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Looks like I may have to buy a new amp - dammit!


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My trusty Fender Hot Rod DeVille 2x12 has been with me for 8 years.

It gets 95% of the playing time out of the 5 amps I have.

Re-tubed the preamp section once and played the hell out of it all this time.


Here's the deal - when the oldest boy was in high school and blazing his own trail with behaviors best left un-mentioned and legal implications too lengthy to fully expand on here, I made him a deal on the amp.


He already had a Les Paul Special, nice Alvarez acoustic and a Fender American Deluxe Strat that he picked ordered. Problem is, he was borrowing my amp or playing thru his buddies' junk all the time.


After 'leaving' high school for good with the help of the criminal justice system and moving out of the house, I reminded him that it was of the utmost importance that he quickly acquired a General Equivalency Diploma, or GED.

To motivate him some way after everything else had failed, I told him the HRD was his when he showed me a GED.


Now, 3 years later it appears that he's about to actually pull it off!

He has passed 4 of the 5 tests required and his average score is plenty high enough.

All that remains is the math portion and we're sure he'll do fine on it.



Here's the rub -


He's 20 f-ing years old.

He's well past high school age and still not gainfully employed.

We see him seldom.

Sometimes months pass between visits while he's out there in the world doing whatever it is he does.


His guitars?

They seem to have disappeared last year, something about a pawn shop....

This kid even lost his car.


No sh!t.


He swears he doesn't know where it went, but it wasn't stolen, so nothing makes sense there.

His grandfather bought him the car in hopes that dependable transportation would allow him to find steady work...


I had given him a bicycle for transportation - lost it.

He has absolutely no possessions in this world.



So, what happens to the amp if I give it to him?

Is he gonna smoke it or put it in his nose? Get some more tats?




I can't go back on my word.

A deal is a deal.

There were no time constraints imposed, no statute of limitations either stated or implied.

He has no guitars, but I told him the amp is his.


The thing is, Mrs. Neo had even encouraged him to get in a band while he was young and single.

Live the rock n roll lifestyle and get it out of his system.

I told her at the time that he would likely be buying, selling, trading, swapping gear anyway so who knows?

He could have sold the amp the next day back then so today is no different.



Well, do I buy another HRD - this time a 4x10? These amps simply cannot be beat for the money.



I've always wanted the more pricey but killer Twin, the Evil Twin...



Maybe a new Vibrolux Reverb?



I've never played one, but I like the Super-Sonic head.




Jeez, I dunno.

This would be a good time to find a Marshall 2205 to match my 2203 so I have a set.

I already have the 1981 JCM 800 100-watter (2203), I really want the 2205, the 50-watt 2 channel head.

But that doesn't help me with the Fender cleans I like....



Mesa Boogie?

Their stuff has TOO MUCH SH!T on it, I don't need 30 switches on the back of the amp.

There's some older Mesa stuff I might find used that was much simpler.


Looked at the Matchless amps, always wanted a couple of their small combos - say 30 watts.


Dr. Z.


Budda Superdrive 2x12 30-watter.





Now the price starts to go insane.

What am I gonna replace my daily driver with?




I'm sorry, but $3,000 is too damned much money for a small combo amp.

I don't care how cool it is.


Any suggestions?

Gotta be tubes, I hate modeling circuitry, and at least two speakers in the cabinet.

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Mesa Lonestar Special


It's oilpit approved and has minimal switches....=D>/


It also sounds like god' date=' and Murph will approve of it if he ever gets back here....[/quote']

I say Marshall Haze 40...no china!

Dem00n approved #-o!

Its also sounds like oilpit even though i dont know what he sounds like...

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Looks like you've inspired me to take a trip to Guitar Center.


You da MAN!



He needs help soon.

He's had help.

Long, story like I said.


After EVERYBODY got burned by him he seems to be getting it together a tiny bit.

GED is cause for cautious optimism.


His mother even prays he will join the military just to get outta town and see some structure and discipline.

How many moms hope for that during wartime?


Should give you an idea, eh?


Drug-sniffing dogs in my house, court appearances one after another, in and out of jail.

Once he turned 18 I told him to come back when he got his head out of his ***.

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Opie' date='

Looks like you've inspired me to take a trip to Guitar Center.


You da MAN!




Don't mention it...

You should also check out the Egnator Renegade, that thing is quite a cool little amp



I wonder if when you get back you will have a thread ranting about the antics of the employees....


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Hey Neo, another suggestion would be to offer him cash in lieu of the amp. That way you might be able to keep it. But instead of GC, go to Sam Ash, closer to you and they actually have a pretty good selection of amps. Make sure to check at a JVM and VM, both come in combo format. It was a tough choice between the two, but went with the JVM410c. A real kick you in the grill 100 watter that sounds great at reasonable home volumes. I picked mine up on eBay as a display model in a small mom and pop shop in Maine, full Marshall warrantee for about a grand under the GC list price!!! I found a similar deal on a VM too. Good luck my friend.

