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Balancing External Preamp Volume With Hd500 Amp Models.

4cm hd500


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#1 parkinthepark

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

I'm using my HD500 with the 4cm to use my amp's preamp for high-gain sounds, and the HD500 for overdrive sounds, clean sounds, and all effects. I'm then using my amp's power amp and cabinet for reinforcement. 

 

Here's the trouble:  I get my clean (Blackface Vibrato, full amp) patch sounding just the way I want, and max the channel volume (it's the quietest patch).  Then I adjust my OD patch (PhD Motorway, full amp) to match the Blackface.  Now I adjust my amp's preamp to get its level to match the clean and od patches- by dropping the preamp volume/master volulme.  Doing this, I'm getting a lot fewer dB's at the speaker than I would get if I was running my amp without the HD500, there's so much volume drop that I'm having trouble getting back up to rehearsal/gig volume, even with the HD500's Master maxed.   

 

Setup/testing notes:

  • The amp is a Genz Benz El Diablo 60TS head, which has a serial, post-master FX loop.  GB's documentation is unclear if this loop runs at +4dBu or -10dBv. 
  • I run the HD500 FX loop in "line" mode, with a -7dB send and a +8dB return, per perapera's research. [Updated Link]
  • Before using the HD500, keeping the amp's channel volume at about 50% and the master volume at about 30-40%, I was able to get good rehearsal/gig volume.
  • I'm matching patch levels using the HD500's looper (pre-processing) and an iPhone dB meter at bedroom and rehearsal volumes.

 

Solutions I've tried:

  1. Running an Xotic EP-booster (maxed, for about +20dB boost) between the HD500's output and the amp's FX return.  This provided adequate levels, but I prefer to use the EP-booster before the HD500 (not maxed).
  2. Using the "Tube Comp" model after my clean and OD amp models.  This provides adequate levels, but I'm unsatisfied with its effects on the clean patch's tone.

TL;DR version- My clean patches aren't loud enough to drive my power amp to rehearsal/gig volumes.  

 

Does anyone have advice on getting a squeaky-clean patch to match the level of a physical high-gain preamp? (no, I'm not interested in a new amp or a frfr solution)


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#2 ftuller

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:13 AM

In addition to using the mixer levels like rootmusic said, you can also use volume in amp edit which as far as I know is just a straight volume knob (no change to gain level). Using mixer and/or amp volume you should be able to match the clean and gain patch volumes.
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#3 bjnette

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:47 AM

Sounds like one of the toggle switches on the HD. The top and bottom ones will effect the tone to your amp.

Another way to increase volume is the "master volume" menu page usually 50% by default.

Make sure you switch of the Amp Block in the HD when using your Amp's preamp. It is easy to forget to if your FX loop is before it in the chain.


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#4 perapera

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:20 PM

hi parkinthepark!

and thanks for the quote ;)

please note that I reposted the fx loop level problem here:

http://line6.com/sup...-the-send-jack/

this post is much more complete and clear I think, so could you edit your link, please? thanks

 

now, on your main question, I think that "post-master" fx loop could be the thing generating the problem,

anyway try out any (or all) of these:

- flip the pod 1/4 output switch to "line"

- pan both mixer channels to center

- rise the mixer faders

- discard my "return +8" suggestion so that your preamp will sound quieter


 

p.s.:

and by the way, if you have time, read this thread of mine about using the looper to match levels:

http://line6.com/sup...-signal-by-6db/


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#5 perapera

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:07 PM

I read your amp's manual and I must say the fx loop thing isn't too clear:

 

"The EL DIABLO is designed with a serial effects loop. The effects loop is a post master section loop and is an ideal place to send the entire preamp signal out to another amp using only the send jack, or to insert a global effect such as a compressor (serial effect) or a digital effects processor (a serial effect when used with the processor’s own “wet/dry” mix control). The return is also a handy input for connecting the power amp stage to the output of another preamp or signal source"


 

the two sentences I bolded are clearly in contraddiction with one another:

the master volume of the amp should clearly be after the return not before the send...

...so this is the volume control you must use to get the desided reharsal level


 

and you should definitely use the output switch of the pod on "line" position


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#6 parkinthepark

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:33 AM

And we're sorted.  The mixer gave me enough boost to get my Blackface patches up to the level of my external preamp.  Attenuating the preamp (either using its physical controls, or tweaking the return level in the HD500) results in not enough volume to drive the power amp to rehearsal levels.

 

Now with my amp's preamp volume at around 40%, and the amp's master volume at 50%, I can get to rehearsal volume by setting my HD500's Master at 50%.  Perfecto.

 

 

 

the master volume of the amp should clearly be after the return not before the send...

...so this is the volume control you must use to get the desided reharsal level

 

The manual is a bit spotty. I've tested that the Master does indeed control the send level (it has no effect when bypassing the preamp), and checked the amp's schematic- the Master is located before the send.  In some ways, though, it is nice to move my overall Master control down to the pedalboard.


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