Upgrading From Micro Dark To Dark Terror

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Classicplayer, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,128
    Likes Received:
    5,441
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    YES!!!! I love Koss's playing

    It will be nice to read your opinion on the DT
     
  2. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    I'll hijack my own thread, if you all permit me. Back in the early ’70s I built Craig Anderton's headphone amp; the plans for it being Guitar Player mag. Radio Shack (RIP) had all the parts and the IC I bought came from a local supplier. It was one very dry watt, but into headphones it was loud! Great fun, but very solid state and made my guitar's sound sterile, lifeless and anything but what we'd know as good guitar tone. It was fun and educational and I found out just what a one watt (SS watt) circuit could do with just with a 9-volt battery.

    All done for less than $10.00


    Classicplayer
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  3. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    FEDEX delivered the Dark Terror this a.m.! I set it up in my usual practice room with the PPC112. I'll post a pic here later on. Amp and cab are on a quality wood stand so sound projection is improved. If you really want to hear your amp/speaker at its best, raise it up.

    I haven't given it a thorough run through of course, but a tone report will follow this post in time. I'm very pleased with what I've heard from my LP Classic with Seths...so far. No, it's not so loud on the 15 watt setting for what I play.....the cleaner side with my neck pup and some crunch when switching to the bridge pup. I need to experiment to get my ideal. I'm there with my Micro Dark. I've figured that tyke out, but I have to tweak some from scratch with this new DT.

    Yes, all tubes amps make such a wonderful difference in tone. This is my first all tube one in about 20 years; so long overdue...I'd say. The Micro Dark is fine for what it is, but I notice now that touch sensitivity and control are so much more enhanced with tube amps. This one has it! The MD gets close, but HEY! I'm hearing something wonderful. Now, I can agree with some of the many reviews extolling this amp with more than one reviewer using the word "underestimated" to describe it. There really is more to the Dark Terror than the grind its designed to produce. There appears to be many tones to be had here all with just three controls and your own controls on your guitar. Nothing else is needed, save perhaps a reverb pedal or your fav. delay. I have a TC Electronic "Hall Of Fame" to help there. I can't believe that I procrastinated for so long; worrying that it would be too loud for home use, etc. It's too early to say my other guitars will fit with this Dark Terror, but I will bet the ranch that they will also.


    Classicplayer
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  4. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,128
    Likes Received:
    5,441
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    There's just *something* about dem tube amps. I never can quite articulate it, but something magical. CONGRATS
     
  5. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    "Magic" is a term I could see using. My amp actually picks up the sound of my fingernail touching the string; never remembered the Micro Dark doing this. That type of touch sensitivity is one of the main differences between all-tube as opposed to SS amps, IMO.


    Classicplayer
     
  6. Mockbel

    Mockbel Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    I have Laney IRT Studio with dual input (1w and 15w). I use the 1w input and I can't go with volume above 2 on the Lead channel when the boost is ON. Full tube amps are way louder than I expected !

    I purchased this but I haven't received it yet... it is not an attenuator as it goes in the FX Loop of the amp not after Power tubes but I hope it does the job... I am not looking for a power tube cranked sound.. i just want that full distorted sound from lead channel at low volume...

    [​IMG]
     
    cherrysunburst00 and Rhust like this.
  7. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    3,118
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    [​IMG]
     
  8. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,128
    Likes Received:
    5,441
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Yeah, Yeah, right. That's it, it's a "magic" for sure. I love it.

    No doubt, 1 watt is LOUD with a tube amp. Even 1/2 watt. As you alluded to, that's where either volume reduction (watts, or whatever other method) OR a killer master volume comes in.

    I'm still astounded at how great Friedman amps sound with the master turned down. Sounds amazing.
     
    northernguitarguy likes this.
  9. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    It's the Dark Terror in my practice room. The amp stand I found from an online vendor in Canada. To me it's well worth the money to me to get the PPC112 up off the floor. It also has a 14 degree pitch upwards.

    My tone review will follow re: the gain side of this little beast. I know I'm not anywhere near the expert many on these forums are regarding knowledge about high gain tones this amp can reach. My listening interests start with Page and more or less center around Clutch's Tim Sult. He plays Marshall and Orange amps. His style of gain appeals to my own senses and in my opinion, he is a very underrated guitarist. The lines and riffs that he comes up with just seem to fit into that band perfectly. I think his choosing Orange, albeit the larger Orange heads, and what my ears hear from Orange amp tones, made my decision to get the Dark Terror so much easier.


    Classicplayer

    IMG_3299.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  10. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,128
    Likes Received:
    5,441
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    And that is what it all boils down to. What sounds good to you. I could not visualize your stand, so seeing the pic helped immensely. Really nifty set up there :)
     
    northernguitarguy likes this.
  11. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Arva Ontario, CA is where Ampendage.com is located. They have a few models available. They seem very well
    constructed.


    Classicplayer
     
    Mockbel and cherrysunburst00 like this.
  12. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    I took some time to try out the Dark Terror's gain and crunch. Not being a real high-gain type, I spent little time with the gain past high noon. What I did find there was what high gain players like to hear. I managed to make it sound gritty with clarity and I could still hear each note in my chords ring out.....much, much more effective than the Micro Dark; a real tube crunchiness and as much as I will ever need.

