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Author Topic:  Black Box With Telonics VP?
Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 1:19 pm     Reply with quote

Any conflict? Just run the Telonics the same way as a pot pedal on the chain?

thx

bob
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Bill Ferguson


From:
Norcross, GA USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 1:36 pm     Reply with quote

No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 2:19 pm     Reply with quote

Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


Isn't 2 buffers a problem in itself? Like using a match- bro and a BB.

bob
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 3:00 pm     Reply with quote

Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


I tend to disagree. It's not about buffer redundancy. It's about the TONE quality and dynamic response of tubes vs transistors. I know quite a few players that quite enjoy the tube sweetening, rich harmonic content, and low/high register balancing from the Black Box before that wonderful volume pedal.

And they play VERY well together.

B
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 3:40 pm     Reply with quote

Brad Sarno wrote:
Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


I tend to disagree. It's not about buffer redundancy. It's about the TONE quality and dynamic response of tubes vs transistors. I know quite a few players that quite enjoy the tube sweetening, rich harmonic content, and low/high register balancing from the Black Box before that wonderful volume pedal.

And they play VERY well together.

B


He has spoken!! Can't wait to try it.

Thanks, Brad.

bob
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Len Amaral


From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 4:09 pm     Reply with quote

The Black Box is a very flexible unit. I tend to use mine after the volume pedal and effects just before the amp input. Nice vibe👍🎶
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 4:13 pm     Reply with quote

Len Amaral wrote:
The Black Box is a very flexible unit. I tend to use mine after the volume pedal and effects just before the amp input. Nice vibe👍🎶


Try before the VP like the master says Smile

bob

edit: Or do you have a telonics volume pedal? Brad, Is it as critical wit the telonics?

bob
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 5:28 pm     Reply with quote

With a passive "pot" pedal, you can definitely put the BB after the pedal and see if you like it. But for any active pedal like a Hilton or Telonics or active Goodrich, DEFINITELY put the Black Box before. SO MUCH of the tube magic happens when a magnetic pickup sees the input grid of a tube. That's where the feel and tone and harmonics come alive the most.

Since a pot pedal is simply resistance, passive, the pickup still gets to "see" the tube thru the VP and it's ok to place the BB after the VP.

The concept I point to is what could be called the "first active device". That's when a passive pickup signal first gets amplified electronically. That is such a critical stage for tone. Once that happens, much of the sound quality is etched in stone and can't be changed all that much. So having a well-run, high voltage preamp tube as the very first thing the pickup sees really does something special. There are definitely cases where a tube isn't the first active device, but there is a tube amp at the end of the chain and lots of warming and sweetening happens there. But with a transistor amp I kinda believe it's virtually required to have a tube in the chain before it. I know many disagree, but my ears always prefer the more ear-friendly, ear candy quality the tubes impart. It's easier to hear a guitar thru a loud mix with tubes too. And tube enhanced tone is gentler on the eardrums and doesn't cause or aggravate tinnitus as much.

And if you look back to the golden age of steel tone, that was part of the magic tone they all got. It was simply a steel guitar pickup thru a pot pedal into a tube amp. Pickup to tube connection. So much liveliness to the feel happens, so much treble sweetening happens, so much midrange harmonic richness happens, and a balance of clear low notes and sweet high (Hugheyland) registers all balance out beautifully. People playing without tubes really tend to struggle with that low/high balance and complain about harsh midrange and hard, glassy treble and then often tend to darken the high end with their amp EQ and wind up with a relatively nasal, dull tone.

Steel's love tubes. It's proven. Just listen to your favorite recordings of Jimmy Day, John Hughey, Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Tom Brumley, Jerry Byrd, Curly Chalker, Ralph Mooney, Paul Franklin... to name just a few.

Tubes, tubes, tubes... They make great tone SO easy to attain.

B
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Lyle Dent


From:
Little Rock ,Arkansas
Post Posted 9 Oct 2018 2:33 am     SGBB and Telonics Reply with quote

What Brad said, Tubes, Tubes, Tubes, SGBB>FP-100> V8 Octal. The longer you play the better it sounds.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 9 Oct 2018 5:27 am     Reply with quote

My experience, backed by measurements, is that tube-circuits tend to introduce a degree of peak-compression and even harmonics, which the human ear perceive as "sweet" and/or "natural".

Transistor-/op-amp-circuits OTOH tend to introduce a degree of peak-clipping, odd harmonics, and transient intermodulation, which the human ear perceive as "raw" and/or "distorted".


Placing a well-designed tube-circuit as first stage, serves following stages with a "pre-shaped" signal. This in itself reduces the degree of "rawness" in transistor-/op-amp-circuits, because there is less to distort on.

That the PU coil interacts with whatever follows it, up to and including the input components in first amp-stage, is, or should be, well known. So a tube-based circuit like the Black Box should always come first if on wants max effect of tubes on ones sound, regardless of what the rest of the sound-chain consists of.
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Steve Spitz


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post Posted 9 Oct 2018 7:55 am     Reply with quote

I used a black box before a Telonics pedal into a a solid state amp for quite a while.. To my ears, it helped.

I could hear a difference.
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John Lacey


From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post Posted 9 Oct 2018 9:02 am     Reply with quote

My friend Harvey has a black box that I’ve tried after my single coil pu then going into my Goodrich pedal then to my SE200 Evans amp. I really can’t discern any difference in tone with that combo. Could it be that the tube has gone in the BB?
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 9 Oct 2018 8:58 pm     Reply with quote

John Lacey wrote:
My friend Harvey has a black box that I’ve tried after my single coil pu then going into my Goodrich pedal then to my SE200 Evans amp. I really can’t discern any difference in tone with that combo. Could it be that the tube has gone in the BB?


