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Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by flanger001 on 2010-08-21 19:38:23

Hi Line 6 support & forum denizens,

I have a Spider Valve MK2 112 and I'm trying to figure out how to use the Performance Mode setting on the direct XLR output. I understand that in that mode, the signal is tapped directly from the output transformer, so there is tube interaction in the sound. Awesome! However, that means the output level is also directly tied to the master volume control, and everyone who has this amp knows it starts to get really loud between 9:00 and 12:00 on the master. I have found this to be the case with the signal coming out of the XLR output; it is a very hot signal at performance volumes. I guess that's to be expected from tubes at lethal voltages.

So, say I want to use the XLR output instead of miking the amp when I play live, and I'm not interested in simply using Studio Mode. My questions are, how do I go about doing that? Would an XLR input on your typical Mackie/Yamaha mixer be able to handle such a hot signal, or would I be better off using an in-line -10dB pad? Could I use an XLR -> TRS cable and run the amp into a balanced line-level input instead? Should I buy a Red Box?

This amp sounds awesome by the way. The Spider Valve Edit software and the great sound of the amp have made it the object of all my friends' envy, which I enjoy. I'm happy to have joined the Line 6 crew!

Thanks for getting back to me and any advice you might have!

Dave



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-08-22 02:27:29

Hi Dave

The performance mode DI output is going to be affected by your master volume setting and if you're like most guitarists I know (myself included) they tweak their master volume settings constantly throughout most live performances    This may not go down too well with the FOH mix engineer who I am sure like most would prefer a set and forget approach which of course the Studio mode provides.

A lot of desks will find the DI out signal quite hot and for those that don't offer an input Pad there is a potential problem of clipping.  Some in-line DI boxes will offer a couple of preset PAD levels with which you can reduce the signal level supplied to the PA desk, and it might be worthwhile investing in something like this if you use different PA systems at different venues.  The Behringer Ultra DI 100 is not expensive and whilst accepting an XLR connection from the Spider Valve MkII it has two -20dB attenuation switches which offer up to -40dB reduction when both are pressed.  I have three of these DI boxes primarily purchased for other uses, but for the money they are great value and pretty rugged too.

You could try a balanced XLR lead to balanced TRS plug, but for the money I'd look at the Behringer.

Regards

Nick



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by flanger001 on 2010-08-22 05:51:42

Nick,

Great! That was extremely helpful and definitely what I was looking for. I had considered the Behringer Ultra DI100 option, but my question then just gets shifted to the DI box. Do you suppose that box will be able to handle that loud a signal? If you do, then I'll take your word on it and order one up tomorrow, plus you will have points on your way!

Dave



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-08-22 06:10:30

Hi

Well the Behringer Ultra DI 100 is able to cope with speaker power output levels of up to 3000 (yes three thousand) watts as are some othe models just by connecting the DI 100 across an amp's speaker terminals if you wish - and that's not what you are going to be doing.  The -40dB Pad will handle the necessary drop in level should it be needed.

I can certainly try one of my DI 100's on the DI output in Performance mode to see what happens, but I cannot crank the amp's volume to gig levels here at home unfortunately or my neighbours will have my guts for garters, so the exercise wouldn't provide real world results.

I haven't tested the exact scenario you want to work with but I am confident that the Behringer unit will do what you need it to do and for £25 GBP even if I didn't know the DI 100 at all, I would be prepared to take the risk at that price.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on please.

Regards

Nick



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by flanger001 on 2010-08-22 06:13:27

Nick,

I just read the spec sheet on it as well and I am confident it can handle the output. I'm ordering 2 tomorrow! Thank you so much for your insight, and enjoy the points!

