Two Rock Blind Taste Test

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by zoooombiex, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    While i had these amps here and a few extra minutes, i thought it'd be fun to do a little blind taste test. So here are some clips of four two rocks, in alphabetical order: Custom 100, Custom Reverb Sig, Emerald Pro, Opal. They are not in this order in the clips, although each clip has the four amps in the same order. There is a 'click' in between each amp.

    Clean-1: http://www.soundclick.com/util/downloadSong.cfm?ID=2909543&key=3F0DCD74-F
    Clean-2: (deleted)
    Lead-1: (deleted)
    Lead-2: (deleted)
    Lead-3: http://www.soundclick.com/util/downloadSong.cfm?ID=2909805&key=3F0DCD74-F
    Lead-4: http://www.soundclick.com/util/downloadSong.cfm?ID=2909829&key=87355961-8

    Anway, i have no agenda here. i just thought it would be interesting to hear people's comments on any differences they hear among the amps divorced from knowledge of the model (or to see if they can tell the model from the clip). And though this is far from the best recording of these amps, there aren't many comparative clips out there, so maybe this is better than nothing for those looking to buy a two-rock.

    Have fun! :)
     
  2. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    The cleans sound so much alike to me, they could all be the same amp with the tone controls set a little differently. The drive tones you are getting so much digital clipping, you may have even beat me. :) Seriously, I could not tell a thing from them, they were recorded WAY to hot. Another take would be great!
     
  3. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    I like click #3 & click #4 on clean 1 and click #3 on clean 2.

    Not so sure about the OD clips, only listened to one and am hoping Tag is right. I have a short attention span so didn't listen to the others.
     
  4. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    hmm, there actually isn't any digital clipping ... i recorded this directly into soundforge and it never registered a clip during recording or playback. i guess it might be the crappy mic (bad frequency response?).

    if someone else is hearing the same thing as tag, just post or PM me and i'll pull the thread until i get a better mic.

    sorry about that :(

    EDIT: i also deleted a few of the clips to simplify things...
     
  5. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    Well you changed things while I was listening. I liked Clean 1 and Lead 3 the best, those were you best clips. Of those I prefer clip 3 on each, followed close by clip 4.

    On the other clips there was a lot of clipping going on. If it wasn't digital it was something else. Clip 3 of Lead 3 has the least amount of clipping, but it was also nice and thick, a very cool tone. Seemed like the sustain was a bit lacking though in comparison, it tended to fade of a bit faster than the others.

    Looking forward to seeing the results.
     
  6. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    sorry about that. i hoped i could switch things around before anyone else tried them.

    but you're right - lead 3/4 had the least amount of noise/clipping, so i deleted lead 1/2. and clean 1 and 2 were rather redundant, so i deleted clean 2.
     
  7. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    I think that for the clean clips, I liked the 3rd amp the best. Didn't detect a tremendous difference per se between all four amps, but #3 seems to be livlier sounding.

    On the OD clips, I don't know whether the recording is too hot or what, but it kind of sounds bit like a fuzztone to me -- especially on the double stops of "Over the Rainbow." Furthermore, not sure what guitar you're using, but it sounds like you're using the front pickup, and a humbucker at that. If so, I would suspect you didn't have the amps dialed as I would in that case (i.e., bass probably almost all the way off and the treble up).

    If you did use the front pickup, I would like to hear the guitar on the back pickup instead, so that maybe we could determine what amp would be more prone to singing, etc.

    Thanks for the clips. :)

    Gil
     
  8. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    i hear that too when i use my desktop speakers, but it goes away for the most part when i run it through my stereo. but it sounds like this is a consistent problem for everyone, so i'll try to redo these.

    good point, i'm using a strat on the neck/middle pickup (van zandts). and the amps are all dialed in similarly. mid & bass swiches on, bright off (on 3 of the four). the bass is pretty low, but the mids and treble are about the same (around 1-2:00).
     
  9. big hair

    big hair Member

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    that clean tone sounds very nice to me, almost with a nice new strings ring to the tone.

    I'll be sure to check them all out when the clips are re-done. I can't get the last one to work because it says i have to register?
     
  10. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    Ah ha, I am a Strat player (sometimes) and I have the best D-clones I have ever heard (well, my own -- although I just got word that this may change soon). :) Really, to me the Strat is the hardest thing to dial in properly. A couple of points that may or may not be worthy of consideration by you:

    1. How about middle + bridge instead? I find that it lends itself better for overdrive and can pick up more harmonics.

    2. Never liked the mid switch on a Dumble, and while I think the Deep has some valid uses, I play my Strat with it off.

    3. I would set the bass low to begin, say 9 o'clock with and the treble halfway up. Setting the bass low will automatically limit the range of the midrange pot. If you want a little more bass, however, turn it up. But then hear the sound get way smoother as you dial the midrange down a bit, even all the way off.

