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Amp under 650?


Andrew Riggs

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I have a epiphone les paul and will be playing in a church youth group band this fall. I like to play a bluesy rock kind of music and would like to play country in the future. I have tried out the marshall class 5 and I loved it but I got the feeling its used for hard rock and metal, Im just wanting a clean sound maybe with a delay and wah pedal and tube screamer nothing to fancy. I want a amp that is known for good clean sound not a metal amp that I can get good clean sound out of at low volume. I have tried fender blues junior and just dont like it

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Buy used. Silver face Fender twin or deluxe reverbs can be had in that range.

 

I second that. A used silverface Fender will treat you right. I would avoid the '65 RI series. Over priced and mushy tones at gig volume.

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The DR is an almost perfect small club rock/country or medium concert for non-rock music. It carries easily, too. The Twin is at my age heavier than I'd wish to haul. My similar dual 12 tube jobbie with the typical crud in the open back is too close to 90 pounds and even with casters... nope.

 

I'd also suggest you look at a new Fender Mustang amp. I think the Mustang III is 100 watts, should be clean until the speaker gives out and offers amp emulation that should get pretty close to the Deluxe Reverb if you don't expect it to start distortion at high levels as one would get from a tube amp. You also have less need to carry extra fuses and after it burns in, it should be even more reliable than a tube amp. The Mustang III is a little lighter and roughly as loud as the DR in a similar size package.

 

I bought the DR in the old days because it also had the advantage of two separate channels that I could use simultaneously for a mike and guitar. Solo gigs were a priority even then for me. Now I do things differently altogether, but that's a whole 'nother story involving small AE guitar amp and small PA as current choice for most purposes.

 

Tube vs. solid state tend in ways to go in phases of major popularity among guitarists. The solid state came in largely because it offered the potential of a lighter and more reliable travel amp. Current tube fans like the way tubes overdrive. Some like smaller tube amps miked to get that sound through a PA with less hassle; others always will like the biggest tube jobbies possible to scream at outdoor venues and damage ears indoors.

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Silverface DRs are really sweet sounding amps and they're loud enough to hang with a band. My only complaint is that the one I was playing through for a while would get real noisy when you mixed in the reverb, but overall it was a great amp.

 

I paid around $600 for my ac30 and I would definitely recommend one of those. I think it sounds better than the silverface DR but the DR is easier to fix.

 

My bandmate got the big 2x12 Mustang amp and my brother has the smaller one and I would not recommend those amps. They're cool but the drive and effects aren't great and if you're using it for a clean sound you might as well just get a simple tube amp. Just my 2 cents..

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R9

 

Great advice and I'd add to take his own guitar along.

 

Even so, each amp will sound somewhat different in different acoustic situations. If miked and run through a <chortle> solid state PA system, it'll be yet a bit of a different sound regardless if it's ss or tube...

 

Nobody even mentioned stuff like earphone or line-out and various other bits of connectivity that are one reason I doubt I'll buy another tube amp. I have two that are pretty much classics now.

 

m

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Free shipping:

 

$399

 

Early 70's Fender Bassman

 

or

 

$599

 

1971 Fender Bandmaster

 

Both choices are worth the price range you have mentioned, and would be loud enough to play any gig really. Pretty rad because you get I believe 24-48 hours after delivery to return the item to your local GC store and return it if it's not exactly what you're looking for.

 

 

My buddy has the exact Fender Bassman in the listing above, and it totally rips for guitar. It really cleans up nice, but can push a nice overdrive tone. I'd go with that one for $400 if I had the cash or interest.

 

Good luck to you!

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Yeah, but do either the bassman or bandmaster have a cab with 'em or just the head? The ad indicates just the heads.

 

Now what cab would go with? New or used it's gonna run a minimum of a cupla hundred whatevers if it's in playable shape. The ones I've been looking at are more than that which puts the budget past what the thread starter had suggested. Plus with equipment of that age, you'd best have them retubed and triple checked - which would add at least another $100 or more.

