Help me pick the right EL84 amp!!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by hbentley, Jan 16, 2008.


  1. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    Hey Guys. Well, I've gone through a pretty decent number of amps over the past couple years (around 10). It's been fun and I've had a chance to try things I've always wanted to. That said, I'm really wanting to stick to two amps right now. I did alot of research and picked up a Divided by 13 FTR37 recently. I think it's going to cover my bigger amp needs perfectly. What I'd like, is an amp to cover a little different tonal and volume spectrum. I'm after a nice medium volume el84 amp with reasonable headroom. I like a balanced feeling eq...farty lows and shrill highs can get old to me. I do like some chime as long as it's not out of control. It's important to me it that has a really smooth transition from clean to breakup. I love a beautiful slightly breaking up clean sound most of all. Of the amps I've owned, the Kingsley Deluxe 30 did this best. I'm looking for something similar to it, but a little different, because the other guitar player in my band has the Kingsley. The amp needs to respond well to pedals and different types of guitars. I play "rock" through a pretty big pedal board with humbuckers, singles, and just added a historic jr with a p90 obviously. I'm open to 2x12 combo's or a head and cab rig. I haven't played enough 2 EL84 amps to know the general headroom situation, so I'm open to 2 or 4 power tubes at this point. I've been reading about these amps, but I'm all ears...

    Bruno UG30
    65 Amps London
    Divided by 13
    Matchless DC30
    Alessandro Beagle
    Fulton-Webb
     
  2. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Talk to Bob Reinhardt......the 18 or Titan sounds like just the ticket, based on your description.
     
  3. saucyjack

    saucyjack Member

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    Tophat King Royale?
     
  4. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    Do yourself a favor and check out some of Richards "beauties". www.superseventeen.com I have the Mk.2 17 and it has all the clean headroom i need with a four piece band, with a reasonable drummer. A 33 watt may suit your needs if you want louder, but I can't imagine a better sounding 84 than these Goodsells.
     
  5. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    Dr. Z Maz Jr. 18 watts of killer tone, headroom up the kazoo, great master volume to achieve the power tubes breaking up tone, cut control (presence-like, but more) and only about 40 pounds. I've heard they are pedal friendly, but guitar/cord/amp is so good I'm having difficulty putting anything else in front of mine. :BEER I picked one up used with a Tone Tubby Hemp Cone alnico 12 and am blown away by this amp. It goes where I want it to go, jangly, smooth and creamy and everything in between.

    I am a new owner of this amp who has lusted for a Z for some time, but never thought about this model because of its 2 - el84 power section. I thought it wouldn't have enough headroom in a band situation. Amazing how wrong I was about that. Now I can't wait for my Lentz SSL..:D
     
  6. Clashcityrocker

    Clashcityrocker Member

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  7. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    bikedude, i had a super 17 mkII. i didn't care for it, but it may have been the speaker in part. i bought a used one with a scumback h55. it wasn't quite loud enough and seemed like the tone control didn't do much.
     
  8. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    TopHat Club Royale 2x12 or King Royale, depending on headroom needs.
     
  9. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    i hear the club royales are reallly picky about drive pedals...do you not find that to be true?
     
  10. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Supporting Member

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    Check out a Genz Benz Black Pearl. It may not be as boutique as the others on your list, but it's a great sounding 4xEL84 amp. It's PCB, but very high quality. You can get a 1x12 under $1,000. I just got mine, so I can't give you a lot of first hand experience, but a friend has had his a couple of months and loves it, and all of the reviews are incredibly good.

    John
     
  11. sf audio

    sf audio Member

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    I'll second the Black Pearl. For the money, it's on par with the more expensive amps, and the veratility and features make it a no brainer. If you like the basic tone, you'll love all the other stuff it can do.
     
  12. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    i should also mention...i'm not really a tweaker. i don't like tons of options. give me an amp that i can find a tone i like in a hurry...the fewer knobs the better if the basic tone is there.
     
  13. I'm Incinerator

    I'm Incinerator Member

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    I have a Club Royale 2x12 with the older circuit. and the only pedals I found that didn't work for me were a FD2 and a Gaspedals Chopshop. Right now I'm running BJF RRB, EGD, HB, and SBEQ and they all sound great into it, even when they're all on at the same time.

    I know Brian Gerhard has recently updated the Club royale (mkII- new transformers(?) choke, EZ81 rectifier, other changes(?)). I've heard it's more pedal friendly than the version I have. Also, don't forget about the Tophat Supreme 16

    If you want to stick with D13, I've played the JRT and found it to be a fun amp, I did prefer the 6v6 side to the el84, though.

    I've heard awesome things about the London18 from 65Amps and the Gabriel Voxer18
     
  14. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Supporting Member

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    I was going suggest Kingsley before I read your comments on that. It's a shame to know that it's a kick ass amp and pass on that simply because someone else in your band has one (bands and band mates seem to come and go, but buying quality gear that may stay with you for a lifetime is another issue).

    Perhaps you should consider a Kingsley Tone Baron or a D32C, both of which will give you the ability to use octal tubes rather than the el84's your band mate is using, or allow you to blend el84's with octals...all the while giving you some tones that your bandmate does not have.
     
  15. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

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    Bad Cat Black Cat is a killer EL84 based amp. Lots of tonal variety with different speakers, tubes, etc.
     
  16. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    buy this and join the "posse"!!!

    seriously, this amp fits your needs EXACTLY... and won't "break the bank" either, and is built to last.
     
  17. hbentley

    hbentley Member

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    i know...i've been kicking myself every time i hear the thing. it's amazing. have you played anything that can hang with it?

     
  18. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Supporting Member

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    I'm biased....Simon is working on my D32 as we speak....so of all the amps in the world I could have bought, this is the one that I wanted...(oh ok, I'd take a Concorde as well)

    There may be some amps that can sound as nice, but it occurs to me that Kingsley also has tremendous tonal flexibility not found in other nice EL84's....

    Reverb (late introduction in signal chain)
    3 way gain switches
    mid smoothing
    eq lift (variable eq lift possible custom)
    variable boost
    series/parallel
    octal/non octal blending
    4 power tubes switched to 2 power tubes
    pentode/triode

    etc...

    won't find all that on your "run of the mill boutique" el84 amp....offered by an accessible and interactive designer who is a monster player.
     
  19. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Supporting Member

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    Now that sounds like a Dr Z Carmen Ghia, loud 18 watts, 2xEL84. Volume and Tone. You can further tailor your tone with tube and speaker choices.

    I have a Carmen Ghia head, but was planning to sell it and the matching Dr Z cabinet to finance my Black Pearl. Before I do that, I'd like to do a good side to side comparison.

    John
     
  20. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    For a cheap alternative, the H&K 20th Anniversary 20 combo is very good. You can find them used for under $450. Effects loop, reverb, channel switching, ported cab and very good sounding. It's a good budget amp with high end sound.
     

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