#1
This is driving me nuts!

So I have a Laney Ironheart 120 head, and I'm running that via a Gibson SG goddess eith 498t/490r, and boosting it with a bad monkey with max volume, min gain.
The amp is being run at full wattage, about 3 o clock gain (8/10) and a pre boost within the amp set at a similar level. Considering this is all tube and designed for metal, why can't I play high speed shred where I wouldn't even have to touch the strings?! (That's obviously silly, but you get what I mean)

Stuff like tapping, sweeping, and general fast licks just don't sound like they have enough gain, even at those settings, and a OD pedal boosting it. I've previously used a POD X3 live, and that sounded great! Even though its all digital, I could fly through solos and they didnt sound dry or 'weak', plenty of liquidy gain to noodle up and down with.

I've had this amp for 3 months now so I refuse to believe it needs new tubes already? If I boost the gain on my OD pedal, it just turns to crap, and if I boost my amp gain anymore I get clipping. Would adding a higher gain pedal help? Or perhaps if I evened the gain out between multiple gain stages instead of just overdriving one heavy gain stage (pre amp?)

Also, while I'm at it, I'm getting a loud hum when my FX loop is being used, regardless of battery/Power supply, or type of pedal. And I get a hiss when my reverb is on and above 50% (on top of the current hiss generated by the amp gain)
Last edited by TheLazer at Nov 27, 2014,
#2
Is there any way you can record an example for us to hear?
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#3
From what your saying, it sounds like it maybe a technique issue
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#4
Quote by JustRooster
Is there any way you can record an example for us to hear?


I guess I could record a video tomorrow? Where could I upload that to as I only have access to my iPhones video camera at the moment. I'm sure you'd tell me I have enough gain already, and I do for my rhythm playing, with pinch harmonics and smaller licks sounding fine. It's just when I play solos my OD doesn't really do much despite nearly maxing the amp out already. If I try to add gain from the pedal it just sounds awful.

Would a compressor/sustainer help possibly? Basically I want a good 'solo' pedal!

Just annoyed I've spent hundreds on this amp, pedals (just dropped money on a decimator 2 g string and a crybaby bass wah, which I'll have tomorrow, so it's not the noise gate causing this!)
#5
Turn down your gain and try maxing the volume and with little to no gain on your pedal?
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Ashdown CTM 100
#6
I might be talking out of my ass here, but would the difference be that what you're getting now is mostly pre-amp distortion, and what you're looking for is power amp distortion? What are your amp settings? Are your mids scooped? (Is mid-scooping popular in shred? I don't listen to it much) If you can, lower the gain to 12 or 1 oclock, then bring up your volume a bit.

Your amp also has the Vari-watts system which is a built in attenuator, so maybe try bringing your wattage down, and then turn up the master volume?

Just throwing out some ideas that might help.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#7
Google's Gdrive is an easy place to upload your video to. Just set the sharing on the file to "anybody with the link" and then post that link here.
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#8
Okay, first of all- dont go buying more gear, pedals, whatever. You dont need a higher gain pedal or anything like that; the bad monkey is exactly what you need.

Secondly- disable the reverb for now and focus on your core tone. We will add the reverb after you get a sound that works.

Thirdly- what speaker cabinet are you playing through? If its something with vintage 30s I think that will make it easier to get a creamier liquidy tone. Atleast it works for me.

Okay, so give this a try. Keep your Bad monkey Gain at 0, bass and treble at 12oclock, and the level at anywhere from 12oclock to full.
On your amp, disable your preamp boost (if thats possible). Set your gain to around 1-2oclock. For your eq controls, put your bass around 11:30oclock, mids at 3oclock, and treble at 1-2oclock. Leave your master dynamics knob at 12oclock. Turn your master tone knob down to 9oclock, and see how it sounds. It should be fairly smooth, thick
Then, try slowly turning the tone knob up and see how much presence you can add without getting too buzz-sawish. Hopefully that gets you a more liquidy sound. I think you are going to crazy with the gain and putting too much importance on it.

The ironheart looks like an awesome amp. It should be capable of what you want.

