Headroom and Pedal "Friendliness" for Sommatone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GenoBluzGtr, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I am considering acquiring a Sommatone Roaring 40 amp. I was wondering if any of you here could comment on the headroom of this amp (for gigging unmic'd with a band that plays small to medium clubs... doing mostly a classic rock/oldies/country mix). My taste for headroom is typical, I love a little hair, but it must be clear and chimey to pull off authentic early rock and country clean tone.

    Also wondering about the ability of the amp to interact well with pedals. I usually use a Zendrive or Barber Direct Drive for overdrive duties. Occasionally use Chorus and/or Delay on clean stuff.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    No one ?? Certainly someone here uses these amps?
     
  3. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Still?? Haven't seen a question go this long unanswered about a popular Boutique amp in along time!

    Is there some reason to shy away from this amp?
     
  4. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I don't own one - so I was waiting for someone else to come to your aid.
    If you're worried about headroom then go for the 40 - I think it has a slightly different feel to the 20; more Bf type cleans.
    Both amps have one of the best Master Volume controls I've ever come across (and I hate Masters).
    These amps are extremely well built and offer a wide variety of tones (just playing with the two volumes is interesting).
    Trust this helps a little or gets the ball rolling for you.

    Don't forget that these amps are totally built one at a time by Jimmy, the owners are still a relatively "small" community in size.

    Best, Pete.
     
  5. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    I don't own one either, but I have dealt w/ Jimmy Somma and suspect if you give him a call he would honestly and sincerely reply to your questions.
     
  6. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, appreciate the 'rescue'.

    The amp I'm looking at is a Roaring 40, and having never been an EL84 guy (except for my Pro Junior, which is a completely different animal!) I am just wondering. I am moving from Fender-based stuff (Super, Clark Kanee, Tone King Meteor II, etc..) to this amp and was wondering if it will scratch that itch for me that the BF-style amps didn't without making me give up ALL my headroom, etc...
     
  7. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Well if you can't visit Jimmy in person - he lives about 20 mins from me in New Jersey - Why don't you come up for the NYAmpshow on May 10 in Piscataway, NJ?
    Jim'll be there and so will a number of other makes to compare them too.

    Best, Pete.
     
  8. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion....

    I am actually planning on attending the show (may have a conflict, but trying to work it out).

    I am actually picking up the amp within a couple of days (Local Trade Deal), however, was trying to make myself feel better about making the shift from a quad of 6V6s to a quad of EL84s... by May 10th, I'll already know for myself (hopefully positively!).
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    See you there then.
    Don't be afraid to call Jimmy when you get it - he's great guy.

    Best, Pete.
     
  10. thinline

    thinline Member

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    For what it's worth, I've owned the Roaring 20 over two years now and I've never had any problems. I've also heard the Roaring 40 (and the Slick 18) a number of times at Jimmy's shop and in live settings. The Roaring 20 (and 40) has a great boost feature and his Presence control is very versatile. I occasionally use an overdrive pedal that Jimmy built a few years ago which goes great with the amp.

    They're all fantastic sounding amps and very well built.

    Jimmy's also worked on my other amps (including an old Bassman head and a Pro Junior) and all my guitars. He's very friendly and knowledgeable.

    I hope this helps.
     
  11. hansoloist

    hansoloist Supporting Member

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    The roaring 40 has great headroom. So does the 20, actually, though not as much. It also seems to lean toward Marshall, whereas the 40 leans toward Fender (as said before).

    The Amp Show in May is your best bet. I'll be there as well.

    Pete, delighted to hear you'll be in attendance. Know if Barry or Dean are planning to attend?

    An funny thing about Dean--he's now called me twice thinking I was another Jeff (one who builds amps). And BOTH times it took about 15 minutes before either of us realized it. Ha!

    peace
    -jeff
     
  12. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    jeff,
    I'm going to call Baz today, so I'll ask. I've lost Dean's number...........I love that guy!
    Let me guess jeff snyder?
    Btw I just discovered your email/recording in my spam file.........................doh.
    I've got a new computer and am playing catch up so I'll get around today to listening to it!

    Best, Pete.
     
  13. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    The 40 may just be one of the best new amps I've ever heard. And the reverb? Wow....Jimmy nailed it!

    These amps are quite a treat to play through.
     
  14. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Well.. thanks for all info, advice and counseling. I have the Roaring 40 in house and it has (so far) lived up to the hype. I am almost embarassed to have been such a Fender 'snob' for so many years. I was convinced that the only way to get the tone I wanted was to go Fender tweed cleans with a good OD pedal.

    This amp has such a flexible voicing that, set up properly, between the Guitar volume, the boost function on the amp, and picking dynamics, I can get 4 distinctly different tones without sacrificing tone or significant changes in volume!

    I use Fat Strats primarily (occasionally a 335) so going from the Single Coils to the Humbucker REALLY takes advantage of this amps dynamic voicing. SC with the boost off and the guitar on '7', it's as clean as any Tweed Bassman or Bandmaster I have ever played (but seems to cut through even better!). Flip to the Bridge HB and the low, tight growl/grind is perfect for classic rock rhythm tones. Kick on the boost for more gain and dime the volume for solos.... I never thought I might entertain the idea of going 'pedal-less', but I now think it's possible even for guys like me who can't crank an amp to max in most venues. The master volume seems to be a god-send on this thing too!
     

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