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Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:36 am
by skoora
I've had my deuce II for about a year now and have been really happy with it. I know the Bias get's real cold when on tube rectifier or spongy, especially if both on crunch,gain settings but it sounds great. I don't hear anything I would consider harsh or brittle and I don't even play it that loud. I measured it as low as 13mA draw when both tube rec, spongy and a gain setting was used. It will get up to 30 if I use diode and bold. I hear some nice flavor differences, low end response, change in top end sweetness but nothing I would consider a degradation in tone. Are people just looking too much for something to do or just want to tweak? Consider how long Boogies have been used with stellar results on records and live is it basically meaningless? I would say the bias mod thing has only been "hot" :) in the last 5? years. Maybe Boogie had it right the first time. Was the fad started by tech's trying to get some work?

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:16 am
by Gordybaby
I think because of the Internet people spend way too much time playing amps, tubes, speakers, pedals, ect instead of playing guitar. There are plenty of players out there who have thousands of dollars in gear and can't tell their guitars is out of tune. But back to your question. Yes it makes a difference. And you can use any brand tube you want. I did mine myself and it works fine. It makes a subtle change in tone and feel but your money is better spent on speakers and cabinets. That has had the biggest change I have made to my setup as far as basic tone improvement. If you like the way your amp sounds that's what really matters.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:34 pm
by stephen sawall
I have tried Mesa amps that had the bias mod & never felt any need to modify mine. Like everything it would be a matter of taste...

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:11 am
by ifailedshapes
skoora wrote:I've had my deuce II for about a year now and have been really happy with it.
Then don't change anything. :)

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:54 am
by skoora
ifailedshapes wrote:
skoora wrote:I've had my deuce II for about a year now and have been really happy with it.
Then don't change anything. :)
Absolutely. I never had intention of doing the mod. Just curious about the fervor for it.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:34 am
by Gordybaby
Different tubes do change the tone and feel of your amp. The best reason for doing the mod is that you can use any EL34 you want not just the ones rated for this amp. I just don't think it changes your tone as drastically as a speaker swap. But like I said if your happy with your tone great! I also think hanging on to your amp and really running hard for a few years makes a difference. I have had my stiletto for 5 years now and its become my main amp. It just sounds the best it ever has. My poor electra dyne is my backup at the moment.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:05 am
by talltxguy
You may wanna get some warmer tubes from Tube Depot, Tube Store, Doug's Tubes, Eurotubes, etc. and see if you can tell a difference or not. Some folks hear a difference and some don't. Better players than I will ever be swear they cannot hear a difference.

I believe that Mesa amps are so good that they sound great from the factory - even with cold bias (or really hot bias if it's a DC-3). But even Mesa amps are not perfect; they can sound better than great. Every Mesa has its sweet spot, where it sounds just divine.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:58 am
by Riff Blister
I did the mod and I'm quite happy with the results. To my ears, it beefed up the mids and warmed up the top end enough to take right where I wanted to be with the amp. Not a drastic change in tone, just a nudge in the right direction for me. I have no plans to get rid of my current set up.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:08 am
by Gordybaby
Its been so long since I did the bias mod I cant remember what this amp sounds like stock . I also did a few mods that I found on this forum but my amps has been back to stock for a couple years now. I did for a while have the tight gain and the fluid mode footswitchable but it was a little clunky on the change so I removed it. For people who cant tame the brightness try turning the mids down. I have found in my setup this makes the amp fatter and retains plenty of low mids. If I need more top end I just crack the mids up a notch or 2 and its sits nicely in a band mix. I always leave my treble and presence on 9:00 on the tight gain channel.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:10 pm
by noodles
The thing about Stilettos that no one ever talks about is how tolerant they are of impedance mismatches. The manual actually addresses it as another tone shaping tool. I've found that my series 2 sounds best when I run the 4ohm tap into an 8ohm cab; it just seems to be hotter, with more girth.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:33 pm
by rocksalt7
Biggest change for me was putting a 4x12 Recto cab under my Ace combo.
It just gave me more of everything and it lets this amp really breathe.
Got rid of all my pedals except my carbon copy...NOW I have everything I need! :mrgreen:

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:04 am
by alie123
+1 for spending more time playing / practising instead of changing tubes, speakers, and so on.
But my ACE improved a lot with the bias mod, and I like to experiment with it getting the best out of my amp. I can use any brand of EL34 tubes. For this reason my ACE sound fabulous.

Indeed watch out, you can loose too much time tweaking / changing stuff.
Playing and enjoying has to be the most important thing..!

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:04 am
by siggy14
You can contact almost any tube company online and tell them the amp you have and you want tubes that will give you a hotter bias and they will ship you those tubes and you can get in a good ballpark if you would have biased it yourself.

I Would do this until the warranty ends, then if you are handy doing Mod's then do the bias mod and do not look back.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:20 am
by blaren
Yeah you can contact people and ask for new production tubes to run in a mesa and they'll get you close.
Some..especially in an amp with an EL34 power section that could use a little stuff maybe, some of us don't want to be limited by..or at the mercy of tube dealers.
Some of us get our tubes "here and there" . Old ones. Ones that require biasing in any amp they go into...tubes that DESERVE biasing in any amp that deserves the tubes...and the Stiletto does imo.

Re: Is Bias Mod Hype?

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:32 pm
by Charles Reeder
NO. It absolutely, positively IS NOT HYPE. Bias those power tubes up to 39 to 42ma and the amp goes from sounding like hail bouncing off a tin roof to the big bad wolf trying to climb down your chimney.