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Goldenone

What Amp Should I buy

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A few thoughts to conjure with....

Laney VC15 and VC30...also Laney LC15

Vox Valvetronix

Fender DeLuxe

 

All frontroomable, bedroomable and gigable

 

V

 

 

:-({|=

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A Fender Frontman 25R is a great small amp for a really great price. My daughter uses one, the sounds are right there. 10" Speaker with a full tone.

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i would say go with a go tube amp.. even if it is a few hundred bucks more it is defiantly worth it...

 

i spent alot of time researching my amp buy and as a result went with a tube amp which was alot more money but well worth it!

 

try some out and see what you think

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Well, one thing is clear, there are a ton of choices and without a doubt deciding on which amp is going to be more difficult than deciding on which guitar. Heck the guitar was easy, Gibson Les Paul Standard. I will have to take my guitar around to the music stores as suggested and do some experimenting. As a sound man I was thinking I wanted extra wattage for going jamming and I could simply turn it down at home but that doesn't seem to be how tube amps like to work. In the sound world everything has turned to solid state and all I wanted was more power and headroom, it was easy to just turn it down if not needed. I guess even then I have always run my amps @10 and controlled it on the pre amp side.

 

I want to thank you all for the excellent advice. I will be trying out the amps you have suggested. SInce I am rather new as a guitar player I have been holding off going into the store to try out some amps, but I'm getting to the point now where I won't embarrass to much.

 

THANKS AGAIN!

 

David

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Well, one thing is clear, there are a ton of choices and without a doubt deciding on which amp is going to be more difficult than deciding on which guitar. Heck the guitar was easy, Gibson Les Paul Standard. I will have to take my guitar around to the music stores as suggested and do some experimenting. As a sound man I was thinking I wanted extra wattage for going jamming and I could simply turn it down at home but that doesn't seem to be how tube amps like to work. In the sound world everything has turned to solid state and all I wanted was more power and headroom, it was easy to just turn it down if not needed. I guess even then I have always run my amps @10 and controlled it on the pre amp side.

 

I want to thank you all for the excellent advice. I will be trying out the amps you have suggested. SInce I am rather new as a guitar player I have been holding off going into the store to try out some amps, but I'm getting to the point now where I won't embarrass to much.

 

THANKS AGAIN!

 

David

 

Man don't let that bother you, as you said you are new at it. Just strum a few chords and pick around a bit. [thumbup] Have fun at it!

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Well, one thing is clear, there are a ton of choices and without a doubt deciding on which amp is going to be more difficult than deciding on which guitar. Heck the guitar was easy, Gibson Les Paul Standard. I will have to take my guitar around to the music stores as suggested and do some experimenting. As a sound man I was thinking I wanted extra wattage for going jamming and I could simply turn it down at home but that doesn't seem to be how tube amps like to work. In the sound world everything has turned to solid state and all I wanted was more power and headroom, it was easy to just turn it down if not needed. I guess even then I have always run my amps @10 and controlled it on the pre amp side.

 

I want to thank you all for the excellent advice. I will be trying out the amps you have suggested. SInce I am rather new as a guitar player I have been holding off going into the store to try out some amps, but I'm getting to the point now where I won't embarrass to much.

 

THANKS AGAIN!

 

David

 

 

The Egnater Renagade has a 65 / 18 watt choice switch....sounds great loud and really nice at very low volumes....It also lets you choose between EL34s, 6L6s, and any mix inbetween..........

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I like the Egnatar Renegade's duel power switch idea. Where are the Egnatar amps made, see I have this made in the USA thing. I emailed the company and asked but never got a response. I hope that's not a sign of their customer service.

 

What other tube amps have a duel power function?

 

Thanks,

 

David

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Welcome to the forum [thumbup]

 

Sorry if you already answered this, I didn't read all the posts, how much are you willing to spend?

