Budda Superdrive 18 II channel balance workaround?...please advise

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by rmpacheco, Dec 21, 2009.


  1. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Hi guys. A local guitar center just got a used Budda SD 18 II in last night and I'm thinking of going in to check it out tomorrow or day after. I spoke to a sales associate and asked specifically if this amp suffered from the infamous Superdrive channel volume imbalance issue and he said it does. I plan to do a lot of channel switching so I know at some point I will likely have to get the channel balance mod done. That said, does anyone have a suggestion on how to work around the issue effectively for the next few weeks? I have a feeling I won't be able to get the amp to a proper tech for a few weeks at least.

    I know some people have suggested putting a volume pedal in the effects loop to help with volume control in general, but I have no idea if this helps ameliorate the channel balance problem.

    Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. boltino

    boltino Member

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    If you run the clean channel clean and the drive channel with a moderate amount of gain the channels will balance just fine.
     
  3. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Hmm...how much would you say is a moderate amount? Also, just curious...do you have a superdrive with the channel balance issue? Just want to know a bit more about the issue itself...
     
  4. boltino

    boltino Member

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    I'd say if you run the clean around 10 o'clock and the gain above noon the channels will balance.

    I generally like to run the clean on my SD18 around 1 o'clock (so it has some hair) and the gain around noon so I modded mine. I added a pot to the back of the amp so I can adjust the drive channel volume (it does change the compression of the drive channel a bit as you adjust it). FWIW I really don't see the whole channel balance thing as an "issue" with the amp; just a matter of preference.
     
  5. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    It's amazing how info gets distorted......just like tone...hehe
    It's not a channel balancing problem.......That's how the amp was designed........
    It was designed so that the clean channel stays reletively clean when it balances volume wise with the drive channel.
    If you want a different balance so that the clean is slightly dirty ....then and only then does it need to be modded.........
    You could also put in the drive volume pot mod and then adjust the drive volume to match (up to a point) whatever clean setting you like.

    These settings are very specific and will be relative to what guitar you are using and your complete tone chain.............so checkit out first........
    see where you like the clean channel and then see by how much the drive is out...........You may just like it stock.......

    The Budda behaves alot like a non master volume amp......
    You will realize that the drive channel only has one volume and that is the master volume......it doesn't have a separate channel volume.....
    so they where going for this purer circuit at the expense of tweakability....
    But there are mods to make the SD series more adjustable........

    Remember though it's not a tweakers amp........it does what it does....very well

    Rick
     
  6. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Thanks for the info Ricker. Sorry...not trying to distort information purposely...merely repeating what I've read in countless other threads.
    I'm relieved to hear that the channel volume balance (or lack thereof depending on my needs it seems) is probably not as exaggerated as I've read others describe it as.
    That said, do you have any info on where I can get diagrams to give my amp tech for the mods you're describing (or at least descriptive instructions)?
     
  7. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    There is a budda mod thread that has all the mods explained in detail...
    just do a search for budda mods

    R
     
  8. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    The mod is dead simple. It took me about a half hour to 45 minutes to do from having the amp whole...unscrewing, take it out, put in one resistor, button it up again (I decided not to go for the pot solution, and just added the one M ohm resister in parallel..) and I think it works fine.

    That said, it wasn't a huge problem, but at band levels was a little tiny bit inconvenient before I did the mod. After the mod, I love the levels, works perfect.
     
  9. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    OK so I did check it out today and I did not buy it. First of all, it seems the tubes were bad...there was crackling and they sounded like someone was rubbing paper across the speaker. That's easy enough to fix, though, so I was not too discouraged. The amp itself sounded nice, especially the dirty channel. But I am spoiled on the clean side of things by my current setup (a Dr. Z Maz 18 NR) and was disappointed at that aspect of the SD 18. Also, the SD 18 sounded boxy to me. The dirt was REALLY nice and I almost bought the amp just for that, but to be honest, my OCD through my Maz 18 actually gets me dirt nice enough for my purposes such that I don't really need to buy the SD 18 for the dirt. I do appreciate everyone's help on the channel balance questions. For what it's worth, the disparity in volume levels is totally one that can be worked with. The Budda SD 18 II is great and maybe one day I'll own one if I have some cash to throw around. That said, I realize now that I don't really want it enough to sell my Maz 18.

    Roman
     
  10. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    just put a clean boost in the effects loop and use it as an over all master volume.


    Get the balance you want ( the drive a bit louder than the clean channel for instance )...turn up the clean boost to your desired volume ( you can get very, very loud )

    Issue solved ( and i agree with whomever said it's not an issue more of a preference ).
     
  11. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Thanks Andre. Per my previous post I decided not to buy it because it sounded boxy to me (maybe the 2x12 would be better) and the cleans were not as nice (for my taste) as I'd hoped, but the balance situation was really not that bad so at least that's a plus.
     
  12. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    To get the most out of the Budda sd18 clean channel you need to do a couple things.
    Crank the master volume to nearly full.........
    Pull the bright knob out
    Adjust the clean channel volume to taste.........but it needs to be close to gig volumes.
    This yields some great dynamic clean tones and some dirt when you dig in with single coils.
    To add the cherry on the top add a 2x12 of celestion blues to the sd18 with the above settings........

    2x blues really open up the sd18 and extend the highs and lows......
    Lots of 18watters thru a 1x12 can sound boxy especially a darker more mid voiced amp like the superdrive.

    R
     
  13. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Ah well therein lies the problem for me I think.

    A). I play mostly through a Les Paul, which makes the clean channel break up earlier than with single coils

    B). My gig volumes are lower than most people's since my gig is playing at a medium sized church (1000-1500 members) and we mic our amps. The sound guys will definitely not let me crank the SD all the way. For reference, I figure I could keep the drive around noon and the master around 10 on the Budda before I'd get flak from the sound guys.
     
  14. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Gotcha - I use teles and strats exclusively ( so i play only single coils ) and I think the 18 watt budda excels with those....



    If i was playing higher output humbuckers I'd be gigging the 30 watt version of the Superdrive ( yes I own a sdII 30 as well :) )....not only does it have bit more headroom - it's a tad brighter as well IMHO.


    PS EDIT - I gig with the master at about 10 o clock. the clean channel at about 9 - 9:30 and the drive at noon and I'm at a perfect volume in a live situation - plenty of volume on stage but not overpowering plus I'm alway miced through our PA with a senheiser E609...

    and as mentioned i use a clean boost in the loop as an overall master volume to get VERY loud if needed....if the band gets loud during the 3rd set of the night or something
     
  15. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

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    Andre - very cool. If I ever get a chance to try out an SDII 30, I'll definitely do so!
     

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