NGD: Fractal FM3

cardinal

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^ What amp are you using? I'm finding that the power amp makes more of a difference than I think some of the talk around these would imply.

I tried to use my Crown power amp, but this means messing with the speaker interaction settings to try to optimize for your particular cab, and it still, to my ears, sounded and felt a bit artificial in a way I can't describe well. Not bad by any means, but if accuracy compared to tube amps is your thing, that amp didn't pair without a bunch of tweaking. I tried through the FX return of my Mark IV, and it's less artificial, but I found everything was weirdly bright. The best I've gotten so far is in the return of the Mark V:25 weirdly enough. You'd think that would have been the bright sounding solution, but somehow it's the opposite.

Im more familiar with the Mark II and III circuit, but I assume the IV is similar, so the FX return is in an odd place and still runs through a bit of the preamp (which is why running the GEQ pedal in the loop isn't the same as just having it from the factory, which is placed after the preamp). I think since the Mark V, Mesa moved the loop to after the preamp.
 

TedEH

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That would make some sense. I wasn't aware of this. Any idea what, if any, controls would still have an effect on the signal after the return?
 

Deadpool_25

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^ What amp are you using? I'm finding that the power amp makes more of a difference than I think some of the talk around these would imply.

I tried to use my Crown power amp, but this means messing with the speaker interaction settings to try to optimize for your particular cab, and it still, to my ears, sounded and felt a bit artificial in a way I can't describe well. Not bad by any means, but if accuracy compared to tube amps is your thing, that amp didn't pair without a bunch of tweaking. I tried through the FX return of my Mark IV, and it's less artificial, but I found everything was weirdly bright. The best I've gotten so far is in the return of the Mark V:25 weirdly enough. You'd think that would have been the bright sounding solution, but somehow it's the opposite.

I use the power sections of my EVH amp(s). Seems very plug and play for me. I just disable cabinet modeling.
 

cardinal

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That would make some sense. I wasn't aware of this. Any idea what, if any, controls would still have an effect on the signal after the return?
I don't think any of the controls will impact it (other than the GEQ); the tone stack is before the loop send. It's just that the loop return is before the last preamp gain stage so the signal gets colored by it.
 

TedEH

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I looked up some of the documentation for that amp - the presence controls are also after the loop on the IV, which could make a difference. Which makes sense, since I think presence controls are part of the power section on most (all?) amps. Something to do with negative feedback.
 

MASS DEFECT

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Plugging in my Fractal to any Mesa Mark efx return colors the tone too much. You get the Mark presence and that tight power amp attack no matter what amp model you choose.

5150 style amps have more transparent power amps. Heck, even my last Rectifier was more modeler friendly than the Marks. The Rectos just sound like the Mesa 290 Poweramp. Lovely sag and openness on live settings.

I use SS poweramps and I used Leon Todd's Sinewave technique to dial in my cab resonance with the FM9.
 

cardinal

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I think a tube power amp with no negative feedback and the presence control on zero is supposed to get as neutral as possible.
 

TedEH

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I think a tube power amp with no negative feedback and the presence control on zero is supposed to get as neutral as possible.
I tried again this morning with the Mark IV - this time taking the presence knob all the way down and it sounds closer to neutral to me.
 

The Thing Upstairs

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^ What amp are you using? I'm finding that the power amp makes more of a difference than I think some of the talk around these would imply.

I tried to use my Crown power amp, but this means messing with the speaker interaction settings to try to optimize for your particular cab, and it still, to my ears, sounded and felt a bit artificial in a way I can't describe well. Not bad by any means, but if accuracy compared to tube amps is your thing, that amp didn't pair without a bunch of tweaking. I tried through the FX return of my Mark IV, and it's less artificial, but I found everything was weirdly bright. The best I've gotten so far is in the return of the Mark V:25 weirdly enough. You'd think that would have been the bright sounding solution, but somehow it's the opposite.

I'd suggest trying a flat power amp like the powerstage.

Im using the return loop on a Boss Waza TAE into a Zilla 212. As the Waza power amp is flat, I set the AxeFx settings to SS amp and cab (default is FRFR) and change the speaker impedance to the Godzilla cab as res freq for that cab curve is only .5 out from the measurements I took using Leon Todd's video.

