3rd Power Classic Series....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by westex, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. westex

    westex Disgruntled Optimist Silver Supporting Member

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    Popped open their website and this new thing was there. Princeton-ish maybe?

    http://www.3rdpower.com/

    Jamie can turn on a dime; there has been quite a variety of amps come out of 3rd power in a relatively short time.
     
  2. Schafrocks

    Schafrocks Member

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    His amps are amazing.
     
  3. bbe_rev

    bbe_rev Member

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    I sure hope so! Just pulled the trigger on a British Dream MK II. Never played one , or even seen one in person, and only a few youtube clips. I'm hoping it's a good one.
     
  4. jguitarslim

    jguitarslim Silver Supporting Member

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    Your in for a real treatÂ…congrats!
     
  5. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    PLEASE let us know how you like it. I would have been able to pull the trigger on one in 2 weeks until Uncle Sam stuck out his hand!

    Now, I'm about 6 weeks away.
     
  6. bbe_rev

    bbe_rev Member

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    Taxman....ugggg. Yes, I'll report back. It's in route, should have it next Monday or Tuesday.
     
  7. bbe_rev

    bbe_rev Member

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    Ok, so the BD MKII showed up yesterday, got to play it for a couple hours. I played it through a Bogner 1x12 Shiva cab, with a CL80. It sounds great. These are just first impressions.

    The Plexi side is just like advertised, does perfect AC/DC crunch, want a bit more, turn the volume up to about 3, hit the gain switch and your into VH territory. This is in studio mode with the hybrid master dimed.

    The AC side sounds really nice as well, it is kind of two different animals depending on how you set the venue switch, at studio setting with the volume at noon it breaks up very nicely, hard to get a good (loud enough) clean sound on studio setting as you have to have the volume on about 2 and the hybrid master dimed. Flip the venue switch to stage mode and the AC side is a big, beautiful spanky round clean.

    Lots of great sounds in the amp for sure, very versatile. My hope for this amp was to get two solid sounds for live playing that are foot switchable. After 2 hours it looks like its probably not going to happen for me.

    My favorite Plexi sound is: studio venue, hybrid master dimed, and volume around 2-3, EQ set at noon. Sounds awesome. I have not played live yet, but the volume is going to be borderline loud enough to keep up with the band. If I switch to stage mode with these settings it’s way to loud, i’ll get run out of the club, so have to turn the hybrid master down to about 3-4 to equal same volume as studio setting, but the sound changes considerably, a lot of the crunch is gone. To remedy this I have tried engaging the gain switch, and it kind of works, also tried turning EQ down to 1 across the board, and turning up the hybrid master to about 4-5, kind of works.

    I think I read somewhere that the studio venue setting is 8 watts and the stage is 40-50. Anybody know if that is adjustable? Seems if the studio setting was 12-15 watts or so it would be a little more balanced switch between the two.

    The AC side, the setting i’m liking the most is: stage venue, hybrid master around 5, volume around 4, lovely big, fat, clean, organic sound. Perfect for what I’m looking for. I also really like the AC breakup sound in studio venue mode, but it’s similar to the plexi crunch, so I can’t see switching between them live.

    So it looks like for me I’m going to have to adjust the amp between songs, and use a dirt pedal with the AC side, which i have not tried yet. Shouldn’t be to bad, plug guitar into different input, flip venue switch, adjust hybrid master.

    Any input from folks who have one of these, on balancing the volumes between the sides, or how your running it would be great. I’ll report back more as I spend more time with it.
     
  8. vain_guitarist

    vain_guitarist Member

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    Feel free to give me a call and we can go over optimal amp settings and such. We should be able to get you right where you want to be. Did you get the AB box that comes with the amp? If the functionality of the Venue switch needs alteration, I can reposition the audio levels (studio mode) for you... not a problem. If you'll cover the shipping, I'll do the mod for you at N/C.
     
  9. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Wow! That's service!
     
  10. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Jamie,
    A question, please...Is there a way to balance one channel against the other so that say for example, if each volume is at 12 noon, each channel will have the same approximate db level and approximate saturation level? Or is one channel always going to saturate faster then the other by it's nature, and one channel always be louder when both volume controls are set to the same level ?
    Take into consideration the mini toggle on each channel also, please. If both channels of the amp's mini toggles are in the same position, either both down, or both up, when adjusting and balancing volumes from one channel to the other can the db levels be brought into close approximation?

