Best single channel combo that will go clean to high gain, from guitar volume?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by NamaEnsou, Jan 27, 2016.

Best single channel, clean to high gain from guitar volume, combo amp

  1. Kingsley

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Red Plate

    4.0%
  3. Marshall

    30.0%
  4. Budda

    6.0%
  5. Mesa Boogie

    6.0%
  6. Other

    54.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Wirezz

    Wirezz Member

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  2. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    Why is this an issue? Seems easier, more accurate, quicker and more flexible to step on a footswitch vs. rolling a guitar volume knob.

    That said, the Komet 60 is legendary for the ability to clean up with guitar volume but you will still be left a clean sound at one fixed volume/tone vs. the infinite variety of clean you can get with the Street Rod.
     
  3. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    Because of how I like to use my setup, and while there are those who think I should use it the same way as works well for them, I have grown out of love of using a pedal for distortion many years ago, and as a continuation of my changing preference in what works well for me, I have gradually realized that for the most part I've been only using one channel for years and while the Splawn cleans up in a fashion that I'm gradually getting accustomed to I'd still like a bit more in that direction, more in line with the way my Marshall's have worked.

    When I talked to Scott Splawn a little while back he said that because of the way he has designed the amp, it will not clean up as well as some other designs.

    I fully believe that you and many others can get the best results that you want by stepping on a button and I used to feel that way too, but not at all anymore.
    Do you have both a Komet and a Splawn? I keep hearing good things about the Komet, not to mention a bunch of other brands and wish I could just land in a huge studio with one of every amp on earth for about a month.

    Anyway, what is your favorite amp and what kind of tones are you generally going after?

    I talked to Henry at Red Plate today and was floored by how personable he sounded and we actually spent the better part of an hour just talking like a couple guitar players as opposed to customer/amp builder. He understood right off the bat what I wanted started getting really excited about the possibility of building a 6 tube preamp for me, and it would be an understatement to say that was too.

    Oh by the way, have you had the chance to play through one of the Red Plate amps yet?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  4. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I have sooooo many amps ,including the 2 Splawns, and to be honest, the Splawns clean up as good as any of my others that are hi-gain on Gear1 or 2. I wouldn't go by some of these recommendations above, unless you want to also use an attenuator as they don't have master volumes, and at the point they get hi-gain , they're way louder than your gig volume ,plus they won't have the variable 'solo volume boost' feature the Splawns have. Then again the definition of 'hi-gain distortion' varies a lot to many of us. I have a suggestion though that's different. .Do you have the treble-bleed volume pot mod on your guitars? If not, putting a capacitor/resister setup on your volume pot and finding the right value, might be the answer to what you need, and cost you about $3.00! I have many guitars that don't have it, and a few that do , and man I love it when they do . (volume pot mods are on my long to-do list for myself! Good luck, Eric
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    The poll is useless. Take Marshall for ex. a valvestate or JCM 900..they don't clean up near as well as an 800. All Marshalls. You have to get out somewhere and try your guitar, playing with the amps.

    The biggest difference in this is the player, a great player can take a mid gain amp and make it sound as if it's more aggressive and then they have the ability to clean up well. They don't need to rely on all that compression and sustain. I watch so many YT demo videos and most players use way too much gain, and most amps become generic sounding and so does their playing. They take the touch/dynamics/guitar's tone out of it.
     
  6. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think your description matches up with Trainwrecks and Komets.

    K60 might be too much volume, but is the embodiment of the qualities you want. Amazing full cleans dripping with harmonics all the way up to rip your face off RAWK tones.....all with the rolling of your guitar volume. K60 was too much overall volume for me. I've got a Komet Songwriter 30 now and it gives me all those amazing dynamics without the violent levels of volume, but not quite as much gain, which for me, works perfectly.

    Only other single channel setup I was thinking could work (and would be less) is something like a Two Rock Studio Pro 22 or 35. Those can also go from glassy beautiful cleans to heavy overdrive w/ guitar volume.
     
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  7. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I haven't played a Wreck or clone, but short of that, I find you can get from sort of clean to pretty solid crunch with the guitar's volume, but not literally clean to scream.

