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Thread: Archon Owners, chime in!

  1. #1
    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Archon Owners, chime in!

    Just got an Archon yesterday and it's an incredible amp but I have one question for you Archon owners. With the loop disengaged there is no audible hum at all, but when I turn the loop on with a Strymon BSR and TC ditto there is some hum, pretty sure it's just tube hum from the loop but just wanted to get everyone's feedback. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by mikef09 View Post
    Just got an Archon yesterday and it's an incredible amp but I have one question for you Archon owners. With the loop disengaged there is no audible hum at all, but when I turn the loop on with a Strymon BSR and TC ditto there is some hum, pretty sure it's just tube hum from the loop but just wanted to get everyone's feedback. Thanks!
    It could be something as simple as a ground loop. That would be my first guess. Switch the amp to standby to protect your ears and speakers, and leave the pedals in the loop, but unplug them from the AC power strip or whatever you're using (I'm going to assume for purposes of this discussion that these pedals will pass an unaffected signal even with the power disconnected; most modern pedals will do this). Then switch the amp back out of standby. If the hum goes away, it's a ground loop.

    There are lots of fixes for ground loops, check the webz. I've found over the years that powering pedals with the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power stuff does a good job of isolating pedals from grounding problems, but there are plenty of other solutions, such as the Ebtech stuff.

    Also note that some wall warts that come with these pedals cause hums and buzzes in nearby cables.

    Whatever you try, don't lift the grounding pin on the amplifier itself. It's dangerous.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-13-2014 at 04:42 PM.
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    For what it's worth, I don't get anything in the way of hum or hiss using the loop.

    I've had other amps though with issues using the loop. To try to isolate things, the first thing I do is try to isolate whether it's something internal to the amp, or something with outboard equipment (or as Les suggests, maybe some interaction between the outboard stuff and the amp.) The very first thing I do is just to jump the send and receive using a short cable. Even though as Les suggests, it "should" suffice to just unplug power from the cables, you never know...and it's a simple thing just to jump the loop.

    If you hear the same hum / hiss / whatever when jumped, it's either something up with the amp (I don't know the loop design for the Archon, but it's sometimes common to buffer the loop with a FET, which sometimes can go bad...), or you're just very sensitive to this type of noise, and you need to learn to love it...

    If jumping the loop makes the problem go away, then it may be some sort of ground loop problem (running on batteries temporarily is the easiest way to test that) or it's a level problem with the gear in the loop. It's real easy to run enough gain in the loop to come in too hot into the return.

  4. #4
    Jumping the loop is a good idea.

    I once jumped a shark. Honest. Scared the living crap out of me.

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    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll be sure to try them. Like I said I love the amp and I'm not getting rid of it at all. My friend has a 6505+ and it produces the same thing, it's no big deal. Plus I'm pretty sure the loop is tube driven.

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    Pincher of Harmonics Blackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikef09 View Post
    Just got an Archon yesterday and it's an incredible amp but I have one question for you Archon owners. With the loop disengaged there is no audible hum at all, but when I turn the loop on with a Strymon BSR and TC ditto there is some hum, pretty sure it's just tube hum from the loop but just wanted to get everyone's feedback. Thanks!
    Yes, I get the same thing, and have had it from day one(January of this year) Using a Strymon Mobius and/or Eventide H9 in the loop. It's not a deal breaker for me either, since the amp is so good from a pure tone and versatility standpoint.
    12 408 - 12 DGT - 09 Tremonti II - 98 CU24 - 97 CE22 - Mesa MarkIV - Kemper Profiler Amp - EVH 5150 III - PRS Archon

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    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    Yes, I get the same thing, and have had it from day one(January of this year) Using a Strymon Mobius and/or Eventide H9 in the loop. It's not a deal breaker for me either, since the amp is so good from a pure tone and versatility standpoint.
    It's not a deal breaker for me either, I played three chords in the store a few weeks ago and had to buy it! It's definitely the best amp I've heard and owned and nothing comes close IMHO. Thanks for the feedback guys!

