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  1. #1
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    06.19.15 @ 04:34 PM
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    Default Fender Prosonic/Overdrive Pedal Suggestions

    So after years of swearing by my Line 6 gear, I pulled the trigger on a Fender Prosonic 2x10 all-tube combo on eBay. For anyone who is not familiar with the amp - I wasn't - it is not at all what you would expect from Fender. I stumbled across one when a Guitar Center employee was trying it out for a trade-in and I was blown away! It is a total hard rock/high-gain monster that just never caught on for some reason. From Wikipedia:

    "Designed by Bruce Zinky as a project for the Fender Custom Shop, the amplifier later had a non-Custom Shop production run at the Fender facilities in Corona, California. (Most contemporary Fender amplifiers are produced in Mexico.) It was initially priced to compete with buyers in the so-called boutique amplifier market who were seeking more distortion than any previous Fender had ever offered. It is believed that high list prices, and deviations from established Fender amplifier designs, swayed many buyers away from the Prosonic. It developed a cult following among serious guitarists, aided by the rise of musician-centric internet communities.

    The Prosonic introduced several features that had previously been seldom, or never before, seen in Fender amplifiers. Its most unusual feature is the switchable rectifier and power amplifier bias scheme, allowing on-the-fly changes of operating mode and output power (as well as subjective tonal differences). This feature, originally found on Randall Smith's Mesa Boogie amplifiers, allows the Prosonic to achieve a versatility very rarely seen from mass-market instrument manufacturers. The Prosonic's rear-mounted RECTIFIER/BIAS switch lets the user select from the following three options:

    Solid-state rectification with fixed bias (marked "S.S. AB2"). Listed at 60 Watts R.M.S.
    Tube rectification with fixed bias (marked "AB2"). Listed at 50 Watts R.M.S.
    Tube rectification with cathode bias (marked "A"). Listed at 30 Watts R.M.S.

    Unlike many amplifiers marketed as "Class A", the Prosonic truly functions as a Class A power amplifier in the "A" position. Class A refers to the amount of current flowing through the power tubes with zero audio signal, with Class A meaning maximum current flow even with zero signal. This makes the tubes run hotter, and gives the power section even more gain at the cost of tube life and noise. The Class-A designation for guitar amplifiers is often a misnomer, as heralded amps such as the Vox AC-30 also do not operate in a true Class-A mode. While the Prosonic featured cathode bias in the Class A mode and fixed bias in the Class AB mode, not all class A tube amplifiers are cathode-biased, and not all fixed biased amplifiers are Class AB.

    The Prosonic also brought levels of gain (distortion) previously unavailable in a Fender amplifier. Taking a major cue from the first generation of Mesa Boogie amplifiers such as the Mark I (itself a modified Fender design), the Prosonic used additional gain stages in the preamp section that cascaded into one another. Although Fender had been designing amps with some facility for built-in distortion/overdrive since at least the late 1960s, never before had they arrived at a sound so readily usable for modern high-gain styles of music, and far removed from what many players consider to be archetypical Fender tones. The Prosonic's factory manual states, "Gain 1 functions as a standard gain stage whereas Gain 2 functions similar to a compressor, adding sustain while reducing 'edge' when the volume is increased. This channel produces great high gain sound at any volume - from bedroom to stadium."


    Thanks for bearing with me. Anyway, I just got the amp last night and haven't had too much time to experiment with it, but so far it kicks ass! I've got a major gear-boner!

    Although the amp has plenty of gain it's obvious that I'm going to have to start looking for an overdrive pedal, among others, for lead work. I want something modern sounding with a lot of availabe gain and boost. I did a search in this forum and came across the Fulltone OCD, the Z. Vex Box of Rock (which seems more like a distortion pedal than an overdrive?) and I've heard a lot of good things about the Maxon OD9.

    Any info on these or other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

    “…and that’s when I learned that waterskiing and Quaaludes do not mix.”

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    So after years of swearing by my Line 6 gear, I pulled the trigger on a Fender Prosonic 2x10 all-tube combo on eBay. For anyone who is not familiar with the amp - I wasn't - it is not at all what you would expect from Fender. I stumbled across one when a Guitar Center employee was trying it out for a trade-in and I was blown away! It is a total hard rock/high-gain monster that just never caught on for some reason. From Wikipedia:

    "Designed by Bruce Zinky as a project for the Fender Custom Shop, the amplifier later had a non-Custom Shop production run at the Fender facilities in Corona, California. (Most contemporary Fender amplifiers are produced in Mexico.) It was initially priced to compete with buyers in the so-called boutique amplifier market who were seeking more distortion than any previous Fender had ever offered. It is believed that high list prices, and deviations from established Fender amplifier designs, swayed many buyers away from the Prosonic. It developed a cult following among serious guitarists, aided by the rise of musician-centric internet communities.

