Germino vs Roccaforte

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by lgehrig4, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I know these guys both make great amps, but can anyone describe the tonal differences between the two brands? More specifically the Lead 55 as compared to the Custom 40 (or 80)?

    I've listended to clips ad nauseum, but I don't think I can accurately compare because the Germino clips were recorded on a video recorder (steelbender site).

    Lastly, I have read and could hear that the Roccaforte's have more gain on tap, but I am more interested in their differences given equal gain levels.

    thanks!
    Jeff
     
  2. ejecta

    ejecta Supporting Member

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    Havent played a Germino but I have a custom 40 that I love. If a master volume is important to you as it is to me then of course the Rocca is the only option.

    Tonally what I can say is the Rocca is its big and open. Cleans up well with the guitar volume. Takes pedals real well. Definately a Marshall vibe to it. My buddy said, in a way, it reminded him of a JCM800 but goes way beyond tonally and eq wise. He said its what Marshall should sound like.

    Ive been through several amps lately and Im really liking this one.
     
  3. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    Germino:
    great clean to medium overdrive
    Thick lead tones
    looser bottom end
    vintage tone
    warmer overall tone
    very dynamic
    non-master volume (loud as hell all the time)

    Roccaforte Custom 40 / 80
    great clean to med-high overdrive / gain
    cutting lead tones
    killer rhythms
    extremely tight bottom end
    brighter metal panel character to modern hot rod tone
    very dynamic
    master volume (great at low volume but still can be loud as hell)

    Both amps are killer, but fairly different animals. If you're a modern rocker or cover band player the Roccaforte is probably the better choice. Especially if you like to keep pedal use to a minimum. If you're all about vintage touch, feel and character then the Germino is a dream to play. You really should have both in your arsenal!:D :dude
     
  4. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    From my experience I would say that Germino is more Oldschool while Roccaforte has a more modern twist. I sold my Germino becuase Gregg was not willing to customize the amp to my needs. ( Master Volume). I don't want to put down anybody but I think Roccaforte is a bit more willing to give you what you want as opposed to what he thinks you want.


    That said I don't know what kind of music you play but you probably can't go wrong with either amp in a classic rock or blues situation.
     
  5. steve10358

    steve10358 Supporting Member

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    With a world of attenuators... I don't blame greg for not putting a master on his amp. Thats not how those amps should be used. When you get a Germino- it's because you want a vintage marshall tone... not a variant of it. It is his name on the amp, of course.

    I am sure both companies kick ass.

    I would really love to try a blockhead and a germino.
     
    OverDrivenGtr likes this.
  6. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the descriptions!

    How would you compare just the cleans and medium overdrive tones to each other? Can you related them to an artist or song ro make it easier to understand?

    I can definitely hear from the clips that the Roccs is more modern, but I have a VHT which covers the higher stuff. Not that I would be opposed to having another amp that can do the same with a different flavor

    thanks again
    Jeff
     
  7. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    I've owned a L55 & Masonette and heard Roccas several times at a local shop...From my experience, Fretmaster nailed the general descriptions.
    Greg
     
  8. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    I haven't played a Germino, but I can say that this is an accurate description of the Rocca 40. I love mine.
     
  9. ejecta

    ejecta Supporting Member

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    Very nice discription.
     
  10. Guy from Idaho

    Guy from Idaho Member

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    I've owned Germino Masonette, Lead 55, and Lead 55 LV, and Roccaforte Custom 30. Agree with most of what has been said, any one of those is an amp I could be happy with, though the Lead 55 is just "me". The Germinos definitely sound a little more old-school to me, the Rocca just hit you in the face (in a very good way) and was very big for "only" a 30W amp. The Rocca really has an outstanding master volume. Can't go wrong with any of them IMO :RoCkIn -GFI
     
  11. JWR

    JWR Member

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    This is a great question. These two are on top opf my list, but I'm leaning towards the Roccaforte simply because of the MV and I'm looking for a bit more modern tone.
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I really like both amps. A number of months back Moods and I got together and did a little playing. He was on his Club 40 and I was playing my Rocca Rockie...man...there was a lot of good tone in the house that afternoon! The Rockie, Denelle and Doug's new amp all might be described as similar to the the Custom series...but they don't have master volumes and they don't sound exactly the same...though you can tell that the same mind and ears were involved in their design and sound (good descriptions, FM!)

    I think the Germinos generally speaking have a bit more give than the Roccas. You may like that, or you may prefer the firmness. They're both good. I think the Club 40 is my favorite Germino.

