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supertzar

How to darkglass?

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I'm planning on upgrading my amp situation and lookin to try some form of darkglass. Mostly interested in the Alpha & Omega because the distortion seems super versatile and I like the sounds of it in almost every demo I have found.

The question is how to achieve this. I'm looking at two different possibilities roughly in the same price range. I could go with Alpha & Omega 900 or a combination of Quilter Bass Block 800 and Alpha & Omega Ultra.

With the Quilter I would have a simple amp with simple controls to fix the sound to the room and also the possibility to go ampless when needed, because the sound is mainly built in the pedalboard anyway. With AO900 I would have the simplicity of achieving about the same(?) sound with less gear. AO900 would also handle 2ohms so that simplifies the cab choices for any given situation.

What would you choose and why? Am I overlooking something obvious?

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Have you tried any of them? Beware buying on the strength of reviews or other peoples' opinions.

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I remember Dave Hollingworth (Darkglass Endorser) recommending seperate amp and pedals, because the EQ for the drive and clean channels are not independent, and so to have two seperates gives you more control over the characteristics of the drive.

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42 minutes ago, acidbass said:

I remember Dave Hollingworth (Darkglass Endorser) recommending seperate amp and pedals, because the EQ for the drive and clean channels are not independent, and so to have two seperates gives you more control over the characteristics of the drive.

That is definitely my preferred route and essentially for those reasons. In addition to that I can't afford a new amp. 

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All I will say is the AO is the best distortion pedal Darkglass do full stop for a variety of sounds - some form of it you won’t go far wrong

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1 hour ago, Cuzzie said:

All I will say is the AO is the best distortion pedal Darkglass do full stop for a variety of sounds - some form of it you won’t go far wrong

Agreed.

I don't have one anymore (alas) and I use my B3K for a touch of grit rather than filth. But if I needed a proper filth pedal again it would be the AO.

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11 hours ago, supertzar said:

With the Quilter I would have a simple amp with simple controls to fix the sound to the room and also the possibility to go ampless when needed, because the sound is mainly built in the pedalboard anyway. With AO900 I would have the simplicity of achieving about the same(?) sound with less gear. AO900 would also handle 2ohms so that simplifies the cab choices for any given situation.

Good summary of the pros and cons.

4 hours ago, acidbass said:

... separate amp and pedals, because the EQ for the drive and clean channels are not independent, and so to have two separates gives you more control over the characteristics of the drive.

^^ Yup fair point.

One other thing worth mentioning is don't overlook what's on the back of the AO900 amp. There are a surprising lot of goodies on there:

  • Two cab outputs so no need to daisy chain cabs
  • Both pre and post DI outputs available simultaneously 
  • IRs can be loaded
  • USB and midi connectivity 

And although you're unlikely to need in most situations the DG has even more headroom than the Quilter.

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Thanks guys. It's food for thought for sure. I kind of feel like I will be left wanting whatever the case. I do like the option of having external effects in the loop and having pre and post di in the same place to make cable routing easy on stage. And the AO900 comes in sexy red too...

But there won't be any real gigging anytime soon. I think it might be quite a bit more satisfying to just get the pedal and work with my practice amp and upgrade from there if situation so calls. IEM is a real option so it may well be all that is needed.

Edited by supertzar
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I've got the AO900 head and since it's arrival I've run it through a variety of cabinets (15/6, 1x12, pair of 1x12s, 2x12, 8x10) and am pleased to report zero issue.

Just remember that you can turn off the on-board distortion/bit/growl options and run it clean and, if need be, you can also just route outboard gear through the effects return and just utilise the poweramp side.

It does go (very) loud; I rehearsed in the big room at Brighton Electric last year, pushed it through an Ampeg 8x10 and doubt I went past a 30% output.  While desired tone is somewhat subjective, my only criticism is distortion circuitry takes a while to dial in and I've found that it responds very differently from bass to bass - if I was going the Sansamp BDDI/VTBASS/dUg, it would generally be a case of plugging in and my tone would be there almost immediately, but the AO900 seems to require a little more room to room tweaking than just going stompbox>powerstage.  The head also seems more adept/alive with active basses.

It's lightweight, easily fitting into one of those padded Gator 12x12x5.5" mixerbags (along with power/Speakon leads).  While I'm unsure of how full the box is (and given how small clip-on tuners are nowadays), the only thing missing is an onboard tuner.

 

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