NAD: Mesa Stiletto Deuce Stage II inc. clip

sakeido

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Been trying to track one of these down for a while. I actually owned one about 12 years ago... sold a Mark IV to get a Stiletto, which makes no sense, then sold the Stiletto to get an Invader, which makes a little bit more sense but wasn't a great move. I've been enjoying British flavors lately thanks to the Neural Fortin Nameless & Cali VSTs, so I wanted something along those lines but also weird and unusual. I wanted to get something I had back in the day to see how my taste has changed too.

So, the Stiletto: Mesa's take on the Marshall sound. This is the Stage II version that was introduced in 2006, and there's a Stage I out there that's a couple years older. Stage II has re-voiced "Fluid Drive" setting on channel 2, is a little more compressed, fast attacking, and less bright - but more on that later.

For those that don't know, this would basically be the old version of the Triple Crown. Only two channels instead of three, which actually sucks because it has so many good tones in it. The crunch is great but you can't use it at the same time as the clean, the lead sound is good but then you can't have the grinding rhythm tone... that is the biggest bummer part of this amp. In practice, I never need that many sounds at once but one major point in favor of the Triple Crown is that extra channel. The TC is also a bit more refined overall, has a much more functional volume control, and has that sweet sweet tube reverb in it too.

The Stiletto is a little rougher around the edges, especially in one key way. These things haven't enjoyed a great reputation and didn't last long in Mesa's product line. I think the big reason for that is... it has volume issues. At low volumes, it doesn't sound good - very bright and harsh and you can't dial it out. But NBD right? Lots of tube amps don't sound good at low volume. You gotta turn it up... so you do, and it sounds a little better. Then you crank it some more... then more... then more, and you finally get to the sweet spot: literally max volume. You won't be dimed on the volume knob, but the amp won't get louder as you turn it up more, it just distorts in different ways.

My Captor has a -20dB attenuator out so I can usually run an amp pretty hot without it being deafening. It's enough to get a great tone out of my Recto. With the Stiletto I think I'd need another -20dB. It does have some legitimately great tones in it but it's just too bad the power amp needs to be run so, so hard to get there. That's a Marshall thing, I guess. I'd suggest anybody looking at one to get a Captor X that has the -37dB attenuator or just run it without a cab, into impulses. I get 95dB in my room when I'm playing the Stiletto through the attenuator.

When the volume's in the sweet spot, the tone controls are mostly suggestions and the different power amp settings (bold/spongy, tube rectifier/silicone diode, 50 watt/100 watt) have more influence on your tone than the EQ does. But it does sound sick. It's not in Fortin Cali territory but it will grind hard. All the edge of breakup classic rock tones sound fantastic. The cleans sound great - they're actually clean at lower gains, then if you turn em up they get really nice shimmer.

But hey don't take my word for it, here's a clip with my Recto for comparison. I didn't touch any knobs, just toggled through the modes on the Stiletto then flipped to whatever I had going on the Recto. No EQ. Ownhammer Marshall V30 impulse. Direct through a Captor. Stiletto was 100 watts, bold power, diode.

https://soundcloud.com/cody-templeton/stiletto-v-recto

TL;DR it's not an all time classic but its still stick and an absolute steal for the price. Values seem to have floated up a little bit but I don't think you can get a better hot rod Marshall sound for the money, as long as you can turn it all the way up. If you don't already have a loadbox or attenuator, you might be better served trying to find a Triple Crown used instead.

20201112_092619 (2).jpg
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bonus Tower of Power shot feat. my secret to warm and fuzzy toanz
20201112_102213.jpg
 

budda

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Nice.

A buddy let me borrow his stiletto but it was the mk1 version and needed a retube :(
 

sakeido

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yeah the Mark I didn't last long.. Mesa started modding them for people because of the outcry. But was it bad, or just mis-marketed? It's all Ancient Internet stuff, so who knows what actually changed... supposedly Stage 2 is just the Hollywood mod from the factory, supposedly the Hollywood mod only affected the Fluid Drive channel, now here's a post saying Stage II has 5 of the 6 voicing changed and more gain across the board, some say Fluid Drive was fatter and looser before, others say its fatter and looser now, Stage I was brighter, other guy says Stage II is brighter... Stage I was a proper vintage voiced amp, Stage II was because Mesa presented it as a modern metal amp... ugh

Stage I does sound interesting but I've never played one.

also, the faux gator skin has gotta go
 

BadSeed

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Good stuff man, clips sounds great. I myself have a Stage II trident and think they're vastly underrated. They can be a little touchy to dial in, and you def have to use your ears and not your eyes, but they have some great tones built into them if you know how to get to them.

