Another "What amp is for me?" Topic.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DJLantz444, Jun 7, 2006.


  1. DJLantz444

    DJLantz444 Senior Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Hi, I'm a young guitarist (younger than most here) that plays primarily blues, jazz, and some rock type stuff (Crunchy Chords). I have some overdrives that I use with my current amp (Peavey Classic 30) to give me a variety of tones that I like, but the clean tones are never quite there. As of now I have two guitars, my Fender Strat and an Ibanez AF105 (The archtop).

    I'm definitely looking for an amp with a Fenderish type vibe. I like the modern blues stuff, such as SRV and an amp with a nice crisp high end like a Fender is what I'm looking for. I want an amp that will be primarily clean that can maybe get me that "edge of breakup" tone. My amp should do the rest. However, it shouldn't have a complete lack of headroom, as I need to play some jazz without feedbacking. I like a small amount of grit when I play jazz, to warm things up, but I can't have it overdriven, especially if I'm playing a ballad or something.

    Only one channel is necessary as I'll have my clean tone (varying amount of "clean" depending on what I'm playing) and then use my overdrives to kick it hard.

    The amp shouldn't be too big. I'm only playing club gigs, and even that is rare. I don't forsee myself playing stadiums anytime soon, if ever.

    Sadly cost will be an issue, though I have a birthday coming up, I may be able to split 50/50 with my parents. I can't give you a limit but I can tell you no matchless, diaz, victoria, etc. Just too much.


    Amps I've been looking at:
    Vibrolux
    Deluxe Reverb (worried about headroom)


    Anything else I should be looking into? There isn't much of a place to try out amps anywhere around here (besides horrible solid state practice amps) but my dad said he'd try to take me somewhere this summer.
     
  2. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

    Messages:
    1,863
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Rivera? Plenty of headroom in a Chubster 40.
     
  3. Keld

    Keld Member

    Messages:
    992
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    PDX
    Check out a used Mesa Mark II - they tend to be the cheapest of the Mesa Mark stuff, but are especially nice for blues and clean with a bit of grit.
     
  4. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Member

    Messages:
    2,572
    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    Used Reverend Kingsnake.
     
  5. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,026
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    For Fenderish clean tones, why not a Fender?

    While the Peavy Classic 30 has good grit, you're right, it breaks up too easily and can't really put out those chimey Fender cleans.

    I am a huge fan of the 90's Fender Tweed Blues Deluxes. They're 40 watts, deliver great punch, are extrememly overdrive pedal friendly, and put out some classic Fender clean tones.

    Mine has an after-market Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, which is icing on the cake, IMO - lots of extra sparkle and spank, yet very warm when overdriven with an Ibanez TS808 or a Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive.

    The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is another option, but IMO, I prefer the clean channel on the older Blues Deluxe. They're supposed to be the same, but they don't sound the same. Also, the "more gain" channel on the HRD can get way over the top, and you just don't need it if you use pedals.

    Closed Ebay auctions show this amp selling used recently for between $300 and $495.

    Fender also has reissued it and sell it new for $629 at Musician's Friend.
     
  6. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,986
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio/Florida
    All you need is an Aphex GuitarXciter pedal. Trust me, it is like taking a blanket off of your amp.
     
  7. DJLantz444

    DJLantz444 Senior Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006

    I did mention some fender amps I've been looking at. I don't think a Hot Rod Deluxe is worth spending my money on, it doesn't seem like much of an improvement over the Classic 30 (I've played the HRD). THe Blues Deluxe has always looked interesting to me, but is it the Blackface sound or the Bassman type sound? I should've mentioned I"m looking for the Blackface sound.

    I think the Vibrolux would be good but I made this topic to make sure I'm not missing anything. Also, if I do get a Vibrolux, what should I look for? I know the Blackfaces are considered the best, but they are also the most expensive. Are silverfaces a significant downgrade? How is the reissue?

    -Dave
     
  8. mavrick10_2000

    mavrick10_2000 Member

    Messages:
    757
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    The Vibrolux wouldn't be a bad choice since you want to avoid the Bassman. For close to Fender cleans, Mesa F-30, used you can find them in the 650-750 price range in great condition. But if you really want Fender cleans, and you have no other Fenders, stick with Fender, especially with budget constraints.
     
  9. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,026
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    I own an original 1967 Blackface Vibrolux Reverb and at 35 watts, my tweed Blues Deluxe has more headroom. I guess that would make the Blues Deluxe more "blackface" and the blackface VR more "tweed". Could have to do with my choice of speaker in the Blues Deluxe - the Celestion V30, though.

    The silverface Vibrolux Reverb is an excellent amp - very little change from the blackface in design, just a little more headroom. Problem is they're getting pretty pricy these days.

