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Axe-fx vs Tube Amps... my first experience.

jmillion

Inspired
WG6 said:
I'm curious as to where you had the master volume set on the high gain models that you tried. I believe all of the models you mentioned are ones that would benefit from and ultimately work best with lower master volume settings. If you had the master as high as you did with the Recto (7.5) then that would definitely explain the rounded off top end and lack of "sparkle" that you mentioned. Other power amp parameters could definitely be tweaked, including depth and dampening that would make a huge difference.
I completely agree. I was bummed with both Marsha amps until I turned down the master.
 

mortega76

Fractal Fanatic
Wouldn't it be cool to be able to lock down your overall volume and still be able to adjust the master?

Edit: I'm going to start a poll for this...
 

WG6

Member
mortega76 said:
Wouldn't it be cool to be able to lock down your overall volume and still be able to adjust the master?

Edit: I'm going to start a poll for this...
Well once you get the desired effect from the Master volume knob you still have an overall level control that follows that. So you CAN do this.
 

jmillion

Inspired
WG6 said:
mortega76 said:
Wouldn't it be cool to be able to lock down your overall volume and still be able to adjust the master?

Edit: I'm going to start a poll for this...
Well once you get the desired effect from the Master volume knob you still have an overall level control that follows that. So you CAN do this.
To be fair, I think his suggestion is that it would be interesting if the level stayed the same (automatically) while tinkering with the effect of the Master. It could be a nice option for auditioning pros & cons of the master volume on each amp.
 

TBurst Std

Inspired
Just catching up on this thread. Curious at the dbs that are referenced, how can you assure that hearing fatigue is not part of the "tonal" difference you are sensing?

Lord I knows I test my patches at stage volume (a minor 96-98db) and I get hearing fatigue within a while. Add a couple beers or glasses of wine to it and it gets even worst.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
mortega76 said:
This past Sunday we had a gig and on stage the sound guy had me at about 8 o'clock... and I couldn't even hear myself on stage... crazy these sound guys.
As a guy who works BOTH sides of the stage, and having [laboriously] read thru the entire thread, I can tell you that MOST sound guys are not crazy. With no offense intended, you are a sound guys worst nightmare. You are the epitome of "Nigel" and like to turn stuff up to 11 !! :(

That does not translate well to the guy at FOH. We need TOTAL control of your sound.. not your TONE, but your sound level on the stage and in the mix. If I had a dime for every guitar player I've put on stage that played like you, I'd be living on some island in the the pacific sipping Mai-Tai's!
Let me put it simply. LOUD does NOT EQUAL GOOD!!!.
GREAT tone can also be achieved at non-deafening levels. Playing like that puts you in a pissing contest with the other instruments on the stage and with the PA system. And [since I'm on a roll here... :) ] STEREO cabs DO NOT translate well in LIVE music! But that's a whole other rant LOL !

If you have to crank your rig that loud to get satisfying tone, you have serious problems with your fundamentals, and neither the Axe, nor any combination of amp, (SS or otherwise) will solve that -- and that has been stated by some VERY talented people (including FAS) in this thread. Some of the best players I've ever had the pleasure to mix show up with a 5W DocZ or a Blues Cube (or other amp .. I picked those at random BTW), place the amp on a stool/stand pointed across the stage and up at them, and I mic it (or DI, depending on amp). Awesome tone, LOW stage volumes, full control of where the guitar sits in the mix and no-one gets their heads blown off! And the CD quality sound is enjoyed by all.

If you are cranked to 11 on stage, I have NO control over the mix, and while it's your job to play, it's mine to make sure that what the audience hears is not entire crap or MUSH! I have been known to go onstage and turn down the master on a guitar players amp (OMG, cardinal sin!!!)... because the PA system can't compete with it, it's too LOUD for the venue, I've asked you nicely 50,000 times to turn down already, and I honestly don't care if your girlfriend/wife/significant other "can't hear you properly". I've been at this too long to need gigs like that. And yes, I have lost work doing that, but I don't need those kinds of gigs anyway.

