Man that MT15 just &!$$#$ me off!! ..... (rant)

LSchefman

Historical Entity
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A smattering of thoughts:

At some point, the guitar and amp world transmuted from folks in bands to folks in basements and bedrooms. In a band, you need volume to be heard over the bass and drums (and keys if there are keys). Loud amps were created for this purpose, and the classic tones we hear on records were made by people playing loud amps very loudly.

Thing is, Mark Tremonti is a guy in a band, and it’s a pretty loud outfit. This is his sig amp, and he probably approved the taper of the volume control.

The idea that 15 Watts (or even 8) is necessarily going to be quiet and suitable for bedrooms and basements is relatively recent; AC15s are loud. Deluxes (22 W) are loud. Switching my Mesa Lone Star down to ten Watts is not exactly quiet, though it’s less loud than the other settings, not by all that much. An amp with twice the power will only be capable of a 3db increase in maximum output level. And there are questions as to when the speaker reaches its maximum output potential.

Look at the volume a guitar speaker puts out at the standard 1 Watt level. That’s usually called the speaker’s Sensitivity. A Celestion Blue puts out 100 db at one Watt. 100 db. One Watt (!). More recently designed speakers often do more. Even inefficient speakers like Greenbacks come very close to that volume with a one Watt input.

So, regardless of the wattage rating on an amp, one Watt can do a lot of volume with most guitar speakers. What bigger Wattage does is give you increased dynamics - i.e., punch., and increased RMS and peak volume.

This isn’t to say a more gradual taper on a pot wouldn’t be a good thing. I leave that up to the imagination of the reader.

BUT

There are some pretty good sounding attenuators on the market now. Many of them work well if used with a modicum of discretion, i.e., used gently.

I’m not a user of attenuators in my studio, but no one seems to mind if I record at reasonably loud volumes. If, on the other hand, I was causing a problem to my neighbors (or my hearing) I would certainly get a good attenuator, and use it when the need arose. If I loved an amp that was too loud for my needs, I’d get an attenuator for it.
 

Huggy B

Space is the place
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
2,574
There are some TERRIBLE sounding attenuators on the market now. Many of them DON'T work well EVEN if used with a modicum of discretion, i.e., used gently.

I’m not a user of attenuators in my studio CAUSE THEY SVCK, AND I DON'T CARE if I record at reasonably loud volumes. OR I was causing a problem to my neighbors (or my hearing) I would certainly NOT get an attenuator. If I loved an amp that was too loud for my needs, I’d NEVER get an attenuator for it. .... CAUSE I'M LES AND THAT'S JUST HOW IT GOES ..... DEAL WITH IT.

There, I corrected it for you.
 

WA Paul

All dogs go to heaven
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
3,873
A smattering of thoughts:

At some point, the guitar and amp world transmuted from folks in bands to folks in basements and bedrooms. In a band, you need volume to be heard over the bass and drums (and keys if there are keys). Loud amps were created for this purpose, and the classic tones we hear on records were made by people playing loud amps very loudly.

Thing is, Mark Tremonti is a guy in a band, and it’s a pretty loud outfit. This is his sig amp, and he probably approved the taper of the volume control.

The idea that 15 Watts (or even 8) is necessarily going to be quiet and suitable for bedrooms and basements is relatively recent; AC15s are loud. Deluxes (22 W) are loud. Switching my Mesa Lone Star down to ten Watts is not exactly quiet, though it’s less loud than the other settings, not by all that much. An amp with twice the power will only be capable of a 3db increase in maximum output level. And there are questions as to when the speaker reaches its maximum output potential.

Look at the volume a guitar speaker puts out at the standard 1 Watt level. That’s usually called the speaker’s Sensitivity. A Celestion Blue puts out 100 db at one Watt. 100 db. One Watt (!). More recently designed speakers often do more. Even inefficient speakers like Greenbacks come very close to that volume with a one Watt input.

So, regardless of the wattage rating on an amp, one Watt can do a lot of volume with most guitar speakers. What bigger Wattage does is give you increased dynamics - i.e., punch., and increased RMS and peak volume.

This isn’t to say a more gradual taper on a pot wouldn’t be a good thing. I leave that up to the imagination of the reader.

BUT

There are some pretty good sounding attenuators on the market now. Many of them work well if used with a modicum of discretion, i.e., used gently.

