SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jrostrom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:12 am

Not sure if this is interesting at all or helpful but here is a clip of my SMS Classic>Carvin DCM200>Red Alnico Tone Tubby -- this is not a Jerry Rig obviously -- I am definitely pushing the preamp more than maybe Brad wants (3 oclock) and have the carvin on maybe 8 oclock.



Thx

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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby TRG » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:37 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:...Jerry used amp and speaker distortion to get that magic sound, and unfortunately for us we need to find this action at a MUCH quieter power/loudness level. I've unquestionably had my best luck at this with a Mac Mc250 or Mc50. But I trust there are modern power amps that clip nicely at a reasonable volume.


B


How are you achieving that clipping with the 250? I usually have mine set at about 8:30 with the SMS gain around 2:00. I also am using both sides of the mac with each side hooked up with the 8ohm settings into individual 8ohm k120s. With those settings and my guitar volume maxed, it would be really loud. Maybe I should be dialing up the mac to about noon and obviously keeping the guitar volume much lower to compensate for that mac volume level, in order to try to achieve the clipping...Is it the SMS that needs to be cranked in order to slam into the MAC to achieve the clipping, or is it the mac cranked and slamming into the JBLs? I get confused on where that process initiates from.

I have the ED in the effects loop and that is on 99% of the time for grit, but maybe I should try placing that outside of the loop and directly in front of my preamp...
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby hippieguy1954 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:40 am

Use only one side of the Mc 250.

Wire speakers in parallel for 4 ohms and connected to the 8 ohm out put on the one side of the Mc 250 that you chose. The upward mismatch is crucial for the clipping and the McIntosh will handle it no problem.

SMS volume around 10 O'clock. Mc 250 volume around 12 O'clock to 1 O'clock.

That will get you clipping when you guitar volume knob is up high. You will find that your guitar volume knob will become your boost.

If you still want to use both sides of the Mc 250, still wire the speakers in parallel for 4 ohms as I said above and use a jumper on the 8 ohm outputs to use both channels in mono. It explains how to use jumper for using both channels mono here:

http://akdatabase.org/AKview/albums/use ... Manual.pdf
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby RiseandFall » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:20 pm

Fiddling with the gain structures is how I tend to get close.
Although obviously different environments/rooms cause me to alter my settings.
Typically at home I have my SMS preamp volume at around 12:00 or 1:00. My MC50 is way up...at about 80% volume. I then use the volume knob on the guitar to achieve a loud but manageable room volume. I'd guess it is half way up or so.
Then, I will try to get the Earth Drive set to where I can hear VERY little difference with it off or on. Once there, I slightly turn up the drive on the Earth Drive so that I'm still crystal clear but I can get just a smidgen of dirt with increased pick attack.
I'll also say reverb level is critical. For me to approach the Jerry sound I need it set wetter than I would logically think it should be.

Here is something I learned the hard way. Take this for what its worth.
Sometimes I'll go and plug in, and things will sound somehow off. Or terrible even. For no apparent or obvious reason. When this happens I never adjust anything in the signal chain until I've been playing for 20-30 minutes or so. Because usually after 20-30 minutes things have....righted. I suspect its that my hands have warmed up and loosened up, and my ability to pick dynamically has normalized. Or perhaps the preamp and amp have fully warmed up by then. Maybe my ears have adjusted to the room or the volume.
Whatever the reason I don't just go to turning knobs right away, especially when I've had the settings the same for days or weeks.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jon S. » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:41 pm

Searing75 wrote:I can't speak for the Quilter, but the Carvin is incredible! I am extremely OCD when it comes to my tone, and I love my McIntosh MC50, but the Carvin weighs 4 pounds, and I really can't tell much of a difference between the two tone wise. In fact, I have found my playing more inspired as of late after switching back to my Carvin. SMS-Carvin DCM200L-JBL K120= great tone, and no back pain! I had back surgery back in 2011.

QFT.

I, too, have two (soon to be three, but that's for another thread) Dead rigs:

1. SMS - DCM200L - SSP 1X12 w/K120.
2. FYD - MC50 - SSP 1X12 w/E120.

The large majority of the time, I prefer the first because it's so lightweight when transporting my gear. 4.5 lb. SMS + 4 lb. DCM200L + 2U Gator short rack = about 16 and half pounds. What a pleasure. I may sell the second rig.

I ordered, test-drove, and returned 2 different Quilter Mach 2 combos. I tried to dig them. They're just not for me, for Dead (but as always, YMMV - no harm in ordering one to test drive from a place that accepts returns).
Last edited by Jon S. on Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jon S. » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:42 pm

kurt eye wrote:I have a Carvin DCM200L and Mac MC250. Having used them both recently, my observation is that the Carvin has a more articulate sound on the low end, but gets more brittle in the mids and highs compared to the Mac.

Also QFT.

There are always tradeoffs.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jon S. » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:47 pm

chipperj wrote:
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:
Searing75 wrote:With the Carvin DCM200L, I put the SMS Earth Drive right before my SMS pre, and use that for a nice clipping effect. It's on all the time. ...



+1 for this. With my rig, the Earth Drive is on all the time.

