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Herb Cooke
#1 Posted : 29 April 2011 23:10:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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Came home, jammed with some backing tracks then turned the guitar volume off, unplugged the guitar, tv off, computers, speakers, monitor off. No difference which seems to leave the amp or hydro circuit, what next ? Turning the treble right off on the amp almost eliminated it, bad pots maybe ?
Jack Daniels
#2 Posted : 30 April 2011 04:58:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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How about a bad earth ground at your home? You know,---- where some kind of metal spike is driven into the ground somewhere outside that serves as your house's earth ground. The next cheapest and easiest thing to check is for transversed wiring in any one or more of your power outlets. Places like Home Depot or Lowe's (or any hardware store) have cheapo $5 plugs that allow you to test your outlets for various transversed wiring schemas.
John S
#3 Posted : 30 April 2011 10:56:00(UTC)
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I would say the pots. i had the same prob on one of my guitars and i tried always to get it sorted. In the end the pots were bad so they were replaced
Herb Cooke
#4 Posted : 30 April 2011 19:42:00(UTC)
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Thanks guys. Earth ground have no idea where to check for that and the new landlord not sure if he knows either. I can ask on monday when I'm home. Makes sense as the 2nd amp was also noisy ? The $5. circuit tester is first thing i did. No problem indicated but I don't know if that rules out the earth ground ?[br]
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The pots I know for sure some must be bad or need a hardcore clean as they're very scratchy. Had this amp over 20 years and never cleaned, always smoking around it too. I know the local music store can replace pots but not sure on the cost. Can I do myself or at least try cleaning them on my own ? I've read of DeOxit which is supposed to be best for cleaning pots, don't have any but could try to get from ebay. I do have contact cleaner for electronics, and access to isopropyl alcohol. I might have cleaner swabs for electronics too will have to check. Maybe I should get a quote from the music store while I still have their rented amp for a backup ?
Jack Daniels
#5 Posted : 05 May 2011 03:33:00(UTC)
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Cramolin spray which I believe became DeOxit is perfect so long as the container reads something like "leaves absolutely no residue" because residue is worse than any oxidation you may have as it would be conductive and hazardous to your amps circuitry. Using very fine emery cloth or very fine sandpaper and shaping it like a straw to turn inside of your guitar jack inputs. Don't overdo it though just lightly rotate inside the 1/4" guitar jacks so as to break away any oxidation w/o sanding off the internal nickel plating. Also, if you've had the amp for over 20 years and it has been exposed to dust, dirt, grime, and smoke (get an amp cover!) If you've never replaced the filter caps, it's highly likely that's something you should look at replacing as well. Typically 10 years is straining the limits of most filter caps usefulness in amplifiers. Don't use swabs because why? because of possible cotton residue, remember we don't want ANY residue.
Herb Cooke
#6 Posted : 05 May 2011 21:48:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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Thanks Jack, great advice.[br]
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I will start with the guitar jack once I get some emery cloth or fine sandpaper. It would probably do good to clean all the jacks on the amp and effects too at this point ? [br]
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Filter caps - I'll have to look that up. The electronics in the amp are in a metal housing I'll have to get a screwdriver out and remove the whole thing to access them. Part of the amp I should not be touching or risk serious shock ? What precautions should I take. Should I also hook up my anti-static bracelet before going into the chassis ?[br]
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3/4 of the noise is now gone. The reverb knob made the most difference in 'fuzz' so I wondered if the reverb loop was engaged (no indicator light on the amp) I hooked the fender footswitch back up (not connected in at least 4 years lol), sure enough the reverb light came on, shut off the reverb loop. I wonder if reverb circuit is bad or needs a clean ? It works ok as in the sound that comes out of it while playing - usually won't put that past 3 or 4 [br]
