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Some days my amp sounds awful...

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Buzzgrowl, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Uncle Jimmy

    Uncle Jimmy Senior Stratmaster

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    Does anyone else see the ear wax removal ad that appears in the middle of this thread? AI is freaking me out lately.
     
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  2. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Had an amp where I sometimes had to pull the V3 and put it back in. I suspect it had to do with the seating and I should have addressed it, but never did.
     
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  3. StratEdgy

    StratEdgy Strat-Talker

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    Yah.... that's what the teaching is. Reality is a bit different experience though. A lot of folk will never hear a difference because they already 'know' there cannot possibly be one, so they do not try the experiment for themselves. And if they do, they don't bother to listen, because they already 'know' the result they expect.
     
  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    On the other hand, some folks are sure there's a difference, so they hear one whether it's there or not.
     
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  5. BigNorm

    BigNorm Senior Stratmaster

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    +1 for this reason...
     
  6. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    Many thanks at all of you stratmasters for the advice!

    Some comments to advice and questions.

    Yes, I only use the Bolt60 clean channel, with pedals. The distortion channel is useless.

    I clean my ears with peroxide and saline solution occasionally.

    It is, of course, entirely possible I had a tone suck day caused by crappy playing :eek:... :) its part of life, I guess. Some days everything comes out clunky.

    The amp was revised and retubed one month ago. The caps checked out ok.

    The amp is in a basement with constant temperature.

    It did improve about half an hour through the rehearsal. How long does it take for tubes to properly warm up? What's the wisdom on keeping the standby switch on or off?

    The bass player has occasional tone suck issues too. He uses some horrible expensive cable called vox that, I think messes with his 15" ampeg combo and USA Jazz bass.

    I will reseat the tubes before next practice and leave the amp on for 30m before practice (should I plug in the guitar? standby off or on?). Change strings. Also clean out all pedal board connectors with contact spray.

    I am not convinced about the cable direction issue. I use custom made cordial 175 on neutrik gold plated TS jacks. Will be trying Sommer Spirit XXL soon.

    One again, many thanks for the advice and sympathy - its nice not be alone in suckie toneland!

    Any other thoughts and experience shared are really welcome!

    Cheers - Buzzgrowl.
     
  7. Lester H

    Lester H Strat-Talker

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    My experiences vary from ear fatigue from work, to a head cold/congestion, but my biggest culprit is from dead/dying guitar strings. I've swapped tubes, adjusted the bias, changed speakers, rotated pedals on and off my board all because of dead strings.

    I can generally tell by the day I've had whether my hearing will play a part. But on the other hand I've owned amps where they never seemed to sound the same day after day but with my current favorite amp I haven't adjusted the tone controls in 5 years.
     
  8. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Strat-O-Master

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    I think what your experiencing is in your head, well actually it’s your hearing which is in your head. I doubt anything is wrong with your gear or that you have bad electricity in your house. I have had the same issues now and then and I service my own amps and they are all in top notch condition and good to go. It’s caused from your hearing when your amp sounds good one day then bad the next. It’s just like your playing, you have good days were everything just comes together and sounds so good then there's those bad days were it totally sounds terrible and everything sounds off. After you experiment with your tubes, jacks and cables you will still have sucky sounding days that cone and go. No need to let the amp warm up for 30 minutes, a couple is plenty.
     
  9. StratEdgy

    StratEdgy Strat-Talker

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    It's all good, TJ. We all are tuned in to different resonances.
     
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  10. lineboat

    lineboat Senior Stratmaster

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    I just went through something like this with a Peavey. It’s been my main amp for about a year or so. It started sounding kinda bland to me. I put it away for awhile and started using an AC15 for a couple weeks, then tried the Peavey again. The sound I wanted was right there again.
     
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  11. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    I'm getting some (smoking) pipe cleaning stems and will clean all the sockets and jacks on the amp, pedal board and guitar. New strings too. Its pretty annoying as there is a gig coming up. Lets see.

    Many thanks to everyone for insights and advice!
     
  12. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes! That's exactly why I rotate using several different amps, each one for a few days. Same with guitars, although I may play two or three in a one-hour practice session. I even swap speaker cabinets around occasionally.

    I think that in some (many?) cases it's the reason that when someone replaces a speaker with a different one, he almost always likes it better than the old one. Save the old one, build a cabinet for it, and put it in rotation!
     
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  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Tube amps are actually pretty sensitive to power fluctuation, and not all household wiring is awesome. If your wall voltage dropped from 120v to 110, you'd probably hear that. If it dropped below 110 you'd also notice lights going dim, they call that a "brownout." If your practice room is on the same circuit breaker as a major power draw that got turned off partway through the practice (washing machine? Microwave?) that could be enough.

    This kind of issue is exactly what the Furman Power Conditioner is for--protects from surges and displays the voltage. Or you could hook up a voltmeter to the circuit your amp is on--and take note of what's happening with the voltage if/when this issue happens again.

    If it turns out the wiring is dodgy, you may want to plug in on a different circuit--and consider getting the wiring inspected. Bad wires cause fires.
     
  14. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talk Member

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    +1 damn human ears / overall feeling. I leave all my stuff plugged in, and on some days I just wail and love my tone, and on others I am close to selling all my stuff on eBay.
    BTW I see some parallels to my performance when I am mountainbiking or performing other sports...
     
  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Remember the old biorhythm theory about the cycles of physical, emotional, intellectual abilities, and the attempt to predict them? While the whole long-term prediction thing is pretty much discredited, I've noticed all my life that there really are some sort of cyclic ups and downs. They may not be easily predicted, but they can be observed.

    Once in a while my guitar playing gets easier, more accurate, faster, and with better judgment when improvising. I need to rush out to an open mic night when that happens. :)
     
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  16. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    Well I changed strings and gave the plugs and jacks a wipe. Oiled the fretboard and gave the frets a quick polish. Tuned up 30m before rehearsal and left the room with the amp on, guitar and board pluged in. After a quick snack and drink (water), came back, turned up, everything was great. I am curious about how thirst hydration affects how you play (fingers) and hear. There's lots of soft tissue in joints and ears. Just a thought.
    Big thanks everyone for comments and sharing!
    Cheers, - Buzzgrowl
     
  17. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm sure it has a noticeable effect. I know that if I'm feeling lazy and tired it's hard to play well, but if I have a good strong cup of tea it can improve things a lot. Half of it for me is thinking fast enough to improvise well. When the brain is slow, so are my fingers.
     
  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm informed by "The Management" that I get my best sound with the amp unplugged and the guitars all securely locked in their cases.

    Ho Hum...
     
  19. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    That's not unlike the time I was using a looper to record some bass, then playing a couple guitar tracks over it, and my wife said "The bass player is the best one."
     
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