More 'Cut' from Dimed Dirty Shirley - Treble Booster?

rolsen

Member
Messages
2,536
I run my Dirty Shirley Mini on the mid gain switch, gain maxed. I've tried to get a more biting, cutting-through 'extra' tone with a Spark Booster and a Wampler Euphoria, but both just add mush rather than bite even with bass rolled off, volume dimed. Not looking for solo boost volume, which I know can't really happen with wound up preamp gain. Tightening, biting and extra saturating - this is the goal.

Has anyone used a treble booster into a wound up Shirley? I'm thinking silicon like the Catalinbread Naga Viper. Any insight? Do treb boosters 'cut' further through a maxed out preamp?
 

batfish

Member
Messages
319
Treble boosters are kind of designed to solve the problem you were having, so worth a shot. But they were also designed to go out in front of big non master volume amps, so not sure how well it will work with a fully saturated via master volume preamp. But I'd say def. worth a shot, treble boosters sound great in the right context.

Does the mini have a loop? I haven't tried it myelf, but an EQ pedal in the loop may help and you might have some headroom in the power section to get louder, too (eta just noticed you don't care about a volume boost, but still will allow you to shape the wooly tone from the preamp). something like a tubes Screamer or sd-1 might help, too, if you want to run the pedal in front rather than in the loop. Sd-1 is cheap so maybe try that first to see if something that fiddles with the EQ will help.
 

metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
Lately I've been using my HBE Detox to get a mid boost. I set the treble and bass neutral and max the mids. Works great on my DS mini and Smallbox.
 

Cado

Senior Member
Messages
616
If the amp has an effects loop put the boost in it, otherwise you're out of headroom & nothing will work.
 

rolsen

Member
Messages
2,536
I'm happy with my base tone and I actually use a Mad Professor Underdrive to create a hairy clean option. I have a Spark Booster in the loop for solo volume boosts. I'm trying to achieve a not-necessarily-louder '3rd' tone out front, a tightened super toothy tone. My master volume is at half, plenty for rehearsal and live (that's why I have the headroom for the Spark in the loop). Maybe i should use the highest gain, rather than mid gain setting but taper down the gain knob to be about where my current gain level is set.

Anyway, my theory is treble booster to tighten and add stinging bite to the open nature of the DS's base tone. I couldn't get this with my normal OD pedals.
 

metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
I'm happy with my base tone and I actually use a Mad Professor Underdrive to create a hairy clean option. I have a Spark Booster in the loop for solo volume boosts. I'm trying to achieve a not-necessarily-louder '3rd' tone out front, a tightened super toothy tone.
I hear ya. I use a KoT in front of my mini (all amps actually). I set one side for a clean boost to give a little more. I set the other side for OD to give even more. My OD side also has the TS808 chip to give a little more of a different flavor. Then I have my Detox which I either set as I said above or to give a hairy clean. I use the mini on the lowest gain with the gain at 2:00.
 
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12,568
I don't have a mini. But with the DS40 the high gain switch position IS essentially a treble booster. It's built into the amp.

If you want a different treble booster, which is perfectly reasonable, then go from the lowest switch position and play through an EQ/boost. Like an Empress parametric. Or get a treble boost of some variety. Or another pedal that gives you high mids.

To me the DS40 only fulfills its potential with pedals, even though you don't need them at all. But from the low gain position you are in an ideal place to boost whatever frequencies you want with the amp's blessing, so to speak. It is an amazing amp for goosing.

The mini may have a different gain switch though. The high position on a DS40 is literally a treble boost, and it obviouly tightens things. But ideally I choose my own frequencies to boost, like you are suggesting.
 
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RayBarbeeMusic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,343
But with the DS40 the high gain switch position IS essentially a treble booster.

This is true on both DS and DSM; the highest setting adds a Ck on the Rk for stage 2, which boosts high end gain at that stage.

If it isn't bright enough with the treble maxed, your best options are as follows:

1) Different speaker

2) replace the mid pot with a pot of higher value. You can then boost the upper mids a lot more, which will make the amp more present. You can also get all the tones you could before since a mid pot is just a variable resistor to ground at the end of the tone stack; the old sounds will just be lower on the knob. I do that on almost all my amps; did it to a PT along with some other mods just recently and it really opened up the vintage plexi tones on that amp, which it was too dark for before.
 
Messages
12,568
As far as speakers, the Scumback paper voice coil greenies have amazing crispy high Marshall mids. But you need a quad with the 40 watter.

