"Black Pearl Posse"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jbert58, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    Sqealing = bad preamp tube.

    I have tried different tubes in it, put in an NOS rectifier which was nicer than the stock one... hard to describe HOW it was nicer, but definitely nicer. Also put a Tung-Sol 12AX7 in V2, and that warmed the boost tone up a little. But honestly, the stock tubes sound very good, and I heard very LITTLE DIFFERENCE in swapping out tubes, in any of the positions. The NOS rectifier is a keeper tho.
     
  2. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Member

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    The amp sounds phenomenal at all settings, but I can definitely here where new/different tubes can help shape the sound I want.

    There is no squeal, noise, etc. at all unless you are playing at high volume with the reverb almost all of the way up. Granted, this is not a sound I would ever use but it’s not right. With the master dimed, the volume about halfway it sounds great – the tone shaping switch is really useful. But, if you turn the reverb up to about 2-3 o’clock, it starts this really high pitched whine, squeal that goes away as soon as you turn the reverb down.

    It seems that the easiest way to change the tubes is to yank the chassis (gives me an excuse to look inside as well) so after I get through with the builds I have to finish up this morning, I pull it and see. I have a set of JJ 12AX7’s so it’s not a big deal to check this.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    OK... if it only squeals with the reverb up, I'm guessing one of the 2 reverb driver tubes has gone microphonic on you. There is a tube chart in the manual (and online) where you can see which tubes the reverb tubes are. Put some new(er) ones in there & see how that works.
     
  4. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Member

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    Well, it’s not the reverb. Last night I only had a few minutes so I thought that was it. It is the top control. Seems like there might be something going on in the negative feedback loop

    I pulled the chassis and checked the tubes. V1 and V4 were slightly microphonic (very slightly) so I went ahead and changed them out to a NOS Sylvania in V1 and a JJ in V4.

    Well, since I only had a few minutes to play around last night it seems I was mistaken. The reverb works fine, but if the top control gets past 2-3 o'clock, that high pitched whine starts (no, not feedback). The whine gets worse if the reverb is turned up. At normal playing settings everything is fine.
     
  5. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    I'd say it's time to call or email Jeff Genzler @ Genz Benz. Hopefully, it's still just a tube issue of some kind... it would suck to have to send the amp in for repair. This is the 1st issue I've ever heard anyone have with a Black Pearl.
     
  6. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    I admit as well, I am a little shocked by this... my amp has worked flawlessly since I've had it, and I abuse it.

    I am sure you've tried this already, but have you checked your cords...

    If not, I would contact Jeff at Genz.
     
  7. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Member

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    Well, I emailed Jeff at GB this morning, and he has already responded to two of my emails. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the sounds I am getting out of this amp are just phenomenal and the high pitched whine really only happens with settings that I just cannot see ever being used.

    Jeff basically said that I am experiencing internal feedback of the Reverb, since the Master Volume control is also the Reverb return control. If anyone out there with a BP30 wants to try it out for me, with everything plugged in normally but not playing - dime the master, put the volume about 2-3 o’clock, boost off, dime the reverb and then turn up the top knob. On mine, about 3 o’clock on the Top knob it starts squealing like crazy.

    Again, the fact that Jeff emailed me on a Saturday says a lot about this company. I love the amp to death and have the chassis pulled and on my workbench so I can play around with tubes. Right now I have stock tubes everywhere except for V1 and V2. I have a NOS Sylvania in V1 and a EI in V2.

    If anyone out there has never pulled the chassis to look inside, this is one neatly wired amp. The mil-spec’d boards are tough as hell and the way the traces are laid out to simulate a handwired amp is clearly visible. I took some pics if anyone is interested.

    Thanks for the help ruger. BTW – if you want to have some fun, run a boost in the effects loop. I hooked up a ‘Dragon in the loop earlier and :drool.
     
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    Jeff has GREAT customer service. I'd love to hear more about this "boost in the loop" experiement...

    I'll fire up my BP30 this morning with your settings & see what happens.

    PM sent on the pics...
     
  9. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    OK, I set my BP30 to your settings. No squeal. I also had the Top at 10, and even turned the volume to 10. No squeal. This was with the AMP ALONE. I did not plug a guitar in. Which means MY amp does not inherently squeal for any reason. Do you get the sqeual only when trying to play? Because with the Master dimed and the volume at 2-3:00, it's LOUD, and if you're in a room at home it could be the guitar pickups feeding back?? If it is, not much you can do about that except play at a lower volume level.
     
  10. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    Lizard, that's great!!!

    I have been singing the praises of this amp so long, and Guitar Player mag once had some pics of the internals... I would definately appreciate some photos!!!

