Saturday, 12 April 2014

Tony McKenzie.Com....

Many many moons ago when I first though about getting a TC G-System and was searching the interweb for info on it I came across a site by a guy called Tony McKenzie....


His site is massive and the reviews he does are in-depth bordering on nerdy....and that's a good thing right....if your thinking of spending money on something....you want a review that takes the thing apart and really shows you what your buying....I can't remember the last time I bought a guitar magazine....they give you a page and a half at best and a chopped up video of clip-pits....I want meat and bones and 15 minutes videos so I can really see and hear the thing....Tony looks like he knows his stuff around an amp and that makes his reviews so good....The internet is full of great guitarists nuderling on youtube....but when your about to spend some money you really want a nerd....that's what I try and do....I guess it was Tony's site that made me do this blog....but his site is really how I wish this one would read if I only had the time....


Tony makes a good YouTube video too....This is what you want from a review....and it's only part 1...magazines take note....

Anyway....I was surfing....came across his site again and found myself on his news page....

"Hi guys, firstly some news that relates to my health. I was recently informed that I have prostate cancer. While this is in the earlier stages of the disease it is likely that it will affect the reviews that I will carry out in the shorter term. I will be getting that health problem resolved (hopefully) over the next few months. If for some obscure reason It does not get resolved, then I thank you all for visiting this site and seeing the things I have developed (and of course on my YouTube channel). BTW if you do go there, just click those little thumbs on my channel ;-) as that is always appreciated."

....that was November 2013....I got in touch and Tony is going for an operation next month....1st May 2014....

Tony....I hope it all goes well for your operation and you beat this....the internet would be a bit dimmer without you mate....k.j.

http://www.tonymckenzie.com/index.htm
http://www.youtube.com/user/tonymckenziecom

Friday, 11 April 2014

Living with my Evil Robot C30....Up-Dated....

I've had my Evil Robot for a while now....so what have I found playing it over that time....


It's a aggressive S-O-B in Phil X mode that benefits from a reduction in gain that comes from changing the V1 12AX7 tube for a 12AU7. I have also placed a modded BOSS GE-7 in the C-30's loop to allow me to tweak the EQ....the C-30 has a very focused tone that sounds great with a drummer....but on its own can be a little too much....the GE-7 lets you take the edge off....and that the Vibrato only works with a 12AU7 tube....oh and that the footswitch is rather piss poor....


The C-30's cab is very tightly packed on the inside....changing the speaker for something else is going to be a challenge....I found that the magnet on a Vintage 30 too big to fit in-front of the transforms....To make the fan work better it needs something to channel the air flow upwards....


....and that White Knobs look way more cooler than the standard black one's....in the dark....black on black is really hard to see....


....not that my C-30 needs to stand out more....


My C-30 is mainly for home use and is the best small amp I've ever owned....I have played better amps....but they have all cost 5 times as much so should be better....for the money the C-30 is an outstanding little amp....

Over the weekend I started to hear a harshness in the C-30's tone....the tell tail signs that the power tubes were on their way out....I have been giving the 6L6's in the amp a real pounding and decided to try out EL34's but then found a set of 5881's I have had for years and had never used. 5881 tubes are lower powered 6L6's....6L6's give out a maximum of 30watts....24watts for the 5881....more importantly 5881's will break up earlier than 6L6's. I found that with the 5881 tubes....the C-30 became very clean....too clean with a 12AU7 in the V1 position....


With my C-30 now back in Phil X mode with a 12AX7 in V1 and with the 5881's I found I could drop the gain in the Pre Amp Channels and crank up the Master Volumes giving as near as perfect home low volume tones....the 6L6's staying clean with louder Master Volume levels you have turn up the gain in the Channels thus making standard Evil Robot tones too much for my talents....but with the 5881 power tubes I seem to have found a balance that I can work with....the C-30 still gets loud when you need loud....and now runs a lot cooler than with the 6L6's....which is cool also....k.j.

V1 - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Pre Amp
V2 - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Pre Amp
V3 - 12AU7 - ECC82 - Vibrato
V4 - 12AT7 - ECC81 - Loop
V5 - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Phase Inverter

2x - 5881 - Power Amp Tubes

All tubes are JJ's

***********************************************************************

And so to the Up-Date...."for jojopereira12"

Unfortunately new Sovtek 5881's are not the same as the old ones I had and the Tung-Sol's that I hoped were going to be similar to the old Sovtek's...."Sovtek and Tung-Sol are the same company....Tung-Sol is the name given to their up market tubes"....were a bit disappointing so I have gone back to 6L6's....


I thought I would give a full set of Tung-Sol's a go in the Evil Robot and again a bit disappointing....


Too warm....all the bite had gone....a very nice tone....but not enough top end for my liking....


For the power tubes I have gone for a set of TAD 6L6's....these being the best so far....After a lot of messing again with the tubes I have gone with Tung-Sol's for the channel tubes and JJ's for the rest of the pre amp tubes....the Tung-Sols warmth keeping all the harshness under check with the JJ's keeping the presence and the bite from desapering through the Loop and Phase tubes....


In the Evil's V1 tube I have settled on a Tung-Sol EEC803S Gold Pin 12AX7....now before you say "gold pin bullshit"....the EEC803S has to be the best sounding tube I have ever played through and all of my amps are going to have one fitted....before you buy any other pre amp or power tubes try one of these....this one little tube could very well save you a load of cash....


I'm still using a EQ pedal last inline in the loop to help shape the overall tone....I not boosting or cutting any frequencies massively....just tweaking the EQ more to what I think is sweet sounding....

I have also found using a clean boost....I'm using a Rothwell Atomic Boost....in the loop helps give you a big sounding tone at home friendly volumes....you can get the same tone from using the amps master volume but by the time you have dialed in the same punch and power you have also turned up the amps overall volume and are now playing at a home unfriendly volume....The Clean boost also helps to keep the Evil Robot clean sounding....as you turn up the gain in the pre amp your going to get more break up....more volume and your tone is going to get fuller....using a clean boost your just tuning up the volume and also end up having more control over keeping the amp in the sweet spot at home lowwer volumes....I have always played too loudly at home but with this set up I'm surprised at how quiet I can play and still keep the amp in the sweet spot....


This video is not the best sounding but you can hear what the EQ and Boost pedals are doing....I will re-do the video first chance I get....For home use this set-up is killer....

Tubes I'm using now are....

V1 - Tung-Sol - 12AX7 - ECC803S - Gold Pin - Pre Amp Channel
V2 - Tung-Sol - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Pre Amp Channel
V3 - JJ - 12AU7 - ECC82 - Vibrato
V4 - JJ - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Loop
V5 - JJ - 12AX7 - ECC83 - Phase Inverter

2x - TAD - 6L6WGC-STR - Power Amp Tubes

Remember....I'm using this amp at home....If your going to want to Jam and do Gigs with yours....I would stick to using a quad set of 6V6's....and get yourself an EQ pedal for some extra tone shaping....but before anything else try a Tung-Sol ECC803S Gold Pin tube in V1....Hope this helps....k.j.