FDP Forum / I hate BillM mod (It sounds horrible!)/ 29 messages in thread.

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wonsup



USA

Jun 9th, 2004 12:40 AM        

I bought a Blues junior about a month ago, I loved the sound once the master is cranked up and volme at about 50-90%.

I've read lots and lots about BillM Tone Stack mode and Bias mode, so I decided to try it tonight. (I didn't get to finsih the bias mode, beacuse I did not have replacement 5K & 27K resistors)

Well anyway, I hate the Tone Stack mod sound. It sounds way to nasal-ly and muddy.

It did bring up the bass frequecny louder and clearer, and for some reason the high end more crisp, but I really hate the mid range frequency sound.

The mid frequency "scoop" center is no longer in the same spot, and it sounds real nasal. When I play chords, it sounds very muddy. I tried turning mid all the way out, all the way up, and all the mixes in between, but the nasal sound is there.

I should have known. When I heard the sound clip from billm's website, I thought it sounded muddy and nasally, but I thought that was becasue he was trying to leave the settings at all 5's for comparison, and that once I tweak the knobs, it would sound better. Hundreds of people who did this mod and love, can't be wrong, right? Well, I guess I was wrong.

My 57 reissue and blues jr's perfect Fender strat tone is now gone, and I am not very happy about it.

I am planning to put the old ones back in. I wonder if I should just replace the mid frequency, and leave the bass one alone? Maybe that will get rid of that weird mid frequency issue while giving me more clear bass?

Any thoughts or suggestions?



still4given



Promise Land

I'm drinking from the saucer
Jun 9th, 2004 01:20 AM        

Do you have the FAT switch in? That seems to do someting weird with my mid frequencies now that I've done the mod. I also did the GUNTHER high frequency mod on mine. I actually find the mid control very useful now where-as before it took a lot of knob movement to notice much change. I would suggest you play with it for a bit before passings too hasty a jugement. You may find that the tone you are looking for is just in a different setting now. Make small changes at a time and play it a while. You can always change back if you don't like it. I did find that the amp seemed to lose a little of it's chime after I did the mods which is why I added the GUNTHER mod. That was before Billm came up with his bright switch mod which looks like it does a similar thing. IF you have the cream board this may not matter.

Blessings, Terry



Classicplayer



USA

Jun 9th, 2004 05:23 AM        

I have not done the mods put forth by Billm. I was satisifed with my green-board '97 Blues Jr.; all but the mid-range screech that popped into the tones once in awhile. I opted to go with JJ tubes throughout which really improved that little problem for me. I then put in the Jensen C12N which sounds fine, but really not a marked difference over the Eminence speaker. I have found that the amp's tone controls (stock) do have a significant effect on tone, and do so with just micro tweaks of each one. You have to listen closely, but you will notice the subtle changes in tone when just slight adjustments are made. I also found that the mid control is the "critical" one for adjustment of the overall tone of the amp. Finding the sweet spot with it is a challange sometimes. But my Blues Jr. both stock and with tubes changes and speaker upgrade is the epitomy of "Strat" tone when I plug my Amer. series Strat (stock) into it.

Billm's bias mod may be the way to go to lengthen the life of the tubes and the amp itself. Fender has biased the amp on the hot side and it may be done with the purpose of getting those wonderful tones. But, my Junior is now undergoing its' second repair job in two years for probably something heat related in the circuit. In fact my dealer told me that some of the amps he's seen in for repair seem to be all heat related "problems". Let's say they don't build them like they used to, but for the money and all else considered, it is a toneful little amp with many qualities that endear itself to today's players. If I continue to spend money getting this amp repaired I would consider selling it after seven years of finding wonderful tones in it. I cannot see throwing good money after bad, so to speak. Seven years ago the price of this amp new, was about $60.00 less than right now, in my locale. If any other Junior owners have had similar experiences, I like to hear from you.

Classicplayer

Classicplayer



Billm

Contributing Member

New Jersey, USA

Hey! What exit?
Jun 9th, 2004 08:03 AM        

What kind of pickups do you have on your guitar, Wonsup?

You're the first person to describe the sound as nasally. I don't like nasal myself, and I designed the mods to give more low mids and lows. Are you sure the mids cap is making a good connection?

In any event, if you can't find the tone you want with the controls, just switch the mids cap back to .022µF.

Classicplayer, if you cooled off the bias, a lot of those heat-related problems would go away.




syrinx



united states

Jun 9th, 2004 09:21 AM        

Sounds like he needs a two knobber Billm.



wonsup



USA

Jun 9th, 2004 12:34 PM        

I am using wahtever the pickup is coming with 57 reissue. However, I have another guitar with EMG SAs in it, and it still sounds nasal.

