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RSA23 as a channel switcher ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jeffh, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. jeffh

    jeffh Silver Supporting Member

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    Jul 14, 2002
    We just added a second guitar player to our band. Playing 5 years as a three piece, it has been a change, but a good one.

    However.... typical two guitar player volume problems. I have been playing a Hot Cat and 2x12 forever. Hard to get it beneath the other guitar player for his solos and above him for mine. I added a Black Cat and A/B them through a Headbone, it kind of works.

    The other band I play in I use a /13 CJ11, love that amp, thinking about a RSA for the classic rock/hard rock band.

    What I am wondering is.... can you get a decent crunch tone (think classic rock/hard rock) out of the RSA and then use the click channel for leads, with a noticeable volume boost ?

    Should mention... I don't care about clean tone, we play so few clean songs that the volume control on the guitar will be enough.
     
  2. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

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    I guess the head room issue is not of a concern, since you discount clean tones in your description.

    Based on that, to Andrew's point, you will not have a problem getting good crunch tones out of either channel....it gets excellent crunch tones, especially if you can get your TMB volume up to say 12-3 o'clock (or 9-12 with the switchazel boost). And yes, the click channel at similar volume settings will be louder than the TMB, and yes, use the switchazel....the built in boost is excellent and will be quite useful on either channel.

    either to boost a crunched tmb, or to boost a rolled back tmb, or to boost a crunch click tone for a really insane lead.

    also, don't forget to consider a nice analog delay (mxr carbon copy) to run perhaps between the switchazel and the tbm channel for some nice ambience.

    I'll tell you one thing...that RSA 23 is going to cut through the mix like you won't believe...so don't get too jealous playing that bad cat when the 23 comes on like it's the only rig in the room. (at least that is my experience using a partial open cab with a blue/g12h30).
     
  3. Zuper

    Zuper Supporting Member

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    Just to reiterate what was said: there really is NO headroom on the RSA23. It is dirty from the work "go". I play single-coil guitars, and I prefer the low input on the TMB channel, as the high input just breaks up too much above 1'oclock. The low input gives a really sweet on-the-edge crunch that can easily be controlled with the guitar's volume knob.

    The click channel gives a really sweet, saturated lead tone, but bear in mind it does add a considerable amount of noise, even when you're only on the TMB. In-between songs, it can be annoying. However, with the click dialed back, my amp is dead quiet. Any A/B/Y works great for channel switching, but the clean boost on the Switchazel is very convenient.

    Also, as Bluessyndicate said, the RSA23 cuts right through any mix, and has a wonderful, clear presense in any room. It makes a lot of other tones seem muddy and muffled by comparison.
     
  4. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

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    I'll add for posterity that unlike the majority that report no headroom, I seem to be able to find relative clean tones at small club volumes, or perhaps slightly hairy tones for med club volumes (perfect for blues)... this with either strats or a les paul/humbucker setup.

    perhaps this is due to my choice of speakers which are more efficient than the typically used closed greenbacks that Fred recommends with this amp. In any event I am enjoying nice woody clean plexi tones that even turn "spanky" when the guitar is rolled back enough.

    I do get slight noise when the click is cranked up..but find that if I set the click volume to 12 or 1 o'clock, the "hum" is negligible, and there is still more than enough gain.

    does anyone have any experience finding a low noise 5879 for the click channel, or even trying an alternate tube that might tame the hum reported? there certainly seems to be spare gain on top enough that a slight mellower tube might tame the hum, increase head room and still yield plenty of gain.
     
  5. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    Agreed with what has been stated above (although I own a shortbox RSA23 that only has the TMB channel)

    Would also like to chime in that the RSA is one bad mother of an amp. With a humbucker guitar into the HI input it I cannot imagine you not being heard in any sort of typical band situation.
    I have to run mine with an attenuator or stuff starts falling off of shelves.
     
  6. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    I have owned one for some time and I can tell you (dealer stuff aside) the amp is a bA DASS.....

    The first channel can get cranking, has plenty of headroom and then you can use the second for leads.

    If you have a switch hazel you can use the boost as well...

    Good combination.
     
  7. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    The RSA23 delivers a phenomenal classic rock cruch tone and more that has to be heard to believe. Great dynamics are however not the strength of this amp. The click channel can get a little bit louder than the normal channel, but not enough for my tastes. That's why I sold the amp and stayed with my Matchless Phoenix and Matchless SC-30. Both amps offer a significanlty more powerful "click" channel than the RSA23. You get just the right amount of volume boost to cut trough in a solo while having the normal channel maxed for thick classic rock rhythm work. The Matchless amps deliver like no other in this category and are absolutly "Live-gig" approved. The RSA23 is great in the studio and has an unmistakable sonic imprint, but for live situtations you would be better of using the RSA23 as a single channel version and a different, but more powerful amp for soloing.
    Rene
     
  8. jeffh

    jeffh Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey guys thanks for all the input. The RSA definitely sounds like it might do the trick. There is a dealer a couple hours away that has one in stock with a matching 2x12,time for a road trip !!
     

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