Amp for Jazz

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rufes, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Rufes

    Rufes Member

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    I have been playing blues, rock, and fusion for the last 20+ years and I have got a lot of tube amps. (SFDR, SFSR, JTM45/100, Tweed Deluxe, Superbass, 2061X ....)

    As I become older, I am more interested in jazz (a lot now) so I bought a great sounding ES175 armed with flats and I am preparing a good number of standards and songs to play with a jazz band.

    I would like to buy a new amp for this project. I love the sound of the DR but as the volume increases it becomes dirtier and I need it to keep it fat and clean (the opposite of what I have been looking for all these years....)

    I want it VERY light and portable so this is what I have found:

    - Polytone mini brute (maybe too dark sounding...)
    - Henriksen jazzamp 10-R
    - Acoustic image
    - AER

    The problem is that I cannot try them first....

    Any suggestions?

    I have read also that the cube80 is a very nice jazz amp. It is just that I cannot believe it for such a low price..... Am I wrong? Am I being a snob?
     
  2. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    What's your budget? Acoustic image can be a bit pricey, as is the Henrickson.I don't like the AERs. Too cold and sterile. I myself have a Schertler David which is ab fab, especially for acoustic instruments. Recently I saw Frank Vignola using one on stage with his signature semi acoustic. I myself play an ES295, roughly in your 137 area. All of these around the £500 mark, i believe. But you know what, the Roland cube will be just fine if your budget is limited.And furthermore, don't give up the tube amp route just yet. I've recently bought a Traynor DH-15 DR clone (Amp head,2x jj 6V6,18w, £250) that stays pretty clean until 3/4 open. I did a few gigs with the Schertler, which was fine, but i do prefer the valve 'bite' for the rockabilly/blues/country/rocknroll stuff. So..if it's just straight jazz, i'd go for a solid state like the Schertler (or cheaper with the Roland Cube). If you play a mix of things, a small valve amp is still preferred. Have a listen to the Traynor and my Epi Es295 here: www.soundcloud.com/ballynally
     
  3. marsos52

    marsos52 Member

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    i mainly play straight ahead jazz, when i used solid state amps i like the evans amps
    i found them to have power and tone and to be versatile to other music besides jazz

    i still like a tube amps, i'm very happy with a the black face pro reverb amp
    basically i have learned any good and well made amp gives a great jazz tone

    if your tube amps are breaking up to early then using a harder spec'd tube should help and of course a speaker change could also do that trick
     
  4. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    i havent found the time to record the Traynor. will do soon. However, i just finished recording the Schertler David with my Epi ES295 on www.soundcloud.com/ballynally
     
  5. jbraun002

    jbraun002 Member

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    I used to have an old Polytone Minibrute iv - sounded nice with my Heritage 575 (similar to your es175). It _was_ a dark amp, but it could get loud and stay clean. The nice thing about the Polytones is (last I checked) they can be had for relatively cheap and they do what they do nicely. The Hendricksons and the like are nice as well, but _for me_ they don't really get me to a place where I'd rather pay more for them over an old Polytone.

    Nowadays I use a Deluxe Reverb, as it seems you've been using. I'm very surprised you're running into headroom issues with it (for jazz). My advice would be to get into a context where you're playing with folks before you buy the amp. Your DR will most likely cut it just fine (at least, if your experience is like mine). And it might even be overkill - you might find you can go lower wattages (with tubes) and get an even lighter rig.

    YMMV, of course. Last Friday I played in a club that had an old twin reverb as part of its backline (yay, no lugging around amps in the snow!). I thought I'd have to keep it on 2, but the room soaked up our sound, the drums were very loud, and I actually was playing on 8. I suspect the amp needs to be serviced (I mean, come on, a twin on 8 in a small jazz club?), and maybe a tube was dead or something, but anyhow, sometimes volume can be an asset. Of course, we could have just miked a princeton and been fine as well...
     
  6. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    I've owned pretty much all of the so-called jazz amps over the years. SOme of them several times. I never did get really happy with any of them and kept going back to tubes. Now I use a Pod HD (the small desktop unit) with a powered cab and it works really well for me. It's reasonably priced, small and lightweight. It's incredibly easy to record. I can dial in exactly the tone I want fairly easily and unlike using a tube amp, I can get that tone at any volume level.
     
