PDA

View Full Version : SE Amps - Impressions?



strat63
04-26-2012, 01:02 PM
I frequent a number of forums and I rarely hear about the SE line of amps. Has anyone played one of these?

Shawn@PRS
04-26-2012, 01:42 PM
I'll chime in here (my first post hooray!)

I took a 30 watt combo home last night for a test drive and I'm extremely happy with what I heard. The two channels offer a lot of versatility. The clean channel offers enough crunch to get some really warm “Vintage” tones, while the lead channel offers plenty of gain for more “modern” tones. Overall it’s a gig-worthy amp and a tremendous bang for the buck.

strat63
04-26-2012, 02:10 PM
The few demos I've heard sounded really nice clean. With gain they were a bit fizzy but that's over computer speakers. It's hard to get a good feel for the real sound. Thanks for the opinion.

themike
04-26-2012, 02:55 PM
I've played one at Rudy's in NYC and dug it, and also heard a few played in my presence and they are great! I mean Emil used one during Experience and with your eyes closed, you'd never know it wasn't handwired by Doug himself.

[youtube:2d32jzwb]wYNuiVR2zHQ[/youtube:2d32jzwb]

ReigningGlory
04-26-2012, 09:54 PM
I've only heard online video clips, but the Guitar World video seemed to demonstrate some very pristine cleans and aggressive overdrives. I would not mind owning one!

MichaelSaulnier
04-27-2012, 11:50 AM
I have an SE 20 Combo amp.

It's taken a little time for me to find the tones that I like... but I'm growing to like it more and more.

It was a little harsh and buzzy straight out of the box. I tightened up the screws holding the speaker in place, and that helped a bit... it also took a bit of playing time to start to "break-in" the speaker. But after about 20 hours of playing time so far... it's sounding smoother and less buzzy by far.

I've also played with a 2x12 Carvin extension cab, and that worked well.

The amp's a little big and heavy for a 1x12... but not so much that I need help moving it around.

I really like the clean channel tones a lot... and the reverb is nice. I can use that channel and my pedal board all night if I want or have to. I often use the od channel with the drive set very low... so it's basically more of a boosted first channel... this works nicely for blues or classic rock tones, especially with my drive pedals in front of it.

M

gearhead
04-27-2012, 05:06 PM
I've played the SE30 a couple of times and really liked it. The clean channel is really nice and the gain channel will get some pretty heavy tones. The gain channel did have a little fizziness to it, but I think that breaking the speaker in would take care of that. If I were amp shopping, it would be near the top of the list.

mgman
04-28-2012, 03:22 AM
They were announced 6 months ago, I have been looking for one to try out but there aren't any in my area yet (Buffalo NY.)

gag halfrunt
04-28-2012, 01:29 PM
I just wish they weren't made in China.

The SE guitars from South Korea are such a fine product. I was really hoping the SE amps could be made there.

Em7
05-02-2012, 09:12 PM
The fizziness that you hear is from the preamp, not the speaker. The contract manufacturing engineers who took Doug's 2-Channel prototype and prepared it for mass manufacturing lost a lot of the magic of that design in the translation. I do not know if the SE circuit has been revised, but they were trying to push too much bass through the preamp on the gain channel on the early SE amps.

With the above said, if one is willing to spring for an SE, one should reach a little and purchase a 2-Channel "H." An SE 50 sells for around $1150.00 retail. A 2-Channel "H" retails for around $1500.00. A 2-Channel "H" is hand-wired by a dedicated team of "tonesmiths" in Maryland, not built in an automated factory in China. The same high level of attention to detail that goes into every Made in Maryland PRS guitar goes into each 2-Channel. The difference in build quality between the 2-Channel and the SE is like the difference between night and day.

Here's a gut shot of the 2-Channel.

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/PRS2-Channel2.jpg

ArtG
05-03-2012, 12:58 AM
They were announced 6 months ago, I have been looking for one to try out but there aren't any in my area yet (Buffalo NY.)
I just don't wanna start talking 'bout availability... :cry:

gag halfrunt
05-03-2012, 07:50 PM
...

