P&W Rigs/Pedalboards

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Abandoned, Feb 12, 2015.


  1. blowery

    blowery Supporting Member

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    So small(ish) tube amp.

    I have a few contenders in mind, that range...well widely. I still have the Helix and it would be used for a front end pedalboard or also sometimes just direct. Sometimes the amp alone would be used.

    Matchless SC Mini - lowest power of group, but all demos sound great, has master vol & effects loop. I know @dmutter has one and seems to really like it...still?
    I believe right about $1k, or slightly less used.

    VHT Special 6 ultra - "similar" to the SC mini in watts and features, ok build quality...it's no matchless but it makes music nonetheless...much cheaper new, about $250 used. Not high on the list, but always like options

    Suhr Badger 18 - I have loved the demo of these, but they are the highest price on my list, and I would have to get at the least most likely a new speaker for my cab, preferably new cab....so that really bumps the budget. A good master volume/power soak feature as well.

    BadCat Mini/IIr - not sure on these. Seem pretty similar to Matchless, although all demos I've heard they sound very small and boxy.

    Dr Z M12 - not sure how I feel about this one. Seems like really only designed for pedalboard playing.

    Any other thoughts?
     
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  2. boyce89976

    boyce89976 Supporting Member

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    Matchless, no contest. It's a lifetime amp, and built that way. Best resale value on the list as well, if you decide to move it on to it's next home.
     
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  3. boyce89976

    boyce89976 Supporting Member

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    Thanks, J! It's getting there!
     
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  4. btjguitarman

    btjguitarman Member

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    I was seriously underwhelmed by the M12. Just felt lifeless even with the volume up pretty high.

    Badger is a super cool and really great sounding amp, but it’s really pricey and the compression is pretty heavy on it even when it’s cleaner. I gave that one and the corso serious looks before i got the Bella. It’s very different from the other ones on your list too.
     
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  5. Anthony Gring

    Anthony Gring Silver Supporting Member

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    Had a Badger and would agree completely with the above. Haven't tried the others. Good luck !
     
  6. gibs5000

    gibs5000 Member

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    Ventris, partly because it is an extremely awesome DUAL reverb, and partly because it’s the only reverb I’ve ever owned.
     
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  7. metro6audio

    metro6audio Supporting Member

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    Just finished up our audio rack for this week. BIG improvement. First few pictures are before. You'll know the after. :)

     
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  8. -Empire

    -Empire Supporting Member

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    Since you're gonna bring the Helix anyway as a pedalboard, why not just save the money and get a neutral power amp and cab? You already have an accurate Matchless DC30 in the Helix. And you can use your existing presets, just bypass the cab block.
     
  9. dmutter

    dmutter Member

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    I'm still VERY happy with my Matchless SC Mini. It's a great size and volume and sounds really sweet! Mine is the open backed version so I bet that helps it in sounding less boxy than many small amps. If you can't find an open back one I have a simple solution to mod a closed back.
     
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  10. Memphis

    Memphis Member

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    Um, remove the back?
     
  11. Pax

    Pax Gold Supporting Member

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    Had the VHT Special 6 (don’t know if it was “Ultra”, I think it was): could never get it to sparkle. Sold it quickly. Good price, though.

    SC Mini seems awesome. Don’t think you get a lot of headroom, but that’s usually true for all in this category. Would love to try one, but I had a Lightning at one point and that may have spoiled it for me. Remind me again why I sold it?

    Don’t really know the others. The Bella over the Badger is interesting to me though.

    What about:
    Milkman 1/2 Pint and Pint
    Princeton
    Vitage Sound 5 or 15 (Princeton style). Had the 15. Nice!
    Allen Chihuahua
    Gries 5
    Vox AC10
    Dr. Z Max 8

    Most of these are 6V6 Fender-based circuits. All are well thought of to my understanding.
     
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  12. jmckeown88

    jmckeown88 Member

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    Neunaber stereo wet. Great in mono, but truly unbelievably good in stereo. It is the sound in my head. To me, other stuff I’ve heard (incl. strymon) feels like an immitation of the real thing by comparison.

    I don’t mean that to be offensive, but the wet sounds like I’m in an actual “space” if that makes any sense.

    I generally just use the shimmer verb (but go very light on shimmer)
     
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  13. Pax

    Pax Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice! Good job! Love the tone. How do you set the MG and 808?
     
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  14. dmutter

    dmutter Member

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    Well you could try that. If you look closely it's really just a strip taken out of the middle of the back. I figured a way to cut that strip while being able to save and re-wrap the tolex.
     
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  15. Imperial_Tone

    Imperial_Tone All things with a Maple Cap Gold Supporting Member

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    Got experience with all three. FWIW, it is different flavors in each of these three circuits. The matchless is a great little amp, my problem with them is they were never in Head form as I prefer Head + Cab over combos due to tube rattle (plus I've got a whole bunch of cabs that are well broken in). It definitely has the matchless sound in a small package, great little combo.

