Ice Pick sound - what creates it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Webfoot, May 24, 2008.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    What creates the ice pick sound from your speaker and the treble is not up even half away...

    - Tube quality?
    - Wrong speaker?
    - Circuit design?
    - It exists in every amp?
    - Standing to close to the amp?

    It does not seem to be guitar or pedal dependent. So it must be the amp? What else can you do besides beam blockers and turning down the treble?

    What amps & speakers have a smooth musical top end?
     
  2. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    How about telling us what amp and what speaker is in it for starters!:) Bob
     
  3. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    The ice pick sound comes from an upper mid or lower high, depending on the amp. Some amps come with a "Cut" control that can sometimes dial it out.

    I'm not sure of the actual frequency. . .Perhaps taking a Box 7 or 10 channel EQ pedal can help you dial out the unwanted frequency.
     
  4. doublee

    doublee Member

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    Its a problem for sure with fenders, I am currently trying on my Tele steel saddles for E thru G and brass for B&E that way I can dial down treble but still keep some spank on the lower strings...it helps. And if I EQ to compensate it takes the spank off the lower strings, maybe someone will figure out Pu's that deal with this and if they have already would love to hear about it. it would be great to EQ JUST the E&B and leave the others alone...i have tried PU height etc etc.
     
  5. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Back down the presence control and that should help quite a bit.

    Vintage 30's can get very harsh and ice picky with the wrong
    amp or tone settings.

    Metal dust caps can also make the speaker sound harsher than those
    with a paper cap.
     
  6. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    bad guitar cable?

    Speakers, Scumbacks!
     
  7. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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  8. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Okay... don't laugh but it is a blues jr that is a grab and go.

    At low volume it is not there, but as the volume goes up then the problem exists especially on the BGE strings at 10 fret and above. While I think the right speaker could possibly notch out the problem.... I wonder if it is more the amp circuit drive that creates some harsh fundamentals as the volume goes up and the circuit gets maxed out.
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Probably the speaker, most likely you don't notice it at lower volume because it's not as apparent. Tubes are another good candidate for adding to the problem, you probably have regular Sovtek 12ax7wa tubes so those wouldn't be ice picky.
     
  10. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I forget the frequency, but I have a friend that can make a 'beep' sound with his voice that drives right through your ear. Learned the trick from the soundman in some club he played in years ago. In theory, any speaker/cab combo that emphasises this frequency will also drive right through your ear.

    Anyway, I think the tone largely comes from the speaker and the speaker material, and can be solved by using different speakers and/or different grille cloth materal.
     
  11. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    I used to play with a guy who played a cranked-up Peavy Renown with a Telecaster and the ice pick swung without mercy and took no prisoners.
     
  12. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    PFunk... I like that about the swinging ice pick... and I thought this amp would be less ice picky then the last one... guess I can't pick 'em
     
  13. The Smith

    The Smith Supporting Member

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    Put a Cannabis Rex in the Blues Jr.
     
  14. fridgit

    fridgit Member

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    In my personal experience, I've noticed that every EL84 (being a tube with a bright high end) tube amp I've tried has this problem (no I haven't tried them all, but quite a few).

    Also along with what everyone else is posting, speakers definitely make a difference. Fender usually puts pretty bright speakers in their amps (for me, personally). I recently replaced my speaker in my Princeton NR w/ an Eminence Lil' Buddy. Now the amp is rich and warm. 6V6 tubes are the creme de la creme (IMHO).
     
  15. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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  16. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    i find its the bridge pickups on my guitars(stock standards) are real ice picky, looking forward to chopping and changing them out!
     
  17. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    technically, isn't the "ice pick" effect normally caused by something called "beaming"?


    Ted Weber makes a "beam blocker" to curtail this.
     
  18. jamiefbolton

    jamiefbolton Supporting Member

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    it can be any combination of things.....amp tone, guitar pickups, speakers....all can contribute to the "ice pick".....fender on fender is usually a good place to get the ice pick...add a Blues Driver in the mix and its nothing but ice pick.....

    an eq pedal with something around 4K can help dial it out, but then that robs you of the good qualities that you need around 4K (or whatever the freq may actually be)

    its best to research "warm" speakers for your amp of choice...but you may have to change amps.....i suggest a Reeves Custom 30 (wich i had one) or the JTM 45
     
  19. emjee

    emjee Member

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    Yessss!!!!!! GREAT POST my man!! Is that A.C.'s son with the other Tele (notice its the exact same guitat Albert is playing? Toooo Cooool!!!!

    Frigit- Thanks for your input about el-84's. I have noticed the same thing.
    I have a Goodsell that has tone to theee bone, but I notice if I play with the tone knob up too high, I get the ice pick, and even more enhanced when playing on the bridge of a strat w/stock p'ups. It has an Eminence
    Private Jack innit now, any suggestions as to a better speaker to eliminate this? Anyone? Thanks!

    MG
     
  20. lawrencedesigns

    lawrencedesigns Member

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    Webfoot,
    When I first got my BJ (cream board) I, too, hated the icepick.
    My first mod was to install a Cannabis Rex, and PRESTO!, it was gone.
    Next steps were to replace V1 and do the Billm mods.
    Now I can't imagine using any other amp for my purposes. I love it!
     

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