Amp similar to the Jim Kelly 112 combo?

voodoosound

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I think you could get in the ballgame with an early Boogie (Mark I - IIB) and a non mid-hump OD pedal (FDII in Comp-Cut, etc) for about $1,000. The catch is that to sound like the JB video it's gonna take a LOT of treble and presence to dial out the overly thick mids and bottom of the Boogie. The pedal will help with this but it'll pretty much be on constantly.

I was able to get similar tone with my Mark I reissue running 6V6's and using an FDII. Not perfect, but close enough without spending the $$$ for a Kelley.

I really dig early boogies. But they don't and can't sound like a Kelley. I've tried.
 

guitarjazz

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The attenuator in the FACS amp is not channel specific. If it were, that would make it a channel master volume. I had to search for this manual for the original Kelley amps. IN the section on the attenuator it in no uncertain terms notes that the unit is an ATTENUATOR that sits between amp's OT and the speaker. This is the way that my FACS amp worked. Confused I am.

http://www.jimkelleyamplifiers.com/docs.htm
The attenuator on a FACS does reside between the speaker output and the speaker but, is only engaged when channel one is active.
 

guitarjazz

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25,575
Sorry for the confusion. Jim Kelly made a few different models of amps in the late 70s/early 80s. The FACS (Foot Activated Channel Switching) was the 2-channel version of the amp that was reissued by Kelly and Suhr a few years ago. The FACS is simply 2 of the single channel preamps in one amp, with one of the preamps being connected to the attenuator.
He made a few MV amps too. Rare.
 

MaxTwang

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The FACS would be similar to a 2 channel Reverb Model, with the attenuator switching in with the channel switching (the attenuator switched in on channel 2, channel 1 was the clean channel).

No master volume amps that I'm aware of, bit he did have the Line Amp which had an attenuator after a 1st power amp then a 2nd power amp so you were pushing the first power amp to overdrive, attenuating, then amplifying to performance volume with the 2nd power amp.

A Boogie is preamp gain, a Kelley is not a master volume amp - preamp and power amp drive. Completely different beasts.

The Baxandall tone stack, also found in Ampegs, is integral to the Kelley's tone. Clean to driven - these are amazing amps. Really, really heavy too! The new Reverb Model head is 41 lbs.

You're not going to find another amp that sounds like a Kelley. The new Suhr produced Kelleys are as good as the originals (might be a safer route as some of the originals have been modified).

Jim Kelley was way, way, way ahead of the times. Jim was making these sweet sounding tone machines when the industry was moving towards more complex amps with tons of preamp gain and super clean power amps and all kinds of digital hoopla in the FX loop. The guitar world didn't come around until long after Jim closed shop, I see the Bad Cat Unleash and Fryette Power Station as approximating what Jim was doing with the Line Amp 30 years ago - drive the entire amp, attenuate then use a clean power amp to amplify.
 

davidespinosa

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I had a Kelley back in the day. It's cleaner and louder than you think it is. It's a non-MV amp, with big transformers. So you either use an attenuator, or you play really loud.
 

Vai81

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If John Suhr or Jim Kelly is reading this, please reissue the FACS!!! I need one in my life but damn near impossible to find one with 240v (Australia) power
 

Bluesful

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If John Suhr or Jim Kelly is reading this, please reissue the FACS!!! I need one in my life but damn near impossible to find one with 240v (Australia) power

There's a guy here in Perth with one (who I don't know).

I doubt he'll ever put it up for sale.
 

Vai81

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1,121
There's a guy here in Perth with one (who I don't know).

I doubt he'll ever put it up for sale.

Any chance you could PM me his name and any info that might be handy? I've heard of a guy in tas that owns 2 and has them stored in the shed. Same story, won't sell them!
 

guitarnut_1

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I think you could get in the ballgame with an early Boogie (Mark I - IIB) and a non mid-hump OD pedal (FDII in Comp-Cut, etc) for about $1,000. The catch is that to sound like the JB video it's gonna take a LOT of treble and presence to dial out the overly thick mids and bottom of the Boogie. The pedal will help with this but it'll pretty much be on constantly.

I was able to get similar tone with my Mark I reissue running 6V6's and using an FDII. Not perfect, but close enough without spending the $$$ for a Kelley.


Good call. Boogies have always sounded too mids heavy to me. I am looking for that sweetspot or bloom that I can hear in this Kelly amp. It happens when you have enough mids (not the scooped Fender sound), but the mids still don't get in the way but seem to give in or sag at some frequences and attack. I've experienced this with a Marshall JVM 212 combo, but still miles away from this juicy Kelly tone.
 

guitarnut_1

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I see the Bad Cat Unleash and Fryette Power Station as approximating what Jim was doing with the Line Amp 30 years ago - drive the entire amp, attenuate then use a clean power amp to amplify.

there was a bad cat reverb combo I played awhile back with 2 6L6 tubes, it sounded in the same ballpark... cost was again around 3.5K I think. It was a simple amp, but sounded ALIVE and juicy. Pretty expensive and not very common over in Europe thou. One of the best amps I have personally tried. I can get a Deluxe Reverb and mess around with pedals and save quite some money or just wait and save for a Bad Car or Kelly reissue. My hope was there must be something out there that could possibly approximate the Kelly tone, it's not a complicated amp after all.... right?

What I defenitely don't want is an amp with 1000 bells and whistles which just destroy my tone. I usually need one good crunchy overdriven channel that I can control from the guitar. That's all. Also servicing a complicated amp like a Boogie is usually a pain in the ass.... been there.
 

Bluesful

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46,328
Any chance you could PM me his name and any info that might be handy? I've heard of a guy in tas that owns 2 and has them stored in the shed. Same story, won't sell them!

Unfortunately I don't know his name. All I know is that Mike @ Tritone serviced it a while back. He may have more info.
 

fusionbear

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Nothing sounds like a Kelley. My brother owned both the Reverb and FACS back when they came out. But you had to use the Attenuator or kill small animals in the front row. Loud amp! The new Kelley amps nail the tone and are beautiful inside. In fact, I would dare to say that they are even better than the originals....
 

BadHiwatt

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1,546
I had a Kelley back in the day. It's cleaner and louder than you think it is. It's a non-MV amp, with big transformers. So you either use an attenuator, or you play really loud.

That is my only beef with the Kelly, it is DAMN loud. It even sounds loud when it isn't.
 

Oso

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13,615
That is my only beef with the Kelly, it is DAMN loud. It even sounds loud when it isn't.
That's why he made the attenuator.
In a band situation though where you need some clean head room I don't find it too loud. I used to use one with a 2x12 and used a musicman power section as my effects amp with another 2x12. I'd set the attenuator for my loudest level which was only a bump down from full up.
 
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pjrhd28

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5,063
That "E" noodling he does from about 5:00 to 5:33 is just stunning; he's a pretty good guitar player (Duh).

The amp sounds fantastic and it's a great example of the bloom that the OP is wishing for.

Gotta get my mitts on one to try out....
 

BadHiwatt

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1,546
That's why he made the attenuator.
In a band situation though where you need some clean head room I don't find it too loud. I used to use one with a 2x12 and used a musicman power section as my effects amp with another 2x12. I'd set the attenuator for my loudest level which was only a bump down from full up.

Lol, true, but it is soooo loud. You are correct though, when I play out, my 1x12 FACS has plenty of clean head room.

This video shows what I'm talking about. The attenuator is awesome, but down to 3 on the attenuator and it is 112db. My solution was to work on isolating my guitar studio at home so it wouldn't be a problem, but for others I would recommend a re-amp such as Bad Cat or Fryette.
 
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