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Non-Metal 7 String Amplification!! Super-Niche? Analog Processors (HW)
Old 30th March 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Non-Metal 7 String Amplification!! Super-Niche?

Hey slutz, does anyone else here play a 7 string (or other extended range) guitar and NOT play really high-gain metal? Not into djent, or nu-metal, or whatever? ... Bueller?

I was doing some reading that sparked my interest as to how amps deal with the extra bottom end. A lot of 7 string-ers resort to Axe-Fx, Line 6 Helix, etc., but I'm interested in real tube amps. I'd like to know what other 7 string players and audio engineers use, how they deal with the low end, etc., both in the studio/at home and live.

Some questions/thoughts:

1. What tube amps work well with 7 strings and still have a good clean channel? Crunch and gain is great, but it seems like a lot of "metal" amps that are used by extended range players treat the clean channel as an afterthought.

2. Can classic amps with good clean channels (AC30, Super Reverb, Two Rock, etc.) handle the low end without getting distorted and flubby at higher volumes?

3. Same deal with cabinets... How do they handle the extra low frequencies? Is it smarter to look at using a subwoofer in conjunction with a normal cab? The low B string's fundamental is around 60hz... What cabinets can deal with pushing these low frequencies at higher volume without distortion and flub? Further, how do you preserve the precious mids?

4. Does a player need to approach EQ on an amp differently?

Interested in hearing your opinions and techniques. Or does hope really lie in digital boxes? Don't get me wrong, they sound great...
Old 30th March 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I play a lot of bass VI among other low tuned guitars and it really just depends on what range you want it to occupy in context of the whole song. If you’re playing solo or otherwise not fighting a bass or keyboard for space, then maybe you should worry about that extra low business. But if there’s gonna be other low end occupying instruments then I’ll probably roll off any extra low end. You could really overthink it (imho) with crossovers and split setups, but I don’t really see a need for that if you are playing in a full rock band context. If you’re playing out live, that 60hz you’re worried about is probably gonna get lost between your speaker and when they stick something like an SM57 on it, if it doesn’t just get EQ’d out by the sound engineer. If you’re playing live, obviously going direct gives you a lot more control over your final sound, there are certainly advantages and good reasons you see these (positive grid or Kemper is what I see most) rigs all the time with touring acts.

If you need a classic tube amp, I always liked a Bassman for this, and have owned a few. Twin works too. I’ve also liked a Roland JC120 (a lot) for clean stuff. Currently mostly recording with a Mesa DC50
at the moment, and I record direct rather than use a cabinet.

Speaker/cab choice probably more important than anything, and if having a pretty clean tone is important then probably better off with a 50+ watt amp if tubes are critical to you.
Old 30th March 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

Hmmm maybe I didn't word the original post well, but I'm not really asking for advice on what to do, but more wanting to open up a discussion. For instance, I'd say that some low-watt combos, with lack of headroom and smaller enclosures, would struggle with extended range guitars at higher volume, clean or not. I think the JC-120 is a great choice for clean tones because it takes care of those problems.

I might disagree that you don't need to worry about frequencies in a full band context. To me, it's even more important then if everyone is to be heard. Why should it be any different than a mix, per se, where frequencies matter? Isn't that why the sound engineer would cut bass frequencies? What do you think?

Also, how do you roll off the low end - just turn down bass knob down on your amp? I'm interested in how a 7 string's tone is different based on an amp's EQ. After all, most amps are EQ'ed to 6 strings...
Old 30th March 2019
  #4
As to your question - you need an amp with a speaker that doesn't "flab out" at lower frequencies. Most such speakers are of higher power ratings.

Since lows take more powerr than highs to reproduce I'd recommend an amp in the 40 watts and up range.

I wouldn't go with a Super Reverb because of the tens and because the tone controls are tuned slightly higher than other classic Fenders. I'd be looking at a Pro Reverb or Twin Reverb. Or a blackface Vibroverb if you can find one that's not absurdly expensive.

Guitar Center

Last edited by John Eppstein; 30th March 2019 at 11:09 PM..
Old 31st March 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the reply, but again... I'm not asking for advice on what amp to buy. I'm just looking to start a discussion about amps and 7 strings.

