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Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-04 06:03:44
Heyy,

I'm running my Ibanez SC420 with Seymour Duncan Blackout active pickups into a Line 6 Spider Valve HD100 head.

I'm totally happy with the sound I get, all the gain I could want and more, but my issue is that when playing with the master volume turned up past a certain point (around 9 o clock) I begin to get a nasty high pitched squeak whenever I mute my strings. Since the type of music I play relies on a lot of dead stops, this can't go on.

The problem is solved by turning the drive knob on my head right down to around 12 o clock (differs depending on the master knob's setting), but doing this kills a lot of my high-end gain, which for metal music is also a no go :(

I use a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor which does a good job for regular noise and a superb job at lower levels, but when I crank the amp those squeaks get through. I've connected the NS-2 at the end of my daisy chain, I'm not entirely sure how to connect it to the FX loop -- would I use the Input/Output or the Send/Return on the pedal, and would I connect them to the Power/Pre in and outs on the back of the head?

The setup's absolutely fine if the master volume's below around 9 o clock, I can have the drive up around 3 o clock where I usually like to keep it without any noise whatsoever, but at certain shows (usually the lamer ones where the cabs aren't miced and I have to turn up to compete with the drummer) we end up with nasty squeakies. The problem also seems related to my Presence control, i.e. I have to turn it to around noon if the feedback creeps in.


HELP!!
__________________

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by spaceatl on 2008-10-04 07:12:00
might be a bad preamp tube...do the pencil test...Tap the tube lightly with a pencil while the amp is up...If you hear it, you need them replaced...Welcome back to the tube world...

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-04 11:20:48
Okay man, I'll give that a try tomorrow when it's not so late and I can really crank it. They are just the stock tubes that came in the amp, I've not touched them or anything since getting it. Should I turn the amp up to the point where its doing the feedback problem and then tap them, or should it louder / quieter than that?

Any opinions on the NS2? How am I supposed to connect it for it to work in the FX loop, I'd like to give that a try. I'd also like to try putting my EQ pedal there, a friend told me I would get a lot more range out of the EQ if I put it in the loop as it'd be EQ'ing the modelled tone.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by docjonty on 2008-10-04 15:18:47
turn your gain down .
I found you get this when the gain is too high along with the channel volume.
Believe me, a little less gain at gig volume will be compensated with tube saturation once the volume is up.
If you have adjusted gain for practice volumes, it is likely to be way to high for gigs - I`ve finally convinced my son of the wisdom of this approach.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Breaklight on 2008-10-04 21:03:50
Dude! I know where you're coming from when you say you are into metal. Same here and always a bit reluctant to ease on the drive.... ;-)

Well... it took me a lot of selfpersuasion to get the drive down to an acceptible level and not loosing to much of the high end gain but believe me.... after ruling out any tube problems you really should bring down the gain and crank up the master!

I played in a death metal band for years so I know what it's like fighting the feedback all the time! Now I play in a pretty loud metal band with the drive only at about 9 o'clock! and let the master do the rest! This gives me a very tight riff sound with loads of sustain (fresh set of strings of course) and really quiet and sharp breaks.
Don't let it scare you to dail back the drive this far but it works to eliminate most of the annoying feedback! Maybe it takes a bit more to pay attention to what your playing because lots and lots of drive on your sound 'flattens' the picked tone so to speak.... in other words; it really doesn't matter anymore how hard, or soft you pick a string, it all sounds evenly voluminous and full with drive..... let alone the feedback that kicks in at any time!
The 9 o'clock setting gives you tremendous attack and dynamics with the same metal sound colour especially with a cranked up mastervolume!!

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Breaklight

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by docjonty on 2008-10-05 04:47:01
see my HD100 live post.
It took me quite some time to convince my 13 [soon to be 14] year old son to back off on the drive for gig volumes.

Even though the live sound is crap, it certainly isnt lacking in overdrive.

Shadowplay is a modified version of the JCM800 setting linked to via this site.
The rest are my own modified sliknot patches - less drive, less channel volum, down on treble a bit and a tad more mid.

Next time , I will hopefully have a zoom H2 , so can get a better audio recording.
The myspace track - the echo imperative, is all HD100 , on the modded slipknot setting...again, the drive is only just above 12 0`clock.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-05 15:52:59
I'm pretty hesitant to ease off the drive quite that much, it affects my sustain especially with palm-muted notes, and generally makes things sound muddy and unpleasant. I've watched back videos recorded at shows with the gain down and the master up and it's not pleasing to my ears.. I don't need uber-uber gain, but at the same time I do need as much as I can get.

Anyone got any advice on the best place to wire up my NS2?

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by AndyParedes on 2008-10-07 10:41:40
Hello,
A couple things:

1) Try to pencil test by tapping pencil on the 12AX7 tubes. If you are getting ringing, it is time to replace the tubes.

2) You can try putting your noise gate in the loop by going from the Preamp out (effect send) to the unit input, and from the unit output to the power amp in (effects loop return). Check with the manufacturer to ensure this unit can handle line level input and output.

3) There has been a lot of talk over the years on how to reduce noise/feedback when playing with high gain settings at a high volume. see the following document for more tips:

[4504] Reducing Pops, Hum, Noises, and Feedback Through an Amplifier
http://line6.com/support/entry!default.jspa?categoryID=1&externalID=4504&fromSearchPage=true

Regards,
Line 6

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Breaklight on 2008-10-23 09:23:54
@thisjanuary

>I don't need
> uber-uber gain, but at the same time I do need as
> much as I can get.

