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My Les Paul Overdrives Amp too Early


VBB

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First, this is my first guitar with Humbuckers. Always been a single coil player.

 

It's nearly impossible to play my Les Paul clean. I used a Reverend Hellhound and changed the 1st 12ax7 to a 12ay7 and changed speaker to a EVM12L Classic, both to get more headroom. Also ran that amp through a Marshall 1965B. Still very dark and muddy if playing chords. Now I have an Epiphone Valve Jr and it's the same way with matching cab and the Marshall cab. I can only put volume at 1/4 and it still gets dirty if you dig in with a pick or play chords. With my strat, I have to have volume at 2/3 to get same tube breakup.

 

Is this normal?

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You're having the exact opposite situation I had when I bought a Strat. O:)

 

I'm pretty sure the Hellhound has a master volume and a gain control; try lowering the gain. What the other guys suggested about lowering the pickups and volume on the guitar can do the trick as well.

 

But, all that said, I'll tell you the realization I came to with my Strat after playing my LP and other other humbucker guitars for years...

 

Let the guitar be what it is. For me, that was to quit trying get the Strat to be more like the LP and, for you, it's the opposite. It took me a while to get adjusted to the Strat but, after I did, I came to love that guitar and appreciate it for what it is on it's own rather than in comparison to my LP.

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Or, you know, you could just try the volume knob first - I mean, it's there for a reason. I set my amp as dirty as I want it with the volume on full (guitar volume) and then just adjust the dirt w/the volume control. Yeah, this includes dialing in very clean as well.

 

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line people seem to have forgotten that volume and tone control start with your guitar. I'm afraid the culprit is likely that "hey, I'll do it for you" friend we call channel switching.

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On the Hellhound I had to have both volume and gain just barley on to achieve a little bit of clean tone.

 

I'll try to lower the pickups. I actually just raised the neck one because it was dead and muddy sounding. It was better raised but I think I'll lower it again and do the Kalamazoo mod to see if that helps.

 

thanks.

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Also on the Epi Valve Junior head.

 

It depends what version you have, version 1 and 2 have a 7.5K ohm primary on the output transformer which makes the amp cleaner. Version 3 has a 5kohm output transformer, the amp will overdrive earlier on the dial.

 

(if the on/off switch does not have a I/0 most likely you have version 3)

 

There is a mod for the Valve Junior called NFB - Negative Feedback Resistor, easy to do. Basically the gain is tamed by a resistor and the amp will not overdrive as easily. You do loose some output due to the lower gain.

 

My Fender Champ has a NFB from factory, a lot of folks are taking it out for more overdrive but I kept mine in because I like the cleans on the amp.

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If lowering of the pickups doesn't help, then I guess it's the amp.

 

I never have any problems getting a sweet clean tone out of any Les Paul (and I always have the guitars volume knobs on 10 when I play clean stuff). I think it really depends on what amp you're playing through. Some amps already have a crunchy tone to them on the clean channel, which I think is useless (for the way I play). It ruins the true beauty behind a Les Paul, but that's my opinion. Clean must be clean, distorted must be distorted.

 

It's a matter of taste too. Some guitarists prefer to have a light crunchy effect to their clean tone...it's fine, if that's your cup of tea.

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If lowering of the pickups doesn't help' date=' then I guess it's the amp.[/quote']

 

+1

 

Some amps just never sound right with certain guitars. I briefly owned a Reverend Kingsnake which was sort of the version #2 of the Hellhound and I hated it with my Les Paul. I didn't own a Strat yet at the time so maybe it sounds good with single coils.

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Ok, I'm sorry, but I can't help but laugh a little here - I mean, this is a forum full of experts. I'm seriously taken aback at the fact that not one single person has agreed with me about trying to adjust the volume on your guitar.

 

Just humor me and give it a try. No modifications. No need to throw away your amp. And hey, if it doesn't work then it doesn't work, and you can try the modifications / amp shopping advice route. Just try it out and see how it works out. Really.

 

Before the relatively new age of channel switching this is how it was done.

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I do have a version 3 Epi (no markings on switch, long serial number, black curcuit board) I'm gonna put in a vintage Mullard 12AT7 along with my JJ's el84 and see if that'll help.

 

CROSSROADSYNC,

Actually you're right, the volume knob did help a little on my 40/60 watt Hellhound, but the 5 watt Epi just doesn't have the power to give much volume. When I roll off the guitar volume, I have to increase the amp volume to hear it, and that gives more break up. I did just try to roll off the guitar and hit my Pedalman 818 OD with the pedal drive down and pedal volume up and it acted like a boost. Helped a little.

 

thanks to all.

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Ok' date=' I'm sorry, but I can't help but laugh a little here - I mean, this is a forum full of experts. I'm seriously taken aback at the fact that not one single person has agreed with me about trying to adjust the volume on your guitar.

 

Just humor me and give it a try. No modifications. No need to throw away your amp. And hey, if it doesn't work then it doesn't work, and you can try the modifications / amp shopping advice route. Just try it out and see how it works out. Really.

 

Before the relatively new age of channel switching this is how it was done.

 

 

[/quote']

 

80LPC and then AXE refered to lowering the volume in this thread. Did you read carefully?

 

They alluded to this because VBB is also talking about dark tone/sound and lowering the volume will make this worse depending how your guitar is wired.

 

I own 2 one-knob amps, trust me everybody should own one of those. I have learned a thing or two.

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80LPC and then AXE refered to lowering the volume in this thread. Did you read carefully?

 

They alluded to this because VBB is also talking about dark tone/sound and lowering the volume will make this worse depending how your guitar is wired.

 

I own 2 one-knob amps' date=' trust me everybody should own one of those. I have learned a thing or two.[/quote']

 

Yes, very carefully. A couple of times. Both suggested lowering the pups and leaving the volume on full. I suggested leaving the pups as is (or is it are?), and lower the volume knob. I don't know about 50's wiring and how that works - though I know guitars I've had that were not made in the 50's (like every single guitar I've owned) has worked fine this way.

 

I'm sure the suggestion to lower the pups is a very good idea, so I wasn't discounting that. I was just suggesting to try a little easier method first...that's all. Like I said, if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

 

And thanks, Blue - I've had a couple rough weeks on the work front so I can use the humoring!

 

Sorry to anyone if I'm coming across crass the last few days or a week...like I said, it's been a long couple of weeks so I'm a bit stressed.

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I hear you on the stress, I have an underlying amount of it built up, even when I am not having bad day I think I do.

 

Gotta shake that off...mmmhh it is 2-for-Tuesday at the bar....

 

My advice on this subject was coming from the fact that I have the same rig he does. Trust me the Epi will overdrive ealry if you want to get any volume out of it. I love that in mine but if you want to play it clean and get the volume he is looking for is just a no-go.

 

A NFB resistor would cure all that, the amps still overdrives but a lot later. This plus adding a 5751 would be as good as it gets for that amp.

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