Help picking a new amp???

Messages
910
Here's a little background - I'm 51, and I've been playinig since I was a kid. I gig every week, mostly Neo-soul, Funk, R&B, etc. Think everything from Al Greene to Prince to Usher to Outkast, etc. I average 10-12 gigs a month, more in the summer. I usually play either a PRS or a Strat, but sometimes bring my Dot or Joe Pass. I mention this because, since I'm a geezer that gigs a lot, portability is important :)

Anyway, I've always gigged with "average" gear. My latest amps have been a DRRI, Blues Deluxe, and a Vox AD-50. In the last 4 months, both the Blues Deluxe and Vox have died on the gig. The Vox blew up last night. And it's not because of volume. We work smaller clubs, and I've never had the amps up more than 50%.

So I'm ready to step up to better ("pro") gear, but I'm not really sure what I should be looking at. Coincedentally, I played an Egnater Tourmaster yesterday, and was blown away. Great cleans, nice grind, and "liquidy" sustain. The 4 channels on the Tourmaster is probably one more than I really need, but it would be cool to have. So basically, I need something that's going to be reliable, portable, and at least three channels. I need to keep the price under $2k including the cab, so I guess a Dumble is out of the question :) . Please help this geezer "catch up". Thanks!!!!
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,664
Hughes & Kettner Duotone 50W 1x12 combo.

2 channels, but has 2 global masters giving you two footswitchable volumes on both channels. Drive channel has a footswitchable boost too. Reverb, serial/parallel effects loop with mix and send level controls. Weighs about 27Kgs I think. EL34s, but has a Fender like clean channel with amazing sustain. Nice overdrive from mild to heavy rock. Falls somewhere in between vintage and modern sounding.

Edit: Oops! ... new it would be a bit more than the $2K.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
Your budget is a bit tight for a true roadworthy kit, but I'll try to come close.

You'll have to determine where you place your priority on clean headroom
vs. sustained lead tones.

I've included several here that allow for various tube configurations
from 6V6, 6L6 and EL34's, some cathode biased, some fixed.

Take a look at the features of the following.

Category 5 Andrew
The Tone King Meteor II
The Reeves Custom 30, Custom 50 or Custom Lead all with power scaling.
Bad Cat Tone Cat, Hot Cat 30R and Lynx
Pure 64
Suhr Badger 30 watt
VVT Amps Fralin or Blue Belair
Top Hat Amps

Here's a few links to get you started.
In no particular order


http://www.kometamps.com/
http://www.kometamps.com/sounds.html

http://www.dividedby13.com/

http://www.65amps.com/

http://www.reevesamps.com/

http://www.badcatamps.com/

http://www.vvtamps.com/

http://www.carolannamps.com/

http://www.tophatamps.com/

http://www.vintone.com/products
Doug is building my next amp!

http://www.two-rock.com/

http://www.puresixtyfour.com/64.html

http://www.brunoamps.com/

http://www.blankenshipamps.com/data/mainframe.htm

http://www.reinhardtamps.com/

http://www.aikenamps.com/
 

Bikedude

Member
Messages
4,909
Mesa Boogie Lonestar Classic 1X12. Thro a good pedal infront of it and you have everything from Fender Twin Clean to Santana inspired sustain. It's built like a tank, and weighs as much as a Twin. You can run 6l6's, EL34's, or 6V6's in the power section, and you can run it at 10, 50, or 100 watts. Did I mention that it sounds better than a twin.
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,153
Some good suggestions mentioned above.
Take a look at the Allen Amps range too.

Someone told me that there is someone in my home town (Scotch Plains) that beef up the latest Fender amps to be more roadworthy and toneful - but I can't remember his name......

Best, Pete.
 

squeally dan

Member
Messages
6,305
The LSC kicks arse. I play the same kind of music as you and I used a Lonestar Clssic for awhile. The clean channel is awesome. I found some versatility in the gain channel. It sounded great. I just wanted something that weighed less.

