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charlie brown

Guitar, Amp pairings

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Certain guitars, just sound "better" with certain amps! Or, DO they?

 

We've all heard, and many of us have used the phrase, "A Gibson through a Marshall, is Heaven!"

 

"Fender's sound better, through Fender amps!" Do they???

 

What are you opinions, feelings, on your favorite combinations, and why?

 

And, let's leave out "pedals" (if possible?) in this discussion, to concentrate on the simplicity,

of guitar/amp combinations, "clean" and/or naturally "overdriven."

 

 

CB

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26 views, already, and NO replies? No one ever wants to go first, huh?...LOL

 

Ok, "Generally" speaking, I've always loved the Marshall/Gibson combination,

mostly because of the fatter Gibson pickups, and edgier/harsher Marshall voicing,

that seems to counter-act=enhance those fatter, sometimes "muddier" humbucker tones.

The Fender / Ric guitar's "Sparkle" and Twang, seems better suited to Fender (Clean)

amps, as their amp tones are (somewhat) creamier, offsetting the Fender / Ric single

coil "bite" or Chime" if you like. Vox, seems to work pretty well, with everything! [biggrin]

But, with some EQ, most amps work well, with most guitars. Still, "I" (and, I'm sure

other's, here) have my/our favorite combinations.

 

So, what are your's, and (again) "Why?" Be as general, or as specific, as you like.

There are NO "wrong answers!" Just preferences... [thumbup][biggrin]

 

CB

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Charlie,

my latest toy is a Yamaha THR10, which I use with all my guitars for playing at home, it's great. I know that's not exactly what your asking for, but you really should give one a try.

 

Ian.

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OK, Ian, but what exactly, do you love about that amp, as to how it sounds with "All" your guitars?

 

I'm NOT trying to influence anyone, to one amp or another. Just trying to find out what other's

seem to prefer, and (if possible) "Why" they do...specifically, in their case.

 

Thanks,

 

CB

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ha! I was all over this,, (about 5 minutes after you posted) then my last meeting started... and hasn't stopped

 

I'll be back CB..

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I purchased a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier for my LP Studio because I felt the sound was exactally what I was going for at the time. Great heavy distortion for rhythm guitar. I tried out several other Mesa Boogie Mark and Rectifier models, several Marshall JCM heads, several Orange amps, Vox and Fender amps. The dual rec was the only one that gave me the 'punch in the face' i was looking for.

 

More recently i'm into a mild distortion sound. I feel like I can still get a good crunch out of the Dual Rec but my bandmates Fender Deville 4x10 sounds wonderful with my LP plugged into it. If I were to buy a new amp it'd probably be something like a Fender or Vox tube combo.

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Yeah, I can see that...I think we all go through specific periods, chasing a very

specific tone, and then later "modify" that, with more experience, different voicings,

and different requirements, accordingly, as we go. It's interesting, how many will buy

several guitars, of completely different tonal characteristics, yet run them all through

the same (or, same type of) amp. Other's, use very specific amps, for specific guitars.

All of which is Fine=valid. But, it's sometime curious, and often interesting, as well.

At least, to me. [biggrin]

 

I guess, we eventually "settle" IF/When we do, for the best "compromise," in a "Live"

performance situation. Yet, some artists use 2-4 different combinations, on stage, via

switching boxes, etc.

 

So...??? [tongue][biggrin]

 

CB

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from my POV, having the good fortune to have both marshall/fender amps, as well as Gibson/Fender guitars, I can't say where one pairing works over another.

 

I suppose one way to look at it is, "if you only had a hammer, would everything look like a nail?"

 

The Strat/Marshall marriage as as good as any, like wise, the Fender/Gibson combo has some very tasty nuances that offer a nice wide range of possibilities. To me, It all depends on what you as the guitarist, is going for.

