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Mr.Grumpy

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Everything posted by Mr.Grumpy

  1. This is not a logical way to think about pedals. I'll try to explain what each one of these "no sound" pedals do and how they can be used....and where I think they work best in the pedal chain. 1) Compressors. In my opinion, they are usually pointless for playing with any dirt/gain, whether from the amp or a distortion/overdrive/fuzz pedal. ALL forms of distortion clip and compress the guitar signal, somewhat evening out the volume between soft and loud, between chords and single note lines. If you put a compressor after distortion, it won't have much effect because distortion is already compressed. Any further compression is just going to take away dynamics (difference between loud and soft), and add noise. Two places a compressor is useful: 1) completely 'clean' tones, like Mark Knopfler's lead guitar tone in "Sultans of Swing" 2) Heavy compression before light OD can give a 'sweet' sustaining but not too distorted tone for lead lines. Great for 70s soft rock leads. I suspect you don't need a compressor pedal at all, but if you insist on having one, I'd put it before any drive/distortion pedals. Use it for playing clean arpeggios with some chorus dialed in... 2) Equalizers. Can go anywhere, depending on what you're wanting to do... putting EQ before distortion can really change the flavor and voicing of distorted guitar. Works great for a lead boost (cut bass and boost mids and/or treble), or can be used after a distortion pedal to shape the distorted tones. I'm too lazy to write anymore for this paragraph. 3) Sonic Maximizer. Here's what the Sonic Maximizer is and what it does: It is a side-chain treble expander. It dynamically boosts the treble of the signal based on the overall loudness of the incoming signal. Quiet signals get no treble boost, medium loudness signals get a little treble boost, loud signals get the most treble boost. (depending on the unit's settings of course) . Schematics are on the web and circuit isn't that complex, it's all analog and it's implemented with a few op-amps and a VCA chip. It does NOT "time align the bass and treble frequencies" !!! Why the manufacturer of this gizmo continues to spew this misleading and un-necessary marketing nonsense baffles me. It's also not a pre-set EQ as many seem to believe. Here's my theory on how & why it works: Sounds with more treble sound louder. I believe the Sonic Maximizer helps restore some of the apparent dynamics of signals that have been compressed. That's why it's mostly used on instruments that are commonly compressed: distorted guitars, bass guitar, drum mixes. So on distorted guitars, you get an extra blast of treble on the note attack, giving your signal more "punch" or "clairty" or whatever. Get a used rackmount version, they're super-cheap. People say over-using the effect (turning up the 'process' control too high) makes your signal shrill and fatiguing to listen to. Use with care. Sonic Maximizer goes near or at the end of your effects chain, definitely after any distortion or compression effects.
  2. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.... That's your big clue...you replaced a single coil pickup with a humbucker. The '59 is a humbucker and is already "hum cancelling" on it's own, so you are left the single coil hum from the middle pickup, no matter how it's wound or magnetized. Any "SSH" type guitar can hum when a single coil pickup is switched on. Since most people use the #5 position than the #4, it's not a big deal for most users. Live with the hum or swap out your other pickups for humbuckers or other 'noiseless' pickups. Your guitar wiring is most likely correct as is the switch. It's possible, with a 4 pole 'super switch', to have the number 4 position be the middle pickup, and the bridge '59 with only one of the '59s coils engaged, so that the bridge and middle pickups would again be hum kinda-sorta cancelling.
  3. You can download a "demo" version of Reaper - a "Digital Audio Workstation" (recording software) for free, and it includes a number of decent plug-ins including an autotune/pitch shifter plug in that can be used to generate vocal harmonies. The full version is only $60 and doesn't have the "nag ware" window that pops up when you start the program.
  4. I had to do something similar with my Korg MicroKontrol and Reaper. Since there's no pre-programmed "setup" for the MicroKontrol, I had to go in and map each button to it's function. Yes, it's kind of a hassle, but once it's done and you've saved the configuration it loads automatically. I learned how to do it from a YouTube video, your best bet is to look for some Cubase tutorials on YouTube. A quick search for "Cubase program controller" turned up this:
  5. Gosh, I sound bitter, don't I? Yes, the new forum software works great. Phil and Dendy do a great job too. No problems there. But there's just not enough activity....not enough posters and threads and posts. Yeah, there's a small core of regulars and semi-regulars, but with so few people it just feels clique-ish. It lacks the 'critical mass' of regular users. The amp forum was totally like that. But you know what? The online "fights" and discussions and trading of insults were interesting and sometimes hilariously funny...it was 'compelling content' so I'd check the forum several times a day. I think the effects forum was like that, to a lesser degree. The EG forum was pretty mellow by comparison; at least as I recall. My first post on HC, a "how much is my amp worth?" thread was met with a couple of sarcastic responses and then silence. I stuck around anyway. I've always lurked and posted in the different sub-forums, and I don't understand the mentality of many posters here who stick to one or two of the forums. There's also the thing where I'm kind of burned out on social media. I find some users' online personas to be grating, and I'm sure there are people whom I annoy. I wish all you a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2020.