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    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I have had an issue with a T-Rex Whirly verb pedal. My Strymon timeline no prob, an old rocktron intellifex was fine. To be fair, the T-Rex I had powered by a daisy chain with other stuff and the other 2 had their own power supply. I'll have to try the T-Rex with an isolated power supply sometime and see what happens.

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    Senior Member yankeebulldog's Avatar
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    I had issues with any instrument level pedal I tried. I had luck with the TC nova delay and the TC G Major 2, with an ISP noise gate, everything line level in the loop.
    PRS Guitars - PS #4344 SC245, PS #4343 DC245, PS #4858 McCarty Singlecut, Floyd Custom 24
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  10. #10
    I'm on my 2nd Archon, The first one had to be sent back as it made nasty static noises in the Lead channel once it got up to Temp. I'm on my 2nd Archon now but both units have/had a hissing noise when ever the effect loop is on. The volume of the Hiss stays consistent even if when the channel or master volume knobs are turned up or down. It hisses no matter if it is one pedal or 8 pedals. It is only bothersome at bedroom levels. But then again, a noisy effects loop sorta of defeats the purpose of an effects loop. There is a very slight noise when I Jump the loop with a short cable, but that noise is minuscule compared to the hiss anytime a pedal or pedals are inline with the effects loop.

    I have also noticed that the send cable is very sensitive to Electrical interference. You can wave your plugged in pedal near the top of the amp is it Hums big time. In my case, I had the send cable plugged into my chorus pedal on my Pedal board. Right below the Chorus pedal is where my Mod Tone Power station is mounted. I was getting a low frequency hum until I moved the pedal just an inch away from from the Power supply. I do not have this issue with my other amps.

    This is a great sounding amp, but I do think there seems to be some kinda of issue in the effects loop, as there are enough people experiencing this not to think otherwise.

    I have also tried just using a 9Volt battery instead of the Power supply and that made no difference, I also tried a Panamax 5500 AC regenerator and they made no difference as well.

    I've been meaning to call PRS Customer service to see if there is anything they can suggest or if this a "Known Issue", or if this is the Nature of the beast.

  11. #11
    Senior Member yankeebulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar_Brat View Post
    I'm on my 2nd Archon, The first one had to be sent back as it made nasty static noises in the Lead channel once it got up to Temp. I'm on my 2nd Archon now but both units have/had a hissing noise when ever the effect loop is on. The volume of the Hiss stays consistent even if when the channel or master volume knobs are turned up or down. It hisses no matter if it is one pedal or 8 pedals. It is only bothersome at bedroom levels. But then again, a noisy effects loop sorta of defeats the purpose of an effects loop. There is a very slight noise when I Jump the loop with a short cable, but that noise is minuscule compared to the hiss anytime a pedal or pedals are inline with the effects loop.

    I have also noticed that the send cable is very sensitive to Electrical interference. You can wave your plugged in pedal near the top of the amp is it Hums big time. In my case, I had the send cable plugged into my chorus pedal on my Pedal board. Right below the Chorus pedal is where my Mod Tone Power station is mounted. I was getting a low frequency hum until I moved the pedal just an inch away from from the Power supply. I do not have this issue with my other amps.

    This is a great sounding amp, but I do think there seems to be some kinda of issue in the effects loop, as there are enough people experiencing this not to think otherwise.

    I have also tried just using a 9Volt battery instead of the Power supply and that made no difference, I also tried a Panamax 5500 AC regenerator and they made no difference as well.

