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Germino Lead 55 or Headroom 100 for Early VH??

johnny q

Member
Messages
1,174
Ok, ok.....I know we are all sick of hearing about the early VH "brown sound" but......:D

I have had my Lead 55 (standard, not lovo) since August, and I can coax many tones from it, but not the aforementioned VH.

I was curious if anyone here has a Germino and can achieve this sound, and if so, what settings, pedals, guitars etc are you using??

JQ
 

TaronKeim

Member
Messages
2,936
To be totally honest... I don't find that the Germino's have enough gain for the VH brown sound... or just not the right voicing... I love my LoVo 55 but think it is far better suited to more classic midrange grinding tones and punk, blues-rock and things like that.

If I wanted the straight up brown sound I'd go with a Mojave Scorpion or Peacemaker. Lots of the Roccaforte's I've heard also seem to be able to nail this sound quite effectively.

Just my .02 and definately wouldn't steer a guy away from a Germino... my LoVo 55 is the best amp I've owned... but I just wouldn't pick it if VH was the main sound I was going for. Now ZZ Top and Allmans Bros... thats something completely different;)

-TJK

EDIT: Totally didn't see that you had already BOUGHT the Lead 55... the closest I've come is with my THD Hotplate... high inputs jumpered, guitar cable into low-gain input on the bright channel... both volumes around 9 (normal channel a little lower) mids scooped out and boosted with my TMB in the modern mode with the warp switch on.
 

jkr

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,417
Get a Mojave Peacemaker and your there (this is coming from a guy that owns two Germinos). If you want VH I and II, the Peacemaker and hotplate nails it at about any volume.
 
Messages
2,043
Maybe I'm nuts or just had an unusual Germino, but my Club 40 had plenty of gain for old VH type tones.

http://homepage.mac.com/mpackage/gearnclips/newgermclips/germvh.mp3

The Club 40, in particular, isn't a great amp for that application, IMO. The bottom end is a little too loose - probably due to the tube rectifier. I would think that a Lead 55 would be better. The above clip isn't boosted at all, just everything cranked (or nearly cranked) into the high input of the bright channel. I didn't take any time really dialing it in, so please don't take that clip to be a stellar example of Germino tone.

Eddie did routinely boost his amp with EQ pedals, possibly amongst other things, so it doesn't all have to come from the amp in order to be "genuine", either...
 

fjs1962

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,457
How old is your Lead 55? The reason I ask is originally Greg didn't put a treble bypass cap on the bright channel volume control on the Lead 55. Mine (#10) didn't have one. I played it for a long time and it sounded good, but the top end was too dark to get the VH and 70s classic rock tones I wanted. I talked to Greg and he suggested trying 100pf, 250pf and 500pf caps on the bright channel volume pot to dial in what I was looking for. He is now putting 100pf on the Lead 55s. I ended up liking 100pf too, and it opened up the top end of my Lead 55, adding the sheen in the presence that was lacking before. 500pf was nice too, and I actually prefered it when running the amp cranked (7-10 on the volume) but when running the amp at lower volumes (3 or so) the clean tone was too thin to suit me with the 500pf.

So you may want to experiment with caps on the bright volume to see if that gets you where you want to be tonally. A good attenuator will help too if you can't crank the amp.
 

CrunchBoy

Member
Messages
143
O.K., here's how you want to get the brown sound. Take a 7-band eq pedal, like a boss, cut the lows and highs, boost 800k a bit and shape the faders like a frown. Boost the level. You get tight, crunchy, harmonic overdrive.
 

johnny q

Member
Messages
1,174
fjs1962 said:
How old is your Lead 55? The reason I ask is originally Greg didn't put a treble bypass cap on the bright channel volume control on the Lead 55. Mine (#10) didn't have one. I played it for a long time and it sounded good, but the top end was too dark to get the VH and 70s classic rock tones I wanted. I talked to Greg and he suggested trying 100pf, 250pf and 500pf caps on the bright channel volume pot to dial in what I was looking for. He is now putting 100pf on the Lead 55s. I ended up liking 100pf too, and it opened up the top end of my Lead 55, adding the sheen in the presence that was lacking before. 500pf was nice too, and I actually prefered it when running the amp cranked (7-10 on the volume) but when running the amp at lower volumes (3 or so) the clean tone was too thin to suit me with the 500pf.

So you may want to experiment with caps on the bright volume to see if that gets you where you want to be tonally. A good attenuator will help too if you can't crank the amp.
Mine was purchased in August of 2005. I am not near the amp right now, but if memory serves, it is serial number 80-something.

I agree with everyone that says the voicing is not right for an early VH sound. While it sounds great for many things, it just doesnt have enough high end sparkle to play something like early VH, I was very surprised when I first plugged this thing in - took some getting used to. Also - I have the Heritage g12h30's which need to be broken in, so there is some "stiffness" going on as well.