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Guy downstairs is going through the same thing with his daughter, takes off for days at a time, verbally abusive to him and his wife, combative, destructive, has a different "boyfriend" literally every week, just went to court for shoplifting, God knows what kind(s) of poison she's into, damn shame too, cuz she's a pretty girl, she's going to wind up living at one of the local dives, if she lives that long. I personally would make the kid earn the amp..."word" or not, seems like he's got a lot of work to do in the trust department, I'd make the amp a reward, and the rest is up to him. I can only hope I don't go through that with either of my boys.

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I am really sorry to hear of your families difficulties with your son. Don't be too disheartened by your sons turbulent times though!

I had three very difficult years from the age of 20-23 and a lot of my stuff too, I sold; CD's, my beloved first guitar (my Ibanez RG420) and much more. People I hook up with on facebook who saw me around back then cannot believe how my life turned out...ie very happy ](*,) ](*,)


I was in and out of trouble and even had a youth worker. In the middle of all this my lovely mum and dad bought me a Manuel Contreras, my first proper Classical Guitar. It didn't instantly cure my troubles, but- it became a friend to me and I think was a part of the recipe that lead me to changing things. Battered and scarred it sits in my guitar room affectionately and like my mum and dad it never gave up on me.


I changed my life by doing one of the most hardest things; cutting every 'friend' off from my life and starting again. I had a hard look at the people I knew and realised that this was the only way. I had simply forgotten the power you can gain from real focused introspection and then subsequent determination.


I read something too by Abraham Lincoln that made a huge impression too; "a man is as happy as he makes his mind up to be"


I think buying a new amp, even if it risks 'disappearing' is still a loving and cool thing to do. On this basis I recommend the made in Britain Laney VC 30 ](*,) ](*,) An all valve combo, with an optional extension cabinet that can be added. The cleans are to die for too.



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Hey Neo' date=' another suggestion would be to offer him cash in lieu of the amp. [/quote']

I hear ya SB, but no way is he getting cash from me.

All his friends are on his payroll - you know exactly what that means right?

When the money's gone and he comes down, he has no friends again.


The offer Mrs. Neo did make was to pay $400 worth of his legal fines in lieu of the amp.

It's far from all of it, means he still has to come up with some money on his own.




Yeah, I'll head over to Sam Ash and talk to Greer too.


Gary Lowe is a killer amp doctor, I need to find the card I have for him and pick his brain a little.

Mike Patruno at Bizarre sent me to him a couple times for Marshall work.

He's hot on old amps! Knows all the new stuff, what works, what sucks....





DeVW, I already have a Blues Jr., little brother to the 40 watt DeVille. Single speaker, right?

If I get another DeVille it will be the 4x10. I LOVE the way more cones sound at lower volumes.

Warm and shimmery.




And yeah Sear,

I already separated him from all his friends when he lived at home.

I went after their parents, ratted out all his buddies until their parents clamped down on 'em.

All of his friends hated him since it was his fault they all got busted - worked like a charm!


Once he moved out, he sorta fell off the face of the earth for awhile.

Living in the 'hood, sleeping at new 'friends' houses until they threw him out.

He has the ability to survive, making new friends everywhere he goes.....



Like I said, the GED thing took some effort (though Mrs. Neo paid for it) because he has to get to the college on Wednesdays when they test and he's done a good job of that so far.

Like I said, the HRD is his even if he heads straight to a pawn shop with it.

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Not until now....



Thanks alot Dave.


NOW what the hell am I gonna do?




Yeah, I'm not much on gimmicks and gadgetry but I LIKE that Egnator Renegade 65 watt head.

Tube mixing?

Cool concept!


What kinda prices are we talking?



I was reading up on the Mesa Lone Star and Express 5:50 heads.

Don't need the 100 watts the Lone Star can make, and the 5:50 is nice and simple the way I like it.


Probably be smart just to buy a combo but I like separates for some reason - I dunno why.

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I can't go back on my word.

A deal is a deal.

I wouldn't give him the amp. Especially, if you think he's just going to pawn it off to get high. Actually, it would be pretty stupid giving it to him knowing that. How would that be helping his situation? A deal is a deal, you're right - by encouraging him to get a higher education, you're giving him the opportunity to get a job (or better job) and buy the things he wants. Offering him an amp can be viewed as just the lure to get him off his a$$. My dad once said he'd get me a car if I finished a post-secondary education. I never got a free car. He just said that to give me some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Things don't have to be taken literally all the time. Anyways...


In your quest for a new amp, how about a '65 Twin Reverb?


Or how about this amp. I really like this one. Supersonic combo.



Problem is there are WAY too many amps out there. Maybe go to Guitar Center's website and just browse through all the tube amps they have within your budget. There's a lot of them out there!!

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