    Wouldn't this help to get the stage levels and saturation levels adjusted easier from one channel to the other channel?

    Thanks, Jamie.
     
  11. bbe_rev

    bbe_rev Member

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    Hey Stephen,

    Yes, I got the footswitch, came with the amp, works perfect.

    I have tried turning up the volumes on each channel, the thing is the volume is also the gain as well (correct me if I’m wrong). I like the volume/gain on the Plexi side at 2-3, which is basically 75% full. If i set the the AC side volume to 75% it’s much more breakup than what I want for switching between the two sides. I’d like to run the AC side cleaner, but to get it cleaner the volume/gain has to run lower 30-40%. So there is a large volume difference between the two sides. Adjusting hybrid master will lower or raise both volumes equally, so their levels relative to each other stay the same.

    Don’t have doubts, the amp sounds amazing! Please consider that I’m trying to sort out my personal live playing application, and only two hours with the amp. In the studio, or just out jamming with buddies it would be no issue at all, and a plethora of sounds to easily dial in.

    Looks like Jamie chimed in here and can adjust the audio levels. SUPER, thanks for the offer, and fast response. I will contact you, I need to spend more time with the amp, so I know it better.
     
  12. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Matt,
    Glad you got the footswitch. :)
    I am understanding your question about different gain/volume levels, and that is unusable for me as well. (See my post just above where I asked Jamie if the volume and distortion levels of both channels can be balanced so that when you find the volume level you want to play at, you are not facing one quiet channel and one loud channel.)

    Last night we played and I had my master volume at 12 noon on a 50 watt amp, but I was able to get one channel clean and the other as saturated as I desired, but balanced, volume wise. I could also kick in different foot toys on either channel as desired without throwing off the volume balance. We play songs back-to-back and if I'm not set up and ready, I'm dead meat.

    I may be wrong here, but I think another master volume control on each channel would alleviate this problem. Yes. it takes away from the purety of the design, but without both sides balanced only one side at a time is usable. ymmv

    I'll wait to hear from you again, and see how Jamie deals with this. Good luck with this Matt.
     
  13. vain_guitarist

    vain_guitarist Member

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    The spirit of each channel was to get them to perform as if they were stand-alone amplifiers. As such, they will arrive at "edge of breakup" at different points in the volume's range. That being said, I have taken steps in the design to have them play nice with each other with regard to overall performance levels.

    For example, the Dream Weaver's American channel gets a great blackface clean with the volume around 10 - 11 o'clock. The plexi channel will get a Malcolm Young tone at about 1 - 2 o'clock. Using the supplied AB box, you should be able to get a great transition from clean to crunch with these settings. Of course, you can tweak to taste but this should get you close. Add to that, a player's particular pick attack should be considered.

    I've seen players that are comfortable playing with a heavy pick hand on a plexi and when they transition to a fender-style clean, they carry over the same approach to picking the strings and it can make the leading edge of the note sound out of place. One of the things I love so much about a player like John Mayer is that he's excellent at transitioning his technique to match the tone and attitude of what he's going for. I've learned to play with more feel when on a fender style amp and then run the channel up to get it to bloom and sound full. When I jump back over to the plexi channel, I change my technique to match the vibe I'm going for. Becoming aware of this and then implementing it in my own playing has really led to a greater level of joy and satisfaction when I create music.

    I hope this helps :)
     
  14. nbtrue

    nbtrue Supporting Member

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    I've never tried the British Dream so I don't know anything about the Vox side and how it sounds/reacts, but I have the Dream Weaver and use the 2 channels for a clean/dirty mix. I use the Blackface setting for cleans and Plexi side for crunch. Like someone said earlier, use the volumes on each channel and then the Hybrid Master as an overall volume adjustment. Also don't forget that the volume knob on your guitar has a lot to do with how clean or dirty your going to sound through the amp. I can't remember exactly, but I think I usually run the fender side around 6-7ish and the Plexi side around 8? (Edit: I forgot there is no numbers on the amp so I guess I am just going with make believe numbers in my head haha!) Then I just use my guitar volume knob for different levels of gain. Theres a little bit of a volume difference I guess, but more in the terms of the extra oomph I'm going for when going to the dirty channel anyways...like hitting a boost pedal.

