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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:48 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:23 am
Posts: 97
Location: East TN
Are powersoak and progressive linkage attempting to do the same thing? Providing the right power for the venue or tone?
If so, what are the differences?
pros and cons?

thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:24 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:22 am
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Location: MO
No, progressive linkage was designed to let you use and combine different power tubes. The power soak is an attenuator. They're not really comparable. The only way to draw a line from one to the other I guess would be if you had your progressive linkage set up to switch from 6l6's to el34's when changing channels, that would lower the amps wattage slightly. Assuming the loudness of the amp is the same on each channel, the el34's could be on the threshold of clipping while on the other channel the 6l6's still have headroom to spare. But I think the main thing about progressive linkage that people like is the ability to combine power tubes.

The power soak is for pushing your power tubes into overdrive without going deaf. And giving you a new kind of volume control to balance channels. Use the power soak on a cranked channel 1, for a nice overdrive, to balance the loudness with the other channels, that are utilizing a clean power section.

Mesa has a few videos on each. They go over each feature in some detail. Their RA 100 demo goes over the power soak.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:35 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:23 am
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Location: East TN
Thanks for the reply. I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around concept lol. I've owned the RKII and currently gigging with the MV. I usually gig at 90 watts although I occasionally go to 45 watts for the early breakup and slightly softer tone. 10 watts just for fun.
I'll check out the vids and see if that helps.

thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:17 pm
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Progressive Linkage is about switching between power amps, for the different feel, tone, response, and headroom they provide. On the Road King, for instance, you get 2x6L6, 2xEL34, 4x6L6, 2xEL34+2x6L6(Aka, the classic Mark series SimulClass mixed tubes setup), and 4x6L6+2xEL34. Each of these would usually be an individual amp. 2x6L6 for a classic fender or a Recto 50w, the EL34s for a 50w Marshall, 4 6L6s for the typical Dual Recto or most other high gain modern amps, the mixed EL34/6L6 that Mesa used to do in it's Mark series but rarely is seen elsewhere, and a full headroom 6 tube setting similar to the Triple Recto.

These lead to different levels of headroom and volume, but it's as a byproduct of essentially making switchable power amps. It literally lets you put your 50w Fender Clean, your 50W Marshall Crunch, and your smooth mixed triode/pentode EL34/6L6 ~100w lead sound all in the same amp, rather than lugging a blackface, a JTM50, and a Mark III around. It does also let you taylor your headroom/volume to the venue as well though, the same way if you owned all those amps you might pick the 50w for a smaller show. It's also the much more advanced version of

Wattage Selection, which is that idea done smaller. Without the mixing and matching of power tubes, it's still pretty easy to take 4 6L6s and shut two off to go to half power, or bridge them to triode for less power still. The Mark V does one further by having the 10w mode actually switch to Single Ended Class A on two tubes, which is like it's own totally different amp topology.

Then you have Powersoak, which is basically just a built in Attenuator for the amp. Attenuators doing one job which is not "I wish I had a 50w Marshall power section" but "I wish I could push this power section like when I cranked it at that outdoor show, but not destroy everyone's ears in this small bar." It lets you. per channel, use the master volume like a tone control, choosing how hard the power tubes work, and how much power amp overdrive you get. Then the Powersoak knob acts as a final volume control after the power tubes, letting you balance the volume and bring it down again if needed.

So they all allow you to tailor your amp and power section a bit to what you need, and can help adapt to the needs of a venue. But they do it in different ways, where the first two change the actual power amp, but the powersoak just soaks up volume to bring the level down once you've found your tone.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:45 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:23 am
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Location: East TN
Thanks Ironsean, I think I understand it now. Good description.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
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Location: North Carolina
I thought the progressive linkage on the RK had dual speaker selection too, or is that a manual thing.

Multi soak in the RA100 and now the TC-100 is simply a selectable power soak built into the amp. You can run the RK, or other tube amp with a power attenuator. I use one for recording all the time. Actually it helps you find the sweet spot of the amp without having to use ear plugs. No matter how you look at it, internal or external power attenuators (resistive or inductive, or reactive if that is the "in term they are using now" ) will provide a reduction in final output by loading the power tubes at a cost of reduced tube life. There are some external power soak units that will allow you to go silent if you need to. Also keeps the heat out of the amp vs containing it inside the enclosure.

You can also use a power soak unit with reduced wattage (amps that turn off tubes for lower output) but may not be necessary.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:25 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:17 pm
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Location: Canada
bandit2013 wrote:
I thought the progressive linkage on the RK had dual speaker selection too, or is that a manual thing.


The Road Kind does also have per channel selection between two speaker outputs, but I don't think they put that under their Progressive Linkage marketing banner. Their Blue Angel (which debuted Progressive Linkage) doesn't have the multiple speaker selections.

It was a little outside the scope of comparing Powersoak to wattage selections anyway.

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