10 Jan First thoughts and impressions on my TSR GT #018 ( Update with advice and a Strat + 1st audio file )
Hello fellow SD members !
I am the lucky first who got to play his unit on this day, 10th of January 2014. I didn’t sleep much to be honest… Excitement all over my body; woke up at 7:30 ready to receive it 😆 . It arrived precisely at 10:39 am ( I’ve never opened a front door so quickly ), but I couldn’t play it until 11:45 ( had to help a friend of mine with university stuff, if you wonder,a girl… yeah girls right ? 😆 )
Franz kindly asked me if I was willing to make a review of my TSR, and the least I could say was ” Yes, of course “. After all Franz has done for us lately regarding the TSR project I had to say yes, and it’s an honor for me to do this !
So I walk into my room, put it on top of my Marshalls and take a quick picture for Fil & Franz. ( Pics will be posted here too ! )
Let’s start the review then :
First the look ! It just looks so badass having this little tower on top of two Marshalls. Sure the plexi proto was damn cool, but THIS IS IT ! Looks so damn cool. I could look at it for hours, I am right now actually 😆 !
Soundwise now :
I used 5 different guitars and 3 different amps, and the results are amazing, will get to that in a few lines.
Started on my 1959 from 1976 with my VOS Angus Young. Settings were: P0 B6 M3 T3 Volume ( Started at 8, finished at 4 ). TSR was set halfway on compression and boost. First A chord : ” WHAT THE … IS THIS ?!! ”
Guys, believe me, I have never played something so powerful before. When you all play your first chord, do it without the TSR, and then you engage it, you’ll see what I mean. It’s like a wall is hitting you, but for the first time of your life you’ll enjoy a hit ! Cleaned back on the amp a bit, also on the TSR ( 10 o’clock for the compression and 11 for the boost ) and I came pretty close to what Master Fil has been looking to nail for years, the BiB tone ( if you wonder about my amp settings, it’s because of the pickup in the guitar which has way too much mids and treble ). The more I played, the more I loved it, but I had to take a break for a minute, to swap the guitar.
Next on the line was a VOS 62 Ri with 57 Classics from the custom shop. EQ from the pickups is pretty much the same as the modded Pearly Gates from the AY, but with even more output. And then ” BOUM “. A blast, really a blast playing it. Settings on the amp stayed the same through the whole time: Volume 5
The clarity in the sound is more than impressive. You keep all the clarity from your amp, it stays with you, your sound stays the same actually, it just gets a lot more bite and balls ! And it makes you play easier. Believe me or not, it really does.
Third guitar was my beloved 94 SG Standard, fitted with Manlius T-Tops, which a few of us here at SD.com got !
You curious how it sounds ? So was I… and the result ?
Even better for my taste. There was vintage sound all over the place ( all over the street actually 😆 ). I love these pickups. They got such a well balanced EQ, smooth and clear sound, combined to a 1959 it was a blast, combined to a TSR now too, forget it… It’s a dream, a real dream. Guys, tell your girlfriends and wives you won’t have much time for them in the future…:lol: ! The TSR stayed pretty much the same for the 3 SG’s, I cranked it a bit more on the boost with the 94 Std to see how far it goes… yeah… it goes far and well, like the Rock N Roll Train ( also as loud actually ).
4th guitar: a 2012 LesPaul Traditional fitted with standard Pearly Gates. This is a newer guitar with kind of PAF’s, but rocks down your pants as hard as the three SG’s ! TSR + 1959 + LP = instant love ! These thin solos are past now, welcome to the big, fat, juicy and ballsy solos I wanted ! Clarity is there, you can still hear every single note out, even with the TSR pushed at the maximum !
Now one of my favorite tones of the day: 1990 stock LesPaul Custom, settings again the same except for the volume, rolled back at 4. I remember telling André ( JaiminhoPagina ) that it was almost an instant Jimmy Page sound plugging the LP into the 1959, and it is indeed, but there was something missing. Some fatness, balls ( Jimmy used echoplex to do most of this ) and I now do it with the TSR. The sound was perfect, it really was perfect. The clarity, drive, cleanish, ballsy, fat for solos, it was simply perfect. My dad asked me over FB how it sounds, my answer: 1959 + LP Custom + TSR = Rock N Roll Dream ( I just copied it from our FB chat ). I couldn’t want more coming out of this amp, the TSR turns a legend into even more, hard to describe guys.
Just for fun I cranked the amp up to 10. EVH says hello ! 😀 ( little note: 1959 has a master built in )
So after the 1959 I had a little break, pizza time 😆 !
Okay break is over.
