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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
Hey guys

I bought a used Royal Atlantic combo a few weeks ago. I'm really loving it!

I've always played Marshalls, mostly half stacks, and have never found a combo (of any brand) that I've really gotten excited about. Until this one - wow, such an insanely huge sounding amp!

I'm using it in Vintage Hi mode with the gain at 11 o'clock and master around 10-11 (no power soak), boosting with an OD for solos. Blues rock trio doing old ZZ Top, Cream, and more recent stuff like Big Sugar, Black Keys. LP, 339, and a few pedals.

Took me little bit to get what I wanted out of it, as I was trying to use Vintage Lo as my main crunch sound and not completely digging it. Once I tried using Hi for that, it blew me way. Have
never heard a combo sound so big, rich, and room-filling, with a great 4x12-like thump. Just love it!

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
Congrats on the adopted RA100. It is quite different sounding compared to the RA100 half stack I also have. However, plug in the 412 and sounds the same. I have only tried a few different power tubes in the amp. My favorite in the Head is the =C= EL34, couple that with mallard CV4004 in V1, Mullard 12AX7 Long plate in V2, and Sovtek LPS in V7, the Hi/Lo channels are amazing. That combination is a beast. For the combo I may use the Stock power tubes or the Mullard EL34 (quite different than the =c=, sounds more like a hot-rodded amp).

I had to order the casters for my adopted combo. No big deal, but it is when moving it without them. To be different, I have Celestion Creamback G12H75 loaded in the combo. Not sure which I like better V30 or creamback. The creambacks sound great when I use the Horizontal 212 cab at the same time. Not exactly as explosive as the 412 and head format but close enough.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
bandit2013 wrote:
Congrats on the adopted RA100. It is quite different sounding compared to the RA100 half stack I also have. However, plug in the 412 and sounds the same. I have only tried a few different power tubes in the amp. My favorite in the Head is the =C= EL34, couple that with mallard CV4004 in V1, Mullard 12AX7 Long plate in V2, and Sovtek LPS in V7, the Hi/Lo channels are amazing. That combination is a beast. For the combo I may use the Stock power tubes or the Mullard EL34 (quite different than the =c=, sounds more like a hot-rodded amp).

I had to order the casters for my adopted combo. No big deal, but it is when moving it without them. To be different, I have Celestion Creamback G12H75 loaded in the combo. Not sure which I like better V30 or creamback. The creambacks sound great when I use the Horizontal 212 cab at the same time. Not exactly as explosive as the 412 and head format but close enough.


Thanks!

Yes, I was thinking of trying an H75 too, when I wasn't completely loving Vintage Lo and finding it very mid-heavy, especially with my LP's BK Black Dogs, the two V30s, and the open-back combo cab. But I find the slightly scooped nature of the Hi mode balances the mids nicely. I prefer matched speakers these days, as well.

That's cool about the Mullards, may try those down the road, thanks.

I've been through about 6-7 combos, over the years, and haven't found one that can fill the large rehearsal space we use and have a similar amount of oomph as my Marshall and 4x12 of greenbacks. It was getting frustrating, as I wanted a medium-size amp for certain gigs that could still deliver a lot of power if needed. So far, the RA100 is filling that role nicely.


