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  #5401  
Old 09-24-2018, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
I spent a long time never being in love with the "gold standard" of bass guitars, the Fender Precision. I've always admired folks who played them. Most great bass players used them for something, even if it wasn't their main guitar. It's a bit limited, chords suck on them in a way that they don't suck on other basses, but when you want that particular thump, nothing else really gets all the way there. Ive had more than one Jazz (and other basses, I have a few) that would get you close when you listened to it by itself, but in a mix it was never quite the same thing.
Yeah! Somewhere on YouTube is a video of a guy comparing a whole host of basses, alone and in a mix. Pretty much all of them sound good alone (OK, the Music Man sounded too midrange-focused for my taste), but once you add the rest of the instruments, the Precision stands out like none other.

I'm not a fan of tuxedo guitars; they should be all white or all black. That one looks real good to me.

A while back I picked up a used Cort Arona, because wow, that's a lot of bass for what I paid. I later learned that management at Cort is known for setting new standards in draconian oppression of their labor force. Kind of takes the fun out of owning the thing, and it abides in its case.
  #5402  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:14 PM
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Sweet bass.

It's always fun adding a new instrument to the collection.

Your first band rehearsal will tell you if it's a keeper.

Congrats

Thankya! Yeah, the first rehearsal will be the test. We record the second week of Oct. I hope it makes the cut. I have the blue precision to make due with if it doesn't, but this one's mine!

I haven't even had it in my hands yet, it shipped out today. I'm terrible at waiting, it's torture.

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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
Yeah! Somewhere on YouTube is a video of a guy comparing a whole host of basses, alone and in a mix. Pretty much all of them sound good alone (OK, the Music Man sounded too midrange-focused for my taste), but once you add the rest of the instruments, the Precision stands out like none other.
Yeah, I knew that the mix was important before I went through every bass I had and ended up borrowing one from the guitarist. I used my Squier Jazz on our last record and we were happy with it (you can fix a lot with an EQ, after all). But on the newer set of songs in rough recordings, the Precision won easily.


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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
I'm not a fan of tuxedo guitars; they should be all white or all black. That one looks real good to me.
Hehehe, I'm with you on that. All of the standard MIJ Precisions from that era came with white pick guards. I'm not a fan of white guitars (I'm a messy, messy person), but I could have gotten several colors with original and custom pick guards for less than this bass. Its looks were what motivated me to spend extra. I'm glad you like it.

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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
A while back I picked up a used Cort Arona, because wow, that's a lot of bass for what I paid. I later learned that management at Cort is known for setting new standards in draconian oppression of their labor force. Kind of takes the fun out of owning the thing, and it abides in its case.
Wow, I wasn't aware of Cort's behavior. That's painful, because the guitar didn't do anything, and you didn't pay the oppressors directly, but it's still a symbol of that behavior. It's terrible to let their pain go for absolutely nothing, not even a pleasurable guitar. But I can also see why you don't feel good about playing it.
  #5403  
Old 09-29-2018, 08:31 PM
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The Precision arrived yesterday. It's the dark twin of the pacific blue one. It's got the same neck profile and fret board feel, and it's the same weight down to the ounce. The only difference in how they play is the blue one has been played a LOT, and it doesn't look like this one has seen much action. The back of the neck is still shiny and a little grabby in comparison. That won't be a problem for long. So far, it's exactly what I expected, maybe a little better than. I love it.

The complete revelation in this bass has been the strings. When I took it out of the gig bag and saw it was strung with flats, I thought "Hmm, I really like dead strings, but flats are probably going to be a bit much." I played it back to back with the blue bass to compare them, and the one with flats was brighter! It's nowhere near as bright as a set of new roundwounds, but it was brighter than the dead ones I was comparing them to, and still aggressive. Nothing like the sound I associate with flats (think James Jamerson). I guessed it was probably strung with a new set of strings...maybe? Nope, the ball ends were obviously D'Addario's painted ball ends, and they've been on there long enough for the paint to be chipping off them. So, after a little reading, I find that D'Addario chromes are apparently the brightest flatwound strings on the market, and they keep their tone longer than most flatwounds, and flatwounds have a reputation for keeping their tone.

So, just a little bit of brightness, but not enough to take your head off when you use fuzz, and that sound pretty much never changes? As a bonus I can be lazy and not lift my fingers when changing positions? Oh yeah, I have a new favorite string now. I'm also now a walking "P-Bass with flats!" stereotype of a bass player. Oh well.

Last edited by scabpicker; 09-29-2018 at 08:32 PM.
  #5404  
Old 09-30-2018, 07:53 PM
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The Precision arrived yesterday... I love it.
So, that's good news!

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(think James Jamerson).
Gladly! I'm suddenly inspired to listen to some Marvin Gaye.

Pretty sure I once read a claim by Mr. J that he still had the original strings on his '62 Precision, after like, 20 years, or something like that.

To me, he's the best.

Quote:
I guessed it was probably strung with a new set of strings...maybe? Nope, the ball ends were obviously D'Addario's painted ball ends, and they've been on there long enough for the paint to be chipping off them.
You'd make a good detective, sir.

Ah, but for the one thing you missed! The installer of those strings boiled them, ala Eddie Van Huesen, before installing them in his bass, therefore the murderer must have been the professor, in the parlor, with the old strings!

