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Thread: High gain?

  1. #1
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I like high gain amps, for one simple reason: if they are designed to handle 48 gallons of overdrive, then the signal is usually much clearer and articulate at 'moderate' gain levels. I can play full chords and still identify the notes, yet roll my volume up and get gobs of sustain.

    I have a 5150, one of the most hated amps around for being too compressed and buzzy. Well, I use single coils, and keep the pre-gain around 5 or 5.5. (if using humbuckers, I drop it to around 3.5 or so) I still have all the dynamics I could want, without needing to play at concert volume all the time. If nothing else, it's a bit more convenient. I prefer sustain to distortion, so a smooth overdrive works just fine for me.

    Of course, it's nice to get full output tube distortion from an older amp, but when I have done that, the amps always seem to 'fart out' when playing anything being a simple power chord. I developed as a player with high gain being the norm, so I am biased. Certainly you older guys are more accustomed to cranking an amp up, or using an overdrive pedal for more gain. I never cared for overdrive pedals; to me they sound buzzier than any high gain amp! (i've tried many of them for fun, but always come to that conclusion)

    So let's hear it: if you like high gain amps, say why. If not, also say why. I will add that having higher levels of gain available is like having a Porsche-you can cruise comfortably within the speed limit, but when you need some extra juice to pass, it's always there on tap, in large quantities, without straining the engine.
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I agree with you totally about the high gain factor. The difference is how each amp handles and delivers the gain, and the speakers it's going through. High gain on a 5150 is completely different than gain on a marshall, even with an overdrive pedal, which is different on a peavey ultra, which is different than a bogner(Jape you lucky bastard..lol).
    When a marshall is cranked into high gain distortion it's not buzzy like a 5150 which isn't as warm sounding. Today I listened to the carvin legacy on the carvin website, and the gain it puts out is probably just as high as the 5150 or marshall, but it's warmer, more like the marshall and that's probably because Steve Vai used Celestion vintage 30's which is what marshall uses as well. I used my marshall head through a set of sheffield speakers. The head is modded for very high gain without the hiss and buzz of a 5150.
    At any rate, it sounded absolutely awful through those speakers. When I was using 5150's, I used my 5150 head through a marshall cabinet and it sounded way better.
    I don't know what they do to those sheffields to make them sound so crappy, but what ever it is, they're doing a good job.
    And when you put a strat with single coils through a 5150, well that's a whole nother headache. When I played single coils through my 5150 it made me want to through the guitar out the window. You can get away with it through a marshall, because a marshall is a warmer more versatile amp, but a 5150 was designed with one guitar in mind, although I have to admit there are a couple of others with humbuckers that are passable. But a strat??? I don't think so.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Strange that you had so much trouble with a Strat through a 5150; to me it suits it just fine. The resonance fills up the bottom quite nicely, if need be, and it's never shrill. Then again, maybe the Texas Specials and Noiseless pickups I'm using make that much of a difference. Of course I use a noise gate to kill the hum cause I'm not a masochist.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:24 PM
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    I've tweaked my 5150 a lot, and I think at high volumes my tone is pretty warm. Of course I basically only play humbucking guitars, usually my Wolfie or EBMM. I am the anti-Strat man, I can't stand them.

    I run my pre-gain at about 6, the other guitarist/singer in my band runs his at 10 and frankly it sounds like sheeit. I keep telling him it's too buzzy, but I guess he wants that Blink 182 tone, I don't know. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    So to me it seems, if you keep the pre-gain low on the 5150 and run the post higher, the tone is way less buzzy. For me, the 5150 works great, but I know many on here don't like it it at all and I guess I can see that.
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I was once an anti-Stratite; I hated the damn things for years. When I started teaching/working at a Fender shop, I had to play, set-up, and fix a ton of them. Eventually I began to realize the things I liked/disliked about them. When I finally took one home to work on, I plugged it into my amp, and I was sold instantly on it. Within the week, I had bought one of my own. Maybe I'm the only Strat/5150 combination guy out there, but for me, it works.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:24 PM
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    I had a Strat about 10 years ago now, ran it through my old Marshall head. Ugh it just sounded terrible and I vowed to never get another one. Traded it in when I bought my EBMM in '92. Different strokes for different folks Abe. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I'd be interested to hear your sound though.
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