Taking what you've said though, I'd agree that 40 watts or above is necessary in order to move air at those lower frequencies. Really interesting that the Super Reverb is EQ'ed higher than other classic Fenders. What about other classic amps... Are there any tuned "lower"?

That's what I'm trying to get at. What options do 7 string players have, and can they deal with what's available to get the best tone (understanding this is relative)?

Also interesting is speaker size, to which you alluded. I'd think that 10's are too small, and you said the same. Are 12's sufficient, or would a player benefit from something even larger? That'd probably be custom I guess (I'm not knowledgeable on the plethora of manufacturer cab options), but is it worth pursuing? That's why I mentioned subwoofers in the original post. Would a 7 (or 8) string player do well to use one, or even a bass cab?
Old 31st March 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
Hmmm maybe I didn't word the original post well, but I'm not really asking for advice on what to do, but more wanting to open up a discussion. For instance, I'd say that some low-watt combos, with lack of headroom and smaller enclosures, would struggle with extended range guitars at higher volume, clean or not. I think the JC-120 is a great choice for clean tones because it takes care of those problems.

I might disagree that you don't need to worry about frequencies in a full band context. To me, it's even more important then if everyone is to be heard. Why should it be any different than a mix, per se, where frequencies matter? Isn't that why the sound engineer would cut bass frequencies? What do you think?

Also, how do you roll off the low end - just turn down bass knob down on your amp? I'm interested in how a 7 string's tone is different based on an amp's EQ. After all, most amps are EQ'ed to 6 strings...
You're free to disagree, but you asked for opinions and experience, I shared mine...though phrased in a way to assume that you are looking for some degree of advice, I was also assuming you are able to infer that I'm not just making it up along the way for my amusement...all first hand experiences. I play bass VI in a full band context (as a melodic instrument, not a bass) and deal with its challenges every day. I agree that if you aren't getting the sort of answers you think you should, then you probably need to be clear with your expectations.

Everything comes down to context, your band configuration and musical arrangement. Basic principles of EQ apply, no hard and fast rules but you'll never hear the full potential frequency range of your instrument alongside the full range of a bass, another guitar, and or drum kit...just turns to mud... There is a lot more to popular electric guitar tones than just the fundamental (like the 60hz you are worried about)...
Old 31st March 2019
  #7
Gear Head
 

Alright, I quit.

This wasn't supposed to be about answers, it was supposed to be a discussion. A discussion includes disagreement sometimes, right? I took you seriously and asked you serious questions in return. I don't have to agree with you on everything.

I guess people on here get so used to answering pleas for help, that they assume every post is one.

Oh, and no s%&t there is more to tone than the fundamental. I'm not "worried" about the 60hz, it was an observation.
Old 31st March 2019
  #8
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
[...] This wasn't supposed to be about answers, it was supposed to be a discussion. [...]
Well okay, but remember that ANY discussion relies on answers to questions...

...And there are no less than TWELVE question marks in your original post!
.
Old 31st March 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
Thanks for the reply, but again... I'm not asking for advice on what amp to buy. I'm just looking to start a discussion about amps and 7 strings.

Taking what you've said though, I'd agree that 40 watts or above is necessary in order to move air at those lower frequencies. Really interesting that the Super Reverb is EQ'ed higher than other classic Fenders. What about other classic amps... Are there any tuned "lower"?

That's what I'm trying to get at. What options do 7 string players have, and can they deal with what's available to get the best tone (understanding this is relative)?

Also interesting is speaker size, to which you alluded. I'd think that 10's are too small, and you said the same. Are 12's sufficient, or would a player benefit from something even larger? That'd probably be custom I guess (I'm not knowledgeable on the plethora of manufacturer cab options), but is it worth pursuing? That's why I mentioned subwoofers in the original post. Would a 7 (or 8) string player do well to use one, or even a bass cab?
12s are fine. I like 15s a lot though. There are plenty of available cabs for either speaker, although for 15s you'll find more on the used market.
Old 31st March 2019
  #10
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
From all of my amps, my Dual Rectifier works the best with my 8-string. That is both for Metal and Clean tones. For Metal, because with a Tube Screamer in front you get nice tight low end even on an extended range guitar. Plus, the Mesa 4x12 with V30s cab that I have handles low end pretty good. No need for different speaker sizes or something like that.
And for clean tones, the Rectifier shines as well. I do not any Fender amps, so I cannot tell if they do even better. The chimey high end and, again, the impressive low-end capabilities of the DualRec make it work nicely with these type of guitars.

