Any Fortin Cali owners?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Jacksonluvr636, May 29, 2021.

  1. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Care to discuss settings?

    Just got this amp in and it's sounding pretty killer. My issue is the louder I get the amp seems to get thicker in a bad way and lose the saturation.

    At bedroom levels I have it sounding insane but I am trying to keep this same tone at a loud volume and I am not sure how to achieve this.

    Not familiar with Fortin amps at all and with all of the switches and options this amp has I am not sure where to begin.
     
  2. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Here are the settings I have for reference. Bass knob pulled to engage the Saturation.
    20210529_132741.jpg
     
  3. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

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    Yes. I really like the amp, but it's so tweakable i spend quite a while setting it up for different tunings and guitars etc.

    Just in case you don't know, the OD1 channel has a hard-wired bright cap, so that channel is the more typical Fortin channel i guess. OD2 gets thick and flubbier. I was still surprised that it's actually not a particularly tight amp though.
    I generally use a boost with the amp. For some reason i hate tube screamers with it. TC Pre/33 works well with it for me (don't know if that was intentional design with the amp haha). It really gets the amp sounding nice for me, and i usually hate shrill top end.

    Have you tried lowering the Gain2 setting as it gets louder? Gain2 influences lower end gain & thickness.

    The thump switch is too much when it's to the right in lower tunings without a boost. Middle position seems really nice and grindy. Left position gets a more sort of Fear Factory tone.

    Edit: I missed that you said you have the Jose pulled on. I def prefer the amp without the Jose but fourth gain stage on (violence on), and then i use a boost. The Jose does feel a bit weird to me in a flubby way sometimes. I've yet to seriously experiment with that.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
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  4. TimSE

    TimSE Tone Chasr Contributor

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    I dont have a real IRL amp but I have the Neural DSP as my go-to gain sound.
    Here are my settings:
    cali settings to try boosts.JPG cali settings to try.JPG

    Might be worth a sniff
     
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  5. FearComplex

    FearComplex Contributor

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    I have a similar experience with a Jose mod jcm 800. Sounds perfect with the volume just below 1, any higher and it's not as mean sounding. Considering running it through a load box and then on to a solid state poweramp.
     
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  6. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Idk anything about the amp whatsoever. Just got it today and have spent maybe 20 minutes at the most with the dials.

    In fact until I read your post I didnt even know about the ods....It seems you absolutely have to have the footswitch connected to use these and to even change channels?

    Need to look for a manual online.
     
  7. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

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    Yep, need the footswitch for that.

    Owners manual PDF down the page (in red) here https://www.fortinamps.com/product/cali/
    It has details about biasing as well as the controls, so keep a copy of it backed up somewhere.

    This video is quite helpful as well
     
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  8. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, I found it. Will definitely help, super hard to dial in this amp.

    Need more time with it but so far I still have the same issue. Sounds amazing with the master extremely low, like I am literally talking below 1, as soon as there is sound.

    The louder you go the worse the amp sounds. I do have a really crappy cab and speaker setup which I need to fix but other amps don't have this same issue. Maybe need new tubes?

    I dont think I want to go through buying a load box and use external power amps and all that to get it to sound good. Especially at the price this amp costs.
     
  9. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    So anyway I guess my main question: is this part of the design?

    The louder you go the worse the amp sounds? Lol

    Can't be right. What am I doing wrong here?
     
  10. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    Seems like the power amp is breaking up really early, which is what classic Marshalls tend to do.
     
  11. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah someone else mentioned I should lower the bias wich I very well may try out.

    I think the issue I mentioned is going to either make or break the amp for me. Love the tone at low volumes. Dont like it at all loud.
     
  12. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    That makes sense. The preamp running too hot can make it color the tone too much, especially when cranked. It's why I never liked 5150 variants with the bias mod. It gets rid of the fizz, but you lose everything else that makes the 5150 awesome.
     
  13. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah that sounds like a loss to me.

    Still playing with the Fortin, its getting late for volume so I will revist. The more I play it the more I like it. Some of my issues seem to be user error and again my cab kind of sucks.

    This is the 2nd clip I've made. Different settings than the picture from before and straight in no boost.

    The volume is a bit louder than before and definitely gig worthy. I would just like to be able to blast it and not lose the saturation. Maybe ill figure out the settings or maybe its just inherent in this amp? Idk much about it.

    Checked the bias. 19ma at first, after playing very briefly it was at 25ma. The manual recommends 32ma so this is already a bit cold.



     
  14. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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  15. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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  16. BadSeed

    BadSeed SS.org Regular

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    The preamp can't run any more or less hot. The power amp is the only part that can be biased hotter or colder.

    The power section on this amp is very clean, so it will not be breaking up until you have it at ungodly volumes.

    This amp is definitely plenty tight IF it's on od1. Od2 is fat and a bit woofy/flubby, even with w a boost, when compared to od1 with no boost.

    I didn't have the amp long, but it definitely didn't sound worse when I turned it up. I notice you have both of the gains fairly high. That will definitely fatten the amp up a good bit, as the gains affect the overall eq curve. I ran the gains on mine a good bit lower to keep the amp from getting overly thick, but it's not the most saturated when run this way either.

    Like a lot of Jose based Marshall circuits, it's all about finding a good balance between all the controls, and usually it takes a good bit of time, the right guitar and the right cab to really find the sweet spot for your ear. In the end, I sold it because of this. Too much work and too much money for a tone I felt was almost there, but not quite.
     
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  17. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    Meant to say power amp, whoops.
     
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  18. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Regarding the Jose circuits in general I was told the same thing and I am chalking it up to user error and a shitty cab.

    I did just order an Avatar with G12H 30 anniversaries.

    Have it sounding good now and I'm expecting this cab to make it that much better. I just need more time with it but yes it is definitely the most interactive and hardest amp to dial in that I've ever played.

    Thanks for the info. I really like the tone and am a bit surprised because I was expecting a complete letdown. Once I figure out the volume thing I'll be set.

    Any tube recommendations?
     
  19. BadSeed

    BadSeed SS.org Regular

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    Unfortuntely i didn't do anyb tube experimenting while I had it, just left whatever was in there alone.
     
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  20. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    All good thanks for the reply.

    Im digging this amp, it is pretty unique. Getting some great sounds and the more I experiment the better I get with the dials.

    I will say it is not perfect for me. I think inherently the amp doesn't have enough saturation compared to what I like. The frequencies are all unique and new to me and still adjusting.

    It is a good amp and I like it enough to where it's going to stay for a while. Want to test my new cab when it comes and I have a couple of different boosts on the way as well. Maybe I'll try an eq in the loop.

    One thing I will praise that I haven't seen mentioned about the Cali is the clean channel. It is excellent and one of the best I have played.
     

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