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capn_gaz

Whats the best way to overdrive a blues custom 30 at "bedroom" levels?

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Hey all,

 

I'm wondering if anyones got some tips for the best way of overdriving my bc30 at quite time volumes?

I'm after that overdriven musical tone and not a distorted fizzy sound, I have a marshall blues breaker (original) and turning that up just seems to make the tone sound fizzy (no grunt or power behind it if you will).

I play a Casino and also have a Boss ge-7 eq pedal and a Boss Micro BR which can be linked up for an effect or two.

 

I'm hoping not to have to buy anything else unless its something that will really help. I've heard of something called a yellowjacket, which im not too sure of - would buying these help much or would the money be better spent on just buying a new small amp?

 

Like I say though I'm hoping to get the best out of what ive already got.

 

Many thanks,

Gareth

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There's really no way, short of a major modifying to add power scaling, or buying an outboard attenuator or isolation cabinet, to get a small, medium, or large powered tube amp to an overdriven state at bedroom volume levels. Yellow jackets would reduce the volume some, but likely not to bedroom levels.

 

This is why God made many different sizes of amps, down to 1/4 watt.

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This is why God made many different sizes of amps' date=' down to 1/4 watt. [/quote']

 

Yeah, unfortunately he only made my wallet big enough to buy one amp to try and use for different occasions though.

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Frankly the only way you're going get that valve overdrive sound is to push the output valves and that means cranking the amp which simply cannot happen at bedroom levels (unless your bedroom is soundproofed/on a deserted island somewhere/you hate your neighbours). A decent attenuator such as one of the Weber mass will go some way to help but even then you're going to see some noticeable loss in tone once you really attenuate the signal. Still quite useable but not a cheap solution. Pedals will help a bit but remember that they're only overdriving the preamp stage so still won't give you that overdriven output valve sound.

 

Best bet at bedroom levels is probably a small ss practice amp or an fx unit and speakers or headphones.

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buy a fender champ 600, I think they are 139-149, at musiciansfriend.com.......you take what ever price they are advertising it for, and take 10% off ( because guitarcenter's web site says they will beat any adv price by 10%) then take that number and tell musiciansfriend.com or music123.com and they will take it at least 5 to 10 bucks lower, I will bet you can get it for almost $100

 

the reason I know this works is because the new epi wilshire is $379 new, I got music123 down to $325 right now, i just dont know if i wana pull the trigger yet

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Best bet at bedroom levels is probably a small ss practice amp or an fx unit and speakers or headphones.

 

If this is an option for you' date=' I can highly recommend the Vox Valvetronix line of hybrid amps. The AD--VT (old) and the new VT series come in 15, 30, 50 and 100 watt sizes. They have a 12AX7 in the preamp section (I think) but it does much more than just give "tube-like color" to the preamp. The 12AX7 is used in a "Valve Reactor Circuit", in an unconventional way, to create a miniature true tube circuit, which is amplified by solid state. To put it simply, you can think of it as a tiny tube amp mic'd through a solid state (clean) sound support system. The VT series have 22 amp models from warm clean to total raunch, as well as patches for selected popular songs. They take pedals well - I use a Boss ME-50 and an MXR Carbon Copy Analog delay. The onboard fx are also quite usable. The build quality is pretty good and they are cheap like borscht. Oh, and they all have built-in output wattage attenuators!

 

I already owned an AD50VT but also had an Epi Valve Standard. I wanted to trade the Standard in for a Valve Senior, but there was only one available in the Vancouver area at the time, so I just went out and bought the Vox VT50. That was one of the best gear decisions I have ever made! I am convinced it is the best sounding and most versatile amp I have ever owned (for the type of music I currently play). My tube Fenders, Peavey and Ampeg are ancient history and I don't have the bux to replace them at 21st Century prices [blink

 

Good luck...

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Yeah, unfortunately he only made my wallet big enough to buy one amp to try and use for different occasions though.

'tis not your God who has limited the size of your wallet, my good cap'n!

 

Shortfalls of means are why God created part-time jobs! ;-)

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'tis not your God who has limited the size of your wallet' date=' my good cap'n!

 

Shortfalls of means are why God created part-time jobs! ;-)

 

[/quote']

 

Then i'd have no time to play guitar! Also it's not affording a new amp, I'm just really tight and cant justify in my mind buying a second one.

 

Many thanks to everyone for the replies. Maybe saying bedroom levels was a bit overboard - I dont turn the sound all the way off and very slowly turn up until its barely audible, but max volume on the clean channel I can could probably get away with without it heading through the walls to the neighbors is about 1/4 up, maybe 1/3 at a really big stretch during the day - they are pretty old and its not fair to have it loud enough for them to hear so do my best to keep it down.

I think the VVR option is a bit too much modding for me but a good idea.

I've tried the valvetronix amps before and thought they sounded alright but I cant really justify making extra room and buying a second amp - thats why I was hoping just to use the blues custom 30 but get some nicer low volume tone out of it.

 

I've thought about more pedals but as wiggy said "Pedals will help a bit but remember that they're only overdriving the preamp stage so still won't give you that overdriven output valve sound." so thinking it might be the wrong way to spend the money. The boss micro br I have has amp simulations but they just dont sound the same as a real tube amp, there's no replacing them really is there?

 

I'm thinking that either the fender champ 600 like Max suggested or the THD yellow jackets i've seen are the only real way to get what i'm after - the triode version of the yellow jackets with the bc30 on 15w mode should cut things down a bit.

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If you can get away with cranking the amp to around a 1/3rd of the way up then the Weber Mini Mass might well work for you. You would be able to dial in all the power stage o/d that you want and then crank the attenuator back to a volume level equivalent to 1/3rd volume on the unattenuated amp. At those levels of attenuation the tone lose with the Mini Mass is very small (works different to a normal resistive load type of attenuator)

 

Great thing with the Weber is that you can have it with a line out and a headphone tap as well.

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