Framus Cobra -- Disappointed?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by ender_, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. ender_

    ender_ Member

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    Hello everybody! First time poster, but I've been checking on the forums occasionally for advice and tips for a while now.

    I bought a Framus Cobra with matching 4x12 cabinet (loaded with v25 greenbacks) about a week ago on eBay. The clean channel sounds fantastic: bright, chimey, and shimmering are just some of words that come to mind when describing it. It's honestly one of the best clean tones I've heard from a high gain head. The crunch channel sounds pretty sick too; if I want to get that dirty grunge tone I can dial it in with ease. My main problem, however, is with the lead channel itself. It has this flubby bottom end with no definition whatsoever and the highs sound brittle and uninspiring.

    I've owned a Krank revolution and a 5150 II head in the past. The krank revolution was paired with the matching cabinet, and I had the 5150 II with an ENGL oversized cabinet. Both of these sounded miles ahead of the Framus, albeit I had put in new tubes and had a lot of goodies to go with them (e.g., sonic maximizer, rack eqs, etc.,).

    I've already ordered some Tung-Sol EL34B power amp tubes to replace the existing Electro harmonix ones that are god knows how old in there. And I plan on using a Maxon OD-808 overdrive pedal. But do you think these additions will be sufficient? I've spent a good half an hour + changing the EQ knobs, playing with the notch switch, and messing with the presence and deep knobs to no effect; it's like the amp has a blanket over it and it sounds muddy as hell. At this point I'm too disillusioned to try messing with it further, lol.

    My guitar is a 7 string agile septor with a bareknuckle painkiller set, so I really don't see it being a problem with my guitar. It's not like I'm trying the amp with a Squier. Any additional suggestions? I've tried the amp at a fairly loud volume (channel on 8, master at about 4-5), and it still sounds like dookie.

    Also, I've tried using a Maxon OD-9 pedal in the past, and to me it really sounded like a treble boost to the lead channel. I was using this in the front of the amp and not the effects loop. For a pedal like this to be used as a clean boost is it recommended to be used in the effects loop, or the front of the amp? Also, what are the recommended settings? I remember turning the knobs like crazy and experimenting to no avail.

    Any help is appreciated! I have faith in you all you gear freaks out there! =D

    P.S. The best cabinet I've ever heard was a Krank Revolutin (loaded with eminence legend V12s, same as the Vader cabs). Do you think this may this be a better pairing with the head? I've heard that the amp matched with the Cobra cabinet is a great combination, but the v25s and their low wattage kinda scare me. It seems like they would woof out easily and I'm not familiar with these speakers at all. Would a speaker swap also help? Thanks!
     
  2. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    That was my experience with the Cobra too. It's not the cab. Or the tubes. I didn't care for the Krank either though.
     
  3. Caparison092

    Caparison092 Banned

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    Dude.....heres the secret to making the cobra's lead channel go from not that great....to METAL UP YOUR ASS.....run a noise suppressor in the effects loop of the amp and in front of the amp......(make sure its activated!!!)....then turn the effects knob up all the way....it completely changes the tonal characteristics of the amp...takes away all the brittleness and shrill digital shit. Its like night and day with this head, Joel from KSE told me about it. Also if your boosting the lead channel with a tube screamer, keep the gain under half way or will loose clarity. Try that and let me know how it works. I also find that dialing down the bass makes things tighter. For settings everything at about NOON with a few minor tweaks sounds pretty bitching with the when you follow what I said above. Hope this helps
     
    cyril v likes this.
  4. Larrikin666

    Larrikin666 Deadite

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    Random side note....the Legends in the Krank and Vader cabs aren't the same. The custom Legends are tweaked slightly for the Vaders.
     
  5. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    Wait until you've got a Maxon and a retube, then tell us what you think :yesway:
     
  6. PirateMetalTroy

    PirateMetalTroy The Tooth Fairy

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    greenbacks? metal?
     
  7. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

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    "Fuck yes" is the answer to both of those questions.
     
  8. Enselmis

    Enselmis SS.org Regular

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    Hmm, weird. I tried one of these out through and old traynor vertical 212 (wtf right?), and was blown away surprisingly. It definitely takes a bit of tweaking, but running a lot of midrange and not much bass seemed to work great for me. I like to keep the presence knob reasonably low, and it seems to smooth out those brittle highs.

    With the boost: Try the usual volume at 10, gain at 0, tone at half-ish sort of settings and tweak from there. Works great for me.
     
  9. ender_

    ender_ Member

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    Good suggestions everyone! Keep 'em coming!

    Turning up the effects knob is not something I would think to do in a million years. I was reading a .pdf version of the manual online and it recommended that if there's nothing in the effects loop to turn it all the way counter-clockwise -- but I'll definitely have to try turning the effects knob up all the way with my decimator pedal in the loop.

    I would agree that the Krank Revolution isn't that great of a head. It has a good clean channel, and it can do chunky power chords really well, but other than that it's really nothing special. It still sounded way better than how the Cobra is sounding to me at this point.

    And when using an overdrive pedal to boost the lead channel, should it be used in the front of the amp, or the effects loop?

    Thanks :)

    I'll be sure to let everyone know how it sounds after I've messed with it further.

