AD200 and synths

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fiaj
Tiny Terror
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AD200 and synths

Post by fiaj » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:00 am

Hello,
Got an AD200B the other day for my Warwick and they are getting on beautifully. I agree with most that the amp could use a bit more clean head room, in fact a LOT more. I don't think i would ever have enough clean volume to gig with but i'll change the preamp tubes at the least and see how that helps.
The tones are astounding anyway, and the break up at high gain is wonderful when you want it.
Anyway, my question is with synths.
I just got a Moog Little Phatty Stage II to use live and for my weird Death Metal/Jazz/Funk project and i have been using the AD bass head for the synth. I am assuming that i should be using the Active input for the synth as it is a powered circuit but i don't actually know the difference in resistance and i don't want to hurt the amp or synth.
Could someone with some actuall knowledge let me know the best thing to do?
I also want to use the synth through my Rockerverb for the higher end playing, i assume this would be okay? I know i shouldn't try and use a guitar cab as the speakers wouldn't get on with a synth's frequency range but i'm thinking Verby and my 4x10 8ohm bass cab will be okay?
Thanks!

a.hun
Duke of Orange
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Re: AD200 and synths

Post by a.hun » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Hi fiaj.

I know what you mean about clean headroom - Oranges are basically dirty amps. I've been gigging my OR120 for bass for 30+ years, and for such a powerful guitar amp the clean headroom for bass is pretty pitiful. Sounds fantastic though. Thing is though that the early overdrive really isn't that obvious in a band mix and it all cuts through surprisingly well. (For max headroom I just keep the master volume maxed and use the gain to control things.) So unless you are after squeaky clean cleans I've not found it a problem. Best answer of course is always to use really efficient bass cabs. What are you using with it?

The active input is probably just an attenuated version of the normal one. It doesn't actually really matter if a bass is active or not. Some active ones don't have massively high outputs whereas some passive p/ups can be very hot indeed. The different inputs just give you a choice to give you a bit more flexibility - especially with the input gain control - for instruments with different output levels. So it really depends on the output level of your synths, but valves are very robust electronically and you'll not break anything even putting a relatively hot signal into the normal input. You can basically use whichever you want, but you'll obviously be able to dial the gain a bit higher before preamp distortion with the active one. Just play it by ear!

Yes you want to be a bit careful about putting too much power at low bass frequencies into guitar cabs. Your R.Verb into a 4x10 bass cab should be fine.

Warwicks are beautiful basses. A mate has a lovely old Corvette ProLine and it has about the best DI'd sound of any bass I've ever heard for straight to desk recording. 8)


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

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bassdrop
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Re: AD200 and synths

Post by bassdrop » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:38 pm

Couple of things to keep in mind with the AD200. As Andy mentioned an efficient bass cab does wonders for keeping your gain clean. The Aggie DB410 that I run is about 101db and it can be crushingly loud in most rooms. One key is, don't be afraid to max out the master volume first and then set your gain. There are four stages of gain in the AD200 which is a heck of a lot for a bass amp. I've tamed mine a bit by putting a 5751 in the V2 position where that tube then gives 30% less gain coming out of the tone stack. You may also want to look at getting an NOS, Ruby, Groove Tube, etc. where you can specify slightly less gain because the Chinese 12AX7's, although they sound pretty good, are often a good bit higher gain than the actual 12AX7 spec. The V1 tube is the most critical tube for tone in the whole amp so NOS here may be worth it, just make sure the dealer is reputable. The PI tube (V3) should also be a low gain 12AT7, but doesn't have to be NOS. If you do spring for new preamp tubes don't pay extra for balanced triodes—not necessary.

Another trick that sounds weird at first is run a low gain OD pedal between the synth and the amp. I run Fulltone BassDrive 2 with low gain and OD on my bass and it cuts some of the extreme lows and highs, then punches up the mids for a more focused tone that also requires less volume to cut through. If I need a smoother tone I just click it off.