I also completely agree on the volume issue. There is literally a point where the amp COMPLETELY opens up and becomes a new thing, but like you said, it happens at a point that's way too loud for modern purposes, even in a loud band setting.

Good work here!
 

sakeido

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We're drowning in audio demos these days so I want to try some new ways of exploring tone, by visualizing them instead. First up: let's look at the Stiletto's power section, how it responds to level changes and the variac.

This is an approach I've adapted from audiosciencereview, who mostly look at home theater and hi-fi equipment. The guy started that site to get away from hi-fi subjective reviews, which are completely and utterly useless. There is a lot of snake oil sold in the hi-fi scene and he wanted to put products to a legit, honest test - and Amir's done a lot of good work. He's shown $10,000 amplifiers that measure out worse than chip amps you get in $200 powered studio monitors; blown holes in overpriced DACs, exposed mega-dollar speakers that aren't even close to being accurate sound reproduction devices, and he's gotten enough attention that a few hi-fi mags have started doing objective evaluations alongside their subjective ones.

He uses a $15,000 analyzer - I'll make due with an RME Fireface, which is clean enough for this - especially on a "good power day" like I was having today, where there wasn't a bunch of noise coming in from the mains.

Signal chain is Fireface analog out, direct to FX loop return, power amp direct to a 4 ohm Torpedo Captor then back into the Fireface. Output from the Fireface would have been about 0.7 volts - so the saturation we're seeing below will happen at lower master volumes when you're running through the preamp. Going by ear, say about an eighth of a turn.

This shows a 200hz sine fundamental along with all of its harmonics, and how that harmonic content changes based on how hard you're driving the power amp. 200hz is atonal, about 35 cents sharp of a G3, but it puts all of our harmonics at nice even numbers so it's easier to explain what's happening. Put simply, harmonics will all be at multiples of the fundamental frequency, so 200hz, 400, 600, etc. I feed direct into the power amp to avoid the distortion from the preamp, and I use a simple sine instead of a complex signal (like a guitar) to make the visuals clearer.

Volume effect on harmonics.png

Numbers down the left are the harmonics - this continues on for infinity, so I only labeled the first few.

Quick rundown on harmonics: Generally, even order harmonics sound "nicer" to our ears. Tube hi-fi amps will try and emphasize these as apart of the Tube Sound audiophiles pay so much money for. Odd order harmonics sound harsh but guitarists like a little 3rd harmonic, because that's where brutality is found. You'll also see some subharmonics at 100hz and 50hz. As far as I know, these are created by the amp's power filtering (or lack thereof). You don't want to filter the power too much because that'll start to suck out tone. The Stiletto isn't doing a whole lot in terms of subharmonics, but I expect when I do this same test on a Rectifier in Modern mode we're going to see something WAY different.

I wanted to do this with the volume increasing instead of decreasing, but some interesting stuff happened when I hit the amp with the sine signal while the volume was maxed out. You can see a clear blip - I assume this is the amp's power supply struggling to keep up with what I was demanding of it. It happens about 50ms after the initial note hits, which is more lag time than I would have expected for an issue like that. This is on silicon diode mode - I'm going to take another look with the tube rectifier later. This little hiccup is there to an extent on the 3 o'clock run too, but nowhere near as severe. At 1:30 the wave form is just a nice solid bar with no power supply issues.

You can see where the term "sweet spot" comes from. At low volumes, the amp isn't awake: the power amp isn't creating much harmonic complexity at all. The subharmonics are barely there and there are practically no higher harmonics - so the amp sounds dark, thin and shitty all at once. With output straight up at noon, we're getting there but it still isn't saturating as much as you probably want after dropping big bucks at a tube amp. With the power at 1:30, we're firmly in the sweet spot. We get a nice, orderly set of harmonics stepping all the way up, mostly even harmonics with a lot of output up to about 4khz or so. Using an SPL meter and doing the math to convert that back into amplifier wattage, this corresponds to the amp running at about 5 watts, or 2% of its rated output.

After that, things will start to go to shit. Starting around 3 o'clock on the master volume, our distortion 3rd harmonic dominated and we are starting to generate a lot of junk, all the way out to 8khz. As you move from 1:30 to 3 on the master, we transition from useful air sitting above the presence region to fizzy junk. The amp starts to thin out in the mids. In my subjective opinion the overall tone is starting to get a worse. It's interesting to see the 7th harmonic so weak here, only for it to come back as the volume maxes out again. I'm not sure what might cause that.

