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FRENZEL FM guitar pre-amp, in the house (with first impressions)

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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memyselfandus
KVRAF
 
3895 posts since 28 Apr, 2006

Postby memyselfandus; Tue May 03, 2011 6:01 pm

Hink wrote:of course I will have some reports as to the sound tonight but I'll give a more detailed account in a day or two

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(the Boogie is on the floor)


awesome
User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24713 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Sun May 08, 2011 2:24 pm

okay tomorrow will be one week and I've tried it with every guitar except acoustics and my baritone so time wrap up my thoughts on it over all.

1. using alone with the two watt amp is one of this amps biggest strengths, if you have a small cab (it does push my 4x12 nicely) and a place to mic up a cab this is imo the best 100% tube tone for the money. With shipping and the two watt power tube option it was $315.00, but because of it's flexibility as a pre-amp it's a better value than say the 20 watt jet city or picovalve though both sound excellent and I do plan on owning at least the pico and hopefully both...if I dont buy another Frenzel (more on that)

From true Fender tube sounds to Marshall (imo a little more plexi/bluesbreaker like than 800 but it does a nice 800ish tone) but the tones are quieter and have much more definition.

2. Front end for a soundcard
a) using a sim or similar it depends on how much fussing you want to do, I found in AT3 that the THD bi-valve model was the best match for it and it sounded great. When pushing hi-gain models it got too noisy from the sim, I found this too with VANDAL, VANDAL on the clean setting with this in front of it sounded awesome but with both AT and VANDAL that meant going without stomps or much gain from the model used (or in VANDAL's case which doesn't have models, from the amp).

b) with an impulse loader or speaker sims it really is just as good as mic'ing a cab. KEfir and Poulin with acme impulses are just fantastic. (I like the latter better) Using AT, GR, GTR and VANDAL and bypassing the amps, just using the speakers and mics is pretty good but less than practical in some cases. GTR and GR even with the the control room fall short of both VANDAL and AT for this, those give you much more choices on mics, position and such. An interesting surprise was the speaker sims in the emu power fx sounded better than average, not quite as good as impulses and not as good as mic'ed but for sure a good way to work late at night because the emu is in my monitoring section as well as recording so I can record it with and without the cab sim while still taking advantage of direct monitoring.

3. Like a pedal for my amps, I kind of went into to detail on this already but the bottom line is it works well but you can't hit it with a ts or od without some unwanted noise. Pushing the egnater power amp was just as expected but not quite as tight as using it's own little power tube. Of course if you put it in front of a clean amp you get some great tones.

The variety of tones no matter how you use it depends on a lot of things, with some kind of od on it's own it's one of the best sounding amps I ever played through. The dynamics are stunning, from a a quiet subtle passgae to ripping power chords to biting solos without adjusting anything besides your attack, palm muting and such.

I would surely order another amp from them and have my eyes on several, the 'Sweet Little 15'

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595 usd with the cage and 100 less without it

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http://www.frenzeltubeamps.com/id54.html

15 watts, tube rectifier two channel if you use an aby, class A power section

or

'HB-WC30 "Hot Box Wild Cat 30' 695 usd without case or cage, 795 with steel cage

http://www.frenzeltubeamps.com/id81.html

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30 watts, two channels (aby of course), tube rectifier, class A power section

If I had the money I would not think twice about it and I also am considering the other pre-amps (that also have the same 2-watt option I have) starting at 385 with the two watt option.

http://www.frenzeltubeamps.com/id28.html

Really fantastic amps, but next time I'll expect 2-3 months for a wait :tu:
Last edited by Hink on Tue May 10, 2011 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
New Song LBS
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3623 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Sun May 08, 2011 11:39 pm

Dude you should have been paid for that review.
User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24713 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Mon May 09, 2011 8:57 am

:hihi: but then it wouldn't be sincere, the price for this is so damn good I figure more people might be interested so as I see it I owe it to my fellow guitar players to give as accurate of a review as I can. :shrug:
New Song LBS
User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24713 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Fri May 13, 2011 12:26 pm

so a little update, today my neighbor downstairs had (and still does) his stereo cranked up so I decided to roll my 4x12 out to this room and have some good natured fun with the boogie :hihi: This isn't the neighbor directly below me but two floors down, he's a great guy too. The neighbor directly below me still didn't complain if with both of us shaking the building (naturally my boogie is a tad bit louder that his home stereo).

After I decided to plug in both the egnater and the frenzel (not at the same time). Typically the cab is in the bedroom closet so knowing how loud it really is was tough. Anyone who thinks 2 watts isn't loud enough for recording I have news for you :lol:

However the egnater rebel on 1 watt cranked up all the way was so loud I needed hearing protection, pushed up to 20 watts it was as loud as I would ever play my boogie or have ever played but I didn't play it very long.

The Frenzel really sounded great and performed flawlessly, I would say it was about equal in volume to my old Marshall Valavestate 15 I use to use for practice and the feedback was sweet. :love:

I am a bit surprised how much louder the egnater is at 1 watt than the Frenzel at 2 watts though. The Frenzel uses a pre-amp tube as the power tube (this confuses me a bit too) in fact it's a class A 12AU7 and the egnater uses both el34s and 6v6's...maybe the difference was because I was using both pairs of power tubes in the egnater blended?

I have a punch list of more low wattage amps I want (picovalve, TT, Blackstar etc) but the Frenzel deals on the ones I posted earlier with the tube rectifiers may just be the way I go. I think I'll sit back and wait a month or two.

damn it I wish jet city would come out with that iso cab soon :?
New Song LBS
User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24713 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Fri May 13, 2011 3:51 pm

Eric just pointed out to me that now the pre has a jcm 800 hi-gain mod as well that adds another 12ax7...I just wrote them and asked them if we could maybe schedule a time this summer for me to send it down.
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