Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's meant to be played loud

Well for today, a "problem" which every guitarist encounters, sooner or later. The problem of the "problem" is, it is not a problem for us. It's mostly viewed as a problem by others, same-space-shares surrounding us. It's the loudness. (Still can't see why this should be a problem..).

But anyways, it is as following: You have a great amplifier with a big box. It's in the technology of an tube amp that it sounds (much) better at high volumes. Because then the tubes get hot in their working point. And also the typical, searched, tube-sound is mostly a result of high volume.

Since 100W or even 120W are really loud, it is an impertinence, as people are saying, for longer practicing-periods. There must be some kind of a solution for both, the guitarist who needs (yeah really) the desired sound and the environment, which isn't that fancy about your sound anyways.

A quite simple and practicable solution are so called load-box. Or attenuators. A simple circurit designed to simulate a speaker and convert the most part of the Amplifier-Output-Power into heat. I guess this is a horrible process for green-people. But it's the sad truth. (Anyways even without such a load between the amp and the box, about 50% of the power are already lost in the amplifier mostly notable as heat. This has to do with power adaption.)

I also purchased lately such a load-box, which I wish to present here a bit. It's the Jettenuator from Jet City (Jettenuator), a quite inexpensive device for it's possibilities.





On the front, there are two knobs, the big for the "soaked power" and the small one for the volume of the Line Output. If you put the big one to "9" it has fewest effect, turn it to "0" and you'll hear almost nothing coming out the speaker output. But a bit more to this further down this post.

It is visible in the picture, that you can connect every usual impedance (4, 8 and 16 Ohm's). This makes the device very universal. Further there are three Outputs, a speaker out, line out and MicSim Out.

You can connect any box to the box out, without the need of a matching impedance (so it's said in a YouTube video from Jet City). This is also very handy, since you can use the attenuator as an impedance matching device.

The line out speaks for it self i guess. Note, you don't have to connect a box, you could use the attenuator as a stand-alone device. So if you're cold and freezing you could heat with it haha.

The MicSim can be connected diretly into a recording interface or mixer console. It uses XLR connectors. This Output will, as indicated in the name, simulate a guitar box. Also a nice idea, i use it for example as "second microphone". My Tascam has two XLR Inputs, so one is for a real mic in front of a real box, and the other input goes to the MicSim. In this simple way you've got a varied sound in one take.

A little bit to the downsides of this products.
First of all, it affects your sound, even when you have the big knob on "9". It says in the manual that, due to the circurit design, it always has a damping of -3dB. Well dosen't sound much, and also your impression won't be that much, but -3dB in Power means it's a reduction of 50%. Well this is in a way the idea of such a load-box, but it would be much nicer if the box had somekind of "true bypass". Because as soon as it is in the line, it will affect your sound.

To the sound in general, my impression is the sound loses some of it "directness" and is not so aggressive anymore. As far as i can tell by looking in the box through the cooling slits, only power resistors are used. I guess that's not a problem regarding the price of the box and the other features it offers. 
BUT in general you can't simulate a box (which is the goal of an attenuator in the end) only with resistors. A real speaker lives from the impedance and capacity it has. Also it is an impedance-load, in short, it changes it "resistance" with the frequency. So if you regard a speaker only as a simple resistor (same resistance for every frequency) you'll be disappointed with the output (well if you're a little bit audiophile..). Anyways, I claim that I can hear it's "only" resistance in the box. The direct sound coming from the MicSim is quite usuable, no doubt, but it is also very sterile and especially the highs are harsh. So you have to work on your tone.

ANYWAYS, it makes it possible to get the "tube sound" at reasonable volume levels, so what do you want more? It is not a studio-equipment piece, never meant to be, and thus is also explaining the price. 

I like this little guy for my uses. Fun fact: it really can get hot, very usuable to warm your hands ;-)

(Maybe i should add some recorded sounds for comparison?)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Year 2015

The year 2015, a little update..

Well it's been a long time since i wrote here a new entry. So, were am I now?

First of all, especially regarding my last post here, i quit my job on the 1. October last year. And until today, i didn't regret my decision. 
It began by reducing my employment to 80%, meaning i had a day per week free. This was also a good decision but not really a solution. After working exactly two years for the company, i went on to get more out of my time. Not only working and gradually hating each new day ;-)

The plans were to see the world, together with Julia. So we made a trip in the south-western USA, going for the national parks there. Our trip was about 4 weeks long. I guess i'll write more of that in other posts. 
Here it's just as an overview.