Here's the fact.. As the guitar player, you may be in a perpetual search of tone Nirvana. Maybe not. Many are, but they forget that playing live is absolutely NOT about THEIR tone, but about the entire package presented by the band. Sure, YOUR tone is in there, but so is bass, drums, keys and vox!! NEVER FORGET that it's a TEAM effort and the "Jeez, I got to FEEL my tone" is pure horse-feathers for not knowing what you are doing and being thoroughly unprofessional.

Again.. no offense intended. Unfortunately, you are not alone in this zone.
I'm just calling it as I have seen it MANY times!! (my $0.02)
 

tgunn

Experienced
s0c9 said:
hey s0c9 - I think you might have misread 8 o'clock as 8 in the range from 0-10 :) 8 o'clock would be with the volume at approximately 1.

EDIT: I agree with all of your points though.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
tgunn said:
s0c9 said:
hey s0c9 - I think you might have misread 8 o'clock as 8 in the range from 0-10 :) 8 o'clock would be with the volume at approximately 1.

EDIT: I agree with all of your points though.
LOL .. no I got the 8 as being "clock" wise. My reply was based on all I have read in this thread.
 

mortega76

Fractal Fanatic
s0c9 said:
mortega76 said:
This past Sunday we had a gig and on stage the sound guy had me at about 8 o'clock... and I couldn't even hear myself on stage... crazy these sound guys.
As a guy who works BOTH sides of the stage, and having [laboriously] read thru the entire thread, I can tell you that MOST sound guys are not crazy. With no offense intended, you are a sound guys worst nightmare. You are the epitome of "Nigel" and like to turn stuff up to 11 !! :(

That does not translate well to the guy at FOH. We need TOTAL control of your sound.. not your TONE, but your sound level on the stage and in the mix. If I had a dime for every guitar player I've put on stage that played like you, I'd be living on some island in the the pacific sipping Mai-Tai's!
Let me put it simply. LOUD does NOT EQUAL GOOD!!!.
GREAT tone can also be achieved at non-deafening levels. Playing like that puts you in a pissing contest with the other instruments on the stage and with the PA system. And [since I'm on a roll here... :) ] STEREO cabs DO NOT translate well in LIVE music! But that's a whole other rant LOL !

If you have to crank your rig that loud to get satisfying tone, you have serious problems with your fundamentals, and neither the Axe, nor any combination of amp, (SS or otherwise) will solve that -- and that has been stated by some VERY talented people (including FAS) in this thread. Some of the best players I've ever had the pleasure to mix show up with a 5W DocZ or a Blues Cube (or other amp .. I picked those at random BTW), place the amp on a stool/stand pointed across the stage and up at them, and I mic it (or DI, depending on amp). Awesome tone, LOW stage volumes, full control of where the guitar sits in the mix and no-one gets their heads blown off! And the CD quality sound is enjoyed by all.

If you are cranked to 11 on stage, I have NO control over the mix, and while it's your job to play, it's mine to make sure that what the audience hears is not entire crap or MUSH! I have been known to go onstage and turn down the master on a guitar players amp (OMG, cardinal sin!!!)... because the PA system can't compete with it, it's too LOUD for the venue, I've asked you nicely 50,000 times to turn down already, and I honestly don't care if your girlfriend/wife/significant other "can't hear you properly". I've been at this too long to need gigs like that. And yes, I have lost work doing that, but I don't need those kinds of gigs anyway.

Here's the fact.. As the guitar player, you may be in a perpetual search of tone Nirvana. Maybe not. Many are, but they forget that playing live is absolutely NOT about THEIR tone, but about the entire package presented by the band. Sure, YOUR tone is in there, but so is bass, drums, keys and vox!! NEVER FORGET that it's a TEAM effort and the "Jeez, I got to FEEL my tone" is pure horse-feathers for not knowing what you are doing and being thoroughly unprofessional.