As we finish our sweep and go from 3 o'clock to dimed on the volume, the tone goes completely to shit. We have rumble almost as loud as the fundamental; all of our even order harmonics have fallen in level, with the whole spectrum dominated by odd orders. The amp is generating junk all to 15khz; when I initially ran this test with a hotter signal coming from the interface, I could hear the output transformer ringing with feedback. The amp doesn't even get all that much louder, compared to the 1:30 setting.

Now for the variac setting. Spongy on the left, bold on the right.
Spongy vs Bold.png

I expected to see a bigger difference with the subharmonics, but they practically don't change. The spongy setting has more 2nd and 4th harmonic, and more of the 5th and 7th as well which I didn't expect. It rolls off sooner and has less "air" than the bold setting. Viewed another way, the tonal balance is a bit more obvious:
bold vs spongy EQ.png

The key differences would be the 5th harmonic at 1khz and then through 4khz-10khz. Basically, it sounds the way you expect; spongy clearly leans into the vintage side of things. I find the amp sounds far better in bold mode.

For a fun bonus, an electrical engineer who had a really cool blog doing deep dives into the Rectifier did make one post on the Stiletto. He took a look at the circuit and, to quote:
When the Crunch mode is selected for either channel, the relays pull the cold clipping stage out of the circuit. This creates a modified copy of a Model 1959 JCM 800. When Tight Gain is selected on channel 2, the cold clipping is brought back in and the amp becomes a slightly modified Model 2203 JCM 800. When Fluid Drive is selected, the amp becomes more like a Dual Rectifier/2203 hybrid, with EL34 tubes. The power amp is close to a model 1959 JCM 800, especially on Channel 2 with a regular presence circuit (Ch. 1 appears to use the attenuating presence control).

TL;DR harmonics are fun, turn your tube amp to 2% of its rated power then leave it there. Get a loadbox and attenuator.

Next I'm going to do the same thing with my Rectifier so we can see a different approach to a power amp. Then, the same test above, but using the Rectifier power amp with 6L6 and EL34 cuz I swear to god, if I see one more useless audio example of the difference between tubes I'm gonna shit my pants. We're going to quantify that one, once and for all.

After that, I'll poke into the preamp and we'll look at the preamp output (without the power amp) with simple sines. Then the same, through the full amp. Then we'll look at broadband signals and turn knobs to see where amp EQ knobs are centered and what happens as you sweep them around.
 
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Bentaycanada

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I’ve always preferred the Stiletto to the Recto. Maybe the most underrated amp out there!
 

Jon Pearson

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We're drowning in audio demos these days so I want to try some new ways of exploring tone, by visualizing them instead. First up: let's look at the Stiletto's power section, how it responds to level changes and the variac.

This is an approach I've adapted from audiosciencereview, who mostly look at home theater and hi-fi equipment. The guy started that site to get away from hi-fi subjective reviews, which are completely and utterly useless. There is a lot of snake oil sold in the hi-fi scene and he wanted to put products to a legit, honest test - and Amir's done a lot of good work. He's shown $10,000 amplifiers that measure out worse than chip amps you get in $200 powered studio monitors; blown holes in overpriced DACs, exposed mega-dollar speakers that aren't even close to being accurate sound reproduction devices, and he's gotten enough attention that a few hi-fi mags have started doing objective evaluations alongside their subjective ones.

He uses a $15,000 analyzer - I'll make due with an RME Fireface, which is clean enough for this - especially on a "good power day" like I was having today, where there wasn't a bunch of noise coming in from the mains.

Signal chain is Fireface analog out, direct to FX loop return, power amp direct to a 4 ohm Torpedo Captor then back into the Fireface. Output from the Fireface would have been about 0.7 volts - so the saturation we're seeing below will happen at lower master volumes when you're running through the preamp. Going by ear, say about an eighth of a turn.

This shows a 200hz sine fundamental along with all of its harmonics, and how that harmonic content changes based on how hard you're driving the power amp. 200hz is atonal, about 35 cents sharp of a G3, but it puts all of our harmonics at nice even numbers so it's easier to explain what's happening. Put simply, harmonics will all be at multiples of the fundamental frequency, so 200hz, 400, 600, etc. I feed direct into the power amp to avoid the distortion from the preamp, and I use a simple sine instead of a complex signal (like a guitar) to make the visuals clearer.