  7. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Look into a Pritchard amp... solid state, but the quality of tone is far superior to typical SS amps... more tube-line in tone, yet it cuts through the mix extremely well (those low notes come out crystal clear). There are various 'voicings' on his amps, including some 'jazz' based voicings. And they are super quiet or super loud, ideal for bedroom practice or club venues. As well, 30-day trial with a guarantee of 'best amp you've every tried.'
     
  8. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    Polytone and Evans are the amps I know and have used. My Evans is loud and clean, that's for sure.....and that's about all.

    A modeler and powered speaker is a must-consider nowadays.
     
  9. drewdraw

    drewdraw Supporting Member

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    I use my Headstrong Lil King (Priceton Reverb clone) for jazz (and everything else) all the time. Love it. Also nice to have the tremolo on occasion....
     
  10. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

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    I have a drip edge princeton reverb with a 75 w speaker for quiet gigs and a 57 tweed twin reissue for big rooms.
     
  11. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    This is what the ZT stuff is made for. Lunchbox with Extension cabinet or the Club 12. Some of the best Jazz toans out there.

    Roland Cube does a really good Jazz Chorus impersonation, so if you want something with built in Chorus/Reverb it's an option.
     
  12. ylo

    ylo Member

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    I have tried the Polytones, Henriksen jazzamp and Acoustic image and do not care for them. They all sound too sterile and too dark and boomy to me.

    I much prefer Evans Amps. These are pricey and hard to find to audition, but worth checking out if you want tube-like warmth without muddiness in a smaller, lighter package than a tube amp.

    Do you live near a major city? If so, you should be able to find some of the above mentioned jazz amps to try out.
     
  13. Michael Hunter

    Michael Hunter Supporting Member

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    I'll add my recommendation for Evans as well. They're not a featherlight solution like the ZT amps (or even as light as the Henriksen), but the EQ is dead on for jazz guitar. Loved my JE150 while I had it.
     
  14. ekp

    ekp Member

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    I have found that there are two variations on my amps that some jazz players like. Some like for me to reduce the amount of harmonics generated in the output stage. This is a matter of changing a couple of resistors inside of the amp. Another changed the 12-inch speaker in the 1-12 to a Weber 12-inch bass speaker. So when he plays rock, he misses the breakup... It is like you need a cabinet for each.

    Alternatively, you could go to a 2-10.

    Smaller speakers don't breakup as easily and having more speaker reduces the tendency to breakup because each handles less power. I have found that two tens don't break up. 12's break up some. and 15's breakup more.

    Have a great day, Eric
     
  15. cribcage

    cribcage Member

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    I have a Henriksen JazzAmp 110, and I love it. I play one guitar mostly, an archtop with a handwound floating pickup, and I like to have some variety so I also have a Matchless DC-30 and a few pedals. But I always want the option of that classic, straight-ahead archtop electrified sound, so I don't think I'll ever sell my Henriksen. It "just works." It's not versatile but it does its thing impeccably.
     
  16. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Hi Eric... nice to see you on this thread! Two-thumbs up for Pritchard Amps! Beautiful work!
     
  17. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    I would say that's a little too generalistic. Try breaking up a good JBL speaker. Compared to 2 Alnico blues they stay solid. Not all speakers react the same. Check the specs. It should be easy to find an efficient speaker. My guess is, that's not his problem. If his DR breaks up too easily for his taste, he's already playing pretty loud.A bigger tube amp will get him more cleans, but will be heavier. He's asking for SUPER LIGHT.The Traynor DH15 valve amp i suggested has more cleans than the DR (because of the 6L6-like plates of the 2 JJ6V6. He needs at least 80watt SS here, to be solid on higher volume levels. Hard to beat the Schertler, though i never tried an Evans amp
     
  18. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    The Roland Cube 80 is cheap and light because it's not a class A circuit. Roland does this very well. And their effects are good too. They go for around $300.
     
  19. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    The 'Jazz' setting on the Dumble sounds really good. I like Boogies for jazz as well.
     

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