 

I'd recomend the ZT lunchbox if you are into a really nice clean tone (no tubes) and really loud with the smallest package. Put an OD pedal in front and you'll get every sound you need to rock 70s style.

 

If you are willing to spend a little more, I'd get a tube amp, fenders don't get much overdriven, even at higher levels (well, the supersonic and VM get plenty of OD but they are a little too much for home usage).

 

VOX amps (and those amps made after them) are a nice "in the middle" for me, nice cleans, nice slightly overdrive, not much heavy crunch (for that just ad an OD pedal or a booster).

 

Marshall amps (and all those amps designed from the marshall original design) will give you better crunch, but I don't really like the cleans (somebody will probably kick me in the nuts for saying that LOL)

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I've only been playing about a year (mostly classic rock and some modern rock), so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

 

I had a SS combo amp which seemed okay at first, but I quickly began to hear more of what I didn't like than what I did. So, I picked up a Vox AC4TV, which I like much better (no rattle issues). One of the features that attracted me to it (other than the tubes and a decent speaker) was the attenuator. It's great to be able to turn it down to a watt or less at home, and even then it's often too loud.

 

A week ago I picked up a beautiful used Gibson GA-5 and ,wow(!), what a difference that has made. It sounds like heaven and I haven't even tried any pedals with it yet.

 

I think your ear will develop over time and what sounds good to you now may not be what sounds best to you down the road. With that in mind, my approach is not to invest too much money into a really nice amp until I know more about what I like... just not there yet (but making some progress!).

 

Happy hunting!

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I'm with the try everything WITH YOUR OWN LES PAUL and buy what sounds best to you brigade. I've skimmed through the thread, but nobody seems to have asked what sort of tone you're looking for. What are you seeking in terms of blues sounds? If you want nice overdrive in a small club situation, then the advice to buy a small tube amp has to be best (whether 5-10 watts is really enough will depend on the drummer you play with). On the other hand, some of us really like to start from a good clean tube sound with plenty of headroom, so would go with a big Fender valve amp (Twin Reverb, late 1970s Pro Reverb), then use a good distorsion pedal when needed. With amps like that you can turn down without massively affecting your tone. A bummer to carry around though. Yet others like the 30-40 watters (Vox AC30, Fender Super Reverb, Fender Vibrolux Reverb, Fender Vibroverb, 1960s and early 1970s Fender Pro, Tweed Fender Bassman, Tweed Fender Twin), because they don't distort at quite such a low volume as the small amps, and supposedly make it easier to find a sweet spot at gigging volume where the amp is just starting to distort, but will be cleaner or dirtier according to your pick attack.

 

Whose sound is in your head? Others will be able to give more specific detail, but here is a rough guide. Eric Clapton with John Mayall = 30-watt Marshall with treble booster. Eric Clapton playing Layla = 5-Watt Fender in the studio and 100-Watt Marshall live. Alvin Lee = 50-Watt Marshall. Early Freddie King = tweed Fender, but not sure of size. Late Freddie King live = 100+ Watt Fender. BB King unsure, as he claims to play through whatever is in the studio turned right down or whatever he gets at the concert hall turned right up, but mid- to large Fender is a pretty good bet. Muddy Waters in the 1960s and 1970s and Robert Cray = Fender Super Reverb (but then they're usually not playing Gibson).

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For the best tone, I generally prefer using a tube amp. With it's dual modes of EQ, the Epiphone Blues Custom 30 is a favorite with a lot of Blues players and is has an all-tube signal path. BB King is known for using Lab Series L-5 amps. These are probably the best sounding solid-state amps ever built.

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I'm new here - 2nd post - but not new to this discussion. Been playing since the mid 60's. I have to admit to being a dinosaur and don't have much experience with all these newfangled transistor amps - i'm sure they can make a sound some like. I never did. My old Pignose wide open comes as close to transitorized distortion as I'd ever want. ... and i don't.

