Amp Recommendation (research direction)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by eru, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. eru

    eru Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    So, I'm buying myself a new amp when I graduate from Tech in December.

    I need some advice for where to aim myself in researching this. I don't have a problem spending some money, but I'd rather not have to make the purchase again if I don't have to....as much as that goes against everything this forum stands for :YinYang.

    Some Info:

    I play a strat (slightly modified G&L Legacy). I also have a limited edition Epi SG that I put a good bit of work into that never gets played. If it weren't my first guitar, I would have returned it to stock and sold it by now.

    I use a slightly modified (ECC81 preamp, higher input impedance) and rebuilt (after it died one day) Valve Junior and mostly like the tone. It's a bit dark and has no where near enough headroom for what I want to sound like now. It sounds okay cranked with the guitar turned down a bit, but it's too loud for my bedroom and too quiet for anywhere else.

    A friend recently compared my style to another friend and it was interesting. While he tends to get a late '50s fairly staccato/muted style I tend to play with what he described as a "late '60s, more legato style with longer phrases and more chromatic alterations." I'd say that's more right. Generally, style varies from blues bordering on rock and some rock bordering on punk. I want to be able to play from blues standards/SRV/Clapton/BB King to what I consider good relatively modern rock ala collective soul/eve 6/some toned-down emo (don't hate me)/counting crows. Of course this list isn't complete. My chops tend not to be able to do much of that, but that's where I want to head.

    I think my favorite amp tone was on clapton's One More Car, One More Rider DVD. Say what you will about that mid boost or any other BS, but the cleans in River of Tears or the opening for Layla and the overdrive on She's Gone make me cream myself. Pun intended. I'm aware that a lot of that is just him (and have empirical evidence through trading guitars/setups mid-jam that a good degree of it is in the playing style) but this info is provided for reference.

    I kinda hate almost every pedal I've tried. Winners so far are the Carbon Copy Delay (tried it; probably going to pick it up soon) and MXR Super Comp (set for very light compression and a bit of boost). I still want to try a Blackstone, but I've returned or sold everything else (RC, some eq pedals, about to return a Diaz Texas Ranger, etc.). I'm on the list for a zendrive and I'm honestly not sure if I'm going to buy it when my name comes up.

    I like being able to control overdrive from the guitar volume with the amp set a bit hot.

    I'm liking much less overdrive than I did when I was younger...and by that, I mean a year or so ago. That last year in college does a lot. I think I've outgrown the high-gain or even Marshall/JCM800-ish thing without really doing it.

    Part of me can't get the Deluxe Reverb RI clean sound out of my head, nor the '75ish one that I played at one point. But, I honestly don't know what the overdrive sounds like as I haven't been able to turn it up past 3 or so in stores, nor would I be able to anywhere I actually see myself playing.

    The Tweed Blues Junior and a few others are (obviously) less impressive. I can't really put my finger on just why.

    The clips of Dumble clones (Ceriatone, Fuchs, etc.) are amazingly nimpressive, but what can you tell from clips? I have a place that deals several of them (not Ceriatone, unfortunately) that would let me play them, but not at full volume. I actually live near 2 Fuchs dealers and have played a Black Jack 21 that was very impressive. When I had a valvetronix, the only amp model I actually used I later found out was based on the clean "channel" of a Dumble ODS.

    Bad Cats impress me. The classic cat is gorgeous, but like the DRRI might be a bit too clean. Panther sound clips with strats are phenomenal. I live near a dealer.

    Sound clips of CAE OD-100 Classic with strats are phenomenal. I live near a dealer, but I think they only have the Classic+ models. I could play them but probably not at full volume.

    If I had my 'druthers, It'd be a combo. This probably won't happen.

    I don't really have a problem spending $3000, it would just mean I'd have to wait a bit longer. $1000 would be more easily doable. I do not want an interim solution or something to "tide me over," as that would just make me wait longer for what I really want. The problem is that I don't know what I really want.

    If I need to do something that requires more volume before this happens, I'll re-amp my VJ's Hot Plate'd line signal with a QSC power amp into a bigger cab as I have done with decent results before.

    So, anyone want to point me in a direction, even if it's just to tell me that I'm never going to be happy with a single amp?
     
  2. MrJacko03

    MrJacko03 Member

    Messages:
    466
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    You are never gonna be happy with a single amp.........but an XTC might make you a little happy if you tweak the clean channel right. I'm getting one for myself and I just want one amp :D
     
  3. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

    Messages:
    2,348
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    British Columbia

    Ok - that's three now :BEER

    1) taxes
    2) death
    3) You are never gonna be happy with a singe amp
     
  4. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Messages:
    11,516
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    playing in traffic...
    Sounds like you want a Soldano SLO.Enjoy the hunt...
     
  5. PRNDL

    PRNDL Member

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    SW Florida
    My recommendation is to try some vintage gear, especially from the late '60s.

    Start with an original TS808. It works wonders with those old amps, whereas other pedals don't sound good at all (and vice versa for modern amps).
    http://www.buildyourownclone.com/

    I'd recommend trying some Silverface and Blackface Fenders, especially a Princeton Reverb. Why ...

    The amps you described can be separated by output tubes: 6L6, EL84 and EL34.

    You seem to like the sound of clean 6L6's, but are unimpressed by the EL84/34, which is understandable because they are used in Marshall amps and are more known for their distortion. They sound best at high volumes.

    The PR is desirable because the 6V6's have some of the 6L6 clean and it's own crunch tone at a fairly low volume.
     
  6. eru

    eru Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Not quite. The CAA OD-100 Classic uses EL34s and a replica plexi output transformer.

    And JCM800 cleans really can be gorgeous.

    Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of guy who can just think "i played one and it was pretty." It's the same way with girls....wait a minute...
     
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    In the small affordable home/studio recording amp category, the Gries 5
    is quite popular. Also the Emery Sound Superbaby.

    For a bit more power, reverb etc in the Fender flavors, the Gries 20 and 35
    or the Allen Sweet Spot or Accomplice.

    If you prefer more of a British flavor, the Reeves Custom 12, 18 or 30
    or the Suhr Badger 18 or 30 or the Category 5 Tsunami, Ivan or Andrew.

    Divided By 13 and 65 Amps offer a variety of exceptional choices too, but these may be beyond your preferred budget.
     
  8. eru

    eru Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    So, I finally figured out that my favorite guitar tone so far was a Vibro-King. PRNDL, you were right about the 6l6 thing. The other amps (panther, od100 classic) must be a fluke.

    So, does Fender still make them? Probably not. Anything similar? Although, I should probably consider that the one I liked was by no means stock. (Yes, I know it's a custom shop amp)

    It's probably worth trying out one of two '70s Champs at my local GC. Any comments on what to look for when considering purchasing a vintage amp? Anyone know what a fair price is?
     

Share This Page