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Author Topic:  Ghost Tones?
Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

Well i have read so many good things about the roland cube amps i decided to get one. I found one at a great price at guitar center, its the 80gx model. After playing it for a while, i can not get the crystal clear sound that i want to here. I am hearing some ghost tones when i simultaneously pick two or three strings together, its worse the farther i move up the neck. It almost sounds like distortion but its not, at least not to my ears. It is faint but i can here it and its really aggravating me. Has anyone else had this issue with an amp or the cube amps? I have tried different settings on both the jc clean channel and lead channel but its not helping.

Last edited by Matt Butner on 18 Feb 2014 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 5:50 pm     Reply with quote

When you move up the neck, do the ghost tones get lower? If so, I've experienced that in the past with a Peavey Nashville 400, but not with my 112, or with my current Roland 80XL. Never did figure out what was causing it...
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 5:55 pm     Reply with quote

The tones move with the pitch, if the pitch goes up so do the tones. I really hate this and i don't think i can live with that sound. I hope there is something that can be done or the amp is going back.
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Darrell Birtcher


From:
Phoenix, Arizona
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 6:21 pm     Reply with quote

Any time you mix two pitches together in a non-linear (distorted) fashion you will generate the sum and difference of those pitches. These are quite likely the ghost tones you're describing.

The amount of distortion will determine the strength of the ghost notes. The distortion could be coming from anything in your signal chain. It could be the amp, or it could be a bad connection at a cable end. Try cleaning all connections. Stay away from solderless cable ends too. What else is in your signal chain? Try running straight from the guitar to the amp to rule out other stuff.
It can be very frustrating chasing down these demons. Swapping and removing items will point you in the right direction. Good luck!
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 6:28 pm     Reply with quote

I have switched between three different amps. One 30 watt tube amp, a fender M-80, and the cube 80gx. The tube and fender are barely noticeable, not enough there to worry about but the cube is a different story. Its much more pronounced than the other amps.
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Steve Lipsey


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 7:55 pm     Reply with quote

Matt- I forgot to mention when you bought my guitar....NO SOLID-STATE AMPS ALLOWED!!!
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 8:09 pm     Reply with quote

Ha i am beginning to think that lol. I am not used to these solid state amps, i have been playing tubes for quite a while. My tube amp sounds great with me tele but not this steel. I have read great things about these cubes, but i'm beginning to wonder if its for me.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 8:52 pm     Reply with quote

They are called "difference tones". Often they come from the input being overloaded. Buffer your input and the problem might go away. On old Fender amps the second input jack is slightly attenuated. I don't know how the Roland amp is configured.

When I had that problem I used a goodrich matchbox with a volume control and it cleared it right up.
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Last edited by Bob Hoffnar on 18 Feb 2014 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2014 9:05 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I have switched between three different amps. One 30 watt tube amp, a fender M-80, and the cube 80gx. The tube and fender are barely noticeable, not enough there to worry about but the cube is a different story. Its much more pronounced than the other amps.


This sounds like it is possibly an EQ issue. Those tones are always there, as a function of playing two or more notes. Some amplifiers grab a hold of them and over-amplify them, as compared to the notes you want to hear, some amps don't. Oddly enough, this is usually more prominent on a high-headroom (i.e. LOUD) tube amp, and they usually descend as you go up. Confused If you want to explore the issue as a scientific researcher, you could probably dig up a frequency response curve for the speaker in there, and try patching it over to a different speaker.

In looking at that selection, you could try the "Black Panel" amp with the presence off (or darn close), the volume up pretty high and the gain nowhere higher than maybe 10 o'clock. Try the "Brit Combo" with volume up FULL and the gain at 8, maybe 9 o'clock - just far enough off the peg to get a noise. I don't know what the "classic" denotes, but it isn't going to hurt you... on all these, start with the reverb all the way off, those tones may be living off the reverb reproduction.

I don't necessarily agree with what the engineers say they're putting in there, but there's sometimes some nifty little surprises to be had... like, turn the bass and treble off, reverb & presence off, midrange up full and then add in treble by taste. And try the opposite, treble and volume up full, gain all the way down, then start to add things to that (this, by the way, is how Jeff Beck runs his high-gain, low-distortion Marshall). I don't know if you're using a powered pedal or other kinds of boost, but you want to find the least amount of stages with the lowest amount of gain, then add to that, rather than try to subtract stuff out.
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 4:11 am     Artifacts... Reply with quote

Matt,

I know we are talking oranges and apples here. And I don't own one of the apples, but I own two Roland Cube 80XLs, and found early on that running the gain higher then 2 (I actually run mine between 1 & 2), interjected things into the sound I didn't care for.

MPO is, these amps are/were designed for a wide range of instruments and a distorted guitar sound was one of them. By running the Gain high, an over driven sound can be easily obtained, remembering most steel pickup are pretty hot.

I just did a search on Roland, quite a bit has been written about these amps on the forum. Even pictures of personal settings.

