Middle tone control - Necessary?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Aslan, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Aslan

    Aslan Member

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    I've found that over the years I've gravatated to amps with a mid-range tone control (Orange, Fender Twin Reverb, Top Hat etc.) I really have come to the point where the middle control is the most important in my sound. Have any of you found that having control over the midrange is all that important? It seems to be most important when playing my Les Paul's and other guitars with humbuckers. I'd love to hear what you think!
     
  2. scottlaned

    scottlaned Supporting Member

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    Absolutely imperative for me. I usually run my eq Treble Bass Mid around \ | / so juicing the mids just over 12 o'clock is important to me. Recently, however, on my Allen, the raw control is the mid control, and turning it up to 12 o'clock is like 2-3 o'clock on other amps. Word is that running my raw control on 8-9 o'clock is akin to the no mid setting on deluxe reverbs, which I absolutely could not handle.
     
  3. Benlevy

    Benlevy Member

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    I used an amp briefly that had no mid control on one channel, and did on the other. I couldn't dial in the channel without it. Agree with you, must have the mid control...
     
  4. theinteriorleag

    theinteriorleag Member

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    I'm with you...but I've gone further. I'm looking everywhere for graphic eq in an amp...three bands isn't enough anymore.
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    There is no 'no mid' setting on a Deluxe Reverb.

    The amp has no mid control, but it absolutely does have mid. The mid is in fact preset internally using a fixed resistor, and it's high - roughly at where 8 is on an amp with the mid pot.

    All the AB763 amps are essentially the same circuit, and the fixed resistor on the 'no mid' amps is 6.8K ohms; on the amps with mid controls, the pot is 10K Log, which doesn't reach 6.8K even at "6.8", but actually somewhat higher.

    The AB763 circuit has a deep mid cut, but not because any particular model has no mid knob. The ones with mid knobs are capable of far less mid in relation to their bass and treble. (FWIW, the big mid cut was probably voiced by Fender to try to give the most 'hi-fi' tone overall, since that was what was generally the goal with amps back then, and the speakers have an enormous mid peak with virtually no real bass or treble response, which needs to be compensated for.)


    Yes, I much prefer having a mid control, especially on dirty sounds. If there isn't one it's just about possible to simulate it by turning the volume in the direction you want the mid to go and the bass and treble in the opposite direction, but not exactly.
     
  6. Aslan

    Aslan Member

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    Thanks John, I never knew that the Deluxe Reverb had a fixed mid-range setting. Has anyone every built a AB763 circuit board and experimented with different values on the tone controls to see what happens?
     
  7. guitarman_nebr

    guitarman_nebr Member

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    the Vox AC30 doesn't have a mid control either. thing is, the changes in tone are pretty wild by turning the bass and treble knobs.

    the AC30 has a preset mid and it is prominent.

    i really dig a mid control. i find it is the first knob i turn on every amp.
     
  8. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    Its much more important for dirty tones than clean.
     
  9. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I've never missed it on the amps I had that didn't have one.

    In fact, as a rule, the less eq the better.
     
  10. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Actually that isn't true either! :) It's the other way round... but more complicated ;),

    The AC30 does have a mid control - it's part of the bass control, and works backwards, so when you turn the bass up full it zeros the mids. It also has a limiting resistor to prevent the mid going too high when the bass is turned down. The range is not linear - the mid reaches full up fairly quickly as the bass comes down from full, because the fixed resistor is a much smaller value than the pot, so the control has a more complex travel than simply 'mid to bass'.

    And like all conventional TMB tone stacks, the response of the treble control is affected by the bass setting too, since it changes the resistance between the treble pot and ground. That's why the AC30's controls appear so interactive - because electrically, they really are :).
     
  11. Aslan

    Aslan Member

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    John,
    On my Gibson GA-15RV it has a single tone control but the manual states that is a "double pot" and also controls mid-range? How is this possible? I love the amp and it is capable of getting a lot of different tones with just a volume, tone, & reverb knob.
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Unless I am totally wrong here, I always have with amps, pedals, etc. assumed that even if only treble and bass controls were present, one can turn them down and relative the mids, be boosting the mids, effectively.

    I mean, if bass and treble are both set at noon, bringing them both back to 10:00 and adjusting overall volume, would be somewhat the same as if you had a mid and moved it up to 2:00?
     
  13. jimijazz

    jimijazz Member

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    On my Hayseed 15, the normal channel has no eq (unless you count the cut knob) and I love it. If I need a bit more sparkle I switch to the bridge pickup, if I need more bass I go to the neck pickup.
     
  14. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

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    My thoughts too.

    MikeY
     
  15. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    By having a dual pot (literally two pots mounted on the same shaft) it's possible to adjust two separate things at the same time. The GA15 actually has a conventional TMB tone stack with a fixed bass value, and the two halves of the pot are simply used as treble and mid controls, working in opposite directions. Not as clever as the AC30's single pot, but less interactive and touchy too.
     
  16. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I'd like to see more complex mid controls on amps. I've seen a few with separate controls for low and high mids but it would be cool to have parametric mid controls like many bass amps have. Alas, few manufacturers are this forward thinking which is really no surprise considering how conservative guitarists generally are when it comes to gear.
     
  17. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Depends on the voicing of the amp.
     
  18. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the midrange control has the most potential to drastically alter the sonic eq of the amp. Without a midrange control it can be tough to really dial in tones when switching from drastically different guitars.
     
  19. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Vintage Orange amps don't use the "FMV" tone stack. While there's no mid control, the Baxandall circuit actually provides tremendous flexibility. For the tech-minded, here's an interesting link:

    http://www.geocities.com/diytech_ct/orangetonestack.html

    IMO the Orange amps that incorporate a mid control are worse off for it.

    The THD Flexi is another amp with a non-standard tone stack arrangement.

    In general, if the amp uses an FMV stack then I'd rather have a mid control than not.

    - DB
     
  20. KBN

    KBN Member

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    I like having the mid control. It helps me sound consistent in different rooms.
     

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