#1
I have a Peavey Ultra Plus 120 and each channel has a volume and gain setting (clean channel only has a volume setting), with a master volume. I know that master volume typically controls the power amp section and the channel volume controls the preamp section. I normally crank the master pretty high (8+) along with having the channel volume high/maxed out, and I keep the gain a bit lower (at around 3-4).

I always hear people talking about running there amps high to get more power to the tubes, but I hear people saying that you should either crank the power tubes or the preamp tubes. I suppose it all depends on the situation, but I was always under the impression that the power tubes are the ones you want cookin'.

My question regarding this though is: Which one of the volumes would be better to crank/not crank in order to get a more "clear" tone, or rather, a smoother tone/gain sound? I wouldn't say so much that it's the settings on the amp; it has a good bass response and I know it's not really flubbing out on me. It's more of the amps gain structure (I guess?), and overall clarity between the two volume controls ad gain control.

I hope that makes a bit of sense... any help is appreciated. Thanks guys!
#2
You want to open the power amp as much as possible. So Master on 10. You need to set you channel volumes to different levels to balance it out so the only thing you can really dime is the Master Volume itself.
If you want to get the cleanest possible sound out of the amp and don't need to switch channels, dime both the MV and the CV and use the gain as your volume.
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#3
Quote by Cathbard
You want to open the power amp as much as possible. So Master on 10. You need to set you channel volumes to different levels to balance it out so the only thing you can really dime is the Master Volume itself.
If you want to get the cleanest possible sound out of the amp and don't need to switch channels, dime both the MV and the CV and use the gain as your volume.


The only channel switching I do is from clean to crunch (don't really use the lead channel that much).

Will that general idea still run through into recording? I know you don't want large amounts of gain during recording, but cranking the MV and CV and using gain as actual volume control sounds like it would work pretty well in a live setting.
#4
Yeah. That's the cleanest way to run the amp. For your distortion sounds, just twiddle until it sounds good.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
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Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#5
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah. That's the cleanest way to run the amp. For your distortion sounds, just twiddle until it sounds good.


Awesome, thanks man. Time to do a little tweaking then.
#6
It doesn't matter (provided your power amp isn't distorting). If you're getting the same level of volume, the same amplitude signal is present at the power tubes' grids. The only difference would be if there's an effects loop or something after the channel masters, or if the global master is post PI. Set the amp to where you think it sounds best and don't worry about anything else.

The preamp/power tube thing is a myth. Neither is inherently better. Preamp distortion tends to be smoother and tighter, while power amp distortion tends to be a bit more aggressive, but flubbier in the low end. Though those are gross generalities that don't apply to all amps. Again, whichever one you prefer is the one to use, though power tube distortion from a 120W amp is only going to come at obscene volumes. Like 110dB or more at the very least, depending on speakers used, which will cause permanent ear damage pretty quickly without protection. Plus you're always going to be getting preamp distortion in conjunction with power amp distortion. There's no either/or.
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#7
It has a switch to take it down to 60 watts but I like to keep it at 120 for more headroom on the clean channel. I guess obscene volume is kind of what I'm going for (stoner/sludge metal).

Thank you though, that was a good bit of info to have. I'll continue to tinker with it and see what comes out best.
#8
Quote by mmolteratx
It doesn't matter (provided your power amp isn't distorting). If you're getting the same level of volume, the same amplitude signal is present at the power tubes' grids. The only difference would be if there's an effects loop or something after the channel masters, or if the global master is post PI. Set the amp to where you think it sounds best and don't worry about anything else.

The preamp/power tube thing is a myth. Neither is inherently better. Preamp distortion tends to be smoother and tighter, while power amp distortion tends to be a bit more aggressive, but flubbier in the low end. Though those are gross generalities that don't apply to all amps. Again, whichever one you prefer is the one to use, though power tube distortion from a 120W amp is only going to come at obscene volumes. Like 110dB or more at the very least, depending on speakers used, which will cause permanent ear damage pretty quickly without protection. Plus you're always going to be getting preamp distortion in conjunction with power amp distortion. There's no either/or.


yeah

110dB sounds very low for a 100 watter, unless you're using really low efficiency speakers. i think i clocked my little vht special 6 at like 106dB and it wasn't even anywhere near fully up. and i was probably further than a metre away from the speaker, too, when i took the reading.

EDIT: agreed about the hearing damage thing. 5 watters can easily cause hearing damage, let alone 100 watters.
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#9
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah

110dB sounds very low for a 100 watter, unless you're using really low efficiency speakers. i think i clocked my little vht special 6 at like 106dB and it wasn't even anywhere near fully up. and i was probably further than a metre away from the speaker, too, when i took the reading.

EDIT: agreed about the hearing damage thing. 5 watters can easily cause hearing damage, let alone 100 watters.


I did say at the very least. I think the loudest I've ever gotten an amp was the 100W Cameron which got to 126dB with Creambacks.
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#10
yeah i know, no worries

and holy cack

i didn't have a dB meter when i used to crank my engl

it was crazy loud though even with earplugs
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?