Reinhardt Power Scaling

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mr.Woody, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    So, i've had my MI-6 for about a month now, and i've had a hard time bonding with it mainly because i thought i was looking for something with a little more gain than the MI-6 seems to have. Tonight, I played through a friend's 18 watt clone and felt like it had much more gain than my Reinhardt which was rather disappointing since the MI-6 is supposed to be a little more hot-rodded than the original. So after talking/thinking about it, i came home and played around some (as loud as i could at 1am in a 1 bedroom apartment with a 50-something year-old woman living below me). What i've figured out is that it has WAY more gain on tap than previously thought. Having the gain knob up all the way and volume low produces low/moderate gain with a strat. Cranking up the volume and turning down the scaling, i know it should be getting a LOT more gain-y, but it doesn't always seem like it, and i think i've figured out why.

    The power scaling does such a good job of keeping the amp from sounding fizzy/mushy, but adds a little more sizzle/acoustic-y quality. It's so acoustic-y that it doesn't seem like there is as much gain as is actually present. The reason i figured the out is that i decided to run it through my hot plate into the 8ohm 12" in another amp. Of course i had to turn the hot plate down to -16db and even more so because i had the amp totally cranked, BUT i then realized how much gain is truly present. sure it was totally fizzy/un-usable, but it was the amount of gain i had been looking for/left wanting. I run my other main amp (Gibson GA-20RVT) through the hot plate all the time, so i know i have a good comparison as far as the amount of gain and the effect the hot plate will have on it. Until this point i though my Gibson amp seemed to have more gain than the Reinhardt, but i was WAY wrong. The only downside is that the TMB channel is a ton louder than the Vol/Tone channel (i had planned to use an A/B/Y box and switch between them). I guess when switching channels, i'll just have to add some pedals to make up for the difference. The great thing about all this is now i know, when i finally do get to crank it up real good (something i haven't even had the chance to do since it hasn't left the apartment yet), it's going to sound AWESOME!

    So, in summary, the power scaling in the Reinhardt does a fabulous job of keeping the amp from sounding fizzy/mushy, but possibly masks the gain a little by adding an acoustic quality. You can hear every note very clearly, but it doesn't "sound" as high gain as it actually is.

    What's your experience with your amp and power scaling?
    Any comments on my findings? Bob, if you're out there, i'd like your take on all this.

    Thanks,
    Woody
     
  2. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    The MI-6 samples on Youtube sounded great, but when I got one at home and played it quietly the sound fell apart. I ended up returning it.
     
  3. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Tube amp
    18 watts is still loud
    Heavy attenuation be it from scaling, attenuators or master volumes are going to effect the sound.
    Especially if your trying to get them down to apartment and gnat fart volume levels.
     
  4. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    Those amps should dialed in as Bob recommended on his site. Leave the scaling out of it until you have the volume and drive controls set right, then scale down the volume to where you need to be. In other words use it like an attenuator instead of a master volume.

    When I had JKC33, I thought the Gain and Drive controls were labeled sort of backwards. I decided to ignore the names and just listen. That amp sounded best with the volume (gain) control opened up pretty good. The scaling was very transparent to my ears.

    The other thing I noticed is that the amp sounded.best with a Reinhardt speaker. Obviously it was voiced around those speakers. When I took out a Scumback and put in a Reinhardt speaker the amp started sounding its best with all the tone knobs flat!
     
  5. waggclan

    waggclan Par 4 Holer Gold Supporting Member

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    Quiet "quality" high gain bedroom levels do not exist. It's an oxymoron. You've got to crank a tube amp up to where the glass is happy to get the player happy and achieve "quality" levels of saturated tone. You can use inefficient speakers (97db) and that will help keep the overall sound level down. But attenuators will always color the sound to a degree. Keep it low -3db to -6db and you will get much less of a degraded tone, but you attenuate much higher, expect your tone to deteriorate as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  6. Bandalero

    Bandalero Member

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    I own a Storm-33 head, and to be perfectly frank, I haven't had a lot of luck with its on-board power scaling feature.

