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Author Topic: It's Heeeere!!!  (Read 56477 times)
ChrisL
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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 10:20:15 PM »

Ha ha...love watching my fellow amp freaks squirm.....lol...

OK  OK....here goes a preliminary report of my impressions of the amp.  I have had the Overtone for more than a week now and have been playing it and A/B'ing with the D'Lite.  I only had one chance to get it up to gig volumes at a jam the other night so most of my observations are of the amp at less than perfect (lower volume) conditions.

That said,, Let me first dispell the sentiment that there might be something wrong with the amp.  Trust me there is NOTHING wrong with the Overtone.  If a negative thing could be said about the amp is it has far too many great and useable tones and it's going to take much longer than a week to get aquainted with this multitalented amplifier.

Let's begin with the cleans....

Like the D'lite you have two distinct flavors of clean at your disposal.  With the clean volume down and the master up there is a lot of beautiful sparkle and jingle like any good blackface and the bright switch in conjunction with the tone stack can get you all kinds of variability on that theme.  If you crank up the clean channel volume (about 2'oclock) and keep the master low the cleans warm up (like all similar amps) but the range of clean from dark to sparkle can be finely adjusted with the tone tack, bright switch and the deep switch, which itself adds a very attractive scooped tone where the amp is warm yet sparkly on the top end.  Engage the PAB and your mids come alive for a lot of cut in a big band setting.  I don't know why but the treble pot in the tone stack remains somewhat interactive with the PAB engaged.  It made me think of the 5E3 tone/volume interaction and actually makes for a nice jazz tone....lol.  Between all of the switching options and interactivity there are seemingly limitless permutations on the tones you get in the clean channel alone.  
If I were to make a generalization on comparing the cleans of the Overtone to the D'Lite it would be that the Overtone is bigger and bolder.  The mid focus is very present but there is also the ability to dial in more highs and significantly more lows if desired.

The OD channel.....

The jury is still out on this one.  Not because of anything bad but for the most part I haven't had all that much time to dig into it.  In it's stock form the amp is tailored for humbuckers ( like all of these D flavoured circuits) and the wide range of the aforementioned functional clean tones goes for the OD channel as well.  On similar settings as the D'Lite the Overtone sounds very um ....similar...I mean VERY close.  However, I think it's just my style of playing but I just can't seem to get that "chewy" ScottL tone thing happening (on either amp).  The Overtone has quite a bit more punch than the DL so it can do the Marshall grind very nicely.  Again, I have to get into the amp more before I can really say any more.


The FET input??.......haven't even tried it yet....so no comment.


Build quality......

I've put together quite a few amps and I know I couldn't do any better than this.  I don't think there are any components that I would substitute on the basis of poor quality.  Maybe a few Kiwame resistors....lol (I'm on a Kiwame kick these days).  I don't know if it's just me but aren't there a few too many Vishay Dales in here??  I always like to see a dash of CC's for flavour....well, maybe not in this amp.  
The chassis is well made and is plenty strong enough to support the rather hefty transformers.  I like the fact there are eight bolts to help distribute the hanging weight on your cab.  One should consider bracing if you are going to be rough on the cab.




Last but not least......

If you can, try as many different tubes as a possible.  I've settled on Mullards and Syls for pre's and Winged C's for the power section.
 Speakers, too. I am using an Eminence RW&B but as soon as I find one I'm going to try a G12-65 as that is the standard by which all D style amps are played through these days.

Sorry, but you'll have to wait a bit longer for some sound clips.

All in all,  the amp is a tweakers seventh heaven but as stock it can hold it's own to any of the goliaths  out there.

And finally...lol   At the recent jam there were several BF Fender's, a signature Two Rock,  a Maz 18, a brown Vibroverb RI and my D'Lite and the Overtone (just the chassis).  The Two Rock and the Overtone were the stars of the party and not to elaborate but .....I don't see any need to be buying a $10,000 Two Rock anytime soon... Wink

To be continued......


ChrisL
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SuperReverb2
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 12:28:33 AM »

Hi Chris:

THANKS for the great preliminary review. VERY helpful. I'm pretty sure you'll notice quite a difference when you try the amp with the Celestion G12-65's. The Emi RWB's are an OK speaker, but the G12-65's really bring something special to the mix. I'm currently building a 2 x 12 cabinet out of finger jointed pine to house my G12-65's and that will be my main cabinet with the Overtone. I will also, (obviously) build a matching head cabinet for the chassis when it arrives.
I have owned 2 Two-Rock's (Opal and a Custom) as well as a Fuchs, so I'm quite looking forward to putting the Overtone through it's paces when it arrives.
I also have a Rodenberg Flexloop 3D on the way to interface with the passive effects loop in the Overtone and my PCM-70.