View attachment 88190

Numbers down the left are the harmonics - this continues on for infinity, so I only labeled the first few.

Quick rundown on harmonics: Generally, even order harmonics sound "nicer" to our ears. Tube hi-fi amps will try and emphasize these as apart of the Tube Sound audiophiles pay so much money for. Odd order harmonics sound harsh but guitarists like a little 3rd harmonic, because that's where brutality is found. You'll also see some subharmonics at 100hz and 50hz. As far as I know, these are created by the amp's power filtering (or lack thereof). You don't want to filter the power too much because that'll start to suck out tone. The Stiletto isn't doing a whole lot in terms of subharmonics, but I expect when I do this same test on a Rectifier in Modern mode we're going to see something WAY different.

I wanted to do this with the volume increasing instead of decreasing, but some interesting stuff happened when I hit the amp with the sine signal while the volume was maxed out. You can see a clear blip - I assume this is the amp's power supply struggling to keep up with what I was demanding of it. It happens about 50ms after the initial note hits, which is more lag time than I would have expected for an issue like that. This is on silicon diode mode - I'm going to take another look with the tube rectifier later. This little hiccup is there to an extent on the 3 o'clock run too, but nowhere near as severe. At 1:30 the wave form is just a nice solid bar with no power supply issues.

You can see where the term "sweet spot" comes from. At low volumes, the amp isn't awake: the power amp isn't creating much harmonic complexity at all. The subharmonics are barely there and there are practically no higher harmonics - so the amp sounds dark, thin and shitty all at once. With output straight up at noon, we're getting there but it still isn't saturating as much as you probably want after dropping big bucks at a tube amp. With the power at 1:30, we're firmly in the sweet spot. We get a nice, orderly set of harmonics stepping all the way up, mostly even harmonics with a lot of output up to about 4khz or so. Using an SPL meter and doing the math to convert that back into amplifier wattage, this corresponds to the amp running at about 5 watts, or 2% of its rated output.

After that, things will start to go to shit. Starting around 3 o'clock on the master volume, our distortion 3rd harmonic dominated and we are starting to generate a lot of junk, all the way out to 8khz. As you move from 1:30 to 3 on the master, we transition from useful air sitting above the presence region to fizzy junk. The amp starts to thin out in the mids. In my subjective opinion the overall tone is starting to get a worse. It's interesting to see the 7th harmonic so weak here, only for it to come back as the volume maxes out again. I'm not sure what might cause that.

As we finish our sweep and go from 3 o'clock to dimed on the volume, the tone goes completely to shit. We have rumble almost as loud as the fundamental; all of our even order harmonics have fallen in level, with the whole spectrum dominated by odd orders. The amp is generating junk all to 15khz; when I initially ran this test with a hotter signal coming from the interface, I could hear the output transformer ringing with feedback. The amp doesn't even get all that much louder, compared to the 1:30 setting.

Now for the variac setting. Spongy on the left, bold on the right.
View attachment 88191

I expected to see a bigger difference with the subharmonics, but they practically don't change. The spongy setting has more 2nd and 4th harmonic, and more of the 5th and 7th as well which I didn't expect. It rolls off sooner and has less "air" than the bold setting. Viewed another way, the tonal balance is a bit more obvious:
View attachment 88192

The key differences would be the 5th harmonic at 1khz and then through 4khz-10khz. Basically, it sounds the way you expect; spongy clearly leans into the vintage side of things. I find the amp sounds far better in bold mode.

For a fun bonus, an electrical engineer who had a really cool blog doing deep dives into the Rectifier did make one post on the Stiletto. He took a look at the circuit and, to quote:


TL;DR harmonics are fun, turn your tube amp to 2% of its rated power then leave it there. Get a loadbox and attenuator.

Next I'm going to do the same thing with my Rectifier so we can see a different approach to a power amp. Then, the same test above, but using the Rectifier power amp with 6L6 and EL34 cuz I swear to god, if I see one more useless audio example of the difference between tubes I'm gonna shit my pants. We're going to quantify that one, once and for all.

After that, I'll poke into the preamp and we'll look at the preamp output (without the power amp) with simple sines. Then the same, through the full amp. Then we'll look at broadband signals and turn knobs to see where amp EQ knobs are centered and what happens as you sweep them around.

I'm all about this, very cool. I'd love to see similar analysis for the Rectifier, because I feel like it also doesn't really get going in the power amp until it's loud as hell, but it falls apart quickly after it hits the sweet spot.

