Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MakeItShredNo1

Plexi as a clean platform - why did nobody tell me!

Recommended Posts

Every time I've seen a gear demo, or talked to someone in that mysterious place known as "real life," and someone says "this amp kind of does that 'plexi' thing," or "this pedal is supposed to make your Fender Deluxe Reverb sound like a plexi" it's always mid-gain (or sometimes even massive gain, beyond what a real plexi ever could on it's own), and bass-y - a sound which had no appeal to me.  

I grew up on cheap Marshall amps, but when it came time for a "grown up" amp for gigging - well, mostly I've gone straight to house with modelers, but I also have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.  Which is a great pedal platform, but it definitely isn't the sound I hear in my head for clean tones.  None of the modern Marshall preamps in either the Helix or my previous HD500 scratched the itch either, so I used models of Fender amps - but I've been jonesing for some Kingsley preamps lately*, and I got to wondering about the Constable.  I mean, most of the distortion from a plexi is supposed to come from the phase inverter and the power tubes, not the preamp - so then does the Constable even sound like "that plexi thing?"  

And no, no it doesn't - at least not "that plexi thing" that gear reviewers on YouTube mean**.  No, the Constable sounds like the clean sound in my head!!!

K - lightbulb.

  giphy.gif
What does the plexi bright preamp on the Helix sound like into the FX return of my HRD?  Why, friends, it sounds like the clean sound I've been chasing, that's what it does!!!

So here's the real kicker to me - I've been using a Carvin Quad X preamp live with the Helix because 1) I didn't bond with any of the high gain amps in Helix and 2) my favorite high gain pedal (Bogner Ecstasy Red) didn't sound right into any of the Helix preamps (that I was using at the time).  BUT, man it marries PERFECT with the Plexi preamp.  Sounds super organic and lush.  Score another point for Helix.


*(with any luck my name is up on the waiting list any day now!)
**The Constable is a great preamp, and I still want one - because it sounds like an actual Plexi preamp, which isn't what most people seem to mean when they say "sounds like a plexi" - just for clarification.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try some of the other "mid/high" amp models as a clean platform. You may be surprised. I love the Mesa MkIV Rhythm I/II as a "clean" amp. Some of the high gain models don't clean up at all, but a lot of them do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice. Stumbling across the sound thats been rattling around in your head is always exciting.  I did the same thing. Everyone always used the words "Fender clean" as the clean by which to measure all other cleans.  But it wasn't my thing.  With physical or modeled amps it took my years to find I like Marshal or marshal inspired amps more.

 

With Helix specifically lowering the master volume will make a mid/gain amp more useable in the clean category (seems to work well when the model is based a non-master volume amp).  My favorite has been the Brit J45 Brt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kingsley and Constable?

I assume you mean Voltage Queen (Electro King) and Cartographer?

But, yeah I agree :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kingsley and Constable?

I assume you mean Voltage Queen (Electro King) and Cartographer?

Sorry mate, didn't quite get if that was sarcasm?  

 

 

Nice. Stumbling across the sound thats been rattling around in your head is always exciting.  I did the same thing. Everyone always used the words "Fender clean" as the clean by which to measure all other cleans.  But it wasn't my thing.  With physical or modeled amps it took my years to find I like Marshal or marshal inspired amps more.

 

With Helix specifically lowering the master volume will make a mid/gain amp more useable in the clean category (seems to work well when the model is based a non-master volume amp).  My favorite has been the Brit J45 Brt.

Indeed, I'm pretty excited about the possibilities here.  I tried to make Fender clean work for years, never quite digging it.  Your ear eventually gets used to it - "well, it probably sounds better in a mix."  But still, I knew it wasn't "the sound" - which is why I used the Quad X the past couple seasons (gigging in my area is VERY seasonal).  Finding that sound in the Helix, PLUS it liking the Bogner Red in front of it - my mind reels at what mischief I can get up to now!  

 

 

 

Try some of the other "mid/high" amp models as a clean platform. You may be surprised. I love the Mesa MkIV Rhythm I/II as a "clean" amp. Some of the high gain models don't clean up at all, but a lot of them do. 

Indeed - me and the mesa models never got on.  I dunno why, I've recorded with real Mark Vs, but something about the Helix models don't jive with my setup.  I've tried a few more, per your suggestion - some are real nice, but nothing has tickled me quite like that plexi.  It's making me reconsider getting a Maiden/Page DS from Kingsley and get a Constable instead!  But, then again, I'm getting such a good sound out of the Helix I may not need a Constable!  

 

I very nearly got "the sound in my head" with the Archon clean, but it didn't like having the Bogner red in a Helix FX loop in front of it.  I wish some of the two channel amps like the Shiva or the JCM800 had their clean channel modeled as well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry mate, didn't quite get if that was sarcasm? 

 

 

RIght over my head.... We barely even know what Constables are over here....  Don't they use those infinity cabinets to fly around in or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RIght over my head.... We barely even know what Constables are over here....  Don't they use those infinity cabinets to fly around in or something?

Ah, it's a reference to Kingsley Amplifiers preamp-in-a-pedal boxes.  His plexi preamp is called the Constable

http://kingsleyamplifiers.com/products/pedals/58/

 

When I said I was jonesing for a Kingsley preamp, that's what I meant - I'm on the waiting list for a Maiden, his version of the Dumble preamp.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×