If you low cut anything depends on your bandmates. Animals as Leaders for example do not even have a bass player, so they do not need to carve out any space for one.
Old 1st April 2019
  #11
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the donal's Avatar
My MESA Nomad 45 1x12 copes pretty well with my 7 (standard B-E tuning) on all channels- it does a range of sounds from clean/vintage to tight high gain stuff (OK-not as tight as a closed back enclosure, but still good).

I'd say that in a sense you have to approach your eq/gain structure with all guitars individually. I'm lucky with the Nomad that I have set it to work well with most situations.

It's like wood and pickups- I've found that if you don't pay attention to this you will mismatch and not get the best sound out of the combination.
Old 1st April 2019
  #12

I don't have a 7-string - I do play my Baritone clean a lot.....

I don't know what this thread is about, but I'll add that the speaker and cabinet are the most important part. If you don't have a PA available, you may need a higher power amplifier (though the difference in clean headroom between a 20w and a 50w amp isn't that much). For cleans, a high power solid-state bass amp might be the right answer - just make sure your speaker can take the power at low frequencies.

Personally, I like using either my low-power Twin head and a D130 or my Mesa Triple Crown combo. But, the Tubemeister 18 into a 2x12 does fine for playing with drummers that have a little control in smaller venues.....




-tINY

Old 2nd April 2019
  #13
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

I don't think you'd want to use standard Celestion-type speakers for a clean 7. I'd look at EV/JBL type speakers, that can take the brunt of a 7 at volume, and reproduce it. Either that, or a dual-15 cab.

As far as the preamp part of the amp is concerned, I don't think that's an issue. You might want some auxiliary EQ, though, to shape the low end to what you want.

I don't think I'd go with a subwoofer, unless you weren't going to play with a bassist. Otherwise, you'd be getting in his way.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #14
I play strictly 7 strings. I have JSX and XXX [email protected] Clean channels on these are great.
Choosing the right preamp tubes helped a lot. An EQ in the loop can also be helpful.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #15
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Hmmm. What would George Van Eps do?

Discuss, if you please...............



Best,


audioforce
Old 3rd April 2019
  #16
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maggotspawn View Post
I play strictly 7 strings. I have JSX and XXX [email protected] Clean channels on these are great.
Choosing the right preamp tubes helped a lot. An EQ in the loop can also be helpful.
That JSX is a bloody nice amp. Were I to move away from my current amp (a Pearce), that JSX is in my top 5 I'd go after. The clean and crunch channels are great on that (not too thrilled about the lead channel, but I'm not a real high-gain kinda guy).
Old 4th April 2019
  #17
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One of the best applications of a 7 string guitar in a non-metal environment would be to piss off your bass player by covering some of his frequencies. I am not saying that because I am a bassplayer myself
Old 4th April 2019
  #18
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by numero6 View Post
One of the best applications of a 7 string guitar in a non-metal environment would be to piss off your bass player by covering some of his frequencies. I am not saying that because I am a bassplayer myself
I know exactly what you mean.

However, I'm not so sure that this is a "hard & fast" rule:

Music (at its best) is a "conversation", and I think that with proper communication, the bass player could "climb the neck" while the 7-string player "dropped down". (...And then back again.)

...Kinda like the difference between the "lead/rythm guitar" idea, and the "twin-guitar" idea (where they trade off).

...Just sayin'...
.
Old 16th April 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
Hey slutz, does anyone else here play a 7 string (or other extended range) guitar and NOT play really high-gain metal? Not into djent, or nu-metal, or whatever? ... Bueller?

I was doing some reading that sparked my interest as to how amps deal with the extra bottom end. A lot of 7 string-ers resort to Axe-Fx, Line 6 Helix, etc., but I'm interested in real tube amps. I'd like to know what other 7 string players and audio engineers use, how they deal with the low end, etc., both in the studio/at home and live.