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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:25 am 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
Some power tubes will make a difference. To me the Mesa EL34 STR447 are ok. I do not seem to get as much bass out of them as I would prefer. Way too bright for use with the 412 cab. One thing to note they sound incredible in the TC-50. The Mullards that I got for the RA seem on the hot side (early distortion) as compared to the SED =C=EL34 which are more mid distortion to late distortion as there seems to be a bit more headroom that allows for the bass to be a bit tighter. I originally bought the SED EL34 for use in the Mark V but they never made it into that amp. Gold Lion KT77, same deal, got them for the Mark V and they survived a few months of hard use at full power to boot. I did try them in the RA but they seemed to have more of a late distortion and more headroom, perhaps they are too much of a hybrid tube like the Tung Sol. The Tung Sol EL34B were disappointing and they sounded flat, almost like a weak set of 6L6 tubes especially at lower volumes. One you push them the open up a bit but I rather would not want to play that loud all the time. One surprise, the SED =C= 6L6GC tubes sing almost as great as the EL34 counterparts. Bummer they are out of reach and I would not pay the higher cost for seconds. There may be some other EL34 varieties that would work great in the RA. From what I recall the plate voltage on the RA is a bit low for an EL34. Too low for 6L6 tubes and will sound muddy with the Mesa STR440 also those have a lower midrange boost thing going on which sounds awesome with the Roadster or Mark V as well as the JP-2C. Definitely need a replacement for the SED tubes, may be the Preferred series from the tube store or possible the EH6CA7. I do like the Mullards in the combo as they seem to compensate for the open back vs the other tubes when used with a closed back cab. The Mullard actually sounded better with the V30 than the G12H75 CB. I had gone back to the V30 for a while now I have the creambacks back in. They have less of a fizzy character to them and the highs are a bit rolled off. It is what it is as it has a more vintage tone than the V30. Mullard produces a warm tone but yet grinds with insult like a swarm of pissed off bees ready to make a kill. It does matter what you use in the PI position. The Stock Mesa tube does a great job, even the Sovtek LPS works but sounds better with the =C= for some reason. At least the selection is not so limited in the EL34 arena. Wonder what the NOS Siemens Mesa tube sounds like besides expensive.

The RA100 though a 412 is a power house with the V30. The 212 partially open back with the V30 seems to loose a bit of the lows especially with the lo gain channel. I generally reduce the treble and push the bass on the Hi/lo channel. I generally set the tone controls and gain with the Hi channel to get the desired character and the lo channel seems to sound good. I found the bass response improves with a reduction in gain and elevated master volume for the channel. I would have to admit that the clean channel with the bass dialed down to keep the drown down and dial up the gain almost all the way is my favorite for everything sound. Really cool through a strat style guitar for the blues. Something about single coils and this amp that is so pleasing. For the heavy stuff, mahogany body guitar with humbuckers and floating style bridge (Floyd) is awesome. The more I write about this amp the more I want to play it.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:26 am 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
TubeStack wrote:
bandit2013 wrote:
Congrats on the adopted RA100. It is quite different sounding compared to the RA100 half stack I also have. However, plug in the 412 and sounds the same. I have only tried a few different power tubes in the amp. My favorite in the Head is the =C= EL34, couple that with mallard CV4004 in V1, Mullard 12AX7 Long plate in V2, and Sovtek LPS in V7, the Hi/Lo channels are amazing. That combination is a beast. For the combo I may use the Stock power tubes or the Mullard EL34 (quite different than the =c=, sounds more like a hot-rodded amp).

I had to order the casters for my adopted combo. No big deal, but it is when moving it without them. To be different, I have Celestion Creamback G12H75 loaded in the combo. Not sure which I like better V30 or creamback. The creambacks sound great when I use the Horizontal 212 cab at the same time. Not exactly as explosive as the 412 and head format but close enough.


Thanks!

Yes, I was thinking of trying an H75 too, when I wasn't completely loving Vintage Lo and finding it very mid-heavy, especially with my LP's BK Black Dogs, the two V30s, and the open-back combo cab. But I find the slightly scooped nature of the Hi mode balances the mids nicely. I prefer matched speakers these days, as well.

That's cool about the Mullards, may try those down the road, thanks.

I've been through about 6-7 combos, over the years, and haven't found one that can fill the large rehearsal space we use and have a similar amount of oomph as my Marshall and 4x12 of greenbacks. It was getting frustrating, as I wanted a medium-size amp for certain gigs that could still deliver a lot of power if needed. So far, the RA100 is filling that role nicely.


