Fryette LX-II vs Synergy SYN-5050 vs Fryette PS-100

pfrischmann

Gold Supporting Member
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3,457
Crosstalk is tested by feeding a signal into CHA and measuring the signal output of CHB. A figure like -60dB is typical. A power amp in which a single 12AX7 serves as the input stage for both channels would be hard-pressed to achieve anywhere near -60dB.

IMD is measured by feeding a signal into CHA at full output and measuring frequency modulation of the power supply that appears on CHB.

Test gear is required to evaluate these parameters.

The LXII and Syn5050 are different in a couple of key respects, but relative to channel separation and IMD, they're virtually the same as far as IMD and close with regard to crosstalk. This is because the channels are well isolated and don't share triode input stages. However, as much as people raise the objection of no presence and depth controls on the front panel, the LXII does a little better on crosstalk because of this.
This is incredible information!!
More please...Does feel enter into this or is that all of the preamp? If you play at shouting volume, does it really matter if you have a tube amp vs a "tube styled" solid state power amp like an H&H, mosvalve, Rocktron Velocity etc..? We always talk about getting the benefit of working the power tubes and saturating the out put transformer etc.. I can hear and feel those things when I dime my plexi but at talking volume, I'm not sure I'd hear the difference between a tube and solid state power amp....maybe I would.....
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,425
If you play at shouting volume, does it really matter if you have a tube amp vs a "tube styled" solid state power amp like an H&H, mosvalve, Rocktron Velocity etc..? We always talk about getting the benefit of working the power tubes and saturating the out put transformer etc.. I can hear and feel those things when I dime my plexi but at talking volume, I'm not sure I'd hear the difference between a tube and solid state power amp....maybe I would.....
I should hope so! The high end is a whole different world…for one thing

the trade off is the loud fan
 

mlkIII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,522
I should hope so! The high end is a whole different world…for one thing

the trade off is the loud fan

fwiw I’ve only ever owned VHT or Fryette power amps (2502,2902, and now a PS-2……will have a PS-100 eventually and the holy grail would be an old VHT 2100 or 2150) and I’ve never thought the fan was loud. If you’re recording or playing from home solely then maybe you notice it. I usually track with headphones on so maybe I didn’t notice it bc of that? But honestly I have been focused so much when playing (this literally happened two days ago) that I didn’t realize I had picked up a ground loop lol. The PS-2 fan seems louder than the 2502 or 2902 but in a live situation, none of that matters whatsoever. You can’t hear it and it’s not audible through your cab or FOH. I seriously think the PS-2 is one of the best gear purchases I’ve ever made. So many uses in a recording environment, just practicing, or playing live. They’re expensive but they are so worth it. No power amp I’ve ever played punches like a VHT/Fryette. Nothing. I think Mesa makes solid power amps but I would only really pair them with Mesa stuff honestly.
 

ctreitzell

Member
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4,425
fwiw I’ve only ever owned VHT or Fryette power amps (2502,2902, and now a PS-2……will have a PS-100 eventually and the holy grail would be an old VHT 2100 or 2150) and I’ve never thought the fan was loud. If you’re recording or playing from home solely then maybe you notice it. I usually track with headphones on so maybe I didn’t notice it bc of that? But honestly I have been focused so much when playing (this literally happened two days ago) that I didn’t realize I had picked up a ground loop lol. The PS-2 fan seems louder than the 2502 or 2902 but in a live situation, none of that matters whatsoever. You can’t hear it and it’s not audible through your cab or FOH. I seriously think the PS-2 is one of the best gear purchases I’ve ever made. So many uses in a recording environment, just practicing, or playing live. They’re expensive but they are so worth it. No power amp I’ve ever played punches like a VHT/Fryette. Nothing. I think Mesa makes solid power amps but I would only really pair them with Mesa stuff honestly.
I suppose I should post some audio, then

My playing/ music is not limited to a gatling gun of notes and chords of high gain tones. I like long notes, chords, clusters, fx which rarify to silence...or to the noise floor in the room...
if my noise floor = ~30dB (which is rather noisy)
and I have two VHTs churning out 48dB of fan cooling each; it is impossible not to hear the fan noise with "normal" hearing

With a mic'd cab within 1-2 meters; the fan will intrude continuously
If you aren't hearing it, you are just concentrating on all the "positive" noises

The only way to achieve what I want is to isolate the fan noise somehow;
saying the fan noise is negligible is clearly up for debate/ clarification. If we lived in an era with no silent fan options, that would be one thing...
but we don't, the market has many, many low noise cooling solutions.
 
