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View Full Version : List and describe your best and worst amps of all time ! ?


Dr. Tweedbucket
09-18-2007, 07:10 AM
I've really been into the amp thing for a while .....

Worst amp #1

I had an 81 Fender 75 head that always sounded like it was sitting in a mud puddle buried under a pile of blankets. It was terrible. No dynamics, no nothing. I bought it used and was stuck with it. Even after swapping tubes, it still was a piece of crap. I played that thing for 2 years :messedup

Worst amp # 2

Marshall JCM800 50 watt. This thing had the 6550s and sounded really thin. I put new tubes in, but no improvement. It finally degraded to sounding like a long distance overseas telephone call .... as far as frequency response goes. http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/frown.gif I ended up booting it out the door.

Worst amp #3

Marshall JCM900 50W hi gain dual reverb. This amp sounded better than the JCM800, but it just didn't have any bass response. It too had the 6550 tubes. I could turn the bass control to 11, or until it snapped off and still .... no bass. I kicked it out the door as well. http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/redface.gif


Best amp #1

After the JCM900 disaster, I found a 1992 Mesa Dual Recto head. This baby was wrapped in pure leather and had tone controls that actually worked !! It sounded great! Sustain for days, all kinds of cool tones with this amp. Built like a tank too. I kept it for 10 years and it was a great amp for a hi gain type amp. No fizz like the current Mesas.

Best amp #2

I found an original 74 Hiwatt DR103 and it just RIPS !! This amp sounds fantastic, especially with a P90 guitar and a TS808 plugged into it. It has such good definition that you can almost hear if you are playing with a Fender medium or one of those Green Dunlop picks ! 1! ! If you want to compare guitars or pickups, this is the amp to do it with. http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/cool.gif

Best amp #3

Dr. Z Prescription. I am going to cram the original along with the newer ES version (EF86) front-end amp here. Can I do that? http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/confused.gif Both amps are non master 45 watt EL84 amps. The regular has the standard 12AX7 front-end and more of a British flavor. It breaks up into a nice warm crunch and puts out a LOUD 45 Watts. It too is transparent like the Hiwatt and sounds great with an overdrive pedal and a touch of delay. The ES model has more headroom and sounds Voxy in some ways and Marshally in others. It definitely has it's own thing going. Nice FAT bass response. The only overdrive pedals that I found will pass the full freqency response are the Xotic pedals.... the BB and RC work great with this amp.

... there are more favorites, but I didn't want to have to write a book about it !! http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif

scottlr
09-18-2007, 07:34 AM
I don't recall ever having an amp that was bad sounding. But the biggest POS I ever had was a Legend 30 watt combo, actually 2 of them. Both blew up on me within a week brand new. Returned first one and got another one, blew that one, took it back and got a SS Randall combo that was my road amp for years.

Best amp I ever had was a 70 or 71 Marshall 50 watt full stack. I wish I still had that one. But this back in the days of if I needed something new, I had to trade or sell something else. The band was moving towards small combo amps, so the Marshall had to be traded to get the gear I needed at the time.

Phil M
09-18-2007, 07:39 AM
I don't recall ever having an amp that was bad sounding. . .

Exactly. Why would you get an amp that sounds bad?

yZe
09-18-2007, 07:42 AM
Worst amps

I had a Pignose 1-12 combo

The next was a Peavey triumph 120

I actually had the nerve to gig with those amps

Not really worth describing

I love my Tonemaster & mojave, though

There are 2 other heads I own which are very inexpensive & sound as good as some 2-3000 amps

Exactly. Why would you get an amp that sounds bad?
When you are a broke dog

Dr. Tweedbucket
09-18-2007, 07:53 AM
Exactly. Why would you get an amp that sounds bad?


In my case, it was inexperience. Also, going on a name brand thinking I was automatically getting a great amp was a mistake. Buying used can be a bummer since you can't return it.

mprvise
09-18-2007, 08:17 AM
Worst - early 1980's Crate solid state 60W. My first amp. Impossible to get any kind of good OD tone out of it, even an decent solid state 1980's OD tone.

