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Papa Gates' Schecter Hellwin Amp AMA

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Hey everyone, I wanted to start this thread so that if anyone has any questions regarding the Schecter Hellwin amplifier, I'll do my best to answer them. I'm lucky enough to be in possesion of @Brian Haner Sr. 's very own Hellwin Stage head and cabinet that he gave to me before he moved to the East Coast. I still don't consider it mine, as one day he, Syn, or McKenna may need it since there are a scarce number of them. But please ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

I also own a Schecter Hellraiser head that I will take questions for as well.

I created a separate thread for the Bogner amp shown in this picture, which was used on a few Avenged albums.




IMG_9054.jpeg
 
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Muz Malek

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This isn't really a question, but I wished they had made a combo version(15W,20W,30W) as well. It could've potentially been a long-running series too because the Hellwin 100W already sounded really amazing, what more a combo version.

____________________________________________
Check out my cover of "Beast and the Harlot" HERE !
In commemoration of 10 years of my guitar journey ;)
 
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Radu-Cristian Perde

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Thats pretty cool! I own one too and I mostly use it as a recording amp more than anything! I am actually curious with cool tips you could have about how to best optimize the sound and if you found like some really good settings that you could share!
 

[DELETED]

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Well okay, if the second A really means "Anything," then my first logical question is WHAT MADE YOU SPECIAL?? :cool:
I second Ed’s question. 😂😂

Yikes you guys are coming for my throat right away lol. I was in a band, and we did a song with Syn's sister, McKenna. I was the one that kind of facilitated the feature, and we were lucky enough to spend time with Papa Gates, Suzy, and McKenna. We stayed in touch with them and they were incredibly nice and generous to us. Papa Gates and Suzy were moving earlier this year, and I had gone to see them a few times before they moved. I had asked them both multiple times if they knew of anyone looking to sell a Hellwin or if they wanted to sell theirs so they knew I was interested. The timing was just right, and he made the tough decision to let it go since they were moving. He pretty much said if I helped them do some packing up, he'd leave the Hellwin with me. Papa Gates has tons of amps, and doesn't usually need an amp with that kind of power, so it didn't get as much use as he thought it would get, and he knew that I would use it and trusted that I would keep it, and keep it safe. They know I'm extremely grateful for it and that it's there's whenever it's needed.
 
Synner Endless Summer Collection

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This isn't really a question, but I wished they had made a combo version(15W,20W,30W) as well. It could've potentially been a long-running series too because the Hellwin 100W already sounded really amazing, what more a combo version.

____________________________________________
Check out my cover of "Beast and the Harlot" HERE !
In commemoration of 10 years of my guitar journey ;)
I agree, espcially since there was a combo version of Schecter's Hellraiser amp. There was a lot of potential for sure, but a lot of reasons why these amps were stopped being made. I don't want to throw Schecter under the bus because I do think they're a great company, but I think they dropped the ball a little bit and didn't look at things too realistically. But that's why Syn is looking to have a new and expanded series of amps that will kind of fill in the gaps and be more price friendly.
 
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[DELETED]

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Thats pretty cool! I own one too and I mostly use it as a recording amp more than anything! I am actually curious with cool tips you could have about how to best optimize the sound and if you found like some really good settings that you could share!
I need to spend a little more time with it, because everytime I turn it on, I put new settings and get to know it a little more. I was never much of a Marshall kind of guy, and this amp is similar to them in a lot of ways. For high gain tones, I generally like it boosted. Although it has a nice boost built in, I'm a tube screamer kind of guy and you can even stack the boosts. If you have any go-to settings, please share them with me!
 

Muz Malek

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I agree, espcially since there was a combo version of Schecter's Hellraiser amp. There was a lot of potential for sure, but a lot of reasons why these amps were stopped being made. I don't want to throw Schecter under the bus because I do think they're a great company, but I think they dropped the ball a little bit and didn't look at things too realistically. But that's why Syn is looking to have a new and expanded series of amps that will kind of fill in the gaps and be more price friendly.

Agreed. The amp really really sounded perfect, at least, in my opinion. I just felt that some features should've been left out as optional, such as the option for 6, 7, 8 strings knob, etc. I believed it could've cut down the cost by a decent amount. The potential was there, just that maybe might've been a little too ambitious. The Hellwin's great for live performances, no doubt, but a vast majority of consumers, a.k.a guitarists, still consists of bedroom guitarists(like myself haha). My ears were blessed when I got to hear them live in 2015.

Regardless, I'm so definitely looking forward to this new amp from Syn & gang! And hopefully, they'll have a combo version of it too. :rock-hand:

____________________________________________
Check out my cover of "Beast and the Harlot" HERE !
In commemoration of 10 years of my guitar journey ;)
 

Jesse Salmons

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Yikes you guys are coming for my throat right away lol. I was in a band, and we did a song with Syn's sister, McKenna. I was the one that kind of facilitated the feature, and we were lucky enough to spend time with Papa Gates, Suzy, and McKenna. We stayed in touch with them and they were incredibly nice and generous to us. Papa Gates and Suzy were moving earlier this year, and I had gone to see them a few times before they moved. I had asked them both multiple times if they knew of anyone looking to sell a Hellwin or if they wanted to sell theirs so they knew I was interested. The timing was just right, and he made the tough decision to let it go since they were moving. He pretty much said if I helped them do some packing up, he'd leave the Hellwin with me. Papa Gates has tons of amps, and doesn't usually need an amp with that kind of power, so it didn't get as much use as he thought it would get, and he knew that I would use it and trusted that I would keep it, and keep it safe. They know I'm extremely grateful for it and that it's there's whenever it's needed.
That is so badass man!
 

