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Hi,

 

Anyone heard of any mods for the BC30 or tried modding it themselves?

 

Mine is extremely brittle and piercing in the high end on Channel two, or another way to look at it: Channel one is not bright enough, like a blanket is covering the sound.

 

I received a schematic from Gibson tech, but I'm not sure where to begin . . . any thoughts? Thanks.

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I've tried all different tubes from selections of vintage 1960's 12AX7s and TS5881s (both original and the new RI ones) to RCA Blackplate 6L6GCs and found that simple tube changes will not transform the overdrive channel into one that I'm happy with listening to at my home studio/living room. In a live band setting this may change as the designer of the amp has been quoted as saying he wanted the drive channel to be able to cut through the mix in a live setting. Kind of like software developers saying "it's not a fault - it's a feature". The easiest thing without modifying the circuit is to turn the mid control up on the drive channel and the treble & mid down on the tone stack. The problem for me is when you have it set for what almost sounds good on the drive channel it doesn't sound good on the normal one - your wet blanket description. I ususally just set the controls for the normal channel (I don't have a problem with my channel one not being bright enough) and use a pedal if I want overdrive.

 

I would recommend trying new tubes as the Sovteks aren't known for their musical tones but don't expect miracles to happen.

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I do love this amp but if I had to make one change I would

make it a single channel and use a pedal for overdive.

The clean channel is fantastic and can sound just as good

as some of these handwired custom amps that cost a fortune.

But like I say you can have the most fantastic tone dialed in

and hit the footswitch for the drive channel and its completely

voiced differently.

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I love the amp, too. It has such a juicy tone.

 

I wouldn't care about the ch 2 issue if I only used the amp for recording and practicing, cause I can just dial it in. However, for live, it's just too much. You dial in a nice clean tone on ch 1, switch over to ch 2 = razor blades! But, that's the way they designed it, unfortunately.

 

I agree with Magnatone1960 on the tube thing; you cannot change the basic character of an amp using better tubes. The amp needs a mod.

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I'm not crazy about overdrive channel either. But, channel one is super. And for more grit-overdrive, pro-co's Rat does the trick. This is the sound for me!! Yes it would be nice if the 70 lb. box could do it alone but for me it can't. I have found the sweet rock/blues overdrive I like. 0 to slight overdrive chan 1. slight to non heavy metal but full blown rock chan 1 with rat. Try this out.

Make sure you have good cables and upgrade your power cord to 14awg.

Paul

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Yes! Power cord gauge matters. Chances are, you got a standard 18gauge cord with the amp. This is fine for rack effects, preamps, and even the VJr. But the Blues 30 draws a lot more current from the wall. Try a 16 or even 14 gauge. You may notice a bigger, punchier bottom end. Power cord quality also matters. Hospital grade power cords have superior shielding and better connectors and plugs. That's generally as good as it gets in terms of bang for the buck as long as you don't buy them from an overprice-prone audiophile retailer. Beware, there are actually some extreme high end silver power cords for the most rabidly insecure audiophiles. These may be good for impressing the senselessly rich and frivolous, but the bang for the buck factor is 6 feet under.

 

Gil...

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  • 1 year later...
Yes! Power cord gauge matters. Chances are' date=' you got a standard 18gauge cord with the amp. This is fine for rack effects, preamps, and even the VJr. But the Blues 30 draws a lot more current from the wall. Try a 16 or even 14 gauge. You may notice a bigger, punchier bottom end. Power cord quality also matters. Hospital grade power cords have superior shielding and better connectors and plugs. That's generally as good as it gets in terms of bang for the buck as long as you don't buy them from an overprice-prone audiophile retailer. Beware, there are actually some extreme high end silver power cords for the most rabidly insecure audiophiles. These may be good for impressing the senselessly rich and frivolous, but the bang for the buck factor is 6 feet under.

 

Gil...[/quote']

 

 

This is interesting. I had heard some alluding to this. I may have to try it. Does anyone know if this would affect the input fuse?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Power cord? You must have some real dodgy wiring left-pond.

 

If the power cord is too small for the current it gets hot and bursts into flames. Does your cord even get warm?

 

Power consumption is 210W, that's less than 1 Amp on our 240VAC, or 2A on your mains, not much then.

 

The regulation cord that came with my UK spec BC30 is rated at 13A for 240VAC, with appropriate fuse in the mains plug.

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Just out of curiosity... What driver(s) are you using in the amp? I apologize, Not real familiar

with your amp. My reasoning is, My PV C30 came stock with an Emminence 112 for Peavey.

