List and describe your best and worst amps of all time ! ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Dr. Tweedbucket, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    In a Gamma Ray deflection lab on Mt. Kwakkleberry
    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. [​IMG] 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. [​IMG]

    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. [​IMG]

    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? [​IMG] 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 !! [​IMG]
  2. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    May 14, 2006
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    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.
  3. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    Exactly. Why would you get an amp that sounds bad?
  4. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    Tampa, on the Territory of Florida (D.C. Free Zone
    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

    When you are a broke dog
  5. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    In a Gamma Ray deflection lab on Mt. Kwakkleberry

    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.
  6. mprvise

    mprvise Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    In the back room
    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.
  7. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    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!).
  8. Johnnythunders

    Johnnythunders Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2004
    Cleveland Ohio
    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

    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!


    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.
  9. prsflame

    prsflame Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Worst Amps I've owned:
    1) Peavy Bandit 65
    2) Mesa Boogie Maverick
    3) Orange Rockerverb 50 ( tech problems, shitty customer support)

    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
  10. corky newman

    corky newman Guest

    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
  11. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Supporting Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    North Zeamaysistan
    Geez, I had that Crate G60, too! I hope I didn't sell mine to one of you guys....
  12. Squigglefunk

    Squigglefunk Senior Member

    May 6, 2005
    I can make any amp sound good ;)
  13. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator Member

    Apr 18, 2005
    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.
  14. madstrat

    madstrat Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    i can make any amp sound bad....:crazy
  15. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    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.


    Framus Dragon
    Marshall JCM900's and late 80s 800s are SO INCONSISTENT they have given me fits!
  16. plagtr2

    plagtr2 Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    'Burbs of Chicago
    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!
  17. mrmega

    mrmega Member

    May 23, 2007
    Wherever I am!
    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.
  18. deluxeman

    deluxeman Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    grand rapids mi
    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.............
  19. G-Let

    G-Let Member

    Jul 9, 2006
  20. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    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.

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