Do-It-All Replacement for AC30 and Fender Twin

Which Amp is Perfect For Me?

  • Keep your current amps, dufus

  • Dr. Z

  • AC15 2x12 instead of your AC30S1

  • Matchless

  • Divided By 13

  • Benson

  • Tone King

  • Smaller Fender Amp

  • It's impossible and you suck!

Results are only viewable after voting.


Silver Supporting Member
The Matchless Clubman would be a great option for these tones. You can get in the ball park of the Vox, Marshall and cleaner/sparkly tones that could handle the Fender tones. You won't get that round 6L6 thing though. It's a great all around amp in the Matchless land, with the rich low end that Matchless are known for.


Silver Supporting Member
Keep your amps or go digital. Those are the best options to achieve the sounds you want.

Or check out a Deluxe Reverb with a British AlNiCo in it. That combination is the halfway point between an AC-30 and a Twin and may make you happy.

the recluse

Mesa TA15 (or TA30, they have slightly different features. And I believe they have power scaling or whatever the Mesa name is for it. But the TA15 meets your requirements for 15w.)

There's lots of amps that claim to be able to go from 'Vox-y to Fender-y', either claimed by the builders or people who have bought them. But most of these amps don't really sound too convincing to me. They sound nice! Don't get me wrong. But the Mesa TA and the 3rd Power amp I checked out both seemed to be head and shoulders above the others.
This ^. I have a Mesa TA-30 and it covers A LOT of tonal ground overlapping with what you're looking for.


I’d stand pat and run those magnificent beasts together in a stereo and/or wet/dry configuration.

Otherwise, I’d be looking at one of the 3rd Power options others have mentioned, or one of the Mesa TA amps. But, really, my reason for looking at those amps in the first place is that I don’t already own both an AC30 and a Twin Reverb…


... do-it-all amp to replace my AC30S1 and 65' Twin Reverb RI. ...

AC30 and Twin Reverb are near-opposites as far as how they go about producing the sounds they get. Nothing with do a great job of replicating both because of the many extreme differences in the circuits of those two amps.

You can surely get a half-assed version of each sound from a single amp.


Silver Supporting Member
I’d stand pat and run those magnificent beasts together in a stereo and/or wet/dry configuration.

Otherwise, I’d be looking at one of the 3rd Power options others have mentioned, or one of the Mesa TA amps. But, really, my reason for looking at those amps in the first place is that I don’t already own both an AC30 and a Twin Reverb…

Been considering wet/dry for sure. I feel like sending the wet signal to the twin would be a super nice sound. Honestly I could live with just the AC30 if I could get those cleans to shimmer just a bit more. Perhaps wet/dry is the answer.

Although the Twin is so *******ed loud it'd be hard to ever gig it like that. Maybe I'll get an attenuator or swap out the twin for a deluxe


Silver Supporting Member
Tweed. Original, RI or LTD… they all are great sounding amps alone or as a foundation for pedals. :aok

Although be prepared for a LOT of bass from the Bassman if you're coming from an AC30! I did the same exact thing - switched from my AC30 to a Bassman RI and it totally threw me off. Both amps take pedals well but man, it took a LOT of tweaking and switching out of stuff. After a lot of experimenting, I had to accept that those amps are just different animals entirely and each required different set ups.

In the end, I moved the Bassman on and kept the AC30...until I decided it was just way too heavy to haul to bar gigs. :)~


Another vote for the TA-30 - they're both in there to some extent, it'll never be perfect. Those are 2 bada$$ amps, tough to completely replace both of those glorious beasts with 1 amp.

Disclaimer: I do own and play through a TA-30 but I'm not just recommending it because it's my amp.


I've never heard one, but the Traynor YGL2 claims the following on their website:

Additional Tone Shaping
The Vintage / Modern switch on the Traynor YGL2 offer additional tone shaping that offers the player a choice between a truly classic ‘vintage’ tube drive or a more aggressive scooped guitar tone for the guitarist seeking a more modern guitar sound.
Hi guys!

