Friedman Dirty Shirley mini owners how are you setting yours up?

Tele81

Senior Member
Messages
578
Ive had the Dirty Shirley mini and the matching 1x12 cab for a week now and it's a keeper for sure and has me very interested in taking the plunge on the small box. First observation is there's a ton of low end available. I was a little turned off by this at first but backed the bass off to 9:00 or just a tad above and it's nice and full with out being boomy. I've also discovered I much prefer running it through my Bogner OS 2x12 cab to the friedman 1x12. The speaker in the 1x12 is nowhere near being broken in yet so it's a little stiff feeling right now but this little cab projects a LOT of low end! The amp already seems a bit bottom heavy and things can get boomy quick. I'm sure this will be remedied once the creamback gets some break in time. I've got two favorite settings so far first I leave it in the middle or lowest gain position and have the gain at 1:00 this gives me a gorgeous edge of break up mild gain tone and cleans up beautifully. Very dynamic! Second setting I'm using is toggle switch in the top or highest gain position gain control at 3:00. Nice clear classic high gain tones that aren't overly congested. Roll back the volume and get a nice bluesy break up. I've settled on bass 9:00-10:00 mids and treble stay right around 2:00. Running a deep blue delay and a verb in the loop and a Toadworks Texas flood and a Hermida Dover drive out front and I feel like I'm getting all the tones I could ask for. I'm using this for my greasy blues rock/roots amp. I've got a Mark V 25 for the pristine cleans and the high gain stuff. Forgot to mention I'm running various Tele's through it ;). How are you guys running yours? Any tips, settings etc? Thanks!
 
Messages
12,568
I play a strat which is different. But the bass stays around 9 o'clock, which is fat and full without boominess. It can go to 4 high gain and 10 clean. I orient the tone stack to mids and presence, and keep treble low too, depending on changing conditions. You have no presence knob and need more treble than me anyway, probably. I prefer the low gain setting as home, then using other switch settings and a couple pedals for flavors. I play the 40 watter though. I have a 55hz and a 75hz greenie. 96.5 db cab. 8 ohms.

These amps vary with one's guitar. Never be afraid to change settings however.

The mini has a little more prominent mids.
 
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metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
I run mine similar to yours but with less treble. Like you I set the gain around 1:00 with the switch in the middle. When I put the switch up I keep the gain the same. Gives a good thick and chewy gain that still takes a boost nice if I need more. I never use the switch in the down position. Can't say why but it doesn't do it for me. The EQ settings vary a little depending on which cab I'm using. Most of the time it's an open back Budda 1x12 with a WGS Vet30 which are the settings above. When I use it with my 4x12 at the band practice the EQ knobs are typically around noon. What sounds good home alone isn't always best in a mix.
 

rolsen

Member
Messages
2,536
Bass 4
Mid 6.5
Treb 6
Gain Maxed
Volume 5(ish, rehearsal and live)
Gain switch down (so, mid gain setting)

Playing through 2 Avatar Vintage open back 1x12s, Weber Alnico Blue and 1230 55hz. Best tones I've ever owned!
 
Messages
12,568
My rules for strats:

The mid gain setting is the fattest and to me is a strat setting, and/or for lower volumes where you can't get power amp. If playing humbuckers I'd probably stick to the highest and lowest gain settings. The high setting is good only for the neck and mid positions on a strat. Whereas the other gain settings are good for every strat pickup.

The strat out of phase positions typically require the lower two gain settings, except in the case of a special psychadelic setting where I roll the tone all the waydown on the mid pickup and use it out of phase with the bridge PU.

With the strat bridge PU the treble stays low, around 8 0'clock. All this allows me to use the bridge pickup and still get some meat in the sound, without pedals.

Also, I mix 55 and 75hz greenies due to the strat, to fatten it up. Then I have a Mullard in v1, also to fatten it up. But the bass stays low to not mask the mids, which can happen with the bass above 4.

The gain stays on 10 when playing dirty, regardless of gain switch setting and I just roll back the guitar volume.

My favorite setting overall is diming both volumes on the lowest gain setting. Heaven. ACDC on a strat for days. Sustain.

When playing the amp at its cleanest, the two strat out of phase positions sound truly amazing, just in terms of pure cleans and a certain acoustic quality. You get five distinct clean tones from the five pickup positions, and this is a great advantage of a strat with a Shirley. But the out of phase tones are special when pristine clean.
 
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Chuckracer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,136
Good thread! I'll have mine early next week. :) I have a Friedman full size Dirty Shirley 1x12 cab w/ a Celestion G12-65 (my favorite speaker ever). Good times ahead!
 

Chuckracer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,136
Got mine yesterday, played it for a while and...I wasn't knocked out. It was cool, for sure but too much fizz on top and bass.

So today I swapped out the G12-65 in the Friedman cab (formerly a speaker I thought a great deal of) with the Celestion V-Type from my Bassman 15...Great Googly Moogly!!!! This thing RIPS!! That speaker is EXACTLY what this thing wanted!

