Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #111129  by PaulJay
 Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:13 pm
Hey, Is anyone using the SMS with the carbon comp resistors? Do you have any sound samples? Is the sound much different than the metal film plate resistors ? I am almost ready to put my order in and not really up on the technical aspects. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks ,Paul
 #111130  by cripeowner
 Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm
Just tell Brad what you are looking for sound wise and go with his recommendation.
 #111161  by wolftigerrosebud
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:06 am
Yeah, I have the carbon-film resistors in mine. I wouldn't really know if the sound is different from the metal film plate resistors, as the only amp I've ever heard with metal-film resistors in it was Jerry's. It has a more open, full tone than the high notes on Jerry's amp. It sounds very much like the thing Jerry might have moved onto if he'd still been around.

It's like... any high notes you hit are just angelic, singing voices. Which isn't to say they're incapable of intensity. Quite the opposite. They have a lot of the brightness of the Dales but they seem capable of a more mellow sound; it's like the smoothness of whatever the normal Twin resistors were and the brightness of the Dales and a contour and ringing quality all its own. As Brad said to me, they sound beautiful. I agreed with him once I heard them, and they're totally unlike any other amp I've played through. Just incredible.
 #111169  by PaulJay
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:44 am
Wolf , Thanks for that excellent description. It's hard to decide. My favorite Jerry tones are in order: '72 , '77 and some "80's, Do you feel you get a good '72 sound with your Sms? Should I get the option that gets the best of both worlds? :?
 #111174  by tcsned
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:35 am
Mine has the carbon film resistors - not that I have a comparison but it is pretty warm sounding yat maintains a good clean tone.
 #111181  by wolftigerrosebud
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:21 am
Short answer is no, I don't get a '72 sound, but that's not because of the preamp. I get plenty of that Twin growl from it, but I use a solid state power amp and a mahogany body semi-hollow guitar, so I get a much warmer, cleaner sound than most of the stuff heard in '72.

I'm pretty sure that regardless of what resistor you get, if you match the preamp with an appropriate strat-sounding guitar and a 6l6 power amp, you'll be in the neighborhood of the sound you seek. The resistor's sound doesn't draw attention to itself. Another of Brad's descriptions of it to me was that it was like a halo; it's more of an overtone in the background that's very pleasant to listen to. It's warmer than the Dales but I assume brighter than the carbon-comp resistors that are also available; the middle ground.

These are questions best posed to Brad -- if you tell him about what you want to use your amp for, he'll be the person best able to answer questions about comparisons between the three. I've only used the one, so it's impossible for me to draw any valid comparisons.
 #111185  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:54 am
The plate resistor thing is really very subtle. The guitar, pickups, and power amp is by far and away a much more significant contributor to any particular era of Jerry tone. The Dale RN70 metal films are the standard. Very quiet, very clear, belltone, sparkle, 80's tone. They very well may have also been there in the late '70s as well. The earlier 70's likely had Allen Bradley carbon comps. Nice tone, but a bit noisy (hissy) in comparison, and not quite the extended 3D hi-fi belltone sparkle on top. These audiophile carbon film types that some guys have are a good compromise. Quite high fidelity, a bit warmer on the very top, quieter than Allen Bradley Carbon Comps. I also like these PRP metal film resistors too. Modern US made, much like the Dale RN70 like Jerry had but a tad sweeter, maybe more "musical" and fun sounding. I like to think Jerry would have dug these. But still, we're talking about very subtle differences that most listeners would never notice, but a player can tell these little aspects are there. I'd say nearly everyone sticks with the tried and true authentic Dale Rn70 Garcia resistors.

 #111190  by wolftigerrosebud
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:59 pm
Oh, I just remembered that it's the PRPs that I have in my preamp, not the carbon-films. Sorry; those are the ones I was referring to in my other posts. I love the way the PRPs sound. I knew there was something about what I was writing that didn't feel right...