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ctreitzell

Member
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4,425
Never underestimate gear lust though. See hexaphonic comment above :).
I'd call it sound lust. I don't know what we are actually hearing...direct to AI or what, but it sounds better to me! If folks can't hear the difference, there's nothing I can do about that
 

pfrischmann

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,457
I should hope so! The high end is a whole different world…for one thing

the trade off is the loud fan
I get the trade off, which is significant at the volume I play at. I had a Mesa 2:90 at the same time as the velocity and noticed the top end roll -off of the Rocktron but the difference wasn't like pulling a blanket off the speaker. It was noticeable however. I assumed the Rocktron was designed to not be full band width like a crown or something. I'm sure it's something simple like a low-pass filter. I hear something similar but more complex with the HH's in comparison but that's from the Michael Nielsen video, which is awesome, but not the same as being in the room.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
Honeymoon report. Got my LXII in after waiting about a month and a half. I have only put 15 minutes in and it is exceptional. Absolutely stellar from the minute I fired it up.

Background to what I have been using: I had a 06 Fryette Pitbull Ultra Lead going to a 4 ohm Z Best 2x12, with an H75 Creamback and EVM 12L, thiele port placed horizontal with the ground. The other side is an identical cab, vertically, port uncoupled with a 90 watt Delta 88 head, EF86 high headroom preamp. Takes anything you put in front of it fantastically. So that’s 90 watts on one side and 120 on the other. 6 KT88s. I have been scaling back the volume over the past few months, I don’t get the Pitbull up past 11:00 on the master now. I used to play up towards 2:00. It was loud. It’s still fairly loud, but manageable. We play aggressive alternative rock, with a lot of dynamics. Think Smashing Pumpkins with a female singer. The Pitbull was mainly relegated to a power amp, as I had mostly been living in my Syn-2 with an Uberschall and Egnater VX module. I bypass the master on the Syn-2 and volumes on modules live around 9-10:00.

The main issue I had been dealing with, beyond hauling all these heads around (the Pitbull in a roadcase is easily 80lbs), is that I have always preferred the sound of the Z Best vertically oriented, which the Delta mates with perfectly but I need to orient the other cab horizontally for the Pitbull to fit on top. The vertical orientation is just perceptively louder, due to the speakers being closer to the ear, and attenuated low end from uncoupling the port for the floor. The LXII in rack will now perfectly fit on top of the cab and both cabs will be oriented vertically which may let me scale back the volume even more, as the cabs will be more present and easily heard.

The biggest difference I can hear is that, believe it or not, the LXII is even THICKER than the Pitbull power amp at the same volume. It’s lows and low mids are massive. The stock setting for the Presence and Depth on the LXII is 2:00 and 11:00 respectively which is roughly where I set my Pitbull as well. Sometimes depending on the room I will even crank the presence, as the Delta 88 has no negative feedback and I really like how alive and hi-fi that amp can sound. In a smaller room I will bring it back just a tad to 2-3:00. Otherwise there is a bit flatter mids with the LXII, I simply bumped up the mids on my modules “an hour” and it was perfect.

In order to attenuate the lows a bit on the LXII I’m going to uncouple the horizontal cab and put it up vertically, which was always the plan. This should be enough. If not, I’ll simply roll back the depth a little or the bass on modules. I’m not even at noon on the master of the LXII and it is loud and proud. I’m at 11:00, basically the same as the Pitbull. Another possible option is wiring my cabs to 16 ohms which should attentuate the lows a little more, but may introduce a little more compression. It will also allow me to go further than 25 feet on the opposite stereo side, at 4 ohms I am sort of maxed out at that length as beyond that could induce some signal loss.

Really great job Steve, @support and team. It is truly massive, as reported. I only had about 15 minutes to try it as I have to work tonight (running live sound), and need to save my ears. I can’t wait for my shallow rack to come in to rack it all up. It’s also great that I can instantly and pretty linearly reduce the volume on both cabs. No more guess work and tweaking to balance the volumes. I’ve been a diehard KT88 user for over a decade and I tend to not like amp designs around 6L6 tubes. It’s an irrational bias of course, because a power amp is much different from an amp designed around 6L6s (Mesa, Fenders), but it was there no less. I shouldn’t have even worried. It was love at first strum.
 

SacredGroove

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
54
@communarchy, I just took delivery of a LXII and after reading your post, I am chomping at the bit to test it out. I too really like KT88s, and I have a VHT 2902. I am hoping your assessment of the LXII is what I'll find too, since my 2902 may be getting sold. I also have have the syn5050 so, I hope to get some good comparisons between all 3 amps this weekend.

