 50w of power handling. Doubting that you'll be running the amp dimed. If so,then the Celestion Vintage 30's. 75w power handling each. A bit brighter though. Never met a Celestion I didn't like.

Celestion's are a bit pricier I believe. If they're too expensensive get an Eminence Celestion clone. Folks I don't know my Eminence speakers so you'll have to provide a suggested model.

Use a stomp box EQ. That will give you extra bottom and the ability to tweak your tone. Try to avoid using it as an overall volume boost. That will only boost the specific frequencies and with what likely be a 5 band EQ, sound poorer (to my ears).

Realize that even though the Valvstate has 80w, it's still not going be able to totally keep up with a 100w tube amp and 4x12. A tube amp has more peak power over the rated RMS wattage. Also a 4x12 is pushing more air so it's 'louder'. Finally having more speakers doesn't eat more wattage/reduce 'loudness'. The more speakers you have at the proper impedance, the more air is pushed. However this diminishes after a total of 8 speakers is reached in general.

My two cents.   ::)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 09:14:14 PM by erokit »

spud

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 10:48:19 PM »
Erokit - Thanks for the ideas.  I appreciate any input on speaker selection as I don't have any real identifiable speakers right now to form an opinion on.  The one that came in the Valvestate is a "non-specific" model OEM Eminence.  I might as Eminence if they could tell me how they would describe the voicing that they used for that speaker. 

I've considered the Celestians but as you point out they are pricey but there's Warehouse speakers and they are supposedly some very good clones of Celestians for a very good price.  I'll be looking into those for sure - probably 75 watt model. 

Update on what I've been able to do with the Jet City cab - finished running it with the 6.3 heater supply of PT for the in progress TD.  Since the Marshall is at the drummers house (he took all the equipment in his truck to the gig and brought it all back to his house, which is where we practice anyway), I hooked it up to my AX84 HO SE tube amp.  It's only about 5 -10 watts (depends on which tube I use).  I've tried it with my Ibanez and man it pumps out the Bass - I can play my marshall at pretty good volume levels in my basement but with this my wife came down and told me me turn it down - I think it's the whole lower harmonic content that you get with tubes.  My Marshall NEVER has this much bass - in fact I had to turn it down as it was almost too much bass.  I'm going to try some different tubes as this is an SE amp that has adjustable cathode bias (uses a pot in series with a small cathode resistor) .  So far I've tried an Old Stock Sylvania 6L6GC that has killer bass but it's almost too much.  I'm going to take it tomorrow to practice and see how it does.  I'll also hook up the Marshall to see how it does with the Jet City and report back - maybe I can record the practice.  I'll ask the drummer if he has any way to record us.

Jim

phatt

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Re: My Rig and how I can get a beter sound
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2012, 09:03:42 AM »
Hi spud,  You asked about GEQ;
Replace the RCA sockets with 6.5 sockets,, will make life easy.

This is all I use and yes it's all plugged into a Keyboard amp LOL.
**ED Picture on next page**

Yet at our local muso jam I'm renowned for being the loudest player. :lmao:

This competes with Valve states (like yours) even Fender deville,s have trouble beating this sound.
I don't consider it loud,, just damned effective at amplifying the right frequencies that make guitar stand out.  8|

You would be lucky if this all SS amp was 35 Watts @ 8 Ohms but with the preamp setup it just sings.

The unit is NOT used in stereo as that is a waste of time and won't make you play better.
The Red switch just jumps from one mono setting to the other.
Handy when jumping from rock sound to a metal sound.

I'm in the process of designing a complete floor unit which will allow all hands free operation.
I've found a simple Notch Filter will take the place of the GEQ so it won't be needed but it's been a great tool to learn how to dial in different sounds.

Sure once your famous it matters little as THEY come to you and give you all the goodies your heart desires.

When I do use FX they are on a side chain (Parallel loop) as that keeps the original (All Analog) signal untouched. That is how I preserve my tonal signature. <3)

My focus is on Tone not FX stuff and as I have a rotary speaker setup I will never need stereo FX.  :lmao:
Oh yeah be aware that the guitar used is a cheap copy no fancy hot PU's.

The main source of tone is found in the tone circuit and then boosted or more importantly CUT and refined via the GEQ.
My *PhAbbTone* circuit can be found here; http://www.ssguitar.com/index.php?topic=2013.0
This can be made in pedal form if you so wish.


Re Valves;
I know this may open up a mindless debate from tube freaks ,,, but your Bass comes from Circuit topography Not the Valves.
Yes different Valves do possess some subtle tonal nuances but stuff like interstage cap values and OT windings have a massive effect on tone.

Also,,I found Interstage cap changes are a heck of a lot cheaper that Valves and do a better job at refining amp tone. winky.
Lower thr value on one of your coupling caps. hint.
Have fun,,Phil.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 09:37:22 AM by phatt »