All said, just a bit of extra hair on your tone will actually help you to sit well in the mix. John Medeski plays his Moog Voyager through an overdriven Kay amp mic'd through the P.A. and it sounds pretty righteous. You can check out some of his tones here, if you are among the unitiated 8) : http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Medeski ... _Villette/
mmmmmm drop

Guthrie Matthews Method
http://www.guthriematthews.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Modified Fender Custom Shop Jazz, Warmoth P/J clone,
Orange AD200 MkIII, Barefaced Compact

fiaj
Tiny Terror
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Re: AD200 and synths

Post by fiaj » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:24 pm

Thanks to both of you.

I'm running the head through an OBC410 and an OBC115. I realised straight away that i had to have the master up full for any decent clean volume. And i realise that the gainier tones will cut through well but i will be using the amp for a lot of different projects and sometimes i really want just the cleanest cleans ever, mainly for super fat, bassy dub. I'll look into getting some different tubes to clean it up when i can afford it but i'm perfectly happy for now and won;t be doing any gigging for a few months while i hibernate and record.
With the synth there is plenty of headroom, as the synth has lots of volume to hand. I can keep the gain down to 1 or 2 and have the master on the amp up half way and i reckon it would fill a church and shake the windows no problem. It's just with my bass that it's a bit weak, but as i said, only for certain tones. But i like to have versatility, probably an odd choice of amp for someone wanting versatility but i've never heard anything i loved so much for my Warwick.
And yeah, Warwicks are astounding! I have a 6 string fretless Thumb made of Ovangkol, the punch and growl is like nothing i've ever heard, sooo fat and very resonant with endless punch and bottom end. The only other Warwick i played was a Dolphin, not quite as fat but a beautiful tone.
And Medeski, the only thing i own is Zaebos, the Medeski/Martin/Wood Book of Angels. I've heard a few others but still not got round to buying any. Zaebos is wonderful and their arrangement of Zorn's music is some of the best in the series. Medeski is truly a nutter, in the best possible way. I haven't heard buch of him with synths but i can immagine it's good.
Anyway, thanks for the info and advice, i appreciate the help.
Kian.

bassdrop
Orange Master
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Re: AD200 and synths

Post by bassdrop » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:38 pm

I'm a huge MMW fan and Medeski's rig is just an overflow of analog keys through tube combos. He doesn't really do a lot of synth stuff on the albums which is why I linked the vid. Here's one of them playing at the Moog factory:

http://youtu.be/8Nbt5iLymUg
mmmmmm drop

Guthrie Matthews Method
http://www.guthriematthews.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Modified Fender Custom Shop Jazz, Warmoth P/J clone,
Orange AD200 MkIII, Barefaced Compact

fiaj
Tiny Terror
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:22 am

Re: AD200 and synths

Post by fiaj » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:06 pm

I want to check the video but my connection is really bad. I live in the middle of nowhere and use my mobile's GPRS connection, no youtube! I'll have a look next time i'm near free wifi, i'm going to dig up the other albums i had from my hard drive now that you've reminded me.
Cheers,.

bassdrop
Orange Master
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Re: AD200 and synths

Post by bassdrop » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:14 pm

Another way to tame gain—getting back on topic, which is so difficult for me and my buddy ADD—is to run a compressor in front.
mmmmmm drop

Guthrie Matthews Method
http://www.guthriematthews.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Modified Fender Custom Shop Jazz, Warmoth P/J clone,
Orange AD200 MkIII, Barefaced Compact

fiaj
Tiny Terror
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:22 am

Re: AD200 and synths

Post by fiaj » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:26 pm

Hmmm... Thanks for the tip. I don't currently own a compressor but that's the next thing on my list so i can get more sustain running my Warwick through my Micro Synth. I can currently only get it so sustain by using my Bass Big Muff before it, but obviously that totally changes the sound so totally useless in a lot of situations. Not sure what i'm looking for compressor wise, i can't afford much more than £100 as i've just crippled myself spending all my money on unexpected customs charges for two guitars i ordered from America (i was an idiot and didn't know about Customs VAT and the c*nts have laid about £900 tax on me).
Any suggestions on a good compressor for around £100, or one that could be found for that 2nd hand. I want something that makes as little difference to tone as possible.
Cheers guys, and happy solstice/new year and all that!

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