Jump to content
marmatkat

Solo (Soldano) saturated tones: OD too harsh, Crunch too muddy

Recommended Posts

Hey Folks. I find myself using the three Solo models for much of my cover band gigging, but I'm not happy with my saturated lead (and sometimes rhythm) tone. I like the level of distortion in the OD channel, but it's harsh in the highs. I love how the crunch gets dirty, but the bottom end is flubby for those low leads. Any tips from you Solo lovers? Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing besides the usual use the low and high cut parameters suggestion, is I've heard to try lowering the Master parameter which is the power tubes level. This apparently applies to many of the high gain amps. I have not personally tried it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've struggled to like these as well, when trying to run all 3 as a all in one combination type setup.  Same struggles as you.  

 

I thought I remembered (maybe in my Axe FX days?!?!) that this amp was picky with cab/speaker choice too?   

 

I've always thought that this amp was more of a high master, but I thought I remember reading that most real world options dont usually get run much above 4-5 because it gets too flubby and the highs get icy/harsh. 

 

I havent revisited this amp in awhile win the York IR's that I use now, but maybe its worth doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite frankly I've never had much use for the Solo Lead OD as it's just too much overdrive and unless you doing something like Van Halen it's just overkill.  But I do use the Clean often with pedals to get a bit more crunch to it and still retain the articulation, or even the Lead Crunch once or twice.  However I've found better alternatives than the Soldano  for higher gain sounds where I want to maintain better definition and tightness.  The Archetype and the Placater come to mind in those cases.

I don't personally remember it being particularly flubby on the low end, but then that's affected a LOT by the way you mic the cab as well as what you're using for your output.  A lot of what you describe as problems may come down to those factors more than the amp itself.  Although I do have to say I could never get a tone I liked on the Solo Lead OD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, marmatkat said:

Hey Folks. I find myself using the three Solo models for much of my cover band gigging, but I'm not happy with my saturated lead (and sometimes rhythm) tone. I like the level of distortion in the OD channel, but it's harsh in the highs. I love how the crunch gets dirty, but the bottom end is flubby for those low leads. Any tips from you Solo lovers? Thanks!!

 

If you're still not successful in "deflubbing" the Solano with any of the above suggestions, try the REVV models...I find them to be pretty versatile for a range of tones, crunchy to saturated, and relatively easy to dial in compared to some of the other options in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked with these models a lot. I love all three of them and they are my favorite models in the Helix.

Some tips:

  • SLOs sound good with a lot of speakers but they love Vintage 30s.The 2x12 Interstate with 20 Dyn or 160 Ribn at 3.5" is the best Helix cab for that IMHO. 
  • SLOs get their sound from the preamp - it's master volume is designed to control volume not distortion. When you increase the master the top frequencies will stop getting louder at some point first - that's what some call the 'sweet spot', because it can add roundness and sustain, judge for yourself if that's what you want. I tend to keep things below that because the sound stays open and consistent below this 'sweet spot'.
  • Soldanos go to 11! A knob at 5 on the SLO is a 4.5 on the Helix. [5.0 * 10 / 11 =4.54]
  • The starting point for Clean and Crunch should be Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence at 4.5, Master at 3.
  • The starting point for Lead IMHO is Bass and Presence at 4.5, Mids and Treble at 6.3, Master at 3.
  • It loves the Stupor OD. I like it with Drive 3, Tone 2.7, Level 5 and I reduce the Mids on the amp for that.
  • A Teemah! can push the Crunch channel to sound close to the Lead channel.
  • The Clean channel is the a tamed version of Crunch channel so you can use Crunch with low Drive and high Master as Clean without hesitation.
  • Combine that and you can stuff all 3 SLO channels in a preset using snapshots
  • [EDIT] SLO's nowerdays have a Depth control, because that was a common mod on the original ones to fatten the sound. To simulate use a Low Shelf and start with +3.5dB at 800Hz. This will make a huge difference and the amp will sound a lot more balanced and modern.

I spoke with an owner of a SLO some years ago who played in a Dire Straits cover band. He used the SLO's clean channel with pretty much everything at noon and a Marshall 4x12 V30's cab live and sounded absolutely wonderful. - The Helix nails that sound.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/24/2021 at 4:32 PM, Schmalle said:

I've worked with these models a lot. I love all three of them and they are my favorite models in the Helix.

Some tips:

  • SLOs sound good with a lot of speakers but they love Vintage 30s.The 2x12 Interstate with 20 Dyn or 160 Ribn at 3.5" is the best Helix cab for that IMHO. 
  • SLOs get their sound from the preamp - it's master volume is designed to control volume not distortion. When you increase the master the top frequencies will stop getting louder at some point first - that's what some call the 'sweet spot', because it can add roundness and sustain, judge for yourself if that's what you want. I tend to keep things below that because the sound stays open and consistent below this 'sweet spot'.
  • Soldanos go to 11! A knob at 5 on the SLO is a 4.5 on the Helix. [5.0 * 10 / 11 =4.54]
  • The starting point for Clean and Crunch should be Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence at 4.5, Master at 3.
  • The starting point for Lead IMHO is Bass and Presence at 4.5, Mids and Treble at 6.3, Master at 3.
  • It loves the Stupor OD. I like it with Drive 3, Tone 2.7, Level 5 and I reduce the Mids on the amp for that.
  • A Teemah! can push the Crunch channel to sound close to the Lead channel.
  • The Clean channel is the a tamed version of Crunch channel so you can use Crunch with low Drive and high Master as Clean without hesitation.
  • Combine that and you can stuff all 3 SLO channels in a preset using snapshots
  • SLO's nowerdays have a Depth control, because that was a common mod on the original ones to fatten the sound. A Parametric EQ can simulate that. Start with 110Hz, 3.0Q and use gain to add depth aka speaker resonance.

I spoke with an owner of a SLO some years ago who played in a Dire Straits cover band. He used the SLO's clean channel with pretty much everything at noon and a Marshall 4x12 V30's cab live and sounded absolutely wonderful. - The Helix nails that sound.

I'm excited to give this a try.  I love posts like these.  I don't have real world experience with the amps a lot of times  and love explanations about different models.  The Axe FX had a wiki page that gave some in depth notes about the originals the models were schemed after to help explain the thought process behind the amp design a bit.  Was a great help!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, themetallikid said:

I'm excited to give this a try.  I love posts like these.  I don't have real world experience with the amps a lot of times  and love explanations about different models.  The Axe FX had a wiki page that gave some in depth notes about the originals the models were schemed after to help explain the thought process behind the amp design a bit.  Was a great help!

You're welcome! Don't treat my writeup as gospel though.

For this on the other hand you have my blessing: Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amp Models

Most of the info Yek provided apply to the Helix. And for geeks like me it's just fun to learn about the history and function of amplifiers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...