 

Tube amps rule! If you want to play blues - real blues - you have to make those bottles scream for mercy. Listen to the end of Eric Clpaton's River of Tears where those old fFender amps are just begging for help and he squeezes them till they bleed.

 

(http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=pTVoM6x7tEg)

 

(I broke the link so it doesn't violate the TOS - but you can put it together on your own.)

 

It doesn't really matter if its a half a watt or 200. Some others have mentioned here that the more watts you have under the hood, the louder you're going to have to be to make the bottles scream - thats just the way it is. You said you were a sound man - using transistors in the PA. So a 1/2 watt, properly miked and EQd will do the job if the PA is good enough to handle it. You and the drummer will never know!

 

Here is my quest...

 

For a low watt amp, i bought a Mesa Boogie 22 watt - it's fine for small places, and rooms in the house - all by itself. It can be quite loud and it has a master volume which makes for controlling it and making it sound good down low in the basement.

 

I've got a 65 Fender Bassman that is about 35 watts or so - too loud for my music room at a volume where the tubes sound good - but i remember playing through a Bassman like it in a band back in the day and it couldn't keep up unmiked with the Marshall Super on the left and the Sun Concert on the right.

 

I bought a Marshall Super Lead 100 - ordered from England (had Jim Marshall's sig inside the cabinets) that was so loud that i had our lead player/electronics tech check it out on a scope and it rated at 120 before clipping... it really did go to 12! Sold it - just too loud. The good sounding Marshalls clipped at about 50 to 65 watts.

 

Bought a 67 Fender Twin but it too was too loud and i didn't care for the tone and sold it a couple years later. BB King played Twins a lot - mostly because he liked the clean - yet bluesy power they deliver.

 

Bought a Marshall JCM 900 head and slant cabinet w/4-10 Celestions over 15 years ago that I still have - master volume makes the difference, but i don't play anywhere that needs that kind of power - it just sits in the music room waiting to be unleashed.

 

The last amp I bought is a 1964 Fender Super Reverb at about 65 watts which when combined with a 335, or in my case, my 347 - it is the absolute blues tone master of all time. There is no better combination - and that is by all accounts for everyone who has ever owned a similar combination of guitar and amp. It just weighs too darn much! 4 10s in a combo box needs rollers! ;-) (good thing for my road case bottom!)

 

I harness the Super and the 900 together by using a Line6 POD peddle board and control overdrive and volume that way for playing in the house - not the best, but it works.

 

I have a friend with a cool site - www.guitarsandcars.com - check out his collection of gear and read what he says - lots of good info.

 

Also there is a nice little publication called "The Tonequest Report" Its pricey but look it up and subscribe- lots of valuable info on the quest for the holy grail of tone.

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MikeyBear,

 

Thanks for the advice. I am seeing a 5-20 watt tube amp in my future. So, the way I am hearing it is with tube amps the tubes are on the pre amp side of the amplifier and if the amp has a master volume control I will be able to push the tubes on the front end and turn down the over all output. If I hear this correctly that's what I want to look for. I have miked thousands of amps in my career and never really knew how they really operated, my concern was to pick up and reproduce the sound that came out.

 

I didn't know that when I decided to learn to play the guitar I was going to need to learn how to play the amplifier too.

 

Also welcome to the forum. I just noticed I was no longer a Newbee, even though I am.

 

Along with your excellent advice I also want to thank you for the EC video and most of all for the link to your friends web site. You should to start a thread for his web site, www.guitarsandcars.com everyone would love this story / museum. That is the most incredible journey through the past. Those were the years I grew up in and my dad always bought Cadillac. I spent about an hour there and just scratched the surface.