    I dropped the gain back down to 10:00 o'clock to noon and got my tone going on. All I had to do then was use my pickup's volumes to add or subtract the crunch. That is about where my Micro Dark gives off my favorite tones, except the DT gives off that fat tube gain with some hair added and rough edges either. My fingers can then bring out a few extra degrees of crunch and a not quite clean tone, just using my volume knob. That was very hard to do with the MD. I think this amp is a class "A", but not sure. There is a VOX-like chime going on, but it's not VOX because it sounds fatter to me than VOX.

    I also like the 12at7 tube driving the effects loop rather than my Micro Dark's loop. This one sounds smoother as I hear my reverb pedal now with a more natural studio-like sound and not so much a digital reverb one.

    I don't know if the power tubes need to be re-biased when replacing or not, but Orange's amp manual claims that it might not be a bad idea to do so. I won't be tube rolling and this one won't be severely tested with hours of high gain playing, so I won't worry about that just now.

    Of course, I need to put my other humbucking guitars through a test with it and my Strat will require it too. I'm thinking my stock Strat will sound much better with the Dark Terror......the Micro Dark really not the best amp for it IMHO.


    Classicplayer
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    northernguitarguy likes this.
  13. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Likes Received:
    2,865
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    I love Sult!

    if you haven't listened to 'the company band'? five horse johnson?

    I love that dirty, but not exactly sound. sorta swampy.

    if it gets a tim sult type tone, I can't imagine it being a bad amp :) I love that tone... but I think a lot of it is just that guy's playing makes simple riffs sound complex, and complex playing sounds easy... he's truly underrated.
     
    Classicplayer likes this.
  14. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Tim Sult's playing is an example of why you don't have to be a virtuoso to get your point across in a band setting. He appears to get that tone with Marshall amps also, so it's not only Orange that he relies upon.

    The Dark Terror seems like I can approach that tone, but then again, it's Sult that only sounds like Sult. He claims that his rig is always evolving and stays constant for just so long before he revises it once more. Of course I'd never get the Dark Terror loud enough with power tube breakup anyways.


    Classicplayer
     
    Rhust likes this.
  15. irocdave12

    irocdave12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Glad to hear you're loving the new amp. So do you think you'll need an attenuator that you've had a chance to hear the volume levels? Not much concern with tube bias on el84 tubes in these types of amps. A lot don't even have the ability to do that on el84 power tubes. That being said don't write off tube rolling. The tubes these amps come with are low end. You will definitely hear improvement with a better quality tube particularly with the power tubes as some brands distort sooner and some later so you can really dial in your tone with the right tubes. The el84 tubes are a big part of the reason you're hearing the VOX chime you spoke of as that was their thing using those tube first as power tubes with ac30
     
    Kris Ford, Classicplayer and Rhust like this.
  16. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    794
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    For my situation, I'll look into what I hear from the 7 1/2 setting if I need really lower volume. The Dark Terror at 15 watts, so far, is about the right volume for home practice; so is my Micro Dark and that is 20 watts. I can get the MD to sound convincing at lower volumes. It's problem sometimes is lack of a smooth tone due to its solid state power section. The Dark Terror can also sound fine at lower volumes and the tone is far more smoothed out than the MD. Both amps have that chime factor; the Micro Dark's is not quite as smooth, but very evident and for some reason stands out when the amp volume and gain control are set at the about the same number?! I've been playing the Micro Dark for almost two years and I think I know now how to get a wonderful tone with both my Les Pauls; one having Seths and #2 the 490R/BB Pro combo.

    A change of the JJ12ax7 to a Mesa 12ax7 made a noticeable difference with my Micro Dark; and for the better IMO. It's far too early for tube swaps with the Dark Terror until I get to use it long term. It's power tubes are JJs.


    Classicplayer
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    cherrysunburst00 and Rhust like this.
  17. guitfiddle

    guitfiddle Senior Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    'Grats on the new amp. It's fun with the volume on 7 or 8, the gain around 3 or 4, and the shape at 9 or 10 o'clock. AC/DC for days.

    Oddly enough, what I found is that my MD is actually louder than my DT into the same cab and set the same. They both have older Telefunken tubes in their preamps, but the DT is still running its original power tubes. I'll bet with a new set of power tubes, it would wake up a bit more.

    One thing that the DT has that the MD doesn't, is that elastic feel you get from tubes distorting, but the MD's stiffer feel actually makes a bit more preferable to me in some live situations. It's still blowing my mind how much goodness they packed into such a little amp
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    Rhust and Classicplayer like this.
  18. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Likes Received:
    2,865
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    that could actually be how it is biased... when my tubes wore out on my 6505MH I bought the same JJs, and biased it using the instructions the PV tech provides (uses the internal tube tester circuit)... I set it how they recommend, and it was MUCH louder... I think the whole time it was biased cold, which I'm not sure didn't cause the tubes to go out sooner too...
     
    guitfiddle likes this.

Share This Page