    The Prosonic introduced several features that had previously been seldom, or never before, seen in Fender amplifiers. Its most unusual feature is the switchable rectifier and power amplifier bias scheme, allowing on-the-fly changes of operating mode and output power (as well as subjective tonal differences). This feature, originally found on Randall Smith's Mesa Boogie amplifiers, allows the Prosonic to achieve a versatility very rarely seen from mass-market instrument manufacturers. The Prosonic's rear-mounted RECTIFIER/BIAS switch lets the user select from the following three options:

    Solid-state rectification with fixed bias (marked "S.S. AB2"). Listed at 60 Watts R.M.S.
    Tube rectification with fixed bias (marked "AB2"). Listed at 50 Watts R.M.S.
    Tube rectification with cathode bias (marked "A"). Listed at 30 Watts R.M.S.

    Unlike many amplifiers marketed as "Class A", the Prosonic truly functions as a Class A power amplifier in the "A" position. Class A refers to the amount of current flowing through the power tubes with zero audio signal, with Class A meaning maximum current flow even with zero signal. This makes the tubes run hotter, and gives the power section even more gain at the cost of tube life and noise. The Class-A designation for guitar amplifiers is often a misnomer, as heralded amps such as the Vox AC-30 also do not operate in a true Class-A mode. While the Prosonic featured cathode bias in the Class A mode and fixed bias in the Class AB mode, not all class A tube amplifiers are cathode-biased, and not all fixed biased amplifiers are Class AB.

    The Prosonic also brought levels of gain (distortion) previously unavailable in a Fender amplifier. Taking a major cue from the first generation of Mesa Boogie amplifiers such as the Mark I (itself a modified Fender design), the Prosonic used additional gain stages in the preamp section that cascaded into one another. Although Fender had been designing amps with some facility for built-in distortion/overdrive since at least the late 1960s, never before had they arrived at a sound so readily usable for modern high-gain styles of music, and far removed from what many players consider to be archetypical Fender tones. The Prosonic's factory manual states, "Gain 1 functions as a standard gain stage whereas Gain 2 functions similar to a compressor, adding sustain while reducing 'edge' when the volume is increased. This channel produces great high gain sound at any volume - from bedroom to stadium."


    Thanks for bearing with me. Anyway, I just got the amp last night and haven't had too much time to experiment with it, but so far it kicks ass! I've got a major gear-boner!

    Although the amp has plenty of gain it's obvious that I'm going to have to start looking for an overdrive pedal, among others, for lead work. I want something modern sounding with a lot of availabe gain and boost. I did a search in this forum and came across the Fulltone OCD, the Z. Vex Box of Rock (which seems more like a distortion pedal than an overdrive?) and I've heard a lot of good things about the Maxon OD9.

    Any info on these or other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    congrats on the prosonic. Awesome amps. As far as pedals, check out the Seymour Duncan Twin Tube. I love mine. While you're at it, check out the thread i started a little while ago about their customer service!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    congrats on the prosonic. Awesome amps. As far as pedals, check out the Seymour Duncan Twin Tube. I love mine. While you're at it, check out the thread i started a little while ago about their customer service!
    Thanks for the suggestion. Do you find that the Twin Tube has enough gain and boost for your needs?

    BTW, i forgot to mention that I got one of the 500 amps that was built in the Custom Shop. I didn't even know (or care) until i did some research and found out that there were two Custom Shop runs: one of 300 in red tolex and the other of 500 in green "lizard-skin" tolex. i got one of the green ones.
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

    “…and that’s when I learned that waterskiing and Quaaludes do not mix.”

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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. Do you find that the Twin Tube has enough gain and boost for your needs?

    BTW, i forgot to mention that I got one of the 500 amps that was built in the Custom Shop. I didn't even know (or care) until i did some research and found out that there were two Custom Shop runs: one of 300 in red tolex and the other of 500 in green "lizard-skin" tolex. i got one of the green ones.
    It more than suits my needs. I guess I should have elaborated a little about what those needs are and how it meets them when I first suggested the pedal!