Bass 4
Middle 5
Treble 6
Volume to taste
Gain 1 to 2 o'clock...but you can dime it and the speaker can handle it.

Terrific Amp! :)
 
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Killcrop

Member
Messages
12,392
The first week I had it I gigged with the master and the gain both at noon. Mid gain mode. It was nice but missing something...found it

The best sounds in the Mini by far are defeating the master. It works in all three modes but its the most harmonically active in the high gain setting. Its a tad loud but so much more dynamic. The amp is super punchy and singing with sustain. Really fun to play with these settings. I would be interested in switching out the V1 with a 5751. I would like to hear it with a touch more headroom or clean gain.

In all, this amp has great bottom end and presence with what many refer to as touch sensitive. Meaning the notes seem to jump out of the amp. The speaker I like the most so far is a G12K85. (basically a G12K100).

Bass 10 o'clock
Mid-Treb noon
Master on full
Gain to taste for volume.
 
Messages
12,568
The first week I had it I gigged with the master and the gain both at noon. Mid gain mode. It was nice but missing something...found it

The best sounds in the Mini by far are defeating the master. It works in all three modes but its the most harmonically active in the high gain setting. Its a tad loud but so much more dynamic. The amp is super punchy and singing with sustain. Really fun to play with these settings. I would be interested in switching out the V1 with a 5751. I would like to hear it with a touch more headroom or clean gain.

In all, this amp has great bottom end and presence with what many refer to as touch sensitive. Meaning the notes seem to jump out of the amp. The speaker I like the most so far is a G12K85. (basically a G12K100).

Bass 10 o'clock
Mid-Treb noon
Master on full
Gain to taste for volume.
The best sounds on the full size Shirley come with defeating the master too. It's too loud on anything but the lowest gain setting though on the 40 watter. At full gig volumes though it is like cranking a plexi NMV amp. You can't do that with a real plexi. You can with the DS-40 (or mini), on the low gain setting. That's when you get sounds Angus Young would be happy to have.

However, the preamp gain on both Shirlies is as fine as it gets, as well. That's Dave Friedman's specialty.

But a lot of people really miss out on the amp's capabilities by never diming the master. That's where the most vintage tones are. With the DS40 you also have the low input to take it another level toward raw plexi. Low input, lowest gain, master dimed. Goes from pristine cleans to partly broken up blues tones to cranked plexi at lower volumes than a superlead.
 
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sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
I have both the mini and a Smallbox. (Life's been good

I do a small low key gig in a restaurant with it every friday. I use a Bogner single 12 cab. Now this cab is big sounding already so I run the amps bass setting very low. I put the gain to near max. I put the gain position toggle to its cleanest. With a Strat I get a nice clean sound with a bit of edge to it. For leads I use an OCD in front and it sounds great. Strymon Flint in the loop to try and recreate a Fender reverb/trem circuit. For this gig I need to run the master very low but it still sounds great.

For loud drum gigs I use nearly the same settings but can get the master up and really get things cooking. Lower the gain and crank the master. Man it sounds great pushed. It's pretty hard to get a bad tone from the amp. It's a keeper for me and I flip everything.

Now the Smallbox?
That amp could be my favorite amp ever.

As always if anyone is local and wants to play through either amp your welcome to come by.
 
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Tele81

Senior Member
Messages
578
Anybody running theirs through an open back cab? As I'm enjoying the clean/edge of break up sounds I can get I think this amp is begging for an open back cab. I had shyd away from strats and was only paying Tele's but this amp has me wanting another just for those neck pup tones. For what it's worth I also picked up a runt 20 and I much prefer the dirty Shirley. The runt is brighter and tighter and we're I a humbucker guy I'd love it. The dirty Shirley is thicker sounding and has just the right amount of sag.
 

dognmoon

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,692
I have both the mini and a Smallbox. (Life's been good
...
Now the Smallbox?
That amp could be my favorite amp ever.

As always if anyone is local and wants to play through either amp your welcome to come by.

Sugarlou, I've been gassing for a Smallbox for quite a while. I've played one at a GC, but only standing in front of it for about 2 minutes. I thought it was great, but hardly had time to really see if it's worth the expense (for me). Since you already have the DS Mini, but the Smallbox could be your "favorite amp ever," can you give insight into the benefit of owning both? What is it about the Smallbox that makes it your fave?

Thanks in advance.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
For one the Smallbox is 2 channels...thats self explanatory

Next its like finding a really great Marshall ( I come from the JMP school ) ... crunch is just right ...sustains nice..FEELS great

You turn it on ....and play...no dicking around with eq ..extra crap to make it work...it just works. Its THE SOUND of rock (to me..) Like a great JMP or JCM 800 but with more gain on tap...I like too much gain and dial it back over not enough and use a pedal.

Why both?

