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Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by Ax3M4n on 2011-10-04 09:30:00

I've seen the previous threads - voltages, Class A to A/B, Crossover distortion  etc etc etc...

Please can someone explain from a practical perspective what to do with these controls and how they will change your amp sound - in laymans terms only. We can't all be Cesar Diaz.

For example:-

More / Less Clean Headroom

More / Less Fizz

More / Less Compression

Useful Operating Range

"Leave This Alone!!"

etc.

etc.

Thanks. 



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by meambobbo on 2011-10-04 10:10:17

Master volume - essentially this determines how much power amp distortion/coloration you are getting.  as you turn it up, you'll get compression, then distortion, depending on the amp model.  This parameter also affects the other parameters.  At 0%, basically none of the other parameters do anything.

Sag - turned up this can make a distorted sound be a bit more saturated sounding; it's like you get the bass response before the high-end crispness.  but if you set it really high there is actually a barely noticeable delay between your playing and when you hear the brunt of the notes through the amp model.  turned down all the way seems to give a very tight response, but it can sound a little too bright and crisp.

Bias - turned up = more headroom; turned down = less headroom.  But it will also change the nature of the distortion when the headroom is reached.

Bias X - this basically refers to the dynamic range of the headroom.  So if you pick hard you break the headroom and get distortion but if you pick softly you don't... or it's always maxing out the headroom or always isn't.  i dont' remember which way does which, sorry.  i tend not to adjust this parameter.

Hum - I can't really tell you.  This parameter seems quite subtle to me, but it should change the nature of the power amp distortion.



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by gregr on 2011-10-04 11:00:45

Hum is the amount of noise/coloration imparted by the heater filiament inside the tube.  Turn it up to get a more vintage/noisy/broken-in/warn-out type of sound.



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by Wildwind on 2011-10-04 14:15:55

I'm laboring the same way, so I appreciate the question. A friend with an HD500, who probably read this thread, discovered two things he really likes. I've only tried this on clean tones so far with my HD500 - and it does make a difference and sounds pretty cool. I suspect the differences might be greater on distorted patches. But my current quest is for a "to die for" clean tone.

So you can try this as well - he is setting Sag to 10 and Hum to 65-75. For now he and I are trying different things with the Bias controls, don't know what to think yet. But it's a start. Maybe this will help a little? I'd love to hear of pet settings anyone may have stumbled upon. Like you, I don't understand these terms very well but I am learning.

Greg



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by Talenless on 2011-10-04 18:40:02

Wildwind, do you set the sag and the hum this way for every amp model?



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by Ax3M4n on 2011-10-05 07:46:05

Thanks Meambobbo

More like this please.  Whistles and Bells are great as long as the rank and file know what they do.



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by Wildwind on 2011-10-05 16:12:36

I'm still experimenting. Yesterday I tried some other settings that also sounded good. I think each amp model is going to be different. One thing I noticed - the Hiwatt model does not have the Master dimed by default like the others. And it seems to work well there.

So, no, I'm not doing anything consistently yet. I may have more report before the night is over - I'm about to dig into this again. I haven't heard from my friend, but he's busy tonight.

On my Hiwatt clean tone right now, the Sag is at 10 and the Master is dimed. The rest are the same. For that model, the Sag control didn't seem to do a thing. And the Master may get returned to 50, but it sounds darn good where it is.



Re: Layman's Terms Only - SAG, BIAS, BIAS X, Master Vol
by pratikb on 2011-10-06 17:23:44

Thanks...i had the same concern




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