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Thread: Today's Rig

  1. #1
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Today's Rig

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    I have these two Marshall amps. The little one is from the 90s I think. The larger one is a lot more recent. I gotta say, I'm really disappointed in the larger one. Channels 3 and 4 (OD and Metal, ostensibly) are rubbish. Channel 2 (Dirty) is not quite usable. Channel 1 (clean) is, well clean.

    Happily it has loads of headroom. So today I daisy chained it, slaving it to the older smaller amp.

    It took some tweaking to get the tone outputs similar, but once i did I was rewarded with a 45w output version of my 15w amp.

    The cabs are both open back with 10" speakers. So the effect was big and broad.

    The box in front is my indispensable SlideRig from Origin Effects. Compression and boost plus compression and boost. It gives me essentially 3 channels to work with.

    I spent some time using both the mando pictured, an Arrow G5 by Paul Lestock, and my JBovier EMC-5.

    Made my own ears ring.

    Happily the kids are on holiday at mamie and papy's.


    Daniel

  2. #2
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Very nice! What type of music are you playing?

  3. #3
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    That's a good question. Pretty much anything I like and get my voice and fingers around. That usually ends up being rootsy stuff/Americana/Folk/Country. And these days it is increasingly electric.

    I love Buddy Miller's work especially as a sideman. Brooks Williams produced my first CD. I grew up on the Band and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

    Danie

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Very nice! What type of music are you playing?
    Very LOUD music no doubt

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Ok
    Last edited by lenf12; Feb-24-2019 at 1:27pm. Reason: double post

  8. #6
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    I have taken a view on volume...

    I've been watching the Rig Rundowns on the Premier Guitar Youtube channel. Beyond the gear, there are loads of little hints and tips if you pay attention. (And let's face it, electrically, our solid body emandos are really just little guitars. So anything that applies to the signal chain or the treatment of power applies to us and guitarists in equal measure.)

    A lot of guitar players who came up in the 60s and 70s crank their amps and use the volume knob on the guitar to attenuate the volume coming out of he amp. Hendrix did that, Santana does that, Brian May does that etc etc. I've given it a shot in this case.

    I can really control the volume easily from the instrument. My JBovier acts like a solid body guitar in this case. Rolling off the volume rolls off a bit of treble as well. And with the treble cranked on the amps I get a pretty cool tone. My Arrow must have a capacitor in the circuit because rolling off the volume doesn't change the tone at all.

    Now here is where going full electric pays off: you don't have to put up with bad sound engineers.

    At least here in Les Haut de France, sound guys who know how a hollow-bodied electric mandolin (let alone a proper carved top 8 string acoustic mandolin!) should sound are thin on the ground. So I've been putting up with crap tone in the wedge monitors lately.

    Daniel

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    I liked the blend of octave mandolin and guitar on your video. Unique sound.
    If you have a recording of your electric rig I'd be interested to hear it.

  11. #8
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Hi Joel,

    I've been recording with both electric instruments recently, but not with the rig. I run both the Arrow and the JBovier into the studio's Fender Champ and we add effects to the track.

    I'll try to do a quick & dirty recording of the rig on the iPhone this afternoon.

    Incidentally, I have finally plugged a guitar into the MG30CFX, and the difference in tone is worth noting. The thing must be programmed for guitar frequencies because it sounds pretty good. I didn't bother with OD and Metal, but the Dirty channel was pretty good. It broke up where you'd expect and wasn't just mushy distortion.

    I think both the JB53s on the JBovier and the Armstrong on the Arrow are high output for high frequency, and the old Carvin stacked humbucker in my 1980s Squier Tele is a bit less powerful.

    Just for giggles I've also added a flanger (Boss BF-3) and my overdrive pedal (Boss SD-1) to the mix. Loads of options for overdriving and a bit a flange. I can run the flanger in stereo too, which is really nice if impractical for gigging.

    Daniel

  12. #9

    Default Re: Today's Rig

    That's lot of power. My two favorite tube amps are 10 and 12 watts which is plenty for the small venues around here.

  13. #10
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Yeah, if we were talking tubes and especially British design (like Vox) that would be a lot. Plus with tubes you really want to push them to get the best tone.

    But these are solid state, so putting more juice in them doesn't improve the tone it only makes them louder.

    I can keep them fairly quiet and get good tone.

    I use the smaller one at local gigs because it's basically light as a feather, works as a stage monitor, and has a line out.

    The EQ functions on these amps are also finally starting to make sense. My guitarist told me (in French, so it took a while to get me to understand) that the treble and bass settings will have different qualities depending on the middle or 'contour'. I think what is happening is the the middle stretches into both the treble and bass frequencies.

    So if you remove the middle you're starving some portions of the other two settings and if you boost it you're pushing them to further extremes.

    I had been setting the middle to near 12 o'clock and adjusting the bass and treble to get a tone I liked. Basically tryng to zero-out the middle. Today I have flipped that on its head. I've pushed the middle and brought the bass and treble up from zero until I got a tone I liked. This works pretty well at eliminating a ring I was getting in the A string and it delivers a tone that isn't too harsh at the top end.

