Are the more expensive tube amps the best?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DiPa, Mar 15, 2019 at 9:32 AM.

  1. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    I don’t think so.
    Do they have gold in them?
    I believe a great tube amp comes from the creator, the builder/ designer, having the knowledge and experience and ears to build a great tube amp. And there are some great builders out there today.
    You get some of the best tube amps in the $2K - $3K range.
     
  2. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I agree. it also depends on whom is listening to the amp, as players prefer different sounding amps.

    I 've had high end boutique amps and commercial amps. The amps I preferred
    day in and day out were the Marshall and Voxes.

    Plexi's are my all time favorite amps, but the weight of them are now more then I care to haul around. So, I ordered a Brunetti Pleximan a week ago.

    That amp reminds me of either a smaller, lighter weight Metro-Plex, or a modernized Marshall Plexi.

    It has everything I would have liked had Marshall designed and updated a Plexi.
     
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  3. gtrbarbarian

    gtrbarbarian Silver Supporting Member

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    I think one of the best values on the used market, and one that is very portable is the ol' THD Flexi 50...that is one great sounding well built amp, that can be had for around $1k if you're patient....
     
  4. majorminor

    majorminor Silver Supporting Member

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    Somewhere at this very moment is a Fender DRRI with good tubes and an upgraded speaker that hangs with 99% of every thing out there.
     
  5. guitarvc

    guitarvc Member

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    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Do I think a Dumble at 90K is the best amp? No. Do I think a Soldano, Bogner, or Boogie sounds better than a Fender or Marshall? Yes.
     
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  6. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    This is TGP !!!

    Of course the most expensive equipment is the Best !!!

    But only for those who hear with their eyes.
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Consigliere Staff Member

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    you can get some damned amazing amps for sub 2K

    Any of the Greer Stuff.
    Supro
    Fender stuff is still good and inspiring.
    Blackstar, Quilter, Marshall, Ampeg, yadda yadda.

    People shouldn't pigeon hole themselves to one type/style/price range.
    Cheap gear is good.

    Remember the gold foil pickups that are the 250 buck craze now...were a cheap alternate to traditional single coils.


    At the end of the day, it's the player not the gear.
     
  8. big mike

    big mike Consigliere Staff Member

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    in the corner of my house. Sub 800 bux. DRRI with Scumback M75 and my 90 buck Nobels overdrive, and my used beat up ESP Ron Wood.
    Could do almost any gig I need and have inspiring tone to make my job easier.
     
  9. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I agree with this. I've played some really expensive amps like that 5000+ euro Mad Professor made years ago. Great sounding amp but definitely not worth its price. But at the same time I can appreciate my Bogner because it does something that I cannot get from any of the more mainstream brands.

    It's also worth mentioning that there are factors that determine the amp price that have nothing to do with the amp itself. For example Mesas are overpriced in Europe.

    I think there are way too many boutique amps on the market that are literally just Fender/Marshall built "like they used to" e.g. handwiring and all that crap. To me those kind of amps are not worth it, I'd rather they went further and implemented some modern convenience features like fx loops and master volumes (defeatable if need be) so you don't have to plonk a big ass attenuator after them right from the start.
     
  10. harvey j

    harvey j Member

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    NO
     
  11. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Director of the 2019 Like Farming Initiative Gold Supporting Member

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    What a fresh and novel idea for a thread.
     
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  12. MichaelDCarter

    MichaelDCarter Member

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    ----
    To a point, yes, they are. There's always a point of diminished marginal return. Anyone who has played through a Bartell knows there are three great tones in that amp that really make it like purchasing three amps in one portable amp with great reverb and a killer master volume. I now have a Victoria 80212 to go with my Fender JB Twin and both sound amazing in a way you won't get with less expensive amps. It's just a reality. I know because I have a few of the less expensive ones too.

    All that being said I agree the player is the biggest variable. Many times I have either played with, before or after someone plugging into a basic, unimpressive rig and they blew me away. That's what I call one of the differences between being a guitarist and being a musician. Equipment won't bridge that gap. Yet, even for people at my basic level, there is a noticeable difference between my bad playing into someone entry level and something amazing. My bad notes are more tolerable through the good stuff.
     
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  13. MmcGrouty

    MmcGrouty Member

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    I don’t know, the amps I think sound the best are quite expensive. They are built to order by one guy though, it’s the time and expertise you pay for, not some magic fairy dust. There’s also much cheaper amps that sound perfectly fine, though.
     
  14. Mike Lenning

    Mike Lenning Supporting Member

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    I agree with him, clearly you don't?
     
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  15. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Silver Supporting Member

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  16. JK1965

    JK1965 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good points. The post about the DRRI with good tubes and speaker is on point too.

    I have one and it cost me about $900. Great sounding amp!

    I just got the Cutthroat Audio Francene amp and it falls into your price range. Another great sounding amp!
     
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  17. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    The question might be ... how much is expensive?

    The economy is doing very well right now. I make more and pay more, but prices have gone up quite a bit as well. So, the question needs to be revised, as compared to 2-3 years ago.
     
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  18. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    It’s relative, several years ago a great tube amp was in the $1K - $2K range, the numbers I used are based on actual great tube amps today, checkout Louis Electric, Headstrong, and so many other tube amp builders. But yeah inflation will bring up the prices in time. Agree with you. $3K is a huge difference than say $8K or higher, that’s my point.
     
  19. LeicaBossNJ

    LeicaBossNJ Silver Supporting Member

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    The linear relationship of price and performance breaks down pretty early. Maybe around $1k.
     
  20. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon Silver Supporting Member

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    My favorite and best-sounding amp is a 5E3 Tweed Deluxe clone that I built myself. Made a couple small changes to the standard circuit, and I have maybe $600 total into it.
     

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