Impressions: First gigs with Two-Rock Opal

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by willhutch, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    Played two gigs this weekend with my new Two Rock Opal. For those who may be interested, I'll share some musings:

    The amp has a very sturdy tone and response. It is very responsive and quick. My other main gigging amp (Savage Rohr 15) is cathode biased, tube-rectified and EL84 powered. It has a super thick, spongy sound with plenty of sag. The Two rock is an entirely different beast. It is more open and compresses much less. The two-rock has a very bouncy, energetic feel. While the Savage is way-fat and juicy, the Two-Rock is punchy and muscular.

    I like the gain on the clean channel up fairly far. With the whole band, I enjoy the fluidity that some fur adds to the tone. With the clean channel gain at 2-3 o'clock, I could have the gain on the lead channel fairly low (about 10 o'clock) and get a nice OD tone.

    I was getting more satisfying tones with single coils than with humbuckers. I think I need some more experience to get it dialed in appropriatly for HBs.

    The footswitch has two buttons: one for channel switching and one that bypasses the tone stack giving more gain. This is very useful. You can get 4 levels of gain with this set up: clean channel, clean channel bypass, lead channel, lead bypass. I used them all in conjunction with the guitar's volume knob to get a wide spectrum of gain settings.

    One of the greatest tones I got from the amp was to dime the clean channel gain and open the master to about 11 o'clock. This makes for a fabulous lead tone - you have tons of sustain, but it doesn't sound "distorted" and there is little compression. However, I did not use this on the gig as this is not quite the gain structure I want as I run through the setlist. Also - it is very LOUD like this.

    The mid boost switch is very potent. Engage it and there is a LOT more body to the tone. I had it off most of the time tonight because it seemed to mesh with the total band sound better.

    Now, I do have a Radial Headbone. This device allows you to run two amps thru the same speaker cab. I used this on friday to run the Two-Rock and Savage together thru the Savage's speaker. The results weren't great because the Two-Rock doesn't sound nice thru the G12H30 in the Savage cabinet. I have yet to try out all my combinations of speakers and cabs to see if there is one that works equally well for both amps. If I find it, I'll use both amps in my live rig and have all bases covered! Lookout!!

    OK, enough show and tell for now. It's 2:40 am and I still got my giggin' duds on! Time for bed!
     
  2. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you have two great amps!
    I really dig the Opal, as well as the other Two Rock line. Great cleans, and that signature smooth, you know who-like overdrive tone.
    The speakers that I've had good luck with the Opal are the same ones I've used with the other Two Rock models:
    TR1265
    Celestion G12H65
    EVM12L

    *I've heard that the Eminence Wizards work well with the Two Rock amps as well.

    Good luck with your speaker search,
    S.
    j
     
  3. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Yes, they do.

    I use my Opal (and other D-style amps) thru either a Wizard or an EVM12L
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Your impressions of the Opal are pretty much the same as I had. In fact, though I own an Onyx, it was the Opal that convinced me to look into getting a TR when I played through it.

    Great amp, fast, responsive, etc. Future classic IMHO.
     
  5. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    After several additional gigs with the Opal - I'm still digging it. In fact, now that I know it better, I'm getting more satisfying tones out of it.

    One advancement is using my attenuator on it. I find I get more juicy tones when I open up the global master on the back of the chassis to about 75% of wide open. The gain is at about 7 o'clock and the clean channel master is at about 6 o'clock. I apply 8 dB of attenuation.

    Ah, I've gone to an English-made 70 anniversary G12H30. It sounds a little creamier than the Two-Rock 65 that came in the cabinet.
     
  6. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    You need to hear Tybone's Opal clip. Awesome ! Maybe he'll chime in.
     
  7. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    I played some shows with my opal and found it similar to your descriptions. It's amazing how the clean channel goes from spanky clean to ultra non-distorted sustain. I've never gotten that at home levels, but at shows I just turn up the masters and there it is! And it doesn't take much gain on the lead channel to add a nice grind to the available tones.

    It definitely likes the rear master opened a bit like you said. I think i ran it around 12:00 at least. But YMMV - it sounds like we use different types of settings in general and you sound like you're comfortable dialing the amp in for you. (I always used the mid boost as i thought it filled out the tone better and made it a bit creamier, but that's just how i tend to dial them in).

    As for speakers, i had great results with some Fane alnicos and the TR-65s - both very fat with good high end.

    Happy gigging! You don't hear much about the opal - glad there's one out there being put to good use :)
     
  8. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    I love the amount and quality of the gain available on this amp. My clean tone has some meat on its bones. I like clean tones that register as 'clean' to the listener, but have enough distortion that chord notes merge into a chewy cloud of overtones that some use the term 'harmonic complexity' to describe. True, when the clean channel is set this way, very little gain is needed from the lead channel. I set the knob at about 9 o'clock. I will do some experimenting with the intrnal trimmers. I'd like to reduce the amount of gain the clean channel feeds the OD channel. I'd also like to try rolling off some of the bass in the lead channel.

