Gearslutz

Gearslutz (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/)
-   So Many Guitars, So Little Time (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-many-guitars-so-little-time/)
-   -   Ditching the tube amp. Which alternative? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-many-guitars-so-little-time/1268664-ditching-tube-amp-alternative.html)

Stringbob 13th June 2019 09:03 AM

Ditching the tube amp. Which alternative?
 
Hi all. I'm a guitar hobbiest, playing at home only. I'm tired of having my Fender BJ amp in my front room because I also have an acoustic Marshall amp in there, which sees more use, plus I can't record directly from the FBJ (no direct out and I don't want to mic up). So, I've been looking at smaller options which allow direct in recording. These are the options I'm looking at:

Line 6 hx stomp
Bit put off by expense because I don't play electric all that much these days plus I don't need loads of amps, just mainly a good clean and a slight overdrive.

Mooer micro preamp 008 + Zoom ms70cdr
I like the idea of the Mooer pedal and it sounds good on some Youtube clips. Simplistic too. The Zoom pedal isn't essential because I have effects pedals but I'd like this to also use with my synth.

Vox mv50 clean
Supposedly nice sound and takes pedals well. I could also get the Zoom ms70cdr to use with it, but then would I be better off with the hx stomp?

I actually also have a Yamaha THR10C which is fairly ok for playing and recording via usb but is a bit limited in its effects and use of other effects pedals. Like many other players, I wish it had other connection options.

Any thoughts or advice? It'd be especially great if anyone has tried these and can compare them. I'm looking for nice clean and slight overdrive in a small package, plus possibility of effects, capable of using with monitors and recrding via focusrite interface. Also, does anyone know how these sorts of amp modelers would sound through the second channel of a Marshall AS50D acoustic amp? Would it be similar to going into a PA.

Any help appreciated.

aaronsmith 13th June 2019 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14036484)
Hi all. I'm a guitar hobbiest, playing at home only. I'm tired of having my Fender BJ amp in my front room because I also have an acoustic Marshall amp in there, which sees more use, plus I can't record directly from the FBJ (no direct out and I don't want to mic up). So, I've been looking at smaller options which allow direct in recording. These are the options I'm looking at:

Line 6 hx stomp
Bit put off by expense because I don't play electric all that much these days plus I don't need loads of amps, just mainly a good clean and a slight overdrive.

Mooer micro preamp 008 + Zoom ms70cdr
I like the idea of the Mooer pedal and it sounds good on some Youtube clips. Simplistic too. The Zoom pedal isn't essential because I have effects pedals but I'd like this to also use with my synth.

Vox mv50 clean
Supposedly nice sound and takes pedals well. I could also get the Zoom ms70cdr to use with it, but then would I be better off with the hx stomp?

I actually also have a Yamaha THR10C which is fairly ok for playing and recording via usb but is a bit limited in its effects and use of other effects pedals. Like many other players, I wish it had other connection options.

Any thoughts or advice? It'd be especially great if anyone has tried these and can compare them. I'm looking for nice clean and slight overdrive in a small package, plus possibility of effects, capable of using with monitors and recrding via focusrite interface. Also, does anyone know how these sorts of amp modelers would sound through the second channel of a Marshall AS50D acoustic amp? Would it be similar to going into a PA.

Any help appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFy-eA-JY3A

tINY 13th June 2019 06:29 PM


Why are you keeping an acoustic guitar amp?

Any reason you can't use a clean DI and handle the effects in the box with an amp/FX model?



-tINY


John Eppstein 13th June 2019 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tINY (Post 14037454)

Why are you keeping an acoustic guitar amp?

Any reason you can't use a clean DI and handle the effects in the box with an amp/FX model?



-tINY


My thoughts exactly. Frankly, I don't see any use for an acoustic guitar amp unless you do a lot of tiny coffee house gigs or open mics.

BTW, you probably would not want to use the line out of an electric guitar amp to record, anyway, unless you want to jump down the rabbit hole of cabs IRs and similar post processing.

