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Thread: More Things To Love About The HX/DA

  1. #61
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it
    I think it's all about what YOU are looking for in a reverb... I went to several sales sites and made a list of available reverb pedals, then went to YouTube to see what they all sounded like and what else they did. I believe I found the pedal I was looking for to suit the type of music I will be using it for. (Blues and classic rock) Since the HX/DA does not have any reverb, I thought the Strymon Flint would be a great compliment to the amp as it is very clean and high quality, plus it is true bypass. It also gives me a great sounding tremolo at the same time.

    In the end, it is all personal preference and choice. What one of us hears in a product, someone else may not. If it gets the job done... mission accomplished! And besides... in a gear junkie who just started over from scratch. I need a new collection of goodies
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it
    Nothing wrong with the FRV-1. Reverbs do tend to have different sounds, digital ones especially, since the algorithms programmed into them are different, take different factors into account, and everything from the chips used to the parameters the controls affect will vary quite a bit.

    So it's often a question of what you want the reverb to do; do you want to emulate the metallic and somewhat compressed quality of an old spring reverb? Do you want the reverb to be spacious and simulate a large hall? etc. No reverb pedal is equally good at all things.

    Frankly, I prefer a delay pedal to reverb. But with certain styles - say, blues and surf - a little reverb that sounds like it's part of the amp can add authenticity to a sound.

    Peavey used to make a pretty good single-rackspace spring reverb that was completely analog; I had one for a while, and don't anymore, but it was authentic sounding at the time. This was in the 90s.

    Of course, studio stuff used in a mix track can be awesome, but it's going to have a different vibe than something used ahead of the amp, or in a loop.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 12-13-2012 at 08:49 AM.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    I think it's all about what YOU are looking for in a reverb... I went to several sales sites and made a list of available reverb pedals, then went to YouTube to see what they all sounded like and what else they did. I believe I found the pedal I was looking for to suit the type of music I will be using it for. (Blues and classic rock) Since the HX/DA does not have any reverb, I thought the Strymon Flint would be a great compliment to the amp as it is very clean and high quality, plus it is true bypass. It also gives me a great sounding tremolo at the same time.

    In the end, it is all personal preference and choice. What one of us hears in a product, someone else may not. If it gets the job done... mission accomplished! And besides... in a gear junkie who just started over from scratch. I need a new collection of goodies
    Oh, I wasn't being critical at all. I was just snarkily wondering if I was missing some boat regarding reverb. I'm as much a gear whore as anybody, but I just haven't thought about reverb very much, and now that I think about it, I guess I'm seriously asking about the differences that you guys hear in different reverbs. I'm sure that there is a whole set of arts and sciences on the subject. Off to look at demos now to see if I can educate myself......

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Nothing wrong with the FRV-1. Reverbs do tend to have different sounds, digital ones especially, since the algorithms programmed into them are different, take different factors into account, and everything from the chips used to the parameters the controls affect will vary quite a bit.

    So it's often a question of what you want the reverb to do; do you want to emulate the metallic and somewhat compressed quality of an old spring reverb? Do you want the reverb to be spacious and simulate a large hall? etc. No reverb pedal is equally good at all things.

    Frankly, I prefer a delay pedal to reverb. But with certain styles - say, blues and surf - a little reverb that sounds like it's part of the amp can add authenticity to a sound.

    Peavey used to make a pretty good single-rackspace spring reverb that was completely analog; I had one for a while, and don't anymore, but it was authentic sounding at the time. This was in the 90s.

    Of course, studio stuff used in a mix track can be awesome, but it's going to have a different vibe than something used ahead of the amp, or in a loop.
    Well then, that's my problem. When I think "reverb", I think of the sound that you get out of a Twin Reverb, so whatever that springy thing bolted on the bottom does is all I know. I do know that my cheapy Boss reverb sounds weird in front of the amp if there is any gain to speak of at the amp (which is often how I have the HX/DA set up...with decent amount of gain...) I have what is "supposedly" the "best" reverb on the planet built in to my Two Rocks Overdrive Signature. I don't know....sounds like my Boss reverb to me. The built-in reverb does sound great with gain tones in the Two Rock, but I've always just assumed that that's because it's at the right point in the chain (I'm usually too lazy to run the Boss through the loop on amps that have a loop...) I tend not to use reverb playing live anyway, mainly just because I'm hesitant to use anything that muddies the mix. Except for cheesey demo clips, I don't record much, so I guess it hasn't been top of mind.

    In any case, I'm interested enough now that I'm going to look into it. Probably end up convincing myself that I need a new pedal. And I'll have you bums to thank for it...Thanks for nothing!!!!!

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    The built-in reverb does sound great with gain tones in the Two Rock, but I've always just assumed that that's because it's at the right point in the chain (I'm usually too lazy to run the Boss through the loop on amps that have a loop...
    I'd have to agree that the TRs have great reverbs. Partly its where it is in the chain, and partly it's a really good reverb circuit. But like you, I didn't use reverb much with my TRs, maybe just a touch here and there.

    I'd honestly say that if you like the 'verb you get with the Boss, why re-invent the wheel?

