I couldn’t resist…

RedPlated

Well-known member
It was nagging at me so I had to try it. Added 4th gain stage to the Hellion. And it sounds really amazing so far. This will probably be standard from now on. The stages are cool enough that it doesn’t get dark or overbearing. But adds just enough punch and grind. Still dialing it in but I don’t see it going away now.


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glpg80

Well-known member
Yeah I’ll definitely make some. I just added the stage earlier today. It actually sounds really good already but definitely needs some tweaking of the stages to get it 100%. Just needs to be scaled back a tiny bit more and the frequencies adjusted to where I’m happy. I get real OCD and spend hours on that stuff.
Tell me about it - I totally relate.

I’ve spent a year tweaking my 74. Not with different things, but adding, playing, adding, playing, evolving it to where it is now. My end goal is to be able to turn it on and not need to change anything. I’m really close so far. I refuse to make a bunch of additions only to desire to change them later on.
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Tell me about it - I totally relate.

I’ve spent a year tweaking my 74. Not with different things, but adding, playing, adding, playing, evolving it to where it is now. My end goal is to be able to turn it on and not need to change anything. I’m really close so far. I refuse to make a bunch of additions only to desire to change them later on.
Yeah it’s a good and bad thing. I can never leave it alone it keeps going. And it takes A LOT of time, even sometimes frustration. But in the end, it always comes out better than before. So it’s worth it in that regard.

I have the same goal. Plug in and be totally satisfied. I hope that happens one day.
 

glpg80

Well-known member
Yeah it’s a good and bad thing. I can never leave it alone it keeps going. And it takes A LOT of time, even sometimes frustration. But in the end, it always comes out better than before. So it’s worth it in that regard.

I have the same goal. Plug in and be totally satisfied. I hope that happens one day.

Yeah there’s good reason I don’t make anything permanent unless I have to. Lots of times stacked mods require a circle back to mods you’ve built upon to adjust for negative traits a newer mod shows, or even for stability reasons.

My end goal was something no one advertised. I wanted modded Marshall JCM800 tone without changing a damn thing frequency response wise. Basically making the amp sound like it’s double tracked with itself. Absolutely astonishingly complicated to do - so many factors I have to account for and I can’t emphasize the stability part - there’s only so much the stock circuit can give up.

Congrats on the additional stage and it being stable. I can relate to now wanting to tune the stuff before it to make the most of the added stage.

The reason I love and will not sell my GH100S is that it’s a stock JCM800 3 stage design with an added 4th stage and cathode follower. The tonestack is different but close to an original Marshall. I snagged it for $525 cash - criminally underrated.
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Yeah there’s good reason I don’t make anything permanent unless I have to. Lots of times stacked mods require a circle back to mods you’ve built upon to adjust for negative traits a newer mod shows, or even for stability reasons.

My end goal was something no one advertised. I wanted modded Marshall JCM800 tone without changing a damn thing frequency response wise. Basically making the amp sound like it’s double tracked with itself. Absolutely astonishingly complicated to do - so many factors I have to account for and I can’t emphasize the stability part - there’s only so much the stock circuit can give up.

Congrats on the additional stage and it being stable. I can relate to now wanting to tune the stuff before it to make the most of the added stage.

The reason I love and will not sell my GH100S is that it’s a stock JCM800 3 stage design with an added 4th stage and cathode follower. The tonestack is different but close to an original Marshall. I snagged it for $525 cash - criminally underrated.
That’s killer I bet it sounds great. That’s a simple, can’t go wrong setup. Where is the added stage inserted ?
 

glpg80

Well-known member
That’s killer I bet it sounds great. That’s a simple, can’t go wrong setup. Where is the added stage inserted ?
Take a jcm800 unmodified, add a 330k/680k, 2.7k/220k unbypassed, shove it through a normal cf. It’s a Iommi signature amp so in the divider there’s a bit of personal tone shaping going on to take off some harshness with a bleeder cap which is common for any Marshall mods, even mine. Stupid simple and it just works. I haven’t touched the circuit, doesn’t even need a boost pedal. I’ve boosted it before with an SD-1 and the gain is useless above 4-5.
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Take a jcm800 unmodified, add a 330k/680k, 2.7k/220k unbypassed, shove it through a normal cf. It’s a Iommi signature amp so in the divider there’s a bit of personal tone shaping going on to take off some harshness with a bleeder cap which is common for any Marshall mods, even mine. Stupid simple and it just works. I haven’t touched the circuit, doesn’t even need a boost pedal. I’ve boosted it before with an SD-1 and the gain is useless above 4-5.
I’m super tempted to do this but I’d hate to cut into a stock 800 to do it.