    I've been meaning to call PRS Customer service to see if there is anything they can suggest or if this a "Known Issue", or if this is the Nature of the beast.
    This is essentially the way mine behaves too. I even sent it in to see of they could fix it. Aside from adding some extra shielding between the loop jacks and the filament wires, there was nothing else they could "fix". That didn't help the issue very much, and it certainly wasn't worth the trouble of sending it back to have that done in my opinion. I just started using the ISP in the loop to mask the issue.
    PRS Guitars - PS #4344 SC245, PS #4343 DC245, PS #4858 McCarty Singlecut, Floyd Custom 24
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by yankeebulldog View Post
    This is essentially the way mine behaves too. I even sent it in to see of they could fix it. Aside from adding some extra shielding between the loop jacks and the filament wires, there was nothing else they could "fix". That didn't help the issue very much, and it certainly wasn't worth the trouble of sending it back to have that done in my opinion. I just started using the ISP in the loop to mask the issue.
    I have a ISP Theta pedal with the "Decimator" circuit in my front end to help with noise from the OD pedals, I did not think about using one in the effects loop, That is something I will experiment with. I don't have this issue with all of my other amps. I like the amp too much to return it. It is interesting though, that some people are not experiencing any noise, while there are others that are. I'm still going to see If I can speak to someone at PRS, if not then I will have my "Sales Engineer" track down an answer for me.
    PRS Guitars: PS #4228, Ten Top Custom 24

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  13. #13
    Senior Member yankeebulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar_Brat View Post
    I have a ISP Theta pedal with the "Decimator" circuit in my front end to help with noise from the OD pedals, I did not think about using one in the effects loop, That is something I will experiment with. I don't have this issue with all of my other amps. I like the amp too much to return it. It is interesting though, that some people are not experiencing any noise, while there are others that are. I'm still going to see If I can speak to someone at PRS, if not then I will have my "Sales Engineer" track down an answer for me.
    I actually use the Decimator Pro Rack G with 2 channels, one before the input, one for the loop.
    PRS Guitars - PS #4344 SC245, PS #4343 DC245, PS #4858 McCarty Singlecut, Floyd Custom 24
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  14. #14
    I've always found effects loops problematic, and as a result, I've almost never used them regardless of whether my amps did or didn't have them.

    First, there are often impedance issues; some effects loops are meant to use +4 "pro" line level effects, some are meant to use -10 "consumer" line level effects, some are meant to use instrument level effects, and others try to compromise and do it all. But the result is often noise. Careful gain staging can reduce the noise, but it's awfully hard to eliminate.

    Also, some digital delays and such just plain hiss whether they're on or off. My TC Nova Delay drove me bonkers whether in front of the amp or when I tried it in the loop of my Two-Rock or Mark V. Hsssssssss....The Eventide stuff hisses less, and I love the sound of it, but I can definitely hear it even in front of the amp.

    Of course, with the TR or other Dumble style amp, the loop isn't enough on its own, you have to use a Dumbleator to match the impedances, levels, etc.

    My HXDA and DG30 make zero noise, and have no FX loops. I honestly am saner when I have a good amp and just put stuff in front of it. When I need delays to be really, really clean, I use them at the recording console. But of course that's impossible at the gig unless you have a console and a sound person.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-16-2014 at 10:45 PM.
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    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Well I replaced the Nova with a Strymon El Capistan and so far no problems. The Strymon pedals are very quiet in the loop, I still get some noise in the loop but I can definitely deal with it. I do get some tube rattle as well (doesn't come through the amp) that's only noticeable in a smaller room and not in a band situation, but that's probably because of the open head design and all the vibrations hitting them.
    Last edited by mikef09; 07-19-2014 at 10:03 PM.

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    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Another question for you guys....as I noted earlier I have noticed tube rattle coming from the power tubes, anyone else notice this on the Archon? I tapped the tubes as well when it was on and they aren't microphonic. Just might be the nature of the beast with the open amp design?
    Last edited by mikef09; 07-27-2014 at 03:57 PM.

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    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Well I decided to ditch the cheap Ruby's that come stock and I'm taking it for a retube tomorrow. Went with Tung Sol 6L6 STRs, I'll let you guys know the difference!

