Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:28 am

I don't have one yet, but I'm curious to hear what people are finding with this power amp. I've had 3 glowing reports from people, one of which is a sacred steel player, one of the senior players in that tradition/style where Robert Randolph came up. He's using the SMS Classic into that amp and is just raving about it for those purposes. He said he can really abuse it and bang on it and it sounds killer. But here I'm interested in what people have found with it as a Jerry type power amp.

Brad
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby zoooombiex » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:59 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:I don't have one yet, but I'm curious to hear what people are finding with this power amp. I've had 3 glowing reports from people, one of which is a sacred steel player, one of the senior players in that tradition/style where Robert Randolph came up. He's using the SMS Classic into that amp and is just raving about it for those purposes. He said he can really abuse it and bang on it and it sounds killer. But here I'm interested in what people have found with it as a Jerry type power amp.

Brad


I don't claim to have a Jerry-inspired rig, but FWIW I have a Velocity 300 and have been very impressed, both keys and guitar. It has a remarkably natural feel to it - lots of headroom & clarity. I've put it up against my big iron tube amps (blonde showman) and been surprised at the results.

I'm still using tube amps for keys live, but mainly because of my reluctance to go over to the rack side, not due to its sound.

For guitar, I've had great results just going into one of your Black Boxes and straight into the Velocity, with a pedal eq for tone shaping.
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby mijknahs » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:46 pm

I owned one for a few months but didn't like it compared to my Fender Twin power section or compared to my McIntosh amps so I sold it.
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby jkstraw » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:14 pm

I have had mine for over a year and have an mc2100 I can A/B it with. I think it is a great sounding SS amp and I get close enough to my MC2100 that it has never left my house (I mean it's 1u!). Truth be told I don't know if you blind folded me if I could tell the difference playing at a mid level.
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Jon S. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:16 am

I love mine. It is a wonderful compliment to the SMS Classic Preamp w/Jerry Mods I'm driving it with. Plenty of clean power but not at all sterile like some "pure" solid-state power amps - this one was clearly designed with the guitarist in mind. The key, I've found, is working with the Reactance and Definition controls to voice the power amp perfectly with your preamp. The two unique controls, well let's just say I've read plenty of internet debate over how they function electronically but from strictly "what I'm hearing" perspective, they work as advertised. And I haven't even gotten to its price. This unit is certainly a price/performance winner. I just picked up my first McI and I can assure you, this review is not in any way related to selling my RV300 now - it's not going anywhere.
"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: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Stella Bloo » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:33 am

I have to agree with the majority of V300 owners, I am running a Phiga Tiger into the SMS into V300 into (2) K-110's and think it sounds fabulous. I don't have a MC but it certainly is a good match with the SMS. I don't think anyone can go wrong pairing this amp with the SMS to get great Jerry tone. Very happy with it.
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Stella Bloo » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:35 am

By the way, I would be interested in V300 settings from the group hear. What are you setting the Reactance and Definition at?

Thanks
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby zoooombiex » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:27 am

For what it's worth, I put the reactance around 12:00 and definition around 2:00-3:00

again, though, I'm not using a separate preamp, so that may not translate to other users

I don't know what those controls do electrically, but the reactance control sounds like it fills out the low end (low to low mids), and the definition sounds like a presence control
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby tcsned » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:16 am

Has anyone done an A/B test between the Rocktron and a Mosvalve?
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby mijknahs » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:31 am

I still have an old MosValve 962 and I like it a little better than the Rocktron I had. I still don't like it compared to my Macs but it's a backup for a backup.

To me the Rocktron and the MosValve are kinda like comparing Eminence Commonwealths to JBL E120s. They work really well and get a pretty close (and usable) sound. Probably no one in the audience would notice. But if you're used to JBL and Macs, they don't quite sound as good and you can tell the difference. There are some similarities but also some noticable differences if you know what you're listening for.
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Jon S. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:42 am

At work now, will add detailed responses tonight or tomorrow with sound clips.
"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: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Jon S. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:30 pm

OK, back home now typing from a real computer! A few follow-up thoughts.

