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Favorite amps for Gibson ES Guitars


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I'm after a super clean sound for Merle Travis/Chet Atkins style fingerpicking.

After a lot of trial & error, I've settled on an assortment of Fender Red Knob USA-made amps from the '90s (both tube & SS), combined with a variety of Eminence speakers (Patriot & Legend series).

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I have a CS356 that I play through a Rivera Venus 6 (mostly on the clean channel).  Paul Rivera worked for Fender and designed many of their iconic circuits before going out on his own.  The Venus has a mid-range notch filter you can pull out and makes the amp sound very much like a Fender Blackface amp and it has one 12 inch Celestion.  It also has a "warm" knob that sort of compresses the tone and evens out highs and lows.  I will use that if I want a smoother jazz type tone and always use it if I'm playing my L-5 through the Rivera.  I also have an AER 60-2 which is a small digital amp designed primarily for acoustic guitar, but I will use that with the L-5 for a very accurate amplification of the guitars tone (no coloring by the amp of the sound).  

About a year ago my band went amplifier free just running direct through the PA and I use an Eleven Rack for that.  It has many amp models so I can get just about any tone I like - I use the Twin Reverb and the Fender Tweed models a lot when playing my 356.

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I have an recent Memphis ES335 & Memphis Blacktop ES Les Paul with Bigsny.. Both gave MHS Pickups.. 

I play them thru 65 Fender Princeton Reverb, 65 DRRI & Pro Tube 100 Watt Twin & they sound great in all 3 Amps.. 

I also play them in my Vox AC15 with Celestion Alnico Blue & upgraded Vox AC10 with Weber Blue & Tung Sols.. Both ES Guitars sound great thru them as well.. 

I think Humbuckers sound better with the Fender Amps.. Single Coils sound better thru the Vox Amps.. 

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On ‎1‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 2:49 PM, jdgm said:

Clean all the way.  Fender red-knob Super 60 or a real, rebuilt 1960s Vox AC10  through a 12" cab.

Nice to see another red-knob fan!

Yes, the tube Super 60 is excellent, as is it's sibling, the Super 210.  All the red-knobs I have were made in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  Some were also made in Corona, but the majority I've run across have the LO serial number, whether tube or SS.

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