  18. #18
    I have finally decided to give up on my Archon and send it back. I video taped the Hiss (white noise) that I get from the effects loop and sent it to PRS Customer service. They responded back by saying that they watched the video and the Hiss in their opinion is acceptable. They go on to explain that they have to drop the effects level as to not over drive any Pedal in the effects loop, which in turn could add some noise. I think the noise is Okay if you are playing a live gig, but in a quiet setting the Hiss is very noticeable and honestly feels cheap. None of my other Tube or Solid state amps generates any hiss in the effects loop. It is too bad, as I really love the tone I can generate from this amp, but it is so distracting to hear Hiss.

    It seems like some of you don't experience the hiss, so it reinforces my belief that it could be a slight defect either in the amp design or Factory adjustment, but there does not seem to be enough info out there to make that call for sure, But in this case PRS is admitting there is Noise/Hiss in the Effects loop and the are asking me to live with it, which I have decided not to do.
    PRS Guitars: PS #4228, Ten Top Custom 24

    PRS Amps: Former Archon 100 owner

  19. #19
    Junior Member mikef09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar_Brat View Post
    I have finally decided to give up on my Archon and send it back. I video taped the Hiss (white noise) that I get from the effects loop and sent it to PRS Customer service. They responded back by saying that they watched the video and the Hiss in their opinion is acceptable. They go on to explain that they have to drop the effects level as to not over drive any Pedal in the effects loop, which in turn could add some noise. I think the noise is Okay if you are playing a live gig, but in a quiet setting the Hiss is very noticeable and honestly feels cheap. None of my other Tube or Solid state amps generates any hiss in the effects loop. It is too bad, as I really love the tone I can generate from this amp, but it is so distracting to hear Hiss.

    It seems like some of you don't experience the hiss, so it reinforces my belief that it could be a slight defect either in the amp design or Factory adjustment, but there does not seem to be enough info out there to make that call for sure, But in this case PRS is admitting there is Noise/Hiss in the Effects loop and the are asking me to live with it, which I have decided not to do.
    That's too bad dude, it really is a great amp. As far as the loop noise goes, I just catered my pedals so the noise is almost non existent. There is definitely an added background noise when the loop is activated, but I'm pretty sure this may be inherent with high gain amps in general. My friend has a Peavey 6505+ and it does the same as my Archon with the loop active. I previously had a Blackstar HT-100 and a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 (made in England) and they both had the +4db, -10db switch. I set them both to the -10db and the Marshall was terribly noisy and the Blackstar was almost dead quiet, just the nature of the beast IMO. Again, not a deal breaker for me as stated before the tone of the amp outweighs the small amount of noise.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mikef09 View Post
    That's too bad dude, it really is a great amp. As far as the loop noise goes, I just catered my pedals so the noise is almost non existent. There is definitely an added background noise when the loop is activated, but I'm pretty sure this may be inherent with high gain amps in general. My friend has a Peavey 6505+ and it does the same as my Archon with the loop active. I previously had a Blackstar HT-100 and a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 (made in England) and they both had the +4db, -10db switch. I set them both to the -10db and the Marshall was terribly noisy and the Blackstar was almost dead quiet, just the nature of the beast IMO. Again, not a deal breaker for me as stated before the tone of the amp outweighs the small amount of noise.
    Oh Yes I agree it is fantastic sounding amp. For me, the Hiss level in my effects loop is no a different with one Pedal or 6 Pedals or any combination of pedals. So there is no way to reduce the Hiss unless you shut off the Effects loop. Any pedal, inline with the effects cause the amp to Hiss. I believe that mine was especially noisy. I had to send my first one back because the Lead channel started to develop static pops. But that 1st one also had a noisy Effects loop, But this second one definitely has a pronounced Hiss. I may have mentioned this already but I also have various High gain amps, including Marshal, Bogner, Egnater, Blackstar and EVH and none of them have an effects loop that produce that much Hiss.

    I am sad to see this one go.

    It's not my intent to bad mouth PRS, or the Archon amp, but I guess I was just unlucky to have a defective one followed by second one that just does not fit my preference for quiet operation.
    PRS Guitars: PS #4228, Ten Top Custom 24

    PRS Amps: Former Archon 100 owner

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