Frequently Asked Questions
What do people ask us? Heres a few answers...
Review of GT-100 from Roland Corp.
22nd April 2012
A review of the GT-100 Effects Pedal. Does this GT-100 REALLY stack up where it matters - on the fretboard? or is it just another revamp of the GT-10? Check it out HERE its online right now.
Also the YJM100 Amp Head from Marshall amps here in the UK... a no holds barred review from Tony Mckenzie. Input also by Santiago Alvarez from Marshall Amplification.
DV-Mark Multiamp Amp Amplifier Review
1st May 2013
I just bought a DV-Mark Multiamp and a couple of 1x12 speakers designed to work with this amp for review. This is another emulator or simulator type of guitar amps.
Find out if this amp can topple the Axe-FX series and all the features that are built right in to the MULTIAMP such as a 500w amp for a bargain price! And does this amp deliver the goods?
Check out this review online ..take a look at the Multiamp from DV Mark and see the most in depth review to date on this product.
Satriani JVM410HJS from Marshall
4th May 2012
But not any more... Joe has revoiced the JVM HJS Marshall amp and here is the 'Inside and Out' Review
I also reviewed recently some old favourite pickups and show a demo of David White pickups for the Stratocaster. David passed away some time ago but he left a fantastic legacy if you can find any... Click here for David White Pickups
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I make my TriAxis sound like the Pro's I hear ... ?
- Where can I find TriAxis Downloads ... ?
- Why doesn't the TriAxis Download Program work on my PC... ?
- Who is Tony McKenzie... ?
- What is Tube Biasing... ?
- When can I see that Axe-FX review you did... ?
- It's a good question with many answers! FIRSTLY - the TriAxis can be set up with many different sounds - make sure that the sounds within the unit are what you like - a simple statement, but unless you know how to change them with memory dumps, then it's twiddle time on the front controls. Unfortunately that is probably NOT the way to do things - the sounds you hear will be dependent on the other items in your rack including the amp used. So what's the answer? Follow these steps to Nirvana sound (and I don't mean the band!) Buy the right Power amp for your sound - the best with the TriAxis is the Mesa Boogie 2:90. Most people get along fine with this overall sound, but you may not... but I guess you would. I have also tried various other amps including the massive Marshall 100/100, but that sound was more like a Marshall amp on steroids. Other amps like combo's etc dont really hack it. Download the sound up loader from this site and install it on your computer. This program was for win 95 - some people complain that it will not work on XP - but if you set it up correctly in 95 emulation mode it probably will work ok. Setup the midi cables to the TriAxis. Now download some presets and upload them to the TriAxis. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SAVED THE OLD SETTINGS FIRST! Now listen, listen and listen again to the sounds from the TriAxis. Find the ones you like best - there are literally hundreds to go through and all are worth the listen. I developed my own - and these took 3-4 months of work to get the sounds that I think are killer - do it the easy way - download from tonymckenzie.com and choose the pro sounds you need. Use the speakers you intend to use live when evaluating the downloaded sounds - the difference can be amazing. For example, I always use two cabs of the 1x12 250 watts type closed backs - this gives me a good lead sound live, but it may well not be your sound - remember smaller cabs = less bottom end! One last thing - it's unlikely that you will sound exactly like your favorite guitar hero, but you will come VERY close.
- TriAxis downloads are saved sound files that you can use to
upload to your TriAxis preamp. It's not a new idea - but saves
you months of work in developing sounds from scratch - the
TriAxis IS complex. See the previous question for more info.
- The TriAxis program was written many years ago when Windows
95 was the flavor of the month - but things in the computer
world move on at an alarming rate. We saw Windows 98, then
Windows Millennium, then Windows 2000 and now Windows XP - Bill
Gates really does have something to answer for here - most of
these operating systems are incompatible in one way or another.
For the program to work on XP systems you MUST set the program
to run under Windows 95 emulation mode - or it simply will not
work. Checkout www.microsoft.com about how to do this - it's not
difficult, but I don't have the inclination to support Bill - he
does not pay me!
- Tony McKenzie (not Richieblackmore.com, vai.org.uk,
jimipage.org.uk, yngwie.org.uk or many others) owns this
website. You might have found your way here by 'searching' for
one of the other names associated with this website - and for
that we make no apologies! This site - tonymckenzie.com,
triaxis.co.uk, bigdan.com (and others) is visited by many
thousands of visitors - because of these names and often because
people who visit this site come back to it time and time again.
It's rather like finding something by accident (well nearly) and
deciding that your find was rather good - and with links to
other sites from here you will be interested in some of the info
available. Tony Mckenzie has operated this site since early 2000
or thereabouts and when the site was launched it used to get
about 50 hits a month! But these days the site is enjoyed by
many and is even sometimes recommended by Mesa Boogie (so we're
told). Because Tony Mckenzie is a technical guy, you can benefit
from his experiences of how he applied his ability to problems
he encountered with different products while he was building his
sound canvas. You can also listen to Tony's music on this site
and hopefully you will like it - but if you don't - nobody minds
either way. Remember if just 1 person in 1000 likes the music -
Tony would be a household name - and so would you!
- Tube amps are a very old technology and are difficult beasts
to handle - especially if you don't know what you are doing.
Inside the power amp is typically voltages ranging from just 12
volts to 440 Volts+ in DC - which will easily kill you -
especially if you get electrocuted with both hands. You will see
the 'old' Television guys working with one hand in their pocket
- it's not because they enjoy themselves - it's to stay alive!
