Hot Rod Deluxe III -- tame the harsh?

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141
First post, sorry if this has been addressed before but couldn't find it. Short background... My band plays covers with some originals (we're up to 11 so they're getting harder to sneak in). I've been using a HRDlx for the last year and it was fine most of the time. But we recently moved to a larger practice space and have been playing slightly larger venues. In our larger space our drummer has started letting loose so now we are all playing louder.

I started having to crank up the HRDlx volume and it suddenly started sounding really shrill and harsh, especially when I raise it off the floor to project. This is channel 1 (clean)... I don't use the other channels. Tried tweaking the amp eq, tone on the guitar, volume on the guitar, and can't get rid of the ice picks while keeping a good clear tone. I bought the HRDlx extension cab thinking that would help reground it with some bottom end, but the shrillness from the combo is still there. Maybe it was there the whole time but I never noticed because the amp was sitting on the floor. Anyone else have this issue? Any advice? I'm thinking maybe I just need to start over with a different amp but maybe I'm missing something?
 

jlagrassa

Silver Supporting Member
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6,387
Try using some darker preamp tubes, I use all JJ ECC83S tubes in every Fender I owned and they definitely take the edge off while adding tighter lows and a bit stronger mids. You may want to consider a speaker change as well.
 

playthecray

Silver Supporting Member
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4,163
Which speaker(s) are in the amp and the extension cab? Does it happen with both of your guitars?
 
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141
The HRDlx has the stock Celestion G12P-80. The extension cab has the same speaker but is closed back. Yes, happens with a humbucker Cu24 and single-coil strat. Seems to get really bad as the volume gets cranked to 12 oclock.
 

playthecray

Silver Supporting Member
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4,163
Is the bright switch turned off? I would recheck the eq on the amp and the tone controls on your guitars. Have you replaced the tubes since owning the amp?
 
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141
Like I said in my original post, I've tried the tone controls on the amp, tone and volume on the guitar(s), etc. Problem is that if I turn treble down to take the icepicks out, I lose the good tone. I do a lot of arpeggio and need clean crisp tone.

I haven't replaced the tubes or speaker. But this is a HRDlx... I'm not sure I want to pour a ton of money into it just to end up with an expensive HRDlx.

Anyone else experience this harshness with the deluxe? Is this normal for this amp?
 

david(j)

Silver Supporting Member
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2,742
whenever you get the amp off of the floor and pointed closer to your ear its going to sound more harsh. You are getting more of the tone that usually gets projected at your knees and lost to your ear. The other thing I would suggest is that it can be the room.

it sounds like you like treble but also think it contributes to the harshness? How do you set the presence on the amp?
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
Your problem isn't that speaker,...pre-amp. tubes, maybe...But trust me, some amp.'s are made to be 'Off the floor', some just DO NOT (note when some Artist play their amp. off the ground, it's usually elevated on it's heavy bottomed road case).

jlagrassa, foxtrot, etc., Johnny Fingers all gave great input, and if your using to much Mid.(opening up mid.'s pot to much) to achieve more treble 'mix', along with bringing THAT amp. off the floor, I believe there's your problem. I use a tilt type stand, that only takes the amp. a inch or so off the ground. If these ideas from the other members, or mine don't help, you may need to take it in.

I have a HRD III myself, very controllable and chimey, same speaker, etc. and I love it (But hey, I love all my amp.'s...LOL), Good luck. Tom


EDIT: You can change those pre amp. tubes easily yourself,...no Tech. needed. Turn on your amp., turn it off quick, quickly unplug it, wait a few minutes and you'll be able to do this yourself, just watch how close you get to anything on you with metal if you have no experience.
 
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jlagrassa

Silver Supporting Member
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6,387
When I had a HRDlxe V-II I had a Celestion V30 in it which worked great in that amp with my pedals, I also found I don't like the amp off the floor you lose a bit of low end fullness which could contribute to some of that harshness you hearing.

Try keeping the amp on the floor and tilt it back, I use an Ampwedge to tilt my amp back a bit but the amp still remains on the floor!
 
