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First Amp?

Fred Bear

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My first amp was a cheaper Roland Stack, 30 watt Cube. Though it could get pretty loud by itself, a feature on it I liked was the Power Squeezer button for when you want the same loud distortion from the amp, with just less volume (nice for if your parents are asleep and you want to play Metallica or Black Sabbath [biggrin] ) I'm looking to possibly get an Orange, due to them having good reviews. But I am definately in need of a new amp soon. What about you guys?

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You're new, so probably are guessing a bit where and how to get your question out.


I'd recommend the Gibson Lounge and/or the Epiphone Lounge.


The thing with amps, even among guys seeking the same sound, is that there are so many and so many variations and power levels and...


... that you'll hear lots of different responses.


Personally I look at such purchases first as how the amp is going to be used, not first at "tone." Is it gonna be miked or run through the board some other way? Is it part of a stage "look" as much as anything? Are you just gonna have it blasting your back at leg or chest level hoping the audience hears a mix 'stedda you and/or even louder guys in the band? Etc.


Today's amp choices, as well as guitar choices, are incredible compared to when I first started playing rock and then electric "Country." The potential of a tight "band" sound is a thousand percent better today - IF we work for that as our major goal.


I think "we" nowadays need to consider the sophistication of our whole variety of possible stage sound setups. Personally I think matching it all makes better sense than buying an amp for its specific attributes and the player's pocketbook. A band's sound is a synergy that should be greater than the sum of its parts, and I am convinced that "we" have this horrid tendency to think of ourselves and our personal wants more than what works in an ensemble.


Then again, I'm also old and grouchy. <grin>



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  • 1 year later...

my first amp was a 15 watt Crate. My friend borrowed it from me and refused to return. Currently i using a Marshall VS30R, it is my second amp,i have only 1 guitar amp. Hope to get a Gibson amp one day. Just bought a Gibson flying v bass, no bass amp yet, planning to get a Vox pathfinder 10 bass amp, the price is affordable and it is a well known brand.

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Hi Fred, the choices are many and varied as said...


As well as Roland Cubes, there are Vox Valvetronics with good 'built in' sound models


And power soaks to boot


Pedals and Multi-fx can be another route to explore...





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Orange amps are nice, but I'm not sure they are as feature rich as others you can find that would be in the same $$$ ranges.


like has already been said with so much out there, go shopping!!!


Once you get your budget and the basic requirement of what you need set look at:


Marshall JVM or DSL Fine amps, the JVM series are NOT cheap. I think the DSLs are MIC, so they are imports, but some good reviews on the net you can check out.


Oh and There's a new Marshall Slash 5watt combo that is quite cool and under 500 bucks. not sure where or what you are looking to do with this, but that is a pretty impressive little "home base" combo. (no FX loop tho.. bummer)


Blackstar, IMHO, impressive. affordable, lots to choose from and very versatile. just about everything these guys put out sounds terrific.


Hughes and Kettner - some killer stuff from these guys, you'd probably book looking at some of the tubemiester series I guess.


But good luck in your travels I currently have 6 guitar amps, so, don't think that once you buy this, it's one and done.. it's like anything else.. there's always that "Bright and shiny object" that wanders into the radar coverage zone!! [biggrin]


good sounding amps are cool, life is too short not to have a few!

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technically, my first amp was an old 8-track/turntable stereo that had a 1/4" input jack. I think my parents felt sorry for me and bought me a Peavey Rage 109 (? I think 109...definitely a Rage). then, I just felt sorry for their ears. not the best amp but...


oranges are cool. can't go wrong with a Marshall either.

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My first amp was a Fender Deluxe Reverb in late '65.


I'd been doing the "folkie" thing for long enough to know it wasn't going to pay for playing out, so...


I still regret selling it - regardless that I'd likely not use it nearly as much today as my little Kustom AE amp.



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As this is my first posting;

I can just remember my first Amp it was a Gibson BR6,

I got in 1956 from my music teacher For amplifying my


When I took up the guitar in about 1957 playing in a

Skiffle group at school I used it with my guitar.

Replying to this thread has brought back good memories.


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  • 2 months later...

My first amp was (and I'm sooooo ashamed to admit) a Peavy Bandit. It was a solid state piece of junk, but I did sit in my adolescent bedroom copping my first licks off the radio with it, so there is some nostalgic love in the memory.


My first gigging amp was a sweet silver faced fender twin that the in-house sound engineer at a place I played at regularly when starting out, had rewired to run of 2 6L6s instead of 4. It got a great driven tone at a reasonable stage volume and was simply a thing of beauty.


