Amp recommendations appreciated!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dawgbeach, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. dawgbeach

    dawgbeach Member

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    Hey,

    This is my first post, although I have been reading up a bit & learning a lot here.

    I am looking for a new amp and would appreciate advice. Here's the situation, and I'd love it for anyone to chime in with recommendations, suggestions, comparisons, experience & more. It's all appreciated.

    I play a homemade two-humbucker guitar and need an amp for club gigs with a small combo. Nearly every gig has a PA, but no rehearsals do. We do jazz-ish, funk, blues, Americana, roots and some classic rock.

    As far as tone goes, my points of reference are people like Grant Green, Derek Trucks, Duane Allman, Rich Robinson, Dan Aurbach, Marc Ford, Audley Freed, Wes Montgomery, Peter Parcek, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, Ernest Ranglin, etc.

    I like to be right on the edge of very natural overdrive, with the ability to clean it up through touch or my volume or tone knob. Everything should sound super natural, vintage-y (but not out of place old), warm & real.

    I'd like to ditch as many pedals as possible. Tone should be in the amp, and if it has a swampy vibrato, that's even better.

    I was thinking probably 20ish watts, somewhere in there, so I can turn it up to a natural overdrive without breaking any windows, but still be heard. If it's a head & cab, that's wonderful. If it's a combo, that's great, too. It just needs to fit in the trunk of a car & sound good when we get there.

    I am happy to support small builders and would love to learn more about who is out there, especially the people that can take a minute to really dial an amp in to work for my needs.

    Okay, that's a lot of words. Please load me up with suggestions, recommendations, tips, nods in the right direction, etc.

    thank you!
    RLS
     
  2. mykleb

    mykleb Member

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    I bought a Matchless DC30 a few years back and love it. It sounds great if you throw some NOS tubes in it. The amp likes to eat power tubes so keep that in mind. The amp is also built like a tank. It is heavy so you might want to keep that in mind.

    Not sure how much money you are looking to spend. The DC30 isn't cheap nor are NOS tubes.

    There are lots of other good choices out there. You might want to just take a trip to a local guitar store that carries some boutique amps and play a whole bunch of them. I would bring your guitar and maybe a couple pedals with you so you can get a good idea how the amp is going to work for you.

    Hope this helps you out a bit.
     
  3. anyone

    anyone Member

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    A buddy of mine has a Headstrong Lil King. That thing sounds incredible!
    That, a Tim pedal, and a Fuzz Factory could keep me happy for years.

    I saw Marc Ford play at a small church a few months ago. He was using a slightly bigger Headstrong and sounded wonderful (and LOUD).

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  4. dughaze

    dughaze Member

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    What's your budget?
     
  5. eliot1025

    eliot1025 Supporting Member

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    Check out the Louis Electric Tremblelux.
     
  6. mgarrison99

    mgarrison99 Silver Supporting Member

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    Bogner Duende (6V6-based).
     
  7. zappateer1

    zappateer1 Member

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    A Tweed Deluxe wouldn't sound too far out. It's super touch-sensitive. You can get a really creamy overdrive with humbuckers, and it cleans up really nicely too with a twist of the volume knob. Then again, you could always crank it for Neil Young-style over-the-top overdrive.

    I, personally, play a Redplate Black 'n' Blues. It's got a Tweed Deluxe (5e3) circuit as its second preamp (as far as I'm aware). I've got all the blackface tones I could want on the first preamp, and so many configurations of overdrive.
     
  8. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    Grant Green is playing, or i've seen him endorse Richard Goodsell's amps. Check out one of the Goodsell MKIII-17. Lightweight tone machine. www.superseventeen.com
     
  9. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    A Pritchard... you can go as low or as loud as you need... you can make it sound like a Fender, Marshall or Vox (among other voicings)... it sounds like a tube, but no tubes to blow... super tough build/construction... has a great sounding reverb... has crunch and boost controls... you can engage two 5-inch horns built into it for super clarity to cut through the mix... very few pedals are required as you kick in the 'watts' knob (to add dirt volume), along with that 'crunch' function... very natural and full-bodied in tone and the harmonics fly out of it like crazy so that you get a large variance in tone qualities as you play light or hard.
     
  10. magilla

    magilla Chasing those soulful sounds. Silver Supporting Member

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    Simple solutions would be a Vox AC15 or Deluxe Reverb. Also, I'd definitely say its worth checking out the Carr Rambler.
     
  11. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Princeton Reverb might be enough for you, since you want a bit of break up. If you want it cleaner, a Deluxe Reverb would probably work really well. Buy silverface models from the '70s, IMO, and you'll get some very fine tone on the cheap.
     
  12. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    All the experts have weighed in, now what to do?
     
  13. dawgbeach

    dawgbeach Member

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the quick responses. If price wasn't a concern, I'd have a nice rig of Matchless, Louis Electric, Headstrong, etc. Unfortunately, those are a little out of my range.

    Luckily, there are enough small builders doing 5e3 & similar amps around $1500 or less, that I know I can find one of those. I'd love to know of more people building 5G9's, 5E9's, customs, etc. Once you start looking at nice amps, it's amazing how fast the price goes up!

    For some reason, I had it in my head that I wanted some sort of tweed, but now I'm opening up to consider more options.

    I've been intrigued by Goodsell (it's actually Grant Green, Jr., who plays them—the original Grant Green played a variety of amps), as they seem to offer some nice amps at decent prices.

    Unfortunately, I don't know of a guitar shop in my area that caries such a varied line. Most seem to favor the usual suspects and are geared more towards high gain shredding, which isn't really my thing. If anyone knows of a good shop where I can demo some of these in San Diego, let me know!

    Thanks!
     
  14. magilla

    magilla Chasing those soulful sounds. Silver Supporting Member

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    Grant played Ampegs and some Fenders in the studio. Usually, it was whatever Rudy had around ... Ampeg, Tweed Fender (Pro?), Blackface Fender.
     

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