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NAD - JGR's 6SL7 and 3000 watts of glorious headroom!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zoomie, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Last week I received my JGR 6SL7 driven pre (Reiner Amplification), fondly referred to as SN2 for Serial number 2.

    For those of you that haven't read his posts, Jonathan is one of those really smart guys that relaxes by building pre amps, speaker cabs, and God knows what else. Interestingly, he does this for fun, and does not appear Hades bent on doing this full time.

    I finally got to play the pre at rehearsal on Tuesday. We had sideways rain and 35 MPH winds. Everything had to be sealed in trash bags for transport because electrical devices and water dont play well together. I also had to invoke the "cheapest bass in the house gets the nod" rule so I took the FSR P in Antigua with Fralins.

    Since the power amp wasn't here, I had to steal power from the Streamliner. Plugged in and off we went. Had everything set at noon and was loud and proud in the mix. I loved the warmth with clarity !

    I think that the two biggest shockers for me were flat settings sitting in the mix and attack dynamics. With the pre set at FLAT or JGR's neutral tone, it sat in the mix perfectly. This may be the first pre (or EQ section on a head) that I have ever actually liked the flat setting. No scoop, no boominess, and no highs lacking personality. While I am certain that there is a learning curve of the Pre's true capabilities, and understanding that each room is different, I can't imagine having to stray far from noon. Check out the pic below to see how little I adjusted the EQ from flat settings to get my interpretation of Hark the Herald Angels Sing (and bump and grind). And our rehearsal space sucks in terms of EQ.

    When I did look to add or take away something in the EQ section, the controls are amazingly intuitive. Adjusting the Low Mids accomplishes what my ear perceives as low mids. A little more edge on the high end can be garnered be grabbing a bit of treble without it being overwhelming. A little more thump for a country song (Sigh........I know) by adding a smidge of bass. Personally, I am in shock with all of this after too many street fights with the cantankerous EQ of the Streamie.

    Attack dynamics came in to play. The first time we returned to a hard hitting swell of a song, I dug in as I normally do. I about drowned everyone out. Between speaker response on the BNA Audio Greenboy Dually, and whatever JGR's circuitry did, it sounded like I all but doubled volume, or, started beating on the bass. A little gas goes a long way to avoid being placed on Limiter restriction. I made the adjustment quickly. It's not so touchy that you have to focus on it, but I noticed that I didn't ever have to fiddle with my bass volume. Built in volume pedal !

    Yesterday afternoon, the power amp came in. I have had a fit trying to decide how to power this thing. I read specs for days and still couldn't decide how much weight I am willing to carry regularly. With that said, I have temporarily gone with a Carvin DCM3000L. A good starting point without gambling 1500.00 on a power amp and deciding I don't like schlepping big iron. Unless the DCM somehow sounds horrific, I'll run it for a few months until I make a decision.

    So tonight I get to run clean power versus stealing it from the Streamie. And I am going to see how the Ding sounds and if it can hang in a harder rock environment.

    Tuesday night's set up. AKA rehearsal porn gear shot sent to Mark at BNA. A parent can never see too many pictures of one of their children, correct?


    Here's JGR's pre tucked in to a 4 space with the DCM3000L. I havent weighed it yet but I am all but certain that it is under 30 pounds.


    Why 3000 watts ? Headroom. Well that and the fact that the next time some drunk guy comes up to the stage and asks if we know Freebird, I will dime the power section & Master and send him to heaven when he takes a speaker cone to the melon.

    Really excited about yanking on the Dingwall Super J5 tonight through this rig! Um.........that sounded a little bit dirty.
  2. You rotten SOB! Why must you tempt me with such a Pre...

    I am seven shades of envious.
  3. sam adams

    sam adams

    May 21, 2009
    Sexy. Interested in that DCM3000L. Hope it sounds intense.
  4. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Wasn't trying to make anyone jealous. Just thought it would be of interest as it's not necessarily a popular choice.

    Can't speak for anyone else, but it is nice to talk about/see different things from time to time. :)
  5. And then re-reading you talk about your DSJ5 through it... Maybe I need to take a road trip with my '66... for purely research reasons... :ninja:
  6. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Me too. I am not necessarily happy to be using a bargain power plant to drive the pre. Still, it seemed like the cheapest gamble. We can always relagate the Carvin to PA duty if I dislike for any reason.
  7. Dont worry for a bit. The Carvins, Crest proLites, and even Peavey IPR's are a great product.
  8. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Mark and I are having a gear geek day some time in the next couple of weeks at his place. We are also having a GTG in Morristown the first week in April.

    Load up your crap and come on !
  9. Sliderbass

    Sliderbass Dr. Bass, The best cabinet you'll NEVER own!

    Who's to say that a heavier one will sound any better? Carvin takes a beating just because they don't have as much snob appeal as the others but they happen to make some really good stuff(and that's coming from a snob...).

