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> Crank It Up!, Cool way to get cranked tube tone from your tube amps!
tommyboy
post Nov 30 2008, 05:17 PM
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I'm noticing a trend of smaller and smaller tube amps coming out. 5watt, 15watt, models etc... The only thing is a 15 watt tube head cranked (Orange Tiny Terror for example) say run trough a 2x12 or a 4x12 for tone will still be very loud. ohmy.gif

Most everyone realizes to truly get that warm saturated tube sound you not only need to drive the preamp tubes hard, but you really need to start pushing the power amp section (tubes) into saturation as well. This means turning up your master volume at least 1/2 way (on a Marshall for sure) causing a natural saturation and compression to the valve tone that just can't be duplicated. However, unless you really don't enjoy your hearing this isn't very practical for everyday practice and even if your playing gigs in a typical club.

Power soaks and attenuators work but are bulky and a bit pricey. When I first got my JCM 2000 Dsl 50 watt head and my 4x12 cabinets I knew I needed something that would allow me to get that cranked Marshall tone I was craving without pissing off my wife and kids or going deaf in the process.

Anyhow, I found this is very cool little volume box on Ebay that you run through your effects loop. If your tube amp has a serial effect loop it will work. Needless to say I was skeptical but for under $20.00 I thought I'd give it a try.

Well I've been using it now for a couple of months and all I can say is WOW! The thing works like a charm. I can play very quitely but still get all the tone, harmonics and compression of a full driven Marsall through 2 -4x12 cabinets. Even a very low volumes there's still a big bottom end in the tone.

Here's a link if anyone interested. http://cgi.ebay.com/Omnisonic-Tube-Amp-VOL...%3A1|240%3A1318

The Omnisonic lets you get more out of your power amp because it cuts the signal from the preamp down to a very low level so the power amp has to work harder to amplify it

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews...ontrol+Box/10/1

Edit: Added how it works and other user reviews for people just finding this thread.


The thing rocks! cool.gif
tommyboy

This post has been edited by tommyboy: Dec 1 2008, 02:24 PM


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FrankW
post Nov 30 2008, 05:47 PM
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Wow. I wonder what the thing is. I just read the whole ad and it looks legit. It sure beats the price of attenuators. Thanks for the link! smile.gif
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tommyboy
post Nov 30 2008, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (FrankW @ Nov 30 2008, 10:47 AM) *
Wow. I wonder what the thing is. I just read the whole ad and it looks legit. It sure beats the price of attenuators. Thanks for the link! smile.gif


I'm not exactly sure how it works but it works perfect. It's got a very good taper on the volume knob.

Works kind of like a second master volume but in the effects loop. Works perfect in my setup. Would think it would be great for older valve heads that don't have a master volume. But the head would have to have a serial effects loop.


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kjutte
post Nov 30 2008, 07:12 PM
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Looks like a tone killer to me. Basically you're cutting the preamp signal by lots.
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David Wallimann
post Nov 30 2008, 07:23 PM
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Very interesting.
I've been thinking about trying something similar for my Mesa...
I might get one! Thanks!


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tommyboy
post Nov 30 2008, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Nov 30 2008, 12:12 PM) *
Looks like a tone killer to me. Basically you're cutting the preamp signal by lots.


Not at all. The reason I started this thread was to let people know the thing works like magic. ZERO loss of tone. Your reaction was my biggest fear as well. But I decided to take a chance.

Really, the thing is amazing!!

What made me post this was I had to move my pedal board for a sleepover for my son. I wanted to do a little playing and just plugged strait into my head. The difference in tone without the Omnisonic volume box was night and day.

The thing works totally as advertised!

tommyboy

QUOTE (David Wallimann @ Nov 30 2008, 12:23 PM) *
Very interesting.
I've been thinking about trying something similar for my Mesa...
I might get one! Thanks!


David,

It works great! What more can I say.


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Fran
post Nov 30 2008, 09:03 PM
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If that thing really works I would really start considering getting a tube amp to play at home. And it's really cheap!


