New Bogner Shiva - Sounds Cold/Harsh

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jazzgear, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Jazzgear

    Jazzgear Supporting Member

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    OK, I just took delivery of my long awaited 6L6 Shiva combo on Thursday. Spent all night Thursday, Friday & today trying to warm up to it and it just does not sound as good as the floor model I auditioned about a year ago.

    The CL80 speaker sounds boomy and the highs are piercing....I ran the amp through my Mesa Lonestar Classic 2x12 combo speakers, and it improved the sound alot....but it still sounds a bit cold, compressed.....

    Right now I am feeling bummed with this purchase. The LSC is kicking its ass all over the place (cleans, drive, dynamics, everything).

    So for you Shiva veterans out there. What is wrong with the amp? Or is this the nature of the beast?

    Also, I thought this thing was supposed have a lot of clean headroom...I mean it does get loud, but it does start to break up when I strum hard (vol 1 @ 10.5, Master @ 10). My LSC has tons more clean @ 50 watts.

    Another thing, people complained that the Mesa LSC has too much bass, well this thing is worse (at least when run through it's 1x12 combo cab). I literally have to run the bass all the way down, and it is still too woofy.

    I know the suspicion is tubes.....but which are the culprit, Power/Preamp? BIAS'd too cold. I have no tools to measure any of this....so how can I tell.

    Help:confused::jo
     
  2. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

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    I am sure that after a good week or so of playing, the speaker will break in much more and smooth out, the peircing highs will probally get tamed.

    Not really familiar with this amp, but I have always been happier once a new speaker breaks in. though that seems like just part of the issue.
     
  3. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Switch out the 12AX7 tube in the V1 position. If you have a couple other 12AX7 tubes, try playing with those. Its a simple way to change the character of that amp. I used to have a shiva and what you are describing does not sound like the shiva should. I'd also give the guys at Bogner a call, super nice people and talk with them about it.
    Good luck! Hope it comes around for you.
     
  4. traviswalk

    traviswalk In the Great State Gold Supporting Member

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    Definitely check the power tube bias to see that it is in range. This sounds very rare, my 6L6 Shiva is tops and it was right out of the box. Sorry that you have to go through a few days of not enjoying that bad boy, it will come into song with a little tweaking.
     
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  5. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    When I first got my Shiva, I found that it took some time to dial it in. Since then Ihave been very happy. I would also play with the balance between channel volumes, and master volume to find out what works for you best.
     
  6. billm408

    billm408 Member

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    I've got a newer 6L6 head (w/ bright switches) and have noticed that channel 2 is a little thin & fizzy at bedroom volume, but great at gig levels. The clean channel is great at any volume. As suggested, check the bias... Bogner tends to set them a little low from the factory.
     
  7. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    A few things:

    1) Classic Lead 80s are not the sweetest speakers with Shivas, Vintage 30s are. I've found the Shiva to be harder and brighter sounding with CL80s, V30s seem to warm up the amp and fatten it up a little bit.

    2) Check your power tube bias, it may be set a little cold (they like to be run a little hot)

    3) Tubes make a big difference, Reinhold recommends Shuguang 9th gen preamp tubes and "Winged C" Svetlana power tubes and they've always sounded the best to my ears.
     
  8. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    all those comments point to cold biasing... my Shiva was that way too, at first.
     
  9. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    They overbias (i.e. tubes run too cold) the new ones to cut down on warranty claims. Need to properly bias for best results.
     
  10. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    Some good advice here......but on the other hand after such a big purchase you want to be happy with the amp right outta the box...right?
    ....otherwise ........Buyers remorse sets in!!!

    I get buyers remorse after nearly every amp that I've bought......Never really bonded with an amp just out of the box.
    I have had to settle with it, tweak it and gig with it.

    My shiva is no exception and after owning it for about 4 years I know what it does well and what it sucks at.
    Often when we buy an amp and have paid for it we concentrate on what it's not good at and that overshadows the good which often takes a bit of time to come to the fore....
    Some days the amp is happening ...other days all my amps sound ****......maybe this is one of the other days.

    What I'm saying is keep it awhile and let it breathe a bit and then after a good deal of time has passed.... then decide if it's a pile of crap cause i know I've felt like you before and still have the amps that made me feel that way.

    Addressing some of your points...........Yes the shiva has way more bass than any mortal will ever need......I run my bass at 7 to 9 o clock.
    One must also keep in mind that shiva controls start at 6 o clock where the rest of the amp world only gets up at 7 o'clock.

    The v30 speaker is alot better than the cl80 and will be less fizzy, warmer and with tighter bass.....I found the cl80 unbearable with my shiva.

    IMO i do believe the shiva is a gigging man's amp and it needs to have the volume up otherwise it suffers from that cold stiff feeling.
    I am one of the few that don't like the master control so I use a Hotplate.

    I have had some great gigs with my shiva and it can be a killer tone machine under the right conditions.......

