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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. OneOcean

    OneOcean TDPRI Member

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    I like the idea of adding a mid control to the heavily scooped blackface circuit. There's a ton of gain and sweet overdrive available by boosting the mids. Mids toggle.JPG The Fender tone stack also increases the bass and treble frequencies when increasing the mid resistance value, though at a slower rate than the mids themselves so a 100K mid pot allows an infinite range of mid-scoops, all the way up to nearly raw Tweed tones (with the added bonus of Treble and bass shaping). A three-way on-off-on mid toggle would be adequate for most players with the stock 6.8K in the middle, and then options to add say a 15K (21.8) and 68K (74.8K) resistors for "fat" and "tweed" type tones.
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I presume the OP is confused about what a mids control is, and how it differs from the overall eq and design of the amp that has a knob marked "mids".

    Many players are similarly confused by an MV knob, assuming the knob is where classic high gain amps get their gain.
    Add a MV knob to a low gain amp and you still have a low gain amp.

    A mids knob can be added so that it will add mids to a mid scooped amp, but comparing something like the Super Reverb with a mids knob only on the reverb channel, what we have is both channels are still mid scooped despite one channel having a mids knob.

    I could live with a mid forward amp that has no mids knob but a mids setting where I like it.
    I cannot live with a mid scooped amp that has a mids knob but is still mid scooped with the mids up all the way.
    Took me a while to figure this out, assuming that popular amps must be good because they seem to be everywhere.
    Like McDonalds and Burger King though, seen everywhere may not equal good for me.

    The immense popularity of the Tube Screamer is due largely to the fact that a lot of players who buy BF design amps don't actually like that mid scooped tone.
    But they do like mid scooped clean amps if goosed with mid humped dirt pedals.
     
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  3. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    I believe the circuits are the same except for power tubes. But I’m not sure if that’s the case with current production models.
     
  4. dasherf17

    dasherf17 TDPRI Member

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    I may be wrong, but in laymanese, the mids is where "noise" resides, isn't it? I tend to keep it low on my audio rig and tend to use that train of thought for my guitar amps as well.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When we say or read that all the basic BF amps have the "same circuit", it's the preamp and the basic power section design that's the same.
    But a classic Twin has the power section loafing along at way less than it's full potential.
    A Deluxe OTOH runs the power section hard and gets more than designed potential power from the pair of 6v6.

    The overall eq of a tube amp is effected by the operating voltages of the power section, and you will really hear a warmer tone if changing the PT to a lower voltage, or a brighter and bassier AKA more scooped tone if you significantly raise the voltages in the power section.
    Lower voltage delivers less bass & treble so more mids.
    Higher voltage delivers increased bass & treble so not as much mids.

    At the same time, in general a power section loses the ability to produce bass & treble when distorting, so the clean sound will seem more mid scooped than the same amp turned way up past clipping.
    The brighter-when-clean factor of simple tube amps works well with the basic volume knob (with no added treble bleed) that cuts some treble when you turn down your guitar volume.
    Set a Tweed or Marshall at full distorted volume, and a suitable eq, then turn down the guitar and the amp gets cleaner and brighter, but the guitar signal gets a little darker so the tone you hear is not overly bright.

    This is also why IMO many players think Marshalls suck at lower volume clean sounds.
    The refined Marshall four input circuit has enough extra treble & mids to dial in a cutting tone when severely distorted.
    Turn down the amp for a nice clean sound and you need to cut the treble and mids back quite a bit.
    I actually cut the presence back to zero for a clean low volume sound with a four input non master Marshall.
    Then roll back the guitar vol knob to further warm and fatten the tone.

    A treble bleed is IMO better for an amp like a Twin where we run the amp at half power with no clipping, and want the same sound at a range of volumes. Below clipping, the amp eq stays about the same as you change the amp volume.
    The whole plan for the BF Fenders was to get the same sound at all volumes.

    Many of us love the ability to get different sounds and tones at different volumes from an amp, without adjusting the amp.
    Just the guitar volume pot does all that, because amp eq changes with signal clipping.
    Clipping actually means clipping off the top and bottom of the sine wave.
     
  6. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    My '62 princeton has just one "tone" knob...lol. Sounds incredible.
    It would be nice on a few guitars that have mid scooped pickups to have that option, but that's also possible to do via a cheap pedal if really needed. So, I don't really care. It's more about the sound of the amp and how it feels to play through it.
     