Quote:
So, after a little reading, I find that D'Addario chromes are apparently the brightest flatwound strings on the market, and they keep their tone longer than most flatwounds, and flatwounds have a reputation for keeping their tone.
That's good info!

I've been wondering what kind of strings to put on my practice bass, an Ibanez cheapie with a 32" scale and a serious neck dive problem.* I like the feel of flatwound strings, but I'm no James Jamerson (lots of us guitarists get into bass thinking "It's only four strings, how hard can it be?" before reality sets in), and nearly every flatwound player I've seen was about a million times better at bass than I am, so I don't feel qualified to even strike the pose of sounding like a flatwound player.

But I've absolutely fallen in like with the 32" scale bass; when your choices are the standard 34" (too long! Am I an orangutan?) and the 30" (feels like a toy, sounds like a fart!), the 32" feels like the best of both worlds.

Quote:
I'm also now a walking "P-Bass with flats!" stereotype of a bass player. Oh well.
Your beret is in the mail.




*For anyone unfamiliar, a guitar or bass will experience "neck dive" when careful consideration isn't given by the designer to balancing the weight properly when the instrument is hanging around your neck by the strap - the weight of the long neck exerts a torque that the weight of the shorter body may not overcome, so when you let go the neck, it 'dives' towards the floor. Electric basses, with their longer necks, are especially prone to this malady, and that's one reason they look the way the do, with their (often) elongated top horn, where the strap attaches - it moves the strap's pivot point closer to the bass' effective center of mass, for better balance.

Last edited by Enter the Flagon; 09-30-2018 at 07:55 PM.
  #5405  
Old 09-30-2018, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
Pretty sure I once read a claim by Mr. J that he still had the original strings on his '62 Precision, after like, 20 years, or something like that.

To me, he's the best.
Hehehe, He apparently sent a broken string back to LaBella hoping it could be welded back together. Truly a great bass player, and very attached to that set of strings. He also wouldn't let anyone change the setup on that Precision, which apparently had what everyone else considered an excessive amount of bow.

The best part of Jamerson is that none of those parts are technically challenging, his fingers don't do anything mine can't. The crazy part about him is that he's got so much damn creativity, timing and taste. In terms of what his brain is doing, that's one daunting bass player to compare yourself to.

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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
You'd make a good detective, sir.

Ah, but for the one thing you missed! The installer of those strings boiled them, ala Eddie Van Huesen, before installing them in his bass, therefore the murderer must have been the professor, in the parlor, with the old strings!
I've actually talked to the seller about that since I made that post. Turns out the strings were put on after he got it and had it set up, and they only have a few recording sessions on them. So they're still fairly new, which explains them still being a bit brighter than my intentionally deadend roundwounds.


And I used to boil my old strings until I could see the core, then I'd trash them. Realizing that I liked the sound of dead strings was fortuitously cheaper and less work.


Mmmm, Van Heusen, a nice pair of slacks.

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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
I've been wondering what kind of strings to put on my practice bass, an Ibanez cheapie with a 32" scale and a serious neck dive problem.* I like the feel of flatwound strings, but I'm no James Jamerson (lots of us guitarists get into bass thinking "It's only four strings, how hard can it be?" before reality sets in), and nearly every flatwound player I've seen was about a million times better at bass than I am, so I don't feel qualified to even strike the pose of sounding like a flatwound player.

But I've absolutely fallen in like with the 32" scale bass; when your choices are the standard 34" (too long! Am I an orangutan?) and the 30" (feels like a toy, sounds like a fart!), the 32" feels like the best of both worlds.

Awww, I love my 30" shorties. So damn easy to play, and some sound really good! My Mustang is a bright, bite-y sounding bastard. But yeah, the 32" scale is pretty sweet. I can't believe that folks build 36" scale basses.

All that aside, I'd advise grabbing a set of these strings to any bass player unless they're fixated on slapping. I don't know if they made me a better player, but I was instantly more comfortable. The strings are where the rubber meets the road, after all.

Plus, I'm sure worse players than either of us have donned a fedora and plunked away tunelessly at a P-Bass with flats. You'll probably be sprucing up the ghetto.


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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
Your beret is in the mail.
Well, at least it's not a gimme cap. I look like I should be pumping gas in those, and that pretty much isn't even a job anymore.

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Originally Posted by Enter the Flagon View Post
*For anyone unfamiliar, a guitar or bass will experience "neck dive" when careful consideration isn't given by the designer to balancing the weight properly when the instrument is hanging around your neck by the strap - the weight of the long neck exerts a torque that the weight of the shorter body may not overcome, so when you let go the neck, it 'dives' towards the floor. Electric basses, with their longer necks, are especially prone to this malady, and that's one reason they look the way the do, with their (often) elongated top horn, where the strap attaches - it moves the strap's pivot point closer to the bass' effective center of mass, for better balance.
See: Gibson EB-0 or EB-3. I love them, but even though they are usually short scale you either need a wide strap or have to keep your hand on the neck constantly to prevent diving.
  #5406  
Old 10-01-2018, 08:47 PM
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The best part of Jamerson is that none of those parts are technically challenging, his fingers don't do anything mine can't. The crazy part about him is that he's got so much damn creativity, timing and taste. In terms of what his brain is doing, that's one daunting bass player to compare yourself to.
The only way I could agree with this any more is if we were the same person, and maybe not even then; and anyway we'd likely both get banned from the board for violating the sock puppet rule.