Best - most recently the Divided by 13 JRT 9/15. I am told often by other players in town that I have good tone. Last Saturday I was using my JRT with a Dr Z 4X10 and my Gatton Tele. The JRT was on the EL84's and I was getting a killer OD tone, no pedals needed. Between songs a great local player came up and said "Dude, I just have to tell you your tone is ridiculously good!" He went on to say some nice things about cutting, but not being harsh, etc. Sunday night he and I were talking to a few other players and he told them that it was one of the best, if not the best live tone he'd ever heard. I was like :eek: :dude:). Any amp that can elicit that kind of response from another player (excellent player at that) who also has great tone has to be one of the best. I'll definitely be bringing the Tele and that rig to gigs more often.

jetydosa
09-18-2007, 08:47 AM
Worst amp - My friends mid 80s Crate G60. To this day I have never heard such a crappy sounding amp. It covererd every tone from chainsaw gridning to mosquito buzzing. Truly awful. We ended up stabbing a knife through it finally!

Best amp - My 1973 Marshall SuperLead 100w. This amp has taken down all comers since I bought it in 1994. I bought it from a music store who got it (and some other old Marshalls) in on trade from a studio in Atlanta that changed owners. It was used to record the first Warren Haynes album as well as the Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream album (albiet w/lots of pedals!).

Johnnythunders
09-18-2007, 09:03 AM
These are the amps I've had since 2001, I know I have bad GAS!
Fargen Mini-plex
Aiken Invader 18
Aiken Invader 30
Aiken Tomcat
Aiken Intruder
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange Rocker 30
Maven Peal Tuskadaro
Cornford Harlequin
Matamp XV
Peters Dual Channel
Laney 20 watter
Vodoo Hex
Hiwatt Lead 30
Traynor YBA-1
Hiwatt Cerritone
Sovtek Tbe Midget
Harry Joyce 100
Peters Superlead
Matamp LX
TopHat Emplexador
Nano


Worst of these

1) Vzex Nano - I was on the small cranked kick for awhile and this was the smallest available. Ugh sounded small, turn it up and it sounded all compressed, thin and just bad even thru a 4x12.
2) Laney 20 watter - Another small expereiment gone bad. It was cheap and sounded it.
3) Hiwatt Lead 30 - Ouch talk about loud, talk about compressed, talk about gain oh my migraine!

Best

1) Harry Joyce 100 Watt- Gave me a hard-on first time I played it. Second time, well best to say we are eloping to Las Vegas this weekend. Now this is one tight amp that is perfect for playing punk.
2) Matamp 100 watt LX - Not most people's cup of tea but I love this for big "wooly" fuzzy stoner rock with a D*A*M Red Rooster and my Sean Martin Hatebreed guitar tuned low C.
3) Peters Superlead "Purple". 100 watts, great MV, just an awesome metal amp with a great three position toggle switch for little bit of gain, more gain and oh my god vintage 80's metal gain.

prsflame
09-18-2007, 09:50 AM
Worst Amps I've owned:
1) Peavy Bandit 65
2) Mesa Boogie Maverick
3) Orange Rockerverb 50 ( tech problems, shitty customer support)

Best:
1) Bruno UG30 (I've owned mine since 1996, long before the fanboys started comin' out of the woodwork)
2) Bogner Shiva El34 head
3) Two Rock Custom Reverb
4) DRZ Carmen Ghia

corky newman
09-18-2007, 11:17 AM
worst amps..not toys, real working giging amps..
1- Coral kilowatt
2- Peavey VTM
3- casino Little Joe.
4- Univox SS crapola

best so far..
1- debeck custom 50
2- two rock emerald pro
3- mojave plexi 45
4- Demartini custom Hiwatt.
5- Demeter TGA3

smiert spionam
09-18-2007, 11:19 AM
Geez, I had that Crate G60, too! I hope I didn't sell mine to one of you guys....

Squigglefunk
09-18-2007, 12:05 PM
I can make any amp sound good ;)

Pearly Gator
09-18-2007, 12:14 PM
Best: Fender Brownface Bandmaster w/blonde tolex. I still lament selling it during a time of poverty.

Worst: Fender Pro Junior. A lot of people like them. I bought it based on the accolades and found it to be ratty and boxy. Couldn't sell it fast enough. Tried speakers, NOS tubes and dumped it after the cheap plastic pots broke from light use.

madstrat
09-18-2007, 12:15 PM
i can make any amp sound bad....:crazy

1973Marshall
09-18-2007, 12:24 PM
Best I ever played thru and would love to use again:

Bogner Shiva
Bogner XTC Classic
1968 Marshall SLP
1973 Marshall SLP
1969 Marshall 50w
1966 Fender Twin

mayyyyyyyybe a Mesa Mark IIB, but I can't really say

Mesa Dual Recs ARE NOT BAD, but the feel is not always for me. They are great at being loud, as are all Rectos.

