Germino, Aiken, Blockhead...what amp do I want??

jpage

Member
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9,304
Still on the tone search for a plexi type head that can cover ALL of the plexi tones in my head:

1) Clean-er, Hendrix-type tones

2) Gritty crunch, for AC/DC type stuff, and maybe Allmans

3) That "swirl"--the "plexi grind". VH1/Fair Warning

All in a package that doesn't "improve" (mess with) the magic. Too many of these "improvements" seem to "warm up" (deaden) the tone. A plexi should be a bright amp, but the right one will sound sweet, not shrill.

Also, I'm all right for the gain on tap to max out at the aforementioned #3. Anything more I will get from pedals. I've heard that the HG100 has the same problem that I deal with in my Splawn: even with the gain on "1" it has too much. No lower gain options.

Does this amp exist?
 

Dave Orban

Member
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16,866
I can only speak for the Aiken Invader, but from your descriptio, it sounds to me like you owe it to yourself to try and get to someplace where you can actually demo one.

I'm in central NJ, and would be happy to let you play through mine (no, it's NOT for sale... LOL!)
 

Jarrett

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14,596
Ditto on the Invader. It does that stuff well. I haven't played the other two though.

But if you need more than 18 or 30 watts, the Roccaforte's are seriously kick ass amps. I'm not sure who told you about the HG100 having too much gain though. I played it a couple of times and it can do great rolled back cleans and mid gain crunch as well. They may have meant at 3 on the MV its already too loud :) He also makes a HG30 which is a slightly quiter version. And of course, the Custom series does a lot of that territory as well.
 

jpage

Member
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9,304
I think that's what I'm looking for also. Unfortunately, with the current halt in production, it is probably going to be a while before I find a used one...:(

So you would consider the Invader capable of that range of gain levels? How would you describe the tone as you go up the dial (master all the way up//small club volume, master @ 1-2:00//small club volume, master @ 9-10:00//small club volume). I haven't heard anything but the indoor storm clips and they are pretty tame.

Thanks a ton for the input.
 

cr8z4life

Silver Supporting Member
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3,723
I think the Intruder does the clean plexi hendrix thing better than the invader....but think the invader does the dirty thing better...
 

Moods

Member
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993
Germino Lead 55 with Club 40 OT. I love the C40 for my needs but I'm guessin' the later plexi front end would work perfectly for you based on your criteria. I had a Blockhead that was a good notch below my Germino. Definitely a good amp. I prefer the sweetness and punch of the Germino and it just nails the old Marshall vibe. Not only does it sound like an old plexi Marshall... it sounds like a really good one.

Good luck!

<M
 

jpage

Member
Messages
9,304
From another post/board:

From a former Roccaforte owner and 30-year Plexi fan -- DON'T!

Doug builds a nice amp, but his 4-stage preamp is WAY too distorted to get any semblence of "Plexi" tones out of it. Even with the gain on 1, you've already got what a JCM 800 would be with the preamp on 6. Absolutely no way to get that grindy AC/DC sound from this amp. Oh, I owned the HG100.

Was it a nice amp? Yes. Was it a good "Plexi" amp? No. A Roccaforte is basically a hot rodded Marshall, and basically is the amp for those guys who are looking for that Van Halen I/II sound. If you want that, then this is your amp. If you want something else, you'll need something else. That simple.
Because of my Splawn, I am a bit paranoid about this issue now. I love the tone of the Splawn, but I wish that that tone was the amp maxed out rather than at the minimum gain setting. I love the lower gain plexi tones also...

And I thought that I needed the 100w in order to achieve the tones I am looking for. I have a Hotplate, but I've found that the best results are from combining a good master design WITH one or two clicks on the HP.

Thanks for the input... There are so many choices and no way to play them all...
 

Jarrett

Member
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14,596
I would say the Invader can do AC/DC type gain. I don't feel like it can make it to VH tones though. Maybe with a Les Paul. It's little brother the Tomcat can though for sure.

I have an 18 watt Invader and its really a small club type amp. It's louder than you think it would be. It held its own with my 40 watt Tone King Meteor for example, but it could easily get overpowered by another guitar player with a Splawn or Roccaforte for example.

To get around my volume and gain limitations I run a Invader and Tomcat together in an A/B/Y config and it covers every tone I need from the cleanest cleans to some decently gained up OD and everything in between.

Regarding the Roccas, Doug should be along after a while and has some clips of clean tones from the HG100. I was impressed by them. He also has the lower gained Custom series and I have seen a couple of models that have a low/high gain switch on them.

I've never heard one, but I keep hearing theat Germino is the bee's knees when it comes to Marshalls.

So as you see, you have a lot of options in this arena.
 

jpage

Member
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9,304
Originally posted by Moods
Germino Lead 55 with Club 40 OT. I love the C40 for my needs but I'm guessin' the later plexi front end would work perfectly for you based on your criteria. I had a Blockhead that was a good notch below my Germino. Definitely a good amp. I prefer the sweetness and punch of the Germino and it just nails the old Marshall vibe. Not only does it sound like an old plexi Marshall... it sounds like a really good one.