  6. Picher, Oklahoma is also "better" now....
  7. Since you already have a recording interface DO NOT get a USB mic. The MXL 990 is supposed to be decent. (see it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwCR8EggBYw) If you can buy used, the AKG Perception series can be found for less than a hundred bucks. I bought a used CAD 300 large diaphragm condenser mic with 3 switchable patterns for $40 from that big box music store because the mic didn't come with a shock mount or case. I bought an Australian-made Rode NT-1 for a hundred bucks from my local craigslist. There's tons of "mic shootouts" and so forth on YouTube.
  8. It's almost a certainty that this bass - like almost all "active" basses - has passive pickups paired to an internal preamp. True active pickups are rather rare, the most common ones being EMGs. The problem with this bass is the pickups are Yamaha OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) are may or may not be a standard size. Measure the outside dimensions (length and width) and see if any aftermarket pickups will "drop in" - otherwise you're looking at routing out the bass body to accommodate different pickups, and expensive and non-reversible procedure. My suggestion is to try a fresh set of strings and maybe consider upgrading your bass amp. If you insist on upgrading your pickups, I hear Nordstrand makes good ones., but I have no experience with them. Here's a place to shop for pickups! The underlined bit is a web link. PICKUPS at Best Bass Gear.
  9. Mr.Grumpy

    Bugera amps

    The bugera amps that caught fire was one particular, early model. One of the internal modular connectors was undersized, and over time would get hot and melt/burn. I don't know that any amps actually caught fire. The T-50 is a newer amp so it shouldn't have this problem. And it's in a non-flammable metal case. Just use common sense and make sure the amp has adequate ventilation when it's in use.
  10. Here's a link with a more detailed (and larger) illustration. You can skip the technical stuff at the top, but just look at the "Example 2" and "Example 3" to see the difference between series and parallel wiring. You want to wire your speakers like Example 2. Amplifier output goes to the - terminal on one speaker, the + terminal on the other speaker, then a wire jumper connects the remaining - and + terminals together. https://www.amplifiedparts.com/tech-articles/speaker-impedance-power-handling-and-wiring
  11. "Is your soul for sale, or is it just for lease?" Midwest almost-made-it band, BF Trike. A former bandmate found this recording and released it in the 90s on vinyl. I believe the recordings were orignally a demo for RCA records.
  12. I haven't bothered to take my Liddle' Mesa downtown to be fixated. I ended up buying this used solid-state Marshall combo amp at my local big-box music store, just under $200. No, it's not a Valvestate nor a MOSFET amp, but it gets the job done. At least it has a genuine spring reverb, and not a Belton Brick digital reverb. I was worried it might not have enough clean headroom, but it's got plenty and it's still clean even with the gain at noon. I didn't have to turn the master volume past noon either, I could be heard clearly. I did put this on one of those slanted amp stands, that helped a lot. I get my drive sound from pedals, so clean headroom is what I need/want. Compared to a Fender type tonestack, I have to crank the bass and mids up, and back off the treble to keep it from being to shrill, but it cuts through the band mix very well. *edit* I believe it's an G80R-CD. I suppose it's 80 watts output power, reverb, and a CD input. 1 x 12 open back cabinet with an OEM Marshall speaker. I considered returning this one and exchanging it for a used 100 watt Valvestate 2x12 combo at another store, but this one is more than loud enough for my needs. And it seems pretty heavy for an SS amp.
  13. Pick one: Fender Rumble 25 Ampeg BA 108 Acoustic B30 When I got my cheesy bass practice amp, a (GC) Acoustic B20, I was glad I got one with a 12" speaker. My advice: get the most watts and biggest speaker you can afford. Without knowing where you live, it's hard to recommend anything more specific. "Buy online" most likely means NEW, which is unfortunate because they're bargains to be had in used bass combos.
  14. This is very common on bass guitar practice amps. Most likely nothing's wrong with the amp. They're just designed with more gain than they can amplify cleanly. I have a newer Acoustic B30 practice amp and it's the same way, it's starts distorting at about 5 on the volume.
  15. Thanks for the information Roger, that was interesting, if a bit sad what happened to your business. The certainly looks to be well-made. I see it has an interstage coupling transformer, apparently that was common with early solid-state amplifiers.
