Post by rufusredbeard on Jul 8, 2019 12:42:32 GMT -7
I was wondering if anyone has tried to modify the tone stack in the Route 66 to get a slightly brighter tone. I love the heavy mids and bass of the amp and don't want to lose any of the thickness. I just want to add a small amount of chime. I've owned the amp since 2005, but I always run it with a BBE Sonic Stomp with the high process knob turned up to add a bit of bite to the top end. Depending on the gig and venue, I also have run the 66 in a stereo rig with another amp to give me some of the top end that I'm looking for. I'm getting older and don't want to carry as much gear around with me and would like to try and eliminate the "always on" pedal if I can.
I'm thinking of replacing some of the components of the tone stack to allow more highs to pass through the circuit, but I'm a bit concerned that it will have a negative effect on how the controls work in the stock configuration. If anyone has any ideas or has tried something like this out before, please let me know the results.
Post by rufusredbeard on Jul 8, 2019 19:18:23 GMT -7
I've run through several different cabs over the years (z-best, marshalls with greenbacks, boogies with v-30's, boogies with black scorpions, fenders with jensons, 1x12's, 2x12's, 2x10's, etc.) Still not getting the sound I want. It's close, but not quite there. Caps and resistors are extremely cheap and easy to swap out. I don't mind doing some work under the hood. The circuit is extremely simple and that's what makes it so good. One value change in the tone stack could be just what I'm looking for. However, if the values are balanced for the amazing breakup past 12 o'clock and changing anything will ruin that, I won't bother. I don't plan on tinkering for a few weeks anyway so just hoping someone has tried it and can give some feedback on their results.
Post by Jaguarguy (Mike) on Jul 8, 2019 20:31:35 GMT -7
Welcome to the Forum! A lot of good people and information. Not sure how many people have actually modified their Zs - most people here like what Doc designed and play more with speakers than caps and resistors. There may be a couple but if you don't get any responses don't take it personally In Doc we trust around here.
Welcome, Rufus. I’m fairly happy with my Route66. I’m playing it more these days than my ZWreck, which I probably like a bit more for the reasons you mention- I traditionally prefer bright over darker amps.
That said, there are distinct differences between tubes. I recently recommended that a friend change his tubes one-by-one and the issue for him turned out to be his phase splitter was dull. I find EF86s have a huge variation between them, so that’s a thought.
There are tonestack modelers to get a rough idea of values to use if you go that route. I’ve built amps from scratch, but my first thoughts would be Celestion Blues/Golds or tubes before modding. Your mileage may vary. Have fun and enjoy the best forum I’ve experienced.
Post by rufusredbeard on Jul 11, 2019 7:50:26 GMT -7
I'll try out a few PI and see if that helps. If it works for my needs it would save a lot of math.
What I'm finding is that the venues I'm playing now are forcing a quieter stage sound. When the amp is really cooking it sounds great, but when I throw an attenuator into the mix or roll back the volume a bit, the treble is dropping off way to fast. Looking at the innards of the amp I see two ways to fix it for about 50 cents in parts and about 15 minutes of time. One would be to adjust the treble bypass on the volume control to adjust the range of treble through. (The RT66 circuit is set to allow A LOT of frequencies through. Can be adjusted to the right a bit to cut some of the lower frequencies that are bypassed, therefore getting the sound and feel of a slightly brighter amp when the controls are pulled back a bit.) Or to adjust the sweep of the bass and treble bypass controls to shift the point where they overlap so the treble control will take over less of the midrange and work sonically more like a presence.)
Thanks for the replies and I'll keep you updated on tubes or mods depending on which way I decide to go.
I like top end about as much as anyone, I second the recommendations to find speakers first, like an h30 70th anniversary & v30 combo. I liked telefunken smooth plates for the 12ax7, they have a lean tone with plenty up top. The GEC EF86 cv4085 has a very detailed top end. Lastly would be bias, is the bias too hot, maybe try a little cooler bias to find a bit more clarity.
I got to spend time with the 66 during the proto stage, Z worked really hard finding the correct balance of treble and weight up top. You can get it brighter but I’m betting it will thin out. The kt66 has fidelity, but that thick character is what attracts most to the kt66 tone, and of course what it does when you crank her up!
Post by jhen86 (jordan) on Jul 24, 2019 9:11:13 GMT -7
Speaker swap for sure would be the best first choice for more highs. V30 and G12H30 are great places to start. Can be had for cheap on the used market or through Avatar.
However.....If you must tinker, I will feed the beast within. Mind you, I know just enough to be dangerous...
I would think swapping the treble pot out to one of a higher value would be a simple "less invasive" mod. Say it's a 500K audio pot. Replace it with a 1 MEG. Or if its a 250K pot, try a 500K. Will need to get the same taper on the new pot (audio/log, liner). Now, if it's already a 1Meg then I got nothing else for you. I wouldn't go fiddling in the circuit much deeper.
And for the record, I am in agreement with others above. Speaker is the best first route, and Doc usually gets it right
Post by ineedtherapy on Jul 29, 2019 17:43:06 GMT -7
Even more efficient than a speaker swap or tube swap would be to buy a treble booster (Analogman Beano Boost being my TB of choice). You’ll have an on and off switch at your feet with the option of boosting highs, mids, or lows. As an added bonus, the Dallas Rangemaster (what the Beano Boost is a clone of), was used with Marshall’s to get those iconic vintage Marshall tones we’ve all grown to love.
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Post by rufusredbeard on Aug 15, 2019 4:17:27 GMT -7
Thanks for all the input folks.
Just for an FYI, the cab I am running through currently is a z-best with a vintage 30 and g12h30. The sound is very muted on the top end. I am using a BBE sonic stomp with the presence set very high to bring a bit of top end into the signal. I have tried swapping tubes out to see and with each combination, the top end is lacking.
Life has been happening lately and I haven't had a chance to pop the chasis out, but I think I may find that some component values may be out of spec. I remember when I purchased the amp back in 2005 that it had a bit more bite on top.
The break-up seems to be a bit more gritty and less smooth than I remember as well.
Post by rufusredbeard on Aug 16, 2019 6:52:30 GMT -7
I was finally able to pop the chassis out and found my issue. The cap on the volume control had failed. So about 12 cents of money and a few minutes, my amp is back to what it sounded like when I fell in love with it. I'm not sure how long I was having the issue since I was running the amp in a wet/dry stereo rig and only really noticed the change when I started to listen to old live recordings compared to the amp recently. I have been only taking one amp to gigs lately due to uhm… age induced after effects of carrying tube technology.
BTW if anyone hasn't tried running a Rt 66 and a Super Reverb, both on the edge of breakup together, It is magical.
Thanks again for all the suggestions throughout the journey.
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