Thanks Weber! Blue Dog v Red Fang content, with description of effects used

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Heady Jam Fan, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Updated info - Post #17

    First off - the guys at Weber are awesome! They sent me a 50 watt ceramic Blue Dog to test out and compare to my Eminence Red Fang and it just arrived earlier this week.

    I finally got a chance to record this afternoon and I began with the Red Fang and tried to get a variety of sounds for the comparison. Then I plugged into the Blue Dog and went straight into recording the same tunes. They guys at Weber seemed to imply the Blue Dog was used and laying around their factory, but I'm not certain its totally broken in.

    I used my custom guitar with Joe Barden's into my 1965 Fender Bassman (I set the amp as bright as possible and roll down my tone knob, gives me a ton of upper mids/presence). I used an MXL 2010 mic into Garageband.

    The only effects used are listed in my signature except a small amount of software compression post-processing. The wet effects were all recorded effect only in stereo, so if y'all want, I can make another version 100% dry (though I kept the wet levels fairly low).

    [SOUNDCLOUD]http://soundcloud.com/jweingarden/red-fang-vs-blue-dog[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    The clean tracks were recorded with my Retro-Sonic compressor on (which has quite a bit of attack on some tracks, sorry) - it is a pretty new pedal to me, so that is why it is on.

    Clean Phish tunes have a TS9 Silver>Comp with my guitar volume rolled back a bit.

    Overdriven Rhythm tracks are my amp's distortion, the one track with more picking has a compressor on to help those notes pop out, the other tracks (I believe they are all Hendrix tunes IIRC) are just guitar into amp.

    The dirty leads are TS9 Silver>TS9 Silvers>Comp>Fromel Shape into a clean amp.

    All the tracks were recorded with single coils except the two lead tracks, it was the bridge humbucker. As far as the single coils settings, I switch between neck, neck-middle, middle, and middle-bridge.

    The wet effects include stereo spread chorus on every track except Little Wing (which has Flange instead) from my Modfactor, 100% wet and a little reverb from my RV7. The lead tunes have a touch of delay from my Flashback with the Matt Beck echo toneprint.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  2. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    Fooled me. I thought A was Red Fang and B was Blue Dog. I really thought B sounded better, but both sounded pretty damn good. Nice playing BTW.
     
  3. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Thanks! My mind still isn't made yet either, I only played the Blue Dog about an hour for the recordings, so I still owe it quite a bit of playing.
     
  4. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    It might be because the Weber isn't broken in yet, but it sounded slightly less "open" and didn't "breathe" as much. Less thee-dimensional.
     
  5. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    That is possible - They guys at Weber said it was used, but I have no idea how many hours. The Red Fang ought to be completely broken in as I got it used (though in pretty new condition) and I have put a number of hours on it over the past months.

    I was holding off on my opinions and I still haven't formed concrete ones, but the main thing I noticed is the Blue Dog seems to have a bit more presence or something - the upper mids / presence is what these speakers are known for.

    Now if Celestion will send me a Blue to add to the comparison! Lol, but for the price, these are two great speakers, the Blue Dog being a little less expensive. I personally think they are a great combination for a Fender amps as it can benefit from some midrange punch, coupled with a bit of treble and bass roll-off. I like both more than the Eminence Swamp Thang that I had, but that is 90% cuz the Swamp Thang had too much bass for a Bassman amp, using the amps overdrive was nearly impossible without getting a hummy-farty-muddy low end, though it was great on my Blues Junior.

    I hope some Phish heads stumble across this as these are a good option for getting closer to the Trey Anastasio tone. I might have to drop this comparison in the Trey Tone thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  6. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    The Weber seems to bloom more than the Red Fang though... The attack is far more complex.
     
  7. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    I also posted this on Strange Design as it is common to put a C Blue in a Fender to get Trey's tone, they had some interesting feedback too so far - thanks guys, I appreciate hearing your opinions!

    Someone suggested I put up a 100% dry version, so here ya go - butt naked guitar:

    [SOUNDCLOUD]http://soundcloud.com/jweingarden/red-fang-vs-blue-dog-dry[/SOUNDCLOUD]
     
  8. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    I've got one of each in a 2-12. Both are very nice in their own way.
    15w ceramic BD and an older 30w Fang.
     
