GT Trio or CAE 3+se

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Fineblend, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Fineblend

    Fineblend Member

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    Hello, this is my first (and mandatory post if I want to post on the emporium!) post and I thought that I would ask the experts here what characteristics they have and what sets them apart from each other. My application is a rack setup with a power amp and minimal use of pedals. Humbucker guitar, with a possible lapsteel pickup twist later down the road (Will most likely swap tubes for different sounds, but another discussion all together!). Squeeeeky cleans and clean soaring solo sounds is what tickles my ears when I think of the tone I want. Dynamic in sounds and touch as well. An amp that could essential and potentially do it in all styles!

    I'm not much of a poster, but I really dig this place for the wealth of information here since in no way could I afford to try both! Looking for them used (best option?).


     
  2. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Welcome to the board.

    Don't know anything about the GT Trio. Not sure there would be too many around.

    The CAE stuff is NEVER bad idea. I've played one and it had the combination of exposing my weaknesses, and showing my (few) moments of brilliance. Definately a serious players amp. Then the next day saw a band here in Denver (who, incidentally, the lead singer was on INXS Rockstar), and the guitarist with a CAE had the most incredible tone. You can't lose there.

    EP
     
  3. Fineblend

    Fineblend Member

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    From what I've researched generally says the same thing about the CAE preamp and line of amps, killer craftsmanship and serious dedication to tone that is sometimes described as "3D" sounding.

    Should have titled this Thoughts and Opinions to get more responses from the timid who shy away from the infamous and/or/vs threads!

    Forums are a great way to get information and the next best way to actually talk about and hear the amp with someone who has. I'm grateful for this information, so thank you in advance!
     
  4. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I has a trio but for live work i wouldn't recommend it. I tried it with 3 different paoer scenarios including a couple combo amps into the return. But i could not get the thing to cut thru the mix for shite. YMMV i suppose, but i couldn't make it cut at all. Great tone otherwise and fro recording it would work i'm sure. I had far better luck with a marhall midi preamp and a ADA MP1. But in the end i found that no matter what i used i didn't like seperates because the dynamics just aren't there. No doubt a product of having spereate power supplys for the pre and power.
     
  5. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

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    I've played both in the past & they are VERY different sounding preamps! Like apples & oranges. The GT Trio is very vintage voiced: clean sounds like a Fender Blackface, Crunch channel sounds very Fender Bassman-ish, and the Scream sounds like a straight ahead old Marshall - unmodded. No high gain in the GT, but tons of classic tones that sound great!

    The CAE is WAY more modern voiced. Clean is very nice, not as warm as the GT, the 2 other channels have TONS of gain if you want it. Much more modern sounding gain than the GT. Depends on what your tastes lean toward. They are both high quality preamps that sound better than most. Good luck!
     
  6. Fineblend

    Fineblend Member

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    Keeping options open and if I may ask another question, for each amp is there a specific power amp that has brought any of these amps alive? Let me put it this way, will certain tubes or amp circuits differ the final output anywhere from so-so to drastically (6L6 from EL34's, even the bigger sounding 6550)?

    If the mix was saturated, would a well matched PA possibly have helped bring more character out of the Trio? Preamp tube swapping maybe?

    All else aside, if one were to justify one over the other, both being 3 channel amps the Trio would win my wallet over if i followed some preliminaries to get the sound I needed. The CAE sounds to good to be true and the price would reflect that as well!

    There have to be more CAE GT guys out there, both garner such a following for I what I would agree would be the apples to oranges preference to which each is there own.

    Anyone with modification experiences to chime in on the topic?

    EDIT: Tastes are very liberal, I'm mean if I could use a pedal to get a warmer tone I would if needed, versatility is key here, never want to have a sound that will get sterile after awhile and the EQ is limiting and not effective.
     
  7. dazco

    dazco Member

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    When you say "Dynamic in sounds and touch as well", i have to again say that IMO a rack setup is about the worse way to achieve that. And again, thats why i ditched it in favor of going back to a regular amp. i don't expect you to take one person's opinion to heart, but i would VERY strongly suggest that if you do this to try it for a while and then do a gig with your favorite combo. I think you'll be suprised. When i did that it was like coming home. I didn't even realize how much i was missing as far as touch/dynamics till i did that and all i could think of was all the gigs i wasted with that sounds. maybe it was just the gear i was using and maybe there are seperates that can do it. But after 3 different pres and 3 different power setups i honestly believe that dynamics are the achilles heel of rack setups. And as i said, i'm quite sure it's the fact they do not share a common power supply.

    So if you do this, do yourself a favor and go back to a regular amp for one gig after you've used a rack setup for a while and see what you think. When i did it was like opening the gates back up and releasing all the goodness that you know touch sensitivity and dynamics bring. If you think about it, rack setups were only popular during that period in the 80's and maybe early 90's when saturated heavy metal was the thing, and people used either high gain or totally clean and nothing in between. Theres a reason for that.
     