    I'm sure that rig will sound amazing! I'm somewhat jealous that you have one of the new preamps. It has some pretty cool stuff inside that box... Enjoy!
  10. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    I dont disagree with you. My only concern was that I read of some failures early on for the 3000. I have seen nothing recently. Had I thought it was a true crap shoot, I would have gone in another direction.

    Jonathan is pretty picky about how these are specced. He's using bearing shims for washers just because he prefers them.

    I know that he did some pretty serious tube rolling with the prototype, including some expensive NOS RCA's.

    I sent him an email and asked for his tube recommendations. I was prepared to go chase the good stuff.

    He sent me an email back explaining that he was uncomfortable speccing with anything other than his favorites. He dug in to his secret tube stash versus sending the unit out with some more recently built and perfectly acceptable.

    While I can't speak for JGR, this may be why he doesnt spend all his time building. Parts availability or available preferred tube stock could force him to make build compromises if he was cranking these things out. Just a wild guess on my part.

    Boxes for tubes in SN 1 owned by TB'er Foz, and this pre.

  11. Sliderbass

    Sliderbass Dr. Bass, The best cabinet you'll NEVER own!

    I know how he operates. I've had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in his bunker! I think my ears are still ringing!

    I have one of his other preamps, you know, that OLD design with the single space case and all of that OLD garbage in it(the best sounding preamp I've ever used btw...) so I know how he rolls for sure. You're gonna love that preamp in a live situation! Can't wait to hear your comments!
  12. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Oh heck, I just recognized your user name. My apologies for preaching to the choir.

    Um, I wouldn't exactly call his single space design "old garbage." rofl I had orginally tried to get my hands on one but I was too late and he was busy working on something else in that diabolical lair of his.

    When the sound clips showed up for the 6SL7, I had a conniption. Fortunately, he took pity on me and there is no longer reason for me to cry myself to sleep every night, pining for tone !

    Our next confirmed gig isn't until May. In the mean time, I'll have fun torturing our guitar players at rehearsal.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    I like the way you think, good sir!
  14. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    Ya - I also find Jon's EQ design intuitive / does exactly what you think it should.

    Have you used the DI yet?
  15. Sliderbass

    Sliderbass Dr. Bass, The best cabinet you'll NEVER own!

    Well then, let me be the first to step up to the plate! I officially volunteer to help "break your new preamp in". You know, get those electrons flowing! Waiting until May has been proven to be detrimental to the overall performance to your gear so I’ll be more than happy to exercise it for you at no charge!

    OK…..I took my meds now….. feeling better. ;)
  16. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Negative, sir. Since you have SN 1, I look up to you for thoughts and commentary.

    Our next gig requiring FOH support won't be until May, followed by another the 7th and 8th of June.

    We had studio time scheduled to do a cover demo but had to push it back until May as we are working in a second guitar player.

    So basically, I won't have any real use experience until then.
  17. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    You're welcome to fondle my pre any time, although something tells me that you have already had your way with the prototype.

    that's just in a true performance setting. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on opinion, rehearsal volume is loud enough that I have to drive to Asheville next week to be fitted for Westone ES49's.

    Somehow I have managed to avoid any excessive hearing loss after all these years, and at this point, I am guarding it dearly.
  18. Sliderbass

    Sliderbass Dr. Bass, The best cabinet you'll NEVER own!


    After every gig, I hear my band-mates all complaining about their ears ringing. My favorite answer is "not mine". I’ve been wearing ear protection for the last 12 years and won’t do a gig without it!

    Yes I did get some time with one of the new design pre’s but I’m pretty sure it was Foz’s. I don’t think Jon had any others in progress the last time I saw him (late Jan / early Feb).

    I love mine! It’s been rock solid and I’ve baked and froze it on different occasions. Those outdoor gigs can be killer but it’s never missed a beat. The ONLY thing I wish mine had that yours has is tuner mute. I know, a stupid little thing but I missed that feature at first. I’ve since worked around but it was on my list of nice to haves.

    I may still get one of these. I'll have to figure-out what I can do for him to get one. I offered to gig test his new cabinet but no reply yet...

    I wonder if cash would work....:bag:
  19. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Cash does NOT work. I tried. I don't recall even asking what it cost until it was on the build table. I even tried to pay in advance. Jon would have none of it.

    Nope, cash definitely won't work. Put your head together with Mark at BNA. He is currently scheming as well. Maybe a two for one approach, or , you beat him up in stereo. :ninja:

    You can always take him hostage and chain him to the bench, telling him you won't release him until he builds one. The problem with this approach is that he would just get mad and build some poison pill in to the pre which would render it useless after so many hours of play. :D
  20. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification

    And dig my handy tile work and custom transition strip... it was quite the PIA!

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