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Author Topic: OTS-Sound - severe problems /anyone have a tech in Northern Germany?  (Read 13887 times)
60Strat
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« on: August 24, 2008, 10:43:18 AM »

Hi,

I'm running a OTS through a 2x12 open back (Wharfedale, Vox-cab), and I'm having some sound difficulties.
Before giving away the amp to have it modded/repaired, I'd like to know if some of you have experienced similar things:

1. The amp seems to have a 'mid-monster inside' - I see people getting very sparkling clean tones out of the amp, but mine just won't do it. Also I noticed the 'high' & 'bass' knobs do a lot, but the 'mid' knob only makes very little difference in the sound when turning from 0 to 10. With my 60 Strat, the mids are always over-pronounced, and I just can't get rid of them. When engaging the boost by footswitch, the only thing left is mids. It sounds like a blanket is put in front of the cab.

2. When engaging the mid-boost by footswitch, the volume doubles (at all 'master' settings). Is there any way to reduce the volume increase? As it is, the boost is not usable even when I dial in a 'rythm-volume' sound - when engaging the boost the output doubles, which is just too loud.

3. When switching from 'rock to 'jazz', I loose a lot of volume. Even with the master & input both on '10', I cannot compete with the rest of the band in the 'jazz' setting.

4. When engaging the overdrive-switch, I must set 'drive' & 'ratio' both below 3 in order not to get a volume increase in comparison to clean volume. I have seen zucker's vid's on youtube, where he demonstrates the amp with all knobs on 5, and the volume seems to be quite even on all clean & OD settings?

I have tried the amp with different cabs, from 1x12 open to 4x12 closed backs, but the problems always stay the same. I would really like to keep the OTS, and therefore would be glad if you could post your experiences. I have only got a comparison with a Kitty Hawk Std. (supposed to be a D***-clone as well), which sounded totally different than my OTS.

I should mention that mine came totally assembled by Nik, and I haven't made any changes to it. It arived late June 2008, when it arrived the chassis was bent a bit during transport, but it has been working fine.

I am quite desperate, having bought 2 cabs for the amp, beacuse I thought it maight just be the speakers limiting the sound. And I do not know a capable tech in Northern Germany, so if anyone could help, I would be very thankful!

Thank you for all your input, it is really very much appreciated!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 10:47:29 AM by 60Strat » Logged
Mitch
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 01:02:40 PM »

I've had similar issues too-

I've found the OTS is VERY susceptible to loading capacitance from guitar leads- anything over 10 feet is going to suck your top end appreciably.  Use GOOD quality leads... I use & recommend .155 George L cable.  It gets even more complex when you introduce more long cables via the effex loop as I have.  I sorted these 'mid-monster' issues by using a simple buffer at the start of my effects chain, which helped no end with capacitance... essentially it shifts the guitar signal from high impedance to low- and then longer cable runs are possible without loss.  I also installed a treble pass cap in my Strat volume control to alleviate mud when it's turned down.

Setting controls on the amp is critical to get the best... I use a Strat too & generally I have the treble boost off, mid off, Rock/Jazz set permanently to Rock (That's what I play after all!)  Internal OD trim set around 10 o'clock (seems to be the optimum on this forum!) & level/ratio around 4-5 depending on guitar.  EQ's around 12 o'clock with minor tweaks for acoustics of venues, maybe a little bass cut/treble lift - this is really governed by speakers too. I use celestion alnico Golds and they have a naturally sparkly top-end- but they're hideously expensive!  I recommend boosting the 'presence' to around 2 o'clock too- that opens the amp up considerably.

hope this helps!  Grin
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60Strat
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 02:01:08 AM »

Hi,

Mitch, thanks for your comments!

Actually, the guitar I'm using has a treble bypass on the volume pot, allowing the highs to pass as volume is turned down. Does someone have similar problems & can recommend a buffer-amp to reduce the mids? ...I also read the Klein-U-Lator brings back some chime, is that correct?

The Vox-Box itself is supposed to have quite a bit of top-end... I used to think that the 'boxy' mids come from a closed back cab, but this seems not to be the case.

Cables I use less than 6 months old Whirlwinds, w/Neutrik jacks, so this should be OK?

