Troubleshooting: Clean channel too treble-heavy
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- AMP1 Mercury Edition
- AMP1 Iridium Edition
- AMP1 Silver Edition
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... or, to put it another way: how do I achieve a rich, warm clean sound with my AMP1?
Based on the bright switch of classic Californian clean amps, the AMP1's CLEAN VOLUME control is equipped with a "Treble Bleed" capacitor, which boosts the treble when turned back. This feature gives high-output pickups, which usually sound a bit too dull for sparkling clean sounds, an extra dose of treble. Country guitarists swear by the treble bleed... 😉 So, if you turn down the CLEAN VOLUME on your AMP1 to get an ultra-clean tone, the sound may end up having more treble than you actually want.
The Custom Control Tone
In that case, the first thing you should do is turn the Custom Control Tone pot for the CLEAN channel counter-clockwise: the sound will now have more woody warmth and less hi-fi highs.
The LOW GAIN MODE (Mercury and Iridium Editions only)
For an even warmer clean sound with even less treble, you should switch the AMP1 to LOW GAIN MODE. This mode reduces the input sensitivity, so you can turn up the CLEAN VOLUME a little more before the sound starts clipping. The further you turn it up, the less treble the sound has.
To enter Low Gain mode, hold down the left footswitch while turning on the AMP1.
The AMP1's Tone Stack
The tone stack of the AMP1 differs quite clearly from a classic tone stack. The AMP1 is an extremely versatile amplifier, which is not least due to the flexible tone control. In contrast to classic "one-sound amps", the AMP1 does not have just one sweet spot, but there are many setting options that can lead to the goal. Therefore, extreme settings (e.g. TREBLE to zero) are completely legitimate and in many cases absolutely effective!
Here's an example where Thomas Blug compares the AMP1 Mercury Edition to an Ampete TWO tube amp and sets the mids to 8 and the treble to 0 to equalize the sound (at 1:30:52):
Underestimated sound component: the guitar cab!
The overall sound of a guitar amplifier always consists of the amp and the loudspeaker cabinet. The cab plays a significant part in the overall sound. There are amp/cabinet combinations that just don't go well together. If, for example, an amp has a high proportion of treble and the cab emphasizes this through the choice of loudspeaker and the front covering, this can sound unpleasant. It is therefore highly recommended to experiment with different loudspeaker cabs. The cabinets from BluGuitar are well matched to the AMP1.
The Vintage Premium Speaker Cable
Last but not least, if your sound has too much treble or sounds too hi-fi, it's worth trying the BluGuitar Vintage Premium Speaker Cable as it gives you an audibly fat, warm and transparent tone.