    A new or used Vibrolux "custom" might be your best bet as far as price and headroom go. It's not truly a reissue, but it's a good amp with classic Fender chimey cleans. It's 40 watts and has two Jensen Alnico speakers. If you play so loud that the Jensens break up and lose their clean, you can always replace them with a set of Celestion G10s.

    With the same general circuitry "feel" and power, ultimately the choice between an amp like the Vibrolux and the Blues Deluxe boils down to speaker configuration. What works best for you - a 1-12 or a 2-10?
     
  10. DJLantz444

    DJLantz444 Senior Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Does anyone have any clips of a blues deluxe? I've heard a vibrolux before. Of course I"m not just going to order an amp, I'd go try it out, but I'd like to have a general idea.


    I don't play very loud at all, when I"m playing jazz, so I'm sure the vibrolux would be enough headroom. I guess it boils down to whatever I think sounds better.
     
  11. NyteOwl

    NyteOwl Member

    Messages:
    2,650
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida - Hurricane Central
    Not in the one I had.

    For a small, not to pricey ($500-$800) amp, the VHT PittBull has a lot more clean headroom than anything else I've tried in that size/weight/price range.
     
  12. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,026
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    http://www.guitardavetaylor.com/TBoneGtr.mp3

    Home rehearsal. Mostly guitar solo, but gives a good idea of what the amp does with an overdrive pedal. Just to remind you, the amp has a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. Guitar is a stock Gibson SG 61 Reissue.

    And as a benchmark, here is the same guitar and overdrive through a 1967 blackface Vibrolux Reverb with Jensen C10 speakers, home jam session a couple years ago:
    http://www.guitardavetaylor.com/At_Last.mp3
     
  13. DJLantz444

    DJLantz444 Senior Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Hey, thanks! The Vibrolux sounds a bit smoother as far as I can tell. But I can't judge on those clips. I guess I'll have to head out of my way and find a nice guitar shop around here.
     
  14. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,141
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Location:
    RDU Area
    Get a used Super Reverb reissue. I heard Leonc playing one a few weeks ago. It was amazing sounding. Leon bought one, I'm considering it.

    You might also want to check out one of the Vibroverb rebuilds that are floating around. 15" JBL equipped. Everyone seems to on that bandwagon lately, and thus prices are pretty good ($1000 - $1200). I own one, thus the Super Reverb might be overkill, but they are a bit different.
     
  15. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,026
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    Vibrolux is smoother, but the new VR "custom" is not as smooth - they're more edgy. Also, the VR you hear there is a restored 1967.

    Blues Deluxe has more sparkle, but probably because of the Celestion V30 more than anything else.

    Problem with the VR is the stock speakers (Jensen Alnicos) fart out in the low frequencies at higher volumes (read: with loud drummers). Also, all Jensen 10's, new and old, ceramic and alnico, blow easily when pushed loud, IMO. If you crank it, have a good reconer handy. Otherwise, you might consider spending an extra $160 on a pair of Celestion G10s. But then again, you'll get more sparkle and not quite as much smooth.
     
  16. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

    Messages:
    1,863
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I must respectfully disagree. It's not a Twin Reverb, of course, but with my guitars in smaller rooms there's lots of clean power in those EL34s. Mostly I'm using Channel 2 (the nominally Fender one). Also, there's the choice of using the low gain input to maximize clean headroom.

    (Sorry about the lack of quote attribution...I'm having trouble figuring out how to do it.)
     
  17. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

    Messages:
    9,026
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere near White Rock Lake, N. Texas
    I'm curious, when using the low gain input at the same room volume as the high, does it give you more headroom? My 67 Vibrolux doesn't seem to.

    Somewhat related to the EL34s, I had a Marshall 1987 with 2 EL34s and 4 12" Celestion Greenbacks, and it had a slight cleamy overdrive sound at stage volume, even in clean mode. Not too much overdrive, mind you, but enough that you couldn't really call it "Fender clean". I bring this up because I've heard different definitions of clean, especially compared to a really gnarley sounding, dirty amp.

    No offense, maybe your amp really is Fender clean, I've never heard or played through that brand, but please elaborate - is it half-caf or fully decaf?
     
  18. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

    Messages:
    1,863
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm exposing my ignorance here, so please take my responses for what they're worth.

    Low gain seems to give me more headroom at a given room volume at the price of responsiveness. I usually run at around 5 for both volume and master and prefer the HG input to max the chime (and it's definitely chimey when set right).

    At the volumes that I run, it seems at least as clean as a Bassman and possibly as much as a DR. This is with the Blackface mid-pull activated, but no bright (treble-pull). Again, this is just my sense of proportion.

    Really the only thing that I'd like to add would be external bias pots and test points.
     

Share This Page