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Author Topic: I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX  (Read 16027 times)

Offline plan-x

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #75 on: November 09, 2009, 12:17:01 AM »
Buzz saw? Hmmm that is exactly how I describe my buddies Tremoverb, dual rec.

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline lucgravely

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« Reply #76 on: November 09, 2009, 07:33:10 AM »
I've played a triple rec and dual rec and the distortion sounds like crap to my ears. You have to get the master up to an ungodly volume so the tubes natural warmth covers up the nasty buzz from the distortion/preamp side. When mesa went away from cascading gain and started using diode or triode clipping instead it lost me. I'm sure it was great for metal but it lost it's natural tone for me. I like mesa with cascading gain like the mark I and the Lonestar. Beyond that I'm not really fond of a duel/triple rec. Now I will say I heard a single rec in person and thought it sounded good. But it could be that lower wattage helped get the warmth of the tubes up and over the buzz of the amp smoothing it out.

So my guess is when you run a multi-effects processor into a mesa with triode clipping the processor hits the triodes and creates buzz. Any amount of tweaking probably won't help. You could send it to Voodoo Amps and let them get the buzz out but at that cost you might as well sell the mesa and get a new amp.
http://www.voodooamps.com/home/Modifications/AMPMODIFICATIONS/MesaMods/tabid/133/Default.aspx
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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline Paul Marossy

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #77 on: November 09, 2009, 09:55:08 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by lucgravely

I've played a triple rec and dual rec and the distortion sounds like crap to my ears. You have to get the master up to an ungodly volume so the tubes natural warmth covers up the nasty buzz from the distortion/preamp side. When mesa went away from cascading gain and started using diode or triode clipping instead it lost me. I'm sure it was great for metal but it lost it's natural tone for me. I like mesa with cascading gain like the mark I and the Lonestar. Beyond that I'm not really fond of a duel/triple rec. Now I will say I heard a single rec in person and thought it sounded good. But it could be that lower wattage helped get the warmth of the tubes up and over the buzz of the amp smoothing it out.



Sounds to me like the Mesa amps have too much preamp distortion happening. Preamp distortion never sounds very good, IMO. I much prefer to push the front end of an amp with an overdrive or distortion pedal and try to get some power amp distortion using a lower wattage amp. Power amp distortion sounds a lot better than preamp distortion, because it doesn't get fizzy and sound like poo.

But, it does also depend on the design of the amp. I know of at least one solid state amp that has a fantastic, big fat crunch distortion tone - the Lab Series L5. Ty Tabor used one in King's X, and Allan Holdsworth has also used one at one time. Allan Holdsworth always had a great tone. And he tries to get mostly power amp distortion and he does use something to boost the input some. Point is, power amp distortion just sounds a lot better than preamp distortion does.

These modeling/emulations are much better these days, but I still maintain that they are better used for recording direct or maybe practicing with headphones than they are for live performance. At least not thru a guitar amp, that usually sounds just awful, IMO.

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline wkcchampion

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #78 on: November 09, 2009, 10:57:04 AM »
Hi Paul!
Yes, power amp distortion is beefer than just preamp. The best sound is always to get the Master voluem to the max, and then dial-in enough Preamp gain to taste and... a good attenuator like my Weber Mass to save your ears!

I did almost 2 years ago an A/B recording comparison with my Vox AC30, using the Boss GT-10 Vo_Lead and VO_Drive preamp in the Fx Lop. It was very very close man. Even the dynamic response was similar. The difference was mainaly the gain, the real Top Boost has more gain... but obviously u can just raise it on the Gt-10 ;)

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline AndyI

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #79 on: November 11, 2009, 12:38:55 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by lucgravely

I've played a triple rec and dual rec and the distortion sounds like crap to my ears. You have to get the master up to an ungodly volume so the tubes natural warmth covers up the nasty buzz from the distortion/preamp side. When mesa went away from cascading gain and started using diode or triode clipping instead it lost me.



The diode rectification can be harsh with those amps. There's a switch at the back to move from diode rectification to tube rectification. Combine that with raw or vintage settings on the gain channel and you might be a lot happier. "Modern" setting on the gain channel together with diode rectification will get you that cutting metal sound that you're describing.

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline 908ssp

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« Reply #80 on: November 11, 2009, 08:42:35 AM »
quote:


... a good attenuator like my Weber Mass to save your ears!




A Weber Mass is not a good attenuator.

Alex

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline Paul Marossy

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #81 on: November 11, 2009, 10:14:09 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by AndyI

quote:
Originally posted by lucgravely

I've played a triple rec and dual rec and the distortion sounds like crap to my ears. You have to get the master up to an ungodly volume so the tubes natural warmth covers up the nasty buzz from the distortion/preamp side. When mesa went away from cascading gain and started using diode or triode clipping instead it lost me.



