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Thread: PRS Amp Settings - share the love!

  1. #1
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    PRS Amp Settings - share the love!

    My pet peeve is finally being able to audition that ultra-cool amp that you've GASed for, only to have NO idea how to dial the amp in. I don't mean not being able to eventually find a good sound (it's all subjective) but to get the sound that drove you to that amp in the first place. For me, it was David Grissom with that low end growl and high string bloom. If you're at GC or Willcutt's or the Mom-n-Pop shop down the street, you only have a limited time to find that sound. How did he do that??!! And after monkey-ing around for 30 minutes, you lose interest. I want to help you avoid this disappointment!

    Tip #1: PRS amps have truly musical tone controls throughout their entire range. Start with treb/mid/bass at 12:00.

    Super Dallas: My current settings: V: 10:00, R: 7:00, T: 11:00, M: 2:00, B: 8:00, M: 3:00

    Does anyone know where DG sets his with a 2x12?

    (I'm not going to pretend that I know very much about the HXDA. Tip #1 still applies to a degree, but we have pros here. I'll let them comment)
    Last edited by Boogie; 03-06-2013 at 09:09 PM. Reason: lowered Volume and increased Master

  2. #2
    Here's how I often set up my HX/DA for the Artist V, but remember that I use my guitar's volume control to get clean tones or gainier tones, and I do vary the settings from guitar to guitar (I'll describe where I set the guitar to start below); also, this is for a "general blues to rock tone" and note that I'm using a Mesa 2x12 with V-30 speakers:

    HX/DA switches, from left to right: D/A, HX, HX

    HX/DA gain: 2 o'clock

    Bass gain: 8 o'clock

    Treble: 11 o'clock

    Middle: 1 o'clock

    Bass: 2 o'clok

    Presence: 10 o'clock

    Master: set to overall volume preference.

    When I set up my amp, I set the guitar's volume at around 6 and then set the amp to get a light crunchy rhythm tone. This way, when I turn the guitar up higher, I get more crunch, and later, more toward higher gain. Turn the guitar down a little, and I'm in clean territory.

    Also, I set the EQ controls with the tone control around 6-7. This gives me the ability to brighten or darken the sound just from the guitar itself.

    The beauty of using the volume and tone controls in this way is that the player now has an amp with MANY "channels" and tone colors, instead of turning the guitar up all the way and only having two sounds as with a channel switching amp.

    Recent PRS models have very, very useful volume/tone controls with not too much high frequency loss when the volume is turned down. This is especially true of the Artist V and Sig Ltd., that are fairly bright sounding guitars.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-23-2013 at 10:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steph's Avatar
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    That's a cool thread....

    Wish I could test and contribute...

    "Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus

  4. #4
    Senior Member RedGuitars's Avatar
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    I was literally shocked when I checked my settings... Every knob is at about 10:00. Boost switch is on (CAD Dallas).
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  5. #5
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    MartySnarf took a pic of David Grissom's HXDA settings at the Exp 2012 sessions, but the flash blew away the the settings for Bass Gain and treble. But here's what I can read for comparison to Les' post...which I find very interesting.

    HX/DA switches, from left to right: DA, DA, HX

    HX/DA gain: 10 o'clock

    Bass gain: ???

    Treble: ???

    Middle: 11 o'clock

    Bass: 1 o'clok

    Presence: 10 o'clock

    Master: 2:30 - almost 3:00

  6. #6
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Sweet 16 Combo

    I snagged this from a Bryan Ewald video...

    Clean
    Bright Switch: ON
    V: 11:00
    R: 10:00
    T: 11:00
    M: 1:00
    B: 1:00
    M: 11:00

    Max out the volume and master for big mojo! If nothing else, keep the master max'ed and jockey the volume around.

  7. #7
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    From Premier Guitar's video coverage of Experience 2009, here's what DG had for settings on a Sweet 16:

    Sweet 16 Combo - closed back
    Bright Switch: ON
    V: 1:00
    R: 2:00
    T: 10:00
    M: 2:00
    B: 12:00
    M: 12:00

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    From Premier Guitar's video coverage of Experience 2009, here's what DG had for settings on a Sweet 16:

    Sweet 16 Combo - closed back
    Bright Switch: ON
    V: 1:00
    R: 2:00
    T: 10:00
    M: 2:00
    B: 12:00
    M: 12:00
    Keep in mind, this was the first year model. There have been a few revisions since. I believe these were described "too trebly". I have a 2009 model, and the bright switch isn't all that apparent in a guitar-cord-amp setup. Put a pedal in between, and the bright switch has a profound effect.

