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UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE FRAMUS COBRA

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  • UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE FRAMUS COBRA

    I've been meaning to write a thread with some Info that would help some users of this amp with hope's that everyone could then post some of there own secrets.

    No other amp that I know of has generated a wider variance in opinions about how it sounds than the Framus Cobra.
    It's a real Love/Hate amp but I can't help but think that maybe some users settings and tips could help the people who can't get any good sounds out of it..
    As alot of you know I've been intrigued by the amp since I got it 2 and a half years later I'm still learning how much I never knew about it.
    Alot of my discoveries were spurred on by things I had read here.
    Big thanks to ragnvald..Man that dude is smart. He's way ahead of everyone with this amp I believe and I think a good portion of my big discoveries have come from a useful post by him.
    Tons of great conversations with Rotinpain ( Kyle knows what's up with the Cobra) Another Great thinker. And Mike (Cobrahead).

    One of the things that makes it so difficult to give effective Advice on a great sound with the Framus Cobra is that it is very Sensitive to just about everything. (Pickups, Cabs, Tube's)
    For the most part this explains the vast differences in opinons and sounds people can achieve but really that just scratches the Surface.

    Putting aside the External factors for a second, and Focusing on the amp itself, there are way too many variations you can achieve with just the EQ..
    It took me a while to realize how powerful it's EQ is.
    The tone Shaping is just amazing on this amp but it seems most people never explore even half of it's ability. For me, i've found That most of my frustration with tone's has come from approaching the amp's EQ in the way I would on an amp with more of a traditional Marshall EQ where each band just boost that particular Frequency but doesnt effect the other bands much..
    Cobra's EQ is way more interactive.

    The first thing that ever alerted me to this was a setting I read here on HC that was very different than mine. I figured that it would sound very bad because it had overextended the Controls to a point on the dial that I knew was nowhere near my " Tone Zone". Besides the gain, I had been running the Controls pretty much at Noon at that point.

    Some Obvious stuff to start. The Cobra's MID is a control for the Low Mids. You'll notice that in order to set the Mid's higher and retain a good mix it's important to set the bass lower. Those two controls work Closely together.
    Try Bass at 120 and MIDS at 100 and compare that to bass at 90 and MIDS at 30. Two Very different settings that yield very different tones.
    Very Cool way to become familar with what can be done with the EQ.

    The next Big Breakthrough for me was the Presence and Treble Combo.
    Just about any type of tone can be achieved with different settings of these controls.
    This is where you get the vast differences in opinons w/ People who say the amp is Bright, dark, Clear, Buzzy ETC...
    In a Nutshell The presence Control on the amp basically Acts as a High Pass filter. It Alows how much high end frequency passes through and then the Treble further Shapes the Intensity of the Frequency where the Presence is set. This is true for All three Channels. Since this Discovery I've achieved a warmer articulate Clean, and Smoother, Clearer gain Channels, without changing any tubes..
    It's one of the key's to the amps with Eq's like this (Rectifier's come to mind as well) and the reason why some people say it's buzzy and other say it's refined. If you want to tweak out that last bit of fizz, put down the Tube's for a minute and try some different EQ settings..

    With a Noon Setting for Both Controls the amp has plenty of Attack and Cut. Too much for alot of people as they tend to say it's Buzzy or too bright.
    To eliminate this High "Buzzy" frequency You have to know that it's originates in the Presence Controls as the Filter is set Too High.
    Try a lower setting of Presence. 100 range and get your highs with the Treble Control. You'll find that the Buzz Frequency is not present in the Treble. This is important For Players who say the Lead Channel is too buzzy.
    Conversely, try leaving the Presence at 120 and lowering the Treble to decrease the Frequencies Effectiveness.
    This is also a very good way to Achieve the Warmest Sound possible on the Clean Channel. Right Now it seems to be Low presence and treble at Noon, But The opposite is quite nice also

  • #2
    Thats one amp I would like to own but I don't think would suit me using it at home but nice thread nevertheless.
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    • #3
      Nice read man......the Cobra is the head I would like to try out the most if I had the cash. Heard alot of good things about them.
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      • #4
        Do you think the Cobra is more compressed or more open?
        Styrofoam peanuts are like a veneral disease, someone from out of town gives them to you and you return the favor.

