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Author Topic: new amp day tomorrow- now with review  (Read 1810 times)

Offline paulmapp8306

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new amp day tomorrow- now with review
« on: July 08, 2014, 11:12:28 PM »
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  • Yep, it's true.   Those who know me are well aware of my axe fx obsession, and I still have it as my main rig.

    However, I have been looking for a while for a valve combo for a few reasons.  Firstly as a single item solution ( instead of rack, cab and midiboard) and secondly as a valve reference as it's many years now since I had one.

    I've been closedown a few times.  A shur badger, but it was head only, a mesa loanstar but too expensive really, a used mesa express but really wouldn't be happy after trying the new plus version which was too pricey.

    Well today ordered a new amp, and a surprising one at that. A fender machete. 1x12 oversized combo, 50w all valve.

    Going for a song as most don't give it a second look, at ?800 for an amp with a reputation of 2k.

    3 footswitchable gain stages across two independent channels, notch filters on both channels, variable damping, digital reverb and midi switchable.  All meaning I can use it stand alone or can integrate with the axe in 4 cable method.

    The cleans are stunning from the best twin to a very ac30 depending on notch.  Does a decent tweed tone too with the notch and damping changed.  Great srv edge if crunch too.

    The pull boost gets into jcm800 territory to a more us voicing at similar gain levels.  The gain channel can be brutality smooth. 

    It's a mesa transfer Atlantic with better gain and more versatility.  Its a high gain monster with great cleans, and does pretty much any fender clean/crunch bar a truly authentic tweed tone.

    Quite looking forward to the next few days.
    « Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 05:50:30 PM by paulmapp8306 »
    Current gear - PRS CU22, PRS CE22, US Tele, US Select Strat, Tokai ES135 Axe-FX2, Matrix Power amp, Fractal MFC controller, Zilla Cab, Fender Machete Amp.

    Offline Rob S

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 12:10:38 PM »
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  • Hi Paul, I have heard so many good things about the Machete, can't wait to learn more from you when you have got familiar with all it has to offer. ;)

    Good to see you back here, how is everything going and are you still enjoying civvy street with regard to work?
    "I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

    If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

    Offline paulmapp8306

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 01:24:42 PM »
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  • Yes thanks Rob.  Life has just been hectic.  Work for me weekdays, my wife working most evenings and weekends (home visit carer, so only an hour at a time but still).  Kids both in swim club working towards count quality times, and I've been collared to coach.  That's mon, we'd, the and Fri 6.30 to 9pm and Sundays 6.30 to 8.  Then there's competitive galas most sat nights.

    Sounds intense, but after do many years not being able to commit to community stuff like this I'm reallyvenjoying myself.

    Current gear - PRS CU22, PRS CE22, US Tele, US Select Strat, Tokai ES135 Axe-FX2, Matrix Power amp, Fractal MFC controller, Zilla Cab, Fender Machete Amp.

    Johnny-English

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 05:53:56 PM »
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  • Those are fantastic amps , and at that price ,happy days .

    Johnny-English

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 09:53:44 AM »
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  • When your chilldren take up swimming competitively it becomes a weekends never free.

    Ended up with me being club and district coach for 20 years . Also course tutor with the ASA for assistant teacher, teacher and Coach courses.

    Have the club arranged for you to go on ASA qualifications .

    Offline paulmapp8306

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 10:47:34 AM »
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  • I have my teaching aquatics Level 1 and 2 already - as I taught in military pools for army kids.  Its one reason why I got dragging/talked into coaching at the club.  They have a level 3 head coach, 4 level 2's and about 15 level 1's (mostly the older swimmers).  They did have a Level 2 teacher who headed up the development squad but he left.  They waned someone to take the kids from "small pool" and help develop up to "performance" - which is more in tune with the teaching aspect rather than the coaching.  Thats what Im primarily doing now - though I also help poolside at the performance squad (one of my kids has just started in development, the other went up to performance in Feb - so Im at both sessions anyway).

    I'm doing my Level 1 coaches course in September - funded by midlands and the club, and will work to my Level 2 ASAP, so I can cover at performance squad level, and run the development squad (currently headed up by a Level 2 coach - but bills getting ion a bit, so wont be there forever).  I believe I dont strictly need the Lv 1 coaches as I have the Lv 2 teaching qual (theres a big cross over I believe at Lv 1 ??) - and cound do the Lv 2 straight off -  but I wanted to start from the bottom.  Theres lots of differences later on - developing sets, structure of competitive coaching v teaching, intensity levels of training etc - and I think the grounding would help long term if not actually required.

    Im really enjoying it - its a change from taking non swimmers - but with coaching/teaching and Shannons competitive swims - it does take up a LOT of time.
    « Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 10:54:56 AM by paulmapp8306 »
    Current gear - PRS CU22, PRS CE22, US Tele, US Select Strat, Tokai ES135 Axe-FX2, Matrix Power amp, Fractal MFC controller, Zilla Cab, Fender Machete Amp.

