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How can I get more warmth out of my Music Man 210HD?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by lemmingman, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. lemmingman

    lemmingman TDPRI Member

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    I recently upgraded from an early 2000s Hot Rod Deluxe to an early 70s Music Man 210 HD. I needed something that would be clean at very high volumes and I really love a lot of the features in the Music Man. However, there is a certain warmth I am missing that I have with the Hot Rod.

    And ideas what I can use to get that warmth back in my tone?
    I'm thinking something in the way of an 'always on' pedal'.
     
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  2. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    It has a solid state pre-amp. It will never be as "warm" as it would if it had a tube preamp, where you could swap tubes . It's a great amp, but it is what it is.
     
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Friend has a HD130 head. It's one of the warmest, brown tone amps I've ever heard. Not sure why you're not getting that with yours.
     
  4. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe a tube preamp, like EHX LPB-2ube preamp (discontinued but maybe available used) or a Sarno Steel Guitar Black Box?
     
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  5. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Light it on fire?
     
  6. lemmingman

    lemmingman TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I've been a little confused when I read other threads where people talk about how these amps are so warm when, as PCollen said, these have solid state preamps.
     
  7. lemmingman

    lemmingman TDPRI Member

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    I tried this, but it just ended up smelling weird. Still works tho
     
  8. Bowpickins

    Bowpickins Tele-Meister

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    The early Music Man amps do have one tube in the preamp section - a single 12AX7 which is in the phase inverter position. My Music Man 210 Sixty-five had one, too. I got to experimenting with the tube for that slot, and found that a Svetlana 12AX7 was the better choice among new-production tubes. The Svetlana sounded a little smoother and clearer in the amp, and helped maximize the headroom in my opinion. Another thing that helps these amps a little is a speaker change. I really loved mine after replacing the stock speakers with WGS G10C speakers.
     
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  9. Bowpickins

    Bowpickins Tele-Meister

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    I almost forgot: have you tried using the 'deep' switch on the amp? I traded my 210 off due to the weight, but I remember there was a 'deep' switch that would add a warmer low end for both channels on the amp. does your 210-HD 130 have it, too?
     
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  10. lemmingman

    lemmingman TDPRI Member

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    I have the Deep setting, using Deep or Bright can help get closer to what I'm looking for in some cases
     
  11. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've owned a few musicman amps- good clean tone but overdriven not so good and yeah they are not warm. I keep wanting to like them but I never really do once I play through a vintage Fender. Sounds like you should sell it and move on to the twin reverb (used 70's models are pretty cheap)
     
  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The idea that tube amps are “warm” and solid state amps aren’t is a complete and total myth. There are very warm and pleasant sounding SS amps, and some very crappy sounding tube amps.

    I played Marshall 3203 heads for years (and would love to have another one) and they were very warm amps with a little finessing. They too had a tube power section and SS pre. Like the MM, they had a single pre tube that was split. Half of it is the phase inverter, and the other half is the input driver. Not sure if it’s the same in a MM...

    With the 3203 tube swaps made a huge difference in warmth and headroom. I also clipped a hi pass bit out of the circuit. Maybe there’s a similar mod for the MM?

    A thin or non-warm sounding amp can also be a sign of cold biasing. A trip to a good tech familiar with those amps might fix the issue for you easily. It’s not sounding thin or not warm simply because it’s solid state. That’s just plain silly.
     
  13. hmemerson

    hmemerson TDPRI Member Vendor Member

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    Aren't we comparing a combo amp to an amp head with unknown speakers?

    I believe speakers can make a little difference in the final analysis........

    HE
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Eq is totally unrelated to tube vs SS.

    I have to wonder what it has for power tubes and who set the bias?
    Cold bias will sound lousy and not, uh, warm.

    Are the original speakers in it?
    New speakers require breaking in and some tens are less warm toned than others.
    Can’t tell from here why your epic great amp lacks warmth but something is wrong with it.
     
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  15. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yea, I was just giving that some thought when I realized my friend plays them through a '60s Fender 2 x 15" cab. I'm sure that's a lot of the warmth there. And he's playing an old Aria Cardinal through it, very Les Paulish sounding pickups. I'm sure it's the combination of all of the above. Stunning tone though.
     
  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Turn the treble down.
     
  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    how much does the 2x10 weigh? i can't imagine it's an issue if i've been hauling the 4x10 around.
     
  18. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    also, the hd130 i use has treble, mids, and bass knobs - you can't dial something in you like with that available to you?

    or maybe just use your neck pickup?
     
  19. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    There are a couple of things that might work but I would first look at the speakers. If you have access to a different speaker cabinet give it a try. A BBE Sonic stomp can really bring some amps back to life. I would try an OD dialed back, my personal fav is an OCD but there are tons of options. I would also try turning the amp up and dialing back on the guitar.
     
  20. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    Nocturne Brain, it works wonders with my SS amps, really wouldn't use one without it. There is also a El Pescodoro pedal that warms things up beautifully, its on my list. I also have a couple Morley JD10's that are awesome preamps but are kinda hard to find.
     
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