So - inside the power amp is a thing called a tube - or in the
UK a valve. Actually there's probably at least two, four, six or
eight tubes. Each 'pair' of tubes works (in the simplest way of
describing) like a route to the next pair - or in a push-pull
mode of operation. But these tubes need to have a particular
voltage set to the most efficient to drive the tube correctly -
this is known as the Bias voltage. Often there is a small
adjuster to change the bias voltage - not enough bias voltage
and the tube runs cold and does not distort well, too much bias
voltage and the tube will distort early (in a less musical way)
and reduce the life of the tube. So it's IMPORTANT to get it
right. There are many amps out there, and the bias voltages are
often very different for each amp - so a guess is not usually a
very good idea. Other problems exist - for example Mesa Boogies
don't use a pot or adjuster for bias voltage change - instead
they use a resistor. Mesa say that by using their tubes you
don't need to set a bias for the amp - just buy the tubes as
matched pairs or sets, plug them in and away you go (and away
they go with your money - they cost the earth in the UK). Of
course, there are amps which are easy to set - such as the
Marshall TSL series - these amps have a adjuster on the back of
the amp. You will need some way of measuring the voltage - and
the best method (and safest I have found) is to use a bias
master from www.tubeampdoctor.com - this will save you hours and
be completely safe if you follow the instructions. The
BIASMASTER unit from Tube Amp Doctor Measures BIAS current of
any 6L6GC, 5881, KT66, EL34, KT88, 6550 etc. in your amp.
Includes 4 octal probes (2x BMA2) and operation manual.
Last time I checked this unit cost about £100.00, but you can use it over and over again - and they sell just the sockets themselves (shown here is a quad set) so that you can use a simple volt meter to check your voltages of the bias of your amp. It's a good idea to check out the bias reasonably often to ensure the correct sound from your power amp - the difference can be amazing. Tube Amp Doctor also sells TAD Tubes - in my view these are as good as it gets - put them in a marshall amp and the amp is so different - it's radically better! Remember - the tubes themselves vary in quality - Tony only uses TAD tubes in his Marshall amp - check them out below. Our recommendation for Amps of Brunetti, ENGL, Hughes&Kettner, Mesa Boogie, Soldano etc. TAD has the remakes of the all times favorite 6L6 classics of RCA and GE. The TAD 6L6GC-STR is the perfect choice for the tone of the rock legends with powerful deep bass and clear but pleasing airy top end. The new 6L6GC-STR forwards the low end with pressure and has all the guts and bite to perfectly accomplish all the rocking sounds from R'n'R like SRV to modern NU-Metal and them live and breath. This TAD 6L6GC-STR combines the famous reliability of the American made Philips/Sylvania STR series plus the our beefed-up black-plate system like the highly regarded vintage RCA 6L6GC tubes. We joined best of both worlds! Silky top end combined with deep bass response and lots of headroom make this tube a living classic. The TAD 6L6GC-STR and the TAD 6L6WGC-STR have our exclusive black-plate designs, gold gird wire, double getter construction, no-noise filaments and 1.2mm thick heavy duty glass envelope.Along with the TAD 6L6WGC-STR (GE-Style) is this TAD 6L6GC-STR our recommendation for excellent tone and maximum lifetime among the 6L6GC type tubes.
- You can't. I took a decision not to promote that product or its company in any way basically because if the attitude of the forum and owner of that company. I have written many independent reviews over the years (indeed this site has been around longer than that company) and have never quite suffered abuse in the way they dish it out to me (one of their customers that paid £2675.00 for the privelidge). It's not that I'm a prude or anything like that... its just that I don't like to be called a 'chucklehead' by the owner of that company basically because (I believe) they disliked what I said in my review. Other companies have found my reviews good to very good (in their own words) and I have often worked with those companies to expand my reviews with REAL manufacturer feedback (checkout the Marshall reviews for example and the Sanyo Pedal Juice review on YouTube). So instead of being civil and discussing the review so I could add content in the written findings on my site they hurl abuse at me in a very personal way. I don't think thats right. In fact it's a great example of the exact way not to communicate - especially if someone wants me to listen. Needless to say, I don't listen to any site that promotes racist remarks, ageism comments, or indeed anything else that has been said by mainly nameless people who tend to hide on that particular forum. Just one guy on that forum was cool - the rest? Go figure... And I NEVER ever get influenced directly by any manufacturer because I would be just like the rest right?
It's a simple fact of life that we only have so many hours in the day. This is where you come in. If you want to contribute to this site, rather than just reading the content (and that's ok) why not contact us via our contact form and we can include content that can help others. Whether its some somple amp settings, more technical stuff or simply good tips for other musicians you should really tell us - who knows - we could make you famous :-)
Visitors have a huge number of questions that they need answers too. I
have considered a 'blog' before now (as well as a guest book) but both
suffered from the spammers (forums are out from the start) and I decided not to waste mine and your time
with any of that. It's no problem to contact me and Ill always respond..
One other thing - if you believe you have REAL talent then visit www.bigdanrecords.com and then email me - maybe we can help you get there.
I have placed on this site from time to time various links to products and services that I think are useful to guitarists everywhere. This practise will continue, but it will not be in your face hard work like many sites. The links are for stuff that I KNOW is useful to other guys, you don't have to follow them and you certainly would find the stuff useful - that's the reasoning for those.
And one last thing - if you like my music then BUY IT - the cost of writing, recording and everything else costs a fortune as many of you will know. Thanks for visiting this site and come back soon.