Worst:

Framus Dragon
Marshall JCM900's and late 80s 800s are SO INCONSISTENT they have given me fits!

plagtr2
09-18-2007, 12:30 PM
Worst: Tie--Bedrock 1600 combo & a Mesa .50 Cal combo. I suck but these two suck MORE!
Best: Hands down, my Top Hat Emplexador. THE sound that I have been looking for forever! Man, I love that amp!

mrmega
09-18-2007, 12:31 PM
Best Amp? Dang that's hard. I like most of my amps.

When playiung heavy music, I generally combine 2 or 3 amps to get a high gain sound... almost always my jcm-900 is a part of that, but alone it doesnt satisfy me. Its still a great amp though.



Worst Amp? I am going to change the wording of this question to "Amp that failed meet my expectations the most".


1) Marshall TSL 100: Man that thing sucked IMO. Anything past AC/DC type gain was pathetically useless for me live or in the studio.


2) Fender Hot Rod Deville 2x12: Again, this amp is almost useless to me in the studio. It doesn't meet my needs as far as getting a good Fender sound. I wouldnt even consider it for live use, unless something radical happens.



Biggest Surprise?

Ampeg VT120 tube head (late 80's). After the design flaw of the effects loop was fixxed (most of these develop some sort of short that makes the amp have an intermittent volume drop/rise)

Its the loudest cleanest head I have ever heard. Tone for days and gobs of headroom. Its freakin amazing.

I had initially considered it for medium to high gain uses, and the clean channel surprised me the most. All of my gear snobs have been unexpectedly surprised as well.

deluxeman
09-18-2007, 12:59 PM
I had a Mark IIc that really sounded bad!!!!!!
it had some issue. I had a MarkIII at the time and wanted to add a IIc to the collection. Had it about 3 months traded it for a Fender Super.

Best amp That same Fender Super and That Mark III.............

G-Let
09-18-2007, 01:54 PM
Worst amp of all time: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/78566-finally-found-amp-i-wanted.html

JamesHealey
09-18-2007, 02:42 PM
Worst Amp:
JCM900 Mk3, No Bass or typical Marshall upper mids? it didn't play/feel/sound like a Marshall.

Biggest Disapointment:
Splawn Competition, I waited so long for this amp and tried every speaker combination and sold many good guitars trying to find something that suited this amp.. I really wish i'd just sold the amp sooner, sounded nothing like the website clips, although it had a usable tone it really was a one trick pony and way too bright for me.





Best: Cornford Hurricane
Lovely boutique dark, warm filth. Dynamic and sweet and really up my freaking alley big time.



Best: ENGL Screamer 50
Best small 50watter for Modern metal tones at a great price, I used this amp for years and it really cuts through live and gave me a great high gain heavy metal tone.. If your playing in a Metal band look no further.



Best: Carlton Camel
Small scottish company, this amp had issues with the switching making popping noises and I couldn't find a footswitch that worked with it.. But it had the best clean tone and modern lead sound.. This amp really sounded like a Mark IV but with the feel of a Marshall, I sold this to a friend who's currently using it as his bedroom amp.. He uses a modded 5150 II live, This is a great amp tonally, contruction leaves a lot to be desired.

nolenuttt
09-18-2007, 02:45 PM
Okay, I'll play-

Worst amp-Seymour Duncan 84/40 with the little module things-Who thought THAT up......Better yet, why'd I Buy it......:crazy

Best amp-Tough call, but for cleans, it would probably be my 65 Vibrolux Reverb-Amazing amp, very pedal friendly, and those Blackface Cleans....
And for high gain, the Soldano SLO, hands down-Nothing touches it-Thick, Chewy, and relentless!!!:munch

Echo Are
09-18-2007, 03:00 PM
Worst(bad-sounding)amps:

1990-something Fender Frontman 15. One word: sterile.
1979 Roland Cube 60(orange tolex). Ho-hum clean tone, cruddy dirty tones.
1995 Marshall JTM 30. Chassis could double as a tube-heated oven.

Best amps:

Still haven't gotten it:). I like the amps I have now, though.

rockon1
09-18-2007, 03:07 PM
Best Amp? Dang that's hard. I like most of my amps.

When playiung heavy music, I generally combine 2 or 3 amps to get a high gain sound... almost always my jcm-900 is a part of that, but alone it doesnt satisfy me. Its still a great amp though.



Worst Amp? I am going to change the wording of this question to "Amp that failed meet my expectations the most".