With the above said, if one is willing to spring for an SE, one should reach a little and purchase a 2-Channel "H." An SE 50 sells for around $1150.00 retail. A 2-Channel "H" retails for around $1500.00. A 2-Channel "H" is hand-wired by a dedicated team of "tonesmiths" in Maryland, not built in an automated factory in China. The same high-level of attention to detail that goes into every Made in Maryland PRS guitar goes into each 2-Channel. The difference in build quality between the 2-Channel and the SE is like the difference between night and day...
This is some of the best amp advice I've read in a long time. If you are going to buy a PRS amp, do THIS.

IMHO, of course.

Em7
05-04-2012, 10:50 AM
Here's another "gut shot" of the 2-channel:

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/2-channel1.jpg


All of the pots, jacks, switches, and tube sockets are chassis mounted with flying leads to the boards. The 2-Channel requires quite a bit of attention to detail to build correctly. How the wires are laid out in a hand-wired amp is critical to the achieving stable, low-noise operation (wire layout is known as "lead dress"). One poorly routed wire can result in an amp self-oscillating.

andy474x
05-04-2012, 03:09 PM
Hey guys. I have the SE 30 head, and I dig it quite a bit. It was good right out of the box, probably helped that I was using a speaker that was broken in already. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the USA 2 channel... it's a nice thought, but at $900 vs $1500, that's a pretty big price jump for some of us :( Definitely a good point if you can spare the extra cash though. Anyways, it's a good piece of gear to have. The gain channel doesn't sound fizzy to me, I can roll off treble and not lose the breakup and sustain, which tends to be an issue with other amps I've owned. That effect of the gain penetrating into the lower registers might be what some people area hearing and disliking, it's all a preference thing I guess. Clean channel is impeccable unless you really push it, then it gets kinda grainy. Anyways, any sound from sparkly clean to classic rock to ripping distortion is easy to get.

Does anyone know the deal with the speaker in the SE combo? Is it designed to sound like a V30 to mimic the USA 2 channel?

Em7
05-05-2012, 09:27 AM
Hey guys. I have the SE 30 head, and I dig it quite a bit. It was good right out of the box, probably helped that I was using a speaker that was broken in already. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the USA 2 channel... it's a nice thought, but at $900 vs $1500, that's a pretty big price jump for some of us :( Definitely a good point if you can spare the extra cash though. Anyways, it's a good piece of gear to have. The gain channel doesn't sound fizzy to me, I can roll off treble and not lose the breakup and sustain, which tends to be an issue with other amps I've owned. That effect of the gain penetrating into the lower registers might be what some people area hearing and disliking, it's all a preference thing I guess. Clean channel is impeccable unless you really push it, then it gets kinda grainy. Anyways, any sound from sparkly clean to classic rock to ripping distortion is easy to get.

Does anyone know the deal with the speaker in the SE combo? Is it designed to sound like a V30 to mimic the USA 2 channel?


The difference in price is small considering the huge difference in build quality. An SE is not a made in China replica of a 2-Channel. It is a designed to be built to a price point imitation of a 2-Channel. A 2-Channel is professional-grade piece of gear. It is built like amps used to be built back when Americans cared about quality. The 2-Channel is a boutique amp at a production amp price point. In my humble opinion, choosing an SE over a 2-Channel is penny wise and pound foolish, especially when lightly used 2-Channels can be purchased for $1K.

andy474x
05-05-2012, 07:15 PM
Gosh, I'm swooning over your 2 Channel. Tell me more. :roll:

Do you actually have anything to say about these amps that doesn't have to do with your USA 2 channel? All you've done so far is throw around terms like "hand wired by tonesmiths" "professional grade" and "built like back when Americans cared about quality." That's all hype man, come on! I agree that the USA amps are surely better, but it's not like there's a lack of fairy dust in the SE's that automatically makes them bad. If you have an opinion of them as far as tone, operation, or something having to do with a time that you actually plugged a guitar into one, I wouldn't mind hearing it. Even if it's negative I can at least respect it as an honest evaluation of the amp, not some prefabricated perception of it. But don't say everyone should just cough up the cash for the USA amp, especially if you have nothing to say about the SE amps themselves. I had to sell some gear and get my SE 30 on sale for $780 to afford it, and even that was reallllly pushing my budget. Grad school, fixed income, it's reality for a lot of players. And $1K for a used H? That's a low ball price on a used amp with no warranty, not exactly the safest buy.

gag halfrunt
05-05-2012, 09:30 PM
Here's another "gut shot" of the 2-channel:

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/2-channel1.jpg


All of the pots, jacks, switches, and tube sockets are chassis mounted with flying leads to the boards. The 2-Channel requires quite a bit of attention to detail to build correctly. How the wires are laid out in a hand-wired amp is critical to the achieving stable, low-noise operation (wire layout is known as "lead dress"). One poorly routed wire can result in an amp self-oscillating.
Ooooh, that's a thing of beauty there. Very smart, clean layout.

