Just got a 2 channel H 50 watter

DreamTheaterRules

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Ok, After wanting to check the amp out with no pedals and so forth at first to get a feel for just the amp, I plugged a few things in the loop and made a bit of a discovery... When I got the amp, the send and return volumes were both jacked up all the way. I had no idea that they affected anything if nothing was plugged into the loop, so I didn't mess with it. After reading the manual saying that the sweet spot for them is around 2:00 for each, I turned them down to 2:00. The amp sounds better... but now it's EVEN quieter. Anyway, I threw the normal loop pedals in there TC Dreamscape>Flashback>Arena> MXR 10 band EQ. All the pedals work well in the loop and sound great.

The real fun began when I turned on the EQ and started trying to dial in a more Marshall like tone. The gain channel sounded killer with a bit of EQ.

Also, after more playing with the EQ and bright switch, I had the gain channel sounding better than ever last night even without the EQ. I am starting to absolutely LOVE this amp.

There's still one thing that I find a bit disconcerting. Last night, gain channel volume at 12:00, at home, wife 2 rooms away, I literally cranked the output up to 2:00... and got away with it. I still can't figure out why this amp isn't louder. YES I understand pot taper differences etc., but I still can't quite grasp this. I kicked on the EQ once and had accidentally bumped the output volume slider up about 6dB. Hit one chord and almost went through the wall. Now THERE is the volume I was expecting... Big amp power! ... but when I put the EQ back to unity on the in and out sliders, it really wasn't that loud. Unplugging everything from the loop and going straight in out front is identical volume, so it's not being reduced by something I"m plugging in.

I think the one thing that might be helping the tone, is that one day last week I got 15 minutes with the volumes cranked, trying to break in the V30s a bit. Even just a few minutes seems to have the cab sounding a bit better.

The volume.... puzzling. I'm not saying it's not getting loud for home playing, but this is a 50 watt amp. I know this means nothing, but my old Classic 30 on 4 with 1x12 was louder than this amp is at 2:00 with a big 2x12. I could NEVER EVER EVER turn my C30 up to even 3 with the wife home (using pedals for OD sent just above unity level). I know how that volume came on all at once, and this was is SUPER smooth... Still puzzled about this though. Next time the wife leaves, I'm going to actually take turns with it and my Mark V 25, clean and OD channels, same speaker cab, and see if the H is even as loud as the Boogie is.

If I can pull a term from my audiophile days, this amp is more transparent than any amp I've played. Several of my good OD/Dist pedals sound better through this clean channel than I've ever heard them sound. Clean and gain channels both are SUPER revealing. The differences between guitars are MUCH more clear, as are the differences in pickups, pickup switch position... everything is super clear even with gain. This really does remind me of the differences when I started moving up to higher end stereo equipment back in the day.

This really is a "high end" amp.
 
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LSchefman

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As you no doubt have heard, doubling the power on an amp only increases the potential volume by 3 decibels, with 1db being the lowest measurable volume increase that can be discerned by the human ear according to Bell Labs.

But there are a lot of other questions around how loud an amp gets. Why's a 30 watt Vox AC 30 seemingly as loud as an 85 watt Fender Twin? Why is my DG30 seemingly a lot louder than my HXDA 50 was? And it's also significantly louder than my HXDA 30.

Some of it is the way the amp's power is rated. IEC ratings differ from RMS ratings; then there are peak ratings, ratings into loads of various kinds, and the fact that tube amps work on an exponential curve; and at what point when one increases volume does the amp reach its highest power levels? At the end of the volume control's taper or earlier on? Is the amp rated at a given distortion level and what is that? 1%? 10%?

Circuit design plays a big role. Rated power isn't really all that much of a predictor. My Mesa Tremoverb (90 watts) didn't seem as loud as my Bad Cat Hot Cat (30 Watts), when I had both. Of course, the Hot Cat got louder earlier as you turned the volume up, but at the end of its volume control, the Tremo did indeed get a little louder. By that time, of course, both amps were so loud that it was fairly dangerous to compare them!