    If you still need more bite from the guitar, rather than using the bright switch, I would turn the presence to between 2 and 3 o'clock, so that you get some chime without the sound being too harsh.

    Anyway, the above is how I dial a Strat with D-style amps, for what it's worth. In the case of your amps though, turning the midrange too low may make the sound boomy because I suspect they use a more modern version of the tone stack (specifically, a different midrange cap value than I use).

    Gil
     
  11. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting!

    So how do you set things for a humbucker?
     
  12. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    The description of the settings below is relative. Some venues are more dead sounding than others, while some have mirrors or glass at the back of the stage, etc. Bottom line is that I have to adjust for things like that, especially since I play open back cabinets (and their proximity to any kind of surface will have a huge impact). Still, 9 times out of ten, settings below apply.

    I usually set the amp's treble control at about 12 o'clock, the middle at 11 o'clock, and the bass at maybe at 10 o'clock. That way, I can get a good sound out of the bridge pickup with my 335 (the sound I use the most, probably) and out of my Tele (Teles + Dumble designs seem to be a great combination for some reason -- or maybe Teles are simply just great guitars). I can freely switch back and forth between the front and back pickups on the Tele and still get a good sound. If I will be using only use the Tele, I may turn up the bass higher.

    But, if I want to use the 335 on the front pickup, I will turn the bass down to 9 o'clock (i.e., barely on). At that setting, the back pickup may need to have its tone control rolled back a little as well. I have a little "trick network" in my 335: it's 220K//.005uF for the front pickup and 82K//.001uF for the back one. That allows for the taper of both volume controls to be almost the same, but they react very differently. The front pickup gets less and less muddy as you turn the volume down, and the back pickup keeps the tone even. On the 335, I usually have both tone controls all the way up, the front volume on 8 and the back on 10.

    Gil
     
  13. Reactionjackson

    Reactionjackson Member

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    Opal #3 all the way. I have my ideas of the others but I won't press my luck.

    Thanks for the little science experiment - pretty cool!
     
  14. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    very interesting! i've been through a lot of amp/pickup settings and i think i've found what i like [at least in person, if not for recording :)], but i'll have to give your suggestions a try. :)

    i actually just recently changed the way i dial in my two rocks, though i think it differs from your suggestions. i came over from the fender camp, and was used to the ultra-bright high end; so i always used the bright switch, even with strats. but after getting the sig (which has a very bright lead channel), i started playing around again and found that i liked the two-rocks even better if i dropped the bright switch and turned up the treble a little.

    and i'll have to correct myself on the amp settings - the bright switch is off on all 4 amps, bass @ 9:00, mids @ 2-2:30, treble @ 2-2:30 (note: on the opal and emerald i have the treble up for the clean channel and then backed down internally for the lead channel), gain @ 1:30, lead gain @ 2:30-3:00 (i play with my fingers and play pretty softly, so i tend to have the gain up higher than i would if i really hit the strings hard). and these are all +/- an hour or so, but in the general area.
     
  15. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I find it very hard to evaluate the OD tones using Somewhere Over the Rainbow as the test song. Your playing style is great for clean tones, but I don't think the same techniques are as useful when testing/evaluating OD, IMHO. You can't really hear what the Two Rock ODs can do. Finger picking and OD don't seem to marry that well.
     
  16. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    I wonder what Jeff Beck would answer to that! ;)

    Gil
     
  17. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Point taken. :)

    Perhaps I should have said the style of fingerpicking in the demos in question.
     
  18. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    well, some of the fingerpicking is just me using my index nail for a pick (which shouldn't really sound much different than an actual pick). but in other places i do pull/pluck the strings or brush them with the soft index pad and i agree that that's not the way this style amp is usually displayed.

    i guess i was going for variety, which is also why i chose somewhere over the rainbow - it's got a good melody, some nice single and double note bends, and a deep harmony. (i personally love how the amps growl with the low harmony, but that's not in the usual two-rock showcase.)

    when i get the recording issues straightened out, i can try to do some more typical single notey stuff.
     
  19. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    So, before this thread dissappears, which amp is which?
     
  20. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    Good point. The envelope, please? :)

    Gil
     

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