I added the 4th stage in the Hellion between the original 2nd and 3rd stages. So the added stage is now the 3rd stage.

I made the added stage very cooled off. The amp was great already but I wanted just a tad more gain, compression and saturation at the highest gain settings. The 4th stage added a lot of nice tube compression at all settings and actually really improved the feel under the fingers.

The caveat with this design is the diodes also add perceived gain (I know it’s not really “gain”). The diodes really define the character of the amp so I have to create a balance between too much gain from the tubes and still being able to use the diodes and have clarity.

I changed the voltage divider setup last night on the added stage. It’s different design I had used in a different amp and it was a great improvement. Getting close.
 

SpiderWars

Well-known member
Really interested to see where you take this. Almost all of my Marshally extra stages have been up front...to simulate a boost. It works but its really a challenge to get the stock 3-stage rodded Marshall tone to be compatible/switchable with the 4-stage circuit wrt top end and tightness-tubbiness in the lows without totally re-EQing the whole thing. You putting it later in the circuit sounds intriguing.
 

Samhain

Well-known member
Who would Mr. "Redplate" be i wonder with the well stocked bench ?
oh those ARS cap cans are crappola ive seen them take a shit after just a couple years.
 

SQUAREHEAD

Well-known member
Who would Mr. "Redplate" be i wonder with the well stocked bench ?
oh those ARS cap cans are crappola ive seen them take a shit after just a couple years.
Interesting, bro…
What I am hearing, from many people, is that they sound and feel much better than the F & T caps from Germany? I have never tried the ARS as of yet so I don’t know…
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
Really interested to see where you take this. Almost all of my Marshally extra stages have been up front...to simulate a boost. It works but its really a challenge to get the stock 3-stage rodded Marshall tone to be compatible/switchable with the 4-stage circuit wrt top end and tightness-tubbiness in the lows without totally re-EQing the whole thing. You putting it later in the circuit sounds intriguing.
You're very right. It's a big challenge to make in integrate harmoniously. It's easy to add the stage. Making it play nice is not.

My initial plan of attack was to add the stage and then tweak each separate stage to reduce the overall gain to manageable levels. But...if I make it switchable, the original base character will be gone. So my current strategy is leaving the other stages alone and tweaking this added stage to sound good. That way, when it's switched out, the base 3 stage character remains the same.

I actually was going to have some time today to tweak on it. But the power company shut the electricity off due to high winds. I'm in a high-risk fire area. So there goes that....
 

SpiderWars

Well-known member
I have heard it from three guys I really trust on this forum and also a very eccentric German (extreme high end) Amplifier builder who definitely knows tone.
But whatever, bro…
Who really cares.
I'd heard that too. I asked a reputable tech about it and he said the ARS do have a high failure rate but they sound the same as F&T. TBH, I'm not yet convinced of the tone difference until I hear it for myself. I used ARS on my SuperLead build and F&T on my SuperBass build and they both sound great but they have other differences so not apples to apples.
 

Dino 939

Well-known member
Yeah it’s a good and bad thing. I can never leave it alone it keeps going. And it takes A LOT of time, even sometimes frustration. But in the end, it always comes out better than before. So it’s worth it in that regard.

I have the same goal. Plug in and be totally satisfied. I hope that happens one day.
Man, I learned Replate, it doesn't matter if it
were perfect on all levels.
... there's a lot going on...
The guitar, electronics, humidity, wall whatever voltages, cables, human health, any component inside the amp working a bit harder then the others, speaker wire on the speakers, the speaker frames on the baffles and...the ole "STE''s..
WTH are STE's??
That's a condition amp builder's, musician's, etc's,
slowly begin to suffer from..Spent Top End.
Amps get brighter cuz we hear darker.
Some dude's suffer hardcore in the end
from them STE's and throw in the towel.
 
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