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Amps that far exceeded expectation and those that failed dismally ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BryanMatthews, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. BryanMatthews

    BryanMatthews Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Planet Claire
    The Roland Cube 60 modelling combo , I mean , for many here the word modelling results in no interest whatsoever. But I think the cube 60 just plain threw perceived expectation out the window. I played one and it just blew me away, it just plain works and there are crazy good tones in there for a price that is literally a giveaway. I think its a superb amp with performance way beyond its price.

    For the purposes of this thread, my choice for a clunker that fell way short of the mark is the Marshall DSL50. With the Marshall history and their place in rock, I think players were expecting great things. I had a look inside a DSL50 and man oh man, what a tragedy it looks. Add thin driven sounds to soulless cleans and a travesty in terms of reliability , the Marshall , for me, is a most suitable amplifier to reside in this thread. I know some players love them and that is cool. I dont actually like Marshall amps much and Ive never owned one, but minding one whilst a pal was on vacation was just too much for me to bear, I simply couldnt hear nor see anything positive about the DSL50 at all.

    Lets read your choices here.

  2. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

    May 19, 2008
    Clunker - Mesa F-50.

    Don't get me wrong, I liked it and it took pedals very well, and found tonal bliss, but for all the rave reviews I read, And it getting 5 stars, I was expecting much much more. When I got it, turned on the drive channel, played with the useless eq, and had my ears pierced with brightness on the drive channells, I was a bit dissapointed.
    (the F-50 sounded much better when run through an extension cab with more low end, so I bet the F-100 would of sounded better)

    amps that surprised me - probally some of peavies stuff
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  3. tommytomcat

    tommytomcat Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    DFW area, TX
    Far exceeded: A mid 70's Deluxe Reverb I got for $125 at a pawn shop in 1994. Every amp tech that's worked on it over the years has begged to buy it off of me. It's got 'that sound'.

    ValveTech VAC. It was lifeless...
  4. Adwex

    Adwex Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Bad = Marshall JCM 900

    Good = Marshall 2555 Silver Jubilee
  5. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    New Orleans, Booziana
    I think I have found something interesting in almost every amp I have owned. Sometimes it was not interesting enough to keep the amp around though. The only amp I immediately boxed up and returned was an SLO clone. It sounded so bad that I am certain something was seriously messed up, because I like Soldanos. Not being a real one, that is a distinct possibility. The amp that really shocked me was a Green Stripe MkIII Boogie. I had always hated Boogies until that point. That amp was murderous.

  6. ?&!

    ?&! Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Huge surprise: Roland Blues Cube 60 3x10 combo. So surprising, in fact, that it has become my main amp.

    Big letdown: FJA-modded Ampeg VL-502 I purchased from Ebay. Sounded like dog$hit. I had my tech take it back to stock, and it was glorious.
  7. Telecaster62

    Telecaster62 Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    Lexington South Carolina
    Bad = Marshall JCM 900
    Bad = Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
    Bad = 1976 Fender Twin Reverb
    Good = Fender Pro Junior
    Very Good = Clark Beaufort
    Excellent = Reverend Hellhound
  8. eyeball987

    eyeball987 Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Good: Crate V3112. The name "Crate" used to make me cringe just hearing it spoken out loud.

    Bad: Gorilla that I started learning how to play on.
  9. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Exceeded expectations: I took a "Franken-Fender" Bantam Bass that had been converted to something pretty much like an AB763 Bandmaster. It's my least expensive amp but it's got to be one of the best sounding amps I've ever played through.

    Didn't live up to expectations: Koch Multi-tone. I dug how it sounded with other people playing it...but I just couldn't make it work for me. Uggh. It was like sterile homogenizer through which all my guitars sounded the same.
  10. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    under the stars
    I have hesitated to say it now for a long time but...

    I read a great review of the Fuchs TDS-100 (the review in Guitar Player, a few months back was for a TDS150 but they are about the same).

    I've never had such a like-hate relationship with an amp. The price was way up, hadn't been adjusted down because of the falling dollar ( I live in Europe), and I was so looking forward to the amp as in the review it especially mentioned how it was "touch sensitive" which is how I play.

    The clean channel is pretty wonderful...but even there, I still need to play with it with a band to see if it might be one of those that shine in that situation, but there is a deep wonderful bass sound, but it doesn't sound "all there".

    On the OD channels, I am having a helluva time. I have bought several different speaker cabs, and it may be that I am trying to make it do things it wasn't designed for (like Soldano SLO-100 sounds) but even with just keeping gain under reign, it has a chirpiness and a harshness that I don't like. I hear a ghost note (very high pitch) when playing certain notes, and I haven't touched the internal trimpots which might help a lot, but as is, with different speakers, I can't get my strats or Les Paul to sound how I like them.

    I was really surprised to get a manual also that was out of date and referred to controls that have been changed, and to a foot pedal that is from the previous model.

    I hear everyone else rave about the amp, and there ARE times when I get it to sound okay, but I expected a LOT more for the money (extra) spent, and to be honest I feel an amp at this price ought to sound fantastic without spending hours and hours trying to tweak it.