 

I've a bassman head that's currently searching for a cab 'cuz my brother can't remember what happened to the cab after I loaned both to him... it's been mine/his since the early '70s and it's one of the late 60s models since I know its history before I picked it up with a matching 4-10 cab.

 

Add how much more for cabs for our erstwhile questioner? I don't know about used, but I'm holding back to see what I can pick up that'd work for my bass needs more than guitar 'cuz I've already plenty of whumf for what I need for guitar with a number of options depending on venue and style I'd be playing.

 

m

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For what you are describing you want to play, the Deluxe Reverb will likely do it all. And problably more recordings of blues and country have been done with the DR than any other amp. Blues/rock too.

 

I agree with the statement that the reissue version lacks a lot compared to the Silverfaced ones. But for 300-400 bucks used it should be considered a different catagory of amp. The Silverfaced ones are much closer in performance to an actual Blackfaced amp than the reissue that is based on it.

 

650 for a Deluxe Reverb silverfaced might be a little optamistic. I think they are more like 750-1000 dollars right now. You might find them for that and even less, but it would likely be ready for a little maintenence, which would roughly be 50-150 bucks. Thing is, it might be worth it to make the stretch or take the chance. An old Fender amp is going to be a lifetime amp you will likely not outgrow, and they are cheap to maintain and work on.

 

Also in favor of a Silverfaced DR is they sound great in any band setting, and are very forgiving played at volume with other instruments. They work great using a boost pedal like a Tube SCreamer, and with the reverb, you won't need a delay (although you could still use one if you wanted).

 

There are more options, too many to name. I might not think it worth it to spend a lot of money on a Solid state amp unless it is a high quality one like a Roland Jazz Chorus. 650 is a lot to spend on something you might want to upgrade in the very near future. But just because it is a tube amp don't mean it will sound good...I have heard a lot of bad sounding ones in the "budget" catagory that make a cheap SS amp seem like the way to go. Just don't let yourself be tricked into spending too much on a SS amp because it seems better than a cheaper one because it has more bells and wistles or seems more "professional". They aren't.

 

Shopping for amps should be fun. Try and find some good shops besides the big stores and make a thing of it.

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... The Silverfaced ones are much closer in performance to an actual Blackfaced amp than the reissue that is based on it....

 

650 for a Deluxe Reverb silverfaced might be a little optamistic. I think they are more like 750-1000 dollars right now...

 

Yeah, I wouldn't sell my silverface Deluxe Reverb for $650, so that is definitely optomistic!

 

One way to save some $ though is to get an without reverb. If reverb is not an absolute essential you can save 200-300 on a silverface amp. Also I have a good friend who rocks a mid 60s blackface Fender Deluxe without reverb and he got it for half the price of a blackface Deluxe Reverb.

 

Another consideration is a Princeton. They are always nice and in your price range - though you may have to run it wide open to hang with a drummer. Again reverb is a factor. I have a SF Princeton w/o reverb that I got for less than half or what my SF Princeton Reverb is worth.

 

Just muddying the waters. [biggrin]

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Again, a lot has to do with what you're gonna use it for.

 

I got the DR back in late '65 over the Princeton or anything else because it offered the solo option with two entirely different input channels so I could plug a mike into one and a guitar into the other and wail away. Virtually everything in those days was tube. Many considered it too warm and too much maintenance.

 

The DR worked well enough in a rock band of the era or even connected to a turntable. But I knew what fit my usage and likely future usage. The monster I traded it for also worked well enough in a combination guitar and pa function.

 

One may note that I'm not at all anti tube - I have a couple classics - but I'm not entirely sold on the idea that if it ain't a tube amp, it ain't a guitar amp at all. I do agree with the bells and whistles argument from sales people as not being particularly relevant. But that goes also with tube amps of any sort.

 

I wouldn't mind having my old '65 DR back - but in the same condition in which I swapped it for the big 120-watt tube monster. Otherwise I'd likely have to spend the same to get it rebuilt at the cost of a Mustang III that'd only use the DR emulation and ignore Fender's attempts at added stomp boxes in the electronics.

