Want a stratoblaster?

Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby TeeJay » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:29 pm

I've never met a pedal where component composition was so crucial, and the (somewhat) recently released dist + from MXR that is supposed to be true to vintage has metal film resistors in it!


I have one of the reissues and have not really bonded with it. Is it worth modding the reissue with the correct components?
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby tatittle » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:49 am

Thanks for the heads up on the MXR Dist+; while I have a vintage script already, I was flirting with getting a RI. I will hold off. I love my Blasters, have 3 onboard (1 vintage, 2 newer Alembic) and a stompbox. One of them picks up RF when the volume is all the way down, which I found strange. The buffer is key for consistent tone and different volumes, and the boost fattens it up som.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby TeeJay » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:41 am

I want the mini clip on the strap blaster.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby claytushaywood » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:25 pm

TeeJay wrote:
I've never met a pedal where component composition was so crucial, and the (somewhat) recently released dist + from MXR that is supposed to be true to vintage has metal film resistors in it!


I have one of the reissues and have not really bonded with it. Is it worth modding the reissue with the correct components?


I have not tried this... I merely saw a gut shot of the modern reissue that is supposed to be just like the vintage ones and saw that it has metal film resistors in it. I dont believe you can hear a difference in a lot of guitar circuits between using carbon and metal film resistors. But in the dist + i definitely can hear a difference. The dist + is a simple circuit and I charge people $95 for my version of it. I dont even see the 1974 reissue version I'm talking about online except for one on ebay... have they even released it yet?

Anyways- if you can sell it for $70 or so then no I wouldnt think it was worth it to have it modded unless you do it yourself. It doesnt look like those are 1n270 diodes in the gut shot i saw either, looks like some 1n34a's i have in my stash currently. there is a difference in voltage drop between those two diodes even though they're both germanium.

I borrow my buddies original dist + a while back to compare mine to his, and he ended up selling his vintage unit and buying one of mine while profiting $250, an LED and true bypass!
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby TeeJay » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:46 pm

It was a limited edition exclusive to Pro Guitar Shop.

http://proguitarshop.com/mxr-csp104-vin ... rtion.html
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby waldo041 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:51 pm

The biggest difference in lineage between the Distortion +'s are the different types of the cheap LM741 opamps used. The clipping diodes do play a part in the amount of clip but the opamps themselves are clipping and that is why the originals will sound notably different then a modern version. Also, the original script logo used metal film resistors in specific locations to keep tolerances tight. They just were not not the modern blue color.

http://www.pedalarea.com/mxr_distortion.htm

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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby zambiland » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:27 am

barefootdave wrote:I knew Alembic was expensive, but didn't realize their prices weren't honest. That's helpful information.


What's dishonest about their prices? They charge what the market will bear (no pun intended) for their work. That's what it cost to get those particular guys to do the work. It's not worth it for them to do it for less because it takes time away from the basses, guitars and preamps. If you had their business, you'd charge what they charge, too.

It's not like they are rebranding generic Chinese items.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby Poor Peter » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:45 am

I apologize in advance, but could someone please explain what a stratoblaster is, and specifically what it does.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby zambiland » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:18 am

Poor Peter wrote:I apologize in advance, but could someone please explain what a stratoblaster is, and specifically what it does.


It's a preamp devised by Alembic in the very early 70s. It was built into Jerry's Europe '72 Strat and later became a favorite of folks like Lowell George and Bonnie Raitt. It has a variable amount of boost. Back in the 70s, it cost about $25 and was a simple upgrade. Unavailable for a long time, Alembic reissued it about 10 years ago or so (I took the photo on their website of one of the early reissues).

It's an extremely simple design and has the dual function of buffering the signal and adding more gain. I wired mine before the volume pot, but mostly because my Strat already had a preamp in it, but most people wire it after the volume pot so that the instrument can still be used in bypass mode.

http://alembic.stores.yahoo.net/blaster.html

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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby Poor Peter » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:06 pm

zambiland wrote:
Poor Peter wrote:I apologize in advance, but could someone please explain what a stratoblaster is, and specifically what it does.


It's a preamp devised by Alembic in the very early 70s. It was built into Jerry's Europe '72 Strat and later became a favorite of folks like Lowell George and Bonnie Raitt. It has a variable amount of boost. Back in the 70s, it cost about $25 and was a simple upgrade. Unavailable for a long time, Alembic reissued it about 10 years ago or so (I took the photo on their website of one of the early reissues).

