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Fractal Audio AMP models: Dirty Shirley (Friedman Dirty Shirley)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *



Dirty Shirley: based on Friedman Dirty Shirley

Dave Friedman modded amps for famous guitar players. He now designs and builds his own hand-wired amps, and does so very successfully. Friedman amps are medium-to-high gain amps with really fat tones. He has built signature amps for Steve Stevens and Jerry Cantrell. The Dirty Shirley is the first Friedman amp model in our thread series.

Friedman:

“Dave Friedman’s Dirty Shirley 40 Watt Head was designed for guitarists that want a Vintage Classic Rock tone inspired by British tube amps from the 60’s and 70’s.​

It is based on a modified JTM 45 but still delivers the signature high gain tone for which Friedman is best known. The Dirty Shirley is a 40-watt, 5881 powered, single channel amp that will give you that vintage crunch and also cleans up nicely by merely backing off the guitar’s volume knob. Extremely versatile, it is capable of producing many styles of music from blues to rock and country by just adjusting the gain and master controls.”​

So: based on the Marshall JTM 45, 40 watts, single channel, high and low sensitivity inputs, 5881 (6L6) power tubes. Its sound is more classic and vintage than Friedman’s flagship, the BE. There’s a Mini Dirty Shirley amp too.

Compared to the Brit JM45 model, the Friedman is less bright, much fatter, has more gain and a Master Volume.

It's a no frills amp. The amp’s controls are very simple: Gain, Master Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence. (There have been revisions so the controls and number of inputs vary in the clips you see.)

Manual:

"We recommend starting the amp with the Bass on 6, the mids at around 7 or 8 and the treble and presence at 5. Set the gain around 6 and then bring the master to taste."​

The amp has a Master Volume control. This means that the amp’s distortion is created in particular by the preamp tubes, not the power amp. The Master Volume, which works in the power amp section, is still very important to the tone and feel. You have to decide for yourself what setting in the model works for you best (Friedman amps still sound good at low Master Volume settings). The default setting is a good point to start of course.

What also works well with this model: engage Boost or Saturation.

Cliff (about Friedman amps):

"If you want more clarity in the low mids (...) reduce Negative Feedback. Friedman's designs are a bit odd in that he takes the feedback off the speaker jack rather than off a transformer tap. (...) The amp will sound tighter and clearer in the low mids."

"The design is weird as the negative feedback is taken off the speaker jack. So if you use a 16-ohm speaker you get more feedback (and much more bass) than if you use an 8-ohm speaker. (...) It's too much bass for me so I turn down the Depth and reduce Negative Feedback a bit."​

This amp works with a lot of speakers, including G12M, G12-65, G12H and V30. You can also combine different speakers. If you want the sound of @Mark Day’s cabinet which he uses with his Friedman BE amp, use stock cabs 60 and 61 (4x12 V30s + greenbacks).

Cab Pack 10 offers more IRs of Mark Day's 4x12 cabinet.​





 
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yek

Moderator
Moderator
Personal note:

this is my current main amp model. I use it for everything, from clean to higher gain. I play funky and rhythm stuff with it at low drive settings (1.50), light crunch with drive around 4, and drive at 7 and higher gets me into rawk territory and searing leads.

I love that's it so basic and simple. I don’t turn a lot of knobs. I dial back Bass or Depth to decrease the bass frequencies and turn up Presence in clean parts. Eat that, Mesa.

The IR I use is from @ownhammer (OH 412 MAR-CB M75+H75 OH1F-04).

Maybe this amp’s heritage is why I like the model so much. It’s based on the JTM 45 (another excellent amp model), which in turn is based on the Fender Bassman.

My previous #1 model was the BE which is great too. But Dirty Shirley has more a vibe of its own, it’s vintage, it’s not as smooth and polished and modern as the BE. The Dirty Shirley also cleans up far better than the BE. And it cuts better through my guitar cab as well as through my FR monitors.

These days I’m more and more attracted to guitar tones which are a little filthy (get it: Dirty Shirley) and raw. I hear too many clips demonstrating perfectly EQ’d tones, and TBH, they don’t stick, I find them boring and don’t remember them, they have no personality. The Dirty Shirley does!

If I ever were to return to traditional amps and cabs ("Blasphemy!"), this amp with a 2x12 would be my choice.
 

ETOLKIEN

Experienced
These days I’m more and more attracted to guitar tones which are a little filthy (get it: Dirty Shirley) and raw. I hear too many clips demonstrating perfectly EQ’d tones, and TBH, they don’t stick, I find them boring and don’t remember them, they have no personality. The Dirty Shirley does!
Well said man!
That's the way I like it: dirty and sweaty...
The name comes from a beverage mix: a Shirley Temple (Ginger ale™/Sprite™ and a splash of grenadine syrup) with vodka
 
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yek

Moderator
Moderator
The name comes from a beverage mix: a Shirley Temple (Ginger ale™/Sprite™ and a splash of grenadine syrup) with vodka
While that seems logical, I surely (pun intended) wouldn't rule out other possibilities, looking at the questionable names of the other Friedman models.
 

