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Do You Think a Mid Control is Necessary?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Dan_Pomykalski, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    I saw someone make a comment about how they “needed” a mid control in regards to an amp with only treble and bass controls. I’m not sure I understand where they’re coming from though.

    I love the simplicity of shaping my amps’ sound around the fixed mid value. In an amp with a TMB tone stack, the mids are already scooped, so I feel like a mid control would only be useful to scoop the mids even more than they already are. I’ve added a mid control to my amps a number of times, and find I always just left it all the way up. Do any of you feel a mid control is necessary in an amp with a TMB tone stack?

    Edit: based on some of the replies, I think it’s worth mentioning that stock Fender BF and SF tone stacks usually have a 6.8k mid resistor. I’ve heard people say this would be like having the mid control at “7,” but pot tapers don’t normally work out that 1k is 1 on the control, 2k is 2, etc. 6.8k is going to sound pretty much the same as a mid control on 10. So even though an amp doesn’t have a mid control, that doesn’t mean the amp’s mids are set to “0.” The stock value of a BF/SF tonestack mid pot is 10k.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  2. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    After 45 years, I've decided I really don't care for the basic Fender BF/SF tone stack. I'll take a JTM 45 or a Ampeg anyday before those cowboy amps. No, I don't think it's necessary on a Fender---just bump up (or down) the fixed 6.8K resistor on the bass pot until you have the mids you want.
     
  3. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    On my amps with a mid control, I usually just leave it around 5 or 6. So I guess that says maybe it's not necessary? Without a mid, you can lower the bass/treble to get the mids you need.
     
  4. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    On a Fender? No. On a Mesa? Yeah. Depends on the tone stack.
     
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think OP is conflating two issues:

    1. Amps designed with a mid control in the tonestack.
    2. Adding a mid control to an amp designed witthout one.

    Either way I'll never own another amp without a mid control. It is in fact essential for me. Single most important control live, IMO.

    I have added a Mid knob to a BF/SF Fender. Makes a difference, for sure. But that also depends what values you choose. The one I liked set the stock Fender value as 1 and let me go up from there. Amazing how much more gain is available when you are not starving the circuit of mid frequencies.

    But I prefer an amp designed with a mid control in the tonestack. And I often run mine quite high. 3 o'clock or so.
     
  6. SomeGuyNamedRob

    SomeGuyNamedRob Tele-Meister

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    I think for overdrive and heavy crunch tones, a mid control is very helpful in helping you dial your sound in just right.

    Hell, I'd like to see more amps with even more eq bands built in for serious tone shaping.
     
  7. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    yes,
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Which Mesa? I ask because many Mesa amps have the BF tone stack....all of the Mark amps for instance. Same the cap values, same slope resistor.


    So, you prefer the earlier Fender tone stack hat was taken from the 5F6A/5F8A schematic when Jim Marshall and Co. cloned that tweed Bassman. That is easy to achieve in a two channel Fender amp for versatility. Just change the tone stack values, including the slope resistor. I do this often to give a player some useful difference between those two AB763 type channels.
     
  9. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    works to perfection
    50 cal.jpg MK3 mic'd (2).jpg DC3.jpg
     
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  10. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I most often use Mesa Heartbreakers or Formulas. The clean channel goes Blackface to Mark 1 depending on the gain and mid settings. The OD channel is a very much in the hot rodded Marshall camp.
     
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  11. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    Yes a mid control is necessary. My favorite amp doesn't have one. Hey, I never said I'm not a hypocrite.
     
  12. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Holic

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    I did a BF Bassman mod using the bright switch allowing one to switch back and forth between two different pre-set mid frequencies.
     
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  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well, I’m not an amp tech. I admittedly don’t know that much about how they work. I just know what I like and what I don’t. I do not like BF/SF fender amps, because they are so inherently scooped. I like mids. The idea of an amp with scooped mids being “warm” sounding is ridiculous to me. Mids bring the warmth.

    I’ve always assumed that if those BF/SF Fenders like Deluxe and Super reverbs had mid knobs, that I’d be able to dial in more mids and maybe I’d like them. Guess maybe I was mistaken.
     
  14. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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  15. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    On a funnier note, I at first misread the title and thought we were talking whether or not “mind control” was necessary. I wouldn’t want anybody else to have that power, but I sure wish I could do it!
     
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  16. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, absolutely 100%

    Oh sorry, I thought it said Mind Control.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have amps with mid control, I have amps modified to add it. I never adjust it. It sits at 5-5.5 all the time.
    I think that means it's not necessary.
     
  18. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Crap. You beat me to it by seconds
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  19. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Each to their own. My entire sound is Mid Based. I crank it. I won't buy an amp without a Mid control & am disappointed by pedals that lack it.
     
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  20. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    It really depends on the amp. I have one with just a bass and treble. The mids are present as you turn the others down. Sounds great.
     
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