1) Marshall TSL 100: Man that thing sucked IMO. Anything past AC/DC type gain was pathetically useless for me live or in the studio.


2) Fender Hot Rod Deville 2x12: Again, this amp is almost useless to me in the studio. It doesn't meet my needs as far as getting a good Fender sound. I wouldnt even consider it for live use, unless something radical happens

Man +1 on those two. My TSL was a nightmare both in sound and reliabilty! My HRD had a decent clean and not one but TWO useless OD channels!

Biggest surprises? Two cheapo amps and BOTH Crates!

Crate Stealth GT50. Man that thing reeks of fat 80's metal tones.For the price of a pedal it really gets me playing my favorite 80's tunes.

Crate Palomino V32 Great cleans and a fat OD sound. Great for anything from blues to Classic rock and more. Bob

Echo Are
09-18-2007, 03:29 PM
Crate Stealth GT50. Man that thing reeks of fat 80's metal tones.For the price of a pedal it really gets me playing my favorite 80's tunes.

One of those amps, the combo version, was for sale on my local craigslist a year or so back, for I think $300.00. I wished I'd bought it. Looks like a cool and unique amp. Lee Jackson designed, 4 6V6s for 50 watts. I wondfer how well it does low-gain, bluesy tones, though.

LaXu
09-18-2007, 03:32 PM
Never owned a totally horrible amp. Just amps that weren't the best choice for my tastes.

kenoflife
09-18-2007, 03:46 PM
Worst -
Seymour Duncan combo amp (sounded great I thought in a local band guys rig - suffered thru this thinking it was my fault thru my 30s)
Kustom Tuck and Roll (I liked the purple light....when I was 16)

2nd Worst -
Musicman 112 RD - OK for clean, maybe
Marshall 1970's 100w Head/1/2 stack (can't remember the model #)-
sounded like ass - maybe should be in first list

Best -
My Goodsell Super17mkII

2nd Best -
69 Vibrolux

ahab
09-18-2007, 03:55 PM
Worst: crate

Best: Top Hat Club Royale 2x12 Combo

sfarnell
09-18-2007, 04:05 PM
I keep changing my mind about my best amp. Sometimes it's the Two Rock Kimock through a 2X12 loaded with vintage JBL D120s, and sometimes it's my Mesa Mark IIC+ (which I've had forever) through a 2X12 loaded with EVM -12Ls. If I had to sell one, it would probably be the C+ because there were only 35 Kimocks made and it was so damned expensive. It would be easier to find and buy another C+ at sometime in the future. They both have beautiful tone(s) and are very versatile. I pinch myself every day because I can't believe I have such nice amps.

By far the worst amp I've ever had was a Mesa Mark IV. Maybe mine was a lemon, but it had the harshest cleans that I've ever heard. Every time I played it my ears hurt and I thought they were going to bleed even though I did not crank it very often. I tried to like it but eventually sold it to a tech who thought he could mellow out the sound a bit. Well, he sold it after about a month.

guitarsnguns04
09-18-2007, 04:06 PM
worst..
lots of crates..g-212
peaveys..backstage and bandit..
its all I could afford at the time

favorites:
matchless chieftain prototype
two rock onyx
kingsley d32
drz rxes
in no particular order

Boogie92801
09-18-2007, 04:53 PM
Worst
Pevey 100 watt solid state amp from the early 80's
Yamaha 50 watt that I traded the Peavey for
Bad Cat Classic cat - just not me

Best
Victoria 20112 witrh a red fang
Matchless Lightning
Matchless Clubman (recent purchase) it's a 93 with EF86 and I am still having a honeymoon.
1965 BF Pro Reverb (recently sold - probably shouldn't have but .... see above)

hangten
09-18-2007, 04:55 PM
worst: some solid state 100w fender that a salesman talked me into when I was 16 and ready to move up to a "real" amp from my 15 watt peavey (which actually sounded alright). "no, man, this is way better than tubes..."

also a vox AC30 rented - just a dog of an amp...

best: just did a tour with a rented super reverb reissue that was a KILLER amp.

and I have to mention my trusty DRRI which has hung tough and sounded great in SO many situations for the last 8 or 9 years...


not very boo-tee-kee...but there it is.

HeeHaw
09-18-2007, 04:58 PM
My worst amp was a Mesa Boogie series II rectoverb. Loose tube sockets, other myriads of problems. It went to california three times before it was fixed. I dumped it the next day.