Well, there you go, you are on your way creating the sound you need with?.... easing on the drive!
You won't lose anything of your sustain and the attack using palm muting will be deafening! It takes some real efford to get the right gain/drive that satisfy your needs.

I visited the most brutal death metal concerts and as a guitarist paying attention to the guitarsounds that were a challenge to my eardrums. That's where I found out that it is impossible playing at high volumes with loads of gain which caused a difficult to handle guitarsound.
I've seen Nevermore, Carcass, Grave, Hypocrisy, Enslaved, Obituary.. etc.. etc.. and all those guys had their gain pretty much 'balanced' so to speak. Enough to get the full deathmetal sound and the sustain that goes with it, but low enough in order to avoid unwanted feedback with the help of a decent noise gate. With a cranked up the gain at maximum, any noise gate will break sooner or later and you'll have an aweful feedback that is difficult to restrain!

So, don't dail back the gain below your satisfaction, but try to stay between the razorsharp metalsound that gets you off and the overload that gets you down!

Cheers,

Breaklight

;-)

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by gtrplr71 on 2008-10-23 17:51:54
I think the problem is partially the active electronics they are a lot hotter than passive try it with a passive pickup system. I have a set of blackouts that do that as well and I always back the gain way off withat those pickups!

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by docjonty on 2008-10-24 04:54:09
Get the most heavily shielded lead you can find also.

Even if you are running pretty hot passive PUPs they are sensitive to microphonic leads...seem to be more so than many other amps.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by spaceatl on 2008-10-24 05:38:23
+1

Shielding helps for electrostatic interference but NOT electromagnetic interference (That's where most hums come from)...For that make sure your lead uses a twisted pair for the positive and negative...For best results, make sure the shield is lifted on one end (the guitar side of the lead)...

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-31 10:30:42
Okay, it's not the pickups. 100%. I made this video of the guitar cable plugged through the normal setup:

http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=fw0eat&s=4

Take a look at it, and listen for the squeaky noises increasing as I turn up the Drive knob. That's the same kinda squeaking noise I get when I mute my strings or play dead stops.

That's what I need to get rid of it, just to clear up any confusion.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-31 10:31:41
I use one of the higher-end Planet Waves cables, nothign amazing. It has a shielded end and a non-shielded end, I use the shielded end in the gear, not the guitar. That right?

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by ricksox on 2008-10-31 11:34:14
It's not just your pickups but they are contributing to it. The fact that you have a 100 watt tube head and you are using the Blue Insane model with the driver all the way up is a good indication as to why you're getting this kind of feedback.

You can try backing your strings away from your pups a little bit, easing off the gain/drive will help too.

Take a look at some of these articles on gain stage.

http://www.sweetwater.com/expert-center/glossary/t--GainStage


http://www.guitarsite.com/discussion/messages/23765.shtml


Line6Miller

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-10-31 13:27:31
I don't want to ease off the gain. Since I have to gate my pre-amp section anyway the NS-2 kills a lot of the natural resonance of the tone. Of which my thin guitar has precious little anyway.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2008-10-31 14:26:12
> I don't want to ease off the gain.

I must say, Insane Blue + 100% drive = recipe for squealing feedback. I wouldn't expect anything different for any guitar you'd plug in there. Just because it goes to 11 doesn't mean you have to crank it that high.

Back off the gain until you think it sounds thin, wait 5 minutes, then come back and cut it in half. Then back off a little more. Then turn the master up. You probably won't need your NS-2 anymore after that, and you'll have all the sustain and chunk you'll ever need.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-11-01 12:52:57
I don't want chunk. And there's no sustain at all at that level, it's flat, unpleasant, and has little to no high-end.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2008-11-01 15:04:24
Weird. Maybe it's your pickups. You should have GOBS of gain and sustain on the Insane Blue, even at the minimum drive position. Battery on your pickups dead? Are they raised up enough? As I recall, actives should be as close to the strings as possible.

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by spaceatl on 2008-11-01 15:40:51
+1...

It does take a little volume in the room and proximity to get sustain to work...The lower the gain the more master you need...But still, these models have tons of gain...The patches I use with the band are pretty dead when I do a little practicing at bedroom level...

Could this be a bad tube(s)?

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2008-11-01 16:29:59
> Could this be a bad tube(s)?

Perhaps a bad preamp tube? But he does get some nice squealing feedback turning the gain on the Insane blue up past 12:00, just by shorting the guitar cord. So far, I'm leaning toward weird pickup configuration/setup. That and unreasonable gain expectations. :)

Sorry dude!

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by spaceatl on 2008-11-02 11:37:01
Maybe he needs something like a CS-2 to get the sustain he is looking for without all the gain...

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by thisjanuary on 2008-11-02 11:38:35
How can it be my pickups if I'm getting the squealing without the guitar even plugged in?

And also, I already have a CS-2 :)

Re: Spider Valve HD100 feedback problem!
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2008-11-02 12:07:33
> How can it be my pickups if I'm getting the squealing
> without the guitar even plugged in?

Again...Insane Blue...drive past 12:00...short the guitar cable by touching the plug, it's GOING to squeal. They don't call it Insane for nothing. :D

You need a really good downward expanding noise reduction system like the Decimator Pro Rack G to deal with squealing feedback on high gain amps like that. No gate like the one in the SV is going to be adequate to the task.