I think we go too far with cork-sniffery sometimes.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GuitarInnovations, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. GuitarInnovations

    GuitarInnovations Member

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    I just think we really need to appreciate the mass-produced stuff that most companies are putting out these days. This is the golden age of gear, and not just because it's the boutique age of gear.

    It's one thing to want to tweak and tune your tones, but let's face it, most players can sound excellent through most mass-produced gear.
     
  2. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Absolutely. But incremental improvements are hard to resist.
     
  3. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    blasphemy!!! off with his head!!:)
     
  4. matt5150

    matt5150 Either U Know Or U Don't Supporting Member

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    I believe that gear today is far better built than anything from the "golden age" and can be engineered to sound exactly like our fave Plexi or AC-30 or BF.

    John Suhr has a Spectrum Analyzer that can reproduce any tone from an amp and essentialy reverse engineer any great amp.

    Matt
     
  5. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    If you look at whats out there in the boutique lines, most of the stuff is designed after mass produced stuff anyhow. You might get a better build quality... maybe. How many boutique amps , guitars or pedals are truely unique? Some yes, but most are Marshall, Fender,Vox, Boss or Ibanez knockoffs with tweeks.
     
  6. kevinabb

    kevinabb Member

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    No doubt the new stuff sounds awesome. But is the quality there? After so many warnings about Fender's PCB reissues (most of which sound killer IMO) I wonder: Are they truly less reliable, or is it cork-sniffery run amok?
     
  7. GuitarInnovations

    GuitarInnovations Member

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    This is a good point. It's all derivative.
     
  8. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I love to try new stuff and my new rig is great, (a Reinhardt and a Satellite in a wet/dry configuration)....but a bassist that I had played with for many years came out and saw the band last week and told me that the new rig sounded exactly like the rig I was playing 25 years ago, which was a Boogie Mark IIB into EV's.

    I guess he has a point...I have my favorite tone and it is what it is, so I hear ya!
     
  9. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I think it's cork-sniffery at it's finest, but that's just my opinion. All of the talk about how unrealiable PCB amps are that have PCB mounted tube sockets or controls is a bunch of bull if you ask me. I don't think there's any truth to it at all. I think that mindset is perpetuated by people that enjoy the finer amps (PTP or turret board construction, chassis mounted controls/sockets, etc...)

    People have been using Peavey 5150s, Marshall JCM900s, Marshall JCM2000s, etc... for years and years and years in every corner of the world.

    I've personally gigged with these amps hundreds of times and never had a single problem.
     
  10. lazymonday

    lazymonday Member

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    As far as I'm concerned, no amp sounds like my Fuchs. Hrmm, is Fuchs a boutique anyway?
     
  11. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    i am with the original poster and i will go a little further:

    I found out that i don't need the most expensive amp out there to play what i play.

    So until i learn a 3 chord i won't buy me the two rock.

    So far i got down the "e" and the "a" chords, was going to try for the "a minus" but it might be a bit difficult, i don't know how you guys can keep up with all of that knowledge.

    D:

    By the way, i think the Mesa Tremoverb Combo circa 1994 destroys almost any amp out there.
     
  12. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    I wasn't aware that modern, mass-produced guitars and amps weren't being appreciated. Every day, I read a lot of praise here for a wide variety of makers from Peavey to Fender to Marshall to Gibson. For some reason, I don't see Mesa as mass-produced, though I guess I probably should update my picture of that.

    With amps for example, my take from reading comments here is that the average, well-informed player knows that these amps are fine tone machines. The Fender Bassman LTD and Peavey Classic 30/50 are two amps that come to mind as getting a lot of praise here on a daily basis.

    For myself, if I lost everything I'd run out and get a new Fender Bassman, a '62 RI Strat and a '52 RI Tele in a heartbeat.

    IMO, the only place where most mass-produced gear doesn't hold its own is with the gain channels on amps (and a really great modern JTM45). No mass produced amp (edited: that I have played yet) can do what Ben Fargen does, for example, with his VOS circuit. With the exception of Mesa, I guess.

