vintage vibrolux sounds thin when recording with Suhr Reactive load

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1,336
So it's actually a 4ohm amp, but I've been told it's totally cool to use with the 8ohm reactive load. Compared to some other amps I've tried, the tone is definitely quite thin. Tried it mainly with the ownhammer OH 2x12 when recording.

Just curious if this is due probably to the ohm difference, or is this just the amp itself? Any insight would be appreciated. Or other people who have tried this ohm relationship and have found the same.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,153
A one notch impedance mismatch should not be a gamechanger, especially with an old 7ender.
A few things come to mind :
- are you familiar with hearing your amp mic'ed instead of acoustically ?
it's a totally different thing, but it's the way the croissant crumbles when you're recording, and a mic'ed track is the only valid reference to judge your new setup against.
- begin with the closest impulse equivalent to your own amp's cab/speaker/mic you can find and make that sound good first, only then begin exploring other options (who knows, you might already be satisfied at that point ?).
I have quite a few distinct great cabs and a reasonable mic collection in a soundproof room, so I'm used to hearing my guitar through the monitors, in the proper context of the other instruments in the mix.
Ever since adding a Suhr RL, I have been floored by how close Ownhammer- or Redwirez sound to the real thing, if you're comparing apples with apples. These days I rarely bother to mic anymore ...
- the last thing to note, impulses usually represent close mic positions. You have to provide your own room, either by adding dedicated room mic impulses or using a reverb plugin that can do realistic ambience / early reflections (not to be confused with that big wooosh that reverb is usually associated with).
In case you need a good plugin, atm the big Lexicon PCM Reverb bundle is on sale @ the usual suspects for $200, it is one of the industry standards and an excellent choice (not only) for ambience.

have fun learning, you have chosen a great path, now it's time to fill in the details.
Rhino
 
Messages
1,336
A one notch impedance mismatch should not be a gamechanger, especially with an old 7ender.
A few things come to mind :
- are you familiar with hearing your amp mic'ed instead of acoustically ?
it's a totally different thing, but it's the way the croissant crumbles when you're recording, and a mic'ed track is the only valid reference to judge your new setup against.
- begin with the closest impulse equivalent to your own amp's cab/speaker/mic you can find and make that sound good first, only then begin exploring other options (who knows, you might already be satisfied at that point ?).
I have quite a few distinct great cabs and a reasonable mic collection in a soundproof room, so I'm used to hearing my guitar through the monitors, in the proper context of the other instruments in the mix.
Ever since adding a Suhr RL, I have been floored by how close Ownhammer- or Redwirez sound to the real thing, if you're comparing apples with apples. These days I rarely bother to mic anymore ...
- the last thing to note, impulses usually represent close mic positions. You have to provide your own room, either by adding dedicated room mic impulses or using a reverb plugin that can do realistic ambience / early reflections (not to be confused with that big wooosh that reverb is usually associated with).
In case you need a good plugin, atm the big Lexicon PCM Reverb bundle is on sale @ the usual suspects for $200, it is one of the industry standards and an excellent choice (not only) for ambience.

have fun learning, you have chosen a great path, now it's time to fill in the details.
Rhino

Thanks Rhino. I am not familiar with miciing it, but have used it a lot and feel that the base sound is much fatter. Maybe I'm sensitive to these changes...I actually do have the Lexicon reverbs, but really have no idea how to use it for very light room noise. Any tips?

Maybe I've been using the wrong pedals with it? I mainly use jan ray for lighter gain/overdrive or a bb preamp for higher gain leads.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,153
Forget the pedals for now.
First get the clean tone right.
Try the following, carefully at low volume :
Play with your ear directly in front of the speaker, 2" to 5" away. :eek:
This is what a mic hears, this is what an impulse represents.
The two are more or less identical ime, at least from OH or RWZ.
What you hear in the room is completely irrelevant for comparison, it's your job to shape the mic / impulse signal(s) into great recorded tone, same as it ever was. :dunno
And great recorded tone that fits in a mix is typically not what you hear in the room either.