Remember too that an amp compresses as it begins to distort. Some amps can sound pretty compressed at volume, which can make them seem less loud, while amps with less power may distort and compress less at their maximum volume levels.

Throw in damping factor, speaker efficiency, and you have some stuff to contemplate. Then there is the question of perfectly good tubes varying quite widely in their output levels. Changing one preamp tube in my DG30 reduced the volume significantly - yes, a preamp tube, not a power tube - and substituting another tube of the same make and from the same era, made it very loud again. So even the preamp tubes get into the act.

For me, there is one relevant question: How does the amp sound? Do I like it? Can it sit in a mix, or play with a band? If so, it doesn't matter if the volume I need is at the end of the pot's taper or earlier.

Finally, PRS amps are designed to be operated with the Master Volume control dimed, and the volume controlled with the gain control and the guitar's volume control. As one PRS video put it, "PRS includes the Master Volume as a convenience." Other makers have different philosophies, notably Mesa and a few others.

In any case, try diming the Master and then bring up the volume with the gain control and see how that works for setting up the amp. You might find it gets pretty damn loud!
 
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Boogie

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I remember the day I brought my Boogie MkIII home...one my happiest guitar days. At the shop I ordered it, I really never had the opportunity to open it up or compare it with my Twin. It was an eye-opener when I realized how much more powerful the Twin was compared to the Boogie. It was huge! Granted, distorted, it sounded like mouse droppings (not with choice pedals, though) but the difference between a vintage American amp versus a modern American amp was low end power. Boogie: tight bass, Twin: giant bass.

The Super Dallas was my choice because of the immense bass. That's what drives my favorite growl! The speakers can't make that sound when treated politely. The key difference between the HXDA and the SuperD is the bass. The Heyboer amps - H, Custom, Archon, etc. - are the modern alternatives with tighter bass. You won't find that kind of thump in that amp...unless you increase the amount of air being moved and the size of the cab. You've probably witnessed this with your new cab, which is bodacious! . :cool:
 

LSchefman

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Hmmmm bass...

I always seem to be cutting the bass with most amps when I mix, because I want to hear the bass guitar and kick drum, and you can only stick so much audio on the bottom end before something's gotta give.

The bass and kick must get through!

This is why I concentrate on how an amp's midrange sounds. It's funny how guitar players always want that bottom end, only to lose it when they play with a FOH mixer or when they record. :evil:

I know Kerry plays out, but of course, most guitar players these days play to amuse themselves alone in their music rooms. So it doesn't matter.
 

Mixstar

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I understand the varying volume pot tapers used on amps
This sounds to me like someone has replaced the volume pot at some time with an incorrect type. Generally things like volume gain (especially with valve pre-amps) is logarithmic and, as such, needs a logarithmic pot, not a linear one. Having a logarithmic pot basically 'linearises' the logarithmic scale. If I had issues where the volume or tone etc. didn't act in a linear fashion across the range of the pot I would be looking at replacing the pots. A lot of the time you can't tell whether or not a pot is linear or logarithmic just by looking at it. I might add, I've bought brand new guitars from the "big two" manufacturers and found incorrect pots in those so I have no doubt manufacturers of other electronic equipment make this mistake as well.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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:redface::redface::redface: First of all, my apologies for all of you who thoughtfully tried to help. I'm embarrassed by what I discovered last night. I mentioned previously that I had unplugged the loop pedals, and at one point even plugged straight into the amp. But...

Last night I had 45 minutes after the Reds game and figured I was getting to the bottom of this. I literally at one point turned both clean and gain channels up all the way on the master. With volume at half on both, the amp was still tolerable for home playing in my smallish music room. Just didn't make sense. I switch some pedals around a lot, but the main ones in front of the amp are Barber Compact Tone Press>Timmy>Barber Compact Direct Drive>Fulltone Mini Deja Vibe>Barber Launch Pad. OCD sometimes replaces Direct Drive, and sometimes an SHO clone, Fulltone 69 or 70 goes out front of it all.

I mentioned the MXR 10 band EQ in the loop. I turned it on, and suddenly the amp was WAY louder. Didn't make sense as in and out were unity and I didn't have anything boosted more than a few dB.

