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Author Topic: Responding to vol knob roll-off, plus bluesy/jazz/crunch missing  (Read 2807 times)

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vansinn

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1.
The MP-2 always has a somewhat compressed tone, which is good for a lot of things; however, I need to be able to roll-off the volume knob, and the MP-2 just doesn't respond very well to this.

I have a problem seeing how this could be changed. My hunch is that it depends on where/how the tubes has been placed on their transfer curves.
Theoretically, this could be modified, but a change that works in one voicing will likely not at all work well in other voicings, much due to the multiple control points scattered all over the preamp section.

2.
Another missing feature is that, while it has the most lovely cleans, it lacks the ability to have a lightly distorted bluesy/ jazzy tone, and likewise can't really have a crunch, except for a Mesa'ish distorted crunch.


Ref 1: This is my most pressing problem.  Any takes?  MJMP?

Ref 2: Both (soft dist and crunch) can be resolved via an external pedal, and is therefor less urgent, though I would prefer not having to add extra gear for having these features..
« Last Edit: Time Format by van Sinn »
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rnolan

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It probably depends allot on the voicing selected.  I found rolling vol pot with voice 5 works a treat, that was with JPLP, so 59 PAF in the neck and burst bucker (not my fav PU) in bridge.
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Studio Rig: Stuff; Live Rig: More Stuff; Guitars: A few

vansinn

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Yeah, it works reasonably well in Voicing 5 as in the cleans; it's the higher gain Voicings I need this on..

Been looking many a time on the schematics, but haven't yet found a holy grail.
I have the feeling it'll be achievable only by:
 upping the plate voltage
 reducing the -24 volt cathode bias
 making some yet undefined hardware changes
 changing the parameter set for the control points to match the above

MJMP?
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Dante

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I have complained about that for years. However, you can get a half gain patch outta the MP-2. I can't remember which voicing I used...probably the warm vintage or brown voicing. I'll get it out of storage soon (just moved). Even still, when you have your 'half gain' patch, the MP-2 still doesn't respond great to picking attack. Almost like there's a compressor going on in the circuitry. The MP-1 Classic is much better at this than the MP-2. I can't remember how the MP-1 reacts, I only played everything loud back then :/

Nowadays (I know this is bad), I've been using my Peavey mini-head (20w, 2ch tube head) for gigs. It loves the volume knob, and I'm not used to it...but it is nice for sure.

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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic running direct in the board, Boss MS3 in the FX loop via 4CM. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs for stage volume

vansinn

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To be fair [to the MP-2 developers], it's not like I'm complaining; the MP-2 was made for big hair metal, and does it just fine for that  :bow:
Yeah, I know what can be done in these two voicings, but, as you stated, 'still isn't enough, bitch' ;)

I need to keep a rig down in physical size. My MP-2 + TCR24S combo handles most I can ask, less dual-channel pre's, but even this can be handled by using on input and output on the TSR as a clean pre.
Else, I could add an MP-1 or an Engl e570/80 (with MIDI switching), but already now it's getting bigger than what fits my trailer life.. :dunno:
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astrobushido

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I also feel this a lot and it is a real shame.

Mind you, I don't use the compressor in any tones at all other than the most clean ones and even in these I only use a very small compressor ratio.

I managed to get a very nice Marshall crunch tone out of my MP2 but in order for it not to sound too harsh I had to back up (scoop) the mids a little more than I'd wished, hence I felt it made it sound a little more unnatural and processed.

For sake of comparison, I once plugged it so as to drive one side of one of my stereo power amps while simultaneously driving the other side with my Hughes & Kettner (HK) Access Midi Tube Preamp (my main preamp in one of my rigs). I'd play one side while the other was in standby mode, then switched them over and so on and so forth.

I was frankly surprised as to how close I'd gotten the MP2 to my main "Marshall JCM800 / Jubilee crunch" patch of the HK Access, specially given that I'd programmed the MP2 with a different rig / setting, in a different time and away from the HK Access. It just showed to me that if you put the time, the MP2 can take you there (and also that I seem to have my preferred tones pretty much permanently printed in my brain).

However, in all honesty, while the base tone of a full-blasting power chord was almost the same between the two, it is true that the HK sounded more open and, above all, reacted much more dynamically.

So, you don't need the tone to be compressed at all to get the same level of overdrive, the HK Access was just as overdriven and powerful as the MP2 but responded marvelously to pick attack, guitar volume and playing nuances and cut through better.

This, I feel, is one aspect the ADA engineers unfortunately underestimated, because otherwise the MP2 is a really fantastic preamp.
And I think this has nothing to do with available technology because I think the HK Access is even older than the MP2. 
Probably, just a matter of engineering decisions trying to achieve an intended specific sound (you can guess this by the MP2's presets, which I am not fond at all. Way too processed sounding, indeed, for me and my tastes, at least.)

While I managed to get very good clean tones (specially for 80's pop / funk playing a la David Williams / Nile Rodgers and other studio session cats), and a very convincing Marshall JCM 800 / Jubilee (my main recording amp) tone out of the MP2, it's been quite a struggle to get a semi-clean, semi-distorted tone that I find satisfying.

I've tried many voicings and achieved some good sounding base tones but the problem ends up always being the same - dynamics.
The lack of dynamics is a particularly grave matter when wanting to play in these registers, think Stevie Ray Vaughan and the way his tone and overdrive changes when he digs in.

So, even when I get a nice edgy overdriven clean-ish base tone (how to describe such thing?), it sounds a little bit flat and static because it seems to stay the same, no matter how I approach the guitar.

For synth connoisseurs, I'd say it is a little bit as an old rompler sounds, much more predictable and "fake" sounding, compared to a true analog synth, which exude moving sounds.
Think also the machine gunning effect in some electronic drum sets, if you know what I mean.

I have yet to put some more time into my MP2's and work some of the voicings more in depth (some of them I barely touched because I did not like their tone characteristics right from the start).
But is there anything we could do to radically "open up" the MP2 and make it more lively? Paleeaase?  :'(


 
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rnolan

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Try some Mullard long plates, opens up the MP2, see posts elsewhere here about it.
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vansinn

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Yeah, been contemplating trying dem long-plates..
Also could try swapping one of the tubes for a 12at7; sure, I'd loose some distortion gain, but voicing 8 and 9 has plenty additional gain to boot, so..  just a bit extra from a pre-gain pedal would likely compensate just fine.

Will a little while, though.  Life in a trailer puts more pressing demands on lifestyle, so..  :-\
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