  9. #9
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    There are many other PRS amps that I'd like to see settings for. Come on guys, post up your magic!
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  10. #10
    My HX/DA #2 is set up just like my last one in my earlier post, except that the Master needs to be set a bit higher on the dial, which isn't surprising -- there are often differences in the tapers of potentiometers that will vary from one unit to the next.

    However, it sounds the same once it's dialed in, which is to say, very fine indeed!

    In addition to my tips on setting up the amp with the guitar volume relatively low compared to how most players do it, which allows you to vary the amp gain by the guitar's controls (see my earlier post above), I can offer these tips on dialing in an amp (works for me, maybe it'll work for you):

    I zero out all of the controls. Then I turn the master about halfway up. At this point, despite the master being up, with all other controls set at zero, you shouldn't hear anything.

    Gradually bring the gain control up, we're going for a clean sound. Bring the treble up and rotate it to find where you want the top end dialed in. Don't worry over it, we're going to adjust the other controls to bring up the midrange and bass, so do the same thing with each one, one at a time.

    At that point, tweak them relative to one another to get a balanced clean sound with your guitar. You should now have a pretty good sounding clean tone. Time to set the presence control - the presence lifts the high end generally. Too high and it sounds a little too squeaky or ringy; too low, and the amp sounds a touch dull. Find where you like it. It's going to vary from time to time depending on instrument and the room, or even the location in the room! That's the point of the presence control - it helps with the easy stuff like that once you've basically set up the amp. The idea being that it's an easy way to adjust for a different instrument or a "live" or "dead" room, without having to change all your settings.

    Now what I do with each guitar is set the gain so that with the guitar volume halfway up, I get a crunchy rhythm tone. I can then go higher gain by simply turning the guitar volume up, or a cleaner tone lowering it a bit.

    Each guitar and pickup type makes the amp react a little differently, and it's fun to tweak the tone to match.

    On the HX/DA I change the HX and Bass gain blend, and also use the HX and DA switches, to get tones for each guitar. I like to dial in a "juicy" fat tone with this amp, and it's pretty easy to do that. For obvious reasons, I use less DA gain with, say, a Singlecut, and more with the Artist V which is essentially a CU22 type. But I also need that treble control and presence control when switching to something with 408 pickups. They have a lot of treble.

    My rig also includes an overdrive and a clean boost, so that I can vary the amount of push the amp is getting, and vary the kinds and textures of the distortion. I really think a clean boost pedal of some kind is a nice way to further shape the tone hitting the amp, not only the volume!

    I dunno if these tips help, but I hope they do!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 11-10-2013 at 10:40 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    My pet peeve is finally being able to audition that ultra-cool amp that you've GASed for, only to have NO idea how to dial the amp in. I don't mean not being able to eventually find a good sound (it's all subjective) but to get the sound that drove you to that amp in the first place. For me, it was David Grissom with that low end growl and high string bloom. If you're at GC or Willcutt's or the Mom-n-Pop shop down the street, you only have a limited time to find that sound. How did he do that??!! And after monkey-ing around for 30 minutes, you lose interest. I want to help you avoid this disappointment!

    Tip #1: PRS amps have truly musical tone controls throughout their entire range. Start with treb/mid/bass at 12:00.

    Super Dallas: My current settings: V: 10:00, R: 7:00, T: 11:00, M: 2:00, B: 8:00, M: 3:00

    Does anyone know where DG sets his with a 2x12?

    (I'm not going to pretend that I know very much about the HXDA. Tip #1 still applies to a degree, but we have pros here. I'll let them comment)
    This is the best tip I've come across lately for dialing in any amp (or FX) or anything else in your signal chain :

    http://www.musicradar.com/news/guita...tone-528489/45

    Not only your amp but also the guitar. Sometimes I find I'm hitting the front end of the amp too hard and I was having a problem dialing in my 305. When I remembered and applied this tip I rolled back the vol to about 7 and hit the cusp point of the tone at around 5 (too much treble also hits the front end too hard).

    The result is a responsive but sweet tone with a little vol and treble in reserve for when you need it.

    Not a 'signature' tone but tone is subjective anyway. This method tunes it to suit your own ear!

  12. #12
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Haven't had a lot of clamor for people wanting settings for the SE amps, but what the heck, it's 4:30am and I'm waiting at the airport! This is how I run my SE30.

    Rhythm channel, for a decent crunch that cleans up nicely:
    V: 2:00-3:00
    T: 1:00
    M: 3:00
    B: 9:00
    MV: 1:00
    R: 3:00-4:00

    Lead channel:
    V: 11:00-1:00 (depending on how hot your p/u's are)
    T: 3:00
    M: 12:30-1:00
    B: 3:00-4:00
    MV: 2:00
    The key to this channel is to keep the gain tamed so you can roll back the guitar volume and get some of those plexi-esque slightly dirty "cleans". Really great channel if you just want to work the volume control!