Love the guitar too.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
bandit2013 wrote:
TubeStack wrote:
bandit2013 wrote:
Congrats on the adopted RA100. It is quite different sounding compared to the RA100 half stack I also have. However, plug in the 412 and sounds the same. I have only tried a few different power tubes in the amp. My favorite in the Head is the =C= EL34, couple that with mallard CV4004 in V1, Mullard 12AX7 Long plate in V2, and Sovtek LPS in V7, the Hi/Lo channels are amazing. That combination is a beast. For the combo I may use the Stock power tubes or the Mullard EL34 (quite different than the =c=, sounds more like a hot-rodded amp).

I had to order the casters for my adopted combo. No big deal, but it is when moving it without them. To be different, I have Celestion Creamback G12H75 loaded in the combo. Not sure which I like better V30 or creamback. The creambacks sound great when I use the Horizontal 212 cab at the same time. Not exactly as explosive as the 412 and head format but close enough.


Thanks!

Yes, I was thinking of trying an H75 too, when I wasn't completely loving Vintage Lo and finding it very mid-heavy, especially with my LP's BK Black Dogs, the two V30s, and the open-back combo cab. But I find the slightly scooped nature of the Hi mode balances the mids nicely. I prefer matched speakers these days, as well.

That's cool about the Mullards, may try those down the road, thanks.

I've been through about 6-7 combos, over the years, and haven't found one that can fill the large rehearsal space we use and have a similar amount of oomph as my Marshall and 4x12 of greenbacks. It was getting frustrating, as I wanted a medium-size amp for certain gigs that could still deliver a lot of power if needed. So far, the RA100 is filling that role nicely.


Love the guitar too.


Thanks! It's my #1 guitar, just love it (2011 R9).

The stock tubes on this RA100 sound really good to me, so far. I bought it from the original owner and he had barely used it. It came with the receipt and there's a year left on the warranty, so I don't want to mess around with different tubes, yet. But the Mullards sound appealing!

Do the creambacks have as much punch as the V30s? Have you tried them in a band setting? I do love the big bottom the amp gets in Hi mode and how the V30s sit in a band mix. I'm looking forward to when the V30s get more broken in, as I've had older V30s that just sounded killer. These ones sound very good but still a little tight/stiff.

Overall, I'm really happy with the amp, especially with the gain low in Hi mode.


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:33 am 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
Depends on the amp you are driving the Creambacks with, also matters what cabinet they are in. I actually prefer the EV or the V30 in the OS Recto 412 cab. the vertical and horizontal recto 212 cabs sound very deep and well balanced with the V30 speaker. The RA100 Combo that I have may not have the original V30 speakers as I could tell the wires were not soldered very well. Looked like plumbing solder was used as the solder joints appeared like cold joints. After I cleaned up the terminals the speakers sounded much better with proper soldering. I had the Creambacks in the amp for a while and though they sounded a bit off (not as loud as the V30) so after re-installing the V30 (also installed stock tubes in the amp) I was actually impressed with them for a change. Reasoning to this was to put the combo up for sale as I have the head and the TC-50 and thought three amps of the same caliber may be too much. Someone asked me to restore the recordings I did to compare the Creambacks. They were not very good recordings and was no big deal to swap the speakers to get a recording. Also ran the TC-50 though the Creambacks to hear the difference.

The V30 has a fizzy character to them when used in an open back cabinet. It is not bad and may not be noticeable. However when recorded and compared to other speakers it reveals itself. The combo arrangement of the open panel does not compare to the two 212 Mesa cabs I have. If you want more bottom end, the horizontal 212 will get you there. If you had the floor space when gigging just leave the cab and amp on the floor (save your back and do not stack, but you can since it will fit on top of the horizontal 212 cab). I loved the combined sound compared to just the combo speakers. If you separate the amp from the extension speaker you get more spread, can't do that with a 412 cab unless you have two of them. Note that two 412 cabs though the RA is awesome experience. Too bad I cannot do that anymore as I loaded the one 412 with EV (does not mix well with the RA for some reason).

