Posts Tagged ‘design’

I very quickly drew the negative feedback filter controlled by the presence control when using Vintage mode on a 2001 3 Channel Dual Rectifier.  The red line represents the -3 dB half boost mark from the point of the most filtering.  I tried drawing the entire phase inverter, but it didn’t make a difference on the plots, so I removed it and kept it simple.

R2 is being instructed to act as a variable resistor with 11 points to represent each 30 degrees of travel from 0 -10 on the control.  Anytime a part of the plot goes below the red line, the feedback is lessened by quite a bit and those frequencies pass the phase inverter more easily.  The maroon line on each picture is representing the control being at maximum and a massive amount of the frequency band is passing easily. (more…)

In some of the articles, I made statements regarding a possibility of mild power amp drive, because I had not had time to really dig into the power amp to confirm or deny it, and due to the sound of Modern mode.  The power amp does not overdrive.  If you come across anything relating to this, any descriptions should be discarded if they contradict the following paragraphs.

Modern has some distortion present, but it isn’t clipping distortion; It’s regular ol’ harmonic distortion, which is otherwise known as “the tube sound”.  I don’t have time or energy to get into it, but the power amp is designed to stay as clean as possible, but tubes do not always amplify in a “linear” way.  This adds curvature to the sound waves, distorting them by bending (coloring the sound). (more…)

The purpose of the article about changing the anode resistor value was to improve the clean channel and smooth the dirty channels.  That is exactly what it will do, but I wanted to talk about conceptual ideas regarding this change.  I’m going to use pedals for illustration and then translate that over to tube amplifiers.

Analogy

I used to build guitar pedals and I’ve spent a lot of time cascading circuits into each other.  While transistors and op amps react differently than tubes, the overall result on dynamics is similar from one component to another. (more…)

GE7signalflow

Basics of the Signal Path

The input to the Boss GE-7 Graphic EQ has a buffer which is active at all times.  There is a slight emphasis around 2 kHz to help the guitar sound stand out.  Immediately after the buffer is the amplifier for the level control.  It’s a differential type with only one source voltage split with the level’s sliding potentiometer.  This slider will either boost or cut the whole signal when it is moved from the zero line.  From here, the signal is split; one path goes to the EQ section and one part goes to the positive input of another differential amp.  The EQ section feeds the negative input of the differential amp. (more…)

I had just a few thoughts come to mind regarding modifying amps, modifying EQ, or creating your own.

It’s a fact that Mesa Engineering uses two modified forms of the Marshall tone stack for their Dual Rectifier series.  Compared to a classic Marshall tone stack, the Vintage/Raw tone stack moves the center of the “Mid” control down in frequency and has more attenuation.  This carves out some of the meatier part of the guitar frequency to make room for the massive lows and a high-mid emphasis.  The tone stack enabled for Channel 3 Modern has boosted upper-mids, but has a very similar, low-to-low-mid frequency response. (more…)

I know I previously stated I would discontinue writing about mods, but this one has been in the back of my head for a long time.  A lot of the grind produced by the cold clipping stage is due to the presence of third harmonics (H3).  By forcing the idle point to be so close to grid current limiting, the amount of information loss from the distortion is going to produce it.

Yesterday, I was playing around with the Trioda load line program and found an interesting effect.  With the parameters set about where the resistances would be for V2b, the cold clipping stage, I was adjusting the cathode value.  As the cathode resistance moves from 39k to 10k, the amount of H3 falls to an amount which would become inaudible. (more…)

June 2016- I realize the flow of this article could use some work.  I have plans to reorganize it at another time.  

We’ve looked at the input and Clean, the Mode voicing and Gain control, V2 and V3EQ and modes and Presence.  I am going to bring it all together and take a less detailed, wider, view of the system as a whole.  I’m concentrating on Channels 2 and 3, since they are the primary identity; the “Recto” sound.

Additionally, I’m going to cover a little bit about the power amp, even though I have not concentrated on it in my writing this year.  I think the intention of Mesa when designing it is misunderstood.

I’m going to be making certain assumptions based on the overall design and historical precedents in guitar amplifiers and Mesa designs.  I could be wrong, but I am presenting it the way I best understand it, based on how everything interacts, and considering the differences between this amp and others much like it.  Mesa tends to tune their amps by ear, so some of the effects from changes may be unintentional or accidental.  That doesn’t negate the actual effects from being valid points innovation on the design.

For filter analysis, I’m using the Okawa website.

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We’ve looked at the input and Clean, the voicing and Gain control, and V2.  Now, it is time to examine V3, the coupled cathode follower.  I urge you to read about cathode followers if you do not understand how they work and wish to learn more.

The biggest things for a novice to know are:

  • A cathode follower is usually used to lower impedance to drive a tone stack or an effects loop.
  •  The cathode of the second tube follows the voltage on its grid closely (hence “cathode follower”).
  • The first tube provides amplification of the signal and stability to the cathode follower.
  • When coupled (wired together), the two tubes act like one (mostly). (more…)

So far, we’ve looked at the input stage and Clean mode, and the voicing and Gain controls for Channels 2 and 3.  When we left off, the signal had been filtered, dropped down, filtered again, and was exiting the Gain pot by way of a 475 k grid resistor into Stage 2 (V2a).

Grid Resistor

V2aDRAside from controlling incoming current, the grid resistor serves to adjust the highest frequency allowed to enter the amplification stage by creating a filter due to the tube’s internal capacitance (around 1.6 pf).  Additionally, this stage has a 20 pf capacitor in parallel to the tube.  This increases the total capacitance to 21.6 pf. (more…)

I already covered the input stage and clean channel.  I’m not going to repeat the information about the input, except for applications to the dirty tones.

The input stage is followed by a coupling cap and a 2.2 M load resistor.  Most amps made prior to the Recto place the grid resistor between the coupling cap and the load.  The load is usually a potentiometer to control gain.  Mesa eschewed this and it’s one of the innovative ideas that distinguishes the amp from others like it.  I can only speculate the exact reason they made this change, but I suspect stability is the main one.  The resistor to ground also gives a path for stray electrons to prevent popping when changing mode relays. (more…)