Again.. no offense intended. Unfortunately, you are not alone in this zone.
I'm just calling it as I have seen it MANY times!! (my $0.02)
I completely agree with just about everything you said... but in the 8 o'clock case, it was as tgunn stated... the venue in question had no monitors whatsoever and they wanted for me to pretty much not hear myself at all! Vocals or guitar... I complied because I agree the FOH personel (whether it's Joe Blow or the best of the best) needs total control of each and every "instrument" on stage. But in this case... (as has been the last three shows we've done)... the FOH guy wants for me to turn down to an almost inaudible level and then they give us no monitors... in your opinion... what should a person in that situation do? I don't want to piss the FOH guy off at all... I'm a laid back kind of guy... if you tell me to turn down... I'll turn down as low as you want me to go. But what if I can't even hear myself at all!?!?!?
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
mortega76 said:
I completely agree with just about everything you said... but in the 8 o'clock case, it was as tgunn stated... the venue in question had no monitors whatsoever and they wanted for me to pretty much not hear myself at all! Vocals or guitar... I complied because I agree the FOH personel (whether it's Joe Blow or the best of the best) needs total control of each and every "instrument" on stage. But in this case... (as has been the last three shows we've done)... the FOH guy wants for me to turn down to an almost inaudible level and then they give us no monitors... in your opinion... what should a person in that situation do? I don't want to piss the FOH guy off at all... I'm a laid back kind of guy... if you tell me to turn down... I'll turn down as low as you want me to go. But what if I can't even hear myself at all!?!?!?
WOW !! That's completely different from what I got from your posts :)

So.. in this case, you have to work with the FOH guy and ask why the volume constraints, that you can't hear yourself, and that you have to at least be able to hear YOU at a minimum (I'll give you that for sure). It's a symbiotic relationship.
If the FOH guys is any good he'll recognize that need and work with you. He may be under "house rules" constraints. I don't know. Most sound guys I know WANT to make you sound the best they can. They get invited back :)

Most sound guys will [try] not put guitar [other than acoustic] into the monitors as the more you add, the more it tends to muddy the monitor mix, and many folks have trouble (due to hearing loss) with identifying what they need to hear so they tend to ask for more "me" in the monitors. If you have no monitors, how'd you hear vocals ??

Are your cabs "back line" i.e. back of stage pointing forward?
Do you have room to move them to the side/front and have them point back at you?
 

mortega76

Fractal Fanatic
s0c9 said:
mortega76 said:
I completely agree with just about everything you said... but in the 8 o'clock case, it was as tgunn stated... the venue in question had no monitors whatsoever and they wanted for me to pretty much not hear myself at all! Vocals or guitar... I complied because I agree the FOH personel (whether it's Joe Blow or the best of the best) needs total control of each and every "instrument" on stage. But in this case... (as has been the last three shows we've done)... the FOH guy wants for me to turn down to an almost inaudible level and then they give us no monitors... in your opinion... what should a person in that situation do? I don't want to piss the FOH guy off at all... I'm a laid back kind of guy... if you tell me to turn down... I'll turn down as low as you want me to go. But what if I can't even hear myself at all!?!?!?
WOW !! That's completely different from what I got from your posts :)

So.. in this case, you have to work with the FOH guy and ask why the volume constraints, that you can't hear yourself, and that you have to at least be able to hear YOU at a minimum (I'll give you that for sure). It's a symbiotic relationship.
If the FOH guys is any good he'll recognize that need and work with you. He may be under "house rules" constraints. I don't know. Most sound guys I know WANT to make you sound the best they can. They get invited back :)

Most sound guys will [try] not put guitar [other than acoustic] into the monitors as the more you add, the more it tends to muddy the monitor mix, and many folks have trouble (due to hearing loss) with identifying what they need to hear so they tend to ask for more "me" in the monitors. If you have no monitors, how'd you hear vocals ??

