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18Beta kick in the balls!

Manny Fufish

Experienced
I have three units here in my lab. One has 17.04 and the other two have 18.00. A/B'ing them it's immediately apparent and as Manny noted the most apparent thing is the punch in the chest aspect. That's exactly what I mentioned about a week or two that I noticed being the biggest difference. You can feel the speakers "jump" for lack of a better term. One caveat, though, is that punch is dependent upon MV. The higher the MV the more punch but too high and things can get stuffy and/or raspy. You have to find the sweet spot and that depends on the other controls as well as your guitar and playing style.
Thank you Cliff, that immediate responsiveness, 'jump' as you say, is HUGE to me in what makes up a real amp and for the first time I'm totally getting it in the axe fx! You're a bloody magician!

Thank you FAS!!!!!
 

sirus1987

Inspired
I think another thing to explain why some may not be that thrilled about FW18, and not to downplay anyones ear for tone, is that some people are more in tune to tonal differences than others. Everyone's ear is a bit different. I personally think 18 is pretty revolutionary. I bought the axe IIXL0 about a year ago and wasnt fully getting the real amp feel I was hoping for, and it was in part due to the setup I was using and my lack of experience with the axe and also in part to the axe itself. 18 has pretty much done it for me, it really does sound incredible and extremely realistic. Im just stoked to see where it goes from here. I know everyone keeps saying they dont know how it could get any better and it keeps getting better so who knows where it will go. Keep on keepin on fractal.
 

RossE

Inspired
Cliff, curious about your MV statement. For the amps that default to MV=10, are you saying those should be tweaked for the sweet spot also? I assumed those set at 10 were meant to be at 10.
 

Hotplate

Power User
Cliff, curious about your MV statement. For the amps that default to MV=10, are you saying those should be tweaked for the sweet spot also? I assumed those set at 10 were meant to be at 10.
I was about to type the same question. I assume the answer is "try it and see".. but I'd like to hear Cliff's thoughts on this one.
 

smcrosby

Power User
I have three units here in my lab. One has 17.04 and the other two have 18.00. A/B'ing them it's immediately apparent and as Manny noted the most apparent thing is the punch in the chest aspect. That's exactly what I mentioned about a week or two that I noticed being the biggest difference. You can feel the speakers "jump" for lack of a better term.

One caveat, though, is that punch is dependent upon MV. The higher the MV the more punch but too high and things can get stuffy and/or raspy. You have to find the sweet spot and that depends on the other controls as well as your guitar and playing style.
Cliff - can you elaborate on "other controls?"
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Cliff, curious about your MV statement. For the amps that default to MV=10, are you saying those should be tweaked for the sweet spot also? I assumed those set at 10 were meant to be at 10.
No, I was referring to MV amps. Non-MV amps I never touch the MV (leave on 10).
 

Tone Seeker

Power User
I played a live set using V18b7 yesterday and I was blown away. The increase in punch, cut and sweetness was immediately noticeable. I played most of the morning using a Carr Rambler preset that I've had in place for quite some time. All that I changed under V18b7 was BMT and drive (same IR).

My clean tone had enough beef to cover things that would have required some breakup with V17. When I wanted more grit I pushed the amp harder and found I could stay on the neck pickup with my PRS 513. There was great balance between cut and sweetness. With V17 the neck pickup didn't cut and the bridge had too much bite.

V18b7 seems to balance "sweet" and "cut" very well. I can switch between neck and bridge at will, and flavour to taste using my tone control.

The Carr Rambler is gorgeous now, and it's not even been "G3'd". The Plexi 100 sounds extraordinary. Very raw and full of character. I feel like I have a new processor!

Terry.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
It would seem I need to spend some time with the non MV amps. I typically have been using the Friedman BE or the Splawns.
Those amps it's definitely noticeable. Turn the MV up on the Friedman and you'll notice that you'll start to get a thump on the attack.

The way I dial in the MV is to turn up the MV until the amp stops getting louder. This is the point at which the power amp is saturating heavily. Then I back it off until I get the right amount of preamp and power amp distortion. That's the sweet spot where you get the tone and the dynamics. Too little MV and it's all preamp distortion and there's not much dynamics. Too much MV and the power amp is clipping too much and it can get flubby and/or harsh.

Just as with a real tube amp you have to get the power amp cooking to get the best tone and feel. Get that power amp working hard and the supply bouncing around and things get nice.

For example, a typical Marshall-style power amp will idle around 450V. That voltage can drop between 50V and 100V or more when you work the power amp hard. My 100W Plexi sags 120V. When the supply sags this causes transients that accentuate the attack and cause knock and thump. This gives you that punch in the chest feeling because it causes the speaker to "jump".
 

ChrisMetal86

Experienced
Cliff, have you ever thought about writing a book on all of this tube amp knowledge? Even though I'm not a tube amp guy anymore, I love reading your posts with all the info you throw out randomly! Makes it easier to understand how things work so I know how to dial in things better. :encouragement: I'd buy two copies if you would sign them both for me, thanks!
 

H3O2

Experienced
Those amps it's definitely noticeable. Turn the MV up on the Friedman and you'll notice that you'll start to get a thump on the attack.

The way I dial in the MV is to turn up the MV until the amp stops getting louder. This is the point at which the power amp is saturating heavily. Then I back it off until I get the right amount of preamp and power amp distortion. That's the sweet spot where you get the tone and the dynamics. Too little MV and it's all preamp distortion and there's not much dynamics. Too much MV and the power amp is clipping too much and it can get flubby and/or harsh.

Just as with a real tube amp you have to get the power amp cooking to get the best tone and feel. Get that power amp working hard and the supply bouncing around and things get nice.

For example, a typical Marshall-style power amp will idle around 450V. That voltage can drop between 50V and 100V or more when you work the power amp hard. My 100W Plexi sags 120V. When the supply sags this causes transients that accentuate the attack and cause knock and thump. This gives you that punch in the chest feeling because it causes the speaker to "jump".
This is exactly the kind of helpful insight I appreciate. While it may seem simple, it's not always obvious to the less amp-experienced like myself.

Thanks Cliff!
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
Cliff, have you ever thought about writing a book on all of this tube amp knowledge? Even though I'm not a tube amp guy anymore, I love reading your posts with all the info you throw out randomly! Makes it easier to understand how things work so I know how to dial in things better. :encouragement: I'd buy two copies if you would sign them both for me, thanks!
Gonna need that in hard back with a classy cover so my wife will let it stay on the coffee table.
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
Most definitely need one in a classy hardback.
Not even kidding. It's a "shut up and take my money" kinda thing. Put me on the wait list nao!

I think the cover pic should be a picture of the book sitting on a coffee table, and the cover of the book on that coffee table is a picture of the book on a coffee table... Fractal... get it... :D

Thank you, I'll be here all night.
 
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