First Jam with my ODS 30...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jspax7, Feb 12, 2006.


  1. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I've been struggling to get a good tone out of my ODS 30 at home. Even turned up, it just hasn't sounded right. (fizzy top end, lack of feel, too bright...) I've tried 3 different guitars, a new speaker, NOS Brimar 6V6's, swapped preamp tubes, and was still scratching my head.

    I had the opportunity to try it out live today. (A rehearsal with a 4 piece group.) We play mostly originals, but the bass player suggested that we try playing "Josie". We ran over the changes, turned up a little, (master on 10:00, not too loud,) and.....

    AMAZING! Absolutely nailed Carlton's tone! I've played this amp at home, turned it up, and never got close to this sound. I used my Guild Bluesbird, (the guitar my amp seems to like best) a volume pedal, and that's it. Everything I tried worked. Not a bad sound to be found. Touch sensitive, compressed and dynamic at the same time.

    Which begs the question; Why would this amp, that sounds anemic at home, suddenly become the most beautiful tone I've ever had live?

    I came home, set it up, and the tone is not the same. I was not using a power strip, so I don't know what the voltage was, and if there was any difference. My Triaxis always sounded better with a 120+ reading. Lower than 118 and it "Farted out." How much of a difference can this make? Or, could it just be that it needs a little "breathing room"?

    Any one have a similar experience? Suggestions always welcome.

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    IMO seting up tones from scratch at home can be extremely deceiving.
    I've taken to keeping some sort of proven amp tone on hand as an A/B reality check.

    Reference that so you don't tweak your tone into something that sound good in ONE special environment to you, out of the proper musical context.

    See if you can borrow another proven amp to A/B in your room. Don't adjust the other amp from performance settings.
     
  3. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Tone settings were exactly the same. (Home and rehearsal) Not only did the tone sound different, it felt different too. I'm leaning in the direction of voltage differences.

    Was I experiencing the "Tweed Power" phenomenon, ala Mesa Boogie? Whatever it was, I want to bottle it!
     
  4. bluesaxe

    bluesaxe Member

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    I don't doubt it could be voltage related. I once did an outdoor gig where the best we could get at the stage was 97 VAC. Come to find out we had over 200ft of extention cord running to the stage. My Marshall had no balls and sounded completely fizzed out. One PA amp we were using wasn't plugged into a power strip and ended up eating 4 EVM 15's. Not a good day!

    Maybe having all the other stuff plugged into one circuit at you jam might have brought the voltage down enought to make a difference.

    bluesaxe
     
  5. slotools

    slotools Member

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    I got a Fuchs 30ods 1x12 from indoor storm-
    wanted to love it, sounded great at home, my band mates thought I was nuts to pay what I did for the amp, and could not gel with it live period. Thank you for the return policy. ( an interesting tidbit, the new Fuchs amp had a huge dent in the wood cab that was tolexed over and terribly noticeable)
    A Bogner Shiva did a little better, didnt keep it long enough to be fair. I have a Maven Peal rg88 now - getottaheeh! -smokes.
     
  6. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Thanks guys! I've been there! (low voltage pergatory) I'm leaning in that direction.

    Just wondering....

    I'm assuming the voltage is lower at the warehouse than at home. My Triaxis always sounded better with more voltage.

    Is too much voltage a contributing factor, and can it cause strident, harsh tone?

    By the way, I just emailed Andy. I'm curious to hear what he has to say. I'll bet I'm driving him, and some of you guys crazy.:NUTS

    The reason for this wonderful tone is out there, and I must have it!
     
  7. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Mine is the opposite! Sounded GREAT out, not so good at home. Completely different response, feel, tone. Exactly the same settings. Do you (or anybody else) use a voltage regulator, and does anyone notice a HUGE difference in tone and feel without one?


    PS, I just bought new furniture, so moving into the warehouse is not an option!
     
  8. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I think that is common with many amps (the common thing being an amp sounding different at home vs live... some amps sound incredible at home but suck royally in a band/live situation)

    What you are hearing is the way the amp "cuts through" a mix of full frequency sound. The bass guitar holding down the bass spectrum, the snare drum in the high-mids, the high-hat up in the high treble spectrum etc

    A Fender Twin is, to me, an extreme example of this phenomenom... I've never been able to get a Twin to sound as good solo'ed at home as it sounds live in the mix
     
  9. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Supporting Member

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    interesting. i always had the opposite problem with twins - they sounded full and lush at home, but in a band setting they never really cut through. i found them a bit too scooped, so other instruments were covering up its best features. but that might just be how we had them set up :)

    fwiw, that's why i moved to two-rocks, because they had a nice fat middle focus where the guitar could really cut through.

    oh, and on the original topic, i've had this phenomenon with the two-rocks as well, although it sounds like not to the same degree. my home tones are very nice, but the amp sounds completely different in a band setting - much rounder and fatter. but i have to turn up a bit when playing out, so i attribute the change to that. it sounds like you didn't even adjust the master when you brought it home. hmmm...
     
  10. mmorse

    mmorse Member

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    There was a thread about this on one of the other forums. Seems it's a very common thing. One guy even said the amp that sounds the worst at home is the one he usually uses live. If you think about it, it's a completely different set of acoustical requirements between home and live. Not saying an amp can't sound good in both situations but setup probably won't be the same. I have three amps I use at home and they don't even sound the same from day to day in the same environment. It can be very frustrating. :confused:
     
  11. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I'm sure that the acoustics could make some difference, and tube amps usually sound better turned up. I wasn't playing very loud though, (master at 10:00 is just opening up on this amp) and I've played that loud in my living room. Aside from the much warmer tone, there was a dramatic difference in the feel. Nice and squishy compressed and dynamic.

