Getting more "metal" than Supercrunch

THE NEW #1. Series One Amplifiers.
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Paradox
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:52 pm

Hi All!

hopefully this can set off a nice discussion with lots of feedback (no pun intended). I have recently invested in a lovely series one 45, attracted by the DPR / ISF functions and its reputation for a great valve combo. However i knew from reading reviews that I would have to find a distortion pedal to get modern metal sounds when i wanted them as the supercrunch channel doesn't quite have enough gain. i kind of agree with this statement after testing out the sounds I can get with this amp, although i have never pushed the DPR further than 4.5 as I have not had the chance tp get it out of the house and push things (any comment on this welcome - could be the key?) I find the supercrunch can give you great AC/DC and some Iron Maiden, but Metallica and more modern metal bands it doesn't quite seem to cut the mustard.

I own a Boss ME-50 MFX processor and this goes in through the effects loop on the amp (sacrificing all distortion and good wah properties) so that i can still utilise the ambient or time based FX such as delay / reverb / chorus etc and get the best out of it (when i used this in my old marshall valvestate clean channels, it just went in the front of the amp).

So the pedal that i have bought and stuck in front of the amp (going through the clean channels - warm or bright, not on top of the OD channels) is a Boss Metal Zone MT-2, which is modified with better components (supposedly). This pedal has EQ functionality, so it does give some flexibility, but also complicates getting the tone right from the amp. It has the higher gain that i am looking for....

BUT.

I find that the pedal seems to ROB the lovely warm tone heard from supercrunch channel.

So i have a few questions to ask you Blackstar fiends.

1. Is this to be expected from any stomp box that i were to put in front of the amp?

2. If not, should i be using the EQ settings on the pedal or the amp (meaning which EQ should be flat and which should be modified)? Or is the EQ function (on the pedal) existing at all the whole crux of the problem?

3. Should I use the pedal (or even a different pedal) to top up the gain from the supercrunch channel and what is the best way to do this? Have tried this momentarily but instant feedback ensues.

4. The the very expensive Blackfire pedal the answer to my problem? I see the demo on youtube ft Gus G actually has a 45 combo and it sounds great.

I own a Jackson SLAT-3 soloist (EMG actives) and a modified Les Paul Black beauty with switchable EMG actives.

Cheers,

Rich

KKND
Posts: 770
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Oman

Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:48 am

Hello there, probably i am not suppose to post here as i don't own an S1...(Yet!) anyways, when the dealer got the Blackstars, i tried the S1-100 Vs HT 100 & S1-45 Vs HT Stage 60! and the S1 smoked the HT series in all aspects EXCEPT the hi gain aspect....i managed an Iron Maiden crunch out of the S1 but Chugga Chugga MOP and Black Album Metallica which is the benchmark of tone (for me!) was difficult to get..yes i was in relatively low volumes and low wattage mode BUT the HT venue series managed GOOD Metallica tone at low volumes so i went ahead an bought the 60.

Buying a distortion pedal and putting it in front of the clean channel is wast of resources with the S1..The 45 had to be the most beautifully crafted, and sounding amp i have seen...i haven't seen much but still. It gives you goose bumps when you play it, it is versatile but not a high gain monster.

Blackstar realized that problem and released two 100 watts heads based on the S1-200 which is a hi gain Monster. The 100 watts are EL34 and 6L6 based, 6L6 screams metal...the EL34 is ought to be more gainy than the S1-45....4 channels 6 modes Image

So , maybe some would suggest an OD like the TS-9 with max vol and zero gain to boost the super crunch on the S1-45, or try out the S104.....

My two cents.....all the best.

P.S: i swapped pre amp tubes, power tubes and probably will swap the speakers on the venue series...it needs upgrading. you don't have to bother with upgrades on the S1!


steve
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 12:00 am

Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi,
I have the series one 100 head. I boost it with a tubescreamer style pedal,this gives me all the gain i need.

The biggest thing with this amp is volume, its not a home practise amp. It needs to be loud for the tone and power amp to kick in. My overdrive channel volume is at 5 (12 oclock) and the same on the master volume,these are settings i use when gigging. The amp comes alive. DPR should be low for power amp compression, mines on about 3 (35 watts ish).