Once again instead of playing and practicing I'm racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect do-it-all amp to replace my AC30S1 and 65' Twin Reverb RI.

I like having both options, but I'm dreaming of a world in which I could consolidate down to one lower-wattage tube amp, so I wanted to see if you all had any recommendations.

I can already get most of these tones between my two amps. The biggest problem is that switching between them is annoying at home and unfeasible for any gigs I might do. Also they're both pretty damn loud, so I wouldn't mind getting something closer to the 15 watt range.

First I'll give you some tonal examples so you can see what I'm after:

Bright AC30 style dirt
REM - Sitting Still

Chris Cohen - In a Fable (specifically the solo part around 1:55 in)

Blur - She's So High

Placebo - Every You Every Me

Lush spacey Fender-y cleans
The Vines - Mary Jane (the intro)

Lush - Sweetness and Light

Indie crunch
Los Hermanos - Último Romance

Heavier stuff
Guided By Voices - Tour Guide at the Winston Churchill Memorial

Sunny Day Real Estate - Seven

I'd like to be able to do all of that stuff with one amp, if that's even possible. Obviously I plan on using pedals etc. My signal chain (so far) is listed in my signature.

I'll probably be targeting a budget 2k or less (ideally around 1400), which likely means going used for anything boutique. I'm fine with that!

Would be nice to have two channels with separate EQ, but I know that's probably unrealistic with the types of amps I'd go for.

I've heard good things about Dr. Z, Matchless, Benson, Divided By 13, etc. I just have no hands-on experience with any of them so I'd love some recommendations on what to look out for.

Presumably I'd have to do some considerable driving to get to any sort of store that would stock boutique amps like that. So it'd be nice to have some idea of what I want to look for before I make that kind of trip.

I believe Doug Gillard plays a Mesa Boogie (if I am remembering correctly) so that would be a good bet if you are interested in that GbV sound. I love the way his set up sounds.

I was under the impression that early REM was all Fender Twin—I guess in the studio they can do anything.


Silver Supporting Member
Lot's of interesting discussions. :aok
I largely agree with @Liko 's comments on the Super-Sonic. I gigged the Super-Sonic 60 with some Pedals for a couple of years. One of Fenders underrated amps. ;)

You guys will not like the answer - but there IS a way to get a really close to BOTH of those amps live....and a bunch of any volume you like from a wisper to a roar - Kemper. :cool:. I LOVE my tube amps but to replicate a bunch tones for live covers, Kemper is the answer. I paired a Stage with the Power Kab and I dare any tone junkie to pick it out in a blind test. :anon
Find a Fender Pro Sonic. It is closer to the AC30 preamp than it is the BF, and the cathode biased mode goes toward what the AC30 does. I out-Voxed a modern AC30 one day with a Pro Sonic.. The Vox owner’s jaw hit the floor. In the two fixed biased modes, things get tighter and cleaner, and you can voice it so to get really close to the Fender Reverb amp sound even though the preamp is closer to the 5F6A….which is where the AC30 top boost preamp came from….2+1 topography. Very versatile amps…superior build quality. Bargains, imho.


U could check with Randy at phaez amps. That guy can build anything and usually reasonably priced.


I’ve had good experiences combining two amps to get the sound I’m after, especially two really different amps like Fender/Marshall or Fender/Vox. I would consider a different Fender amp than the twin for this application though, like a Vibrolux or a Super Reverb—something with a more similar wattage to the AC-30 so they will work together better if you goose them with pedals. Unless you run stuff dead clean, then the difference doesn’t matter.


I vote for the Matchless DC-30. If you jumper the channels you get a convincing Fender tone...not perfect, spot on Fender tone, but convincing.


Please don’t kill me for suggesting a Line 6 DT 25. It was designed to be exactly what you’re looking for - multiple classic tube amps in one small 25W amp. Whether it is that or not, that’s for your ears to decide.

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