It's an extremely simple design and has the dual function of buffering the signal and adding more gain. I wired mine before the volume pot, but mostly because my Strat already had a preamp in it, but most people wire it after the volume pot so that the instrument can still be used in bypass mode.

http://alembic.stores.yahoo.net/blaster.html

Image


Thank you.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby claytushaywood » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:26 am

waldo041 wrote:The biggest difference in lineage between the Distortion +'s are the different types of the cheap LM741 opamps used. The clipping diodes do play a part in the amount of clip but the opamps themselves are clipping and that is why the originals will sound notably different then a modern version. Also, the original script logo used metal film resistors in specific locations to keep tolerances tight. They just were not not the modern blue color.

http://www.pedalarea.com/mxr_distortion.htm

~waldo


making a generalized statement about the original script logo dist + tells me you have not opened up many or dated the ones youve opened. there are definitely a lot more differences than just the opamp, though it is an important part of the sound. That link you posted is definitely not an original 73-74 dist +. that's probably a 1976 dist +. It is QUITE different from a first issue dist + which did NOT have metal film and carbon film resistors in it. they used carbon comps throughout. in fact that link you posted shows a pedal that will sound much different than an original dist +. and much more like a block logo distortion plus. it has different diodes, capacitors, and a different opamp

http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10295

i've opened up enough vintage dist + units (and DOD 250's), built enough, and have experimented enough consider myself a master of the dist +. Maybe I should make a dist + website to prevent the spreading of misinformation.

i actually dont think there is that big of a tone difference if noticeable at all between carbon film and carbon composition. the main difference is between metal film and carbon based in the signal path.
But i have measured a particularly good sounding original 74 dist + with carbon comps that showed a few resistor values off labeled value enough to make a difference in tone, this is something that i approximate when building mine. like i said, my buddy sold his coveted mxr dist + (and he's like a late 70's style rocker that runs his into a marshall jcm- killer combo there) I will say that the unit I have kept and played has all carbon comps. though i have used metal films for the 1M resistors and have not been able to hear a difference at times.


i have had people like tl071's in their dist +. my personal favorite has been a metal can 741 (i have not seen a dist + with a metal can) but any other pedal that was once built with its metal can equivalent is highly coveted. I have these old metal cans in my keeley 4 knob compressor clone (reason the old ross comps are so coveted) and my landgraff mo'd clone (rat clone- rats with metal cans are the most highly sought after as well).


and i never said alembic's prices were dishonest for the record. no such thing as a dishonest price. just chumps that pay ludicrous prices for super simple circuits!
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby zambiland » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:24 pm

claytushaywood wrote:and i never said alembic's prices were dishonest for the record. no such thing as a dishonest price. just chumps that pay ludicrous prices for super simple circuits!


No, you didn't say that. Barefoot Dave did. But, I would disagree with the idea that people who pay those prices to Alembic are chumps because it supports Alembic as a whole, which means that they get to put more energy into building their instruments. I don't know if you've ever visited their shop, but it's not a company that spews out cookie cutter instruments, each one is handmade (with some CNC help) and takes a lot of man hours to complete. I can see your perspective when it comes to things like the blaster if you are computing just the parts and labor for that particular device, but it's like any other business where the margin on accessories pays for being able to keep the costs of other things lower. If they tried to play the game of making everything as cheaply as possible in order to sell it as cheaply as possible, they'd be soon out of business. So, I would not only defend Alembic themselves, but also defend their customers for not being chumps. It might be that saving as much money on every single product as possible might not be at the top of their priorities. If you go hang out at their forum, you will find that the Alembic customers are a fiercely loyal bunch.

I'm still using 40 year old Alembic equipment that functions as well as it did the day it left their shop. That also counts for something.

But, when I needed a new power supply for a series bass, I didn't pay their asking price, I built one myself. Same with 5 pin cables.
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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby milobender » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:51 pm

+1

It might be that saving as much money on every single product as possible might not be at the top of their priorities.


This is an 'accepted' mode of being that just doesn't make any sense at all... you end up with the cheapest product and an economic model that is doomed to crash into the ground. Supporting each other to create the highest quality reality should be the norm... what good does it do to have so much, and be afraid to use it at the same time?

End of rant "o)

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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby waldo041 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:19 pm

I admit i did generalize, but do feel those vintage 741's are special. You can have the "master" title.

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Re: Want a stratoblaster?

Postby claytushaywood » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:44 pm

waldo041 wrote:I admit i did generalize, but do feel those vintage 741's are special. You can have the "master" title.

~waldo


no they really are not, thats a bunch of bologna too. prove that. show me some data

*edit- that's regarding the same ic with a different manufacturer code like u741 vs ua741.

if you wanna say that the ic makes a small difference that's fine. trying to say its more important than the clipping diodes shows me that you have not built and experimented with these things that you're claiming. and if you have show some datasheets
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