Some kind of amp/preamp combination for home/recording?

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MrBiggs
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Some kind of amp/preamp combination for home/recording?

Post by MrBiggs » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:18 pm

I have a Rivera Venus 3 amp, and while it sounds great, it doesn't record great. At least not at volumes that I can run in my house, where my Euro and recording gear live. It's got a lot of tube-amp noise and a noticeable hiss. Much of my playing/looping/experimenting/recording takes place at night, so with the volume at low-level, the hiss is definitely in the mix.
Since Strymon released the Iridium I've been thinking about making some changes. I have a good 2x10 cabinet at my art studio where I work for practicing. Right now it's got an Orange Micro-Terror plugged into it but I'm thinking I might move the Rivera there, where volume doesn't matter, get rid of the Micro-Terror, and go with some solid-state option with the 2x10 at home. I was thinking at first I could just plug the Iridium into the cabinet, but realize it actually wants a power amp behind it, so now I'm focusing on that.
Reading up on options like the Quilters, the Seymour Duncan Power Stage 170, the Orange Pedal Baby, and even the EHX 44 Magnum, there is a lot of chatter about playing live, but not much about recording. Anyone have any experience with a setup like this?
At times, I run the guitar through my Euro via a Sewastopol and some filters and get some good sounds through my Motu 828 into Ableton, but I have a pretty good pedal board and I'm usually happier just turning on a switch to play rather than dealing with patching and DAW stuff. So I want to have a signal that I can record but not wake up the house at midnight...

thoughts?
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BailyDread
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Post by BailyDread » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:09 pm

Since the Iridium has cabinet simulation stuff going on, you don't want to go the traditional poweramp into guitar cabinet route... that would mean you're getting the Iridium's cabinet simulation going through an actual guitar cabinet. This would likely give you a weird, muffled EQ curve that you won't be happy with.

With playing w/ the Iridium, it sounds like what you're looking for is something called an FRFR cab. It's basically just a powered speaker cabinet with a full range speaker. That lets the cab simulation of the modeler/Iridium do the work of giving you your cab-ness without coloring that process; that's also what allows you to use the same cab with different cabinet simulators and have it sound different. The goal of an FRFR is to serve as a blank canvas for the modeling technology to have the best possible presentation of its sonic fingerprint.

For recording, you should be well served by Iridium out direct into the Motu. There might be some latency, but usually you can get that down pretty low, right? Basically, what this is doing is making your DAW monitoring your FRFR cab--flat response, get it? :hihi:

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Post by MrBiggs » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:21 pm

Yeah makes sense thanks - for the reply.
The Iridium has a cab bypass mode which I expect I would use with my cabinet. But then I suppose I am missing a chunk of what the Iridium is designed to do. As I've dwelled on this for the last day or two, I think that you're right -- I'd mainly be using it directly into my Motu which I would hope would sound much better than the guitar channels I've built in Ableton.

As for getting rid of the noise with my amp, I found a SD PowerStage 170 for a good price and will try it out on my 2x10. I have a Hudson Broadcast pre-amp/overdrive that I think will sound just lovely in front of it.
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Post by BailyDread » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:20 pm

Sure thing!

I'd definitely give the cab sim a shot directly into your Motu before you decide to switch it off... that kind of tech has gotten really advanced and you might find it in fact sounds better than your actual cab! It simulates perfect micing and a nice room ambience, both of which are buggers to achieve if you're trying to record at low volumes in a domestic setting.

Those SD powerstages look nice, just make sure you don't crank it beyond what your speakers in that 2x10 are rated for... I'm not sure what the rule of thumb is for SS power amps, but w/ tube power amps, you need speakers with at least like 20+ watts over the max output wattage of the power amp, just to be sure they can handle the power and have some headroom. I doubt you'd run into any issues running it at low volumes but just something to keep in mind. If you decide to redline it on a whim one day you could very well blow the speakers haha

Cheers :nana:

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Post by MrBiggs » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:29 pm

The wattage of my speakers, both 15w Webers, are a concern. The PowerStage's 170w is at 4 ohms, so we're talking ~42w at 16 ohms, so I'll have to be careful and keep the volume down on this cabinet. I'll likely replace my speakers with some 10" drivers that are a bit more robust. Cause why not?
Or just find a 1x12.
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Post by BailyDread » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:05 pm

I would recommend a TL806 w/ an EVM12L :tu:

Super high wattage speaker, ported cab that is tuned to the exact speaker...

these can be acquired quite cheaply second hand; Mesa makes a version, lots of small manufacturers as well. They're very small, can handle super high power power amps, and offer way fuller bass that you would imagine is possible w/ a 1x12.

you also could just scale down the power amp since it's unlikely you'll need all that power unless you're playing a gig w/ a drummer or you're like me and you use high SPL as a form of therapy to resolve psychological disturbance :zombie: :lol:

a different option you might want to look into might be a Fryette Power Station, which is an attenuator w/ a built in 50 watt tube power amp. This would allow you to both use your Rivera as intended (cranked) at bedroom volumes, and would give you a power amp platform for using the Iridium w/ basically any cab of your choice (it has variable impedance speaker output). Not at the same time though, obv. Take a look into these units. They're pricier than the Seymour Duncan powerstation but they sound just glorious (2 6l6 tubes!) and can be acquired for around ~475$ w/ a bit of work and haggling.
Last edited by BailyDread on Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MrBiggs » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:14 pm

Christ 200w.
Yeah the whole point here is to have something good and defined and without the hiss that I can play and record in my home studio. So scaling down the power amp is the likely direction. If the PowerStage doesn't work I'll just get a Quilter 45 or the EHX 44 Magnum. It seems backward to go from a 15w tube amp to a 170w SS amp to quiet things down, but it's about control. Tubes are weird. And it'll be nice to have that Rivera here at my office where I can shake the walls and no one complains. It sounds SO GOOD when I let it loose.
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Post by BailyDread » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:19 pm

Sounds like a good plan. I've heard good things about Quilter, so that's where I'd look personally.
MrBiggs wrote: It sounds SO GOOD when I let it loose.
i know man, and it's so addictive :sb: it gets even worse when you bring hearing protection into the equation b/c it opens up the wormhole of "well, I *could* be louder and my ears will be fine..." lol :nana: :banana:

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Post by Jason Brock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:15 pm

I have a Two Notes Torpedo Captor, which acts a load box so you can drive your amp hot but keep the volume down. It also has a DI output so you can record direct into a DAW, then use their cabinet simulator software. But sometimes I wonder why I bother because I get most of my drive from pedals, and my amp stays pretty clean even though it has tubes (Ampeg GVT15). So I'm not really capturing a lot of character from the amp itself.

The Iridium seems like a great device and I may pick one up eventually.

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