KevWind 13th June 2019 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14036484)
Hi all. I'm a guitar hobbiest, playing at home only. I'm tired of having my Fender BJ amp in my front room because I also have an acoustic Marshall amp in there, which sees more use, plus I can't record directly from the FBJ (no direct out and I don't want to mic up). So, I've been looking at smaller options which allow direct in recording. These are the options I'm looking at:

Line 6 hx stomp
Bit put off by expense because I don't play electric all that much these days plus I don't need loads of amps, just mainly a good clean and a slight overdrive.

Mooer micro preamp 008 + Zoom ms70cdr
I like the idea of the Mooer pedal and it sounds good on some Youtube clips. Simplistic too. The Zoom pedal isn't essential because I have effects pedals but I'd like this to also use with my synth.

Vox mv50 clean
Supposedly nice sound and takes pedals well. I could also get the Zoom ms70cdr to use with it, but then would I be better off with the hx stomp?

I actually also have a Yamaha THR10C which is fairly ok for playing and recording via usb but is a bit limited in its effects and use of other effects pedals. Like many other players, I wish it had other connection options.

Any thoughts or advice? It'd be especially great if anyone has tried these and can compare them. I'm looking for nice clean and slight overdrive in a small package, plus possibility of effects, capable of using with monitors and recrding via focusrite interface. Also, does anyone know how these sorts of amp modelers would sound through the second channel of a Marshall AS50D acoustic amp? Would it be similar to going into a PA.

Any help appreciated.

What is your Budget ? Since you have Marshal (which I assume you use at home because of vocal as well as guitar) and the Yamaha both SS
Why not consider a small Tube lunchbox head that also has direct out for recording
I know the REV D 20 is probably my next amp purchase it has Headphone and Direct outs as well and onboard Two Notes Cab IR ability and is said to be great cleans and takes pedals really well for OD

Stringbob 14th June 2019 12:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Eppstein (Post 14037610)
My thoughts exactly. Frankly, I don't see any use for an acoustic guitar amp unless you do a lot of tiny coffee house gigs or open mics.

BTW, you probably would not want to use the line out of an electric guitar amp to record, anyway, unless you want to jump down the rabbit hole of cabs IRs and similar post processing.

Talking about my acoustic amp isn't really of much help. I like my acoustic amp for the following reasons:

1) I use it quite often - I play acoustic guitar more than electric.
2) It's great to use when acoustic finger picking. There's a big difference between finger picking an unplugged acoustic and an amplified acoustic, especially when singing along.
3) I can add reverb and chorus to my acoustic sound.
4) I can use a looper pedal with my acoustic guitar - a key reason for buying the amp in the first place.
5) Using my Taylor 514ce, the sound from the line out going straight into my Focusrite interface records really well. I like the sound, even if others don't.
6) Using the second channel on the amp, it doubles as a big amp for my synth - saves having monitors on the table and provides a very powerful sound.
7) I sometimes use it when recording or messing around with drum software or just for playing music through from my laptop (not as good as a dedicated stereo but handy).

My Fender Blues Junior, which I've had for many years, won't help with any of the above, though it might be good for tiny coffee house gigs. The acoustic amp wins.

Which is why I'm now looking for a small replacement solution to play and record my electric guitar direct, with the option of using effects.

TurboJets 14th June 2019 12:34 AM

Grab a used Korg Pandora PX4D. Affordable and very useful for recording direct.

Angstwulf 14th June 2019 05:16 AM

I use a Zoom MS-100bt into a Joyo American sound which isn’t too far off from your MS-70 into a Mooer idea.

It works really well as a jack of all trades practice rig. I will feed it into a Zoom H4N for recording or use as a headphone amp or into whatever powered speaker/pa that I happen to be near.

It works well for guitar/bass/synth.

I’d consider looking for a used MS-100. After it was discontinued Zoom made all the add on effects available for free. Some of the amp sims are really useable (love the Matchless model). The Joyo is set clean as a preamp since the different Zoom presets can vary dramatically in output.

BTW: some of the amp sims on the Zoom are strong enough to drive headphones in a pinch.

Stringbob 14th June 2019 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 14038088)
Why not consider a small Tube lunchbox head that also has direct out for recording
I know the REV D 20 is probably my next amp purchase

Just looked this up. I like the idea of this - really like all the options it allows - and it sounded good on the YouTube clip I watched. but I can't justify the cost. I don't play my electruc guitar enough these days. I have to say though that, although I'm looking at the little Vox thing, I hadn't really thought about lunchbox heads... it's not a bad idea.

