Sunday, February 8, 2009

Now, This Here Is Mojo

I haven't had the gear to replicate this myself, but I know I have heard enough to know this is true. The wonder of a tube amplifier is in the sweet spot. You hit it and you have the sweet singing tone that you buy a tube amp for. If you can stand to be in the same building with it. And the audience might not want to be in the same room with it, either. You can turn it to the wall, hide it under the stage, put a blanket over it, but those are not good solutions.

So, what do you do?

Evidently, you replace the magnet in the speakers with an electromagnet, so you can turn down the efficiency of the speakers. You can keep the Volume knob at 2 o'clock while turning the volume down at the cabinet.

That is, if you're rocking Fluxtone Speakers.

They have video from a studio where they show it off with a 100+ watt Engl amp. Yeah, any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. I would love to see it myself, rather than trust Shub-Internet. But still, this is one of those "Oh, man! That's so obvious! Why didn't I think of that?" things.

And thanks to Premier Guitar for doing the story on it.


Pribek said...

That is certainly intriguing. I took a look at the site and it leaves me with a couple of thoughts.
Exactly why is this better than a power attenuator?
And, $850 is a pricey no matter how you look so, it would have to be way better than an attenuator.
Neat looking cabs, no prices listed. I like the cab with head idea better than the retrofit idea.

Dave Jacoby said...

You know, I'm not entirely sure. I was about to say something that proves I didn't have a strong understanding between an attenuator and a variac. But now I'm understanding the question.

And yeah, I'm not too sure. This solution means you only have to haul the cab, not the standard cab and the attenuator. If it's a Hot Plate, probably not such a difficult thing, but if you have a Marshall PowerBreak ... well, what's one 13 lb unit compared to the wall of 4x12 cabs you have in the U-Haul?

Pribek said...

Well, at $850 for the speaker and x amount more for the loaded cab...I don't know. You could buy a whole AC15 for that and play a low stage volume situation with the amp running pretty hard.

As far as recording goes, I guess if you want to use a 100 watt tube amp in your home studio and, you have extra dough laying around after buying good mic preamps, it makes sense.

If you are in a more real deal type studio, crank the amp and play from the control room.

patrick said...

I can see it being a useful thing. I also wonder how much of the turned up sound is dependent on the acoustic coupling between amp and guitar. Hendrix-like feedback as music aside, isn't at least some part of the harmonic output due to the fact that the guitar hears itself? The air mass moving the strings is part of the system, too.
An interesting concept, but the cost is about $840 more than I can afford to spend on speakers right now. It would be nice for amplified harp, where just about any feedback is through your mic, and therefore bad.

Dave Jacoby said...

With electric guitars, at least, you can get the guitar-hears-itself with a Sustainer. So, they're working on the problem.