Been test driving an Archon, nice...but...

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by A.A., Nov 23, 2018.

  1. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! New to the forum here. The posts I’ve read on the forum have been helpful; good group here!

    Been test driving an Archon 50 EL34 for a few days. Playing a Peavey Wolfgang Special, Head going thru a 2x12 Mesa Recto wide body cab. Overall been very impressed. I’ve been going back and forth between the Archon 50, Ubershall, and Roadster. Cleans and high gain are both very important, recordings and live. Both sound great on the Archon.

    So, my main issues with the Archon:
    1) This is a NOS made 10/15/14. Supposedly the effects loop issue wasn’t fixed until November 2014. Sure enough, the loop is pretty noisy. The friend/dealer said he has a few hum eliminators I can try, and he’ll give me whichever works best. Is this the best approach? Or should I have a local shop do the fix on the loop?
    2) Can’t get any dirt out of the clean channel, even with the channel volume all the way up. Is this normal?
    3) Both the channels are very mid heavy. The treble EQ acts more like a high mid to my ears. The bright switch is more like a treble engage, but not adjustable. Anyone else feel this amp is mid heavy? Would a switch to 6L6’s smooth it out at all?
    4) $900 a good price for the Archon 50 EL34?

    Thanks for reading all that!
     
  2. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Get the loop fixed. A hum eliminator isn't likely to help.

    It's mid heavy, 6L6 would help. Use the presence to dial up the highs.

    Clean channel is supposed to be clean. That's what it does. Takes pedals well for a little breakup.

    The price is Ok, not spectacular.
     
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  3. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.
    Unfortunately, there is only a presence for the high gain channel. And that mainly adds or takes away fizz from the distortion. I do like this though, seems to dial it in and out of recto territory. Wish there was a little more gain to the clean channel to allow it to dirty up when needed. I do really love how well the volume knob works to clean up channel 2. A volume pedal for channel 2 and a overdrive with a good EQ on it for channel 1 and I think I’d be set. I really do love most things about the archon. I’ve yet to find the perfect amp for everything, but this one is pretty amazing at most things!

    So, how do I go about getting the local repair shop to do the effects loop fix? Do they call PRS? He’s not an authorized repair center for them, but he knows his stuff and is authorized for many top brands.
     
    #3 A.A., Nov 23, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  4. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    I'm a little surprised at some of your findings. I have the vertical version of the 2x12 Recto, but, once that cab is broken in, you shouldn't really get "fizz" from this amp. Mine has 6L6's, but I've wanted to try EL34s. I don't find the amp mid heavy. I also admit that I leave the bright switch on ALL the time with humbuckers, and then dial from there. The mids knob is very effective and well voiced though, so... maybe turn that down some, find a comfort zone and then dial your treble and presence. Also, start with the depth control at 9:00 and then dial up from there. Down will tighten things up. Lastly, get the amp fixed. Everyone who has, has been pleased with the loop afterwards.

    Get the amp and some 6L6s and you can see which power tubes you prefer. They're very easy to bias after the tube switch.
     
    #4 DreamTheaterRules, Nov 23, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  5. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I’m mainly bothered by the prominent mids on the clean channel. The neck pickup on my Wolfgang is usually so smooth sounding. I caught myself looking down several times to switch from the bridge to the neck pickup only to find it was already on the neck pickup. That was even with the mids all the way down. I did have good success turning the mids to 0, backing off the treble, and engaging the bright switch. The treble really does feel like a high mid. The bright switch adds sparkle. Since the bright switch isn’t adjustable, I just compensate with the other EQ knobs. Not a deal breaker, just had to get used to it.

    The presence for the lead does add a lot of fizz if up high, but I think it’s easy to take the fizz away and dial it in. No issues there. And my cab is relatively new, and definitely not broken in. I will say, though, that the high gain tones are awesome and very versatile.

    Does PRS just send the parts I need to take to my guitar shop? Do they cover the cost because I’m buying this new from a dealer (new old stock)?
     
    #5 A.A., Nov 23, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    My guess is that if you’re the original owner buying from a dealer, PRS will honor the warranty and take care of you at their expense.

