Am I missing something? Power tube distortion vs Preamp.

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Msharky67, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    19,503
    Likes Received:
    19,307
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    amp's have a sweet spot. After that, once tubes have met their max, you just introduce saturation (distortion). To a point, it sounds more warm & smooth, but, after that, it degrades the signal more than giving it that effect...
     
  2. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,194
    Likes Received:
    3,259
    I agree, it's very amp dependent. I never "dime" any of my amps through an attenuator, I just find the point at which each sound best. It's usually using just a little attenuation.
     
  3. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    4,386
    I’ve done it and you are correct,....some great tones at all 7! But to tell you the truth, I really haven’t found a setting that doesn’t sound good! I’m talking about settings that make sense.

    This SC20 is an amp for life for me. I’m 63 years old and only play and record at home these days and this amp has the tones I’ve had in my head for some time now.

    Besides the overdriven tones, I love the tones with this amp when I back off the guitars volume. I have no need for crystal clear cleans,... I prefer my cleans with some hair on it,....and this amp does it perfectly imo!
     
  4. Kid_Awesome1

    Kid_Awesome1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Jersey
    Absolutely. Weber Mass products sound fantastic, have switchable ohms, are hand-built to order in the USA by a very reputable company. I love my mini mass and it lets me crank my SV20H and suffer no significant tone degradation. I can't recommend highly enough and under $150! Unreal value.
     
  5. JacksonCharvelAddict

    JacksonCharvelAddict Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    1,547
    The 100watt Jubilee sounds killer at all volume levels. I think this is due to the amp having two master volumes. There is a lot of talk about master volumes and attenuation but what about an amp with two masters?
     
    El Gringo, Mitchell Pearrow and tce63 like this.
  6. dro

    dro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Blue Springs Mo
    JTM 45 Jumped channels, both volumes cranked will make even the weakest signal sustain with silky smooth overdrive. Will sustain as long as you hold a note. No pedals needed. Just pure sweet power tube overdrive. In my opinion if you attenuate this and expect to get the same tone you will be shooting yourself in the foot. It is a different day today.
    Hendrix, Townshend, Blackmore, Kossoff, Page, Nugent, Clapton, Allman, Santana, all the greats of the past all had one thing in common. Their amps were cranked. With a little less AC power as well. Think (Brown Box). I mean c'mon, Nugent got his tone out of a stack of Twins. Today he uses a master vol amp just like everyone else. I know THAT sound. I use it a lot in the studio. But live I rely on quality ANALOG pedals run through a sweet, clean amp to get a "similar" tone. The trick is finding the combination of guitar/cable/pedal/amp/speaker. that works for you. Sadly, finding this combo is expensive. But once you get there, people will compliment you on your tone at every gig.
     
  7. Emtbreid

    Emtbreid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2018
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    576
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    When I got my first tube amp a little over a year ago, a guy that I’d been chatting with (that had a lot of older vintage amplifiers) told me “you’ve got to crank it!!!” Everything on 10. Guess what? A jcm2000 dsl401 sounds like shit dimed.... I found that for not only a Mv amp like this (ppimv as well) the sweet spot was to match OD and master volumes, both on 5-7 and that’s where the magic is. The amp by itself is very underwhelming, but once I added a tubescreamer mini to the front it got a lot better. Going a step further and adding an Mxr 10 band eq did even more.
     
  8. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Messages:
    4,626
    Likes Received:
    2,546
    These amps cost way to much for me to trying most of this stuff.

    i think EVH played around with the voltage to the amp and the bias when he had everything cranked full bore before a show all the stage lights on and the band playing at show levels.

    Something about every where they played had different line voltages so he had t adjust by the sound
     
    tce63 likes this.
  9. Goldfinger

    Goldfinger Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    130
    Preamp distortion = odd order harmonics - Power amp distortion = even order harmonics. The combination of the two = holy grail distortion.
     
    JacksonCharvelAddict and tce63 like this.
  10. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2019
    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    600
    Try some lower output pickups . I think the power curve fore all the tubes and the guitar signal has to be certain match to get that tone.
     
    tce63 likes this.
  11. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    1,272
    Location:
    Shakedown Street
    My 2 cents ( and it would cost more than 2 cents ) is get yourself a Marshall 2555X and then run it into a Marshall 2551AV cab . The beauty of the 2555X is that you can have great tone at bedroom sound levels . Seriously , you can switch between the clean channel and the lead channel and not even think about a load reduction box or a distortion/overdrive channel . Check out some online videos on the Marshall 2555X ,yes it can get pricey , but it can and will do everything you ask of it for your tone . I know because I have a half stack and currently am waiting for my second half stack to double my fun and double my volume !
     
