guitar speaker / was Re: Tube challenge!

Caloroso, Michael E CalorosoME at
Tue Nov 23 20:31:08 CET 1999

>    No , seriously, I like the sound of heavy overdriven amps and
>    speakers, the problem is I can't play that loud in my appartment...
>    I guess such an overdriven speaker does more than one can do with a
>    linear filter, the amp simulations in my Peavey FXII are quite
>    good, but far away from the real thing.
> Well, it's a combination of things. 
>   The various stages of tube-style distortions.
>   The special characteristics of guitar amp tone controls.
>   The unusual frequncy response of the speaker and cabinet.
>   Acoustic feedback.
> Each one of these is a completely interesting topic for a technical
> discussion.  
> The last one is a real problem though, you'd need to put a transducer
> on the instrument or use one of those, I forget the brand, guitars
> with the driven pickup.  
I use a Mesa-Boogie Mark IIa guitar amp in a rack chassis sans speaker and use a Hughes-Kettner Red Box to record direct.  Through my studio monitors, I can achieve feedback just as easily as with a guitar cabinet (I don't recommend this technique with only headphones).

I've found that the biggest contributor to *that* tone is the power amp stage, which is why I hook up the Red Box to the speaker outputs and then to a 75W 8ohm power resistor (required for a tube power amp).  It doesn't sound sweet until the master level is about two; set it to five and turn the down the Red Box's level at the mixer  and you can get that screaming tone at low levels, but keep your hands off that resistor...  So if you're only using a preamp, no matter what direct box you use you're only halfway there.

Opinions (and mistakes) expressed herein are my own and not those of my employer.


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