Hot Rod Deville 2x12 & dirt pedals

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by TeleBrew, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm starting to wonder if I have a quirky amp. My Deville sounds great with fuzz, but doesn't seem to like any other type of dirt pedal that I've run through it, and I've tried at least half a dozen since I got it. There's either hardly any dirt coming through, or it just sounds bad in general. The only thing that sounded decent was an Ibanez SD9-M, but it was too metal for my tastes so I sold it.

    My Vox AC15C2 loves my OD and distortion pedals (currently a Klon clone and a Pigtronix Polysaturator) as well as fuzz pedals.

    The Deville sounds great otherwise. (I may be one of the few who actually likes the Drive channel).

    (I bought it used last fall, and I recently had it serviced and retubed, which helped the tones immensely overall).

    Anybody else experience this with their Devilles?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  2. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Has anyone experienced this phenomenon with any tube amp?
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. You'll read on these pages a lot of disagreement about these amps. One problem is Fender sort of tacked a highish gain front end in and then recovered it with higher gain than the older amps it's based on, that means everything is boosted a bit much all the way through. The reverb tends to harshness. The volume goes from nothing at 1.9, to too bloody loud at 2.1. The amp either sounds thin and sterile, or muddy and boomy. That also affects anything plugged in the front end.

    To moderate this you only need get yourself a 12AY7, 5751 or 12AT7 and place it where V1 is - that's the first small tube from the right looking at the rear. Some people replace both preamp tubes covered by the foam anti-vibe piece. 5751s are a good choice.

    All.of a sudden, the amp picks up clarity and the working stage volume comes in at 4-6. Cleans improve, the reverb becomes much nicer and more narural sounding and higher settings usable, the drive becomes better and the more drive becomes usable. Even the treb-mid-bass becomes more adjustable with a greater effective range. $10 for a tube to try it.

    My bandmate's HRDx 112 is a different amp after this. It's more adjustable and the drive and more drive goes to much nicer. Once it was wincingly bad.



    If you ever have work done on it, there's a coupling cap on the top right of the PCB that is .047mf. dropped to .022 it helps the preamp behave more like classic Fender amps (cuts bass just a little). It'll never be a boutique sound, but you can definitely improve it to more than acceptable for very few bucks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  4. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The amp really came to life after I had it retubed a couple of weeks ago. It sounds like a new amp across the board. So I don't want to mess with it any more for now, I was just curious if anyone else has had trouble finding dirt pedals that play nice with it. But I appreciate the advice, Dacious. I am definitely going to try the V1 tube swap in the near future.
     
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Adjusting the bias up a little from the stock Fender setting will help. They bias them so cold from the factory (warranty reasons) it's equivay to driving your car with the parking brake on.

    If yours is a 90s or early noughties hopefully your tech changed the filter caps, Fender put 450volt Illinois caps in early ones, they ran close to the wind on 440 volts B+. Later ones had 500 volts. Plus about 20 years is their service life
     
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  6. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think he did change the caps, and he definitely biased it up a bit. It sounds a lot warmer than it did before. I don't know if that's the reason. But the servicing in general really brought the amp to life.
     
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, bad caps are like spark plugs and air filters, you don't notice your car or bike trending downhill as they wear and clog, but new ones gives everything a nice kick along.
     
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  8. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There you go! That's a great analogy. I was amazed at how much better the amp sounded after I got it back, but I didn't know beforehand that it wasn't sounding as good as it could/should.
     
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