PS: if you want it really liquidy, smooth use the neck pickup on your guitar. If you want it to have more bite to it, use your bridge.
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Last edited by Watterboy at Nov 27, 2014,
#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
From what your saying, it sounds like it maybe a technique issue


this is the answer. dude when shredding your notes should come out sounding pretty clean per se so that they are clear. my guess is that you are used to playing at low bedroom volumes and have a bunch of gain on so that is what you are looking for now. at low volumes you can get away with that and the sound covers up bad technique to a degree.

lay off the gain and learn to do all that cleanly and precisely. with gear like that it's you not the gear that is the problem. to be fair though check you tubes in case one of more is bad.
#10
Quote by Robbgnarly
From what your saying, it sounds like it maybe a technique issue

In my (pretty limited) experience, going to a tube amp from a SS/digital platform for the first time does take a bit of getting used to. I found this when going from my first amp (a £30 Laney Linebacker) to my all valve Marshall 6101. The sound from the Laney didn't react to picking dynamics at all, where as the Marshall reacts very differently to different strummimg or pick attack. Just my 2pence worth
My Gear:- A guitar, a guitar lead, a guitar amplifier. Or sometimes just an acoustic guitar!
#11
Quote by monwobobbo
this is the answer. dude when shredding your notes should come out sounding pretty clean per se so that they are clear. my guess is that you are used to playing at low bedroom volumes and have a bunch of gain on so that is what you are looking for now. at low volumes you can get away with that and the sound covers up bad technique to a degree.

lay off the gain and learn to do all that cleanly and precisely. with gear like that it's you not the gear that is the problem. to be fair though check you tubes in case one of more is bad.


It may be his technique; but he said he used the pod xt and it sounded great for his playing and solos ect.
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#12
Quote by Watterboy
It may be his technique; but he said he used the pod xt and it sounded great for his playing and solos ect.

I have a POD XT and it does sound good, but it is not any type of dynamic that you can get from a traditional amp
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#13
Quote by Robbgnarly
I have a POD XT and it does sound good, but it is not any type of dynamic that you can get from a traditional amp


Interesting. In what ways? Even through monitors? Ive noticed that my Zoom g3x sounds amazing in headphones, and unlike anything I could get with my tube amp. Through monitors it sounds worse than my tube amp by a lot.
Quote by suckmahnuts
Watterboy, I love you.

Quote by davrossss
You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

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#14
Sounds like too much gain. Roll it off some and see if the tone comes in.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
Yeah I'm with Robb, I also have noticed I can get away with inferior technique and a weaker stroke when using digital stuff. All the dynamics get squished so that you can get away with less force. It doesn't sound bad, it's just more forgiving to technique flaws.

TS, this would be a good time to tighten up any problems you have (even if you didn't realize it) with technique. Alternatively a compressor/sustainer may fix it, but then you are a slave to a pedal, in a way.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#16
Quote by Watterboy
Interesting. In what ways? Even through monitors? Ive noticed that my Zoom g3x sounds amazing in headphones, and unlike anything I could get with my tube amp. Through monitors it sounds worse than my tube amp by a lot.

The tone is there, the dynamics from pic attack are gone.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#17
Quote by Robbgnarly
The tone is there, the dynamics from pic attack are gone.


Has nothing to do with going from a tube amp to a Pod -- has everything to do with how you have things set up on the Pod.

One of the line 6 boys was hanging out at the Pasadena GC a few months ago, and some yahoo started telling him the same thing, "I get picking FEEL and DYNAMICS and all that from a tube amp and NEVER get that from a modeler." There's a demo HD500X there. The Line 6 guy looked it over, flipped some switches, poked at the menu, handed the guy a guitar and a pick and a cable, plugged him in and then said, "Here."

Pickety pickety pick.


"Oh."

I was half expecting Gilda Radnor to rise from the grave, assume her SNL Emily LaTella character and say, "Oh. That's Different. Nevermind."
#18
Yea, I get plenty of picking dynamics on my Zoom g3x. The thing sounds ridiculously articulate through headphones. I could see if the TS was used to playing his modeller through headphones and then switched to an amp in a room- the room has a huge effect on the sound, which can be a negative sometimes.
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You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

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#19
The newer HDs are pretty good about it, but as Dspellman mentioned it also matters how you have it set up. I imagine that TS had his POD setup for high gain with plenty of compression and thus is typical of that set up, not very responsive to differences in picking. I get decent result with my 300, but that's only if it is set up for it.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
Quote by Watterboy
Okay, first of all- dont go buying more gear, pedals, whatever. You dont need a higher gain pedal or anything like that; the bad monkey is exactly what you need.