    I think that close observation would reveal that the last ten years or so of "cork-sniffery" have also pushed the bigger gear producers to really do their best – Fender has steadily and dramatically improved their product line these last ten years. So as with any marketplace, innovation and an almost obsessive drive for excellence in a small corner of the market does have a positive overall impact on all products.



    BTW, as a thought to ponder, in the peak period of the civilization at Machu Picchu, Peru, they grew 3000 different varieties of potatoes.
     
  13. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    See, those are the types of statements that bother me. In your opinion, the Ben Fargen stuff sounds better than any mass produced amp you've played. Okay... That's just one person's opinion. Oh yeah, and have you played ever mass produced amp available today to make such a broad statement?

    I'm honestly not trying to be a dick (I just do that naturally sometimes.)

    Chris
     
  14. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    Quote me as I said it, Chris. Why overreact and jump down my throat?

    What I said, again, is that IMO, where most modern mass-produced amps don't hold their own is in the gain channel.

    Yes, I have gone out into stores and played amps and tried their gain channels. Fender, Marshall, Vox, and Gibson. Oh, and a few Mesa's.

    Enough to form an opinion, and enough to have a right to an opinion. Which remains that I have yet to play a modern, mass produced amp whose gain channel can do what Ben's VOS channel can do.
     
  15. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Nobody's jumping down your throat and I totally believe you that Fargen's amps sound killer. Never heard one, but I believe it.

    Okay, I should explain. You haven't played every amp available from Fender, Marshall, Vox, Gibson, Mesa, Engl, Peavey, Laney, etc, etc, etc..., so how can you say that no mass produced amp can sound just as good as the Fargen stuff? I could personally never say anything like that, since I haven't played every mass produced amp available.

    Ehhh, I guess I'm splitting hairs. Sorry about that. I just have strong opinions about that and a good portion of the people on this board absolutely stick their noses up and normal "everyday" mass produced amps.

    PS - For what it's worth, I currently own a Mojave Peacemaker and a VHT Deliverance 60. I've owned amps from Soldano, Diezel, Bogner, etc... in the past, as well as Peavey, Marshall (tons of those), Mesa, etc...
     
  16. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    "cork -sniffery run amok? That's good. I like it.:dude:D
     
  17. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Sadly this is too true. Bob
     
  18. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    "I think we go too far with cork-sniffery sometimes."


    Ya think??!!??!!??

    ;)
     
  19. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    I appreciate the explanation, Chris, and I see your point now – the way I worded it does come off as an absolute statement. I should have worded that better so it doesn't come off as elitist or pointlessly snobbish.

    That really isn't who I am, or where I am coming from. I am supporting the quality of modern gear, with some exceptions, which again are the gain channels that the smaller amp makers have perfected.

    I guess Laney sits in the mass-produced group, but after Fender, Marshall, Vox, Peavey, Gibson, Laney and Mesa... is there someone I am missing? If I am, please tell me.

    The other amps you mention: Engl, Mojave, Soldano, Bogner, VHT – all great, great amps with excellent gain channel designs – are also amps that don't fall into the mass-produced category in my mind.


    I'll say it again: the one place where I don't think that most mass-produced amps hold their own is in the gain channel department. Whether we are talking about Fargen, Engl, Mojave, Soldano, VHT, Bogner, Rivera — I think that the smaller companies have better gain channels.

    Mesa excepted.
     
  20. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    There are different grades of PCBs. Single Sided Chem1 PCBs with large components like tubes that produce heat and then will start heating and cooling as the amp is turned on and off, can produce lifted solder pads and fail. I have seen it in circuit boards that my company released (now we use double sided PCBs) There is a risk to using amps with cheap PCB construction. That's not to say that there are not great PCB amps, the Vox AC50CPH and Orange Rockerverb 50 I owned in the past both had good quality PCBs and construction.

    I have also read about plenty of horror stories with all the amps you listed, particularly the Marshall JCM2000's and JCM900's. While they may be working fine now, most of those amps are less than 30 years old, will they still be working well in the next 10-20 years? To a point you get what you pay for, although most amp companies are listening and building their amps better.

    I see the cork sniffery more in the contenting that the boutique clones or inspired amps are much better than the originals. I would just like to see more people have an open mind about mass produced amps, but if a boutique amp is what you love, than great.
     

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