    Don't get me wrong - it works perfectly well as described, and yes, it is relatively subtle or 'transparent' in nature, but I typically achieve my best results with it using a good OD pedal (e.g., Tim) with power scaling was 'Off' (i.e., dimed). For me, the difference in tone between the two approaches is night and day. In addition, I find the 30/35w output of my particular Storm head to be totally manageable. My 28w Rambler is FAR louder!
     
  7. waggclan

    waggclan Par 4 Holer Gold Supporting Member

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    That's good to hear. I just bought a Storm 33 with matching mini slant 2x12...
     
  8. Bandalero

    Bandalero Member

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    Yeah, congrats! I saw that - that was a screamin' frickin' deal!
     
  9. jlh

    jlh Member

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    I bought the MI 6 and after one week sold it, Lost a bunch of money. It was a terrible amp IMO. I bought a Fargen Olde 800 MK 11, the best amp I have ever owned.
     
  10. galibier_un

    galibier_un Supporting Member

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    I think that when you make a statement like this, you owe it to the group to describe what you did to try and get the best sound out of this amp, and why it ultimately disappointed you.

    Of course, this will give all of us some context and will help us triangulate in on the MI-6 sound.

    From your perspective, sitting down and trying to articulate your thoughts, and the evaluation process that led to your conclusions will help you to better think this through and help you in the long run as well. I know that anytime I have to justify my thoughts in detail, it causes me to introspect and to be clear in my own mind about the process I went through. I frequently realize that I skipped a step (nobody's perfect) :D

    I would have thought the exact same thing if you said "this amp rocks and it inspires me levels of musical insight I never thought I'd have".

    I'm a small manufacturer, and I'm sensitive to comments made that can unfairly damage another small manufacturer. I don't have any skin in this game (don't know Bob Reinhardt). I think that people like Bob deserve a fair shake from all of us, however. Their heart and soul goes into these projects, and my gut tells me that the MI-6 is a great amp ... for the right person.

    Why it's not the right amp for you will be instructive to that right person.

    Relating to another post in this thread, I would love to see more expanded discussion on the benefits of using OD's and clean boosts vs. the new breed of attenuators (e.g. Aracom, Faustine, Alex, Rock Crusher, etc.), vs. power scaling. We see lots written about "what's the best attenuator", but I'd like to look at this from the end-point: what's the best solution for getting a saturated sound at less than high levels in an amplifier?

    Cheers,
    Thom
     
  11. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    Yeah, i had thought about going with the Fargen Olde 800 MKII myself, but now is not the timw. Plus, i got to crank the Reinhardt a little today. It does sound really really sweet when i can really crank it. The cleans are exquisite. Doing the whole "slow dancing in a burning room" thing on the Vol/tone channel sound soooooo good. The question is this: Would it be better to have an amp like this that i may only get to crank about 5% of the time, or find something even lower watt (like the Mini-Me) or possibly even the new 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 with the Hybrid Master (it really does sound good @ low levels, or at least the British Dream did and this is less wattage). Or do i just settle for using pedals and live for the days i CAN crank it? I mean, i always have my little Gibson for really overdriven stuff @ conversation levels. I have a feeling that i ever get this amp out somewhere where Vol isn't an issue, i won't look back........until then........


    Also, to comment on the whole "There's a step i skipped" thing, it makes me think of my old Traynor YCV50 Blue. Granted, i doubt i would go back to a mass produced amp at this point, but i soooooo bad wish i had known about dropping JJ 6v6s in place of EL34's. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know how that amp would have sounded with those, esp since i'm such a huge 6V6 kinda guy. As a matter of fact, i think the next amp i wanna get will def be an EL34 amp just for that specific purpose.....i'm thiniking an old Traynor YBA1 (aka JTM45/'59 Bassman)......i just got real giddy just thinking about it :)

    As far as "that's a terrible amp" i don't know if i could ever say that about any amp that costs over $200. They are all different for different people. The only Vox i've ever played and liked was the little AC-4TV. I've hated every single EL84 amp i've ever played. i can point out the EL84s within about 5 seconds of plugging in and i just don't like it, but if i went around saying the Vox AC-30 is a "Terrible amp" just because it doesn't suit my needs/taste, that says more about my judgement than it does about the amp itself"
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  12. playthecray

    playthecray Supporting Member

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    Your gut tells you right Thom. The MI-6 is a great amp. I am shocked at what I am reading on portions of this thread. I feel fortunate to own one.







