Royal Atlantic Bliss
Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:33 am
It has been a while since I fired up the RA100 combo. I have been running the half stack more so since getting a Multi-watt Dual Rectifier which prompted me to get another 412 cab to go with it. Before that I was using the 412 that I normally run with the RA100 head. My other 412 cab was rebuild with EV speakers which works great with the Roadster but not as ideal with the MWDR or Royal Atlantic. Also I have a horizontal 212 cab that was not getting much use. Moved the Rectifier amps to the other side of the room out of the way, set up the RA100 half stack and brought out the RA100 combo and horizontal 212 cab. To complete the tone of the Royal Atlantics on the blue and red channels is the change in preamps for V1 and V2. Mullard CV4004 in V1 and Mullard reissue 12AX7 in V2 keeps the mud out when pushing the gain on the red channel, and to bring it into 3D sound, a quad of Mesa NOS STR442 =C=EL34 in both amps. Those power tubes are ideal in the Royal Atlantic. OMG it is heaven. At 50W or 100W, using the Multi-soak or not, there is nothing that sings like the RA100 with the organic flavors. Tripple Crown TC-100 with stock tubes very similar but not as organic to the RA100 with the change in preamp tubes and choice of power tubes. The next big thing in this set up is the Mesa Switch Track so I can run one or the other or both amps at the same time. Connected the Strymon BigSky reverb pedal with both FX loops of each amp on a separate channel. What is cool about the Bigsky is that it will send the reverb reflections to the other channel so I can select either RA amp and still have a stereo sound or even better press the both switch on the switch track and enjoy soulful sound from both RA100's. The two Stratocasters in the image have similar pickups. The one on the right has the Zexcoil hybrid juicy5 z-series set and the Warmoth Stratocaster on the right has the Zexcoil signature legacy set. The Fender strat on the left is a Mexican Dave Murray strat that originally came with Seymore Duncan hot rails in the neck and bridge with a JB jr in the middle. That arrangement was not bad at all but a bit too rich for my style of playing. Out came a knife, solder iron and new pots (changed the 250k to all 500K pots) and pickups. Reason for the knife, that was to trim the shielding that I added to the pickguard and copper foil tape I added to the cavities. Thing about multi-layer pearloid pickguards is they generate static. Having a full shield on the back side coupled to the foil tape that is grounded in all of the cavities as well as overlap to the area the pickguard meets the body basically eliminates the static issue. Tone controls for mid and neck shared and separate tone controls for the bridge. I used an Orange drop 0.12uF cap for the mid and neck and a good quality oil filled 0.22uf cap on the bridge. Also added a 1degree shim between the neck and body so I can raise the bridge up a bit for more upward travel (was not fond of the bridge resting on the body as it is not cut out for the Floyd). String action is perfect. Similar appointments to the Warmoth guitar. Also needed a 0.5degree shim under the neck to improve string height even though the bridge is recessed into the body. Mate either of these axes to the Royal Atantic 100 with nice reverb affect and it is total tone bliss. Sure there are many different pickups you can choose from. My one favorite is the Seymour Duncan "everything axe" set that I have loaded into a Carvin Bolt C. My other Carvin Bolt C is a beast as I opted for a full sized Seymour Duncan Frankenstein pickup for that and have the single coil sized '78 bridge pickups in the middle and neck positions. Nice for blues but switch over to the bridge and rip out some heavy riffs.