• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Did you ever get an amp that made you re-evaluate your playing?

Linkslover

Member
Messages
21
Out of curiosity, have you ever gotten an amp and all of a sudden you have to re-evaluate yourself as a player?

Over the last year, I have been playing a Boogie Mk IV combo and a Yamaha THR-10X. Really, more the 10X than the Boogie and I ended up trading off the Boogie because I felt it was not getting enough use. I really love the THR and can sit it a foot from my face and play at any hour, or stick it another room and crank it. Great tones and easy to play. When I say easy, I mean I find myself always in the groove with this little amp, and although it is a high gain amp, I usually play it on two Brown channels with the gain around 1 o'clock and the master cranked, so it will clean up with the volume knob.

But, lately (and before Ed passed on) I have been on a huge VH kick again. I wanted that old school cranked Marshall sound, so I got into a '74 JMP 50 watter. I also got a WAZA TAE to make it usable at home and to add effects, and maybe even record.

Man, does it sound GOOD. But, man, does it ever show my shortcomings. First of all, it still wants to be played loudly to get the goods. That is fine, I don't mind. I have the THR for late night playing. But, it is a hard amp to play. Very unforgiving, it will show in a harsh light every mistake you make. It has been at least 15 years since I had a NMV Marshall and I have forgotten both how great they sound, and how demanding they are on you as a player. One thing it has shown me in just a day is that I need to practice more. Stuff that sounds fabulous on the THR can sound like a hack fest of clams on the JMP. It is really quite humorous and humbling at the same time.

Thoughts?
Yes!

I was playing through a cheap solid state amp and thought my playing really sucked.

Then I got a 65 Princeton Reverb RI and discovered my playing didn't really suck. It just wasn't much good.

I'm happy to say that after having the amp for a few years and playing quite a bit, my playing has improved tremendously and I'm now mediocre.

Stay safe,

Linkslover
 
Messages
30
I haven't read every post in the thread, but just switching from a solid state when I was in my teens to a tube amp in my 20s was a big deal. I never realized the effect on the dynamics of my playing. All of a sudden that errant note that you pick a little too loud sounds out of place. I got used to it though. I still have one of the early Roland micro cubes if I really want to play softly (even though it can get loud), plus its nice to have all those mini effects or whatever you want to call them in a lunchbox sized amp, but the base of any tone IMHO is a tube amp that jives with your style of playing. I know there are a million digital things that recreate the same feel apparently but I've yet to find a true substitute for the real thing.
 

Dasherf7

Member
Messages
72
Out of curiosity, have you ever gotten an amp and all of a sudden you have to re-evaluate yourself as a player?

Over the last year, I have been playing a Boogie Mk IV combo and a Yamaha THR-10X. Really, more the 10X than the Boogie and I ended up trading off the Boogie because I felt it was not getting enough use. I really love the THR and can sit it a foot from my face and play at any hour, or stick it another room and crank it. Great tones and easy to play. When I say easy, I mean I find myself always in the groove with this little amp, and although it is a high gain amp, I usually play it on two Brown channels with the gain around 1 o'clock and the master cranked, so it will clean up with the volume knob.

But, lately (and before Ed passed on) I have been on a huge VH kick again. I wanted that old school cranked Marshall sound, so I got into a '74 JMP 50 watter. I also got a WAZA TAE to make it usable at home and to add effects, and maybe even record.

Man, does it sound GOOD. But, man, does it ever show my shortcomings. First of all, it still wants to be played loudly to get the goods. That is fine, I don't mind. I have the THR for late night playing. But, it is a hard amp to play. Very unforgiving, it will show in a harsh light every mistake you make. It has been at least 15 years since I had a NMV Marshall and I have forgotten both how great they sound, and how demanding they are on you as a player. One thing it has shown me in just a day is that I need to practice more. Stuff that sounds fabulous on the THR can sound like a hack fest of clams on the JMP. It is really quite humorous and humbling at the same time.

Thoughts?
No, I usually have to reevaluate myself with the same old amp...
Seriously, tho, when I get new equipment of any kind I'm in anticipation of what iT sounds like...what I can do with it.
 

the_Chris

It's All Been Done Before
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,511
I’m a broken record on this, but my Savage Blitz 50 was a game changer. I never bought a single channel “dirty” amp before.