Stringbob 14th June 2019 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14038479)
I use a Zoom MS-100bt into a Joyo American sound which isn’t too far off from your MS-70 into a Mooer idea.

It works really well as a jack of all trades practice rig.

Interesting. I've actually thought about getting the Zoom ms50g but didn't think of running it into another pedal - is there a big advantage to that? The fact you 'love' one of the amp sims on the ms100 justifies this sort of set up because I only need one or two good amp sims, not a whole studio full. What are Joyo pedals like? I dismissed them because I didn't think they'd be good build quality. What's yours like?

Angstwulf 14th June 2019 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14038738)
Interesting. I've actually thought about getting the Zoom ms50g but didn't think of running it into another pedal - is there a big advantage to that? The fact you 'love' one of the amp sims on the ms100 justifies this sort of set up because I only need one or two good amp sims, not a whole studio full. What are Joyo pedals like? I dismissed them because I didn't think they'd be good build quality. What's yours like?

The combination of the MS100 and Joyo pedals are not absolutely necessary although that's how I mainly use them. Oftentimes feeding into a BeatBuddy mini as a teeny little pedalboard that I keep on my desk.

The Joyo is a clone of the Tech21 Blonde pedal. I bought it because it was cheap and I didn't want to pay Tech21 prices on what I thought was going to be a throwaway experiment. I do feel a little guilty and will likely by one of the Sansamp pedals eventually. The Liverpool cries out...

It's really good both as a Fender amp sim and as a clean preamp into a powered speaker. It works with bass guitar and synths as well.

I picked up the MS100 primarily as a modulation pedal in front of the Joyo not thinking that I'd use the amp sims. I soon realized that some of the models in the MS100 sound very good (to my non-Gearslutty tin ears).

I often use either pedal on their own.

The beauty of using the two as a pair is it allows me to quickly adjust volume/tone to whatever I'm feeding into without menu diving.

That is a must when I'm patching it through the BeatBuddy and playing with headphones since the BeatBuddy does not amplify the aux signal.

RicTone 14th June 2019 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14036484)
recrding via focusrite interface.

If your Focusrite interface and recording software is compatible with S-Gear you'd be remiss not to download a trial version of S-Gear and check it out.

S-Gear is fantastic. The cleans are absolutely great and S-Gear takes distortion pedals very well in front of (in my experience) an interface. Before buying a Kemper six years I was recording with S-Gear via AAX into Pro Tools and at the time it delivered for me the best recorded clean tone I'd found in a modeler.

tINY 14th June 2019 04:49 PM


Sounds like you are using your acoustic amp as a monitor for your computer.

Have you used amp/FX simulations with the electric guitar coming into your computer through your interface (most Focusrite units have an instrument in option)? You mentioned recording, so I assume you can do this....

It sounds to me like you are downsizing and you play quite loud in your residence. That is an unusual combination.



-tINY


enorbet2 14th June 2019 06:55 PM

Just FTR there was a time that I was working for a major retail musical instrument store and a guy approasched me looking for an amplifier for his (of all things) Hammer Dulcimer. Although I love tube amps, in trying to pair him up with something more applicable, I set him up with a CDucer and a Peavey Acoustic Guitar amp. IIRC it was over 200 watts with a 15 and a Tweet but he said "It sounds kinda good but really sterile". We tried several others and since his budget was pretty minimal, finally I plugged him into a Mesa Studio 22 w/ EQ. Both of us were amazed but he was absolutely floored. "That's it! That sounds gorgeous!.. like a Dulcimer in a Cathedral".

Now maybe that's not what you're looking for but it is worth noting that tube amps do indeed have some kind of "mojo" that can't be had any other way. It is entirely possible that you haven't learned to get the most out of what you have if you think your tube rig can't do, or be made to do, all of the things you listed.

If you are looking for convenience, that's sort of OK but don't forget that convenience is not free. Convenience makes us weak like the little prince of old incapable of tying his own shoes for want of a butler..

Stringbob 14th June 2019 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tINY (Post 14039386)

It sounds to me like you are downsizing and you play quite loud in your residence. That is an unusual combination.