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bladzerok
post Nov 30 2008, 10:32 PM
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wow thanks, im getting one for my peavey valveking.
never thought that something under $50 that is not guitar pick, strap or cable could be a professionnal tool for guitar laugh.gif


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kjutte
post Nov 30 2008, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE (tommyboy @ Nov 30 2008, 09:01 PM) *
Not at all. The reason I started this thread was to let people know the thing works like magic. ZERO loss of tone. Your reaction was my biggest fear as well. But I decided to take a chance.

Really, the thing is amazing!!

What made me post this was I had to move my pedal board for a sleepover for my son. I wanted to do a little playing and just plugged strait into my head. The difference in tone without the Omnisonic volume box was night and day.

The thing works totally as advertised!

tommyboy



David,

It works great! What more can I say.


Well man, that depends on what kind of tone you like, and what's in front (which is already nerfing the tone). I will definitely check it out though!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 30 2008, 11:09 PM
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Looks like a really cool thing and not expensive at all! Unfortunately I have a parallel loop sad.gif


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Zephyr
post Nov 30 2008, 11:51 PM
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It can be useful, but unfortunately, it won't do what it advertises - that is, give you cranked power tube overdrive at low volume. All it is is a volume pot between the preamp and power stages, basically another master volume; it's not really any different (although it can be good to have, if your amp doesn't have a master volume). The signal doesn't reach the power tubes before being affected by the volume. To drive the power tubes, the input to the tubes needs to be high, and in order to do that, the volume needs to be high - whether you're using a master volume or this volume box. What this box will do is allow you to get preamp tube distortion with low volume, which while some people might enjoy, is not what most are looking for. Besides, you can already do this on any amp with a master volume. The only thing that will really do what this claims is an attenuator/power soak that sits between the power stage and the speakers, it essentially gives you the full signal but "absorbs" the volume. You can't just use a volume pot for this because you need to actually remove the energy from the already power stage amplified signal, and a power soak can do this safely and effectively. biggrin.gif Besides, if you really just want a volume pot in a box, just do it yourself, save $15! Unfortunately, if it was this easy, people wouldn't be dishing out $200 and up for high-end attenuators.

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 1 2008, 12:01 AM
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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 1 2008, 02:31 AM
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I have to agree with Zephyr - after some web research it looks like this is just a pot in a box - its effectively a master volume control, no magic here, move on.

Of course we have to respect tommyboys opinion in that it works well for his amp - I would expect this to really emphasize preamp voicing (which is actually where most of the tone from tube amps comes from ), but maybe suffer a little in the overall cranked volume kind of feel - and if you don't have a master volume, or you want to balance the level of your effects loop, for this price you can't beat it.

But I don't believe that this would be better than an attenuator - just my opinion though, and tommy boy, I'm glad it works well for you and you can't argue about the price - I''m just spouting a meaningless opinion since I haven't tried this thing for real!


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kjutte
post Dec 1 2008, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Dec 1 2008, 02:31 AM) *
I have to agree with Zephyr - after some web research it looks like this is just a pot in a box - its effectively a master volume control, no magic here, move on.

Of course we have to respect tommyboys opinion in that it works well for his amp - I would expect this to really emphasize preamp voicing (which is actually where most of the tone from tube amps comes from ), but maybe suffer a little in the overall cranked volume kind of feel - and if you don't have a master volume, or you want to balance the level of your effects loop, for this price you can't beat it.

But I don't believe that this would be better than an attenuator - just my opinion though, and tommy boy, I'm glad it works well for you and you can't argue about the price - I''m just spouting a meaningless opinion since I haven't tried this thing for real!


Doesn't preamp tubes get more efficient at higher drive?

I got preamp + master volume on my amp, but it may be because it has a DI output.
What do you think Andrew?


This post has been edited by kjutte: Dec 1 2008, 03:20 AM
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MickeM
post Dec 1 2008, 10:27 AM
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I see it's advertised as a tool for Peavey classic 30/50. I've got one of those and it's aready possible to get pretty much all preamp distortion from it since it has a pre and a post gain. So cranking up the preamp and setting the postamp low will result in plenty of distortion, just not poweramp ditto.

That would be the same putting a volume pedal in the loop, because that's what this is right, a volumepedal? Nothing else. Call it a preamp volume control in addition to the preamp gain control.