Maybe one of you can comment on the volume issues w/PAB boost & Jazz/Rock-settings? I should mention it doesn't make a difference if it's Strat or Les Paul, the volume increse (PAB) or -loss (switching 'rock' to 'jazz') is enormous. Is there a way to adjust this?

Tonight at practice I will try to connect a very short cable w/out effects & post the results tomorrow. Mitch, what kind of buffer amp are you using?

Grateful for your help!
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Mitch
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 05:21:14 AM »

I've found the Jazz/Rock switch will have a big difference in volume- essentially the Jazz setting is much cleaner & 'flatter' in EQ- you adjust the master volume to compensate.  I have to say most users wouldn't use this setting- it's not what this amp does best!  Grin

Check out:

http://www.bargeconcepts.com/db1.html

I built my own basic buffer using burr brown op amps and it did the trick- however I've just ordered one of these units as it's so cheap and well made no point in making one!  When it arrives I'll give a report- but essentially it's a double buffer & boost- so I intend to buffer the front end on my effects board & use the other buffer in my amp effects loop- hopefully dealing with the capacitance issues. The gain adjust will be very useful to make up for any losses- I'll probably just leave it engaged the whole time. My guitar is going through some 10 metres of cable before it hits the amp, so a buffer is essential!  There's another 10+ metres in the effex loop as I prefer to have the echo and chorus on my pedal board.

Using the PAB is all a matter of balancing EQ & master volume- I find the boost is ridiculously huge especially practicing at home- however playing live with the volume mad drummer & bass player I play with the boost is just right to to wipe the grin off their faces!  Keep experimenting- it's not an easy amp to instantly get 'your' tone- but I persevered & now couldn't be happier.

Cheers!  Cool
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Alpedra
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 05:53:34 AM »

I've found the Jazz/Rock switch will have a big difference in volume- essentially the Jazz setting is much cleaner & 'flatter' in EQ- you adjust the master volume to compensate.  I have to say most users wouldn't use this setting- it's not what this amp does best!  Grin

I confirm that. Actually on the first week of owning the amp, I also thought that there was something wrong with the jazz position, as the difference in volume is indeed very big. Later I found out that itīs like that by default. Anyway.. yes.. the jazz setting is pretty useless for me too
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mcinku
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2008, 03:09:18 AM »

1. The amp seems to have a 'mid-monster inside' - I see people getting very sparkling clean tones out of the amp, but mine just won't do it. Also I noticed the 'high' & 'bass' knobs do a lot, but the 'mid' knob only makes very little difference in the sound when turning from 0 to 10. With my 60 Strat, the mids are always over-pronounced, and I just can't get rid of them. When engaging the boost by footswitch, the only thing left is mids. It sounds like a blanket is put in front of the cab.

2. When engaging the mid-boost by footswitch, the volume doubles (at all 'master' settings). Is there any way to reduce the volume increase? As it is, the boost is not usable even when I dial in a 'rythm-volume' sound - when engaging the boost the output doubles, which is just too loud.

3. When switching from 'rock to 'jazz', I loose a lot of volume. Even with the master & input both on '10', I cannot compete with the rest of the band in the 'jazz' setting.

4. When engaging the overdrive-switch, I must set 'drive' & 'ratio' both below 3 in order not to get a volume increase in comparison to clean volume. I have seen zucker's vid's on youtube, where he demonstrates the amp with all knobs on 5, and the volume seems to be quite even on all clean & OD settings?

1. Dumble like amps are "mid-monster" and that's something many people actually like.  Maybe changing the plate/cathode resistor along with the bypass caps. Maybe something like #124 amp has... That would bring this amp more into Fender neighbourhood.
If that's not your thing maybe these amps are not for you.

2. There is a way to reduce PAB boost jump. You can try 4.7M resistors instead of 22M on the switch. This lowers the amount of boost and fattens up the bass while still keeping the overall character of the normal PAB...

