Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

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NeveSSL
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Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:54 pm

Hi all,

I noticed that if I set the gain on my clean channels to anything usable (IE, the volume is up enough to match my other channels), it breaks up. I'm talking about the gain being barely on... maybe at like 9 o clock or a little less. Is this common? Can I change it? Maybe a change in V1 would help? I'm not expecting Fender cleans, necessarily, but I do need it to be actually clean. :)

Brandon

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domct203
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by domct203 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:06 pm

I run my clean channel with the gain at about 11:00, master around 12:00, and have plenty of headroom.

Could you share your channel settings?
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tbonesullivan
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by tbonesullivan » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:10 pm

Has the amp been serviced lately? Sounds like there could be something going on that a basic checkup could fix.

First though, I would clean all the inputs, outputs, and tube sockets, and try swapping out the preamp tubes. If that doesn't fix it, that means there may be something more at play.
Guitars: Hamers, Heritages, G&L Legacies, EBMM Steve Morse, Carvin Bolt, Fender Tele
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by deeman » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:22 pm

Are you using a hot pickup?
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NeveSSL
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:43 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys. I finally got the replacement tube into V1 (EH) a d fired it back up. I noticed I had the channel volume all the way up. Turned it down some and, what do ya know, a bit of headroom. It does seem like anything past maybe 12 o'clock on the channel volume and 10 oclock on the gain will cause the channel to break up again, but under those everything is clean. Is that normal? I believe I can chalk this one up to user error... Again... Haha!

Brandon

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screamingdaisy
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by screamingdaisy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:01 pm

If the channel master is up too high it'll overdrive the effects loop.

I usually run the channel masters around 9:00-10:00 with the master output between 11:00-1:00 (or, as loud as you can realistically run it).
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by bandit2013 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:37 am

How long has it been since you replaced V3 or V5? The cathode follower circuits used on those two tube positions will degrade the preamp tubes at a faster rate than the other tube positions. Normally the tone of the amp usually shifts when it is time to replace the two tubes. V3 is only used on CH3 and 4. It may be V5 being to blame. When was the last time you changed V6 (PI) tube as that can also impact the headroom of the amp to some extent. I would also check the power tubes, if one has become weak over time, the imbalance will cause one side to pull more resulting in poor clean tone performance. Are you running at 100W or 50W on the clean channels?

NeveSSL
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:20 am

Thanks, guys. These tubes are all less than a year old. EH rectos, JJ 6l6s (for now... seriously considering some EL34s or KT77s). I think screamingdaisy was right... I was overdriving the effects loop downstream of the channel. I'm running all of the channels at 100w for now, just because I haven't experimented with the differences between 50w and 100w on each channel yet. :) It's crazy the options available on this amp... I love it.

Brandon

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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by bandit2013 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:08 am

My preference with the Roadster is the usual Tung Sol in V1, everything else stock. I like the gain structure of the Mesa 6L6GC STR440 in this amp as its frequency response seems to blend well with that of the preamp. I have tried EL34 in the following: SED EL34, Mullard EL34 RI, Tung Sol EL34B, Gold Lion KT77. The amp did not sound as bold or as aggressive as I would have hopped. I have a few sets of Mesa EL34 I can try and see how they sound. I have a hunch that 6CA7 would be a good fit as those tubes generally have more bottom end and a unique character to them than the EL34. It could be that all of the tubes I have tried were specified for use with the Mark V (never realizing that I should not run those tubes in the V at full power but I did without any issue).

NeveSSL
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:22 am

Yeah, I need to grab one of the Tung Sols. Thanks for the reply!

Brandon

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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by tbonesullivan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:39 pm

In my limited experience, I have found that 6L6 tubes definitely have more "punch" than EL34 tube types. The KT77 and 6CA7 Tubes may have a bit more, but nothing beats a nice 6L6.

My DC-5 has two SED 6L6GC tubes in it, and I'm probably going to cry when they die, as you can't get them anymore, thanks to the Svetlana plant in St Petersburg closing down.
Guitars: Hamers, Heritages, G&L Legacies, EBMM Steve Morse, Carvin Bolt, Fender Tele
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NeveSSL
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks for the replies, guys. I have a confession to make, though... I have fallen in love with another and will be trading my Roadster for a JVM410H. That thing was incredible and had all the sounds I've had in my head. I was shocked when I tried it after someone offered to trade me straight up. There is a fizziness in the Roadster in all distorting that I can't dial out and that drives me nuts. I know that hard clipping is part of the dual rec sound, but it's just not what my ears are craving, I'm sad to say. I'll greatly miss the tweed mode!

Brandon

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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by tbonesullivan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:29 pm

I think of that as the "sizzle" that is just part of the rectifier sound. It's one of the reasons that I am much more interested in amps like he Mark series, DC series, LoneStar, etc. The maverick is an exception to that, and I often wonder why it's part of the "rectifier" series, being so different. It's almost like a "pre-lone star" amplifier.

The Marshall sound is simply different than that of Mesa Boogie amps overall. Good luck with the new amp.
Guitars: Hamers, Heritages, G&L Legacies, EBMM Steve Morse, Carvin Bolt, Fender Tele
Amps: DC-5 1x12 w/Master Volume + EFX Mods, Maverick 2x12

NeveSSL
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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by NeveSSL » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:42 pm

Yep, like I said above, I understand that fizziness is intentional and part of the sound, I just didn't fully understand it until I heard it. Then when I heard the JVM, well... I knew I had to get one. :)

I'd love to try a Mark V at some point, but right now they're hard to find around the same price as what I can get for my Roadster.

Brandon

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Re: Roadster clean channels... very little headroom?

Post by screamingdaisy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:55 pm

The secret to taming the fizz on a Recto is to turn the gain down and the volume up.

Keeping the presence lower (10:00 or less) also helps.

As does not running your guitar's tone pot wide open.


IMO, YMMV.
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

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