My first "real" amp was a mesa boogie mark IV. long chassis head that I ran through a GK 2x12 cab. That puppy was the most versatile amp I've ever known, with 3 discreet channels (clean / dirty rhythm / lead) each with it's own 3 band EQ, presence control, pre-gain, and volume. Had a select switch to have it run in "triode" or "Pentode" which is to say you could run the signal through 3 pins of the 6L6 tubes instead of all 5 giving you great warm drive at reasonable volume levels. It could do it all.


Like a boob, I sold it when I moved west in the late 90s and bought one of the first Line6 2x12 combos. It was pure garbage. I ended up trading it, along with a mid 60s wurlitzer suitcase keys rig for another Mesa Mark IV. This time in a single 12 combo.


I adore that amp. and it's my go-to today for anything from a garage jam with buddies, to small indoor gigs, to medium and large outdoor venues.


I'm a sucker for the boutique amps.


One of my favorite quotes is a lil gem from Pete Townsend found in Rick Dienner's "Guitar Player's Handbook." He says (verbatim) - a guitar amp is every bit an instrument that a guitar is.


I firmly believe this to be true. I've never purchased an amp based on specs, reputation, or appearance. Go to it. Plug your #1 axe into it. Dial in some tone. Only your ears can tell you which is the right amp for you.


All this said, I'm currently on the search for my next amp and am looking seriously at Matchless.



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  • 5 weeks later...

My first amp was a Gibson Skylark bought in 1964. From that amp I progressed to a Fender Deluxe Reverb, Fender Bandmaster, Fender Bassman and Fender Twin Reverb (all Blackface). Then I quit playing guitar for the next 40 years and just started back up again.

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My first amp came from Sears and had a guitar in side it = case and amp



I was given one from my sister's husbands brother. he wasn't using it, I had already been playing for a few years.


The amp was a 5watt class A Tube am that actually sounded fantastic

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My first amp was a Peavey Rage 108. :D I think I graduated from that to a Crate solid state. My first tube amp was a Music Man that I eventually upgraded to a Marshall 2210 100 watt halfstack.


Now I'm settled on my 1980 SF Deluxe Reverb. I also have a 4x10 Hotrod DeVille that I play in church. It stays at church because it's so heavy I can't pick it up. :D

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Like many, I used Radio Shack adaptors and played through my stereo. Blecch.


My first genuine amp was a small tube thing, might have been an Alamo. A friend found it at the dump, missing it's 8" speaker and I gave him $5 for it. I put a Radio Shack speaker in it. That was the summer of '77. I played my '63 Danelectro 4021 through it.


In '79 I bought a brand new Fender Champ for $90. The store was going out of business. Kept that until 1984 when I got a new Rickenbacker 25 watt. Then an Earth Revival copy of a tweep Fender, then a '64 blackface Pro, then a '74 Twin, then an '88 Peavey VTX Classic.


There have been countless others but they were 'deals on the side', everything from a Dual Showman to a Bassman to scattered small amps, literally dozens, if not hundreds.


My current lineup is the aforementioned VTX Classic, plus an '86 Peavey Bandit, an 80-something Peavey KB100, a texas red Frontman 25R, and a '73 Ampeg GT-10. I'm sure there are others around here that I've forgotten but nothing of any importance. Guitfiddle_pop, I hear what you're saying about the Bandits, as I bought/sold a few in the 80s and hated them, but for whatever reason, my current one sounds great. Very deep/bright and glassy like an old Fender with a reverb you could drown in. I have no idea why, I really don't. Trust me, I was very vocal about my hatred of Bandits back in the day, but this one is sweet.

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I'll start a bit off topic, and lead into the topic. My first guitar was a Harmony H-76, that my Father bought me to take guitar lessons. The teacher let me plug it into his amp. That was sometime around August of '67.


The next year, I bought my first amp to go with the new guitar. A Heathkit TA-17 head with speaker cab. We picked it up at the train depot in town, and I spent the next couple of months putting it together. Turned out really nice. Loaned it to a fellow who used it for several months. When I got my draft notice, I told him to hang on to it, until I got out of the Army. A couple years later, when I did come home, he came to me and said that he was moving out of town. I sold it to him, and I haven't heard from him since. I hope it still has a good home. He really enjoyed using it.




P.S. - Still got the Harmony.

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  • 7 months later...

My dear old grandmaw bought me my first amp- she did really well for not knowing crap about guitar amps. It was a Vox Student- I forget the model name. 8" speaker, heavy magnet. EL84 tube. ONE pot= on/off Volume. That dang amp rocked! Should have never parted with it!


Second was a Fender Bassman head with a 2x12" cab. Sounded alright- stupidly traded that for a Fender 100 Watt SS LOUD amp.



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