    Dan_Pomykalski likes this.
  7. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates TDPRI Member

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    Mid knobs are good for rolling off lol. I really have no use for one on the amps I play - my tone is in the guitar (and pedals to some degree). And even on my guitars I generally rewire them and pull the tone knob completely out of the circuit.
     
    Dan_Pomykalski and Hueycaster like this.
  8. Hueycaster

    Hueycaster TDPRI Member

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    I agree whole heartily, the mid control is important. I know there will be a disagreement on the mid control issue. My answer to the age old question is, Stevie Ray Vaughn, a Tube Screamer into a blackface, it gave him the mids he heard in his head.
     
  9. Hueycaster

    Hueycaster TDPRI Member

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    I have no tone knobs connected to my Strat harness. Knobs are there for looks only.
     
  10. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    I have a 10k mid pot in series with the 6.8k mid resistor on my PR. The pot adds mids; at 0, the tone controls (and mids) are stock. I can add mids/make the tone less scooped. I usually keep the pot at 4 for a bit of a boost.
     
  11. Tele Plucker

    Tele Plucker Tele-Meister

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    Just the other day I was playing my Tele partscaster thru my Blues Jr. Just for the hell of it I put my old ten band MXR eq in the chain.
    Scooped out more mids and really liked the snap and clarity I was able to get from the Lollar Vintage T bridge pickup, and the Lollar Royal T neck pickup sounded better as well.

    Just thought I out that out there.
     
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  12. warchol

    warchol TDPRI Member

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    Depends on the amp. To my ear, most Fender/Marshall amps benefit from one.
    OTOH, my DrZ Carmen Ghia did not need one......
     
  13. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    I actually prefer to have one. With my Fenders there was either a 6.8k resistor or 10k pot. To make the overdrive less ratty - as well as increase it I've upped the value of the resistor to 15 to 22k, the pot with 25 to 50k (a bit overkill). With the pot all your old sounds are still there plus increase or decreases. You could Use a pull pot on your bass control to switch between your 6.8k resistor to greater or lesser value if you want. I've done all this and it works.
     
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  14. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    Yes, turning up the mids keeps Fender overdrive from getting to ratty and gravely.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I wire my guitars without a tone control too.
    But "my tone" into a scooped mids amp is different from "my tone" into a more naturally eq'd mid forward amp.

    If you prefer a mid scooped amp, you rely on tone controlling eq to change "your guitar tone" into a mid scooped tone.

    The guitar voice falls largely in the midrange of audible frequencies, and if you try using different amp families with bass & drums you'll find that mid scooped BF Fender amps are harder to hear in the mix at the same volume.
    A 50w Marshall can drown out an 85w Twin Reverb because the Twin has all the midrange cut, while the treble & bass are boosted.

    A guitar into a BF amp is not the sound of the guitar, it's altered quite a bit by the unnatural BF eq.
    If you like that tone that's great but you are relying on a lot of tone control circuit for your tone.

    In a sparse mix like string bass and a singer, maybe a light handed drummer, a Twin fills out the top & bottom nicely, while leaving space for the singers voice.
    In a dense Rock mix where the guitar is a voice as well, or a more competitive voice rather than an accompanist voice, you generally have more success with a more natural mids content amp.
     
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  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I use the middle a lot, especially on Fenders past the mid 60's. If the amp isn't scooped already, maybe I don't need one then.

    upload_2020-10-2_13-58-45.png
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like having a midrange control with amps that have a treble and bass control.
    On 3 amps owned with just one tone control it seems to be just fine as midrange
    is built in.
     
  18. dbamps

    dbamps TDPRI Member

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    Then there is the Vox AC30 bass and treble controls in their "top boost" circuit. Vox copied the tone stack from a Gibson schematic that had a mistake on it. It was a happy accident.

    The bass control in a Vox is mis-wired. It controls the mids as well as the bass. As you turn up the bass, the mids go down. At 10, there is maximum bass and minimum midrange. As you turn the bass down, the mids go up.

    It is very effective and a great alternative to the Fender fixed mid two band.
     
  19. mrloshaw

    mrloshaw TDPRI Member

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    I plug my amp in and play, I could care less what resistor it has or if it had a mid, it makes sounds and I'm not a pro. Chasing tone to me is pointless, never-ending, and expensive.
     
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  20. jonpowl

    jonpowl TDPRI Member

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    On a lighter note, I like my Epiphone 5W Valve Junior without any tone controls, only a volume control. I use the knobs on my guitars to change the tone. The Epiphone is somewhat clean up to around 12:00, then dirty from 12-5:00. No mods on this one, but sounds pretty good in a low volume jam.
     

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