HotRod DEVILLE users - some questions

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

  1. anthrotony

    anthrotony Tele-Meister

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    Hi everyone,

    Obviously I don't want to alienate all the other Hot Rod users out there, but I'm wondering about how your amps perform. Not looking for anything to do with the debate about "get rid of such a crap amp" either.

    Mine is a USA-built 1998 410 which I bought new because it sounded really nice, clean in the shop, although honestly, the salesman should probably have pointed me towards any number of other amps as I needed it just for home use, but I was so busy at the time I didn't think further than my immediate reaction to the tone ;)

    The only "mods" I've done are the Steve Dallman reverb mod to remove the treble bypass from the reverb circuit. I'm very happy with the result which is subtle, but does give a much more usable sweep to the reverb and mellows the tone a bit, and when I was getting no volume a few years back, my amp tech replaced the input jacks. Other than that, I've changed the tubes to JJs. 12AY7 in V1, 12DW7 in V2, and 12AX7 in V3. This was originally the Eurotubes "blues retube kit" but I changed V1 from the standard 12AX7 to tame the amp a little and improve the drive.

    I use a simple "master" volume pot in the effects loop to be able to increase the Clean Volume in order to increase preamp gain into the power stage of the amp. This works extremely well and allows me to dime the amp if I wish. The combination of all of the above provides a useable drive channel, but which in my opinion is still not as full or sweet as using good pedals on the clean channel.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with the clean tone at lower volumes, up to about 4 (with the "master pot" at max), and this provides an excellent base for overdrive pedals. Oh, even with my tube changes, this is still a pretty loud home volume -- my phone dB app reads in the mid 90dB range. On the negative side, it can still be a bit ice-picky, especially with my Tele, but that could be due to the speakers which are the original Fender/Eminence tens. Eminence have advised me that the closest modern equivalent speaker to this in terms of tone is the Legend 1028K even though this is an alnico. Also, the tone can be seriously bass-heavy.

    So my questions to you all...

    In your own experience, at what volume levels do you start to experience edge-of-breakup tones on the clean channel? To me this is the beginning of the holy grail tone quest! Obviously your tube layout can change things compared to mine. If I lower my "master pot" to about half, I can push the clean volume to between 8 and 9, and this adds some bite to the tone, but not really any overdrive (well, yeah it does with my ES-335). Very nice though. I imagine that if I swapped back in the 12AX7 that this would happen at a lower volume level. In fact, even if I dime the clean channel in this configuration, I still don't get real breakup with my single coil guitars.

    I'm particularly interested if any of you have made any tone stack mods, especially the simplest one which bridges two of the tabs on the Mid control and allegedly provides a tone stack which functions much closer to the BlackFace amps, apparently providing about 12.5K ohms versus the original 6.8-8K range. If you've done this, what has been your experience? Especially at sub 100dB volume levels. Does it take away the overwhelming bass even at the lower levels which might require adjusting the EQ to add some back in to be more pleasant at this listening level? Does it give a sweeter Fender clean tone?

    It's possible that some of you have swapped in the JJ 6V6 high voltage power tubes to lower output. Perhaps this gives a really nice tone/crunch? Although I have to admit that I've not found any good online demos of this mod, and I think there's some real value to keeping a 6L6 power stage in my amp selection.

    I'm building a 5e3 right now for lower volume crunch sans pedals, and had thought about building a Princeton Reverb for my clean Fender-y tones, but if I would start getting reasonably close with a few easy mods to the HRDv, then my next amp build would more likely be a Vibrolux or a BrownFace amp.

    Thanks for any inspiration you might be able to add!
     
  2. anthrotony

    anthrotony Tele-Meister

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    Bump... (please)

    There must be some Deville users out there :) Perhaps I should have posted on the glowing bottles forum?
     
  3. anthrotony

    anthrotony Tele-Meister

    Age:
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  4. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 2003 410. I have made the tab-bridge on the mid control and it made it easier to control the lows. I have also replaced the treble cap with a 250 pF silver mica. If it made a difference, it's very subtle.

    I have found that I like a lower gain tube in the PI. Right now I'm running a 12AT7/ECC81 there and 12AX7's for V1 and V2.

    A lower gain V2 most of all makes "more drive" somewhat usable.

    I have also found that I like a lower gain V1. I would really like to try 5751 for V1-V3, but I haven't done that.

    Regarding the speakers, I have tried running it into my Marshall 412 cab. Off course it sounds different then, but the harshness part that I don't like is still there.

    The amp works fine as a platform for pedal-based sounds, that's what I use it for now, but I find it hard to make it sound good on it's own.
     
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