    Johnny-English

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 02:25:21 PM »
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  • I did roughly the same thing , after my military life ,got roped, dragged and nagged into taking our young son to the local swimming club after recommend this from his school .
    Best thing I have done since leaving the military , ended up being long hall because our daughter went into competitive swimming 9 years later ,she was born two days before the Diddy finals . My wife was not going to miss it ,so both went with the squad .


    It feels good to give something back  and it's nice to see that not all kids are stuck to laptops and Xbox .


    Hope you get as much reward out it as I have ......  Enjoy the long,long long  weekends at county championships   ;D

    Offline paulmapp8306

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    Re: new amp day tomorrow
    « Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 05:23:24 PM »
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  • Ok - review.  Kinda quick I suppose. Played with the Matchete for a while and really like it.  Clean doesnt really do tweed tones.  Its much more Twin, or Black face Delux Reverb - though with a slightly snappier attack.  The pull boost is really nice as well - judged perfectly.  Takes single coil guitars to blues tones (which you can also do without the pull boost if you wind the gain up).  The notch takes the basic tone more towards AC30s (fully left) and scoops out a little too much at full right for my tastes.  The damp also works really well - fully loose its much more toppy/fast and fully damped brings a smoother fuller body.  Again playing with these two controls can take you from AC30 through to Boogie Mk 1 kinda territory.

    Gain channel - and the controls work just as well.  You can go from a fully saturated thick tone, to a very tight, fast, cutting rhythm.  Low gain levels replicate channel 1 with the boost on - full out and theres lots on tap.  Not as much as some high gainers - Duel REcs and Deizels for instance, but more than enough for most people I guess.

    Where does the amp sit in general?  Probably something like a Mesa Rectoverb.  Similar core tonality and gain levels but with more flexibility thanks to the notch and damp options.

    So - gain staging with my AFX and its fine.  A little noisy on channel 2, but controllable with a slight gate.  I can also use the EQ on the AFXs loop to compensate for low volume changes in perceived tone - like I do on the AFX itself.  Taking the FX loop in/out while changing the volume from 2/3 to 8/9 and matching (pretty much) the sound with the EQ means I can have the Machete at almost home without sacrificing tone.

    How does it stack with the AFX.  Difficult to say.  This is a single 1x12 with a V30.  The Cab the AFX uses is a 2x12 ported with 1 V30 and one G12H.   Its very close though.  The clean is VERY similar to my Delux REverb patch, the Pull gain is VERY close to my Princeton Reverb driven patch - and the gain whilst not perfect, isnt a million miles away from my Custom Audio patch.  Small changes on the AFX gets closer - but so does small changes on the Machetes EQ (which is VERY re-active - slight movements change the tone a lot).

    Clean tones seem nicer on the Machete - which seems to fill out more at lower volumes.  I have to puch the AFX slightly louder to get the same body.  High gain patches though sound fuller/meatier on the AFX, even at lower volumes.  Partly due Im sure to the 2x12 v 1x12.

    So - all in all happy.  Not sure exactly how much Ill use the Machete once the honeymoon is over.  The AFX is just as good in many ways, and more flexible - BUT theres something about plugging into the Machete at slightly louder volumes (not gig levels, but about what I can normally get away with in the house).  I found myself going from Machete to AFX and preferring the Machetes tones - but then after a while going back to the Machete and preferring the AFX tones.    Ultimately though - its a pick up and go amp (its not as heavy as some Mesas) which it will excel at.  Its also made me re-think SOME of my AFC patches - particularly the blues/breaking tones - most of which were too mid based on my AFX patches.  Adding some cut and removing some mids will be in order.  The AFX clean tones are perfectly fine - and offer a range of tones.  The higher gain options again are fine on the AFX - again with more options.  Classic rock was also covered better on the AFX (the Machete doesnt really do cranked Marshal tones) - but its more than capable, with HB loaded guitars into the clean channel with boost engaged, of being gig fine. 

    As for the amp - I think its great, especially for the price.  Its definitely up there (if not better at some things) to Rectoberbs, or Expreses - in sound and apparent quality.  The Machete certainly seems built like a tank, though long term will determine if thats true internally as well.   I think Fender have fallen foul of perception though (much as they did with their select guitars).  People who want Fender amps wont like the styling of the Machete - and the tones are more modern than most fender cleans.  People who want the tones of the Machete will look at Mesa and similar offerings - most likely dismissing the Machete without even plugging in.

    If you like those tones - you really should try a Machete if you can.
    Current gear - PRS CU22, PRS CE22, US Tele, US Select Strat, Tokai ES135 Axe-FX2, Matrix Power amp, Fractal MFC controller, Zilla Cab, Fender Machete Amp.

     

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