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  1. #1

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    I got the Quilter Superblock UK last Wednesday. Today I had the time to really play around with it. This thing is the real deal. I have it hooked up to a Toob Metro 6.5GP+ cabinet. You can really get a wide array of tones from this amp. The EQ controls are very responsive! This definitely is as loud as advertised at 25 tube watts. I had done a volume test with the Quilter master volume all the way up, using the gain knob at the volume and compared it to my Vintage Sound 35sc tube amp. Both were plugged into the Toob cabinet (not at the same time) with the volume knob at around 9 o'clock (in the case of the Quilter the gain knob). Surprisingly despite the Quilter being rated at 10 less tube watts than the Vintage Sound amp, the volume was roughly the same at 9 o'clock. Granted the Quilter has more high mids than my Vintage Sound amp, I have no doubts this thing can cut through a loud mix.

    What I really like is that this amp can get nice and bright and also the breakup meshes well with the speaker inside of the Metro 6.5 GP+ despite it not being a designated guitar speaker. For most jazz guys, you can definitely get a darker sound with this amp head. This amp head feels like a tube amp with it's subtle felt compression especially when you turn up the limiter knob. I'll be posting a video demo and review soon so stay tuned.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjang1993
    Surprisingly despite the Quilter being rated at 10 less tube watts than the Vintage Sound amp, the volume was roughly the same at 9 o'clock.
    The basics of amplification are key to understanding what you’re discussing. A doubling of amplifier power will only yield a 3 dB increase in SPL, and only if all other things are the same. The rotational position of the volume pots is not comparable or relevant unless all circuit parameters and parts values are identical - so “volume at 9 o’clock” does not mean anything. For example, anyone who’s ever played through a Fender Blues Deluxe knows that output level takes a huge jump at about 8 o’clock on the clean channel volume control. It goes from bedroom to ballroom in about 5 degrees of rotation. Factors affecting this start with the value and taper of the volume pot and the input sensitivity, ie volts at the input needed to generate the rated output power.

    The difference in maximum SPL between 25 WRMS and 35 in similar circuits is barely audible in loudness, except that it may push the point of breakup a bit higher to give a bit more clean headroom. Traditional SS amps have never generated the SPL that tube amps of identical rated output power could generate, for many reasons. But good current class D amps and selected other SS designs are now pretty much equal to tube amps with the same rated output. So it’s not surprising that a Quilter 25 watt head puts out as much sound as a 35W tube amp into the same speaker. The “extra” 10 watts don’t up the max SPL by more than 1 or 2 dB (which is barely audible at best) at full rated input voltage.

  4. #3

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    You many not be able to answer this but my main question comparing the two Superblocks (US vs UK) is which one has more clean headroom? From the original amps, I think of the UK amps as breaking up sooner, but what about these SS amps?

  5. #4

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    I have both, but they have never been switched on in the same room at the same time. Yet, my feeling is that the US version has more clean headroom, notably in the 57 Tweed mode. It has more midrange girth than the 61 and 65 modes. As well, adding Gain past noon does not add distortion in an abrupt way - no coarse sawtooth, just a little hair. Yesterday I played a nylon-stringed Yamaha NTX 700 through this amp and a Toob Metro 6.5FR cab. The sound remained fine all the way to the point when the guitar started howling. The acid test is how an amp-cab combination cuts through in a band setting. I'll be wiser after next week's band camp, where I'll take both 6.5" and 12" cabs, the SuperBlock US plus the BAM200 amp as a backup and for bass. The cabs have a 7 dB difference in speaker sensitivity, so the small ones do need a lot more power for the same oomph. Plus they spread the trebles wider. What I know already is that NY guitarist Greg Ruggiero has done an outdoor dance gig in Central Park with a 7-piece band, using the SuperBlock US and a 10" Toob in the 9 volt, 1 W mode. The solo is perfectly audible on a cell phone video clip which is otherwise so crappy I won't share it.

  6. #5
    Here's a video of the amp dialed in with the brighter sound I prefer.



    Here's a video of the amp dialed in with a darker sounding guitar and a more common darker jazz tone.




    This amp head is a good quantum leap ahead of the older Microblock 45. This amp head has the real punch tube amps have especially when you start to experiment with the EQ. The bass cut for taming the boomy low end on jazz boxes isn't as powerful as the one on my Vintage Sound 35sc (I believe the Quilter uses active EQ and the VSA amp is passive) but I don't really need it to be so long as I'm plugged into my Toob Metro 6.5GP+ cabinet. I've played through a Tonemaster Deluxe and I'd say I'd take this amp pairing over that combo amp for my own liking just because there is more treble on tap with the Superblock UK and it's a fifth of the weight. I seriously wonder if Quilter is going to eat into Fender, Vox, and Marshall's profit margins with how good their equipment today is sounding. I knew at some point solid state technology would catch up to tube technology but I never thought it would come this quickly in my lifetime at the age of 28. I'd say this Quilter head feels and sounds about 95% of that of a tube amp. It's hard to make a definite comparison as the only tube amp I own is a Fender styled one.