After literally turning it all the way up, I thought I'd better try plugging straight in again. I reached down and moved one of the 6" pedal to pedal cables between the TP and Timmy, and suddenly my amp was screaming loud. I turned it down to 2:00 (where I had it all last week), still too loud. Noon, with any boost or OD on STILL more than I can get away with at home! I reached down and wiggled the cable again, and suddenly the volume dropped to like half. I have a cable that has caused all this, and it's weird because it's obviously cutting the level significantly without cracking, popping or any of the other things cables do when the connection gets bad. I pushed down on it again, and my amp was loud again.

I tried plugging straight in last week and got no difference in volume, but that was at much lower volume. My daughter was home for the week with my new grandson, and I wasn't playing very loud at all with him sleeping two rooms away. Apparently the signal through this cable was so week that the more you turn the amp up the more apparent it was because it just wouldn't get much louder.

The other thing that is weird about this, is that the amp still sounded very good, just a bit anemic, lacking power or balls. NOT NOW! I replaced that cable with another one, and played for 30 minutes, smiling the whole time. Smiling that, while I may be a moron, this amp sounds GREAT! Thanks again for all the thoughts and tips. I've built pedals and even tube amps before. I should know better than this. Yet, I'm relieved that something is not wrong with the amp, while kicking my own butt for not finding this sooner!
 

DreamTheaterRules

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LOL- I may not destroy them, but lets just say I'll push the home volume limits for the next couple days under the old "checking out the new amp" routine. :rock:

What sucks the worst about this is that I had the SHO clone out front and a couple days in figured out another 6" cable between it and the Tone Press was bad, so I pulled it out and thought it was fixed. It was crackling and loosing volume, etc. Didn't suspect the very next cable in line to be going bad also.

Time to contact Lava...
 

LSchefman

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I think someone forgot to tell David Grissom. :biggrin:

Oh, I have a feeling he knows what the deal is. Listen to his new record. You hear the bass and kick just like any other record. How do you think that happens (I can tell you, but you probably would get depressed)?

But he's a guitar player, not a mixer. So he's gonna do what guitar players do, and the mixer's gonna do what the mixer does, and ne'er the twain shall meet! Me, I'd rather just set up the amp and guitar so that I don't have to de-muddify later with EQ.

Speaking of great players, someone posted a David Gilmour clip yesterday. Take a listen to how dramatically reduced the low end on his guitar is to make room for other stuff in the track. Did it start that way? I doubt it.

The bass and the kick MUST get through!!!
 
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DreamTheaterRules

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completely off topic here. (what was the topic again??? oh, that I'm a crackhead who can't even figure out he's got a bad cable... so THANKS for changing the subject! LMAO!) Les do you use a high pass shelf when you record guitar, and if so where, or am I reading this that you just Q the amp without the need to do so?

I know what you're saying here. I love the gut shaking power of the lows, but I know that they get shaved in mixdown. Then are in effect added back by the bass.

When I play at church I pull all those lows out that I love at home. I play in several small groups for special music, but sometimes play with the choir and full orchestra as well. In our church, I'm the main sound man, and the other sound guys aren't musicians so... well, you know, anyway, when I do get to play with the choir and orchestra, we're talking 70 people choir and 30 or so piece orchestra with piano, organ acoustic guitar, bass, drums, trumpets, trombones, sax, violins, cello, flutes, etc. ( something like 30 mics on at one time when the orchestra plays with the choir, which is why they normally want me at the board for that!). IN that mix, I know to make my guitar smooth and middy and not to bright and not much bottom. Now, when I play special music with a group it's usually me (electric) an acoustic or two, bass, piano, and sometimes a mandolin, or violin. In those circumstances I just go for the best tone for the song style. Sometimes there is no bass in that group, so I need to fill some of the bottom end when I'm not playing leads.
 
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John Price

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I like backing my bass off as well on my amps, it allows my bass player to shine a little more in the mix both studio and live. I also noticed that my guitar sound was more pronounced throughout all applications.
Let's not forget that tone is in the hands and some users may need to push it a little differently than others.
 