Em7
05-06-2012, 05:43 PM
Gosh, I'm swooning over your 2 Channel. Tell me more. :roll:

Do you actually have anything to say about these amps that doesn't have to do with your USA 2 channel? All you've done so far is throw around terms like "hand wired by tonesmiths" "professional grade" and "built like back when Americans cared about quality." That's all hype man, come on! I agree that the USA amps are surely better, but it's not like there's a lack of fairy dust in the SE's that automatically makes them bad. If you have an opinion of them as far as tone, operation, or something having to do with a time that you actually plugged a guitar into one, I wouldn't mind hearing it. Even if it's negative I can at least respect it as an honest evaluation of the amp, not some prefabricated perception of it. But don't say everyone should just cough up the cash for the USA amp, especially if you have nothing to say about the SE amps themselves. I had to sell some gear and get my SE 30 on sale for $780 to afford it, and even that was reallllly pushing my budget. Grad school, fixed income, it's reality for a lot of players. And $1K for a used H? That's a low ball price on a used amp with no warranty, not exactly the safest buy.

I do not recall seeing your user name on BaM, so I will assume that you are new. The first batch of 2-Channel amps were originally built as proof of concept amps. They were prototypes for an amp that would be produced offshore. The 2-Channel prototypes sold like hotcakes at Experience 2010, so Doug and his team continued to build 2-Channels while working with the contract engineering team that was preparing the amp for mass manufacture. Doug came up with a different configuration of the 2-Channel topology that he dubbed the 2-Channel "H." The major differences between the 2-Channel "C" and the 2-Channel "H" are the output tubes and the output transformer. There are minor circuitry tweaks as well.

The engineering firm that PRS hired to prepare the 2-Channel design for mass manufacturing produced an amp that is sterile on the clean channel and buzzy sounding on the lead channel. One can dime the gain control on the lead channel of a 2-Channel and still hear the notes in a chord. Diming the gain control on the lead channel of an SE results in mush.

Let's look at construction. Build quality determines the reliability, serviceability, and the longevity of an amp; therefore, it is not hype (i.e., companies that manufacture well-built amps can offer generous warranty periods because their warranties are rarely exercised). Having worked on my fair share of amps, one of the attributes that I look for in an amp are chassis mounted tube sockets. There are several reasons for this bias. First, it is much easier to replace a chassis-mounted tube socket than it is to replace a PCB-mounted tube socket, which translates to lower repair costs. A major problem with PCB-mounted tube sockets is arcing. It is not uncommon for a tube to "arc-over" and carbonize its tube socket. If the socket is attached to a PCB, tube arc-over can burn through the board, rendering the amp non-repairable without a spare board.

Finally, I want to address your comment about 2-Channel "H" amps not being available for $1K on the used market. While the 2-Channel "C" goes for more than $1K used, lightly used 2-Channel "H" amps routinely went for around $1K on BaM. Many of us only paid $1.3K for our 2-Channel “H” amps when they were new. One could be assured that most of the stuff that one purchased on BaM was in proper working order.

Shawn@PRS
05-07-2012, 11:57 AM
PRS tries to offer quality amps at many price points. Not everyone has the money (or wants to spend it) on a 2 channel head, so we came out with the SE amps. Personally, I feel the same way about the SE amps as I do about the SE guitars, they are a quality product at an affordable price. I own several SE guitars (I own US made PRS as well) and I will soon own an SE amp. Let’s contrast PRS products to Mercedes Benz. Just because the S class is a $100,000 and the C class is only 40k doesn't mean the C class is junk, it's hitting a different price point for a different consumer.

I'm glad you like the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the 2 Channel, we're quite proud of it as well. However, we are also very proud of our SE line of amps and hope the amp buying public will share our enthusiasm.