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I may sell this amp in the near future (totally drooling over a Bugera v22 or v24 all tube amp but it's almost $500. then $100. for shipping) Either way it makes sense to clean everything and iron out any bugs, meanwhile I'm learning about amp care/maintenance which sure will not hurt. [br]
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In about an hour I'll give the guitar a rip at a few different volumes and check noise levels.[br]
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Jack Daniels
#7 Posted : 06 May 2011 01:37:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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The Herbit wrote:
Thanks Jack, great advice.[br]
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I will start with the guitar jack once I get some emery cloth or fine sandpaper. It would probably do good to clean all the jacks on the amp and effects too at this point ? [br]
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Filter caps - I'll have to look that up. The electronics in the amp are in a metal housing I'll have to get a screwdriver out and remove the whole thing to access them. Part of the amp I should not be touching or risk serious shock ? What precautions should I take. Should I also hook up my anti-static bracelet before going into the chassis ?[br]
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3/4 of the noise is now gone. The reverb knob made the most difference in 'fuzz' so I wondered if the reverb loop was engaged (no indicator light on the amp) I hooked the fender footswitch back up (not connected in at least 4 years lol), sure enough the reverb light came on, shut off the reverb loop. I wonder if reverb circuit is bad or needs a clean ? It works ok as in the sound that comes out of it while playing - usually won't put that past 3 or 4 [br]
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I may sell this amp in the near future (totally drooling over a Bugera v22 or v24 all tube amp but it's almost $500. then $100. for shipping) Either way it makes sense to clean everything and iron out any bugs, meanwhile I'm learning about amp care/maintenance which sure will not hurt. [br]
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In about an hour I'll give the guitar a rip at a few different volumes and check noise levels.[br]
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Do the very fine sandpaper trick only if you notice scratchiness when those particular jacks are used under varying conditions and circumstances.
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As for filter capacitors:
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Another common source of poor sound quality would be worn-out filter capacitors in the output or supply stage of the amp. This is especially common in amps over ten years old. These are fairly large components and are often mistaken for "metal tubes" at first glance. The filter caps "filter out" the 60 cycle hum from the power source and through the years they dry out and filter less and less. As the 60 cycle hum is now present in your audio output, it will create an odd harmonic that will seem to follow your notes up and down the scale. It's almost like having somebody singing off-key all the time. In addition, since the amp is now producing sub-harmonic notes, the power is sapped and the overall response of the amp will become weak and sound mushy.
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Inspection of filter caps can usually determine if they are bad. These large metal cylinders are easy to spot. Fender amps have them on the under side of the chassis, between the transformers, covered by a 4" X 6" metal pan. It is therefore not usually necessary to remove the amp chassis from the wood cabinet. Remove the pan and "drain" the capacitor by touching a screwdriver from the hot side of the caps to ground. Now inspect the top site (or positive) of the part, looking for a broken or swollen seal. This can look like a little bubble about to pop, or it could have already burst and have powder coming out. Capacitors have this relief seal to expose when they go faulty. Be sure to replace them with the same value (or greater value) and make sure they are placed with the proper polarity.
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Marshalls have their filter capacitors placed upright on the chassis held at the base with a clamp. The chassis must be removed from the wood cabinet to inspect the filter caps. Observe the same procedure for inspection of the capacitors. It should be mentioned that if you replace your filter caps, you should connect your amp to a variac and power the amp up very slowly to allow the caps to charge and form properly.