    I still like the Rockie best of the Roccafortes too. They all sound good but this one has the "right" combination of attributes for me, starting with its size/power rating.
     
  13. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    First, I thank you all for your input! This really helps.

    Now, lets refer to Hendrix's "Blues" CD for a moment. I gather from what I am reading that if I wanted the tone of "Catfish Blues" or "Mannish boy" then I should lean towards the Rocca and if I was looking for the tone of Voodoo Chile Blues then I should lean towards the Germino?

    Does this sound reasonable to anyone familiar with these? Almost forgot, does the Custom 80 have the same tones as the 40 or is there a difference in addition to the power?

    BTW Fretmaster, thanks for putting into my head that I should have both :mad: That wasn't cool ;)


    thanks again
    Jeff
     
  14. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Hey Jeff...

    I'm quite familiar with the "Hendrix Blues" CD and quite honestly...those tracks are so heavily laden with fuzz that I think it's very difficult to equate the tones on those tracks to the base tone of a Germino, Roccaforte, or even a Marshall for that matter. Even most of the cleaner parts in those songs have fuzz.... albeit with the guitar's volume turned down.

    I read (more than once) that Hendrix often used Fender amps in the studio (Twin Reverbs). It wouldn't surprise me if those blues tracks weren't done on Fender amp with a fuzz face running into the front end. :eek:

    Sorry...I know that answer doesn't help much! :eek:
     
  15. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    I've own quite a few Germino's and I've had a wide variety of old Marshalls since the early 70's...

    I've played Doug's amps in small doses, and mainly in demo situations.

    I would agree with some of what has been said in this thread already...

    To me they both amps just sound like "different" old Marshalls. Variations on the same theme if you will...

    As a general rule, the Germino's are going to be a bit warmer with some cool complex mids and the Rocca's are going to cut through a bit more with emphasis on the upper mids and top end.

    Neither builder seems to sound exactly like my old Marshalls, although most of my old Marshalls sound pretty different from one another anyway!

    If I was going to provide some constructive criticism to both builders, I would suggest they continue to do exactly what they are doing already!

    Since they seem to me to be opposite variations on the same theme... It's nice to have a choice.

    They both make great amps - I'm partial to the Germino's because I'm "old-school" and I just don't like master volumes... I add a 100pF bright cap to the treble volume (which I understand Greg does now anyway) and I'm in heaven :angel
     
  16. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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  17. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, I thank everyone for their input. I just purchased a Rocca Custom 80 on Ebay for $1500. It seemed like a good price compared to what I have been seeing on the net. It was not much more than some used custom 18's I found.

    I'm sure I will be very please with this. I will be putting a few amps and guitars up for sale. Stay tuned!
     
  18. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    Yeah, I've owned both Germino's...

    I actually prefer the regular Lead 55 to the Club 40 (although both are cools amps) and I've got two different versions of Greg's 100 watters on order...

    He's one of the best builders of "original old-school" plexi style amps as far as I'm concerned.

    I also just got one of George's 12000 series '68 plexi's from Metro amp which I'm also enjoying a heck of a lot ;)

    So may amps - so little time!
     
  19. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I'm willing to bet the Roccaforte is a master volume amp. I'd choose the non master Germino or other amp over a master volume model every time.
     
  20. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Thats cool and I used to also belong to that train of thought but its just not practical in so many recording and playing conditions nowadays..........and if done right not only can a master volume sound wonderful at any volume it adds versitality and something many boutique amps just are not.

    I was all set to buy an Anderson tele when I was told by the dealer and Tom that he refused to put on a vintage metal bridge. So I went elsewhere. Its just nice to have a maker willing to "customize" for the person spending Mondo $$$ of hard earned ca$h........even though its not what the Maker would prefer . We all have different ears , is a boutique builder trying to give people what they want or trying to convince everyone what they want?

    Kudos to Doug for not only offering a Master Volume but also amps with reverb and other Custom features. At the end of the day I'd rather be myself then belong to a legion of what other people think is right becuase its the way it was done for 40 yrs. Especially when I gotta work 100 hours of Overtime a month to be able to afford it.........:AOK

    Again............both builders are incredible, just choose whats right for you...........not what everyone percieves is right. I think if everyone looked into their hearts a Master Volume is not only more practical.............it sounds a hell of alot better then any attenuator I have heard thats for damn sure and don't fool yourself thinking its it is so you can have an amp design that was practical back in 1970 becuase none of the modern PA's and such where around. At least give me the choice thats all I'm saying.

    This opinion and $0.25 will get you a phone call btw..........
     

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