Next worse amp was a DSL 100. When I got it I thought I had achieved the elusive marshall tone. Then a guy brought an 18 watt amp over the house that made my DSL sound buzzy and thin.

Best amp ever for me is my Reinhardt Vintage 50. It just fits me and my style.

Stringrazor
09-18-2007, 10:50 PM
Worst - Line6 FlexTone I used at a rehearsal studio, had all the character and depth of damp cardboard

Bad - '70's Jordan Electronics solid state 2x15 + hf horn, loud and clean but boring when it worked which wasn't for very long

Equal parts good and bad - Ampeg V4 - sounded great when it wanted to. Unfortunately, the sound would often deteriorate to sounding like a bad radio with reverb. No tech could ever find anything wrong with it.

Good - '65 Ampeg Jet, a litte dark but creamy & sweet when cranked

Good - '69/70 SFDR, nice presence, growls with an attenuator

Best - Peavey Rock Master pre / Classic 50/50 power amp - this is my main gigging amp, nice chimey clean channel with a lot of head room, flexible crunch and lead channels with as much OD as I could ever want.

I also have the much-maligned 80's Crate G60 (w/Fane 12"). It's far from the worst amp I ever played through. It doesn't have much character but works well enough on the clean channel with pedals.

jlummaa
09-18-2007, 11:51 PM
I believe that if the amp sounds bad it's your fault not the amp's. IMHO there are no bad amps just bad players and then again the same amp might be just fine with some other player if you happen to make it sound "bad". The next question would be, what is bad.

Build quality is a whole another story of course.

rhythmrocker
09-19-2007, 12:10 AM
I believe that if the amp sounds bad it's your fault not the amp's. IMHO there are no bad amps just bad players and then again the same amp might be just fine with some other player if you happen to make it sound "bad". The next question would be, what is bad.

Build quality is a whole another story of course.

Thanks for sharing that.

Knuckles
09-19-2007, 12:11 AM
Worst (good amp, couldn't get it to work for me): Fender Tone Master Head.
Looked bitchin', but never got it to sound the way I wanted. Tried tubes, speakers, etc. I still see used ones around and think "If only..."

Best: Naylor Super Club 38, w/matching 2x12 cab (purple tolex and cane grille cloth. Still kicking myself over selling this one).

BAN
09-19-2007, 01:04 AM
I'm assuming this means amps I've owned, so ...

Worst:

Peavey Triumph 120: though I do kinda have a soft spot for it ... it was my first "real" amp.
Tech 21 Trademark 30: I actually hated this amp. Hated it.
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe: Worst volume control ever. And nearly the worst OD sound.
Best:

Sewell Texaverb 25
Gries 5
Victoria 45410
Honorable Mention (on the good side):

Mesa Lonestar Special

Jatmosphere
09-20-2007, 04:26 PM
worst: mid 70's Super Twin (long gone thank god!)

Best: (all great, different flavors)
2006 Goodsell Super 17 MkII combo (w/ vintage Celestion G12H, S#0196, one of the last pre-bluebreaker cab models)
'67 Vibrolux (5881 output tubes and vintage Celestion V10's)
'66 Princeton (non-reverb w/ 12" baffle and a Celestion G12L. Killer speaker... highly recommended if you can find one!
she was originally modded w/ a crap speaker long b4 I owned her.)
'66 Bassman head (5881's. US clean w/ large British balls!)

ski_fast
09-20-2007, 05:17 PM
Worst: Marshall 3203 with the solid state preamp and tube output... that was a metallic brittle ice pick in the forehead sound.

2nd worst- the much hyped Marshall studio 15. Okay sound but not very 3D. I have no idea how Martin Barre made his recordings sound so good with this amp. He was definately running some high quality effects through it.

Best: Top Hat Supreme 16

MightyGuru
09-20-2007, 07:05 PM
Best: Aiken Sabre which I still own.

Worst: Peavey Deuce. An amp designed to make one hate the sound of electric guitar.

guitarslinger21
09-20-2007, 07:19 PM
EDIT: best - Egnater Mod 50 with a new prototype module. Absolutely breathtaking!
best - CAE 3+/VHT 2150
best - HK Access/VHT 2150
best - Roland JC120H

worst - crate GX15
worst - Mesa 2:fifty power amp (HATED IT. It had a scooped eq curve, + it lacked power. tiny transformers. It made every preamp sound thin. it was built well though.)

XKnight
09-20-2007, 07:30 PM
Worst: Marshall G10

Best: Frenzel 5E3