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Author Topic:  Quilter tone
Jim Ives


From:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Post  Posted 30 Apr 2019 4:39 pm    
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I find the sound of my Steelaire to be thin, tin-like. I have George L pickups on my Mullen D-10.
Would other pick-ups provide a fuller, warmer sound? If so, which ones?
Thanks,
Jim
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Roger Crawford


From:
McDonough, GA USA
Post  Posted 30 Apr 2019 6:11 pm    
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Jim, do you know which George L pickup you have? Most have a model stamped in the face (E-66, PF-1 etc.). If yours are unmarked, they are quite likely 10-1, which is a very good companion to Mullen guitars. If you have access to a different amp, see if you have the same tone with it. Don’t rule out your settings on the amp. Do a query of other Steelaire owners to see if you can get something you may not have considered.
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Jim Ives


From:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Post  Posted 30 Apr 2019 7:09 pm     Quilter sound
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To be clear regarding my earlier post, I also have a {15?} yr old Fender Bassman which I love with the steel. It's just heavy, I am getting older and the Steelaire does things the Bassman cannot, except sound good.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 2:36 am    
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I'm using a Steelaire Rack amp with an Eminence EPS-15C speaker. When I first got the amp it sounded too bright. But I was used to using Bass amps with steel for a long time and not a "steel" amp.

I got some settings from someone on Facebook and I've been using them and it sounds good.

Bass 7
Low/High Mid 5
Treble 3

There was one person at a Steel Jam a couple months ago using a Steelaire combo amp and it sounded great. I didn't look at his settings.
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Dan Kelly


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 8:28 am    
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Jim, I also found that the Steelaire Combo sounded too thin and "trebly" for my tastes. Even after a 40 hour speaker break-in procedure, it just never warmed up, at least to my tastes. Some have argued that the neo speaker is a contributor to the unit's sound while others say it is the cabinet design. I play a Mullen RP D-10 and new Sierra S-10. I tried to like it, but ended up selling the unit to someone who just loves its sound.

Beauty is in the ear of the beholder!
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 9:12 am    
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I recently bought a Steelaire rackmount head. I have been very pleasantly surprised with its tone shaping capabilities. Once I git the Bass and Treble in the ballpark, I found that Low Mid and High Mid settings to be the keys to fine tuning the tone.

I've been comparing a couple of 12" and 15" speakers. Each speaker and cabinet has its own character, and I have to tweak settings a little for each one. However, the changes are not drastic. My Bass setting varies from 5 to 6+, and Treble according to steel-speaker/cabinet combination. I have the Low Mids around 2 and the High Mids around 5+. I also found that increasing the Gain settings adds some "body" to the tone. I just make sure the Gain is not set higher than the Master Volume. I have used three different steels: SD-10 and D-10 all pulls, and a D10 push/pull with original single coil pickups. I've had the tone from pickup-truck-bogging muddy to katana sharp. I found that the on-board Reverb Tone setting has an effect, too.

I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong at all. You know what you hear. Tone is subjective. We all have certain preferences and perceptions. This is just my experience so far.


Last edited by Jim Cooley on 1 May 2019 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tiny Olson


From:
Tribes Hill, NY, Mohawk River Valley, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 9:19 am    
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I also found the highs to be "tinny" on the SteelAire. I also found the bass to be too booming if the knob is advanced too much.


I don't like piercing highs or booming bottom, rather I like a very clear but even tone.


In light of that, I messed around with the settings a lot, trying to achieve my sound. I've gotten it to where I'm happy enough with it and here are the approximate settings I'm currently using;

Bass 10:00 o'clock

Low-Mid Off to 8:00 o'clock

High-Mid 12:00 to 12:30 o'clock

Treble 10:00 o'clock

I play a '69 Emmons D-10 w/ 16.5K, original single-coils, a D-10 LeGrande w/ 17.5K single-coils or Bill Lawrence 710 humbuckers for recording. I usually use a Hilton vol. pedal. I do tweak the above settings very slightly for the different guitars.