It forced me to rely on volume manipulation, lighter pick attack and a treble bleed mod to get a “clean” signal instead of stomping on a channel footswitch and getting there.

It forced me to approach the instrument differently and now I enjoy getting a range of tones without multiple channels or stomp boxes.

Guys have been doing this for years, I’m just late to the party as usual.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,106
I play more than blues-rock. There is a world of textures, techniques and tones out there past the narrow-minded pursuits of many guitar purists, and I'm not interested in limiting my musical expression, curiosity, or creativity to pursue some sort of minimalist dogma that neither serves the song nor the listener.

I'm not specifically pointing this at you, just the whole "effects are crutches" mindset that gets regurgitated around here so often, or encountered in my own circle of guitar player friends.
I’ve yet to hear a guitarist use an effect as a crutch to overcome poor technique. I’ve also never heard a bad guitarist suddenly sound great due to deploying a pedal. I agree this idea is more folklore that reality and that a guitarist should use any sound available needed to achieve the goal. I’m probably considered a purist type of clean player but because I really like the sound of clean electric guitar but I also enjoy effects as well.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,106
I have zero problems with other people using anything they want to.
Except the guy cringing about plugging straight into an amp without 48 channels and clipping diodes who needs to reevaluate if he’s using effects as crutches.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,512
Except the guy cringing about plugging straight into an amp without 48 channels and clipping diodes who needs to reevaluate if he’s using effects as crutches.
Whatever you wanna believe man.
I've heard some really good players, playing through some really complicated rigs, so there's that.
If y'all haven't seen a guy or two trying buy talent in a box, you either don't get out much, or you're that guy.
Never worked in a music store or been to a small out of the way bar for a jam on a Tuesday night? Almost bought into a music store so I worked it for free every Saturday one summer, interesting cross section of players coming through. (liked it but not a great financial investment)
The small bar jams around here, I'm in the sticks, tend to go like bad karaoke pretty fast. While they last a friend and I would often go have a beer and watch.
Speaking of that friend we've played together on and off about 20 years. He bought two Mesa Mark Vs when they first came out. Ain't many tube amps with more bells and whistles than a Mark V! He sounds fine through his "Swiss Army Amps". Now if I was truly as closed minded as some of you think, I wouldn't even talk to the guy. ;)
 

Marcus C

Member
Messages
23
Isn't this the ultimate different strokes for different folks thread? (ha ha) The amp that made me re-evaluate my playing in a good way was when I finally got a Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp running through a Mesa Strategy power amp. I was absolutely stunned at the incredible sustain, warmth and balls to the walls tone and how much easier it was to play!! Of course I had areas of my playing that needed improvement but it was so much fun to play through that I enjoyed practicing even more! One buddy of mine claimed it was too easy to play, I know there are guys who like to fight the amp and guitar a bit. God knows I've done enough of that! It was a nice revelation to me to have such touch response and musicality in an amp. Of course there are many other amps out there that are magic and the only important thing is that you find an amp (or amps) that give you that spark for creativity.
 

Marcus C

Member
Messages
23
I haven't read every post in the thread, but just switching from a solid state when I was in my teens to a tube amp in my 20s was a big deal. I never realized the effect on the dynamics of my playing. All of a sudden that errant note that you pick a little too loud sounds out of place. I got used to it though. I still have one of the early Roland micro cubes if I really want to play softly (even though it can get loud), plus its nice to have all those mini effects or whatever you want to call them in a lunchbox sized amp, but the base of any tone IMHO is a tube amp that jives with your style of playing. I know there are a million digital things that recreate the same feel apparently but I've yet to find a true substitute for the real thing.
Yeah, I had a solid state amp at first too but was totally blown away when I plugged into my first tube amp. Loved the touch response, there is no substitute for that.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,106
Whatever you wanna believe man.
I've heard some really good players, playing through some really complicated rigs, so there's that.
If y'all haven't seen a guy or two trying buy talent in a box, you either don't get out much, or you're that guy.
Never worked in a music store or been to a small out of the way bar for a jam on a Tuesday night? Almost bought into a music store so I worked it for free every Saturday one summer, interesting cross section of players coming through. (liked it but not a great financial investment)
The small bar jams around here, I'm in the sticks, tend to go like bad karaoke pretty fast. While they last a friend and I would often go have a beer and watch.
Speaking of that friend we've played together on and off about 20 years. He bought two Mesa Mark Vs when they first came out. Ain't many tube amps with more bells and whistles than a Mark V! He sounds fine through his "Swiss Army Amps". Now if I was truly as closed minded as some of you think, I wouldn't even talk to the guy. ;)
I stand corrected!! I get what you're saying now. Yes - I also have seen the massive pedal boards weighing nearly as much as an amp. I do think its good for a player to get in touch with the immediacy of his/her playing clean to really hear what they're doing even if they like to use many effects to serve the music vs. the opposite. My apologies for the early morning snark. :)
 