    I will try that for you as well to see if I can get the amp to do this... and get back to you.

    The amp actually DID THIS the other night, but it was with my Japanese Strat and this Strat's wiring is on it's way out and crappy, and all my amps squeal with this guitar and louder volumes....

    I have to upgrade the pickups/wiring.
     
  11. ajchance

    ajchance Supporting Member

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    Also interested in the pics. Any chance you could upload them to a host site?

    The holidays have kept me away from mine, with all the family around. You guys are making me jealous!!!
     
  12. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I'll PM you, but yeah I get the same thing and I have had the same thing with many other amps with the reverb up high. On either of my 3 amps, if I turn the reverb up anywhere past 2:00 or 3:00, and have the master up high, I get feedback. I have seen this happen with boogies and various other amps.

    If I have the BP up pretty high, and turn the reverb up well, I get some feedback occasionally with no guitar plugged in on the reverb. The reverb on the black pearl doesn't really act like a traditional spring reverb, is sounds more like a cavernous reverb or from a cathedral than spring for whatever reason, and the Blue angel I own is very similar.

    My settings were boost not engaged, volume up at 9:00, master at 3:00, reverb dimed, and yeah, I got whine. I then did the same thing with my Blue angel, similar result.

    Hope that helps.
     
  13. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Member

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    Yeah, the reverb on the BP is a different sound than most springs - I like it, just different.

    Let me get the pics posted to snapfish and I'll load 'em on here later.

    What tubes is everyone running? I loaded up a JAN Phillips 5751 in V! and havea Tung Sol in V2 and really am liking that sound. A little more clean headroom but still can get pretty nasty when wanted.

    Steve
     
  14. MisterAgreeable

    MisterAgreeable Member

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    I opened mine up as well. Here are my observations.

    As I think we all expect, the insides are comprised of printed circuit boards with modular connectors. Most pots are soldered to the board. Tube sockets, while not soldered to the board directly, are connected via rigid extensions to the PC boards.

    However, I completely agree with what was stated above - the amplifier looks like it was laid out as a guitar amp designer would - not by some random EE with computer design tools.

    The "all tube" claim doesn't seem to mean a lot, as people cheat all the time in amplifier design, but it's hard to argue with G.B. here. I saw precisely one IC, and it was an LDR for driving the footswitch, so it's not really a part of the signal path. In the inside photo it's down on the bottom left.

    I also saw three diodes. I didn't take the time to investigate what they were doing. Those were the only "modern" components I saw, unless there were others cleverly hidden on the backside of the PCB, which I doubt.

    Photos attached. The links below go to very high resolution versions of everything. My camera apparently had a smudge on the lens so the right side it a bit blurry. I wasn't going to take the amp back apart to get a better picture - sorry.

    Photos:
    Outside:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    High res:
    http://lanternbay.com/users/adam/pictures/bp-chassis-outside.jpg

    [​IMG]Inside:
    [​IMG]
    High res:
    http://lanternbay.com/users/adam/pictures/bp-chassis-inside.jpg
     
  15. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    Thanks for those pics!!!

    I have the head version, and while those tube retainers are cool... I know I am going to have to remove the chassis to remove them when I change tubes... (I think a small Phillips screw hold them in place)...
     
  16. Rama

    Rama Member

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    Every time I fire up the bp I get inspired..just beautiful...does'nt favor any guitar over another...makes them all sound like the very best v ersion of themselves...and the amp just FEELS so good to play.....after a year I still appreciate it...have the 1x12 and 2x12 combos.
     
  17. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    I have the 1x12 and I don't remove the chassis to change tubes, altho it is tight in there, it can be done.

    Love the verb... it's definitely more "cavernous" than "springy", which I prefer. I've never owned a Swart, but from the Swart demos I've listened to (because I WILL own a Swart someday!), the BP verb sounds alot like the Swart's to me.

    I've tried different tubes, and with the exception of an NOS rectifier (which did sound better than the stock), the BP is the LEAST tube-dependent amp I own... don't know what to make of that.... but since it sounds great regardless, who cares? :)
     
  18. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Supporting Member

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    What NOS rectifiers (5AR4/GZ34) have you guys tried in the amp? I assume KCA is a good source...any others? Thanks.

    John
     
  19. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    I don't remember the brand, but I got mine from KCA. Basically, it's been said in a few forums that ANY NOS 5AR4 is better than ANY new-production 5AR4, so I went ahead & bought an NOS, and it DID make a difference...for the better.
     
  20. Lizard Leg

    Lizard Leg Member

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    I guess I don't need to post the pics now!
     

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