    Alone, I use the mid-boost. In with the band, I do not use it. I vacate those frequencies for the keys/bass.

    The TR-65 has some fattness, but is a little too clean for where I'm at right now. The G12H30 has a 'sugar-crystals-in-butter' quality I like.

    I wonder why that is? There's a lot of talk about Custom this and Signature that. Maybe because Opals are an older model and the discussion has died down?
     
  9. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    Do you use the "lead bypass" mode? I preferred it that way as i thought it was a slightly more open sounding and less grainy. But unfortunately you are bypassing the internal lead eq stack, so you lose some control over your tone. Still, note that even in lead bypass mode the internal treble eq will affect the sound. So if you only use lead bypass you can optimize the stack for that mode.

    The opal and onyx definitely do not get as much discussion as the other models, which is unfortunate. They are still great amps and very much their own thing - not simply early versions of the custom line. But maybe people assume that since they are not being pushed by the company they must not be as good ... and there's no Tag for the opal/onyx to keep pointing people in that direction :)
     
  10. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    I haven't been using the lead bypass much. Hmmm. I'll do some experimenting. Good idea. Thanks!
     
  11. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Supporting Member

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  12. tybone

    tybone Member

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    Great thread with lots of interesting comments. Please allow me to contribute.

    Firstly, the Opal is not an easy amp to play. You can get some not very good tones from it very easily. However, when you get a good tone it is very good. And it get's easier dial the good tones back in as you spend more time with the amp. I had a sig for a while but it seemed like a one trick pony compared to the Opal. As soon as you plugged in this sound came out. It was a wonderful thick earth mother type tone but that's all I could get out of the lead channel. The opal, with internall trimmers and lead bypass, is much more flexible even though it has a tight sag free power supply.

    Next, this amp is very friendly to single coils. The beck clip I did with a strat was pretty much plug and play. It takes a little more time to get a good clean tone AND a good crunch/lead tone with humbuckers IMO. If I could change one thing it would be to have mid boost selectable for lead only, clean only or both channels. I LOVE it on the lead channel and not so much on the clean channel unless I am playing jazz.

    Oh, and this is a WHICKED jazz amp. try this...presence maxed, treble on zero. mid and bass to taste.

    I too dig the clean channel cranked. It gets very angry and very lound very quickly. Ah and this brings me to another point. You can get this amp to sound good loud and at bedroom levels. The thing is the settings will be quite different all else (besides volume) being equal. You really gotta look past the usual marshall/fender settings and use your ears.

    Cheers
    Tybone.
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I have an Emi Wizard in the Fuchs ODS-50 SLX. I have a lot of experience with EVM-12Ls.

    The Wizard is going to come out of there in favor of something else someday pretty soon.
     
  14. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    I've had great luck with the English made 70th Anni G12H-30s too, in a wide range of amps, including a D-style (Fuchs TDS in my case). The only amp that didn't like those G12H-30s (in a Jenkins cab) was the Hot Cat 30R. Made the gain tones really thin and buzzy. BUT, I just got a chance last night to run the HC30R into my new EarCandy Buzzbomb 2x12 with Scholz Sugarcones. HOLY CRAP, what a tone! It completely smoothed it out and fattened it up...a very, very musical tone. It's been the only speaker/cab combo (other than the stock BC combo/speaker) that has sounded great with that amp. I consider that the mark of a great combo/speaker system. It just seems to make everything I run through it sound like heaven.

    SO....put that one in your list to check out with the Opal! :AOK
     
  15. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    An update on my Two-Rock experience:

    I guess you could say the honeymoon has been extended. The Opal is giving me everything I need for my current gigging needs. Great body, nice bounce, chewy cleans and singing sustain. With it's quick, energetic response, the amp has a really enjoyable feel.

    I've been using a 2X10 cab with Webers. This has lightened the low end and tightened up the sound - which is good for my large band. I, for some unknown reason, bought a 1X15 cabinet from the emporium, we'll see how that works with the Opal.

    Still happy....maybe happier than when I first started using it. :dude
     
  16. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Supporting Member

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    red suede's opal is custom made for him in red suede with a matching red suede 2x12 cab with out of phase celestion 65's . it's also 100 watts with a switch for 50 watts. with his robben ford fender esprit it's robben ford in a box! well at least with him the helm. amazing amp. dumble tones for sure. The out of phase speakers makes em sound great with a push pull effect. i'm not sure if it's sealed or ported.
     
  17. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Oval open back.

    Mike
     

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