I did check the V30 for country of origin and they were made in England so they may be the original speakers or used if bought after the fact as my RA100 combo may appear mint, there were a few mods done to it that required fixing. Grill cloth was changed to black (non-stock) which left the grill assembly to vibrate terribly. I left the grill as is but used fiberglass resin and matt and a lot of patience to link the inner frame to the outer frame since the staples were not doing the trick. That actually worked out great. Also first time I ever used that stuff. Then the other mod was minor as they original owner added an additional input jack on the back of the amp. Perhaps to use a 4 wire hookup of effects system. I left that as is as well. I had to compare both head and combo chassis for any other internal mods that may be noticeable. All was in order. Sometimes you never know what you are getting when you buy a used amp. In short (should have done the short version) I am uncertain about the V30 that were in the combo. Sorry this is longer than I expected....

Difference between the V30 and Creamback G12H75 First block of the recording was the RA100 combo with the V30 speakers that were in the amp when I got it. Clean with neck and then bridge pups on my humbucker guitar (I did not use the superstrat for the recording). Vintage Lo followed by Vintage Hi. It repeats again with the Creambacks. The recording was done live for each block. Each melody is similar, I was just noodling around and thought what I played covered most aspects (palm muting, feedback, ring out, a bit of this and that but not really intended to sound like anything). I commented on the track when I changed channels or pickup positions the best I could.

https://soundcloud.com/user-353100000/r ... cb-tc50wav

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:24 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
Thanks for sharing the recording and nice playing. It all sounds like great, usable tones to me!

I'm not as concerned with recording tones as I am with live ones; I don't do any recording these days, but do play live/rehearse with a band quite a bit, and the V30s are amazing for that.

As for the additional 2x12 cab... haha, I have thought of that! But that would kind of defeat the whole reason I bought the combo, which was to have a medium-sized, all-in-one amp that wouldn't leave me wanting more power at any point. I have a head and cab setup, my Marshall Vintage Modern 2466 and 1960BX 4x12, if I want to go bigger than the 2x12 combo.

But setting the combo on a Mesa 2x12 would be a lot fun... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 12:22 pm 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
A horizontal or even the Vertical 212 will give you the bottom end more so than changing speakers in the combo. I actually like the tonal character of the open back combo combind with the horizontal 212. That actually sounds better than the OS Recto 412 even though the load is different. I can understand your reasoning. I traded in a Mesa Stiletto Deuce for the RA100 combo for ease of use as a second amp. I would personally not want to lug either of them around, combo or half stack. I think lifting the combo by myself would be easier than the 412 cab. Probably better served as a two person endeavor as you can't play the guitar well with a strained back.

I would personally stick with the V30s as I believe those to be a bit louder than the Crème back speakers. I wonder what the Redbacks sound like. I am waiting for some recordings or videos from others before I get them.

You could add an EQ pedal in the loop to gain some bass as you can tailor the tone before the power tube section. I have used the 5BEQ pedal with the RA an it sound good. New tubes all around especially the PI tube will wake up the amp (all stockers too). Note if you install new Mesa EL34 they seem to take a few hours of use before the mids creep up, before that they may sound a bit thin or sterile. I had to run the TC-50 for about a week (3 to 4 hours playing) before I really liked the amp, same goes for the RA as there is some common ground between the preamp section, perhaps a minor change in the Hi gain channel.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
Never mind, there is a video for the red back, not bad, I may even consider getting a pair.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ce ... ORM=VRDGAR

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
I should clarify - I'm not looking for any more bottom end, now that I'm using Hi mode for my main sound. It's got plenty for the blues rock and classic rock we play. It was just when I was trying to get Vintage Lo to be my main sound that I found it lacking. I'm good to go with the RA100 as-is, now. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
I would agree on the lo channel. It is voiced a bit different than the Hi channel. There is some merit in change of preamp tubes so once your warrant ends you may feel to change at your own discretion. Both V1 and V2 will affect the Vintage high and low channel. V2 will have more influence on the vintage low as well as the tone controls. My preference is a long plate 12AX7 in V2 as this does offer a little help in tone shaping lo as well as the Hi channel. I found the Lo channel to be too bright for me but yet I prefer to run the midrange at 70% which tends to raise the treble too. Long plate preamp tube generally rolls off the top end and provides a bit more balance in the tone.

