Author Topic: Discussion, any two tube amps can sound the same with a tweak of the tone.  (Read 2117 times)

KenBJammen

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I was pointed toward this today: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/no-two-amps-sound-the-same-fact-or-fallacy.109537/#post-1310362
Quote
Fact, but with caveats.

Internet wisdom states that no two amps of the same type sound the same. That is true, but the reasons are far more simple than many would have you believe. Tales abound of esoteric effects such as wire dress, transformer orientation, phase of the moon, etc. And while these do have some effect, it is arguably inconsequential relative to the single biggest source of deviation: tone control tolerance.

I've spent the last ten years modeling tube amps and the number one thing I see is that tone controls are very inconsistent devices. First of all the tolerance of the control is typically 20%. That's plus or minus 20% so 40% total. A 100K pot can be as low as 80K or as high as 120K. This is contrast to the tolerance of a typical passive component which is 5% or less (usually much less IME).

Secondly the resistance at the midpoint can vary widely. A Log10A pot should be 10% of the resistance at midpoint. But, again, this can be off 20%.

Let's take the case of a bass control which is typically wired as a rheostat. On one amp the pot might be 10% high and the midpoint 10% high. Therefore with the control at noon (assuming, say, a 1M pot) the resistance will be 121K. Another amp off the assembly line might be 10% low. Therefore the pot will be 81K. That's a 40K difference between the two amps and that's not even worst-case.

Now you can make the amps sound the same by simply turning down the control on one and/or turning it up on the other.

So when your friend says "well, no two amps sound the same" you can explain to him that they are probably more similar than not and a small twist of the tone controls will bring them into agreement.


I have to disagree on so many levels.  I doubt I can make my Mesa sound like Brad's victoria, nor can BH make whatever he plays sound like my old silverface just by tweaking a tone knob.

Thoughts.
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

BH

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Im an an acoustic guy these days. Im loud enough, i don't need any amplification.
I have been fortunate enough to get a great bite of the Apple of Life. One thing I know for sure. Watch out for the Worms!

Blueshonky  2013

KenBJammen

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and at this time of the morning I missed one word that totally changed the meaning. 

Internet wisdom states that no two amps "of the same type" sound the same

whooops..  I know modelers that would take my premise...

Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

DannyDV8

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Total horse shit.  If you can make a Marshall 100 watt half stack sound anything like a Twin Reverb, you're a better man than me, Charley Brown....  I can find the tone I like in just about any Fender TUBE amp, but when you throw transistors into the mix it even queers that deal.  I'd bet the guy who wrote this can't play his way out of a wet paper bag.  (According to internet wisdom.)
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

KenBJammen

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I had to read this like 5 times to realize he is saying that two of the exact same amps wont sound the same, but if you mess with the tone, two of the exact same amps can sound the same.

yeah, like ok.
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

DannyDV8

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Whatever gave Beaker that idea?
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

KenBJammen

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Whatever gave Beaker that idea?

Broken pyrex...
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

DannyDV8

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...and red balloons.
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!