3. Low volume in jazz mode is normal, maybe using some good boost pedal like Xotic RC would be a good tool to use.

4. Clean OD volume jump is a fact as well. Many players (or even most of them) use these amps for the OD sound only... they never switch channels, they just use that one sound which you can't get with any other amps out there.  Wink

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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2008, 02:33:38 PM »

I've got the latest version, May 2008, and don't have the PAB volume jump issue, or, the OD volume jump issue. I can switch between clean and OD and both are very satisfying. I guess I'm a lucky guy, although, there were some mods done to the original components in the master pot, FX loop, caps on the first preamp tube, etc...    Nik is by far the best guy to ask and THE best I've ever encountered as far as customer service.   Cheers! bill
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2008, 04:38:51 AM »


4. Clean OD volume jump is a fact as well. Many players (or even most of them) use these amps for the OD sound only... they never switch channels, they just use that one sound which you can't get with any other amps out there.  Wink



Funny, that it's seems that I'm using this amp as a clean amp ! (a lā mayer / SRV). I still have to do some mods but I didn't have the time to do it....
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mcinku
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2008, 05:24:06 AM »

Well, I mainly use it as a clean amp as well and I use my pedals for slight OD sound but I still think these amps are famous for their OD tone.

 Wink
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hywelg
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2008, 06:06:39 PM »

I'm more interested in the cleans than the OD aswell and my setup (with a 5751 in V2) gives the OD channel a nicely breaking up clean. Add a pedal on top (Red Snapper or Stampede SOV-1) and I can get some dirt, but much different to the original ax7 OD sound.

Still struggling to get it right with humbuckers tho'. I wonder how high I can go with the snubber caps on V2 to try and lose some of the treble? Single coils (Fralins) sound really sweet.
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60Strat
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2008, 06:30:01 PM »

Hi,

sorry it's been a while, but I've been extremely busy. I promised to post about different instrument/amp cable lengths: I tried as you suggested Mitch, but there is only little difference in the highs, whether there are my (all true BP) effects are in or not.

Mcinku, thank you so much for your tips concerning the mods, I will try esp. the PAB 4.7M.

Dannysgrandpa, could you please explain the 'master pot' mod you mentioned? That sounds very interesting!

Concerning the channels, I'm using them both. But the concept is different than with my other amps. I use both channels at the same volume, dialling rythm/solo with my Strat vol. The OD-pedals I use (T-Rex Dr Swamp & TS) are just there for colouring the sound (& deliver mean distortion when needed  Cool ).

Now, with all that tweaking, fiddling and twisting knobs, I just wouldn't get anywhere, that is in connection with the Marshall cab I was using (4x Vin30, I believe the Chinese ones). The Vox cab-speakers are supposed to sound similar, and they do to my ears. So I got me a pair of Emi Red White & Blues, & put them into the open-back Vox cab.......

In connection with all my other heads (Marshall 1987/Hiwatt Dr 103 / Fender Bandmaster) the cab sounds bright, but the OTS makes it sound dark, bass heavy, and with the mids drowning the sound.

I saw Marin's vids the other day. On my OTS, the strat does not sound like this, even with bass & middle on 0, and only bright & presence all the way up.

Could it be that there were some tweaks in the circuit lately, that make the amp sound so bassy?

I relaize that on my amp, the mid-pot will do almost nothing, whatever the setting for bass or high is - do you have similar experience?

Is there some trick with the OTS also being out of phase (I read on the Fuchs-forum that their amps are; they suggest an out-of-phase cable for amp/cab connection to solve this)?
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hywelg
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2008, 08:24:59 AM »

I saw Marin's vids the other day. On my OTS, the strat does not sound like this, even with bass & middle on 0, and only bright & presence all the way up.

Is there some trick with the OTS also being out of phase (I read on the Fuchs-forum that their amps are; they suggest an out-of-phase cable for amp/cab connection to solve this)?

I think the OTS needs a burn in period. I couldn't get Marins clean tone when I first got my amp, now I can and its been a very gradual change. Stick with it.

I had the chance recently to hear a Matchless DC-30 which has a phase switch on the rear panel. If you had told me there was going to be such a difference in tone I wouldn't have believed you, but I heard it with my own ears. The difference is whether the speaker pushes or pulls on the first cycle. It needs to push to get the best tones. I need to try something similar on my OTS to see if it makes a difference.
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mollyschamber
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 09:10:17 AM »

Hi 60Strat, I have the same problems with my one year old ots. Meanwhile, after searching for month for a solution, I m pretty shure that the footswitch has a malfunction. I'm from Germany too! Did you solve your problem?
Sorry for my bad English.... Undecided
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