Considering a Germino: Help Needed to Choose Some Big Iron

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by cpa2guitar, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Member

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    [FONT=&quot]I have a question that, having read many of the posts on this forum, I know some of the members here can answer.

    I have been buying, trading, and selling amps for the last four years or so, trying to find the right combination of amps to achieve my objectives. I have made progress and this tone chase is winding down, but there are a couple of issues I am still addressing.

    Except for the Shiva, the power of all my amps range from 18 to 28 watts. Since I need great tone at low volume, this has been fine. Still, my favorite amp builder, Dan Boul, has stated there are some tones that just cannot be had without a big amp. So even though I am a die hard 65 Amps fan and own five of Dan's amps, I am looking elsewhere for this one.

    Recent posts about the new Germino master volume has me seriously looking at either a Monterey 100 or Headroom 100. If I go with a Germino, Greg will be able to help me chose between those two amps, based on my preferences, but...

    Question 1: Are there amps other than Germino that I should be looking at?

    I don't know if any of the following are mutually exclusive, but my criteria are:[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Played clean, I'd like it to be able to reproduce the tone Hendrix had on The Wind Cries Mary and SRV had on Riviera Paradise (can one amp nail both of these clean tones?);[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]The amp needs to convey everything the hands are doing. I guess "must be unforgiving" might be another way of saying it;[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]The amp needs to operate quietly (I really don't like noisy amps that produce a lot of hiss when cranked);[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Assuming one of my guitars has the classic Hendrix or SRV Strat sound (ever notice how many Strats don't possess what many of us consider the "classic Strat sound"?), this amp will complete the package (i.e., produce that Hendrix/SRV tone);[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Must be able to reproduce that great late '60s and early '70s distortion;[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Must have a master volume that retains most of the amp's tone when not played at ear-bleeding volumes; and[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Must have that low "umph" you just can't get out of a 28 watt amp.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So, should I just place an order with Germino and be done with it, or are there other amps that I should consider?

    [FONT=&quot]Quest[FONT=&quot]ion 2: If anyone has played both the [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Germino Monterey 100 and the 65 Amps Producer EL, would you please compare and contrast the tone and feel of these two amps? [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]One [FONT=&quot]Last Consideration: [/FONT][/FONT]I am kno[FONT=&quot]c[FONT=&quot]ke[FONT=&quot]d [FONT=&quot]out by [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]the clean tone produced by Channel 1 of my KT88 Shiva, but just could not bond with or relate to Channel 2 of that [FONT=&quot]amp[/FONT]. I have kept the Shiva because of the cleans on Channel 1 and the fact that it doubles as a killer amp for my acoustics (I know... who knew?), but... It would be really nice if I could find an amp that met the above criteria and deliver cleans that are so fine it would make my Shiva unnecessary. That may be highly unlikely, but one can always hope...

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me,

    Kirk[/FONT]
     
  2. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Member

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    I would look into the Monterey 100 w/MV. Germinos do all the things you and while I have never played his new Master volume option I have no doubt it is as transparent as any you can get.

    The club 40 does a lot of Monterey tones also fwiw, just with a slightly greater mod presence and it gives up the goods faster
     
  3. donbarzini

    donbarzini Supporting Member

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    I think you will be more than pleased with the Germino HR100, I thought the Shiva was very buzzy sounding but this was many years ago, probably the very first version. I have a 2014 HR100 with the Merren Transformers. It is the best sounding, best built old school plexi I have ever owned. There are not many honest men who I would trust nowadays to build anything for me but Greg is one of the very few, I have two of his 412 slant cabinets as well. The HR100 is loud and stays very clean. I have contemplated getting the MV option but I am still debating. I think the MV would make the amplifier a lot more versatile in many situations for all men....
     
  4. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    The Club 40 meets your needs. It's 50 watts, plenty big n loud for anything.
    I had the 20th Shiva and the Club 40 at the same time. The Club 40 is as loud, sounded better clean and dirty at all volumes. Best clean tone I've had in an amp. Great dirt when cranked. Gets everything you asked about in your post. Check out JimB's recent video of his Club 40 with master volume in the clips section. Or any of JimB's Club 40 clips. It'll give you an idea of what that amp is capable of. Also, this amp takes pedals like they are part of the amp. Better than the blackface Fenders and Vox amps I've had.
    The Club 40 is one of the best amps ever.
     
  5. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Kirk,
    thanks for the PM. Love talking 4 holer marshall tones.

    Couple things to get out of the way.
    Wind Cries mary...most likely a fender in the studio.
    Riviera Paradise...SRV had about 15 amps set up at once in the studio, and ALL of them were miked and running. There's no way to know WHICH or which combination of amps are on that track...but his marshalls then were Majors, quite a bit different.

    That said, a good strat and a nice clean tone should get you plenty in the ballpark. Any of the bass spec Marshall type amps are going to be right there.

    Greg Germino is an incredible builder AND a top quality human so you're definitely barking up the right tree there.

    I assume you're considering bass spec with the HR100? That and the monterey will be simiarly voiced, but very different.

    One thing I think about the later 'superlead' and superbass' amps..more the 69 and up specs, is that due to the higher filtering, they're a little less forgiving. There's no hiding in a good marshall anyway, but these make it stick right out.

    Between the monterey and the hr100 (bass spec) the HR will be louder, have a more solid low end thud (less wooly) and have a more tight breakup to it. it's going to be a bit crunchier than the Monterey. That's neither good nor bad, it's just how it is.

