PRS 2 Channel C Lead Channel

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by Steve-o, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    Greetings to all! First timer here on the forum. Big fan of Paul's guitars and currently revolve 4 live, consisting of a Stripped '58, a 25th McCarty with narrow fields, a Studio and everyone' favorite when I play it live, Quatro.

    So, I took the plunge on a 2 Channel "C" head after finding a minty clean used one at my local GC. After reading many positive reviews and hoping for a "squishy" and somewhat Santana-esque lead tone, I'm not feeling it.

    The previous owner replaced each preamp tube including the loop, PI and reverb driver with all ax'7's - including Engl (look like JJ's) and Bugera (Chinese) re lables (he was probably looking for more gain too)..so I figured I'd start with the preamp. I replaced all the preamp tubes with new Gold Lions - Tried my vintage RCA's, but couldn't get them cooking where I wanted either. Put a JJ 12DW7 in the loop slot as per the design of the amp- Re-biased the original Winged C's up to about 39 after measuring 480 volts, yet I can't get that rich harmonic mid range edge of feedback bloom and squish (think Boogie lead tone) that I thought the lead channel would provide. I should add that at overbearing volumes, which are impractical for stage, things start to get there, but no bars in the area can tolerate the amp that loud. Lowering the output master and bringing up the lead gain volume past 2 o'clock just kinda sounds blah and fizzy, and its a fight to play. I don't see many reviews if the "C" here, or anywhere, and I am wondering if this may not be the amp for me.
    Messing with the effects loop send and return volumes adds to my confusion. I was hoping to I just plug in and play.
    I am currently gigging with an old Music Man HD 130 2x10 with vintage silver JBL's and some pedals including a compressor and various overdrives depending on the mood, and am breaking my back as the thing weighs a ton (but it puts out a ton of tone) I know the original 6ca7's are gonna croak one day, prefer not to spend big bucks for glass that can fail a day later, so I am trying to find my replacement in the "C" head. Can someone chime in on some tone tips?
    I've tried various cabs that I own, so I'm not at the point where a speaker will make the difference, I would like the lead tone to be super saturated at sensible volume, full of gain and richness for legato style and hammer on's- fire for fun guitaristic pyrotechnics. I can use the clean channel with pedals and get there, but, what's missing from the lead channel..my expectation?
    Thanks and appreciate the input.
     
    X-Mann likes this.
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I haven’t tried the “C” amp, although I want to in a very bad way - Nicky Moroch’s demo in Paul’s studio really wowed me, oddly enough, especially on the clean channel. It was a little more “dry” than the H, yet it resonated with me.

    Anyways, I have the 2 Channel Custom, a descendant of the C and H amps, I think the preamp is very similar to yours. The thing with the lead channel preamp is that there’s not actually a ton of compression and saturation. There are only a few gain stages, not a cascading high-gain thing like a Mesa Mark, etc. The trick for me has been a Klon-type boost - I use the Tumnus, and freaking love that combination. Hitting the front end a little harder (doesn’t take much) and the EQ tweak from the pedal cleans up any loose sounding bass, and really bumps out the mids in a broader sounding way than a tubescreamer. And, of course, adds that saturation and compression that makes the fun stuff jump out of the guitar.
     
  3. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    Thanks Andy-I was trying out my various stompers in front, but overdrives don't seem to be the ticket- I had some luck with a Full Tone Fat Boost. I was hoping someone would chime in with some pedal advice -thanks...Seems like Nicky's demo has much more of what I want out my "C" head- looking at the master output on that video probably says it all, need to cook the output stage to get the saturation.
     
  4. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    On the C and H the effect send return Vol act like a second master Volume it also works with NOTHING plugged in the loop.
    My H that has EL34 in it is a bit of a cross between a Marshall and my MKV, try turning down the Presence control gain at about 2 o'clock
    I run the master pretty low and the loop below noon ( this is pretty quite ) bring up the loop to increase volume also run the treble and bass below noon mids just above noon
    Boogies tend to run there tubes on the cold side I would get your Bias back down to 33 ( manufactures recommended ) I am also liking JJs across the board on mine.
    My old marks ( and my MKV in MK 1 mode ) compress a bunch at high gain which to me is that sound Low Presence, High mids lots of gain the C should get you a cool tone :)
    Cant wait to here your report :)
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I have the H and it's definitely not high gain. Plays well, though. I have a 73 Rams Head that works well into the clean channel. You might try a unit67. Looks like that would light an amp like that up.
     