    I play mostly humbuckers, and mostly on the bridge pickup, so these settings are for a nice full bridge tone. Either channel will take a kick from a tubescreamer nicely at these settings, for more presence and cut without getting brittle. Juice the treble a bit for clearer neck tones!
    Last edited by andy474x; 11-14-2013 at 04:15 AM.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Not only your amp but also the guitar. Sometimes I find I'm hitting the front end of the amp too hard and I was having a problem dialing in my 305. When I remembered and applied this tip I rolled back the vol to about 7 and hit the cusp point of the tone at around 5 (too much treble also hits the front end too hard).
    This is exactly what I've said in many posts here about how to set up an amp. And it's especially true for a single channel amp like the HXDA.

    Incidentally, I don't advocate starting with treble/mid/bass at 12:00. On the contrary, I think it's best to start at zero and really see how each one affects the range of the guitar.

    The fact is that most people - including me, in the past - who start with the controls at 12:00 tend to tweak just a little from there. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  14. #14
    Member thieves&foxes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    Haven't had a lot of clamor for people wanting settings for the SE amps, but what the heck, it's 4:30am and I'm waiting at the airport! This is how I run my SE30.

    Rhythm channel, for a decent crunch that cleans up nicely:
    V: 2:00-3:00
    T: 1:00
    M: 3:00
    B: 9:00
    MV: 1:00
    R: 3:00-4:00

    Lead channel:
    V: 11:00-1:00 (depending on how hot your p/u's are)
    T: 3:00
    M: 12:30-1:00
    B: 3:00-4:00
    MV: 2:00
    The key to this channel is to keep the gain tamed so you can roll back the guitar volume and get some of those plexi-esque slightly dirty "cleans". Really great channel if you just want to work the volume control!

    I play mostly humbuckers, and mostly on the bridge pickup, so these settings are for a nice full bridge tone. Either channel will take a kick from a tubescreamer nicely at these settings, for more presence and cut without getting brittle. Juice the treble a bit for clearer neck tones!
    tried this with my P22. very nice.
    Location: Beautiful Cape Town, South Africa
    Current Herd: PRS P22 Eriza Verde / PRS Singlecut Hollowbody II Trampas Green / PRS SE 30 1x12
    Future additions to herd : Pauls Guitar / Angelus Custom / SE Korina One / Archon and 2x12 and if they ever release a SE or S2 Bass

  15. #15
    Junior Member Texas_minor_blues's Avatar
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    Wanted to resurrect this thread to see if anyone wants to share their 2 Channel H settings
    2008 DGT Cherry Sunburst
    Whale Blue 2008 McCarty w./ IRW neck
    Black Slate 513 w./ IRW neck
    PRS 2 Channel H + Bogner 20th Shiva
    Incoming: EBMM BFR Petrucci (IRW)

  16. #16
    I got nothin' on the 2 Ch H, but here are my DG30 settings as of this morning with my 408 for a slightly gritty clean sound with the guitar volume around 5-7, and a nice crunch sound with the guitar volume higher:

    Controls scale of 1-10, not o'clock this time.

    Front Panel:

    Volume: 6
    Bright Switch: Off
    Reverb: 2
    Treble: 5
    Midrange: 6.5
    Bass: 6
    Master: 7

    Back Panel:

    Boost: On
    Top Cut: 1
    Presence: 4
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  17. #17
    Junior Member BlueDGT's Avatar
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    I just got a 2 Channel H last week and am in the process of exploring its settings. I too would appreciate anyone sharing theirs.
    "Too Many Guitars, too little time."

  18. #18
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    I have the 2 channel custom 50. Right now I'm at these settings:

    Lead channel:
    Volume - 10:00
    Treble - 1:00
    Middle - 10:00
    Bass - 1:00
    Master 11:00
    Bright switch - off (I have the bright switch on when the master is low)

    Clean Channel:
    Volume - 1:00
    Treble - 1:00
    Middle - 1:00
    Bass - 11:00
    Master - 1:00
    Bright switch - On

    Reverb - 11:00 and pulled out so it is only on the clean channel
    Presence - 2:00

  19. #19
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    Just got a 2 channel H as well! Saturday in fact. Loving it to death! Will post some of mine soon.

  20. #20
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Unlike Mesa/Boogie amps, PRS designs seem to work well with starting with tone controls at 50% (noon). I did that recently., left T and M there with B at 10:00. Dropped V to about 9:00 but kept Master at 3:00. It's a great foundation for my new Klon clone.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

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