SV20C, OR120C, or DSL40C For Original *Dry* Early VH tone

jb5150

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As the heading states, I am looking for one of these amps that approximate Ed's early tone - in a more apartment-friendly size.

I know the SV20 is touted as a 'studio' amp and is a close proximation of the original Plexis. The 40C seems the most versatile of the lot, and well, I don't know a heck of a lot about the Origin but it's been suggested too.

I do have a LBB (little black box) which as I understand is simply an extra volume control - not sure it'd be much help for the SV20.

Would love to hear some opinions, experiences with these amps in relation to the sound I am shooting for.
 

Moony

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The DSLs are good allrounder amps and can certainly get you in the VH ballpark.
The SV20 is a very nice amp but it wouldn't be my first choice if I wanted to play at low volumes without using an attenuator.

Your Little Black Box is not an attenuator but a simple volume pot circuit design to put into an effect loop of an amp. It depends on the circuit of the amp (the position of the effect loop) if it does something helpful or not. Normally you're just reducing the signal that goes to the power tubes so you're driving them less hard. A typical "Plexi" lives from a pushed power amp stage that's why people crank them and then use a real attenuator (a device that's between the output of the amp and the speakers).

The SC20 is a bit more "home friendly" imho, maybe also worth a try?
Or the Mini Jube (2525) - that would be the most flexible from the Studio range.
 

scozz

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For apartment life, that’s a challenge.

For sure you’ll need an attenuator to take full advantage of the Plexi circuit. A LBB would definitely help the SV20, which is a non-master volume amp, the LBB would be your master volume.

An SC20, as @Moony said, is a bit more home friendly, it has an excellent master volume. But still, a lot of amp for using in an apartment,… depending on the apartment.

The Dsl40cr is likely the best amp of the three for your situation, it does very well with low volumes, but EVH tones will be a little tougher to attain. I would think your best bet would be the green channel with a clean boost.

You didn’t mention a budget, the Studios are $1750 in the US, and the Dsl40cr is $1050.
 

Moony

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An SC20, as @Moony said, is a bit more home friendly, it has an excellent master volume. But still, a lot of amp for using in an apartment,… depending on the apartment.

Yes that's true - but it seems to work a bit better with a volume box in the loop.

 

sdn25

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I have a dsl20 so I assume the channel structure is similar to the dsl40. I ran an evh tone inspired distortion pedal into the clean channel rather than using a boost or tone shaping on the od channel. This is because the od channel on the dsl range is not responsive to changes with your guitar volume and also has a high end and low end roll off. For Eddie’s tone you really need that punch and the sizzle, the boosted clean channel achieves that. For pedals I can suggest the Friedman be od or as scozz mentioned, use a high gain clean boost. The ideal combo would be an attenuator or reactive load with the sv20 since its a 1959 style circuit.

Oh, and biggest impact apart from the amp, your speakers. Greenbacks are the gold standard in todays age for the evh tone.
 

scozz

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Yes that's true - but it seems to work a bit better with a volume box in the loop.


I don’t agree, I have my own real life experience.

I tried an LBB for quite a while with my SC20 shortly after I bought 3 years ago. It made little difference in any regard that is useful imo, to me it was merely another mv, it seems redundant to me.

I stopped using it and bought an attenuator, and it sounds much better. I’m also an at home player these days and an attenuator allows me to crank the master of my SC20 as much as I like.

More options is how I look at it.
 

Moony

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I stopped using it and bought an attenuator, and it sounds much better.

I see that and would also do it that way.
I just mentioned it and showed the video because the OP already has that volume box and brought it to the table.
So if he buys a SC20 he may want to try it out.

I've noticed over the years that some people also have problems with fine-adjusting existing volume knobs if the volume jumps from quiet to earth shattering too fast - then a volume pedal makes sense too - or if you leave it always on as a minus boost and disengage it when you need a volume bump for soloing - I recommended that to another SC20 owner recently and he said it worked nicely.

So there IS a use for such a pedal - but of course it's not a real attenuator as I've said before.
 

PelliX

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I see that and would also do it that way.
I just mentioned it and showed the video because the OP already has that volume box and brought it to the table.
So if he buys a SC20 he may want to try it out.