Some questions/thoughts:

1. What tube amps work well with 7 strings and still have a good clean channel? Crunch and gain is great, but it seems like a lot of "metal" amps that are used by extended range players treat the clean channel as an afterthought.

2. Can classic amps with good clean channels (AC30, Super Reverb, Two Rock, etc.) handle the low end without getting distorted and flubby at higher volumes?

3. Same deal with cabinets... How do they handle the extra low frequencies? Is it smarter to look at using a subwoofer in conjunction with a normal cab? The low B string's fundamental is around 60hz... What cabinets can deal with pushing these low frequencies at higher volume without distortion and flub? Further, how do you preserve the precious mids?

4. Does a player need to approach EQ on an amp differently?

Interested in hearing your opinions and techniques. Or does hope really lie in digital boxes? Don't get me wrong, they sound great...
2 Had a Vox AC15, it didn’t sound good with the 7th string.

I have an Orange Thunderverb200, really great with 7s and works well with basses
Old 17th April 2019
  #20
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Wasn't there a Marshall made specifically for tuned-down/7-string? Marshall mode 4, or something like that? I don't know how it would sound in your application (without any distortion), considering the market for it, but it might work.
Old 20th April 2019
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Hmmm. What would George Van Eps do?

Discuss, if you please...............



Best,


audioforce
I think he'd:

1. look at us
2. plug into any amp sitting around
3. play
4. watch us walk out with tails between our legs
Old 20th April 2019
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
I don't think you'd want to use standard Celestion-type speakers for a clean 7. I'd look at EV/JBL type speakers, that can take the brunt of a 7 at volume, and reproduce it. Either that, or a dual-15 cab.

As far as the preamp part of the amp is concerned, I don't think that's an issue. You might want some auxiliary EQ, though, to shape the low end to what you want.

I don't think I'd go with a subwoofer, unless you weren't going to play with a bassist. Otherwise, you'd be getting in his way.
This is good to know for 7-stringers. Why do you say to avoid Celestions... Are they not good at low frequencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maggotspawn View Post
I play strictly 7 strings. I have JSX and XXX [email protected] Clean channels on these are great.
Choosing the right preamp tubes helped a lot. An EQ in the loop can also be helpful.
Both Mikhael and you have mentioned EQs in the loop. I think this is excellent, because you can fine tune the tone, but also "tune the room" when you are playing live. If it sounds boomy, or tinny, etc. in a particular venue, you can fight it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
I know exactly what you mean.

However, I'm not so sure that this is a "hard & fast" rule:

Music (at its best) is a "conversation", and I think that with proper communication, the bass player could "climb the neck" while the 7-string player "dropped down". (...And then back again.)

...Kinda like the difference between the "lead/rythm guitar" idea, and the "twin-guitar" idea (where they trade off).

...Just sayin'...
.
This is interesting. How can you adjust your rig to ensure that you're not stepping on a bassist's toes. Music is a conversation, and no one likes getting interrupted all the time. The right amp setup can help you find your space...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenBeat View Post
2 Had a Vox AC15, it didn’t sound good with the 7th string.

I have an Orange Thunderverb200, really great with 7s and works well with basses
This is good to know. Is it because Voxes are kind of mids-heavy, with less low end?
Old 20th April 2019
  #23
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
This is good to know for 7-stringers. Why do you say to avoid Celestions... Are they not good at low frequencies?



Both Mikhael and you have mentioned EQs in the loop. I think this is excellent, because you can fine tune the tone, but also "tune the room" when you are playing live. If it sounds boomy, or tinny, etc. in a particular venue, you can fight it.



This is interesting. How can you adjust your rig to ensure that you're not stepping on a bassist's toes. Music is a conversation, and no one likes getting interrupted all the time. The right amp setup can help you find your space...



This is good to know. Is it because Voxes are kind of mids-heavy, with less low end?
It sounded weird, like playing a bass with a guitar amp with the EQ at BASS 0 MIDS 10 TREBLE 10.

For 7s you need an amp with enough bass.

About the Celestions I don’t have the problem, I use 212 V30s with my Orange TV200 and it has plenty of bass. When I plug my warwick corvette I have to cut the Bass if I play in active mode.
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