  5. #65
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    In any case, I'm interested enough now that I'm going to look into it. Probably end up convincing myself that I need a new pedal. And I'll have you bums to thank for it...Thanks for nothing!!!!!
    Haha! Now you know how we feel!

    The whole "YOU" just meant the individual user... I'm used to having a little reverb, so playing without kinda scares the hell out of me.

    If anyone is interested, here is a review on said pedal from Premiere Guitar:

    http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazin...al_Review.aspx
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

  6. #66
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    So yeah... I forgot how to dial a new tube amp since I had the last one for so long. Der. You have to make the power tubes hot to get the grail tone. I think I found my happy place today with the HX/DA. I went back and watched the demo vids with Paul and remembered that they had the master all the way up for those tones. Now that's a little loud for the house, but I got it over 1/2 way up and backed off the guitar. Wow, what a big difference in tone quality... Yes, I believe I'm going to LOVE this amp.
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoonsRJT View Post
    Yeah it's using reverb into the front of an amp that's all gained up that causes the concern for me...I have no problem using reverb in a loop...it's when I'm faced with an amp like the HX/DA or my Supro where I want to use the amp's gain and the reverb. I've had a Line6 Verbzilla and the TCE...they both sounded crappy into the front of a gained up amp. With the Recording Amp I have the built in reverb which is just amazing...I know I can order an HX/DA with a loop...Weiner's old one had it but I hate messing with a circuit if I don't have to. Loops in my experience seriously alter tone.
    I honestly don't think gain and reverb go well together sonically, even when there's a loop. The higher the gain - to my ears - the tighter and more focused the sound becomes, and the less I want to hear the metallic clang of a spring reverb. All a digital reverb does is diffuse the sound, the opposite of what you're going for. If there's reverb to be heard, I want it to be the room, or a reverb unit on the mixer's send and return on a mixing desk if artificial reverb is necessary.

    As the gain goes up, and the amp starts clipping, remember that you're creating square waves, like a saxophone. It's a tight, raw, bubbly sound. Saxes don't need reverbs. Neither do gained up amps.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    So yeah... I forgot how to dial a new tube amp since I had the last one for so long. Der. You have to make the power tubes hot to get the grail tone. I think I found my happy place today with the HX/DA. I went back and watched the demo vids with Paul and remembered that they had the master all the way up for those tones. Now that's a little loud for the house, but I got it over 1/2 way up and backed off the guitar. Wow, what a big difference in tone quality... Yes, I believe I'm going to LOVE this amp.
    Yeah. You got it now. Use the volume controls on the guitar, and you can control everything.

    The HX/DA is a real, old school amp. The grail tones are in there. Keep experimenting, and the more you will love it.

  9. #69
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Question for you LSchefman, have you thought about using an attenuator to get a better sound out of your HX/DA without all the volume? I really like the sound of the cranked amp, but my neighbors might not appreciate the quality of it. I have never used one before but I'm thinking about at least trying one out to see if it gives me that great tone at a lower volume. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

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    Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.

  11. #71
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Yes sir, it does work... but, it's just not the same as when it's cranked and the power section is throbbing with energy... There are some tones there that just don't appear when it's turned down. That's what I'm wanting... It's just so much warmer and full at high volume. I'm just looking for some ideas... I appreciate anyones input though!
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.
    I agree, in general, but I completely understand what Sekunda is searching for. Some amps take an attenuator well, others don't. And it depends on the specific attenuator, too. The speaker response with that level of voltage hitting it also lends to the warmth, which dissipates when you cut the signal. So you're stuck in a catch 22. This is also why I really believe I need a small amp and a 50 watt. You can't get the same tone - depending on your music - if the master is engaged at all. The Super Dallas is in the same league but louder, however I'm lucky to get very good response from the master as long as it's above 2:00.

  13. #73
    Shoegazing Member Serious Poo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.
    +1

    Agreed, it's a great circuit. Doug just nailed it with this design.

    Les brought up a good point earlier, and that's the effect reverb has one a guitar tone at higher gain settings. I like some ambience, but greatly prefer using a delay in the effect loop for that, reverbs can sound "tinny" to my ears as well. I just got a Blue Sky for use with some clean stuff I'm writing, but who knows - that pedal might sound really musical on higher gain parts, I really don't know. Right now I'm just loving my El Cap for leads, I'll have to see how the Blue Sky sounds. Strymon has really impressed me with their stuff lately. Glad I asked Doug to put a loop in m HX/DA!
    Be.
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    I agree, in general, but I completely understand what Sekunda is searching for. Some amps take an attenuator well, others don't. And it depends on the specific attenuator, too. The speaker response with that level of voltage hitting it also lends to the warmth, which dissipates when you cut the signal. So you're stuck in a catch 22. This is also why I really believe I need a small amp and a 50 watt. You can't get the same tone - depending on your music - if the master is engaged at all. The Super Dallas is in the same league but louder, however I'm lucky to get very good response from the master as long as it's above 2:00.
    Agreed. I wound up selling my Soldano SLO 100, Cornford Hellcat and Elmwood 3100 all because they were all "timid" at volumes below 12 o'clock...and once you hit that midway point on the master volume....the walls started to literally shake. I never even dimed these amps (or in the Soldano's case, took it to "11"), as I would have rocked the house's foundation.
    And all of them never really sounded "right" with an attenuator in front of them. So, I let them go in favor of less powerful amps that could be used at their full potential in my basement.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    Question for you LSchefman, have you thought about using an attenuator to get a better sound out of your HX/DA without all the volume? I really like the sound of the cranked amp, but my neighbors might not appreciate the quality of it. I have never used one before but I'm thinking about at least trying one out to see if it gives me that great tone at a lower volume. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
    Matt, I don't use an attenuator. For just practicing, I find the MV all I need, and for use in the studio, volume isn't really a big concern.