I mentioned earlier that I was trying it out on three amps. Second amp is also ( of course ) AC/DC related, a 1979 2203 ( I’m a spoiled brat right ? ). Had this amp for 11 months now, and I rediscovered it today. The most amazing thing though is, it reacts in an other way to the TSR, not so sensitive, which proves that the 1959 and 2203 are two totally different amps ( so I’m saying if you have to choose between a 1959 or a 2203, just take both, makes it easier 😆 ).
Only 3 guitars for this one: 1. Angus Young VOS 2. 1994 Standard 3. 1990 LP
Settings stayed the same all the time except for the pre ( from 4 to 8 ) : P0 B5 M4 T4 Master2
Guys, seriously… eargasm. I’m not kidding. Instant Powerage tone. TSR was set at first compression 10 o’clock, boost half. Preamp from the 2203 7, “Up To My Neck In You” was there. Generally I don’t say that, because I always find something to argue on, but not this time… I can’t remember the last time I started playing a song with a big smile on my face… cant’ remember, but I’ll remember this day for sure !
We all know that the 2203 has this typical rawish sound. Well with the TSR, multiply that 20 times at least, and it is what you get…A completely different sound from the 1959, to me at least as pleasant. I was just blown away by how incredible it sounded. I’m not doing this all here for Fil or Franz, because I promised them to tell the truth about the TSR, and this is the truth. <3
Gone almost full on the boost to see how it could sound, I had an overdose I think. Played ” Overdose ” and loved it, crunchy, thick, sounds like a cranked to the limit 2203 😀 !
Next on was the 1994 SG with the T-Tops ( gone at 6 on the treble )… okay guys, how should I say this… Hard to believe but, you know this tune ” Highway To Hell ” ? Exactly, you’ll never be as close to this sound as with the TSR. One more magical moment when you strum 3 times this A chord. I can’t describe it ! It’s powerful, clear, precise all at once, it’s what not what you expect from it, you are getting much more than you’ll ever expect.
Last on this amp is the 1990 LP. This time I’ve set the pre on 8 and the TSR up almost on the max. POWER guys, BIG FAT POWER. Recommend this for solos, might be even too much for rhythm stuff, but for hard rock solos, awesome.
The TSR reacts really good with the preamp of the 2203, it’s a combination, it’s the perfect combination, once more 😆
So, done on Marshall, but I wasn’t done for the day, nope… Fender Blues Junior. Yeah you’ve read correctly, a Fender Blues Junior.
I was curious to how the TSR would sound on something a lot different. And you too I guess, because the TSR is not only for AC/DC. I’ll let my guitars plugged in the TSR 90% of the time now believe me.
So Blues Junior and 1990 LP. Settings: R7 B7 M4 T5 Volume 4 Master 2; TSR compression 10 o’clock, boost going from 10-12 o’clock.
I don’t know if you guys ever cranked up a Blues Junior at the max, I did it once and it is really a great sound. It’s Rock N Roll all the way actually, something you wouldn’t expect from a Fender amp. But with my settings it was really clean. Click on the footswitch, bääääm ! TSR on, you think you’ve cranked your BJ at the limits, but no… cranking up the volume on it and you have a pure rock sound. I was impressed, really impressed. The TSR turned a Blues Junior into a hard rocking amp, on which you could easily play some DC, Zeppelin, maybe even EVH.
Rolled back the boost and got a nice blues crunch, with the only difference, present and thick sounding solos. The magic of the TSR, it is on any kind of amp, really… I did two different worlds, Marshall vs Fender, and loved both.
So this part being done, here comes something I noticed, and expected to hear.
There is a lot of hiss when the TSR is on, nothing to worry about, it was the same with Angus back then, and it is the same with Fil right now. One way to get rid of the hiss is to put a noisegate in the chain ( they didn’t have it back then ). Other way, which is delivered with the GT, the footswitch, a genius idea from Fil&Franz. As soon as you are finished playing hit on the switch and all is gone .
So this would be my review from my first two TSR-hours. I hope you guys can imagine something through all this. Unfortunately no sound demos, since I don’t have proper recording gear, but thanks to tips Fil gave me yesterday I might do this some time soon !
My dad loves it too btw. His face when he first heard it… priceless guys, I tell ya 😀
Thank you notes
Mr. Schaffer, thank you for creating such a cool thing back then, and thanks a lot for allowing and helping us to achieve something so magnificent now !
Markus, the tech behind the TSR, who’s done all the schematics, CAD drawings, entry production, and much more. Visit this little genius here : http://www.markussvarc.at
Huge respect for Jake, who’s done a superb job on the design of these babies and the manuel, bravo my friend !
A big thanks to Franz for his work in the past months, which hasn’t been easy at all. He packed the TSR perfectly, very robust, so that nothing could happen to my TSR. So guys, don’t worry at all about this, it is perfectly done ! BIG RESPECT for this Franz, you earn it !