I guess a lot of us have heard the story of how Jamerson recorded his part for Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," but for those who haven't:

https://www.musicradar.com/news/bass...amerson-508816
Quote:
One of the most famous stories about him was featured in the 2002 film, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown which tells the story of The Funk Brothers. Apparently Marvin Gaye was desperate to have James' bass work on his track, What's Going On, but he wasn't there for the session.

A quick scouring of the local bars found him somewhat worse for wear but they brought him back to the studio. However he was so drunk he couldn't stand and it is said that he played his part whilst lying on his back in the studio. He played a song he was unfamiliar with and the first take was the one they used!
Needless to say, the playing on that song (IMO) is brilliant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kA3UtBj4M


Quote:
Awww, I love my 30" shorties. So damn easy to play, and some sound really good! My Mustang is a bright, bite-y sounding bastard.
Well, I do sometimes hyperbolate.

Actually, so many times have I heard that the particular thump of a 30" bass is a favorite among many music producers, that I assume it must be the truth. And of course, Jack Bruce and Paul McCartney seemed to do OK with theirs, I'd say.

Quote:
All that aside, I'd advise grabbing a set of these strings to any bass player unless they're fixated on slapping. I don't know if they made me a better player, but I was instantly more comfortable. The strings are where the rubber meets the road, after all.
Noted and memorized.
  #5407  
Old 10-01-2018, 11:06 PM
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Obviously with short scale the higher harmonics are less energetic but I would call them in a thick dark tones. Some circuits do adjust for this though (Jaguar Guitar).

Aren't mustangs basses 30"? (Edit oops misread what was being said)

Chris Morrissey in this Margaret Glaspy NPR video is the sound I think of my head for the valve Mustang Bass sound.

https://youtu.be/uxglzsJkBJg

John Lennon also played a George's Bass VI (30" 6 string) on Helter Skelter etc..

Back in the saddle again is probably the non-chord double stop sound I think of for the bass VI but I guess that could be considered farty

Last edited by rat avatar; 10-01-2018 at 11:08 PM.
  #5408  
Old 10-02-2018, 06:34 PM
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Chris Morrissey in this Margaret Glaspy NPR video is the sound I think of my head for the valve Mustang Bass sound.

https://youtu.be/uxglzsJkBJg
That's a genuine thud, there, that is.

That's the first time I've heard Margaret Glaspy's music, and I like it. On a hunch, I googled her name to see if the Telecaster clone she's playing was a short-scale (it does have a kind of raspy quality to it), and no, it probably isn't - it belongs to her boyfriend, Julian Lage. Yep, that Julian Lage. Small world, huh?

Quote:
Back in the saddle again is probably the non-chord double stop sound I think of for the bass VI but I guess that could be considered farty
Good call! Farty it may be, but damn if it doesn't really work in that context.
  #5409  
Old 10-02-2018, 07:13 PM
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That's a genuine thud, there, that is.

That's the first time I've heard Margaret Glaspy's music, and I like it. On a hunch, I googled her name to see if the Telecaster clone she's playing was a short-scale (it does have a kind of raspy quality to it), and no, it probably isn't - it belongs to her boyfriend, Julian Lage. Yep, that Julian Lage. Small world, huh?
Most of the sound in that video is from a vintage Fender Champ, which was also borrowed Julian Lage. She moved to one of the 68 Deluxe Reverb modified reissues I think, and that slight twist will probably be a future classic too IMHO.

I love Tiny Desk mostly because of personal preferences finding most modern albums over processed for taste.

While just preferences, and not being in the target market; the brutal honesty and connection of Daughter just doesn't work for me on their produced albums.

https://youtu.be/s-OoG1aGYO0

Probably just behind the curb having been too cool for unplugged back in the day.
  #5410  
Old 10-08-2018, 01:03 AM
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Random other guitar topic, I picked up a Martin OM-21 Reimagined a couple of months ago after wanting a 000 because my dreadnoughts always get in the way of my octave below bass voice. (not that my range is ever usable)

I realized that I haven't even looked at another one of my acoustic guitars and that means they should go up for sale. While I obviously seriously connected with this particular guitar, I have been continually reminded by others I play with that at least in my circle people tend to buy dreadnoughts because they think that is what they need.

While I may just be slow here, remember to look at the 000 and 00 sized guitars, they still have a big sound in a mix and have the advantage of being playable sitting back on a couch.

I never could get around the fancy gingerbread of the higher spec models which doesn't fit my personality so the O-21 is perfect for that while not being a Mahogany sound.

Last edited by rat avatar; 10-08-2018 at 01:04 AM.
  #5411  
Old 10-08-2018, 11:13 PM
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Random other guitar topic, I picked up a Martin OM-21 Reimagined a couple of months ago after wanting a 000 because my dreadnoughts always get in the way of my octave below bass voice. (not that my range is ever usable)...