I hope you find your problem and let us know. Sharing what we know or even think, is one of the strengths of the forum. My best to you...
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Steve Perry


From:
Elizabethtown Ky, USA
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 11:21 am     Reply with quote

I think I might be experiencing the same thing you are. I'm playing through a Fender Mustang I and get the ringing sound especially on strings 3 and 4. What I think is causing it is the strings are vibrating behind your picks and the amp is picking that up and amplifying it. What I did to find it was pick string 3 and 4 and then pick block them. The ringing is still there until I also lay the side of my picking hand on the strings to then palm block. As others have said, I believe it has something to do with the reverb or gain settings on your amp. I was able to eliminate most of the noise by turning the reverb off.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 11:37 am     Reply with quote

Stephen,
Your problem is very different than the ghost tone/difference tone issue. Your issue is because of picking accuracy. Difference tones are caused by Intermodulation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodulation
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Donny Hinson


From:
Balto., Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

Are you using a powered volume pedal? Are you using anything else in the signal chain? Post the amp settings you rae using, and maybe we can tell you more.
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Steve Perry


From:
Elizabethtown Ky, USA
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 4:40 pm     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Stephen,
Your problem is very different than the ghost tone/difference tone issue. Your issue is because of picking accuracy. Difference tones are caused by Intermodulation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodulation


Dang!... And I thought learning steel was overwhelming! Shocked
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 19 Feb 2014 9:38 pm     Reply with quote

Well i have been fooling around with this thing to try and make sense of it. I think i may be getting to picky about this. I have tried many different settings and the only one i like is the blackface setting. I am getting distortion on almost all setting other than the blackface. Even the jc clean is not clean enough to me. Here are the settings that i found i like to most, as of now. I find that if i focus on my playing more its not as noticeable but i still here it at times, especially at higher triads. Thanks for all the answers so far. Oh and i am using a goodrich h10k vp. Its the one with the buffered output.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 10:54 am     Reply with quote

OMG! How many knobs are on that thing? My at-home practice amp is a '52 Pro, two knobs Volume and Tone! And it sounds great, but not gig gin' loud. Twin for that job.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 1:14 pm     Reply with quote

I suspect your pickup is overdriving your input.
Turn the master volume your amp UP, way up. That way, you'll keep the input low with the volume pedal. It'll see a smaller input signal.
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Mark Draycott


From:
Princeton, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 2:58 pm     Reply with quote

Do you have the ability to try another identical amp? I have heard issues with speakers having a cone break in period that can give some off sounding results. Maybe the speaker is still real stiff and needs some break-in. Just a thought.

Mark
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 3:03 pm     Reply with quote

To expand on what Mark has just said,,,,, Is there an input for a cd player? If so, Hook one up and run it for a good while. That should break in the speaker. I suggest Snoop Dog's music! 8^)
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Donny Hinson


From:
Balto., Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 3:05 pm     Reply with quote

Just curious...why do you reun it in "Lead" instead of "Clean"? For the most part, the "Lead" modeling algorithms usually have distortion in them, because most all lead players want some distortion.
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 20 Feb 2014 5:19 pm     Reply with quote

I am not sure of the specs on my pickup. I know it sounds great, its the telonics 84.

I have the master volume way up and don't even have the gain on.

I do not have the ability to play an identical one, at least not until i can get to a local guitar center, but i really don't want to take my guitar in there and play one.

I have been using the Lead channel because the jc clean has been getting more distorted than lead channel on the blackface setting. Most of the other settings bring in distortion even at low volumes.

I can plug my phone or ipad in it, i will try that as well, hopefully it will help break the speaker in; however, i am not thinking it is a speaker issue but i have been wrong before, many many times haha.
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Matt Butner


From:
Decherd, Tennessee
Post Posted 21 Feb 2014 5:51 pm     Reply with quote

Here is my latest update-
I am still hearing those tones that i do not like; however, it seems to be getting a little better. Maybe the speaker getting broke in is helping, of course it could be me getting use to it. One feature that i love on this little amp is being able to plug my ipad in it. Just put on pandora music and you can play along for hours.
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Frank Montmarquet


From:
The North Coast, New York, USA
Post Posted 21 Feb 2014 9:07 pm     Reply with quote

This maybe, I hear them tritini tones: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/tartini-temperament.html
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George Buechley


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 24 Feb 2014 6:54 am     Speaker break in Reply with quote

Matt,
I found speaker break in to be very important. It took my Cube XL80 about a month. My settings are about the same that you're showing in your picture. I turn down the treble and presence and increase the bass and mid range. After the breaking in period I was able to actually increase the gain a little. I'm using a Lil Izzy with mine and have been able to dial in a really nice sound.

Regards,
George
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Daniel Policarpo


From:
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post Posted 24 Feb 2014 7:16 am     Reply with quote

I agree with George regarding the allowance for a little break in time for the speaker. A lot of brand new speakers can sound overly responsive or uneven, especially at higher volume. This can initially situate ghost notes a more dominant place in the output signal, especially with slide or steel instruments.
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