    My sample size is limited, and based on that limited sample size, I'd suggest an 18 Watt head with a closed back 2x12 or 4x12 cab, but it's not going to get either dead clean or true high gain in a "straight in" scenario. It will get edge of clean to AC/DC, but that's about as far as I've been able to make it work. I tend to like my Marshall when I need true higher gain tones (Van Halen-ish), and my AC30 with a Rat when I want dead clean to crunch. I rarely step on pedals anymore and I work the guitar's volume, tone and pickup selector, and switch guitars and use my right hand to get varying levels of clean.

    So I'll defer to others, but suggest that what you are looking for might be harder to find than you think.
     
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  8. 108

    108 Member

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    I do something similar but have an amp crunchy, not quite high gain, right to where it cleans up beautifully, then I use a boost to get to high gain territory. I've grown accustomed to using less gain as result and everything is sounding better than ever. I've also played around using a volume pedal instead of the guitar volume, as the toe is brought up, the effected signal retains more high-end resulting in a more chimey clean than rolling back on the knob.
     
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  9. DeaconBlues

    DeaconBlues Member

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    Keep in mind that I'm a recent convert/fanboy, but Goodsell seems to fit this requirement to a "T".
     
  10. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    Just the last few days I've been starting to get used to the Splawn, and even though I liked it right away, I thought I was going to have trouble doing anything other than rock. Not anymore.
    I'm getting to where I might be able to play everything I need with it and tomorrow will be a really good check as I have an audition to pair it with another guitar, bass and drums. Sure loving the textures and really liking having some sustain without having to push the gain all the way up. I played with gain on 9:00 in Gear 2 tonight where on my DSL I would have had it dimed.
    One song that has always stood out in my mind for guitar tonality that speaks to me is Manic Depression. Not all that much distortion, but so damn powerful and playing it tonight was the first time I ever felt I was closing in on a tone made for me.
    Now I want to talk the band into adding Manic Depression so I can play those rhythm riffs.
    I think I did that on my Strat years ago but I can't remember what it actually brings. What I'd like is for the guitar to get brighter when I roll off the volume. Is that what it does, and if so, what do I need to buy for my Ibanez S-series?

    I just wanted to see where people votes would land for this type of playing but with no hits at all, now I wish I could delete it. LoL.

    Anyway, a 900, my 30th Anniversary and my DSL 401 all clean up the way I need them to. But the tone doesn't kill the way my Splawn does and I'm just now getting familiar enough with it that I can imgagine playing stuff from Adele to Hendrix all from one amp setting, making whatever changes I need from the guitar and my hands.

    By the way, I've got an SD18 that I hope to see soon and try this out with it as well.

    I'm looking forward to getting back to a big city where I can try some of these other amps out and I'm in a very open minded state now that I have bought two amps that I never had any interest in at first, and one of them (the Splawn) putting a tone out from my fingers that I never thought I'd find.

    I really didn't do that good a job describing what I wanted I guess, because really, the grungy clean I'm getting from the Splawn is making me happier every day I get more familiar with it. I can play Music of the Night and go right into Voodoo Child now!

    The closest I've come to really clean to high gain from the guitar was with my 30th Anniversary, but it only comes to life at fairly high volume levels and at present I think I'll be selling it and staying with the Splawn, unless I'm able to find something 'more perfect'.

    I'm pretty sure that I may have let Henry talk me into strongly considering letting him build me a one-off RedPlate and I'm supposed to call them back on Monday to talk about it some more. He seemed pretty excited about some of the things that we talked about and the idea of two channels, both high gain, that would be totally dependent on the player to tame them. I'm excited too.

    I use a volume pedal if I bring my ME-70, but I love showing up with just a guitar and amp and working it with only what the three of us together can do. Player, guitar, amp; as much as I love using some of the effects, there's just something I love about a plain, simple setup like this.

    With what the Splawn brings to the table, I'm definitely using less gain than I ever have before, and giving up nothing in the tradeoff!

    One thing that I've been thinking about the last few nights as I've been playing is that the chimy sound I've been after isn't necessarily what others mean by that term. The chime that I really love is only available from tubes in a high gain setting with the guitar volume rolled back and carries a lot more distortion than would be associated with Deluxe Reverb chime. It's more of a rock chime and not only did it put big smiles on the face of everyone in the last band I joined, it helped make the two hour audition/practice run over four hours. It's a great tone I'm chasing, and although not for everyone, it's what I like!