    The Badger's are killer amps, especially the new line with the Mosfet boost and definitely carry over Vox/Marshall-esque tones. I had one of the original 35's for quite awhile and will probably end up with another one of these days. I also like the little Suhr Corso, 5w and has a super wide variety of tones with great features for recording. As far as the Bella, I got the chance to play a few with a local friend, excellent amps; I'd be more into the Bella Reverb model as I like having a few more features, but if you are looking for a totally clean platform for the Helix I would definitely give it a hard look; The only thing that will be more neutral would be a Power Amp.

    The Mini Cat I/II's are great options at 5w's, they are relatively similar to the SC Mini, but offered more build features that appealed to me over the SC. That being I could use it for an external pre-amp to my other heads if I chose to run it as such. Plus it had a headphone jack for practice at home. I never thought it sounded "boxy" im sure in context of using it in a combo form with a 1x10 it could probably earn that reputation; However it drove my 2x12's and 4x12's just fine. If you are describing another BC Mini Model, they are very similar to matchless, most Mini's will be based off of a 30/45w platform at 15/20w (think Matchless Lightning, Spitfire or Nighthawk 15w "tones"). A little different as far as component values and slight difference in tone, mainly comes down to the speaker choices that both manufacturers use.


    FWIW, as @-Empire pointed out if you are going to be using the Helix Strictly as a Pedalboard you might just want to checkout a Power Amp over just a guitar amplifier. I run my Helix Rack with a VHT 2150 if I desire on stage monitoring with any of my cabs (105w Stereo with KT88 Power.. Superb tones). Sounds killer and power amps can be had for a bargain compared to amplifiers (depending on specs you are after). If you have a larger wattage amp at home you could always get a Fryette PS2 and run the helix through it as a Power Amp. And even attenuate your existing amp at home for practice using the effects loop in the PS2 for the Helix.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  16. flatulentmatt

    flatulentmatt Member

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    Okay, catching up after summer break...

    Are you sure it's not a partially shorted cable? I was finding a similar thing when I was turning my true bypass delay at the time on/off. I thought the pedal just had a natural volume boost, but I played around some more. Turns out when I was engaging the pedal, it was giving the signal enough "juice" to push through. I replaced one of my patch cables and it solved the issue.
    At low gain settings the BD-2 has a great natural chime to it that I love. I really like it as a clean boost.
    I've owned 2 loop strips from him. The first, 2 switches went within around 18 months. Had to send it to the US (which is expensive from NZ) to be repaired (which I did). Then I sold it, replaced it with a slightly smaller one. One of the LEDs failed within a couple months, and now one of the switches has started going (I've had this one maybe 4 years?). Thankfully I'm about to replace it with the DPC-8EZ I have on the shelf.
    I detest country. But I love that album. That was me and my wife's album while we were dating. She walked down the aisle to A Face To Call Home. We're both big JM fans.
    There is absolutely no reason for the Timeline still being the price it is. The Nemesis and DD-500 on the whole both put out better sounds and are significantly cheaper. I honestly think you're paying for a name with the TL.

    Okay, Star Wars discussion below...
    See it again. My opinion changed a fair bit on second viewing, and I was 50/50 first time too.
    She was right not to tell him the plan. He'd just been demoted, got half their fleet destroyed, and basically then went and showed exactly why he couldn't be trusted. I honestly don't get why this is a criticism.
    I wasn't a huge fan either, but... the way Rian Johnson explained it was like those stories you hear of mothers lifting cars of their trapped kids. Basically, in a critical situation extreme power can manifest.
     
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  17. Steely Glen

    Steely Glen Supporting Member

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    Any reports on how the Helix performs through a clean power amp and standard cab? I have a Mesa 212 cab w/ British V30s. I’ve been wondering about how a Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170 or Quilter would do with the Helix into that cab.

    UPDATE: I see that this question was addressed above by @Imperial_Tone. Any other reports from the field?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  18. -Empire

    -Empire Supporting Member

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    Tons of guys do that with great results over in the Helix thread. See the last paragraph of @Imperial_Tone’s post a couple posts above and maybe ask around in the Helix thread.

    A lot of people love the “guitar cab in the room” thing so running it that way is kind of the best of both worlds. You keep most of the advantages of digital (reliable, cheap, flexible, lightweight), but get to crank up a guitar cab behind you if that’s what you’re used to.

    With Helix you can also easily send the signal from the amp model out to the power amp and guitar cab, but send a signal with an IR or cab block direct to FOH so you don’t have to deal with mics. Just put a cab block at the end of the chain with a “send” block right before it. Plug the send into the power amp and the XLRs into FOH.
     
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  19. Pax

    Pax Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I’ll try switching some cables and see what happens.

    As for country music, do you mean NZ or US? As for US, I can see it not being your preferred genre, I don’t listen to it regularly, but I have tremendous respect for it. Mostly the older stuff. There are tons of ridiculously talented musicians in country music. There is also plenty of bad country music, but that’s no different than any other genre. Classical has Mozart...and Salieri.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  20. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Alright, happy to throw mine in for 2018..

    [​IMG]

    It’s not 100% wired up; I just got the last few pedals for Christmas. I’m going for tidy and permanent (as in, taking a break from the pedal chase on this board)..

    The rest of my rig is a Tele into a 68 Custom Vibrolux!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018

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