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> Can Fx Cause Damage To Tubes?, Output levels
Barthandelus
post Jan 4 2014, 02:05 AM
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Hi mateys!,
I
was just tinkering with my new POD HD Pro X, and noticed all the effects and amps on there obviously have output level controls. I was wondering - if these were set too high, could i damage the tubes in my amp by overloading them too much? Anything i can listen out for so they dont pop?

Also, before i got this device, i got a really fat and meaty palm mute sound. Now if i dial in some distortion on the POD, the palm mute sounds almost the same as open (although less sustain obviously). I should have made a note of the settings on my pedals, but as Mr. Mustaine said, hindsight is always 20-20. Can anyone suggest anything for that? Some say less gain, some say more with more bass, etc. Im really happy with the overall tone, its just the palm mutes sound a bit weedy.

Thanks for your help!
-A
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jstcrsn
post Jan 4 2014, 03:04 AM
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QUOTE (Barthandelus @ Jan 4 2014, 02:05 AM) *
Hi mateys!,
I
was just tinkering with my new POD HD Pro X, and noticed all the effects and amps on there obviously have output level controls. I was wondering - if these were set too high, could i damage the tubes in my amp by overloading them too much? Anything i can listen out for so they dont pop?

Also, before i got this device, i got a really fat and meaty palm mute sound. Now if i dial in some distortion on the POD, the palm mute sounds almost the same as open (although less sustain obviously). I should have made a note of the settings on my pedals, but as Mr. Mustaine said, hindsight is always 20-20. Can anyone suggest anything for that? Some say less gain, some say more with more bass, etc. Im really happy with the overall tone, its just the palm mutes sound a bit weedy.

Thanks for your help!
-A

as far as I know digital does not sound as good as tubes, some things like kemper and axeFx are their but your lower end stuff is not going to be up to par, to get used to it , you need to stop listening to your tubes and your ears will grow accustom to the sound and your confidence will let you play better, or if you dive into your fx, you might be able to set it up to use your amps gain/distortion tones and pods fx
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Barthandelus
post Jan 4 2014, 03:43 AM
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Thanks for your reply.
yeah, i realise the digital wont sound as good.
Im running the POD HD Pro X into my tube amp.

This post has been edited by Barthandelus: Jan 4 2014, 03:44 AM
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klasaine
post Jan 4 2014, 07:02 AM
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fx levels - no. It may not sound great but it shouldn't damage anything.
But if you really crank the overall output volume output of the POD, the boost 'may' be too much for the input of your amp (any amp). In the case of a tube amplifier, pre-amp tube, v1 would be the one that would go. You would have to hit it with a lot of signal though. *Guitar players having been using 'boosts' (pedal pre-amps) since the mid 60's to specifically overdrive their amps.

Any type of modeling going into a guitar amp will never sound as good as the modeler going into a PA or even into a keyboard amp (a Twin Reverb will handle it pretty well too). Those are designed to handle more of the full frequency that most modeled pre-sets deliver. Reduce the low end a little on the presets and you should be good to go.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 4 2014, 04:18 PM
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I'm with klasaine here. I don't think that there is a possibility to damage your tubes with your pod. What amp and cabinet do you use with your pod?


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Barthandelus
post Jan 4 2014, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 4 2014, 03:18 PM) *
I'm with klasaine here. I don't think that there is a possibility to damage your tubes with your pod. What amp and cabinet do you use with your pod?


This is the amp i have the pod plugged into:
http://www.blackstaramps.com/products/ht-studio20/

Sounds amazing, but if its gonna pop the tubes, ill have to rethink some settings.

While im the subject of sound quality, tubes dont sound their best until they are turned up loud. Would it be an idea to turn the master volume way down on the pod so i can ramp up the volume on the amp without annoying the neighbours?

Thanks again for all help.
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pdf64
post Jan 12 2014, 12:40 AM
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Tubes are tough, don't worry about popping them.

The small 12AX7 tubes in the pre-amp are class A voltage amplifiers, they don't 'work' any harder whether they are being heavily overdriven or whether there's no signal through them. It's unlikely you will ever pop a pre-amp tube, other than physically breaking the glass envelope; they generally fail in other ways, eg adding a lot of hiss, sizzle or squealing to the signal.