I've noticed over the years that some people also have problems with fine-adjusting existing volume knobs if the volume jumps from quiet to earth shattering too fast - then a volume pedal makes sense too - or if you leave it always on as a minus boost and disengage it when you need a volume bump for soloing - I recommended that to another SC20 owner recently and he said it worked nicely.

So there IS a use for such a pedal - but of course it's not a real attenuator as I've said before.

If you just want a few dB volume drop on the SC, simply patch and engage the loop. Bigger difference volume wise than the High/Low power modes. I believe the same applies to the SV, too. OP has a JBB, so he can set the level for the drop, but the "feature" is there out of the box ... :)
 

Moony

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If you just want a few dB volume drop on the SC, simply patch and engage the loop. Bigger difference volume wise than the High/Low power modes. I believe the same applies to the SV, too. OP has a JBB, so he can set the level for the drop, but the "feature" is there out of the box ... :)

I really need to try that by myself once I get the chance to.
Heard mixed reports about that issue - some say there is a volume drop, some don't notice any.
Don't know if that probably depends on how much the amp is cranked or if there are some SC20 that just have some flaws.
Btw it's the same with the JVMs - I don't have any issues with them regarding loop and volume drop. Some others do. :shrug:
 

PelliX

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I really need to try that by myself once I get the chance to.
Heard mixed reports about that issue - some say there is a volume drop, some don't notice any.
Don't know if that probably depends on how much the amp is cranked or if there are some SC20 that just have some flaws.
Btw it's the same with the JVMs - I don't have any issues with them regarding loop and volume drop. Some others do. :shrug:

I have no idea about the JVM's in general, really, but the SC20 has been discussed here in other threads. I'd have to dig up the details, but it's by design. The higher you put the Master, the less apparent it becomes, indeed. At 'appartment' levels, it's a serious drop. You're not going to have a 'hair trigger' issue with the volume halfway, anyway... :)
 

paul-e-mann

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As the heading states, I am looking for one of these amps that approximate Ed's early tone - in a more apartment-friendly size.

I know the SV20 is touted as a 'studio' amp and is a close proximation of the original Plexis. The 40C seems the most versatile of the lot, and well, I don't know a heck of a lot about the Origin but it's been suggested too.

I do have a LBB (little black box) which as I understand is simply an extra volume control - not sure it'd be much help for the SV20.

Would love to hear some opinions, experiences with these amps in relation to the sound I am shooting for.
For apartment I recommend solid state, look at the Yamaha THR10X it has tones called "Brown 1 and 2", you'll get all the Ed tones you can handle. :yesway:
 

junk notes

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throw apartment in the mix for volume control and the results almost always favor the master volume SC20. Either the combo or the head with 1x12 or 2x12 for a little more bottom end.


One thing to consider is Ed didn’t use open back cabs. That will have a big impact on tone.
but the open back head cabs have lots of tone :D Unchained through a 1x10, perhaps not. lol
 

Len

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throw apartment in the mix for volume control and the results almost always favor the master volume SC20. Either the combo or the head with 1x12 or 2x12 for a little more bottom end.



but the open back head cabs have lots of tone :D Unchained through a 1x10, perhaps not. lol
I didn’t say open back had no tone. I said they were different.
 

Maxbrothman

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As the heading states, I am looking for one of these amps that approximate Ed's early tone - in a more apartment-friendly size.

I know the SV20 is touted as a 'studio' amp and is a close proximation of the original Plexis. The 40C seems the most versatile of the lot, and well, I don't know a heck of a lot about the Origin but it's been suggested too.

I do have a LBB (little black box) which as I understand is simply an extra volume control - not sure it'd be much help for the SV20.

Would love to hear some opinions, experiences with these amps in relation to the sound I am shooting for.
EVH's tone is called the brown tone and has to do with voltage adjustment using a variac on a vintage Plexi.

With the SV20 try,

Presence noon
Bass low
Mids middle
Trebs low to middle
HT as high as you can go without mud.
N as high as you can go without mud.

Lower left input.
jump top inputs.

V30s

Boost it with an overdrive pedal kept low.

