Two Rock - Studio Pro 35W vs. Crystal 22W

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by deandavis, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking from some advice on a Two Rock purchase (head & cab).

    I've read over various buyers guides, watched various videos, researched this forum, and have narrowed it down to the Studio Pro 35W or the Crystal 22W.

    I'm looking for some final advice from you experts out there as to what you think would get me closer to that classic Mayer tone.

    I know the Crystal is based on the Mayer-sig and has a very clean and direct signal path.

    However, right now I'm leaning more towards the Studio Pro 35W because of the 6L6's, pull pots, and the pickup loading. Also, from what I've heard online (can't demo in person), this amp sounds much darker and warmer than the Crystal. Much more like the Mayer signature.

    What are you guys' thoughts?


    Thanks!
    DD
     
  2. TRGuy

    TRGuy Member

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    The crystal preamp is essentially an updated Mayer circuit. However, as Two-Rock have said before, the only Crystal that is close to the Mayer sig is the 100w, due to the headroom etc.

    The Studio Pro and Crystal will both sound very similar, the key is getting the model with the biggest headroom. The Studio Pro is probably best, the 6L6's and extra headroom will get you closer to what you want.
     
  3. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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    Thanks AM! I definitely can't go with the 100w of either since I live in a condo.

    Based on your experience is the Studio Pro 35W closer in terms of that dark and warm tone than the Crystal?
     
  4. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Is the 2x6L6 Crystal not an option? This would be a better choice given your tonal goals. Don't worry about the volume from a few extra watts. Any of these is capable of volumes far in excess of "condo" levels. Also, if you're chasing the JM tone, you'll be running the amps clean, and will not need to push them to their limits. If your finances allow, the Crystal is the circuit, and 6L6's are the tubes (for what you are looking for).
     
  5. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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    Thanks GM! Unfortunately I'd need to get a 50w Crystal to get the 6L6's which is overkill for the space. I think the 35W is even pushing it to be honest, but if it gets me there better than the 22W Crystal then I'm game.
     
  6. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    My point is, if you are running the amp totally clean, "overkill for the space" is irrelevant. Heck- even the 22W is overkill. It's not about volume, it's about tone.

    (of the 3) I believe the 50 watt Crystal will come closest to the JM tone you seek at any volume! It is more expensive though.

    Otherwise, you can always call Chad at Two-Rock! He is very helpful, and can give you an expert recommendation. He's also a member here. (maybe you'll get lucky and he'll weigh in on this discussion)
     
  7. heyrobscott

    heyrobscott Member

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    I agree, you will be able to get more gain out of the 22 at a lower volume, but in a condo, it's irrelevant. I'd get the 50w, as the high wattage will allow you more low end even at a lower volume. I play a Little Walter VG50 watt with 6550 tubes at home, and can dial in a beautiful full sound at very low volumes.

    With any amp greater than 10-15 watts, think of wattage as clean headroom, not volume.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  8. mathiassiv

    mathiassiv Member

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    I agree. I've got the 50w. Crystal at my apartment and I nail the Mayer tone 99,7%. Loving it! Playing it at decent levels not bothering my gf or my neighbors. Watts is not the same as volume. Listen to the other guys here and go for the 50w.

    (IMO)
     
  9. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    My understanding is that although wattage doesn't translate to a pure dB increase with these amps (and particularly in my living situation) it may be better to go with the lower wattage. The reasoning behind this is that it will allow me to hit the amps "sweet spot" (e.g. right before breakup) at a lower decibel (dB).

    For example - all things remaining equal, if I buy a 35 W Studio Pro most people say the amp will start to break up around 70-80% of the volume level, which with Celestion Golds would be around 24-28 dB.

    Obviously with a 50 watt which would provide more headroom this "sweet spot" would move up the spectrum to around 35-40 dB (about 45% louder!).

    Just so we don't get off-track with a wattage/dB debate I'll re-frame the question:

    Which amp is better to get that warm/dark Mayer tone? The Studio Pro or the Crystal?

    My initial impression based on videos is that the Crystal is a much brighter amp than the Studio Pro/Mayer Signature as seen here:

     
  10. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

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    In an apartment, you're never going to hit the sweet spot at a 22W amp. Probably not even with a 5W amp. So ignore wattage, go with the 50W Crystal which is closer to the Mayer sig. If you disagree with this, you've likely already come to your own decision.

