need help dialing in my shiva

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by hellhound79, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. hellhound79

    hellhound79 Member

    Mar 29, 2007
    hanceville Al
    i have been having a few problems getting a sound i like out of my el34 shiva head. i play through a bogner oversized 2x12 closed back cab with vintage 30's. for guitars right now i am using a dean soltero. theres 2 main problems i am having one is now matter how i set my eq my tone is either too deep or too bright. i cant seem to find a middle ground. also my overdrive channel is grainy sounding. it almost sounds more like fuzz than distortion. i know alot of it could be the room i have it set up in. and the fact that i cant crank it. but does anyone know what i could do to help fix these problems? or settings i can try. the clean channel sounds great but its kind of sad when my girl friend tells me that it sounds better on the clean channel with a tubescreamer than my overdrive channel sounds.
  2. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Tell us how your setting each control on the amp currently.
    What kind of pickups.
    When you say too deep or too bright, what specifically do you mean by deep? Bottom end, dark, something else?
  3. hellhound79

    hellhound79 Member

    Mar 29, 2007
    hanceville Al
    my bas is around 11 o'clock mids 11-12 o'clock treble about 2-3 o'clock presence between 12-2 o'clock. gain between 1 o'clock and full. the pickups are some kinda of custom dimarzios made for the soltero. well with too deep its like theres too much bass my neck pickup sounds more like a bass. then if i adjust my eq it gets ear piercing bright like i turned my bass all the way down and treble all the way up.
  4. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    T-Town, OK
    I put in a JJ 12ax7 in v2 and this made the OD smoother for me. Experiment with preamp tubes. The Shiva nicely responds to tube changes.
  5. bilbal

    bilbal Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    I always found that my EL34 Shiva head sounded best with the gain no more than 12 o'clock and with a pedal for boost or leads. I didn't care for the tone after that at all.
  6. Ricker

    Ricker Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Cape Town South Africa
    Your Bass is way too high.
    Mine is on about 8 o clock for live work.
    Also you may be playing at lower volumes and the higher volumes will iron out the fuzzyness which is part of the shiva sound especially with the boost engaged.....I like it though just wish it all was tighter.
    As far as I'm concerned the Shiva sucks a bit at lower volumes.
    Really need to get it's a gigging man's amp.
    Keep the presence below 12 o'clock.

    other than that the Shiva may just not be for you.
    There are days when I think it's a pile of crap and then there others when it is just so fat and juicy and expressive.
    I find that it is a loose amp but that seems to give it it's character even though I prefer a tighter more percussive drive channel.

  7. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Granger, IN
    Sounds like you have the old brite switches for each channel.
    That has really helped me out, as I use the brite switches with my Les Paul, and dont use them with my Strat/Tele.

    I'll just go over the OD Channel settings, as I find those are a bit trickier to dial in: I like my gain (Les Paul) around 11:00 to 12:00.
    I like to dial down the treble to around noon-1:00.
    I like to dial up the mids to around 2:00 or 3:00.
    Bass around 10:00-11:00
    Volume2 around 11:00-12:00. Boost2 around 1:00-2:00
    Presence around noon.

    One thing...what you think isnt sounding good on overdrive if you're playing alone may not be the case if you're playing with a band in a live situation. The Shiva is one of those amps that really comes to life in a live mix. If you play alone without a backing track most of the time, you may not be pleased as much as if you play to a track or with a band.

    This has been my experience.

  8. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Northern Colorado
    I was going to say, time to play with tubes. Especially the V1 and V2 positions. It can make a HUGE difference. I always ended up using the clean channel in my shiva with a TS in front as the drive channel was a tad dark for me personally, but I never invested in the tubes that could have made such a big difference.

    Good luck.

  9. future2future

    future2future Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Strange, when i used a shiva my bass was on 1 o clock...
  10. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    SE, MA
    My settings are very close to these as well.
    With a LP with Burstbuckers I am usually at:
    Gain 11
    Treble 12
    Mids 2
    Bass 10
    Presence 11

    I like the bright switches in on both channels, and I play with the individual channel at max, and adjust the level as needed with the master. I have found that this is my favorite way to adjust the volumes.

    Great tips here. Dont give on this amp. I did once before, and now I have my second one.

    I also agree that this amp sounds better at louder volumes, and in a band setting.
    I am also real interested to hear what the overall thoughts are on changing the preamp tubes, and what has been the best results.
  11. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Raleigh-wood, NC
    I'm currently running Tung Sol 12AX7 reissues in V1 and V2, and Mullard EL-34 reissues in the power section. The rest are the chinese tubes from the factory. I'm pretty happy with this, but I'd like to try the Winged-C EL-34's before I call it done.

