Tech 21 Blonde report

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Charlie Bernstein, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    Hold on, back up the truck, what did I miss here?
    So this pedal (and the Joyo American Sound, apparently?) allows you to go direct into the PA, without a guitar amp?
    Is there some additional interface device needed?
    What kind of cable would you use, just a regular instrument cable?
    Do all boost pedals do this, or is there something special about this one?
     
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  2. JayDee

    JayDee Tele-Meister

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    The Tech 21 Character Series Pedals are analog amp modelers. The newest versions had a button to deactivate the speaker simulation so that they would sound better through an amp. My experience with the first version was that they sounded great direct to a PA or to record without an amp. I didn't care for the overdrive sounds through an amp though. I would really like to try the second version of the Blonde to see if the button to deactivate the speaker simulation fixed what I didn't like.
     
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  3. Fhede

    Fhede TDPRI Member

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    I have a Joyo American Sound, I bought to plug it in front of my DR22 clone. As I am a bedroom player I need something that emulate the saturation of the amp. The chinesse makes a very good job!
    You get DR22 BF tones, not only "blonde" / "tweed" tones.
    I am eager to try the Blonde, but too expensive for the use I will give it.
    Yesterday I recorded a demo of my Mary Kaye, at the beging is just the DR22 clone, in the middle I added the Joyo to get some growl. The setting is B / M / T in 12.30 aprox and Character at noon and Drive at 11.30.
     
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  4. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    I've played directly to console several times(Blonde). I even sent an email to sansamp and they did confirm its supposed to work without a di.
     
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  5. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Joyo and the Tech 21 Character Series (including the Blonde) can both go direct into a PA.

    There's a button to emulate a speaker sound. Turn it on to plug into a PA, turn it off to plug into a guitar amp.

    I put a passive DI between the pedal and the PA, but you don't have to.
     
  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    There was a time that I was forced to go through a PA because the venue (about 10,000 seating capacity) didnt want amps and it's all through the PA.. I did a lot of research beforehand on how to make my guitar sound better through it and it led me to a Sansamp, which my friend has and I borrowed it.. Its not the character series.. plugged all drive pedals before it, and then delay and reverb after... it did work, but I thought I sounded too clean..

    a few years passed by, I needed mobility and consistency across any amp and any situation, but I couldnt find a cheap solution, I then looked into Sansamp again and it led me to the Joyo American Sound.. now I have it on my board.. I can plug through a PA directly or through an amp, and I will still have that Fendery tone I want.. I just ask the soundman to EQ my guitar as flat as he can, or if I have an amp, I set it very clean and all EQ to noon.. My Joyo is my clean tone and always on pedal..

    Here's a video I found comparing the two, and a comment below which reads


    Casey Butt1 year ago (edited)
    I have both of these pedals and ran frequency sweeps and harmonic analyses (Fourier) on both of them as well as a Fender Super Reverb. The Joyo actually has a more accurate frequency response to the classic Fender amps. The Joyo puts the mids at about 450 Hz with the Voice turned down (which is correct for a Blackface) and up to just under 800 Hz with the voice maxed (which is correct for a maxed Tweed era amp). The Tech 21 shifts the mid centers higher, which is not accurate to old Fender amps. The Joyo also rolls off the highs at a slightly higher frequency, which is more like any open-back cab I've taken or seen the response of. I was surprised but, in terms of actual frequency response, the Joyo is closer to a real vintage Fender amp than the Tech 21. In terms of harmonic distortion, they're both similar. Circuit wise, the Joyo is a 'clone' of the Tech 21, with some components changed slightly. IMO, the Joyo component choices are actually the correct ones for a proper Fender response.

    I've been meaning to buy the Tech21 Blondie for sometime now, but I couldnt find one used around here.. if I do, I'll jump on it, and see how it sounds through my rig..
     
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  7. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Found mine used at Reverb.com.
     
  8. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    I have both Tech 21 blonde and Joyo American.
    The tech 21 has more body to the note across its range, imo
     
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  9. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Tech21 character pedals were a big part of my gigging career when bringing an amp wasn't an option: solo gigs on public transport, sometimes bringing a small PA, and sometimes at altitude through snow.

    I have the Blonde, Liverpool and Leeds. For cleans I also recommend the Leeds (Hiwatt) pedal. It's a bit like a bolder, and potentially raunchier blackface sound.
     
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  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    So if you’re just using the pedal straight to the board, what cable runs between them, just a regular guitar cable? I gotta try this....
     
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  11. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    American Sound here. If the mixer/PA is close at hand, a direct cable will do the job. However, if you're connecting to a stage snake, then that cable has a run of ( arbitrary length ) 45ft, an XLR DI would be a good idea. A DI is often a good idea anyway.

    I've tried direct to board, and it works very well. I've tried an active DI, and to me, even on a short run, it sounds better. Better is being used here as the written word can be tricksy describing sound.
    My DI is active, and has switchable speaker emulation. The onboard emulation is pretty good to begin with, but I prefer ( and it's just me ) 'stacking' it with the emulation built into the DI

    I wish I'd bought one sooner.
     
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  12. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I first used a pre-amp into the PA back in the early 90's, starting with a Yamaha FEX500? then a Behringer V-AMP Pro. For the last seven years I have used the following set-up with good results;

    Small (limited stage space) gigs or Rehearsals: Guitar > Pedalboard > American Sound, AC Tone or Award Session JD-10 > Powered Monitor, Keyboard Amp or PA. Never used running into a guitar amp.