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* Unless you're an amp professional, I suggest you have a tech install them (if needed) as they have voltages large enough to kill you. *


Herb Cooke
#8 Posted : 06 May 2011 05:55:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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I'm definately not an amp pro and don't have a variac. I'm a computer tech by hobby and certified hoping I can apply some of that toward learning and fixing tech issues with my music equip, but one step at a time I think. [br]
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I gave the quitar a good rip tonight at louder volume. With the reverb off hardly a sound but I do hear that 60hz you describe a bit and will still want to clean the jacks, check the caps and pots if needed and such. Fighting a headache now, tired and going away for the weekend so I'll hit that next week.[br]
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korg a3 and the amp not sounding mushy but would be nice to gain some tube warmth, dynamics, and brilliant lush cleans. I have to learn control over the sound and effects as that was never my strong point. Before I dismiss my old gear I'll be spending some time with it and learn what it's actually capable of. Korg a3 other then the slow switching still kicks. [br]
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I will be reviving my ada mp1 as well, and may midi them together so they can share effects, eq and compressor etc, plus a/b them to make either primary with a click. If I do that right I could also gain a bit of warmth to the korg from the pre-amp tube in the ada ? If I made the ada primary and got a footswitch for it I'd also gain faster switching. [br]
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Theres some interesing mods at ada depot too. mesa/5150/triple rec type of mods. [br]
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Korg a3 with spc-04 guitar card. I've had tones good enough to jam with jimi thru to joe and satch/vai, eddy tones, def leppard etc from the factory presets and minimal tweaking. Once I learn alot more on dialing in specific effects, how to eq properly and time delays etc it should sound alot better. It's also time to bring my wah pedal out of retirement.[br]
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I'd love to be able to find out the exact delay settings for Midnight too. [br]
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Jack Daniels
#9 Posted : 06 May 2011 17:13:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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I used to have the Korg A3 and wish I'd have kept it. Back then manufacturers where mixing varying levels of distortion in their patches, and I don't think it ever really worked that well. Later those same manufacturers instead of mixing kinds and types of distortions in with other effects decided to simulate guitar amps, and the internal distortion that the amps provided and then the guitar patches seemed to jive together more perfectly (less muck in the guitar signal). With the Korg A3, I'd concentrate on using everything except the internal built in distortion settings, and use either the amp's distortion or an external distortion source. I like overdrive's better than distortion because they clean up better, and you can always run a booster pre or post overdrive to get still more out of your overdrive w/o mucking up your signal.
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As for the variac, I have one and have used it for the purposes ascribed above however, if you can rig a light bulb to be in between the amp power chord plug in and the amp itself this method is also used. I use a thick shafted screwdriver (w/well insulated handle) and connect a heavy duty alligator clip to the screwdriver shaft, a wire runs from that clip to another alligator clip which is attached to the amp chassis. With one hand in my pocket standing on a rubber matt, I use the other hand to discharge the filter capacitors one at a time with the screwdriver. Now it's safe to remove the old capacitors, and solder in the new capacitors. When powering up use the light bulb method which is an old tube radio technician trick.
Herb Cooke
#10 Posted : 06 May 2011 21:35:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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I'm curious on what you ran your korg into and how. Did you run an external eq ?[br]
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Mine is going to main input, sounds a bit brighter then the 'power amp in' of the fx loop. Plus having the b/m/t knobs on the amp for instant eq tweak as well as the reverb. [br]
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For sure I can try other sources of distortion. Boss ds-1 pedal, ada mp1 rack or drive channel of the amp.[br]
Drive channel of the amp alone is lacking something but pretty heavy for a fender. I could try to use the korg eq's and such to shape the tone. An ibanez ts9 would be nice, then again so would a tube amp plus fred or evo pickups lol.[br]
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Jack Daniels
#11 Posted : 07 May 2011 05:35:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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For the most part, I ran guitar -> A3 -> Marshall 2203 and Marshall 4x12 with no external EQ or anything in between. Since you have an effects loop (which I didn't have in my similar setup) try using the effects from the A3 (minus its distortion settings) and run them through your effects loop, however if you're to use any (distortion, fuzz, overdrive, boost pedal, wah pedal, or volume pedal) then run those effects through the front end of the amp. It's not that the distortion settings within the A3 sounded bad, it was just when you combined them with other effects within the same Korg A3 unit, that there was what I would call significant ";signal degradation";. I'm a guy that has learned over time (and from the school of hard knocks) that hot pickups, high gain amps and solid state amps are not ";where it's truly at";. A clean setup can be dirtied up to any degree, but it's harder to work backwards if you know what I mean. Try finding a Ceriatone C-lator or Ceriatone Klein-ulator in used condition, or consider building one as it will make your effects loop much more user friendly (especially with the A3), also read the online manual to get a grasp of how it will help you in your situation. Here are the links to check out, including the manual links:[br]