Spot on :)
I don't know if it's unusual. If I'd had a different amp, perhaps it'd be different, but with only one channel and no line out, it's not what I want anymore. Plus, I can see that amp modelers and multi-fx are getting close. And an effects unit that I can also use with my synth would be fab. So, yeah, downsizing for multiple uses. I'm also sick of having a pedal board - I haven't powered it up for a while and recently sold off a few pedals. I'll also sell the BJ to recompense the downsizing. Small set up capable of table mounting and recording - it's the way forward.

Stringbob 14th June 2019 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14039109)
The beauty of using the two as a pair is it allows me to quickly adjust volume/tone to whatever I'm feeding into without menu diving.

Brilliant idea. I hadn't thought of that problem. Thanks Angstwulf. I'm going to check out some of the things you've mentioned - you appear to have gone down the same route I want to go down. Very helpful. :)

John Eppstein 14th June 2019 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet2 (Post 14039655)
Just FTR there was a time that I was working for a major retail musical instrument store and a guy approasched me looking for an amplifier for his (of all things) Hammer Dulcimer. Although I love tube amps, in trying to pair him up with something more applicable, I set him up with a CDucer and a Peavey Acoustic Guitar amp. IIRC it was over 200 watts with a 15 and a Tweet but he said "It sounds kinda good but really sterile". We tried several others and since his budget was pretty minimal, finally I plugged him into a Mesa Studio 22 w/ EQ. Both of us were amazed but he was absolutely floored. "That's it! That sounds gorgeous!.. like a Dulcimer in a Cathedral".

Now maybe that's not what you're looking for but it is worth noting that tube amps do indeed have some kind of "mojo" that can't be had any other way. It is entirely possible that you haven't learned to get the most out of what you have if you think your tube rig can't do, or be made to do, all of the things you listed.

If you are looking for convenience, that's sort of OK but don't forget that convenience is not free. Convenience makes us weak like the little prince of old incapable of tying his own shoes for want of a butler..

He has a Blues Jr, which is not a particularly versatile tube amp.

Angstwulf 14th June 2019 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet2 (Post 14039655)
Just FTR there was a time that I was working for a major retail musical instrument store and a guy approasched me looking for an amplifier for his (of all things) Hammer Dulcimer. Although I love tube amps, in trying to pair him up with something more applicable, I set him up with a CDucer and a Peavey Acoustic Guitar amp. IIRC it was over 200 watts with a 15 and a Tweet but he said "It sounds kinda good but really sterile". We tried several others and since his budget was pretty minimal, finally I plugged him into a Mesa Studio 22 w/ EQ. Both of us were amazed but he was absolutely floored. "That's it! That sounds gorgeous!.. like a Dulcimer in a Cathedral".

Now maybe that's not what you're looking for but it is worth noting that tube amps do indeed have some kind of "mojo" that can't be had any other way. It is entirely possible that you haven't learned to get the most out of what you have if you think your tube rig can't do, or be made to do, all of the things you listed.

If you are looking for convenience, that's sort of OK but don't forget that convenience is not free. Convenience makes us weak like the little prince of old incapable of tying his own shoes for want of a butler..

For me, you lose the magic of a tube amp at living room practice levels. While not sounding "better" (by a far margin) I think modelers and solid state equipment are more useful at those level. Blah, blah, blah...

More importantly: I heard a harmonica player once at the Hollywood Mesa store trying out reverb pedals using a Studio 22.

OH MY GOD!!!!

That is all.

enorbet2 15th June 2019 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Eppstein (Post 14040019)
He has a Blues Jr, which is not a particularly versatile tube amp.

Forgive me John I have extensive respect for your tech knowledge but I'm not so sure about the range of your abilities or possibly attitudes at tweaking guitar amps. After all, at first, you said "What chime?" referring to my characterization of the Monoprice 15 watt combo amp we both bought. I pointed out that turning up the Master and dropping either or both the Gain and/or the guitar volume got a decent chime dead stock for me. A minor mod of a cap value put it in competition with most Vox amps.

