Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #77087  by czyfingers
 Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:50 am
I'm using a 72 showman reverb preamped into a MC2120 to E120's and a guitar with super 2's, normally use middle split.
My question to anyone using a similar set up is: Where do you run the volume on the pre vs. the volume on the power amp? And where do you keep the guitar volume? I'm always fiddling trying to find a sweet spot, but I don't think I've found it yet. If I run the pre at 5 or higher, I start getting preamp breakup, which doesn't sound terribly desireable. If I crank the mac and use the pre to adjust overall volume, it seems to be a bit brittle. I realize how loud you want or need to be plays a role here, but lets just say at a reasonable stage volume.
Thanks for any advice
 #77102  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:09 pm
Remember that the knob on the Mac is simply a pot at the input. I'd say drive the Twin pre to where you like it. I find they tend to warm up at about half way, maybe 4 to 6 or so. Then you can simply use the knob on the Mac as a master volume. On the guitar, maybe leave some headroom and play at around 65% or so, just a guess. Then I'd also roll the tone back just enough to reduce the crispy glass on top. This should get you a good totally clean Jer tone, but I think that you won't really get the fat, bubbly, magic tone until you open up the Mac to where it's on the edge of clipping. I'd surely only use one mono half of the mac and leave the other side unused. Set the Mac for stereo, so the second channel is totally disconnected.

 #77106  by czyfingers
 Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:19 pm
Thanks Brad. That's roughly what I've been doing. I could probably stand to leave myself a bit more headroom though. The biggest thing is probably what you said...I can't play the damn thing loud enough most of the time to get it into the "magic zone", because it's so loud. I have some outdoor gigs planned now that the weather is getting nice. That should be a good opportunity to open up the mac for more than a minute or two without making anyone deaf. I've haven't been unhappy with the sound of this rig, it definitely has the Jerry sound happening. I'm just constantly trying to get a little closer....just like everyone else here.
I have had my eye on your classic too. That might be my next step to improving my tone and becoming a little more portable at the same time.
 #77109  by mijknahs
 Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:28 pm
I have almost the exact setup. I assume you have a buffer on your guitar. If you do, you can turn down the guitar volume and not lose tone. I always have my volume on the guitar rolled back almost half way. I never have it up all the way. Then I have the Twin at about 7 or 8. The power amp is up about half way for gigs and less for home/garage use. Seems to work pretty good for me.

 #77115  by czyfingers
 Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:21 am
I have an EMG buffer in the guitar, so that part is covered. I've been running the twin around 5.5 and usually have the guitar volume around 80-90%. I'm going to try your settings Jim and see how that sounds. I do notice that sometimes with the guitar pegged or close to it, the sound can get a bit harsh, so running the twin higher and the guitar lower may work well.
Jim, do you have a 2120? It seems to be like the bastard of macs as far as popularity goes, but I've been very happy with it. I'd have to say it's probably the most reliable piece of gear in the puzzle. I turn it on and it never crackles, or complains, just sounds crystal clear and powerful as hell. I threw the power tubes in the head and played mac-less recently in an effort to tote less gear and it's just not the same for me.

 #77117  by mijknahs
 Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:52 am
Hi Kevin,

I do have an MC2120. It's a great amp. I also have an MC50 which gets a very similar sound but you can carry it under one arm. I know if I had the guitar volume up high it would start clipping the Twin. Volume is definitely in the middle area so it has lots of headroom. Maybe also try hooking up the 8 ohm speaker to the 16 ohm tap. That will give you a bit less power. I agree with the power tubes giving a totally different kind of sound. Not as good of a low end, etc.

Here's a clip of me using the MC2120 with 1xE120s (also with the EMG buffer). The camera mic clips but you can get an idea of how it sounds:

 #77123  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:02 am
mijknahs wrote:..... Maybe also try hooking up the 8 ohm speaker to the 16 ohm tap. That will give you a bit less power.

I think you meant to say the opposite, hook the 8-ohm speaker to the 4-ohm tap for less power.

 #77134  by mijknahs
 Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:50 am
Indeed. Thanks Brad. I did mean to say that. 4 ohm tap + 8 ohm speaker = less power

 #77208  by czyfingers
 Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:36 pm
Nice Birdsong jam Jim and thanks for the advice. You're setup sounds really good, as well as the rest of the band. Your rhythm player has a nice Bobby tone/style. I was glad to see I'm not the only one who sets up the whole band in the living room to practice. I checked out some of your other vids too. I could see the limit lights flickering on the 2120 when you were pushing it during Little Red Rooster. Does your twin have any mods done to it? I was trying to spot it in in the vids, but couldn't find it. Other than the preamp tap I added, mine is all stock as far as I know.
 #77211  by mijknahs
 Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:03 pm
The circuit is pretty much stock but the vibrato has been removed and caps and resistors upgraded to better ones. Wouldn't really consider them mods (other than the preamp output). Sometimes I still run the power tubes. I recommend the new Tung Sol 5881 reissue power tubes.

Thanks on the vid comments!

 #77266  by mijknahs
 Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:08 pm
My Twin is in a pine head cabinet that my friend built for me. It is usually what the power amp and speaker are sitting on (set on end vertically). It makes a nice stand so I can hear the speaker better.

 #77267  by playingdead
 Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:13 pm
In case anyone wants to ditch their Twin speakers, I have a custom made baltic birch Twin head cabinet, in cocoa tolex and wheat grill cloth, includes a fitted road case, $300 ... pretty much mint condition.

 #77281  by czyfingers
 Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:56 pm
I took a better look and I can see the head on the bottom. That seems like it would be a lot of weight to stack on top of that thing. If I see it right, the power amp in the middle and the speaker cab is on top of it?
 #77284  by mijknahs
 Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:22 pm
czyfingers wrote:I took a better look and I can see the head on the bottom. That seems like it would be a lot of weight to stack on top of that thing. If I see it right, the power amp in the middle and the speaker cab is on top of it?
Yep. That's how I've been doing it for the past 8 years or so (just 1x12"). Recently though I've been pulling out my 2x12" cab because I think it sounds fuller. I don't stack that though. Just prop it up in the front with a 2x4 (tilt back). The weight of the front loaded speakers keep it from tipping backwards.

 #77320  by NeebruM
 Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:36 am
This place is dangerous!

Now you guys have me thinking about using my 752 McIntosh for the power amp...
Hot Rod Deluxe (modded) for pre amp, 2 12-'s (to be determined) :)

Better base?

What I like about it is it's not all that HEAVY!!!

75 watts per into 8 ohms, 100 into 4, though it probably specs out at close to 100 and plus that at 4.

Anybody ever tried one of these amps guitar musically speaking? (I'm afraid I might clip it but it DOES have powerguard so who knows...