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141
I don't think it's the room... it's a wide open space.

The presence is rolled down to 0. I just have a a bit of reverb on.

What I want is to have nice "round" bell-like treble, not piercing daggers.

I like the tone at lower volume but not when it's cranked.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
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27,657
This seems odd. EQ'd to compensate, no presence and still sounds ice picky? Can you take to a GC and A/B it next to another III?

EDIT... It does sound like a tube issue to me.
 
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lostpoet2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,286
If the power tubes are getting worn out, the amp can sound harsh. Otherwise, I would look at a speaker swap. Maybe a Cannabis Rex or WGS ET-65.
 
Messages
141
Is there any easy way to tell if the power tubes are bad?

I guess if they're replaced then the amp needs to be re-biased too?

Thanks.
 

blues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,849
I would look at tubes and bias before I change the speaker. If you liked the speaker before why change it?

Try putting it back on the floor and tilting it back.
 
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141
Thanks for the suggestions.

So it sounds like the answers are to change the tubes, change the speaker (looks like a pain on this amp), change the bias. I guess I'm not sure then why I want this amp??

Putting it on the floor isn't an option-- we play too many places where there isn't a raised stage and the amp is too low on the floor. I need it to be up on an extension cab or stand.

Starting to look at other amps....
 

MJ Slaughter

Silver Supporting Member
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1,989
I just got the same amp but is has the Eminence Wizard speaker and have been playing it at gig volumes at home to see if I want to keep it. After reading about your problem I tried both on the floor and on a stand playing very loud. I don't get any ice pick high end at all. My only grip is the clean channel breaks up too easy even after setting the bias on the cold side. Since I bought this used, it's a year and a half old, I ordered a complete set of tubes from Eurotubes hoping for better results. I know people like the speaker in your amp but I can't stand them. To me they always sound kind of harsh but that's just my opinion. If you haven't seen this video comparing the stock speaker with different WGS speakers you might find it interesting if not long. If you skip the first 6 minutes you'll miss most of the yapping.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvjkdK7KW6Q
 
Messages
141
Thanks man that's a very interesting video. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who finds this amp harsh with the stock speaker.

How do those replacement tubes compare to the stock tubes?

I just got the same amp but is has the Eminence Wizard speaker and have been playing it at gig volumes at home to see if I want to keep it. After reading about your problem I tried both on the floor and on a stand playing very loud. I don't get any ice pick high end at all. My only grip is the clean channel breaks up too easy even after setting the bias on the cold side. Since I bought this used, it's a year and a half old, I ordered a complete set of tubes from Eurotubes hoping for better results. I know people like the speaker in your amp but I can't stand them. To me they always sound kind of harsh but that's just my opinion. If you haven't seen this video comparing the stock speaker with different WGS speakers you might find it interesting if not long. If you skip the first 6 minutes you'll miss most of the yapping.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvjkdK7KW6Q
 

MJ Slaughter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,989
How do those replacement tubes compare to the stock tubes?
They are due to be delivered tomorrow. If I have time to check them out before my Friday gig I'll let you know then. Saturday's gig I plan on using the HRD for the first time so it should be a good test hearing it off the stage and from the back of the room through the PA. I'm wireless.
 

MJ Slaughter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,989
I only had time to put the tubes in, re-bias and play a few minutes before heading out to a gig. Decided to record while playing with mic position so I'd know what I wanted for tomorrow nights gig with it. So far I like what this tube cocktail is doing for the amp. Just a little on the clean then overdrive modes. I'm not a high gain guy usually.

I don't hear ice pick but one mans ice pick is another's blah blah blah. I didn't even mess with the tone controls let along tune my guitar so take this for what it is. Looking at it now I see treble 6, bass 4, mid 6, presence 3. I am curious if you guys think this is ice pick to you. Keep in mind the speaker is a Wizard. Only effect is a touch of reverb from my DAW.


[SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/mj-slaughter/hrd-iii-sample-clean-gain[/SOUNDCLOUD]
 




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