I opted to change it out with a Celestion V30 and that made a fairly reasonable difference

in the overall tone. It wasn't until I really started inquiring around that I ran on a man out

of St. Louis that is a Classic 30 Guru extrodinaire. He told me right quick, To tame the amp

down the best thing I could do was to add an external 112 cab and as luck would have it,

I ran on one for the bux. I can tell you without any doubt, It made an enormous difference

altogether. It mellowed out the paint peelin' and really brought some tonemonger quality

into the picture!! I have the same stock '94 tubes that came with it crankin' away. .02

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Yes! Power cord gauge matters. Chances are' date=' you got a standard 18gauge cord with the amp. This is fine for rack effects, preamps, and even the VJr. But the Blues 30 draws a lot more current from the wall. Try a 16 or even 14 gauge. You may notice a bigger, punchier bottom end. Power cord quality also matters. Hospital grade power cords have superior shielding and better connectors and plugs. That's generally as good as it gets in terms of bang for the buck as long as you don't buy them from an overprice-prone audiophile retailer. Beware, there are actually some extreme high end silver power cords for the most rabidly insecure audiophiles. These may be good for impressing the senselessly rich and frivolous, but the bang for the buck factor is 6 feet under.

 

Gil...[/quote']

 

 

Seriously? If you can hear the difference on a guitar amp I would be amazed.

 

I'll buy this theory for switch mode power amps, bass amps mostly.

 

I'll even buy it for the audiophile guys.....

 

But not for your guitar amp. Especially your $600 guitar amp.

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The BC30 sounds great if you change out the tubes. I found the Sovtek 5881s and 6l6WXTs are just too brittle and too flabby sounding. They're work horse tubes that last forever but don't sound very good in this particular amp. I put in some Reflektor-marketed (ie not the winged C's) Svetlana 6L6GCs and EHX 12ax7ehs in v1, v2 and v4 (reverb v3 and v5 are still stock Chinese 12ax7bs); and also a JJ rectifier tube. My od channel now sounds absolutely great - I actually prefer it to the clean channel. Sure it's still bright, especially on the bridge pickup but it has a huge, rich bottom end (almost piano-like) and an harmonically complex midrange that can only be called juicy. And, I can control it all from my guitar via pickup selection and tone and volume controls. I can back off the volume and get a reasonable clean tone; roll off the tone knob and get a good woman tone from the front pickup. On some all-Humbucker equipped guitars I have a phase switch that allows me to get some BB King and Peter Green type sounds; especially with the reverb turned up high.

 

I find though that you have to set the knobs on the amp in the right way so you don't unleash too much brightness. Independent mode on the eq is the only way to go. The interactive mode is pure icepick - great if you're going for the "Achilles Last Stand" guitar tone but too much brightness for everyday use. I run my bass knob on full, my treble on about 9-10 'o' clock and the mid knob on very low - about 8 'o' clock. The mid knob on the general eq is where all the nasty stuff is - keeping it low keeps all the brightness from coming through. On the drive channel I run the mid "contour" knob on full because that lets through the warmer lower midrange - on lower settings the tone is thin. I run the od gain between 12 and 3 'o' clock depending on the guitar I'm using. I still have an okay sound on the clean side but I would call it warm and Jazzy. But to get a better clean sound I just lift the treble a little more and maybe add just a touch more of the mids.

 

This amp does older guitar styles best - stuff like Blues, Rockabilly, Country, Jazz, 70s Fusion etc. It's not suited to really hard rock and detuned metal IMO. I even find that vintage sounding pedals work pretty well with this amp; fuzz, old-school phasers, Univibe clone pedals, analog delays and choruses all sound great; but modern high gain dirt boxes and digital delays and choruses sound rather bad and tinny. It takes some time and experimentation but you can get good sounds out of this amp without cutting any capacitors. I didn't like it at first but since the Svetlanas and 12ax7ehs went in I'm loving it.

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All I can say is try it. But not with a VJr. Try it with at least a 50 watter and the difference between an 18g and 14g power cable should be noticeable in the bottom end. Even more so with a 100 watter.

 

Gil...

 

Doh!

 

That's a knob with an 11 on it.

 

The power capacity of a cable is related to it's cross sectional areal (CSA)' date=' right-pond we rate cable by it's current capacity, not it's weight. The current capability is not related to the supply voltage, but the power capacity is.

