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 Post subject: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
I recently bought a version two Triaxis and swapped out the tubes for JJs to try and improve the sound. I run it off a step down transformer through a Furman conditioner in my rack alongside JMP1, Engl 530, and Voodu Valve preamp with a Rocktron gate and GCX switcher, then through a VHT Classic power amp into a 300 Watt Tweed 1960a Reissue cab. I restored the factory presets. My issue is that it sounds quite harsh. I've tweaked the presets to try and find a smooth punchy harmonically rich distortion but find that it's either harsh and nasal or turns to mud if I push it. Rhythm channel one cleans sound good, lead channel two shows the most promise, red is fizzy, lead channel one really doesn't sound usable. I'd love to be able to generate Hetfield style rhythm crunch or smooth singing leads but find that I get far more appealing and controllable results from the JMP1 and Engl. The Voodu lead, cheap as it is even sounds more pleasing. Perhaps my old CAE 3+ ( over rated as it was) sounded less harsh. I read that the Triaxis is a versatile preamp and bought it based on glowing reviews but am now unsure whether I should keep it or sell it on. Is there anything internal that I should be looking at? Internal op amps perhaps? Serial number is mid T2000s.
Thanks in advance.
Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:09 am
Posts: 121
I'm not familiar with the VHT, but here's my Lead 1 Red setting for you to try if you'd like...Gain 6.5, Treb 6.5, Mid 6, Bass 7.5, Drive 6.5, Master 3, Pres 5, DV 1.0, set the VHT as high as possible and then slowly turn the Outputs of the Triaxis up.


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 7:51 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
Hi And thanks for your answer. I dialed in your settings and still found that the Triaxis sounded like mud. The VHT shouldn't be an issue as it's an incredible power amp with similar voicing options to a 2.90, and the JMP and ENGL sound great through it. I've checked out some MP3s posted on the board and can safely say that my preamp doesn't sound right, the gain seems very low and there's an excess of bass. I have to run the bass and dynamic voicing at or close to zero to get anything near a usable sound. Definitely short of focused, full distortion or grunt. Would anyone have an idea what might be the cause of low gain and excessive low end and a prevalent nasal tone especially in lead one and to a lesser degree lead two? The sound was also similar before I re-tubed. I've tried using a couple of Les Pauls with Tim Shaws and Ceramic pickups.
Thanks again,
Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:06 am 
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Dual Recto
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Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:38 pm
Posts: 2273
Location: Blistered Earth
Your description of your problem is similar to going into a doctors office ans saying "I don't feel good". We need more details. Guitar, pickups, settings, speaker, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
2004 Guitar Les Paul Classic with a 500T pickup, 1982 Les Paul Standard with stock Tim Shaw PAFs, 1991 40th Anniversary reissue with Bill Lawrence split coil, 1971 Les Paul Custom shop ( routed Deluxe) with PAFs, GCX Switcher, Triaxis, Rocktron Gate, out to a VHT Classic (stereo 120 Watts a side, 8 EL34's, 4 12ax7s), Pentode mode, running through one side of the amp set to modern voicing at half power, into a Marshall 1960A cabinet loaded with 75 Celestions.I've alos tried playing through an 70s tweed top cabinet loaded with vintage greenbacks. As for the sound, if I use the lead one red settings as suggested in the previous post, the Triaxis sounds flatulent,as it does with all the factory presets. So maybe it has gas? I've tried dialing in high gain sounds with the results described in the previous posts. I also run a JMP1, ENGL530 and Voodu Valve through the same power amp speaker combination and they sound better. I've bypassed all the switching loops and played straight through the Triaxis into the power amp with the same results, I've also tried using the recording outs and FX send and both outputs to rule out any output issues.
I've sent an email to the guy I bought it from asking him what the story is. I live in Brisbane Australia so shipping it to Petaluma would be difficult to say the least.
Can you post MP3s on this site? If so, I'll try and record a few with corresponding settings and post them after our family outing this morning.

Thanks again.
Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 347
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Peter, I can say that you do have a problem with your Triaxis. It isn't hard to dial in a good setting on the Tri and all the Factory presets are usable. It may not be serious or expensive. Could be just a bad capacitor or two. You need to have it serviced by a Mesa expert. I doubt this is something you will resolve yourself. Are you using the main outputs? Have you tried sending directly from the FX sends to the power amp? Probably won't help you fix it, but can help you find the problem.

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Triaxis v2 (no fat mod)
Mesa Simul-Class 2:90
Marshall 9200
Marshall JMP-1
TC Electronics G - Major II
Digitech TSR-24
Boss GT-6
Ground Control
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez Universe
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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:09 am
Posts: 121
I only like the Lead 2 settings when in half-drive, never liked Lead 1 with half-drive. The settings I gave you are working in conjunction with my 2:90 set to DEEP and Modern going through a Mesa Recto Cab and Marshall 1960 Cab. It sounds huge.....hmmmm. I don't know what to say...I'm also using 6L6's and not EL34's...but aren't EL34's suppose to be less bassy and muddy?