ETOLKIEN

Experienced
While that seems logical, I surely (pun intended) wouldn't rule out other possibilities, looking at the questionable names of the other Friedman models.
Yes, there's another (dirtier) meaning.
I'm not english native but the urban dictionary helps a lot, surely:tonguewink:
Jimi would love this amp
 
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ben ifin

Inspired
I regularly run and [live] use both a Kemper and an Axe 2

For *both* units - for the type of music I do - the Dirty Shirley is *the* amp that stands head and shoulders above all others.

In my Kemper I run the MBritt D/S Profiles .... and with the Axe 2 [obviously] the D/S model.

It grinds - its cuts - it "hits the ears" gorgeously - and it is near on impossible to get a bad sound out of it.

For boosts / solo's I just hit the front end with a [virtual] clean boost stomp, and for cleans and breakup I just roll the guitar volume down - chime heaven.

If the Kemper only ever ran one profile ... and the Axe only ever came with one amp ....... as long as it was the D/S for each .... I would gladly still buy both units.

Ben
 

kdmay

New Member
From a topology perspective, the Dirty Shirley is more like a very well tuned JCM800 with 5881s, lowering filtering and a tube rectifier. So probably sits somewhere between the JTM45 and 800. It's a great design.

Killer amp. I've built one and it's still a go to for that big fat classic rock sound.
 

Johan Allard

Power User
I'll just chime in with the Dirty Shirley love. So much so that I've been thinking of buying the physical amp as well. Especially that mini version looks very tasty.
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
DAMN..... another morning revelation.....the video with Dave Friedman was a real eye opener.....I never realized the versatility of this amp....thanks Alex.
 

mnemonic

Inspired
Great amp, I love it for my lighter-gain and clean tones. It can actually get fairly heavy while maintaining clarity.

I was inspired to try it after hearing a demo of the mini version Friedman is now making. I was blown away by how good it sounded, and the axe model is no exception.
 

VeryBadMan

Experienced
Another great New Amp Day ! First thing I do in the studio is check out Yek's amp model posts and give them a try.
This one is especially nice !
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
I think this will be my new go to amp. I just spend an hour with it. I think the cleans are amongst the best, I have heard in Ax8. The drive sounds are also great, but the cleans are absolutely glorious.
 

kewlpack

Inspired
That's exactly what I do. I don't even have to adjust Amp Level to compensate.
Any chance you have a shareable preset for this one? Granted it's a simple amp, but getting presets from the forum gurus and analyzing them to learn various tricks has been very helpful.
 

marshall2553

Experienced
I think this will be my new go to amp. I just spend an hour with it. I think the cleans are amongst the best, I have heard in Ax8. The drive sounds are also great, but the cleans are absolutely glorious.
The real amp has some of the best clean tones of any amp I've owned. A nice surprise for an amp called the Dirty Shirley.
 

slashy

Inspired
Personal note:

this is my current main amp model. I use it for everything, from clean to higher gain. I play funky and rhythm stuff with it at low drive settings (1.50), light crunch with drive around 4, and drive at 7 and higher gets me into rawk territory and searing leads.

I love that's it so basic and simple. I don’t turn a lot of knobs. I dial back Bass or Depth to decrease the bass frequencies and turn up Presence in clean parts. Eat that, Mesa.

The IR I use is from @ownhammer (OH 412 MAR-CB M75+H75 OH1F-04).

Maybe this amp’s heritage is why I like the model so much. It’s based on the JTM 45 (another excellent amp model), which in turn is based on the Fender Bassman.

My previous #1 model was the BE which is great too. But Dirty Shirley has more a vibe of its own, it’s vintage, it’s not as smooth and polished and modern as the BE. The Dirty Shirley also cleans up far better than the BE. And it cuts better through my guitar cab as well as through my FR monitors.

These days I’m more and more attracted to guitar tones which are a little filthy (get it: Dirty Shirley) and raw. I hear too many clips demonstrating perfectly EQ’d tones, and TBH, they don’t stick, I find them boring and don’t remember them, they have no personality. The Dirty Shirley does!

If I ever were to return to traditional amps and cabs ("Blasphemy!"), this amp with a 2x12 would be my choice.
Yek after reading this article, i bought the V4 Ownhammer Mar-CB for trying your favorite Cab with the Shirley.
But do you use the 200ms or 500ms version. And MPT or normal ?Thank you in advance.
 
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