 

Examples

thin lighting flex e.g. table lamp 2 or 3 amp i.e. 500 watts

small appliances e.g. television, 5 or 6 amp i.e. 1250 watts

large appliances e.g. vacuum cleaner, 10 amp i.e. 2500 watts

heaters and washing machines 13 or 15 amp i.e. 3750 watts (more than the 13A supply)

[note, they sometimes state UK 230VAC supply, but it's not, ours usually 245VAC and using 250VAC for calculations']

random example http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/72459.pdf

 

The BC30 cable is the usual moulded-on affair, our British Standard BC30 plug is fused at 10A, which means the cable is rated higher i.e. 15 amp - more than enough for the 210 watts it draws, and there are few heavier power flex cables.

 

I very much doubt you left-pond cables are supplied to a much lower and even dangerous standard, they must be fit for the purpose. If the cable is under-rated it will get hot, melt through and burn your house down. And in the land of litigation, that's just so going to happen, not.

 

I suspect urban myth like hearing the difference between different makes of battery.

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The BC30 sounds great if you change out the tubes. I found the Sovtek 5881s and 6l6WXTs are just too brittle and too flabby sounding. They're work horse tubes that last forever but don't sound very good in this particular amp. I put in some Reflektor-marketed (ie not the winged C's) Svetlana 6L6GCs and EHX 12ax7ehs in v1' date=' v2 and v4 (reverb v3 and v5 are still stock Chinese 12ax7bs); and also a JJ rectifier tube. My od channel now sounds absolutely great - I actually prefer it to the clean channel. Sure it's still bright, especially on the bridge pickup but it has a huge, rich bottom end (almost piano-like) and an harmonically complex midrange that can only be called juicy. And, I can control it all from my guitar via pickup selection and tone and volume controls. I can back off the volume and get a reasonable clean tone; roll off the tone knob and get a good woman tone from the front pickup. On some all-Humbucker equipped guitars I have a phase switch that allows me to get some BB King and Peter Green type sounds; especially with the reverb turned up high.

 

I find though that you have to set the knobs on the amp in the right way so you don't unleash too much brightness. Independent mode on the eq is the only way to go. The interactive mode is pure icepick - great if you're going for the "Achilles Last Stand" guitar tone but too much brightness for everyday use. I run my bass knob on full, my treble on about 9-10 'o' clock and the mid knob on very low - about 8 'o' clock. The mid knob on the general eq is where all the nasty stuff is - keeping it low keeps all the brightness from coming through. On the drive channel I run the mid "contour" knob on full because that lets through the warmer lower midrange - on lower settings the tone is thin. I run the od gain between 12 and 3 'o' clock depending on the guitar I'm using. I still have an okay sound on the clean side but I would call it warm and Jazzy. But to get a better clean sound I just lift the treble a little more and maybe add just a touch more of the mids.

 

This amp does older guitar styles best - stuff like Blues, Rockabilly, Country, Jazz, 70s Fusion etc. It's not suited to really hard rock and detuned metal IMO. I even find that vintage sounding pedals work pretty well with this amp; fuzz, old-school phasers, Univibe clone pedals, analog delays and choruses all sound great; but modern high gain dirt boxes and digital delays and choruses sound rather bad and tinny. It takes some time and experimentation but you can get good sounds out of this amp without cutting any capacitors. I didn't like it at first but since the Svetlanas and 12ax7ehs went in I'm loving it.[/quote']

 

Yes, though I found the stock EH12AX7 not too bad (but really only ok for the reverb), the rest went into the parts bin.

 

The tone knobs do need careful adjustment, that's why I modded the treble cap to 660pF, even so if you want more bass, you turn the treble down, not the bass up. I prefer the interactive now, even so the knobs are all below "12 o'clock".

 

The little mod I did to the V2(?) cathode resistor gives a lot more drive if wanted, maybe not nail-file on a microphone but it will rock like a Marshall now. The drive's mid control is more effective now too.

 

The bright mods only audible with the vol knobs turned down, it it not necessary, especially with my master vol mod which allows them to be turned up so you utilise the pre-amps more.

 

The speakers do make a big difference, my Greenbacks do take the harsh sting out of this amp, I'm sure they're not unique for this, just that the stock ones are very harsh and stingy.

 

It's a shame they didn't sort these little problems out of this amp before it went on the market, everyone* comments on how harsh and uncontrollable the stock model is. *players I've spoken too who have either tried the BC30 out, or who have played my amp before and after I modded it. And yet it is a very good amp if a few simple mods are done to it, even so these are beyond the capability of the man on the Clapham omnibus, so it should have been sorted first.

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