    My original music is generally of the Beatle/Ian Moore persuasion. I work, however, in a show band where we do a latin music review. We do music from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina as well as some other countries and we do stuff by people like Titi Soto, Armando Manzanero, Rafael Hernandez and other famous composers but we also do a rock set and we feature our backup singer during a couple of segments who does everything from the Girl from Impanema to I Will Survive.

    For distortion I tend to need warm drippy tone with good sustain. Think Beatles Revolver distortion. In this respect the Duncan is really good. I like having two seperate channels because I can have one set for rhythm and one for lead. That comes in quite handy. I tend to set it such that I have the first channel in such a way that it works for rhythm as well as fills that don't need a great deal of gain and then I have the second for leads. It's great. I could dial it to get a much more gritty nasty distortion and I have on occasion when I want to play something harder. I find it to be an incredibly versatile pedal that I imagine would suit just about anyone's need, save a full on metal head. It does not have that tight, compressed distortion I imagine would be necessary for death metal or very percussive early Metallica type of stuff. It's built like a tank, which I also really like and the price wasn't offensive. It's up there but less than a lot of the uber-chic boutique pedals out there. With a few exceptions, I think a lot of the boutiquey stuff exists solely to support a subculture obsessed with saying they play boutique stuff as some badge of honour and proof that they are true tone-chasers or other such nonsense.

    Personally, I think it would be a great fit with the Prosonic. I use it with a Crate solid state amp...don't laugh it's freaking awesome for what I do! The distortion sucks, as you'd imagine, so I use the Twin Tube to get warmth. Actually, I shouldn't say the distortion sucks...it's actually very 80's cock rocky and brings out harmonics like a son-of-a-bitch but it's a little too lasery for me. It's not what I'm looking for as a full-time distortion. I used to use a Buddha but I found I needed two seperate distortions...thus the Twin Tube came into play. Now, I'm on the verge of purchasing a Peavey Windsor half-stack and this twin tube may end up staying home. I'm not sure. I may be able to do what I need to do with just the amp, my wah, chorus and a clean boost after the wah which I could also use for subtle fills and such. We'll see. I doubt I'll ever actually put this pedal away. It's that good. It could have a slight bit more sustain but that probably has more to do with my guitar than anything else...I don't find I lack sustain when I'm using my neck-through Nuno P4 Washburn...but that thing is 10 pounds of solid mahogany...it's still sustaining from the last time i used it...about 6 months ago.

    here's a link to the pedal:

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Seymour-...69-i1124941.gc

    Now if you're wanting a clean boost, I really the sparkle drive but you can save some money and go with the BBE busta grande. I have one and absolutely adore it. I use right after my wah to keep from having that crappy drop in volume when its engaged and it does the trick beautifully.

    here's a link: http://www.guitarcenter.com/BBE-Boos...20-i1124918.gc

    mine doesn't look like that but I kinda wish it did! Mine is just white with blue lettering.


    That compared to the sparkledrive :

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Voodoo-L...28-i1124743.gc

    if 50 bucks isn't a big deal and you need some of the flexibility the sparkledrive provides, it might be worth it. If I used the boost for anything more than I do, I'd have bought it. Great great great pedal.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all of the info. I definitely want a boost with gain, not a clean boost. But since I'm planning on using the Prosonic's gain channel for my crunch/rhythm sound, which is where the amp excels, I'm thinking maybe the Twin Tone is more than I need? Are it's rhythm and lead channels voiced differently?
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

    “…and that’s when I learned that waterskiing and Quaaludes do not mix.”

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  6. #6
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    Thanks for all of the info. I definitely want a boost with gain, not a clean boost. But since I'm planning on using the Prosonic's gain channel for my crunch/rhythm sound, which is where the amp excels, I'm thinking maybe the Twin Tone is more than I need? Are it's rhythm and lead channels voiced differently?
    very much so. The first one is very brittle and grainy...great for stones/led zep, CCR, SRV, stuff like that. It's awesome. The second one works really really well for harder stuff where deeper more overdriven distortion is wanted...i use that whenever I want to do something Van Haleny or really chunky. They're completely different channels. I think a lot of us rely on them as being a simply lower gain/higher gain ie: lead/rhythm set up but they can be so much more. You should go check one out. It may not be the pedal for you, especially if you're satisfied with the distortion out of the prosonic, which when you think about it, how could you not be?!

    for a good single channel overdrive, you should check these out:

    Fulltone: I really really dig this one

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fulltone...63-i1438587.gc

    Buddha:

    http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/p...0&src=3SOSWXXB

    they discontinued it, i don't know why, because it's FREAKING SWEET!!!!!!!!!! If you can find a used one, buy it. You won't regret it.