 

Modern Marshall amps have GREAT clean channels these days, so the general consensus that the Marshall is just never going to be a good amp for "clean" sounds, is a misnomer if you're talking about something that's less than 20/25 years old

 

 

for my Fender rig I've a HR Deville 410, it's A LOT of amp. Clean sounds are awesome, lots of head room, and it's LOUD, the 410s may help smooth things out with the voicing, but that "ice pick" sound Fenders are renown to have, I don't hear it with this. And when using single coil PUPs, the last thing ya need is an ice pick in the ear,

 

again I think this is in the control of the operator. The weak link in the chain with my fender is the "Gain" side. It's usable, but a lot of guys really hate it. (and I know you said "no pedals" but a few GOOD over drive pedals do work good in front of that amp) and the odd thing with that "Weak" Gain channel , it does cut in the mix,, dialing in a good sound on it's on with nothing else going on can be disappointing, but that tone, (that you can't quite agree with when nothing is going on) WILL cut thru a bass/drummer wailing away with relative ease, (that's straight in, no pedals)

 

the Marshall on the other hand (I have JTM602x12 combo with a 2x12 cab) is a tremendous sounding amp. That is my main amp and yes, a good set of Gibson humbukers through that amp is ridiculous.

 

Yet, I can get a great set of sounds out of my Texas Special equipped strat +, and my (all stock) USA tele standard.

 

 

One guitar that sounds extraordinary in both amps is my ES-135. (Stock with PAFs) notes just PUNCH out of that axe, (the pickups -- Gibson got em right on this one).

 

So where am I going with this?? I have no idea. other than to answer the question, do the pairings matter..

I honestly don't think so..

 

I've come to the conclusion over all the years I've been at this, that it's really more a factor of the player, and how good they are at getting their gear dialed in for the tones they want, (sometimes the most subtle change makes the biggest difference) and lets not forget the hands, a lot of it IMHO is in the hands.

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MY 54 BB RI, volume dimed and tone rolled way down through my Marshall Bluesbreaker, dimed.

My all time favorite noise, there's something primal in that sound that speaks to a place deep down...snarling and crying at the same time.

 

Another combo that comes from a whole 'nother place is my Epiphone Swingster w/Fender Excelsior amp.

The tone puts me in mind of 40's jazz coming over an AM radio at 2am.

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TBH as long as the pickups output versus the amp gain level is a sensible balance, it'll be fine in my eyes. There's sufficient scope on the EQ and gain controls on an amp to make a good sound regardless of the guitar used.

 

That said, a low to mid output bucker into a SuperLead is a sound akin to the voice of an angel. A Strat into an AC30 is reaching toward tonal nirvana.

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Although the first amp I ever bought was a valve Selmer, I soon "progressed" to solid state and nothing but solid state because I never could bring myself to trust valve amps back then.

 

But nowadays I have gone into a major regression. Not only has it got to be valve, it has to be ALL valve including the rectifier. Most of the time I just play through my Bugera RAT combo (permanently set on the valve rectifier options) but once in a while I bring out my "big gun" which is a Mesa Maverick 1 x 12 combo with Black Shadow speaker. I could use this a lot more than I do as I tend to play it through a Dr Z airbrake.

 

All my guitars are humbucker except the Epi '56 Goldtop and my Kinman fitted Roland Strat.

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Hi Charlie, how ya doing

For me, its been my Gibsons, 1960 355 and 58 Les Paul jr though a vintage 1968 Fender twin reverb.

Then for a little more "bite" I would use my Fender Strats and Telecasters through a Marshall.

Interesting topic though, as what one player strives for, another player cant seem to get the same sound out of the same set up of guitar/amp

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Certain guitars, just sound "better" with certain amps! Or, DO they?

 

We've all heard, and many of us have used the phrase, "A Gibson through a Marshall, is Heaven!"

 

"Fender's sound better, through Fender amps!" Do they???

 

What are you opinions, feelings, on your favorite combinations, and why?

 

And, let's leave out "pedals" (if possible?) in this discussion, to concentrate on the simplicity,

of guitar/amp combinations, "clean" and/or naturally "overdriven."