The power tubes (EL34 in your amp) do work harder when they are pushing power out and if overdriven hard so will wear out more quickly than if used quietly.
When they fail it can cause a short circuit in the amplifier that blows a fuse in it. If a replacement fuse (of the correct specification!) blows quickly then the EL34 should be replaced.
If the amp is used quietly for home practice they may last 5 or more years; if used very loudly for gigs etc, they may fail within 6 months.

It's a very good idea to have good, tested spares of each tube type in your amp available, then they can be substituted to each socket in turn if you have concerns that a tube is bad.

The amp doesn't care what number the volume control is set to, all they respond to is signal level; the particular number on the control that achieves that level is immaterial.
If you overdrive the pre-amp or power amp with a fully finished, eq'd signal, the tone will mush out and lose the definition.
That may or may not be something you like.
It may be beneficial to get a good understanding of 'gain staging' http://www.basic-home-recording-studio.com/gain-staging.html and then how it may apply to guitar amps, eg http://www.tgpwebzine.com/?page_id=808

Basically, it may be beneficial to experiment with all the gain, level and tone controls at every stage on every piece of equipment, between (and including) the guitar and amp.
Pete



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Barthandelus
post Jan 12 2014, 02:19 AM
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Thanks for the replies, guys.
This is my first tube amp, so im a little nervous of what it can and cant do. Right now, i have the volume right up and the output from the POD down to compensate.
Sounds like it would be best to reverse that - amp low and POD higher?

Took me ages to save up money for the amp, so if i can keep the tubes happy for longer, all the better! Im only practicing at the moment, so dont need the volume.

Pete, you mention that the power tubes work hard when over driven - does that mean that its best not to use the amps distortion, but use FX instead?

Thanks again - appreciate the help.

-B
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pdf64
post Jan 12 2014, 05:57 PM
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My feeling is that if you are using the pod to get the main guitar tone, ie sustain / distortion, treble/mid/bass balance and time based fx, then the best starting point may be to keep the amp set clean. Such that if the guitar is plugged straight into the amp, the tone has no overdrive; so probably use the clean channel.

This is because much overdrive after the pod may mess the tone balance up, eg make the bass go mushy, add mids.

So, as a starting point, set the amp master volume high and pre-amp gain low.
But I recommend that you experiment with that, so that you learn to identify the changes mentioned above and what tonal artifacts tend to characterise overdrive in the various stages of the signal chain.

Your amp has a cathode biased power amp, which means that the power tubes will normally tend to work fairly hard, even without any sound coming out. You would need to set the amp to ear splitting volume to make the power tubes work any harder.
But my guess is that the EL34 power tubes in your amp have a fairly easy life, because they only push 20 watts out; compare that to other EL34 amps that work them much harder to push out 50 watts.

The best way to get the maximum life from your tubes is to switch the amp off when you aren't using it, eg if you take a break from playing for 15 minutes or more, and to keep it cool by not blocking off the normal ventilation grilles etc.

As mentioned earlier, it makes no difference to the life of the pre-amp tubes whether they tubes have no signal, are being used clean or are being overdriven (either using the overdrive channel or being overdriven by using external fx with the output level set high; they will age just the same.

The other issue that tubes face in a guitar amp face is vibration; in a combo, there's a speaker very close to the tubes and when playing very loud, the vibration from it shakes the internal structures of the tube, which over time may cause squealing and other problems.
For that reason, I prefer separate amp head and speaker cab, rather than combos.

Don't get too worried about this, you are likely to get long service from the tubes, probably over a year.

But they are a consumable, will need replacing eventually, so it may be beneficial to get a spare tested 12AX7 and matched pair of EL34

Just to clarify, 12AX7 and ECC83 are alternative names (USA and European) for the same tube.
Pete

This post has been edited by pdf64: Jan 12 2014, 06:06 PM


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Spock
post May 3 2014, 02:52 AM
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Output on the Pod HD 500X should be set to "0". Since you're running it on your tube amp, don't use the distortions built into the Pod, just use the FX through your loop.

You can learn that process here, I liked to pull all my hair out trying to get it figured...

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=51483

The other way to run it would be to rely 100% on the pod, straight into your tube amp on the clean channel - but it's kind of a waste of a good amp - especially a Blackstar Studio, although, once you figure out how to work it all out, you can bounce back and forth. That is too much tech stuff for me - but the POD HD500X is an awesome unit, and works great through the FX loop, allowing you to decide which components you want before the amp and in the loop.
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