I tried the Quilter by hooking to a PV Black Widow 1501-4 in a separate, open-back cabinet. The Black Widow was somewhat similar but definitely had less tendency towards piercing on the highs. It also seemed louder. Granted, the speaker in the Quilter is not yet broken-in as it only has some 10 to 15 hrs playing time.

Those settings on the SteelAire have been decent for me. I love the amps's lightweight and it looks cool. However, I guess I'm still used to a more Peavey-ish EQ parameter. That's why I have a swap post in the "Want to Buy" section of this forum. I can certainly live with the Quilter though. One thing for sure, I'll never sell my Stereo Steel rig..!!

Like Dan Kelly said, beauty truly is in the ear of the beholder.

Best of luck in your quest, Jim.

Chris "Tiny" O.
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Jim Ives


From:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 11:17 am    
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Will a graphic equalizer help or will it just mud-up the overall sound?
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Norman Evans


From:
Tennessee
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 12:28 pm    
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Here's a nice demo video of the amp with a steel guitar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEDZqc0ThSo
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 1:59 pm     Quilter tone
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Tiny, I have a Stereo Steel combo and it sounds great. But.....I only use it as a power amp and for backup. I am running my single space stereo Evans pre-amp to the RCA L/R inputs on the back of the Stereo Steel. I like the Evans better, but the Stereo Steel is a close 2nd. I am totally dependent on the Stereo Steel to run the Evans, so I have one of the tiny 1.6 lb. 200 watt Trace Elliott Elf amps on the way to carry in my gig bag as an emergency back-up amp. I think I have a sweet set-up. I had a Quilter pre-amp before the Evans and it was a good amp, just not to my liking as good as what I have now. I am using the Stereo Steel cabinets with JBL D -130's.
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Pete Nicholls


From:
Macon, Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 2:20 pm    
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Jim Ives wrote:
Will a graphic equalizer help or will it just mud-up the overall sound?


I sometimes play a stratocaster and steel through the Steelaire and use a EHX Knockout Equalizer to balance the tone between the two guitars. If the tonal range is a little lacking for you, the addition of the EHX Knockout Equalizer will definitely fix the problem!
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Knockout--electro-harmonix-knockout-attack-equalizer-reissue-pedal?
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Tiny Olson


From:
Tribes Hill, NY, Mohawk River Valley, USA
Post  Posted 1 May 2019 3:05 pm    
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Sounds like a cool rig George. I have two Walker open backs w/ Black Widows and/or two semi-open backs with the JBLs that I use with the Stereo Steel. I really like either cabinet/speaker combos very, very much.

I've had a number of Evans amps (a Hybrid 300 and FET 500s)over the last 45 yrs and liked 'em all. I'm hoping the SteelAire can become a pack and go, single amp rig I can use.
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post  Posted 2 May 2019 8:31 am    
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Also consider that a brand new speaker has yet to be broken in. New speaker cones are notoriously stiff and harsh in the treble. That tends to soften with time and use.

B
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post  Posted 2 May 2019 9:22 am    
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I had a Steelaire for a while (which I sold to fund a Telonics 500).

I found that the key to getting good tone was balencing the low-mid and hi-mid controls. Reducing the former got rid of bass muddiness while I increased the latter to just knock off treble shrillness. Overall, it yielded a great steel tone.

The Quilter 3-knob Reverb is excellent. Being able to adjust tone and dwell is a real plus.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 4 May 2019 6:15 am    
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Steelaire is one of those amps that takes a little time to find your tone, it does have a modern clean tone, I got two, mostly because of light weight, amp is very compact, new, and it sounds great, but it will never sound like an Peavey or Fender Steel King, which I also have... so that being said, I don't think changing a pick up will cause any dramatic changes in the tone, if you like the amp, just keep on experimenting with amp EQ settings, but if you are looking for a Fender or Peavey tone, I don't think you'll get that from this amp no matter what pick up you are using... this may be one of those amps you either love or hate lol ...JMHO
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 4 May 2019 8:58 am    
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I have never used a Steelaire, but I have used an Aviator 8. I love the tone and the reverb I get from it, with just the onboard 8” speaker or an additional 12 or 15 cabinet. I’ve played old style Honk Tonk country, Western Swing, Rockabilly and modern crunchy stuff on it and am amazed by the sound. Also I use the excellent DI in Quilters which every sound guy has loved. I have a Toneblock 200 and a Mini 101,too. I’m a Quilter nut!
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Jim Palenscar