    They’re a great company to deal with. But you might want to check with customer service, wouldn’t hurt to give them a call and find out.
     
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  7. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    +1 Call / Email PTC - Even out of warranty they fixed my H for one way shipping !!!
    For me PRS customer service rocks !!!!!
    I also wonder if you don't have some other issue, having to have that radical an EQ to make the amp work for you seems odd to me.
     
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  8. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    Would be nice if they would just ship the parts and/or pay for a local repair. I don’t want to buy a new amp then turn around and pay for an upgrade of a known issue. I’ll give them a call. Hopefully the hum reducer works. I only put reverb and delay in the loop, and the delay sounds good in front of the amp. The thing sounds great otherwise (once I worked with the EQ and presence), and I don’t think I can find anything better for anywhere near $900.
     
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Why would you have to pay? It’s under warranty if it’s NOS. Just have the dealer handle it with PRS.
     
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  10. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    If you have fizz I think the gain is too high. Up to 1:00 I get great clarity and no fizz. I can turn the presence all the way up and still no fizz, just lots of high mid harmonics, gets nice and juicy. I have a lot more trouble taming the lows and low mids. I have 6L6 though.
     
  11. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    Same with mine. No fizz.
     
  12. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Likewise
     
  13. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    High end sizzle? lol, whatever it is the amp is versatile in the gain department and has great cleans, plus 50/25 watt switching. All what I’m looking for in an amp. I think the strong mids will work well in a recording setting. I’ve heard they record well. Going to borrow several different pedals tonight from the dealer to see if I can get usable reverb and delay in the effects loop. He’ll also let me try a few hum reducers. I’ll report back. Thanks again for the input and expertise!
     
  14. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    So he brought over all sorts of hum reducers, and we tried all sorts of pedals: ehx holy grail neo, Keeley delay workstation, Wampler Ethereal, Keeley 30ms, and catalinbread adineko. We also used my old MIJ DD-3. Conclusion...the effects loop is noisy enough with every pedal that it’s not even worth using. All sound 20x better in front of the amp. I’ll just call and ask for the “repair kit” and go from there.

    Edit: so far really liking the holy grail with my DD-3. The delay workstation is fun too, probably more than I need though.

    He also brought over some overdrive/distortion pedals to try: ehx east river drive, ehx soul food, catalinbread formula 5f6, pettyjohn drive, archer, .45, and animal. Didn’t have time to go through these yet. Initial thoughts are...this amp doesn’t seem to need a drive. But I’ll play with them. Any of you feel the need for a drive with this amp?
     
    #14 A.A., Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  15. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    Of course, you always need drive pedals. ;)

    Ok, serious answer, depends on how you use it. I like to set up my amp for rhythm guitar tone, then add a boost/OD for solos. Some guys set it up for solos and roll the guitar volume off for rhythm. I like to change more than just the volume for solos. I like to add some "character" with either some mids or treble push, and probably some delay, etc. Plus, I'm one of those guys who really likes an "always on" boost. I think it always makes an amp sound better (every amp I've ever played) UNTIL you open them up. Even at moderate volumes at home, I think it really helps open the amp up. Once they start to get loud, the boost is not as necessary. With some amps, it's still a plus, with some it's a wash.
     
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  16. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    So...does the loud pop noise that you hear when turning the effects loop on and off go away after the fix is done on the amp? It’s pretty pronounced. No noise at all when switching channels. Just the effects loop.
     
  17. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    Mine doesn't make this noise either.
     
  18. A.A.

    A.A. New Member

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    Read somewhere that a preamp tube change helped the pop noise. Maybe worth looking into.
     
  19. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    hmm, initial reaction is, that would be weird... but, never say never. The loop is tube driven but unless there is an issue with that specific tube (and a weird one) that wouldn't be a place I'd suspect. But it's certainly an easy one to check.
     
  20. jfb

    jfb Plank Owner

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    Film it. Have your dealer get it to the right people at PRS. If it's anything they should address I believe, like everyone else that has chimed in, they will make right. We've also seen plenty of cases where it wasn't on PRS and they still corrected it. Easily one of the best organizations to deal when it comes to something like this. Good luck with your issue.
     
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