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18Beta kick in the balls!

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
I gotta be honest here - 5 seconds with ANY of the G3'd Marshalls REALLY shines and is immediately discernable as better than 17.04.
Since I generally play NMV amps (and I crank the Master in MV amps until things 'fall apart' and back off a bit) the firmware differences are usually very apparent to me. A lot of the feel is dependent on the power amp working hard and having the speaker interact with the output section.
 

Melten

Inspired
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.
Would you also do this with amps like the FAS Modern II? It seems that turning up the MV on that amp only seems to stop getting louder at something like 8-9 on the MV. Even then it seems like the VU meters are registering on average higher dB when you keep going up. That's way higher than I ever seriously tried the MV on that amp, but it does actually seem to be overall like a more well-rounded distortion when MV is up near to those values.
 

axes

Inspired
You have to find the sweet spot and that depends on the other controls as well as your guitar and playing style.
... and skills, too! This is a very important and overlooked point when talking about tone IMO.
A few years ago I was selling my KPA to fund my Axe II, and two guys who were interested in it turned up at my house. They started playing around with it and in a couple of minutes they told me that it didn't sound good to them, they didn't hear what they expected and wanted. I asked for the guitar, played a few lines for them and they went "wow... now I get it... I need guitar lessons and more practice, because when you played I heard what I wanted to hear and I loved the tone". Needless to say I f*cked up my own deal because they didn't buy it, but I've learnt an important lesson.
 

Karl Houseknecht

Power User
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.
I think this is where my problem lies. I've been using the Axe-Fx much as I would use the real amp on stage: i.e. - if I would have the real deal, I'd probably only turn the MV up to 3 or 4 because that's as loud as I or the audience / sound guy could stand it. The method you describe above is intriguing and something I never would have done in the real world because I value my hearing. :) Going to give this a shot. Thanks, Cliff!
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I think this is where my problem lies. I've been using the Axe-Fx much as I would use the real amp on stage: i.e. - if I would have the real deal, I'd probably only turn the MV up to 3 or 4 because that's as loud as I or the audience / sound guy could stand it. The method you describe above is intriguing and something I never would have done in the real world because I value my hearing. :) Going to give this a shot. Thanks, Cliff!
The taper of the MV on the Axe-Fx does not necessarily match the taper of the actual amp. We use the same taper on every model. IIRC it is a Log10 taper. Many amps use a taper that is more abrupt than that for marketing reasons. For example, a Blues Jr has a linear taper MV. This means the amp is near full volume when the MV is at 3. This gives the impression that an amp is "loud". When the unsuspecting customer is testing the amp and it gets really loud with the MV on 2 the customer instinctively goes "wow, this amp is loud, it must be good".

Anyways we use a consistent Log10A taper on every model. In general this means you need to set the MV higher than you would on the real amp. For example if the real amp has a linear taper halfway on the model would be equivalent to 1 on the amp (assuming the amp is calibrated from 0 - 10).

The taper of a logarithmic pot has the nomenclature LogXA where 'A' indicates audio and X is the percentage of the element resistance from wiper to CCW terminal with the pot at 50% rotation. So a 1 Megohm Log10A pot would have 100K between the wiper and the CCW terminal when the pot is at "noon".
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
The taper of the MV on the Axe-Fx does not necessarily match the taper of the actual amp. We use the same taper on every model. IIRC it is a Log10 taper. Many amps use a taper that is more abrupt than that for marketing reasons. For example, a Blues Jr has a linear taper MV. This means the amp is near full volume when the MV is at 3. This gives the impression that an amp is "loud". When the unsuspecting customer is testing the amp and it gets really loud with the MV on 2 the customer instinctively goes "wow, this amp is loud, it must be good".

Anyways we use a consistent Log10A taper on every model. In general this means you need to set the MV higher than you would on the real amp. For example if the real amp has a linear taper halfway on the model would be equivalent to 1 on the amp (assuming the amp is calibrated from 0 - 10).

The taper of a logarithmic pot has the nomenclature LogXA where 'A' indicates audio and X is the percentage of the element resistance from wiper to CCW terminal with the pot at 50% rotation. So a 1 Megohm Log10A pot would have 100K between the wiper and the CCW terminal when the pot is at "noon".
Does this mean once you've found the MV "sweet spot" on one amp model, it would be safe to assume a similar MV value will be close to the "sweet spot" on another model?
 

chris

Legend!
Does this mean once you've found the MV "sweet spot" on one amp model, it would be safe to assume a similar MV value will be close to the "sweet spot" on another model?
i don't think so. the taper may be the same, but how that amp reacts with that setting still will be different. the same taper just means the movement from 0-10 will be similar for all models. yet the result will be different.

in other words a sweet spot of 4 on a recto may not be the sweet spot with a fender twin set to 4 as well. however, "4" represents the same place on the dial in both (all) amps.
 

Loquenau

Power User
i don't think so. the taper may be the same, but how that amp reacts with that setting still will be different. the same taper just means the movement from 0-10 will be similar for all models. yet the result will be different.

in other words a sweet spot of 4 on a recto may not be the sweet spot with a fender twin set to 4 as well. however, "4" represents the same place on the dial in both (all) amps.
Yeah, duh. Only not, perhaps, if the circuit is real similar. But again, why bother thinking about it when you can just....Do It.
 
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