The first is that everyone is different when it comes to both perceiving tone and accepting or being frustrated by differences in tone between two rigs that whether they are significant or insignificant depend less on the differences themselves than the hearing and sensibilities of the listener. Myself, for example, I long ago stopped caring about minor tone differences that are apparent primarily, if not only, when playing alone in my room. I've simply come to the personal (as in, works for me, not necessarily anyone else) realization that the people I'm making my music for to bring them joy are just not picking apart my tone, they're digging the music. So that's my starting point. Whether it unduly colors everything else I add below is up to you. :smile:

Here are my SMS and RV300 settings (not including the rear trim pot which, if I'm recalling correctly now, is around set around 1-2 o'clock. These work for me, with my guitar (Philtone Jerrycaster - I live primarily on the middle Super 2 split) and my effects. They might not with your guitar and your effects. That's why, while I'm happy to share my settings and enjoy seeing others', anyone else's preferences - even Jerry's! - cannot, in a vacuum, substitute for your own. Note also that my SMS and RV300 settings are cumulative. A change in any control on one necessarily affects the other. I settled on my own preferences after months of experimentation, changes, more experimentation, more changes, etc. Some people may "know" within minutes what they prefer. That's cool. I kinda wish I could. But it's not me. I need the data that only multiple practices and gigs can provide to figure it all out for myself.

For me, my Reactance and Definition controls roughly parallel my bass and treble controls: the former way down; the latter way up. I can tell you that this is not how I started out with my RV300. I came in with the preconception that the former should be higher and the latter lower. But that's not what my ears told me and I know well enough by now to trust my ears, not my eyes.

You'll also note that the volume levels on the two RV300 channels are set quite differently. That's because each side of my RV300 is driving a very different type of speaker. The side with the volume up higher is driving a Weber Neomag. That's my "main" tone. The other side with the volume lower is driving a Jensen Neo 12-100. That's my secondary tone. I use it to compensate for my perception of the Neomag's weakness - that while it has wonderful treble and upper mids, it's whimpy on the lower mids. The Neo 12-100, in contrast, has robust, really filling lower mids. So I set the Neomag to the volume I need at the time and bring up the Neo 12-100 just enough to yield the combined fuller tone that I prefer.

This is all, to repeat, just a box of rain. Believe it if you need it. :)

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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Jon S. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:40 pm

So what do they sound like? Now be kind, I'm not a pro and I have these to share at all simply because someone in each case dug what he was hearing enough to tape it with his cell phone and put it up on YouTube.

Two clips follow. The guitar tones will sound different. Here's why. In the first clip, I'm playing rhythm (I come in first) straight into my preamp and amp, and for lead (4:00) I'm using my M13's Rat model with the volume dimed and the gain up just barely so as to put me very slightly above unity gain. In the second clip, I start on rhythm using the pedal setting I just described using for lead in the first clip, and for my lead (around 2:53) I hit another of my M13 models with is the same Rat model as the first one but with the volume set a bit lower and the gain up a bit more for slightly greater distortion.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Well, except to note that my SMS's and RV300's controls, today as in the above pic, are also adjusted somewhat from how I had them in each of the following videos. So, today, I'd sound different even from then. But (for me, at least) not enough to care unduly about. :smile:



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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby weshunter » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:22 pm

Jon, those clips sound really great man. Nice playing and tone!

I'm definitely stealing that idea to use the rat model on the M13 as a boost - that sounds really good. What delay are you using?
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Re: Roctron Velocity 300 power amp

Postby Jon S. » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:19 pm

Thank you (I know when push comes to shove I can't hold a candle to some of the truly incredible talent we're fortunate to have here with us on this forum but I do have fun :smile: ).

Do you mean what M13 preamp models I use when I use delay (I'm not aware of using delay on either of the two posted clips)?

The Distortion (Rat) model on the M13 is, in my opinion for my music, the best of all of the models. Here are my two settings. First is very slightly boosted/colored. Sort of how it seems to me some people like to use their SMS Earth Drives all the time. Second is more of a true lead tone.

But we should get back to the RV300, too. :oops:

P.S. If for any reason you can't see the full pics of the model settings, just right click on the pics and open them in their own tabs.

Image

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