Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by IAMJOE, Feb 26, 2015.
Do they exist or are they all subject to the typical hiss and buzz?
My Bad Cat Hot Cat, is very quiet, at least with humbuckers.
I don't know what your definition of high gain is, but I have several gain-y amps that seem very quiet to me: Orange OR50, Verellen Skyhammer, Matamp GT2... All are well below my tolerance threshold. Even my 5150 III isn't overly noisy for the amount of gain it has.
If it's bothersome, you could always try a noise suppressor in the loop. A lot of the \m/ dudes seem to go that route.
At some level, though, you're just going to have to live with it.
All amps make some noise. It would be good if you could point to an audio sample or YouTube video with a noise level that you think is too much.
Bc audio makes the quietest amps I've ever heard.
Absolutely. My Diezel Herbert is dead quiet.
Yeah, I've had a few Diezel VH4s and they were extremely quiet until you hit the strings.
Hey Joe -
the term "high gain" is usually used to mean high distortion. If an amp relies entirely on cascaded tube gain stages to achieve distortion, then "hiss" is impossible to avoid. The hiss comes from a few sources including electrons bumping into each other within resistors. The resistor noise at the input is amplified by all gain stages so that it is quite loud once it reaches the speaker. There are a few other issues, and a few ways to reduce this type of noise - but generally it cannot be avoided.
There are other ways to achieve distortion, however, like diode bounding (as in the Friedman SAT switch). Such circuits produce distortion without extra gain and therefore they don't amplify noise from preceding gain stages. An amp with 3 gain stages and a diode-bounding circuit can be quieter than an amp with 4-gain stages and no diode-bounding circuit.
John, funny you mention Friedman. I'm seriously considering buying the Cantrell model
Like V2 said, the nature of high gain playing for it to be noisy. Noise gates can be useful for the stop start riffs, where you want silence in between. The trade off is that it can rob sustain so always trying to balance those two factors and find a sweet spot.
If one is used to clean amps, high gain amps will always seem noisy, even the quieter ones.
As for Mesa amps, I have never had noise problems with them (aside from one ground loop case due to my poorly thought out wiring) nor any need for noise gates.
There is one exception, though. High-gain Mesa amps with detachable power cords can be prone to hum. (My Revision G Dual Rec is one.) Rectos with fixed power cords, like my Rev C Dual and Road King II, are fine, however.
I've got a Peavey 6505+ in my collection which is about as high gain as you can get and I don't find it to be noisy at all.
This and a Diezel Herbert, Diezel Hagen, Diezel D-Moll.
Diezel makes the highest gain amps that I am aware of. Anything higher gain would be a large swarm of bees, coming toward you.
They are still articulate and detailed sounding but pummelling at the same time. This is a good thing.
my fuchs viper is very quiet.
Soldano, Bogner, Diesel, Suhr, PWE. All pretty quiet
Joe - I've never played a Friedman, but they sound quite good in clips. It's a lot of money to spend, so you might want to also look at Baron Custom Amps and Splawn.
You won't be disappointed!
I have the JJ100. Love it. There is some hiss with the gain maxed, but it's hardly noticeable. Friedman took great care on these newer models to eliminate noise. I've had Soldanos, a Naylor, Buddas, DSL, JVM, Mesas, Oranges, lots of hi-gain heads. Honestly, a lil bit of noise is inevitable. Never really bothered me, but I guess they make noise eliminators for the folks that need em.
Peavey 5150 bothered me. Noisy amp!
I've got some hiss. Doesn't bother me too much, but I may try an ISP G string in the loop. I've hear those are great.
My PWE is pretty quiet. DC heaters and whatnot...
And with a band, on a gig, you'd never hear anything...Quietest multi-channel amp I've owned...