    Large Gigs: Guitar > Pedalboard > American Sound, AC Tone or Award Session JD-10 > Active DI > snake > PA.

    Last year I bought the Donner Green Land (Fender Bassman and Marshall JTM45) and Sweet Juice (Twin and Orange AD30) pre-amp pedals. I have not yet had the opportunity to give them a good run out. Hopefully I will be able to try them out soon.
     
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  13. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup. Any guitar cable will do. But if it's a real long run, an XLR would probably be better, which would mean plugging the pedal into a passive DI.
     
  14. Plumber

    Plumber Tele-Holic

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    I have the american sound, had the blonde deluxe limited forquite a while but sold it as not significantly better than the joyo
     
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  15. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    for my flyrig I just use a 1/4" TRS to XLR straight to the board.
    I don't know if a TRS is necessary but it's what I had, and it works great.
     
  16. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    I use it sometimes for small gigs direct to pa. Sounds really good. Doesn't work out with my band up loud direct to pa in a bigger venue. Need the amp on stage. That's just my situation though.
     
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  17. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    I have the old version of the Blonde and a Harley Benton AC Tone - Harley Benton is the brandname for Germany, the pedal is exactly the same as the Joyo brand. The AC Tone is designed for emulating a Vox AC30.
    I used both as a sort of emergency unit for amp fails (had to do that once, because my amp failed on a gig).

    Both sound nice direct to PA.
    I wouldn't go as far in saying they sound like an amp, i.e. miking an amp, but they certainly deliver good sounds without any additional DI-box or cab-sim.

    The AC Tone is a bit more noisy and although it is a solid metal housing and sturdy-built pedal, the AC-connection seems a bit.....sloppy (I had some issues with drop-outs and noise when rearranging the pedals on the board).
    But a big plus is that the AC Tone can be used as a "normal" overdrive pedal, whereas the Blonde didn't really convinced me as a sole overdrive in front of an amp - it sounded somehow....dull and artificial.

    I also own a Palmer MkII Pocket Amp which has a balanced out and different cab-sims and all that for a small price.
    It's now in the emergency-toolbox for gigs.

    It all depends on what you want:
    - The Blonde has the best "ampsound" direct to PA, but is also the most expensive;
    - the AC Tone is a true bargain and very versatile, but a bit noisy and not as reliable;
    - the Pocket Amp is the most versatile for direct to PA and also on nice budget-price.
     
  18. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    I played a gig Saturday night requiring acoustic and electric. I brought my Fishman Loudbox and used the Blonde into one channel for my electric. I loved the clean sound; my Tele sounded great on every pickup setting. However, whenever I tried using a dirt box, it never sounded right. I constantly struggle with this scenario. Sometimes it sounds great, sometimes lousy, and I can't really nail down why.
     
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  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I got an American Sound about a week ago, as part of an experiment.

    I have a Quilter 101 Mini that I've been experiencing more and more issues with limitations of the preamp's EQ, voicing, and gain characteristics. I couldn't get a good base tone, and then adding drive boxes on top of that exacerbated the issues.

    I've got the American Sound going straight into the return of the 101 Mini's effects loop. It was a little bit of a learning curve getting it dialed in, but I have to admit that it sounds quite good, both dirty and clean. So far, I've A/B'ed it to my '71 Vibrulux Reverb, and can get it to sound pretty close. If I had the 101 Mini going into a 2X10 cab with the same speakers as the VR, I think the two would sound even closer.

    ...I seem to have discovered that when using the American Sound this way, it tends to sound best with the level/vol. as high as it can be set (preferably at max), and then use the gain control to adjust the actual volume.

    IMO, the big limitation comes with cranking the character control counterclockwise, because scooping the mids also kills a lot of preamp volume. Things also start to sound kind of dull and "like typical solid state," probably because a bit of the signal complexity is found within the midrange frequencies.

    Anyway, the experiment successfully proved that the 101 Mini has a fantastic power amp, but IMO suffers from limitations to its preamp design. If someone wants a relatively clean sound, the American Sound (or Blonde) seems to offset the limitations, at least when used as a dedicated preamp.

    Next up - I got the British Sound a couple of days ago. With this one, I'm purposefully choosing a dirty base tone, unlike a clean one with the American Sound. The preliminary results have been fair to a little above average. I'm getting tones that either rival or surpass the OD sounds I've experienced with better SS amps with good OD channels, but there's still some unwanted characteristics that I'm struggling a bit to dial out. The British Sound seems to also have a higher noise floor than the American Sound, but that might simply be because I've got the gain generally set higher.
     
  20. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    I spent some time last night working with different dirt boxes and the Blonde going into the Fishman Loudbox, A/B'ing it with my regular guitar amp. I tried different drive pedals at different settings and made some slight changes to the Blonde, all the while trying to get a similar sound and response to the guitar amp. I think I found something that worked.

    I learned that it's much easier to get a usable completely clean tone on electric guitar through an acoustic rig than it is to get a decent lead sound, but it's doable with the right tools at the right settings. Unfortunately, once I try that direct rig into a PA (instead of the Fishman), it won't sound the same, and it might not work well. No system is truly flat and full-range. They all sound different, which plays havoc with DI based electric guitar sounds.
     
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