Backline engineering Zentone amp demo

lv

Supporting Member
Messages
9,989
Gary at Backline sent me his Zentone amp to try out. This is a low power tube amp that has the ability to store 99 gain/volume/eq/push knob/presets. The amp has gain, bass, middle, treble, and master knobs, as well as a preset knob.

The knobs have additional functions when they are pushed - the gain knob push function offers 3 levels of gain, the bass knob engages a low power function that I think alters voltage, the mid knob is used for the bright switch, the treble knob switches from the 6V6 to an el84 tube and the master knob switches from pentode to triode.

I am not really a low power amp kinda guy, but I was surprised at the tones in this little amp....the overdrive tones remind me of the allman brothers and the cleans are pretty chimey. The ability to dial up clean, overdriven rythym, overdriven lead, high gain lead etc. and store them as presets is pretty cool.

Here are a couple clips:

Overdrive with a Les Paul, celestion g1265 oval back 2x12:
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6162885

Clean with a Strat, with a touch of delay from an Eventide Timefactor, same cab:
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6162972
 

bilbal

Member
Messages
8,485
Great demo Lou. I love your demos. They are always about having the spotlight on the product instead of trying to dazzle us with speed and chops. Although your playing is great, you know how to demo the products effectively to show their strengths not yours!!! Very well done.

Thanks for sharing.
Bill
 

lv

Supporting Member
Messages
9,989
Great demo Lou. I love your demos. They are always about having the spotlight on the product instead of trying to dazzle us with speed and chops. Although your playing is great, you know how to demo the products effectively to show their strengths not yours!!! Very well done.

Thanks for sharing.
Bill

Thanks Bill - I appreciate the kind words. I definitely try to keep the focus on the gear.
 

quinnamps

Member
Messages
1,220
Pics, other features, etc. I dig the idea of preset setting in a tube amp. There is another tube amp out there with midi controlling and presets. I think the concept is way cool.
 

highgeer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
924
Lou,
The clips sound great and very representative of what the amp sounds like.

I have had one of these for several month and I was luck enough to help Gary tweak it. I really think this little amp is special. It is essentially a single channel tube amp that you control digitally. I have gigged with it several time and it has performed flawlessly. I am only using about 7 patches (clean, slight breakup, aggressive OD, aggressive crunch,
smoother crunch, aggressive lead, and smooth lead). The amp responds well to your guitar's volume knob, and it does the pushed clean/OD very well. It is capable of being quite loud, but it does not have to be. Although you do not need them, the Zentone 7 takes Distortion/OD pedals
very well. I have owned many of the new crop of low powered amps, and I simple prefer the Backline. OH, did I mention that it weighs about 12 lbs.

Mike
 

dk_ace

Member
Messages
1,936
Could you test the speaker emulated direct out and let us know what you think about it? This may be just the kind of thing I'm looking for, but it needs to sound and feel good direct to a mixer. I'm looking for something that I could practice with at home and easily carry to low-volume, direct to PA gigs (which are becoming the norm for my area).

Thanks,
D
 

Tag

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
39,431
Lou, that amp sounds great as well. But if you could PLEASE close mic the Glasworks and maybe this one, it would be a huge help IMO. I was listening to all of your clips, and it is hard to tell one amp from the next! The bruno Cowtipper being the exception, but I think that was close miced. I think the built in mics in the Boss 600 and the distance is imparting a huge color to all of the amps, making them sound extremely similar. I have a hard time believing that amps as different as the Glaswerks, UG 30, Toneking,Blueverb and this amp are all going to sound that much alike, even if tone IS all in the fingers! ;) I would LOVE to hear a few close miced clips if you could. If not, thanks for these anyway, and you make all the amps sound excellent!

:BEER
 

Backline

Member
Messages
106
Lou,

Thanks for those great clips. You are right about the low power switch. It cuts the power supply voltage from 300V to 150V.

Thanks to Mike for suggesting a low power mode and suggesting some other tonal improvements. It's nice to have guys like Mike and Lou who have tried out a lot of amps give me feedback.

Gary
 

lv

Supporting Member
Messages
9,989
Another clip:

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6214274

Part 1 (panned right) Les Paul, dialed the amp for a crunchy, aggressive marshally tone (though the way I play tends to smooth it out a bit)

Part 2 (panned left) Les Paul, dialed for a creamier, smoother tone

Part 3 (most in the middle) Strat neck pickup, dialed for a more hollowed out bluesy tone

Theses tones were achieved at whisper volumes....
 

Blueser

Member
Messages
6,677
Very nice tones! Were these at bedroom volumes, or did you need to crank it up to get them? I like it alot.

B
 

photios

Member
Messages
552
I love the idea of having the tone and volume parameters programmed via midi...I think this type of thinking is the next evolution in guitar amps (kinda reminds me of my X99...I think Caswell has some amp heads that do something similar as well). I hope the industry continues to trend in this direction.
 

lv

Supporting Member
Messages
9,989
Very nice tones! Were these at bedroom volumes, or did you need to crank it up to get them? I like it alot.

B
Dave,

These tone were at very low 'bedroom' type volumes. This amp would work out very well in an apartment or for someone with a sleeping baby.
 

Backline

Member
Messages
106
Lou,

Where did you get your backing track? I have found some MIDI tracks like that one, but they can sound artificial.

Gary
 

procos

Silver Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Messages
5,348
Lou,
I hate to tell you this but you sound like Lou Vena no matter what amp you play through. I could play 10 clips of 10 different people playing and if you were one of them I could pick out which one was you. NO matter what amp you were playing. I figure you might as well find yourself a mid level amp and be done with it. Save yourself money and time. BTW you always sound really good to me but I can just tell your overdrive tone a mile away. Nice job on the clips.

Chuck
 




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