John Robinson

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Yikes you guys are coming for my throat right away lol. I was in a band, and we did a song with Syn's sister, McKenna. I was the one that kind of facilitated the feature, and we were lucky enough to spend time with Papa Gates, Suzy, and McKenna. We stayed in touch with them and they were incredibly nice and generous to us. Papa Gates and Suzy were moving earlier this year, and I had gone to see them a few times before they moved. I had asked them both multiple times if they knew of anyone looking to sell a Hellwin or if they wanted to sell theirs so they knew I was interested. The timing was just right, and he made the tough decision to let it go since they were moving. He pretty much said if I helped them do some packing up, he'd leave the Hellwin with me. Papa Gates has tons of amps, and doesn't usually need an amp with that kind of power, so it didn't get as much use as he thought it would get, and he knew that I would use it and trusted that I would keep it, and keep it safe. They know I'm extremely grateful for it and that it's there's whenever it's needed.
I loved the sound your band had
 

Ed Seith

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    I don't beat around the bush, brother. You say "ask me ANYTHING," and that's where my curiosity led me. Glad to hear it's in a good home. Papa and Junior are the Goods, and I'm sure McKenna is too. That probably means you're alright too, unless you're close with Johnny.
     
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    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    [DELETED]

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    Agreed. The amp really really sounded perfect, at least, in my opinion. I just felt that some features should've been left out as optional, such as the option for 6, 7, 8 strings knob, etc. I believed it could've cut down the cost by a decent amount. The potential was there, just that maybe might've been a little too ambitious. The Hellwin's great for live performances, no doubt, but a vast majority of consumers, a.k.a guitarists, still consists of bedroom guitarists(like myself haha). My ears were blessed when I got to hear them live in 2015.

    Regardless, I'm so definitely looking forward to this new amp from Syn & gang! And hopefully, they'll have a combo version of it too. :rock-hand:

    ____________________________________________
    Check out my cover of "Beast and the Harlot" HERE !
    In commemoration of 10 years of my guitar journey ;)

    I actually think that feature made a little sense, and likely wasn't too cost effective. If I recall correctly, that knob was designed for Schecter's Hellraiser, and then Schecter's president, Michael, suggested that they throw it on the Hellwin as well. It's just a potentiometer and likely some resistors and stuff. It's primarily just controlling the low end, which isn't that advanced. And it makes sense for Schecter's demographic since they sell a lot of baritone and extended range instruments with low tunings. I know Avenged usually sticks around Drop D, but their fans that play guitar likely venture into some metal in lower tunings.

    Papa Gates and I have talked about why the Hellwin didn't work out, and a lot of it was the cost. Fans of Avenged are usually a bit younger and therefore didn't have the thousands of dollars that this amp costed. If it were more affordable, a smaller combo, or even a minihead, it would've been much better and made more sense and many more Avenged fans could afford. The amp they released is for a more serious gigging or studio guitarist.
     

    [DELETED]

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    I don't beat around the bush, brother. You say "ask me ANYTHING," and that's where my curiosity led me. Glad to hear it's in a good home. Papa and Junior are the Goods, and I'm sure McKenna is too. That probably means you're alright too, unless you're close with Johnny.

    Respect!
     
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    [DELETED]

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    FUN FACT: The Hellwin was designed by legendary amp design James Brown, most famous for designing the Peavey 5150. James was working for Kustom at the time he was contacted about designing the Hellwin, and it's actually heavily based physically on the Kustom Double Cross amp (pictured below). The control layout on the front is extremely similar. Sonically and feature-wise, I think the Hellwin is based off a Marshall JVM. For more technical information on the Hellwin, you can listen to an interview with James Brown where he talks about the amp here.


    main_044a9673.jpg
     

    Ed Seith

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    Syn had said a couple times that the architecture was closer to the 5150, and in fact, the model he uses in the Fractal to imitate his tone is the 5153 Red 100w head. He'd probably have to weigh in, because I doubt I could fine that thread (it was way before the last site upgrade), but I do believe the tonal architecture and gain staging, of the dirty side of the head, was more 5150.

    But I've never actually PLAYED a Hellwin, so....
     

    [DELETED]

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    Syn had said a couple times that the architecture was closer to the 5150, and in fact, the model he uses in the Fractal to imitate his tone is the 5153 Red 100w head. He'd probably have to weigh in, because I doubt I could fine that thread (it was way before the last site upgrade), but I do believe the tonal architecture and gain staging, of the dirty side of the head, was more 5150.

    But I've never actually PLAYED a Hellwin, so....
    And, well, if the guy that designed it says JVM, then JVM.. It will take me a while to work through a 3.5 hour YT vid, though :) .

    I haven't heard anywhere that it's based off of the 5150, can you link me to that? I own 3 5150's and they sound nowhere near identical to the Hellwin to me, like polar opposite. 5150's use 6l6 power tubes and the Hellwin uses EL34, which that right there gives them pretty different sound off the bat.

    And James never said it was sonically based off the JVM but they do sound similar and have similar features. And I do believe Syn was using them right before the Hellwin was made.
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

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    I haven't heard anywhere that it's based off of the 5150, can you link me to that? I own 3 5150's and they sound nowhere near identical to the Hellwin to me, like polar opposite. 5150's use 6l6 power tubes and the Hellwin uses EL34, which that right there gives them pretty different sound off the bat.

    And James never said it was sonically based off the JVM but they do sound similar and have similar features. And I do believe Syn was using them right before the Hellwin was made.

    Whoops, just read that you're not sure if you can find the link. But if you can find something, please let me know.