Re Lexicon, put Room on a send, Mix 100% !, go through the (very pragmatic) presets one by one, small to bigger, slowly blending them in behind the dry impulse recording.
A little goes a long way, an old rule says you should only notice the room when you switch it off.
If you want conventional reverb as an effect - that has to be added separately later, or use the one on your amp (but then don't use compression afterwards).

have fun, knowing everybody does it like that more or less, so you can learn it too.
the only easier way would be using presets in a modeler, but where's the satisfaction then ? :huh

ymmv,
Rhino
 
Messages
1,336
Forget the pedals for now.
First get the clean tone right.
Try the following, carefully at low volume :
Play with your ear directly in front of the speaker, 2" to 5" away. :eek:
This is what a mic hears, this is what an impulse represents.
The two are more or less identical ime, at least from OH or RWZ.
What you hear in the room is completely irrelevant for comparison, it's your job to shape the mic / impulse signal(s) into great recorded tone, same as it ever was. :dunno
And great recorded tone that fits in a mix is typically not what you hear in the room either.

Re Lexicon, put Room on a send, Mix 100% !, go through the (very pragmatic) presets one by one, small to bigger, slowly blending them in behind the dry impulse recording.
A little goes a long way, an old rule says you should only notice the room when you switch it off.
If you want conventional reverb as an effect - that has to be added separately later, or use the one on your amp (but then don't use compression afterwards).

have fun, knowing everybody does it like that more or less, so you can learn it too.
the only easier way would be using presets in a modeler, but where's the satisfaction then ? :huh

ymmv,
Rhino

Hmmm...I did your test, and I do think it's a bit thinner in person than with the load box. But it's really hard to perceive the differences because one is coming out of the amp and the other is coming out of studio monitors.
 

makerdp

Member
Messages
797
- are you familiar with hearing your amp mic'ed instead of acoustically ?
it's a totally different thing, but it's the way the croissant crumbles when you're recording, and a mic'ed track is the only valid reference to judge your new setup against.

This was a major hurdle I had to come to grips with recording guitars. It took a long time for me to realize that it is extremely difficult, if nigh impossible, to get a recorded amp to sound exactly the same as an amp sitting in the same room. What is of paramount importance is how your recorded guitar tone sits in the mix, not whether it sounds exactly like it does sitting in front of it.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,153
Hmmm...I did your test, and I do think it's a bit thinner in person than with the load box. But it's really hard to perceive the differences because one is coming out of the amp and the other is coming out of studio monitors.
- ... and don't forget the load is mostly responsible for feel and (hopefully) uncrippled dynamic response, ime the Suhr is almost indistinguishable from a vintage 412.
- any compression and / or distortion comes from the amp, and it's often more noticeable than through the amp / cab on its own - turn down if you want cleaner, don't insist on your usual settings.
- tone as in EQ or frequency response is a function of the amp, but even more so a function of the processing, mainly how you deal with impulses. EQ is rarely needed, but HPF & LPF are usually pretty helpful.
- we discussed room ambience already, it often acts like a secondary EQ (don't be afraid of filtering or even EQing your effect paths if needed).
- finally, any FX can influence all of the above factors too, better start with the straight tone, refresh your ears with some strong & quiet coffee and add the FX afterwards.

Getting a solid understanding of these categories will take a while, but it will help immensely when it comes to making adjustments, and your analytical understanding of tones you hear on records will get a massive boost, too.

ymmv,
Rhino
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
So it's actually a 4ohm amp, but I've been told it's totally cool to use with the 8ohm reactive load. Compared to some other amps I've tried, the tone is definitely quite thin. Tried it mainly with the ownhammer OH 2x12 when recording.

Just curious if this is due probably to the ohm difference, or is this just the amp itself? Any insight would be appreciated. Or other people who have tried this ohm relationship and have found the same.
Jammin, the 8 ohm load EQ on a 4 ohm Fender is midforward, noticeable but not extreme attenuated highs and lows compared to a 4 ohm load.
So it wouldn't be typical of that amp straight into an 8 ohm cab.

Try something else. .
 
Messages
1,336
Jammin, the 8 ohm load EQ on a 4 ohm Fender is midforward, noticeable but not extreme attenuated highs and lows compared to a 4 ohm load.
So it wouldn't be typical of that amp straight into an 8 ohm cab.

Try something else. .

Thanks Kimock. Just trying to understand what you mean. FYI, I'm using a 64 vibrolux (4 ohm amp) into the Suhr reactive load which is 8 ohms. Are you meaning that this relationship is very mid forward?

