amp decision - ghia/bivavle

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jumpchamp, Jul 9, 2005.


  1. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    hey everyone! i love this site, figured i should start posting!

    so i'm looking to upgrade from my carvin nomad. i like the amp, but i want more. i am in a band and we typically play clubs that mic everything. i have guitars with buckers, p-90s, and single coils, but mainly am playing through humbuckers at this point.

    i like my cleans a little gritty and want more touch sensitivity/volume knob control which is what's leading me to the lower wattage ghia and bivalve. i'm in cleveland, so that part of me says there's no reason i souldn't have a dr. z! i'm actually going to be demoing Z amps today, but there is no THD dealer around here.

    anyone have experience with both of these amps that can offer advice?

    www.myspace.com/minorsetbackoh for clips of my band. thanks!
     
  2. onehandfretting

    onehandfretting Member

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    Unfortunately, I've never played a ghia, but I do own a Bivalve, and love it.

    But since it has no master volume, to get a good tone out of it, you pretty much have to run it full on, and the attenuator starts to noticably suck the tone after about 2 o'clock (5 o'clock is wide open, and dialing counterclockwise attenuates more) -not much of an issue with my band, but be warned. You can, of course, use just one tube and taylor your tube selection to your desired output. But, as an example, running it with two 6L6s, I can overpower my heavy handed drummer and the singer's JCM900 (the Marshall set to about 5 or 6). It may be considered a "low power" amp, but it ain't dainty.

    That being said, i can swap those for a single 6K6 and have a nice near-bedroom level amp.

    It's an amazing amp that is VERY flexible in terms of tube selection and tone/output), but it isn't for everyone.

    Good luck on your quest.

    BTW, i couldn't get the songs to play on your My Space page.


    -Bobby
     
  3. Madison

    Madison Member

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    If you decide to go Ghia, I'll be putting a nice one up for sale in the Amp Emporium in a few days. Great amp, but I have to make room for incoming stuff. :D
     
  4. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Man, w/ all the options, you can tune a BiValve any way ya need it. So, THD gets my vote.

    Plus THD gets big cudos for such an innovative design and their amazing customer service.
     
  5. Slick51

    Slick51 Colonel Curmudgeon

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    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Write me about that Nomad you're getting rid of. I'm interested in purchasing it, or I have several swaps that may interest you. Look around my website below and write me...

    Thanks
    Slick51


    __________________
     
  6. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    thanks for the responses everyone.

    one hand, when you say the bivalve starts to suck tone with attenuation (which seems to be the attenuator trend) is it something that can be remedied to an extent with some external EQ? or is it more a loss of feel and bloom and those other undefinable characteristcs we try to assign words to? eq i don't mind messing with, feel is another story. (btw, the myspace stuff worked for me when i went there minutes ago. dodgy site i guess!)

    and madison, PM me about the ghia could ya? :)
     
  7. markp

    markp Member

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    Remedy would be smaller power tubes or bivalve can be run with a single powertube.
    Have you been to www.univalve.net ?
    On the other hand the gia is big fav, with some,too many cool amps not enough money.
     
  8. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I think I remember there being a THD dealer in Independence, I was looking into them and the I emailed and it was on appt. only...you might want to check that out on the webpage....if I can I'll try to dig up the contact info...
     
  9. M@tt C

    M@tt C Supporting Member

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    Found this on the THD site (ironically I was was just looking for the nearest deal as well). I'm not sure where you're at in Cleveburg, but this may be the best bet:

    Wild Dutch's Guitar Hospital
    8483 Broadview Road
    Broadview Heights, OH 44147-1903
    phone: 440.546.0981
    fax: 440.740.1206
    john@wilddutch.com

    I was looking at the Univalve a while back, but never had the chance to play one. I did talk to Ed D. at the time, and his only concern would be how much bottom end it would have for the style of music we play (modern classic rock...Pearl Jam, 3 Doors Down, STP, etc). He did recommend the BiValve due to the increased power for what I was doing, so you're probably right on the right track in considering one.

    YMMV, of course.....
     
  10. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    I actually did contact John at Wild Dutch. He doesn't carry the amps, unfortunately. Mostly Hot Plates he said. Seems like a cool guy, does a lot of tech work.

    Thanks for checking that out though!
     
  11. larrylover

    larrylover Member

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    I have much, much experience with both Bivalves and ghia. I think the quote above is true only if you are interested in tones that are, at best, ordinary and, at worse, just boring or unlistenable. Very underwhelming performer -- and no matter what tubes you use. For what it is worth, I found the tube combo that got the most decent tones were 6v6 in the output and a 12at7 and 12ax7 in preamp. (Two 12ax7s in preamps got nothing but screetchy, nasty tones).

    The ghia is, in my view, far more interesting and useable. Great cleans -- big-sounding and compelling; nasty, grinding dirt; and, when pushed with humbuckers, singing sustain for leads. The operative word for the ghia is fun. It is a fun amp to play.

    Good luck.
     
  12. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    thanks to everyone for helping out with opinions and experiences.

    i'm going to go with the ghia. i have this feeling that i'll spend more time tweaking the bivalve than actually playing it, and i don't need that right now. plus i've had my mind on the ghia for quite a while now, so it's time to go for it.

    so now all i have to decide on are what speakers to get. definitely a 2x12. i'm considering the vin30/G12H30 combo as well as two greenbacks (or private jacks maybe?)

    any favorite setups for speakers?
     
  13. telepicker

    telepicker Guest

    Madison you know later you'll see selling your Ghia was a moment of insanity and will end up buying another one. I say that from experience...:D
     
  14. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    The original poster seems to have made a decision, but for the record, many players have found the BiValve to be a great amp for THEM. Sorry you didn't find it valuable for YOU.
     
  15. Madison

    Madison Member

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    I wrote that exact thing to jumpchamp in an email. The way I buy and sell amps is nothing short of ridiculous, but it's inspiring in some psuedo wacky kind of way! I'll own another Ghia one day no question, a toneful, simple to dial in work of art.

    I'm on a modeling amp kick at the moment (AD60VTX) and the house rules (wifey) says one amp in, one amp out. Still have the Z28 for gigs :D
     

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