I have a VHT GP3 and Synergy SYN2 that I'll use for preamps into all 3 amps. If time permits, I'll run my axefx II through the LXII in FRFR mode.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
@communarchy, I just took delivery of a LXII and after reading your post, I am chomping at the bit to test it out. I too really like KT88s, and I have a VHT 2902. I am hoping your assessment of the LXII is what I'll find too, since my 2902 may be getting sold. I also have have the syn5050 so, I hope to get some good comparisons between all 3 amps this weekend.

I have a VHT GP3 and Synergy SYN2 that I'll use for preamps into all 3 amps. If time permits, I'll run my axefx II through the LXII in FRFR mode.

It was truly impressive. Right now I’m thinking of setting up a w/d/w situation with the Delta 88 as my dry, just for fun.

Planning out my rack, it’s going to be a 4u shallow, with the LXII on the bottom and two Syn-2s up top (probably with the deliverance and UL modules to pair with my VX and Uberschall). Between the SYNs and LXII I think I’m going to put a Cloudplate 1u forward exhaust fan which would pull heat up from the LXII vents and push it out front, working in conjunction with what I assume is an rear intake fan already in the unit.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
A little something I just reminded my self in the increase in low end with the LXII. Being that I was using two separate amps, there is always going to be a little inherent phase cancelation/incoherence in my set up just by the fact they are two different amps with slightly different responses. They are electrically in phase, and also this slight low end cancelation can be sufficiently alleviated by separating the cabs, which I do anywhere from 10-25 feet depend on the stage. But I do have a phase switch I built in line with the amp and cab and have had to use it once, when I was on stage that had a diagonal back wall, where the stage was sort of triangular (Ace Of Cups, Columbus OH). When the amps were in phase there was this extreme build up of low end during sound check, like a standing node on stage that was alleviated by flipping the phase that one instance.

The abundance of thick lows and low mids in the LXII is probably more me hearing both stereo sides in proper, truly coherent phase in my small rehearsal studio after using a set up that wasn’t truly balanced.
 

Elric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,514
Will just say the Syn5050 is a killer amp. It really does not get the love it deserves here. Design-wise it is super similar to the LXII and it pairs brilliantly with the Syn-2 and my V30/Creamback H75 cab. I’ve A/Bd it as a preamp host vs: Soldano SLO30 power section, PS2, Driftwood KT77 60W head, Orange EL-84 power amps/returns, numerous SS heads; it holds its own, easily.
 

HellraiserJohnny

"How do you define. . Real"? - Morpheus
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
180
My simple little rehearsal\Gig Rig uses a Syn 50/50. I've used MANY power amps in my rack systems and a $h*t ton of guitar heads over the years and the 50/50 is a fantastic sounding power amp. I recently broke away from SS power amps and switched all tube and the Syn 50/50 was the perfect choice for a small (1U), all tube power amp. With the presents and depth controls I can really dial in some nasty Hi Gain and sparkling Clean tones. I can feed either a 4x12 Marshall (split) or 2x12 cab and it really barks.

I added a external fan to keep it cool because the rack I purchased for the amp section was tight and there was not a lot of room for cooling. At the volumes I play at, fan noise is really not an issue.

 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
This is incredible information!!
More please...Does feel enter into this or is that all of the preamp? If you play at shouting volume, does it really matter if you have a tube amp vs a "tube styled" solid state power amp like an H&H, mosvalve, Rocktron Velocity etc..? We always talk about getting the benefit of working the power tubes and saturating the out put transformer etc.. I can hear and feel those things when I dime my plexi but at talking volume, I'm not sure I'd hear the difference between a tube and solid state power amp....maybe I would.....

I think the tube power amp is (subjectively) better sounding even at low volumes- without saturating anything. At lower volumes, I'm mostly chalking it up to speaker impedance curve effects on a tube amp versus a solid state amp. The solid state amp tends to sound lifeless and dead by comparison.

The solid-state Rocktron Mainline 300 does an admirable job of simulating these effects. Bruce Egnater designed the front end of it and it works pretty well. It ain't a real tube amp.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
Interesting observation I made of the LXII. I said that the presence was at 2:00 and the depth at 11:00, since the manual said it was, however under inspection they did not come that way.