I never could get around the fancy gingerbread of the higher spec models which doesn't fit my personality so the O-21 is perfect for that while not being a Mahogany sound.
Congrats! I have to admit that after many years of playing only electric, I've only played one Martin, and that was a long time ago, so when people talk about individual model designations, I have no idea - can't tell a P38 from a V8 from a B52. Those are all guitars, right?

So in order to fight my own ignorance, I googled up this page, which explains most of the mystery, and rather efficiently, via a few easily-digested charts:

https://www.martinguitar.com/feature...ials/sizetype/

So it appears that an OM-21 would be 15" wide and 4 1/8" deep, right? Not so big that it could be mistaken by me for a cello or a rhinocerous?

Suddenly, it all makes sense! Enjoy.

Last edited by Enter the Flagon; 10-08-2018 at 11:13 PM.
  #5412  
Old 10-26-2018, 10:11 AM
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When I picked up playing again four years ago, I still had the amp I bought when I was 18: A Fender Super Twin. That was a 180 watt behemoth that no longer worked for me. I sold it and replaced it with a Yamaha THR10. That little amp has been great: Great and varied tones at lowish volumes which is how I mainly play. However, it doesn't get loud, at all. There are times I want some volume. So, I've been looking into lower wattage tube amps. My main guitar is a Tele and I do prefer the cleaner/crunchy tone so I was leaning towards the Fender Princeton or Blues Jr. Last night I saw that Blackstar is discontinuing the Artist series so the Artist 15 and 30's are steeply discounted. I watched a ton of videos, read reviews...and pulled the trigger.
  #5413  
Old 10-26-2018, 01:30 PM
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That's an Awesome amp choice.

Which model did you order?

I see the Artist 30 has 6L6 output tubes and dual 12" speakers. That's a lot of Amp for a home.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-26-2018 at 01:34 PM.
  #5414  
Old 10-26-2018, 01:37 PM
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The preamp tubes are ECC83 (12AX7).

Overall very common and easily purchased tubes.

The Artist 15 uses the same tubes with a 12" speaker.

I'd suggest buying a full set of JJ's from Tube Depot and keep as spares. You will eventually need them and they'll just cost more in a few years.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-26-2018 at 01:42 PM.
  #5415  
Old 10-26-2018, 01:49 PM
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That's an Awesome amp choice.

Which model did you order?

I see the Artist 30 has 6L6 output tubes and dual 12" speakers. That's a lot of Amp for a home.
I got the 15. That's plenty for me, even if I start playing with some friends.

And now I wait. Next week is so far away.
  #5416  
Old 10-26-2018, 03:15 PM
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You'll have a lot of fun with it. The Artist 15 is a great choice.

btw the 6L6 are sold as a matched pair. $60 for Groove Tubes and $20 for a couple JJ's 12AX7. Not bad for a full set of backup tubes.
  #5417  
Old 11-04-2018, 04:09 PM
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Anybody had experience with a DI on a regular electric guitar?


A direct input (DI) box, IIRC, is intended to be a front-end pre-amp for an acoustic instrument, typically for going straight into the board. They will often have eq, maybe a notch filter. I am interested in something like the Baggs Venue DI.

My Eastman archtop is prone to acoustic feedback in some situations (it seems to depend on the room and amp placement) and a 4- or 5-section eq with a tunable notch filter is just what the doctor ordered, but I don't what to put something inline that is going to degrade my tone, and I don't know what this will sound like into an amp (Roland Cube 80) rather than into the board/PA.
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  #5418  
Old 11-05-2018, 11:35 PM
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(gigantic, rambling post deleted before submission)

I've gone direct a lot -- both live and in recording sessions with both a "regular" electric guitar and a bass guitar. If you're going direct, the preamp before the direct input is more important than the DI itself.

I'd advise you to get a DI with an adjustable output level for the balanced output. It won't affect what's coming out of your amp. If a DI box does affect what's coming out of the amp any more than a few inches of wire, it's defective. The balanced output that you're sending to the board should be at a usable level, though. They want to reproduce what you send to them, which I advise you to create/shape with a preamp. You can get a fancy preamp, or just fool with the settings on a distortion pedal until you get what you like. Heck, really good delay pedals have an adjustable preamp (and distortion pedals have been built to copy the nice qualities of the preamps of delay units).

But if you're gonna go DI, think about your preamp. That's the sound the sound guy is going to get to work with. If you use pedals, you're probably using more than one preamp already. Putting one as a master at the beginning or the end of the chain might not be a bad idea.
  #5419  
Old 11-06-2018, 05:17 AM
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I've gone direct a lot -- both live and in recording sessions with both a "regular" electric guitar and a bass guitar. If you're going direct, the preamp before the direct input is more important than the DI itself.
Much more complex situation that I'm considering. I would just be going DI to the amp. This is for a jazz combo situation, no board or sound guy. It's to get a more granular eq than my amp provides, plus the notch filter for situations where I get feedback on a specific note (big hollow-body guitar).
  #5420  
Old 11-06-2018, 09:22 AM
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Much more complex situation that I'm considering. I would just be going DI to the amp. This is for a jazz combo situation, no board or sound guy. It's to get a more granular eq than my amp provides, plus the notch filter for situations where I get feedback on a specific note (big hollow-body guitar).
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood. So you're not plugging the DI box into a pa? Why not just buy an EQ pedal? The Baggs DI has a very nice setup because it includes the preamp and EQ, but it's far more expensive than most EQ pedals.

