Sarno Music Solutions!

Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:43 am

One of my favorite design aspects of the Mesa amps is their presence (negative feedback) control circuit. It's a pretty clever design that gives a very wide range of control over the high end. You can dial it down to real warm or up to very sparkly. It's very dial-in-able. Also, the amps are very Fendery and reliable and ballsy.

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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby mijknahs » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:37 pm

I just picked up a Carvin TS100 that I'm going to try out. Just getting it ready to go (arrived in the mail today).
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Chinarider1A » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:35 am

I wonder why more folks dont use a tube power amp? Is it price, dependability?

It would seem to give you the best of both worlds...control over both the tube pre amp and tube power amp
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Pete B. » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:30 am

Chinarider1A wrote:I wonder why more folks dont use a tube power amp?...


Simply put, it's not what Jerry used.
:hail:
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby mijknahs » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:07 pm

Pete B. wrote:
Chinarider1A wrote:I wonder why more folks dont use a tube power amp?...


Simply put, it's not what Jerry used.
:hail:


Sure he did. Up until the early 70's at least. Probably until 1973 with the introduction of the MC2300.
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby JonnyBoy » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:24 pm

I would agree that I would never be using a McIntosh SS amp if Jerry never did, but I like the durability and the consistency of tone from SS. They have a different "feel" at loud volumes, something we all know to be true when we are use to playing tube amps then switch to SS. When speaking of SS amps in general they all have different sounds, warmth and presence. Macs are surprisingly warm and organic. I think tube amps are GREAT too and sound fantastic! But the price for a good quad and a set of preamp tubes plus the biasing and delicate nature of them, leaves me happy with my SS amp and my 2 pre tube SMS. There is some magic that happens with a McIntosh amp tho when played the right way, and that's another quest in itself!
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Jon S. » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:17 am

At this stage in my life, I can afford what I please, for which I'm grateful. I prefer my Rocktron Velocity 300. Too many people judge SS power amps today from a 20th century perspective. Which is a mistake. Today's options are not your daddy's SS amps. There is nothing about the tone of my SMS Classic Preamp through my RV300 that doesn't sound great.
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby tigerstrat » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:48 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:One of my favorite design aspects of the Mesa amps is their presence (negative feedback) control circuit. It's a pretty clever design that gives a very wide range of control over the high end. You can dial it down to real warm or up to very sparkly. It's very dial-in-able. Also, the amps are very Fendery and reliable and ballsy.

B


+1.

When going preamp into the FX return of a Mark (III/black in my case) series Mesa amp, all controls are defeated except for the Master Vol, the GEQ (which I only sometimes use, and only for very low volume), and the Presence (which I prefer at a pretty high setting).
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby waldo041 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:19 pm

Jon S. wrote:At this stage in my life, I can afford what I please, for which I'm grateful. I prefer my Rocktron Velocity 300. Too many people judge SS power amps today from a 20th century perspective. Which is a mistake. Today's options are not your daddy's SS amps. There is nothing about the tone of my SMS Classic Preamp through my RV300 that doesn't sound great.



i totally agree that there are some really great sounding modern amps made today. that said, it is a shame that some mistake "20th century technology" as outdated or not up to par. in the case of mcintosh amps like an mc 50, 100, 250, 2505, 2100, 2105, or 2300, (of course when properly updated) are by far the best feeling and sounding SS amps for anything jerry OR for just a great guitar amp in general. as for the RV300, i believe it to be a great amp, same as the Crest Vs450 i use for a backup, and some other SS amps i have tried, but none of them have compared to my Mc250 or Mc2100. something about the mac, probably the iron, that just puts them a notch above everything else i have tried. is that dismissing todays options? i would think not i have tried quite a few, and it is not judging from a 20th century perspective, they just perform better from a guitar rig perspective then anything i have tried from todays options. and if we are going to look at daddy's amp, we also need to remember that an SMS Classic Preamp, even though it is equipped with digital reverb and weighs a ton less then the real deal, at it's heart is nothing more then an Ab763 circuit first designed in 1963. or in other words, a 20th century option still used today. i feel that the hype behind an RV300 is more around it's weight as it compares very well to many other amps out there that weigh considerably more. saving ones back is definately a cool option, and much understood, but it is a compromise at it's heart, because if one is going for exact, NOTHING beats one of the Mcintosh's i mentioned, period! someone needs to modernize those much like brad did with the SMS CTP, but until then, those old macs are all we have! and worth their weight to get that great tone only they can produce!


just my 2 cents!

peace,
waldo
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:22 pm

What he said!

