Gens Benz Black Pearl vs. Fryette Memphis

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Fatherflot, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Fatherflot

    Fatherflot Supporting Member

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    Is there anyone here who has had experience with both of these amps?

    I'm thinking long term about the "last amp I'll ever buy," which in my circumstances needs to be a super-versatile 112 Class A, all tube combo, something loud enough for a small club gig, but mostly for having fun at home. I'm willing to go up around $1500 or so for a high quality build. The more research I do, the more I keep coming back to these two. The GB is several hundred bucks cheaper, but the Fryette is two channel where the GB is only one. I've also heard that despite the power switching, the Fryette is really loud for home use.

    Any other insights, experiences, suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Never touched the Fryette, but I owned and gigged a Black Pearl exclusively for two years.

    Phenomenal amp, quality, features, range, and tone for anything from spanky clean to hard rock. It's "voicing" feature makes the amp love any pickup you throw at it. It also sounds good at bedroom volumes and the 7,15, and 30 watts give it the ability to tackle any gig or recording situation.
     
  3. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    Fryette is hard to beat.
     
  4. jefrobie

    jefrobie Supporting Member

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    I've played and owned more than I can remember...fenders, Clark, Carr and without a doubt my Black Pearl is my go to amp. Pedal friendly, simple, amazing tone with my Gibsons,Strats,Prs or whatever....love to have another one...
     
  5. Fatherflot

    Fatherflot Supporting Member

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    Miles and jefrobie:

    Thanks for the information. How would you describe the clean tones and the reverb on the Black Pearl. I'm assuming because it's an EL84 amp that the sound would be more more Vox than Fender. Is that about right? How about the reverb? Can you get nice sproingy surf sound on it if you want?
     
  6. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Indeed. Boutique quality & beyond - badass & versatile.
     
  7. yankeebulldog

    yankeebulldog Member

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    I've played both but own the Fryette. I like the cleans better on the Fryette and I find the gain channel to be a little more versatile and voiced a little better to my tastes. I did swap out the pre-amp tube in V1 from a Sovtek to a Tung-sol for a little more high end and a little less mid range. Overall, it's one of the best channel switchers I've ever had because of that clean channel. The power switching doesn't really cut much volume for home use, but the master on the gain channel works pretty good. If you really want to crank the clean channel for crunch, it's going to get loud. That would probably be the only draw back for home use but a good OD pedal will fix that.
     
  8. BedroomRockStar01

    BedroomRockStar01 Supporting Member

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    People sleep on the Black Pearl because it doesn't have a sexy brand name, but it's a killer amp and a very affordable price point.

    No experience with the Fryette.
     
  9. mrkbrks

    mrkbrks Member

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    I have the 2x12 BP and love it. You can probably get one for about 1200. Never played the Fryette. Good luck.
     
  10. Miles

    Miles Member

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    It naturally has more of a voxy thing going for it than naturally sounding fender. You can make it sound fendery, but the way the amp responds to pedals is much more like a vox. That said, it's uber simple to dial in a big thick clean tone that has a lot of bottom end. Like I said, the VOICING circuit has 5 modes capable of delivering just about anything you're after. Plus, the EQ is highly usable and very useful. So, you can absolutely get into Fender territory with it. Add a little hair from the pre-amp or use in a lower watt mode and wind it up, you'll be in the "tone zone" for sure. As far as versatility is concerned, it eats an AC30s lunch. It's own gain is much tighter and more versatile and the voicing switch allows you to go into territories unattainable by the AC30. This switch makes the amp sound and feel like it was made for whatever pickups you're putting into it. I ran telecasters stock for hard rock with the "Thick" mode engaged and had a ball.

    I'm having a hard time remembering how the reverb sounded, but I remember it being high quality - can't remember if it was good for surf tones. Sorry!
     
  11. guitarz1972

    guitarz1972 Member

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    OP, another Black Pearl user here. Miles is spot-on with his description.

    I'd say the reverb on it is useable/passable, it's not the best but it's okay. Definitely not Fender reverb, if that means anything to you. I keep the reverb on my Black Pearl set about 9:00, and above that I start finding it a bit too cavernous for my taste. But then again, I'm not a huge reverb person myself. I guess if I wanted some "serious" reverb I'd probably be tempted to run a pedal with it. But like I said, it's useable. Just my opinion on it.

    Search this forum for a thread called "The Black Pearl Posse." Kind of an ongoing thread that gets updated from time to time, about all things Black Pearl. There was some discussion on there lately regarding the Pearl's reverb in fact.

    Cheers,

    C
     
  12. B-Nads

    B-Nads Supporting Member

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    I'm getting back into gigging soon. My Valvetrain Savannah does a nice Fender thing - I'll definitely be getting another BlackPearl - one of the stupidest sale moves I've made yet.
     

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