View Full Version : In your opinion, the Best Pedal platform tube amp is...?

12-04-2011, 08:21 AM
There's so many amp/circuit options that it's sometimes mind-boggling. I'm looking for enough clean headroom to compete with a full band for funk/r+b for small to medium venues, and the amp must play well with pedals. Effects loop optional (but i'll hear out any advice/arguments). I guess the main starting points of reference are Fender-style 6L6 and 6V6 circuits, Vox-style EL34 circuits, and Marshall-style KT66/EL34 circuits. I'm not as educated as I'd like to be on this, so be kind if you're going to sharp-shoot my post. Please post your fave pedal platform amps, one low wattage (18-25) and one higher (30 and up). Not looking for any $4k pieces, though I'd spend $2,500 for something I could use for the long haul. Thanks for your responses, let the games begin.

12-04-2011, 08:24 AM
Bogner Shiva!!
the Best Pedal platform tube amp!!!
OLD Plexis 1967 jtm
Twin reverb

12-04-2011, 08:24 AM
Fender Prosonic, killer amp for the $700 used range (they don't make them any more).

Sean French
12-04-2011, 08:36 AM
SF Vibrolux Reverb
SF Super Reverb
SF Pro Reverb
SF Twin Reverb

12-04-2011, 08:49 AM
Spending up to 2500 you can have your pick of some great amps!
The best pedal platform amps I have owned are a DRRI, Carr Rambler, Bruno UG30, you can not go wrong with any of these amps(IMO).

12-04-2011, 08:50 AM
Best pedal platform I have had is the Maz 18.

12-04-2011, 08:51 AM
BF Fender amp. Pick your size.

12-04-2011, 09:14 AM
My first choice would be something like a JTM45 clone. KT66's. Awesome cleans. Great pedal platform. Both of mine are in the 35 or so watt range.
I'm also really partial to Fenders. A Deluxe is an awesome amp. If you were willing to mic it, a SFPR could be a great thing for a small amp. They have absolutely killer cleans, and take a pedal really well.
I like JCM Marshalls also. There's lots of stuff out there that you could buy used for a nice deal or there are a lot of small very good builders out there that would be happy to build you your dream amp.

12-04-2011, 09:18 AM
SF Vibrolux Reverb
SF Super Reverb
SF Pro Reverb
SF Twin Reverb

These will all fit your needs to a T.

12-04-2011, 09:19 AM
I've owned or tried a TON of amps. Divided by 13 FTR37 is my favorite so far for a do-it-all amp that takes pedals well. Can be very loud, but that equates to stout tone when you roll down the volume on your overdrive pedal.

12-04-2011, 09:23 AM
A Fender Twin for loud and a Zagray! for not so loud.

12-04-2011, 09:23 AM
Vintage Hiwatt or Reeves

Think David Gilmour

Also agree the BF Fenders are great!

12-04-2011, 09:27 AM
Fender SRRI
Vox AC15/30
Marshall JTM45

12-04-2011, 09:37 AM
For inexpensive:
Fender Princeton or DRRI
Vox AC 15/30

For more boutiques
Most Carr Amps (rambler or slant)
Dr z Route 66
divided by 13 FTR

12-04-2011, 09:39 AM
A Fender Twin for loud and a Zagray! for not so loud.

Forgot to mention the Zagray! I'm currently retubing mine so it's down at the moment, but man is it killer.

My top three are the FTR37 (#1), Zagray! and 3rd Power British Dream head. I can do a LOT with these three, and they all take pedals very well. They should be great; they were each expensive.

12-04-2011, 09:41 AM
I'd recommend a Blackface or early Silverface Fender Showman. Get a good one and they have a clean sound that makes everything you plug into it sound amazing. You can get that sound out of them at pretty much any volume a working guitarist would need too. From small rooms with volume nazis to large open air stages unmiked they sound consistently great.


12-04-2011, 09:44 AM
My Germino Monterey (essentially a JTM 45/100 at about 70W) is exceptional at taking all pedals. And, the clean tones produced by 4xKT66's are glorious.

On the lower watt side, the Tungsten Crema Wheat and the 1974x take pedals well. As do the Louis Electrics.

12-04-2011, 10:29 AM
Best pedal platform I have had is the Maz 18.

My first thought exactly. Or if you prefer starting from a 6L6 platform, a Carr Rambler or a Vibrolux would be perfect.

12-04-2011, 10:35 AM
I loved a JTM45 with KT66's as a pedal platform. But then again, I live the JTM45 cleans, not everyone does.

12-04-2011, 10:58 AM
Fender "59 Bassman Ri LTD

12-04-2011, 01:02 PM
Lots of Fender answers here. But don't you guys find that they tend to make OD and distortion a bit fizzy sounding? Maybe its me.

Best one I have tried was a Hiwatt Custom 50.

12-04-2011, 01:30 PM
Lots of Fender answers here. But don't you guys find that they tend to make OD and distortion a bit fizzy sounding? Maybe its me.

That can be a battle with them, but it's usually easily winnable. I've found that it's mostly a matter of eq-ing out the nasty high fizzy frequencies by dialing back the treble, flipping off the bright switch, and running the output level on the pedals high. Since you're trading in some sparkle to do that I use an a/b box with 2 fx chains each running through a different input on the amp. That way clean sounds clean and sparkly and overdrive sounds big and smooth.


