How does voltage affect tone? ODS 30

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by jspax7, Feb 13, 2006.


  1. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I posted this question on the amps and cabs forum, but thought I'd follow up here.

    At rehearsal last night, I got the most amazing tone and feel from my ODS 30. With the same settings at home the amp sounds harder, with a somewhat strident tone. I'm not using a regulator, and was wondering if this dramatic difference could be attributed to a "brown out" where slightly lower voltage makes the amp "sag". (Tweed power?)

    My Triaxis always sounded weak at lower voltage. (under 120) But the Fuchs seems too strong at home. (Harder feel, and somewhat raspy top end.)

    I'm bringing my PL-8 home tonight to check the reading at home, and if it's too high, I'll invest in a voltage regulator. (probably a good idea anyway)

    Is there a regulator that allows adjustment of incoming voltage? If 117 sounds better on a particular amp, for example. Or would I need a variac?

    Has anyone experienced this with the Fuchs amps, and am I headed in the right direction?

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    The difference between 105V and 130V can make a considerable difference in the tone and response of many amps. Something like a Furman AR-1215 will take anything from about 97V to 140V and put out a steady 120V. There may be some regulators that allow you to set the exact output voltage, but in general a variac after the regulator may be your best bet to dial in a particular favorite voltage.

    (BTW, the ODS has some built-in regulation so it should actually be less affected by wall voltage changes than many other amps.)
     
  3. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Thanks, Fullerplast. I have some friends who think it could be room acoustics. My bedroom, and living room are pretty live whereas the rehearsal area has carpet and dampening on the walls.

    I have played in rooms where my amps don't sound the same, but there was a pronounced difference in the smoothness, compression and feel of the amp, that I have been unable to achieve at home. It was indeed a "magical" day as far as tone was concerned.

    Do you (or anyone) ever notice a difference like I've described just by playing in a different room? I'm thinking it could be a combination of the two. (Voltage and acoustics - it wasn't just tone, it was touch sensitivity too.) I will do some testing and share what I learn.
     
  4. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Sure, it happens all the time. It even happens during the course of an evening as the number of people in the room change. The shape of the room, how far you are from a back wall, where you stand relative to the amp, and especially being able to crank the amp up a little all makes a difference. Also, you'll find most people play a little more aggressively in front of an audience, between adrenaline and keeping up with the band, than they do alone at home.

    Also, with the Fuchs check your speaker polarity. That will make a difference at gig volume in terms of guitar-amp interaction and feedback.
     
  5. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I'm trying the amp in my neighbor's studio today. Also using a power strip with a meter to check voltage.

    I'm looking into some Auralex foam for my home studio to see if that helps. I'll share what I learn. Thanks for all the input, as usual.:horse
    (He ain't dead yet!)
     

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