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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Stone » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:24 pm

We need a SMS amp! Im tellin ya.
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Jon S. » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:38 pm

waldo041 wrote:
Jon S. wrote:At this stage in my life, I can afford what I please, for which I'm grateful. I prefer my Rocktron Velocity 300. Too many people judge SS power amps today from a 20th century perspective. Which is a mistake. Today's options are not your daddy's SS amps. There is nothing about the tone of my SMS Classic Preamp through my RV300 that doesn't sound great.


i totally agree that there are some really great sounding modern amps made today. that said, it is a shame that some mistake "20th century technology" as outdated or not up to par. in the case of mcintosh amps like an mc 50, 100, 250, 2505, 2100, 2105, or 2300, (of course when properly updated) are by far the best feeling and sounding SS amps for anything jerry OR for just a great guitar amp in general. as for the RV300, i believe it to be a great amp, same as the Crest Vs450 i use for a backup, and some other SS amps i have tried, but none of them have compared to my Mc250 or Mc2100. something about the mac, probably the iron, that just puts them a notch above everything else i have tried. is that dismissing todays options? i would think not i have tried quite a few, and it is not judging from a 20th century perspective, they just perform better from a guitar rig perspective then anything i have tried from todays options. and if we are going to look at daddy's amp, we also need to remember that an SMS Classic Preamp, even though it is equipped with digital reverb and weighs a ton less then the real deal, at it's heart is nothing more then an Ab763 circuit first designed in 1963. or in other words, a 20th century option still used today. i feel that the hype behind an RV300 is more around it's weight as it compares very well to many other amps out there that weigh considerably more. saving ones back is definately a cool option, and much understood, but it is a compromise at it's heart, because if one is going for exact, NOTHING beats one of the Mcintosh's i mentioned, period! someone needs to modernize those much like brad did with the SMS CTP, but until then, those old macs are all we have! and worth their weight to get that great tone only they can produce!

just my 2 cents!

peace,
waldo

With my 3 cents we'll have a nickel!

Seriously, I was not referring in my post to McIntosh's. Everyone here knows how good they sound from hearing them so often from the Dead. I had thought that was a given (so that I didn't need to include it in my own post) but from your response I guess it was not obvious so let me try again.

The SS Mc's sound awesome. But they're also heavy and (to me) relatively unwieldy. So if what you want - as the folks were discussing before I chipped in my 3 cents - is a fine sounding rack mount unit, my point was - and remains - that if you thought you have to have a Fryette, Carvin, or Mesa tube rack mount power amp, at least try the NEWEST SS rack mounts like the RV300 and think again.

P.S. Mike, your buffer sounds great in my newest Jerrycaster (which I describe in another thread) and Phil's wiring notes from the last time you, he, and I spoke came through for us this time, too. :smile:
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby Chinarider1A » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:04 am

ok, so if money werent an option (at least in a reasonable sense)

what would your ideal combo of pre amp and power amp be if you have to move all the equipment yourself?

Tone is the most important factor for me, but I also have to look at other variables like; which set up sounds good in a big, but also a small setting?(typical bar), ease of moving and set up..and reliability...
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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:40 am

Ok, personally, if it's a Jerry type gig where you're truly going for Jerry's tone, I'd use a twin-pre or a similar twin-style tube preamp and a real Mac MC50. That little 18lb baby Mac would be plenty loud for me at roughly 70 watts, nearly as loud as a real Twin, and easily strapped into a cab or rack. With a light preamp the whole head could be around 30lbs. Always a separate speaker cab, never ever a combo because of the vibrational and tone-killing wear on the tubes. I know that for some folks the single Mc50 just isn't clean and loud enough, and that's a reasonable and realistic complaint, so then the Mc250 would be the answer at roughly 150 watts. That amp is 35lbs or so. If I only played on big stages, like DSO or Furthur, I'd probably be into the Mc2100.

The thing about new transistor amps is that they're just not gonna have those badass vintage Motorola power transistors. Even in the steel guitar amp world, people do miss those originals from the 60s and 70s and 80s found in the old Webb, Evans, and Peavey steel amps. And Waldo is right, there's something special about the Mac's autoformer iron hanging there as part of the output load. There's no way it's not interacting on some level and helping craft that uniquely warm Mac SS tone. Now that being said, I do believe that for guitar purposes, someone who is expert in transistor power amp designs could come up with something using a modern autoformer and similar Mac amp topology and come up with something perfectly adequate and mac-like. But, the real McIntosh amps are definitely special in this Jerry-tone regard, no question.

I find that this warmth is really hard to achieve with other SS amps, and I think that's why I favor the various tube power amps as alternatives to the Mac's. The powerful ones are warm and sweet when they clip, and on stage are just more usable. If you don't overdrive them other than maybe just letting the pick attack transients reach max power, then they're gonna sound very clean and fairly Mac-ish.

I would like to spend more time experimenting with the Mosvalve and the Rocktron SS amps. And maybe even some vintage Crown, Crest, and others as well and really see how they handle peak clipping. It's the clipping character that's really the central issue for us as guitar players.

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Re: Sarno Music Solutions!

Postby mijknahs » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:46 am

Chinarider1A wrote:ok, so if money werent an option (at least in a reasonable sense)

what would your ideal combo of pre amp and power amp be if you have to move all the equipment yourself?

Tone is the most important factor for me, but I also have to look at other variables like; which set up sounds good in a big, but also a small setting?(typical bar), ease of moving and set up..and reliability...


Seriously, if you're going for the tone, I would go for an MC250 or MC100 (they weigh about 30 lbs. which isn't bad - I can hold it under one arm) and either a Fender Twin Reverb modded with the know mods (Waldo's site has 'em) or an SMS Classic preamp. The biggest difference between the Twin and the SMS is the weight. The Twin is kinda heavy and bulky because of the big power transformer but the SMS feels like it weighs about 2 lbs. (you can carry it with one hand easily).

Then you need a 2x12 cab (sounds much fuller than a 1x12 cab) with JBLs.

This will give you an amazing, rich, detailed sound with any guitar. It will sound good in any situation.
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