And of course Fil, for giving us this opportunity. This opportunity to have such an amazing piece at home ( talking about the GT and pedal ). Fil, you are one of the greatest guys I know, you know I really mean this, and it’s hard to describe how much I respect you ( it is as hard to describe the sound of the TSR 😆 ) . Love you brother !
A BIG THANKS to YOU from all here, you are/will make/ing a lot of guitarists happy with this my friend
The the future owners: Prepare yourselves for some serious shit guys, you won’t be expecting it to be this great haha ! Enjoy your TSR and long live SD.com ! RNR
* Update one day later !!
So, one day later, controlling ” The Beast ” ( that’s her name now ) a bit more.
Two friends past today, two with Strats actually ( and I, idiot forgot to record something … ).
A Strat on a 1959 sounds amazing, we all know this, that legendary twang we all somehow want. We tried it first without the TSR, awesome sound, really, loving it, bluesy, funky, THAT crunch ! TSR on ( both settings 9 o’clock to start slowly ). OH MY FREAKING ROCK N ROLL GOD ! Guys I’m not lying, but the TSR makes me want a Strat… Me on a Strat ( ask my friends, the last guitar I actually would play is a Strat 😆 ) . It is just, I don’t know, can’t describe it. You guys looking for some fat Hendrix ? THIS is it ! Really … Both of my friends were blown away, might even contact Franz for a pedal ! I literally rediscovered my 1959 and the TSR with a Strat. So present, and so fat sounding, never heard a Strat sound like this. Channels on the 1959 were patched, Vol 1 on 3, Vol 2 on 4. It was great, very responsive to our playing and to the volume knob on the guitar. The thin, often too thin sounding solos on Strats are PAST now, this is past… The future looks like this: ANY amp ( really ANY amp ) + TSR + Singles/P90/Minihumbucker/Humbucker = LOVE. This will just give you something you want, something you didn’t expect. And you have so many possibilities to adjust your tone.
So Strat users here, Are You Ready For A Good Time ?
Let’s come to some advice I want to give you.
The TSR is VERY sensitive to your playing, and also on her knobs ( Her, because The Beast is beautiful, sexy, rawing, listening to you, and giving you what you need and more 😆 ) .
1. Put your guitars maximum at 7 on the volume. It reacts a lot to the guitar volume. On 10 you get a whole bunch more on compression, great for solos, might be too much for rhythm. So this makes you work with your guitar volume !
2. Put your gain/volume ( depending on the amp ) max at the half. As I wrote yesterday, the TSR is very very powerful and sensitive, so start off slowly, if you want more just put more. Same with the EQ, just put all on half, play a few chords and you will adjust it then.
3. The TSR: My advice, put both knobs at 11 o’clock for a start. Then adjust them and combine them in different ways. Let’s say compression 3 o’clock and boost 11. You might like it ( I love it ), but then try it the other way round, just to listen how the frequencies will change. Actually, putting more on the right knob won’t give you very much more boost, but might give you some more bass and clarity ( yeah I know, crazy right ? ). There are literally tons of different sounds you can get out of it… Really amazing, and once more, the most impressing, you keep your classic amp tone, it’s the same, but just pushed way out of this universe !
4. Not really an advice, but put use some variations and different kinds of combinations to hear first all you can do with the TSR. There are a lot of possibilities with this thing. You will freak out at the beginning, I freaked out 4 times in 2 days… so no worries guys, it’s totally fine ! 😆
Look at this… Looks so familiar doesn’t it, we can’t see the difference between a SVDS and a TSR from this angle, and not hear it 😆 The way the cable goes into the back of the SVDS, exactly the same on the TSR GT. 1 to 1
Coming soon: TSR on an Orange OR15 + 2×12 cab loaded with G12H30, also using a delay, phase, wah and one more overdrive, curious to hear the result. Letting you know as soon as I did it !
Saxoism asked me how the TSR would sound at very low volumes, so I snapped my TSR from the JMP’s and put it on my JCM 800 1 watt combo. I took my phone and recorded something very quick. Please forgive me for this really crappy playing. I promise there’s more to come, and way better actually 😆 ! Had no sleep at all, but I know that’s not an excuse 😉
[jwplayer config=”Standard Player” mediaid=”10181″]
Started with no TSR, when I engage it you’ll hear it out. Settings on the amp were: Master 2 and preamp 2. For Hells Bells 4 and BiB solo on 10 just to show you how it reacts. Guitar was my 62 Ri SG
This is JUST to show you how it is on very small amps, and note that it’s recorded with my phone. Better stuff is on it’s way to you folks ! ( PS: @ Fil: If they don’t like it I blame you 😆 )