I personally crank my presence to 9 for that same reason. But I guess the mini has no presence control.

I like Ray's idea about the mid pot. I crank my mids. And fwiw, replacing v1 with a Mullard with RCAs elsewhere helped all that too.

But I fully plan to use boosts and EQ as well for mids. I have a Klon and Trower OD so far for mids enhancement choices.

More versatile to have a large sound full spectrum 3D amp and add mids than have it be too middy small and congested and have to correct for that.
 
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Messages
12,568
Oh btw you are running your gain switch on the DARKEST SETTING. I recommend any other setting, and adjusting gain with other methods.
 
Messages
12,568
If the amp has an effects loop put the boost in it, otherwise you're out of headroom & nothing will work.
Actually you have room with the DS on all but the highest gain setting on the switch, even with the gain maxed. The way I use it, from the lowest gain switch setting (low or high input), there is plenty of headroom left to boost however you want. In fact, I would call the DS40 an ideal pedal platform in some ways. Not a pristine clean, frequency neutral type of pedal platform, but the kind of platform that combines amp and pedal flavors. Ask the Abunai pedal guy, who is a member here. It's his favorite platform for his own pedal line, the amp he uses to demo his pedals. The fact the DS isn't super mid heavy makes it an even better platform -- just add your own mids when you want to for leads or certain rhythm tones.
 
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Killcrop

Member
Messages
12,392
Maxing out the gain knob is using to much of the master volume imo. I have a mini and I think all the great tones come from defeating the master. Try the high gain mode. Dime the master and bring up the gain to about 9 o'clock. You will have all kinds of cut and singing harmonics. From there it's easy to add gain. I use an OCD.

try the same setting with each of the modes.
 

TJT

Member
Messages
74
I think everyone keeps missing the part of the OP's post where he says he likes his base tone.
Try your Euphoria in the open setting with the gain low and the volume about noon. Bass off and tone around 10 oclock. Bring the volume and tone up to where you like it. That's where I'd start. If you like your base tone , don't change it, just enhance it .
 
Messages
12,568
Thanks for responding, jjj! I think if he went with the 65w speakers he'd only need two, not four for this amp's power settings.
Jim you are no doubt aware that there is no demo online of the 65 watt nomex, faux paper voice coil speakers. I have watched for a couple years for such a demo, to no avail. That combined with your statements that the faux pvc speakers are 90 something percent identical ("97%"?) to the real ones leads me to not trust that they sound close enough to the actual paper paper voice coil speakers. Everything you just said was in the forefront of my mind already. But I have serious doubts that the nomex paper imitations would sound close enough for my sensitive perfectionistic ears, as the real paper voice coil speakers you offer have almost an intangible quality of subtleness! I frankly doubt the nomex ones will capture it to that detail. I have also exhaustively checked everything on the internet for even a discussion of the faux pvcs, hoping to find solid comparisons and endorsements -- no luck.

Therefore I recommended that the poster use more of the real paper ones.

Someone could remedy that situation by releasing a demo, or commissioning one, of the "faux PVC" 65 watt models, or arranging for one of us idiots to do one.

Your PVC speakers are my favorites. I would prefer to play them. But I didn't put the faux pvcs in my 2-12 for this reason -- I frankly don't trust the nomex to have the specific intangible papery, woody high mid quality I love. There has been no way to hear them! Of course, I trust they will have a bit more highs than the normal model, as you say, closer to the treble response of the real paper ones. But that's different. We are talking about a very suble set of high mid frequencies that create that papery, woody timbre.

I would joyously use the 20 watters if I could make a half stack cab work. Or I would use the faux pvcs if they added the specific "pvc high mids" and not just extra highs to imitate the pvc treble response. I would get some tonight, but I don't have a big budget just for trying non-returnable things, other than the one extra m75 I just ordered from you to try, which I have to now sell.

As I said, I am very, very open to being WRONG to doubt those. For now I will have to believe it when I hear it, as far as the nomex sounding like the real paper. I know you worked long and hard on it for a year and a half or whatever it was to get it close as possible, but the quality I love about the PVC speakers is not the general EQ, or global treble level, which maybe could be duplicated, but rather the unique high mid timbre that goes so perfectly with the Marshall sound and kerrang.

For my 40 watt amp, I would need a quad at 20 watts handling per. For a 20 watter, that implies two pvcs at twice the power handling.

I have your back, Jim. Your speakers are my favorite. But I had to be honest. I have no expectations of a response to a post this long, or even for anyone to have read it,as I know you're busy.
 
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