Tone Report - Savage Rohr 15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by willhutch, Mar 11, 2006.


  1. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    I recently acquired a Savage Rohr 15 2X12 combo. After 3 gigs with the thing I'd like to share some of my thoughts.

    First off, I'll say that I am much more satisfied with the tone of this amp in a live setting than I am listening at home. I have been using a silverface Vibrolux, which delivers that beautiful Fender clean that you can really bathe in. The Savage has a relatively raw tone which I don't find as 'pretty' when I practice at home.

    Now, in live application, the Savage delivers a chunky, beefy, rich, full sound that works great in the mix of a 10-piece horn band. Single notes are nice and round with great punch. There is nice level of compression, giving good sustain. Chords have a pleasing complexity as the notes ring together and the harmonics interact. The clean tone isn't pure and crystaline like that of my Vibrolux; it is more "wooly", it has a certain "fuzziness" surrounding the notes that is really pleasing - it isn't raunchy at all in the band context (although like I stated above, I do find it somewhat raw for practicing at home, where I seem to prefer Fender purity).

    15 watts in a 2X12 combo is great for my purposes. I am able to get the drive needed to get the above tones without being too damn loud. Last night I had the master volume up at above 2 o'clock and the preamp volumes down around 9 or 10 o'clock (I jumpered the two channels). This setting was delivering a perfect level output tube distortion. I tipped the cabinet back by leaning it against the wall at the side of the stage. It was aimed across the stage and miced with a Sennheiser 608 Silver. I placed a home-made baffle on the floor in front of the amp. With the amp tipped back and the baffle in front, I had the speakers pointing at my head projecting above the baffle. The baffle still kept some of the noise from leaking onto the rest of the stage. This arrangement seemed to work for everyone: me, the band, the crowd, and the soundman.

    I was concerned that 15 watts wouldn't give me enough clean headroom. And indeed it doesn't, if getting a fender-type clean is the goal. But this is a different animal, and I find these 15 watts to work perfectly for my application.

    One note: my amp has two 12s, which is not a stock configuration for this amp. 1X12 or 2X10 are standard. I have to say that 2X12 helps a lot. I ran the amp thru a 2X10 cab and found myself missing the "bigness" of 2 12s. I imagine I'd get the same tone in the house with a single 12, but 2X12 really makes the amp sound big on stage, which is very satisfying.

    The amp takes pedals well. I've got a couple of overdrive/distortion units, wah, delay, chorus, which I use sparingly. The Rohr loves going into rip-ROHRing distortion (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). Also, I use both single coil and humbuckers thru the guitar with good results. My Vibrolux gets a little "ratty" with humbuckers.

    Downsides: The amp is huge and heavy. My viblrolux weighs 53 lbs. This thing's gotta 65 lbs. The cabinet is bigger in all dimensions. Also, the reverb isn't working right. It's cutting out on me. (actually it cut IN, at the start of the night it just wasn't working, even though I cranked it to 10. Then it kicked in and I was floating in a cave until I could turn it down!)

    Hope someone finds this useful.
     
  2. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    thanks for the review as I am thinking of buying the 1X12 version.
     
  3. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    No Problem. Let me know if I can answer any questions. BTW - I seem to have fixed the reverb issue by plugging and unplugging the reverb cables a few times.
     
  4. SAVROHR

    SAVROHR Supporting Member

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    What speakers are you using?

    I have the ROHR 15 w/ a G12H and I am looking for something a little bit darker or bassier, Vintage 30?
     
  5. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Hi Savrohr,

    My Rohr has the G12Hs. I'm surprised to hear you want a speaker to make the amp darker. To my ears, the basic tonal character of the amp is fairly dark. Mine being a 2X12, it probably delivers more low end that a 1X12, whcih I assume yours is.

    I've never used V30s so I can't offer any advice there. If you make a speaker swap, let us know your findings.

    BTW Your postings about your Rohr influenced my decision to buy mine. Thanks
     
  6. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I played a Rohr 15 for a 5 song set a few weekends ago (borrowed from another band) and found it gave a most unpleasant harshness. I mean ice pick to my ear drums.

    I turned the treble down to 1 or 2 and it still hurt to play.

    I was playing a bright guitar, an Esquire, so maybe it likes humbuckers better?

    I had no time to fiddle with things, I just took the settings as they were but it was harsh. Plenty loud though.

    My .02.
     
  7. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Ouch! It goes to show how varied people's experiences are when they try the same piece of gear!
     
  8. SAVROHR

    SAVROHR Supporting Member

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    I have had the Mojotone Vintage 30 that Savage puts in its Macht amps in my Rohr for about two months now and I am even more happy with the amp than before. The G12H was very harsh and sometimes brittle. The Vintage 30 is very well balanced, with super tight lows and shimmering, but never brittle highs. In fact, with the V30 I am able to run the bright channell and the treble higher higher, for more grit, without killing my ears.

    So far, the best tones with this speaker have come with both channels around 12, give or take a few on either channel, the treble and mid close to 2-3 and the bass at 9. Master at 12.