  8. Moushegh

    Moushegh Member

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    I tried a Trio years ago and what the other guy said prety much nails it.
    A read in a mag where they described it (or the Solo) as the "oldest sounding new amp ever."
    Extremely nice Fenders and killer Marshall, but not quite 'that' Marshall grind, but still very close to an old Marshall.

    Awesome amps!
     
  9. Jack Luminous

    Jack Luminous Member

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    What pre/power setups did you use ? If you only tried 3 systems, I don't think your opinion is sound on that matter. Imagine you were saying, "I tried 3 different combos in my whole life and I boldly concluded that combo amps can't have touch sensitivity". Seems a bit of a sweeping generalization to me. I have great touch sensitivity my Soldano X99/Mesa 2:90 setup. Also with my H&K Access/VS250 setup. And I played a whole bunch of other rack systems with incredible touch sensitivity. I assure you that a CAE preamp paired with the right power amp will be great in that department as well. A lot of new things came out since the 80s. Masotti pre/power amps are great for example.

     
  10. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    IME touch sensitivity has everything to do with a power amp on the verge of breakup. If your rack power amp is set for being able to get totally clean, then all the distortion will come from the pre-amp when you switch to the gain channel. Some preamps are better than others, but none really sound like a power amp reacting to your touch. Same with channel-switching amps; if you need crystal clean, you won't get power amp distortion at the same volume w/o attenuating in some way.
    That's why I use amp heads into loads (Weber MASS) then line outs to a mixer/ tube power amp.
    Lets each amp do it's thing and lets me balance the volume.
     
  11. Fineblend

    Fineblend Member

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    I should add then that the power amp I have planned out will be a 30 to 50 watt Class A amp which research has said is the purist approach but a sucker of energy. The signal is constantly on so it'll react to the touch no matter what, right? And with a volume knob could jack the sound up for a nice break up if on the cleans.

    Which tubes would best suit this? I do have a thread I started for research purposes in the amp tech's board that covers the general power tubes out there and their tone characteristics.
     
  12. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Class A, or perhaps more accurately cathode biased amps will behave differently than fixed bias. Both can be very touch sensitive; reduce the amount of negative feedback in a fixed bias amp, it can behave a lot like a cathode biased amp. Typical choices in that power range would be 4 EL84, 2 EL34, 2 6L6. 6L6 stay "together" better when pushed, the other two distort earlier and may be more what you're after. But you should play them all and form your own opinion. There are finer shades of difference among different brands and ratings of each tube type. Also the filter caps, coupling cap values, plate voltage and output transformer all play a big role in the sound and feel.
     
  13. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Well, i'll just say this.......between 3 different power and pre setups, not one had any dynamics to speak of. Out of all the combos i've had, they all were vastly superior in that dept. So a sweeping statement?.......not at all. Unless this was the coincidence of all coincidences.
     
  14. Jack Luminous

    Jack Luminous Member

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    So spill the beans. Name the pres and power amps you've tested so we can have a better idea on your opinion. You mentionned "a marshall midi preamp" (JMP1 ??) and ADA MP1. What is the third one ? We're talking here about a GT Trio and a CAE 3+. They are not even in the same ballpark as the one you mentionned. What about a Bogner Fish ? Soldano X99 ? Demeter preamp ? H&K Access ? Voodoo Lab pre ? Kasha Rokmod ? Mesa Quad ? Matchless pre ? Climax S3 ? Masotti ? etc. etc. If I sum up, you are basically implying that ANY combo amp is vastly superior in dynamic to ANY rack system ? Or am I misunderstanding ? If I understand that right, I'm sorry but yes, I maintain it's a ridiculous sweeping statement. You also implied in a previous post that rack pres were only suited to play 80s metal which is another ridiculous sweeping statement.
     
  15. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I'm sorry, but i didn't come here to start flame wars. I'm just giving an opinion. Yours is different, thats fine. I'm not going to call your statements rediculous tho. I'm also not going to describe my setups because i prefer not to be insulted just for giving my opinion. If thats the status quo i may as well pass on trying to lend my opinion. I'll say one thing tho, i didn't imply that they're only good for 80's metal. I implied that because the dynamics aren't there, people didn't notice the weakness dynamically because 80's metal was void of dynamics for the most part. I'll leave it at that because i didn't come here to argue.
     
  16. Jack Luminous

    Jack Luminous Member

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    Ok, let's not use any derogatory word. I'll try to behave correctly in order to not hurt anyone's feeling. So, to sum up, some people who don't play 80s metal at all, using or having used some undisclosed preamps and power amps, have noticed they can easily obtain very nice tones along with great dynamic and touch sensitivity.
     
  17. vinni

    vinni Member

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    +1
    I'm using my 1992 Trio with JJ803 tubes live.......no trouble to cut trough the mix. My poweramp is a VHT 2/50/2 with JJ EL34L's in class A. Yeah...I run it in stereo. I use it for all kinds of musicstyles....It's not difficult to get good higain tones. No...it's not a bonecrushing Krank or Diezel.
    And yeah.....Noise can be an issue.....

    I like my Trio....but I'll sell it anyway next year. I've got my eyes on an Egnater M4......the best there is......Better that a Trio or SE.....

    Vinni
     

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