  6. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, just checked out Pete Thorn's demo of the 67, nice tone!
     
  7. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I figured the EL 34's would be ok at 39 which is 75%..i didn't hear a difference between 33 and 39, so I'll prob lower it back down to 33. I didn't have a chance to try the EQ suggestions yet, but anxiously await the audition once the kids leave the house and will give a report!
     
  8. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    Try a Barber Gain Changer or GCX
     
  9. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    This amp struggle started 30 years ago. I started out with a boogie ii b, traded it for a “c” ( can’t say if it was a coveted c + or not, back then no one was hip to it) Sold it a year later to fund the new Mark iii as 3 channels seemed like a dream. Of course, cleans were compromised and it never fully lived up to its potential as a channel switching do all amp. Met Mark Snyder when he was getting involved with dream theater off Long Island when he ran the boogie east coast relations. He thought I might find eternal tone with the triaxis 2-90 rig. Ran it with 2 Mesa 2x12’s..dumped the Mark III.. the tri axis honestly never got back that liquid lead tone that the combos had.. been through a lot of amps since, looking for the one amp that could sound like the Mesa lead tone I had in the 80’s as well as cop a fender clean. By review, I thought the prs would get me there, and I am hoping I am a pedal or 2 away from it. However, the PRS “C” needs a push for sure to achieve what my fingers want to feel.
     
    #9 Steve-o, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  10. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    From what you’re saying, if PRS has an amp for you it’s the Archon. Great clean channel and if you clamp down the top end a little bit can get pretty liquid lead tone. I have a Mark V and a Mark V25 in house, and while I love them, both are for sale after getting the Archon.
     
  11. Glide-bpm

    Glide-bpm We were small but we were slow...

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    Archon's a pretty solid amp... However, I'm now cheesy digital boy with the Helix and Axe FX III.
    LoL!
     
  12. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    I can speak for the 2-channel custom 20, which is a descendent of your amp. It is not a boogie-like preamp with endless singing sustain coming from the preamp only. The dirty channel needs the master volume to be at least above 3:00 to really do its thing, and with 20 watts, that's loud, but not LOUD. I'd agree my amp is blah and fizzy on the lead channel at lower volume levels. But it's really sweet at volume, and on that particular amp I don't like to turn up the preamp gain past about noon. Likely your 50(?) watt version is LOUD before it really starts to sing.
     
  13. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    At volume, I get my wish..maybe an attenuator?
     
  14. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    No doubt, great sounds there, I'm just more of a on the fly analog guy..Like to get on stage 90% of the way there and by song 3, thru some quick e.q. changes I'm settled in.. I find a digital rig difficult for me live, With the overwhelming options, I'm driven to tonal madness and never ending fiddling...kinds like having to choose one type of candy in Willie Wonkaland.
     
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  15. Steve-o

    Steve-o New Member

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    I have some time to investigate the Archon..30 days to return the "C"
     
  16. bodia

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

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    That video made me order one. Although, anything Pete does could convince me to buy whatever he's demoing.
     
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  17. bodia

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

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    Total beast of an amp. Flys under the radar, for some reason. Not just a high gain monster. Lots of good tonez!
     
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  18. alantig

    alantig Sassyless pants

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    This. ^^^

    The tonal options on the Archon are much wider than appears at first glance. The lead channel never really gets clean, but it does get down into what I'd call a classic rock area. The clean channel gets a bit of dirt, but it doesn't really overlap the clean end of the lead channel. Lots of range in there. And it takes pedals pretty well.
     
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  19. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Pete could crap in a box and we'd buy it.
     
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  20. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

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    because it would sound good! :D
     
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