 

Thanks again,

 

David

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David, in a proper fully tube-driven amp, the tubes are on the preamp and poweramp sides. They evidently do different jobs on each side, and affect your tone in different ways. There is a lot of debate which is too technical for the likes of me regarding which side is more important for your tone. In the end, the consensus is probably both. If you pushed people to choose, more might now give a slight edge to the preamp side (hybrid valve-solid state amps now tend to put a valve in the preamp, then use trannies for power). But it's worth noting that MusicMan and Peavey Classic amps of the 1970s went with a solid-state preamp and a valve-driven power stage, and those amps are considered to have very good clean sounds. Let's not get into the pros and cons of solid state and tube rectifiers... Given that you're now set on a smaller amp, you'll find that the tubes on both sides of whatever you buy are pushed hard, and both will contribute fully to the powerful and most likely rather overdriven sound that you will get.

 

I'm with BB King's choice of big and clean blues power, and also make use of master volume when my main amp is functioning properly. But I am mighty jealous of Mikey Bear's ES 347/335 and Fender Super combination, and of the fact that he presumably has the chance to gig with it. That really is blues heaven. Flexible, moving easily between clean and dirty, touch responsive amp with the perfect touch responsive guitar. Too expensive for me though! The only set-up to compete is Muddy Waters': the same amp with an open-tuned Telecaster and slide. But as I'll never play slide like the master, the 335 has to be a more sensible ideal... Mikey Bear, how come your Blackface Super rates at 65 Watts and not 40-45?

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Mikey Bear, how come your Blackface Super rates at 65 Watts and not 40-45?

 

Good point - cause i forgot! Or else that's what i was told and I never checked up on it... since it really doesn't matter to me. But you are correct - it has a measly 40-45 watts... of pure tone!

 

I had a brownface early 60's Bassman that i would love to get back that i didn't mention before, now that my memory has been jogged. All of my Fender amps are/were vintage black or brown face and they were the bomb! Even that Blackface Twin i had was cool - even if it was too loud.

 

and no I don't "presumably" still gig - I'm an old fart and lugging that stuff around and dealing with the egos doesn't appeal to me anymore.

 

As to the OP - you can get good sound out of a master volume type amp - my Boogie is that way as well as my Marshall. It basically allows you to overdrive the pre-amp tubes till they give up and scream. I had a master volume put onto my Super Lead 100 but it wasn't what I was looking for in tone. It had 5881 for power tubes and they just don't sound the same as the original EL-34s. While the preamp give the distortion - the power tubes give the tone. So if you like the tone drenched sound of old Marshalls, Parks and Vox amps - you want something that either drives EL-34s or in smaller amps EL-84s, or else you want an old Fender type amp that has had the 6L6s taken out and been re-biased for EL-34s. My Boogie 22 watt is driven with EL-84s and my Marshall has EL-34s. If my Super weren't so old, I'd have it rebiased for EL-34s and feel like I'm in heaven. As it is, it sounds pretty sweet right where it is.

 

I have a project in mind to take the old Bassman amp out of the head cabinet and build a similar but taller 2/10 combo cabinet for it. If i do that, I'll have it rebiased for EL-34s for sure.

 

btw - on fairly good authority, one well known southern boogie band of the 70s that nearly got wiped out in a famous plane crash, used to use Peavey amps... but they took the guts out and replaced them with Marshalls. Had something to do with ad contracts with Peavey for why they didn't switch - but they wanted what solid state couldn't deliver in the 70s. Most fans couldn't tell the difference anyway by look or sound.

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The nice thing about the Blues Jr. is that it takes pedals REALLY well. My Tiny Terror hates pedals, but then again it doesn't need them.

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As mentioned earlier, the VOX AC4tv is a really nice little number. I picked one up for a friend of mine recently and got to play it a bit at 1/4 watt, 1 watt and 4 watt. All good depending on the size of the room.

I bought a new amp a week or so ago. A Marshall JMD 501 50 watt combo and I've found it sounds great at any volume. My playroom is about 500 square feet with a 14 foot ceiling and almost soundproof so I can crank it when wanted.

I sold a Line 6 Spider 75 the week before. Tons of power but too much fussing about to find the tones I like.

Happy hunting.

 

Dave

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