Fender hand-wired VS Boutique

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129
Hey guys,

I'm officially done with using clubs back line so time to buy my first real amp! Budget is around $1500. Was thinking of either the Fender handwired bandmaster 3x10, or the RocknRoll amp Lil Bastard. Both similar price, fender is 45 lb and RocknRol is 45-50lb. Want something that is going to be plenty loud for a hard rock band and take pedals well. Also is somewhat portable for subway travel with a cart. They both seem to have the headroom and tone I'm looking for so seeing what are the Pro's and Con's for going with either? I figure boutique will have more one on one with the actual owner where as fender won't care as much about the consumer down the road. Also which will hold up better through road wear (this will be a gigging amp and carting it throughout new york city on the subways and down the streets etc...)

Thanks
Steve
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,123
Take your pick. As far as hand wired vs. PCB, they sound the same and they're equally reliable. The only real difference is hand wired are usually easier to work on, but if you don't do your own work, then that's not something to be concerned about. Often times PCB amps will be less reliable, but that's not because PCB itself is less reliable, but because PCB is usually an automated assembly process and thus less expensive, so if you're building a cheaply made amp that might have reliability issues to begin with, then you're probably gonna make it PCB. So cheap=PCB but PCB≠cheap. Considering the military and NASA don't shy away from PCB, you can be sure it's a perfectly reliable technology if executed properly.

Anyway, you might be best off playing those amps you have listed. They're not identical to each other, so you may have tonal preferences for one or the other. And since tone is subjective, you're the only one who would actually know which actually sounds better or better meets your needs. As for the inherent advantages to each, I'd say the Fender will likely have a better resale value and the boutique stuff will likely have better customer service.
 

joshofsorts

Silver Supporting Member
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1,865
The Lil Bastard looks like it is a little more versatile, but I would assume the Fender would be easier to resell if you decided to sell it later. Both are different variations of the tweed-type, and with different speaker configs you're going to want to play them both if you can.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
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7,562
Fender 30 watt tweed amp for a loud hard rock band? Not saying it wouldn't work with pedals but I think something like a Marshall would work much better.
Tweeds are actually very similar to (classic) Marshalls. No pedals required to get there. Just turn it up to 9 or so.

Blackfaces and Silverfaces are unlike Marshalls; Clean and scooped. I'd say classic Marshalls are closer descendants of the Tweeds than Blackfaces are. Silverfaces are like Blackfaces but cleaner.

I have a Fender 57 Deluxe which I refer to as my Marshall (same USA handwired line as the Bandmaster the OP mentioned). Honestly, the Deluxe is probably better for Hard Rock gigging than something like a Marshall half stack -- unless one just want a half stack for looks. 12W into a 1x12 or 2x12 is still too loud in the soundman's opinion.
 
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Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
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12,779
Tweeds are actually very similar to (classic) Marshalls. No pedals required to get there. Just turn it up to 9.

Blackfaces and Silverfaces are unlike Marshalls. Clean and scooped. I'd say classic Marshalls are closer descendants of the Tweeds than Blackfaces are.
Yes, I'm very familiar with tweeds sounding closer to a Marshall than blackface/silverface Fenders. I owned a tweed Bandmaster, one of my all time favorite amps. But since he said LOUD rock band, a 40-50 watt Marshall may just work better. The DSL 40 is a great hard rock amp for only $699. If he's set on a Fender tweed type amp, a Bassman or a Vibro King may work better than a Bandmaster.
 
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eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
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7,562
Yes, I'm very familiar with tweeds sounding closer to a Marshall than blackface/silverface Fenders. I owned a tweed Bandmaster and since he said LOUD rock band, a 50 watt Marshall will just work better.
Ok. I'd say speakers are the big difference here. The Bandmaster the OP mentioned is 26W. The difference between 26W and 50W is "a little louder" -- ie less than twice as loud.
 

FFTT

Member
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28,361
A BF Super Reverb & Vibrolux Reverb handled all the duties of a hard hitting rock band, but we were running them on like 7.

You might be able to haul an original BF VR on a subway, but anything larger or heavier will be tough.

Keeping a new quality rig under 50 pounds and subway portable is challenging.
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
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12,779
Didn't see the transport via subway part earlier. For tweed tone, enough power, smaller size and lighter weight I would go with a tweed Bassman in a 1x12 cabinet. Richter makes the RS-33 and I think there are others available, probably even in a 2x10 cabinet if you prefer.
 
Messages
129
I have a 70s marshall 4x10 cab and a blackface bassman but can't take that to gigs as I don't have a car, so need something strictly for gigging purposes that also sounds great, can stay loud with great headroom, and is portableish to take on subway with a cart 50lb max or less.
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
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12,779
I have a 70s marshall 4x10 cab and a blackface bassman but can't take that to gigs as I don't have a car, so need something strictly for gigging purposes that also sounds great, can stay loud with great headroom, and is portableish to take on subway with a cart 50lb max or less.
If you really like your Bassman head, just get a 1x12 or 2x10 cabinet to put the chassis in. Done! A smaller, compact monster.
 
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FFTT

Member
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28,361
Allen Old Flame 40 watt 1X12 combo is pretty close on budget and 48 pounds.

Basically a single channel Super Reverb

The RAW control on the Allen allows you to go for more black face or more tweed gain.

It is also easy to re-bias to run 6V6 for 20 watts if you find the 40 watts is too much.

The 2X10 version adds 4 pounds if you'd rather have that option.
 
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Dunzie

Member
Messages
1,626
Biased admittedly as I have two of them.. but the 57 Bandmasters are phenomenal amps and depending on what you want for clean headroom and how you define it are really IMHO the perfect balance of usability at home, the studio, the jam room, and the gig. I've had everything from 18 watts to 100 watts and those 26 watts in the 57BM are fantastic. No extra bells or whistles like reverb or trem or drive channels, just honest tweed Fender tone, built really well, and easy weight to lug around.

 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
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17,853
For your scenario, check out the Quilter amps. Solid state, but lots of power for clean headroom and light weight. Never played one myself but they seem to get good reviews around here.
 
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FFTT

Member
Messages
28,361
If you're thinking more JTM 45
The Gries 40 is right on in your budget and excellent quality.
Just visited the site and he's going to be doing something different on his next run of 35 Reverbs.

Magic Amps also does Tweeds including a Tweed Super 2X10 on special order.

There's also the 3rd Power American Dream and Dual Citizen but mo money.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,187
Spring for a car service when you gig. The subway is not a freight train, the largest amp I would consider would be a Princeton.
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,779
Biased admittedly as I have two of them.. but the 57 Bandmasters are phenomenal amps and depending on what you want for clean headroom and how you define it are really IMHO the perfect balance of usability at home, the studio, the jam room, and the gig. I've had everything from 18 watts to 100 watts and those 26 watts in the 57BM are fantastic. No extra bells or whistles like reverb or trem or drive channels, just honest tweed Fender tone, built really well, and easy weight to lug around.

Are your Bandmasters two different brands? It looks like they have different size cabinets?
 

Aslan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,646
I will probably get blasted for bringing up this heresy but if your going to be using the subway and carrying the amp and guitar up and down stairways then I would use what I have: Guild Starfire in a mono gig bag and a Phil Jones Cub AG-100 (100 watts, weighs 14lbs because it is solid state, has XLR out for PA), I use a Xotic SL Drive and Mooer delay pedals (both micro pedals) and I'm good to go. I think trying to carry/wheel a larger/heavier amp through the subway and up and down stairs would be a pain.
 
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