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        • #5
          ^ i think its pretty open, from what ive heard. awesome thread man
          Originally Posted by TomVanDeven


          **************** off with that. Plexis dont have speed knobs.



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          • #6
            Do you think the Cobra is more compressed or more open?


            When I think about the Cobra, Compression does not come to mind.
            It's probably one of the most uncommpressed heads I've ever owned and the vocing is fairly open sounding. The Diezel stuff being the Most compressed.
            The Cobra just feels Alive at loud Volumes..

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            • #7
              The Cobra EQ isn't active. It is different than the common EQ circuits used in many other amps, but it's not an active EQ.
              Jerry
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              • #8
                Great thread, I hope to learn a lot.... I NEED to learn A LOT.
                "Follow your instinct.... It usually takes you home."

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                • #9
                  The Cobra EQ isn't active. It is different than the common EQ circuits used in many other amps, but it's not an active EQ.
                  Jerry


                  I think thats what he meant, moreso a more interactive and dynamic eq! Just bad wording by him I assume!
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                  • #10
                    The Cobra EQ isn't active. It is different than the common EQ circuits used in many other amps, but it's not an active EQ.
                    Jerry


                    Jerry could you please elaborate on this?
                    Seems like it can Boost and Cut Frequencies but I might be wrong. I'm far from an expert in this area though...It's very similar to a Parametric at times

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                    • #11
                      Im not sure about dialing out the fizzyness, I found the stock EH tubes imparted a fizzyness regardless of how I eq'd the amp, it took me changing the preamp tubes to fix that!! Also curious - do use lots of different settings when you play through the cobra? I find that once you have dialed in a sound you love you generally stick (more or less) to that. Also I dont think the Cobra has as much tone shaping capability as say a dual rec, I think the tone of the cobra is better, but the eq's allow marginal color alteration while maintaining essentially a consistent fundamental sound - albeit an awesome sound!!
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                      • #12
                        it seems like maybe the deep knob on the cobra is active, but the rest isn't? i could be mistaken

                        some good info there...i'm too tired right now, or i'd chime in with some of my own findings

                        i probably will tomorrow
                        Framus Cobra, Mesa Mark III, VHT Deliverance, Ampeg SS150
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                        • #13
                          Im not sure about dialing out the fizzyness, I found the stock EH tubes imparted a fizzyness regardless of how I eq'd the amp, it took me changing the preamp tubes to fix that!! Also curious - do use lots of different settings when you play through the cobra? I find that once you have dialed in a sound you love you generally stick (more or less) to that. Also I dont think the Cobra has as much tone shaping capability as say a dual rec, I think the tone of the cobra is better, but the eq's allow marginal color alteration while maintaining essentially a consistent fundamental sound - albeit an awesome sound!!


                          Changing tubes will help get you where you want to some extent. The EH tubes can ben kind of Bright and thin. There's some info on HC about that stuff but it's quite possible to overlook the obvious things you can do with a Versatile EQ. I know I did.

                          Try the First MID/BASS suggestion I posted..
                          Then try setting the CRUNCH's Presence control low and Treble High..
                          Then try the Opposite. If this is obvious, I apologize but very different tone's can be achieved that way especially on the Cobra.

                          Things can get really Crazy when you add in stuff like the Clean's Bright switch or the Notch Switches.
                          Very Cool stuff with Bass/Deep Combo's as well

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                          • #14
                            it seems like maybe the deep knob on the cobra is active, but the rest isn't? i could be mistaken

                            some good info there...i'm too tired right now, or i'd chime in with some of my own findings

                            i probably will tomorrow


                            Mike, I was thinking about what happened to your Clean channel when you put JJ's in the poweramp and how you said you had to keep your Treble control down fairly low afterwards(90).

                            Inspired by your comment I found two useful settings for the Clean concerning it's Highs.
                            Presence 120, Treble 90 like you have them or for a warmer sound
                            Presence 90 and Treble 120.
                            Not sure which one I prefer more yet.

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                            • #15
                              presence noon & treble 90 is about where i set mine
                              Framus Cobra, Mesa Mark III, VHT Deliverance, Ampeg SS150
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