To SMS or not to SMS?????

Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby jkstraw » Wed May 02, 2012 12:24 pm

tcsned wrote:
jkstraw wrote:I am a very happy SMS user - power amp I use is the Rocktron Velocity 300. It is better than average IMHO, not as nice as my MC2105....but it is also a 1u 300watt solution (and a lot cheaper).


Not to get on a tangent (well, yes to get on a tangent) what do you think of the 2105? I've been looking for a Mac in that power range and there's a few floating around eBay.


I get my favourite tone out of the 2105 and it is plenty loud for me. I am running a 2x12 E-120 cab on one channel and a 2x12 K-120 on the other - so I am not pushing the speakers much but I get the windows shaking when I crank it. I have also run my 1x12 K-120 through it but couldn't tell if the difference was from being pushed harder or the missing speaker!

I bought an audiophile quality one for the resale value so I don't ever plan on racking or gigging with it. It is plenty heavy but I have seen one racked in a picture before (bottom rack!) So I know it is possible.

I am surprised at the difference in tone between it and the RV300. I don't have complaints about either but if someone could capture the 2105 or 2300 in a 1u package I'd be all over it (hint hint Brad :lol: ). Maybe someone could confirm if the 2105 has the same circuit as the 2300 (sentry circuit I think?) I seem to remember that it did but I am not 100% - at loud volume I get so much bounce off of walls that I wouldn't be able to identify any mild distortion from the circuit even it if it is there! :-)
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby mgbills » Wed May 02, 2012 2:15 pm

I think the Mc2105 is the same as the Mc2100, but with the meters on the front & prettied up.

Almost certain the 2100 & 2105 have the sentry monitors.
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby mgbills » Wed May 02, 2012 2:19 pm

SMS. I loved the tone of the SMS through a Mesa 20/20, but that sucka was loud with the volume just cracked. The nice feature of a McIntosh amp is that if can be (if necessary) turned down. Of course the tone is spectactular.

It's all about sizing up your real needs. See the recent thread "Nice Rack", and be sure to observe the details.

I build my SMS rig, because I'm a whack-job...not because I play stadiums. That said...the SMS is an absolutely top-notch piece of gear.
Peace
M
"Hi Ho...the Carrion Crow...FoldeRoldeRiddle"
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby spacefunkologist » Wed May 02, 2012 2:38 pm

Im not gonna be playing stadiums either, and Im a whack job as well so I know exactly what youre talking about.

Im just thinking in terms of overall spending, a rack rig is gonna cost me more in the long run. Remember that Im starting with nothing, well actually a 2x12 E120 cab, but thats it. Between the SMS, a power amp (used), a rack, cables, a power conditioner, I gotta be looking at 1200-1300 bucks easy, probably more. I can get a nice used Dual Showman Reverb head or a Pro Reverb combo for almost half that to power my JBLs. Im on the fence.....not sure what to do.
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby redeyedjim » Wed May 02, 2012 4:26 pm

mgbills wrote:SMS. I loved the tone of the SMS through a Mesa 20/20, but that sucka was loud with the volume just cracked. The nice feature of a McIntosh amp is that if can be (if necessary) turned down. Of course the tone is spectactular.

It's all about sizing up your real needs. See the recent thread "Nice Rack", and be sure to observe the details.

I build my SMS rig, because I'm a whack-job...not because I play stadiums. That said...the SMS is an absolutely top-notch piece of gear.
Peace
M


Speaking as another whack job with more gear than skill, I can tell you that the SMS sounds great when paired with a McIntosh, a TubeWorks MV-962, or a Mesa 50/50. Each amp sounds a bit different, but each combo is great and capable of very Jerry-like tones.

At the moment, I have both a MC50 and a Mesa 50/50 in my rack:

Image

I switch between the two using a Radial HeadBone TS amp switcher.

To my ear the SMS + MC50 has a bell-like clarity and warmth that's really nails that Garcia tone. The MC50 is loud enough for my needs but I'm not a gigging musician, just a guy with a gear fetish (heh) who likes to jam with friends. If I were playing clubs I think I'd want a MC250 or larger for both power and headroom, but I'm not, so I appreciate the size and weight of the MC50.