  9. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Cool - I was thinking they would be cool to have in a 2x12, though not too too different.

    I am almost certain the older, 30w, Red Fang is the same as the 50watt one. It always performed up to 50watts, but they rated it 30 to compete with the C Blue, but when Celestion made the Gold, which is essentially a higher watt blue, Eminence changed theirs to a 50watt rating.

    I think the Weber site says their lower wattage speakers are a bit brighter.?. So I suspect there is more difference between your two speakers than the two I compared.
     
  10. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    I've had both a ceramic and alnico (current amp) blue dog in blackface deluxe reverbs. They take a while to break in. In my 64 DR the alnico blue has been in it for about 6 months and is now really sounding great. I can see why people get turned off but breaking in a speaker takes time but is well worth it. I have a Cannabis rex in another amp and it sounded good right out of the box but the sound hasn't improved to the same measure as the alnico blue. The blue was stiff at the beginning but now has surpassed the Cannabis rex.
     
  11. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Interesting, I wish I knew how many hours were on it already... I doubt I will notice a huge difference over the amount of time that I get the test the speaker out for.
     
  12. SixStringInMyHand

    SixStringInMyHand Member

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    Cool. I see what the one poster meant by more open in a tonal sense rather than referring to compression. The Red Fang has more mids to my ears, which sounds desirable on some of those examples, other ones sound dark. The one example sounds a little like a Widespread Panic tune and that definitely sounds better with the Red Fang, the Blue Dog is just too bright or something, could cause ear fatigue. The lead tracks show a difference too, the Blue Dog is more present, which is good, but the Red Fang is more focused and smooth. The last bit really nails the Trey sustaining lead thing, with all the mids you probably don't need the presence. I think I would probably go with the Red Fang between the two, but both are really nice, you might find yourself rolling off more treble with the Blue Dog.
     
  13. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Yea, I agree with a lot of what SixString says. As someone mentioned, they could be really complimentary speakers. As for rolling off more treble, I found that I liked my tone knob where it was actually, though the thought crossed my mind. And one of the parts of one example was influenced by Widespread ;) - good call. That last part was pretty much as close as I think I can get to Trey's leads with my gear (and skill), just a snippet though.

    Similarities: Upper-Midrange profile is very similar to my ear, around the 3-6k range.

    Difference: The Blue has more Treble, the Red seems to have another peak right smack in the middle, making it a midrangier speaker.

    On the completely clean stuff, it is really a flip of a coin for me. The Blue was brighter, the Red thickened those parts up a bit more. The Blue didn't sound too bright or harsh by any means, but rather very clear. I tended to like the thickness, but it seems most people seem to lean toward the clarity of the Blue.

    On the distorted stuff, I sometimes found the top-end of the Blue a little harder to control. With a few of the examples, it seemed a certain frequency range was just ringing continuously and I found myself trying to tame my picking to lighten up as I got to the high pitched strings.

    On the clean-ts9 example, I think the Blue opened it up a bit, while the Red was a bit dark or distant. While I liked the midrange punch of the Red, it doesn't do you good without the articulation of the Blue's top-end.

    The lead parts are also a flip of a coin. Again, the Blue opened up the upper frequencies for a more present sound, while the Red was more focused and smooth. It almost sounds like the Red was compressing a bit and I was playing loud, but not nearly as loud as the amp can get, so I don't know about that. I tended to like the smooth, focused thing, but it still could have used a little bit of the bite the Blue had.

    I should also note that I found the Red to be a little bit boxy with certain settings/styles/registers. I think that is the additional midrange hump that it seems to have. On one hand, I didn't mind that sound occasionally, but I guess if you did a set with a few songs that emphasized that characteristic in a row, it might be a little much.

