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I dare you - What's the best-sounding amp you've ever played?

Random1643

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
837
Used to be in a duo that was sometimes a trio ‐ depending on the $$/venue/gig/event. We'd practice in an old recording studio that one of the guys had free access to. The space was rarely used as a studio anymore and had become a storage area for the building's owner - filling up with old guitars, basses, amps, keyboards, etc. We ran vocals into a powered speaker.

There were apparently no restrictions on using the instruments or equipment, altho some of the wiring looked a little scary, so after the 1st couple of practices I'd just bring 1 or 2 guitars and plug in. The amp I eventually settled on was >as best I could determine< a late-40s to early-50s Fender TV front-type amp with an 8"-10" speaker, pretty primitive controls. I'm not an amp expert. And I'm used to bigger, newer amps with more features. But this little amp just had a tight but somehow thick musical tone that I just loved! My buddy called it "natural compression." It was addictive. I'd get lost halfway through a song sometimes just distracted by the cool sound of that amp. And, altho the amp had its own given sound/tone, every guitar I plugged in sounded amazing - a Gretsch Electromatic, a parlor with a magnetic soundhole pickup kept in open tunings, etc.

The band eventually parted amicably but I still think about that amp. I'm happy with the amps I have but daydream that maybe the owner would be open to selling, how much he might want,......
 

talpa

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,034
today it was my Meshuggah head
any other day it's any of 5 Germinos or my early jmj30 =|
 

dmecham

Member
Messages
71
Very easy. The finest amp I've ever played and now own is a Bludotone High Plate Skyline amp with ported cab with 1x12 EV SRO Alnico speaker.
 

m.z.

"Musician" /Gear Hoarder
Messages
894
Marshall JTM45

Using my ears not my eyes to manipulate EQ and volume on the amp I can get fender tones both tweed and blackface

get killer obviously oldschool Marshall tones… and with Pedals I can go just about anywhere the **** else

I can’t believe it took me so long to get one but as of 2017 that’s it for me I don’t ****ing need anything else it’s loud as **** sounds Great through every cabinet I run it through couldn’t ask for anything more
 

MyLittleEye

Member
Messages
47
Tube:
Peavey Classic 30 Tweed USA
Fender Princeton Reverb

SS:
Vox Pathfinder 15r modded with celestion G10 Greenback
Peavey Bandit Silver Stripe
I've been using the Vox Pathfinder 15r for a while now and at my amateur level I've yet to feel any need to upgrade. I'm curious though, I've seen it favourably compared online to the Princeton Reverb at low volume. Would you say it's in the same ball park; is that why you like them both?

Guess I'm asking because, whilst I appreciate tube amps, I feel I can get by well enough without the expense and hassle of glass. It's nice to hear where my humble SS amp sits in the sound spectrum compared to the classics. I've had my eye on the Bandit too as an upgrade but as yet no justification for one.
 

Soundhog73

Member
Messages
887
I've been using the Vox Pathfinder 15r for a while now and at my amateur level I've yet to feel any need to upgrade. I'm curious though, I've seen it favourably compared online to the Princeton Reverb at low volume. Would you say it's in the same ball park; is that why you like them both?

Guess I'm asking because, whilst I appreciate tube amps, I feel I can get by well enough without the expense and hassle of glass. It's nice to hear where my humble SS amp sits in the sound spectrum compared to the classics. I've had my eye on the Bandit too as an upgrade but as yet no justification for one.
Had a vox and sold it for a Princeton reverb,I have no regrets.
 

Alejandro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,486
I've been using the Vox Pathfinder 15r for a while now and at my amateur level I've yet to feel any need to upgrade. I'm curious though, I've seen it favourably compared online to the Princeton Reverb at low volume. Would you say it's in the same ball park; is that why you like them both?

Guess I'm asking because, whilst I appreciate tube amps, I feel I can get by well enough without the expense and hassle of glass. It's nice to hear where my humble SS amp sits in the sound spectrum compared to the classics. I've had my eye on the Bandit too as an upgrade but as yet no justification for one.
Pathfinder vs Princeton doesn't exact match, but are very similar. They both have a lot of bass response, both are warm sounding at low, med volume
Vox reverb is more subtle, but I like this way, its just not the Fender Reverb you know. Tremelo is great!

