1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Genz Benz Black Pearl Pirate's Den

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by ruger9, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    You WILL need it... People are complaining because they're not using it as it was designed (which could be considered a design flaw based on how most people use pedals in an effects loop, but if you follow the rules about what it's expecting, it WILL play nice).

    I assume you've seen my thread, and other discussions about this?

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/problems-with-pedals-in-amp-effects-loop.781577/
     
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,443
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    the fx loop I don't use either. straight in works well (better)

    You may have re-read my comments about dark reverb a few times unknowingly. Sorry!
    I wasn't the biggest user of reverb before I got my Deluxe Reverb. It spoiled me. So I actually use my Boss FRV-1 into it these days. I prefer it. Maybe I have cloth ears, but it sounds better to me, I think because it sounds more like my DRRI than I expected. I simply have my settings on it to most sound like my DRRI (By comparing like with like until I blurred the lines.)

    I don't know how much chance you have had to try the BP30 at high volume levels but.... F*** me, at high levels, it sounds glorious. It develops overtones and harmonics that match the very best and old AC30s at fill tilt. I still have all original valves, just a service a couple of years ago.

    Really, this is a genius little box that sounds great at whisper quiet levels and astounds at heavy duty volume.

    It is happiest being a Matchless / AC30 at mild breakup levels (for my old deaf ears anyway). But you can push it to be lots of things.
     
  3. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    No idea. It sounds great. Took me a while to tweak it, and learn how to dial it in. Once I did, voila! Like magic. Really, it's great sounding. Has the original speaker, and the tubes seem fine.

    You're right - great clean tones and a variety of them. I just had to figure out how to nudge it out of Vox territory and all was well.
     
    Les Paul lover and 1Coil like this.
  4. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    Yeah... Who wants a Vox anyway?
     
    Les Paul lover likes this.
  5. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Apparently d*mn near everyone. It's a cool sound to listen to. But I don't care to have as what's producing my guitar sound.
     
    1Coil and Hexabuzz like this.
  6. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    Yeah, the Black Pearl is to be appreciated for what it is, not what it can get close too.

    I love the deep, natural and dark voicing so far. I like my tone on the dark and warm side (I have 3 Orange amps, everything else, laney, Marshall, Vox, fender have come and gone) but the black pearl stands a good chance to stay. I quite like the triode mode too.

    Really lovely amp. Love the reverb too, prefer that cathedral / cavernous reverb to the fender type spring reverb. Really impressed with my combo so far.
     
  7. 1Coil

    1Coil TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    41
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I recently saw a performance by jazz phenom Mimi Fox. So, now I am inspired to work more on my jazz skills. Last night I set about see how close I could get the BP30 to reproduce the clean jazz tone of the Polytone Mini-Brute (Joe Pass, and many others). Here is what I came up with:

    Poly Pretty T3_Jazz Blues.jpg

    I call it "Poly Pretty."

    I don't have a hollow-body "archtop", but the neck HB on my Baker B1h seemed to like this setting pretty well. I briefly tried my G&L Bluesboy (Telecaster clone, with a neck HB) and thought it worked, also. (My strings are more suited to blues & rock: 10-52 & 10-46, respectively. I am thinking of putting jazz strings on the Baker, soon.)

    One of the coolest aspects of this setting is that all of the voice settings produce really nice tones, that are also fairly distinct from each other. That is not the case for many of the other settings I use.

    As always, YMMV, but it would be great to get some feedback from y'all. Endless Mike, this might just be up your alley.

    Cheers!
     
  8. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    I assume you're referring to my comment about the Vox sounds. The reason I said that is because that's what everyone has likened it to. And in the natural setting, with the mids up, that's really what it sounds like. No wonder - EL-84 tubes, class A amp. I'd think it's going to have a Vox aroma lurking in it somewhere. Fortunately for the rest of us, that can be dialed out.
     
    Les Paul lover and 1Coil like this.
  9. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    I didn't mention it, but I had noticed something doing a clonk noise inside the amp chassis when moving it around.

    Since the chap who sold me the amp gave me a non original footswitch, I did wonder if some Muppet stuck the original footswitch in there.....

    Anyway, the only way to find out was to open it.

    I took a few pics of interesting construction point along the way.
    This amp has an EL84 fan (And probably REALLY needs it, seeing the stickers on the EL84 are fairly brown). Also note the valve retainers!!!!! Let me tell you - no one is changing a valve in hurry on that amp!!!!

    [​IMG]

    Also, the spring reverb tank is inside a very nice bag - all details that are expensive and add up quite quickly.

    [​IMG]

    Then I found the clonking culprit. A loose choke, as it would happen. :eek:

    [​IMG]

    Thankfully, someone attempted to fix this. I'll call him Mr Duct-Tape.

    Mr Duct-Tape tried to put the choke back in place with...... A wood screw. Bless him. That was nice.

    [​IMG]

    Note that, obviously, there's no nut with the wood screw to hold the choke firmly in place. Probably because no one makes nuts for wood screws. I suppose Mr Duct-Tape didn't know that.

    Anyway, what's nicer than a wood screw without a nut to hold your choke firmly in place? Well, Mr Duct-Tape had a guess, and a try. I will not let you wait any longer.