Like I said, I play the same kind of music you mentioned and I gig about twice/week. I noticed that when we played smaller venues I didn't need much volume, and then when we play smaller places the sound man would still want my volume down and he would crank me thru the mains and monitors. I guess what I am saying is that I really haven't found much use for a high powered amp. I have a silverface twin, a blacface pro, and a silver face deluxe. I am using 6L6's in the Deluxe right now, but plan to switch back to the 6V6's because I just don't find I need the extra headroom.

I am using the deluxe 75% of the time. It sounds great for the kind of music you mentioned. I have a couple pedals for when I need more gain. I just don't see how you can beat the Fender clean and they almost always take pedals real well.
 
Messages
910
BTW PTT, what's wrong with the DRRI?

The DRRI works fine and sounds great, but it's a little lacking in clean headroom on some gigs. Also, the tone changes just a bit throughout the night, as the chassis gets warm. I think that's due in part to the tube rectifier.

If I don't replace the Vox this week I'll be gigging with the Deluxe.
 

bynt

Member
Messages
2,169
Man try out a Mesa Roadster if you can. It might be just what your looking for. Four channels, really good cleans, really good overdrive. HEAVY though. I'd get a head if I was going to buy one. I'm normally not the biggest Mesa fan (don't hate them, they're just not me) but I really dug the Roadster. Good luck!!!!
 

squeally dan

Member
Messages
6,305
If the deluxe breaks up too much, keep the volume around 3-4 and boost it in the monitors so you can hear it. I keep trying different amps, but I also keep going back to my deluxe.

I put an Eminence Legend 121 in it and to me, it sounds better than my larger amps.

The DRRI works fine and sounds great, but it's a little lacking in clean headroom on some gigs. Also, the tone changes just a bit throughout the night, as the chassis gets warm. I think that's due in part to the tube rectifier.

If I don't replace the Vox this week I'll be gigging with the Deluxe.
 

Bikedude

Member
Messages
4,909
If you want to try an amp that the soundman will love, try a Goodsell 17. I have one with 2X10's and it makes my modded DRRI sound harsh. I too have had soundmen telling me to turn way down with the LSC, it's just too much amp for most situations, but the Goodsell is the cream of the bunch, and the DRRI is my close second to the Cube60.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
In addition to the amps I already mentioned, the Gries 35 will give the added punch and headroom you're missing.

The Reeves Custom 30 is also rated about 35 watts, with more of the British Hiwatt/JTM 45 tones.

For kicking bandworthy cleans, it's gonna be tough with less than 30 watts.
 

dougk

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,167
The DRRI works fine and sounds great, but it's a little lacking in clean headroom on some gigs. Also, the tone changes just a bit throughout the night, as the chassis gets warm. I think that's due in part to the tube rectifier.

If I don't replace the Vox this week I'll be gigging with the Deluxe.

My DRRI did that too. I never ever got the thing to sound the same twice ever. Play it one night, wouldn't even move it and the next day just was never happy with it.

My Allens have been plenty reliable. If you like fender'ish tones its a world of improvement.
 

patrick73csun

Member
Messages
39
go with swart. the atomic spcae tone at 18 watts is incredible. if you need more than go with the super space tone. which i thinks is 35 . these amps are so repsonsive and can do. it all. it can do a fender like clean tone but with character. i bought the amp for its clean tone, but when i turned the amp way up just to see what would happen, my whole world opened up. the overdriven tone was incredible. much better, tighter, sweeter than the 65 princeton reverb i sold to get this amp. the super space tone has more volume , more clean headroom, and a master volume so you can get the tone at any volume. at least do your self a favor and go play through one
 

squeally dan

Member
Messages
6,305
I don't know. I think that depends on the live situation. I play with a bass player, drummer, and keyboardist who are all loud as hell. My deluxe keeps up oo as long as its mic'd and we have monitors. If your not micing the amp it would be hard to keep up with a band.

For kicking bandworthy cleans, it's gonna be tough with less than 30 watts.
 




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