Why does my sound get worse as I turn up the volume?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by kindsage, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I'm currently running my guitar into an AMT R2 preamp then a Mosvalve 500 watt poweramp. So my rig is completely solidstate. You know how people say some amps don't "open up" and start sounding good until you crank them? Well I have the opposite problem

    My bedroom sound is GREAT. Ideal to me but, once I start hitting stage volumes my sound goes downhill. The lows start to disappear, the highs start to get harsh, and that sweet crunchiness starts to get a little fuzzy.

    Why is this happening? Is it my poweramp? I try to compensate by rolling back my tone knob or turning down presence but, then my sound gets dull. How can I remedy this problem?
     
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  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    i thought this was always a well documented known issue of using SS power?

    other than high end gear like Axe/Kemper, i think SS will always create this issue. You might have to replace the SS poweramp with something tube if you want that nice, organic warmth live at loud volumes.
     
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  3. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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  4. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I don't know though. I remember having this problem when I owned my 6505 as well
     
  5. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    This makes sense. I'll try to dial in my tone from scratch again
     
  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    It may be the mosvalve poweramp clipping, I don't really know much about those poweramps, or how loud they can get before the sound deteriorates.

    But the Fletcher Munson curve contributes regardless of the gear. If you felt the same about your 6505, I'd assume its not the gear, its the settings.

    as said above, in our bedrooms, we like to turn up bass and highs and scoop the mids, partially due to us not being in a mix with other instruments where we need the mids to not get lost, and partially due to the way our ears respond to frequencies dependent on volume.

    I remember when I first got to play my good gear at high volume, my tones sucked. When I turned up mids a lot, and turned down bass and treble a lot, it sounded much better.

    Room resonances also have a huge effect, especially at loud volumes. A room with concrete floors is going to be a lot brighter with way worse flutter echo than a carpeted room, or a room full of furniture and other soft objects that can dampen high end.
     
  7. 7 Strings of Hate

    7 Strings of Hate Mid-Level Asshole Contributor

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    Roll back your gain as you increase volume
     
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  8. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Without seeing your settings I would venture a guess that tour mids are scooped. Roll back the bass and boost the mids more as you get louder.
     
  9. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Try a 4x12 loaded with EVM or Delta Pro speakers.

    I think it has more to do with the overall dB level and how it changes the sound/timbre, and how our ears perceive it naturally.
     
  10. primitiverebelworld

    primitiverebelworld SS.org Regular

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    Same deal here like OP has - when my rig hits high volume territory a lot of low end fades, hi-mids get piercing and high end starts to produce certain scratchy accent. Since it has been more or less the case using different amps and pickups(emg 57 is the most pleasant so far) I have decided to swap out this chinese V30 speaker for Swamp Thangs(wanna try eminence). And get some old carpets for walls.
     
  11. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    Absolutely eq your sound for the volume you play at. Not, for your practice level.
     
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  12. primitiverebelworld

    primitiverebelworld SS.org Regular

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    And this problem was a little less present with tube amp but still there. Now playing SS but I suspect that cab speaker change would be beneficial for OP and me too.
     
  13. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Reduce gain and readjust eq. Probably a touch more mids, and less bass. This is a normal occurrence as volume level and perception of sound interact.
     
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  14. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    This.:cheers:
     
  15. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Hey pal! How do u have your R2 and MV500 set?
     
  16. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    Hey! For the R2 I usually have the mids and high's dimed with the lows at about 2oclock. The gain is set to about 10oclock and the volume is at 9oclock.

    For the Mosvalve I usually don't take the volume past 10oclock and I keep the presence at about 3oclock.

    I toyed with my EQ today and found that decreasing the gain and the highs on the preamp helped a decent amount. My tone still sounds worse at higher volumes but, it's definitely better than before.

    Rolling back the tone knob on my guitar didn't help at all. Rolling back tone on the OD pedals actually did help slightly. Lastly, rolling back the presence on the poweramp killed my crunch and clarity quicker than anything else.

    I'm going to maybe try a new poweramp down the road, along with some more sensitive speakers. If my understanding is correct, with higher sensitivity speakers I can dual back my poweramp a bit and still be just as loud. This should help keep my poweramp in its "linear region" of operation. i.e. Hopefully no poweramp clipping
     
  17. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    This happens to me too but I always thought it was my playing.
     
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  18. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Try setting the R2 at about high at noon, mids at 2, low at noon.
    Keep gain at 10 o clock.
    And for now turn ALL THE WAY DOWN.
    On poweramp set volume to noon.
    After that use the volume on the R2 until you get to desired overall volume.
    Tell me how it goes!
    Also super high wattage speakers would prob serve you well. Im reeeally loving my emi delta 12As a lot. 400w a piece! And they are CHEAP!
     
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  19. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

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    Definitely shouldn't be the power amp, I used the smaller MosValve 962 in a stereo rack rig and it sounded great, those are great poweramps. FWIW, Jerry Cantrell used the 500 on the early AiC stuff.
     
  20. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Maybe the filter caps in the Mosvalve are worn out, sapping your bass response at higher SPL. Also the AMT pedals don't do so well with older SS power amps IMO. Also certain speaker and cab combos don't interact well with SS power at high SPL.
     

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