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guitarzan55

What Amp Best Captures the Gibson Semi-Hollow Body Jazz tones?

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I currently use a Blues Junior iii and am happy with it, but if money were no object, what amp would be the best fit to capture that Jazz tonal quality of say a Wes Montgomery? What do you all use?

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It mostly comes down to size, and whether transistor or valve/tube....

 

Polytone is a classic trans amp used by many jazz players

 

Roland Cube and Jazz Chorus are excellent also

 

Fender Bassman and Deluxe are widely used

 

A lot of the tone is in the fingers....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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It mostly comes down to size, and whether transistor or valve/tube....

 

Polytone is a classic trans amp used by many jazz players

 

Roland Cube and Jazz Chorus are excellent also

 

Fender Bassman and Deluxe are widely used...

 

 

:-({|=

As well as the venerable Fender Twin Reverb

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THE AMPLIFIER FOR THE CLASSIC TONE is a '63 Ampeg Reverberocket. If you look at the video that George Benson recently recorded on his teaching style and playing you will notice this amplifier that is sitting just to the left of him ie his right. I have one of these Ampegs and have to say that it is the quietest amplifier with the deepest reverb or as Ampeg says on the amplifier knobs 'echo'. jim p.s. if it is good enough for George Benson it is good enough for any of us!

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I Play my Gibson L-5CES through a Roland Cube 30X ($250) in a 20-piece jazz big band, and am completely satisfied. Even if money were no object I'm not sure I would change.

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What Wes used was most commonly a Deluxe Reverb and a Twin Reverb.

 

Depending how you set the controls, a Fender amp can have outstanding clarity and note definition, as a result of the tubes providing good fidelity. (tubes, in many cases, can have better fidelity than SS).

 

Just my opinion, but to me one thing that sets Mr. Montgomery's tone from most Jazz players was using the Fender amps set to more of a "Fendery" tone than perfectly clean.

 

But aside from that, the roland amps like the JC series are great for Jazz, and I have seen and heard vids on here of L5LARRY and he gets a GREAT tone and mix with the band.

 

I have never had an AMPEG with the Blue tolex, but I have played some, and as well I have read of these being made for playing clean when they were designed. I think it may be tonal Jazz bliss.

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For a Wes-style tone, my unqualified recommendation would have to be a blackface or early silverface Fender Pro Reverb.

 

http://www.thevintagesound.com/ffg/pro_reverb_bf.html

 

By "early silverface", I mean the pre-76 models with the tube rectifier. (Have a look. Don't assume that because it has a master volume, it has an SS rectifier. The 74-76s had the MV and TR.)

 

These run 2 x 6L6GCs and 2 x 12s and have an output of 40W. They have an underspecced output transformer and a single tube rectifier (GZ34 or 5U4) that needs a bit of time to respond to transients because of the bigger load ("sag"). The circuit design combined with the 12s (mine has been retrofitted with Weber 12F150s) gives a very warm tone. All of this results in each note "blooming" into the room rather than "punching through" as might be the case with an amp fitted with a SS rectifier or a Vibrolux with the 10" speakers and lower output wattage.

 

Through a Pro, my 345 gets as close to an L5 as I need.

 

The good news is that Pro Reverbs never achieved cult status and can be found at reasonable prices. The only downside is the weight (60lbs) and possibly the size.

 

If you want something with tubes and a similar sound but with 1 x 12, you could look at the Heritage (yes they make amps too - or they used to) Kenny Burrell model.

 

For solid state, my recommendation would be a Henriksen JazzAmp. I thought about a Polytone but was advised that these have maintenance issues, and that the Henriksen is the better buy nowadays.

 

RN

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Fender Blues Deluxe!

 

Omg Dude [biggrin] what makes you say this?

 

I would totally agree, I would just like to hear your views on why.

 

Today I AB'd my Fender Pro Tube TWIN amp and my Fender Blues Deluxe Amp and I thought that the Blues Deluxe won hands down.

 

This saddened me a bit considering the price difference between the two. However, I have come to realising that different guitars work well with different amps...it's amazing that I can get the awesome tone I want from my Twin using my LP's, my SG's and Strats etc, but when I plugged in the ES335 I thought that the Blues Deluxe had a more warm and very Electric/Acoustic resonant sound which was just awesome for jazz and that creamy blues sound.

 

here is my Blues Rig as I have mentioned.

 

IMG_0047.jpg

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Here's the deal. Most guitar players are willing to spend huge sums of money for their favorite guitars. I was just like that as well. When I purchased my L5 (brand new for $5K) I thought that I finally reached the top of the food chain. And for many reasons, from a guitar perspective I did. But the sad truth was that I was only half way there. Having a great guitar without an equally matched amp to hear it was not completing the picture.

 

I know lot of the responses on amps aren't honest responses. Money is always the issue!

When money was an issue for me, I used a Fender Blue Jr. Now that money is not an issue, I use a Fuchs TDS 100. The sound quality of my Fuchs (to me) is magical to the point that I have not turned on my other amps since I purchased it.

 

So, at the risks of ticking off my fellow guitar players, the question demands an honest answer. If money was not an object. This means, if you could audition any amp on planet earth to get a Wes-style tone regardless of money, what would you choose.

 

BTW, it took me a year plus time and few thousands of miles of travel to finally decide on this amp. And finally, it's not my attention to sugguest that this amp will work for everybody else. But for the love of making music, you owe it to yourself to explore beyond the typical Fenders, Rolands, Poly, Ampegs, etc. that our grand fathers used.

