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    SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

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    Benner

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    Join date : 2015-01-26

    SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by Benner on Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:45 am

    Hi everyone - first post in the Switchblade section ?
    I play mainly in a paid cover band , and have just bought the Switchblade mainly for convenience rather than hi gain , but was wondering if there are any other users out there to share tips with , particularly on speaker cabinet choices.
    Previously using a Mesa Express + pedalboard for smaller gigs , and a Laney Pro Tube + pedalboard for larger gigs.
    First impressions tell me the Switchblade will do it all , well enough.
    Thanks.
    B
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    bish0p34

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    Join date : 2015-03-21
    Location : Kingston, Pa.

    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by bish0p34 on Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:39 pm

    This is an old topic, what the hell.

    I've got the head and the 50w combo versions of this amp. I'm running mine through a Mesa Recto 2x12 mostly. The bigger cab gives the amp more low end for me. I also run it through a Red Bear 4x12 with Celestion G12L-35s. That cabinet definitely has a more of an open vintage sound to it. It compliments the clean and crunch channels more than the Mesa does.

    I've used Marshall 1960 cabinets at benefits and was happy with the results, but didn't have a lot of time to really tweak the sounds out. I'd love some more time with one in the future.
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    ricksteruk

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    Location : Morecambe, England

    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:30 pm

    Hi Bishop and Benner if you're still here...

    I just bought a Switchblade 50TSC combo last week and I'm really enjoying it.  I thought I would chime in to this forum to share my experiences of the amp with anyone considering buying one and to see if we can exchange tips.  Smile

    I'm playing in a covers band so the Switchblade is pretty much the perfect amp for me.  It's got great core tone from clean to crunch to lead, great delay and reverb and useable chorus and flanger - all programmable so that one second you can sound like The Pretenders and the next The Foo Fighters.

    I've been using a Marshall JMD:50 head and 1960 4x12 cab which is great but a bit big to carry to some venues, so I thought I'd try the Switchblade combo and see if it was up to the job.  I have to say I prefer the core tone of the H&K to the JMD (which is a modelling preamp with a valve power amp)  The Switchblade just sounds a little more organic.  In a gig situation people probably wouldn't notice massively, but I am a picky sort and I can tell the difference.

    Obviously the 1x12 combo is not as fat as my 1960 cab, but I've managed to satisfy my bass craving by putting an EQ pedal in the FX loop and boosting the 100Hz fader by about 8dB.  It works a treat - sounds very similar to the 1960 in terms of grunt now.

    I might consider using it with another speaker cab - maybe another 1x12 to sit underneath it, or perhaps my 1960 - but perhaps that negates the point of having bought the combo in the first place.   I'm hoping to have a rehearsal with the band this week so I can test out the combo at gig volume and see if I'm happy with it's bottom end.

    I spent 3 hours programming in sounds for the first of our sets tonight and I managed to get sounds I was happy with... I just got Set 2 and a few extras to program in now then it's read to gig  Very Happy
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    bish0p34

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by bish0p34 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:08 pm

    The combo never sounds super full on stage, but if you're running through a PA with a decent soundman you're all good. Every time I've gone out front to listen to my tone, it sounded massive. When I mic it up to record I'm always happy with the sound as well. It only lacks to me when I'm right in front of the 1x12 enclosure.

    If you like the Switchblade, test drive a GranMeister. I have one, and think it sounds much bigger than the Switchblade.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:13 pm

    Did you ever experiment with changing out the speaker in your combo? I'm not sure how good the Rock Driver speaker is.

    The fact it's not one of the named Eminence ones (like Texas Heat for example) makes me worry that it's the worst possible speaker in existence!

    When I A/B ed the combo speaker against a 2x12 with two celestion Neo speakers in it the Rock Driver made the Neos sound really muddy!! That was a suprise. Also of course the1x12 combo had less bass than the 2x12. But it was the top that surprised me most. Now I've put a few hours loud ish playing on the rock driver I might do the AB again and see if there's any change.

    It would be nice to check out the Grand Meister but the nearest dealer is quite a way away. I mail ordered the switchblade.
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    bish0p34

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by bish0p34 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:39 pm

    I did. I put an Eminence Wizard in mine, and a friend did a Vintage 30 in his. It was a change, but doesn't add the girth of the bigger cabinets. He took the rockdriver and put in another cab, and I thought it sounded pretty good. I want to put mine in another cab and try it.

    I've done a bit of Tubeswapping with the combo as well. I used Mesa, JJ, TAD, and EH tubes. I settled on JJ E34L for the power.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:47 pm

    I've been looking at the Celestion A type... It's got a lot more bass end than a V30.. (about 6dB more at 100Hz) plus it doesn't have such a big midrange peak so it should make the bass end seem even more beefy!
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    Benner

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by Benner on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:16 am

    Hi Bishop & Rick
    I am constantly fighting with the 4x12 problem , it sounds so much better than my 2x12 and 1x12 cabs but I hate carrying it around , especially from the van to the house at 1am after a gig.
    My 2x12 is a Harley Benton with V30's , and it sounds like shit.
    I have heard a friends HK 2x12 with V30's , and it sounded miles better , this may be my solution ?
    My 4x12 is an old Marshall with Rola G12-65's for reference.
    I realise when miced it is less of a problem , but you definitely play better if you are happier with your sound , and I am not unless it is the 4x12.
    The Switchblade has been great though , I need to hop from Pink to U2 to AC/DC to Adam And The Ants and it does everything with ease , if only it had a built in tuner it would be perfect.
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    bish0p34

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by bish0p34 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:59 am

    Benner, I understand. When your tone brings that big shit-eating grin to your face you just play better. It totally makes or breaks the gig for me lol.

