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Why must controls be so complex?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by rdwhitti, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    I have a Champion 600 which is of course super simple (volume control only) and love the sounds I get from it with either of my guitars (Epi ES339 and Strat single coil). I have been trying for weeks now to get a similar sound from my Blues Deluxe and can't seem to find the right mix of settings. All that I really want is louder and more headroom, I don't need the extra features/controls. It seems like when manufacturers build in more power/features/cost the extra controls invariably cone with it.

    Just had to gripe I guess.
     
  2. DaBender

    DaBender Tele-Afflicted

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    The ultimate is not even equipped with a power switch - plug and unplug, incessantly.
     
  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The two amps you're comparing are vastly different. They're really not all that complex when you learn how the controls act and it opens up more tones. I think in the case of your amps, it's just completely different circuits. You can't expect them to dial in the same exact tones because they both say 'Fender' on them.

    The Champion 600 is a single ended Class A amp. The Blues Deluxe is a Class AB push-pull amp. This alone will alter the tone between the two amps.
     
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  4. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Yes of course I realize how different they are, that was not my point. My point was that even if a low powered and a high powered amp can be adjusted to sound similarly, it is likely that the high powered amp is going to have more complex controls. Yes I realize that makes it more versatile in that you can now get a much wider variety of tones from it, again that is not the point. Probably the marketing department thinks that everybody is just going to expect the higher powered or more featured or more expensive amp to have more controls, but it is not a necessity. Enough said, I am done griping now. Back to your usually scheduled program.

     
  5. srinivassa

    srinivassa Tele-Meister

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    There are some amps that are expensive and more powerful that have very simple controls. Orange and Dr. Z come to mind. I dig what you are saying though. A lot of people who buy an amp (myself included) look for basic features for tone shaping. There doesn't seem to be as big a market for a powerful amp that just has gain and master. A few people do do it. It just becomes harder to sell the amp, and I think the price goes up. There are just a lot of people who expect certain features in a high end amp, so it's better to appeal to that market.
     
  6. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to say and yes I think that is the reason too. My 600 sound fine and is loud enough when I am sitting right next to it but the sound quickly diminishes if I move a few feet away due to my 2 story house's living room with an open ceiling. That is really the main reason I would like more volume. Of course more versatility isn't bad but not really necessar either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  7. vegie1

    vegie1 Tele-Meister

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    I hear you. My supro coronado doesn't have treble midst or bass, just a tone knob. Easy
     
  8. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    In my case it is to find the sound I want, then I leave them alone. This is one reason I don't like digital mulitFX, too much temptation to spend more time mucking about with sound than playing.

    It is easier to build one amp with a few controls than dozens of different amps with almost no controls, one each suit every conceivable prospective customer.
     
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It isn't complicated, all you have to do is turn down the gain and turn up the volume to get more clean headroom.
     
  10. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Sorry I don't understand your comment. The BD has plenty of headroom, that is not the problem, rather the tone control interactions to get a pleasing tone. The Champ 600 is the one that needs more headroom and it only has a volume and an on/off, no other controls.
     
  11. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It might just be that you don't like the Blues Deluxe. The clean channel is not that complicated. Try turning the mids all the way up, the Champ circuit in the 600 does not have a tone stack, so there no mids are cut in that amp.
     
  12. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wasnt it Johnny Winter who said, "They ruined the Twin when they put a mid knob on it"?
     
  13. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Cook a chicken with Colin.

    or finessing an amp by analogy.
    If you've already tried finessing the settings, are you sure it's the amp for you?.

    ps.I'm on your side control wise. I prefer a simple tone control to none at al though.
     
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  14. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    They added the mid pot in 1958 with the introduction of the high powered Twin, 5F8 then 5F8-A.
     
  15. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Then it went away in the 6G8 before coming back, is that right?
     
  16. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with the OP's fundamental point regarding "feature creep". Part of justifying a higher price for an amp is by adding more knobs to it.
    The Dr Z's of the world buck the trend. A much better example of feature creep is in smart phones and cameras. It took a Steve Jobs to realize
    that a smart phone works better when it has less controls on it, not more. Keep It Simple Stupid.

    Digital cameras are getting absolutely ridiculous with
    the crazy features they offer. If one brand offers 9 focus points then the next brand comes out with 21 focus points. If one brand offers 10 "style modes",
    then another brand offers 20. The only company that bucks the trend on camera feature creep is probably Leica, but who can afford those? I just put
    my camera in aperture priority mode, set the ISO to what I want, use center point auto-focus and then re-compose, and make sure I have a physical knob that lets me open
    and close stops and another one that lets me adjust the aperture, and I'm good to go.
    All the rest is just a bunch of complications that I wish weren't even on the camera at all.
     
  17. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

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    Don't know what a BD would be like in my living room, but onstage the less tone the better . . . I set treble on 3, middle on 4 and bass on 4-5. I try to walk out into the room during a song as far as my cord will reach and make minor adjustments between songs. I like the clean channel with an overdrive pedal and my goal is to avoid piercing highs and hard brittle midrange or woofy bass. Also, each room is different, not to mention the acoustics change as the crowd swells or thins down. I use the tones on my Strat or Esquire, usually dialing down to 6 or 7. YMMV. :)
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As others have noted I'm guessing the struggle relates more to the nature of those two amps than the extra controls on the Blues Deluxe. A BD is a loud, loud, loud amp that sounds best opened up a fair bit (IMO).

    I'm having trouble imagining a 5w tube amp not being loud enough for ANY home. I've played small clubs with a restrained drummer, bass and a second guitar with a 5w amp. Not much "clean" but plenty of volume.

    Maybe the real culprit is you are stuck "in between". Does the Champion 100 have a speaker out? Your solution could be as simple as getting a 12" speaker cab. Or even using the Champ as the "head" for the BD's "cab" if that's possible. Meaning the issue might not be one of "volume" from the Champ but one of "spread" of a 6" speaker vs a 12" speaker.

    Or something like the Pro Jr. - dead simple: one volume, one tone, and a 10" speaker.
     
  19. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    As you said the Champion 600 (not a ss Champion 100) is plenty loud at full volume but it is not clean, especially with humbuckers. The issue is not volume per se but the amount of clean volume. And yes perhaps using an external cabinet with an efficient speaker might help, I have not tried it (I believe the Champion has a 4 ohm output).
     
  20. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Well, expecting a single ended 6v6 amp with a preset tone stack and 6" cheap speaker to sound the same as a 6L6 powered push/pull circuit with a 12" speaker, and I don't mean to be snarky here, but that's absurd.

    Most people who by a BD use it as big rich clean'ish platform and use a pedal in front for dirt. Try a Greer Ghetto Stomp or Lovepedals High Power Twin Tweed in front of it.

    If you want a amp with slightly more headroom try Laney Cub 10 and a Y switch and run it in a dual amp setup with your champ.

    Dual amps/speakers is a sure fire way to get more headroom and fill the the room with a wider dispersion pattern.
     
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