With the 10" I improved the sound, but the amp is limited by the size of the cab, so is still a little boxy and here is when I find the Princeton more "looser", move more air at high volume besides the natural glass compression you get
Don't get me wrong the Pathfinder doesn't have to feel anywhere near humiliated by Princeton. It is not the day and the night.
The vox is very warm tubey, portable and I have used mic'ed in small gigs. Takes pedals very well like the Princeton

I experimented with the Vox hooked in my 12" cabinet and is fantastic, but I like it more with the 10" speaker EQ, plenty of bass, warm mids and treble, more than I need. But the very good stock 8" is perfect and super louder for home.
But I felt more limited playing small gigs with a hard hitting drummer
Now since a while I am thinking options, like rehouse the Vox with more room for the 10" speaker, or just buy a new cabinet with 10" speaker and set the Pathfinder on top, still portable, really love it. I am planning to buy one more, if I can find one in mint conditions like mine
 

MJR

Member
Messages
922
My Komet 60 that I bought new in '01.

It was way too power for this bedroom player, but damn that thang ripped.
 
Messages
158
Easy. 60's Vox AC30.

Completely impractical, ridiculously expensive, badly designed, expensive to maintain, unreliable and too loud for almost all the applications I used it for.

... but easily the best sounding and best looking guitar amplifier ever made.

Why?

The definition, clarity and warmth. A certain 'directness' to the tone which created such an organic interface between fingers, guitar and amp.

At low volumes the AC30 was just beautifully clean, but you just knew, the more you wound it up, the more of it's tonal secrets would be revealed.

Every other amp I've owned since has made my life easier in various ways, but nothing compares the the looks and tone of a VOX AC30, It's in a league of its own.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
42,406
The Fuchs Clean Machine 150 that I stupidly sold. It was better than my Jim Kelly FACS, my Komet Concorde, and a bunch of vintage amps I've owned. I thought that the Fuchs TDS 100 I was buying would overlap with it, but the different power tubes made all the difference. :(
I played one of those at a Dumble based amp show, and it was awesome. Andy makes some great amps, that one was phenomenal.
 

beckstriad

I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife
Double Platinum Member
Messages
4,916
So far, it’s between a Friedman BE-50 deluxe, Quinn SDO, and Two Rock Bloomfield Drive. I have a Carol Ann Texas 50 incoming and hopefully a Diezel VH4 soon to compare. Also have a Louis Electric Cobra on order, so very interested to compare these to what I’ve got.
 

MyLittleEye

Member
Messages
47
Pathfinder vs Princeton doesn't exact match, but are very similar. They both have a lot of bass response, both are warm sounding at low, med volume
Vox reverb is more subtle, but I like this way, its just not the Fender Reverb you know. Tremelo is great!

With the 10" I improved the sound, but the amp is limited by the size of the cab, so is still a little boxy and here is when I find the Princeton more "looser", move more air at high volume besides the natural glass compression you get
Don't get me wrong the Pathfinder doesn't have to feel anywhere near humiliated by Princeton. It is not the day and the night.
The vox is very warm tubey, portable and I have used mic'ed in small gigs. Takes pedals very well like the Princeton

I experimented with the Vox hooked in my 12" cabinet and is fantastic, but I like it more with the 10" speaker EQ, plenty of bass, warm mids and treble, more than I need. But the very good stock 8" is perfect and super louder for home.
But I felt more limited playing small gigs with a hard hitting drummer
Now since a while I am thinking options, like rehouse the Vox with more room for the 10" speaker, or just buy a new cabinet with 10" speaker and set the Pathfinder on top, still portable, really love it. I am planning to buy one more, if I can find one in mint conditions like mine
Ah thanks, that's just what I needed to hear! - I do kind of think of the 15r as my poor man's Princeton. I just have no need for gig volume as yet and feel my money would be better invested elsewhere in less materialistic inspiration; lessons, gigs, festivals or maybe a visit to the land of my blues heroes. The 65 PRRI seems to be the amp I aspire to but I'm aware that what I want and what I need aren't necessarily the same thing! My Vox set me back £80 and has me content. Certainly the best sounding amp I've owned.

If you're considering rehousing one with more room for a 10" speaker do you really need to find it mint?
Subtle is a fine description of the reverb; nice to have onboard but I could manage without - if I typically played through an effects setup; the r-less 15 would do fine!

Thanks for your detailed response
 

matt1969

Member
Messages
1,094
For me it's my 1974 100 watt Marshall Superlead. Been my main amp since I got it in the early 90s.
 






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