  7. #7
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    That amp has plenty of gain on tap, so don't rule out a simple booster (SD-1, TS9, etc).

    I use a TS9 Tubescreamer with my Bogner Ecstasy, and I have PLENTY of gain/sustain happening on leads.
    www.facebook.com/revery
    If you like cool, rock music, check out REVERY. We've put out two albums, and an EP. We were signed back in '06 and toured the US (our single Popstar Wedding was all over the radio back then). Our latest album, Adora De Phonic is available on Itunes, Amazon, etc.

  8. #8
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    Nice amp - congratulations! Mathias Jabs of Scorpions uses these in the studio and on the road. They replaced his Marshalls and he speaks very highly of them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdetail View Post
    Nice amp - congratulations! Mathias Jabs of Scorpions uses these in the studio and on the road. They replaced his Marshalls and he speaks very highly of them.
    Thanks. I knew absolutely nothing about them until I stumbled across that used one at Guitar Center. I can't believe that they weren't more popular or that Fender won't re-release them?
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    Thanks. I knew absolutely nothing about them until I stumbled across that used one at Guitar Center. I can't believe that they weren't more popular or that Fender won't re-release them?
    i don't think the buying public really has a lot of respect for Fender overdrive/distortion...which is a real shame because when you think about it, they've come out with some sweet amps. In addition to the Prosonic, they had the Tonemaster, a favourite of Richie Sambora during the These Days era (and a personal wet dream of mine) and the vibroking. Those three amps were incredible.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    i don't think the buying public really has a lot of respect for Fender overdrive/distortion...which is a real shame because when you think about it, they've come out with some sweet amps. In addition to the Prosonic, they had the Tonemaster, a favourite of Richie Sambora during the These Days era (and a personal wet dream of mine) and the vibroking. Those three amps were incredible.
    I think people forget or don't know that Randall Smith started Mesa by modding Fender Twins. Although, the 5150 III may change a lot of that perception. I also like the fact that the Prosonic looks like an old-school Fender, but is a fire-breathing monster.
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    I think people forget or don't know that Randall Smith started Mesa by modding Fender Twins. Although, the 5150 III may change a lot of that perception. I also like the fact that the Prosonic looks like an old-school Fender, but is a fire-breathing monster.
    I don't feel too bad about it because I think people's perception has more to do with how incredibly stellar their amps like the Twin and Vibrolux and Bassman and other similar amps are. They've made some of the most incredible amps EVER. There's really nothing that can be taken away from them in that regard. When people think Fender they think clean amps, whether the shimmery warm tones or the crispy reverbed or the drippy vibrato. Those amps are just awesome. I just wish more people knew the perfection that is a tonemaster running through a two-twelve, or even a 15"...wow.

  13. #13
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    Congrats on the Prosonic purchase. The prosonic was one of my first tube amps and i had it for several years before selling it (which I regret).

    The prosonic has incredible gain and is really an unknown amp among most people. Only us gear freaks know about it.

    If it were me and you want the option of a clean boost or a full on distortion to add more gain to the lead channel....I would get a Zvex Box of Rock.

    It is by far one of the best pedals I have ever owned. The vexter version is $199. A little expensive but really worth it. It has an independent clean boost and a distortion pedal in one pedal.

    I miss my Prosonic and this thread has given me GAS for one now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftyVanHalen View Post
    Congrats on the Prosonic purchase. The prosonic was one of my first tube amps and i had it for several years before selling it (which I regret).

    The prosonic has incredible gain and is really an unknown amp among most people. Only us gear freaks know about it.

    If it were me and you want the option of a clean boost or a full on distortion to add more gain to the lead channel....I would get a Zvex Box of Rock.

    It is by far one of the best pedals I have ever owned. The vexter version is $199. A little expensive but really worth it. It has an independent clean boost and a distortion pedal in one pedal.
    I miss my Prosonic and this thread has given me GAS for one now.

    very cool sounding pedal!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    very cool sounding pedal!!
    Here is a link to a sale on eBay. I love this pedal. To me...it beats them all hands down.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ZVex-Box-Of-ROCK...3A1%7C294%3A50

    And, from the manufacturer....

    http://www.zvex.com/vexterbor.html

 

 

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