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chuskey

HD vs Friedman A/B Test

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Did a quick and dirty A/B today with a buddy of mine's Friedman Amplification Dirty Shirley. We obviously didn't try to "amp match", just wanted to see if the HD500X/Alto TS110A could get a similar quality Marshall sound. For a live rig at 1/4 the price or so I was VERY happy with the HD rig.  

 

Let me know what you guys think!'

 

https://youtu.be/pWV3f3pJK58

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The second was the amp. The first was the HD. I could recognize the overlay of sizzle, might even be mild digital clipping, from the HD. What I think was the amp was quite a bit cleaner sounding.

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I liked the first one better but mostly because the second one needed some EQ.  The second amp was a little too bassy and boomy.

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On first listen, I was sure the Friedman was first. Then i listened through headphones are read others comments - and now I just don't know. Both tones are pretty damn good!

 

I downloaded your patch and was surprised to see

1) Bass & treble on amp set to zero

2) DrZ 2 x 12 cabinet instead of default 4 x 12 cabinet

3) Mixer panned center/ fader at +4db/channel volume on amp set to 86. I would think that these 3 boosts in volume would create a hot output signal that might clip a mixer input. 

4) Second Tube Screamer has both drive & output well over 50%. This too would boost quite a bit.

 

Too late here to crank this up and check it out. But looking forward to test driving it tomorrow.

Great job-Love these videos!

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I think the second is the amp as well - that rolled back clean tone has a lot more body to it, where the Pod tends to get a little thin and flat. I'd love to be wrong and either way both sounds are totally gigable and sound good!

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Liked the first one better. More "edge" (some call it sizzle?). Think the second one was the amp. I run my HD (combo power amp mode) through the power amp section of a 5 watt Blackstar, which uses a neutral (neither el34 nor 6l6) sounding 12BH7 hifi tube, and, to my ears, I think it gives me the "edge" without the "sizzle". Part of that is no doubt the 12" guitar speaker vs the more full range sound of the Alto. The first take sounded a lot more like when I run the HD thru my 6" KRK's in Studio Direct mode. 

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Thanks for the feedback guys, this was fun to do!  As mentioned in the video this was a very quick and dirty setup and spent maybe 10-15 min dialing in the HD, and that's including narrowing down amp models.  So tone wise the HD wasn't completely dialed in, and as we all know it takes some tweaking to get it perfect :)

 

Couple notes about the patch and then the reveal:

 

1.  The patch was a little boomy hence the bass being pulled out.  Initially it was a little harsh on the high end which is why the treble was pulled out.  After listening back it could have used some treble dialed back in, but just a little. 

 

2.  The Dr. Z Cab is pretty much the only cab that I like and can get quick and good results with.  I use it on everything.  Not saying you can't make the others work, but this one works well for me and I know what to expect from it.  I spend too much time trying to "fix" other cabs.  That's just my workflow. 

 

3 & 4.  A lot of this patch is left over parts of the patch I started with.  I never used the tube screamers or delays on this patch, they were just already loaded onto the patch I started with.  I was trying to match the volume of the amp and didn't get any clipping.  May have been a different story with the tube screamer(s) turned on.

 

Note:  On the DEP I usually run the master down closer to 50% and jack up the Res all the way.  That wasn't the case on this patch when I opened it up to upload it.  I can't remember if I simply didn't change these from default or if it didn't save.  So don't be afraid to play with the Master and Res knobs.  

 

OK, enough talk here's the results:

 

Tone A:  Friedman

Tone B:  HD500X

 

Listening back I think there are things in the HD I would have liked to have dialed in a bit more.  It could have used a little more bite.  We ran into a time crunch and had to go with what we had.  

 

Having said that I think the HD held it's own and then some as is!  We were both pretty darn impressed with the results.  Especially once you factor in cost, the value of the HD is off the charts.  

 

Personally I'd rather gig with the HD and Alto if given the choice regardless of cost. . More compact, faster setup time, more versatile, and if I break it I can afford to replace it :)  

 

One note is that, to me, they both felt good to play.  I know sometimes people say that digital gear and FRFR sounds good but doesn't feel good.  I didn't find that to be the case at all.  They both felt like "amps in the room" to me.  

 

Thanks again to my buddy for letting me come over and play his amp.  This was a fun experiment.  The Friedman is awesome for what it is, and it's beautiful!  I'd love to decorate my living room with one :)

 

Thanks guys for the feedback!

 

Chad

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Wow. That really surprises me. I was almost certain. But after listening again with knowing the answer a couple of things jump out at me, which may simply be because of not trying to tone match. The amp sounds more dynamic and has more of the aawww sound people try and get in their tones. The HD sounds both fuller and flatter at the same time, maybe because of scooped mids, or lacking treble as you mentioned, or relatively too much low end.

 

In any case, the HD certainly holds it own against a real amp.

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Instantly liked first tone. Second sounded better by the end, but not even close at the beginning. Like my ears started to think it was ok the more time went by between the first sample and the second. But first was the winner for me, hands down.

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Instantly liked first tone. Second sounded better by the end, but not even close at the beginning. Like my ears started to think it was ok the more time went by between the first sample and the second. But first was the winner for me, hands down.

This is what drew my buddy to that amp.  Instantly plug in and go.  It just sounds good.  

 

We talked at length about different solutions for different needs and it makes perfect sense that we ended up with what we did. 

 

My mentality is immediately "what's coming out of the house and what will the audience hear".  Most folks in the crowd aren't going to discern subtle differences and are looking to have fun.  I'm looking for a rig His is more a pure tone pursuit.  Different tools and they're both great solutions.  

 

As I said I could have for sure done more tweaking to the HD and gotten closer, but I was more going for a proof of concept.   

 

Thanks for watching!

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It's not that I didn't like the sound of the HD/Alto -- lord knows I am not one of the many posters that bought (yet continue to use) gear I dislike.

It's that I thought something was wrong with the recording process. Like maybe --- the Friedman is pointed directly facing the camera while the Alto is pointing up in the air causing the camera not to capture the sound. Something was off. 

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It's not that I didn't like the sound of the HD/Alto -- lord knows I am not one of the many posters that bought (yet continue to use) gear I dislike.

It's that I thought something was wrong with the recording process. Like maybe --- the Friedman is pointed directly facing the camera while the Alto is pointing up in the air causing the camera not to capture the sound. Something was off. 

Could have been a factor I suppose.  The whole recording was setup and done in about 15min.  Just a quick and dirty test, nothing fancy :)

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And that's what I was trying to say too.  The second amp didn't sound like it was recorded right so it was hard to compare.

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