#1
what affects the 'voicing' of an amp (ie. Brit Voicing vs. USA voicing) the most?

originally, I thought the main variable was power tubes - 6L6s or 6V6s for a smoother, creamier tone (ie. Fender, Mesa) and EL34s for a more gritty, crunchy tone (ie. Marshall, Vox), but I've heard many people say that power tubes only make a subtle difference to the tone and voicing. If you take a Mk. V and a JCM800, both use the same preamp tubes (ECC83/12AX7) so what other variables are there which affect the voicing of an amp.
#2
I believe it's the tone stack that makes the most difference.
However, I don't know much about amps, so I could be wrong.
Last edited by Baby Joel at Nov 8, 2009,
#4
Of yourse the tubes do a lot to the sound, but it's the wiring what makes the sound, otherwise every tube amp would sound similar, wouldn't they?
#5
I think American refers to the Fender sound, that scooped tone thanks to the tonestack. British is the Marshall sound which still comes from a Fender tonestack but from a different one, the Bassman-s tonestack which have more mids and less bass and treble than the "standard" "american" tonestack.
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Last edited by Daneeka at Nov 8, 2009,
#6

This is the inside of a tube amp, every single componet and its position effects the tone.
#7
Well keep inside with Mesa, the circuitry is different. Randall Smith, when created an amp for a pro, to be safe that it worked, added an extra tube gain stage and created high gain that way by accident.

However,
that's just one of the numerous differences between Marshall and Mesa. As Rhoads_1096 mentioned, every single component and its position affects the tone.
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#9
the whole thing, thats why it's such a vague term, it's the overall sound, not like tubes or speakers which add their own discreet characteristics
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#10
well, from what I know, Brit voiced amps have a more pronounced midrange (marshall, vox) while american voiced amps have a more cut midrange (mesa boogie, Peavey) and german voiced amps have a cut midrange with the low mids boosted (ENGL, Framus)
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#11
Quote by SwampAshSpecial
Of course - EVERYTHING has an impact, but what is it that has the most affect out of all the things inside the amp?
What has the "most" affect? The component that has the single biggest impact is probably your output transformer. But again, that in itself does not determine your tone, the interactions between different components is synergistic in determining your tone, it all matters.
#12
Quote by SwampAshSpecial
originally, I thought the main variable was power tubes - 6L6s or 6V6s for a smoother, creamier tone (ie. Fender, Mesa) and EL34s for a more gritty, crunchy tone (ie. Marshall, Vox), but I've heard many people say that power tubes only make a subtle difference to the tone and voicing.


You were right originally, don't listen to the masses.
#14
Quote by forsaknazrael
^no, that's a bit of an overstatement. There are American and British amps with either 6v6 or EL84 tubes, and they sound different. There's much more to their voicing than power tube type.

Of course, of course. A good 1959SLP will still sound like a Plexi, even if you fit it with 6L6s instead of the usual EL34, KT77 etc.

But as a generalisation, it's the tube type that is the defining characteristic. It might not be the tube itself that's the lone cause, but simply that manufacturers prefer to stick with certain tube types for certain applications.
#15
Quote by AxSilentxLine
The amp circuitry


+1

Quote by forsaknazrael
^no, that's a bit of an overstatement. There are American and British amps with either 6v6 or EL84 tubes, and they sound different. There's much more to their voicing than power tube type.

yeah, definitely. for example, a blues junior still sounds pretty fendery, an orange rockerverb sounds pretty british.

i know what kyle's saying about certain tubes being used for certain types of circuits because they're assumed to be for that type of tones, and the purists will pay more if it has the "right" tubes, but if you can build an amp with the "wrong" tubes and still get the "right" sound, that to me suggests that the tubes aren't the most important thing in defining the amp's tone, y'know?
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#16
Don't forget speakers too, even though they have a less impact then components, capacitors and tubes, they do effect the voicing of an amplifier.

Take Diezel for example, they don't sound american or british, but german. They have EL34s, they have 6L6s, they even have KT77s, but they still sound more german then british or american because of the components used.


Take the JTM45, the biggest difference between a Fender Bassman and a JTM45 is the speaker choice that Jim made
#17
Quote by kyle62
Of course, of course. A good 1959SLP will still sound like a Plexi, even if you fit it with 6L6s instead of the usual EL34, KT77 etc.

But as a generalisation, it's the tube type that is the defining characteristic. It might not be the tube itself that's the lone cause, but simply that manufacturers prefer to stick with certain tube types for certain applications.

I understand what you're getting at, but in that case, it would be more correct to say that there is a distinct construction and component trend that many amplifier companies tend to follow.
#18
Generally the tonestacks. Ever tried an amp without any sort of signal processing or EQ? I'm talking input to speaker, with only enough extra wiring for the bare bones of a tube amp. The difference in Tubes on that level seems to be a small change in the character of the overdrive, notably in the level of distortion caused by the output of the pickups, but there was no combination that struck me as particularly American or British. Once we started testing with other speakers, more of the 'British' and 'American' tone starting appearing, but it was only like.. half of the tone if that makes sense.

In conclusion.. if anything I would say it's least the tube themselves, and about a 50 50 mix between EQ and the voicing of the speakers.

From the experiment I also found the perfect amp for me.. lack of EQ sounds kind of meh with Tubes, but with solid state sounds amazing.
#19
Amps start their voicing right after the input jack. There are many components that have an effect on the tone of an amp. Swapping out a cathode capacitor for a smaller one can tighten up a loose sounding amp. Removing one will change the sound again. There are many ways to change the voicing of an amp whilest keeping the same tubes.
#20
Quote by TimmyPage06

From the experiment I also found the perfect amp for me.. lack of EQ sounds kind of meh with Tubes, but with solid state sounds amazing.

Reverse that statement now!!!! Mr. Jim Marshall would like a word with you, as would the founders of the Vox company, Leo Fender and Jimi Hendrix is here as well.
Last edited by SwampAshSpecial at Nov 8, 2009,