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mars_hall

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mars_hall last won the day on October 29 2011

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About mars_hall

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  1. i remember lusting for this one and the near-impossible feat of kicking my own butt when it was gone. It had a unique smokey cast to it.
  2. I actually have the Custom 22 in my Reverb feed list. This is same one as the 20, but Martin Kidd did his own tweak on it and I like what was done. Martin is not the end all, but good at his trade. That said, a friend of mine took this design one further for one guy and you can hear the results on Youtube. Kevin Silva (Uncle Alberts in Indy) swapped out the EL84s with EL34s, installed a choke, and upgraded the transformers to handle the new setup as seen in the attached clip. It isn't perfect, in as much as the voicing and overall gain was compromised, but I like a lot of the basis of what I hear. Not all the farting, but a lot of the throat. If the coupling and cathode caps were smaller, the gain would reduce, he could revert back to a 12ax7 in the second stage, and the fart-bucket bass emphasis would come back in line with where it should be. The Custom 22 is essentially a sub-SLO clone, not the Cornford.
  3. Can't really speak for the amp you had, but I have found that any amp I have placed on a lower wattage setting, the bottom end seems to disappears and I am left with something less than the full range of frequency. Generally, the low end and full tonal roundness go missing. People will throw words like "a loss of overhead" at you, which may or may not be an accurate accounting of the tonal loss and could very well be overly simplistic. I usually buy higher wattage amps, not for the "in your face" scream, I hate being directly in front of a cabinet, but for the extra low end response and touch sensitive bloom. You may recall at PSP and other of our "get-togethers", I can barely be heard, most of the time, and this is from a tendency to play at a lower level and dig into the pick attack for edge. People will stereotype you by saying "Shit, he's got that 100/200 watt beast there, What's up with that?". but not realize the beast is intentionally not being goosed to full attention. You get a different sound flapping speaker paper at the high end than the one you have worked with in closer quarters. The dynamic range of change in the whole system is huge and wanted and also often unwanted additions come to play, with minute variations in the controls. Harmonics and fundamentals kick in and kick out, buried in the dynamic mix of the variables. The Amelia gain control doesn't really add more distortion, as you have probably come to expect most amps to do, but instead gives the signal something more akin to an increased sustain. The hair is applied via the overdrive control at a later stage in the amp and this is far more subtle in a warmth spread that is heard, as opposed to an increased cutting edge. The amp, to begin with, has a modern voicing, but the width of the edge is more refined to a set of fewer frequencies, which makes the ring contrast and ride the warm underbody, as opposed to dominating the tone. Subtleties are there that come out the dynamics.
  4. About a month ago I had been studying up on a new toy that would be a change of direction for me. Most of the amps out of Jet City are Soldano or THD clones and I have had really good luck with the JCA100HDM and JCA50H I have. For the price and actually for any price, these two amps kick it all over the barn yard. So I figured I'd try one of the clones they had offered for a few years, that wasn't in the Soldano line. This one is an Amelia and it is a clone of the very respectable Cornford MK II, designed by Martin Kidd, the designer/mind behind Victory amps. The voicing of the Amelia is a different animal altogether from the SLO stuff and/or Marshall and having listened to the clips in Youtube , I decided to take a shot. These amps are not that common these days so I had patiently waited maybe 3-4 months for this one to come along. When I went over to Lafayette to pick it up, the owner had attempted a significant mod to the amp trying to convert it to something that was right for him. He had poor tech skills and worked as a shipping supervisor in a pork processing plant and probably had seen a soldering iron before, but never held one before. The mod he applied via the kit from Epic-Tone was a rats nest of sky wires, stacked resistors and caps art with twisted and bent leads. The attempt at conversion would move the amp into the range of something close to a Splawn Nitro OD. The guy was into southern rock, but figured this would get him a bit closer to that sound everyone wants. He confessed it didn't, so he was selling it and moving on to a DSL40. The guy said he just couldn't get the amp to sound right. The sound of the amp was nothing like the original Amelia or Cornford and the controls and added switches no longer functioned close to the intended modification, let alone the original amp. You could turn treble all the way up and the entire amp would fade to nothing. No sound at all. I was lucky enough to coax a true schematic for the Amelia from a source close to Jet City. The whole amp and designer was kept a secret by Jet City, but in the end the designer became known, though the details of the design implementation still kept secret. A lot of the time when people do schematics, they leave out details or throw the parts at the paper in the quickest manner to get it done. They have it in their heads and that is all that matters. The logic of the flow and interconnects often goes missing. So I took the schematic given to me and did a redraw to put it into a logical order, input to output at the speaker, one that I could follow and make sense of the voicing used. I removed every bit of the rat's nest modification that had been attempted and ordered the 35 or so components that had been removed during the life of the Splawn misadventure. The artwork of the original PCB remained silk-screened with outlines and designators, where the OEM parts once sat. So I diligently restored the circuitry back to the original set and second guessed myself