    I did shoot a little video today. Not sure how well it turned out. But I'll have a look and share it if it's worth doing.

    Daniel

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Midrange is hugely important to mandolin, acoustic or electric. Standard guitar amps might have mid centered on 1K, but how narrow the band is matters a lot. I find that with overdrive in the chain I need to use a graphic (Boss GE7) or parametric (Baggs Para) to make a narrow but deep cut at between 800 and 1200 Hz.

    My Trace Elliot bass head has its mid at 400, useful for fattening the A string and adequate for standard jazz with no overdrive, but not enough control to shape the overdrive tone.
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Tom--I'm curious. Why do you use a bass head for mandolin?

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Glassman View Post
    Tom--I'm curious. Why do you use a bass head for mandolin?
    Lots of clean power and light weight. Modern bass amps are more hi-fi than guitar amps, and their frequency response is not limited to bass but goes all the way up. The two I’ve used have useful tone controls, and my current Elf weighs 1.6 lbs. and offers 200 watts. I use it for folk dances, sounds good with my Buchanan. The most important piece of kit is really the speaker, which can color your tone nicely or unpleasantly. I like woofers for their smoother high end and high power-handling capacity. Compare the curve for my favorite, the little Eminence Alphalite—
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    With this 12” Jensen guitar speaker—
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    Note that the woofer has a more extended high end as well as fewer bumps (resonances) in the curve. Those are nice for adding some character to electric guitar but aren’t good for my acoustic mandolin.
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    This setup is interesting & so different than mine. I use a relatively hifi Bartolini humbucker
    through a Polytone with a 12" speaker for a "milk chocolate" :^) tone on my 5 string electric mando.
    Going for a Jazz sound. Can the headphone out on the Elf be used as an earphone monitor on stage?
    Also when you say " I like woofers for their smoother high end and high power-handling capacity.
    Compare the curve for my favorite, the little Eminence Alphalite..." You're using a woofer in addition
    to the Alphalite? Also a preamp and eq?

  20. #15

    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    Lots of clean power and light weight. Modern bass amps are more hi-fi than guitar amps, and their frequency response is not limited to bass but goes all the way up. The two I’ve used have useful tone controls, and my current Elf weighs 1.6 lbs. and offers 200 watts. I use it for folk dances, sounds good with my Buchanan. The most important piece of kit is really the speaker, which can color your tone nicely or unpleasantly. I like woofers for their smoother high end and high power-handling capacity. Compare the curve for my favorite, the little Eminence Alphalite—
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	9 
Size:	74.5 KB 
ID:	175737
    With this 12” Jensen guitar speaker—
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	jensen-p12q-f-size475.gif 
Views:	9 
Size:	54.6 KB 
ID:	175738
    Note that the woofer has a more extended high end as well as fewer bumps (resonances) in the curve. Those are nice for adding some character to electric guitar but aren’t good for my acoustic mandolin.
    We played an art gallery (which had a nice stage) and I brought my Fearful bass cab, Genz Benz 900 head and a small mixer with EQ as a small PA. The singer/guitarist then wanted me to bring it everywhere as he thought it superior to all the small club PA's.

  21. #16
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Glassman View Post
    Can the headphone out on the Elf be used as an earphone monitor on stage?
    Also when you say " I like woofers for their smoother high end and high power-handling capacity".... You're using a woofer in addition to the Alphalite? Also a preamp and eq?
    Output is too low for headphones on stage without another boost.

    The 6.5" AlphaLite woofer is enough, with response from about 100 Hz up to about 6K. No crossover makes for higher efficiency, so I can get away with the small speaker even with drums and horns. (Cone is rated 100w.)

    My acoustic pickup is Headway, with internal EQ/preamp. I use this same amp for jazz using a solidbdy with no preamp, but for recording I add some overdrive and EQ to compensate.
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    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Playing a gig at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell, England on Tuesday night (9 April) and two folk clubs (Redbourn and Cambridge) later in the week.
    It just occurred to me, I'm no longer technically acoustic!

    Taking:
    - The Arrow G5, Hathway Octave mando, and Mix F5. (This last one just in case.)
    - Boss pedal board with the TU-12h tuner that dates back to the late 1980s, Slide Rig, SD-1 overdrive (for a little dirty boost, which I doubt I'll use), and BF-3 flanger (which I use a lot but turned way down).
    - The Marshall G15R CD. It's quieter and smaller than the MG30CFX, and it has a line out rather than just a headphone out.
    - Orchid Electronics preamp for the octave and the Mix, will go straight to the board.



    Daniel

  23. #18
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P. Stone View Post
    We played an art gallery (which had a nice stage) and I brought my Fearful bass cab, Genz Benz 900 head and a small mixer with EQ as a small PA. The singer/guitarist then wanted me to bring it everywhere as he thought it superior to all the small club PA's.
    Which Fearful bass cab are you running?

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    Default Re: Today's Rig

    My experience with mandolin into a bass amp is exactly the same. I bought an Acoustic Image “Coda” for bass and I’m now now using it for everything. Small, compact, even has phantom power on the inputs and is claimed to put out 400 watts.

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