I know the Blues Jr was designed mainly as a niche amp for a very Classic sort of sound but it too has Master and Gain controls and pretty much all electric guitars have Volume controls. I know you're not much in favor of internet videos for critical audio but here's an example of a Blues Jr Clean.


enorbet2 15th June 2019 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14040182)
For me, you lose the magic of a tube amp at living room practice levels. While not sounding "better" (by a far margin) I think modelers and solid state equipment are more useful at those level. Blah, blah, blah...

Of course you're welcome to your opinion but my 5 watt Silvertone amp and my Monoprice 1/15 watt amps both scream at living room levels. Admittedly that living room is in a stand alone home not an apartment, but still.... most SS amps at the very least do not load the pups right. I require smooth transition from clean to overdrive and the vast majority of SS amps can't do that but virtually all tube amps can when properly setup.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14040182)
More importantly: I heard a harmonica player once at the Hollywood Mesa store trying out reverb pedals using a Studio 22.

OH MY GOD!!!!

That is all.

Can you be more specific? Was it bad tone? too loud? what? and most importantly one has to know how to setup and tweak. Maybe that guy liked that sound or maybe he didn't know how to get what he needed. Or maybe and very likely he was playing through a Green Bullet mic to get that squawky distortion common to crystal/peizo mics. Either that o he may have switched in the high gain stage. Lots of variables having no bearing on the fact that It blew a Hammer Dulcimer players mind hearing how gorgeous it sounded when set right..

Angstwulf 15th June 2019 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet2 (Post 14040728)

Can you be more specific? Was it bad tone? too loud? what? and most importantly one has to know how to setup and tweak. Maybe that guy liked that sound or maybe he didn't know how to get what he needed. Or maybe and very likely he was playing through a Green Bullet mic to get that squawky distortion common to crystal/peizo mics. Either that o he may have switched in the high gain stage. Lots of variables having no bearing on the fact that It blew a Hammer Dulcimer players mind hearing how gorgeous it sounded when set right..

OH MY GOD as in it sounded like an angel whispered in my ear that there was free beer and pizza on the way.

Stringbob 15th June 2019 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet2 (Post 14040717)
Forgive me John I have extensive respect for your tech knowledge but I'm not so sure about the range of your abilities or possibly attitudes at tweaking guitar amps.


I don't think John meant his comment in the way you've taken it. I've had my BJ for about ten years and it's a really good amp, with great tone, and it takes pedals very well - put a tubescreamer in front of it and it's great. I also love it's clean sound, and a wide range of sounds can be had from this amp combined with my pedal board. BUT, I'd agree with John that it's not very versatile, because there's no effects loop, no second channel, no line out, and it can't really be used for anything else but electric guitar (unlike my acoustic amp and the THR10C which can both be used for other things). It's very limited.

Stringbob 15th June 2019 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14038479)
I use a Zoom MS-100bt into a Joyo American sound which isn’t too far off from your MS-70 into a Mooer idea.

I've just ordered the Joyo American Sound as a starting 'test' point for a smaller set up. I wouldn't normally go anywhere near something this cheap but it sounds pretty good on YouTube and there's little to lose if it doesn't work out.

Cheers Angstwulf.

AudioWonderland 15th June 2019 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 14038088)
What is your Budget ? Since you have Marshal (which I assume you use at home because of vocal as well as guitar) and the Yamaha both SS
Why not consider a small Tube lunchbox head that also has direct out for recording
I know the REV D 20 is probably my next amp purchase it has Headphone and Direct outs as well and onboard Two Notes Cab IR ability and is said to be great cleans and takes pedals really well for OD

Or get something like a two note captor and give yourself a di option for that amp?

Angstwulf 15th June 2019 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14040847)
I've just ordered the Joyo American Sound as a starting 'test' point for a smaller set up. I wouldn't normally go anywhere near something this cheap but it sounds pretty good on YouTube and there's little to lose if it doesn't work out.

Cheers Angstwulf.

I hope it works for you. I was worried as well. The first version of my mini pedal board used an even cheaper Behringer knock off. It was decent if poorly constructed and it fell apart on me. The Joyo feels solid and not like a compromise. If I ever replace it for something else it is cheap enough that I’ll happily pass it onto one of the kids in my neighborhood.

