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    Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

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    mikearnopol
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    Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by mikearnopol on Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:15 am

    OK---the new Sonic Farm/ MAS Soundworks amp prototype is here![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    Keep in mind that this is the prototype. The front panel artwork is really nice and all of the important knobs are larger in size so it's more intuitive.

    My goal was---keep the sound of the Sonic Farm 2di4 intact and add a world-class tone control circuit. But Zoran and Boris did a lot more. My thinking was---if any of the add-ons aren't up to the world-class quality of the 2di4---they don't stay.

    But---they all are very musical and useful. Zoran--who designs state of the art compressors--obsessed over putting a simple one knob compressor in the design. It's super musical and really works.

    The High pass filter is virtually unnoticeable. It is selectable from 30hz, 40hz and 60 hz. We tried it with the new MAS109. When the 30hz filter was engaged I was wondering if it was working. Until I looked at the cone and noticed that  the maximum excursion was a fraction of what it was with the filter un-engaged. I was able to get a ton more maximum volume and couldn't tell it affecting the B string at all.In the 40hz position it was hardly noticeable at all.

    A very interesting thing is the two harmonic generators.I was almost sure that these would be fun tricks but not that useful. Well they are. There are two controls---one for 2cnd order harmonic and the other for 4th.First of all---they don't sound or track like an octave pedal.The effect is just immediately there--and follows the trail. In other words it doesn't sound like an effect. I took my P Bass and added some 2cnd and a tiny bit of 4th. Not only did it sound like my Sting Ray---but it felt like it. Fatness of a P and the pop on a Sting Ray. The 4th added a bit of very musical midrange grind.

    And the tone controls---they are defeatable. I couldn't tell when the circuit was in. Very musical shelving bass and treble and three fully parametric mids with a lot of overlap.

    We kept the switchable bass and trebnle boost of the 2di4. They are very useful in getting a general tone curve;.

    1200 watts. 15" by 3 1/2" by 9" and around 10#.

    It's exceeded my expectations by A LOT.
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    MarkA
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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by MarkA on Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:50 pm

    I'm trying to think of what to say about this amp. That you guys actually put this together is astounding. The feature set is about as powerful as I can imagine a bass amp's being (and I can't think of any other amp that combines all of the features of this one - the harmonic generator in particular I've never heard of on another amp) but, while it is not an amp-of-few knobs, everything seems logically laid out. If the quality and transparency of the tone controls is what I think/hope it is, this may well be the ultimate bass amp - or as close as any one amp can claim to be to that. This one might be the ultimate in powerful control for an integrated head (or preamp, for that matter).
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    mikearnopol
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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by mikearnopol on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:03 pm

    Ok---just got more quality time in with the SF. Had a wondeful get together in Asheville. Top recording engineer and bassist Michael Hynes, super bassist Jake Wolf, and the Yoda of bass making Pete Skjold were there. We spent an afternoon putting the SF through its paces. Michael---who is the pickiest guy on the planet finally said "don't change anything" As did Jake. I'm not very knowledgeable as far as compressors, but Michael is. Zoran obsessed about making a simple one knob compressor specifically optimized for bass. I was skeptical-----this feature is really cool. Unless you're well past 12 o'clock you can't hear it on the attack or release---and it can provide a LOT of compression. I played a gig with a 12 piece pop and r&b band on Saturday. Acoustics from hell. The type of gig where you just want to get through the gig. The MAS speakers make a HUGE difference in this regard but it was still tough. I put the compressor up to about 10 o'clock. Wow! Again---I'm stupid as far as compressors. I thought that it would take away dynamics. But the effect was the opposite----clearer and much more dynamic.

    Tone controls---Bass and Treble are in the right place. At first I thought that the bass got a bit extreme in the full position but now have rethought that. Boy can you go from a more neutral tone to full-on reggae easily. On bass controls I really hate when the knee is set too low. Like on my EA head. Boost the bass and you get B, E and some on the A string. With this you get a boost through the G string which I like. If you don't dig that---use the lowest of the 3 parametrics to change it. The tone control circuit is fully bypassable. We could barely hear any difference with it in or out (set flat). Michael felt that it was the best eq section he's ever seen in a bass amp. I agree. It's a bit confusing in the picture but in the production screen shot things are clear and easily dealt with. The parametrics work really well and I have to say---this eq section when engaged, and with a decent amount of eq----changes the basic sound of the preamp less than any I've encountered. It's a keeper.

