A guide to Dumbley Amps

Killcrop

Silver Supporting Member
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11,673
I don't really know much at all about D style amps. I don't really have an interest in the classic Robben Ford tones. I have played a few Two Rocks extensively and even played an original a few times. Also using the search function is a bit overwhelming. So in a nut shell, what are some of your favorite D tones at reasonable prices. Bang for the buck amps? I don't really know which model D amp because I am not that familiar. I guess a Two Rock really isn't a clone but the Sig Custom Reverb was a damn fine amp as well as the J2. That is the only reference I have. Again, not neccesarily looking for a Clone.

Looking for lush cleans preferable with reverb. I also want lots of gain.

Does a Fuchs ODS30/50 fit the bill?
 

Stevo57

Member
Messages
3,571
Fuchs can get you there. Also I would recommend Sebago Sound Double Trouble series, Glaswerks Zingaro, sometimes you can find a used Mark Kane for a little more. Go play a few if at all possible.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,872
If you want a more Marshall-esque gain, you should look at the newer Two Rock Bi-Onyx amps. I love my Gainmaster, but at times, my heart really aches for the gain in my Mark III. But, you can always use a good pedal, ymmv.
 

peterdjp

Member
Messages
2,099
I like the ones that stay pretty close to the originals. Bang for buck?

Ceriatone
Fuchs mod
Sebago Sound
Zingaro

I would take a Sabago. All hand wired by one guy in USA.

If you know you like TR grab a used one. I had a CR sig v1 that was a great amp.

You might want to do a little more research into the different voicings available. A 90's HRM bluesmaster is gonna be quite a bit different than a second generation 70's pre classic or an 80's skyline. What are you after? Not RF, Ok. The better you are able to describe the tone you want the more likely you are to find a builder/amp that can do what you need.

An HRM circuit has a second set of tone controls for the OD channel. The Two Rock Bi Onyx, Emerald Pro or Ceriatone bluesmaster are based on this circuit. Having the second set of tone controls for the OD channel was something that appealed to me but it wasn't until after I ordered one that I found out that HRM style cuircits have more of a Marshall flavor and that was not what I was after.
On a 70's or 80's non HRM the clean channel cascades into the OD so they will have shared tone controls. A Steel String Singer is a single channel clean only amp. SRV, EJ and John Mayer used these.
Many of Two Rocks single channel amps are based on this circuit.
So even though Two Rocks are not clones per say they are almost all variations of a specific dumble circuit.

Do you play single coils? Well then a classic may be a better bet than a skyline circuit. Many of these things can be mixed and matched. For example I have an 80's skyline circuit but went with a precision power supply like on a 90's HRM that is better for high gain tones.

A 70's circuit can have a lot of gain but it's a gonna be more raw/open sounding than a 90's HRM. If you play slide go with a 70's or if you need more rock tones go with a 90's
Lot's of options for sure.

Check out the amp garage for a history of D-circuits and how they differ. Some builders give descriptions of the different circuits, check those out as well.

http://www.welagen.com/product/80s-overdrive-special/
 
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JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
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13,905
All of these amps sound and behave differently. The chance of you buying one based on Internet descriptions and being happy with it are very small. For an example, just take a look at the other current thread on specific loop cables for a D-Style amp. Guys can't get the tone they really want out of these amps unless they have a very specific type and length of cable between their amp and their Dumblator loop interface -- and some of them have to use an EQ in the loop too! Why not just buy an amp that sounds good to you when plug straight into it with no hassles?

Shared tone controls just suck (of course, these aren't really 2 channel amps; they are 2 mode amps). If your plan is to gig with the amp and to use it as a clean/dirty channel switcher, you need to find a setting on the tone controls where both clean and dirty sound great to you - not terribly likely without personal tweaks in the circuit to your taste. (I strongly recommend an HRM-style here).

Do you want to deal with an external Dumblator (presuming you'll use an effects loop at all)? Not a big deal if you only ever play at home, but that kind of set up would get really tiresome if you're gigging frequently (and don't have your own tech/roadie).

Well, good luck going down the D-style rat hole. Been there. I strongly suggest trying before buying unless you can find really good deals on used amps. If you end up with one that doesn't quite work for you -- sell it. Don't climb down into the rat hole trying to make it work for you.

My 2 cents.
 

gtrs

Member
Messages
2,789
You could talk to Gary at Glaswerks and have him build you exactly what you want.
The SODII is a killer amp that can cover a ton of sonic territory.
 

peterdjp

Member
Messages
2,099
You could talk to Gary at Glaswerks and have him build you exactly what you want.
The SODII is a killer amp that can cover a ton of sonic territory.
I agree, but I think OP is looking for a budget amp. Maybe a Zingaro voiced to taste.
Talking with a builder will be helpful for sure but again they are going to ask you to describe what you're after and the more familiar you are with the different circuits the better off you will be.
 
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GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,013
If you want an amp that has a '70s D vibe with a wide open tone, look at the Longhorn El Vaquero. It has a great clean channel and a really cool lead channel. The lead channel has a PAB function that sounds like a less nasally D tone. Both channels have access to the FET boost which gives it the rawer Lindley tone.

Plus, it doesn't "have" to sound like a D amp either. Great sounding amp, IMO.
 

texstrat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
808
I second GATs Longhorn Amps suggestion. The El Vaquero is great, for those who like channel switching between od and clean. I play the Longhorn Texas Tru Tone. It's a single channel, clean dumble style amp. It's the best sounding clean base I've heard. It takes pedals exceptionally well. I get great blues-rock and jazzy-blues tones from it.
 

Carl_Tone

Member
Messages
6,084
I've stuck with the Fuchs for years and can just about get any tone I want...provided I have enough time and auxiliary gear to dial it in....These amps can require specific tubes, speakers, and loop gear to sound their optimum...so just be ready for all that.

The 100W Glaswerks Zingaro that Scott Lerner got is the only D style I've ever seen that looked like a plug & play solution.
 

Teleman76

Tubes-a-glowin
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,087
The 100W Glaswerks Zingaro that Scott Lerner got is the only D style I've ever seen that looked like a plug & play solution.
Indeed. I had Gary build me that exact same 100W combo. Even the same RF voicing. Great amp!
 

peterdjp

Member
Messages
2,099
Just about every builder can/does do an amp with built in D lator tube fx loop and reverb. I have owned three Fuchs and they were pretty close to plug and play and can cover a lot of sonic territory.

Guys obsess over minute details, myself included but if the amp has reverb and a built in tube loop I would say you are pretty well set for about 95% of your tone. That last 5% can be a mother though. I agree there can be a bit of a learning curve with D-style amps in general though.
 

gtrs

Member
Messages
2,789
I agree, but I think OP is looking for a budget amp. Maybe a Zingaro voiced to taste.
Talking with a builder will be helpful for sure but again they are going to ask you to describe what you're after and the more familiar you are with the different circuits the better off you will be.
I know they are expensive, I've owned 3 Glaswerks.
He did say bang for the buck, hard to beat a SODII when comparing flexibility/options dollar for dollar with any other amp.
Fuchs have been mentioned a lot too, last time I checked those were expensive as well.
But I agree, Zingaros are killer too.
 

peterdjp

Member
Messages
2,099
I know they are expensive, I've owned 3 Glaswerks.
He did say bang for the buck, hard to beat a SODII when comparing flexibility/options dollar for dollar with any other amp.
Fuchs have been mentioned a lot too, last time I checked those were expensive as well.
But I agree, Zingaros are killer too.
Agreed. SODII is the Swiss army knife of tone.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,502
For affordable buy a blackface Twin...a good one.
That's where it all started.
 




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