12-04-2011, 08:48 PM
Komet Concorde and Jim Kelley

12-04-2011, 09:51 PM
Victoria Golden Melody
Victoria Silver Sonic

12-04-2011, 10:06 PM
Dr. Z Z28 for lower to medium applications (almost any gig) or if you need more headroom the KT45.

Both of these use a unique implementation of an EF86 preamp that when even clipping a bit, do not compress and give up more gain when hit with od and distortion pedals. This allows a little bit of that tube gritty warmness that makes pedals not sound like pedals. Yet you turn them off and you have a great clean tone. These are easily the best pedal platforms I've heard.

12-04-2011, 10:36 PM
Every pedal I have heard through my friends Matchless Spitfire has sounded awesome.

I also like my Maz 18NR aswell as a dirt pedal platform.

12-04-2011, 11:07 PM
In some cases as long as you have a solid clean reference amp, the choice of speakers
can be critical where some speakers with early breakup may sound fine with natural
overdrive, but not translate well with pedal overdrive tones.

12-05-2011, 03:59 AM
Hiwatts, Bassmans, early Marshalls, stuff like that IMO. Not a fan of most dirt pedals with BF and SF Fenders, save the Bassmans.

12-05-2011, 07:21 AM
With Fenders, you kinda need pedals for OD tones unless you're playing
where you can run the amp at about 7 for natural overdrive.

12-05-2011, 07:29 AM
VHT Special 12/20, its advertised as a pedal friendly amp and that is dead on.
I run a T-Rex Yellow drive in front and a Zoom G3 in the loop, been years since I have been this satisfied with my rig.

john l
12-05-2011, 09:24 AM
I think everyone should own an old 4 hole JMP, the early ones without the cascaded preamp.

12-05-2011, 09:35 AM
Princeton Reverb w efficient speaker
Fender 57 Twin Reissue

12-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Divided by 13 RPB and FTR are amazing pedal platforms. I find Fenders pedal picky, yet the RPB and FTR have the beautiful chime of a BF Fender yet take almost any pedal you throw out at them really well.

12-05-2011, 11:41 AM
Twin and JTM45

12-05-2011, 11:58 AM
Mesa Boogie Lone Star. The End.

12-05-2011, 12:12 PM
DR Z Mazerati, or 38 Sr.... for OD and distortion

I agree when you set up a Fender for a great clean, a distortion pedal will sound harsh, but ODs work great.....

12-05-2011, 12:45 PM
Since you mentioned pedals, I think Fender as well, I'd try to play as many different Fender models as you can. I don't have a particulary high end one, I have a Fender Hot Rod Deville, it's a 2x12 combo amp that's pretty heavy so that's a consideration. I do prefer the sound of 2x12 to 1x12 or even 4x10. Love the cleans on there, and it works well with pedals. The drive channels are not good on it, mine is from the late 90's bought it new.

01-06-2012, 01:48 AM
Mesa Boogie Lone Star. The End.

I've owned a Maz 18 and used to think it was the ultimate pedal platform, but I just bought a Lone Star Classic head and am quickly finding rippingrudy's statement to be quite accurate.

phoenix 7
01-06-2012, 01:55 AM
Tweed Bassman -- an even better pedal platform in my experience than a Shiva or a MAZ 18 (which I've also owned). Though the Shiva and the MAZ are definitely very good for this too.

01-06-2012, 05:32 AM
Fender Concert II. Effects loop

01-06-2012, 06:53 AM
Best pedal platform I have had is the Maz 18.

I can't say what the best is. The best I have personally used is the MAZ 18.

01-06-2012, 06:56 AM
I'm biased...but either a Custom By Cougar "Mother", or a Hamiltone Six String Singer. Both amps take fuzz pedals really well.

01-06-2012, 07:15 AM
I have a JTM45 and it is a really good clean platform for pedals, but I like it best setup to just crunch a bit with the guitar volume all the way up.

I really think the BF Fenders are the number 1 clean pedal platform. I use either TS-9 or Zendrives in front of mine. Of all the BFF's, I like the Bandmaster as the best pedal pad. The 2x6L6, 35-40watts is an excellent size with plenty of headroom for most situations. The solid state rectifier is a firmer and more responsive feel as well.


This clip has both clean and TS-9 tones with a humbucker (ES-339) and single coil (tele).


big mike
01-06-2012, 07:31 AM
Marshalll bass circuit head.
Dr Z Z28/KT45
Greer Thunderbolt 30
Z Mazerati
Cheap...Ampeg R12R from the mid 90s.
Silverface fenders.

01-06-2012, 07:49 AM
Best pedal platform I have had is the Maz 18.

For me also.

01-06-2012, 07:59 AM
So far for me, it's been:
1.) Germino Monterey 100 (JTM 45/100)
2.) Dr. Z Maz 18 NR Jr

Lou Brush
01-06-2012, 08:02 AM
For a clean platform, Fender blackface amps (specifically the AB763 circuit) work great. For your application, a 40 watt Bandmaster will provide the necessary headroom to stay clean at club volumes. My pre-CBS bandmaster doesn't break up until the volume is at about 7... plenty loud. Great for pedals too. You can find used BF Bandmaster heads for around $400.

01-06-2012, 08:11 AM
:agree I second on the pre-CBS Bandmaster. My absolute favorite is my vintage Plexi SuperBass.