    HPF----Everyone that's tried it wants Zoran to make one in a outboard box. It's selectable from 30hz, 40, and 60hz. When set at 30 YOU CAN'T HEAR IT. Or feel it working. There is a HPF defeat switch. I couldn't tell if it was off or on. Until I looked at the driver cones. Even on the G string you can SEE the subsonics. When switched in it went from the cones really jumping to barely perceived motion. My new 109 goes lower than any of my cabs. So I was trying with an active bass with a killin' B string. Set at 30 it actually had more impact with it engaged. Tighter control---more open. When set at 40hz---I could hear it ever so slightly on the B string. Ever so slightly.Not enough to dissuade me from using that setting on a gig. But now---my little 109 was getting close to the volume of the 112 before farting out. The 60hz setting was surprisinglt useful on 4 string and upright. On upright with my new little 16 I could get A LOT more headroom. Way more usable volume. And very little appreciable effect on the sound or feel. This in the most non-obtrusive HPF I've ever experienced.

    Also---the harmonic generators---I thought that at best they would be a cool effect---likely something that wouldn't make the cut. Well---these things are weird. They either add 2cnd or 4th harmonics--or both. Again---if you crank the hell out of them---they do obviously sound like effects. But adding them subtly----they literally change the way the bass sounds---but also how it feels. On a P-Bass I added second order to abot 11 o'clock and 4th to about 9 o'clock. My P sounded and FELT more like my Music Man. You know that feeling with a MM ---especially a first year one---of how the notes just POP out? (for better or for worse). Not that my P is going to rival my MM at that function---but wow---I was able to get the fatness of my P and hear and feel more of a MM pop. Randy Dritz said that they made the bass sound like I had changed the wood.You don't hear it pump on the attack or drop on the decay. It's REALLY useful.Very natural and organic sounding.Michael thought that when adding the second order it sounded and FELT like the Fatboy Di box.

    OverDrive---this is something I need to spend more time with as I'm really ignorant as far as OD. But this is pretty intuitive and powerful. There is another entire pentode tube circuit driving the OD. Three controls. OD blend (how much OD to add to the existing signal---the existing signal stays pristine but you add the OD to it), How much OD is being used (anything from subtle tube saturation to Jack Casady Versatone to full on fuzz). The coolest feature--a three position switch which controls at what frequency the OD will kick in. Full range--and two others that I can't remember. All I know is that I can keep a full, controlled low end but add the OD character to the areas where it's useful and doesn't screw up the low end envelope. I felt like I was able to get the vibe of my Shaw all-tube amp but with the envelope control of the SF.

    Thanks again to Zoran and Boris for being patient with me and working soooo hard. This is wayyy better than I had expected.I can't wait to post pics of the front panel! If you look at the SF site you'll have an idea of the vibe.

    JGR
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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by JGR on Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:12 am

    Congrats Mike, looks like it's coming together nicely!

    GK Breivik
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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by GK Breivik on Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:44 am

    Hey Mike!

    This looks very promising. I’ve been following this project since day one, as you know!

    I have one question WRT the compressor. (I’m a compression junkie). All one knob compressors I’ve encountered on bass amps have been unusable to me thus far. Either they are simply to dirty, have poorly set attack or release, or they lack make up gain. How does this one function? Is there an automatic make up gain applied, or is it a fixed threshold compressor, where you simply add gain in front of it with the compression knob? (Like an 1176 for instance)

    The text "Drive" on that knob could indicate this.

    GAS pains are building, that’s for sure...
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    spiritbass

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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by spiritbass on Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:20 pm

    You have a proven knack for hooking up with audio wizards, brother. Cool
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    Steve Regier
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    Re: Soinic Farm/MASoundworks amp prototypeis here!

    Post by Steve Regier on Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:15 am

    Check out the proposed [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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