Em7
05-07-2012, 03:35 PM
I'm glad you like the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the 2 Channel, we're quite proud of it as well. However, we are also very proud of our SE line of amps and hope the amp buying public will share our enthusiasm.

I applaud the effort that went into the SE line. I think that the project was a good idea. The SE amp line has the potential to provide the same level of value as the SE guitars with a few tonal, build, and price point tweaks.

strat63
05-07-2012, 05:26 PM
I found a used SE 30 at a price I couldn't pass up so I've answered my own question from the first post. Like the clean channel a lot. I haven't dialed in the gain channel to my liking yet but we'll see.

Mimasu
06-26-2012, 04:54 PM
I own a Valvetech VAC22. Fantastic amp, but no channel switching. I also got a Dr Z maz 38 senior. Sounds great but only on high volumes. Using my VAC22 as my main gigging amp and liking the 6V6 amps very much in general (I played Deluxe reverb for years) I thought I needed a new 6V6 amp with channel switching.

Thought about a Tone King, or a Hook R20 (Dutch handbuild 2x6V6 amp). Then I saw a PRS SE20 for sale. Very rare at the moment overhere in Europe. So I got me one.

First impression:

Bigger and more heavy than I expected.

It's a 2 mm thick chassis, very sturdy PCB, with all the pots and switches etc seperately mounted on the chassis. I've had some "PCB amps before": Rivera M100, Fender Blues Deluxe, Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb RI. This PRS beats all as far as building quality is concerned. High quality components (Alpha pots, JJ tubes etc).
OK, you can always discuss the fact that the power tubes are also PCB mounted. But this SE20 looks very well built.

Lead channel sounds good. Clean channel ok but a little bit disappointing. Until now I think my Valvetech sounds better, at least clean.

I think it's a speaker problem. I tried the amp with a open back cabinet with a Celestion G12H Heritage and that was much better than the stock speaker. Perhaps it's just a matter of breaking in the stock eminence. The cabinet starts to resonate strongly at some tones. When placed on the groud (angled or not) the amps sounds muddy. So that's no option. I put her about 0.5 m above the floor. That seems to be ok.

Anyone has any experience with other speakers or opening the cabinet? Or perhaps it's just me having to get used to a closed back combo. I've had a lot of amps over the years, but never closed back.


Leon

andy474x
06-26-2012, 10:07 PM
It took my SE30 a while to "break in" even with an older cab and speaker. The overdrive on the rhythm channel has really smoothed out, must have been the new tubes that came in the amp or something. I got a new speaker a while back and now I run my SE30 with an Eminence GB128 (Greenback clone) and I love it. It's in a 1x12 open back cab, but it's only got a small opening. Great speaker after being broken in. I've also run it with a G12H and that was really cool, but the bass was a tad floppy for me, and it gave just a touch more "flavor" to the sound than I wanted for all around playing. Anyways, the tone of most PRS amps has always been a little nasally to my ear, so I got the GB128 to smooth it out. I suspect that the stock Emi is similar to a Vintage 30, since that's what most other PRS amps use, so a different speaker gives a lot fatter of a sound to these amps, in my opinion. Also, if your cab is vibrating/resonating strangely, try screwing the speaker on tighter. I've heard that complaint from others too, PRS chose to take the rubber gasket off the speaker rim, so it's a wood to metal rim connection with nothing dampening the vibrations... Which in theory is a good thing, unless your cab starts to rattle!

Mimasu
06-30-2012, 02:31 PM
Thanks,

I'll tighten the screws. Also a good opportunity to try the amp as an open back cabinet.

That the SE amps take a long time to break in I've seen on other forums too. Let's hope this will solve my problems :).

jfine
07-01-2012, 02:22 AM
I tried an SE30 at Sweetwater's GearFest 2012 (with a PRS DC3) and thought it sounded really good. Excellent clean channel, at least at low volume. There were two other guys in the demo room who were engaged in volume wars, and I didn't want to contribute to that, so I didn't get to push the amp to see how much clean headroom it had--I don't know if 30 watts would be enough to keep up with a drummer and stay clean, but at low volume it had plenty of sparkle; very blackface-Fender-like in fact. I'm thinking an SE50 might be a better choice, but it's got different power tubes than the 30, so I don't know if it has the sparkle that the 30's got. Now--can anybody tell me what the SE30 and SE50 combos weigh? There are no weight specs on the website, and the one I tried was mounted on a display, so I didn't get a chance to lift it.

andy474x
07-01-2012, 08:40 AM
My 30 has a good amount of headroom to cover our drummer. But I would think a lot of places that stock the 30 have the 50 too, so you should be able to try them out for yourself side by side. Let us know what you think if you try the 50, I like the clean sound of the 2 channel "C" better than the "H" so I'm interested to see how the 50 compares.

