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Synergy VS Egnater : cathode switch
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max44
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Synergy VS Egnater : cathode switch Reply with quote

Seems to me that the main difference - and improvement - between new Synergy and older Egnater dual modules is the 3 way cathode selector switch :
Has anyone tried the 3 different settings on a given Synergy module to check the tonal differences ?
What does it do exactly sound wise ?
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max44
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously no one tried these switch changes ???
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gtr31
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had read it affects the low end either
More or less of it in the preamp which also will affect the feel tighter or more spongy
Also not sure if it works in an M4 or Randall
My understanding was it was in the new hardware
Syn1 2 and the amps and worked in combination with the module setting
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withmittens
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it the module designer decides which of the 3 available settings their mod will access on the amp side via a switch on the module side. All it is, is a combo of resistors and capacitors that effect bass response. It's the exact same thing as any other modder's bass, mid or treble response switches and it isn't magical or new at all.

It would be interesting to see a demo of the 3 settings on a well understood model such as the 800.

I'm understanding these new modules to be a very good price on a dual mod, not anything new whatsoever. They carry the amp's true brand name but don't improve the circuitry, besides on a component level.

The real value would be to see, say a Salvation VHT mod put through it's p[paces in comparison with the Synergy version using all switches, same amp and settings, same riff throughout.

Still, $400 for a dual mod. great deal
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MarcoR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, when I got the DS module, the switch was set to position 1. The module sounded good but using it on the lower side of gain, I was wanting a deeper tone especially on the A channel where I was trying to get a clean tone.

I switched it to position 2 and it was perfect. Looking at the manual, it stated that position 2 was the preferred setting. So apparently they are not necessarily setting the switches to what is recommended in the manual even though it states " The modules will come preset to the designers preferred setting" . It would probably be a good idea to check that when getting a new module.

I would say this is a big improvement on the old MTS as it's one less compromise the platform needs to accommodate all the various preamp circuits. It also really helps to tailor the sound to the the host amp you are using and other gear as well. Not to mention balancing two different modules...
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MarcoR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

withmittens wrote:
All it is, is a combo of resistors and capacitors that effect bass response. It's the exact same thing as any other modder's bass, mid or treble response switches and it isn't magical or new at all.


Hmm, I was under the impression (or maybe I read it at some point) that the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) have a "sensing" based on the switch selection that changes those resistors and capacitors in the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) itself affecting the TRUE input 1 tube that's in the hardware, NOT the module.

So that would be very different from what the modders in the past were able to do. Making the change at that point in the circuit affects everything that follows and was one of the key points taught at Bruce's amp class.
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MarcoR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gtr31 wrote:
I had read it affects the low end either
More or less of it in the preamp which also will affect the feel tighter or more spongy
Also not sure if it works in an M4 or Randall
My understanding was it was in the new hardware
Syn1 2 and the amps and worked in combination with the module setting


Yes, that.
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withmittens
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarcoR wrote:
withmittens wrote:



Hmm, I was under the impression (or maybe I read it at some point) that the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) have a "sensing" based on the switch selection that changes those resistors and capacitors in the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) itself affecting the TRUE input 1 tube that's in the hardware, NOT the module.

So that would be very different from what the modders in the past were able to do. Making the change at that point in the circuit affects everything that follows and was one of the key points taught at Bruce's amp class.


You could be very right in that it makes a difference whether it's after the preamp and before the input but I reckon it's the same or at least very similar if it's coming from the preamp into the input on the amp side. Of course I'm no amp designer so I could be very wrong. Just doesn't seem to be that dramatic of a difference in theory
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MarcoR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

withmittens wrote:
MarcoR wrote:
withmittens wrote:



Hmm, I was under the impression (or maybe I read it at some point) that the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) have a "sensing" based on the switch selection that changes those resistors and capacitors in the hardware (SYN1/2 and amps) itself affecting the TRUE input 1 tube that's in the hardware, NOT the module.

So that would be very different from what the modders in the past were able to do. Making the change at that point in the circuit affects everything that follows and was one of the key points taught at Bruce's amp class.


You could be very right in that it makes a difference whether it's after the preamp and before the input but I reckon it's the same or at least very similar if it's coming from the preamp into the input on the amp side. Of course I'm no amp designer so I could be very wrong. Just doesn't seem to be that dramatic of a difference in theory


The difference is that was a huge part of MTS that was a compromise in the past; the input tube bass response. Now each module can be configured differently and match the specific amp more accurately (in thoery).

There is still a bit of a compromise as the three settings are just the most typically used circuits and may not be exact to some amps. The point, rather than a modder trying to compensate for the input tube bass response in their mod yielding something close but possibly affecting something else negatively, this hopefully allows a more accurate design of the actual amp as the designer had intended.

Edit: I am speculating as I don't know for sure, it's what I understand as I've read so far. It would be nice if someone like Rob (JadedFaith) could explain a little deeper.
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gtr31
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it Could be controlling the voltage in the preamp too
That changes the feel a high voltage will make it sound brighter more open
Lower voltages to the preamp "which is a common Bogner trait" is more low mids and a softer warmer chewier feel with reduced treble
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max44
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, and +1 MarcoR : I think Rob from jaded faith - or any other good amp tech in this forum - could explain us simply what it does tech wise and sound wise ...
I will ask the guys from synergy as well
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max44
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarcoR : overall it seems to affect the bass response, from your experience with the Synergy DS ... Did you try switch position 3 ? If so, is the tone even deeper / bassier ?
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JKD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that the choice was setting the cathode bias and the input coupling cap...

http://www.aikenamps.com/index.php/designing-common-cathode-triode-amplifiers
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Jaded Faith
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to explain this in a way that should clear up the confusion.