 

 

CB

the lp through the 100watt Marshall is really a suitable 'crunch' for all high volume. fender amps are reknowned for their clean tones. different tubes make different tones. I'm using a low watt TSA15 with 6V6's and 12ax7s. It is sweetest in the middle. i use an Ibanez hollowbody with a small 5watt Fender Champion 600, it is nicely clean, but the lp's burstbucker pros are too hot for that amp. pickups are going to factor into this argument. both my guitars are humbuckers. truthfully, what small amps lack in power they make up for in reduced weight ... I'm not convinced to kill my elbows lugging around anything above fifty pounds. anyway, the rig i have setup in studio is two 6v6/2x12ax7s 15watts with a boost pedal, stereo pedal outs to a one 6v6/1x12ax7 5 watt slave and miced cabs to a 200watt powered mixer. The speaker power is two 12" cabs (stacked): one 30watt 1x12 alnico, one 80watt 1x12 ceramic. A 15watt 1x6" in the Champ 600, and an 8" 200watt in the powered speaker. You need to be a physicist to figure out the combined output! I'm guessing the TSA15, being tubes could perhaps keep up with a 50 or 60 watt solid state amp. Although it's louder with just the 80 watt 8ohm 12" cab, but the two cabs combined obviously push more air than just one. Physics considered, ohm rating, speaker power rating, efficiency of speaker, size, material of magnet ... Comparing brand names of amps might not scratch far enough to answer the question seeing as Marshalls have EL34s and Fenders use 6l6's/6v6s commonly. The tubes have different breakup characteristics ... you wouldn't count on a Marshall stack to deliver low volume clean tones. The speaker choice is also a factor and on the guitar end there are variables like pickup type and material that contribute to tone matching. ME personally have stuck with a vintage vibe, all tubes (6v6s/12ax7s), an alnico speaker, alnico pu's and pure nickel strings. Oh yeah and pio Luxe bees in the lp! I've matched my instruments to my amps the way I want by upgrading with aftermarket parts to get the tone I want. moving to a small solid state amp now would just about bring out the axe! I would think, to get the most out of your guitar/amp setup you need to have an idea in mind of what or who you want to sound like and upgrade with aftermarket parts to achieve that goal. It can be done (you don't have to live with stock parts!)/

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For me there is a big difference and it is more individual combinations than broad range "Gibson through a marshall" stuff.

 

When I worked in a shop, we got to try several combinations and a few stuck out.

 

I had an old silverfaced super reverb and a guy I knew had an old strat that had belonged to Mick Taylor.......don't know if it was the combo or the mojo, but when that super started to get hot enough that it smelled like it was on fire, that strat made it sound like heaven.

 

Another one that stuck out is one of our instructors had a "The Paul" and we plugged it into a Laney Pro Tube 50.....that was a nice sound.

 

My boss had an old 60's firebird and we took in an old marshall half stack.....this was in the 80's, so by old I'm assuming 60's.....those two sounded great.

 

Three bolt neck strat through a music man 2x12 amp.

 

My 85 explorer with a dimarzio superdistortion through my Bedrock 1400 amp was pretty killer.

 

Those are a few of the combinations we put together that just seemed to really shine.

NHTom

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VOX + Tele = <3

 

Marshall + LP/SG = \m/>.<\m/

 

VOX + Rickenbacker = not for me but its nice

 

There are predictable pairings but I don't think that way. There are amps that have been altered that sound great despite their humble birth, there are amps you expect the world out of and fall short...

 

I was playing a friend's nice 2013 Fender Strat USA through a 1958 Fender amp...this old guy sounds nice but my friend also has a NEW Rivera with buttons that make it seem it can be launched into space. The Rivera wins hands down. I am not a snob and if I had the option I'd sooner take the old Fender home because I am sentimental, but that Rivera is incredibly versatile and it sounds SO good. If I were a snob I may say the 58 is superior, but by ear...man, you never know what will sound good, just try it.

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...Three bolt neck strat through a music man 2x12 amp...

[thumbup]

 

Before 1980 I had a late '60s Marshall 2x10 combo and when it died I bought a '78 (silver-badge) ex-demo M-M 2x12 'Sixty-Five'. I still have it. It's the best amp I've ever heard.

My '73 3-bolt neck Strat, admittedly, sounded very good through it but the '64 sounded Pure Heavenly.

 

Nowadays it's the combination of my R0 with the M-M that gets the neck-hairs standing. It even sounds great at low volume levels, as some other forumites can confirm...

