Cranked amps sound bad

311splawndude

Well-known member
With my Splawn (nmv) the volume is usually around 10am - 11am (4 or 5 as Geo is saying). Anything past that it becomes a bit pointless but does NOT fall apart. You'd be hard pressed to get a Splawn to fall apart or mush out or get flabby etc.

With my Recto (mv) both channel and output volume are set at 9:30am. The volume jumps significantly after that to gig volumes and beyond.
 

HEMI Cooper

Active member
A great tube amp should sound better the higher you set it. Once it max volume (6-7), the signal will begin to compress, which is really cool. If it begins to mush-out on you, that's due to the power supply. The old Partridge transformers are top-dog!
 

DragonCrestPC

Active member
I personally love my amps cranked to the point of it saturating the tubes just a little. But that's just my personal preference.
 

Cap217

Member
There is a guy,

Euge Valovirta,​

that posts vids that I love for some reason. Just his approach and passion for amps that I like to hear. Recently has become more of a marketer but his vids are still entertaining to me.

He has a quirky way of dialing in an amp but the master volume is always in his consideration. One of my favorites is when he dials in 3 different JCM 800's. His early 80's main 800, another 800, and a ZW 800. The main amps master is much lower than the others for his taste.

I guess in short my opinion is very amp dependant.
He makes his amps sound so good. I had the zw, an 800, and plexies and I never got close to that kind of distortion. Never.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
I like 2204's at around 6 or 7 or 1-2 pm and the preamp rolled a bit back to tighten the low end. NMV seem to vary as to how compressed or soft/tubby they get based on component drift or design so those, balance the vol of the two channels and giv'er. That's part of the sound but you then need the right OD to tighten them and enter the TS-SD-1, and OD-1's or treble boosters of the world.
 

Beyond Black

Well-known member
He makes his amps sound so good. I had the zw, an 800, and plexies and I never got close to that kind of distortion. Never.
I dig that guy, he’s a character. That being said, I bought a Silver Jube because of that fucker and couldn’t get it to sound like his. I got some killer boosted tones, but not like his....
 

anomaly

Well-known member
A lot of what you're hearing mush out is the speakers distorting. Plug any amp into 2 or 4 4x12 and you can turn it up a lot louder than.you can with a single 4x12
Yes this is also true, i've experienced it, even with a 280 watt recto cab. When I used my amp with my recto cab and another cab hooked up (avatar vintage 4x12) i could get the master up a notch or more higher before the low end mushes out. Speaking of that, i may have to get my avatar cab hooked up now just for the hell of it.

People, I'm talking high gain amps in general. I know plexi style amps can sound good cranked, but that's a different tone than what I'm going for.
 

anomaly

Well-known member
It very much depends on the particular amp (for some amps it can be a lot higher on the volume when that mushiness starts to kick in) and what kinda sound you’re going for. For metal I would agree in general

My Hiwatt though seems to never get mushy or over-compressed no matter how high the volume is, but that thing is even more open than my Wizard. For some bluesy or classic rock type NMV amps like my Jim Kelley and Gjika the magic doesn’t start until at least 2 o’ clock. My ccv also seems to maintain a very robust sound no matter how high I’d have it’s volume, so there are some exceptions
When do your Boogies (especially your Mark series) start to mush out and get over-compressed?? I find they lose their tightness past about 3 to 4 (out of 10), but that is incredibly loud with those amps cause of the quick master volume taper.
 

itsme

Active member
I've always thought this. 4 or 5 on the dial is the sweet spot. Power tubes are working and it's not stressed. Mids get way to hard and honky after that
 

anomaly

Well-known member
I've always thought this. 4 or 5 on the dial is the sweet spot. Power tubes are working and it's not stressed. Mids get way to hard and honky after that
Ya, the mids do get weird when you crank the power section too hard. They get pushed forward in a bad way (almost like there's a fuzz pedal in the signal too), and palm mutes don't sound as tight and crushing anymore, the high end gets a bit rolled off too. Just SO MANY bad qualities. I like the power section to get a bit of that tube compression, but not much, cause then playing dynamics get lost and everything just sounds flat and shitty.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
When do your Boogies (especially your Mark series) start to mush out and get over-compressed?? I find they lose their tightness past about 3 to 4 (out of 10), but that is incredibly loud with those amps cause of the quick master volume taper.
I think somewhere around where you said, but will have to double check, haven’t played them at those levels in a little while now, but regularly play them around 2-2.5. I think I remember my coliseum’s being able to go further in that area. The thing is that you’re talking about amps that are already quite compressed (Mark series, 6505/5150) and so I think some of the more open amps like the Wizard and Hiwatt can get away with more and to some degree even benefit from that added compression since they’re so open. My old Hiwatt goes from being a medium crunch to almost metal if I get it close to max (very very loud at that point) and then if I boost I think it can actually be very good for metal and still not overcompress, but again is very very loud at that point. It kinda sounds like a bigger, more raw/wild/untamed Fryette at that point, an interesting sound
 
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errrrrl

Well-known member
This holds true for most of the amps I have EXCEPT for my Rivera K-tre... thing tightens up and sounds better the louder it gets.
 

Smashedguitarist

Well-known member
idk. Sometimes i stand in front of my cab and hit those pms and just hit myself in the chest, lol. But mostly, i think the pms need something to hit off of, when they are hitting a wall, it feels nice. You hit a palm mute in a field, I don't think it has the same feel.
 
Depends on a multitude of things:
- Taper of MV pot
- Amount of attenuation between last preamp stage and power amp
- Preamp gain
- Gain of PI
- Amount of power amp negative feedback
- Preamp voltage vs B+
- Type of power tubes
- Transformer match
- etc.

The MV on a Fender is essentially on 10. Same with a Plexi. My JCM800 sounds glorious at noon but it will kill a bull elephant at 100 yards.

Generalities rarely apply to complex systems.
 

NaturalBornBoy

Active member
I dig that guy, he’s a character. That being said, I bought a Silver Jube because of that fucker and couldn’t get it to sound like his. I got some killer boosted tones, but not like his....

If you have a guitar with EMGs, a load box and use the same IRs he uses, I don't see why you can't get super close to his tone.
 
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