    What a moody amp it is...........just when you think you have it under control................enjoy the challenge.....he he

    Rick
     
  11. analogwarmth

    analogwarmth Member

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    i have a 4x12 with vintage 30s. try rolling off the presence knob a little and the amp really tends to open up around 11 o'clock, but sounds best at 2 ish on the master volume. yea my neighbors love me.
     
  12. lespaul6

    lespaul6 Senior Member

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    sorry to hear about your experience...mine was exactly the same...sounded like crap, real crap on the overdrive, clean was fine. I sold it as fast as I could. At the time I also had a fender tonemaster and the tonemaster just blew the shiva away in every way imaginable....when I hear people saying these amps sound good they must be playing them on 2 in their bedroom...anyway, good luck on your tonequest.
     
  13. voodoochile

    voodoochile Supporting Member

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    The Bogner recommended tubes made a huge difference when I got mine. It had Mesa branded tubes in it (nothing necessarily wrong with that, just not as detailed by Bgoner. the Winged C's made a WORLD of difference. I also got some of the Chinese 12ax7's... again a huge difference. The guy who I bought the amp from could not bevieve the difference, and I think he secretly still hopes I will sell it- so he can buy it back.

    As for speakers, the V30's do sound great with this amp. I tried a pair of Scumback speakers, and I have never looked back. Simply sounds amazing.

    I hope you get to liking yours, as it is a very impressive amp, and hope you do not get disappointed enough to sell it before trying out some of the options.
     
  14. Plan9FOS

    Plan9FOS Member

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    +1000 on all 3 points ...

    Plus any speaker takes weeks to break in ...
     
  15. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I have had a couple of Shiva's. Here are some suggestions:

    * Replace the preamp tubes with something better than the stock Chinese tubes (unless you like bright and fizzy). EH's sound pretty good in the Shiva.

    * Bias the amp properly. They are biased cold from the factory and they sound much warmer when set a little bit on the hot side. They like SED EL34/6L6's.

    * Shiva's sound best with V30's although the CL80 in my old 1x12 combo sounded decent after the tweaks above. V30 + Shiva = happiness.

    * They definitely sound better at gig volume but try this to get a decent low volume sound - Instead of turning the channel volumes up and keeping the master low, try turning the master up a little bit and setting the channel volumes lower. It's definitely harsher at low master settings and this trick works like a charm on the older Shiva.

    Good luck with your new amp. I have had a bunch of amps since my last Shiva but it's still up there in my top 3 gig amps of all time. Spend some time to dial it in and you will be rewarded with great sound.

    -Frank :)
     
  16. Jazzgear

    Jazzgear Supporting Member

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    I tend to agree with you. Though I didn't buy the Shiva to get rid of the LSC. I just blurbed that comment because the Mesa's get no love on this board...and get bashed at every opportunity.


    I did run the Shiva today through a friend's 2x12 Cab loaded with V30s and all the boom and harshness went away...still a bit stiff and cold...but as others have pointed out it has to be the BIAS being set too cold.

    I am going to to replace the CL80 with a V30. But do you all think that the V30 has enough wattage for the Shiva? I know its 60 watts vs 60 tube watts from the amp.....don't won't to blow it up if really cranking the amp at a gig.

    Anyway, before I make any changes I have a gig next Sunday...and then will decide what to do then.
     
  17. Jazzgear

    Jazzgear Supporting Member

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    I appreciate the tube recommendations I am getting in this thread. But here is the problem:

    "It's a brand new (out of the box) amp direct from Bogner." So shouldn't it already have the recommended tubes and all?
     
  18. Jazzgear

    Jazzgear Supporting Member

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    Based on my observations and the posts in this thread I am pretty confident the issue here is one of a BIAS adjustment.

    The million dollar question is, what should it be set to? I know nothing of tube BIAS'ing. Would a tech know? Or do I need to tell them what to set it to?

    Sorry for the noob questions.....

    ....and thanks for all the great suggestions.
     
  19. jimpridx

    jimpridx Supporting Member

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    Hey Jazzgear! I had an EL34 version of the Shiva, and what you described was exactly my thoughts on the amp. It was a 1x12 closed-back combo that was ported in the front. I plugged into various speakers and cabinets, adjusted the bias several times (mine was initially set way too cold), switched tubes, and then some, and in the end I finally gave up and sold the amp in favor of a Fuchs ODS and have never looked back. Yes, while all of these subtle little tweaks will certainly help, I simply found that the amp didn't float my boat. It was indeed a frustrating experience to have spent all this cash on an amp that is so highly regarded by so many only to find that it never had the sound I was truly looking for. Sorry if I'm sounding a bit pessimistic toward this amp, but it just didn't do it for me. I'm a much happier player now that I've found an amp that does do it for me.
     
  20. jimpridx

    jimpridx Supporting Member

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    As far as the "million dollar question," I'll bet you could search these pages and find the answer to the proper biasing for your amp. Of course, I had the EL34 model, so the 6L6 version wouldn't be the same. I have heard many times, though, that Bogners come out of the box with the bias settings set way too low. I'm sure it'll help to boost those things up a bit.
     

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