and whether I had done everything exactly, before turning it on and watching the unanticipated sparks fly. This was my first turn with a high voltage amp and I was unsure if more had been done to the amp outside the mod. The mod had not been followed exactly but was fairly close. Well, there were no sparks and when I plugged in, expecting the divinity of the cosmic most high to appear right before my eyes, it was a total no show of awesomeness. I thought to myself, well there goes a chunk of change and wasted time. I felt somewhat confident in the reversal of the rat's nest, but the warm and fuzzy of productive spent effort was totally missing. How could anyone actually like this amp? Thrashers? Tweakers? Then I thought to myself, this previous guy had no idea what he was doing during the mods and probably just threw the tubes back at it getting them back in and up and running. I started checking the tubes and he had a Mesa STR 12AT7 in the V1 position, which is exceptionally limp for the initial preamp tube. It cuts the gain way down and it OK for a blackface circuit, but never a Splawn beastie. I had a GT 7025 laying around from an Egnator swap and I pulled the AT7 and dropped in the right animal. Firing up the amp, it changed its entire tonal palette. It was much closer to what I had expected. Looking at the other tubes he had thrown in, I found a Mullard in the V3 spot and immediately put it in the V1 spot pulling the 7025 and replacing V3 with an old GE AX7 tube I had lying around. Someone had loved this amp at some point in time. The amp sprung to life and I now have what I was hoping for in the first place. Actually it is sounding a bit better than I could have hoped for.
  5. Woke up early this moning and took the new rig out for a spin. First time the chain has been fully configured and tweaked. PRS Custom 24 with stock pickups Synergy SYN-2 holding Dumble OS and Bogner Ecstasy modules with a blackface Intellifex returned in the stereo loop. Clean effects held in check with no over processing. Output this stream through a Rocktron/Egnater Velocity Valve (2x80W 6L6s) into an Egnater Stereo cabinet, loaded with four Eminence Patriot series Texas Heat drivers. Four words can be used to describe it all Som bish sound goooooooood!!
  6. As I listen to all the Synergy modules, there is definitely an overlap among the modules; a similarity in sound of several that differs mainly in thickness. So my intended tact is to look for the thickest. most dynamic (touch sensitive) responses and go from there with minimal duplication. You can always thin the thickest tone, but never effectively thicken the thinnest. Which platform? If I understand you correctly, the Synergy SYN platform when it gets here. I will probably use my Velocity Valve power amp, (Rocktron/Egnater 2x80W w/eight 6L6s) as that is definitely the best overall power amp I own. I have a wide range of non-boutique, though tasty heads,/combos, multiple 4x12,s 2x12s, 15s, 18s of different flavor and around ten or so rack preamps;. Yes the chance to pick and choose, using the preamp sections that personally appeal to your ear, is a huge plus. I don't have the extra $3-4K to drop each time on a herd of beasts.and I seem to have a problem, where pipedreams can overwhelm practical realities. Wants over needs. I don't play for a living, so the justification often gets cloudy and/or ignored. I never crank poweramps or, for that matter, even straight up heads to get further tonal contribution,. Too uncontrollable for me. The changes in the color start to jump far away from what my ear wants to hear and how my fingers will react to a change in bloom. As the speaker and every other component in the chain shifts to dominate or recede the new blend is no longer what you wanted. There is a change at each increment/decrement in level. So a good poweramp that delivers it up full range at lower levels is the baseline and gets the job done. for me While I once thought I should truly love EL34s/KT88s, , I actually prefer the wide warm low-end bark of 6L6s. EL-84s/6V6s sound anemic to me, with something always lacking in warmth.
  7. I've submitted and pulled the trigger to order a Synergy Bogner Ecstasy module last night. I was really pleased with what I have been hearing in the reviews/demos in YouTube, etc. There is a guy named Shawn Tubbs that really pulls the dynamic nuances out of this and the other modules. You need to listen through a decent set of headphones/speakers to catch the subtleties. Else, cheap speakers just won't catch the low mid overtones that are the Bogner signature and you may hear something brash. Next module to snag will likely be the Synergy version of the Dumble OS. And after that, down the SLO path, but I pretty much have that base already covered. I am thinking three broad tonal themes should do the trick and I don't want to get carried away.
  8. Started looking at the Synergy system after reading this. May have reread, but do you know if anybody makes a compatible Trainwreck front-end?
  9. We all have used Seths. As far as harness, CTS audio taper 500K pots and sprague caps. These are pretty much the things that will impact the tone. Don't want to piss money away, just because you can.
  10. I would say leave the bridge with a 59 and drop a Seth in the neck. You pay a premium for Antiquities and the sound is not much different. A 59 in the neck is usually muddy, but fine in the bridge. The Seth makes a good match and brightens the neck.
  11. Bring me your tired, your poor.
  12. I own two Stat DLX (carved tops) from the same year and used to own a sunburst Stat with the flat top, and this is the first I have seen with one pickup. The headstock is typically the hockey stick shape, but there are about 3 shapes tried (hockey, strat, straight) that they used before landing on the hockey stick for the majority. This head is the straight one. Is there any indication that there was another control hole drilled and plugged? Definitely a one-off.
  13. I am thinking putting a counterfeit name on a product, then selling it as that brand name is not ethical. That is fraud. Keeping it for the remainder of its life and never selling, trading, or exchanging it is another animal. Much like a volume knob that goes to 11. 😜
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