    JacksonCharvelAddict and tce63 like this.
  12. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    892
    I'm thinking of buying a used jtm 45 but wonder how loud they are ,cranked ? I keep hearing how clean they are but the marshall reissues sound more aggressive and gainy than the so-called more accurate clones.I'm hoping they sag and compress and get a more squishy feel than tight.
     
    tce63 likes this.
  13. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    352
    Location:
    Brooklyn, Joey!
    ditto. my amps sound awesome when (rarely) cranked.
     
    tce63 and Mitchell Pearrow like this.
  14. spacerocker

    spacerocker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,475
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    UK
    How do you figure that one out?
     
    tce63 likes this.
  15. Goldfinger

    Goldfinger Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    130
    ly
    Both preamp and power amp sections generate even/odd order harmonics. Preamps operate as class A - Power amp as class AB. The power section generates mostly even-order harmonics; but produces both, via shifting duty cycles. It is the blending of the two that enhances the character of the sound. You can further increase odd-order harmonics by using a symmetrically clipping drive pedal. In the case of triode/pentode (vintage/modern) switching... Triode mode increases even-order harmonics.

    I don't know the science behind it all... just a basic understanding. I prefer vintage (even-order) distortion. e.g. The sound of a pushed NMV Marshall, or VOX AC over a typical MV amplifier. For adding preamp distortion, I prefer the sound of a good drive pedal into the preamp. This is what makes the Silver Jubilee such a treat! It combines NMV topology with solid-state clipping between the 2nd and 3rd stages. Adding a pedal in-front of the amp adds yet another level of dimension.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  16. spacerocker

    spacerocker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,475
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    UK
    That's why I asked.....Your description seems rather vague. I don't see why a class A type amplification circuit (i.e. the pre-amp) should favour one type of harmonic over another (i.e odd vs even...) I thought that was more down to the type of the device (i.e. Transistor clipping producing more harsh-sounding even harmonics, Vs Valve - more "musical" odd harmonics...) I don't see why the pre-amp should favour one type of distortion and the power amp another just because it is "push-pull"?

    Not saying you are wrong - would just like to understand the science behind it and see if there is any logic behind what you are saying?
     
    Peter McAteer and Goldfinger like this.
  17. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    1,272
    Location:
    Shakedown Street
    I find for my needs that with my 2555X that I do not need any distortion/overdrive pedals as everything I need is in the 2555X and switch between the clean and Lead channel and it works tremendously for me and as soon as my 2nd half stack comes in I will double the fun with 2 2555X into 2 2551 AV cabs and I cant wait to blast off with 2 one hundred watt heads into my favorite speakers the Celestion Vintage 30's .
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and Goldfinger like this.
  18. Goldfinger

    Goldfinger Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    130
    Marshall did a solid-state preamp + tube power amp some years back. I believe these amps were known for having functional issues, but mine operated just fine. I put a lot of hours in that amp. I think it was called an Artist? It was a head with either 2 x EL34's or 2 x 6L6's. The Music Man amps were hybrids as well. Joe Perry and EVH had Andy Topeka modded Music Man heads. I've never played one myself, but I've heard the mods were extensive, and well worth the cost.
     
  19. Goldfinger

    Goldfinger Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    130
    No pedals needed with the Silver Jubilee. When I play through Ibanez V2 pickups, I hit the front with a Centura to help lift the mids. The SJ sounds best straight-in.
     
  20. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    5,056
    Likes Received:
    3,262
    Location:
    C-137
    If the speakers aren't physically moving back & forth to a certain degree pushing some air...If sound waves aren't bouncing around inside the cabinet creating resonation & vibration...

    We are generally not happy guitarists.
    There's just not enough feedback or "feel" to get engaged.

    This is why I turned to quality modeling.
    At least it SOUNDS full throttle, even if it's low volume.
    They mimic 'thump' & 'speaker bark' quite well now.
    Very chuggy/resonate palm mutes at low dB's.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice