÷ 13 FTR-37 observations

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DerekMinnich, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    Well.....I finally got a new amp after doing a lot of research.

    I hadn't really thought much of the ÷13's until I listened to LeonC's video clips of the FTR 37. Those immediately raised my eyebrows....super sweet sounds and he'd hit a low note and it would just bloom with fullness in the bottom end.

    I shopped and had a lot of people offer me their FTR 37's from the WTB add I put up in the emporium. Everyone wanted to sell their head with the cab but I couldn't shell that much out at the moment and Stratofied was the one that offered me the head only(I'm buying his ÷13 cab next week though because I'll have enough).

    Anyways....I finally got the amp Thursday and have experimented some since then. I've used my Chapin Strat and a Jenkins Highway 61 loaded with 2 G12H30's. My first observation was...WOW, this thing has loads of bass. I had to turn it down to about 8:30 or 9 and the treble up to about 2-3 (just like Leon said he does). The cleans are beautiful with this setting, very fendery but with more bottom...even with the bass turned down. Cranking up the Reverb channel is a great smooth breakup....nothing hard sounding about it.

    I'm still inexperienced with the click channel, but I will say, you can get some great heavy tones on it. I don't think I'll be able to use it to it's fullest potential until I get my Chapin Hawk in because I don't have a Humbucker guitar right now and I think that channel will definitely shine with a pair of buckers(which will be in my hawk).

    The reverb is great...I don't like to soak my tone or anything though. I prefer it around 8 to a little under 9 o'clock...subtle but a gorgeous sound.

    I will say this though....I HAVE to get the ÷13 2x12 cab though because it's just got too much boom in the bottom with the 2 G12H30's and can be rather dark at times. Mine are both 70th anniversary's also. I can see why Fred likes the 70th's with a Blue because it probably tames the bass and adds high end clarity....a perfect mix. I also need to change my Snake Oil Strings....these things have been on here for about 6 months and my wounds have lost their brightness.

    All in all though...so far, so good!

    BTW: I'm using an Evidence Audio Siren speaker cable at the moment and I will have to buy another because of the way Fred's speaker cabinets are set up. I want to hear what you other ÷13 owners use also though before I dish out the $.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool amp. I EQ my 10/20 the same way for OD tones. I can add more bass at lower volumes. Fred loves the booty-shakin' low end.

    I've had to move some gear lately, but the SJT10/20 is the LAST thing I want to sell. Fortunately I still have it. I love it,
     
  3. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    There was a guy who came to a ToneFest in NC I attended recently who brought /13's. Absoultely great sounding rig, Fat, lots of bottom end like you describe. Sounds like you are enjoying your new amp.
     
  4. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Congrats on the new amp Derek! They really ar esweet machines aren't they? I'll be interested to see what you think about the amp when paired with the /13 cab. My FTR sounded phenomenal through the /13 cab shile is sounded nowhere near as good through my Germino 2x12. Go figure?! The amp and cab have a synergistic thing goin'. Good stuff! :D
     
  5. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    Thanks Tyler.....I had a Mad Sound cabinet on order....a Detuned 2x12...Sean was cool and let me cancel the order. That cabinet would work great with probably 99% of amplifiers....it would sound huge, but I just figured it would have far too much bottom with the FTR 37.
     
  6. celestion101

    celestion101 Silver Supporting Member

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    I LOVE my FTR37!! Mine is the creme head and 2x12 pictured on Fred's website. I use the reverb channel (almost your settings!) with a Sparkle Drive, a Drive Train, and a Hot British. Those along with my Line 6 delay (DM4 or something like that) and Im set for any gig. My cab has the G12H30 and the Blue....KILLER!


    :dude
     
  7. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool Derek. Ya, the '37 is one of those amps where you really have to adjust the settings with your ears, not your eyes. Or at least I do. I wind up with somewhat extreme settings on the reverb channel.

    The click channel can be thougher to get a handle on. One thing to keep in mind with this channel - just because the volume knob goes up to 5:00 or so doesn't mean you need to get it anywhere's near there ;). I don't play it past 1:00 or so, it's so saturated by the time I get there... A lot of the time, I dial it back much further and use my Oxygen compressor to really push it into the zone.

    Again, my favorite speaker combo (stock new speakers) with the '37 is a Blue and a V30. Really lightens up the 37's darkish personality.
     
  8. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

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    I am absolutely loving my 37.

    Cab and speakers make a huge difference. I am running the D13 212 with a well broken in Blue and a Scumback H55. It is very big and 3D. Not at all boomy-bassy, it stays very tight, cuts nice, and is easily heard in a mix, all without an ice pick. I hated it with the Celestion Anniversary 30’s though... sorry, but I recommend losing them from your list. Def go with a Blue though.

    I run my bass on the rev channel at about 10:00 to 11:00, and the treb from 1:00 to 2:30 with the mid boost knob pulled. On the click I am usually on 2 or 3 clicks. I run the rev volume around 11:00 and the click at 1:00, and use an Airbrake to bring the levels back down. I’ve been running half power a lot lately. Humbuckers don’t clean up that well, but singles do nicely with the G-volumes down. (Don’t forget to cut your ohms in half when using half power). You gotta get a ABY box going. Mixing the channels works great for me.

    You’ll notice that the extra bass comes in handy at real low volumes. Turn the click volume to less than 9:00 and you’ll need the most bassy settings or it sounds anemic. Same with the reverb channel… low volume, up comes the bass.

    I was at a jam last night, and had 3 other guitar players there tripping over themselves to check it out. A bit later, this mellow chick singer (from a trippy college band that gigs around here doing world type music), showed up and sat in. At the end of the night, she says with this totally serious look on her face, “dude, your sound is incredible”… it was odd how it came out, and at that point I was just improvising and goofing an earthy stony kinda vibe… but, cool!

    Let me say it again… I am absolutely loving my 37.
     
  9. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Member

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    I have the head and absolutely love it.....I have two cabs....an avatar closed back with a g12h30 and v30 and an open back with a red fang and g12h30 .....I think I like it better with the open back. These amps are absolutely awesome! The thing that sets them apart is how they sound in the mix.....I have other amps that are incredible also....but none give you what Freds amps do when playing live with a band......there is something special with the mids on these....they sit in the mix so well and the tone just stands out but not in a rip your head off sort of way......using a switcher between the reverb and click channel is all you need......only thing is I like the full power on the reverb channel and half power on the click.....but other than that this amp is unbeatable! Also now that I have heard the new 23, thats next on my list of must haves!
     
  10. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

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    I don't even know where my settings are on the amp, but I really don't ever touch them, cause it just sounds good wherever it is.

    The reverb channel is just awesome. Didn't know I'd fall in love with it so much. The Dual Drive pairs up so well, I get amazing tones...can play on that channel all day long.

    I use half power 90% of the time, with a MASS 50 to kick it down just a notch. The amp still sounds great, period.

    Played the Star Spangled Banner, with a MojoVibe through the click channel the other day for a ceremony, and I heard so much about how the tone was just perfect...

    Point is, the amp can't sound bad apparently!!

    The /13 cab definitely has to be paired up with the head. I want a /13 closed back 2x12 with Scumbacks, that will be my next addition to the family.
     
  11. philster

    philster Member

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    Hey Derek, congrats on the amp. I have had my FTR37 longer than anyone here (early 2001) and have tried it with tons of other gear and cabs.

    I have yet to try anything that improves on Fred's 2X12 G12H30/Blue setup. It seems to be the ideal arrangement for this amp. But, unless your speakers are thoroughly broken in, reserve any judgement.

    The real magic of the amp is to switch between and blend the 2 channels. I use the Switchazel or my Lehle.

    I have had amps come and go, but the FTR37 is here to stay. One of the most formidalble amps I have ever played. Mine also has the ultra cool lighted face panel.:dude
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Phil - begging to differ, slightly. It's not possible to say what sounds best...only what we each like the most ;). While I notably preferred the Blue+V30 to the Blue+H30 combo, my ultimate favorite has been two old G12H30s that I bought off of Scumbag about 14 months ago or so. That's what works best for me. They're hard to find and very expensive, so I can't really recommend them to everyone. More to the point...I don't know how likely it is that any two old ones are gonna sound the same.
     
  13. Gril Grissom

    Gril Grissom Member

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    +1 to Fred, AND +1 to my friend Bob Sweet (Mojo vibe)
    ... and i'm sure PBT's fingers and soul helped too! :D

    :dude

    gril
     
  14. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

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    Hey Derek. I was thinking about your bass concern. After looking at the setting you have it at in the pic posted, it is way backed off from where mine is before I start to get too much. I can pretty much run mine to 3:00, and even then it stays tight and is usable. Full bass will shake your house down to the ground. Maybe there's some variations in these things. :confused: Did the last owner mess with anything?