    I usually run the amp at around 11:30 o'clock to noon for recording, and it isn't all that crazy loud with a closed-back 212 cab (currently a Mesa). For practicing, I am not as picky as some, because all I want to get is a listenable sound. After all, I'm practicing, not entertaining myself!

    Wish I could answer your question better!

  16. #76
    Let's talk volume/power differences for a moment...

    Doubling the power theoretically provides only a 3 db increase in volume. If you realize that a decibel is the lowest volume difference the human ear can even hear, 3 db isn't all that much. That kind of thing should be well in the range of any amp's good-sounding volume range. And subjectively, some amps are louder than their wattage rating might imply, the AC-30 being legendary for being very, very loud.

    My Roccaforte Rockie 30 watt is LOUD, certainly subjectively as loud as the HX/DA (though I realize that it should be about 2 db quieter in theory); maybe that's because it doesn't have a master volume, and you really need to crank it to get the goods, as with a good AC30. But probably its inherent brightness is part of what makes it seem so loud...

    Point is, you can't really count on merely getting a lower volume amp to be able to get great tone at lower volumes. I don't really notice much difference in overall volume between most 30-50 watt amps; get down to around 15 watts, and sure, you're going to hear it clearly.

    There are an awful lot of variables around this stuff...not a cut and dried answer in all cases.

  17. #77
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Matt, I don't use an attenuator. For just practicing, I find the MV all I need, and for use in the studio, volume isn't really a big concern.

    I usually run the amp at around 11:30 o'clock to noon for recording, and it isn't all that crazy loud with a closed-back 212 cab (currently a Mesa). For practicing, I am not as picky as some, because all I want to get is a listenable sound. After all, I'm practicing, not entertaining myself!

    Wish I could answer your question better!
    Thanks for the input! It's just that the really good sounds are with the master pegged at 10. If you check out the vids of Paul and Mike doing the demo, thats where it is to get that beautiful tone... I did this at home and opened it up, thats where I had my aha! moment. I just want to find that tone without the ear splitting volume. I'll just keep moving it around and find the best balance I guess.

    Check out the video, you can see where Paul is setting the controls about :47 in, the master is cranked. That would surely place the best load on the power section. I just don't want to break my fish tank open

    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    Thanks for the input! It's just that the really good sounds are with the master pegged at 10. If you check out the vids of Paul and Mike doing the demo, thats where it is to get that beautiful tone... I did this at home and opened it up, thats where I had my aha! moment. I just want to find that tone without the ear splitting volume. I'll just keep moving it around and find the best balance I guess.

    Check out the video, you can see where Paul is setting the controls about :47 in, the master is cranked. That would surely place the best load on the power section. I just don't want to break my fish tank open
    That's the very video that sold me on the amp. Very familiar with it.

    You're going to get a top notch sound with the MV up...no question. I've tried it, and the last bit of rock and roll goodness is definitely achieved that way. Of course, Paul's got the speaker cab in another room in those videos!

    Honestly, I am really happy with what I get using the Master. Just my own experience with the amp, and heck, we're all different! But my needs are met.

  19. #79
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Point is, you can't really count on merely getting a lower volume amp to be able to get great tone at lower volumes. I don't really notice much difference in overall volume between most 30-50 watt amps; get down to around 15 watts, and sure, you're going to hear it clearly.
    Exactly! This is where something like the Sweet 16 comes into play. Clearly a smaller amp and will achieve power stage meltdown at a noticeably lower SPL than a 50 watt. Your reasoning is also why I don't necessarily subscribe to the "use a smaller cab for lower output" line of thinking. A single driver pushed by the same amp is focusing all of that energy behind one point. Sure it's not moving as much air volume in comparison to multiple speakers but the focal point of output is perceived as louder. I'm happy to cover one of the speakers with my guitar case.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    Exactly! This is where something like the Sweet 16 comes into play. Clearly a smaller amp and will achieve power stage meltdown at a noticeably lower SPL than a 50 watt. Your reasoning is also why I don't necessarily subscribe to the "use a smaller cab for lower output" line of thinking. A single driver pushed by the same amp is focusing all of that energy behind one point. Sure it's not moving as much air volume in comparison to multiple speakers but the focal point of output is perceived as louder. I'm happy to cover one of the speakers with my guitar case.
    Yup, the Sweet 16 is a great choice.

    And you're absolutely right about the cab issue.

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