However, I think it's going to affect your sound. Since you're changing the first preamp the guitar hits, it's almost inevitable. You can probably adjust it so it will sound close to your current setup, but there's probably going to be some difference. I used to play an archtop through a fuzz pedal into a 100W combo, so I know what you're dealing with, somewhat.The flexible EQ on the Ampeg came in handy, but any attempt to fix feedback with the EQ was going to change the sound some.

Why not try one of the newer feedback suppressors? They should be able to find/squash the frequency more precisely than an EQ would, these days.
  #5421  
Old 11-07-2018, 09:37 AM
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You'll have a lot of fun with it. The Artist 15 is a great choice.

btw the 6L6 are sold as a matched pair. $60 for Groove Tubes and $20 for a couple JJ's 12AX7. Not bad for a full set of backup tubes.
I've now had the new amp for about a week and I love it! It sounds so full and luscious compared to the little Yamaha amp. The clean channel sounds so good with my Tele. The "gain" channel sounds great with the Tele, the Hondo (humbuckers) and the Harmony Rocket (gold-foils).

This is only my second tube amp and only one with a master volume. My Fender had a preamp volume and power amp volume and you could turn up the preamp volume to overdrive the power amp. The master volume does not behave this way - it simply raises and lowers the volume and the tonal qualities stay the same (at least from what I could tell). I thought that I would only be able to play this new amp at higher volumes, but that is not true. It sounds great at low volumes as well (I live in a small house and play from the basement so I never have to get really quiet). Now that I know I can play this new amp at lower volumes, I'm thinking I'll sell the Yamaha and pickup a couple pedals or a multi-effect unit. The built-in digital reverb sounds pretty good so I really only need an overdrive (this is a fairly low-gain amp) and a tremelo.

I'm very happy with this purchase. My wife is not. "All you are doing is playing guitar!"
  #5422  
Old 11-28-2018, 06:44 PM
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I need some advice. When my new Blackstar Artist 15 amp arrived, it had what I would consider a cosmetic issue. I contacted Sweetwater and they said "we'll get you a replacement when we have one back in stock". During the interim, I've played my original quite a bit for about four weeks. New one showed up yesterday. I'm doing some a/b'ing of them tonight and the first one sounds quite a bit better: Louder, lusher and less "tight". Will the new one break in and sound the way the first one does? I'm thinking it's probably speaker break-in but I have no experience with a new amp.

What say ye? Will the new one break in and sound as good as the original? I wish I could hold onto both long enough to find out but I think Sweetwater will start getting a bit impatient.
  #5423  
Old 11-28-2018, 08:37 PM
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There is such a thing as speaker break-in but don't know if it would apply to this particular amp. How many hours have you played it?

Also, I don't think it would affect volume. "Lush" and "tight" are pretty subjective terms and I don't know what your definitions are.

What is the cosmetic issue?
  #5424  
Old 11-28-2018, 10:26 PM
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There is such a thing as speaker break-in but don't know if it would apply to this particular amp. How many hours have you played it?

Also, I don't think it would affect volume. "Lush" and "tight" are pretty subjective terms and I don't know what your definitions are.

What is the cosmetic issue?
I would guess the first amp has been on over an hour a day - 30'ish hours.

Yeah, it's very hard to describe audio in written terms, particularly for a person like me that is a complete non-expert. I'll play them again tomorrow and try to come up with something more definitive but I'm not sure that's possible for me. I will say that the "newer" one still sounds great. Just not quite as great.

The cosmetic issue- Take a look at this image:
https://image.jimcdn.com/app/cms/ima...0358/image.jpg

To the left of where the power cable plugs in there is a wood block. On the right where the footswitch plugs in is a similar woodblock. I don't know that they do anything. On the first amp, both of them were broken off. They are only affixed by a bit of glue and one staple along one side. I wouldn't have cared but I thought this indicated the box might've been dropped and I might experience other issues down the road (cracked solders for example).
  #5425  
Old 11-28-2018, 11:35 PM
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I agree that there is such a thing as speaker break in. It's said to be due, at least in part, to the loosening up of the moving mechanical suspension of the driver.

The rub, though, is that there may be other reasons why your original amp sounds better than the replacement: the electrical components - pretty much all of them - are typically built to perform within a fairly wide range of tolerances and their values can vary considerably within that range. Multiply this effect by the dozens of components in your amp, and it all but guarantees that no two examples of any model are going to sound exactly alike.

So if I had an amp that I loved the sound of, I'd be wary of replacing it over a minor cosmetic issue. There's no guarantee that you'll ever like the new amp as much.
Of course, YMMV.

Last edited by Enter the Flagon; 11-28-2018 at 11:36 PM.
  #5426  
Old 11-28-2018, 11:47 PM
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How's the reverb sound on the Blackstar?