stratovarius

Member
Messages
9,168
I have been on a quest for higher gain over the last few years and trying to develop my 'shredding' ability. I recently bought a lower gain amp that highlights my more lyrical side. Now I am realizing that it is more important to be who I am than who I think I should be.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
8,659
When I bought my Splawn Pro Mod around 2007 it made me reevaluate how sloppy I had played some things. The amp put me off at first, especially coming from super saturated high gainers like the Dual Rec & Rivera KHR100, and I wasn't sure I liked the feel even though the tone was what I always wanted. It took me a few weeks to adjust to how tight and unforgiving it can be but now it's my preferred amp and I don't enjoy playing saturated, forgiving amps like I used to, I feel the idiosyncrasies get smeared over. It tightened up my playing but also forced me to play with more dynamics. I'm not as afraid to play with lower gain now too, and in fact, play with much less than I used to.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,488
As mentioned in some of the posts in this thread, I also get tired of my sound and search for something else after a year or more, depending on the amp.

Also, with a new amp from a different company then the amp I had just stopped playing, it takes me a bit of time to get used to the feel of the new amp, but that can be a good thing as it makes me spend the necessary time playing the new amp to get used to it and find the tones I want to use.

Once I started playing Marshall amps, it was more about hearing and feeling the slight differences between that Marshall and other Marshall models.
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
663
A 79 Hiwatt SA-112 combo made me a better player. Most people hate Hiwatt amps because the expose all of player's flaws for the world to see. For me, the innate clarity of the Hiwatt made my playing technique better. It was a fight worth fighting. I also preferred the fact that the Hiwatt never buckles at anything you throw at it. While Marshalls will fail with certain fuzz pedals, a Hiwatt amplifies their qualities. Any type of octave divider or ring modulator pedal performs better with a Hiwatt than a Marshall. Though many will disagree with me, I wouldn't bother with a high gain amp because they already seduce a player into a false sense of comfort. I am not looking for an amp to convince me that I am a better player. I just want an amp that is loud and clean without adornment. I can add any sonic doilies with pedals.

My second amp of this type is a 61 Fender Tremolux 6G9A. The 8 ohm version just has this great sound that is so damn euphonic. Truly my deserted island amp. I bought it a quarter century ago and it will be the last amp to go.
 
Messages
1,439
Want to find out if you can play worth a damn? Plug a Tele straight into a Twin Reverb. (Other set ups work fine too, but that one is pretty easy to put together.)
This. Effects are cool, but you need to nail the underlying tone and playing first, then layer the FX on top as the icing on the cake.
 

crazyneddie

Member
Messages
3,114
Here is an interesting aside. I just went and played it again. It is after 10 here, so I turned the WAZA down to the point where the guitar was as loud acoustically as what was coming from the amp. Typically, the volume on this amp is at around 2 (it really does not add much more drive above this point) and the WAZA is haflway up, so I am moving some air. With the amp super quiet, I play just like I would play with the THR. It is the volume, more than anything, that I am not accustomed to, because I play at home and I rarely really crank my amps. So, playing this setup loud is causing me to tense up and be less fluid in my playing.

I guess I am lucky to live in a world where you can get a 50w NMV Marshall into the sweet spot and still enjoy it at near whisper volumes, with effects! I tell you, I have a ton of respect for guys that were just jacking into these amps, cranking them up and making great music. Not easy.
I know what you mean about the volume. You can’t play tentatively or pussyfoot with a plexi. You gotta grab it. Even if you are not playing cranked rock, you have to play like you mean it.
 

prototype

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,580
first time i fired up the blackface showman stack plugged straight in i thought "damn do i really suck this bad?". 85 watts, no reverb, squeaky clean, and treble-forward JBLs.
 




Trending Topics

Top