    I'll keep that in mind (memo: Deacon is a Goodsell fanboy) but I always listen seriously when it's another pro talking about what is working well enough for them to turn them into a fanboy. There's another amp to checkout if I can ever find one!
     
  11. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    No, I don't own either, but for what you're after, the many clips of the Komet 60 floating around out there sound like exactly what you want. I have never seen or played any amp that cleans up as beautifully as that amp. You can go from raging, full, smooth, singing single-note tones to SRV level solo gain to crunchy rhythm to very clean and chimey with your guitar volume knob alone. And, Hogy got the EQ dialed in so that you can somehow get the perfect EQ for high gain AND clean without touching a knob.

    The only amp that has completely satisfied me under all conditions for the tones that seem to work best for me and my playing style is the 3-channel Glaswerks SOD II into a G12-65 loaded 2x12. It's an RF #102 Dumble-style amp but it has so many EQ options and tweaking capability that I just dial it in till happy. I suppose the bridge HB tone I ended up with is similar to RF's Mystic Mile higher gain lead tones, but I didn't purposely go for that. I use the two OD channels for all my lead tones and an Xotic SL into the clean channel for all crunch rhythm duties.

    Next up would be the Germino Monterey cranked up into a Power Station to max clean volume and hit with any number of pedals into a Germino 4x12 loaded with Scumback PVC-20s. I alternate a lot between these rigs. What keeps me always struggling a touch with the pedal-based rig is getting the right EQ balance between the amps cleans and pedal OD. I think what I really need for all the "pedal amps" I own is a few OD pedals with 3-band EQ, like I get with the Glaswerks. I like to EQ cleans differently than lead tones.

    I've been a HUGE fan of RP amps since Henry started up. Never played one but a buddy of mine carries them in his shop and played an RP40 last time I saw him out. Best tone he's ever had! I need to get in there and try one. I do have one of Henry's Dumbleators that I bought for a Quinn SDO many years ago, shortly after Henry started Red Plate amps. I bet he could build exactly what you need...if it doesn't already exist in his arsenal.
     
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  12. goddot

    goddot Supporting Member

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    If you have the chance to try a Wizard you will be amazed....for what you want it excels.
     
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  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    DSL's are nice. I don't care for 900's. My Splawn was too much preamp/buzz for me, even rolled back, the tone always had a little hair on it. Like I hear on some of the Friedman clips. Like I said, they do clean up but none clean up as nice as an 800. But an 800 has less gain. It's all what you want and where you want to compromise. To me, an 800 has a much better tone than any of those, just raw and bold tone.

    About the best amp I ever had that went from a good, non buzzy high gain to a very clean tone was VHT. Several models did this well. Had a bit of a sterile tone tho' sometimes. I never needed the clean channel, ha.

     
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  14. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    Yes, it appears to be almost impossible..yet Ty Tabor was doing it in the late 1980's.....from sweet clean to pounding crunch. As I understand it, he preamped a valve power stage with solid state amp (Gibbo l5)...
     
  15. aknow

    aknow Member

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    Carr Skylark does that real well.
     
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  16. Vibroluxman

    Vibroluxman Member

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    You can get a combo built for the THD univalve or bivalve. Mine cleans up nicely with the guitar's volume around 5, to balls out rock at 10. Keep in mind how your tone is wired in the guitar; modern wiring on les pauls for example tends to dull the highs a lot.
     
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  17. Cottage

    Cottage Member

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    Any Top Hat
     
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  18. texstrat

    texstrat Member

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    I'm really looking to get a Marshall or Marshall-esque amp this year, I'm really looking forward to working my controls on my LP for clean to OD, no pedals. I hear great things about Germino and Metro...
     
  19. texstrat

    texstrat Member

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    Depends on you one means by clean. marshall Plexis are well known for going "clean" to overdrive at the volume/tone controls. But, I agree with you, its not a crystal clean tone. But to some people that is considered clean. I'm really looking forward to getting an amp like this in my arsenal.
     
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  20. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Dirty Shirley with a boost will go very clean to high gain scream. One channel. If you take some thought to set it up you can control it all with your guitar knobs.
     
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