If I was looking at the amp over top of the amp with the front plate pointing at me, the presence and depth of each channel was at 7:00 and 6:30. The stop of each trim pot is 5:00 (null) and 4:00 (fully open). (I realize that if I turn my viewing vantage point from the front to the right side of the amp, this would be the more traditional viewing point with the stops at 7:00 and 5:00). So in other words, the presence and depth were barely turned up.

Interestingly, the amp was nearly perfect as set outside of a live mix before we started playing. I adjusted inside the mix with turning the presence down a little (6:00) and the depth up (8:00) to warm the overall tone up. In absence of the rest of the instruments, I realized I was actually brighter than I needed to be after I heard everyone pull their sounds up at stage volume. The amp performed flawlessly for 4 hours of loud practice, and even with the other stereo side cab 15 feet away next to the bass cab I could still hear snd pickup up little details of stereo ping pong delays floating over on my left side, something I don’t usually get the pleasure of hearing so clearly when everyone else is playing.

What’s great about the observation of the trim pots is that while we play pretty loud (I’m around 11:00-11:30 on the master), anyone who played at a more reasonable volume would have a great sweep to work with on the presence. Obviously more range is better than less and these work perfectly to liven up the sound at a low volume.

However, and I’m not upset at all, but a little confused as to why the manual says 11:00 depth and 2:00 presence where my unit had it just starting to open up. @support any insight to this? Each channel was dialed in exactly the same.
 
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support

Member
Messages
889
Interesting observation I made of the LXII. I said that the presence was at 2:00 and the depth at 11:00, since the manual said it was, however under inspection they did not come that way.

If I was looking at the amp over top of the amp with the front plate pointing at me, the presence and depth of each channel was at 7:00 and 6:30. The stop of each trim pot is 5:00 (null) and 4:00 (fully open). (I realize that if I turn my viewing vantage point from the front to the right side of the amp, this would be the more traditional viewing point with the stops at 7:00 and 5:00). So in other words, the presence and depth were barely turned up.

Interestingly, the amp was nearly perfect as set outside of a live mix before we started playing. I adjusted inside the mix with turning the presence down a little (6:00) and the depth up (8:00) to warm the overall tone up. In absence of the rest of the instruments, I realized I was actually brighter than I needed to be after I heard everyone pull their sounds up at stage volume. The amp performed flawlessly for 4 hours of loud practice, and even with the other stereo side cab 15 feet away next to the bass cab I could still hear snd pickup up little details of stereo ping pong delays floating over on my left side, something I don’t usually get the pleasure of hearing so clearly when everyone else is playing.

What’s great about the observation of the trim pots is that while we play pretty loud (I’m around 11:00-11:30 on the master), anyone who played at a more reasonable volume would have a great sweep to work with on the presence. Obviously more range is better than less and these work perfectly to liven up the sound at a low volume.

However, and I’m not upset at all, but a little confused as to why the manual says 11:00 depth and 2:00 presence where my unit had it just starting to open up. @support any insight to this? Each channel was dialed in exactly the same.
You're right. We originally shipped the amp set internally to P:2 o'clock and D:11 o'clock. We now set it to P:11 o'clock as well. As you observed, it doesn't seem to need as much top end help out of the gate.

Only thing that needs tweaking now is the manual apparently :)
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
You're right. We originally shipped the amp set internally to P:2 o'clock and D:11 o'clock. We now set it to P:11 o'clock as well. As you observed, it doesn't seem to need as much top end help out of the gate.

Only thing that needs tweaking now is the manual apparently :)

Thanks for clarification. The power amp exceeds all expectation and I’m beyond pleased with it. I have a Pitbull module to pair with my Deliverance module on the way.
 

MacL

Member
Messages
89
Digital PDF of the LXII manual says D.11 and P.1! I’m also gonna try the Depth at 11 o’clock as I didn’t use these feature very much. At 1 o’clock it does sound bright. Fryette always stated that these settings were most used by their user base and their own experience over the years, what changed in the last year, is it genre specific or did the internal specs of components change? In my opinion it would be nice to have easier access to the D and P controls.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
Digital PDF of the LXII manual says D.11 and P.1! I’m also gonna try the Depth at 11 o’clock as I didn’t use these feature very much. At 1 o’clock it does sound bright. Fryette always stated that these settings were most used by their user base and their own experience over the years, what changed in the last year, is it genre specific or did the internal specs of components change? In my opinion it would be nice to have easier access to the D and P controls.
Presence is very bright at that setting. And I like a lot of presence. I found it was good around the 7:00 mark if you consider the stop is at the 5:00 mark. I pushed the depth up a little from stock as well. Not much just a little. A lot of range on these controls!
 




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