  16. Cliff notes: The second guitar pedal ever made was a circuit clone of the first pedal ever made. When was it? About 10 or 15 years ago, it was a big deal in the "effects community" (i.e, this place) because it was gradually becoming apparent that many "boutique" pedals were straight up copies or slight modifications of mass-produced pedal designs. And so started an informal project by the effects community to reverse-engineer boutique pedals and reveal their secrets. Boutique builders did NOT LIKE THIS EXPOSURE, and some threatened legal action against platform where this damaging, infringing media (like electronic schematics of effects pedal) was for a time, prohibited here at HC. You also weren't allowed to link to, nor EVEN MENTION what came to be known as the "forbidden forum" (freestompboxes.org) because they were a 'rogue' forum where you could see for yourself that the Fulltone FullDrive is tweaked version of the Ibanez tubescreamer. Somehow, the boutique pedal business has survived and thrived. There's more pedals for more companies - big and small - than ever before. The thread about the first Tonebenders sent me on an internet search, as I don't think I had ever seen a schematic for the "MK I" tonebender. Well, it turns out that the second guitar pedal ever made (Tonebender Mk 1) was a tweaked copy of the first (Maestro FZ-1). The "designer" tweaked the design by running the circuit at a higher voltage, and presumably had to adjust resistor values to match the higher voltage and different transistors used. But it's a direct copy of the FZ-1 circuit, and I find it surprising that Maestro/Gibson didn't do more to protect their intellectual property, as the device was patented and it would have been easy to show that the circuit had been copied.
  17. The difference between this type of power supply and the OneSpot daisy chain is the 'tiny box' power supplies do have individually regulated outputs, albeit with a common ground. That should help in those situations where some pedals seem to put noise on the power supply chain, usually high-current draw digital pedals. OneSpot is a switching regulator, I'm guessing these tiny box units use linear voltage regulators.
  18. Props to EHX for not using the misleading and over used phrase "isolated outputs". The EHX unit is a daisy chain in-a-box, and they say so. Nothing wrong with that as long as you know what you're paying for, and most pedal boards don't need a true isolated ground power supply. Isolated outputs is not the same as isolated ground.
  19. I finally found a schematic for the Mk I Tonebender and was surprised to find it's a xerox COPY of the Maestro FZ-1, exact same circuit design with different transistors and component specs. It also operates at 9 volts versus 1.5 or 3 volts of the original Maestro Fuzz-tones. So, the "attack" control in fact controls the biasing of Q2, which leads to the 'gating' of the signal. I suspect that the "good" tonebenders are those where the transistor gains were closest to the designer's original. That's the problem, those old germanium transistors, crummy by today's standards, are a big part of why those old fuzzes sound the way they do.
  20. Sometimes, dumb luck works in one's favor. I repaired a "vintage" (early 70s) Acoustic 170 (?), a HUUUGE solid state combo amp with a single 15" driver in a "horn loaded" cab. I used it as a bass amp, then found out it's more of a 'general purpose' amp for keyboard or PA use. When I bought it, it made sound, but the volume was extremely low. Opened it up, and there were a couple of bulged electrolytic caps, I replaced them, and the amp worked perfectly. I wish I hadn't sold the damn thing, it was cool. Electrolytic caps aren't just used in the power supply.
  21. There's some COOOOL non-guitar stuff towards the back of the auction, it's not just guitars and small, high-end combo amps. There's quite a few effects pedals, most sorted into lots by manufacturer, including a Gold Horsey Klon and some other 'rare birds' like a Mu-Tron Bi-phase. A couple of keyboards, including a Rhodes piano and Hohner Clavinet. Several racks of effects, and what appears to me to be some seriously high-end tube (valve) hi-fi amplifiers and systems.
  22. From reading Ibanez' description, that's almost certainly what's normally called a "treble bleed" or "treble bypass" on a volume control. Like the ad copy says, it keeps the highs intact when the volume is turned down. Here's some links to read more: https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-talk/how-a-treble-bleed-circuit-can-affect-your-tone https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/28387-mod-garage-deep-diving-into-treble-bleed-networks Looks like the cap values listed in the links above are 1,000 pF or 1,200 pF, and often with a resistor in series or parallel (or both) with the cap.
  23. That thing is not really a guitar amp in the conventional sense. It's a powered PA speaker, apparently with extra circuitry to emulate the 'voicing' of a regular guitar cab. NO, the "Mic no mo" will NOT work with this "amp"... It requires a guitar amp that has a speaker jack that's accessible, most open-back guitar combos have this. If you're wanting to record silently, the best way is probably to use a high-quality modeling unit plugged direct into your recording interface, then listen over headphones.
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