DRRI not for me: Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MyTenToes, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. MyTenToes

    MyTenToes Member

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    I've tried speaker swaps etc and have come to the conclusion that my DRRI is not the right amp for me, I just couldn't seem to find a drive sound I really liked, and I play more rock than i origionally thought :) Time to look for alternatives. I'm looking for something in a similar price range to the DRRI and around the 30watt mark.

    However, since I live in NZ theres a pretty narrow selection. Peavey, Marshall, Fender, Vox, Orange etc, you get it. DR Z and egnater are borderline.

    What would suggest for somebody who needs a decent clean (no particular flavour in mind) and can rock out with my OD/Distortion pedals. Cheers!
     
  2. Jesus freak

    Jesus freak Supporting Member

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    Peavey Classic 30 has a good clean and is a great pedal platform. I did a speaker swap and put a Dr Z break lite in mine though. But it was still great before that also.
     
  3. JackStraw12

    JackStraw12 Supporting Member

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    Well with those parameters I'm surprised a DRRI didn't work for you! What didn't you like about it?
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Quick question, what all speakers did you seriously try, what drive pedals were you using and were you going into the Normal channel or the Reverb/Vibrato channel?
     
  5. Resonance7

    Resonance7 Member

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    Scratch the Re-Issue
     
  6. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    People always assume Fender Blackface type amps are the best pedal platforms since they do some of the best clean tones, but that's not necessarily the case. Twins especially can have a kind of upper mid honky and it can be hard to dial in a thick, modern tone. DRRIs are a little better, but still much of the same. They're not really designed for drive tones as such, just cleans and low gain.

    Voxes are more of the same but people seem to recognise that - great cleans, but can sound a bit dodgy taking pedals.

    Generally the more neutral kind of voicings will be found in Bassman-type amps, and Marshalls since they're derived from that tone stack. A lot of people like the Peavey Classic 30s too.

    Maybe a Hot Rod Deluxe or something? Those have pretty good clean tones too. It depends what you didn't like about the DRRI.
     
  7. hangten

    hangten Member

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    I own a 1954 blackface Bandmaster that is an excellent pedal platform.
    Also have a Marshall 1987x, same deal, great cleans.

    maybe one of those would work for you.

    OP - NZ is great, I got to do a 3 week tour there a few years ago - what a beautiful country!
     
  8. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    Ac30c2 has a fantastic clean sound, and great overdriven sounds. Barbershop OD works nicely with mine, Sparkle Drive too.
     
  9. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

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    Yeah, I'd probably suggest one of the new AC30's. I like their new lineup.
     
  10. Unadan

    Unadan Member

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    Orange TH30 head - the cleans are really good and a great platform for pedals. Especially the Tim pedal. Effects loop is a major plus.
     
  11. MyTenToes

    MyTenToes Member

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    I'm a poor student trying to get together some decent gear. I just can't seem to get a decent higher gain tone with my current gear, There was always a slight fizzy-ness even on the normal channel. I really like the cleans though.

    To be honest the only speaker I tried was a C-rex as it seemed the most popular choice. I don't really have the money to keep buying and trying new speakers, and am unsure a new speaker will fix the problem. It's slightly better with the C-rex (after 30 or so hours at high volumes) but I'm still not completely satisfied.

    I only have the one drive pedal, a Barber DDSS, which is more of a med. gain OD and was recommended for fender amps. I wanna get into the fuzz scene and feel that if my DRRI isn't handling the gain on my Barber, how will it deal with a muff or fuzz face?
     
  12. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Hrmm.... I never tried a C Rex in mine though I know it's a popular choice.

    Before you sell it, esp if you are mostly going to use gain, I'd try to find a used G12H30 or ET65 type speaker and throw it in there and see how it gets along with the Barber. Worst case scenario, you still the speaker for a $10 loss and ditch the amp entirely.

    I've got great results with a Barber Direct Drive (standard model) and an LTD SR through Blackface type amps, mostly Silverface but also a couple Reissues including a DRRI.

    Honestly, as long as the DRRI is loud enough for your needs and tastes, I absolutely think it's the speaker that's holding you back.

    The reverb/vibrato channel has the bright cap going on and it makes it quite a bit less friendly than the Normal channel in my opinion though that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you don't want/need reverb or vibrato on your dirty tones, get an A/B switch and use that to go between clean and dirty tones.

    Just trying to help you here, not being argumentative at all.
     
  13. DavidS

    DavidS Supporting Member

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    I agree, I think its more a speaker mismatch than the DDSS. I've tried lots of speakers with my DRRI, including the CRex and I don't think the CRex is a good choice for your high gain needs. Clearly the DRRI is not a high gain type amp, but can get you close using the right speakers and pedals. I would look for a used (well broken in) Celestion Vintage 30 or possibly a G12H30. Both sound good in a DRRI and would probably be a better match for your high gain needs.
     
