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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I just recieved my Legacy head from Carvin today.  After about 3 hours of play testing I'm just a little disappointed.  It's got a very good tone, sounds a whole lot better than my old setup (boss metalzone paired with boss 7 band eq) but i'm not sure if its what I've been looking for.

I'm very pleased with the clean channel, but it's the lead channel that I'm having issues with.  I'm really trying to nail a tone with a lot of gain (not buckets and buckets of gain like a dual recto or something), a la "juice" or something similar, where the harmonics will really squeal and sing out.  All I've been able to get so far is just a peep :) (well, more than a peep of course, but you get my drift).  Even at high volumes (around 6 or 7, which is deafening, whether the gain is at 5 or 6 or even at 8 or 9, I can't seem to get enough "juice" out of this thing.

Again, I like the tone, but to me it's more of a mild overdrive.  I wasn't expecting this amp to be the ultimate in high gain but I thought it would be a little more over the top.  I'm not trying to get Steve Vai's tone, just a good tone (which the Legacy has) but with some more balls.  Is there anything that I can add to it to help it along?  Maybe someone could share their Legacy setups?

Oh yeah, I'm running an RG570 direct into the amp for now, and the amp into a Randall 4x12 cab.  I'm installing Evolutions into the guitar later on in the week which I hope will help out a bit (upgrading from stock V8's, yes you can laugh at me now).  

Thanks for reading,
FJ
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Unfortunately, you've come to the same roadblock that many tube amp players in need of gain find themselves at.

What you need is power amp tube distortion. That is the really singing distortion that you get when the power amp tubes are driven to the point of overdriving. That however, will probably not happen on a Legacy until the volume is at 8 or 9. If you want to keep this amp, I suggest looking into a power break... I personally have never used one, but they will get the job done (your amp will still be very loud however). I'm sure someone else can give you more suggestions.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

wouldn't a pedal get you there like the Boss SD-1 or the Ibanez TS-9 or a Hotcake??

Vai uses the Boss pedal
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting good gain out of the Legacy

OUCH. wow 5 or 6 is enough to give my ears the same feeling I had when I exited the last G3 concert lol :) I've been using the 50w setting too. I think my main problem is that when I turn the amp up too loud, the sound starts bouncing off the walls of my living room and it just turns into a mess of sounds.

I've tried using my Metalzone together with the legacy (legacy high gain, metalzone low gain) and it just turned into a feedbacking ear-splitting mess. I don't think the Metalzone was made to be used with any other distortion affects. I'll have to try out my brother's daddy-o and hard rock distortion later.

Maybe the Legacy is just too much for any type of home-use situation.

Do most of you guys go digital or solid state at home, and save the tube amps for the stage? I've read that many people find even a 25 or 30 watt tube amp to be too much. For most of my playing I don't really want to get any louder than say a loud playing stereo system.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

That would be the 50milliamp all tube head I've been waiting for someone to build.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

I'm actually thinking of building my own low wattage tube amp... maybe like 10 watts through a 12" speaker...

It's the fear of electrocution that keeps me from beginning the job. I know too many people who have friend themselves working on tube amps, so I am weary.

You're right Rick, the XWire sucks up tone like mad. haha... actually it still seems to be fairly transparent. I think I'm going to do some more side-by-side testing tonight.

As for the DS-1, a lot of people use it as a lead-boost... I don't know how well you'd enjoy it as an all-the-time distortion helper.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Wattage is a deceiving thing; the relationship between power and volume is not a direct one. A 10-watt amp is definitely not a 50 watt monster, but the disparity in volume is actually smaller than one might think. I have a good website that explains this in detail, unfortunately I can't find the link; I'll post it later.

-Devin
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

When you double the power from 50W to 100W you get +3db. Check out www.amptone.com for a discussion about the tradeoff of power versus volume. It covers all of the different ways you can possibly try to get power tube overdrive at reasonable volumes. I think I've given up my quest and I'll just stick with preamp overdrive...
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

I've been off on a Vai mode for the past three weeks, and have found some absolutely killer sounds out of my Marshall DSL 50 watt 2000 head. I'm also using a Ibanez TS-9, Boss DS-1, and an Ensoniq DP/4 for delay/reverb.

