To mod or not to mod...?

Classics and Specials

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R_Rbnsn
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To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:48 pm

Hello all,

Yesterday I bought a Lonestar Classic (second hand) after months of watching YouTube videos of Andy Timmons, Dominic Miller and others all playing them, thinking that it was the creamiest, most sustaining lead tone ever and ultimate amplifier for a gigging professional. However now after having played with it for 24 hours I can't help but say the channel 1 clean tone is amazing and the best I've ever played, however channel 2 leaves me feeling there's a lot to be desired.

I just can't help feeling a little confused, a lot of top session guys are using Lonestars and achieving fantastic tones with them (and everyone has said how versatile they are in achieving pretty much any tone you could want (excluding metal), however I can't seem to get much out of the drive of channel 2 myself except variations of what sounds like a Tube Screamer.

Obviously I have been reading a lot about the Reeder mod and I'm definitely considering it to see if it makes me feel any better about it, however before I go about making alterations do you guys here have any suggestions as to what to try in terms of sculpting a decent tone out of it, I understand that it's not as simple as setting up regular amps and patience is required in finding the best tones.

At the moment I feel a little worried that the Lonestar isn't my dream tone as I expected and like the old saying "never meet your heroes" I've built it up to be something it just isn't in my mind. Surely not...

Any suggestions? Please prove me wrong!

Thanks

thom
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by thom » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:28 am

I have the Special, not the Classic, and initiallty felt much the same. I think it would help if you gave an idea of your settings. I find having the gain up almost full with the drive engaged but backed off to about 12 o'clock (I do use boost and drive pedals as well) gives a lovely sound even at low volumes. I also tend to crank the treble and back off the mid and bass. I did both reeder mods a long time ago, (mid mod on channel 2 only); gets kind of hard to remember the effect of the mods after so long. I also swapped the speakers out for (shock horror) Celestion Neos, which also brightened the amp up, (and make it easier to pick up!). I really love the amp and most clips I hear of other amps just reinforces how good the LSS is. The Lonestars also have great features like the 'Thickness' switch which itself has a huge effect on the sound and the solo function. Also I use the loop engaged and like to have the loop volume control a bit higher than recommended, around the 3 o'clock mark, as I find this helps the drive tones.

Just one more thought; you also posted that your amp has an issue with the reverb. Have you got that sorted? My LSS had a duff reverb tank. When I put a new tank in this brightened the whole amp and really improved the tone. Around about 2 1/2 years ago there seemed to be a few UK Lonestar owners mailing this forum with reverb issues if I remember correctly.

Hope this helps.

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:30 pm

Hi,

Yes unfortunately I am still having the problem with the reverb. I'll most probably be taking it to my tech during the week to take a look at it and hopefully I'll not have to spend loads to have it fixed. I'm just wondering whether or not to ask him to do the Reeder mod too while he has it.

thom
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by thom » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:47 pm

I would make sure the amp is working 100% before deciding to mod it. There is a good youtube demo with settings that includes the Classic. I have attemped to paste the youtube link below. The settings they use for the lonestar are similar to how I have my LSS dialed in, at least on channel 2


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS32gXasQCc

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by messaboog1e » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:49 pm

I also have a classic and got it used. It's a 2005 blue pig. It hadn't been used in about 3 years when I got it. I put new JJ tubes in it, and did the Reeder #2 mid mod. Not until I was finally able to play it at a decent volume was I happy with it. Love the reverb on the clean channel but not on the dirty channel. I'll use delay for that. It took a lot of time tweaking the effects loop gain, the knobs on the front, etc etc. But I think I'm finally happy with it. I have my first gig with the amp in 2 weeks so that will be the real test.

I've had a Nomad (awful IMO), 2 Rivera's, an original 5150, an older Engl, and a Bad Cat Hot Cat 30. I still have never heard a 3D clean sound like the Bad Cat and the dirty channel was so nice. The solo boost was not there on the Bad Cat and really missed that. But being able to play the clean and dirty channels at the same time was magic.

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screamingdaisy
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by screamingdaisy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:59 pm

My mistake was not wanting to turn the treble up. I thought the amp already sounded bright enough and didn't want to add more to the mix.

The thing I forgot is that the Lonestar is basically a Mark style amp, and as such the treble doesn't really adjust the amount of top end present in the amp so much as it's overall character. I always ran the treble around noon and fought with the lead channel sounding kind of cloudy, murky, or 'too thick' sounding. Once I put the treble up to around 1:30 to 3:00 it opened the sound right up. I control the actual amount of high end with the presence knob.

Next thing... the mid knob acts kind of like an overdrive. Someone once said that noon isn't 'neutral'... it's somewhere around 9:00. I agree. Running the mids higher than 9:00 causes the channel to take on a more boosted character. Don't be afraid of pulling the mids back.