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[url="http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/C-lator/C-lator.htm">http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/C-lator/C-lator.htm[/url][br]
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[url="http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20c-lator%20manual.pdf">http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20c-lator%20manual.pdf[/url][br]
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[url="http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/Klein-ulator/Klien-ulator.htm">http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/Klein-ulator/Klien-ulator.htm[/url][br]
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[url="http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20klein-ulator%20manual%20072508.pdf">http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20klein-ulator%20manual%20072508.pdf[/url][br][br]
Herb Cooke
#12 Posted : 09 May 2011 18:43:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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Side note:[br]
On the weekend I visited my mom's, went to the music store there and was looking at a peavey delta blues 210 amp, 30 to 40 watts, 7 tubes. 2x10 inch speakers, fx loop. 2 channel. Even the dirt channel I dialed in a nice clean sound. The owner is selling on consignment for his friend, asked $550. for the amp. If will fit where my fender is now.[br]
I'll bet he'd take $450. cash or $350. with my amp as a trade. Online reviews of this amp were good with most saying can't find an amp that sounds like that for under $1000. Most of them bought it used for between $250. and $400. I'd prolly use the clean channel most of the time. I'm trying to justify buying it although I'm a bsmt player only. What do you think ? Should I rent a small tube amp first and try running the korg thru it then compare to the fender ?
Jack Daniels
#13 Posted : 09 May 2011 21:29:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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Herb, I'd take the A3 to the guitar store where the amp's at and try it out there. Use either the presets that you love, or some settings that you've come up with (and love). Try the effects loop (if it has one) and then just straight input of effects. It's been mentioned several times before here in other threads on LL but, there's a limitation with the fidelity of any small amp and in this case it's with headroom and clarity at higher volumes. Try not to get your mind set on the fact that you are currently a basement player, as you will not always be a basement player nor will you always play in tight confined areas. Of course this doesn't mean that you'll be cranking it up in huge halls either, but a sufficient amount of clean headroom is necessary to jiving any quality effects setup. To some guys that's 40 watts and higher (like a Fender Bassman), to others it can be an amp like a 26 watt Fender Deluxe Reverb, but I'd say a good tube amp in the 25 watt to 30 watt range and higher power range would be great for you. The Delta Blues is in the right power output range. Give er' the old college try before you buy.
Herb Cooke
#14 Posted : 10 May 2011 17:59:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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I'd love to try that, and bring my fender for comparison. It's a 3 hour drive to my moms but I have time off coming. The only question, will the amp already be sold ? I don't think it'll last long. I could probably pay a layaway fee to hold it which I'd lose if I don't take the amp. I could be ok with that. That amp is tempting. [br]
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Definately some settings on the a3 I love. The distortions mainly. I got sick of band life, gave it up, and turned down 2 recent band invites. I'd be open to the right recording project though or do one on my own. Just to make some mp3's or vid to share my current sound with you would be a nice start. I'll fiddle with the setup tonight.[br]
Jack Daniels
#15 Posted : 11 May 2011 03:29:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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The Herbit wrote:
I got sick of band life, gave it up, and turned down 2 recent band invites. I'd be open to the right recording project though or do one on my own. Just to make some mp3's or vid to share my current sound with you would be a nice start. I'll fiddle with the setup tonight.[br]

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Herb, the band thing is understandable because what it takes to make a band work are shared common goals and an affinity for similar styles of music. It's a well known fact that many established band's members don't always get along with each other (just like some brothers and sisters in real life) but if every band member has the same common goal, the drive necessary to get there, and similar musical tastes, then it can work. External input from other band members is always nice when writing or structuring a song, but there are times when you just want to have your own musical identity w/o being influenced by others. An excellent jazz guitar buddy of mine does not "actively" listen to other artists because he does not want to subconsciously pick up on anything that someone else has done when writing and performing his own stuff. It's utterly amazing what (1) person can do when recording, with all the technology, midi, software, etc available nowadays. The sky's truly the limit, AND if you go the software recording route you'll have to become more acquainted and proficient with more than just guitar playing if you want to record by yourself or with other musicians in the same situation. I have an Axiom 61 midi keyboard and a multitude of softwares like Reason 4.0 ; Apple Logic Pro 8.0 ; IK Multimedia Amplitube 2, Fender, Jimi Hendrix, Ampeg, T-RackS3 ; Guitar Rig 3 all of which allow me to get practically every sound and instrument known to mankind. Using the midi keyboard to simulate most of those instruments and sounds is both challenging and daunting at the same time. If one can become a learned and talented individual in this electronic arena (along with the good guitar skills) you'll become very much in demand and get to pick and choose when and whom you desire to collaborate with.
