Hi-GAIN amps for not so hi-gain music ?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by SirJackdeFuzz, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Hi guys !

    Question for all you hi-gain amp owners.

    Who here is using the so-called hi-gain "metal" amps for 70's era classic rock ?

    I can get a mint cond. 1990's "block letter" 5150 amp (but it is coming from another city so i can not erst before i buy) for very little money.
    All of the Utoob clips shows metal-playing and extreme lead wiggly-wiggly stuff.

    Can a 5150 (and other simmilar amps) do a GOOD classic rock tone ?

    Zeppelin / Sabbath / Pentagram / Fatso Jetson (OK, so they are 90's, i know, but still influenced by the 70's gods), and, and, and !

    Right now, i am playing with my two trusty guitars : Tele with BK Flatt 50 set, & SG w Duncan A2P set !

    Cab: 2X12 oversized w Swamp Thang & Vintage 30.


    Thanx to all.


    Oh, and please state what hi-gain amp you use with your Tele :twisted:
     
  2. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've played a 5150 at a local rehearsal studio and never had any problem getting a "'70's" sound out of it. They're only "high-gain" if you set them that way; these amps are really more versatile than you might think.
     
  3. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    Sure they can. Just turn the gain down. Now carrying that heavy beast is another issue....
     
  4. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Thanx . . . weight is not an ishoo.

    I do not gig, (yet) but i do jam with friends on a farm/small holding, where we can really crank the amps to 10, as the nearest house is 1km (3/4 mile) away !
     
  5. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Great to know !

    Does anyone know th ediffs between a cold baised & a hot/warm baised 5150 ?

    How will these two settings differ in a tonal & feel way ?

    Thanx
     
  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a Mesa Mark V and Mini Rectifier, and have owned a Roadster. All of them do just fine at classic-rock levels of gain. In fact, I rarely crank them beyond that medium-gain level.
     
  7. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    "Cool biasing" = running the tubes cooler (literally, they're not as hot as tubes that have been biased "hot." This is one of the few times the language and the way we talk about amps actually coincide and makes sense).

    "Hot biasing" = running the tubes hotter, as in -- if you measured them with a thermometer, hot biased tubes would literally be running hotter than cool biased tubes.

    Both of these are accomplished by biasing (i.e. adjusting the plate voltage) the amplifier itself, so that the tubes run either cool, hot, or somewhere in between. All amps have recommended biases directly related to the types of tubes they use.

    Hot bias = more gain/distortion, as hot biasing reduces headroom (and shortens tube life). Cool biasing increases headroom, but reduces gain (and increases tube life). All amps should be run at the recommended bias, as that's what the amp was designed for.
     
  8. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Thanx for getting to the point !

    I wonder if my use'less guitar store will be able to bias any type of valve amp ! (?)
     
  9. CyanideJunkie

    CyanideJunkie Tele-Holic

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    I've found that a Mesa Boogie MK IIC+ is an excellent all-rounder amp, despite being better known for its heavy tones.
     
  10. Timmysoft

    Timmysoft TDPRI Member

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    Its easy to see why amps get labelled as high gain or metal amps, we frequently see amps like the dual rectifier and 5150 in the hands of big metal bands and all the marketing gets aimed at the heaver end of the spectrum but i've heard those amps do brilliant lower gain tones.

    I'm the other way round, i use a low gain combo for heavy music! Never buy into the hype on anything!
     
  11. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Thanx to every one so far . . .



    . . . anyone else who use these types of amps for AC/DC type of tones/music ?
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    SirJack, IIRC, the 5150 does not have a bias adjustment pot in stock form. One can be added.....or one can bias with graded tubes. Imho, as long as the power tubes are not redplating, then bias can be a personal choice. I don't like cold biasing in any amp, and this is where quite a few manufacturers bias these high gain amps. When biased this way, the power tubes---with the MV---must be run way on up on the dial to get any OD in that stage. Things sound kind of sterile and not as harmoically rich as when the bias is set to the hotter side. I have measured some Mesa's that were running 34% of max plate dissipation with the Mesa tubes, which are selected to perform the same from one set to the other. Mesa sells the tybes that don't grade out to their desired parameters to other distributors, I think. THat is not solid state sterile, but it is moving in that direction. I find that from 65% on up to that much-used 70% of max plate dissipation limit in fixed-biased amps, there is very little sonic change. I can use anything above 50% of MPD. Below that, I start looking for a way to warm things up....and I don't mean with preamp distortion. Imho, many people have a negative attitude toward some Mesa and other high gain amps...calling them 'buzzy'. I think this is because the majority of the OD is in the preamp because the power tubes are biased to the cold side.
    Oddly, I once bought and sold an early MKII that had a factory bias pot in it. Mike B. at Mesa confirmed that indeed they did install a few bias pots back in the day....but opted to not give the user the ability to mess up an amp with that adjsutment....adn they figured out a way to try to lock in tube customers by saying that only Mesa tubes shoud be run in a Mesa.
    Ime, I have never found a Boogie that would not accept any tube I put in it becasue the factory bias was set so far to the cold end of things that nothing would redplate in the amps. Any tube I have put in aBoogie has runn without redplating...but some of them yield cold power amp sonics.
    Soem of them yield warm power amp sonics...because they are 'hot' tubes.
     
  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Lindsey Buckingham uses Dual Rectifier TremoVerbs in his backline.
     
  14. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    WOW . . . fantastic info Wally . . . thank you very much indeed !


    ;-)
     
  15. chunkyluke

    chunkyluke Tele-Meister

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    I use a Jet City 50w combo, based on the Soldano Hot Rod it has an SLO overdrive channel. I play a lot of classic rock and blues through it and it works great for my needs (hey Gary Moore and Warren Haynes use or have used an SLO at some time)
     
  16. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Hi Wally,

    I was under the impression that "Mesa" tubes are just rebadged random tubes with the Mesa logo.

    Is there truth to that?
     
  17. SirJackdeFuzz

    SirJackdeFuzz Friend of Leo's

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    I would kill for a real SLO :twisted:

    I love the tone he gets in the song "Mr. High & Mighty" (Gov't Mule tune)
     
  18. AussieAndrew

    AussieAndrew Friend of Leo's

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    I was under the impression that "Mesa" tubes are just rebadged random tubes with the Mesa logo.

    Is there truth to that?


    Manufacturers of amps do not make tubes. Any tube with their logo has been re-stamped. That's been going on for donkeys years.
     
  19. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Peavey Windsor will handle anything from clean to dirt, and while it's not a Hi-gain amp in the same class as a Mesa, most people don't think of it for it's cleans. The crunch sound it makes is right there with a Marshall.

    Playing sucks on this clip, but it goes to show what any amp will do if you fiddle around with the knobs.

    And pay no mind to the spelling... it was late when I posted this clip. Really, really late!
     
  20. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. Mesa tubes are made by the same factories as those sold by everyone else. Nothing special. Mesa logo screened on them. Tested to Mesa specs. Sold at twice the price.

    Most good tube dealers can sell you a set of tubes which will fall within Mesa's parameters if you specifically ask for it.

    Be careful though, I heard that use of non-Mesa branded tubes will void the warranty.
     
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