    [​IMG]

    DUCT TAPE! :lol:
    That will hold that wood screw, and therefore the choke, nicely in place!
    I wish I could meet Mr Duct-Tape in person. What a lovely caring fellow.
    Something tells me that wasn't the seller (could be though, who knows!).

    Anyway, I'm a man, and therefore keeps stashes of odd screws and nuts and bolts from discarded rubbish, just in case it might come in handy one day.

    Today was that day. It totally makes collecting 5 years worth of odd screws and bits worthwhile.
    Found a couple of screws with anti vibrations nuts, drilled the original holes a touch bigger, and now the choke doesn't go clonk anymore.


    One final gut shot- not very good quality pic though.

    [​IMG]

    I really like the lay out on that amp. It looks like turret board construction on PCB. Overall, it looks very well made.

    The top of the combo is shielded too, a nice touch i thought. I've never seen that before.

    A lot of attention to details there.

    I reassembled it, plugged it, and it made a low whirring noise. Thought I'd buggered it...... almost went to switch it off, then remembered it has a fan...... :lol:

    Played it again, that thing is such a beast!!! Best kept away from Mr Duct-Tape's hands though.
     
  10. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    I know this may sound hard to believe, but...

    Same thing happened with the choke on my BP-310 combo.

    I never noticed it until I pulled the head out of the cab to simply separate the two to cut down on weight, but as I was removing it, there it was, flopping around loose.

    Weird thing was, I didn't find any screws, or remnants, but I can't imagine that it never would have been attached to the chassis.

    However 2x this unusual occurrence makes me wonder if there might not have been a small manufacturing/design issue. Maybe the way it's mounted was vulnerable to shocks while the amp was being moved?

    Who knows? I just know how much I love my BP-30!
     
  11. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,443
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    Thanks for all the shots - I'll send them to my amp tech next time BEFORE a service.
    Very few of these around in the UK I'd wager (I have no idea really) so people won't have worked on them before.
     
  12. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    @rze99

    I may have mentioned/posted this here before, but I have a BP-30 schematic if anyone needs it. Just send a PM
     
    Tommy Biggs and rze99 like this.
  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,443
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    yes you sent it before many thanks
     
  14. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    Yeah, the schematics are available on internet, I found them somewhere and printed them in A3.

    To be honest, it's a very well built amp. I'm very impressed with the details.

    The valve retainers means you can't change a valve fast, but in this combo, they will probably extend the valve life span and prevent low level microphony from manifesting itself.

    The shielding.. . The reverb tank in a nice bag... transformer for the reverb, choke instead of capacitor / resistor ripple filters....

    Most resistors are over specs too.

    Very impressive.

    The only thing I don't like are the ribbon connectors, but they are well labelled, so if the contacts corrode or oxyde, that should be easy to track and Hardwire.

    I've worked on Laney, and orange amps before. Laneys are built to a budget and you can see that. That Black Pearl is very well put together for sure.
     
    1Coil likes this.
  15. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    Been thinking about it, I find the coincidence remarkable.

    The chassis in a combo is subject to vibrations, and there are holes where it could fall from...... but i would think you'd find something.

    It should fall in the cab.

    But the loose choke was noticeable enough. I could tell there was something probably not normal there.
     
  16. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    I thought I would post an update.

    When I bought the amp, I thought it sounded great.... yet thought that perhaps the power valves were past their best.

    They're run pretty hot in that amp, and I have no idea how old the amp is, but the ruby stickers on the sovtek EL84 were pretty tan to say the least .

    You can easily see which EL84 was closest to the fan!

    [​IMG]

    The furthest away from the fan was starting to go microphonic too. Realised I could just about hear it when not playing, and it liked the wooden chop stick test a lot.

    And replaced the valves by a quartet of 6P14P EV, NOS Russian valves.
    They are FANTASTIC !!!!



    [​IMG]

    They will take up to 500v, 14w plate dissipation, a regular EL84 takes around 300/350v and 12w. The 6P14P EV are also meant to be long lasting, 5000h to 10000h.

    In any case...... They sound fantastic. Full, round low end, glassy and sparkly high end, great articulation through the spectrum. I tested them on my Orange AD15 as it has newish JJ EL84 before to drop them the black pearl.

    The difference with the JJ was still pretty remarkable - I've since bought another 8 6P14P EV just to make sure I can replace the valves in my AD15 too, and have spares for after.

    Best thing, they cost just about the same as regular EL84 .

    The fact they can take big voltage means they should be a great durable valve in a black pearl.

    I'm nit.selling these valves, just do you own google research and try them if you wish.

    I bought 3 quartets of 30 to 40 yo valves, and they sound incredible.
     
    1Coil likes this.
  17. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    Great to know, thanks!

    I put in a fresh set of Mullard reissues, and they sound great as well.
     
  18. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    By the way, does anybody know how-to date the Black Pearl?
     
  19. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    Never mind .

    I took gut shots when I opened the amp to fix the loose choke, there's a QC sticker in there. Built on 25/08/2008.
    Almost 10 years old.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,120
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    Anybody care to comment on whether the 2x12 version is loud enough to keep up with a heavy handed drummer in a loud rock band context while retaining some semblance of clean tone? I don't need JC120 surgical clean, but my experience with lower watt amps in a band context is that you need to run them flat-out to the point that you lose dynamics, and I like to have some headroom available to work my volume knob.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.