 

I've been considering just dumping my Bassman tube head for a GK lightweight bass combo.

 

It's my observation that "we" too often are so involved in what we think "our sound" is with amps that we forget what an audience might be hearing. Very seldom, except for real pros, does one hear discussion of "sound systems" for a band or even solo act that emphasizes what an audience hears as opposed to what you think they're hearing from your amp.

 

Yeah, I'm cynical, but I've heard far too many saloon and coffeeshop groups that sounded fine next to the stage and 30 feet back sounded like mud. I figure nobody really cares if your amp has great tone in the middle of a muddy "mix."

 

m

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I second that. A used silverface Fender will treat you right. I would avoid the '65 RI series. Over priced and mushy tones at gig volume.

Going back to the reissue Deluxe Reverb, you're going to be looking mostly at lower volume, clean tones. It will shine at that, and a used one should be well within your price range. While the folks mentioning above that it doesn't really shine at gig levels may have a point, I have to say that I've heard some great sounds coming from them on louder volumes. I also have one, though I've never played with a band with it, so I can't really speak from the players end, but again I've heard (from an audience point of view) some really good sounds from them.

 

Another option is the Blues Deluxe, again a used one is well within your range, and they sound good too. Thing is, I really like the addition of Tremolo on the DRRI.

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Check out theses... http://www.egnateramps.com/ I have a Rebel 20 and a Rebel 30... Both are great tube amps with personality and excellent tone/sound. The 30 is a bit more versatile as it has 2 channels and built in reverb but it might be slightly over your budget. I have heard very good things about the Tweaker series too so check those out as well... Good luck and happy shopping :-)

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The main thing to figure out first is what your price range is and how big an amp you want.

 

Deluxe Reverbs are great. I have one. But I won't ever recommend them. Why? Because you'll never want a Deluxe Reverb until you're experienced enough to know for yourself that you want one. They have an extremely narrow sweet spot and are not very versatile. Don't buy a DR on anybody's recommendation. I can't believe you guys are recommending the DR. [rolleyes]

 

Don't buy any old Fender Tweeds, Blackfaces, Silverfaces, Brownfaces, Bassmen, or anything like that. Those guys are saying that just because experienced guitar players think old Fenders are cool. I do too. But they are absolutely not what you want. Buy a modern amp that is a current model.

 

The Fender Blues Junior is a great amp. Very versatile for the price. 20 watts at about $500.00

 

Egnaters are also great sounding amps. I have a Rebel 20 and it is the best sounding amp I have. Egnater ain't that great on customer service, so it helps to be patient or have a backup if you buy an Egnater. They have various models in the $500 to $1000 range.

 

[thumbup]

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I have a epiphone les paul and will be playing in a church youth group band this fall. I like to play a bluesy rock kind of music and would like to play country in the future. I have tried out the marshall class 5 and I loved it but I got the feeling its used for hard rock and metal, Im just wanting a clean sound maybe with a delay and wah pedal and tube screamer nothing to fancy. I want a amp that is known for good clean sound not a metal amp that I can get good clean sound out of at low volume. I have tried fender blues junior and just dont like it

I think you already answered your own question. While amps are often associated with different types of music, and amps are even manufactured with particular styles in mind, they just amplify the signal that comes for the guitar. It's all in how you set the amp and how you like it.

 

The guy who showed me my first scales was a Jazz Guy that used an Es-135 into a JC-120 clone and swore by that sound. Nowadays he play Jazz on a Strat into a Carvin clone of a Fender Blues Deluxe. The sounds associated with certain amps and guitars are usually coming from gear that's been modded beyond recognition, anyway.

 

I'd say, if you fell in love with the Class 5 Marshall then you found your amp. However, to answer your question more directly, the Roland JC-120 is generally considered one of the cleanest amps available. Kind of sterile for Blues and Blues Rock, IMO. I prefer the clean sound of Fender Amps over Marshall, but that's just me. Fender gets a very warm clean channel, but not the most transparent sound.

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