There are a few noteworthy things about what I have been doing:

1) I play in a home studio, so it is not out of control with volume
2) The signal goes TS-9 --> DS-1 --> Amp--> effects loop (DP) --> amp
3) I have found that maxing the gain on the clean channel, while keeping the volume low on the amp is Vai like, especially when using the TS-9.
4) TS-9 settings: Tone 30%, Drive 80%, Level 75%
5) For true high gain sound (still on the clean channel), I keep the tS-9 on, and also click in the DS-1.
6) DS-1 settings: Tone 10%, Level 100%, Drive 60%
7) For a more saturated dist sound, I turn off the DS-1, and switch to the Marshall lead channel.
8) I've had great results by using the Lead 1 setting on the Marshall with Gain at 90%, and once again volume low.
9) The signal BEFORE all of this is going thru a Bad Horsie Wah.

As I said before, this setup is quiet if need be, or bodacious tone in your face by just turning up the volume on either channel. It is an extremely dynamic rig, which is required to play a lot of Vai sounds.

I also switched cabs from my Marshall 4x12 to a Mesa 2x12 w/Vintage 30s - that was a very sweet change.

If I were you, I'd try the TS-9 and DS-1 in front of what you are doing. I hate playing my amp without the TS-9 option, and recently am very psyched with the DS-1 as well.

Luther
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

I'm actually thinking of changing the layout to a 2x12. 10 watts powering 2 12" speakers will still be LOUD, but it is a lot easier to drive the power tubes at reasonable volumes.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Jay some company (i think it is THD) make a product calle dyellowjackets that allow you to use a preamp type tube as a power tube.

It could be what you are looking for, i haven't tried them myself but they sound a good idea
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

ah yes the Boss DS-1, I stand corrected

I can't imagine trying to get good gain out of a big tube amp WITHOUT using a pedal really

its a constant struggle for me as most of the clubs and bars I play in are pretty small
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Quote: from one less than none on 4:52 pm on Aug. 1, 2001
Jay some company (i think it is THD) make a product calle dyellowjackets that allow you to use a preamp type tube as a power tube.

It could be what you are looking for, i haven't tried them myself but they sound a good idea
That is quite intersting... I was thinking of just using a nice low wattage power amp tube... but I could use some really interesting preamp tubes if what you say works well. It is something to experiement with. I don't recall hearing of this before, but it could have just slipped my mind. I'll have to start hanging around Ampage some more.
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

ok how we go, surf to www.amptone.com and there is a heading titled 'quiet cranked-amp tone' under this there is a heading 'tube converter sockets'. This has information on thd yellowjackets and other models
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

after fooling with Bob's Legacy, I found the best lead tone was when we used a DS-1 and an EQ in front of the Legacy. The dry legacy had kind of a smooth distortion tone, then with the EQ and the DS-1, we pumped it up to that really saturated lead sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Thanks for that little tidbit jem7vwh. I've been playing around with a DOD hardrock, which sounded ok, and a danelectro daddyo, which sounds even better, but I'll bet the DS1 would be better suited to give me the boost that I'm looking for. After I install the Evolution tomorrow in the bridge I think it will get even better.

If I remember correctly, I remember seeing Doug Marks in the First Metal Method video talking about how he plugs into a Carvin Amp (nowhere near full volume) and then uses an additional pedal to add the edge. This is the edge that I'm looking for!

Anyone have any ideas on switching to the legacy lead channel while also switching on the distortion channel (besides just hitting them both at the same time?).
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

Slightly off topic.....

Did anyone try that 5watt tube Crate amp (Vintage Club VC508)? The specs:

5 watts Class A tube
EL84 and 12AX7 tube
330(W) X 305(H)X 190 (D)mm
Weight: 8.2kg
Price: I think it retails for 350 bucks

It sounds like a pretty cool amp for practicing. Opinions?
 

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Getting good gain out of the Legacy

I dunno guys. For me personally if I buy an amp I want it to sound good with NO effects, no pedals in front of it, etc... Even though I know that when you have tubes anywhere in the signal (especially the power section) you get nice coloring, I just have a weird feeling that sticking a 50$ analog distortion pedal in front of a tube amp that you supposedly bought to get great tone is kind of odd. Why not just keep trying amps until you find one that sounds how you want it to?
 
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