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CalebF

Emulating a Polytone amp

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My guitar teacher has an old Polytone Minibrute IV that just makes every guitar you plug into it sing. Some of my favorite players have played through Polytone amps to great effect (Jim Hall, Joe Pass, etc). I'm trying to recreate that sound with my helix, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas/tips about achieving that tone. 

 

Here's a reference tone I found on youtube:

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I’m still struggling with my jazz sound and yeah those old Polytones sound great.

 

That said, ole George Benson sounds pretty much the same no matter what he’s plugged into. He used to use Polytones - even had his own model. Now he plays through a Fender GB Deluxe. Don’t know if they’ve modified it any but George still sounds the same.

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maybe try a twin, hiwatt or archon but thru a smaller single speaker cab to start.. as long as it isn't a strat you might get close with some eq tweaking 😉

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I'm playing through an Eastman Jazz elite archtop, so definitely not a strat ;). I've tried the twin but the only IR I have is that of a JC-120, and I think a lot of what I'm missing is from picking the right cab IR. As far as eq goes, I'm pretty lost. I've heard cut the mids, crank the mids, cut the treble, crank the treble, cut the bass, crank the bass. Typically when I dial in my tone on any given amp I put the mids 60-70% of the way up, bass at 60%, and treble around 30-40%. I'm not very good at eqing- did you have any ideas about how to eq to match the response of a Polytone?

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those polytones look like they have a pretty small speaker -10" maybe? about the size of a roland cube- speaking of which , you could try the roland jc amp too.. but just pick a suitable small speaker and maybe eq the amp pretty flat and try different mics/placement first.. you might get a fair way there with a mic selection- i'm guessing a ribbon or neuman condensor will do it. then you may need to further tweak the amp and maybe if you are still not happy add 10 band eq band parametric if you are feeling adventurous. i'll have a try to cop the tone later if i get the chance but i'm away from home and only a strat handy atm

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just a quick try.. try the 1x12 field coil cab with 160 ribbon mic with soupro amp with presence off, treble down to about 3 or 4 and tone about 1/2 way ..or the mail order twin amp with similar presence/treble setting.. it made my strat sound reasonably jazz toned anyway 😉

edit- i'm favouring the mail order twin..take the bias up to about 8 for a rounder tone too.. i also added a 63 spring between amp and cab now and an LA studio comp at the end of chain. peak/reduc- 4.7 gain- 4.5 mix-35 and level +2 to mainly boost output and a slight thickening

sorry can't post a preset- no computer handy today

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This is the first thing I tried to do when I got my Helix – I've got best results using a Jazz Rivet, (an amp I hate in reality) or a Deluxe with a Tonehammer Deluxe Ir and a Parametric EQ before the amp boosting mids at around 5-600hz and cutting highs and bass. I also use the Minotaur as a booster to thicken up the thin strings for a more modern Kurt Rosenwinkel/Mike Moreno tone.

What we need is someone to put the time in and develop an accurate EQ curve or better still, for Line 6 to model an early 80s Polytone with speaker – I requested this on the forum and got 30 or so votes so it's obviously not a priority for them – people just seem to want more and more high gain amps.

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Dr Bonkers has a 12" Polytone cab IR, on sale now too. Worth a try, though it's not the whole amp.

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I used to own a POLYTONE too -   it replaced my tube Burman Pro 501 tube amp and was much more suited to arch top guitar  ( Gibson L4 in my case ) 

 

I might buy that POLYTONE IR later.  But would love a Polytone model.

 

In the meantime I use a JTV arch top model and actually find that non-tube-amp and often non-amp-at-all  presets with a speaker actually work quite well with arch tops. 

 

 

In particular when using the JTV arch top models it seems to be the case that its too easy to lose some of the hollo-wbody arch-top-ness with the models once one puts it thru a tube amp model.

 

So definitely - like with real arch top and acoustic amps its a case of LESS coloration == MORE. 

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