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Silenced Fred

So this topic comes up alot... "What amp should I get?"

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People ask "What amp should I get?"

 

I have, and the answer is always, play what sounds good to you. However, this doesn't really help. Maybe we could make this a sticky or something, but for each genre, what are some things to look for in an amp? What are good wattage ratings (for both tube and solid state) for gig size, etc. What should people avoid, what should people know about, etc. Price ranges, current products that are good value, because let's face it: Most boutique amps will always blow a production amp out of the water, but not everyone has 3,000 to spend on one.

 

Recommendations? It might be a good place to start for people, and can help clear up some of the same questions being asked over and over again.

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Id rather have the occasional "What amp to get" thread than a front page full of stickys

 

We have one sticky... I just thought this could clear up some questions, even from those who are regulars and have questions about stuff.

 

Sorry then...

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Ever heard of Harmony Central? All questions are answered there in reviews.

Here all you get is buy this amp I have it and it's the only one it does everything

the best IMHO.

 

CW

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Fred what % of those "what amp should I get?" are posted byt you? 50%?

 

I am just kidding...lolz

 

Hahahaha.... [cool] (because it's true...)

 

I just want to know that what I am going to be spending my hard earned money on is worth it

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You'll have to spend your hard earned money and take your chances. Experience is the only good advice you'll ever get in life.

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Go to small club gigs, ask them what they like - especially the older guys who've gigged for years.

 

When you like the way somebody sounds, find out what they use.

Take compensated endorsements and magazine ads with a grain of salt.

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Neo...

 

You're mostly right - but be careful of old guys like me 'cuz we just might be using an amp that hasn't been manufactured in 35 years or more. <grin>

 

Hmmmm.

 

Okay. I have a "new" one that's maybe 6 years old. The other is around 1970.

 

I use the little one 'cuz it's easier to schlep.

 

To expand on what Neo wrote, yeah, see what others use in clubs but figure this, too: Sometimes we keep using a given amp because it's paid for, not necessarily because it's most appropriate for the price tag for what we're doing.

 

m

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Yeah, that's why I said to ask them what they like.

If they were gonna buy something new, or wished they could use something different....

 

Open-ended stuff like that.

 

And they just might have some really cool stuff at home, eh?

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I think the speakers are more important than Tube/Solid State. I haven't found a newer Fender Tube Amp that sounds as good as my Old Stage 112se. I have found old Twins and Princetons that sounded a little better. The Stage 112se has a Fender Blue Back speaker in it, so did the Twin I liked (but couldn't afford).

 

The Roland JC120, Solid State great Tones.

 

Randall makes some really nice sounding SS.

 

Boogie makes the best amps I've ever used and one day I'll have one. But I'm thinking it may be the Speakers and overall quality of the amp, not the Mystical Magical "Tubes" that makes them great. Otherwise, a Bearhinger Tube amps would sound better than a fender Solid State, and that's just not the case.

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I don't know the specifics "firstmeasure" is mentioning, but I'd tend to agree that solid state should not be ruled out.

 

Again, a lot has to do with what you're doing with the darned thing, costs, sound you've gotta put out into what sort of a venue, etc., etc., etc.

 

Funny thing is how I used to live in fear of destroying tube amps when I was a rocker in the '60s. Imagine a 90 degree F temperature variation from outside to inside, then the heat the tubes put out from inside and.... You don't worry about solid state that way. At least I don't.

 

Too many variables. Today we have so very many options on amps that were not there when I was a "kid" playing rock, then a "young guy" doing country and other stuff...

 

A good quality solid state amp that plays marvelous straight-on clean can have all kinds of boxes run through it to get extra or different sounds. Versatile and probably a lot easier to pay for, even if you add something like a Deluxe Reverb emulator stomp box. <grin>

 

Really, I do regret dumping my old DR for the bigger tube jobbie. I still have a really nice tube amp and my little solid state 30-watter with a 10-inch speaker I've put on wheels with a multi-effects box, electrical connector, etc. Guess which gets used and which stays home?

 

m

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In your spare time may I suggest that you read some history of amps just as a tool to help you learn how each major manufactorer developed their sound.

 

Fender, Marshall, and Boogie all have fairly distinct sounds and with just those three examples reading will tell you how each was built upon the previous ideas. And then experience (your ears primarily) will hear how their gain structors sort of build upon the previous too. I hope that makes sense.

 

Fenders were made to amplify clean sounds originally. Somewhere along the way they turned the volume up all the way and the tubes began to compress and then break up and WHAM! the first distortion for guitar.

 

Marshall over time took a Fender Bassman circuit and made some changes and used a tube that was more readily available in the UK and WHAM! Classic Marshall sound was born.

 

Read and learn

Listen and learn.

 

 

EDIT: Not all botique amps cost $3000 + They're are less expensive ones with equal quality but you have to search.

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Thanks guys, sometimes I feel like there are stupid questions, and I seem to ask 99% of them...

 

I am learning a lot and I think it may help other people. All anyone talks about is how the only tone is tube, but quite a few here are saying it isn't. Good base of knowledge here. Thanks for sharing

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