Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: April 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

R2 Volume Mod for Boogie Mark III

For some some 16 years now I have grappled with the same problem all Mark III owners have faced... trying to balance the volume of all three channels. It was literally impossible to do this since the Clean Channel settings affect both the Rhythm Channel and the Lead Channel. If you got the Rhythm Channel sounding good, chances are the Clean Channel would be too hot, and on and on...

Enter the "R2 Volume Mod". While I had the amp apart to put it into the new headshell, I went ahead and did this mod. By snipping out a small resistor and replacing the reverb pot with a volume pot and soldering this new pot to two places on the main board, I suddenly have a dedicated volume knob for the Rhythm Channel! I can now balance the volume between all three channels. I had forgotten just how great the R2 Channel of the amp sounds, since I was just using the Clean Channel with a distortion pedal or the Lead Channel of the amp itself.

The R2 has a lovely Marshall-like sound to it that is round, and fat. It's crunchy, but a tad bit more reserved since it seems to have a bit of the higher frequencies rolled off. I find it to be perfect for many Classic Rock rhythm tones and perfect for Blues. I am very happy I decided to give this a try!

Boogie Mark III Gets New Headshell!

Ever since I bought my Boogie Mark III back in '92 I wished I had gotten the head version and a 4x12 cabinet. Back then full and/or half stacks were essential if you wanted to be cool. That trend has changed to some degree these days, but for me having a separate cabinet improves the sound.

I decided to call up Mesa Boogie and see about ordering a headshell for my little Mark III since I was no longer using it as a combo, but rather as a half stack with my Bogner 2x12 cabinet. I discovered that they still build headshells to order, so I put in my request. It took while for them to build it (I think I ordered it 4 months ago) but it was worth the wait. This amp is completely transformed! It looks so modern and new inside the headshell. Plus it is going to be much easier to lug around now without the extra weight of the larger cabinet and 12 inch speaker!

I am quite happy with the look of the amp as a head and I look forward to gigging with my little Boogie I bought so long ago.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Treble Bleed Mod Done on Various Guitars

The "treble bleed" mod is one I have had stock on a few guitars for years now (my Ibanez Jem and Ibanez JS both have factory installed treble bleeds). What this mod does is to preserve the treble frequencies in your guitar signal as you turn down the volume knob. Most potentiometers without this mod will cause the sound to get bassy and muddy as the volume is decreased.

The mod couldn't be simpler to perform and the parts are quite inexpensive. I used a 500pF silver mica cap in parallel with a 220K resistor (carbon film, metal film, etc. it doesn't matter) across pins 1 and 2 of each of the volume pots I wanted to modify. I have installed this mod on both my Les Pauls (bridge and neck volume pots), as well as on my Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse guitar, my Carvin DC135 and Peavey Wolfgang.

I can now turn down the guitar's volume while playing with high gain on the amplifier and "clean up" the tone significantly. If I am using a lot of gain, the tone may never quite clean up all the way, but it certainly reduces the distortion a great deal which leaves me with more of a crunch tone than a full-tilt lead tone. This is very useful... it's almost like having the gain knob of your amp right on the guitar!