Try a overdrive pedal (not distortion) on top of the od channels and you should be getting there.Hope this helps.

Paradox
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:49 pm

OK, so i didnt get many replies, but thanks to those that contributed. I guess there aren't that many S1-45 users out there that have found the forum yet.

So I though i would update this thread with what i have been experimenting with.

I gave up trying to make the Boss MT-2 work, it just didn't cut it with me. I took the pedal to a guitar store that had the Blackstar amps and the Blackfire pedal and I demo'd them side by side on an HT 60 throught the clean channel. The Blacksire sounded quality, wheras the MT-2 as suspected just sounded artificial. I tried both on flat EQ settings.

I gave in and forked out for the Blackfire pedal, even though i couldn't test it on a S1-45 in the shop that day.

So after a lot of fiddling around, I must say that the Blackfire (in Fire mode) doesn't really add that much more gain than the supercrunch channel, it just has a different "voicing" - and that may just actually be due to going through the warm clean channel. If I go through the bright channel with the Blackfire, the gain sounds like the supercrunch channel on the amp, but the tone is subtley different.

However in Fury mode, there is a little more difference in gain and this is where the pedal really shines and becomes useful as it can be used as a boost channel and adds more middle immediately when you need to cut through with a searing solo.

Even thought he Blackfire pedal in normal Fire mode does not add that much more gain, it DOES sound better for that modern metal tone (through the warm clean channel).

Through all this trial i thought that the pedal sounded very "dark". I ended up buying a behringer spectrum enhancer off ebay for £10 and put it in the effects loop. this really gave me some searing chainsaw type modern distortion with the pedal. What i then stumbled upon, was that I had not actually experimented so much with the presence setting on the amp, increasing this this allowed a similar effect as the behringer (without the background noise).

What i have not been able to do is actually push this amp as suggested above. I have only been in a situation where i have been able to max out the DPR (45 watts) with channel and master volumes at about 10 o'clock, which is pretty mighty loud. The amp really barks! I was not really in position to get the preferred tone out of it as my jam buddy just wanted to play, but i did think that the amp is VERY bright / lots of middle - but I could have defintely adjusted this.

What I now have to figure out; should i use the EQ settings / ISF on pedal or on the amp. at the moment I "copy" the EQ settings on amp with what i have on the pedal. perhaps one should be flat (at 12 o'clock), the other should be adjusted to my preference

any suggestions welcome!

Zado
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:00 am
Contact:

Wed May 18, 2011 3:33 pm

KKND wrote:Hello there, probably i am not suppose to post here as i don't own an S1...(Yet!) anyways, when the dealer got the Blackstars, i tried the S1-100 Vs HT 100 & S1-45 Vs HT Stage 60! and the S1 smoked the HT series in all aspects EXCEPT the hi gain aspect....i managed an Iron Maiden crunch out of the S1 but Chugga Chugga MOP and Black Album Metallica which is the benchmark of tone (for me!) was difficult to get..yes i was in relatively low volumes and low wattage mode BUT the HT venue series managed GOOD Metallica tone at low volumes so i went ahead an bought the 60.


P.S: i swapped pre amp tubes, power tubes and probably will swap the speakers on the venue series...it needs upgrading. you don't have to bother with upgrades on the S1!
That's because the S1 has an all tube signal path which delivers the distortion,the HT series doesn't,it's helped by some diodes,so the distorton is much more powerful.In addition,the S1 45/100 watters lack of the 4 channes of the 104s/200 that give you the extreme punch needed.The s-1 100 and 45 are NOT metal amplifiers,more hard rock oriented


Yeah the speakers in HT cabs n combos kinda sux,I guess they are celestion seventeen 80,not the best speakers on the market...

Series one and artisan cabs are awesome instead (celestion v30 and super awesome construction for the artisan)

jonS1200guy
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:00 am
Location: Evansville, IN

Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:26 am

if i played live, and had the money...maybe next bonus check...i'd get another series 1 200 watt head. then i'd run my guitars through an a/b/y switch to run both heads at the same time....one on supercruch, and the other on OD2. that'd be a wall of sound like no other.

but yeah, without those other overdrive channels, you're not going to get that modern crunch that you want out of it.

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