Combining this with an analysis in the time domain where hou could track the response of the output to the input and track the lag would be cool. Doing it across the frequency spectrum might give a visual representation of the "loose" vs. "tight" phenomenom, or at least it would when taken together with the spectral analysis.
 

MatrixClaw

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Jealous of you and Bad.Seed who can get great tones out of these amps cause the only way to do it is turn it up loud, really, stupidly loud. I've owned a lot of Marshalls over the years and I've never had to push them that hard to make them sound good (including both the models you mentioned), but I wasn't about to buy an attenuator for an amp that I didn't already like at reasonable volume levels. Maybe one day I'll try one again, but until then, this remains one of my least favorite amps I've ever owned :scratch: I definitely see where the dislike comes from on these amps if the normal player isn't able to turn it up to levels that it sounds good at — I wonder if there's a way to mod the power amp to not be so clean until cranked super loud?

I'm still convinced mine had problems because I have a hard time believing Mesa made an amp that sounded that bad. However, the new owner loves it through his Reactive Load, so who knows at this point. I just know I tried hard to love that thing but my impression never really changed from the moment I plugged it in the first time to the point I got rid of it. Maybe I was just expecting too much from it?
 
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sakeido

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I'm all about this, very cool. I'd love to see similar analysis for the Rectifier, because I feel like it also doesn't really get going in the power amp until it's loud as hell, but it falls apart quickly after it hits the sweet spot.

Combining this with an analysis in the time domain where hou could track the response of the output to the input and track the lag would be cool. Doing it across the frequency spectrum might give a visual representation of the "loose" vs. "tight" phenomenom, or at least it would when taken together with the spectral analysis.

Yeah, the time domain stuff is a really big part of this. I'm still trying to devise a test for that - I can do sweeps through REW and look at the phase there, but you won't see the same phase response on a simple sine as you would on a broadband signal. Hopefully simple sines at a high enough level will work, and then we can start visualizing what makes an amp sound loose or tight, or aggressive. I would think loose amps would have a lot of phase shift in the lows while tight and aggressive amps would be very consistent across the spectrum. Vintage amps might have some phase shift in the highs, modern ones will have less, stuff like that - I'm glad I have a 3 channel Rectifier because that one amp will be able to show us a lot of different stuff.

Jealous of you and Bad.Seed who can get great tones out of these amps cause the only way to do it is turn it up loud, really, stupidly loud. I've owned a lot of Marshalls over the years and I've never had to push them that hard to make them sound good (including both the models you mentioned), but I wasn't about to buy an attenuator for an amp that I didn't already like at reasonable volume levels. Maybe one day I'll try one again, but until then, this remains one of my least favorite amps I've ever owned :scratch: I definitely see where the dislike comes from on these amps if the normal player isn't able to turn it up to levels that it sounds good at — I wonder if there's a way to mod the power amp to not be so clean until cranked super loud?

I'm still convinced mine had problems because I have a hard time believing Mesa made an amp that sounded that bad. However, the new owner loves it through his Reactive Load, so who knows at this point. I just know I tried hard to love that thing but my impression never really changed from the moment I plugged it in the first time to the point I got rid of it. Maybe I was just expecting too much from it?

yeah honestly of all the amps I've ever tried, this one stands out... nothing else I've ever tried ever needed to be cooking anywhere near what the Stiletto wants to really come into its own. Thank god I have a Torpedo Captor with the -20dB attenuator on it or I wouldn't be able to enjoy this amp much. Don't wanna torture my dogs and neighbors playing at 110dB.

I’ve always preferred the Stiletto to the Recto. Maybe the most underrated amp out there!
It seems to be coming back a bit these days! Well deserved. But the volume thing can't be understated, it has to be absolutely rippin or its not all that great. I had one back when I lived in my parent's basement and never really pulled any good tones out of it because I couldn't crank it up.. I think this one I did back in 2007 was the closest I ever came to a decent recorded tone with it but wow wtf is that composition? some good ideas in there but garbage performances and I had no idea how to write drum parts. But anyway that was recorded at pretty low volume and you can hear some of the hallmarks of a quiet Stiletto - thin in the lows, too crunchy, almost brittle sounding.
 

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Stiletto is the most unfairly bashed piece of guitar gear I've encountered. I have a Stage 1 that has the 'Holywood Mod' on the Fluid channel and it SMOKES! It really is the perfect Marshall/Boogie hybrid for my ears. I also use a Captor to knock 20 db off and find that as long as I keep the Master volume above 10 o'clock and use a boost pedal it gets killer high gain tones at pretty reasonable volumes. Also, keepin the Presence control below 9 o'clock on the high gain modes is crucial. Love the Bandlander demos I'm seeing but the Stiletto has my El34 Boogie needs more than covered. Best El34 cleans I've run into as well.
 

