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Amp Slaving...anybody do this?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by The Whiz, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    I did a brief experiment recently. I compared my Dr Z Z28 attenuated at -16db and -12db on a hotplate with running the Z28 into a the hotplate set at Load and then slaving the line out from the hotplate into the effects return of my Mesa Blue Angel. Same 2x12 cab used in both situations.

    Quite frankly, the slaving sucked. It was noise free, but the tone just wasn't immediate. It felt 2 dimensional. This was with all the tube combinations of the Blue Angel and with different combinations of the bright/deep switches on the hotplate. I just couldn't get a tone that was anywhere nearly as sweet as the Z28 straight through an attenuator.

    Does slaving normally remove the "magic" from the "tone amp"? Or is the Mesa Blue Angel's power section to blame? Are el84's not decent for power amps? Would a dedicated tube power amp improve the results? How about a more "transparent" solid-state amp?

    Hmm...anyway, I'm not impressed so far with slaving. I could see it working nicely in a dry/wet situation though, but slaving without running the z28 direct as well wasn't so great.

    taco
     
  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Never tried slaving that way but I have to think its usefulness is 100% dependent on the particular amps, speakers and cabs involved.
     
  3. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    I was telling Ed DeGenaro yesterday that I've just started doing this...
    I have a great sounding modified Traynor - basically it now resembles an MV Marshall. It's pretty quiet, and a bit tempermental.
    I've started going through a HotPlate and using either the Line Out from it or one I had installed on the back of the amp. Generally I now run this to a clean amp and use an A/B switch from clean to dirty.
    I need to play w/ it more, but so far it's killer. All the tone of the Traynor's preamp w/ none of the hassles - actually sounds better as the power section in my other amps is generally better...
     
  4. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Guest

    I'm running a Fargen Jazz SP (80 watts) into a Webber MASS and line out to a 220 watts power amp -- sounds great, just louder, which is what I was after. Next up, effects.

    Mike
     
  5. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    It always depends to where I run the loaded down amp into. usually I slave into the ower section of 70s JMPs and that works like a charm for me.
     
  6. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    I think my problem stems around the power amp of the blue angel (the el84's anyway) sounding thin and too midrangey.

    I'm betting slaving into some fat, clean 6L6's would be an improvement.
     
  7. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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  8. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

    I agree that inputing into effects returns usually lacks tone...

    That's not 'slaving' in at least the 60s-70s sense, where the output of an amp was loaded down with resistors and fed into the guitar input of another amp (ie, all non MV amps, no effects loops back then). The Garnet Herzog (original American Woman) was described as a loaded down Champ amp.
    WARNING: Playing around like this can blow your equipment up:

    http://www.garnetamps.com/herzog.htm
    From Randy Bachman:

    "Gar and I developed this unit together back in '65-'66. Growing up playing violin, I loved the sustain, especially of a viola or cello. So early on in mid '60's, I found out that by plugging a small amplifier into a bigger amplifier, I could get this sound. Now I was taking the power out (which normally would go to the speaker) and plug it into the input of another amp. The result, for a few short minutes was a cool, great new, sustained sound. Gar Gillies had a tv/radio repair shop, was a cool musician, and I wasn't embarrassed to take in my amps, which were literally burned by the power misuse, fried, to say the least. Gar asked what the heck I was doing, and when I told him, he said, you're insane to do this, its very dangerous. So he offered to help me do it a safer and less destructive way. So Gar proceeded to build me a tube pre-amp, which when put into another amp, got me the desired sound. But not really, the sound was a little weird in a Fender amp which was all that was around, so Gar decided to get parts from Heathkit and build an amplifier to go with the unit. We were looking for a name, and at the time I was reading a book with HERZOG written across the cover. Hence the name, so we could stop referring to the unit as the "noise thing". I used to go to his shop on Osborne Ave late at night after gigs, and stay till the wee hours of the morning, making the most incredible Moose and Ox bellowing sounds, distortion/blotto screeching sounds that would make us laugh. But once it was smoothed out, it was smooth. So that became my lead guitar solo sound. ...."


