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Anybody else noticing a few db less for cleans with the II's vs the I's?

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by joegold, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. #1 joegold, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
    joegold

    joegold
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    Hi

    I'm wondering if anybody else has noticed this too.

    I seem to be getting a few db less with my clean Presets out of the II before clipping the Outs than I could get with the Ultra.
    The difference is subtle.
    I'd estimate the difference to only be around 3 or 4 db less with the II.

    Anybody else notice this?

    For most of you this won't be an issue.
    But I've been using (and plan on continuing to use if possible) a slightly underpowered power amp (a Bryston 2B LP-Pro - in bridged-mono mode for 200 watts), so for me every db counts.
    I also play a lot of jazz with a quite dark tone and these types of tones always require a lot of power when playing loud-ish jazz, like when I play with a loud drummer.

    I'd been hoping to be able to stick with one 2B in bridged mono mode for most gigs (like I've been doing with the Ultra) and two 2Bs (once I buy the 2nd 2B) for when I want to go stereo.
    But a single 2B at 200 watts bridged-mono might not be able to cut it for some of my playing situations unless I can get a bit more volume out of my clean presets, believe it or not.

    I'm using Out 2 (FX Loop Block is pre-Cab Block) for my stage rig (the 2B into an EVM-12L open back cab) and Out 1 for FOH with an EVM-12L IR in the active Cab Block.
    If I could use Out 1 for my stage setup (sans Cab Block) then I could use the XLR outputs (which have +6db more gain than the 1/4" outs of either the Out 2 or Out 1 jacks) which would probably be just about fine for my needs.
    But then I can't send a feed with Cab Block active to the FOH.

    [Too bad we can't just selectively defeat the Cab Block on Out 2 as well as Out 1.
    I'd have to use a direct box to send Out 2's signal to the FOH, but my thing would be better overall if this was possible.
    I doubt I'll ever see it in firmware though.]

    Dirty tones are no problem because they always sound subjectively louder.

    If I keep the II (which I almost certainly will) I may have to get a louder power amp and I don't want to go to 2U so my only option will probably be a Matrix GT800.

    But if there were some way to get back a few db out of the II I'd probably still be OK with the 2B.

    When I saw the I/O parameter for Boosting/Padding the Outs I thought that might do the trick, but it's really just a pad. I.e. There is no boost.
    It'd be nice if this really could boost the level post DAC, but that's not gonna happen either.

    Of course there's always the possibility that I'm doing something wrong (I've only had the II for 2 days), but I have no idea what that might be.
     
  2. Bakerman

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    You're saying cab sim on Out 2 only would be one possible solution? Because that can be done now: branch from the main path and place cab before FXL.

    Re: boost/pad, I guess that should be at 0 dB to maximize the potential analog output level. Use global EQ level instead (if presets are already level-matched) to bring the highest-peak preset just below clipping.
     
  3. Rex

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    What Bakerman said.

    Even if there's a 3- or 4-dB difference between the II and the Ultra, if you can't drive your power amp into clipping, there's something wrong with your setup—and if your are driving your power amp into clipping, more level won't help. If everything is set up right, your power amp's capabilities will be the limit on how loud you can get, not the Axe-FX.
     
  4. chris

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    dang bakerman said it in there... in the global menu, go to the EQ page for whatever out you want more gain from and raise the level.

    dang and rex said the other part too! more volume from the axe won't help if you are overdriving your amp's input.

    i'm assuming you have your output volume knobs maxed out? only then would you notice a difference between the axe 1 and 2. if not... just turn up the axe ii output knob till it's as loud as the axe 1.
     
  5. joegold

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    Thanks. Hadn't thought of that. I'll try it and get back.

    The Global EQ's are post DAC and increasing the level there will clip just the same as increasing it in the Amp Block.

    What I always do is to create my hyper-clean dark jazz preset with as much level as possible, w/o clipping the Outs, when using my bridge pickup cranked while slamming out full 6-string chords. That's as loud a signal as that guitar will ever put out.
    Then I adjust all my other presets by ear to match the level of my hyper-clean dark jazz preset.

    I could probably increase it a few db because I never use the bridge pickup when playing jazz and I usually have the tone control backed off quite a bit when using the neck pickup.
    But every once in a while I'll do a Bill Frisell-ish type of thing with the bridge pickup too on that preset and it needs to be set up so as to not clip the Outs when I do that.