If so, I think this makes sense and is the characteristics I'm hearing. Wondering your thoughts on a 4ohm to 4ohm load and if it's still considered mid forward that way...
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Thanks Kimock. Just trying to understand what you mean. FYI, I'm using a 64 vibrolux (4 ohm amp) into the Suhr reactive load which is 8 ohms. Are you meaning that this relationship is very mid forward?

If so, I think this makes sense and is the characteristics I'm hearing. Wondering your thoughts on a 4ohm to 4ohm load and if it's still considered mid forward that way...
I'm not hip to the Suhr reactive load, never used one, so I'm completely unable to predict or explain how it might affect the sound of your amp.
The "mid-forward" sound I'm referring to would be the diff you'd hear on your amp doubling the load using speakers.
You'd lose some high and low and the mids would come forward.
That'd be normal for a Fender amp using just speakers, no load or attenuator.

Right?
Just sayin', the "thin sound" you're dealing with wouldn't normally be relater to impedance.
If it was impedance, it'd be the opposite, the amp should be a little fatter, less high end, a little more gain or at least a little less clean headroom, stuff like that. .

If I was more or less happy with the sound I heard coming out of my amp but it was playing back bright, I'd move the mic or take the playback hint and try something darker.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,482
What if you hooked up a 8 ohm speaker in parallel with the Shur, to give the amp the 4 ohm load?
 
Messages
1,336
I'm not hip to the Suhr reactive load, never used one, so I'm completely unable to predict or explain how it might affect the sound of your amp.
The "mid-forward" sound I'm referring to would be the diff you'd hear on your amp doubling the load using speakers.
You'd lose some high and low and the mids would come forward.
That'd be normal for a Fender amp using just speakers, no load or attenuator.

Right?
Just sayin', the "thin sound" you're dealing with wouldn't normally be relater to impedance.
If it was impedance, it'd be the opposite, the amp should be a little fatter, less high end, a little more gain or at least a little less clean headroom, stuff like that. .

If I was more or less happy with the sound I heard coming out of my amp but it was playing back bright, I'd move the mic or take the playback hint and try something darker.

One quick question. Sorry, I'm really new to understanding impedances and ohms, so I'm still trying to learn. When you say "doubling the load", do you mean going from an 8 ohm amp to a 4 ohm reactive load?

Also, from what I understand the Suhr is supposed to mimic the exact sound of a 4x12 marshall greenback cab, so i assume they would respond the same way whether it's a load or physical speakers...

Sounds like it's the amp...it's a 64 vibrolux and maybe thats just the characteristics of this amp :)
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
One quick question. Sorry, I'm really new to understanding impedances and ohms, so I'm still trying to learn. When you say "doubling the load", do you mean going from an 8 ohm amp to a 4 ohm reactive load?

Other way around, "double the load" would mean an 8 ohm speaker plugged into the 4 ohm amp.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,482
It is not the ultimate solution, but may clear up the difference the speaker load makes.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,153
Fwiw, I know what kimock's talking about, and he's correct - guess if you can trust anybody about these things it's him. :bow
That said, I would not call this effect a game changer by any means.

Why not try the most obvious and easy test :
mic vs impulse !
- get the closest equivalent impulse library for your amp, e.g. an open back 410 w. Jensens is available from both Ownhammer or Redwirez.
- borrow an SM57
- position the 57 exactly as described for the 57 impulse you're using, or vice versa, in short - match them up
easiest would be best, e.g. dead center, 2" distance or something
- record one track for each, 60 sec should do - a few open chords, a high lick, a bass string lick. As identical as possible.
keep the amp settings identical, of course, normalize each track.
- then we can talk horses vs horses, apples vs apples
- make it as close a comparison as possible, although even a good ballpark approximation should do the trick.
Ime, e.g. my own TLM49 and Samson ribbons vs the U87 & Royer mics in an impulse are so close I would not lose any sleep about it, moving the mic by a mm or three often makes more of a difference.
And I have a halfway decent monitoring system, 1031s with a 7070 sub in a measured and treated room, playing guitar through these can feel mighty amplike (within reason).

what you hear in your room (treated ? how's the amp positioned ? where do you sit ? - only 3 out of many big factors) vs what an impulse recording sounds like through your monitors (which ones ? positioning ?) is ultimately not comparable, sorry. :dunno
You would not be the first having to learn to appreciate recorded vs "real" tone, everybody has to go through this experience.
And then the life long quest for a better tone than yesterday begins ... :hiP

just saying,
Rhino
 




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