Boutique SS amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by El Jefe, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. El Jefe

    El Jefe Supporting Member

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    None of us have prejudices against transistor pedals, so why not SS amps? All the SS guitar amps out there are either low end, made to be totally clean, or are old school and didn't have much thought put into how the power stage would sound when it clips. So.....suppose someone took the same meticulous approach that pedal builders use for tuning overdrives and fuzzes and applied it to making an all-transistor amp designed to sound good when the power section overdrives. Build it with high quality parts, maybe even throw in a nice verb and trem circuit.

    It has to be possible, there's nothing magical about vacuum tubes. What's the output transistor equivalent of a JFET? A really huge JFET?
     
  2. stratzrus

    stratzrus Silver Supporting Member

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  3. bassinface

    bassinface Member

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    Yeah, why do bass players get to have all the ss fun?
    I have a randall/aims ss amp that is ruling my world.
    Lets bring on the 70's. srsly.
     
  4. tonegangster

    tonegangster Member

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    SS amps don't have crystal lettuce. :rotflmao
     
  5. gregsguitars

    gregsguitars Member

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    They are NOT boutique by any means but the Fender red knob Princeton Chorus is a killer SS amp....
     
  6. voodoo364

    voodoo364 Member

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    Roland Blues Cube BC-30 is the one the best amps I've ever had. Two channels Fenderish/Marshallish...for the money...incredible. Just because an amp has tubes does not mean it's always good...
     
  7. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    Check out Acoustic Image, Henriksen, Evans, and Quilter to start. +1 for Pritchard too.
     
  8. teemuk

    teemuk Member

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    Not all. There are several boutique solid-state products ...and on that note, several threads about them. In just recent months two new boutique amps have appeared from Quilter and AMT. Didn't Retro Channel appear last year and before that there's been Pritchard, Blue Note, Henriksen, etc...

    Perhaps take a bit time to research the topic, better yet, actually buy some of those products to keep the industry rolling. If there's no market there's little point to manufacture $$$ items.


    As a final note, the quoted sentence doesn't even apply to many "non-boutique" products made out of typical household brands; Vox, Peavey, Roland, etc. Several companies put a lot of effort into designing nicely clipping power stages (T-Dynamics, Valve Reactors, Roland's Tube Logic Stuff, etc.), and you don't need to be "boutique" for that.
     
  9. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Member

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    The only "boutique" SS I'm familiar with is the Retro Wreck.
     
  10. DRS

    DRS Member

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    +1 Pritchard. There's a Pritchard thread going close by.
     
  11. Humancapo

    Humancapo Member

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    AER, but's it's a clean platform designed mainly for acoustics. There are many excellent sounding non-boutique SS amps, it just comes down to the player to make them sound great.
     
  12. cribcage

    cribcage Member

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    +1 for that list. Henriksen's website has a great explanation why they build their amps that way.
     
  13. NAV1147

    NAV1147 Member

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    i think in the next 1 to 2 years, you might see a couple of real high end SS amps coming out. Now that Matrix amplification has created such an amazing, warm tube like power section thats small and light weight. I ran a friedman brown eye preamp section into a Matrix GT800 and it sounded very close to the real power section of the Friedman.
     
  14. El Jefe

    El Jefe Supporting Member

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    I've seen that, it's not really what I'm talking about. I mean more like a single channel, NMV amp. Not a modeling/multi-channel/tons of knobs thing. Picture more like a plexi, but SS. There's got to be a way to make a 100w SS power section that overdrives like tubes.


    Henricksen/Polytone = made for clean/mostly clean jazz tones. Not what I'm talking about.

    Acoustic Image = Their website says "transparent, high fidelity" = Definitely not what I'm talking about. I mean an electric guitar amp that overdrives and can rock and doesn't look like a studio monitor.


    I'm picturing something that looks like and feels like a vintage tube amp. Simple circuit, few components. Open it up and you'll see full size parts, no PCB, clean solid core wiring, etc. Everything you'd see in a tube amp but with transistors instead of tubes. That rules out the Peavey/Roland/etc stuff too. I've been down that road years ago and they weren't nearly up to snuff. Ok for clean sounds, but the distortion always sounded like a bad overdrive pedal being fed through a DI into a PA.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  15. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Pritchard amps are not 'modeling' amps. They are analog amps with 'voicing' capabilities, so that you can achieve tones similar to Fender, Marshall, etc.... they are not 'digital,' which uses the term 'modeling.'
     
  16. ripoffriffs

    ripoffriffs Supporting Member

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    Retro-Channel RR1. Available for $995, less if used.

     
  17. El Jefe

    El Jefe Supporting Member

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    Fair enough, I was being sloppy with my terms. You get what I mean though about simplicity? Plus, and this is just my opinion, the Pritchard amps are just nowhere close in terms of aesthetics.



    Oh and:



    So I'm supposed to buy SS amps that don't appeal to me so that someone will then build one that does? :huh
     
  18. El Jefe

    El Jefe Supporting Member

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    Now we're getting closer! Still not quite though.

    "Master: The RR1 Master is like a fader on a recording console. You will notice that the feel of the amp does NOT CHANGE regardless of the level of the Master Volume control. This is one of the most wonderful things about the RR1. You can obtain realistic tube amp feel and tone at ANY VOLUME level."


    That's what I don't want. I want either no master, or one that acts like it's controlling an amp with limited headroom - ie, non-linear and very capable of clipping the power section. Not a big fan of their talk about no user-serviceable parts and "modules" and whatnot either.
     
  19. DRS

    DRS Member

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    El Jefe
    The Retro'Channel is closer to what you want, I guess. But you can order the Pritchard configured the way you want.
     
  20. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    Isn't Pritchard the guy who launched Deja Vu amps in the late 80's? I always wondered how that went and if it's the same guy, why the name change.
     

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