The diode rectification can be harsh with those amps. There's a switch at the back to move from diode rectification to tube rectification. Combine that with raw or vintage settings on the gain channel and you might be a lot happier. "Modern" setting on the gain channel together with diode rectification will get you that cutting metal sound that you're describing.



Rectification has nothing to do with the actual distortion sound, but it indirectly helps to facilitate it. All the rectifier does is take the B+ AC voltage coming out of the power transformer and turns it into pulsing high voltage DC, which the power filter caps smooth out to a relatively smooth DC power supply for the rest of the amp to operate on. An amp with diode rectification would theoritically actually sound better because the higher B+ voltage would give the amp a little more headroom, and less room for distortion.

The difference between tube and diode rectification is:

1. You have less voltage drop with diodes, which equals a higher B+ voltage for the amp to operate on

2. You don't have rectifier "sag" with diodes like you do with a tube rectifier. So the diodes give it a little tighter bass response and there is no "sag". The amp sounds a little tighter all around.

Diodes used in the preamp section would be to create distortion by clipping the signal. This can be used effectively to where it sounds good, or it can not sound good at all. It all depends on the design of the amp. Personally, I much prefer the tubes to do the distorting rather than some clipping diodes because they are a generally lot less harsh sounding. Those clipping diodes introduce too many odd order harmonics and the warmth of the amp goes away because what little even order harmonics are left are dominated by the odd order ones. Too many odd order harmonics sound harsh and buzzy/fuzzy. Couple this with various tone control schemes out there and you can have many different results (ie Marshall tone stack, Fender tone stack, Baxandall tone stack, etc).

There's several things that cause distortion in a tube amp. The speaker itself can add to it (depending on what type it is and how it is designed), the limitations of tubes (harmonic distortion), the output transformer and by just plain old pummelling the input with a very strong signal. All these things work together in concert and it is a complex interaction between all of them.

The only amp distortion I have ever heard that I actually like is my DIY Octal Fatness. There's all kinds of distortion happening in it due to the tubes that it uses, but I think it's mostly due to the output transformer.

Anyway, remember Eddie Van Halen and his Variac? He used it to lower the voltage the amp operated on, which resulted in more distortion because the headroom of the amp was lowered a lot and the amp was operating on a much lower voltage than it was designed for.

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« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 11:54:45 AM by Paul Marossy »

I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline simonlock

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« Reply #82 on: November 11, 2009, 12:41:52 PM »
The Mesa I was using was on the CLEAN channel. But nevertheless it had the sag that I've heard a few times before. The only way I can describe it is when I hit a note it doesn't seem to be there at the same time or respond in a way I'd expect it to. Maybe at high volumes with a lot of stage noise this is a good thing but it's such an awful sound that I had no idea why people preferred tube amps at all.

Since then I've played a few I liked and built one that I love so tubes won me over but wow is there ever a BIG range in the overall outcome.
 

I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline lucgravely

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« Reply #83 on: November 11, 2009, 01:37:17 PM »
I called Mesa one time because I was thinking of replacing my MKI. I told them I didn't like the diode clipping for distortion in their amps and they said they didn't use diode clipping they used triode clipping which was better. Well All I knew what that both sucked and sounded the same to me. The Lonestar sounded good because it was based on cascading gain like the MKI. The best heavy distortion for hard rock or metal that I've heard in person is from Scott Splawn. But I don't like the Marshall sound behind me and I don't need that much distortion.
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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline Paul Marossy

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX
« Reply #84 on: November 11, 2009, 02:27:46 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by lucgravely

I called Mesa one time because I was thinking of replacing my MKI. I told them I didn't like the diode clipping for distortion in their amps and they said they didn't use diode clipping they used triode clipping which was better. Well All I knew what that both sucked and sounded the same to me. The Lonestar sounded good because it was based on cascading gain like the MKI. The best heavy distortion for hard rock or metal that I've heard in person is from Scott Splawn. But I don't like the Marshall sound behind me and I don't need that much distortion.



In any case, triode clipping sounds just as bad if you ask me. I know Marshall uses diode clippers in at least one of their amps.

Power amp distortion sounds much better to my ears. How the output transformer saturates and the harmonic distortion of the power tubes is really where the good tones are at, IMO.

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I wanna laugh: single pedals Vs multiFX

Offline lucgravely

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« Reply #85 on: November 11, 2009, 03:12:08 PM »
I owned a JTM60 one time and it had the worst diode clipping I've ever heard in my life! I've read on other forums where people go in and remove those diodes to get the amp playable. Either way nothing beats distortion from the amp cranked (power tube distortion YES) and the speaker distorting. My first guitar mentor was old school and it had to be a Marshall on 10 with low wattage 4x12 cab to get the true distortion you needed to sound natural. He used to play so loud you could hear yourself talking through the humbuckers. It was awesome!

So yes, diode clipping bad, tube overdrive good.
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