 

Other memorable pairings were an early '80s Marshall Club and Country amp with, well, just about anything! Fantastic sounding amp. Not mine, unfortunately.

Lastly the Mesa-Boogie and (Norlin-era!) Les Paul Custom set-up of a friend - also in the early '80s - was astonishing!

 

P.

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Since I meanwhile exclusively use MIDI-controlled emulated amp models, there are some favorites I apply to all of my guitars just with different settings when desired. This starts from straight clean out of the jack without any amp models, EQs or FX, jazz-like just powered up into HiFi speakers for magnetic pickups and piezos as well, and ends with using magnetic pickups through about a dozen emulated valve and one emulated transistor amp.

 

The only transistor amp simulation is that of a Roland Jazz Chorus. The valve amp applications include VOX AC-30, non-top boost preferred, Marshall Plexi 100 watts lead models, Marshall 100 watts master volume and high-gain models, Fender Champ, Bassman, Deluxe and Twin, several early Boogies from clean to high-gain (no rectifier models), and Soldano SLO-100.

 

The speaker sound is compromised since I use two 1 x 12" Electro Voice EVM 12L series II cabinets for all amp simulation purposes. They come very close to the original 8" Champ speaker, and I like them over everything else. Of course, they are very different from the sound of a 4 x 12" stack regardless of the speakers therein, but they nicely cut through and leave the lower frequency range to the bass player.

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OK, Ian, but what exactly, do you love about that amp, as to how it sounds with "All" your guitars?

 

I'm NOT trying to influence anyone, to one amp or another. Just trying to find out what other's

seem to prefer, and (if possible) "Why" they do...specifically, in their case.

 

Thanks,

 

CB

 

I've found that I have all the amp sounds that I could possibly want all in one (very small) box, but to name a couple, I like to play my ES335 using the clean (Fender) or Crunch (AC30) and my Les Pauls through the Lead (Marshall. I've recently downloaded a "pack" of pre-sets from the Yamaha site and been playing around with a Marshall Bluesbreaker like sound, which is proving interesting.

 

Ian.

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Because the sound of a Les Paul through a Marshall sounds like cooking bacon smells.

 

Which is why my kosher a$$ don't have a Marshall...lol. JKJK

 

I tried a Marshall recently, never liked them before but this one was cool. I was sort of sold, except its not MY sound. But yes, I finally understand. It took a while.

 

 

That's a thing, man. If you're trying to sound like someone, which I think is the goal if you cover, then you sort of know what to go for...provided you read lots into the set-up and "no you can't ever be bang on because some of tome is in the fingers and all..."

 

BUT if you're making songs and you have a sound you want...its a search.

 

I have a VOX Pathfinder and it sounds like the worst recording of a recording of an amp distorted and played through a little Walkman on blast...but I know it also sounds like a 13-year old jamming hard and I sort of like that :mellow:

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My favorite is a Gibson thru a Fender, except I don't particularly like the gain channel on the Blues Deluxes/Devilles.

 

I like all the usual combinations of Fenders or Gibsons thru American or British amps. They just are all different.

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I had an amp called a B-52, which I got rid of a few years ago. It was a 100w, all tube amp that really sounded great for a lot of different styles and with any guitar I used. But it really seemed to like the Stratocaster. Those classic mushy, springy tones just seemed to blossom from the speakers whenever I plugged the Strat in to it. I always found that curious since I got the impression the amp was trying to be like a poor man's Mesa Boogie. :-k

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At the moment it's either of my P90 Gibsons on bridge or neck or both, clean into a valve amp. I still think valve amps have the best tone for electric guitar although I haven't heard the very latest most expensive simulation (simulating?) amps which are being raved about in the guitar mags. I used to own a Roland JC120 which was very clean transistor and I'd sort of like one of those again.

I have 4 Fender amps, a Park 100MV with the Trainwreck mod and an ancient Vox head which is the thickest-sounding amp I have. I love thick clean tones but (BTW) the overdrive on a Fender Twin II is amazing, Rivera-designed cascading gain and instant Robben Ford if you use a guitar with H/Bs and engage the mid-boost. Very under-rated.

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