I would say that it's likely working fine. The Black Box runs very clean with only a tiny hint of harmonic distortion, the good kind. It's essentially an audiophile tube buffer, more like studio gear.

It's also very wide bandwidth with NO EQ or tone shaping in and of itself. So many people first hear the Black Box as transparent, doing nothing. The sound doesn't really change much. But as you play and adjust tone settings it becomes apparent that the higher registers are less harsh and allow for naturally bright, trebly tone. This helps the low wound string registers sound clear and vibrant while the high registers don't hurt the ears. More balanced low to high, a bit more lush and with a sweeter, much less harsh treble. But overall, the guitar still generally sounds like itself, a lot like it does without the Black Box.

And also there's this subtle smoothing, a light compression of pick transients. This all leads to a more reactive, more expressive, more fun. It's subtle but it shows up in the "feel", the right hand. This is another thing tubes are so great at. But again it's subtle and takes time to notice and then work with.

A lot of players over the years tell me about how when they first got their Black Box and just worked it into the rig not totally sure what all it was doing, then one day they get to a gig and had forgotten the Black Box at home and they said it was night and day without it. Hard to play without it and hard to find a tone.

Short answer, I think you should spend some more time with it and see that what it does may be more subtle than what you expected and that this subtlety is actually pretty significant once you work long enough with it and build an amp tone around it.

B
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Tommy Boswell


From:
Virginia, USA
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 3:57 am     Black Box effect Reply with quote

One way to hear the subtle effect is through headphones. My practice amp is a Joyo pedal into a Behringer mixer and then headphones. And my Black Box in front of that rig makes all the difference in being able to dial in a pleasing tone. And of course, I use the Black Box in front of any amp, solid state or tube.

I'm a big fan of Brad's products.
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 6:25 am     Reply with quote

John Lacey wrote:
My friend Harvey has a black box that I’ve tried after my single coil pu then going into my Goodrich pedal then to my SE200 Evans amp. I really can’t discern any difference in tone with that combo. Could it be that the tube has gone in the BB?


Does it have the vari z control?

bob
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 6:27 am     Reply with quote

Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


What Bill Said!!!
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 7:14 am     Reply with quote

I always gig with a Black Box any time I am using Solid State Amps (the original tube is still in there).
I am also using a Telonics VP on my gigs.
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 7:21 am     Reply with quote

Apparently the telonics has an adjustable buffer; not sure if off is totally bypassed?

bob
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 9:01 am     Reply with quote

Bob Snelgrove wrote:
Apparently the telonics has an adjustable buffer; not sure if off is totally bypassed?

bob


It's always buffering. The adjustable factor is the "load impedance" which acts as a tone control. It's the same principle as our Vari-Z we put on the Rev, Black Box, and FreeLoader. With a Black Box in front of a Telonics, the Telonics impedance adjustment won't really do anything. Variable impedance tone controls only really do anything when they see a passive pickup directly. Same when someone puts a Black Box after an active pedal or a buffered tuner, etc. the Vari-Z does nothing, essentially.

B
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 11:22 am     Reply with quote

I can confirm Brad's above comment.

I placed the BB after my Telonics pedal and before the amp....the Vari-Z produced no audible change throughout it's sweep.

After placing the BB between the guitar and active VP, the Z control produces a significant effect re: reducing the harshness of highs.
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John Lacey


From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post Posted 10 Oct 2018 6:49 pm     Reply with quote

I’ve talked to the owner of the BB and he’ll let me borrow it for a few weeks where I can try it on some live gigs.
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2018 4:24 am     Black Box with Telonic s pedal Reply with quote

When I used my Lil Izzy, the Black Box vari-z control became non-functional..
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Bob Snelgrove


From:
san jose, ca
Post Posted 11 Oct 2018 2:30 pm     Reply with quote

Brad Sarno wrote:
Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


I tend to disagree. It's not about buffer redundancy. It's about the TONE quality and dynamic response of tubes vs transistors. I know quite a few players that quite enjoy the tube sweetening, rich harmonic content, and low/high register balancing from the Black Box before that wonderful volume pedal.

And they play VERY well together.

B


Wow, tried the Telonics VP last night with the band. I have only used pot pedals over the years and expected the VP to be too bright, clear, etc and boy was I wrong! The consistent tone through the volume range and over clean sound with the BB sweetening was veil lifting and this is with a Franklin with original 705's!

They did more than play well together; I think they got engaged! LOL

bob
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 14 Oct 2018 12:03 pm     Reply with quote

My studio recording rig is the Black Box before the Telonics volume pedal and then into a Brando Steel Dream and either the Sarno V8 for direct recoding or the Telonics amp for a DI/mic combination. Most excellent!
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Patrick Huey


From:
Nacogdoches, Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2018 2:10 pm     Reply with quote

Bob Snelgrove wrote:
Brad Sarno wrote:
Bill Ferguson wrote:
No conflict just no purpose.
You are then using 2 buffers.


I tend to disagree. It's not about buffer redundancy. It's about the TONE quality and dynamic response of tubes vs transistors. I know quite a few players that quite enjoy the tube sweetening, rich harmonic content, and low/high register balancing from the Black Box before that wonderful volume pedal.

And they play VERY well together.

B


He has spoken!! Can't wait to try it.

Thanks, Brad.

bob

I have a Lil Izzy that has tone and gain adjustments on it and I use it although the Hilton I sometimes use had a buffer in it. The tone adjust allows me to scale back the highs a bit to suit my ear without having to go back and forth to the amp.
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