    I just tried out the effects mix knob, and it absolutely does change the character/voicing of the amp. The only problem is that when I turn the effects mix just a quarter of the way up the amp starts to horribly break up and sound like dookie butt. But I can tell that it does make a bit of a difference, even with the horrible sound coming out of the amp. Could it be something with the circuit board or a bad solder joint? I may just take it to the local amp techs for them to figure out.
     
  10. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

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    Here are my suggestions

    The effects knob at "full" (as far clockwise as you can get it) sounds different than at "zero". Not by a ton, but a noticeable difference. I have mine at full because I use an effects processor in the loop. Are you running anything in you effects loop now? If you do, and you aren't running your knob at full, you will get phase cancellation if it doesn't have a dry kill function (it will sound like a phaser). If you dont, then you may have a bad V5 tube if it sounds worse. It may also be your EQ settings, since 12'oclock adds 1-2db of output which may become overbearing.

    !!CHANGE THE STOCK EH PREAMP TUBES!! This is more than likely your issue with the amp. They are horrible for the V2-V3 slots. A good graded tube will work.

    Boost the front of the amp. Since you are running passives, you could get away with gain-0, volume-10; however, I found that this can cause bad breakup with actives (blackouts specifically). The tone knob should be just for low end "maintanence". I would keep it between 9'oclock (for bright pickups) and 3'oclock (for dark pickups). Anything more or less is going to cause static.

    Channel volume at 3'oclock or above. This will fill out the amps tone. Any less, and it starts to stack high end on top of your presence.

    EQ
    -Your gain should be about 9'oclock with a boost for this (after you do this, you can put it higher if you need to, but only put it on 9'oclock for right now)
    -Do not put your bass or treble above 5/12'oclock. I would recomment putting channel eq at 5 and put the depth and presence at 0. Then palm mute some riffs, and adjust bass until it is chunky, but not woofy. When I had only g25s in my cab, it was about 10'oclock. Put your treble at 0, and start running through open chords, preferrably add9 chords, listening for when the chime starts to come in and "fill up" the top end. My g25s started about 10'oclock as well. Your mids should be at 5 still. Once you get the bass and the treble where you are happy, you will now play with the mid knob. If you want a more full tone, but not anymore bass, push the mids up a little. If you want a more "cutting" tone, pull them down a bit. I rarely touch the bass and treble knobs, except when I was changing out V3 tubes. Presence knob will be to taste, but mine is right around 9'oclock. It doesn't add noticeable top end, but it makes it open up a little bit (I dont like the 8k-ish area in most presence knobs, but it sounds too dark without a little bit in there). At this point, you can start using the depth knob. The depth knob adds in the 80hz region, but also starts pulling up lower mids. A rule of thumb that has yet to let me down with the cobra, is "Never put the depth value above your presence value, but always keep it below 12'oclock". This is my personal taste however, so this may not be correct for you.

    !!NEVER USE THE NOTCH SWITCHES!! (unless you are playing black metal)
     
  11. ender_

    ender_ Member

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    Update!

    I did a complete re-tube of the power and pre-amp sections with Tung-Sols. I put a Maxon OD-808 in front and voila! Sounds soooo much better! The biasing on the original EL34 EH tubes was super cold (about 25 mA) and I biased the Tung-Sols to about 35 mA. With the overdrive boost it makes quite a big difference. I noticed that it really took the "blanket" off the amp and it made it really cut through.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I still think I can make it sound quite a bit better with further tweaks, but as of right now I'm fairly pleased.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    You are turning the amp up to where the power section starts working, right? I didn't read much of this thread, so sorry if that's been answered :lol:
     
  13. ender_

    ender_ Member

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    Yes sir! Channel volume around 8, master around 3-4.
     
  14. Leuchty

    Leuchty Previously CYBERSYN

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    I dont know much about Cobras, but, just try some different speakers if you can.

    Greenbacks, great for cleans. Thats it.
     
  15. asexydeath

    asexydeath New Member

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    i own a cobra. w EL34s with the bias just under 35.. no mods no nothin. just a mxr noisegate run infront. and i think i have a reasonable sound coming out of it basically stock... i can't afford trendy tubes and boost pedals at the moment.. i've had it for a year but.

    if you bought this amp to practise at home.. be kind and set it free, you are caging a beast. i think this amp is meant to be super loud.. i have a 400w celestion cab which helps it spread it's.. wings.

    i raise the channel volume and master (either one) at excactly the same time, i think the key is to get a good harmony happening between the channel and power tubes.. i can get to 2-3'o..ish on both volumes. hence the 400w cab but ;)

    and definately the fx nob all the way counterclockwise as mentioned earlier.

    i don't do the deep nob.. i usually have it at like 8-9'o.. ish just to smoothen the punch a little.. but i find you start to use the bass nob alot at BIG volumes thats where it comes into its own mines at... 3'o at the moment.. i like the sound of the natural resonance from increased bass rather than deep...

    i have the presence frequencey only just 'present' but it can kinda kill the ice picks at BIG volumes.... it also can caus them. 10'o

    i think back the gain off as much as you can bring yourself to do so

    these are all things for playing LOUD!!!
    practising and live are 2 different worlds ESPECIALLY with this amp.
     
  16. Taylor2

    Taylor2 Do you even lift

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    Good info dude, but this is from March.
     

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