    I bought my Switchblades and went to a small, easy to carry set up. It was so easy to eliminate all the extra work of wiring things up. When I bought my Triamp I went back to carrying the 4x12 around, and running the wires to an external effects unit. I hated carrying all that stuff, but I wanted that sound.

    Sounds like you may need to keep the 4x12 at gigs. IDK what the dimensions on the 2x12 you have are, but that extra space in the Recto 2x12's with the special Vintage 30's Mesa uses really do make a big sound. It's no 4x12, but it's close.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:54 am

    Yeah the thump you get with the 4x12 is quite addictive!

    Like you guys I'm trying to see if it's possible to be happy with carrying less.

    Some of the new Celestions: 90W Alnico Cream, CreambackH75, A-Type, V-Type seem to have a lot more bass than most existing Celestions if you look at the frequency plots.   They've all got 6 to 8dB more bass below 100Hz than the V30 or G12-75s.  That would probably be like turning your bass up to like 6 or 7 on your amp when it was set flat.

    I want to try putting one of the above in my 1x12 switchblade.  If I have £200 ish spare I'd love the new 90W Alnico Cream  Very Happy

    http://celestion.com/product/151/Celestion_Cream/

    But bass end isn't the only thing.. it's the spread of sound you get from the 4x12 too....  I guess 1 speaker will never do that.
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    Benner

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by Benner on Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:11 am

    Yeah I also think the 4 speakers smooth the sound out a lot.
    I don't know if there is a bit of phase cancellation or something going on in a 4x12 , but it definitely doesn't have that spiky upper mid thing that gets on my tits.
    I can even hear this in a cheap AVT 4x12 that I use at rehearsal , although the speakers are pretty poor it is still a usable sound.
    I did notice that the HK 2x12 is ported , and it sounds 10 times better than my shitty 2x12 , and they both have the same speakers (V30) , a much fuller sound.
    Shit eating grin indeed Bishop , couldn't have put it better myself.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Wed May 06, 2015 10:46 am

    I've put a few loudish hours on the Rockdriver speaker now and I think it's started to break in a bit.  I just compared it to my Marshall 1960 cab, and whilst it's obviously got less bass end, the top was not really pronounced on the Rockdriver any more like it was last time I A/Bed them.

    I really enjoyed cranking it out with the 1960! Sounds great - and was really quite loud even with the Master on 2.  I shudder to think what a beast the 100W head is!

    I wish I could get a frequency chart for the Rock Driver so I can see how it's bass end compares to other speakers out there.... I think the only way to know for sure is be really nerdy and make some test recordings using exact same settings on the amp, but with different speakers in there so I can listen back and compare.  As well as the RockDriver I currently have to audition: 90s Fane Studio 12L, Celestion G12T-75s, G12L-35, Century and Century Vintage.

    That sounds like a lot of nerdy work though.. maybe I'll just buy an A-type and try that. I wish the combo speaker was 16 ohms so I could also connect the 1960 and run them both Smile

    EDIT:  Hmm maybe the stock speaker isn't too bad after all now it's broken in a bit.... I think I'll wait and see what happens to it tonally over the next month or two.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Thu May 14, 2015 4:57 am

    bish0p34 wrote:If you like the Switchblade, test drive a GranMeister. I have one, and think it sounds much bigger than the Switchblade.

    I have the option of returning my Switchblade combo and paying the extra for the Grandmeister head... should I do it?

    It's really only the gate, the resonance knob and the mod depth knobs that I want, but that variable 38/18 etc power setting might be useful.
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    bish0p34

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by bish0p34 on Thu May 14, 2015 11:05 am

    I personally would. As I said, I hear a difference in the sound, especially the low gain sounds. They're far more organic. The presence and resonance knobs can also be set to global. I set them this way so I can tweak the amp to the room. I keep the amp on 18 watts, and have the master volume close to half way up. I've yet to play a gig that it wasn't loud enough for. The mod depth knob makes the fx actually usable. I didn't use many of the fx on the SB, I usually ran my G Major in the loop.

    So yeah, I'd say it's worth a shot. You'll need to keep your footswitch, or use another midi board though. The GM doesn't come with one.
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    ricksteruk

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    Re: SWITCHBLADE HEAD - ANY USERS ?

    Post by ricksteruk on Mon May 18, 2015 10:03 am

    Dang I threw some of the original packaging away so a swap is not gonna be possible..

    Never mind - I am actually really liking the sound of the combo as the speaker is breaking in - its getting more beefy! - so I've just ordered a G major 2 to put in the loop for the modulation FX.  I really want my FX to have "trails" so that my delay and reverb ambience carry over when I switch presets rather than stopping abruptly.  The G major 2 does this as well as having a noise gate that the switchblade needs plus pitch shifter/harmoniser, compressor, extra eq and a whammy.  Should be everything I need combined with the switchblade.  Think I might mount the G major 2 in the back of the amp to save carrying an extra FX rack for it - if it won't fit horizontally it will prob go in vertically.

    And there is always the option of connecting a second amp to the other G major output for real stereo! (maybe a new Grandmeister in the future ;-) )

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