    One thing I have noticed regardless of speaker is that the sweet spot on my amp is master at 12. Very hard to find a bad tone when the amp is in that zone. :dude
     
  9. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Thanks for the input, Savrohr. I'm interested in trying out some different speakers. But it would be simply for experimentation in the hopes of getting an improvement. I don't have any problems with the G12H30. That said, how many times have I bought something just to hear what it sounded like (tubes, mostly)??

    I've gone to using the Dr. Z airbrake on my 2X12 Rohr in live applications. I open the Master up toward the 3 o'clock position. I also jumper the channels. The channel volumes are between 10 and 1 o'clock. Treble around 2-3 o'clock, mid around 10-11, bas around 9. I often use the relative volumes of the two channels as a tone control. I set the attenuator at the "second click", meaning 4.8 dB of attenuation.

    My amp is at the Savage shop right now. The output tube's plates have started glowing red. I use a solid state rectifier, which makes tubes run hotter. However, the glowing tubes are a new phenomenon. Jeff offered to look into it and get the amp running the way I want.

    Speaking of tubes, what are you running in yours? I've got JJ EL84s and Electro Harmonix preamp tubes.
     
  10. SAVROHR

    SAVROHR Supporting Member

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    Tubes

    Right now the tubes in order from channel 1 to master are

    Groove Tube 12Ax7 (came w/amp)
    Tungsram 12Ax7 (6 months)
    Electro-Harmonix 12At7 (came w/amp)
    Electro-Harmonix 12Ax7 (came w/amp)
    Tungsram 12 Ax7 (6 months)
    Groove Tubes el84s (came w/ amp)

    At casey's suggestion, I put in the Tungsrams when I was having trouble with the speaker because I thought the tubes might be the problem - it was the speaker.

    I have a set of JJ preamp tubes and el84s that I am planning to put in soon.

    Did you have GT el84s when you got the amp? What kind of difference did the JJs make?
     
  11. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Bought my Rohr used. The owner shipped it to me with old rejected tubes. I immediately retubed with a set of EH preamp and power tubes. I've since swapped the JJs in the power section. They give a little more clarity and percussiveness than the EHs.

    Things may change again when I get the amp back from Savage. I'll post here then.
     
  12. Mr. Sparkle

    Mr. Sparkle Member

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    Did you get the amp back yet?
     
  13. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Why yes, Mr. Sparkle. I've had my amp back for over a month. I guess I forgot to contiue the thread like I said I would.

    Savage increased the value of the cathode resistor, biasing the amp a little cooler. No problem with glowing tubes anymore. I have gone back to the tube rectifier for the time being. I'm into the spongy sound of tube rectfication these days. Maybe I'll go back to the quickness of SS sometime. Anyway, the way the bias is set right now, I can run either type of rectifier with good results.

    I'm liking the JJ EL84s. Jeff said that the tubes are well matched.

    Anyway, the amp is serving me extremely well. It would be hard to be more pleased with the performance of the Rohr.

    FYI - I have since gone from a 2X12 to a 1X12 cabinet. The weight reduction and reduced footprint are worth the loss of cone area.
     
  14. Mr. Sparkle

    Mr. Sparkle Member

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    Good to hear. Yes, that Savage 2x12 cab is quite the load. I like the cab size of my Glas 30 1x12, which is the same size as my Rohr 2x10. Big, but manageable.
     
  15. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Ooooh. You have a Glas 30! Gosh those are great. A student of mine has one and he brought it over once. It's interesting how much different the Rohr and Glas sound, considering they have the same preamp section. I find the Rohr is more compressed and the Glas more open. I'd love to play a gig with a Glas 30 to see how it works with my band.
     
  16. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Man those Glas/Rohr amps really get me itching. I played the really small Savage...think it was the 6-watter, it was a load of fun!
     
  17. Mr. Sparkle

    Mr. Sparkle Member

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    Where do you live?
     
  18. n.j.

    n.j. Member

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    Another satisfied Rohr owner chiming in here. I've got a 1x12" from 2003, Celestion G12H, tube rectified, and I couldn't be happier. It's my favorite amp by a long shot. It's my main amp for one of my bands, and I run it in stereo with a Bruno CT22 for another band. Savage for the gritty stuff, Bruno for the BF cleans.

    My two favorite tones I've gotten from the Rohr are:

    1) Master cranked, channels jumpered, volumes about 11 o'clock, Tele --> Super Duper 2-in-1 --> Amp. Wow. Without the pedal it's amazing, with the pedal it's exactly the way a dirty tele sounds inside my head.

    2) Master cranked, channels jumpered (see the trend?), volumes about 10 o'clock, Korina V --> Maxon OD820 --> Amp. Again, holy crap. Cleans are huge and full, OD is rich and full of harmonics.
     
  19. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    I live in the twin cities. St. Paul, to be exact.
     
  20. SAVROHR

    SAVROHR Supporting Member

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    Having been an owner of a Rohr for over a year, I can truly say it is an awesome amp - especially at higher volumes. At N.J.'s settings above, the Amp must be killer and LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :dude
     

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