    As far as the original topic of this thread, I spoke with Jamie the other day about the new classic series amp "Spanky" and he basically put it as a Princeton style amp, but with none of the drawbacks/quirks of a Princeton. So basically it won't fart/flab out on low notes, has more headroom, has a mid control, and some other improvements. I think he put as "the princeton that you always wanted your princeton to be". That actually struck a chord with me because I have tried on more than one occasion to get along with princetons since people call them their desert island amp, but always end up selling them because I just can't get over some of their quirks. I'm actually pretty intrigued/excited for this amp because I want a grab and go fender style amp, and for the most part did like the princetons I've had other than the few issues. I'm a big fan of 3rd Power so I have no doubt it will be a killer amp with excellent customer service to back it up.
     
  15. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Thank you Jamie, it does help. :)
     
  16. jguitarslim

    jguitarslim Silver Supporting Member

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    Jamie...Along lines of this discussion, have you ever thought of incorporating or is it possible for each channel to have a dedicated indep. HybridMASTER knob/function?
     
  17. vain_guitarist

    vain_guitarist Member

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    Yep, given lots of thought to it. The following dialog is NOT sarcasm and certainly not aimed at you or anyone else in particular.

    The conversation I have with myself goes like this;

    'If I add that, then I have to make it foot-switchable so you can have two volume presets for each channel. If I do that, why not go ahead and add a clean/crunch function to each channel as well. And while I'm at it, why not make that foot-switchable too... and, I need to have the final "master" Hybridmaster volume foot-switchable with two volume presets.

    It would also be really amazing if I could add a foot-switchable FX loop (completely tube buffered and compatible with all pedals) for each channel. They, of course, need to be foot-switchable so that they could 100% be bypassed when not needed. Logically, there should also be a "master" FX loop (completely tube buffered and compatible with all pedals) for global delay, verb, boost and volume pedals... and, the master loop would be bypass-able via foot-switch too.

    It would really be great if it could all be accessed via MIDI or with an included foot-control module. And since it can do all of this, why not just make it programmable with all parameters recallable on the fly. Oh, and it makes sense to have a utility editing software program so I can do tweaks to the setup via mobile phone app or with my web browser...

    I wonder if this could all be controlled wirelessly too?

    And in a perfect world, I'd also have separate power amps inside so that I could make the output tubes foot-switchable as well. I mean, it would be amazing if I could have 6L6s when I'm on the American channel, EL84s when I'm running the AC channel, and EL34s when I'm running the plexi channel.'​

    Honestly, all of that goes way beyond what I think I'm capable of at this time. It's not impossible to do any of this and there are far more gifted designers than myself who know how to tackle these challenges. I think some of those guys work for Hughes & Kettner... man, they make guitar amps that sound great and do a ton of stuff.

    When I think about adding features, I'm considering, 'how satisfied can I really actually make the customer?' I think my talent and skill capabilities are somewhere in the ballpark of making guitar amps that look, sound and feel really great without much complication to it. Add 'customer service' to that because taking care of the customer is more important than any feature I could possible add to an amp. I learned the real value of customer service during my 7 years at Sennheiser. 3rd Power is built on the foundation of delighting every single person that comes in contact with our products (musician, guitar tech, repair tech, music store owner, music store sales person, shipping and receiving person, audience members and so on).

    The features I do add are straight forward. You can walk up to one of my amps and look at it for a moment, easily take it all in, and then simply plug in and play already knowing what type of experience you're going to have. When you hit your first note or chord, you'll know that I've worked my butt off to make sure what happens next should not only blow you away, but also inspire your music and engage your audience in a more meaningful way.
     
  18. westex

    westex Disgruntled Optimist Silver Supporting Member

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    In all honesty I would go for one without the hybrid master and with a master on the plexi channel (British Dream). Don't need all that other stuff, but would really like to balance the volume on the channels while dialing in just the right amount of gain on both. Then when I get the gains just right and balance the volumes between the two I would adjust the overall vol with an attenuator. I like your stuff though and appreciate the clean signal path and awesome tone. Just my $.02, my humble opinion and hope it helps, not trying to criticize.
     

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