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Greg Koch knows Bassman...


Verne-Bunsen
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I was struggling to get the sound I was after out of my Les Paul with the Bassman, so I consulted the Oracle at Wildwood. Not a combination of settings I would have likely stumbled across on my own, but they're beautiful and Helix plays right along. It's good stuff!

 

"That'll rattle your polyps!" - Greg Koch

 

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Glad you guys found that as enlightening as I did! It's just what I was after, that gooey (gristley) crunch that cleans up nice and pretty with the guitar volume. Greg Koch is the man for sure, an entertainer on multiple levels and truly a master of the instrument.

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Played it last night on helix (well not the notes) but the exact same settings with a two different strats, really crunchy, responsive.  Added a tube screamer and an arbiter.

 

The fuzz was glorious, been trying to get that helix version to work for a while.  Had to turn the stock setting down to 1.0, left the level at it's default, just wow.

 

My tube screamer settings still need some work.  

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I worked in a tiny music store in Madison, Wisconsin back in the early 90's, and Greg's band, Greg Koch & The Tone Controls would play the Harmony Bar across the street about every other week...on summer nights we would leave the front door open and hear Greg wailing...good times!

 

Awesome, what a great perk to working in a music store! I have been watching and enjoying Koch's videos for years. His instruction videos and demos are vastly enhanced by his IMHO excellent sense of humor. He is a good instructor, and a great player.  It is a shame the two of you never teamed up to do a radio/cable/TV/podcast show together (there's still time ;)  ). That would have been a musical comedy team many of us would probably have found infinitely entertaining.

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In case you're interested, here's what's going on in that patch. Going into the Bright input engages a bypass cap on the volume control on that amp. Now this doesn't do anything if the volume is all the way up. It has the greatest effect when the volume is turned down as the bypass cap has more gain cut to work with as well as the cutoff frequency changes with the volume setting. Why is this interesting? Because at low volume the amp is nice and bright. But as the volume is turned up, there is less and less treble boost, so when the amp is distorting, you're not getting a lot of treble boost which can make the dreaded icepick tone.

 

Treble and Bass all the way down and Middle all the way up on Fender amps is basically running the amp flat. The Treble and Bass controls on Fender style amps are all boost, no cut. The Middle control just raises the set point of the boost level. Middle all the way down gives a lot more treble and bass boost possibilities. Middle all the way up, you've raised the floor upon which the treble and bass controls can boost, so they have less effect. So this isn't so much a middle boost as a flat response with no treble and bass boost at all, which will sound like a lot more midrange then adding any treble and bass.

 

Now the presence control is interesting in this case. The presence control is actually a treble cut in the power amp's feedback loop. So its post any preamp distortion. However it behaves somewhat similarly to the bright bypass cap on the volume control. Turning the presence up will cut high frequencies from the power amp feedback loop which will increase the treble response of the amplifier. So if the power amp is running clean, you get a nice sparkle and a somewhat different interaction with the speaker since removing negative feedback decreases damping factor and the speakers will behave a little looser.

 

A Fender Bassman can produce some preamp distortion because it has an extra gain stage. So if you're getting some preamp distortion, the presence control acts as a tone control after the distortion. That can again be useful for removing ice pick.

 

But if the power amp distorts, then there's no gain left for the negative feedback and the presence treble boost very quickly disappears - just what you wanted to dampen that ice pick.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In case you're interested, here's what's going on in that patch. Going into the Bright input engages a bypass cap on the volume control on that amp. Now this doesn't do anything if the volume is all the way up. It has the greatest effect when the volume is turned down as the bypass cap has more gain cut to work with as well as the cutoff frequency changes with the volume setting. Why is this interesting? Because at low volume the amp is nice and bright. But as the volume is turned up, there is less and less treble boost, so when the amp is distorting, you're not getting a lot of treble boost which can make the dreaded icepick tone.

 

Treble and Bass all the way down and Middle all the way up on Fender amps is basically running the amp flat. The Treble and Bass controls on Fender style amps are all boost, no cut. The Middle control just raises the set point of the boost level. Middle all the way down gives a lot more treble and bass boost possibilities. Middle all the way up, you've raised the floor upon which the treble and bass controls can boost, so they have less effect. So this isn't so much a middle boost as a flat response with no treble and bass boost at all, which will sound like a lot more midrange then adding any treble and bass.

 

Now the presence control is interesting in this case. The presence control is actually a treble cut in the power amp's feedback loop. So its post any preamp distortion. However it behaves somewhat similarly to the bright bypass cap on the volume control. Turning the presence up will cut high frequencies from the power amp feedback loop which will increase the treble response of the amplifier. So if the power amp is running clean, you get a nice sparkle and a somewhat different interaction with the speaker since removing negative feedback decreases damping factor and the speakers will behave a little looser.

 

A Fender Bassman can produce some preamp distortion because it has an extra gain stage. So if you're getting some preamp distortion, the presence control acts as a tone control after the distortion. That can again be useful for removing ice pick.

 

But if the power amp distorts, then there's no gain left for the negative feedback and the presence treble boost very quickly disappears - just what you wanted to dampen that ice pick.

 

mic dropped...

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