Mimasu
07-08-2012, 09:41 AM
Anyways, the tone of most PRS amps has always been a little nasally to my ear, so I got the GB128 to smooth it out. I suspect that the stock Emi is similar to a Vintage 30, since that's what most other PRS amps use, so a different speaker gives a lot fatter of a sound to these amps, in my opinion. Also, if your cab is vibrating/resonating strangely, try screwing the speaker on tighter. I've heard that complaint from others too, PRS chose to take the rubber gasket off the speaker rim, so it's a wood to metal rim connection with nothing dampening the vibrations... Which in theory is a good thing, unless your cab starts to rattle!

I've tightned the speaker screws. In China they have weird ideas on cutting costs. If you have a speaker without rubber gasket I think it should be screwed tight. The Eminence has 8 screw holes but is only mounted with 4 little screws. Strange way to save money. If you don't use a rubber gasket I think you should prefer normal bolts to attach the speaker. Now they use normal self tapping wood screws. I don't know if that will stay tight. Further the wiring to the speaker seems too tight. The wiring to the speaker is under high tension. Let's hope the terminals on the speaker will hold that stress.

So far for the bad part. Now the good things:

Just played the amp for some time without the back mounted. Guess what..... the amp comes alive. Not (yet) as good as with my open back G12M heritage cab, but much better than with the closed back. Also all irritating resonances I had at some notes are gone. When using the G12H heritage the lows become more loose, too loose, but the G12H sounds less nasally than the Eminence.

I'm afraid I'll have to mention one more problem. I've blown 3 main fuses untill now. I don't play very loud, don't do weird things with the amp, and I've also changed the 800 mA fuse with a somewhat higher type of 1 A. I think I'll have to take her back to the shop to take a look at that.

Leon

andy474x
07-08-2012, 12:13 PM
Glad you got the speaker rattle fixed Leon. I've got nothing on the fuses, sorry!

CantankerousCarl
07-19-2012, 12:33 PM
I played an SE Santana and SE 245 through the SE50 combo at my local Sam Ash for about 10 minutes over lunch, and found the experience...interesting. I don't think I played with the amp enough. As I would expect, I was using the individual channel volumes for "gain" (so had them between 11 and 2 o clock) and the individual masters off to the right down pretty low, around 8 - 9 o clock, so as to be considerate.

The overdrive had an undercurrent of fuzziness that I wasn't able to dial out during my limited time. I also found the clean channel to be not quite clean enough, and when I dialed the guitar volume back down, I lost some of the highs that I wanted, even with the bright switch engaged.

The salesman said that the PRS rep had been there a few weeks ago, and recommended that out the master volumes relatively high, and adjust the individual channel volumes. I guess I need to try that next time.

My main amp is my Blackstar HT Club 40, so that's what my ear is tuned to, and during the first five minutes in the store I knew I was walking out with it when I demo'd it.

I will return to play with the SE50 combo again, and the SE30 combo next to it...want to give them their fair shake...but 'till then, jury's out on a "trade-up."

ExpatGirl
09-16-2012, 03:10 AM
PRS tries to offer quality amps at many price points. Not everyone has the money (or wants to spend it) on a 2 channel head, so we came out with the SE amps. Personally, I feel the same way about the SE amps as I do about the SE guitars, they are a quality product at an affordable price. I own several SE guitars (I own US made PRS as well) and I will soon own an SE amp. Let’s contrast PRS products to Mercedes Benz. Just because the S class is a $100,000 and the C class is only 40k doesn't mean the C class is junk, it's hitting a different price point for a different consumer.

I'm glad you like the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the 2 Channel, we're quite proud of it as well. However, we are also very proud of our SE line of amps and hope the amp buying public will share our enthusiasm.

