Amps Everyone Loves But You Don't

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Felipe Veiga, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    People love Fenders, but I’ve owned a vintage Vibrolux Reverb (1970) and Super Reverb (1968) and they were both finicky amps, but well regarded amps.

    You have a volume knob that goes to 10, but don’t turn it above 4 or it becomes an inarticulate mess (especially with anything other than single coils) and unless you have something like a tweed Bassman or have extensively modded it it probably doesn’t sound that good overdriven (hence why guys usually push them with any number of drive pedals). You have a bass knob that needs to be set conservatively or the bass overpowers everything. The mids are fixed.

    I’ve gathered a number of builders have tweaked them over the years to fix some of these questionable design choices, but they’re popular so I’m clearly in the minority.
    Fred McMurray and Cousin like this.
  2. Mcentee2

    Mcentee2 Member

    Apr 5, 2016
    Fender Tweed Deluxe from the late 50s
    HeavyCream, Blue Marvel and cam0122 like this.
  3. darkwaters

    darkwaters Member

    May 12, 2013
    I have to say, I'm kind of relieved that so many have mentioned the 5E3. It seems like everyone worshipped them. I had one (a Weber clone, I believe) for about 6 months. I started off disappointed and it went down hill from there. Noisy. Pointless to turn the volume up past 3. Tone sort of acts like volume. Volume sort of acts like tone. Sorta. Kinda. Seemed to me that it was a failed experiment by Fender.

    Don't get me wrong. I love some tweed and tweed style amps. Champs for example. And I love my Supro Super, but that Deluxe was just plain weird. Could never get a single tone that I liked out of it. Looked super cool though.
    Mcentee2 and Miracle Man like this.
  4. spencer096

    spencer096 Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    cleveland, OH/denton, TX
    never played a mesa i thought was even halfway decent.
    BADHAK likes this.
  5. Cousin

    Cousin Member

    Mar 6, 2018
    Said the musician?....
  6. Daniel Travis

    Daniel Travis Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2018
    Wenatchee, WA
    I'm saying that his tactic may work in those situations, but it would be folly in a loud rock band.
  7. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    One thing that I stay aware of is that people's playing styles really, really matter here. I am not making a tired "in your fingers" comment. I'm not commenting on skill making things sound better (nor am I arguing against that). Instead, I'm saying that where and how you tend to pick, for instance, makes a difference. When I use my fingers, I inherently change the attack and treble that I hear from any amp. Switch to a light pick and then a heavy one, and things change again. Pick a little bit closer to or further from the bridge, and again it changes. I know players who have a technique that has worked beautifully for them for years if not decades, but they never change it. Then an amp that works for me doesn't work for them. Because of course it doesn't.

    I do think it's fine to have a conversation now and then that amounts to, basically, "Don't worry about consensus, because none really exists." Electric guitar offers so many different ways to get a sound that works with your music that of course even some of the revered classics will simply not sound good to your ear with your playing, and that's not a failure by the player or the gear. Pick what fits for you, or branch out and learn how to make different things work for you, if you want. Just avoid the square peg/round hole thing, and don't beat up on gear that works great for others. What's the point?
    leeroy and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  8. Eddie Sabotage

    Eddie Sabotage Member

    Mar 8, 2019
    There's a bunch of amps I never got into that players were going on and on about: Peavey Stereo Chorus 2x12, The Mesa Triple Rectifier, Diezel amps have never done it for me either, nor Bogner.

    But I'm pretty sure I play one that a lot of players hate:

    Fender Blues Deville reissue 4x10. Everyone hates this amp, i think because they say it's loud as hell. Too loud and doesn't break up soon enough, but if you have ever owned one of these devils - see what happens when you do push it to the break! Your strings sound like steel girders made of tears!

    But for me, the winner amp, the one that everyone hated but I thought was awesome - the Marshal Lead 100 Mosfet!