I play with just a little reverb to get a fuller sound. It's nice when the amp has a good reverb effect. Otherwise I drag out a pedal.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-28-2018 at 11:51 PM.
  #5427  
Old 11-29-2018, 07:53 AM
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Although it doesn't matter much what the wood pieces look like, I can see why it might indicate some mishandling. But if you think it sounds better, you could hold onto it until it's closer to the end of the warranty period. You have a one-year warranty, and if you register with the company they extend it to three years for free.
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  #5428  
Old 11-29-2018, 08:50 AM
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I agree that there is such a thing as speaker break in. It's said to be due, at least in part, to the loosening up of the moving mechanical suspension of the driver.
Just like a maple neck giving your guitar a brighter sound, or the top of an electric guitar having any effect (not that that debate has to start up again), I haven't seen convincing proof of speaker break-in. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just haven't seen it. IMO.

I bought a Martin guitar years ago. Religiously placed it on a stand in front of my stereo speaker in the futile hope that, as was said at the time, this would give it a more played in sound. Never happened.

Quote:
The rub, though, is that there may be other reasons why your original amp sounds better than the replacement: the electrical components - pretty much all of them - are typically built to perform within a fairly wide range of tolerances and their values can vary considerably within that range. Multiply this effect by the dozens of components in your amp, and it all but guarantees that no two examples of any model are going to sound exactly alike.
Agreed. There is no doubt that a Vox sounds different from a Fender which sounds different from a Marshall. Different components as you say. So by the same token one Blackstar might sound different than another. Not by as much, but still different.

To wguy123: What's that you say about Blackface discontinuing the Artist series? On Sweetwater right now, for the 2x12 30w, they say they should be getting more in. And I don't see anything online about this. Can you elaborate?
  #5429  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:00 AM
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To add about break in, changes in structure? Perhaps. This affecting the sound? That's the proof I haven't seen. I'd love to see the best arguments out there if anyone cares to suggest their most convincing.
  #5430  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:55 AM
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How's the reverb sound on the Blackstar?

I play with just a little reverb to get a fuller sound. It's nice when the amp has a good reverb effect. Otherwise I drag out a pedal.
I have very limited experience with amps and effects. I played through a Fender Super Twin for 20+ years and the only effects I had were two dirt pedals (Rat and an Ibanez distortion). Next, I bought the little Yamaha THR10 which can make some nice sounds but now sounds so tiny compared to the new Blackstar which sounds so huge in comparison. From what I can tell, the built-in reverb sounds pretty great. I usually leave it at about 10:00 (30%) except when I'm playing a surf tune and I crank it.

I don't yet have any pedals. I think an overdrive, tremelo and delay are coming at some point.

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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Although it doesn't matter much what the wood pieces look like, I can see why it might indicate some mishandling. But if you think it sounds better, you could hold onto it until it's closer to the end of the warranty period. You have a one-year warranty, and if you register with the company they extend it to three years for free.
Thanks for the 3-year tip. I'll be doing that either way I go.

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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
To wguy123: What's that you say about Blackface discontinuing the Artist series? On Sweetwater right now, for the 2x12 30w, they say they should be getting more in. And I don't see anything online about this. Can you elaborate?
I saw them on Sweetwater with that big discount and started watching a lot of videos on them. And then I saw this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw6veSs6Y00&t=1s
I think it was from that video that I thought they were being discontinued. Maybe not?

I'm going to continue messing with the two and try to decide over the weekend. I don't have an a/b switcher so it's a lot of manual unplug/plug in going on. Also, there is a large variation on slight changes of some of the knobs that it could just be that they are slightly different and twiddling the knobs slightly can get the sounds the same. These amps are quite loud so very slight variations on the master volume can make large volume changes if you have the channel 1 or 2 volumes pegged.

I've found that I prefer to set the overall tone of the amp while I have my Tele tone knob at halfway. Then, I can brighten and darken the amp sounds in a more pleasing manner than if I set the amp tone with the tone knob at 100%. I saw that tip in one of the hundreds of guitar videos I've watched.
  #5431  
Old 11-29-2018, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Just like a maple neck giving your guitar a brighter sound, or the top of an electric guitar having any effect (not that that debate has to start up again), I haven't seen convincing proof of speaker break-in. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just haven't seen it. IMO.
The guys who make the speakers say it does, although it may be more applicable to audio systems than musical instrument amps.
  #5432  
Old 11-29-2018, 02:57 PM
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The guys who make the speakers say it does, although it may be more applicable to audio systems than musical instrument amps.
Well, yeah, but those are just words on a page. It doesn't prove anything or offer any evidence of anything. That's what I haven't seen.
  #5433  
Old 12-01-2018, 03:08 PM
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Update time:

I have to admit (again) that sometimes I'm a real idiot. I had the original amp setting nearly under my desk. My desk is just a flat top with legs going down. The new amp was sitting next to it, but completely open to the room. I decided to swap their positions and all of a sudden, the new one became louder and better. DOH!

After I realized that I was getting natural reverb and amplification from the sound coming out from under the desk, I moved them both out and they then became much more similar. At this point, they are close enough that I will be sending the one back that might've been dropped. And, I'll keep the new one partially under the desk

To those that replied: Sorry for wasting your time. I did at least learn about the extended warranty which I'll be signing up for.
  #5434  
Old 12-01-2018, 04:22 PM
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A little low-end guitar porn:

https://imgur.com/a/9dm4i1H

The 12" speaker is on the left of those cabs. The original amp was even more left than in that picture, so under the desk.
  #5435  
Old 12-01-2018, 04:32 PM
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A little low-end guitar porn:

https://imgur.com/a/9dm4i1H

The 12" speaker is on the left of those cabs. The original amp was even more left than in that picture, so under the desk.
Is that a Squire Tele? How do you like it?
  #5436  
Old 12-01-2018, 06:12 PM
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A little low-end guitar porn:

https://imgur.com/a/9dm4i1H

The 12" speaker is on the left of those cabs. The original amp was even more left than in that picture, so under the desk.
Hehehee, that's not low-end. I've played many a show with more underwhelming gear. That G&L is straight up nice!


