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Fender amp, always missing something

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MarkV, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. MarkV

    MarkV Member

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    Ok here it is: after a long search and trying many different amps I finally settled for a Fender Princeton Reverb RI.

    I have always liked Fender cleans and missed the cleans when I did not have any. I just could not bond with a Vox or a Marshall type amp.

    Now, the strange thing is, I play classic / southern rock, little pop-rock sometimes and hardly play clean at all...But when I do, it must be of the Fender type. Apart from the cleans, I like my sound with a little hair (done with a TS or RC booster now) or creamy overdrive (AC Booster).

    The issue is that I always find myself fiddling with the knobs on the amp, pedals and even EQ's. I play a Hofner verythin with SD 59's, a Telecaster and two P90 loaded Les Pauls. Clean, all sound just fine.
    Unfortunately, I have to adjust the bass and treble of the amp and the overdrives to suit the guitar when I use an overdrive. With the P90's and the humbuckers there is just too much bass (like I installed a 200 watt woofer) and treble (ear-pinching). Then, plugging in the Telecaster, I am missing spank and mids.

    So.. I am looking for something else. An amp that has Fender cleans, but does have a usable overdrive (either with pedals or a channelswitcher) without too much bass and treble EQ-ed in at that point.

    Now, I don't want to make this another dumble thread, but I really like these sounds, from Jon Herington:



    Especially the Gibson LP at 06:00 minutes in sounds very good. Thick cleans and (even on the bridge pickup) a fat overdrives without sounding too bright and too much bass at the same time.

    Interesting enough, he does talk about having the issue with the bass and uses a RC booster to clean it up (but only with the neck pickups on the Gibsons)

    A Bludotone is out of reach due to funds and size. I just need to use it at home (but can be played loud) and a occasional gig. No need to power a football stadium.

    Any ideas as far amps that can do this? or maybe hints to make the current setup better? How are you Fender amp guys doing this?

    Thanks! :munch
     
  2. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Yes Fenders are missing something - distortion hehe
    As an ex Twin owner I got sick of using pedals & wanted Fenderish cleans, reverb, great OD/distortion AND tonal versatility & wattage options.

    Tried Mesa and found they've been doing this for years with the Lonestar Classic, Express 5:50 & Mark series.
    Only thing is they do better Fenderish cleans than any almost Fender imo.
    Mesa cleans & reverb on these amps are as great as my old Twin :omg
     
  3. Telebluze

    Telebluze Gold Supporting Member

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    I know exactly what you mean, I think blackface clean is the best there is, but BF's don't stand-up enough for me when overdriven.

    I also think the best overdriven tone comes from tweed amps, but they don't have the sparkling/shimmering cleans I like.

    I don't have any experience with Mesa.......but for me, I've found the perfect compromise to be brownface era amps i.e. Deluxe or Vibrolux.

    If you don't want to spend the money on a vintage Fender.....look at the Allen Hot Fudge w/ Nuts or the Brown Sugar (I own both of these amps). These are both phenomenal amps and VERY reasonable........very versatile as well.

    One other option I strongly suggest for the type of sound you described is the Dr Z Z-28.......I also own this amp. Very reasonable and also a monster amp.

    Remember speaker choice is also VERY critical.

    I would suggest getting a head, and (2) 1x12 cabs.....then you can put an alnico in one.....a ceramic in the other......one that's very efficient for larger gigs, and one that not so efficient for smaller rooms.

    Hope this gives you a few ideas.

    Enjoy the journey.......:D
     
  4. Charlie_Pace

    Charlie_Pace Member

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    It's always a trade off. You may be better off finding an amp with distortion you love and a/b it.
     
  5. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    Try both a Carr Rambler and a Tone King Imperial. Clean AND Tweed in the same amp, problem solved.
     
  6. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    I've have or have had every Fender combo made and gigged with them and a pedal board. It's very hard to dial in all the tones you need with just the clean tone you need and then just the right overdriven tone the next. If you use only one guitar , you can compromise but it's still just that. I used to play in a country variety band for years and struggled with dialing all the necessary tones needed to cover all the songs. I'm not playing in the country band anymore,but I'm now playing in church. Again, I still have to cover A LOT of different tones so I decided to change my whole set up. I got a Line 6 X3 live into an EV 1000 watt powered monitor. I can dial in all the custom tones I need and can have all the same presets dialed in for different guitars. I use the monitor for me,and I send a direct signal to the board. It's solved all the problems I used to have. Just my .02.
     
  7. MarkV

    MarkV Member

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    Thanks guys for all the advise. I will try to find and test some of the recommendations, like the Mesa's, Dr.Z, Toneking and Carr.