Dave



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by ETSguitarz on 2011-01-18 19:34:47

I too have realized that the XLR direct out of FAR too loud on both studio and performance modes.  I'm also not pleased with how sensitive the master volume knob is so I devised a way to tackle both problems.  I hooked up my XLR out (in studio mode) to my studio PC and used my DAW's input meter to monitor my signal level as I slowly brought up my channel volume.  SUCCESS!  So now the direct out isn't clipping my sound card's input, I am happy.  Next I dail in a new tone and power on my cab.  I had to bring up the master volume to about 12 o'clock to get performance volume so it solved the issue of the sensitive master volume knob.  I am more than pleased with myself at this point and my tone sounds awesome.  Other than the fact that I wasn't looking forward to re-programming all of the amps presets to match the decreased channel volume, I'd say I was happy.....see the running theme here....I was "pleased".  Then disaster strikes.  As soon as I touch the amp selector knob....!!!!!!DEAFENINGLY LOUD!!!!!!.....the channel volume goes back to a default setting and I lose the tone and effects I was working on.  I guess I forgot to put it in manual mode.....oops.  But I had to give up this effort after about 2 hours of work because I was completly pissed off and even if I reprogrammed every preset in the amp.....as soon as someone touches the amp selector knob without the amp in manual mode.....goodbye eardrums!  Two things I really dislike about this amp....one....the direct out is way too hot and cannot be adjusted manually......and two.....why a manual mode?  I should be able to just turn the knob and select a new amp without every setting going to some "default" mode that is pre-programmed.  I am rather frustrated with this amp at the moment and I'll probably need a day or two to collect myself and maybe try my method again, this time learning from past mistakes and problems.  If you are willing to deal with spending a long period of time re-adjusting the channel preset volumes and can remember to hit "manual" before you touch anything, I believe this is the best way to solve both the XLR out and master volume knob problems with the amp.  I hope this information enhances your Spider Valve mkii experience.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by grimm26 on 2011-03-11 20:48:38

It would be nice if there were an option like on the POD X3L where you could set the XLR out to be pegged wide open and the master only adjusted the "live" sound.  Then the board could adjust to your output and you could tweak the master volume to your heart's content on stage throughout the night.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by AdrianBryan on 2011-03-12 02:34:47

As the XLR out in ''performance" mode is taken off the output transformer it's hard to see how it could be made independent of any of the volume settings on the amp.

I guess the only way would to implement some sort of automatic gain control (AGC) circuit. I'm sceptical as to whether this would successful in this situation.

Adrian.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by guitars69 on 2011-03-14 14:30:04

http://www.amazon.com/Handmade-metal-Guitar-Attenuator-Power/dp/B0047L19HQ

Sounds like one of these might help!  It's not a real power soak.  It just lowers your line level.  This would be like having a second channel volume that you could reduce the preamp volume with and let the power amp breath a little.

I'm thinking of picking one up since my HD100 goes from "I can't hear it" to "where did my pants go?" in the first couple degrees of my Master volume.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by grimm26 on 2011-03-14 14:50:51

guitars69 wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/Handmade-metal-Guitar-Attenuator-Power/dp/B0047L19HQ

Sounds like one of these might help!  It's not a real power soak.  It just lowers your line level.  This would be like having a second channel volume that you could reduce the preamp volume with and let the power amp breath a little.

I'm thinking of picking one up since my HD100 goes from "I can't hear it" to "where did my pants go?" in the first couple degrees of my Master volume.

Yeah, I have that issue with even the 40 watt combo.  Not so much blowing my pants off, but not exactly a quiet volume in there.  However, since this box goes between your preamp and power amp, I would think you'll just end up decreasing your Signal-to-Noise ratio since it just quiets down the preamp out.  Ideally, you'd want to have the preamp cranked and be able to tame the volume of the power section for optimal tone, right?  The best thing would probably be a THD Hot Plate.  You could leave your master volume alone (cranked as much as possible) once you got set with your levels into the board and then adjust the attentuator knob on the Hot Plate to adjust your amp volume as you need to throughout the night.  The Hot Plate is not cherap, though



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by guitars69 on 2011-03-14 15:16:25

Correct.  You'd be turning down your preamp volume leaving your power amp to make up the difference.  This would increase the noise floor.  However, it's the same premise as turning the channel volume down.  I tried that and the noise floor difference was barely perceptable.  Of course, my guitar is already noisy as hell so for some people it may be more noticeable.

A hot plate would be ideal, but for $325, that's a pretty big stretch just to turn down the volume.  Since the distortion is already modelled, I don't think you're losing too much.  However, if you like power amp saturation, then loud or a hot plate is the only way to go.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 Direct Out Performance Mode
by jesuscares on 2011-09-08 21:22:37

Great thread!




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