#1
I recently purchased my first tube amp head, a Peavey 3120 along with a Vader 212. I'm really quite satisfied with it overall. However, perhaps my lack of experience in the field of tube amps is the culprit, but whenever I have the amp cranked so the power tubes start to really work (passed 4 on the master volume with the channel volume at 10), a tone crippling feedback occurs. Only when I turn my gain down below 2 (On a 1-10 scale) does it fade.

I took it into my teacher and he said it was normal, because the amp did not give off feedback on the clean channel when cranked. However, he claimed that the issue is because my guitar, a Hellraiser FR w/ SD Blackouts AHB-1 & AHB-2, is the problem. His reasoning is because it is a solid body mahogany guitar. I tested an alder ESP Alexi sig to see if his claim held up and sure enough, the feedback was greatly diminished as well as the noise.

In your experience, does the wood of the guitar have any effect on how much feedback is created? Perhaps there is something else wrong with my guitar like wiring for instance?

Any suggestions, or thoughts are greatly appreciated.
#2
No... actually it's the pickups. The SD's are active while the ones on the ESP aren't.
Originally Posted by evening_crow
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#3
Quote by evening_crow
No... actually it's the pickups. The SD's are active while the ones on the ESP aren't.


I should have specified. It is last years model of Alexi's sig. The one that came with a single SD Blackout.

@David Collins, do you think that the wiring of the pickup might have something to do with it? After all, the pickups that are currently installed were not stock.
#4
I don't really think the wood of the guitar would make a difference at all, considering that feedback is strictly an electric thing. I mean granted it may make a very small effect but mostly it's going to be your pickups and amp set up.
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#6
Going on the fact that the wood makes a difference, how can I fix the problem, granted its fairly minor? Get a new guitar? And please don't respond with, "Turn the gain down LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!111!!"
#7
Get passive pups?

I have the same issue with my Jackson DKGMT to a lesser extent I just have to play farther away from the amplifier and everything is fine.
#8
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#9
I think the wood kinda does have an affect, because sustain gives a little more feedback from what I see.

Idk though.
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#10
Quote by David Collins
There's a lot to it that I honestly don't feel like typing here at the moment- If you want a fresh perspective to look at it from for ideas how to approach solving it, here's an old post that deals with that issue, at least peripherally. And here is another that deals more with high frequency feedback and pickup potting.

In the end you have to appraise the system as a whole - it's more often the combination of a lot of little factors, and sometimes you can nibble bits of the problem away from different angles until it becomes bearable or perhaps even goes away.

I let my local tech take a look at the wiring in my guitar and just a general inspection and he said everything looked superb. He did come up with a solution, though, and it works for the most part. He recommended that I turn down the volume on my guitar by ~10%. It's too small of a change to affect the tone, but just great enough to eliminate the feedback. Is it possible that the pickups are just abnormally hot?

I read through both of those links and I may have missed it, but I did not find any information that was 100% relevant as most of that information is about when the strings are vibrating. I experience feedback even when I have my hand muting all the strings, granted it is less intense then when I let the strings free.

What about the pickup height?? Would this have an effect? My bridge pickup is low enough that if I dive, using the tremolo bar, that it won't hit the pickup. It's much too late to test this at the moment, but I'll see if this has any effect. Any suggestions?
#11
i dont think wood really matters for feedback, if i was u id just get a noise suppressor and move on with my life
#12
Noise Gate might help a little with that, along with everything else mentioned

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#13
Quote by David Collins
If you're getting feedback with the strings firmly muted, and it's not the shrill, high frequency feedback you'll find with microphonic pickups, then it's simply du to resonance of the body vibrating both the muted strings, and vibrating the pickups relative to the strings. You may have some success with changing the pickup mounting (tighter or looser springs, surgical tubing perhaps), but I have to be honest in saying I don't know which direction would be better - anchoring them more firmly, or isolating them a bit more. Probably wouldn't make much difference either way though, to be honest.

I know you stated up front that this is not what you wanted to hear, but here it is anyway. A 120 watt head is simply not designed for playing in a small room 5 feet from the amp if you want to overdrive the EL34 or 6L6 power tubes. It's a stage amp. I'm sure it'd be great fun to get a Formula 1 car that can hit nearly 200mph, but you can't really complain that it doesn't take the corners at full speed when driving on a 1/4 mile track.

I honestly think the analogy is near perfect. In the end it comes down to the fact that you're trying to push your rig far outside of it's intended use or ideal environment it was designed for, and if everything is working exactly as it's supposed to, you're going to have problems.

I don't know what kind of attenuators are available today, or if you can get any without putting your amp at risk or affecting the tone significantly, but it may be something to look in to. You want the power tube overdrive, but with your massive stage amp that brings the volume to a point where things break down in your environment. There's no perfect answer short of a post-power amp, master volume system (Marshall Power Brake perhaps?).

I agree with your analogy. However, I don't think I'm asking very much. I'm asking for the formula 1 car to drive slowly around a corner, not take it at 200mph. Like I said, with the master at 3, the channel volume at 7+, I cannot turn the gain up passed 2. That means that there is still 80% more gain at my disposal that is inaccessible. My only question is, is this normal? The volume is not loud at all at this level.

One last consideration. Could my pickups be microphonic? Just a thought.
#14
You're guitar has active pickups AND a Floyd, right?

Sometimes the pickups will pickup the vibrations from the springs in the floyd, that might be your problem.
#15
I traded my 3120 for a 1990 Marshall JCM900 50w Dual Reverb 4500 with a mysterious mod that was installed by a previous owner that I was told "makes it sound amazing" and it does sound amazing.

Even with a different amp, I still have a crazy feedback problem. Not as intense, but its definitely still there.

After some testing, I think that it is either my Vader 212, or the finish on my guitar along with the wood. Apparently, the paint finish on a guitar can be more than enough to create some intense noise as it brightens the sound. The wood the guitar is comprised of can also make a huge difference, as well. The finish on my hellraiser is a quilted maple top made out of mahogany. I tried an identical guitar and received the same results. I then tested an esp m-1000 with SD blackouts and the feedback was terminated. The m-1000 is made out of alder with a flame top.

I tried out a 412 with V30s through the Marshall JCM900 with my hellraiser and there was no feedback at all on any volume. However, when played through my Vader 212, it still remains. Perhaps I just happen to be using a rig that just doesn't get along?

Edit: @Dave Collins, I purchased an attunator and the problem still exists, just at a lower volume, as expected.
Last edited by DrButterfunk at Aug 19, 2009,
#16
Quote by Super Cracker
I don't really think the wood of the guitar would make a difference at all, considering that feedback is strictly an electric thing. I mean granted it may make a very small effect but mostly it's going to be your pickups and amp set up.

Feedback isn't an "electric thing" at all, it's purely physical. The wood has an influence on the kind of feedback you get because the way the body vibrates will affect the sound. However the issue in this case will be the active pickups, the onboard preamp will make them far more sensitive to sympathetic vibrations.
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#17
Quote by steven seagull
Feedback isn't an "electric thing" at all, it's purely physical. The wood has an influence on the kind of feedback you get because the way the body vibrates will affect the sound. However the issue in this case will be the active pickups, the onboard preamp will make them far more sensitive to sympathetic vibrations.

I agree with you. I'm still confused as to why a different speaker cabinet terminated the feedback.