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 3:19 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
I think I might be on to something.
I've learned a few things this afternoon including that Mesa don't answer tech related emails.
I did find this mention in a John Petrucci forum that seems to make sense:

01-15-2006, 10:32 AM
Dear all

Here is the problem:-
I noted that the gain on all the lead 2 mode decreased significantly and the tone on the lead 2 mode became muddy. On the other hand, the sound on the lead 1 mode became more "distorted". I have tried changing the tubes to new set of JJs but the problem is still there...

Any triaxis user can help?

I don't know the english word for it so maybe someone could translate it:


It might be a standard problem of those triaxis things caused by a part called "Optokoppler" (what is it? Opto-coupler? Optical-Coupler? )

I read it in the german Mesa-Forum a few times, all people that had problems with their triaxis just sent it to the local "Mesa Sales and Distribution" and there they replaced these "Optokopplers" and the problem was fixed...


(An "Optokoppler" is a part which consists of 2 parts - a LED and a photodiode. When the Photodiode recieves the light which the LED creates it opens a gate and the current is able to flow. This parts can "grow old" so that they have to be replaced after a while)"


Here's a Triaxis schematic, in case you ever need one. I'll see whether I can order the necessary parts from the Australian Boogie distributor and try that next. Not too happy with the "Man in Black " from Melbourne who sold the unit without mentioning that it was clapped out.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electron ... php?id=298


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:39 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 347
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
I think you would still be better off getting it serviced. An authorised repairer can easily get the parts and they will only order the parts that are faulty - not buying them undiagnosed in the hope that it is the problem. Unless you are very competent with electronics, I think you will only stress yourself out chasing this problem. It's not that expensive to get a small job done,

_________________
Triaxis v2 (no fat mod)
Mesa Simul-Class 2:90
Marshall 9200
Marshall JMP-1
TC Electronics G - Major II
Digitech TSR-24
Boss GT-6
Ground Control
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez Universe
Ibanez RG1620


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:44 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
I've been in touch with John at BJ Amplifiers and will drop it in for a service next weekend. He said that as tone's an objective matter he'll check that the components are all working. Then, If I get it back and it still sounds the same, I'll sell it to someone who likes to have their ears scrubbed with steel-wool every time they play, and stick with the JMP1 and Engl. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:59 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 347
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Peter M wrote:
If I get it back and it still sounds the same, I'll sell it to someone who likes to have their ears scrubbed with steel-wool every time they play, and stick with the JMP1 and Engl. :roll:


It will sound different if he knows what he's doing. Trust me, the Tri is a smooth sounding amp and capable of more tonal variations than the JMP1. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get it back. :)

_________________
Triaxis v2 (no fat mod)
Mesa Simul-Class 2:90
Marshall 9200
Marshall JMP-1
TC Electronics G - Major II
Digitech TSR-24
Boss GT-6
Ground Control
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez Universe
Ibanez RG1620


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
I dropped her off at Watsons Electronics, who'll A/B it with another Triaxis they have on the bench, after contacting the tech at Pro-Audio in the A.C.T. this morning.
The following advice is from John Farkas at Mesa's Australian distributor.
"Hi Peter,
by what you have described there seems to be a couple of issues at hand here.
Firstly, do not run the triaxis from a stepdown, it will cause all sorts of clocking issues with the unit, a genuine Mesa 240V transformer is available for $399 plus fitting.
Secondly a recalibration of the unit should correct the issues of tone, fitting genuine Meas valves and replacing the old style rainbow ribbon cables should see the unit back to its former glory."

As for the opto-couplers, there are at least 17 in a Triaxis so hopefully we won't be going down that track.

I'd like to stay with the JJ's, experiment with a 12ua7 in v3, and start running the Furman off a 1500 watt step down, rather than lay out more dough for a transformer, that is depending on the diagnosis.
I'll be sure to follow up in a few weeks and post Watson's assessment, or hopefully solution, in case it helps others with similarly vexing tone issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 347
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Peter M wrote:
I dropped her off at Watsons Electronics, who'll A/B it with another Triaxis they have on the bench, after contacting the tech at Pro-Audio in the A.C.T. this morning.
The following advice is from John Farkas at Mesa's Australian distributor.
"Hi Peter,
by what you have described there seems to be a couple of issues at hand here.
Firstly, do not run the triaxis from a stepdown, it will cause all sorts of clocking issues with the unit, a genuine Mesa 240V transformer is available for $399 plus fitting.
Secondly a recalibration of the unit should correct the issues of tone, fitting genuine Meas valves and replacing the old style rainbow ribbon cables should see the unit back to its former glory."