You didn't mention any effects in your review. Are you using the loop for any delay or reverb?

Smiley
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Amps:

Ulbrick Sound Venue 30 Verbovibe  1 x 12
Ulbrick Sound Stadium 80 Special head + matching 2 x 12 cabinet
Ceriatone Overtone Special

Guitar:

Heritage H-150CM with Wolfetone Dr Vintage pickups

Pedals:

Ulbrick Sound 12AXE

Cables:

Klotz La Grange
ChrisL
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2007, 01:34:22 AM »

Yes, I've been searching high and low for a G1265 and none are around.  Hey, you have two....riiiight????Buddy-O-pal....

Well, I was messing around with my DD-20 in the loop and hey, it doesn't sound too bad.  In or out I don't notice much if any negative effect on the tone.  For live, I run the amp (all my amps)  through a Weber MASS 50 (set to bypass) and into my wet effects and into the return loop of a Traynor YCV 40wr with another RW&B and an extension cab off of that.  It sounds better than you might think and in this capacity the Traynor works very well with the preamp bypassed. 

The amp jives very well with my assortment of dirt pedals,...RC booster, AC booster, BB, Blues Devil, and my favorite (lol) Bad Monkey

I have been eyeing the Flexloop for a while as well.   Let me know what you think when you get it.  I was looking for a loop for my D'lite but I went with the Ironsounds buffered DIY loop.  I works perfectly.  There is also a lot of literature for a Dumbleator out there so that is an option as well.

.....two G1265 's eh??? Angry Grin
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whitewave
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2007, 05:19:43 AM »

I agree with everything said in the review, they're just my thoughts about it.
 Too many usable tones to make a complete review after few days, I'm still experimenting with the controls and waiting for the pedal schematic.
 I agree, and this is the most important part I guess, that it can be sparkle but very warm, scooped and deep like no other amp I've ever tried, you can get best of tone worlds, and above all it has the Marshall grind and it's so difficult to get the famous Dumble chewy tone.
 I have the same difficult in getting Ford / Carlton type of sounds, I guess the HRM version are much more suitable to compress it and get that sound, while this one is a rock machine with a wider palette of tones, I can say it's impossible to have the standard Dumble tone everyone raves about.
 Listen to the video samples on steelbender web site, the Overtone is in that territory.
 It sounds better with humbucker, I've played it with my PRS CE-22 with Lollar Imperials, and with friends' 62 reissue strat with German made PUs, Framus Panthera with Duncan Alnico II pro and custom 5 and with an '80 strat with Floyd Rose.

 Cleans are gorgeous, something to die for and with that volume on pre section you can reach so different clean territories that just experimenting with the first channel needs weeks of tests, you can have all the clean stuff you could ever need, brigth or warm, boomy or thin, maybe it doesn't have the overtones you could expect, but is wonderful, I've never played such a beautiful clean, never.  Some days ago there was in the gig room a friend of mine who plays jazz, after small tweaks to controls he got a wonderful tone for his style of music, and with a PRS! 
It can be very clean at loud volume or have a grind suitable to be a single channel amp to do everything with pedals.  Ah, it works wonderfully with pedals, I've tried Fulldrive 2, Fat Boost, BSIAB2 (all diy) and Mi Audio Crunch Box, and then some ambient effects, from Deluxe Memory Man to Marshall Echohead and modded Boss TR-2 tremolo.
 The volume on pre section makes me think about it as a rack stack, it isn't a general gain control, it's much more like a volume on a pre amplifier going to a power amp.  The amp isn't very loud (anyway I'm using a wonderful 1x12" built by me with birch plywood cloning the Two Rock 1x12 dimension, with a Classic Lead clone by Warehouse Guitar Speaker), and it's possible to play it at bedroom level with good tones.

 As for second channel I'm thinking to it as the perfect plexi, a much more refined Marshall grind, with not so much gain, but round bass response, never farting and highs that are never ice pickin' or fuzzy (to tell the truth if you keep all the volume controls all way up basses are farting, but hey man, you'll never need to rise up the controls and remember I'm playing with a 1x12"), with an harmonic content that it's so rich that you will cut through the band even with scooped mids. I've loved to keep the level down and ratio up, quite a super crunchy sound to be clean with guitar volume control and to get more distorted with pedals  It's perfect!!!
 The ratio control is something totally new to me, this is why I'm still experimenting.
 The distorted channel so have the pre volume, obviously the EQ section with added switches, the Level control which acts like a gain control this time, the ratio and the master volume plus presence.
 The ratio makes the sound bigger and fatter with more open gain, it's strage, I cant describe it better now.