Good luck with your gigs. Enjoy the RA100. For me it is one of my favorites in my collection. Probably why I have two.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
bandit2013 wrote:
I would agree on the lo channel. It is voiced a bit different than the Hi channel. There is some merit in change of preamp tubes so once your warrant ends you may feel to change at your own discretion. Both V1 and V2 will affect the Vintage high and low channel. V2 will have more influence on the vintage low as well as the tone controls. My preference is a long plate 12AX7 in V2 as this does offer a little help in tone shaping lo as well as the Hi channel. I found the Lo channel to be too bright for me but yet I prefer to run the midrange at 70% which tends to raise the treble too. Long plate preamp tube generally rolls off the top end and provides a bit more balance in the tone.

Good luck with your gigs. Enjoy the RA100. For me it is one of my favorites in my collection. Probably why I have two.


Thanks! It's certainly an amazing amp. Very cool that you own the half stack and the combo! I'll keep the preamp tube change in mind when the warranty's up.

Have you found any certain boosts that work with Hi mode well? My MXR CBMOD sounds amazing with it, but my Keeley Fuzz Head, not so much. Hoping to find another fuzzy overdrive to work in its place.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 9:07 am 
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Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3074
Location: North Carolina
I generally do not use OD pedals. I have always found the character of the RA pleasing enough as is. I do have the grid slammer and flux drive. Both of those pedals work great with the Mark amps as they seem related in some way. I need to explore the grid slammer with the RA a bit deeper since the offspring of this amp (TC-50) has it built in called tight mode. I have tried a few but did not keep them except for one but it works better on the bass than on the guitar. I have been considering the Strymon Riverside but not sure I want it that much as most of the other OD pedals I have tried just never satisfied me in the tone and gain character. I can't recommend any since I do not have one or my experience with what I have is limited with the RA. Not sure how the flux drive would sound in the loop, it just seemed too much on the front end and made the tone muddy or uncontrolled feedback. The first gain stage on the RA is very sensitive for the Hi/Lo channel as well as the blend of the gain control also effects the master volume level. Not really sure what others are using. Note that this particular forum does not get much traction.... for such an amazing amp one would think there would be more activity here. :|

I would probably consider an optical compressor with boost capability. I have tried a few of those too. Strymon OB.1 hands down is amazing. Transparent but yet quite effective and does not add much white noise or hiss to the amp unless you push the boost level all the way. If there is one pedal I love to use on the front end, it would be that one. I will recommend it as I have experience with that one in particular. I did not get it just for my SSS super strats, besides I have the mini humbuckers on both of them in all pickup locations. I bought it for taming the Roadster as it tends to fight the guitar for sustain when you are playing higher on the neck. But it works extremely with the RA as well as the other amps in my current collection.

Most of the time it is just guitar, cable, amp (cab if a head) and I am happy. However if playing with others or if working on a project I will pull out the delays and reverb pedals and see what happens.

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Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 pm
Posts: 17
bandit2013 wrote:
... The first gain stage on the RA is very sensitive for the Hi/Lo channel as well as the blend of the gain control also effects the master volume level...


Yes, the first gain stage does seem to be super sensitive. Works well with the CBMOD, but the Fuzz Head just seems to overload it or something, no matter how I set it. I'm finding other threads where the RA is described as being pretty fussy with OD/boosts, in general. I just prefer the sound and EQ of the Hi channel when the gain is before noon, as a huge rhythm crunch tone, and then boosting it for leads. Hopefully I can find a second pedal that will work similar to how the Fuzz Head does with my Marshall...

And yeah, it's pretty quiet in this forum! :lol: Thanks for all your input, I really appreciate it.

Looking forward to my next rehearsal and gig with the RA100, will keep you posted.


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