    I still haven't made a decision on a preference, so the above is just observations. Someone mentioned running both in one cab and I think they would be surprisingly complementary considering they are often compared as similar - it seems people often mix speakers that are markedly different to strike a balance, while the initial characteristic I noticed in these speakers was the similar upper midrange. With this comparison, one should also consider that Weber offers a huge variety within each speaker model. For example, the Blue Dog with Alnico and a Hemp Cone might be more similar to the Red Fang (assuming the different cone would tame the treble without adding bass). They also offer a number of doping options, though I can't say I can put my finger on precisely what the different options sound like (never really got around to comparing two same speakers with different dopings).
     
  14. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    The guys at Weber are super cool - I sent them my in depth opinion and they said to hang onto the speaker. In turn, I said I would be happy to let others in the Pittsburgh area test it out as well if they are interested, so if anyone happens to be from around here and reads this, drop a line if you want to try it.

    I am considering running it in an extension cab along with my Red Fang in the main combo, though I don't have an extension currently. Weber also said it would break it more and sound even better in the future.
     
  15. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^

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    Very nice! I greatly preferred B for the cleaner to slightly dirty sounds, but it had that fake, compressed POD sound when really dirty or with the humbuckers. Overall A was a bit scratchy sounding and unpleasant clean, but sounded fine with lots of dirt and I think in a band setting might work slightly better depending the rest of your rig and what you are playing.
     
  16. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Thanks!

    I think some people's rigs might 'tame' A a bit better than mine, but it was definitely brighter, so I agree that it might be beneficial live for some people. The speaker still needed to break in quite a bit also.

    I think the POD comment is funny - the dirty rhythms were just guitar into a '65 Bassman, which is about as natural and old-school as it gets ;) - maybe you were listing to the one with wet effects, the dry one might sound less processed. The dirty leads were 2 TS9's>Ross Compressor>Fromel Shape, so I suspect you might mean the leads - while I love that tone, it isn't natural like tube overdrive. I only used humbuckers on those clips (bridge position), the rest was single coil.
     
  17. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Someone recently PM'ed me asking for the audio and I responded that I have some newer opinions on this discussion. He suggested I update this thread, so here goes!

    Eminence speakers.
    My opinion on the Red Fang has not changed. Eminence makes some great stuff. Having said that, I'm a huge Celestion fan and I've tried many of the Eminence clones / interpretations. Some of them, like the Red Fang, sound pretty fantastic. Other's, like the Governor, don't come close (IMO) to the Celestion (V30, in this case). However, all of the Eminence-takes on Celestion speakers sound like a bit of a caricature to me. The qualities of the Celestion that give it a uniqueness are kind of over-emphasized in the Eminence versions. To my ears, the Celestion Gold is obviously midrange focused, but in a very balanced way - almost like a bell-curve, not the spike in the upper mids that the V30 has. The Red Fang does not sound as balanced, but kind of has its own thing going on in the midrange. It sounds more modern to me. However, its a great option for Alnico on a budget if thats what you want. Lately, I tend to prefer the cost and punchiness of Ceramic, as well as the consistency of the tone/feel at a wider range of volumes (Alnico has less headroom before it compresses and the speaker distorts).

    The Weber Blue Dog.
    You know how you never get books back when you lend them out? Well, definitely don't lend a Blue Dog. So I bought a replacement Blue Dog about 8 months ago. This time I order a 100 watter with a Hemp Cone, Ceramic Magnet and Pre-Rola Dope. This speaker sounded smooth and broken-in right out of the box. The 40oz magnet keeps the bass tight, but is big enough not to flub with anything I've thrown at it. It holds together extremely well, even with the volume on my Badcat Unleash (a 100w amp) turned up about 75% of the way. While the Blue Dog Weber sent me 4 years ago was brighter than the Red Fang, this is notably darker. In fact, while the original Blue Dog was on the bright side for some folks, this one might be on the dark side! This is not a bad thing - it means you can really totally shape the tone of the speaker. I wanted dark/smooth and to hold together at high volumes - thats exactly what I got. I still have enough treble with my Deluxe Reverb. And I absolutely love Hemp cones.

    My advice - talk to the guys at Weber. They will get you a Blue Dog that beats a Red Fang. If you find a cheap, used Red Fang (or a great sale), also an excellent speaker.
     

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