 Finally, I'm happy with this amp like I've never been with any other amp and it suits my needs much, much, much better than an amp focused on Ford / Carlton tone.
 It's chunky, fat, huge sounding, and above all smooth, even if the sound is so directly punching in your face you can hear a so elegance and pleasant sound that it's a joy just to play open chords.  I love the facts that it doesn't have the smoothness and chewiness of famous Dumble players, it's smooth in a much richer and rocky way.

 There are only two issues with it, the first one is a mistake by me, I  should have ordered it with EL34 in place of 6L6GC (Nik is getting better and better, JJ for power tubes and above all Tung Sols for pre), but this is only me, and inspite it has a lot of dynamic I'm still regretting about selling the 1986 I bought from Nik last year.  That amp was the more dynamic I've ever played, it was possible to have gorgeous clean and hard rock / stoner distortion just with guitar volume pot.  My guitar has the '60 wiring and RS Guitarworks Hovland cap to control the Imperials.

 It's definitely a keeper, it will be the only amp I'll never sell.
 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 06:06:19 AM by whitewave » Logged
mcinku
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 05:27:47 AM »

 Shocked Shocked

Thanks for this
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ChrisL
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2007, 08:58:16 AM »

Great post Whitewave.

The speaker plays such a big part in the stereotypical dumble tone.  Don't discount the effect a suitable speaker can impart on your tone.
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4nkam
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2007, 05:40:08 AM »

Very cool! Man I'm kicking myself for not buying one when I first saw them available. I had the $$ and everything Sad
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Timd
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2007, 08:14:02 AM »

I was hoping that you were gonna say that it sounds aweful...lol...that would have made me feel better.  Now I just want it all the more... Cry
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marinblues
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2007, 11:28:09 AM »

ChrisL and Whitewave,

thanks for the reviews. It was much appreciated.

Given that Chris is comparing his Overtone to his D'Lite, for us to understand a bit better what its all about: - does it sound similar to the sounds on the D'Lite web page?

http://www.brownnote.net/dlite22.html (scroll down to "sounds").

thanks

Marin

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mcinku
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2007, 02:08:56 PM »

Yes I checked those right away and man, if Overtone sounds like this I JUST HAVE TO HAVE ONE.


Nik stop kidding around and bring it BACK !!!
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 07:04:51 PM »

Very cool! Man I'm kicking myself for not buying one when I first saw them available. I had the $$ and everything Sad

Same here Sad

Might ask Nik if he can make a pre assembled board for an overtone, that way I know I can assemble one....hmm. probably not, though.

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ChrisL
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 11:30:13 PM »


Marinblues,

Which amp are you refering to when you say "it"?  I haven't listened to any of those clips yet and I'm at work now so I will check them out later today.  Moss has come up with a few variations on the basic D'lite theme so there is going to be some differences in tones.  It may be time to do a little tweaking. 

Right now I'm trying to get a handle on what Nik has put together with this amp.  It's a bit of a "mutt" comprised of several flavors of the various dumbles out there.  I would love to sit down with Nik and rap about this amp.  If you're listening man how about chiming in and giving a few hints as to what you were thinking with this circuit.  Whatever, your reasoning it ended up sounding pretty frickin good.

ChrisL and Whitewave,

thanks for the reviews. It was much appreciated.

Given that Chris is comparing his Overtone to his D'Lite, for us to understand a bit better what its all about: - does it sound similar to the sounds on the D'Lite web page?

http://www.brownnote.net/dlite22.html (scroll down to "sounds").

thanks

Marin


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marinblues
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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 11:36:17 PM »


Marinblues,

Which amp are you refering to when you say "it"? 

Nik's Overtone Special.


thanks

Marin
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ChrisL
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« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2007, 08:37:02 PM »

Hey Marin,

Sure, the Overtone can do any of those tones.  My D'lite can do them too... Grin  The problem is "I" can't do them.....lol.   
What I am finding with the Overtone is with the OD trimmer set to anything past 9 oclock the amp gets a little too bright with the PAB engaged and since the tonestack is lifted there is no way to dial it out.  It makes for great Marshall bite but I'm persistant to getting Larry and Robben Dumble tones.  Time for tweaking.
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marinblues
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2007, 02:10:23 AM »


 Listen to the video samples on steelbender web site, the Overtone is in that territory.
 

Do you mean the video samples of the Fuchs?

http://www.steelbender.com/picsnclipsfuchsods50.html

Are your tones closer to Eddie's or Jason's tones?

thanks


M.
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