So, what's the story behind the V? It looks like it used to have a Floyd Rose or Khaler trem installed, and then was converted to the stop tailpiece.
  #5437  
Old 12-01-2018, 06:32 PM
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Is that a Squire Tele? How do you like it?
It is a Squier - the Classic Vibe. I bought that new in 2015 and have enjoyed it muchly. When I first got it, I thought the neck was "noodly". However, that is when I really started replaying and I have since developed a much softer fretting hand approach: I've learned you don't need a death grip to do barre chords. So the softer approach has helped, plus, I think the neck has stabilized and is stiffer. My basement is near constant 50% humidity year round which helps.

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Hehehee, that's not low-end. I've played many a show with more underwhelming gear. That G&L is straight up nice!


So, what's the story behind the V? It looks like it used to have a Floyd Rose or Khaler trem installed, and then was converted to the stop tailpiece.
That bass was a Craigslist find and it has been a lot of fun.

That is a Hondo V that I bought when I was 18 ('88) for $80 (I probably overpaid then but I was 18, had long hair and it spoke to me). And the guy that owned it previously had chopped the hole for a Floyd Rose (it came with the solid tailpiece). That is the guitar I played through the 180W Super Twin for 20 years.

The Harmony Rocket was a freebie. It really needs some electrical work. Plus, it is starting to implode on itself and it isn't an adjustable neck so I think it will need some neck shimming. Maybe I can shave down the tailpiece? Those goldfoils scream!
  #5438  
Old 12-01-2018, 07:33 PM
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That bass was a Craigslist find and it has been a lot of fun.

That is a Hondo V that I bought when I was 18 ('88) for $80 (I probably overpaid then but I was 18, had long hair and it spoke to me). And the guy that owned it previously had chopped the hole for a Floyd Rose (it came with the solid tailpiece). That is the guitar I played through the 180W Super Twin for 20 years.
Wow, I'm actually more jealous that it's a Hondo V.

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Originally Posted by wguy123 View Post
The Harmony Rocket was a freebie. It really needs some electrical work. Plus, it is starting to implode on itself and it isn't an adjustable neck so I think it will need some neck shimming. Maybe I can shave down the tailpiece? Those goldfoils scream!
Or, you could just leave it like it is and play slide on it. Those pickups are perfect for it. Just a thought.
  #5439  
Old 12-03-2018, 08:05 AM
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Well, I'm thinking about building my first kit amp.

I've been watching several YouTube channels and learning tips. I have a background in electronics. Did service several years before switching to computer programming and pc support. I can read a tube circuit schematic and own a couple soldering irons.

The mojotone kit amps use a traditional eyelet board. Allowing point to point wiring. It's much easier to install components compared to circuit boards. It's easy to damage circuit boards with a hot soldering iron.

I'm looking at a Blackface Princeton Reverb Amp Head kit. Uses the original 1960's tube circuit. Has the traditional spring tank for reverb. Kit is rated level 2 out of 5 difficultly. That seems like a good entry level kit.

They also have a three tube Princeton Tweed combo. Rated difficultly 1. Easier build, lower wattage and a good practice amp.

Lots of fun looking at the kits. Kit building is a great winter activity. Can't get out and do much, so a inside project is appealing.


https://www.mojotone.com/kits

Last edited by aceplace57; 12-03-2018 at 08:10 AM.
  #5440  
Old 12-03-2018, 01:58 PM
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Or, you could just leave it like it is and play slide on it. Those pickups are perfect for it. Just a thought.
That's a great idea. The fretboard radius must be about 3" since it chokes out on bends so quickly that it limits your playing style.

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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Well, I'm thinking about building my first kit amp.

I've been watching several YouTube channels and learning tips. I have a background in electronics. Did service several years before switching to computer programming and pc support. I can read a tube circuit schematic and own a couple soldering irons.

The mojotone kit amps use a traditional eyelet board. Allowing point to point wiring. It's much easier to install components compared to circuit boards. It's easy to damage circuit boards with a hot soldering iron.

I'm looking at a Blackface Princeton Reverb Amp Head kit. Uses the original 1960's tube circuit. Has the traditional spring tank for reverb. Kit is rated level 2 out of 5 difficultly. That seems like a good entry level kit.

They also have a three tube Princeton Tweed combo. Rated difficultly 1. Easier build, lower wattage and a good practice amp.

Lots of fun looking at the kits. Kit building is a great winter activity. Can't get out and do much, so a inside project is appealing.


https://www.mojotone.com/kits
Those look pretty cool but they aren't cheap! Let us know if you build one.
  #5441  
Old 12-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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I was surprised at how much the kit amp price jumps when a full set of tubes are included.

Even the very basic Fender Champ kit is over $400. The Champ was a practice amp that sold for about $60 when I was in high school.