As for the opto-couplers, there are at least 17 in a Triaxis so hopefully we won't be going down that track.

I'd like to stay with the JJ's, experiment with a 12ua7 in v3, and start running the Furman off a 1500 watt step down, rather than lay out more dough for a transformer, that is depending on the diagnosis.
I'll be sure to follow up in a few weeks and post Watson's assessment, or hopefully solution, in case it helps others with similarly vexing tone issues.


Let's get the bullshit out of the way, shall we?

I have been using my Tri with a step-down transformer for a couple for years - it's a big one at 2000W but anything above 500W is enough for the TRI. I got the bigger one because I run a bunch of stuff on 110V. There is no reason why you should be having trouble with this arrangement. In fact, one of the guys from MESA in the US emailed me and said that there should be no problem with running a step-down transformer - a small possibility of a bit of hum, but no tonal degradation and no mentioned of clocking issues. I'm not even sure if there is clocking on a TRI - there are no time-based controls or effects on it. I've had no MIDI control issues either. Sounds like crap to me.

There is also no reason to change your new JJs. Many seasoned TRI users use them and most reports are good. There is no way these tubes are responsible for your symptoms, unless they are faulty.

The ribbon cables are a possibility - as are a bunch of other components. I would be instructing your repairer to pursue this line first because I think the transformer and the tubes are an expensive option given that they are most likely not related to your problem. If they continue to try to talk you into more expensive options, take it somewhere else.

_________________
Triaxis v2 (no fat mod)
Mesa Simul-Class 2:90
Marshall 9200
Marshall JMP-1
TC Electronics G - Major II
Digitech TSR-24
Boss GT-6
Ground Control
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez Universe
Ibanez RG1620


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:42 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
Hi, Here's an update on the Triaxis. I picked it up this afternoon and Watsons did the following:
Dismantled it and took voltage readings throughout the circuit
Checked the opto-controllers, found the treble and presence well out of calibration, and re-calibrated them
Restored all opto controls to factory settings and compared it with the other unit on the bench, both matched sound sound response, though the other guy was experiencing a very similar sound issue. They did plug a guitar into it and ventured that perhaps the preamp didn't like there guitar. The service cost $200.
So.... the rhythm channels have a nice clean sound and I'm getting some usable tones out of lead 2 yellow and green, partly by driving the master higher around 5 - 5.5 and the dynamic voice up around 7.
Lead one still sounds very woolly. Lead two red like a big muff in a fish tank. I tried swapping out a few 12AX7s in V1 but decided that the JJ I have in there sounds the best, relatively. I'll sit with the manual over the weekend and see whether the over-saturated metal sounds they refer to are in there.
Watsons questioned Pro-sounds transformer recommendation sparing me that expense. I run my rack off a 300 watt step down transformer and have the option of using a larger step down if I run the VHT power amp at the same time.
So, I'm still puzzled as to why the Lead One circuit sounds like mud but am not inclined to spend any more money on it.
Wish I had a definitive answer for others in a similar predicament. I guess I'll try it at a few rehearsals and decide whether to keep or sell it.
Thanks for your help and advice, particularly Ando. It's been much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Triaxis Sound Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:10 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 347
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Hey Peter,

As far as the help goes, you're welcome, anytime mate.

It's a shame that something still seems to be a bit off. It's possibly just a subjective issue and you simply don't like the sound of the TRI that much (although I doubt it). I still think something hasn't been identified, given you are saying that LD1 sounds like mud. I really like LD1, particularly LD1 yellow. It certainly isn't as bitey as LD2, but I wouldn't call it muddy by any stretch. Even if it was, using the tone controls should clear it right up. To me, LD1 Yellow is like an old school version of LD2 Yellow. I find it has a sort of Scott Henderson tone if dialed in properly.

Maybe you have a mismatch with your power amp too. I've never used a VHT, but I find that the Tri does sound a lot better through my Mesa 2:90 than it does through my Marshall 9200. There is something to be said for the fact that the two Mesa units speak well to each other. Having said that, I certainly can get my TRI to sound good through my Marshall too - just takes a bit more time to dial it in according to the room I'm playing in. I would encourage you to try playing around with your poweramp settings a bit more - it may just get you the result you are looking for. If you get the chance to plug it into a 2:90 at some stage, do it! That will put the issue beyond doubt because it is definitely a fine sounding amp with the 2:90.

The trickiest thing is finding somebody that really understands the TRI - from what I can gather, many techs are scared of it.

Good luck and keep us posted.

_________________
Triaxis v2 (no fat mod)
Mesa Simul-Class 2:90
Marshall 9200
Marshall JMP-1
TC Electronics G - Major II
Digitech TSR-24
Boss GT-6
Ground Control
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez Universe
Ibanez RG1620


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