    The Monterey being a JTM45/100 based amp is going to have lower filtering and a looser feel, plus the JTM45 spec mix resistors again cause it to break up in a different way from the HR. It's closer to the JTM45 or almost tweedy fender tone. Here's where folks point out the JTM45 is a bassman clone. That doesn't have as much influence when you move up to the 45/100.

    Checking out the guitar stash in your sig..my leaning is to point you towards the HR100. I think it's more versatile, and will likely give you more of the later 60's early 70's overdrive tones when pushed than the Monterey will.

    I generally boil it down to this:
    Monterey (JTM45/100) is more 'Malcolm Young' type of tone.
    HR100 (Bass spec) is more Kossoff (free) later Cream and hendrix types of tones. Hendrix did switch to a lead spec tone stack later on though.

    That is a thought..you might go Superlead (HR100). The Normal channel will gove you the warm cleans (especially since you have the headroom) but you'll definitely have the options to get the crisp marshall KERAAANG when pushed.

    Definitely pick gregs Brain a bit and let him help you get where you want to go. The man has forgotten more about those tones than most people ever know. LOL

    Good luck! Can't wait to see what you end up with.
    Best
    Mike

    Edit: Anotehr thought, while I love and use 50 watters..(IE Club40 style) the 100's still have this huge low end response that the 2 tube amps dont. Even if choked down with a dummy load or a master, I think they have a more authoritative low end push than the 50's.
     
  6. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Member

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    I would heed any Marshall advice that Big Mike gives for sure...

    But just to offer a different perspective, if you want studio Hendrix and SRV sounds you might be well off to find a Dual Showman head. All lot of the details of Hendrix's studio gear is heresay, but it's pretty well accepted that he use a Dual Showman quite a bit. And Stevie is the Twin sound, so there is that.
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep. But I think you can get 'close enough' with a clean Germino.
     
  8. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    I've got me an old blackface Dual Showman. It's clean for days, all the way up the volume. I compared it to the Germino Club 40 quite a bit. They both have great clean sounds, although different. I liked running both at the same time. I'd choose the Germino if I had to pick one, for everything, clean to cranked. The Germino has a more natural sound.
    The sound of a cranked Twin is something, though. I played a Vintage Sound 85 recently. That amp sounded so good. It would certainly cover the ground the OP is asking about.
     
  9. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Member

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    To All,

    Wow - thanks, gentlemen. This is exactly the kind of information I am seeking, and I appreciate that you took the time to post and help me out.

    To donbarzini and LPMojoGL,

    Thanks for comparing the Germino with the Shiva. My primary reason for inquiring about Germino amps is that I am seeking that classic late '60s and early '70s "big amp" sound of some of my guitar heroes from that era. I was a teenager during that time (I graduated from high school in May 1973), so I also am kind of nostalgic about the tone from that era. In addition to nailing that vintage tone, if a Germino can also: 1) best the clean tones on Channel 1 of my KT88 Shiva (I thought this might me difficult); 2) best the distortion on Channel 2 of my Shiva (I thought this would be easy); and 3) equal or exceed the Shiva's transparency in amplifying my acoustic guitar, I will have hit the trifecta! It does sound like both of you are confident one of the Germino models will do all of that.

    I’m sold. I intend to call Greg tomorrow.

    Thanks,

    Kirk
     
  10. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Member

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    Mike,

    Thanks for going the extra mile with all the useful information you provided in that comprehensive post. From having read your posts and your responses to questions from other TGP members over the last year, it has been clear that you are very knowledgeable on this subject. As we would say in the South, "Even a blind man could see you know your stuff." So I was not at all surprised when ledzep618 wrote, “I would heed any Marshall advice that Big Mike gives for sure..." It was for this reason that I sent you a PM asking for your help, for which I'll again say, thanks.

    I'll post back on this thread, once I have placed the order, to report what model I chose after discussing it with Greg.

    Regards,

    Kirk
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  11. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool man let us know what you get. I know we're all happy to kick orpur two cents in.
    Now I'll tell ya the other big one..get you a real nos mullard or amperex for v1
     
  12. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    I thought the Club 40 was no longer made. Mike, that's basically Greg's take on the blackflag JTM50 circuit, isn't it? I've been looking for one for a while and the few I've found are overpriced, about what retail price was (is?) on a new one.
     
  13. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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    Still around.
    JTM 50 yup.

    2200 list I think?
     
  14. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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    JiMB was talking about maybe getting rid of his......has a master.
     
  15. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    I have a Monterey 100 NMV with one of Greg's straight 4x12s w/ the pinstripe grill and Scumback PVCs and believe that combo will do what you're seeking. But, I would go with a NMV and use an attenuator. I'm sure Greg's MV is as good as physics allows but these amps really need the full power section and power supply straining to get every last drop of what made them so special in the first place. And, FWIW, Greg is an amazing person and top of the heap in this style. I'll never part with mine!

    The two best attenuators I've owned are the Tone King Ironman and Torpedo Reload. Good luck!
     
  16. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    The best option is to use both a MV and an attenuator. Use each to take a bit off, but not so much that either of them remove any of the magic.
     
  17. big mike

    big mike Gold Supporting Member

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  18. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    Don't forget the all important 412 cab. I would say go with a Germino Fillmore. Less ghosting than the Monterey. All are great amps though.
     
  19. lestera34

    lestera34 Supporting Member

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  20. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it was easy to sell the 20th Shiva after getting the Club 40 and a Bogner Red pedal.

    How did the conversation go?
     

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