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Just in that clip alone the Stiletto smokes the Recto.
yup I agree, neither one of those Recto tones is anything I'd try and use in a recording.. especially the modern one. It's crazy that its level matched, technically, against all the other clips but sounds quieter because so much bandwidth is taken up by garbage in the low end. But hey that's apples to apples: this is what you get plugging straight into a Stiletto vs what you'd get from a Recto. Was a great reminder why I never, ever play my Recto without a boost. What a crazy amp.

Stiletto is the most unfairly bashed piece of guitar gear I've encountered. I have a Stage 1 that has the 'Holywood Mod' on the Fluid channel and it SMOKES! It really is the perfect Marshall/Boogie hybrid for my ears. I also use a Captor to knock 20 db off and find that as long as I keep the Master volume above 10 o'clock and use a boost pedal it gets killer high gain tones at pretty reasonable volumes. Also, keepin the Presence control below 9 o'clock on the high gain modes is crucial. Love the Bandlander demos I'm seeing but the Stiletto has my El34 Boogie needs more than covered. Best El34 cleans I've run into as well.
yup I'm always pushing the Stiletto with an OG Maxon OD808. With one of my guitars I use my TC Integrated copy to push the bass some more, that definitely gets better tone at low volume.

I'm still waiting for my Badlander to come in just so I can hear it for myself. The more I mess with the Stiletto and hear of the Badlander, the more it seems pointless to even have ordered it in. But hey some old jerk on the internet wanted to argue... I'm always down for that :lol:

edit: oh fuck I literally got the text that the Badlander's in as I wrote that. Time to go!
 

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Congrats on the Badlander! I'd love to get your thoughts on the differences between that and your Stiletto. I use a Black Arts Toneworks Witchburner to boost my Stiletto, it's a beefed up 808 and sounds fantastic, also have a Mesa 5 Band EQ on order I plan on running into my Stiletto's effects loop, I'll post a thread with video clip when it arrives. Enjoy that Badlander dude, they sound killer on demos!
img_1653.jpeg
 

Jon Pearson

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Yeah, the time domain stuff is a really big part of this. I'm still trying to devise a test for that - I can do sweeps through REW and look at the phase there, but you won't see the same phase response on a simple sine as you would on a broadband signal. Hopefully simple sines at a high enough level will work, and then we can start visualizing what makes an amp sound loose or tight, or aggressive. I would think loose amps would have a lot of phase shift in the lows while tight and aggressive amps would be very consistent across the spectrum. Vintage amps might have some phase shift in the highs, modern ones will have less, stuff like that - I'm glad I have a 3 channel Rectifier because that one amp will be able to show us a lot of different stuff.

It would definitely be imperfect, but I think even throwing sine waves through it at targeted frequencies could show some interesting stuff. As an EE, I love this kind of stuff - I'm a power guy, but I sometimes regret not going into signals because this is the type of the thing that really gets me going!
 

sakeido

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Congrats on the Badlander! I'd love to get your thoughts on the differences between that and your Stiletto. I use a Black Arts Toneworks Witchburner to boost my Stiletto, it's a beefed up 808 and sounds fantastic, also have a Mesa 5 Band EQ on order I plan on running into my Stiletto's effects loop, I'll post a thread with video clip when it arrives. Enjoy that Badlander dude, they sound killer on demos!
img_1653.jpeg

I didn't buy the Badlander. I'll post my breakdown in the Unpopular Opinions thread. It's got some great qualities for sure, the crunch sound is amazing, but for $3k there are too many bizarre design choices and it just doesn't have the range I'd want.. Mark Vs are only a bit more, JP2C isn't that much more, Multi-Watts and Triple Crowns are all more versatile so I just couldn't do it. If I didn't own a Stiletto, loadbox, and IR pedal... it would have been pretty tempting. But I'll take a lot of other stuff from Mesa over a Badlander

It would definitely be imperfect, but I think even throwing sine waves through it at targeted frequencies could show some interesting stuff. As an EE, I love this kind of stuff - I'm a power guy, but I sometimes regret not going into signals because this is the type of the thing that really gets me going!

hahah, be forewarned... I'm not an electrical engineer at all. Bachelor in Business.. so all of this is stuff I've picked up secondhand and I am probably gonna be wrong about lots of stuff :lol:
 


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