Help Me Sound Rad: Gain Staging on an AC15c1

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Veeseaczar, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    I’ll chime in with my poor excuse for experience here. I have an AC15, and love it. I also have a MoJoMojo and live it, but not with P90’s. P90’s and that pedal are both mid heavy, and a Vox has plenty of mids. A combination of those 3 doesn’t make for the best tone. (Too farty) Next, what P90’s do you have? Is it one of those with the ceramic bar magnets? If so, I’ve found those a little harder to dial in. They’re typically much hotter than your “average P90”. Not that they’re bad, just harder to give advice on what settings to try.
    When using my Vox with P90’s, I like to use an OCD type pedal. You can get different levels of distortion from it. Mine is actually set to a crunch level, nothing heavy. I use the guitar volume for the clean/jangly stuff, the OCD type for the crunch, and, believe it or not, a Muff for the harder drive. Mine has the sustain down around 8-9:00, as I’m not going for an insane level of fuzz. A Rat might work for you too. If you can go to a store and sit down with your guitar, an AC15, and test drive some pedals, you’ll find what you’re after. The Vox has it, and can cover a ton of territory.
    One more pedal I’m pretty fond of; the Wampler PlexiDrive. It’s a MIAB, but it does everything it does very well with an AC15. And hang onto that MoJoMojo.
    I’ve found it to be great with my Strats!
     
  2. RockinforJesus

    RockinforJesus TDPRI Member

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    @Veeseaczar What speaker are you using? My Greenback took a while to break in. It was harsh to my ear when new. Now that it has properly broken in it is very toneful. Also what tubes are you running? JJ’s seem to work well in this amp. I use a long plate ECC803S in V1. Gives a bit more headroom IMHO. As for gain staging, try an ABY pedal to switch between Normal and Top Boost, or both at the same time for a boosted volume more driven tone. Also using 2 OD pedals set at different drive levels can give you varying levels of gain staging, and use both at the same time for lead tones. Key here is finding good transparent OD pedals. Timmy is a good option, or EHX Crayon is also very good because it has a 2 band EQ. OCD works well as a higher gain pedal, but is also very responsive to pick attack.
    The AC15C1 is a very versatile amp once you figure out what it wants.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  3. bowman

    bowman Friend of Leo's

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    I have an AC15C1, and I run all of my pedals into the normal channel. I have lots of pedals that work well with that amp, but my faves for overdrive are a Bad Bob (booster), a Barber Direct Drive, a Boss OD-3, an MXR Distortion +, and an HBE Germania (Rangemaster clone). I also have a BBE Sonic Stomp always switched on at the end of the chain. I use a volume pedal (Ernie Ball JR) with 2 outputs to control the overall sound. The always-on output goes into the pedal board>normal channel, and I set that to the volume I like. The other output, which is controlled by the pedal, goes into the Top Boost channel. This way, I have my pedal sounds, and I can also blend in as much Top Boost as I want at any time. It's a very simple way to use both channels simultaneously.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  4. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Jim of Jimmy Eat World will often use an AC30 ( For Futures stuff) , then give it a Tube Screamer for the dirtier parts. Tom, on the other hand, often played a ProCo Rat into an Orange. Something Between a RAT and a Tube Screamer might work well when you need some extra dirt. I have a TubeScreamer DX which has 4 modes - some which give it more low end. I usually prefer one of the non-traditional modes when I run it into an amp.

    I was selling an AC30CCH once and a guy came over to try it out. He wasn't digging the sound, so I threw a RAT in front of it and he was LOVING that tone. He tried to buy my DIY RAT instead of my amp, but I told him No.
     
    Lawdawg likes this.
  5. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

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    So the consensus on overdrives for the AC15 is generally that a mid-pushed box seems not to play nice with the already mid-pushed amp?
     
  6. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

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    Guys...

    I think I did it.

    ^ (link)

    Gain balancing between the master, the pre-amp, the compressor, and the booster is/was *sonuvab**ch*. There's no real manual for what I was trying to do, which is funny because it's such a simple sound.

    I had to mess with the order Spark and the SP. After lots of deliberation, I have the Spark going into the compressor. Normal boost, no gain. Output maxed.

    The compressor is set to mid, volume just about half way, blend set to 9:00. Also altered the internal dip switches to set the compressor to a really fast attack/release. I needed an element of the country clean picking sound in there, but was always afraid of squashing the sound too much.

    I really don't like how artificial compressors can sound, but right on that line is a punchy, spanky thing I value. I like how it highlights single notes without being really saturated.

    Right now this is the closest thing I've ever heard to a hybrid lead/rhythm tone for my purposes. I can even get much saturated by turning the compressor off.
     
  7. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Afflicted

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    Stick a JAN Philips 5751 in V1 and a JAN GE 5751 in V2. Make sure both are 1980s production.

    Good luck.
     
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