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Thread: Stereo. Oh dear...

  1. #1
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Stereo. Oh dear...

    Today I was practicing and decided to try a stereo set up even though my amps are mismatched (one 30w w/ 10" speaker and one 50w w/ 12" speaker).

    I put my CE-3 chorus unit at the end of the chain, then I set the unit to allow the dry signal (A) to go to the 50w and the wet signal (B) to go the 30w.

    After balancing the volumes: Oh myyyyy...
    The sound is VERY big. Not so 'chorusy' as noticably stereo.

    Turning off the chorus, I get just more air movement, not so much spread.

    Now I'm gonna need to match one of the amps and use it live!


    Daniel

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    You have hit upon something I have thought about since I started playing with an E-mando. It is a significant idea.

    I generally think of stereo as something done in the presentation of the show. That the show is what happens between the two microphones. But here you are making stereo a constituent part of the show itself. Which is very cool and very interesting.

    Keep plowing that furrow - I think you are on to something.
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    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    As you plow that furrow, keep in mind that some pedals invert the phase of the signal.

    For example, if you split the signal, run one side into an overdriven amp and the other through a compressor into a clean amp (that's a cool setup play lightly and you're loud and clean, play hard and mostly only the overdriven sound will increase in volume), the compressor will invert the phase (they all do, it seems) as the two amps get closer to the same volume, the sound starts to disappear.

    There are workarounds: some splitters (eg Lehle) have handy phase-switching controls; the Boss Blues Driver inverts the phase you can use that to undo an unwanted compressor phase inversion without adding much coloration if you run it clean (and of course, it doesn't matter which side you put on).
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    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nestlerode View Post
    ... gonna need to match one of the amps and use it live!
    Before you spend bucks: That could be a bit disappointing.
    (I'm discounting the effect of any intentional chorusing that you might have used.)

    1- Just the fact that the amps ARE different (circuits, speakers, stuff o/t wattage) may be a large part of the pleasing effect.
    2- Unless you're planning on full volume, the difference in wattage, 30 vs 50, should have minimal effect. That's what volume controls are for!

    Keep in mind that a 50W amp is NOT 60% louder than a 30W amp; probably far from it. Each doubling of applied wattage produces a 3db increase of volume. But our inexact human hearing generally requires a 10db increase to perceive a doubling of volume. And 10db requires ~ a tenfold increase in amp wattage.

    For quick comparison, think of a 10W amp. Double it to 20W = 3db increased volume. Double that to 40W = 6db increased volume. Double that to 80W = 9db increase. Double to 160W = 12db..., etc. So getting a 10bd increase ("double the volume" to us mere mortals) requires approximately 10X the wattage!

    BTW, "speaker efficiency", how much sound per unit of electricity, is almost NEVER spec'd, discussed, or even considered. AND it can vary far more than the stated wattages between any given amps. So there's HUGE unknown to consider, or avoid!
    (The standard speaker "wattage" ratings tell how much power it will absorb before failing, NO relation to how much sound it puts out.)

    In other words: Don't sweat the difference in amps, just enjoy the fun.

    FWIW, I have stereo-wired Rickenbacker 12-string that, the few times I've bothered, ran thru a (tube, 12W, 12", maybe moded) Fender Champ 12 and a 1st-gen (solid, 25W, 10") Fender Rumble 25 bass amp. They-all seemed pretty happy together!
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    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    Audience perception of the stereo effect will be minimal to none unless you play a large venue with a wide stage.
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    I have a couple of pedals that provide stereo output. It's a neat effect but as noted above ^^ the effect will be lost in most live situations.

    One of my mandos has piezo and magnetic pickups with the ability to send them out to separate amps. That setup is particularly good for recording.

    Kent Armstrong designed a guitar pickup with 6 individual output channels - one for each string. I had thought it might be cool to use one of those through 6 amps setup in a circle - that way the sound moves around the room as you strum. Didn't take the idea any further, but it would be fun to play with.
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  11. #7
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stereo. Oh dear...

    Ed, That's an excellent point. I'll curb my gear lust for a bit and enjoy the sound as it is.

    Jim, I think I'm out of danger with phase inversion. The amps are set rather loud, too loud for the room. But I roll the volume of the emando off significantly. This allows a lot of head room in the sound.
    Also, the CE-3 is at the end of the chain. So ALL the effects (EQ, overdrive, multi-overtone, flanger -- I know: chorus AND flange?!) send mono signal to the chorus which splits the signal between wet and dry. (FWIW, I tried the flanger's stereo and the multi-overtone's stereo outputs as well, but liked the chorus the best.)
    Thanks for the tips!

    Steve and Verne, Yes. I had considered that. Most people cannot be in the center space between stereo speakers, so you need to use mono. Still, the sound of the chorus is much different in stereo. So I'll mic both amps and perhaps pan the signals a couple of notches. That way the people in the middle get the stereo sound and the folks on either side don't miss anything.
    (Been to a couple Pink Floyd concerts and the best sound is in the middle. I felt like I'd missed some of the show when I was too far to one side or ther other. Don't want top duplicate that when I gig.)

    Thanks again all!
    Daniel

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