    How about Rivera's in this context? They have always had an appeal on me, but never tried one. Maybe a clubster/chubster. They seem to cover good cleans with a good overdrive in a small package.

    Any love for the smaller Guytron models like the GT-20 and 40? Really dig the Gt100 but I am afraid the smaller ones do not capture its big brother essence..?!
     
  8. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Gold Supporting Member

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    If you want BF cleans and D*mble OD look into the Fuchs ODS 30
     
  9. Jerry Lundegaard

    Jerry Lundegaard Senior Member

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    I find it a tad odd that your username is MarkV and you haven't tried the Mesas? Try the Mesas, particularly the...wait for it...Mark V!
     
  10. MarkV

    MarkV Member

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    Have been using that username for years on several boards before Mesa. Thought about sueing them ;)
     
  11. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Threaten to sue and settle out of court - for a Lonestar :omg
    Seriously, that's a nice amp. I've played the 6L6 model and liked it alot.
     
  12. tamader74

    tamader74 Member

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    ...Two amps that I find that have Fender cleans and better over-drives, and that I can afford ( or care to afford) are my Ampeg VT-40 and My Crate VC-5212, Love 'em both and as of right now neither one will break the bank, I also own a Crate V-16 ( USA) Palomino, these also are great little amps that'll 'git 'er done...............
     
  13. Boytbpc

    Boytbpc Senior Member

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    Keep the Princeton and add a Marshall Class 5 and A/B them.
     
  14. Powertwang

    Powertwang Member

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    The Rivera was exactly what I was going to suggest. I've got a Quiana and find the cleans to be very Fender-y, but with the ability to have even a bit more shimmer put on top (not to mention quite a bit of notchibility via the various eq options, Ninjaboost, etc., that are inherent in most of their more recent models. Getting a nails overdrive tone from a Rivera, in my experience, is quite a bit more challenging, but with enough time spent tweaking in the woodshed (and replacing the stock V30 in mine w/ a 100-watt AlNiCo Jensen), I've gotten some really nice dirty tones out of it. I do find that putting a transparent OD pedal like my Tim in front of the dirty channel actually really helps the Quiana sound way more Marshall-y and the ability to also run the Tim in both the clean channel and the dirty channel is like having about six amps in one, by the time you add up all of the Quiana's boost modes.

    I'm not sure what the evolution of models has been within the Rivera line, but I've heard great things about the Chubster, but I've heard that the Pubster can come up a little short in higher-volume situations.

    Good luck,

    John
     
  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    This is a great approach. This gives you control over everything, including the speaker (which is an important part of the tone equation).
     
  16. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    If you dig Jon's sound, find yourself a Guytron GT 100FV. New they are less than a Bludo and used, they are half the price of a Bludo. Jon is a friend of mine and we've hung out and played together a number of times. His main "signature" sound is his Guytron. That's what he uses with his band. You can actually get some nice Dumble-type sounds with the Guytron. I have one along with a really nice Dumble clone that Guy Hedrick (original designer and owner of Guytron) built for me. I also use the 3 Xotic pedals to get different levels of gain along with the amps b channel. Tons of great tones!
     
  17. eschoendorff

    eschoendorff Member

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    The amp you're looking for is made by Mesa Boogie.
     
  18. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    Some great ideas above. I used a Z28 for a few years. It's not quite a Fender but does a great Fender/Vox clean and takes pedals well.

    In my experience a good bit of the limitation of Fender amps for dirt is the speaker. I prefer a British type speaker with a Fender. I've had the best luck with an Eminence Wizard. That speaker worked well with my Z28, Fargen BB & Valvetrain Trenton. Actually my Trenton does what your describing pretty well.
    For Fender/Marshall channel switchers I like Rivera also.
     
  19. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    Also a good suggestion. I just pickup up a mint condition '83 Mark IIB. They are not too expensive. Try and get one with a EVM 12S

    The cleans sound fantastic. I think the gain channel is good, but not great. However, I set the gain channel to a light- mid-gain and then use an AC booster or a Whirlwind Gold Box (clone of MXR Distortion +) to add more nice tight gain. That sounds killer!
     
  20. VintageKnob

    VintageKnob Supporting Member

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    I run a tweed deluxe and a custom 1x12 PR, most of the time I'm only using a hermedia reverb in front of the tweed and I'll kick in a Barber LTD in front of the PR.

    I don't play big gig's any more, so this usually works just fine. I always mic them anyway for a full sound.

    I just watch a great KWS gear review. His tweed is a Dumble of course, but still he has the Fender blackfaces with a tweed on the end to sweeten it.

    I just found this out by experimenting, but the tweed / blackface mix rocks.
    I use it with a CS Strat and an R8 LP.

    Have fun!

    - D
     

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