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? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:33 am
by 89tone
I have a sarnos sms preamp and a QSC power amp. I dont know how to get that drive that's on the back end of Jerry's tone. So, I was wondering what decibel do I set the power amp to? I cant go very high at all with out blasting volume and I thought the drive on the sarnos should be around 2 o'clock. Any suggestions? I just play at my apartment for fun

Edit: the p in the title is for Power

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:58 am
by Jon S.
Welcome to RUKIND. Stick around! :-)

It would not occur to me to use a QSC power amp for amplifying a guitar preamp. A unit like AxeFX that has built in power amp and cab simulators, maybe, but not a standalone preamp. If you're interested, here's a recent thread here with many excellent alternative 1U power amp suggestions (for those not using McIntosh'es): https://rukind.com/viewtopic.php?f=429&t=20630

This being said, a question and a suggestion to try:

(1) What is the model # for your power amp (I'd like to look up the manual).

(2) Throw out the standard numbers for the preamp. Into the QSC, if it were me, I'd be cranking the gain up higher than to coax at least some grit from the preamp. Then take care to use the rear pad control to ensure your output signal won't be overdriving the power amp (with a QSC, for sure that won't sound musical).

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:41 am
by 89tone
Jon S. wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:58 am
Welcome to RUKIND. Stick around! :-)

It would not occur to me to use a QSC power amp for amplifying a guitar preamp. A unit like AxeFX that has built in power amp and cab simulators, maybe, but not a standalone preamp. If you're interested, here's a recent thread here with many excellent alternative 1U power amp suggestions (for those not using McIntosh'es): https://rukind.com/viewtopic.php?f=429&t=20630

This being said, a question and a suggestion to try:

(1) What is the model # for your power amp (I'd like to look up the manual).

(2) Throw out the standard numbers for the preamp. Into the QSC, if it were me, I'd be cranking the gain up higher than to coax at least some grit from the preamp. Then take care to use the rear pad control to ensure your output signal won't be overdriving the power amp (with a QSC, for sure that won't sound musical).
It is a GX3 with the range being 25, 18, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0. 25 is the first option and then follows that order

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:52 am
by Jon S.
Word searches within the manual

https://www.qsc.com/resource-files/prod ... manual.pdf

for "guitar," "instrument," and "preamp" got 0 hits, confirming my expectation that this power amp is designed for live sound reproduction and not for amplifying instrument preamps.

I hope my 2) above is nevertheless helpful to you. We use stuff all the time in ways they weren't originally intended. Sometimes it works.

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:41 pm
by lbpesq
McIntosh amps weren't designed for guitars. Yet they perform well for that purpose, or at least Jerry and many members around here thought so. The “Q” in QSC is Pat Quilter who has been designing instrument amps for years. I don’t think you are going to damage anything using a QSC power amp. I know many bass players who use QSC power amps. If you like how it sounds, use it. If you don’t like how it sounds, try something else. I wouldn’t rule it out just based on the fact that it wasn’t originally designed for guitar.

Bill, tgo

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:45 pm
by Jon S.
I'm not trying to rule out anything. I'm just trying to avoid unreasonable expectations.

Bill, you're absolutely right about the McIntosh'es - I also own one - but there's a reason why we love them so much: they're unique in their design and tone.

And there's a reason why bassists get along with super clean, even linear SS power amps so much better than we guitarists often do.

There are plenty of Pat Quilter-designed SS products that sound quite nice amplifying guitars. Again, it wouldn't occur to me to lop the OP's Quilter power amp into that bin.

This being said, as I'd already posted previously,

>> We use stuff all the time in ways they weren't originally intended. Sometimes it works.

>> Throw out the standard numbers for the preamp. Into the QSC, if it were me, I'd be cranking the gain up higher than to coax at least some grit from the preamp. Then take care to use the rear pad control to ensure your output signal won't be overdriving the power amp (with a QSC, for sure that won't sound musical).

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:20 pm
by Gr8fulCadi
John Kadlecik used a QSC power amp (no clue which one) with his rig. Not sure if he still does or not.

