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High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:50 pm High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Hi Everyone,

I wanted a low wattage (5W) high gain amp to play around/practice with at home. After researching online and watching a bunch of YouTube reviews I recently bought a new Randall Diavlo 5DH head. I play my Flying V (with humbuckers) through the head and a 12 inch Jet City cabinet. The speaker output of the head is listed as 8 ohms, and the cabinet is 16 ohms, so I know that I am only getting half of the wattage. When cranking the gain knob and keeping the master volume knob very low (at the 3:00 position) I get beautiful, tight high gain sounds. As I increase the master volume knob, however, while the sound definitely gets louder the gain seems to decrease - it is like turning the master volume up saps some of the gain out of the sound. Is that normal? It still sounds good, but just not as good as when the master is lower.

After realizing this I went back to some of the YouTube videos and saw that many people had the master volume at 6:00 or lower, and simply mic'd the cabinet. This seems to be true for many of the amp reviews I have seen - for example, many of the Ola Englund reviews have him using whatever amp with the master turned pretty low but the gain cranked. Is it a general rule that getting a better high gain sound usually requires lower master volumes? If so, is there a way to increase the volume of that nice, tight high gain without using a separate mic/PA?

Thanks in advance!
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Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24640 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:52 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

It's all about taste, some like power tube distortion, some like pre-amp tube distortion and most like a blend somewhere in between..you'll get some extra volume if you switch to an 8Ω speaker.

edit: BTW if you plan on using the speaker emulator output it has dont be surprised if you need to use recab or something...I could be wrong, I aven't heard this amp but I have never been impressed with such outputs recorded direct like that...let us know how it sounds :)
Thank cod I love fish
bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:09 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Thanks, Hink. Is it normal, though, for the master volume to sound like it is "stealing" gain from the pre-amp as the master is turned up?
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6376 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:25 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

bharris22 wrote:Thanks, Hink. Is it normal, though, for the master volume to sound like it is "stealing" gain from the pre-amp as the master is turned up?


It's normal for your perception of the gain to change as the master gets turned up. At lower levels, you'll hear more midrange and will have an easier time distinguishing the graininess of the distortion. As you raise the level, you'll hear more bass and treble, and this could be affecting the way you're perceiving the distortion.

OTOH, maybe your amp is designed that way and it's got nothing to do with anything I've said. It sounds pretty cool in the video on their site.
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bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:32 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

That sounds exactly what I am hearing. Thanks, Uncle E!
bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:47 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Actually, this raises another question, then - if I get an EQ pedal and boost the midrange frequencies as I turn up the master volume, will this (hopefully) counteract the Fletcher Munson effect and preserve my nice low-volume distortion?
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6376 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:40 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

bharris22 wrote:Actually, this raises another question, then - if I get an EQ pedal and boost the midrange frequencies as I turn up the master volume, will this (hopefully) counteract the Fletcher Munson effect and preserve my nice low-volume distortion?


Theoretically, yes. Plus, if you're using it to boost mids into the front of the amp (rather than turn down lows and highs), your amp's preamp tubes will be driven even harder into distortion. Also, rather than getting an EQ pedal, you could get a Tube Screamer clone for cheap (we've got one here that I could sell for $30) and that would have the effect of boosting mids and also adding its own grit. Tube Screamers don't sound that great on their own, most people use them as boosters into amps that are already distorting.
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bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:21 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Excellent - thanks, Uncle E! I have a tube screamer here already that I will try this with :).
bharris22
KVRian
 
653 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:50 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Hink wrote:I could be wrong, I aven't heard this amp but I have never been impressed with such outputs recorded direct like that...let us know how it sounds :)


Will do! I don't have an interface with XLR inputs at the moment, but will post some raw tracks from the amp once I do.
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Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24640 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:22 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

bharris22 wrote:
Hink wrote:I could be wrong, I aven't heard this amp but I have never been impressed with such outputs recorded direct like that...let us know how it sounds :)


Will do! I don't have an interface with XLR inputs at the moment, but will post some raw tracks from the amp once I do.

FTR I have the same 12" speaker but not in a standard 1x12 cab, I have the jet city 1x12" isolation cabinet and tbh the stocl speaker is not bad at all. I have 4 other types of speakers ( 2 different types of celelstions, a Jensen and a Fane 75 watt) of the 5 total the Fane is the est than the one that came in the iso cab. :)
Thank cod I love fish
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werp
KVRian
 
1018 posts since 14 Aug, 2012, from Australia

Postby werp; Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:02 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

Leave high gain to kids who don't know any better.
I do like Linkin Park though.
Tinnitus is bad news. High gain amps are a great short cut to it.
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Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24640 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:17 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

werp wrote:Leave high gain to kids who don't know any better.
I do like Linkin Park though.
Tinnitus is bad news. High gain amps are a great short cut to it.



:?: hi-gain does not equal high volume, did you see the amp? Also just for the record I am 54 years old, far from a kid and I do think "I know better"...I know what I like and what works for me (I also do not have tinnitus though if I did have hearing damage it would be from the many concerts I went to in my youth) and when I have my headphones on with my cab miked it isn't any louder than my guitar is clean going in (or my acoustic being recorded for that matter) or a synth, drum machine or all of them put together times ten...so I am a little confused as to what you are trying to go on about...why dont you let others decide what genre and style of music they like instead of making a comment like "Leave high gain to kids who dont know any better"? :shrug:
Thank cod I love fish
fedexnman
KVRian
 
1319 posts since 3 Jan, 2005

Postby fedexnman; Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:56 am Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

I like classic tones , but I also like the High gain sound . Hughes n Kettner , Mesa boogie triple rect sounds . The classic tones have alot of mids , the high gain sound scoops the mids out a bit . Anyways I to bought a 5 watt amp not to long ago VHT special 6 ultra combo , I have swithed out the speaker for a warehouse guitar speaker (reaper30) also got the VHT tube adapter and done tube swaps with it . Its a cool little amp with a lot of different tones mainly classic tones . What I was missing was the high gain sound from the mid 90s and now . Anyways I found this cheap MXR pedal and it did the trick for me MXR m75 super badass distortion . Kind of stupid name though . Anyways cool thread I might have to check out that Randall 5watt head .
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6376 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:09 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

werp wrote:Tinnitus is bad news. High gain amps are a great short cut to it.


I got my tinnitus from DJ'ing. I know it's from that because it's almost solely in my left ear, which is the ear I wore my headphone on. I'm 40 now and don't DJ anymore but I do still play high gain. :)
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6376 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:42 pm Re: High Gain Guitar Amp Question

fedexnman wrote:What I was missing was the high gain sound from the mid 90s and now . Anyways I found this cheap MXR pedal and it did the trick for me MXR m75 super badass distortion .


I like the Suhr Riot and MI Audio Megalith Delta for that kind of sound. Also, I built a pedal based on the OCD circuit but with an upgraded Burr Brown opamp, which gives it a flatter frequency response (more highs and lows instead of the OCD's mid-heavy signal) and cleaner gain.
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