That will get you about 40% towards EVH's tone. The rest is Eddie himself playing. I heard somewhere in an interview (rig rundown maybe?) that some well-known guitarists tried each other's gear and they just ended up sounding like themselves on the other person's gear. Says a lot. EVH sounded like EVH on their rig, haha. EVH also sells EVH guitars which would probably help.

I have my SV20h setup at the moment. I am going to give it another go. Brown sound is one of the hardest for me to get.
 

tallcoolone

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Been playing tube amps for over 30yrs and when I was stuck in an apt setting for 3yrs nothing sounded close to as good as a Helix or AXE-FX through studio monitors. I had thousands of dollars worth of tube amps sitting there and modeling just blew all of it away at low volume. Not even close IME.
 

jb5150

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EVH's tone is called the brown tone and has to do with voltage adjustment using a variac on a vintage Plexi.

With the SV20 try,

Presence noon
Bass low
Mids middle
Trebs low to middle
HT as high as you can go without mud.
N as high as you can go without mud.

Lower left input.
jump

Just got back from the store after trying an SV20C. It's definitely more of a dry AC/DC sounding amp. Even patched w full disto it doesn't have enough gain. Ed was likely using a distortion pedal from what I've seen.

His tone has been subject of speculation for decades. in the end he stated the amp was STOCK (yes you read right), his son Wolfgang even recently admitted to this as well and commented how he and his dad found it odd how everyone was saying the amp was this, that, and the next thing.

I can't say if he had a variac on it or not.

SV20C is a nice amp, but w/o a distortion pedal you aren't getting enough drive.
top inputs.

V30s

Boost it with an overdrive pedal kept low.

That will get you about 40% towards EVH's tone. The rest is Eddie himself playing. I heard somewhere in an interview (rig rundown maybe?) that some well-known guitarists tried each other's gear and they just ended up sounding like themselves on the other person's gear. Says a lot. EVH sounded like EVH on their rig, haha. EVH also sells EVH guitars which would probably help.

I have my SV20h setup at the moment. I am going to give it another go. Brown sound is one of the hardest for me to get.
I didn't try the V30.

The guy at the store told me the SC is the best option as it is a JCM800 in combo size.
 

jb5150

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Been playing tube amps for over 30yrs and when I was stuck in an apt setting for 3yrs nothing sounded close to as good as a Helix or AXE-FX through studio monitors. I had thousands of dollars worth of tube amps sitting there and modeling just blew all of it away at low volume. Not even close IME.
I heard the same. In fact take a listen to this:



It's a Axe-FX w a patch that has the closest thing to Hagar era sound.
 

sdn25

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Just got back from the store after trying an SV20C. It's definitely more of a dry AC/DC sounding amp. Even patched w full disto it doesn't have enough gain. Ed was likely using a distortion pedal from what I've seen.

His tone has been subject of speculation for decades. in the end he stated the amp was STOCK (yes you read right), his son Wolfgang even recently admitted to this as well and commented how he and his dad found it odd how everyone was saying the amp was this, that, and the next thing.

I can't say if he had a variac on it or not.

SV20C is a nice amp, but w/o a distortion pedal you aren't getting enough drive.

I didn't try the V30.

The guy at the store told me the SC is the best option as it is a JCM800 in combo size.
Ed definitely didn’t have a distortion pedal, I have a plexi and that thing had too much gain, had to reduce the gain to make it sound better. And the thing about Eddie’s sound is that even thought it sounds like a lot of gain, a lot of it came from the way he plays, the aggressive articulate nature of his playing was what made him sound the way he does. His amp was definitely stock with natural part variation due to short supplies back in those days. The only thing different in his amp was that he had a 50KL mid pot as opposed to a stock 25kl Marshall uses. There are many threads about this. John suhr, Dave Friedman, mike soldano have all had their eyes in his amp, this info is coming from them.

On a plexi, when you jump channels you actually lose gain, use just the high treble input and crank up all the knobs except vol 2. That’s how you get all the gain from it.

Like many others have mentioned here, a tube amp at home is sorta pointless without An attenuator or load box of any sort. You can build yourself an attenuator for under $25. Just look up how to build an attenuator using an L-PAD.
 


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