Ampless....need some suggestions...criteria inside

Sonic Reducer

Member
Messages
1,566
I just bought a Marshall 4x12 with greenbacks and I'm looking for something to put on top of it. I would like to spend about $1100 give or take a few hundred. New or used doesn't matter. I'd like to keep it at 50 watts or under. Definitely stay in the british tone camp. I love Marshall tones, but I think I prefer amps that put a little twist on the Marshall overdrive. May be why I like the Tomcat so much. I don't like overly bright cleans. Here are some amps I've tried and some comments:

Bad Cat Hot Cat 15
Two Rock Ruby 12/18----Gain comes on way too fast.
Aiken Intruder----might try again
Aiken Tomcat------One of my favs, but decided it's a bit too thin
Roccaforte 18
Mojave Coyote-----nice, not enough grind
Savage Rohr 15----good Fender clean and dirty marshall, tomcat grinded more
Mayfly BC15
Divided 13 9/15
Marshall 20 watt reissue
Masonette
Matchless HC-30----Nice, but too much money wrapped up in it

Here are some amps that have been on the short list to try:

Revisit the Aiken Intruder
Rockytop Electronics JTM45 clone (850 through May!)
Reinhardt JTM45 (Bob has a little twist to it)
GDS "Offset" 18 watt with the TMB tone stack (I'm real interested in this one, but I don't know if it will be similar to the Tomcat)

I'd really like to try a JTM45 type amp, but I think I'm more in the JMP plexi type camp. I think I like more gain than a 45 would offer.

If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
Platinum Supporting Member
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18,260
Mike, consider an Orange Rockerverb. See if you can play one somewhere; preferably a 50 or 100. I played my 50 through AndyZ's old 4x12 with GBs in it today and it really sounded good. I've also played it through G12H30s and V30s (my fave for this amp). It's not like your other amps but it does have a distinctly British character. Sorta between Vox and ...um..Hiwatt?? or Marshall?? hmm...it's really its own Orange thing. It's got its own, very cool personality.

The OD channel has BUTTLOADS of gain, but it sounds really great with the gain dialed back too. And the clean channel is super clean. Gobs of clean headroom. This is the amp that made me sell my Roccaforte Custom 80 and almost my Tomcat too. Its master volume is very, very good. The reverb is excellent (I only like a very small dose and it's quite good) and the parallel loop works extremely well.

I continue to be really impressed with this amp.
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,941
TopHat Emplexador, used are around $1300-1400. Excellent Marshally tones with lots of versatility, JTM45, Plexi, metal panel & modded high gain voicings, 50w (or 100w but these are not common used) with a good MV.
 

larrylover

Member
Messages
925
How about a Dr. Z Prescription Extra Strength? Or a used Prescription. (The Rx ES replaced the Rx and the Rx is no longer in production). It is a 4Xel84 amp and the cleans are kind of voxy and nice. Typically nasty Dr. Z grind (meaning very good) and wonderful singing leads and there is feedback to work with if you desire. In other words, a great range for rock playing.

New the Rx ES is a little out of your range -- head is $1499, I think (I may be off by $100). The Rx used should be comfortably in your range. You should strongly considering stretching, however, the amp is a tremendous rock and roller. I hope you can try one.
 
Messages
728
TopHat Emplexador for sure. It will get you the JTM 45 sounds
as well as the sounds of an early JMP 50 and hot rodded JMP
50 and beyond. All the best Marshalls in one box, and then some.
 

DownByLaw

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,959
An amp that doesn't get mentioned much here for those types of tones is the Carr El Moto. Really up the alley of what you described. I dig it quite a bit for my vintagey Marshall type tones. Geat vintage and supercharged Marshall type sounds, as well as funky tones of it's own. (can do nifty Supro-like imitations) Unfortunately you will have to find used as it was discontinued, but I have seen them quite cheap compared to their price when new. (around 1000.00 used, 2500.00 new) Alot of amp for the cash.