    I do know the 37 responds to what you put into it like no other amp I've played. It is an incredible reflection of each peice of gear and playing style. Not to mention, you gotta put the hurt on them... run them hot and get some hours on it. I would bet half of these floating around for sale have minimal hours on them, and aren't even broken in.

    Fred told me Brad Whitford usually cranks his treble to max on his 37. Try some different things than what we are posting. Maybe it's some other aspect it's bringing out the darker side of.

    I am using the Evidence Speaker cable also. So I wouldn't think it's that. (FYI: I just cut mine in half and soldered new plugs on when I got the D13 212. Instead of buying another cable).

    Stick with it and keep us updated.
     
  15. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    Well....I got the ÷13 cab today with the G12H30 70th anniversary and the Blue.....the bass control is MUCH more useable now. The head with this cab is actually pretty bright now! The FTR 37 has the ability to have loads of bass on the wound strings and be bright at the same time on the unwounds....kind of different from amps I've owned. My amp was made in November of 2003 but my cabinet was made in May of last year. I'm not sure how long it takes for blues to break in but I'm guessing these have very low hours on them and need to be punished more to take away that initial brightness that I've read about. I called Fred today for a suggestion about which tube could take some of the top end off and he told me to use a Russian 12ax7 in the PI so I need to try that.

    I probably should just fiddle with the amp and controls more....I've only played if for a few hours with this cabinet so I need to get to know it a little more.

    Do most of you guys use Single coils or humbuckers with your FTR 37's? Also..have you guys made any tube changes at all? This amp is EXTREMELY sensitive to speakers so I wonder how it is with tubes.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. philster

    philster Member

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    Hey Derek,

    If you are finding the amp a tad bright, I can almost 100% assure you that is is the speaker cabinet. Just break that blue in and you will be fine. I like the "darker and bassier" side of things, and the 37 is all that and a bag of potato chips.

    Yes tubes make a big difference. I have had the same complement of NOS in mine for over 4 years though. NO need to tamper with it.

    Enjoy that sweet rig!
     
  17. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    Phil...thanks for the reassurance...I'll just have to pump some juice into that blue and hopefully it'll loosen up a little in due time. Either way...theres plenty to like about it even if it IS bright at the moment.
     
  18. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Try different new and old tubes with this amp, and you're likely to find a whole new spectrum of tone with each substitution.

    Good tubes really make the difference. You've spent the cash for a premier amp, it deserves the very best tubes. Only you can find the very best combination for your desires.

    Can other 37 owners chime in with their tube compliment to get a basis for what is "good"?

    ;)
     
  19. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

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    Yea, if you're bright now it is def the speakers. Plan on it taking a while to get them smoothed out. The more volume the better.

    I haven't messed with the tubes. I really don't feel any need to.

    The great thing about the Scumback I stuck in mine is it sounded great right away. If you can't push you're volumes super often, you might consider getting one and tossing the H30. It'll be worth not waiting a few months to get to the good stuff in the 37. Stay with the Blue for sure though.

    I run both single coils and HB's with mine. My main axes are Les Pauls which are very warm and big with it.

    I went through a phase where I kinda neglected single coil guitars for a while, and it wasn't until I had my 37 for a few months before I got back to them...

    Wow. I loved the way it sounded with my Pauls... but single coils through that amp are so freakin' 3D. Unmistakable bloom and chime. Fantastic.

    The personalities of a each guitar really comes through with the FTR37. Any good axe with good parts should shine with your amp in it's own way.
     
  20. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    Hey Derek,

    Your set up looks sweet!

    I recently have been goofing with speakers and for the FTR 37 I've settled on (at least for a while) 1 G12H30 and 1 Weber 1230-55Hz cone (which I think is a derivative of the Scumback speaker).

    I really like the blue in there too, but playing a little heavier stuff, I could always hear the blue whoosing around in there.

    My current speaker setup has tightend up the speaker response a bit and I'm really loving that Weber 1230-55Hz. I may just order me another one and run with two of the Webers.

    As far a tubes, I bought ten different 5879 tubes, multiple brands (but they all are made by RCA anyway) and sorted through 'em to find a quiet one. As far as preamp tubes, I've really been digging the GT 12AX7M's. I'd recommend trying 'em out. They are my new favorite 12AX7 for all my amps in all positions.

    -Rich
     

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