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So I have mentioned here that I have been using the Egnater modular system for years. I have a lot of the amps you guys mention here but as all tube cloned preamp modules like a Dumble or Ken Fischer Trainwreck, etc. These are not digital models but wired preamps with 12AX7s that you put into a slot into the amp and then the power section has the choice of using different power tubes. Synergy came out with the newest version of this but it can still use the older preamp modules. The modules are designed and made by the real guys like Friedman, Bogner,  Soldano, etc. 

Being bored and stuck at home I ordered the Vai module. Channel I is a Tweed Bassman that sounds spot on and Channel II is pretty much a clone of hs Carvin Legacy. The thing is unreal and Synergy has this stuff down. You can also buy the old stock modules and have them modded. I have a Gibbons GA50 clone that sounds stunning with my L5 or H-576. But for a Rock and Roll preamp, I could not be happier than with the new Vai. As Vai said “Why have one amp when you can have every amp you ever dreamed of in one rig.”

 

 

 

 

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I've always liked the modular amp idea. I used to have a Seymour Duncan Convertible 2000 combo with a few spare modules. Some of them were DIY, using circuit boards bought from eBay. I found that once I'd settled on a configuration I liked I didn't change it, which rather defeated the object of the amp. I eventually sold it, as it was a heavy beast, a bit too heavy to gig. An interesting amp, though, and ahead of its time - two separate channels, variable power (5 to 100W), switchable triode/pentode.

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I remember those Duncan amps but never owned one. This stuff is a whole new game though. I have a couple differenct configurations. I have a 1 X 12 combo that holds one preamp. It is nice for a simple gig. Synergy has something called the SYN 2 which has two bays and then it goes into the loop of any amp with a loop. When it is used  that way it byasses the preamp secion in your amp and uses the preamps in the SYN 2. So if you have a Mesa with an FX loop, you can still use your Mesa preamp or bypass it and have a Twin or AC30 module in the same rig.

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Because this is not a pedal. It is a part of a cool system.

Here is an interview with him on it....I guess he went this route because he actually uses it now.

 

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Posted (edited)

Something about Steve Vai that I always thought was unique was his use of the Fernandez Sustainer pickup in Flo.    I once played a Fernandez at a store in SC and the Sustainer was really a cool toy to play with.   I wonder why very few people use them.   

 

As for the module system,  the store where I bought my H157 carried the Randall modular amps.  Cool idea, but it seemed to be a bit pricey.

Edited by TalismanRich

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Started looking at the Synergy system after reading this.  May have reread, but do you know if anybody makes a compatible Trainwreck front-end? 

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If you get this Synergy system all of the old Randall and Egnater modules will work in it. I have a Ken Fischer Trainwreck module that is killer. What I had to do was buy an old Randall Stock module and then there is a guy on the east coast who modifies the stock modules into whatever you want pretty much. You can find the stock modules for around $100 and then the re-mod costs $185. 

https://jadedfaithmods.com/mts-modules

The one you are looking for is the Wrecked mod which is a clone of the Trainwreck Liverpool.

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10 minutes ago, rwinking said:

If you get this Synergy system all of the old Randall and Egnater modules will work in it. I have a Ken Fischer Trainwreck module that is killer. What I had to do was buy an old Randall Stock module and then there is a guy on the east coast who modifies the stock modules into whatever you want pretty much. You can find the stock modules for around $100 and then the re-mod costs $185. 

https://jadedfaithmods.com/mts-modules

The one you are looking for is the Wrecked mod which is a clone of the Trainwreck Liverpool.

Thank you

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that is pretty neat, never heard of it!!

I do remember those Duncan convertible amps though, seemed like a good idea

as far a Steve Vai, he is an amazing musician but I can't stand his gtr sound: saw him live, front row seats, and wanted to leave the venue. not for me thanks

on the other hand, I saw Paul Gilbert last year, and his guitar sound was outstanding. he had a 20w marshall head fed into the preamp/FX loop of another 100w marshall, and some interesting pedals

anyway, congrats, sounds like an interesting setup

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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.

 

 

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The Ecstasy is an awesome amp.  Does the module give you the three different channels -green, blue, red?

The SLO can be fun too.  I like the way you're thinking.

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I have a single Ecstasy modded by Rob from Jaded Faith in NJ. It has a switch that goes between blue and red. I have not checked out the Synergy Version. I also have a Dumble clone from Rob. The Vai mod I started this thread about has the most amazing tweed sound, The different thing about the Vai mod is how each channel has a separate EQ. To my knowledge the others don't.

Mars_hall, which platform are you using? My main rig is an Egnater M50 with a SYN 2 in the loop which gives me for different modules in one amp. I got rid of some of my dual modules as having 8 channels wea a bit confusing and excessive for me. For a typicl R&R gig, I use a Friedman DS, Fender Deluxe or Twin, A Vox AC30 and either the Soldano or Dumble. For a jazz gig I have a 20w combo that I use the Gibbons GA50 preamp with, It sounds really nice with my H-576. 

THe cool thing is for the price of one boutique amp I can have four boutique amps and then add another( and another, and another...) for only $3-400!

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2 hours ago, rwinking said:

I have a single Ecstasy modded by Rob from Jaded Faith in NJ. It has a switch that goes between blue and red. I have not checked out the Synergy Version. I also have a Dumble clone from Rob. The Vai mod I started this thread about has the most amazing tweed sound, The different thing about the Vai mod is how each channel has a separate EQ. To my knowledge the others don't.

Mars_hall, which platform are you using? My main rig is an Egnater M50 with a SYN 2 in the loop which gives me for different modules in one amp. I got rid of some of my dual modules as having 8 channels wea a bit confusing and excessive for me. For a typicl R&R gig, I use a Friedman DS, Fender Deluxe or Twin, A Vox AC30 and either the Soldano or Dumble. For a jazz gig I have a 20w combo that I use the Gibbons GA50 preamp with, It sounds really nice with my H-576. 

THe cool thing is for the price of one boutique amp I can have four boutique amps and then add another( and another, and another...) for only $3-400!

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.   

 

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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!!

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Sounds like a cool rig! I was not sure what the Rocktron/Egnater Velocity is. I have a Velocity 150 around here and found it to be a pretty cool solid state power amp, but not sure what you meant about it with 6L6's until I looked it up. Damn! that is cool. I was unaware of them. I used to run my stuff through a Carvin stereo power amp which was killer but I couldn't do the stereo rig any more as band members always complained about my taking up too much real estate.

I still don't get why people have had never heard of Bruce Egneter's modular stuff and now SYnergy. It is a dream come true for tube lovers and allows so much tonal freedom. I have been using this stuff for 15 years and would never go back.

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