I have to think awhile before making a decision.

I may be better off restoring a old Fender. Change all the caps, and any resistors that are out of tolerance.

The trick is finding a amp that no one has already messed with. Fixing a circuit someone else screwed up isn't easy.

Last edited by aceplace57; 12-04-2018 at 04:42 PM.
  #5442  
Old 12-04-2018, 05:10 PM
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In the past I've put vintage tubes in all my tube amps but I quit playing a few years ago. Later I was feeling an itch so I got me a Parker Guitar and a Vox VT40+ amp to noodle on.

My Vox amp uses a 12ax7 tube (Valvetronix) and it has a Sovtek in it. It's a little harsh and I've thought what if I get a vintage tube for it? I found a ANOS British Mullard 12ax7 that was rebranded as RCA and it's an RFT core.

I got it at half price ($40) and put it in. As a result the Vox sounded real mellow and creamy. I thought wow, it worked with it.
  #5443  
Old 12-04-2018, 07:11 PM
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That's been my experience too. The NOS RCA, Sylvania, and GE tubes sound better and last longer than the ones currently made in East Europe.

The price and scarcity of NOS pushes most people into buying JJ, Sovtec or other similar brands.

Last edited by aceplace57; 12-04-2018 at 07:12 PM.
  #5444  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:04 PM
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I've looked at those Mojotone kits, too. They aren't cheap, but they are a cool way to get into building amps. Plus, as you noted, they're all point-to-point.. That's not necessarily a better way to build an amp, but usually it's the easier to repair method. When you compare it to the price of a modern hand-wired amp, the prices are quite nice, even if you buy it assembled by Mojotone. A hand-wired Marshall in mint condition for $1500 is hard to come by, and at least some people know the Mojotone name.

I've got some Silvertone branded RCA Black Plate 6L6s in my Silvertone 1484. I've still got the original preamp tubes, too. They sound awesome. Since I realized how expensive it would be to replace that particular set, it's had plenty of other tubes in it as well, and they've sometimes sounded quite nice, too. Do the original tubes sound 10X as good as the nice sets of Tung-Sols, JJ's and EHX tubes I've used in it? Not by a long shot. In fact, I doubt I could really tell them apart in a mix. Some of the newer sets sound better than others, even from the same manufacturer. With the price difference, you can sometimes get 20 very nice new tubes for the price of one of the fabled old tubes. Those 6L6s go for 5-10X the price of decent new 6L6s. I'd suggest buying several new ones and swapping them out till you get a set you like. Sometimes just moving the order of your current set of preamp tubes can make a lot of difference. A tube that sounds too gritty in the gain stage can sound fuller than the others in an EQ stage. Swapping them around is fun!

The 1484 is nice because the power tubes are self biasing, and you can swap those without any work, as well. On most amps you only want to go swapping the preamp tubes willy-nilly (yes, most people know this, but I thought I should mention it since i mentioned swapping the power tubes).
  #5445  
Old 12-05-2018, 06:21 AM
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Silvertone 1484 the Jack White amp.

I've heard a lot of positive comments about that vintage 60's amp. The Uncle Doug channel on YouTube just began restoration of a crusty barn find 1485.

I like your suggestion to try different preamp tubes. I understand there's some good tubes being made today.

Last edited by aceplace57; 12-05-2018 at 06:23 AM.
  #5446  
Old 12-05-2018, 08:53 AM
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I used to have that 1484 amp. That's the one you can put the head in the cabinet right? I used it as a jukebox with a turntable.
  #5447  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:36 AM
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Yep, it's the Jack White/Vampire Weekend/Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes amp. I'm not sad that it's become popular, but it's gone from an amp that I can pick up for $125 and pick the best one out of 50 at a guitar show (30 years ago), to one that's harder to find and generally runs about $700 for a working one.

You used yours as a hi-fi, SigMan? I don't doubt it sounded awesome in that duty. I wish I still had the GE all-tube shelf console that I had as a kid. Since it was a phono/radio/amp/speakers all in one box, It was murder to move around, but my memories of its sound and bass response make modern systems pale. It sounded like a jukebox...but I'm getting off the subject. You shoulda plugged a guitar into your 1484, with a boost pedal if you like grind. The tremolo on a 1484 sounds completely awesome, it's overdrive is so thick you can't suck it through a straw, and the reverb is...totally unique and un-usable. My amp guy described it as "Sounds like a martian shaking a paint can". It's a neat effect, but not what one thinks of when one thinks of reverb. Get an external reverb tank or a pedal.

Last edited by scabpicker; 12-05-2018 at 10:40 AM.
  #5448  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:04 PM
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The reverb is ok as I only need a touch of it but I used an external spring reverb box. The tremolo is awesome alright and I used it during the drum solo of Ina Godda Da Vida. My friends really grooved on it.

We were all stoned. LOL
  #5449  
Old 12-05-2018, 07:10 PM
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Hehehehee, marijuana: The greatest guitar effect ever devised by mankind. It even works on acoustics.
  #5450  
Old 12-06-2018, 03:36 AM
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Hehehehee, marijuana: The greatest guitar effect ever devised by mankind. It even works on acoustics.
That is so true. Because of my medication I had to stop smoking pot. Since then I lost interest in playing guitar.
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