    Ed or someone with tech knowledge could tell you if you can take the signal from the hotplate and safely put it into the input of an amp.
     
  9. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Yes you can. Personally I don't like using a head as a mondo fuzz box though. On the other hand my boss does it like that.
     
  10. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Guest

    10 years ago I was running a Boogie Quad into the effects return of my Jim Kelly (4 hot 6v6's) and it was stellar. I used to switch it down to 1/2 power (30 watts).

    Mike
     
  11. Dr Rico

    Dr Rico Member

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    I'm not crazy for direct outs from a load...I like the interaction between OT and speaker.

    I've had great success with an iso box (Micr Room) with an SM57 and/or an ATM29HE on the speaker, into a Systek mic pre (Audio Upgrades modded) into a Demeter compulator and then run this into my host amp (usually a Marshall 8008). I usually stick some delay and verb in there in parallel (Eventide H3000 or some other boxes) in a quasi-stereo field created by the sum and difference signals of a stereo mix (Groove Tubes SFX E1) being reinterpreted by side-firing and front firing speakers (Groove Tubes SFX G3)...but I digress...

    Amp -> speaker -> mic -> mic pre -> comp -> amp = GOOD.

    AMP -> load -> amp = BAD

    AMP -> load -> mic pre -> comp -> KINDA SORTA OK
     
  12. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    220 watts? No wonder I can hear it on this side of the hill :D And you want a lightweight cabinet to handle that? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Hence me running the loaded down heads into the power section of JMPs.
     
  14. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I do a wet/dry kinda thing.

    My amp is run dry through the Hotplate and into a cab.

    For the wet, I take the line out off the Hotplate and run it through some effects and into the power section of a Peavey SS 1x15 combo.

    Sounds great, but the current setup won't hold up at stage volume (Peavey SS can't keep up with Mesa 2:100). Good idea that needs upgrading to be useful. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should go with a SS power amp into a pair of 1x12s, or get another tube power amp.....
     
  15. PhilC

    PhilC Supporting Member

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    I did this for a while. I slaved down a Matchless HC30 and a Naylor SD60. Then had a stereo rack deal with a VHT 2/50/2 into 2 Matchless 2x12's. It took some experimenting to get anything useful out of the Matchless slaved down, but the Naylor sounded great regardless of what I did.

    Slaving down is VERY dependant on the amp and the load used. Some amps like certain load boxes better. The Matchless would only be happy with a 4 ohm hotplate. No other ohmage sounded very good and no other load box was useful at all. My old Marshalls liked the Palmer the best. I used to have a bassman that liked the Groove Tubes the best. The Naylor didn't care. It sounded great through anything. The power amp you use to power it back up is also a big factor. Something like the VHT is voiced more for the job than using the power section of another amplifier.

    BTW, the Matchless never sounded the same as just running straight in. But, after tweaking and finding the right load, I got a useful sound out of it. Still killer but in a different way.

    Phil
     
  16. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

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    A man after my own heart. Great mic for a budget price. I bought five of them! (they make killer tom mics...)

    As for slaving, I slave my recto from my Guytron occasionally. It's not great but it is decent for stereo operation. The Mesa sounds flat compaired to the Guytron, but for stereo effects it works.

    I do enjoy using my red box to drive amps though, the power section of an amp is the biggest contributor to my tone the way I set them up, so using the red box via a line level slave out is a better way to go for me.

    JT
     
  17. 1Way

    1Way Member

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    That sounds great.
    So is the the H&K red box?

    And what is the cord routing config? Is it that speaker cable from the amp's output jack into the red box and then the line out jack and cable to wherever?

    Do you also need a dummy load so you don't blow up the amp?

    Thanks!
     

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