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Gries 20 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AA864, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    I am seriously considering a Gries 20... give me a reason to make the order and/or other things to consider.

    My tastes have changed and I just sold off some Mesa gear (Mk IV combo + 2x12 half back cab). My tastes don't change that frequent, as I had the Mk IV for 20 years. This sale has given me sufficient funds to buy a Gries 20 or 35, so no OOP money needed.

    My current amps are these:
    - ‘64 BF Bassman w/ 2x12 cab loaded with v30s (which I love, so no v30 hate please).
    - ‘74 SF Super that I had blackfaced and use a THD hotplate
    - ‘74 SF Champ – stock, no mods

    I love the tone on all these Fenders. But gigging with the Bassman or Super is not easy as I have recently moved from an SUV to a 2D coupe with a small trunk as my daily driver. The Champ is great, but it cannot keep up with a drummer with its meager 8” speaker and I'd rather not mod it with an upgraded speaker.

    … hence my interest in a Gries 20…. It seems to meet all my needs and budget. Small combo (will fit in my car), 20w, reverb, Master Volume. Since the Bassman and Super both have 2x6L6 power, I am favoring the 20 w/ 2x6V6 power over the 35 with 6L6s. I just don’t think I need another 6L6 powered amp.

    I’ve always wanted a BF deluxe and it seems the Gries 20 is the obvious choice to get me there.

    I’m currently not in a band, I just go to open jams and sit in with other bands, etc. I did the band thing for a few decades and just don’t have the time/energy to do that full time again, but I do like good tone and will not settle for compromises in this area.

    Speakers… I like my v30s. I’ve read about the Tonkerlite offered in the Gries… but never heard it, so school me on this one. I like the fact that it’s lighter for transport to gigs.

    thanks for your input, cash is on deck and I'm ready to go :rockin
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  2. autonomous

    autonomous Member

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    Hello there. I'm selling my Gries 15 with an extra cab. I'll send you a PM. John.
     
  3. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    Thanks for the offer John, but I want a reverb combo, the 15 lacks Reverb right?
     
  4. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The Gries 20 is essentially a BF DR circuit only with better attention
    to components and build detail.
     
  5. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    ^^^ yup, that's the general impression I get from reviews/comments/website.

    So I saw this in a 35 post...
    this seems worth consideration. My understanding is the 35 has a stronger OT to run the 6L6s and slightly different impedance. correct?

    Plan B: get a 35 w/ 6L6s, and then have the option to run 6V6s with a simple rebias. Will this work?

    yeah, I'm gonna call Dave tomorrow.... :)
     
  6. ryhlick

    ryhlick Member

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    My .02. I think the 35 sounds amazing and would love to and will own another. Great BF tones and a all around great platform. I order a 20 from Dave some years ago, and it was the only amp I have exercised the trial period. I sent it back as I thought it was only so so. Later i picked up a 35 and way very pleasantly surprised by how great it sounded. I would go for the 35 as it sounds great at lower volume.
     
  7. GTRJohnny

    GTRJohnny Member

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    I would be interested to hear how you'd compare the two of these sonically... :)
     
  8. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    thanks ryhlick for sharing your experience. it seems like there are many 35 fans and given it's only $100 upcharge, it seems like it might be the way to go. more headroom if needed, if not, just use the MV and dial it down, and/or perhaps re-bias with 6V6s.

    I guess I just thought it was a bit redundant for me given I have two other 2 x 6L6s amps, but not one that an easy to move combo :)
     
  9. john b

    john b Member

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    I have a 20, never played a 35 so can't comment there. I've had the 20 for probably 3 years and love this amp. BF DR tone is spades but even more so. It seems to me like it has more "heft" to it, if that makes sense. The reverb is awesome and it's a very responsive amp in the controls and, to the guitar. I'm in a similar playing situation to you and it works perfectly for home/jams, etc.

    I had a 5 and the 20 was a huge step up, not that the 5 isn't a cool amp. Gries amps have a great vibe and are a super value.
     
  10. GTRJohnny

    GTRJohnny Member

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    When I spoke w/ Mr. Gries a while back, I believe he was saying that the 20 is geared to 6V6's and the 35 to 6L6's. He was his opinion that it was better to run the optimized tubes for each, and not try to step up or down. You may want to confirm this with him, however, because it's been a while and my memory is generally not stellar. :bonk
     
  11. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I'm pretty sure you could bias a Gries 35 to run either 6V6 or 6L6,
    so if the 6L6's make it too loud, you can drop it down with 6V6's without
    a lot of trouble.

    I can only guess the meatier transformer in the 35 would contribute
    to improved headroom and depth of tone, but also push the speakers
    a bit harder.
     
  12. jazzbone

    jazzbone Member

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    Dave is no longer making the "20" but has a BF Princeton combo in the works...12watt call the "12" naturally.
    And #1 should be showing up at my door in a month or so...;)
     
  13. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    I own one and it is the best blackface voiced amp I've ever played through. My wife can sell it after I'm dead and gone but for now, it's not going anywhere.
     
  14. tiptone

    tiptone Member

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    I've had my 35 for almost two months now. The master volume has been perfect, allowing easy changes from outdoor shows requiring full volume to indoor shows at near-acoustic levels. I can't imagine needing the 20 to drop the volume, though I've had first hand experience with the additional headroom that comes with the 35 coming in handy.

    IMHO, spend the extra $100 and get Dave to send you a 35.
     
  15. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    Interesting & good to know. I have a call in to Dave to discuss.

    if the 20 is no longer in production, it appears his website is a bit out of date. No offense, but I'd love to rewrite his website (I'm a web dev), it's a bit lacking and could use some hiRez photos for visitors to view and perhaps improve the navigation as well.

    Yeah, looks like my best option right now, or get more info on this new '12' Princeton combo type amp.

    thanks for the info guys, I was all set to go with a 20 a day ago and now I have more info to move forward.
     
  16. jazzbone

    jazzbone Member

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    No offense, but I'd love to rewrite his website (I'm a web dev), it's a bit lacking and could use some hiRez photos for visitors to view and perhaps improve the navigation as well.

    I hope you suggest that to him when you talk...would love to see an improved website:aok
     
  17. ryhlick

    ryhlick Member

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    I know there are some who will disagree, but these were my thoughts. I thought the 20 was small and very one dimensional. I had read good reviews and really wanted a light grab and go with great cleans and I thought this would fit the bill. The 20 just did not do it for me. The 35 on the other hand was huge sounding that was sweet and dynamic and a amazing platform for pedals.
     
  18. autonomous

    autonomous Member

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    Dave is a class act that cares about the amps he builds. He's been to my home to "try" something with the transformer. I will be selling my 15 watter only because I learned that I am not a 6v6 guy. That being said If you dig his stuff he will stand by it. Cheers, John.
     
  19. ryhlick

    ryhlick Member

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    I have to agree, he happily let me return the amp with a full refund. He is a true gentleman to deal with, and he love what he does.
     
  20. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    I just had a chat with Dave about my purchase plans... thanks for taking my call Dave.

    I'll let Dave chime in here if he wants to reveal what we discussed about his products.

    Safe to say, I have a plan but with a bit longer timeline than I had hoped for. No hurry, it's all good. :)
     

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