JQ
 

Braciola

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,210
TaronKeim said:
If I wanted the straight up brown sound I'd go with a Mojave Scorpion or Peacemaker. Lots of the Roccaforte's I've heard also seem to be able to nail this sound quite effectively.
I never intentionally sought out coping EVH tone, but the one amp that sticks out in my mine for getting closest is the Roccaforte HG100.

I don't know what it is about the Mojave, but I didn't care for it at all (yes I know how to dial in an amp, and no, it wasn't broken) :p
 

fjs1962

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,457
johnny q said:
Mine was purchased in August of 2005. I am not near the amp right now, but if memory serves, it is serial number 80-something.

I agree with everyone that says the voicing is not right for an early VH sound. While it sounds great for many things, it just doesnt have enough high end sparkle to play something like early VH, I was very surprised when I first plugged this thing in - took some getting used to. Also - I have the Heritage g12h30's which need to be broken in, so there is some "stiffness" going on as well.

JQ
I'd be willing to bet if you put in a 500pf cap on the bright channel it will give you the extra high end you're looking for. You might want to email Greg and see what he thinks. He can tell you if your amp has the 100pf cap or not too. If it doesn't adding the cap will definitely brighten the amp.
 

bjm007

Member
Messages
569
fjs1962 said:
How old is your Lead 55? The reason I ask is originally Greg didn't put a treble bypass cap on the bright channel volume control on the Lead 55. Mine (#10) didn't have one. I played it for a long time and it sounded good, but the top end was too dark to get the VH and 70s classic rock tones I wanted. I talked to Greg and he suggested trying 100pf, 250pf and 500pf caps on the bright channel volume pot to dial in what I was looking for. He is now putting 100pf on the Lead 55s. I ended up liking 100pf too, and it opened up the top end of my Lead 55, adding the sheen in the presence that was lacking before. 500pf was nice too, and I actually prefered it when running the amp cranked (7-10 on the volume) but when running the amp at lower volumes (3 or so) the clean tone was too thin to suit me with the 500pf.

So you may want to experiment with caps on the bright volume to see if that gets you where you want to be tonally. A good attenuator will help too if you can't crank the amp.
We have a winner! That should do it... I highly recommend putting a 150pF-200pF bright cap on the Lead 55. Also you may want to throw a decent 12ax7 in V1... Mullard, etc. Last but not least, an EQ with a frown curve and some G12H30's and you're in business...
 

evhtone

Member
Messages
947
The closest I have gotten to the Fair Warning tone is with my Komet 60. Surprised the hell out of me, actually.

The closest I have gotten to the VH I tone is with my old Roccaforte HG100.

The closest I have gotten to the VH II tone is with my '72 Superlead.

All of this being said...the Lead 55 is one of the greatest amps I have ever played. I have been thinking about getting another one. But, I would like to try the 100 watt, too.

Even though my Komet gets so close to that FW tone I don't even really care that much anymore. I decided long ago that I just need the fundamentals of Marshall grind in order to get a tone I am happy with.
 

johnny q

Member
Messages
1,174
bjm007 said:
We have a winner! That should do it... I highly recommend putting a 150pF-200pF bright cap on the Lead 55. Also you may want to throw a decent 12ax7 in V1... Mullard, etc. Last but not least, an EQ with a frown curve and some G12H30's and you're in business...
I'm going to email Greg about this. My guess is, any tech with any type of amp chops at all could pull this off, so I could bring it to someone local rather than ship it back to North Carolina!

JQ
 

fjs1962

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,457
johnny q said:
I'm going to email Greg about this. My guess is, any tech with any type of amp chops at all could pull this off, so I could bring it to someone local rather than ship it back to North Carolina!

JQ
Yes, it's about as easy of an amp mod as you could make. About as easy as changing a guitar pickup, just be careful of the high voltages!
 

johnny q

Member
Messages
1,174
TaronKeim said:
EDIT: Totally didn't see that you had already BOUGHT the Lead 55... the closest I've come is with my THD Hotplate... high inputs jumpered, guitar cable into low-gain input on the bright channel... both volumes around 9 (normal channel a little lower) mids scooped out and boosted with my TMB in the modern mode with the warp switch on.
With the volumes that high, and a boost pedal slamming the front end, you dont have any troubles with unwanted feedback?? I have tried boosting the Lead 55 with my barber direct drive, and as soon as I stop playing it shrieks like a stuck pig!!

JQ
 

bjm007

Member
Messages
569
johnny q said:
With the volumes that high, and a boost pedal slamming the front end, you dont have any troubles with unwanted feedback?? I have tried boosting the Lead 55 with my barber direct drive, and as soon as I stop playing it shrieks like a stuck pig!!

JQ
In my experience, if you're gonna use a pedal to "slam" the front end, you should keep the volume on the amp at a reasonable level. In other words - either turn the amp up to "10" with no pedal or keep the amp on "6-7" and use a pedal. But having the amp on 9 or 10 and throwing a pedal in there will usually give you some squeely feedback and a lot of noise.................
 




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