I achieve essentially the same end with my Line 6 M13's Classic Distortion model which is based on the Pro Co Rat (key is diming the output while barely using the drive). Some people with M13s, for this purpose, prefer the Boost Comp model which is based on the MXR Micro Amp. That can also work (I have both on my main scene, actually, but prefer the former).
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby PurpleTrails » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:52 pm

For those interested in the Carvin option, you sort of have a time limit unless you are going the used route, as they've closed their factory and are now liquidating. Use "BIGSAVE" on their website to get 10% off as of today.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby TRG » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:56 am

RiseandFall wrote:Fiddling with the gain structures is how I tend to get close.
Although obviously different environments/rooms cause me to alter my settings.
Typically at home I have my SMS preamp volume at around 12:00 or 1:00. My MC50 is way up...at about 80% volume. I then use the volume knob on the guitar to achieve a loud but manageable room volume. I'd guess it is half way up or so.
Then, I will try to get the Earth Drive set to where I can hear VERY little difference with it off or on. Once there, I slightly turn up the drive on the Earth Drive so that I'm still crystal clear but I can get just a smidgen of dirt with increased pick attack.
I'll also say reverb level is critical. For me to approach the Jerry sound I need it set wetter than I would logically think it should be.

Here is something I learned the hard way. Take this for what its worth.
Sometimes I'll go and plug in, and things will sound somehow off. Or terrible even. For no apparent or obvious reason. When this happens I never adjust anything in the signal chain until I've been playing for 20-30 minutes or so. Because usually after 20-30 minutes things have....righted. I suspect its that my hands have warmed up and loosened up, and my ability to pick dynamically has normalized. Or perhaps the preamp and amp have fully warmed up by then. Maybe my ears have adjusted to the room or the volume.
Whatever the reason I don't just go to turning knobs right away, especially when I've had the settings the same for days or weeks.
hippieguy1954 wrote:Use only one side of the Mc 250.

Wire speakers in parallel for 4 ohms and connected to the 8 ohm out put on the one side of the Mc 250 that you chose. The upward mismatch is crucial for the clipping and the McIntosh will handle it no problem.

SMS volume around 10 O'clock. Mc 250 volume around 12 O'clock to 1 O'clock.

That will get you clipping when you guitar volume knob is up high. You will find that your guitar volume knob will become your boost.

If you still want to use both sides of the Mc 250, still wire the speakers in parallel for 4 ohms as I said above and use a jumper on the 8 ohm outputs to use both channels in mono. It explains how to use jumper for using both channels mono here:

http://akdatabase.org/AKview/albums/use ... Manual.pdf


Thank you both for the detailed responses - very helpful!
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby shadowboxer » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:47 am

Jrostrom wrote:Not sure if this is interesting at all or helpful but here is a clip of my SMS Classic>Carvin DCM200>Red Alnico Tone Tubby -- this is not a Jerry Rig obviously -- I am definitely pushing the preamp more than maybe Brad wants (3 oclock) and have the carvin on maybe 8 oclock.





Jrostrom is on to something, nice sound and playing. Love the Howard Roberts guitar.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jon S. » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:08 am

Realizing I want to add something about power amp clipping. Those people who are claiming to get it from your McI's, TRs, and Carvins - where and how are you using them?! I've done outdoor shows where I got all the power and volume I needed from my FYD-MC50 rig and I still wasn't at the point of pushing my rig into "natural" power amp clipping. For this reason alone, others may advise this strategy and I'm sure Jerry used it but it's not worked for me with my MC50 or DCM200L. In fact, that's why I just bought the 40W FYD combo in the Garage Sale area (and I probably won't push even that into power amp overdrive most of the time!) and will eventually sell one of the other rigs.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby RLW » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:45 am

Jon S. wrote:Realizing I want to add something about power amp clipping. Those people who are claiming to get it from your McI's, TRs, and Carvins - where and how are you using them?! I've done outdoor shows where I got all the power and volume I needed from my FYD-MC50 rig and I still wasn't at the point of pushing my rig into "natural" power amp clipping. For this reason alone, others may advise this strategy and I'm sure Jerry used it but it's not worked for me with my MC50 or DCM200L. In fact, that's why I just bought the 40W FYD combo in the Garage Sale area (and I probably won't push even that into power amp overdrive most of the time!) and will eventually sell one of the other rigs.


A very talented musician friend of mine said ... Jerry would sound like Jerry if he played a 4 dollar guitar into 2 dollar amp with a broken speaker - it's in the hands not in building expensive rigs and buying custom guitars ... and clearly he's exaggerating for effect, but in some sense it's true. There is a very talented cover band in Chicago that plays a lot of dead, and the guitar player also plays in a Phish cover band ---- plays a les paul into a twin ... and sounds amazing.

I'm not an amazing player, but I do understand that the best improvement to ones sound is just spending time playing ... of course, that said, I have three rigs ... and a few custom guitars ... but I'm middle aged and it's far less dangerous than a sports car, and exponentially less wankerish :lol:
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby Jon S. » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:09 pm

This forum needs a "like" button. If we had one, I'd push it for your last post! :D
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby shadowboxer » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:47 pm

RLW's post speaks to me too. It's fun to pursue the equipment angle, but it's really about the musical content, which comes from the mind, soul and hands.
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Re: SMS preamp/Carvin or Quilter Micropro Mach II?

Postby chinacatbundaberg » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:35 am

For what it's worth I think gear is the least important factor. Technique plays a big part but it's the note choice and phrasing which catch my ear. The way I see see it, Garcia plays in the song whereas most others play on top of a song. It's this melodic approach which I really love and it's why is Garcia top of my listen list most every day. Helps that the Band could write a good tune.
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