That's a good analogy, Shawn. I own two SEs, a Custom 24 and Custom Semi-Hollow. They are as good as any guitar I've played, apart from the US-made PRS guitars at my local music shop. I just haven't found a US-made PRS guitar that knocked my socks off and made me have to own it. Knowing PRS's reputation for quality and having seen the fine job you do on the SE guitars, I am willing to bet the SE amps are, as they say here in New Zealand, good value for money.

I don't know when I'll get to hear a SE and US-made amp. I'm looking forward to hearing both, almost as much as I'm looking forward to ordering my 408 MT. :)

nobozos
04-13-2013, 09:56 PM
Hi Guys. I'm new here, but wanted to post my experience with the PRS SE30 Combo. Just so you know where my "ear" is, I've been using mainly Peavey Classic series and 5150 amplifiers, with some others that I've owned being Marshall, Mesa, Budda, Blackstar, and Egnater.

Let me start by saying that you can get great tone out of this amp, it just may require a different approach than you are used to. If you are a higher gain player like me, you can't rely on the channel gain knob on this amp to get you some good quality high gain sound. If you are used to a 5150, or a Dual Rectifier, then you are used to your amp providing all of you high gain sound. As stated earlier, this amp will be a little inarticulate once the gain knob goes past about 1 o'clock. Fortunately, a while back I discovered that i liked the tone of my high gain sound better if I turned my lead channel gain down to a lower setting, and pushed the input with an overdrive pedal. That is what you have to do with this amp to get a good quality sound on a higher gain setting. I've used a Tube Screamer TS-9 that I converted to a TS-808 into the front of the SE30 with some very good results. My lead gain knob is set at about 9:30, and my TS is set Drive and level at about 1 o'clock, and tone at about 10 o'clock. With these settings, I can adjust my channel gain slightly up, but not past 11 o'clock with very good results. I also built a GGG ITS8 "very expensive boutique mod" pedal (think Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive), and that works even better in front of the SE30. I can set my channel gain lower, and let the pedal do more of the work. It sounds best when using the LED clipping on the pedal.

Aside from running an overdrive in front, if you use these general rules, I think you will end up with a good sound through the high gain side.
1) Never turn your Treble higher than your Mids.
2) Never turn your Bass up past 12 o'clock
3) If you want a "Scooped Mids" amp, you probably should have bought a different amp. This will produce outstanding tone if you are patient, but won't neccessarily produce tons of gain.

I should mention that I have experimented with using my clean channel as a high gain rythym channel, and using the lead channel as, well, a lead channel. I just turn the channel volume up on the clean channel, and adjust my "boutique" pedal to taste, then set the channel volume on my lead channel very low. This way, I can leave my pedal on while I change channels for leads. This is very effective. The master for the clean channel will be set low, and the lead channel master will be turned up to the desired level to boost above the band. Very nice sound for classic rock.

I think alot of guys are premature in writing off this amp. There are a lot of amps out there that sound pretty good at any setting, and you have to tweak them to optimize them to the sound you want. I will have to say that this amp is quite the opposite. You really have to drill down to the setting that is right for your guitar, and type of music. I do have to say that once you figure it out, you will be glad you stuck with it. The settings are sort of non-standard too. You set most amps to 12 o'clock to start. I would say on this amp, you should set everyting to 10 o'clock to start. It's also very bass and treble heavy, unlike many other amps where you have to pull some mids out, you probably want to add some in on this one.

Just one more parting thought. This amp wants to be played at stage volume with the masters up at least past 12 o'clock before it starts to really sound good. If you are sitting in your house trying to play this at bedroom levels, you will probably never achieve the potential this amp has to offer. It will not sound good to you until the Master volumes approach 12 o'clock. This is an amp that wants to be played out with a band and turned up.

tjinca1
04-25-2013, 11:00 AM
Aside from running an overdrive in front, if you use these general rules, I think you will end up with a good sound through the high gain side.
1) Never turn your Treble higher than your Mids.
2) Never turn your Bass up past 12 o'clock
3) If you want a "Scooped Mids" amp, you probably should have bought a different amp. This will produce outstanding tone if you are patient, but won't neccessarily produce tons of gain.





I don't agree. These settings might work for you, but to say "Never" anything isn't right. I have my treble higher than the mids and my bass past 12:00 and it works great.