Also, in hopes of tempting you to spend a little more, did I mention that this mini rig runs off of a cheap cell phone battery recharger? :)

Stringbob 15th June 2019 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angstwulf (Post 14040932)
Also, in hopes of tempting you to spend a little more, did I mention that this mini rig runs off of a cheap cell phone battery recharger? :)

OMG, what the hell are you doing! Are you pioneering the simplest way forward for guitar :lol:
I've got loads of power adapters - I don't want to think about that side of it just yet... though I can't help wondering how you managed that.

I've been checking out what everyone's been suggesting, including the S-Gear plug-in and the Torpedo Captor (which looked very interesting and might have been a possibility if I wanted to keep my tube amp), but I'm going to try a cheap modeling approach and see how it goes. I think there'll be more flexibility to chop and change gear, and control it easier, if I have a few cheap items rather than one single more expensive modeler like the hx stomp, and I think my use of a tube amp is coming to an end.

The question now is which effects? I really REALLY regret not buying the EHX Cathedral pedal when I bought my Holy Grail Max because I missed the chance to have a stereo reverb pedal which I'd now be able to use with my synth, a Novation Ultranova. The synth has its own reverb and delay effects but they're only basic and tedious to change. So now I'm looking at the Zoom ms70cdr. It's got great reviews and sounds good on YouTube, but will I be pleased with it after being so used to an EHX Holy Grail Max and a Boss DD6 delay? The Holy Grail Max is great with my Les Paul Studio but useless for my synth because the synth has two outputs for stereo with no option for mono (ok, I could combine them with a Y adapter but I'd then have more problems splitting it back out to run into the stero phono ports on the amp or monitors, and I'd lose stereo when recording). Zoom has struck me as poor quality in the past - I once had an old Zoom multi effects pedal - but perhaps that has changed. Should I opt for the ms70cdr or get something better for reverb and stick with dedicated effects pedals?

Any thoughts?

Stringbob 16th June 2019 11:06 PM

Well. I took delivery of the Joyo American Sound pedal today... and I've already arranged to return it!

Judging by how everyone else's sounds on YouTube and all the positive reviews, I've clealy got a faulty one. It's unbelievably harsh and the drive sounds like bees. It sounds like an amp without a cab, like running a distortion pedal directly into powered speaker. The treble knob has very bad effect when turning up and the output seems to be very hot, with all the knobs having a very dramatic effect (I kept having to adjust the input level on my interface every time I turned the middle or treble up). I tried it into a few different amps/monitors, and the only time it sounded remotely close to what it should was when I ran it into the FRONT of an flat EQ'd amp, which reinforced my thought that there was something wrong with the built in cab sim. Back it goes. Glad I bought it through Amazon.

Angstwulf 18th June 2019 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stringbob (Post 14043296)
Well. I took delivery of the Joyo American Sound pedal today... and I've already arranged to return it!

Judging by how everyone else's sounds on YouTube and all the positive reviews, I've clealy got a faulty one. It's unbelievably harsh and the drive sounds like bees. It sounds like an amp without a cab, like running a distortion pedal directly into powered speaker. The treble knob has very bad effect when turning up and the output seems to be very hot, with all the knobs having a very dramatic effect (I kept having to adjust the input level on my interface every time I turned the middle or treble up). I tried it into a few different amps/monitors, and the only time it sounded remotely close to what it should was when I ran it into the FRONT of an flat EQ'd amp, which reinforced my thought that there was something wrong with the built in cab sim. Back it goes. Glad I bought it through Amazon.

Aww, man, I'm so sorry. That does sound like you have a faulty one. I have to twirl dials hard right to get distortion out of mine.

I suppose since I bought mine from Cheaper Pedals that's what I should expect. Hence the Tech 21 guilt.

Are you reordering or taking another route?

John Eppstein 18th June 2019 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet2 (Post 14040717)
Forgive me John I have extensive respect for your tech knowledge but I'm not so sure about the range of your abilities or possibly attitudes at tweaking guitar amps. After all, at first, you said "What chime?" referring to my characterization of the Monoprice 15 watt combo amp we both bought. I pointed out that turning up the Master and dropping either or both the Gain and/or the guitar volume got a decent chime dead stock for me. A minor mod of a cap value put it in competition with most Vox amps.

