Divided by 13 RSA23 and CJ11. Awesome!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by teal, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    I just got a /13 RSA23s head last night and I simply kills!! Super harmonic in both clean and diry. Ran it with two green backs and with LP w/90's, a Tele, and Gretsch Elliot Easton Duo jet all of them had great chime but still with warmth. When turned up, it has a smooth OD with just the right amount of bite. With the LP, its Zep and Billy Gibbons all the way. Seriously, some of the best tones I've heard.

    I also have a CJ11 which I love too which if you've read the threads, the CJ11 is very Fendery, but great in its own right. I think that I do feel some tweed in it, but it's more like a great Deluxe Reverb with more hair on it when it's clean. Perhaps due the celestion G12M all of it's tweed colors don't show through, but I prefer the G12M anyway. It's Marshally when using the mid-boost, but still grainy. I think that's where people say it's mostly tweed due to the class A style OD but with a Marshall flavor. Anyway it's great depending on what you're going for.

    I was surprised to find that the RSA23 did not have much more headroom than the CJ11. The RSA23 is definitely louder, but not "that" much louder. The cleans are totally different. The RSA 23 is way chimey and the CJ is very 6V6 warm cleans, very fendery. That being said, even with the cleans of the RSA being chimey, I was still able to dial a lot of warmth from it. It was able to get very warm and smokey and then also tight, cutting OD when pushed. The RSA is loud but not like the FRT37. I do not have the click channel in this head, it's the small box. But the click has always been kind of a novelty for me anyway. It rips, but I like the clean channel better. I have tried most of the D13's (including the RSA31, FRT 37, 17/39, JRT9/15, CJ11) and so far, I like this one the best. If you have a 10/20, 9/15, or CJ11 and are looking for something that has more Marshally/Voxy (maybe even Hiawatty) clean and OD, this is one to look at. The RSA23 is not a high head room amp though. With my LP, on 9 o'clock I'm starting to get some hair, with my tele about 10-11 o'clock is where clean stops. But pick attack and guitar volume will get you where you wanted to go. Do not be affaid of the volume of this amp if you already own / know the 10/20, 9/15 or CJ11 and are comfortable with the volume of those amps, The RSA23 is not that much louder. The OD is super harmonic and lively, very refined, great string definition and totallyl rockin' Tons of fun! I'm now looking at a 2x12D /13 cab to go with it.
     
  2. redtoploader

    redtoploader Member

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    Wow, thanks for the comparison- that really helps. I'm looking at the possibilty of getting an RSA23 head in the future.
     
  3. ChazMania

    ChazMania Silver Supporting Member

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    The new single channel RSA23 combo's with master volumes I think would kill.
     
  4. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    My pleasure. The RSA 23 is just a really great all around amp. I think it covers alot of ground. More than people think. I'm excited about getting to know it better.
     
  5. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    I talked to Lance at guitar25.com and he said the RSA combos with MV are killer. I'll have to admit though, with a LP, a master would not get much use in a gig situation. At home, it would be great.
     
  6. redtoploader

    redtoploader Member

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    I'm thinking small head with a matching 1X12F will work nicely...

    I can definitely hear a little ac30 in the clips I have heard- I just love the sound of that eq channel.
     
  7. katuna

    katuna Silver Supporting Member

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    I own both a CJ11 and an RSA 1x12 and your descriptions are righteously right-on, my friend.
     
  8. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks katuna. Do you agree that the head room was not that much more from the RSA to the CJ? I was really suprised, in a good way, that that was the case. I was really expecting to try the RSA and say "wow, the amp is awesome just like everyone said, but it's too loud for my needs", but it happened to be perfect. I'm super happy with it.
     
  9. katuna

    katuna Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I mean it definitely does have more headroom, but it isn't massively greater, it isn't a brutally loud amp at levels where it is cooking. However, the RSA can push significantly more tight bass than the CJ11 can (which makes sense to me, given their pedigrees), which is part of what I consider "headroom" anyhow.
     
  10. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    RSA23 was my favorite /13 until I recently got the MJL 37.

    The RSA23 has plenty of clean headroom for me, but then again I never brought the volume past 11 o'clock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    What the heck is the MJL 37? Never heard of that one before. (Although I'd like to.)
     
  12. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    [​IMG]

    I believe only 3 total will be made as Fred does not have any plans at this moment to build any more. EL34 and 6V6 power sections... best of two worlds!
     
  13. teal

    teal Silver Supporting Member

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    Bitchin' !! That guy is buildin' some sweet amps.
     
  14. Luke Gibson

    Luke Gibson Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    ....who's initials are MJL?
     
  15. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    TGP member "studio8000"... he spec'd out the amp at Fred's shop, so he has #1... I have #2. Studio8000 is a good friend of mine, and told me about his namesake amp. I asked him to see if Fred would make another... I got lucky.
     
  16. blondeorphan

    blondeorphan Member

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    I talked to Fred yesterday. His re-design on his non-mv el-34 amp (I believe it is still called the SJT 37 on his site) is almost ready for release and is going to incorporate a 6V6 & el-84 being in the same amp, similar to the JRT 9/15's 6v6 & el-84 being in the same amp. Still going to be around 37 watts with a 1/2 power switch and two channels (EQ & Click). He mentioned it should be ready/on the website within a couple of weeks.
    I asked him about differences tonally between this re-design, his LDW 17/39 & the RSA 23 and he said it will not have as much gain as the ldw and be able to cover more of the Fender/Marshall tones, ("...depending on which speaker configuration") all in one amp.
    Tonefreak: What speaker config are you running your MJL with? What else have you tried the el-34's through and how would you describe the difference in tone between the 23, 31 & 37?
     
  17. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    SJT 37 sounds juicy!

    The /13 2x12 is loaded with greenbacks... I've always liked Marshall-ish amps with greenbacks, so I stuck with them and never had a desire to change.

    RSA 31 is very VOX like, so it's very different from the MJL or RSA23.

    RSA 23 sounds like a brighter Marshall... maybe more Hiwatt meets Marshall?

    MJL 37 has a very full and warm tone. Lots of meat with humbuckers, and the cleans are perfect for what I like... again the warmth. It's not to say that you can't dial it in brighter... I just tend to like darker tones that growl. I dunno... the MJL is the first amp that I have owned that actually creates the tones in my head.

    The only other EL34 amp I have owned was a Bogner Shiva... I don't like channel switchers or master volume amps. All my other Marshall like amp were KT66's or EL84's via Germino Masonette, Diezel Einstein, Naylor SuperDrive 60, and the RSA23.
     
  18. popinvasion

    popinvasion Member

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    Is the RSA23 self biasing? I can't stand having to bias amps any longer. My D13 RSA31 is fantastic in that regarding, I just throw in tubes and go.
     
  19. katuna

    katuna Silver Supporting Member

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    No, the RSA 23 isn't self biasing, but I spoke to Fred about it and, as long as you use the Groove Tube model of KT88 he uses in it with the same "hardness" rating, you don't have to rebias. Otherwise, I believe you would.
     

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