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Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by jsmalleus, Aug 31, 2017.
holy mother of balls.
This looks incredible.
what a great Idea too. Especially if they have got other Amp builders involved.
incredibly tempting at these prices to get one as my Racks poweramp.... My pre is an ENGL E530
That 50/50 does look pretty cool. I wonder how colored (or not) it is.
I saw a video that said the power amps are actually Fryette's so they're probably 2/50/2's
There was a question on their Facebook asking how the 5050 differs from the Freyette LXII. They did mention the 5050 is colored. I'll post it if I can find it
It's really nothing new though. Egnater and Randall have both made modular guitar amps in the past. This only improves upon those by having two channels in one module.
It also has the exact same problem the older units have - a shared poweramp. Pairing something like a Plexi module with a 6L6 poweramp or a Fender module with EL34 poweramp is not going to sound the same as when paired with either a poweramp tailored for the preamp or poweramp that at least uses the same tubes as the one the module is inspired by. To me these units should have a stereo poweramp with different powertubes per side.
While the modularity sounds like a great idea, people are more likely to just end up finding their favorite combination and sticking with that rather than swapping modules in and out all the time.
Holy crap.This is the future.
Now they just need to add a parallel blend feature between the preamps. I'd love to blend a SLO and a Brown Eye together
For people like me with one power amp and 2 rack preamps, I don't see how this problem is unique to modular amps and not just rack amps. I also don't see it as much of a problem if the tone is there.
Also, IIRC, there is a physical 3 way switch on the module itself that changes how hot the amp runs to try to account for this.
Otherwise there was a midi controlled power amp with both EL34 and 6L6 from Randall for people who wanted that control.
The same thing obviously applies for rack amps too and those unusual combinations can sound perfectly good, but if someone is looking for that elusive "Fender and Marshall in the same box" sound then they are effectively looking at two different amps and the modular preamp systems don't fully solve this issue.
Yeah, but these modules aren't approximations. They're the real deal from the respective amp designers themselves.
Randall was ahead of their time though
Bruce designed all of the base architecture for these systems.
The egnater units already had 2 channels per module.
Another limitation of the old modules was that they still shared a common input gain stage and the actual modules were limited to two preamp tubes with the phase inverter being in the poweramp. That lets you do maybe 80 percent circuit matching to the sounds they were going for but it wasn’t sufficient for a lot of circuits.
Seems like they tried to design around this problem.
This idea never really caught on the first time. But I’m all about racks so hopefully they stick around a bit longer this time.
I mean, your getting your choice of some very nice boutique preamps and a Fryette designed poweramp. I don't think you could ask for a more badass combination. You really don't think you could find a set of tubes you like for this application?
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, this can sound just fine but for maximum versatility out of something like this, you would ideally have a more versatile poweramp too. 50W per side, 6L6 and EL34 would cover a lot of ground. Being able to output to two different cabs or speakers would be pretty great.
On the amp modeler side the Yamaha THR100HD is really close to what I would want in an all-tube version.
I remember seeing a really long form interview with Steven Fryette on YouTube (tonetalk video that was like 3 hours long, but interesting if you're into that stuff) and at one point he explained why he was quite adamant that the poweramp design matters more than the type of tube you put in. Apparently tubes are linear, it's everything else that is part of the system that is not.
On amps I've had that allow using different tubes, changing them to another type made a big difference in tone. For example when I still had my Diezel Einstein, I tried it with 6L6 tubes instead of the default EL34s and it made the cleans better but I liked the overdrive much better with EL34s.
While I suppose you could design a poweramp using 6L6 tubes to sound more like one with EL34s, it still doesn't solve the issue that one type of tube is not perfect for all preamps.
The power amp fantom mentioned (RT 2/50) was the match for the old MTS stuff and able to have both el34 and 6L6 and be midi switchable, which would be ideal. I asked the synergy guys a couple weeks ago if there was any possibility the 5050 would be able to take el34's too with a bias adjustment and it was a firm naw.
Aside from the extra heat in a 1u rack and any component based reasons, it is Fryette designed, so he likely did so with the same notion as with the Fryette/VHT poweramps (on their website it describes why they took the el34/6L6 switch off of their power amps). I think the gist was they felt it was better to have a power amp designed to sound great with one type of tube, than an amp designed to sound good with two types of tubes. I imagine that is why the additional features of the RT 2/50 weren't integrated into the new synergy power amp. I snagged a VHT 2/50/2 to pair with it for now but would be interested to check out the RT 2/50 and the Syn 5050. You can hook the synergy up to add channels to an existing amp though, plus the modules have the Cathode Select switch on them, so you can potentially check it out through all sorts of poweramps with different tube types to see what flavor you like best with your modules.
They did this. They made the Randall RT2/50. Midi changeable, 50w a side load el34 in one side, 6L6 in the other. Or 6v6, KT88, 6550, any octal tube basically. Plus in my rm100 or an rm50 you can bias in anything you want for the modules you have loaded. Right now I have KT88/6L6 but am changing to el34 cause there's so much bottom end. A tech on another forum (MTS I think) went over the power amp circuit of the rm100 and it's pretty much a Plexi/Super Bass on that end. So pretty much no problem covering British territory. But with other power tube types you can get 85% where you're trr\ying to go and regardless it's gonna play and feel better than modelling. Cause tubes. I have a Plexi SL+ module, and with the bright switch on am in super happy crunchy town for my classic rock band on Fridays. On Saturday with the metal band I run the custom ENGL module I have and it nails that.
Just hearing about these for the first time. Never checked out the older modular stuff and was only just basically aware that it existed. Such a cool concept.
My ideal amp would have a Fendery clean channel, a hot rodded plexi-ish channel for crunch, and a 5150/6505 lead channel.
Actually my Invective gets it basically done, especially after swapping a tube to lower the gain, but I think this concept looks great. Also the execution looks outstanding. The amp heads and other gear all look very good aesthetically.
Semi tempted to sell my TC-50 to fund some of these items. The TC-50 is only being used as a power amp for stereo these days anyway lol
I actually sold another amp via CL yesterday so I could rationalize picking up the ENGL Savage module when it comes out. Been using a L6 helix for cleans & effects and the SLO & VH4 modules primarily for distortion & crunch tones. It has been a long and debt inducing road trying out different amps over the past few years lol, but I'm finally happy with how my rig is set up. I can get on stage, plug the network cable into the foot controller, the speaker cable to the cab, and I'm ready to go.
I'm primarily using the rt 2/50 as the power amp now, so with one press on the helix floor controller I can change my helix preset parameters before and after the synergy unit, the selected synergy module & channel, and the power amp tube type (6l6/el34) to fit the tone I'm looking for in that particular patch (plus I can always bypass the synergy preamps and use the helix models if I want). I have some other modules from the previous gen modular stuff and a few different power amps to flavor things differently when I'm looking for other tones, but I'm all in on this kind of setup. I've always loved effects processors/modelers for the options, and loved tube amps for their tones, it's just always been a compromise one way or the other for me up until now. Armed with this setup, I foresee several more full sized heads going out the door and helping me reclaim some much needed space and $.
I might even end up trying to control our lights to some extent from the floorboard too since we don't want to play to click/backing tracks, but I'm still waiting on one of the fixture manufacturers to post a proper manual for our moving head beams before I get into all that madness.