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I personally haven't messed with recording in a while so I'd have to brush up somewhat, but I'm always open to new ideas and avenues. One minor hitch however, I've been offered a job (but not yet by the actual client) which would put me SE of San Antonio, Tx. for an average of 6 months away from all of my recording equipment and software. Apparently this company doesn't want to pay mileage to and from the jobsite even every (3) weeks which I'm not too enamored about. I preferably hope to find good paying local project first, but dependent on the situation it could stifle the recording process somewhat. I'm supposed to hear something from the employing company's client by the close of this week.

Herb Cooke
#16 Posted : 11 May 2011 04:00:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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I have alot of useful info to digest here I should start trying to apply some :)[br]
Get distracted easy & this weeks been a write off so far, haven't practiced even.[br]
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well it'd suck to be away from your equip for awhile, will you still have access to a computer ? On a good note, some $ for you and a happy client can always refer more business thru word of mouth. Mileage with the gas prices, hopefully its enough pay to make it worth it in the end ! - yeah we don't always have to talk shop feel free to just shoot the sh*t its all good.[br]
Jack Daniels
#17 Posted : 11 May 2011 04:13:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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I'd have access to a laptop and a cheapo acoustic that I wouldn't have fear of getting ripped off from a motel, but my main software, processing power and external TB storage are at home not to mention my axes. Right now mileage is at .51 cents per mile which is a mandatory U.S. govenment thing for all businesses. Another negative mentioned by the hiring company is that if their client likes my work enough they would want to hire me permanently and I would have to move somewhere in the San Antonio Texas vicinity. Of course it's beautiful in that portion of Texas, but I'm 51 have roots, family, friends, and a special needs son that I'd have to move away from which were never in my plans.
Herb Cooke
#18 Posted : 11 May 2011 05:10:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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Whatever you decide hope it goes well :) Yup a move would be hard considering all that & you have to get a feel for the company too. [br]
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I hate change unless its change I can spend ! (or put in a jar toward the amp lol)
Jack Daniels
#19 Posted : 11 May 2011 16:31:00(UTC)
Jack  Daniels

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Was sent an email to inform me that I would know of client staffing needs by this evening. Needles and Pins, Needles and pins.
Herb Cooke
#20 Posted : 13 May 2011 03:30:00(UTC)
Herb Cooke

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Hope you heard some good news ?[br]
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Tonight I unplugged the fx & plugged into the clean channel. The tone sucks, no warmth, dynamics, or clarity. Definately not what I want to be the sound behind my sound. I didn't even bother with the distortion channel & feel that fiddling with the pots etc is now a waste of time. I keep hearing that peavey, as well as a bugera v24 sound clip lol. No matter what config my fx end up in, I want to rebuild my sound starting with an all tube amp. I'M SOLD. [br]
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I will try to put that peavey on layaway until I can get there again, ask about the fender as partial trade. If that doesn't pan out I'll keep my eye on the local buy and sell sites. [br]
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For the heck of it I tried the ds-1 on Joe's settings 9, 5, and 2 o'clock. Put the amp reverb on 4. Upped the distortion to 5 o'clock. Definately the early Joe tone but sounds harsh & dry thru my amp. More reason to go tube. [br]
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Crossing my fingers I get the peavey ![br]
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