DRRI deep dive

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by cqscqs, May 29, 2021.

  1. cqscqs

    cqscqs Gretschie

    Dec 8, 2013
    Thanks in advance for any of the sage wisdom from this board to the following question(s).

    I am playing a DRRI, with Mystery Brain, Monster cables. TV Jones pickups/Gent. Exclusively a Chet sound. I've had the DRRI for about 10 years, and took it in recently, and they checked and resoldered connections, replaced the preamp tubes. It sounds pretty good. I'd like to make sure I am getting the most out of it.

    I will say, I have the common issue of not being able to get it loud enough to make it really sing. If I turn it up to say 3.5 when home alone, great tone, but too loud. 2 is about my speed anymore (with the preamp on the MB set to basically even gain stage levels on or off)

    For my purposes (and I'm using my ears but would like perspective):

    Which channel is best (don't need reverb, with the delay on the MB)
    Which input is best, 1 or 2 (in either channel)
    What preamp tubes would you recommend (disregard cost for sake of argument)
    Anything else (within reason)?

    Thanks very much!
  2. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    For a cleaner sound, use input #2 of either channel
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  3. cqscqs

    cqscqs Gretschie

    Dec 8, 2013
    Thanks Tele295. Anyone else with any thoughts? It's got the Jensen speaker in there, which I could conceivably change too. Just looking for ways to get the most out of it. It has occurred to me it is simply too much amp for bedroom/project studio use and could probably sell it locally and get something else, but I've already got some money in this one...thanks again.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Only my personal opinion but if you have reverb and delay on your pedalboard channel 1 is always a good option.
    I favour Tung-Sol or JJ for preamp tubes. @Tony65x55 turned me on to Tung-Sol 12AX’s years ago and I never looked back. I do however prefer JJ’s when I use 5751’s. Be cautious if you decide to head down the pre-amp tube rabbit hole. Lots of ways to spend your money there.
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    The difference between INPUT 1 and INPUT 2 jacks is a built-in signal voltage attenuator of -6dB, using 68K and 1M resistors, commonly found on vintage BF and SF Fenders.

    That means that the sensivity (or gain) of the INPUT 2 is -6dB lower than the INPUT 1, hence a signal voltage ratio = 1/2.

    So if you are not in search of loudness but a more spreaded volume knob on your amp, then choose INPUT 2.

    And yes, the DRRI is very loud, due partly to its powerful, efficient and bright Jensen C12K speaker.

    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  6. Maxadur

    Maxadur Electromatic

    Feb 17, 2013
    Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
    Try turning amp volume dial to 4, or 4 1/2, and use the guitar volume to bring it down for the room. It seems to get the tubes cooking a bit more, resulting in a more full sound. I do this with my Deluxe Reverb Custom.
  7. cqscqs

    cqscqs Gretschie

    Dec 8, 2013
    Thank you everyone so far, I am chewing on all these (great) suggestions. My feeling/opinion is that Chet's sound wasn't all clean, there was a slight edge to it, not distorted certainly, but just a slight hint of breakup sometimes. That's what I'm after. I played a Fender amp in a music store a few years back, and I can't remember what kind, but it had a master volume. I got lucky and dialed it in and it sounded great. Using the preamp on the Mystery Brain, can I do the same thing somehow? Do I need a less efficient speaker? Thanks again.
  8. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    An inefficient speaker will certainly permit you to increase the gain without increasing the volume.

    After a bunch of experimenting with many different speakers in my DRs, I have settled (for now) with the inefficient (and inexpensive) Jensen C12Q.

    It's a 35w speaker that sounds excellent in a DR but offers a considerable reduction in volume, taking it down to about the level of a good Princeton but with the glorious DR tone.

    Interestingly, it is the speaker Fender chose for their very pricey 64 Handwired DR and is the standard speaker Marsh Amps uses in their blackface clone.

    It's worth trying out. Bear in mind it will take about 20 hours of playing to break it in.

    An attenuator is another option but I find some of them make the sound feel "forced" or something. I dunno, it's hard to describe.
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  9. cqscqs

    cqscqs Gretschie

    Dec 8, 2013
    That C12Q is tempting, not too expensive as you say. It seems like that vintage tone would be more apparent with that speaker. Thanks (and everybody so far), great ideas. I don't mind investing a little money on this, if I can make a measurable improvement on what is already pretty good...
    Tony65x55 likes this.
  10. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Not your real question but I'd look at the Tone King Imperial Mark II. Basically a blackface and Tweed (some would say better) amp with an attenuator built in. I play around 60-70db, clean to mid gain at home, can be a quieter with less gain.
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  11. GretschPraise

    GretschPraise Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    I have a DRRI also and after putting an Emi Allesandro in it, I can't even get it up to 3 out in my shop. I'm actually considering putting the Jensen P12Q back in it.

    I bought a PRRI a couple years back because the Deluxe wasn't making it past 2.5 for my church gig, so I was carrying way more amp than I needed. The Princeton is perfect (and sounds great with the correct speaker).

    Eminence makes a speaker where you can actually rotate the magnet in and out to attenuate the volume (the Maverick I believe) and a few have reported an acceptable tone when attenuated down. The DRRI is a great sounding amp, but it's more appropriate for playing clubs with a drummer. My ears aren't up for those sound levels anymore anyway.
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  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Preamp tubes never made any difference in mine. In fact, tubes had little to do with the resulting sound.
    cqscqs likes this.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    If you want to reduce clean headroom, you could replace the 820 ohm negative feedback resistor (R64) with a 1,500 ohm resistor.
    cqscqs likes this.
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