Brightening up a Mesa LSS

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by D. Robinson, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. D. Robinson

    D. Robinson Supporting Member

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    I'm currently exploring options on brightening up my amp, and would love some tgp input here. I constantly struggle with the bass and mid knobs on this amp. It seems the sound is always slightly muffled, thuds so to speak,or is dense. I always play with the amp on a stand to help battle the bass as well. I like a fairly full bodied sound, but one with clarity.
    As of right now it is all stock, so I could use some advice on what to tweak to clear up what appears to me to be an often times congested sound. Looking for any advice here really. Speakers, tubes, etc. even possibly suggestions for another amp, although I would really like to work with the LSS because there are several things I love about the amp.

    I generally run my knobs (viewing the knobs as a clock)
    gain: 10-11
    treble: 12-3
    mid: 9-3
    bass: off to 10
    presence: 10-3
    master: to taste

    I play the amp anywhere from apartmentish volumes to really loud with my bands

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Steve73

    Steve73 Member

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    I had the exact problem with my LSS and a few things solved it for me:

    1) Reeder mods on both channels. Check out the Boogie Board if you are unfamiliar with them. This helps clear out some of the low mids in both channels, especially channel two.
    2) Different speaker (this one was huge). The amp needs a brighter speaker with some high mids to help it cut. I loved a pair of Celestion Blues with mine, perfect speaker for the amp IMO.
     
  3. rippingrudy

    rippingrudy Member

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    Put the drive higher then the gain on channel two. It's like a plexi where the drive is the high end and the gain is the low end.
     
  4. JayDub

    JayDub Member

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    +1 for the Reeder Mods, especially the first one. That's a swap of the gain and master pots on Channel 2. It REALLY does away with the compressed feel of channel 2, which makes it feel punchy and brighter.

    +1 on the speaker. The stock one is a 90 watt. A 30 watt will sound brighter at low-mid volumes. I run mine to a separate 2x12 cab with a Vintage 30 and G12H. I tried using a Weber Blue Dog, but after the Reeder mods, that was TOO bright for my taste.

    After reading some of the forum posts at the Boogie Board, your settings are rather typical for the LSS. Treble way up, bass way down, mids to taste (but usually less than 12 oclock)
     
  5. D. Robinson

    D. Robinson Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I have contemplated the Reeder mods, but feel I want to hold off on those for now. I have no real issue with the difference between channels as of now, just the general eq and response across the board. I think I want to go the speaker route, and am thinking about a Vintage 30 or Alnico Gold. What other speakers should I be looking at?
     
  6. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I'm not joking-I would dime the treble, presence near max, bass near off, and mids to taste. It was very close to a Mark IIC+ tone.

    Most people won't set EQ like that....
     
  7. scruffydoo

    scruffydoo Member

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    The okko diablo od pedal has feed and body knobs which are designed to adjust bright or dark guitars but it works great in reverse cleaning up a bassy amp etc, I use it on my roadster... works brilliant. Superb pedal and well worth a look.
     
  8. Blackmoreguitar

    Blackmoreguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    Before doing the Reeder mods I would recommend changing the Speaker(s). The Celestion Gold is a natural partener for the LSS and adds lots of Zing.

    Also try experimenting with valves.

    I found that JJs are nice for the EL84 power valves.

    I found that JJ 12AX7s do not work well for the pre amp valves if you are concerned about brightness or the lack of it.

    My LSS loves old manufactured tubes in V1 and V2. By this I mean I bought some old Brimars, RFTs, Mazdas, Mullards, definately used tubes (not NOS) for very reasonable prices from ebay.

    I am currently running with Mullards in V1 and V2 and a new production Tungsol (bright sounding tubes these) in the PI position.

    Very happy with the way my LSS is sounding.

    Just to add I run my bass and mids low on this amp, as seems to be the norm with Boogies.

    Sounding good with both my strats tele and humbucker guitars.
     
  9. D. Robinson

    D. Robinson Supporting Member

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    Reviving this thread because I finally have the extra cash to buy a speaker. I am torn between the Alnico Gold or Weber Blue Dog 50. Does the Gold hold it together at higher volumes,or does it compress? I am looking for punch and cut across the volume spectrum that the amp can deliver, so I am curious whether I should stick with a ceramic speaker or take a chance on the gold.
     
  10. JayDub

    JayDub Member

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    I haven't played the Alnico Gold, but I would sure consider trying to hear one before paying those $$. You could get a Weber Blue Dog ceramic AND a Celestion G12H for the price of the Gold. I can't find the old blog post, but I remember somebody who heard directly from Ted Weber that he (Ted) thought the ceramic Blue Dog 50w sounded most like the Alnico Blue. Sorry I can't verify that for you. I'm also assuming you would be considering the Alnico Blue except for it's low watt rating. In a perfect world, I'd love to put a pair of Alnico Blues in a 2x12 cab so the LSS wouldn't blow em up. But, that might be too bright!
     
  11. Steve73

    Steve73 Member

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    I did that setup with an LSS and it definitely wasn't too bright for me. They are eq'ed just right to bring out the best in the LSS, IMO.
     
  12. D. Robinson

    D. Robinson Supporting Member

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    Quck Update: Ordered a Celestion Alnico Gold and did the 1st reeder mod while putting in the speaker. Sounds like a completely different amp! The bass knob is actually usable now and I am able to back off of the treble some. The Gold is a remarkable improvement over the C90 in pretty much every single way to my ears. Got to crank it tonight at band practice, it absolutely smoked. So happy with my sound right now, thanks for the advice.
     
  13. Steve73

    Steve73 Member

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    Great, glad it worked for you! Alnico speakers and the LS series are a great fit for each other. The 1st Reeder mod really helps take care of the overabundance of low mids in channel two as well.
     
  14. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    This should be saved for a copy/paste on every LSS thread that comes up. If Mesa would ship this amp stock with an alnico speaker like the Gold it would be one of their top sellers.
     

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