I can see the point of using a volume pedal in the fx loop of a Peavey classic 30 because you can't unplug the internal speaker nor can you add an attenuator since the internal speaker doesn't disconnect (if I remember right) so you'd be able to attenuate the external speaker while the internal would still run at the set volume.
That's why I come to suspect it's primarily made for the Peavey Classic series but of course would work on all other serial loops aswell.

A difficult amp to attenuate if you got the combo i.e. but any volume pedal would do here, right?

I think the ad is a bit over the top, it's advertised as "amost an attenuator but a lot cheaper" while "volume pot" would be the truth. Or am I missing something?


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tommyboy
post Dec 1 2008, 01:34 PM
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Ok, I've read all the posts and what you guys are saying generally makes sense. But remember I'm speaking from first hand use of this volume box.

Without the volume box, preamp distortion is not a issue, high gain is not a issue even at low volumes. My JCM 2000 has plenty of gain without cranking up the amp. However, my amp doesn't reach it's full tone potential until you've really turned it up. Like any tube amp, with a master volume, if I play a low volumes my tone is a little thin and artificial.

But when I use this volume box, yes, in the effects loop. I can now turn my master volume way up. But, now my tone at low volumes is full and organic. So even if it is nothing more than a volume control added to the effects chain (last in order by the way) something to my tone is changing significantly. I'm not a amp tech so how, what, and where I wish I could explain.

However,I'm not making this up and it's not all in my head. The thing is working great for me and I though some guys might be interested. I was very skeptical at first so I thought I would post my findings.

tommyboy

P.S. In my past I've used a weber attenuator. My tone results are very similar to when I used that. For $20.00 I'll stick with my Omnisonic box.


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MickeM
post Dec 1 2008, 01:39 PM
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Nothing was said to mistrust you, just so you know. Just trying to figure how it works. Like you say, testing it is they way to find out.
But if you have a plain volume pedal, please try the same thing and see if that sounds swell too. Would be interesting to know.


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post Dec 1 2008, 01:40 PM
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It could be made for way less than $20 as the parts are so cheap and it doesn't have that many parts to begin with but if you're happy with it that is all that matters. Just trying to let others know before they think this could be the saviour they have been waiting for.


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tommyboy
post Dec 1 2008, 01:48 PM
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QUOTE (OrganisedConfusion @ Dec 1 2008, 06:40 AM) *
It could be made for way less than $20 as the parts are so cheap and it doesn't have that many parts to begin with but if you're happy with it that is all that matters. Just trying to let others know before they think this could be the saviour they have been waiting for.


Buy the time I got the parts and my time to make it I would have more into it than just buying it.

For my day job I'm a Contractor. I guess I'd have bill myself to much to make it worth my while. wink.gif

QUOTE (MickeM @ Dec 1 2008, 06:39 AM) *
Nothing was said to mistrust you, just so you know. Just trying to figure how it works. Like you say, testing it is they way to find out.
But if you have a plain volume pedal, please try the same thing and see if that sounds swell too. Would be interesting to know.


No, I understand and if I came across upset in my last post I apologize as this isn't the case at all. Don't have a volume pedal but I'd be curious to try as well.

This post has been edited by tommyboy: Dec 1 2008, 01:49 PM


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MickeM
post Dec 1 2008, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (tommyboy @ Dec 1 2008, 01:48 PM) *
No, I understand and if I came across upset in my last post I apologize as this isn't the case at all.

No you didn't smile.gif I just added that point I got reminded of from your post, one which I should have mentioned in my first reply to not come off badly laugh.gif Sorry smile.gif


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tommyboy
post Dec 1 2008, 02:08 PM
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Ok, I've done some more research on this thing. Here's how the thing works.

The Omnisonic lets you get more out of your power amp because it cuts the signal from the preamp down to a very low level so the power amp has to work harder to amplify it. Even though an amp might have a master volume some of them (Fender, Masrshall) don't let you turn it beyond 2 in anything less than a concert hall. This lets you crank the master because the signal strength is reduced.

Here's some reviews.

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews...ontrol+Box/10/1

This post has been edited by tommyboy: Dec 1 2008, 02:11 PM


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