Author Topic: Easiest distortion?  (Read 646 times)

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Offline gnarles

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Easiest distortion?
« on: September 13, 2016, 05:23:30 pm »
Hello! I'm about to sell my Orange, and I really want a Sunn for guitar and bass! I'm thinking a 200s so far, but not sure. It depends on this: which Sunn amps are pushed to distortion easiest? Or, which Sunn amps break up at lower volumes? Do they break up better with a bass? I don't have the luxury to crank an amp really really loud, but I want that classic Sunn distorted tone. Thanks!

Offline Isaac

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 07:06:31 am »
Distortion runs counter to Sunn's design philosophy, from that period at least. The early Sunn tube amps up to but not including the Model T were designed to play clean and loud. The Model T included a master volume, which allowed cranking the preamp volume while turning the master volume down. The only exceptions I know of are the PA heads. For example, I have a Concert PA which has four inputs, each with its own volume control, and a master volume control.

One advantage to Sunn's high fidelity design philosophy is that the amps take pedals beautifully.
Isaac

Offline gnarles

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 05:33:45 pm »
Got it. Awesome, thanks. I figured so. I've just read (and heard) doom/metal bands (like the band Sunn O))) ) pushing it to natural distortion at ungodly high volumes. Thought it would be possible to maybe push it at around 3 to 5 or so on a lower wattage amp, but I definitely can use the clean. Now I'm wondering at what volume some of you Sunn players get break up, if you do use it for that, or have even had natural distortion out of a Sunn, if not at a lower volume?

Offline Isaac

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 07:31:21 am »
I have a Scholtz Power Soak that I use if I need that, but I'm playing bass pretty much exclusively these days and don't need it. I generally need more power, not less!
Isaac

Offline gnarles

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 02:14:35 pm »
I hear you dude! I didn't even think of an attenuator, that'll work perfectly. Thanks Issac. So you know of an attenuator that works for a 100 watt Sunn besides a Sholz? I've read that most power soak's aren't for a high wattage amps?

Offline Isaac

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 10:36:02 am »
The Scholtz Power Soak is rated for 100 watt amps, IIRC. I'd think twice before cranking a Model T through it, but never hesitated with my Sentura II.
Isaac

Offline gnarles

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 09:16:57 pm »
Thanks Isaac! Just one more question: any other attenuators you might recommend rated for a 100watt (If a Sholtz isn't available?) I looked up some newer attenuators, but the one's I saw aren't really suited for high wattage amps.

Offline Isaac

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 07:47:55 am »
I'm afraid I can't. I'm not familiar with any other brand, as I've owned my Scholtz for decades now. I do know that some players prefer other brands, saying that the Scholtz provides a purely resistive load rather than the complex load of an actual speaker, and therefore changes the sound of the amp. That hasn't been my experience, but YMMV.

I'm surprised that newer attenuators aren't suited for high power amps. I always figured that's what they were for!
Isaac

Offline gnarles

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 04:27:44 pm »
I've read a ton of attenuator's alter the sound of an amp, especially when getting a high watt amp at a lower volume. I might just crank it a little louder than usual, while rolling off some volume with an attenuator, but not too much, so that I don't sacrifice a lot of tone. We'll see. Anyways, no more questions, I think I've got it. You've been a huge help Isaac, thanks! Cheers!

Offline Soundmasterg

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Re: Easiest distortion?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 09:38:37 pm »
In my experience the best way to get controllable loud sound with distortion at lower volumes is to use power scaling in your amp. That needs to be designed into the amp, or retrofitted, and it needs a master volume in addition to the power scale control to work correctly. I built myself a 50 watt amp that uses this circuit and I can use the amp anywhere and get the loud sound at any volume. You can find out more about it at www.londonpower.com if you want to.

Greg