     
  13. Bandalero

    Bandalero Member

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    I own a couple of Bob's amps and I too have my views (one way or another) on both of them, but I'm not sure that I agree with this rationale that everyone has to justify every single nuance of why they may or may not like something. I mean, in theory, I could spend half-a-day explaining the various virtues or drawbacks of something, and still not have covered all of what I may have experienced or learned about it, right?

    Just my 2-cents.

    By example, if I say that I don't like Newt Gingrich or Barack Obama, do I have to sit down and write an elaborate 1000-word dissertation for everyone on all of their respective policies and political viewpoints before my opinion is considered justified or acceptable to others? The point being, I'm entitled to my view, and others can take it or leave it, right? Right!

    Again, my 2-cents.
     
  14. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    well, to make a blanket statement about an amp being terrible is much different than saying an amp isn't for you, or you didn't like the sound of it. I've never heard BAD things about this amp until this thread........
     
  15. Bandalero

    Bandalero Member

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    To that extent, I agree, and I should clarify that I've never owned nor played an MI-6, so I have no dog in this fight either way, but I think the overall credibility of someone's critique of a given item, rises and falls on how they go about saying it, rather than how much they may say about it.
     
  16. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    Real quiet scaling, I get good results with cranking the T and killing the M/B or crank M and kill T/B. Then a touch of B for taste.

    Currently I'm using headphone out from an old Yam DG-Stomp. Tech21 pedal hitting the DG(just eq and fx) out to two 12" cabs. Stealthy Apt., but I get raging dark/thick saturation to spanky cleans. It's a cheap rig that actually satisfies the late night fix. Huge in a small way.
     
  17. jlh

    jlh Member

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    I have no dog in the fight either, it was the best day when I sold it. I have been playing for over 40 years and have owned many amps. Sorry if it bothers some I did not like the amp, It was terrible IMO, I owned it one week, played it every day and gigged it for two days. Bob was a first class guy, great to deal with and delivered the amp on time, spent time with me and no doubt deserves his reputation. But the amp just did not not do what I expected, I did not like the power scaling was very dissapointed at how one dimensional and brittle the amp was and simply did not suite me. I play custom shop Les Pauls
    I bought a Sommatone, OD 35, own a Soldano SLO and now the Fargen, All three simply drip with harmonics, and tone. Unlike my experience with the MI-6. I said it was terrible IMO, Never said anything about small companies or any thing about Bob.
    If you wanted to know what it was about it I didn't like, you should just ask and skip the lesson. I am a small business owner as well. My wife even thought it had terrible tone! She's been listening for years, a great unbiased opinion. Sorry
     
  18. volfox

    volfox Supporting Member

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    I have two mi6 heads no power scailing... I think they are great amps for sure. I did go through a unhappy period when i got the first one but it was a bad tube (they were brand new so i thought they could not be the problem)and I believe when people post about how they don"t like a highly aclaimed amp.... this I bet is 50% of the problem.The other 50% percent just don't have a clue how to set it up or the speaker or guitar is not a good match. I had a trade worked out but at the last minute i swaped out every tube and presto there it was what i had heard in the many demos i listened to. just think how many people sell off great amps every day because of this.
     
  19. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    and what were the tubes?
     
  20. beckerman

    beckerman Member

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    Interesting. I've had my 18 for a couple weeks and am more impressed every time I plug in and play. The cleans are really good!

    At least we agree on the Fargen, love mine.
     

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