Secondly- disable the reverb for now and focus on your core tone. We will add the reverb after you get a sound that works.

Thirdly- what speaker cabinet are you playing through? If its something with vintage 30s I think that will make it easier to get a creamier liquidy tone. Atleast it works for me.

Okay, so give this a try. Keep your Bad monkey Gain at 0, bass and treble at 12oclock, and the level at anywhere from 12oclock to full.
On your amp, disable your preamp boost (if thats possible). Set your gain to around 1-2oclock. For your eq controls, put your bass around 11:30oclock, mids at 3oclock, and treble at 1-2oclock. Leave your master dynamics knob at 12oclock. Turn your master tone knob down to 9oclock, and see how it sounds. It should be fairly smooth, thick
Then, try slowly turning the tone knob up and see how much presence you can add without getting too buzz-sawish. Hopefully that gets you a more liquidy sound. I think you are going to crazy with the gain and putting too much importance on it.

The ironheart looks like an awesome amp. It should be capable of what you want.

PS: if you want it really liquidy, smooth use the neck pickup on your guitar. If you want it to have more bite to it, use your bridge.



Hi all, sorry for the late reply.

Just want to say a huge thanks to this guy, he nailed my problem perfectly!

I didn't actually explain how I was running my setup fully in my original post, so this is what I had:

SG running at full vol/tune at all times. Always stuck to Bridge, unless on cleans I'd switch to both the 498T/490R (I really dont like the 490R on it's own!)
Bad Monkey with Vol at max, gain at 0, and the EQ's at 12 o clock, which a tiny boost the treble.
Ironheart was on the rhythm channel (Sounds tighter to me for some reason? Only use the lead channel for 'dirty' metal riffs. When set just right, you can get some nice delayed clipping that sounds like a really bassy, heavy fuzz) with the gain at about 3 o clock, and the pre-boost feature at a similar level.
My EQ's were pretty much all at 12 o'clock, with a slight reduction in treble and a tiny boost to the bass. The master section had the 'watts' feature at max (120), the tone at about 3 o'clock, and the resonance (Bass 'sag') at about 10-11 o'clock.

Now this created in that very icepicky tone, that had no feel, or power to it, and while it cut through the mix well, it just didn't sound nice.

An important point to make, is that I only used the bad monkey for a solo boost, and almost always had the amp's gain boosted by the pre-boost.

Then I listened to this guys advice... ^^^


I decided to boost my amp with the bad monkey instead, only throwing on the amp's pre boost for solos, and this worked amazingly. I instantly noticed my tone jump out, where it was originally just piling on more gain from the amps one (no EQ shift, literally just gain)
I changed the EQ's to how he said, and it sounded great! I think what I was doing before, was pushing the master EQ, and keeping the channels EQ really tame. So I was pushing the tone into harsh, brittle, icepick territory, and thinking I could tame that by reducing mids and treble, and boosting the bass a bit. Dumb move.

I turned the tone down to about 10 o clock now instead of 3, and it got bassier, smoother, less harsh. But I knew it wouldn't cut through the mix too well. So guess what? I boosted the mids to 3 o clock (I thought this guy was crazy. 3 o'clock mids for metal?) put the treble up a bit, and REDUCED the bass, and voila. Creamy tone, not harsh, nice sustain, etc.

I've kept the watts about midway now, i feel happy with that. And it seems easier in a live situation to give that a small nudge up or down, instead of setting the watts to max, and then having to tweak each channels volume independently.

Regardless, I'm so happy now with my tone! So thank you

By the way, do not knock the idea of a bass wah for guitar! I've been chasing Linde from HIM's tone for a while now, and I was amazed to find out his solo sound comes from the bass wah compared to a conventional crybaby for electric. It sounds so huge, and can make a hell of a lot of noise! Finally tried it out today at practise after getting it on Friday, and hell yeah, it sounds excellent!
#21
Glad those settings worked out for ya. Enjoy your amp- its a nice one
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You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

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