The DSM is little in size...way more grab n go...sounds f%$#&g amazing ( my bassist prefers it to the Smallbox...he may be right) Its the right wattage to get it cooking ...you can push it. The Smallbox will get you yelled at ...lol

Cant go wrong either way. The Smallbox is more versatile. The DSM more convenient. But don't forget the Smallbox is bigger $$$$$$
 

Killcrop

Member
Messages
12,392
I got the Dirty Shirley in on trade and I was expecting to box it right back up and sell it. In fact, I even listed it for a minute. But after spending a little time with it, I can't really bring myself to sell this amp. I have other amps that cover the same ground but this amp has something going on that is so "right". It has lots of bottom and presence. Doesn't sound like a small amp. It has just the amount of sag and compression I would want in an amp. Has plenty of gain. When defeating the master has all kinds of touch and dynamics. The bonus is portability. This thing is so light and compact. Just a joy to take with you. I also, before this thread, took a look under the hood and was surprised at how clean the wiring was. Top notch build quality.

I think, especially used, you would be hard pressed to find a more satisfying rock amp in this price range.
 

metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
my bassist prefers it to the Smallbox
Must be a bassist thing because mine prefers my DSM over my Smallbox. Could be because when I use the Smallbox every song ends with the intro to "Feel Your Love Tonight." I can't help myself. The amp begs for EVH.
 
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Tele81

Senior Member
Messages
578
It would be awesome if it were a two channel amp each channel being exactly the same having all three modes! Kind of like Mesa does with the rectifier series. I thought the dirty Shirley was going to hold me over until I purchased a Runt 20 because of all the hype the Runt series has been getting. I now own both and all though the Runt is great at what it does the Shirley is more me. How does the small box compare to the Runt and Shirley in feel? I gravitate towards the Shirley because of the laid back attack and softer feel...
 
Messages
12,568
It would be awesome if it were a two channel amp each channel being exactly the same having all three modes! Kind of like Mesa does with the rectifier series. I thought the dirty Shirley was going to hold me over until I purchased a Runt 20 because of all the hype the Runt series has been getting. I now own both and all though the Runt is great at what it does the Shirley is more me. How does the small box compare to the Runt and Shirley in feel? I gravitate towards the Shirley because of the laid back attack and softer feel...
The Smallbox is kind of an anti-Shirley, which is a good thing if you, um, have both. The smallbox does tight, focused, specific, crunchy, machine like, 80's type of stuff. It made me want to play that way, as the poster above noted. I don't play anything like Van Halen, but I was playing like Van Halen on the Smallbox. Or Boston, or any focused plexi tunes, or Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting, even. Just trying to think of the brand of guitar tones... 80's metal. The DS can't do those tones anywhere near as well. But the DS does almost any other Marshallesque tones. The DS is a bigger, broader, less machine like sound. The tube rectifier removes the possibility of a very fast attack, as with the Smallbox. There is always a little bit of bass in the DS preamp, and then the highs have a little bit of shimmer and sparkle. The Shirley sort of pulses. I can see someone owning both. The Shirley is more versatile, in terms of the one channel. The Smallbox is more versatile in having a separate clean channel.
 

melvins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
729
The Smallbox is kind of an anti-Shirley, which is a good thing if you, um, have both. The smallbox does tight, focused, specific, crunchy, machine like, 80's type of stuff. It made me want to play that way, as the poster above noted. I don't play anything like Van Halen, but I was playing like Van Halen on the Smallbox. Or Boston, or any focused plexi tunes, or Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting, even. Just trying to think of the brand of guitar tones... 80's metal. The DS can't do those tones anywhere near as well. But the DS does almost any other Marshallesque tones. The DS is a bigger, broader, less machine like sound. The tube rectifier removes the possibility of a very fast attack, as with the Smallbox. There is always a little bit of bass in the DS preamp, and then the highs have a little bit of shimmer and sparkle. The Shirley sort of pulses. I can see someone owning both. The Shirley is more versatile, in terms of the one channel. The Smallbox is more versatile in having a separate clean channel.

Perfectly said! I own both, and while there is some similarities, they are different.. and well, worth having both :)
 

Chuckracer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,136
OK, having played mine for a couple weeks now (and broken it once :oops:), here's my set up on this day:

DSM with an EH 12AX7 in the #1 slot
Bass, Middle, Treble dimed
Preamp 5 to 7
Volume to taste (usually about 2)

Cabinet is a full size Friedman DS cab with a Celestion V-Type 8 ohm speaker. That speaker is the whole secret to my ears.
MXR Carbon Copy in the loop for a little ambience (always on), early OCD in front with level at 3/4, drive 0 and tone about half..
Guitar is my Tom Anderson Classic with HF1/SC2/HF2 pickups. Picks are Clayton 1.90mm and I need to trim my fingernails :cool:.

I'm having a ball with the EQ out of the way, hearing the guitar much more clearly and playing with the way the preamp gain and gain switch interact.
 

hendrik7

Member
Messages
2,197
So how do you DSM owners describe the clean volume? I've heard here and there that if you wanna use it clean you must get its big sister. Is that correct?

I don't play Van Halen nor classic rock or any of that, though I love some good gain every now and then. I'd be getting the DSM mostly for its clean to edge of breakup tones. Is the headroom not enough for a small church/small club? Not expecting crystal cleans with a hard hitting drummer maybe but cleanish at least. Anyone?
 




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