Good luck!

<M
So, is that a "stock" lead 55? When you mention "but I'm guessin' the later plexi front end would work perfectly for you based on your criteria" what does that mean exactly?

So one vote for the Lead 55 and two for the Invader...

Now who's going to sell me one of these???:D
 

redjet55

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Messages
254
I have an 18watt intruder that I love but I wouldn’t think it would get you to VH without a pedal. Anything below that no problem

and sorry mine ain’t going anywhere :)
 

Mr.Hanky

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Messages
3,996
I have a Masonette that you are welcome to play.
Not a lot of clean headroom though.

The Dr.Z Route 66 will cover the first two requests with no problem, it will not do the VH thing though.
 

Badger71

Member
Messages
607
Plexi....bright?:confused: Hmmm....they always seemed a little dark to me....maybe it's just my personal experience.
 

jpage

Member
Messages
9,304
The best plexis I've played have been very bright and in your face. Even the Marshall Majors have been bright. Listen to Pagey's Song Remains the Same tone or Van Halen I. Much more "kerrangg" than "thunka, chunka".

I like "kerrangg".:dude
 

Moods

Member
Messages
993
Originally posted by jpage
So, is that a "stock" lead 55? When you mention "but I'm guessin' the later plexi front end would work perfectly for you based on your criteria" what does that mean exactly?

So one vote for the Lead 55 and two for the Invader...

Now who's going to sell me one of these???:D
Yes, a "stock" Lead 55 comes with the later plexi front end. The earlier JTM front end (Club 40) is more laid back and flatter in response. I prefer it to the later plexi front end (Lead 55) but it won't do Van Halen as well. With the C40 the Hendrix cleaner tone could be even better along with a great Allman's tone but the L55 will cover all tones mentioned and give VH in spades. Just depends on what is most important to you. No amp I have tried period takes to pedals like the Club 40. If you use a pedalboard all the time and you don't need a huge amount of headroom the Club 40 would be high on the list too. Either would do a great job.


<M
 

SLG

Member
Messages
583
The Aiken Invader will deliver what you are looking for. I would go with a 30 watt. The 30 watt will handle most gigging needs provided you are not playing large venues. The 30 watt has the added ability of using 6V6 tubes for around 20 watts, or a pair of EL84's with the Yellowjacket adaptors for about 18 watts. It's an extremely versatile amp that is great for the lower gain plexi and aluminum panel Marshall tones.

I own a 30 watt Invader. I use it through both a Genz Benz slant-front 2x12 with a Weber Blue Dog and a Silver Bell, and a Jenkins 2x12 with a pair of G12H30's. After owning it for a couple of months, I sold all my other Marshall style amps. For me, it's the ONE.
 

johnny q

Member
Messages
1,033
Originally posted by Moods
Yes, a "stock" Lead 55 comes with the later plexi front end. The earlier JTM front end (Club 40) is more laid back and flatter in response. I prefer it to the later plexi front end (Lead 55) but it won't do Van Halen as well. With the C40 the Hendrix cleaner tone could be even better along with a great Allman's tone but the L55 will cover all tones mentioned and give VH in spades. Just depends on what is most important to you. No amp I have tried period takes to pedals like the Club 40. If you use a pedalboard all the time and you don't need a huge amount of headroom the Club 40 would be high on the list too. Either would do a great job.


<M
Has anyone tried Germino's Headroom 100?? I am curious how it compares to the lead 55 and lead 55 LV, and if it can be pushed into higher gain territory ala VH etc.

Right now, I am trying to decide between a Germino, Blockhead BLK100 or a Mojave Peacemaker.

JQ
 

timc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
382
Intruder, either the 30w or the 50w, as these both use el34's, which I think you need for the true "Marshall" tone. Both of these amps have thick cleans, work very well with pedals, and can also be driven easily without pedals, although the 50 can be loud. In my opinion, the el84 amps just sound to thin, but that's my ears.
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,871
TopHat Emplexador. Vintage voicing based on a '68 Plexi with some EQ options for JTM45 & metal panel tones, Modern voicing adds an additional gain stage for modded Plexi/JCM800 type tones. Amazing amplifier and will easily cover all the tones you're looking for with the right guitars
 

timc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
382
TopHat Emplexador. Vintage voicing based on a '68 Plexi with some EQ options for JTM45 & metal panel tones, Modern voicing adds an additional gain stage for modded Plexi/JCM800 type tones. Amazing amplifier and will easily cover all the tones you're looking for with the right guitars

I just sold a 2000 emplex. Very well made amp, but I did not think it did as well of a job emulating the Marshall (metal/plexi) tones as the Aiken, and the tone from the MV was no where close to the Aiken.

Let me add this (via the edit) the difference could very well be the Aiken Intruder still allows you to mix the Dark and Bright channels, and the emplex did not. But the MV on the Intruder is hands down the best I've ever heard for playing low volumes.

Both very good amps that allow for great Marshall tones.
 




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