Do Two Rock's sound their price difference vs similar amps (given some diminishing returns)

bertramladner

Silver Supporting Member
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2,980
Had a Traditional Clean 40/20 combo for awhile. Nothing bad to say about it but I liked my Super Reverb Headstrong clone just as much or more at 1/3 the price(bought used for $1200)so I flipped out of the Two Rock. I’d like to try a 100 watt TC some day so my mind is still open to being gobsmacked, but the 40 watt combo was pretty comparable to a good Fender of similar wattage IMO.
I am looking at Headstrong now too, I see there is also Allen Amps and Vintage Sound that make clones of the Fender amps. Do you think Headstrong is the better of these 3 makers?
 

proxy

Member
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984
I love the TRs I’ve owned. I started with the Studio Pro 35 head which was excellent. I later moved to a Classic Reverb Signature which was great but too much amp for me. As mostly a home player, I wish I got their Studio Signature. They are all similar in that they were really warm clean sounds in the general realm of a Super Reverb (or othe black panel amp) but with a little more dimensionality, and a little less of that “fender sound” which is good or bad depending on how much you’re going for that “fender sound”.

Vox:Matchless::Fender:Two Rock IMO, and I love the extra dimensionality the boutique amps bring, and feel the extra cost is worth it. The TR amp I currently have is a TS1 and I prefer it to the Fuchs and Morgan variants that are in the same ballpark.
 
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aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
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13,771
I've owned amps by Rivera, Soldano, Koch, and Fuchs but my old Two Rock Emerald 50 was by far my favorite. I know the smooth drive thing isn't everyone's cuppa but I do consider them differentiated from the pack. Whether or not it's worth it is a personal decision.

Where would one try a Two Rock, I didn't know they were in retail stores
I've seen 'em in a few stores. I actually got mine at the San Jose Guitar Center in the mid-00's. I was in town for a conference and went to check it out. It was the only guitar that I dreamt about. When I got home, I called the store and bought it. Had to part with it to get my first AxeFx. I was having cash flow issues at the time and needed a low-volume situation since my guitar time was largely limited to when my kid was sleeping.
 

majorminor

Gold Supporting Member
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I am looking at Headstrong now too, I see there is also Allen Amps and Vintage Sound that make clones of the Fender amps. Do you think Headstrong is the better of these 3 makers?
I have no first hand experience with Allen amplifiers other than he brought a vintage Fender back to spec for me. I’ve owned several Vintage Sound amps and like the pure to the original circuit of the Headstrong better. Just a personal preference thing. Vintage Sounds take on blackface tends to be slightly warmer/beefier and he adds some useful upgrades like mid control, reverb dwell, and an optional mild high gain revoicing of the normal channel. So more tweaks on the Vintsge Sound. I still like my Headstrongs better.
 

bertramladner

Silver Supporting Member
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2,980
No, I understand it completely and my advice remains. Others can not determine the value of the money you have vs what it buys you, especially when you provide literally no criteria for which you are judging that value and no information whatsoever about how the amp will be used.
That’s not my question read the other answers to see more helpful responses. If you had left no response it would have assisted me better.
 

fiveightandten

Silver Supporting Member
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6,870
That’s not my question read the other answers to see more helpful responses. If you had left no response it would have assisted me better.
So your question is not whether a Two Rock sounds different enough from similar amps to justify the price? Care to clarify what I'm missing?
 

Speedbump61

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
697
Five, everything in this forum is very subjective. If none gave opinions based on that, there would be no need for this forum. It’s perfectly valid to ask and give those opinions. The asker can decide for himself what those opinions are worth to him, but I’ve found it can help quite a bit in the decision making process. Usually you tend to see a trend in the opinions, and can read and understand what that translates to for yourself. I know when Im considering something new, I will look it up here and read older and newer posts to see what I can glean from that, along with any videos I can find on the subject. Now to answer the original posters question, yes two rocks are a great value for their price. Dosnt mean there arnt wonderful amps that cost less, and represent maybe better value if the emphasis is more on the value, but I don’t believe I can find an amp that measures up to the two rocks that costs much or any less. Of course mileage may very, someone into the plexi sound may not find what they’re looking for. I would never give up my Bloomfield, though I’m still struggling with the SSS for my personal tastes. I’ll get there, just need more time and playing around with it. If you can only have one amp, and one sound, you’d be hard pressed to improve. As with most things the improvements might be considered smaller relevant to price, but those last percentage points do make a huge difference.
 
M

Member 202500

I have no first hand experience with Allen amplifiers other than he brought a vintage Fender back to spec for me. I’ve owned several Vintage Sound amps and like the pure to the original circuit of the Headstrong better. Just a personal preference thing. Vintage Sounds take on blackface tends to be slightly warmer/beefier and he adds some useful upgrades like mid control, reverb dwell, and an optional mild high gain revoicing of the normal channel. So more tweaks on the Vintsge Sound. I still like my Headstrongs better.
Thanks for writing this, i am just looking now at a Headstrong vs Vintage Sound for a Super Reverb clone.

Not sure if i would prefer "warmer/beefier", but i'll definitely have to listen to some sound clips to get a better sense of how they differ.
 

Wyzard

Neither Here Nor There
Gold Supporting Member
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2,369
Now to answer the original posters question, yes two rocks are a great value for their price. Dosnt mean there arnt wonderful amps that cost less, and represent maybe better value if the emphasis is more on the value, but I don’t believe I can find an amp that measures up to the two rocks that costs much or any less.

Lord knows I've tried, and I haven't either.