I used to build electronics (radios) for hobby all the time, so I am pretty sure my soldering is good.

I am not using the FAT button, as I think it makes the sounds artificial (solid state).

What is two knobber?

I think Ihave found the issue.

I have a Metal Zone distortion pedal whhich has mid frequency knob along with high, mid, low knob. The mid refquency knob allows you to move the mid scoop center point up and down the frequency range. As I turn the knob down, which makes the scoop center at lower frequency, my guitar sounds more nasal. As I move the kobs higher, it sounds more like a ringing bell, but sounds a bit thinner.

I think that is effectively what happend to my amp.

The mid cap I replaced, as mentioend by Bill above, will lower the mid frequency center a bit lower than the stock. I think this is why I am hearing it as more "nasal". I don't think I like the emphasis on the low mid. I like emphasis on high mid.

Bill, if I restore the stock capacitor back in place, would that change back the mid frequency to stock level, or do I need to take out the bass cap as well?



I use for midsweep, and





Billm

Contributing Member

New Jersey, USA

Hey! What exit?
Jun 9th, 2004 02:30 PM        

If you restore the stock .022µF mids cap, it will move the mids center point back up to the stock level. The bass cap doesn't intrude very heavily into the mids range.

The thing that puzzles me is your description of the tone. When I think nasal, I think "higher pitch, stronger midrange," like a Vintage 30 or British sound. But my tone stack mod shifts the centerpoints of both controls down and passes more bass to give the BJr more thump and bottom end clarity. The mod makes more midrange available; I seldom have mine above 4. But some jazz players crank it way up and make it the dominant tone--and that's what I call nasal.

High mids and low trebles are the domain of the presence control--and the BJr doesn't have one, of course. You can hear the effect of the presence control in my sound samples.

The "two knobber" that Syrinx was referring to is an old Champ, Deluxe, or Pro Junior. One volume, one tone. No worries about centerpoints or other distracting details!

Tastes in overdrive tone varies a lot, to say the least, but in my opinion the BJr sounds best when you drive it hard with a fairly limited signal. I get a nice, smooth, sax-like buzz from the low strings and a nicely thickened sustaining tone from the high strings when I've got the guitar's tone control rolled back pretty far. That's with the guitar up at 8 or 10, the volume on 9 and up, and the master wherever it needs to be so my eardrums don't bleed. Too much treble gives me unrelated harmonics that don't sound good to me. I've also found that once you get the BJr into sustaining overdrive that its tone controls have relatively little effect on the sound--you've got to get the major tone set in the guitar or pedal.

So I do the same with distortion or overdrive pedals--I keep the tone rolled back to the bass side.




Garage_Studios



N. Kentucky, USA

Human Power Resistor
Jun 9th, 2004 02:54 PM        

"I am not using the FAT button, as I think it makes the sounds artificial (solid state)."

"I have a Metal Zone distortion pedal.."

Hey isn't that Metal Zone solid state? ;) Sorry, couldn't resist.



sjerome

Contributing Member

Upstate NY, USA

I'm trying to be; you can't help it.
Jun 9th, 2004 05:28 PM        

I've said this before: Although I have every confidence in Billm's mod from all the good press I've read about it here, I would highly recommend that anybody who wants to fiddle with this amp in a reversible way, without using tools, try a 7-band eq. pedal. I'm not even going to mention brands. But when I did that, I fell in love with the amp. I was at best in "like" with it before that point.

All according to your philosophy, but I'm real big on wiring-free reversibility that doesn't void warrantys, and I've done a fair amount of soldering.



wonsup



USA

Jun 9th, 2004 05:48 PM        

I know. :) I don't use that pedal any more as a distortion, as I hate the sound. I only use it for EQ on it, which is good. It is from my past sinful life when I used to play heavey metal. :) For that it was very good. Now I am an convert and play only blues and jazz.

I use a Tube Screamer now (another solid state :) ).



wonsup



USA

Jun 9th, 2004 05:51 PM        

BTW, I am trying to finish the Bias mod, and I can't locate 5K resistor. Can I use 4.7K resistor in place or do I really need 5K?



Garage_Studios



N. Kentucky, USA

Human Power Resistor
Jun 9th, 2004 05:54 PM        

4.7K should be fine, although a 5.1K is a little closer. Probably won't make too much of a difference either way.