In all systems MTS, the initial gain stage is always in the amp itself. The modules contain the 2nd through 5th stages and use as many as the need in a configuration of signal flow that is most traditional to the given circuit being emulated. For example, a Fender clean preamp like a stock Blackface would flow through the amps initial stage, plate coupled to the EQ, into a makeup gain stage and out through a cathode follower (not a traditional decision, but not all that significant either). A stock Plexi module would flow through the amps initial stage, through two more gain stages (again, a Plexi would have only had one here, but that's also why a stock Plexi can have more gain than the real deal. Trade offs for system flexibility) and then feed the EQ through a cathode follower.

Because gain stages in series are exponential regarding signal growth, the initial stage has a very significant influence on everything after it. The original Randall and Egnater MTS amps had a traditional Fender stage up front made up of a 100K plate resistor, 1K5 cathode resistor and a 22uF bypass cap. This provides a nearly full-frequency amplification (35.46dB) from 100hZ up, which covers almost all of the guitars relevant frequency range. A low E is 82Hz and the roll off is only 0.05dB down from 100Hz to 82Hz. Think of this as biasing the preamp tube stage.

The other two variations provided via the Synergy modules and hardware are a 2K7/0.68uF (traditional in a Marshall or Friedman) or a 1K8/1uF (traditional in a Soldano, Mesa Rectifier and Peavey 5150). The 2K7/0.68uF stage provides 35.45dB of amplification gain from about 1500hZ and up and rolls off to 28.88dB at 82Hz. The 1K8/1uF stage provides 35.45dB of amplification gain from about 1000hZ and up and 30.64dB at 82hZ. Similar to the Marshall-style selection, just a touch thicker sounding. The Fender-style selection of 1K5/22uF will be perceived as louder and thicker sounding by a good bit.

When modding modules, we always had to compensate for the first stage that we can not change at the module level. Various things were done like changing the initial coupling cap (the "C3" mods or switches documented here) or various other tuning decisions. The Tight/Bright switches on the Egnater dual channel modules provided variety stock in this respect. Various switches on modified modules added other options. When installing the JFM Input PCB, I often ask if there is a preference and build the front end accordingly. Dave Friedman typically changes it to a traditional Marshall stage on the MTS amps he has modified.

What is cool about the Synergy circuit is the ability to try three options at the stock module level. Just because something is "traditional" doesn't make it best for each player and situation.

Hope this helps clear some confusion up.
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gtr31
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaded Faith wrote:
I'll try to explain this in a way that should clear up the confusion.

In all systems MTS, the initial gain stage is always in the amp itself. The modules contain the 2nd through 5th stages and use as many as the need in a configuration of signal flow that is most traditional to the given circuit being emulated. For example, a Fender clean preamp like a stock Blackface would flow through the amps initial stage, plate coupled to the EQ, into a makeup gain stage and out through a cathode follower (not a traditional decision, but not all that significant either). A stock Plexi module would flow through the amps initial stage, through two more gain stages (again, a Plexi would have only had one here, but that's also why a stock Plexi can have more gain than the real deal. Trade offs for system flexibility) and then feed the EQ through a cathode follower.

Because gain stages in series are exponential regarding signal growth, the initial stage has a very significant influence on everything after it. The original Randall and Egnater MTS amps had a traditional Fender stage up front made up of a 100K plate resistor, 1K5 cathode resistor and a 22uF bypass cap. This provides a nearly full-frequency amplification (35.46dB) from 100hZ up, which covers almost all of the guitars relevant frequency range. A low E is 82Hz and the roll off is only 0.05dB down from 100Hz to 82Hz. Think of this as biasing the preamp tube stage.

The other two variations provided via the Synergy modules and hardware are a 2K7/0.68uF (traditional in a Marshall or Friedman) or a 1K8/1uF (traditional in a Soldano, Mesa Rectifier and Peavey 5150). The 2K7/0.68uF stage provides 35.45dB of amplification gain from about 1500hZ and up and rolls off to 28.88dB at 82Hz. The 1K8/1uF stage provides 35.45dB of amplification gain from about 1000hZ and up and 30.64dB at 82hZ. Similar to the Marshall-style selection, just a touch thicker sounding. The Fender-style selection of 1K5/22uF will be perceived as louder and thicker sounding by a good bit.

When modding modules, we always had to compensate for the first stage that we can not change at the module level. Various things were done like changing the initial coupling cap (the "C3" mods or switches documented here) or various other tuning decisions. The Tight/Bright switches on the Egnater dual channel modules provided variety stock in this respect. Various switches on modified modules added other options. When installing the JFM Input PCB, I often ask if there is a preference and build the front end accordingly. Dave Friedman typically changes it to a traditional Marshall stage on the MTS amps he has modified.

What is cool about the Synergy circuit is the ability to try three options at the stock module level. Just because something is "traditional" doesn't make it best for each player and situation.

Hope this helps clear some confusion up.


Thats super helpful ,so it is controlling voltage in the preamp
is the 3rd setting (Slo/Rect/5150) basically accounting for the cold clipping stage ?
This explains a lot as the SLO at the moment would be the only mod using that 3rd setting which creates a more aggressive clipping I am guessing
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