I have at least six amps that are uniquely capable in their area - two are Boogies (Coli IIB and Simul IIC+), two are Two Rocks (CRS V1 and Akoya) and two are Hiwatts (DR103 and 201PA): none of these is capable of replacing the other in their specific areas of strength either. I might give honourable mentions to my King Snake, K&M LTD, Electra Dyne and Plexi PA head too.

What have I learned from owning these? Right tools for the job. Value of the right tool for the job? While the job's on, priceless.


If your specific mileage varies, fine - now go work out your own trajectory.
 
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ProfRhino

Member
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10,696
I thought that the Fuchs drive sound with the Les Paul deserved a place among the worse things I've heard this year.
we often agree - allow me to explain what I hear different here. :dunno
I have listened to the clip again, in the studio this time - I still stand by my initial impression ...

here's what I hear in the drive channels (mostly commenting about the video, not trying to promote my own favourite amps here) :
- the RP lead channel in the clip has a thing I just can't bond with - you got the midrange, then there's a hole, and then you got fizzy overtones on top, which don't seem "connected" to the body of the tone.
it's a thing I hear in Chinese 12AX7s & EL34s, and it has been present in any new or vintage BF/SF Fender I pushed into natural OD (many will disagree, but hey - this is my reply ! :p ).
I'm almost 100% certain it's not the amp - even my not-an-ODS AstroDust does higher gain Dumble a lot better (its real money tones are somewhat different altogether), and both my OTS and AN Wonderland OD are perfection in this discipline - thick, creamy, with brightness that is still part of the tone.
and then, the RP's low end (gain channel) is kinda rumbly and muddy here.
I suspect it might be due to one or more of the following factors - that particular Strat, cab, tubes, mic'ing, possibly settings.
check out Mike Hermans' brilliant demo of the almost identical RPHD 100 - yes, ma'am - now we're talking ! :bow


now to the Fuchs OD channel - it has neither of the above shortcomings, it's compact and still gets harmonics from pick attack. It also seems to have a tiny bit of Marshall mixed in - not necessarily a bad thing, I love Marshalls.
with PAB on, it gets a bit mushy in the low end, but that's not unheard of in Dumble land - current Santana might be boss in this discipline. But PAB is a tricky thing to balance, and the result is still less offensive to my ears than the Strat / RP rumble.
mind you, my own favourite lead tones are quite different and not limited to Dumble by any means (Hermans comes mighty close to "my" perfect kind of Dumble leads though), but there are three amps in the video, the TR is (almost) clean only - among the other two, I prefer the Fuchs.

on a positive note, I think all 3 clean tones in the clip are superb in their own, individual ways - I would be happy with either ... :love:
am I hearing things, or has the Fuchs LNFB bypassed / reduced ?
there's some of that unique, bouncy compression I associate with this tweak ...
I love it, but it's certainly not for everyone.

important :
I'm not stupid enough to believe I could judge amps of that calibre by a single YT video - hell, no !
and I have lots of respect for all three brands. :aok
but the clip is out there in public, so I try to describe what I hear, and how it could relate to my hands-on experience with similar amps - no more, no less.

all imho, ime, ymmv, shoot me! :hide
lol,
Rhino
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
10,696
Ceriatone OTS 50 $1163
Two-Rock TS1 $5300

The Two-Rock is definitely worth the extra $4137 to all players. Clearly.
I see what you did there ! :cool:
you certainly have a valid point.

that said, I think the best justification for the pricey boutiques (not only TR) are unique circuits you can't get anywhere else.
TR have a few of these, and my AN Dirty Wonderland Overdrive is a prime example as well. :aok
doesn't mean I love my OTS any less, it does all I could ever want from this circuit, beautifully - I picked the AN to add a few unique tricks a classic ODS (clone) can't do by design.
same for my Redplates ...

ymmv, it's great to have choices !
Rhino
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,663
I've had a lot of Two Rocks (and many others in the D camp). I've settled on a Studio Signature combo. Great grab and go amp, plenty loud and great headroom. Reverb is really good and the master can tame it a bit, although I use a PS100 to get the volumes where I want them. In the end, I like the Two Rock sound in a one channel amp and use pedals to get my gain tones. I have the amp set at the edge of breakup with a strat. From there, it can really sound good for gain tones. Through a bigger cab it sounds great too, but the small combo really sits well at club volumes.
 

pjrhd28

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,032
Don't know if this will help or not.....

I'm generally not a Dumble kind of guy, but I really like Matt Schofield's tone and chops. I can get kind of sorta Dumbly with a Tone King Meteor and a Zen Drive.



At times when I think of pursuing the Dumble vibe more intensely, I think of Two Rock as the easy choice- it's the default. They're serious money, but IMHO, the pedigree is worth the additional money.

There's lots of other options, and I don't mean to impugn any of the other brands. But IMHO, the brand has earned the premium. And as others have pointed out, long term, the initial cost might be recovered through appreciation.
 

Mikeroesoft

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,841
I had a TS1 for 9 years. I’ve played a number of other Two-Rocks and they definitely sound and feel great. But they do a thing and if it’s not your thing you don’t need to go down that road. They’re fairly high headroom amps and specialize in tight, deep, pristine cleans. If you want hairy or edge of breakup cleans from your amp, there are other options that sound great and cost less.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
4,424
if you are looking at two rock bang for buck is the wrong question to ask. people that buy farraris dont ask that question. i wont demo amps i cant afford until i can afford them and a two-rock is on my bucket list.
 




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