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Friedman SM Box (Smallbox)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Smallbox: I didn’t pay much attention to it previously.
Even though the BE is my main amp and has been for years.

But this week I played it through my 1x12 cab, and boy, this model rocks!

It has the Friedman signature tone, but the bottom end is much more present than with the BE, it's got that growl.

A quick glance at the model parameters reveals that its Low Cut Freq is much lower than in the BE model (BE: 500 Hz).
That explains the bottom end. It does surprise me, I though that both values would be in about the same ballpark, because the Smallbox's 2nd channel is said to be similar to Friedman's other amps.

I also think that the Smallbox tone leans towards a Plexi more than the BE does. Maybe because the real Smallbox also has a Plexi channel.

Anyway, late to the party but a new discovery that I'm glad with. I'm substituting it for the BE in my main presets, and we'll see if it sticks.

Amp: all models - Axe-Fx II Wiki
 
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RushOvGY

Inspired
I love this amp model! It really lends itsself to seven string tones brilliantly. My main preset uses it :D
 

Pinkycramps

Experienced
+1. Just recently discovered this one myself, and it has become on of my go-to models. I use about 6 amps right now, and this is one of them. It is really fantastic.
I also use the HBE and the Plexi, and you are right that this one sits nicely in between them.
 

Sharka

Experienced
Yes, agreed. I tried the Smallbox when it was released and immediately loved it. It's a really nice addition that fits in the "Marshall" classification category and works really well in the mid-gain classic rock genre (for me at least).
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
It's my fav Friedman by far...in the Axe and with real amps. A lot more defined than the others, to my ears...
 

ethomas1013

Power User
Yes, I really like this one too. Been using it a lot with a Relic Telecaster and it really works nicely with that guitar. I don't care for the other Frieddman models, but this one is a winner.
 
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Lionheart

Guest
In my experience, the Axe-Fx Friedman SM Box is too bass heavy compared to the actual real Friedman Smallbox amp. To my ears, it's not modeled accurately. The amp model sounds great when tweaked, but the low end is not modeled right. Again, this is just from my own experience. I could be wrong.
 

ethomas1013

Power User
I have noticed that the low end is pretty big on the model, but I have never played a real one. That could be part of why I like it with the Telecaster - adda little beef to the bridge pickup, but even with the telecaster I use a PEQ before the amp block to roll off 300Hz by -3 db.
 
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Lionheart

Guest
I have noticed that the low end is pretty big on the model, but I have never played a real one. That could be part of why I like it with the Telecaster - adda little beef to the bridge pickup, but even with the telecaster I use a PEQ before the amp block to roll off 300Hz by -3 db.
Yeah, maybe Cliff could take a double look at this amp and check and see if everything is accurate.
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
I don't feel that it's more bass heavy than its real life counterpart, could be the cabs you guys are using? There's something in the low mids on the BE that I don't like, with any cab. Just seems congested to me.
 
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wcfieldskx

Power User
I don't feel that it's more bass heavy than its real life counterpart, could be the cabs you guys are using?

There's something in the low miss on the BE that I don't like, with any cab. Just seems congested to me.
Not a specific cab, I've tried a few. Not a big deal, just an observation. It's easy to EQ out....
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The schematic shows a 2.2 nF coupling cap off the first stage but the actual amp has a 4.7 nF. 2.2 nF would mean less bass. I can only assume the amp was built to the latest specs. If an amp model is "G3'd" it is deadly accurate. I go through the amps and check the values of each component, measure the voltages, compare the frequency response to the model, etc., etc., etc. If the model is too bassy for you then you would find the real amp too bassy, or at least our particular reference model.
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
Not a specific cab, I've tried a few. Not a big deal, just an observation. It's easy to EQ out....
I know it's matching cab is a 212 with V30's, so if the cabs that have been tried have a lot of thump it might overlook enhance the low end, as opposed to its actual cab which would tame them a bit with the V30's.

Just a theory...I've played the "real" Smallbox with its can pretty extensively and can say that it's not an overly bassy amp, and that the Axe model sounds pretty dead on to me.
 
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Lionheart

Guest
The schematic shows a 2.2 nF coupling cap off the first stage but the actual amp has a 4.7 nF. 2.2 nF would mean less bass. I can only assume the amp was built to the latest specs. If an amp model is "G3'd" it is deadly accurate. I go through the amps and check the values of each component, measure the voltages, compare the frequency response to the model, etc., etc., etc. If the model is too bassy for you then you would find the real amp too bassy, or at least our particular reference model.
Yeah, maybe the one I played was different than your reference model. I'm not sure. In both the real amp and the model, I was using a cab with V30s. On the real amp, I had the bass over noon. I can't do that with the model. However, when I turn the bass down to 2 or less on the model, it sounds good. So, no big deal. I'll just use it like that. Thanks, Cliff, for taking the time to respond.
 

Tex Axe

Experienced
Every tube amp is going to sound different from one to the next because the transformers are not going to be the same and parts values vary sometimes 20%
So its subjective to which amp is being G3d Id bet you could line 20 of them up and measure 20 of them and they wont sound the same or even read the same.

I even thought well if you are using 1% or 2 or 5% even something that close tolerance wise that if you had a box of each and measured every part
you would get a better outcome..

Then the transformer issue how do you get around that ?
You cant.

Which is why I am here.

Signed Buzz Killington.
 
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Lionheart

Guest
Every tube amp is going to sound different from one to the next because the transformers are not going to be the same and parts values vary sometimes 20%
So its subjective to which amp is being G3d Id bet you could line 20 of them up and measure 20 of them and they wont sound the same or even read the same.

I even thought well if you are using 1% or 2 or 5% even something that close tolerance wise that if you had a box of each and measured every part
you would get a better outcome..

Then the transformer issue how do you get around that ?
You cant.

Which is why I am here.

Signed Buzz Killington.
That doesn't explain me having the physical bass knob at almost 8 and sounding great, meanwhile I can't turn the bass past 3 on the Axe-Fx without it becoming overbearing. There can't be that much inconsistencies between physical amps of the same model in the real world. That just doesn't exist with major companies with quality control.
 
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