Are your cabs "back line" i.e. back of stage pointing forward?
Do you have room to move them to the side/front and have them point back at you?
Most places where I can't hear my vocals I just have to go by what I think I can barely hear in the echo of the FOH... definitely not the best but if that's all we have then... oh well. I know I can sound a lot better if I could just hear myself a bit more.

We're actually going to be playing at the same place in question on Sept. 11th... I was using my amp/cab setup as the backline but the sound guy was only worried about what they could (or couldn't) hear out front. He mentioned last time that they should be getting some monitors soon... so we'll see.

Check out these set of videos where I was able to crank my amp but I still could really hear myself (vocally) on stage... I know I go out of tune on some parts (hopefully because I can't hear myself!!! ;) )

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=19600
 

smilefan

Experienced
I run my Ultra thru a VHT 2/90/2 upgraded
with N.O.S. British & American tubes.
I've played thru every FRFR, S/S amp, tube head
I could, and I've never been tempted to switch
from the VHT. Never had anything do the
"amp in room" feel better with the Axe.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
mortega76 said:
s0c9 said:
mortega76 said:
I completely agree with just about everything you said... but in the 8 o'clock case, it was as tgunn stated... the venue in question had no monitors whatsoever and they wanted for me to pretty much not hear myself at all! Vocals or guitar... I complied because I agree the FOH personel (whether it's Joe Blow or the best of the best) needs total control of each and every "instrument" on stage. But in this case... (as has been the last three shows we've done)... the FOH guy wants for me to turn down to an almost inaudible level and then they give us no monitors... in your opinion... what should a person in that situation do? I don't want to piss the FOH guy off at all... I'm a laid back kind of guy... if you tell me to turn down... I'll turn down as low as you want me to go. But what if I can't even hear myself at all!?!?!?
WOW !! That's completely different from what I got from your posts :)

So.. in this case, you have to work with the FOH guy and ask why the volume constraints, that you can't hear yourself, and that you have to at least be able to hear YOU at a minimum (I'll give you that for sure). It's a symbiotic relationship.
If the FOH guys is any good he'll recognize that need and work with you. He may be under "house rules" constraints. I don't know. Most sound guys I know WANT to make you sound the best they can. They get invited back :)

Most sound guys will [try] not put guitar [other than acoustic] into the monitors as the more you add, the more it tends to muddy the monitor mix, and many folks have trouble (due to hearing loss) with identifying what they need to hear so they tend to ask for more "me" in the monitors. If you have no monitors, how'd you hear vocals ??

Are your cabs "back line" i.e. back of stage pointing forward?
Do you have room to move them to the side/front and have them point back at you?
Most places where I can't hear my vocals I just have to go by what I think I can barely hear in the echo of the FOH... definitely not the best but if that's all we have then... oh well. I know I can sound a lot better if I could just hear myself a bit more.

We're actually going to be playing at the same place in question on Sept. 11th... I was using my amp/cab setup as the backline but the sound guy was only worried about what they could (or couldn't) hear out front. He mentioned last time that they should be getting some monitors soon... so we'll see.

Check out these set of videos where I was able to crank my amp but I still could really hear myself (vocally) on stage... I know I go out of tune on some parts (hopefully because I can't hear myself!!! ;) )

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=19600
A Reactor or Verve in front of you would have done the job.
 

DonnieNeo

New Member
Hello,
I've had an Ultra now for a few weeks and I own several boutique and vintage tube amps.... and several more thru the years. (I'm 45 and have been playing on and off since I was 13) and I strongly recommend to try something different to amplify your sound and you will get the high frequencys back you say you can't hear.... I'm using a mesa dyna-watt 20/20 into a custom 212 cabinet loaded with celestion century vintage speakers (in stereo). It has all the clarity and presence I've ever heard in any tube amp-- clean or high gain. I am becoming convinced that I can emulate most any tube amp sound I've heard with my Ultra and enough tweeking.. also I think its important to eq the sound at the volume you will be playing.............. just a thought :) ..... I'm still learning the ultra and will be for some time............ will give a review when I get more aquianted with the unit... I am getting very attached to it ................ Donnie
 
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