LSchefman

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Let's not forget that tone is in the hands and some users may need to push it a little differently than others.

The hands certainly play a role, but if tone is in the hands, that old saw certainly can't explain why these clips I played sound so different. Take a listen, and then I'll explain my thinking.

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/hammer-dg-30-custom-v2

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/hammer-dg-30-custom-v2

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/fc-instrumental

I believe that tone isn't in the hands. It's in a constant feedback loop started by the brain, that then winds up at the hands, goes to the instrument, then to the pedals (if any) and amp (if any), then back to the ears and brain, and then back to the hands, etc.

In other words, the brain, as it processes the information returned by the hands and ears, commands the hands to react to what the brain is processing. "Hold that note a little longer and put some vibrato on it." "Play the next note harder." "Pull off on this note." Etc., etc.

So if you're following along in my thought process, tone isn't in the hands. It's in the gestalt of the entire experience. The brain processes what the ears sense, the hands receive instruction from the brain as to what to do, the gear is capable of creating certain aspects of the sound, and the entire set of lots and lots of little details creates the totality of the experience, the gestalt, if you will.

Heck, even the room, the audience if any, and the mood creates part of that gestalt.
 

John Price

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The hands certainly play a role, but if tone is in the hands, that old saw certainly can't explain why these clips I played sound so different. Take a listen, and then I'll explain my thinking.

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/hammer-dg-30-custom-v2

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/hammer-dg-30-custom-v2

https://soundcloud.com/lschefman/fc-instrumental

I believe that tone isn't in the hands. It's in a constant feedback loop started by the brain, that then winds up at the hands, goes to the instrument, then to the pedals (if any) and amp (if any), then back to the ears and brain, and then back to the hands, etc.

In other words, the brain, as it processes the information returned by the hands and ears, commands the hands to react to what the brain is processing. "Hold that note a little longer and put some vibrato on it." "Play the next note harder." "Pull off on this note." Etc., etc.

So if you're following along in my thought process, tone isn't in the hands. It's in the gestalt of the entire experience. The brain processes what the ears sense, the hands receive instruction from the brain as to what to do, the gear is capable of creating certain aspects of the sound, and the entire set of lots and lots of little details creates the totality of the experience, the gestalt, if you will.

Heck, even the room, the audience if any, and the mood creates part of that gestalt.


I'm with you my friend and totally know all about this stuff. I alway's believed in the psyche aspect of playing and it's what you do with it when you get it in your hands. I also believe in the touch you develop also contributes to the whole experience. I've watched so many students develop exciting tone over the years. Was it because they believed in what they were doing? or was it the hard practice of developing their technic? I say both. But without your hands you can't translate the mind..... Unless your that guy who can play with his feet then.... Ahhh you know what I mean..... I get what your saying completely.
 

LSchefman

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I'm with you my friend and totally know all about this stuff. I alway's believed in the psyche aspect of playing and it's what you do with it when you get it in your hands. I also believe in the touch you develop also contributes to the whole experience. I've watched so many students develop exciting tone over the years. Was it because they believed in what they were doing? or was it the hard practice of developing their technic? I say both. But without your hands you can't translate the mind..... Unless your that guy who can play with his feet then.... Ahhh you know what I mean..... I get what your saying completely.

I get what you're saying, too! So many factors are involved!

It's funny, I had a wonderful piano teacher when I went back and took lessons as an adult, who completely changed my tone on the instrument; for most of my life, after years of rock and roll, I was always banging on it pretty hard. When I resumed classical lessons with her, she taught me how to get real tone out of the instrument. It was a game-changer.

I hope I'm developing good tone on the guitar...though, as I've said many times, I really think I started playing too late (I was in my late teens) to be anything other than a "piano player who doubles on guitar." So my tone is probably not what it could be if I could get around the instrument better.