I've used the return loop on a 5153 50watt and directly compared the model. I couldn't hear discernible difference. I perceived I could feel one but I'd wager that if I were blindfolded it'd be pot luck.
 

TedEH

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I'd suggest trying a flat power amp like the powerstage.
Is a powerstage going to be any more flat than the Crown I'm using already? It's a PA amp, it's meant to be pretty transparent, I would think.

I actually did get something much better out of it today:
I've been finding the speaker curve settings are a great way to accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. I kept picking the Recto Strait preset as a starting point but it turns out that curve is pretty extreme. I had done the whole sine sweep thing, and also tried to measure with an eq and some chugs through an amp, and found that both my own cab and a Recto cab I tried recently both land pretty close to 120hz - which is where the Recto Small preset has it by default. That one's a much less extreme curve overall. When I picked this one I'm suddenly back in very-convincing territory. I think I've learned from this that it's not juuuuust the LF knob that matters. Even with the other preset altered to match that 120hz, the rest of the curve was too extreme and was making any amp I stuck it on get way too bright.

You certainly can't say this thing doesn't have a learning curve. Each AHA moment seems to come with a significant improvement in the results I'm getting though. So that's good.
 

cardinal

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Is a powerstage going to be any more flat than the Crown I'm using already? It's a PA amp, it's meant to be pretty transparent, I would think.

I actually did get something much better out of it today:
I've been finding the speaker curve settings are a great way to accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. I kept picking the Recto Strait preset as a starting point but it turns out that curve is pretty extreme. I had done the whole sine sweep thing, and also tried to measure with an eq and some chugs through an amp, and found that both my own cab and a Recto cab I tried recently both land pretty close to 120hz - which is where the Recto Small preset has it by default. That one's a much less extreme curve overall. When I picked this one I'm suddenly back in very-convincing territory. I think I've learned from this that it's not juuuuust the LF knob that matters. Even with the other preset altered to match that 120hz, the rest of the curve was too extreme and was making any amp I stuck it on get way too bright.

You certainly can't say this thing doesn't have a learning curve. Each AHA moment seems to come with a significant improvement in the results I'm getting though. So that's good.

ive not messed with the Recto Straight curve, but IMHO something is wrong with the Recto Large Curve. It's super scoops and bright and boomy. It does not seem to replicate any Recto cab I've had (maybe 5? I know; im an idiot). Perhaps something is wrong with thr Recto Straight Curve too.

The Recto Slant curve seems much closer to the OS412s I've had (which are all slants).
 

TedEH

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I think the recto cab I was using was the normal sized one, not the OS. I think....? My personal cab is definitely smaller than that. I think I had figured all v30 cabs must be the same-ish, but looking at the differences between those presets, I'm either very wrong, or those curves are very wrong. I read on a thread somewhere on the Fractal forum that supposedly a lot of v30 loaded generic cabs end up having the LF land pretty close to 120hz. I have no idea how much truth there is to that.
 

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Guys, I got a new job and I can now afford an upgrade from the Pod Go. Trying to be objective as possible, would the FM3 be a massive upgrade in sound quality/feel? I'm very, very happy with the Pod Go, but it's definitely a compromise because it was all I could afford at the time. It could be a grass is greener thing; I'm not looking to spend the money if the difference between the two isn't significant.
 

laxu

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With the speaker impedance curves it's best not to get too hung up on what type of cab it is but just use what sounds and feels good to you. I still can't decide if I like the "resistive load" setting or one of the speaker impedance curves when hooking the FM3 up to my Fryette Power Station 100. It seems to vary by amp model.
 

cardinal

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Power Station imparts its own impedance curve, so you can end up double stacking. Switches to flat, and presence and resonance off would be as close to flat as possible, I assume.
 

cwhitey2

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I finally upgraded to Cygnus last night :lol:

I feel like the output volume/levels are all whacked after the update. I played around with some of the settings to get it close to what I had or think I had previously (not sure what the settings were).

Did this happen to everyone after the update?
 

budda

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I finally upgraded to Cygnus last night :lol:

I feel like the output volume/levels are all whacked after the update. I played around with some of the settings to get it close to what I had or think I had previously (not sure what the settings were).

Did this happen to everyone after the update?

If there was a level change (probably) in cygnus, its in the release notes.
 


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