Problem with Special

Classics and Specials

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davetcan
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Problem with Special

Post by davetcan » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:42 pm

High everyone, just picked up a used Special short scale head and need some help. First of all I love the clean channel and so far the drive channel is "meh!" but I'm sure I can dial it in better, only had it a couple of hours. The problem I'm having is moving from channel 2 to channel 1. If I play a note or chord in channel 2 then mute it and quickly move to channel 1 I hear the note coming back at me like an echo. Almost like a completely unintentional 2 or 3 second delay. Sounds nasty especially when moving from a high gain solo to a nice clean passage. Any thoughts?

I have 30 days to take it back but I'd really like to make this work.

thanks in advance,

Dave
Last edited by davetcan on Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

JLBoogie
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by JLBoogie » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:33 pm

Completely turn off the reverb on both channels and try it and see if it goes away. if it does it has to do with the delay Mesa puts in the reverb and is normal (your supposed to get used to it). I use a processor in the effects loop to not have this. I love the tones that I get from my special on both channels, get pretty cleans on channel one and bluesy to crunchy on two.

davetcan
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by davetcan » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:53 pm

JLBoogie wrote:Completely turn off the reverb on both channels and try it and see if it goes away. if it does it has to do with the delay Mesa puts in the reverb and is normal (your supposed to get used to it). I use a processor in the effects loop to not have this. I love the tones that I get from my special on both channels, get pretty cleans on channel one and bluesy to crunchy on two.
That's it exactly, thanks very much for the quick reply. Not sure if I'll "get used to it" seems like quite a design flaw to me. It works both ways I see, clean to crunch as well as crunch to clean. Bizarre. One of the main reasons I bought it was for the clean verb tone so I'm not about to turn it off. :) I'll keep at it and see how much it bugs me. Thanks again.

JLBoogie
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by JLBoogie » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:47 pm

Glad to help. You will read about this reverb delay all over this site, i've never got used to it both have found that if you don't set the reverb levels too high and keep the levels pretty close to each other on both channels it is not as noticeable. It is a great sounding amp though. I've almost sold mine a few times but then set down and play it and fall in love again.

davetcan
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by davetcan » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:16 pm

Well the clean channel is definitely amazing but so far all I get is mush from channel 2. I've seen 2 clips on youtube and there's no way I can see of getting there from here. Might be tubes or possibly it's all down to the right settings. here are the clips. If I could get close I'd be very happy. Channel 2 sounds great on this one:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=aNzuvON4A ... re=related


I'm assuming this is also channel 2

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=AE5T6OHqI ... re=related

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plan-x
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by plan-x » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:32 am

There are a few tricks to getting a better tone on ch 2. Bass & mids down(below 12:00). Treble and presence up(above 12:00). Drive higher than gain. Use 4 ohm jack on speakers. Use thick switch. Those are the easy changes. Further improvement with retubing, Mesa tubes seem to not do the best job. The majority of retubers agree on that. Then when your ready to become a "Jedi" there are a couple of mods that really bring the 2nd ch in line with the clean ch. One of them is posted on a sticky at the beginning of this section.
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davetcan
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by davetcan » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:24 am

Thanks I'll try those settings. I've also got lots of tubes, might even have a matched quad of JJ EL84's kicking around somewhere, and I have lots of NOS 12ax7's. I read about the mods and they sound great, definitely easy to do, and reverse. If I decide to keep it I'll give them a try.

Rockin_Ron
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by Rockin_Ron » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:24 pm

davetcan wrote:Thanks I'll try those settings. I've also got lots of tubes, might even have a matched quad of JJ EL84's kicking around somewhere, and I have lots of NOS 12ax7's. I read about the mods and they sound great, definitely easy to do, and reverse. If I decide to keep it I'll give them a try.
How did those JJs sound? Any improvement to the stock tubes?

Steve73
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by Steve73 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:10 pm

I've retubed mine with JJ's and it was a big improvement over the Mesa tubes. They are tighter in all frequencies and have a lot more openness to them, not as 'hard' sounding as the Mesa tubes.

As stated, the biggest improvement to Ch.2 came after the two Reeder mods were done. WAY more clarity and the Drive knob is a lot more useable for me now. Before, it was very woofy. I still use more Gain than Drive but I am going more for breakup distortion rather than a Marshall-like 'thump'.

Rockin_Ron
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by Rockin_Ron » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:15 pm

Thanks for the reply Steve. I'm new to this so I'll ask a dumb question. Since these have no bias adjustment, when you order power tubes do you also have to ask for a certain spec? Mesa claims that you don't have to bias adjust because all their tube are to a tight specification.

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plan-x
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by plan-x » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:38 am

I called the tube company and told them I had a LSC. Then they recommended a certain tube voltage to match my preferences of sound characteristics, such as early break-up or high head-room etc.
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davetcan
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Re: Problem with Special

Post by davetcan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:51 am

Rockin_Ron wrote:Thanks for the reply Steve. I'm new to this so I'll ask a dumb question. Since these have no bias adjustment, when you order power tubes do you also have to ask for a certain spec? Mesa claims that you don't have to bias adjust because all their tube are to a tight specification.
I'm going to guess yes. I tried the quad of JJ's in the LSS and all I got was very muffled sound and very low volume. Might be not a matched quad or wrong voltages, I don't know, could be a dud tube also I guess. Either way they didn't work out. I did put in some nos 12ax7's and a nos rectifier both of which seemed to have improved things overall. Lead channel is sounding quite a bit better and very useable and the clean is still great. No doubt this is a keeper for me.

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