GZA Hellion 4 stage circuit clips

RedPlated

Well-known member
Here are a couple clips of the most recent build, completed a few days ago. It’s a beast. 483 plate volts. Very mean.

In the first clip it starts on 3 gain stages. Switched to 4 stages about halfway through. I even throw in some cleans from the neck pickup for a second or two. I’ve got the 4th stage down pretty well now. It blends into the 3rd without excessive fizz, bass etc…

Second clip is in the “Pull gain cut” mode, engaged by pulling the gain trim knob. It really will do the modded 800/ JMP / Plexi thing with ease. Gets lower gain like a stock Marshall if you want.

Both clips straight in using an SM57 to my iPhone on G12H30 anniversary. Les Paul with Suhr Aldrich.


 

bugsy5150

Member
Uh-huh!!
 

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RedPlated

Well-known member
Wow, thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate the great feedback. There’s a lot of hard work in this amp. It feels great to hear your comments.

And glpg80, you KNOW that’s easier said than done !
 
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psychodave

Well-known member
Being brutally honest. At first I didn't like it, but as time when on, I do like it (like the aggression). Really liked that there was slight delay going on...which as I'm sure you know, can really add to the sound, feel and tone, but at the expense of losing that tightness in fast pick attacks. I liked the added gain stage as well, but it was a little bloated sounding.... but you didnt touch and eq controls, so it's expected. I much prefer the higher gain, but the brown sounds were good.
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Being brutally honest. At first I didn't like it, but as time when on, I do like it (like the aggression). Really liked that there was slight delay going on...which as I'm sure you know, can really add to the sound, feel and tone, but at the expense of losing that tightness in fast pick attacks. I liked the added gain stage as well, but it was a little bloated sounding.... but you didnt touch and eq controls, so it's expected. I much prefer the higher gain, but the brown sounds were good.

You make a good point about the 4th stage. I usually back the depth off a bit when going there as it is fuller sounding. The goal was to voice it relatively close to the 3rd stage sounds, and I could have gotten even closer by reducing the 4th stage's coupling cap value a bit. But removing some bass from the stage just killed the feel and the lead tones. Pulling the treble knob to engage the "Pull Focus" feature also will get the 4th stage noticeably leaner and tighter.

The nice thing about the 4th stage is that it can be engaged at any setting. In the lower gain "brown sound" settings, for example. It'll add some nice texture to those sounds.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
You make a good point about the 4th stage. I usually back the depth off a bit when going there as it is fuller sounding. The goal was to voice it relatively close to the 3rd stage sounds, and I could have gotten even closer by reducing the 4th stage's coupling cap value a bit. But removing some bass from the stage just killed the feel and the lead tones. Pulling the treble knob to engage the "Pull Focus" feature also will get the 4th stage noticeably leaner and tighter.

The nice thing about the 4th stage is that it can be engaged at any setting. In the lower gain "brown sound" settings, for example. It'll add some nice texture to those sounds.
Is the 4th gain stage footswitchable for engagement on the fly or do you have to unlpug from the 3 gain stage jack and plug into a different input jack.

I seem to prefer the 3 gain stage but I can see where some will like the 4th gain stage so it's cool having both options so it's cool you found a way to make it work!

I also really like the lower gain brown sounds out of it...it sounds most like your Modded JCM800 which I really like!
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Is the 4th gain stage footswitchable for engagement on the fly or do you have to unlpug from the 3 gain stage jack and plug into a different input jack.

I seem to prefer the 3 gain stage but I can see where some will like the 4th gain stage so it's cool having both options so it's cool you found a way to make it work!

I also really like the lower gain brown sounds out of it...it sounds most like your Modded JCM800 which I really like!

The 4th stage is switchable on a mini toggle on front panel. I prefer that over having a high/ low input jack. Super easy, just flick of the switch.

Yes, there are a lot of guys that want that super saturated 4 stage sound. Initially, I only designed the amp with 3 stages, It's really enough gain for me. But based on feedback from users, I saw the need for a 4th stage. And what's cool is that when I have the amp dialed really low gain, like for blues type tones, if you engage the 4th stage it adds a nice bump in gain and response and still has that bluesy low gain tone. It's actually really useful! It was a lot of time adding that stage but I'm glad it happened.

Thanks man, it was a huge challenge to get one channel to do that super high gain and the mid/ low gain sounds and still sound good. I had to come up with some creative ideas built into the push/pull features. I do feel like the brown sounds are close to the modded Marshalls also.
 
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