I know the Blues Jr was designed mainly as a niche amp for a very Classic sort of sound but it too has Master and Gain controls and pretty much all electric guitars have Volume controls. I know you're not much in favor of internet videos for critical audio but here's an example of a Blues Jr Clean.


It just doesn't sound like a proper Fender clean to me.

The amp sounds to me like it was designed by somebody with, for lack of a better term, a "modern" concept of what a blues amp should sound like, with a more "rock and roll" sort of tone. In doing that they lost something.

As far as "chime" goes, it could be that we're not talking about exactly the same thing. When I think "chime" I think early Beatles and Byrds. Tom Petty for a more recent reference. It seems to me that some people mean something else.

enorbet2 19th June 2019 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Eppstein (Post 14047241)
It just doesn't sound like a proper Fender clean to me.

The amp sounds to me like it was designed by somebody with, for lack of a better term, a "modern" concept of what a blues amp should sound like, with a more "rock and roll" sort of tone. In doing that they lost something.

In my experience such characterizations as "proper Fender clean" are so subjective as to have no resolution. It begs the question, "Which Fender clean" or are you of the opinion that all Fender amps regardless of year or design have some important or, overwhelming common denominator?

This sort of exclusive reverence I see all the time. I have friends in The Blues Scene who argue as to whether Robert Cray is really a Bluesman or not, which I find rather picayune and silly. Some of them are so reverential that they require totally idiomatic style and note-for-note reproduction. Frankly though these guys are friends, I disagree. If I want that I'll put on the actual original. If Muddy was of like mind Chicago Blues would have just been Delta Blues played in Chicago instead of breathing new life into a new genre. I see no compelling reason to be forced to choose between Lighhnin' Hopkins and Hubert Sumlin. I like 'em both and Robert Cray, too. Even BB loved Peter Green's sound so the actual Blues cats weren't quite so anal as the aficionados that sometimes followed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Eppstein (Post 14047241)
As far as "chime" goes, it could be that we're not talking about exactly the same thing. When I think "chime" I think early Beatles and Byrds. Tom Petty for a more recent reference. It seems to me that some people mean something else.

I do as well and that sound is especially -- ! BRIGHT ! -- thus the term and decidedly NOT warm like most Fenders are, particularly Blackface designs. The Monoprice is NOT Blackface design and only marginally warm, much more like a Tweed, Marshall or Vox.

With the Monoprice simply dropping back the Bass control and playing with the Mid and Treble and especially keeping the Gain control low (since it is a tandem pot where one side reduces high end while the gain is increased by the other side) and running the Master up at "5" or more it's capable of considerable AC15-ish chime which should be no surprise since it is a very similar design, even having the Direct-Coupled Cathode Follower driven EQ stack.

Granted lifting off the negative feedback resistor (although thankfully a very conservative value already) to Open for zero NF would be better or at least more like a Vox, but that would just be frosting on the cake. The cake is in there already.

The Tone control (being something akin to a Presence design) can help some but isn't essential, especially with the Master Volume up high. Also granted is that I played through it with a real DanElectro Silvertone with original Lipstick Tube pups to get that chime and possibly your guitar(s) were not as "jangly" and bright as it.

However the point still remains you are very much into Stock, No Mods, as it was designed and delivered and withing a limited number of years etc that from my POV is quite conservative and not particularly adventurous. I, OTOH, will "try stuff" and "see what THIS does" so I know my gear inside and out and I don't care if anyone thinks that's proper or legit. All I care about is results and from such uninhibited explorations, along with substantial training and experience, I get what I'm after. You seem a bit more "by the book" to me

I'll leave you with a quote from a musician that opened my eyes to the Art on top of the Science of Music when he said "I don't care if I have to mount a speaker inside a 55 Gallon Drum to get a sound I want, as long as I get it"

Anyway all this was about your claim that the Blues Jr isn't very versatile and even the bastardly Fender Machete , though decidedly a niche amp (of something of the worst kind from my POV all about Hi Gain), had a reasonable clean sound when fiddled with. OK Blues Jr is a modernized version of a Classic sound but all I was trying to do was to get OP to play around with it a bit, to cut loose a little, to find out the limits of it's versatility before he just ditched it for digital.