    I asked before, but no one responded specifically to the voltage issue. Does anyone use a voltage regulator, and if so, is there a "magic number" where an ODS 30 becomes this responsive? (120, higher or lower?)

    I know lots of you guys play these at home, and get great tones. I do like to let the amp breathe at home. 9:00 to 9:30 on the master is not uncommon.
     
  12. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I'm still investigating. I'm using a power strip with a meter, and playing in several different rooms and studios, changing the acoustics in my studio, etc...

    Seems like I'm not the only one who experiences this, so I'll report back when I come to some conclusions. Stunning tone in the warehouse studio....

    :horse It ain't dead yet!
     
  13. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    This is probably the opposite effect of the Modeling amps syndrome, where you get a cool tonme home that gets lost and indistict with the band.
     
  14. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Power strips will probably not get it done.

    Power conditioner is the only way to go.
     
  15. tedjac

    tedjac Guest

    Power conditioner with VOLTAGE REGULATOR... this is the only way to assure constant volatge...and even then it can vary a few volts either way. Most "power conditioners" don't have voltage regulators. You're talking $300-$500 for a voltage regulator that will address the voltage variance problems and keep you in the 120v ballpark regardless of the actual line voltage (as long as it's within like 90 and 140v!). I think someone mentioned a Furman earlier in this thread... Monster Cable also makes a couple of models with voltage regulators.
     
  16. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I sold my OD30 within a month of getting it. Cool amp........but hardly great IMO. I didn't really like the control layout to be honest (way too many push pulls and ****) and probably didn't give it have the chance I should have. Give me a Nice DR. Z anyday though for 1/2 the price............
     
  17. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I couldn't get "the tone" out of mine at first either. But Saturday it was "Tone Heaven". Everything I bought the amp for happened. I did change the speaker, the Dealer had put a speaker that he liked. Andy and Scott L. suggested the RWB, so I listened to them.

    My favorite sound was with no switches. Just pure vintage smoothness. The Rock switch was harsh, until Saturday. By the way, my problem is due to voltage fluctuations. I now recommend, a voltage regulator. The difference between 115 and 122 is tremendous!

    Good call tedjac! Scott Peterson too.
     
  18. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Although it could be line voltage related (I ALWAYS use a Furman Power Factor since a venue fried some components in my Super Reverb), I doubt that's your problem.
    So many times we have a great sound in our head. That sound is derived from hearing someone else, usually a celebrity of some sort, playing in a live stage situation with a band. I have listened very closely to alot of sounds that I really like. When I go to concerts, I listen to sound checks, etc... I have found that some of the best tones live with the band, sounded completely different without the other instruments playing.

    EC is a good example. At a concert last summer, he frequently tuned or noodled between songs, etc.... His tone (which I would kill for) sounded 1 dimensional, and really super-raw and gritty alone. Once the band started up, it was so smoooooooth, and refined itwould bring tears to your eyes.

    I believe that the best tone (in a live band environment) is one that FILLS SONIC SPACE. Especially if you are in a band with 2 guitarists. If both play strats through twin reverbs (or some similar example), the overall guitar tone suffers. I think guitar tone has the best impact when it works WITH the rest of the band. There are sonic frequencies that are generated by the SUM of the instruments. But there are gaps or holes in that conglomerate broadband type of sound. For a guitar to "cut through" it has to find that hole and fill it. Don't get me wrong, I also sit at home and endlessly nudge my EQ controls for hours and test, like I suspect we all do. But invariably, when I set up on stage, I always go back to my usual stage settings that have worked for me for several years. That tone that I found in my basement the day before, sounds like crap once the band starts up.
     
  19. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Interesting topic. I play a Savage Rohr 15 which doesn't sound special at home. But it sounds great with the band.

    Conversely, my SF Vibrolux Reverb sounds great at home, but relatively thin with the band.

    One thing I've learned is that tone with some dirt on it actually sounds softer than a crystal clean tone in a band context. I think that the lusciousness of that fender clean gets buried in the band mix and leaves you hearing the plinky, ice-picky stuff. But if you've got your amp cranked a little and your getting some compression form your output section, a wider range of frequencies can cut thru yielding a fuller sound (note: I realize this may technically be poppycock, it's only a description of my perception). What I may have once considered "harsh" I now find to be "fluffy". And that fluffiness lets your tone settle in and meld with the textures of the other instruments.

    But sitting at home, nothing beats the clear fullness of my Fender. That is the amp I practice with.

    jspax7, I used to own a Fuchs OD50. Great amp with a lot of versatility. I found that the amp needed to be quite loud in order to really give up the goods. (I'm sure you only having a 30 watt is helpful). That's part of the reason I switched to the Vibrolux and then to the Savage. Another reason is that the SLX mod seemed to completely neuter the tone. Anyway, I played some great gigs with that amp and have fond memories. Like an old girlfriend.
     
  20. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I have since resolved my issues with my ODS 30. The voltage regulator made the biggest difference. Tubes and the RWB speaker helped also. I think the 30 is at it's best with 6V6's, but will keep a pair of 6L6's for a cleaner output when I need more headroom.

    The 6V6 30 watt gives me exactly what I was hoping for. Mine is an SLX, and while I have not heard a non-SLX, I can say this is the most responsive amp that I have ever played. It would be interesting to hear a pre-SLX for comparison, but according to Andy, Scott, and others, updates are on-going, and Andy seems willing to update and fine tune his amps to an individuals tastes.

    Suffice to say, I'm happy with my tone at home and live, and intend to hang on to this amp. She's a keeper. :dude
     

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