I love guitar, and I truly wish I'd started it as early as I did piano (I was four). But I guess I can't complain all things considered. I'm lucky enough to play and not have to just be an audience! BTW, I always enjoy your posts, John! :cheers:
 

DreamTheaterRules

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So now I've spent a significant amount of time with the H and at least 4 guitars. As stated early on, I'm wondering how much potential the gain channel has for Marshall type tones. I have the PRS 2x cab now, but it has V30s. Great speakers, but with the tones I'm going for, I'll want to try greenback type speakers at some point. I'd like to try one thing at a time, but my current thoughts are to take several steps to see where it gets me. 1) EL34s (easy to order and swap back. Suggestions for brand appreciated. 2) The "Presence and Resonance mods. No time soon. Contacted the custom shop and was told they are too busy, try again in 6 weeks. 3) Greenback type speakers.

I know the speakers alone will be a big step because they are such a big part of the tone. This may be the chance to try some Scumbacks. I have a Private Jack now, and really like it, and would like to also try the Warehouse M type, but if the Scumbacks are better, I'd try a pair. I think I'll order the tubes first, and get my Private Jack back into a cab and try it out.

My goals: To make the gain channel tones as high end M as possible, without sacrificing too much of the killer clean channel. To have this amp the the one I use my fuzz pedals with. If I can get a gainy high end Marshall type tones, nice cleans, and nice base for fuzz, this would then cover all the ground my Mesa's don't. If these changes don't push it far enough in that direction, then I'll have to decide if I keep it and try something else, or flip it for something else. I hate to even think about flipping an amp that sounds this good....

Anyone done any or all of these changes with an H and can share the results?
 
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Rider1260

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So I am still on the learning curve of my H ( That I got from Brian C ) it has EL34s and the Pres/ Reso mod ( I have never heard an H in person with 6L6s ) it has killer gain and clean BUT it only has a taste of Marshall.
To me so far its kinda MK3 boogie with an extra bit of attitude and a modern flavor with a dash of Marshall if that makes sense.
It really brings out something special in my rosewood necked guitars or hit the clean channel with a HFS :)
All I can say is the combo works for me !!
 

DreamTheaterRules

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Thanks for your thoughts. I talked to him when he had it as well. I might be coming off like I'm trying to make this sound exactly like a Marshall. While that would be fine with me, I'm just trying to get it "close enough." I think the speakers are a big part of it and before I do anything I'll hook it up to my Private Jack and see what it sounds like as it is. If it's even in the ball park of what I hope for, the P/R mod and the EL34s should both be another small push in that direction. If it's not even close, I'll keep playing it for a while and see if I keep it or sell it. Also adding again, that the EQ in the loop gets me significantly closer to classic Brit tones even now, so I'm not that far away and hoping the greenback type speakers are another big jump in that direction.
 

andy474x

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I get the best M tones from the clean channel turned up to crunch, with lots of mids dialed in, and a boost for more push.
 

LSchefman

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If you want a great, classic, Marshall Plexi sound, I highly recommend the HXDA.

No surprise there, right?

But the HXDA is the amp that's designed to evoke the best Marshall tones of the late 60s-early 70s era, and with a pedal, it can get even gainier and not lose the M flavor at all.

Granted, the HXDA is single channel, and that means instead of switching channels, you use your guitar's volume control to go clean or dirty. But it's certainly the sound you're looking for, and by the way, it sounds fantastic with a variety of speaker cabs, including one with V-30s.

If an HXDA isn't in your future, you might consider the Xotic BB preamp. Run as a moderate overdrive, it will take your amp into Marshall territory; that's what I used it for with my DG30 amp when too lazy to switch over to the HXDA on any given day. "BB" stands for Blues Breaker. The BB is a great pedal, and can be dialed in a lot of ways. Guaranteed not to disappoint.
 
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DreamTheaterRules

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Les, I'd LOVE to try an HX/DA, and I will the next time I see one at the PRS dealer. I think that although I'm sure I'd love it, the tones I'm after are a decade or so later than the ones you mention. 70s rock to 80s hard rock. More boosted JCM 800. Of course, I know Van Halen used a plexi type amp and that is absolutely some tones I'm going for but most true plexi's don't have that much gain. if the HX/DA can get there even with a boost, then I've got to check one out. How much gain does the amp have without a boost?
 
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