     
  11. heyrobscott

    heyrobscott Member

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    I do have to agree, you're not going to hit the Sweet spot at home without it being obnoxiously loud. I couldn't turn up a 12w Princeton past 3 without making my neighbors miserable. The magic of that Mayer tone is clean big bottle tubes. 6V6 has great breakup, but that's not going to get you the smooth clean Gravity/Slow Dancing tone. I can nail it with my Little Walter VG50 even with the volume very low. I turn on the Klon KTR if I want some grit, which is exactly what Mayer does.

    Does it sound better cranked? Of course, but its just not realistic at all at bedroom volumes.
     
  12. tele_player

    tele_player Member

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    Not a wattage/dB debate, but I wonder where you're getting those db numbers? A google search found several tables suggesting normal speech at 3 ft. is 60db, and a library is 30db.

    Robert
     
  13. Blue-moon

    Blue-moon Supporting Member

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    Avoid the 6v6s for sure

    Don't worry about wattage. It won't make the amp louder when paying cleans. It is about headroom. A higher wattage amp has higher head room so you have to really crank it to make it breakup. You will have a tough time in an apartment getting a 5 watt amp to break up without pissing off your neighbors.

    I have the studio 35. Tried the 22w studio pro and it sounded average. Love my 35 and use pedals for dirt.
     
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  14. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Actually, a Celestion Gold is rated at 100 dB sensitivity. The rule of thumb is, volume increases 3 dB for every doubling of watts. At a mere 8 watts of output (about 1/3 the output of the Crystal 22W), volume is 109 dB. This is loud enough to damage your hearing, and I suspect FAR louder than you will be playing in a "condo". The difference in volume between a 35W amp and a 50W amp will be 1-2 dB. 1 dB is generally accepted as the JND, or "just noticeable difference" for human hearing.
     
  15. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    OP-- Maybe Crystal clips sound bright because of Gold speaker?

    I have 22-watt 6v6 versions (Crystal, SP and Jet). It's my opinion, 6v6 sound darker than 6L6...IDK. My SP22 head through TR Sig 1x12 with TR1265B sounds great, but a little more compressed and breaks up sooner than my Crystal 22-watt head, which the latter, really doesn't break up, not at least with both Gain and Master at or around 2pm, which will be very loud in your condo/to your neighbors.

    Crystal head dwarfs SP22. Appears TR uses same head cab size for all Crystals. Can this cause tonal difference alone...IDK.

    I would suggest getting TR 22-watt Crystal if money is of no issue with TR cab with 12-65 style speaker. If cash is light, SP22 head will work great. If you got that Mayer like phrasing down, any TR will do with a couple pedals up front.

    Good luck.

    PS not sure how experienced player you are, but TR's will highlight every mistake in your playing, no hiding behind these amps.
     
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  16. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies! It sounds like the Crystal is the way to go, regardless of the options of the Studio Pro (e.g. pickup loading, pull pots, etc.).

    The only question now is whether I go for the 22W, 40W or 50W. The 22W and 40W both use 6V6's whereas the 50W uses 6L6's.

    Based on T9's reply, I'm thinking the 22W or 40W will get me that warm/dark tone that I'm looking for out of the amp (with potentially a speaker swap down the line swapping the Golds for the 12-65's).

    The only difference between these three amps as I understand it is the amount of "headroom"; however, since I won't be playing at loud volumes - is this even an issue? I'll never be pushing the amp close to it's breaking point.

    Look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!
     
  17. deandavis

    deandavis Member

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  18. TimH

    TimH Member

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    If you're going after Mayer tone get the 50. All of his amps use 6L6's...kind of answers it for you.
     
  19. A-Mags

    A-Mags Supporting Member

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    Two Rock tone that we seek ends with the 6l6's. Trust this. I went through this and the difference was night and day. I even called Chad and he said it was all personal preference with needs and all. But after hearing it there was no debate. I ended up with a SP35 for what it's worth. The tone is slightly more compressed similar to running a 50w or 100w turned way up. I like this.
     
  20. Frosty

    Frosty Member

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    Another thing to consider is the fact that the 22 watt crystal is tube rectified and the 40 watt is solid state rectified.The 50 watt has the option of either one you choose.
     

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