Lastly, keep in mind that Timmons is using his Lonestar through a Recto cab. V30s in an oversized cab sound quite a bit different than the MC90s that come in the open back combo.
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by ja22y » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:05 pm

R_Rbnsn wrote:Hello all,
I just can't help feeling a little confused, a lot of top session guys are using Lonestars and achieving fantastic tones with them (and everyone has said how versatile they are in achieving pretty much any tone you could want (excluding metal), however I can't seem to get much out of the drive of channel 2 myself except variations of what sounds like a Tube Screamer
Don't be, these guys can play through a tin can and sound great :D
What are you after? scoop mid, mid boost, top boost, saturated distortion, etc...
R_Rbnsn wrote: Obviously I have been reading a lot about the Reeder mod and I'm definitely considering it to see if it makes me feel any better about it
If you're talking about the pots swap, then you already know what the mod will sound like. Ch2 will sound identical to Ch1 currently. So if you like Ch1 then do it, if you don't like Ch1 then this amp is not for you.

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by Chester » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:09 am

screamingdaisy wrote:My mistake was not wanting to turn the treble up. I thought the amp already sounded bright enough and didn't want to add more to the mix.

The thing I forgot is that the Lonestar is basically a Mark style amp, and as such the treble doesn't really adjust the amount of top end present in the amp so much as it's overall character. I always ran the treble around noon and fought with the lead channel sounding kind of cloudy, murky, or 'too thick' sounding. Once I put the treble up to around 1:30 to 3:00 it opened the sound right up. I control the actual amount of high end with the presence knob.
Same here - trebble and presence balance was the key for me to lose the "blanket", and open the amp right up. Running with EL34's now and finally getting great lead channel results
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R_Rbnsn
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:22 pm

Chester wrote:
screamingdaisy wrote:My mistake was not wanting to turn the treble up. I thought the amp already sounded bright enough and didn't want to add more to the mix.

The thing I forgot is that the Lonestar is basically a Mark style amp, and as such the treble doesn't really adjust the amount of top end present in the amp so much as it's overall character. I always ran the treble around noon and fought with the lead channel sounding kind of cloudy, murky, or 'too thick' sounding. Once I put the treble up to around 1:30 to 3:00 it opened the sound right up. I control the actual amount of high end with the presence knob.
Same here - trebble and presence balance was the key for me to lose the "blanket", and open the amp right up. Running with EL34's now and finally getting great lead channel results
Hi guys,

Thanks for your responses and now I'm proud to announce that after following your advice and turning up the treble I'm getting much better results. Unsure whether or not to switch from 6L6 to EL34 now though. Chester, would you say that changing to EL34's has had any affect on the clean channel? I love the way Ch1 sounds at the moment but if you say it's pretty much the same with EL34's I may give them a try for the lead channel sound.

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by Chester » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:10 am

The million $$ question. Both have their own characteristics, and are different in response. Depending on settings, I thought 6L6's offered more sparkle and high end definition, but I get a "rounder" response from EL34's which works better with some PUPs/ single coil options. Depends what you are looking for, and what works for you and your style of playing

I can only suggest trying them, and switching back if they don't work out for you. A worthwhile experiment for £100 or so

Good luck
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enge
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by enge » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:01 pm

R_Rbnsn wrote:Hi,

Yes unfortunately I am still having the problem with the reverb. I'll most probably be taking it to my tech during the week to take a look at it and hopefully I'll not have to spend loads to have it fixed. I'm just wondering whether or not to ask him to do the Reeder mod too while he has it.


I had no reverb when I got my LSC (used). Took it to my tech....ended up being a broken wire. Took him maybe 5-10 minutes. Said he sees alot of reverbs doing this. Very minimal work. Hope this helps
enge

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:43 pm

enge wrote:
R_Rbnsn wrote:Hi,

Yes unfortunately I am still having the problem with the reverb. I'll most probably be taking it to my tech during the week to take a look at it and hopefully I'll not have to spend loads to have it fixed. I'm just wondering whether or not to ask him to do the Reeder mod too while he has it.


I had no reverb when I got my LSC (used). Took it to my tech....ended up being a broken wire. Took him maybe 5-10 minutes. Said he sees alot of reverbs doing this. Very minimal work. Hope this helps
enge
Thanks Bottlerocket. I took it to my tech and it's now been repaired, turned out it had the same broken/loose wire inside the tank (most probably from being shaken or wheeled about on the castors). He also said that it's a common problem as the amps are heavy and therefore people wheel them, but doing so shakes the reverb tank and occasionally shakes the connecting wires inside loose.

Thanks for your help

R_Rbnsn
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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:45 pm

Also... apologies for calling you "Bottlerocket", I mistook it for your username!

Thanks Enge

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by R_Rbnsn » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Okay, so recently I've started using my Lonestar plugged into a Marshall 4x12 (inspired by seeing James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers doing the same) and really liking the tone, however to get the tone I like on the Drive channel I'm having to set the treble and presence controls all the way up, and even then wish it had a little more.

Would you say that the Reeder pot swap mod would allow me to get that extra treble and not have to set it with those controls maxed out? Like I say, I'm loving the tone but it doesn't seem right having to set the controls that high.

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Re: To mod or not to mod...?

Post by screamingdaisy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:49 pm

R_Rbnsn wrote:Okay, so recently I've started using my Lonestar plugged into a Marshall 4x12 (inspired by seeing James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers doing the same) and really liking the tone, however to get the tone I like on the Drive channel I'm having to set the treble and presence controls all the way up, and even then wish it had a little more.

Would you say that the Reeder pot swap mod would allow me to get that extra treble and not have to set it with those controls maxed out? Like I say, I'm loving the tone but it doesn't seem right having to set the controls that high.
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Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

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