 

Jazz,

[thumbup]

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1963 Ampeg Reverberocket. THE BEST amplifier for jazz ever made. Puts a Fender to shame. Used by all the great NYC jazz guys in the 1960's. NO HISS which is what Polytones are famous for. DEEP, INCREDIBLE Reverb (or Echo as Ampeg called it)...........jim in Maine

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My personal favorite is the Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. I have one that gets heavy use, both by myself and my friends. We use it to amplify a Fishman-equipped Martin, a Martin EM18, a Carvin SH550, a '69 ES-340 and my own 335. It never fails to deliver a great tone, and it's small and light weight (25.6 lb) with a 1x12 speaker and 250 watts; it has chorus, delay and reverb in various combinations. I also have a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue and a Bandmaster VM head on a Weber California Ceramic 15 cabinet. Each one has its virtues, but the JM hits a real sweet spot. I traded off a Blues Jr NOS (tweed, Jensen speaker) because it couldn't compete, soundwise. It was small and handsome, but it didn't really contribute to the sound the way the others do.

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I just aquired a 2000 Blues Hawk. For the blues, it sounds best running through my Fender Twin Reverb. Great bell like tones with great clarity. Adding reverb really sweetens up the sounds and brings out the twang!!

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I have a Princeton Reverb clone that sounds marvelous with my 335 for jazz. I used to have a twin and a deluxe reverb, both were magnificent, but I couldn't life them comfortably. The Princeton is tonally close enough and practical for my purposes.

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I guess the right answer here can only be answered by your ear. We all have amps that we think best captures the Jazz tones but you may think otherwise. Try them out with your guitar. The Blues Jr. is a nice amp and there are many mods that can be done to make it even better. Have fun in your quest for that special tone you are looking to find.

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For a Wes-style tone, my unqualified recommendation would have to be a blackface or early silverface Fender Pro Reverb.

 

http://www.thevintag..._reverb_bf.html

 

By "early silverface", I mean the pre-76 models with the tube rectifier. (Have a look. Don't assume that because it has a master volume, it has an SS rectifier. The 74-76s had the MV and TR.)

 

These run 2 x 6L6GCs and 2 x 12s and have an output of 40W. They have an underspecced output transformer and a single tube rectifier (GZ34 or 5U4) that needs a bit of time to respond to transients because of the bigger load ("sag"). The circuit design combined with the 12s (mine has been retrofitted with Weber 12F150s) gives a very warm tone. All of this results in each note "blooming" into the room rather than "punching through" as might be the case with an amp fitted with a SS rectifier or a Vibrolux with the 10" speakers and lower output wattage.

 

Through a Pro, my 345 gets as close to an L5 as I need.

 

The good news is that Pro Reverbs never achieved cult status and can be found at reasonable prices. The only downside is the weight (60lbs) and possibly the size.

 

If you want something with tubes and a similar sound but with 1 x 12, you could look at the Heritage (yes they make amps too - or they used to) Kenny Burrell model.

 

For solid state, my recommendation would be a Henriksen JazzAmp. I thought about a Polytone but was advised that these have maintenance issues, and that the Henriksen is the better buy nowadays.

 

RN

 

 

Hi Robin,

 

I can talk about the same amps that you mention but wish to conclude differently. I own a Fender Pro Reverb - great amp but too heavy for me to carry around. Feels like the same weight as a Twin Reverb. Also sound wise may not be quite as good as a Polytone or a Henriksen. Sticking with the Fenders I consider the Deluxe Reverb to be a great choice. Similar in tone to the Pro Reverb but much lighter and is easy to transport.

 

However I prefer a Polytone. You're correct that they are difficult to service but I own a '73 Polytone and have found people who can service it. I also own a Henriksen Jazz Amp. I find it great with some guitars but for others the Poytone works better. When I play my Johnny Smith I use the Polytone. When I play my Tal Farlow I use the Henriksen. Horses for courses for me but I do prefer the amps that are purpose built for Jazz guitar like a Polytone or a Henriksen.

 

Regards,

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I just picked up a Laney Lionheart 4 10 combo, sounds great 20 watts - its like a half power bassman with reverb. Sounds wonderful and warm with my ES-5 Switchmaster. It's real Class A amp btw.

 

Sounds excellent for clean jazz etc. with bags of headroom

 

I have a few Laneys for various sounds....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Omg Dude [biggrin] what makes you say this?

 

I would totally agree, I would just like to hear your views on why.

 

Today I AB'd my Fender Pro Tube TWIN amp and my Fender Blues Deluxe Amp and I thought that the Blues Deluxe won hands down.

 

This saddened me a bit considering the price difference between the two. However, I have come to realising that different guitars work well with different amps...it's amazing that I can get the awesome tone I want from my Twin using my LP's, my SG's and Strats etc, but when I plugged in the ES335 I thought that the Blues Deluxe had a more warm and very Electric/Acoustic resonant sound which was just awesome for jazz and that creamy blues sound.

 

here is my Blues Rig as I have mentioned.

 

IMG_0047.jpg

 

Where did you get the red chicken head knobs? I have a candy-apple red ES-137 Custom and a Blues Deluxe. A great combination.

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Where did you get the red chicken head knobs? I have a candy-apple red ES-137 Custom and a Blues Deluxe. A great combination.

Why doesn't anyone use the fender bandmaster any more,I have one from 1961 and love to tone for any type of music.There must be something I'm missing.

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