What's the deal with all that treble?

John_P

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I'm getting some killer tones out of a Peavey Classic 50.

What baffles me is the amount of treble living inside the beast. I have to roll back treble quite dramatically also on the guitar. Bass and Treble noon-ish, but treble really low...and it gets super juicy and rich. Terrific really, nice low-end, not boomy, just fat and creamy.

-What's all that ear-splitting treble for? Super scooped high gain or what?, I don't get it.

Maybe the amp needs a service. -What kind of component failure would cause a treble output increase? Amp doesn't lack anything. It sounds great, I'm just bamboozled there's so much treble cooking that needs to be locked inside?
 

drugprowlingwolf

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The treble knob really needs to be dialed in on a case by case basis - depending on the guitar/pickups my amp might react wildly different.

dial it in with your band and trust your ears! Think of it as a feature that can suit Paf style pickups that need little brightening or hot modern pickups that could use a jump.

overall, I prefer darker amps in general and find most players exaggerate treble. I haven’t gigged in a while but Hubert Sumlin told me to dial it in for the audience and Focus on playing. It took me too long to get over the visual effect of a low setting on my knobs as not “enough.”
 

ARandall

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Also the room you play your music in counts too.
Most houses have small rooms with lots of hard surfaces. This is perfect for treble reproduction. A large room with a crowd and suddenly that tone is much more low mid to bass heavy as the treble doesn't travel as well.
 

cybermgk

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I'm getting some killer tones out of a Peavey Classic 50.

What baffles me is the amount of treble living inside the beast. I have to roll back treble quite dramatically also on the guitar. Bass and Treble noon-ish, but treble really low...and it gets super juicy and rich. Terrific really, nice low-end, not boomy, just fat and creamy.

-What's all that ear-splitting treble for? Super scooped high gain or what?, I don't get it.

Maybe the amp needs a service. -What kind of component failure would cause a treble output increase? Amp doesn't lack anything. It sounds great, I'm just bamboozled there's so much treble cooking that needs to be locked inside?
Caveat, my experience is only with a Classic 30.

I found that amp quite bright. Now the fix, for the 30 was a speaker swap. Not only was the stock BLue Marvel (then), too shrill, but it was also super beamy. Cannibis Rex tamed that amp and made it perfect.

You might want to look into beam blockers for the amp as well.
 

John_P

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I did an outdoor gig with this amp just a couple of weeks back. Outdoor. Loud. No back drop reflections. No tilt back. And there's a Presence knob too! jeez.

I've tried other speakers. I've got a closed 212 cab that sounds great with most amps of mine. Using that cab with the Classic 50 makes it boomy, so I roll back bass. But treble still there...And when I boost Mids, it automatically boosts Treble because of the tonestack overlap and interactivity.

When in Normal input, I push Mids and roll back Bass. Treble low.

When in Bright input, I keep Bass and Treble about noon. Treble low. (I prefer the Bright Input because I get a flatter EQ response, not the Blackface mid-scoope that I dislike).

Classic 50 is a 90s design, a well respected amp (it sounds great!). But it's seems to me that the designer intended something with the Treble knob that's beyond my comprehension. School me on the 90's tone trends.

This amp got 9 knobs, 2 channels, 2 inputs. My guitars got 4 knobs and a 3-way pickup selector. I won't be able to test all combinations in a lifetime...

By the way, I just red a comment on the Steel Guitar forum; "the high end on these amps can kill ya'." The steel guitar forum...How about that.
 

dwagar

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Treble is your friend to cut through the mix when everyone else is filling the mids.

You don't have to go for loud if you can cut though.
 

NotScott

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The treble knob really needs to be dialed in on a case by case basis - depending on the guitar/pickups my amp might react wildly different.

dial it in with your band and trust your ears! Think of it as a feature that can suit Paf style pickups that need little brightening or hot modern pickups that could use a jump.

overall, I prefer darker amps in general and find most players exaggerate treble. I haven’t gigged in a while but Hubert Sumlin told me to dial it in for the audience and Focus on playing. It took me too long to get over the visual effect of a low setting on my knobs as not “enough.”
This!

I wish more guitar players would realize that they should fit in a mix, not cut through it. All that excess treble just makes your tone thin and annoying.
 

rich85

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Could be old cheap tubes not helping much. Put JJ tubes in the pre amp section, they really help settle bright amps.
But really just ignore where the knob is and use your ears. Old Marshall amps I never turn the bass up past 2 or 3. You can leave some on 0 and still have enough bass in your sound.

Modern amp designs are now based around “everything at noon” to sound good straight out of the box. Kinda boring in a way.

it is just a super versatile amp and the circuit has lots of treble for whatever reason.
 
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John_P

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Could be old cheap tubes not helping much. Put JJ tubes in the pre amp section, they really help settle bright amps.
But really just ignore where the knob is and use your ears. Old Marshall amps I never turn the bass up past 2 or 3. You can leave some on 0 and still have enough bass in your sound.