    As you can see from the videos, this amp can do a dark jazz tone and a brighter one too that I fancy. I've always found that I've gravitated to brighter guitar sounds with my arch top guitars as the chords I use time after time are clearer and have more definition than darker sounds.

    You could in a way, call the pairing of any of the Superblocks and any of Markku's 6.5 speaker cabs Henriksen Bud killers. I've played also through a Henriksen Bud and I personally couldn't stand how dark it sounded and I would take this amp pairing over any Henriksen any day, any time! (No offense to Henriksen amps, I know a lot of folks like em, I just like brighter guitar sounds).

    I'll be using this on a gig tomorrow, I'll have more to report on, and if I can, get some footage.

  7. #6

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    Very good! I've been undecided about which archtop to take to next week's jazz camp. It's going to be my trusty Emperor Regent. That guitar is still brighter than an ES-175 for example, but excellent for the comping role there will be plenty of, due to another guitarist (with ES-175) in the same band, plus the ever airtime-hungry vocalist. BTW, placing the Metro on the floor further enhances the bass end.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    BTW, placing the Metro on the floor further enhances the bass end.
    FWIW, placing any speaker cab on the floor will boost the bottom of its range by at least 3 dB. This is called the boundary effect and is largely from reflected sound. You’ll double the effect on the floor against a wall and get 3+ times the bass boost on the floor in a corner.

    The down side to this is that the reflected sound is a phase salad, so you lose some tightness and clarity as frequencies drop. But it also makes your sound bigger in the same way that some delay/reverb modes do.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    .....It goes from bedroom to ballroom ....
    I like that. We're talking about guitar playing, right? :-)

    I switched to Quilter about 4 years ago after almost 5 decades of Fender and Mesa. I love ToneBlock 202. It's like a Marshall stack in comparison to this little guy.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit;[URL="tel:1136211"
    1136211[/URL]]FWIW, placing any speaker cab on the floor will boost the bottom of its range by at least 3 dB. This is called the boundary effect and is largely from reflected sound. You’ll double the effect on the floor against a wall and get 3+ times the bass boost on the floor in a corner.

    The down side to this is that the reflected sound is a phase salad, so you lose some tightness and clarity as frequencies drop. But it also makes your sound bigger in the same way that some delay/reverb modes do.
    thanks
    you explain the physics so well
    and in your other post before too

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    FWIW, placing any speaker cab on the floor will boost the bottom of its range by at least 3 dB. This is called the boundary effect and is largely from reflected sound. You’ll double the effect on the floor against a wall and get 3+ times the bass boost on the floor in a corner.

    The down side to this is that the reflected sound is a phase salad, so you lose some tightness and clarity as frequencies drop. But it also makes your sound bigger in the same way that some delay/reverb modes do.
    Well said. A down side is also the different kind of floors of the stages in different clubs, ballrooms and outdoor concerts. Some are solid but some are so hollow and boomy that You are in trouble if You have Your amp or speaker on the floor. And if the FOH has the subwoofers on the stage floor everybody is in trouble.

    I struggled with this phenomena many years with different ways, tilted back legs, some plastic foam boards under the amp etc but only thing that has worked was an amp stand.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    only thing that has worked was an amp stand.
    Ever since I got the Little Jazz, I just use a bar stool

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I like that. We're talking about guitar playing, right? :-)
    Indeed! You were probably confusing “bedroom to ballroom” with the event initiated by going in the opposite direction. Both are wonderful features of playing the guitar. And as my wife and I are in our 50th year together, I can confirm the benefits of lifetime practice on one’s playing.

  14. #13
    So the Quilter Superblock has more than enough volume to keep up with a band a loud drummer in an indoor club setting. I sat in a jam session in town today and I had the master volume and the gain halfway up and was plenty, probably a bit too loud going through the Toob 6.5GP+. This Quilter head is LOUD especially if you turn up the treble to around 2 to 3 o'clock like me. On an outdoor gig, I could hear the amp really breaking up in a nice tube-like way but I was using the line out for the guy running sound. Looking back I should've had more sound coming through the PA's and have the amp work less. Outdoor gigs + sound guy PA = very difficult to get a good mix IME.

    I feel I made the right choice getting the Quilter Superblock UK, I feel like the US might not've had enough treble on tap for me.