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Cathode follower compression

greiswig

Power User
Just wondering why this parameter has audible effects on amps that do not have a cathode follower? Is it intentional, or a bug?
 

greiswig

Power User
That is very cool! Nice to have a few instances where you can definitely go completely non-traditional when digital.
 

yyz67

Inspired
Yeah, it's great how Cliff has designed various aspects of amp modeling to be generic and engaged if in the actual amp or off if not.

I've played with CF compression on non-CF amps to good effect (like on a few Fenders). Also playing with tone stack location and type can get you into different tonal territory from the defaults. Now we have speaker impedance plug-and-play options too!
 

stereotactic

Experienced
Can anybody describe what cathode follower compression sound like, as opposed to power amp or preamp compression? I’m not sure I’ve ever owned an amp with a cathode follower...
 

yyz67

Inspired
Can anybody describe what cathode follower compression sound like
Not really :) But too me it can a roundness/chunkiness esp on attacks, but this depends in the harmonic parameter. Best way to know is play with it yourself.

Found this article which isn't too technical. Whether it is correct or not, perhaps only Cliff or amp makers here could say. Looks like it's mostly it's asymmetric overdriven character: "[a] mixture of clean and distorted sounds represents the typical flavor – pure attack and dynamic response mixed with a delicious creaminess – of a cathode follower-endowed amp."

http://blog.hughes-and-kettner.com/the-cathode-follower-the-tech-secret-behind-classic-tube-amp-guitar-tone/
 

LeBigMac

Member
I used it with the 5153 100 Blue yesterday. It’s amazing. Specially in conjunction with the Gain Enhancer = 🤟. Had lots of fun.
 

Surjikal

Member
Slightly off topic but.. how do you guys know all this stuff? I assuming you've been exposed to them from actual tube amplifiers?

My amplifier journey has been Line 6 Spyder II -> Axe FX Ultra + Mesa 50/50 -> Axe FX 3 and Studio Monitors.
For some reason, I didn't see these kinds of settings on the line 6.... lol

What's the best resource to learn about these "advanced" amp settings?
I play with them sometimes but it'd be cool to know what they do, instead brute forcing my tone.
 

BaronVonGrim

Experienced
I wonder that too... how do these guys know and understand all of these various things. And I did a year of electrical engineering before I changed majors... and I did fine with the curriculum.. I just couldn't think that way with enough enthusiasm to accomplish anything from it. This forum is mind boggling to me on almost a daily basis.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Slightly off topic but.. how do you guys know all this stuff? I assuming you've been exposed to them from actual tube amplifiers?

My amplifier journey has been Line 6 Spyder II -> Axe FX Ultra + Mesa 50/50 -> Axe FX 3 and Studio Monitors.
For some reason, I didn't see these kinds of settings on the line 6.... lol

What's the best resource to learn about these "advanced" amp settings?
I play with them sometimes but it'd be cool to know what they do, instead brute forcing my tone.
Read posts here from Cliff... Experiment. Absorb.

You can also read about these components of amplifiers other places. Since the Axe Fx models the circuitry of amplifiers, the things that effect a real amp would similarly effect the Axe Fx.

Also, as posted elsewhere, note that many of the advanced settings are not things that are possible on physical amps without modifications.
 

JoKeR III

Experienced
Slightly off topic but.. how do you guys know all this stuff? I assuming you've been exposed to them from actual tube amplifiers?

My amplifier journey has been Line 6 Spyder II -> Axe FX Ultra + Mesa 50/50 -> Axe FX 3 and Studio Monitors.
For some reason, I didn't see these kinds of settings on the line 6.... lol

What's the best resource to learn about these "advanced" amp settings?
I play with them sometimes but it'd be cool to know what they do, instead brute forcing my tone.
Start here:
https://forum.fractalaudio.com/forums/tech-notes.77/
 

BaronVonGrim

Experienced
What types of modifications are there?
Hot is the one I know of by name, because they refer to it that way. Are these mods within the same schematics? And just different components used.. and the mods occur via different arrangements and applications of components.. or is original schematics reconfigured ?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
What types of modifications are there?
Hot is the one I know of by name, because they refer to it that way. Are these mods within the same schematics? And just different components used.. and the mods occur via different arrangements and applications of components.. or is original schematics reconfigured ?
It's electronics... Could be changing out or removing a component (like the bright cap), could be adding something, etc.

Basically any of the things you mentioned is possible.
 

stereotactic

Experienced
Not really :) But too me it can a roundness/chunkiness esp on attacks, but this depends in the harmonic parameter. Best way to know is play with it yourself.

Found this article which isn't too technical. Whether it is correct or not, perhaps only Cliff or amp makers here could say. Looks like it's mostly it's asymmetric overdriven character: "[a] mixture of clean and distorted sounds represents the typical flavor – pure attack and dynamic response mixed with a delicious creaminess – of a cathode follower-endowed amp."

http://blog.hughes-and-kettner.com/the-cathode-follower-the-tech-secret-behind-classic-tube-amp-guitar-tone/
Thanks for the link, I read it and made as much sense out of as I could given the ESL writing.

But the other thing/mystery is, I never seem to get a good result by changing the cathode follower parameters on the dynamics page. It’s like they are set perfectly and adjusting any of them, even a little and it starts sounding bad.

I have only played with it on my high gain patches, anybody else have a similar experience?
 
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