Modern amp designs are now based around “everything at noon” to sound good straight out of the box. Kinda boring in a way.

it is just a super versatile amp and the circuit has lots of treble for whatever reason.
I've already re-tubed it with JJ AX7s for said purpose...but I dig your post! How boring, if amps were all the same :thumb:
I'm just intrigued by the "for whatever reason" part. I guess I should just accept that this is the nature of the beast and rock on. It sounds good, no complaints!
 

grumphh

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There is "good treble" and "bad treble", and getting a good tone usually is never one single cause but several factors working together - people seem to miss that part of the equation.

One of the most counterintuitive things i have had to learn is that old, dark sounding strings will make your tone shrill and piercing rather than soften it -
-so, counterintuitively new strings, will (after the initial first hour with excessive brightness) make your treble sound much more musical for a while (depending on playing conditions and time, a few days to a few weeks).

What i am saying is that often a harsh treble in your sound is simply you playing through way to old strings...

Change strings, play/stretch them for ~half an hour to get rid of the "zing" and then see if that didn't help :)

Also notable culprits in (bad) trebly sound: To low action and bad pickup adjustment - and also some pickups just sound crappy in a given scenario. And picks, try different pick thicknesses. But change strings first...
 

John_P

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There is "good treble" and "bad treble", and getting a good tone usually is never one single cause but several factors working together - people seem to miss that part of the equation.

One of the most counterintuitive things i have had to learn is that old, dark sounding strings will make your tone shrill and piercing rather than soften it -
-so, counterintuitively new strings, will (after the initial first hour with excessive brightness) make your treble sound much more musical for a while (depending on playing conditions and time, a few days to a few weeks).

What i am saying is that often a harsh treble in your sound is simply you playing through way to old strings...

Change strings, play/stretch them for ~half an hour to get rid of the "zing" and then see if that didn't help :)

Also notable culprits in (bad) trebly sound: To low action and bad pickup adjustment - and also some pickups just sound crappy in a given scenario. And picks, try different pick thicknesses. But change strings first...
All fair and relevant points! I'm rather picky with these things myself :)
 

grumphh

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All fair and relevant points! I'm rather picky with these things myself :)
Hehe, i used to have "treble problems" until i learned to just change strings far earlier than i would usually do. I did keep them on as long as possible, which often was many months...

That discovery has made me far less picky, and usually when i start thinking that "my tone is off", i just have to change strings to bring things back to a good balance :)

But yeah, your description of having to both turn down treble at the amp and on the guitar suggests that it is more than just old strings that is your problem - but what exactly it is i couldn't tell - way to many variables :)
 

Big John

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You want to hear what too much treble sounds like, catch Buddy Guy live. I have 3 times. I used to know one of his touring guitarists years ago, and he would joke about how nobody on stage went anywhere near Buddy's rig unless they wanted to become sterile. That dude is so deaf, he can't hear any guitar tone unless it's an ice pick.
 

hbucker

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For my style, I find most amps have had way too much treble available - needs to be dialed back. It really does depend on the amp , band and your style though. Some styles require more of that than others.

Use your ears and set it how you like. There is no one way to set amp EQs.

PV Classic are awesome amps, btw.
 

John_P

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For my style, I find most amps have had way too much treble available - needs to be dialed back. It really does depend on the amp , band and your style though. Some styles require more of that than others.

Use your ears and set it how you like. There is no one way to set amp EQs.

PV Classic are awesome amps, btw.
Thanks, good input

* * *

...I will now test to dial in my amp (in tweed cosmetics) for some "gothic doom metal" and see how it goes...or maybe I stop at EVH. Maybe the Van Halen association with Peavey give us a hint. (I have never plugged into a 5150 rig so I can't compare).
:jam:
 

hbucker

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Thanks, good input

* * *

...I will now test to dial in my amp (in tweed cosmetics) for some "gothic doom metal" and see how it goes...or maybe I stop at EVH. Maybe the Van Halen association with Peavey give us a hint. (I have never plugged into a 5150 rig so I can't compare).
:jam:
Honestly, the Classics are fantastic amps, but you won't get to Gothic Doom without an added EQ and maybe a high gain pedal. They are more of a classic Marshall kind of vibe. VH is doable, especially the sounds he was getting from his original Marshall. The higher gain, modern stuff gets trickier.

I've got an EVH 5153, 50 watt head and it's the most versatile amp I've ever owned, btw. Pristine clean to insane overdrive and most places in between. It takes pedals wonderfully too. This amp would get you closer to that "doom" category.

I do love the PV Classics though...
 

ehb

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Peavey Classics are great amps.. Love my Delta Blues 115 which is a Classic 30 chassis in a different box with a 15" driver... Biz partner had a Classic 30 I should have bought too.... Damn good amps....
 

John_P

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...you won't get to Gothic Doom without an added EQ .
He he, I'm just a little bit intrigued by the tonestack. No worries, I'm old school and know nuthin' about the modern stuff, which could possibly explain my treble ignorance...well... passion for the right treble is probably closer to the truth.

I go for mids, but in this case it seems I get fair share of treble on the same ticket. Fortunately it can be dialed out with a bit of care.

You are right, all of you that tell me to ignore what a setting looks like. The only thing that matters is what it sounds like. And it sounds great, so thanks and all the best!
 


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