After the USA, we went for 3 weeks to Thailand. Since then i've been mostly alone for me, time for reading, thinking and playing guitar.

So that's my place in the world for the moment. 

Oh i've almost forgot to introduce my new "friend", one of the most useful things while traveling, my new poket knife:


Friday, February 14, 2014

There are not only disadvantages

with working..

So everyday you know what you have to do.. your time is limited, egro valuable.. and so on...

and also you're getting money.. mostly


money it self is not a good thing, in my opinion. But it's the same with quite everything in your life, it depends what you are doing with it.

In my case, for example, i used it to buy a new guitar.
Well i want to make clear, this was not a purchase of "because i can". This would by luxury, so no, not my thing.

My other guitar is a beautyful piece, and i like it very much. But somehow i came to some limits with playing it. It starts to hurt in my arms, so i wanted something new to try and to make this better.

Long speech.. where's the Guitar?



There it is.. beautyful isn't it?
A Jackson KV6, made in the US.

It looks quite similar as my old one.. well the reason is, i already liked it back than, so no need to conquer new land.

Funny remark, a year or more ago, i already wrote about a jackson guitar.. and my conclusion was not really flattering, but also not bad.. so now i'm back with a jackson haha..

First of all, this is a very fine guitar in every way and really worth the money. It is for the heavier kind of music, oh surprise, and it really has the look, the feeling and the sound for this.

For the sound i'll make an other entry, also describing technical details.

An other detail i like about this guitar, is the minimalism; there's one poti for volume and one three-way switch. Fine. More is not needed haha.

Since it's a signature series, there's the "T" from the "Trivium" Logo.. well i don't really know trivium, i listend lately a bit because of the guitar.. but i don't care about this. It's also not bad looking, so it's just there and that's ok in my view.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Switzerland

With the polls from last sunday, switzerland showed how the "people" really thinks..

The EU-Consultant from the US was right with "Fuck the EU".

The louder the class politique screams the more it is clear that this was a step in the correct direction.

It is time to revise aberration of many years and politicans in europe.

They don't get it, it is a war of cultures, it is about identity, roots and "being". 

Fuck their stupid ideas and ideologies of a united europe, with so much multi-kulti. It will not work.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Guess what

I am back

Well almost one and a half year since my last post.. i don't know i forgot about this blog.

There was a time i just didn't have the drive to write anything.. so instead of posting bullshit and force me to be creative, i just let it go.. 
And somehow it went into oblivion.. 

Anyways, the time moved fast, many things changed.

So for example, to continue with the ending of my last post;

I found really fast and easy a good job haha. It needed me only to send one application to find a empolyer who could offer me an interesting position.

Since October 2012 i'm developping electrical drives. My job is to develop software for microcontrollers. 

In my private live, i finally got to know somebody closer, whom i admired for a long time from a certain distance.
We are now happy together for almost one year. Since we share the common passion of travelling, we traveled a lot. And we do want to travel a lot more.

So in late summer / autumn i guess there will be again a change in my life. But this time it is chosen by me that way.

All this working day in day out.. well for some time, i can bear it. But there must also be other times again.. and they shall come, otherwise i'll go crazy..

I want to be free, and live life in an exciting way, and this is somehow not possible with a steady (good) job in an office.

Sure i learned much, but i also suppressed many parts of my freedom. This will not go well forever, so let's go back to the other side.

And maybe, i'll be more often back here to post about anything interessting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bethlehem

A week ago, i was in Trier, south-west germany at the border to luxemburg.
We were there for a concert form the band "Bethlehem".

It was about a 5-6 hour drive, but it's a very nice route.. the landscape is very beautiful there!

It was my last weekend as a "free man". The next monday i started my new job.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fast

Two weeks ago, at the end of August, i finished my Bachelor-Thesis. I think i made a good job.. but i'm still waiting for the grades.

Anyway, last wednesday i already had an jobinterview... i t was very interesting and the company offers a very comfortable work-climate.. 

yesterday i received the contract.. haha.. 
i'm starting on the first of october... finally a new chapter in live