Series One 1046L6 Possible Gain Issue?

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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:59 pm

Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:55 pm

Good day everyone. I'm new to the Blackstar forums, but I've owned their products for almost three years so I have a bit of experience with the company. I figured I would come here to see if anyone has any answers, comments, or suggestions in regards to an issue I've been having with my relatively new Series One 1046L6.

Alright, so I have the feeling that I'm not getting enough saturation/gain out of the OD1 and OD2 channels without adding an overdrive pedal into the mix and cranking the settings to maximum. I also receive a very strange, very weird tone when I am executing an artificial (pinch) harmonic that I've never heard on any other amp except for my Ibanez Thermion. Clean and Crunch are amazing, and that odd pinch harmonic tone isn't present on the Crunch channel. Do note that when I add my OD pedal into the mix with settings anywhere from 8 to 10, the strange pinch harmonic tone goes away and sounds like what you would normally hear out of any other amp when executing a pinch harmonic (a la Zakk Wylde, Mark Morton, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc.); however, there is a plethora of static fuzz even when a noise gate is added to the mix on either side of the OD pedal. Again, I've never had this issue before with any other amplifier (with the exception of my Thermion), not even my Series One 200. I'm also running one of the hottest pickups Dimarzio makes, so I should be pushing the amp even without the OD pedal, yet I don't even get a reasonable amount of saturation out of channels OD1 and OD2 with the guitar alone. I've also replaced the 6L6 and 12ax7/ECC83 valves with JJ Valves (but not the 12au7/ECC82 as none of my local shops stocked this particular valve and I was too lazy/impulsive to order one) and had the amplifier biased by the only Blackstar authorized service center in my location, who said that the bias for the 6L6 valves was perfect according to Blackstar's own specifications.

A little backstory; I traded in my Series One 200 for the 1046L6 to get a more traditional death metal tone. I loved my 200, but there was to much headroom and not enough saturation for my tastes, otherwise it was a beautiful amp minus the exorbitant price of valve replacement. I've been playing guitar for almost 13 years now, and owned a Mesa Rect-o-Verb Combo, a JSX, and then the afore mentioned two Blackstar amplifiers and the Ibanez Thermion. I also mostly play death metal and melodic death metal in the vein of Kataklysm, Dyscarnate, Arch Enemy, At the Gates, Hypocrisy, Dying Fetus, Hour of Pennance, all with a little bit of influence from Lamb of God as they are from my current area of residence. I've been attempting to shape my tone in a similar fashion to these bands while still using Blackstar products, as I like the versatility offered by the Series One line, but this current issue with my 1046L6 is hampering my efforts.

As to the tech info, for the possibility that my issues are coming from my rig/gear and not the amplifier itself, I am currently running the following items, all tested with the 1046L6 and all receiving the same results as listed above:
Ibanez Saber S5470 Prestige with Dimarzio D Activator x (B), Chopper (M), and Super 3 (N) (Previously was running an X2N in the bridge, with the same results)
Ibanez Saber S7420 with Dimarzio X2N-7 (B) and Evolution (N)
Ibanez SA 160 with stock pickups
Mesa Rectifier Traditional 412 angled cabinet with Celestion V30 speakers
Peavey Valveking 412 angled cabinet with stock Valveking speakers
Ibanez TS808 overdrive pedal
MXR Smart Gate noise gate pedal

Apologies for the long post, but I am just trying to ascertain whether this is indeed an issue with the amplifier, an issue with my gear, or is this is how the Series One 1046L6 is supposed to operate/sound and I am just looking for a sound/tone that this amplifier cannot produce?

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:53 am
Location: Costa Rica

Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:20 am

I don't think your amp has a problem, i don't even played a 104 6l6, but i have a Series 50, and yes this amps are not supersaturated higain

look this video and settings, and he is using a ltd with active pick ups

Gain is full, and still doesn´t totally saturated like a 5150 for example, anyway i don´t like to turn full gain in this amp, after "2 pm" gain knob sounds too grany and uncontrolled, with a tube screamer i don't use it above 11 or 12 o'clock

I recently change my tube preamps with a combo between JJ and tung sol, and it improve the sound better than the stock TAD's, specially the sung sols work good in series one I think.

So, things you can do:

-try another preamp tubes, as I see 6L6 power tubes are JJ, they are a "standar for metal"
-Use the tube screamer (ibanez or maxon) to tight the tone, it's no magical, but it helps
-and learn to love the gain in this amp.. yes it's weird I said this but BS have a interest percusive gain, but there are lots of amps more "high gain" than this.

About the weird sound with artificial pitch, I don't have any idea about this

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:59 pm

Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:53 am

Thanks for the reply and the info. I had put in JJ 12ax7/ECC83s in the amp to replace the stock TADs, plus replaced the 6L6GCs with JJ's as well, but to no avail. I did, however solve my issue. I traded the amp (plus my Thermion) for a Peavey 6505. Eventually I want to also acquire an Engl Savage, but for now I feel the 6505 will do. I'm just disappointed as I purchased the 1046L6 thinking that it had more of a Mesa tone to it; however, I feel the amp has none of the qualities needed for the "American" style or really any modern metal styles despite what the reps claim. Maybe a Mesa Mark V, but certainly not anything in the Rectifier line nor Peavey's 5150/6505 and JSX/XXX lines. I would love it if Blackstar actually made a high-end amplifier that would compete with the likes of the Mesa Dual Rectifier or a Peavey 6505 or even an Engl Savage, Invader, or Powerball, but I doubt it as I feel there is too much Marshall remaining in their tone shaping to actually produce an amp for the modern metal guitarist. I guess you can take the Blackstar out of the Marshall, but you can't take the Marshall out of the Blackstar. If they do succeed in making an actual high-gain, modern-sounding Series One amplifier; or barring that start a brand new high-end line designed to compete with the likes of Mesa, Engl, Peavey, Framus, etc. I would definitely give Blackstar amps another shot, as I enjoyed the DPR ability, and the ISF when it actually worked. Until then, I will be quite content with my 6505.

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