    I am just about at the end of my rope and am seriously considering selling it now. It may be just me, or something...but I am not hearing what I read about in the GP article.

    On the other hand, I bought a Soldano SLO-100, (used) and it is like plug and play. I play any setting and the amp sounds wonderful. I also love my DeVille (though the gain channel is the pits, I am modding from Omega now and expect to love it all over again for the clean AND gain channel after), and the soundis just THERE. With the TDS, it seems like the sound is IN the amp.

    Again, so many people LOVE theirs, I think it could be ME and the way I play, but I am not gettign touch-sensitive and the sounds I wanted and expected from it.

    I have honestly labored for literally days on end trying different things with the TDS, and at some point it is becoming ridiiculous to have spent so much on an amp that is so high maintenance.

    I'm either going to try to adjust the trimpots, or just sell it.
  11. v-verb

    v-verb Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Good: Bludo Drive

    Bad: Mesa Blue Angel
  12. Bearded

    Bearded Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Biggest Surprise: Tech 21 Trademark 10
    Worst Disappointment: Dr. Z 6545 (I really hated the overdrive in this amp. Unusable IMO)

    Another surprising tone story....Have you ever seen an HK Warp 7? It's a solid state way-too-much-gain-scooped-mids type of amp. It has the most surprisingly good clean channel ever. Stacks right up with a JC120. If you ever see one, try it. It's ridiculous.
  13. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2005
    Chicago/NW Indiana
    Wow, that surprises me. Mine's the amp that far exceeded expectations. I was one of Rob's first customers, so I didn't know what to expect, really. Seconds after plugging into it I knew I had found my voice.

    Failed miserably? That'd be a Line6 Duoverb. Couldn't box that thing back up and return it fast enough.
  14. fishlog

    fishlog Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Red Sox Nation
    Horrible: Fender Hot Rod Deville (versatile with 3 channels, to bad they sounded like garbage)

    Bad: Peavey Stage (thank heaven I forgot what model number)

    Bad: Marshall 1x12 Solid State from the mid 90's (thank heavens..you get the picture)

    Disappointed: Fender Super Reverb 65' RI (A good amp but...not even close)

    to expensive for what it is: VibroKing (to much money, very good amp, but so isn't a DRRI)

    Average: Marshall JCM 900 Head (Good players amp, never failed me and mine saw a lot of travel)

    Pretty good: Deluxe Reverb 65 RI (Only flaw is you have to get a new speaker)

    2nd Best: 59' Bassman Ltd RI (one of the best amps I have ever owned!)

    the best amp ever: Vibrolux (I will own one some day, I owned the new version...good but...)
  15. jds22

    jds22 Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Good - Crate GFX212 solid state combo. Not saying it was better than some of the tube amps I've owned, but I was really surprised how good this amp sounded, especially for how little I paid.

    Bad - Genz Benz El Diablo 60 watt head. By far the worst sounding tube amp I've ever owned.
  16. _sjm_

    _sjm_ Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    I don't totally agree, but I would also put it in my "failed" category. I replaced it with a Classic 30 and have been pleased with it as far as combos go. Smaller, lighter, seems to be louder, and handles pedals just as well as the Valvetech. The VAC was definitely the nicer amp, but for the money the Classic 30 has come out on top for me. The one thing I miss most about the Valvetech was jumping the channels and the versatility of the EQ.
  17. dunara

    dunara Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Way exceeded my expectations: Peavey Valve King - couldn't get a bad sound out of the thing (although you need to have the 2X12" - the single speaker craps out at louder settings).:dude

    Massive disappointment: Original Mk1 Boogie. Nasal, lifeless, hugely overrated. :puh 3 different techs checked it out and found nothing amiss. It was just a crap amp, end of story.
  18. m@2

    m@2 Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    San Francisco CA
    dissapointment: the "new" vibrolux, several mesa boggie amps over the years (well made amps, just do NOT work for me for some reaosn)

    exceeded expectations: my little princeton 6G2, TRRI, 1970 marshall superlead (WHY DID I SELL THAT AMP!!!)
  19. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    Mesa Mk.IIB. Just barely OK. Cleans were very underwhelming. But that was in the very early 80's and cleans weren't terribly important then. Although the preamp based distortion was very generic sounding. I was expecting much more "character" in the tone. It just seemed flat regardless of hours and hours of tweaking. Since it was sort of considered the amp to have at the time countless big names bought them and you saw them everywhere on TV. So I was expecting something more than what I got for my $1900. which was a massive chunk of change back then that required some major saving. I ordered it with the optional Anvil cases (one for the head and one for the cab). It was one heavy mofo too, even with separate components. I kept it for 12 years until Mesa came out with the Dual Rectifier series which, for me, was much better. Although when I started looking outside of Mesa at amps I found a whole new world of tone and haven't looked back since.

  20. hecticone

    hecticone Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    The knuclehead tre really worked out nice for my style of music which is heavier blues.
    The ampeg reverb rocket reissue was a disppointment I had an original and this one didn't come close. It has gone bye bye.

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