    Everyone: <Boo! Hiss!>

    Me: <Woo-hoo!>

    - Eddie.
    BADHAK and Anacharsis like this.
  9. Tricerapotamus

    Tricerapotamus Member

    Dec 3, 2019
    Mesa Boogies... I've had three and two of them had an unacceptable noise floor. The third was a 50W head that was so loud that I couldn't dial in a good tone without needing earplugs.
    BADHAK likes this.
  10. KiddBilly

    KiddBilly Member

    Sep 28, 2018
    Louisville, KY
    Dr Z amps. I've played one or two that impressed me, but a lot were not anything to write home about...
  11. barsinister

    barsinister Member

    Jan 8, 2015
    1)Blues JR--TILL I realized how to set them-Bass on 5-mids on 2-treble off-master on 10-vol 5-fat switch off-reverb on 2 (after that it sounds bad)-then for the rest of tour i had a good sound with my Tele (i dont tour with Gibsons any more) Blues Jr has not much bass-the mids =treble treble = OUch-fat switch makes even more plastic-y sounding. get stuck with them in a backline situation occasionally..
    2) marshalls--not for me. except for bass-love a marshall 1/2 stack for bass
    3) any solid state or sampling amp. just not sexy at all
    4) SF MV Twin--Thunders soudedgreat thru em so did Steve Jones--just too much amp for the gigs i do
    5)Mesa Boogie-too many knobs--
    I dont use any pedals ever
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  12. De Batz

    De Batz Member

    Nov 13, 2015
    That (woolly, or 'foggy', or as they once put it in a magazine, 'a three-day growth around the tone') is almost the point of Orange amps...

    If you're ever in Sheffield, you can come over to my rehearsal place and we'll get the OR120 going. There will be something in there you like...
  13. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    If you dont have treble bypass on your guitars get it.

    Ive found the sweet spot on the SF amps is amp vol at 7, guitar vol at 5.

    Totally manageable volume level.

    SWEET AND CLEAR , touch sensitive and tubey. Its "the sound".
    Cousin likes this.
  14. NortheastHick

    NortheastHick Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    22 Acacia avenue
    Mesa marks.
    Add an EV12L for maximum ear fatigue and offensive mids.
  15. Occam

    Occam Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Oakland, Ca
    I've never played a Vox I've wanted to guy except the Brian May signature (the big tube one, not the solid state little guy). Other people get greats tones with them, just not me. I also don't like how Strat's sound when I play them either but many of my favorite players play them so just another example of different tastes as a fan vs. as a player.
    Thumpalumpacus likes this.
  16. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

    May 23, 2005
    It really bothers me when people talk about the behavior of Marshalls as though they are all the same. A JTM45 is very different from a JCM 900, which is very different from a DSL or a JVM.
    BADHAK, Blue Marvel and rumbletone like this.
  17. BMW-KTM

    BMW-KTM Member

    Feb 21, 2018
    Almost all of the Fender HR/Blues amps.
    I've owned a few of them and only really liked one, the Blues Deville 212.
    The HotRod Deluxe was a dog to my ears.
    It had a honk that I could never quite dial out.
    The Blues Junior was even worse.
    I bought it because it was small and light and extremely portable.
    It didn't take long before the novelty wore off and I noticed the tone was severely lacking and the honk was incredibly worse than the HRD.
    I spent a fair bit of money on the BillM mods and speaker swaps and it was improved but it still lacked.
    The HRD and the BJr are both extremely popular amps and I find no use for either.
    I never recommend them to those who ask my advise.
    The Blues Deville 212 was in a way kind of like a Twin Reverb but with a little bit of tweed influence.
    It was not lacking in the tone department but it was heavy.
    I found it had a better sounding drive channel then the HRD.
    I found the MoreDrive feature of the HRD to be utterly useless.

    My opinion.
    Feel free to differ.
  18. rumbletone

    rumbletone Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2013
    Vancouver BC
    IMO they have a mid/high-mid-forward tone, are more touch sensitive with more SAG, and have far less onboard gain available compared to, for example, a 900. And of course no master volume, so they need to be loud to break up.

    I still remember the first time I heard a JCM900 in person - my initial thought was that it didn’t even sound like a tube amp and that I strongly preferred a JCM800 boosted with an OD when I need that much gain. Certainly there are players who love them and they work better in some scenarios than others, and my comments are directed at the high gain tones (not clean settings).

    But my key point was not whether they are good or bad - but more that just because someone doesn’t like that particular circuit doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like others by that manufacturer. It would be like judging all Fenders by a HRD or all Mesas by a Recto - it’s not representative of the tones that originally made them famous.
    cam0122 likes this.

    IYWBBYGBG Member

    Dec 14, 2015
  20. cam0122

    cam0122 Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    Nice commentary.
    BTW, my newest amp is a HRD. The more I work with it, the better I'm liking what it's got, even using the od channel on one and a half, along with pedals produces some really nice classic rock 70s and 80s tones.

    I also own a 1985 jcm800 two channel 50 watt half stack. Love it live and loud. But I'm finding my hrd easier to work with.

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