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:51 pm
by tdcrjeff
Gr8fulCadi wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:20 pm
John Kadlecik used a QSC power amp (no clue which one) with his rig. Not sure if he still does or not.
http://www.johnkmusic.net/gear/gear.html says PLX

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:16 am
by Jon S.
tdcrjeff wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:51 pm
Gr8fulCadi wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:20 pm
John Kadlecik used a QSC power amp (no clue which one) with his rig. Not sure if he still does or not.
http://www.johnkmusic.net/gear/gear.html says PLX
Pardon the double quote. :-)

We live and learn!

It still wouldn't occur to me to power a non-modeling guitar rig with a QSC power amp BUT If JK can make the PLX3602 work for him, the OP should be able to make his model work for him, too. :peas:

In this case, I'll let go of my suggestion to consider an alternative and double down on my second suggestion to experiment running the SMS preamp with a tad more gain than you otherwise might while afterwards perhaps dialing back a tad on the rear pad control. The result of this will be to drive the preamp tubes a tad more than usual (for some grit) while not overdriving the power amp (which, when overdriven, will likely clip into nonmusical distortion).

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:39 am
by lbpesq
I have always approached playing GD music with a relatively clean tone. I play mostly rhythm and only occasionally use a little distortion. For lead work, I’m also looking for a cleaner tone than usually heard in other genres of rock. That said, I have obtained my tone through the guitar’s controls, pedals, and my preamp. One of the things I love about my Carvin DCM200L, aside from size and light weight, is that it cleanly amplifies the tone I put into it without much coloration. I used to play a Mesa 50/50 power amp and rarely pushed it to the volume where the power amp tubes were breaking up. And I’ve always believed Jerry got his tone a lot more from the Twin pre than from the Mac 2300. I don’t see any reason why any decent, clean, power amp can’t be hooked up to an SMS pre and allow for a nice tone to be dialed in.

Bill, tgo

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:46 am
by Jon S.
Ditto on the DCM200L. I absolutely love mine.

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:00 pm
by 89tone
lbpesq wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:39 am
I have always approached playing GD music with a relatively clean tone. I play mostly rhythm and only occasionally use a little distortion. For lead work, I’m also looking for a cleaner tone than usually heard in other genres of rock. That said, I have obtained my tone through the guitar’s controls, pedals, and my preamp. One of the things I love about my Carvin DCM200L, aside from size and light weight, is that it cleanly amplifies the tone I put into it without much coloration. I used to play a Mesa 50/50 power amp and rarely pushed it to the volume where the power amp tubes were breaking up. And I’ve always believed Jerry got his tone a lot more from the Twin pre than from the Mac 2300. I don’t see any reason why any decent, clean, power amp can’t be hooked up to an SMS pre and allow for a nice tone to be dialed in.

Bill, tgo
Thing is, I cant even push my QSC in my apartment more than 2 clicks of the dial. Thing gets loud quick! Thanks, for the input. One other thing I've considered is the fact that I havent been able to connect the speakers to the amp as securely as I'd like to, ie connecting the copper to the speaker. I need to so some cable clipping and soldering to my connecting cable

Re: ? on P Amp Settings

PostPosted:Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:07 am
by strumminsix
89tone wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:33 am
I have a sarnos sms preamp and a QSC power amp. I dont know how to get that drive that's on the back end of Jerry's tone. So, I was wondering what decibel do I set the power amp to? I cant go very high at all with out blasting volume and I thought the drive on the sarnos should be around 2 o'clock. Any suggestions? I just play at my apartment for fun

Edit: the p in the title is for Power
Think that would make for a great combination once you have it dialed in right. QSC poweramp sections are incredible in terms of both being clean and transparent with fidelity which is exactly what McIntosh went for.

When you hear that Jerry clean with bite, growl, etc. That was a combination of many things including riding the volume knobs, attack of string, and pushing the speakers to clipping.

Here's where I'd start:
1) set the out to p amp to noon and hang out there for a while
2) figure out your input gain to where you can get it right to point of starting to overdrive when your guitar volume is on 10 and medium string attack
3) then with the guitar on 10 and medium attack on the strings, bring up the SMS p amp level (while keeping QSC low) to the point where you start to clip the input of the QSC, then back it down hair
4) then only use the QSC volume to set your overall volume :)

This combines 2 schools of thoughts: guitar amplification and gain staging

Doing this should ensure the good results and then you tweak from there.