    I've attached an AXe II Preset file to this post.
    This is my current hyper-clean dark jazz preset on the II.
    View attachment 10212
    This is to be played on a guitar with a vintage output humbucker in the neck position, tone control dialed back somewhat ala Pat Metheny/Jim Hall/Pat Martino type tone.
    It should sound OK through guitar cabs (via Out 2) or FRFR (via (Out 1).
    My cabs are 1 X 12" open with EVM-12Ls.
    [Notice how I've had to lower the Level of the Cab Block to -10dB to preven clipping the Outs.
    I've never understood why the Cab Block at 0dB should increase the clipping of the Outs. I wish it wasn't like that and that inserting a Cab Block into a Layout did not affect the clipping characteristics of the Preset.]

    If anybody knows how to get this Preset louder w/o clipping the Outs please let me know.
     
  6. joegold

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    Please see the attached Preset file in my just previous post.
    It's true that if I'm using my neck pickup cranked (tone and vol pots on full) with the Axe's Out 2 cranked, I can clip the input of my power amp.

    Maybe I'll have to set the level on this Preset according to the loudest level I'll actually be using from the guitar when using this Preset (i.e. with the neck pickup cranked rather than the bridge pickup) just to get a few more dB out of it.

    But ultimately, I think I'm going to need a more powerful power amp to do what I want to do.

    Too bad, because the 2B sounds *great* and is only 1U.
     
  7. yek

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    Maybe adding a studio compressor at the end of the chain helps will let you bump the level a little more. Or a MBP to keep the low end under control.
     
  8. Bakerman

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    Right, assuming you meant pre-DAC. I was just saying that boost/pad should be at 0 dB if you're trying to get the highest possible level to the power amp. If the preset is already close to clipping the DAC then any pre-DAC boost (amp block, global EQ, boost/pad) can clip it, but only the boost/pad would be turning the level down post-DAC at the same time.
     
  9. joegold

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    Yeah. Sorry. Pre-DAC is what I meant.

    Right.

    What I was saying earlier is that it would be cool IMO to actually be able to boost the level a bit sometimes post-DAC.
     
  10. yek

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    That would be the same as using the Out1 knobs at the front panel.
     
  11. AlbertA

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    Isn't that what the output knobs do?
     
  12. chris

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    That's why I asked if his output knobs were maxed out, which we still don't know.
     
  13. joegold

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    Oiy.
    Yes, my Output 2 knob is maxed.
    What I'm saying is that I'd still like a bit more level on top of that.
     
  14. Rex

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    I think you hit the nail on the head, unfortunately.
     
  15. chris

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    Wow it seems crazy that you can max out your volume knob and not distort the input of your power amp! Imma go try something, brb.
     
  16. trsaudio

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    Why not flip the usage of the outputs. Run Out 2 to FOH (thru a direct box to balance it) and run Out 1 (XLR) to the Bryston giving you 6db more gain being balanced. The FOH feed doesn't need the extra gain - just needs to be balanced for the distance and convenient input into the snake.

    Keith
     
  17. FractalAudio

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    The II actually has more output than the I. The II can do about +20 dBu, the I was about +18.
     
  18. Rex

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    +1. According to Bryston, that amp needs about 3/4 of a volt of input to drive it to its full rated output. The Axe-FX can put out a signal 20 dB hotter than that. There's attenuation going on somewhere.
     
  19. #19 Thomas Larsson, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
    Thomas Larsson

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    Well , I think you will have trouble finding
    Equipment that can handle those levels.
    I messured the output clip levels with an oscolloscope
    To : Axe II. Out 1 clip 0.5/8v depending on pad.
    Peak levels Out 2 clip. 0.5/8 V
    In clip. 0.5 v/ More than 10 (depending on Input gain)


    I guess you can allways change gain resistors one the Axe
    output OP Amp (if there is one) but I dont now how much headroom
    there is left I guess they can deliever near +- 24V peak .

    Your power amp seemes to have a strange input
    sensitivity.

    Maybe you could also use two (good quality) audio transformers (l/r) to dubble or tripple
    the signal voltage. But it depends on the impedance of the poweramp input , (if it's gonna work).
    I think there is 6,3mm female/female audio transformers to bye.

     
  20. tlainhart

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    Joe -

    I loaded your preset, but was unable to get any output on it.
     

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