Amps you regret buying


Silver Supporting Member
Have you seen this one on the Friedman JJ?

These two examples aren't really equivalent. I would put the advice and experience of Lyle (Psionic) several orders of magnitude above Tony McKenzie. Sometimes what he says hurts (my Boogies are still crying) but he is genuinely calling it like he sees it, and will give kudos where he feels it is deserved.


Every Fender Princeton and Deluxe Reverb I've ever gotten my grubby paws on – vintage, the '65 or '68, even some of the boutique takes on those amps.

So many players I adore sound amazing through them. I always tell myself this is the one that'll finally click with me. No, for sure – this time... really! They have all sounded good recorded and in the room, but I've never liked the way they attack or feel. I know is a weird thing to say about an amp, especially since I like other tube rectified amps just fine, but hey – there it is.

I'll probably find someone unloading a Princeton/DR within the next 6 months and convince myself to go through the same love-at-first-sound/disillusionment/regret routine again


EVH 5150 III 50 Watt. I bought it online from a small retailer, and it had loud, high pitched squealing on channel 3 at ANY gain level.

The retailer refused a return. I was sent to an “authorized” Fender repair tech who couldn’t resolve the issue. I tried at least 5 different brands of 12ax7’s to no avail. I ended up selling it to Guitar Center for far less than I paid.

Such a letdown, but it taught me to make sure I make amp purchases in person or from a large, reputable online retailer.

Why did they refuse a return? What was their excuse?

It can be hard to know how to use the amp if it is what I think it is and isn't broken. If broken, that's another issue, if not then it's just the dialing in. Don't use what artists use on stage or in a professional recording studio. That's probably well tamed with all sorts of additional gear.

The manual is trash for this amp. The amp has OFF positions on the dials. You start there and dial-up. If you noon even the EQs and have just a little gain you can get hissing, squealing, hum, feedback, and every worst thing in the book. This amp can work perfectly well between notches 1 and 3 across the board.

This is how my settings look at some of the highest usable tones that you even hear on albums. Treat the Low Mid and High like they add gain. This is what people mean when they say that the EVH5150III has too much gain on tap. It isn't just the gain knob that has that problem. The volume happens to be the one that adds the least gain, lol.

EVH dialed in.jpg


These two examples aren't really equivalent. I would put the advice and experience of Lyle (Psionic) several orders of magnitude above Tony McKenzie. Sometimes what he says hurts (my Boogies are still crying) but he is genuinely calling it like he sees it, and will give kudos where he feels it is deserved.
I am more than willing to watch more videos on it. I just saw that one day and well, Tony McKenzie isn't exactly someone I would just ignore. He seems to know some things and can play guitar stellar. I doubt he is being influenced either but maybe I am wrong.


I had the VL-503 for a while. The clean sound was actually really good, but you couldn't get it to distort easily, and when it did, it sounded pretty bad. The drive sounds were just bad in general. Very disappointing.
I liked the V-50H, which was like an Ampeg “plexi”. Those didn’t last long but I wish they had


I've had so many amps over the years, it's almost shameful, but the only one I can say really didn't work for me was a Marshall SS amp from the mid-90s. I can't remember for the life of me what the model # was, but I believe it may have been one of the early Valvestate amps. The clean was meh, the reverb was blah, and the overdrive actually had a very touchy mid-knob that either was too much or too little. More recently, I tried and failed to find joy in a Mesa Badlander, but I got to return that one at least.


Too many, here are some:

Marshall DSL 40 combo, always problems with tubes. Poor built, tubes burned. A type fault (older models)

HUGHES & KETTNER Switchblade, four channels !!! All ****.

Blackstar HT Club 40, clean channel poor. 2. channel little better

Egnater Tweaker 15, in some way lame, no good sounds.

Marhall JMD 1...50W. First digital Marshall. Modelling from Softtube. Has given away.


A brand new THD 4x10 tweed looking amp i bought new in the 90's, had a secret reverb knob in back, and i just HAD to have it., overall the amp was stiff and I could not make music on it, and replaced it with an old super reverb a year later i bought from a guy.. The really embarrassing part is the shop in LA had an original tweed 50's super that sounded unreal for less money and the sales guy was trying to get me to buy instead. Many mistakes made on that one transaction..

Matt Sarad

My Boogie about 40 years ago. No reverb.
Grinding overdrive.
Never could figure it out and replaced it with a Seymour Duncan Convertible. I miss that amp.


Silver Supporting Member
For me, it's my roland JC-120. It has a lot of hiss, and I never use it. Plus, it weighs more than a marine mammal. I could have bought a nice used low watt tube combo for what I paid for it, and I regret buying it. I started with a Roland Cube 30 when I was a kid, and thought it would be a useful studio tool, but it doesn't work very well with most od pedals, being that it is solid state.

Any amp purchases you regret?
Bassbreaker 15 tweed.
Fender Tonemaster Deluxe.
Fargen Blackbird.
Valvetech Hayseed 2x12 just because it was too big/heavy to try and ship and suffered damage.
Revv G20.
Marshall SC20.
Vox AC10.
Katana 100.
Literally any Blackstar I have owned.
Recently, that Fender Pro Reverb 1x12 POS.


Any Victorias or boutique tweeds...just, no.
Any PCB Fender...I got some of the first Blues series ones in the 90s and they weren't any better back then.
VibroKing---what was thing supposed to be anyway?


ALL my amps.

Love hate to try out everything I've ever wanted and love everything I've ever wanted.

Amish Mafia

Here's a few -

THD Flexi - At times a great sound, but overall far too much bass and treble, there was a interesting quality to how the notes came out which other amps cannot do, but overall the endless bass killed it for me.

DrZ - Maz Senior, how and why people like these is beyond me, I couldn't find much of anything to like in this design.

Carr - Vincent, had an early one, much like Z, it was stiff and basically nothing I could get along with. What really pisses me off about it is during this time I had a Matchless 2x10 Spitfire and since I had too many amps I thought I could sell one to cover costs. The Spitfire was the one people wanted, now I can't find another, at least that model.

Matchless C series - While great they weigh a lot and I still needed to use pedals. Paying $2,300 for an amp and using it as a pedal platform doesn't work for me.


The high end was unbearable. Couldn't tame it.
And so much noise....
Get rid of it in two weeks.

Marshall Vintage Modern.
Could not get a descent sound out of it.
Sounded way too compressed.

Brunetti Wizzard.
No life, compressed, piercing highs



Silver Supporting Member
Fender DRRI / PRRI. I kept giving these two amps a spin (owned the DRRI on three separate occassions) when I used to get all my gain from pedals, never cared for either amplifier until I ran a Voodoo Labs Giggity.

Dr. Z Monza NMV. Bought on DAMN loud and didn't care for the cranked sounds in person. Demos sounded fantastic though.

Swart Reverb STR. Boxy...kinda boring and finicky with most pedals.

Mesa Electradyne. Quirky interface...sounded great. Mesa's mullet. A commitment to simplicity in the front with unnecessary complexity in the back.

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