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Boss Tube Amp Expander | Audio Examples

The following audio examples accompany my full review in Sound On Sound September 2019 issue: www.soundonsound.com/reviews/boss-tube-amp-expander

These three audio examples seek to demonstrate the subtler side of the Tube Amp Expander (TAE). There are plenty of very heavily distorted examples already out there to be heard, but I’ve gone for some tones that I think challenge the technology a little more. There’s a ‘singing’, articulate lead sound that still has good note definition, a warm and deep clean lead, and a more mid-focused, semi-clean sound that checks out the User-IR facility.

TAE Track 1 

  • Les Paul Custom, bridge pickup
  • Marshall 100W Super Lead (clone), vol on 6
  • Output stage: 4 x EL34
  • Resonance Z: H Mid
  • Presence Z: Hi
  • TAE cab: 4x12 Green/V30 (Celestion Greenback/Vintage 30 mix)
  • TAE mic: Dyn421, Medium distance, 5cm off centre
  • EQ: +1dB @ 500 broad Q
  • Room: Small
  • 1178 comp: Off
  • Delay: Analog
  • Reverb: Plate

TAE Track 2 

  • Telecaster, neck pickup
  • Mesa Boogie Mark IIb clean channel, channel vol on 6, master on 3
  • Output stage: 4 x 6L6
  • Resonance Z: L Mid
  • Presence Z: H Mid
  • TAE cab: 4x12 Green/V30
  • TAE mic: Dyn421, Medium distance, 5cm off centre
  • EQ: off
  • Room: Anechoic
  • 1178 comp: On, 6:1
  • Delay: Analog
  • Reverb: Plate

TAE Track 3 

  • Stratocaster, middle and bridge pickup combo 
  • 1968 Deluxe Reverb, vol on 6
  • Output stage: 2 x 6V6
  • Resonance Z: L Mid
  • Presence Z: H Mid
  • Cab: User-IR ‘Cel Blue 112 O R-121 Balanced Celestion.wav’
  • (Celestion Alnico, miked with Royer 121 ribbon)
  • EQ: off
  • Room: Anechoic
  • 1178 comp: On, 6:1
  • Delay: Analog
  • Reverb: Plate

I deliberately used the same virtual cab and mic setup for the very different amplifier sounds of Tracks 1 and 2 — I’d expect that to work perfectly well with ‘the real thing’ and indeed it sounds just fine here. For Track 2, I tweaked the load settings slightly by ear, added a tiny bit of the compressor and opted for the anechoic room setting.

For Track 3, the lovely Alnico speaker and Royer ribbon mic IR from the Celestion collection seemed to suit the vintage Deluxe Reverb, which was ‘singing’ quite happily into the dummy load using a classic 6, 6, 3 (Vol, Treble, Bass) setting. This one has been modded for variable neg feedback, which I have at zero for this example, hence the nice, touch-sensitive transition into clipping.

I deliberately stayed on the safe side with the reverb level from the TAE during, and added a little more, as necessary, from something very similar sounding from a Logic reverb plug-in during mixing. That doesn’t mean you are not hearing the TAE exactly as it sounds — one IR‑based reverb can be made to sound very much like another — but I wanted to mix the guitar louder than normal in these examples, and didn’t want them to be too ambient when they were a little ‘out of the track’. 

Backing tracks © Dave Lockwood/jtcguitar.com

Used with permission: www.jtcguitar.com

Published September 2019