    Also keep in mind that the Shiva likes V30's - the frequency spectrums of the amp and speaker seem to meld together really well. I run a Bogner OS 2x12 with them in it, but I liked it even more thru a Mesa 2x12 Horizontal Recto with V30's. As for settings, the Shiva really starts to shine when both the channel master and the overall master are set above 9:00. Here's how I run it:

    Gain: 12oc with buckers, 1:30 with singles
    Bass: 1:30
    Mid: 12:00
    Treb: 10:30
    Pres: 12oc
    Ch Vol: 10:30
    Boost Vol: 12oc
    Master: 9oc
  12. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I actually agree with EVERYONE here...

    A couple of tricks

    1) Crank the CHANNEL VOLUMES, and set the Master to taste - you can get some nice FAT tones that way

    2) Sounds like you have your bass too high, as well as your PRESENCE. Dial BACK the BASS AND PRESENCE and set the MIDS AND TREBLE to taste.

    I also suggest the preamp tube changes, EITHER V1 or V2 - cheapest way to get some juice
  13. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    May 4, 2007
    The Capital
    yeah, me too. tubes, band, etc.
    it really depends on your situtation and what you prefer. but i can offer a couple things too:

    1. i don't know of you noticed this yet but the Presence knob has a big impact on the amount of fuzziness. and like they all said, so does volume.

    2. the eq on these is different than other amps i've played (one clue is the odd 6:00 to 4:00 range). so don't let the knob position influence you. look away and turn each knob until you like what you hear.

    3. also worth noting that a huge differences can be heard depending whether your ear is in the laser path or not, especially for closed backs. have you tried judging it while standing back 10-15 feet in front of your cab? (this is what an audience will hear)

    i've only had my 6L6 for a few months but so far i run it thusly:
    with a Std LP

    Presence: about 1:00

    Ch 1
    (bright swtich off)
    Bass 9-10:00
    Treble 1-2:00

    Ch 2
    (bright switch always on)
    these vary per gain level but,
    Bass 10:00-noon
    Mid near max
    Treble noon-3:00

    yes, my Ch 2 settings are quite bright but i like aggressive JCM800-ish tones usually. for darker & smoother flavors i'll just quickly twist back the Treble knob to taste.
  14. ed84246

    ed84246 Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    The Shiva can be grainy in the gain department, not quite fuzz like but it's not like a cranked non-master volume plexi either. Try experimenting with the master volume and channel volume as well - the sound is a lot different with the master high and the channel volume low and vice versa and both in the middle.

    But yes, tube changes will help as well, especially in V2 with preamp tubes.

    Also the Shiva doesn't love all guitars.
  15. goodertone

    goodertone Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Definately, a lot of good advice for you so far. I was pretty disapointed with the shiva's drive channel at first, but got it now where it sounds pretty good at moderately low volumes(I always thought it sounded killer at band levels).

    What I did:
    -changed speaker to Scumback H75 (warmer mids, smoother highs, tighter bass)
    -put GT12ax7-m preamps tubes in v2 & v3
    -stopped using the fx loop
    channel volume:1:00
    gain: 1:00-cranked
    For me, the key to eq'ing the shiva is: if I need brightness, I'll add mids and/or presence before adding treble. Like others have said, keep the bass control in check, or it'll get too boomy and muddy. With all this said, the shiva is still a giggin' amp, and will be outshined by quite a few other amps at lower volumes, IMO.
  16. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    SE, MA
    What has been the favorite 12ax7 that any of you have used? What did you like about it? How did it change the sound to you?
    This thread has been very helpful, great suggestions!
  17. Bluesbuff

    Bluesbuff Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    Western New York
    I have a 6L6 1X12 Shiva combo (no bright switches), and play mostly mahogany set neck guitars with P90s. I haven't found too many tones I don't like. It's a little tougher with the humbucker guitars though. The OD can get a little fizzy but reducing the presence as noted before will help. My basic settinings are Clean channel: bass at about 10 - 11, treble at about noon. The channel volume has a significant effect on the tone. At higher levels it's very blackface like with clear singing highs that can be overwhelming at higher volumes, big bottom end and slightly scooped mids. As you roll the channel volume down you lose some highs, like a 250K guitar volume pot. It adds a whole new dimension to the amp. OD channel: bass again about 11, mids at 12, treble 12 - 1 Presence 11, and gain 9 - 2 depending on the mood. P90s have more mids than Hums so I don't need to crank them up. I swapped out the lead 80 for a V30 , it's definetely a better match for the amp.
  18. hellhound79

    hellhound79 Member

    Mar 29, 2007
    hanceville Al
    i have wondered if using an attenuator would help since i cant really crank it much. but i dont know which one would work with the 80 watts 25, 50, and 100 watt models are all i can seem to find. i have also wondered about the gain mod you can do since it will brighten it up some. i have tried backing off of the gain and using a pedal to boost it but so far none of the pedals have worked out. they all seem to take away all of my bottom end.

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