From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 5 May 2019 8:56 am    
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You might try closing the back of the cabinet-that will warm it up a bit.
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Richard Lotspeich


From:
North Georgia
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 4:42 pm     Steelaire
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I just bought a Steelaire from of the forum. I played the amp as soon as it came in,,in the living room, and I have the Master on 10 and the ch1 gain on 6. I can flat foot the pedal,or plug the guitar straight in and not get uncomfortable. I actually once,,moved it to 7. Is this the norm?
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Jim Bloomfield


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 5:11 pm     Re: Steelaire
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Richard Lotspeich wrote:
I just bought a Steelaire from of the forum. I played the amp as soon as it came in,,in the living room, and I have the Master on 10 and the ch1 gain on 6. I can flat foot the pedal,or plug the guitar straight in and not get uncomfortable. I actually once,,moved it to 7. Is this the norm?


No, that's not the norm. My Steelaire combo would be making my ears bleed at that level. There have been several posts on the forum similar to your concern. Unfortunately there must have been some lemons that got through. Send Quilter an email. Their customer service is very good.
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Richard Lotspeich


From:
North Georgia
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 5:39 pm    
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I thought I had read something about that. Ive already sent them an email,,will call tomorrow.You would think the person selling it,,would have known this. Thanks
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Malcolm McMaster


From:
Beith Ayrshire Scotland
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 2:57 am    
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Richard, I will be interested to hear what Quilter say, I have one of the Steelaire amp heads that have a volume problem, when I contacted them Pat Quilter’ s answer was “ crank it up” , hard to do when it is already cranked up. Up till that point I had been impressed by their customer service, but now I wouldn't buy another Quilter amp.I was playing with a fairly loud band, but the Steelaire would not cut through, so I reverted to my MB200, problem solved. The tone of the Steelaire was excellent , but sadly lacking in power. I did ask if they planned any sort of mod to rectify the problem but never received any reply, very disappointing. Think there was a few of us with that problem, while others said theirs would blow your head off. Good luck on sorting it out.
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 3:18 am    
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I always run my Quilter with both channels engaged and volume has never been an issue.
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Richard Lotspeich


From:
North Georgia
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 3:41 am     steelaire
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Malcolm,,I got the same response (I think) you did. "Not a high gain amp,but has lots of headroom. Dont be afraid to turn it up". I think it sounds great,but a definite lack of power. I have a loud bar gig this weekend and with a different guitar/pickup so we'll see. I just have to think SOMETHING in the production models changed on these sometime. Cant be that big of a swing in personal,volume level taste, after hearing all the good and bad comments. Living room with D10 Mullen,,Master 10, ch1+ch2 on at 7. Can even plug guitar straight in and not extremely loud. Too many people complaining about this for it NOT to be an actual problem.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 4:19 am    
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My quilter Steelaire had a ton of output power but very low gain. When I found out a had to run it with both channels in series I knew the design point had very low gain. The design thinking was: steel amps = low gain, guitar amps = high gain. The gain was far too low, even with both channels engaged, to drive the output to full power with any of my guitars or steels. Another effect of this was that it was hard to drive the amp into distortion, when desired, with guitar by lowering the master and maxing out the gain. There's just too little gain to work with. I don't doubt that many people would find the amp acceptable if they play at lower volume levels. Another problem with the low gain is that if you are a player that likes to pump the volume pedal for dynamic expression, this amp doesn't have enough gain to allow for that expression.
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Malcolm McMaster


From:
Beith Ayrshire Scotland
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 4:34 am    
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Richard , I was running channels 1+2 , gain at 8or9 , master at 10, changed to MB 200 using same speaker cab ( 15 Telonics speaker), difference of night and day. Sadly disappointed by Quilters response, or should I say lack of it. Tone is great power is 🤮
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