The SMS + 50/50 is nice in a different way, because while you can still get wonderful Garcia-like tones, if you put your bridge pup in HB mode and add a dirt or tube-based distortion pedal the tube-based 50/50 will give you a more bluesy, classic rock sound. It's also capable of a lot of volume if you want or need it, but has a low power switch so you can keep it mellow the rest of the time. It's a very versatile amp.

Finally, I found the sound of the TubeWorks MV-962 to be somewhere in between the MC50 and the 50/50. It lacked the depth of the 50/50 and didn't have the warmth of the McIntosh, but it still sounded fine; it was clear but not sterile. The nicest thing about the MV-962 was that it was a good, cheap, clear amp that still had plenty of power. So that's another option to keep in mind.

And yeah, I'd say your $$ estimate is pretty solid, but the result is a really beautiful sounding system. It's the sort of setup that will serve you well for years and years. I'm glad I took the plunge, even if I'm just a dilettante. Sorry for the ramble, but hopefully this is more signal than noise... :smile:
Dilettante - sounds nicer than "hack"
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby spacefunkologist » Wed May 02, 2012 4:55 pm

Congrats on a cool rig man! That looks about just exactly perfect to me. :cool:

I think you guys sold me. Im gonna go with the rack rig. I figure I can start with a cheaper power amp, used, and if I need something with more power or something of better quality (McIntosh), I can always add it down the road sometime. The rack space and even cables I can likely buy used as well as a power conditioner. Looks like I got some Fee-Baying ahead of me tonight!

Thanks everybody for the input. I will be posting some pics of my new Post 73 Wolf in about a week or two, according to Troy. Im super pumped about getting it.

Has anybody received their SMS preamp any faster than 6-8 weeks or is Brads estimate fairly spot on?
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby eric » Wed May 02, 2012 5:15 pm

Hey , another gear whack job here.. I started my jer tone quest with a BDRI as well ... Went to the HK .. Now a proud SMS owner .. All your questions and concerns are exactly what many of us have gone through .. And this was exactly the same advice I got : Do it right the first time , it will actually save you money ...best advice ever.. Sit down with a pen and paper , make a solid game pan ...execute the plan as time and money permit.. No one gets thier rig built in a day ...

Now , I'm not going to say its the only route , but to be honest , IT'S THE ONLY ROUTE .. Maybe only for one reason .. It will always be in the back of your head that your tone could be better , but this setup will destroy that mentality . In turn, you'll play better ...Hey , ya gotta justify it somehow!!! Just my personal observation..
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby NSP » Wed May 02, 2012 6:35 pm

spacefunkologist wrote:

Has anybody received their SMS preamp any faster than 6-8 weeks or is Brads estimate fairly spot on?


I think it all depends on his list. From what I understand you go on the list when you order and he works his way through. If I remember correctly I received mine in about four weeks. Well worth the wait and you couldn't find a better guy to do business with.
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby tcsned » Wed May 02, 2012 8:58 pm

There's an MC50 on eBay now with about 20hrs left at about $160.

Thanks for the Mac info guys. I'd like to find a MC2100 or 2150 when my $$ rolls in. That'll leave a SMS Earth drive and a speaker upgrade and my rig should be complete . . . for now :-)

I've been using the Mosvalve (80w) for gigs for a while now and for the most part it gives plenty of volume for the 75-150 person bar gig. It was a little hard to get clean volume at a recent one with a rowdy 250 or so but it was passable. I've got it set at about 7, it starts to break up much past that. There's another 80w on the other channel I haven't tapped. Pretty badass for less than $150.
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Re: To SMS or not to SMS?????

Postby Phishfan » Thu May 03, 2012 7:29 am

Great thread! I received my SMS yesterday and, after getting the kiddo's to bed, proceeded to be the happiest guy in Amarillo TX. This thing is two kinds of cool. 1- It sounds incredible and does everything it is supposed to. 2- It is tiny, weighs nothing, and puts off no heat. I too debated back and forth on what route to take. I picked up a minty '76 twin with factory JBL's locally- its awesome and weighs A TON! I plan on sending it to Joe at Shakedown amps when I get the scratch. Then, I nutted up and pieced together a MC 50, SSP quarter cab, and JBL. Having the ability to compare and contrast between the two rigs is really cool- no "what if's?" At the end of the day, I felt like I owed it to myself and also to Brad to pick up an SMS and I could not possibly be happier!
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