Now that I have done a little experimenting with using an extension speaker cabinet in place of the built in speakers on my Bassbreaker 18/30, what did I learn?
I don’t know.
First, as expected there wasn’t a ton of difference in volume. The 18 watt channel, with the volume as low as it could go and actually produce sound, through the two built in speakers was peaking at around 103 decibels. Surprisingly, the 30 watt channel, under the same circumstances, was peaking at about 101 decibels. Through the 1×12 extension cab the 18 watt channel was peaking at about 98 decibels and the 30 watt channel at about 97. So quieter, but not enough to make a difference.
Both channels sounded really nice while plugging in direct and going through the extension speaker. Maybe not quite as nice as through the two 12 inch speakers, but it was good.
When I started pushing with pedals everything changed. The Ryra Klon clone into both channels sounded pretty good, though super trebly through the 30 watt side. I have made that complaint about this amp before. The 30 watt channel is SUPER toppy. With the Ryra it was noteworthy but I tend to keep the treble high on that pedal anyway. I turned it down some and it was a smidge better.
The Ryra was set with the overdrive very low so it was mostly a clean signal. When I kicked on the Malaise Forever Black Lives Matter on the 18 watt I had a pretty rockin’ distortion level but it wasn’t all that great. When I switched back to the 30 watt channel it sounded like garbage. It was fizzy and thin and it sounded like I had all of the bass and mids off and the treble cranked. I didn’t. I had the treble set to about 1, the mids set to about 7, and the bass at about 9. I turned the Ryra off so it was just the Malaise Forever and it was a little better, but not much. I ended up turning the treble on the amp to 0 and diming the bass and mid, and then turning the tone on both overdrive pedals to about 9:00. I switched back to the 18 watt channel and fudged with the tone pots on the pedals and found something decent, but the whole idea of using this amp was to have the 30 watts worth of headroom.
I then switched out the Malaise Forever for the Wampler Plexi Drive Mini and it still made the high pitched hum that it had when it was going through the two 15 watt amps, but that is due to the shitty power supply I’m using. Playing it with the Ryra and through the 18 watt channel was much better than it had been through the 15 watt amps. That little increase in headroom helped a lot. If I played power chords down low on the neck I still had some of that over compressed mushiness I was bitching about during RPM, but for the most part it was better. I switched to the 30 watt channel and all of that compression was gone. Granted, it still sounded like toppy dog shit. Ugh.
So what did I learn. I learned that if I want to record with the 1×12 extension cab bypassing the built in 2×12 then I will probably have to rely on the 18 watt channel. Once the little speaker soak attenuator arrives I will hopefully be able to crank up the 30 watt channel a ton and maybe get a less shitty tone without blowing the roof off of the house. I know I sounded very trebly when I was using this amp with Lizardfish, but it wasn’t this bad, was it?
I think the final lesson may be that I just miss my Deluxe Reverb even more than I already knew. Oh for the end of the ‘rona.