NPAD: Fryette Power Station PS-100

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by laxu, May 20, 2021.

  1. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I used to own a Power Station 2 a few years ago and back then felt that it was not worth keeping because it wasn't all that helpful with my Bogner Goldfinger 45 Superlead which has an excellent master volume as is and doesn't really benefit from cranking it. But ever since selling it I have regretted it a bit because it was a really good poweramp and I've never gotten a better tone out of my Helix.

    So as I was casually browsing the used market in my country I came across someone selling the PS100 and decided to bite for a few hundred euros less than new which is fine by me for a product that is a bit hard to get (Thomann says 6-8 weeks...) and very new.

    They have mode some very useful upgrades to this one. The line out level knob in the back is a very welcome one but the knob is very small so it's a bit hard to tweak (that's what she said!). I wish they had put that control in the front panel too.

    But the real nice feature is the dual volume/presence/depth controls. These make it so easy to set different levels if you want to get the right volume on an attenuated amp with multiple channels or just want to compare two different settings. Only thing I wish was that they had some sort of dial so it would be easier to set them the same without a decibel meter and that there was an individual low/high range switch for both volumes.

    Line in mutes the Amp in socket which is a small minus, though I suppose you could use the fx loop return if you want to run a line unit together with your amp into this. Haven't tried the loop. Line out works at the same time as the speaker out. You can also use the line out with the PS100 totally turned off, it still works as a loadbox like that. I used it like that yesterday to do some captures of my Bogner with the Quad Cortex.

    Soundwise this seems to behave exactly like the 50W 2x6L6 PS-2 despite the PS-100 sporting 2x6550 tubes. That's good news because it's meant to be transparent. And it definitely is. With the loadbox switches dialed in for your amp and volumes matched I can't tell any difference between PS100 on vs bypassed, at least when volume levels are at a comfy 90 dB @ 1m on the amp. Tested this with the Bogner as well as my Vox-flavored Victory VC35 lunchbox.

    It's also a pretty killer poweramp for modelers. I tried running my Quad Cortex into it via line in and that worked exactly as well as running a real tube amp through the load. While neither of my amps really needs an attenuator, I was planning to use the PS-100 with a modeler as kind of a 3rd rig - the kind that keeps me from buying any more amps!

    My only real complaint is the built in fan. It's clearly audible even though it gets buried under the sound when playing but it's there no matter what. PS2 had a similar issue but I can't remember if it was bothersome or not. I'm not in a hurry to crack this open but I might swap the fan for a Noctua at some point to try to make it more quiet.

    It's not the lightest unit to carry around but otherwise I can heartily recommend this if you have a bunch of amps that you'd like to run any way you please.
     
  2. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    wow, congrats!!! those look really amazing. fryette makes some super high quality gear.
     
  3. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Congrats! I'm thinking of buying some sort of Power Station for an AFX. I had a PS2 that I used with some Super Leads and liked it well enough, but didn't have a modeler at the time. I absolutely hated the 2:90:2 power amp, and somewhat fear the PS100 will have the same sort of tone, but I want the extra power.

    But you're liking it, so that's promising.
     
  4. Kyle Jordan

    Kyle Jordan Ace of Knaves

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    The PS-100 is what I’m planning on going with for my III. Glad to hear yours is working out.
     
  5. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    For use with modelers the only caveat is that it's not stereo. While that's not really needed most of the time, it would be nice. I don't know how two Power Stations vs one Fryette LXII would perform. I have read some complaints about the LXII fan being loud (because it is after all a 1 rack unit stereo tube poweramp...).

    I tried my FM3 through it and with Fractal it can be worth experimenting with the speaker impedance curve and resonant frequency settings to match it to your cab better. That's one of those cool little things that the Fractal system has that the others don't. I hope they release at least a public beta version of Cygnus soon, to me the FM3 still sounded thinner than the Quad Cortex or even Helix 3.1.
     
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  6. broangiel

    broangiel SS.org Regular

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    My unsolicited advice: If using a tube power amp, I'd probably set the Impedance Curve to Resistive Load (flat). Otherwise, you're double-hyping those resonant frequencies--once in the simulation, then again when the tube amp interacts with the real speaker. Of course, if it sounds good, it is good. Do what maketh you happy.
     
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  7. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I tried that as well but felt that other impedance curves worked better and did not make a too hyped sound at all, at worst they made the low end of the cab behave in a way I did not like. To me the Fryette does not add any character of its own beyond what you do with the presence/depth controls. But when playing at lower volumes having some extra bass and high end might be perceived as better sounding. Fletcher Munson and all.
     
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  8. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    When I use my PS2 with axe, I tend to leave PA sims on and lower/move the peaks but do not flatten them. You can really tune the Fractal to sound amazing in the room like that, it is better than many real high end amps when tuned for my preferences. Some folks recommended flattening them but I’ve never preferred them fully flat.
     
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  9. broangiel

    broangiel SS.org Regular

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    Laxu makes a good point about volume. I would also leave power amp sim, but at low volume, having the built-in resonance curve probably helps. There’s not right or wrong way in the end. I can only speak from my experience, but it’s by no means *the* way to do it.

    all I can say is, all this talk is making me want to add a tube power amp back to my stable.
     
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  10. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    Yes, volume is huge as always. It is kind of easy to forget in a weird kind of way... much more so with real amps than modelers because you just have to grab and twist knobs to adjust as you turn up. I have always strongly favored power amps with presence and resonance/depth type controls to get some kind of basic high low adjustment directly on the power amp especially on the rack rigs and digital rigs I have run for that reason.
     
  11. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    I just set up mine for the first time since I got the Origin 20 modded. I wouldn't wanna play without it, for sake of those dip switches alone. Helps when going from my strat to the jazzmaster with humbuckers. Plus it protects the amp. Jacks on cabs and connectors can be wonky. Can't wait to try it with my Ultra 120 after I get it recapped. 1101 and HX Stomp models are also way more alive with all that power amp grease going on. I was setting up a clean patch wondering WTH was going on, didn't notice the 1101 was set to internal pre and I was getting just power amp grit.
     

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