Billm

Contributing Member

New Jersey, USA

Hey! What exit?
Jun 9th, 2004 09:30 PM        

Either value is fine. It's just a bounding resistor so you can't crank the bias all the way to zero, but keeps the overall resistance from the top to the bottom of the voltage divider pretty close to stock.



trudeau



acetylsalicylic aci

ahhh
Jun 9th, 2004 10:12 PM        

Two points:
* What Still said: waiting awhile before you declare that you "hate" the mod is a sound idea.
* And since it's a mod that comes with a name attached to it, you might find a less brutal way to describe your reaction.



lavalamp

Contributing Member
***

Chicagoland

Nothing is true Everything is permitted
Jun 10th, 2004 08:42 AM        

One additional point:
* Give your registration to the FDP a few weeks to mature before you go off and slam someone or something.



Billm

Contributing Member

New Jersey, USA

Hey! What exit?
Jun 10th, 2004 12:02 PM        

As Billy Gibbons once said, "De gustibus non est disputandum."

No, wait, maybe it was Jimi Hendrix? Or maybe Immanuel Kant... I get them all confused sometimes. But the point is that there's no disputing taste, and if wonsup hates the sound of the mod, it's his choice to say so. Is "horrible" too strong a term? I hope so. But we're talking music and tone here, so let the opinions pour forth.



wonsup



USA

Jun 10th, 2004 12:54 PM        

Gee guys,

I didn't mean to come across as slamming anyone. Obvioulsy BillM has been very helpful on this thread. I appreciate that. And I appreciate his website, and I am middle of doing the bias mod to the amp.

However, can I not say I hate Fender Strat sound, becasue it it tied to a name Leo Fender? That sounds absurd. I heard that countless times from others.

If someone can say "I love BillM mod" then I have right so say "I hate BillM mod", if someone says "It sounds wonderful" I have right to say "It sounds horrible." Love, hate, wonderful, horrible are all STRONG words, just the oppsoite spectrum.

I didn't mean to attack BillM personally, however, I do not agree with everyone saying how wonderful his mods makes their amp sound. In my case, I thought it made it sound worse (just the mid cap, really).

Again, as BillM said above, taste is very subjectional.



fiestared



USA

Jun 10th, 2004 01:00 PM        

Bill,

Dispite the title of this topic, I have found the discussion to be very interesting. And I am now convinced that I want to perform the tone stack and reverb mods to my tweed/green board Blues Jr.

I do have one question. On the high end, I like the slightly darker sound of my tweed Blues Jr. Will the tone stack and reverb mods make the amp brighter? I would like to simply add a little more to the bass end while leaving the treble alone (and of course fix the reverb issues).

And as far as the "two knobber" is concerned, that is the way I have been using my Blues Jr. for a long time. The bass and mid always stay in the same spot, and I use the treble as a tone knob. It works very well.

Thanks for all of your terrific work on this little monster.



Blackstrat2



USA

Little Deuce Coupe
Jun 10th, 2004 01:53 PM        

BillM,

Kant would have said it in German not Latin, so hendrix? I have been surprised by some of the shall we say "strong" opinions musicians voice.

I think we are inherently emotional, passionate people..so let the juices flow so long as we don't attack people personally..I've become used to one man saying this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, next guy saying "what a piece of SH*t, it sucks. Once I became used to that it is as you said or the variant "One man's meat is another man's poison."



wonsup



USA

Jun 10th, 2004 02:30 PM        

Well, I've replaced the mid cap back to the stock (kept the bass cap) and voila! It sounds great!

My complaint about the Blues jr was that it has flabby bass. I even tried it with external 2x12 enclosed cab, and the bass didn't really improve much. I thought about changing the speaker to Weber Bluedog, since everyone recommended that it will make the bass more defined, but reading BillM's description of how you don't need to waste money doing that convinced me that I should spend money somewhere else.

And yes, chaning the bass cap really brought up the clear, defined bass notes. This was what I was looking for.

However, I don't think I like the mid cap change. No matter what I did with the dial, there was this frequency presence that really bothered me. Even my wife, who is not a very musical person, said that it sounded bad.

What I would like to see in the mid cap is to lessen the mid scoop (like the original intention), but keep the center frequency exactly the same as the stock one, rather than lowering it. I think that is where it would sounds the best for me. However, I don't want the mid scoop the be lessened so much that the frequency response is flat, and it gives that sterile, Hi-Fi sound.

Mid cap change does allow you to control the mid frequency more. You don't have to turn the knob as much to hear mid frequency getting louder/quieter.

What cap should I try on the mid cap, if I want the same frequency center, but more (control) of it?

So far, I apprecaite everyone's feedback (even the tongue lashing! :)). It's been very valuable.



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