  14. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    Did you try changing tubes. I found the stock tubes on my old DRRI (had the eminence speaker) were not that great, got a real improvement with changing out the tubes, the fizziness went away. I wish I would have tried removing the bright cap on the vibrato channel and tried a different speaker (only tried a Jensen reissue P12R), than I might have kept the amp.

    I now have a '69 Fender Bandmaster reverb, which I love. Takes dirt pedals really well. Its a little high for the wattage you want at 40Watts though.
     
  15. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    The Hot rod deluxe III has great cleans (preamp has more in common with tweed fenders - more mids than a BF) and takes pedals MUCH better than the DRRI.

    Its affordable and sounds good. Whats not to like. I prefer it to the classic 30 which has a very similar tweedy preamp but el84 power section and a smaller cab.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  16. GarMan

    GarMan Supporting Member

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    So true. I love BF tones, but I don't like how they play with certain pedals. I always found something lacking. The Hot Rod series are very pedal friendly with a good blank canvas clean.
     
  17. Stu Blue

    Stu Blue Member

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    :omg Advise him to swap a Deluxe Reverb for a Hot Rod or a Classic 30? Yeah right, and swap your CSStrat for a MIM one while you're at it...:bonk

    TO the OP You own an amp that's regarded as a classic (like an AC30, JTM45, JMP Superlead, Tweeds, etc.). What it does it does very well, sits in a mix properly, good with most guitars, plays/responds properly. Even if you find another amp more suited to your style, you will miss it after you sell it. The Deluxe Reverb is one of the rare fenders post 1960 that sounds good run cranked out. (Several pro on this forum do just that for club/bar rock).

    If you're set on selling then don't waste your time with other American amps, look for British ones which are more comfortable with distortion and high gain. First on the list both at 30 watts would be the Vox AC30 and Marshall Bluesbreaker (JTM45)..(secondhand?). Then a secondhand Marshall DSL, preferably not the little one... cheap in England anyway.

    Fizz Fizz comes from an overdriven preamp. The most effective cure is less drive... but often players don't want to know that. All distortion is additional mids, fizz being the high mids where the ear is most sensitive and some people can hear changes of as little as one tenth of 1dB... so often a tiny change makes the difference between a great dirty tone and a naff one.

    Cheap cure number one. Switch to pure nichel strings (Fender 150s, etc). Plated steels (Fender 250s, etc) are louder but much harsher, clangy and prone to "fizzing" dirt tones. Pure nichels can be run bright and dirty and still sound real sweet on the top strings... instant booteek tone. Amps like yours were voiced when everybody used pure nichel strings... only downside is they don't last as long and some people (like me) have sweat that kills them very quick.

    Cheap cure number two. Don't use pedals for a volume boost. Set them for unity gain (equally audible in the audience) with the guitar volume on 10, and run mostly down at 5 to 8. With fuzzes (and ODs set for "internal distortion") you'll still have a big volume jump up if you kick them on when the guitar is turned down. Fuzzes often have more interesting tones with the guitar backed off some..... (Edit I remember Keith Richards boasting that he hadn't turned his guitar higher than 7 for twenty years...and that was 15 years ago)

    Big Muff and Fuzz Face The muff is a great "and now for something different" pedal, even Gilmore still uses one for his "big solo" sound. The FF isn't very Fender friendly, it's more for english amps. (The muff was much cheaper too). The new Fuzz Faces sound just like the old ones the New Big Muff doesn't, but it's still decent (the New York one). (Edit what you need to "high gain" a Fender is a pedal which boosts the low mids a lot Calalyst comes to mind... in theory a scooped-mids pedal should work but they tend to be hard heavy metal and still fizzy with Fenders)

    My Advice is keep the deluxe and save up for another (Marshall or Vox).. everybody should have at least two amps if they can... you won't be a poor student for ever... patience grasshopper.:rotflmao
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  18. Zounds Perspex

    Zounds Perspex Supporting Member

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    try clipping the bright cap, too.
     
  19. MyTenToes

    MyTenToes Member

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    Cheers Stu Blue for a great reply! Yeah I have to say it would be hard to sell that amp as it makes some very puuuurrrty sounds I know I would miss. I'll try the nickel strings and will probably take your advice and just save up for another :)
     
  20. I-IV-V

    I-IV-V Member

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    Have you checked the internal presence trim pot on your Barber? It might help to turn that down. Right now, I have my presence set as low as it will go in my 1/2 Gainer.
     

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