I’m not a user of attenuators in my studio, but no one seems to mind if I record at reasonably loud volumes. If, on the other hand, I was causing a problem to my neighbors (or my hearing) I would certainly get a good attenuator, and use it when the need arose. If I loved an amp that was too loud for my needs, I’d get an attenuator for it.
When I had the HXDA, I used it with the Fryette PS-2 and it worked really well. Wish I had a profile of it now ;)

My 3rd Power CSR combo had built in power scaling that worked reasonably well, but was more tricky on the 0-1 volume thing. More versatile multiple- channel amp, but the volume, SPL levels were more controllable with the HXDA + Fryette PS-2.
 

sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
25,701
I’m not disparaging anyone who uses them, and I even find myself needing one occasionally but.... is there anything more depressing than a bedroom amp?

I hide mine in the same drawer as my inflatable sex doll, flask of Fireball, and other shameful things I don’t want anyone else finding.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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I’m not disparaging anyone who uses them, and I even find myself needing one occasionally but.... is there anything more depressing than a bedroom amp?

I hide mine in the same drawer as my inflatable sex doll, flask of Fireball, and other shameful things I don’t want anyone else finding.

I knew it....beef jerky and Slim Jims!
 

Huggy B

Space is the place
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
2,574
Haha! Nah man, if I was gonna meat again I’d go straight for that KFC sammich that uses fried chicken for buns and bacon.

qlKC7iu.gif


You no good low down vegan!!! ........ I mean varmint.

Even though the "Double down" may have had a semi cool name and probably sold well somewhere outside of Seoul...
CZxByWG.jpg



.... but we all know what wins the greasy fast food name game........

.... the "Naked Chalupa".

9NpWqf0.jpg
 

jxe

babe en der wood
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Messages
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portland.or.us
plastic covers on pickups.

I’m not disparaging anyone who uses them, and I even find myself needing one occasionally but.... is there anything more depressing than a bedroom amp?

I hide mine in the same drawer as my inflatable sex doll, flask of Fireball, and other shameful things I don’t want anyone else finding.
 

Dirty_Boogie

Still got the ol' tagger on it
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Messages
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Location
MA
Has anyone tried a different taper volume pot in the amp? Maybe reverse audio or linear taper? I'm guessing the MT-15 uses an audio taper volume pot. That should make a big difference in how the volume changes as you turn up the volume control.
 

Huggy B

Space is the place
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Messages
2,574
Has anyone tried a different taper volume pot in the amp? Maybe reverse audio or linear taper? I'm guessing the MT-15 uses an audio taper volume pot. That should make a big difference in how the volume changes as you turn up the volume control.

Still doing my research on that one, gonna talk with some amp tech people about it, will post my findings.
 

DreamTheaterRules

The guys in my car club call me The Cruiser
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Cincinnati area
You don’t necessarily want to switch the “type” of pot, just the value.

P.s. I think on my old laptop somewhere I have a calculator that shows you what value a pot will be if you put a resistor with it. It’s fairly simple math though. Maybe that’s the route to go for simplicities sake.
 

elvis

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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
The thing with tube amps is that designers don't always do the obvious thing. This can be due to the perception that the obvious thing doesn't sound as good, or for safety. Or because that designer just does stuff that way.

Because of the high voltages on tube amps, inputs and outputs are usually a more complicated resistor network than you'd expect to see with a SS circuit. So if you're adding a volume pot, you would expect to put the resistor terminals across the signal source and the wiper as an output. But I've seen places where the wiper is tied to the hot terminal of the pot and the other terminal to ground. That becomes a variable shunt, with changing output impedance. It's not driven from a plate, it's driven from a resistor network, which acts sort of like the top half of the pot.

Weird, but I'm sure it was on purpose.

Rather than redesign the amp, I prefer to put a volume control in the loop.
 

Boogie

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Indy, IN
Honestly, even if the amp sounded perfect in a situation I’d never use it, making mods to have it work outside it’s design envelope seems like you’re trying too hard. If it’s not right, it’s not right. Makers like Fargen made entire product lines designed to do what cranked big amps do at bedroom whisper volume. I doubt that’s what Mark Tremonti was shooting for. Personally, I’d crank the beast up and the neighbors/wife/baby be damned! :D
 

Black Plaid

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But I've seen places where the wiper is tied to the hot terminal of the pot and the other terminal to ground. That becomes a variable shunt, with changing output impedance. It's not driven from a plate, it's driven from a resistor network, which acts sort of like the top half of the pot.

I've never really thought about it, but if you concerned with the pot not being able to tolerate power dissipation your design somehow calls for, maybe that makes sense? I mean, maybe they really didn't want to have any low voltage in their amp just for potentiometers.
 
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