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is an 18 watt in the cards for me?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gauge613, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Gauge613

    Gauge613 Member

    Messages:
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    Nov 17, 2003
    Hey guys
    I've been out of the loop - crazy with work and out of the office on business
    so, i'm back now
    (i know many of you have lost sleep)

    the question:
    New amp
    do I
    a) buy a used mesa dc-5 (around 600)
    its a 10 year old amp, but darn nice
    its a channels switcher with a graphic eq

    b) buy a used trayner ycv 40 or 50 - (around 350-400)
    not as nice construction as the mesa at all, but pretty good features and the sound is darn nice too
    channel swithcer with boost

    c) my personal fav - build (you know i just couldn't stop at guitars) an 18 watt marshall TMB (treb, mid...) version
    2 independent channels with boost feature
    it seems like it would do a great small marshall tone, but i'm not sure if i'd like the cleans as i typically like 6l6 cleans

    the problem - i dont' play out so i dont' need a huge amp
    plus the idea of building my own is appealing to me


    oh, i should prob say i like classic rock (zep, who) and everythig from guns n roses to incubus and 90's pearl jam/stp stuff

    lets hear what you guys think

    thanks

    cheers
     
  2. raz

    raz Member

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    South and East of Seattle
    You said you like 6l6 cleans...that sugguests to me you mean big, CLEAN cleans. The 18 Watt isn't best at that. It doesn't have that kind of headroom, but it makes a killer "hairy" clean.

    But of the three options you mentioned, I personally think the 18 Watt will sound the best. Plus, you'll have some of your blood in the amp if you build it. And when you're done, you'll be amazed that something you built yourself sounds that good.

    I love my GDS...about to convert it to TMB in the near future.

    R
    A
    Z
     
  3. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    If you step up from 18 to 36 watts in the same amp, you get a little more clean headroom. My amp still distorts at the same place on the volume knob as the 18, but is alot louder before it does.:cool:
     
  4. Gauge613

    Gauge613 Member

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    I like big bold cleans, but i don't need any volume really

    i'm thinking, yes on the 18er?
     
  5. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    How about the Traynor Blues50? Theres a recent clip on the Harm Cent forum, blew me away.
     
  6. raz

    raz Member

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    I love the GDS, but it's not a matter of just not having volume. I don't think the 18 Watt tone is great with the volume set below noon. It's merely acceptable at that level. At noon the magic begins. And it's a potent magic, but it really starts about noon, IMHO.

    There are mods I've heard about that can make the normal channel more like a Fender Deluxe, but I haven't tried them yet.

    YMMV, though.

    R
    A
    Z
     
  7. Robal

    Robal Supporting Member

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    If you build a 2xEL84 18 watt and modify the PI and fiddle with the EL84 voltages, items discussed at length at the 18watt.com site, you can get an amp with both a good classic Marshall distortion and a clean sound that is in Vox territory --- which is nice territory to be in, IMHO. Not Fender blackface clean, but Vox "clean" that has some bite to it. A more useful clean than the vintage 18 watt Marshall or Watkins Dominator 18 watt, I think, and very nice for playing at "reasonable" volume. YMMV.
     
  8. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    If you go 36 watts, then you can pull 2 of the power tubes, 1/2 the impedance, and still have an 18 watter. My 36 watter has a clean channel like a vox.:cool:, and a TMB like a kickass marshall on steroids.:)
     
  9. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    Tejas
    checkout DST's Marwatt.........its a 18 watter on one side and hiwatt on the other for much increased headroom. They can build one for ya or you can build one.
    Similiar to the vox/18 watter described above...
     
  10. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    Check out the trinity 15.

    Matchless Lightning clone :dude
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I might get in trouble, but ....

    My experience with 18w amps ( Marshall and Baccino - both GREAT amps ) is .....
     
  12. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Ooops, gotta watch that "tab" key - it posted me before I was finished.

    My experience with 18w amps, the Marshall and the Baccino - both GREAT amps is ....

    They don't have hardly any clean headroom. For in your living room, they're fine, but if you're on stage with a drummer .... I think they both break up at pretty low volume. It's manageable, but you gotta have a pretty subtle right hand.

    I surely wouldn't call either of them "spanky, 6L6 clean" - even at (what is to me) pretty low volume.

    Don't get me wrong - they are FANTASTIC sounding amps, but I'm hearing hair at low volume and grind at higher volume... for a studio rig, they'd be unbeatable, but live .... I don't think I could live with it. The grind when you're 'up on the pipe' is lovely .....

    But not much "6L6 spank", at least to my ears. I've seriously considered getting one, but I think I need the 35w version - at least 35w (GRIN)

    Jus my 2 cents.

    Dana Olsen
     
  13. Gauge613

    Gauge613 Member

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    please educate me (gently)

    the marwatt is a marshall and a hiwatt - which one of those has the better cleans - i always pictured both as higher gain amps
    (maybe the "hi-watt" is throwing meoff - didn't pete townshend use them)

    also

    the trnity seems to be a similar setup to the marshall 18 - 1 set of controls (with master volume) but 2 inputs
    1) can i use an a/b swithc between the 2 (that was my plan for the marshall)
    2) what kind of sounds are in there (i'm not a huge vox fan myself)

    thanks all
     
  14. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    On re-reading your original post, you don't gig that much, so perhaps there'll be enough clean for you in the 18w Marshall end of things.

    I always thought Hi-Watts stayed clean longer than Marshalls, but my experience is with 50w and bigger ones (GRIN)

    If you're in your living room or garage, an 18w Marshall type amp is a wonderful thing - one of the world's great 'self-amusement' tools!

    And a great break from your bratty, er, loving children and wife (GRIN - it's a joke )

    Dana
     
  15. granite

    granite Member

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    Heck..just buy an Aiken Tomcat and be done with it.
     
  16. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    I think this may be true for most but I can tell you the Matchless Lightning is capable of sparkly clean. If you keep the gain down and crank (I do mean crank) the volume it is very clean and very loud. If I use a paul instead of a strat it is a little less so but that is no less true with a bandmaster or a twin, the humbuckers lend some gain to the signal.
     
  17. moggio

    moggio Member

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    E-mail Stephen at Trinity Amps. He may be able to voice the MV channel on the 18 watt TMB MV to provide more clean headroom.
    I have an 18 watt sIII and it rocks. The clean at lower volumes is huge. Not enough clean headroom to gig with but great Marshall style cleans at low volumes on both channels. More clean headroom with single coils than with humbuckers.
     
  18. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    When I got my GDS 18 watter I tried it with different cabinets over at Graydon's he essentailly said the same thing that above noon is where the sound really starts to break up and get nice. I totally agree. I'll tell you; however, (for me) its still VERY loud at that level.
     
  19. raz

    raz Member

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    Yes it is. I run my GDS through a Swanson 2x12 with Blues. When I use it with the band, I set volume and tone at 12:00 and nobody has trouble hearing me at all.

    R
    A
    Z
     
  20. Gauge613

    Gauge613 Member

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    i'm assuming there is no clean on either channel at that volume (including the master v)
     

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