Patrick
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,615
ditto the Emplexador.......lots of Marshall amp sounds in that box. I had one and an Intruder (not at the same time) and the Intruder was noticeably brighter sounding.


Have you ever tried a TopHat Club Royale? It's a sweet machine for the clean to medium gain thing.
 

Blueser

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,796
Originally posted by Leonc
Mike, consider an Orange Rockerverb. See if you can play one somewhere; preferably a 50 or 100. I played my 50 through AndyZ's old 4x12 with GBs in it today and it really sounded good. I've also played it through G12H30s and V30s (my fave for this amp). It's not like your other amps but it does have a distinctly British character. Sorta between Vox and ...um..Hiwatt?? or Marshall?? hmm...it's really its own Orange thing. It's got its own, very cool personality.

The OD channel has BUTTLOADS of gain, but it sounds really great with the gain dialed back too. And the clean channel is super clean. Gobs of clean headroom. This is the amp that made me sell my Roccaforte Custom 80 and almost my Tomcat too. Its master volume is very, very good. The reverb is excellent (I only like a very small dose and it's quite good) and the parallel loop works extremely well.

I continue to be really impressed with this amp.
What Leon say! One of the best sounding new amps out there for sure, and it is right in your price range!
 

John55

Member
Messages
294
You might consider the Reinhardt 36w. I just received mine from Bob and have to say this thing is really rockin' my world. It does the hot rodded Marshall tone I've been after for a long time, and yet it has it's own little twist as well. It also retains the EL84 chime, note definition and sparkle I've grown to prefer over EL34s. If 36w is too much, just pull a pair of tubes and you're in 18w heaven. The MV side with a full tone stack is great, and the MV is very usable.
I also own a BlockHead "First Born" and it's a killer amp, but it won't get the real aggressive tone this little beast is capable of. The 36w doesn't compress much and the sound just seems huge, way bigger than I'd have believed would come from an amp with this power and tubed with EL84s. I like plug and play amps that don't take me more than a few minutes to get a good tone, this one does that...and no pedals needed.
 

Mark C

Member
Messages
4,417
My suggestions:
THD Flexi-50, easy to use, great Marshally and Fender tones available. Built like a tank and easy to maintain with built in bias adjustment points. Great cleans and plenty of gain on tap, although not a true channel switcher it can be set up to work like one.

Germino: Seems to be one of the best flat out Marshall sounding amps made, although may be out of your budget.

Used Marshall Plexi RI or JTM45RI: Can be had inexpensively and there are many upgrades that can be done, like the metroamp PTP board, and Mercury Magnetics or Heyboer output transformer.

Marshall JCM800. These sound great and are simple to use. They are based off of the Plexi circuit, so as long as you've got it set up for EL34's, you can get into that territory with lower preamp gain settings. Lots of good tones to be had here, but definately more aggressive than a JTM45 style amp.

Silverface Fender Bassman modded by a good tech. Lots of mods available to make these amps really scream.

Traynor Bassmaster YBA1. Poor man's Marshall. Again, needs a few minor tweaks, but great tweed bassman to plexi tones are available depending on what you do to it. Uses the Bassman/Marshall platform for it's circuitry, so I think it would be easy to get the tones you want out of this head.

Haven't heard the Emplexador, but based on TopHat's incredible reputation, I doubt it would be anything but a steller sounding amp.
 

Sonic Reducer

Member
Messages
1,566
Are the late 60's JMP 50 watt heads a lot more aggressive than JTM45 type amps?

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. The one that looks pretty cool is the rockerverb. I had been thinking about that one for a little while.

Keep them coming.
 

Mark C

Member
Messages
4,417
Think of the JTM45 as a mix between a Tweed Bassman and a Plexi and you're on the right track. Great cleans and nice overdrive, but not a whole lot of gain. A plexi is gainier, some models more so than others. I find the 50 watters to be the most aggressive of all the Marshalls. The metal panels are generally even more aggressive than plexis. I don't think of plexis as aggressive amps, but they are more aggressive than a JTM45 to my ear.
 




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