I've been playing tweed amps, I know I'll regret it, but I'm going to let go of my Jim Kelley

Anje

Silver Supporting Member
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1,467
I'd second what Hogy said and advise to try the amp with different cab/speakers first before making your decision; one amp "tone & feel" is so much linked to which cab & speaker(s) you plug it into.
 

scmavl

Enjoyer
Gold Supporting Member
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3,570
As someone that has owned a 50’s Bassman and a Kelley Reverb, they’re both terrific amps. But I still own a Kelley, and not a Bassman. As Hogy said, I also moved my Kelley into a headshell for the different speaker options. Kelleys record better than any other amps I’ve used. The Bassman is a great sounding amp, but needs some volume and needs those 4x10s.
 

Jim Kelley

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619
I think a tweed bassman is going to be the next amp I'd really like to try for an extended period of time.

A Germino or a Clark.

I was thinking about going with a nice princeton reverb style amp, or keeping my Jim Kelley reverb. But lately it seems like larger tweed amps with multiple 10" seem to do it for me. I like the punchy tone and vibrant response (no need for reverb).

I've been avoiding tweed bassmans for years, I think I'm ready now.
Get the tweed, try both amps through the same speaker(s) - then decide.

FWIW - best amp I think I ever heard was a ‘59 tweed 4-10 Bassman - on 7.
 
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dcbc

Member
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2,189
You are about to open up Pandora's box by taking a trip to tweed town. I bought a tweed bassman (Victoria) several years ago. It now has four tweed siblings from Clark, Magic, Fender, and Lil Dawg. But the Bassman still is the king.
 

riscado

Member
Messages
519
Thanks @hogy, my Kelley is a head, I do agree I'm sure a big part of the sound is the pine cab with floating baffle with the 4x10". I can easily make a cab and give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

@scmavl,@TonyBony, @dcbc - thanks, I'm actually quite familiar with Clarks (tyger/piedmont).

@Jim Kelley - thanks for suggestion, yes I think I'm going to try that. I remember you've said before, you really liked the bassman. My Kelley is a head, so I can always try it through the 4x10" cab of a bassman.
 

eigentone

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7,434
You can't really pick a favorite until you have had both for a while. They are different beasts. My general approach is to buy the gear I want, then sell what I wind up not using (after not using it for, say, 6 months.) A Kelley will be a very hard amp to replace. So I would try adding a Bassman/Bandmaster (or clone) and then selling whatever amp I stopped using. I don't really miss amps or guitars I stopped playing (because I had something I was more excited to play.)
 

riscado

Member
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519
Hi,

I do have experience with both though (including the bassman even though I don't own one at the moment...) in fact I own a Clark Bandmaster. It is however not the same as a bassman.

Today I did try the Kelley head through the 3x10" bandmaster cab. It's strange, with a tweed circuit, I really like how the 4x10" pine cab/floating baffle, makes the amp be punchy. With the Kelley though, I prefered the little 1x12" pine cab I'm running it through (which has a celestion NEO creamback inside).

For some reason that cab gives it a thick warm midrange sound. Which to my ears seems to work better with the Kelley. The punch of the multi 10" speakers cab, for some reason works better with the upper mid content of the tweed circuits.

here's the Kelley and the Clark bandmaster as I was trying them today.

 
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ubikwidus

Member
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61
...a very interesting quandary...I recently a/b'd a Jim Kelley single channel non reverb combo with a '61 Bassman (6G6; tube rectified), whose Bass Channel's DNA is more tweed-like than the normal channels of later brown and blackface circuits. I'd not want to have to decide between the two. The Bassman has an elastic feel when driven above 4, and a treble control that acts like a gain knob....but it does need some volume to reach tones that I'd consider on par with those of the Kelley. The Kelley sounds gorgeous throughout the gain sweep--this is what I'd miss if I ever sold the Kelley.
 

riscado

Member
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519
I like the tweed tone with multi 10" and the pine/floating baffle, punchy with a nice upper midrange content. I also like the boldness of the Kelley with the 1x12" (also pine/floating baffle).

I think for now I'm going to keep it, and the Clark Tyger (bandmaster) will have to be enough. The bassman will have to wait.

Thanks guys.
 

bluejaybill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
915
I owned both the Jim Kelly FACS amp in a beautiful (heavy!) maple cabinet and a few vintage Fenders at the same time way back when, including an original '59 bassman.

As much as I loved the Jim Kelly, the tweed was more my sound (as well as the'66 DR and a '63 AC30).

Nothing wrong with that, we all have sounds that we are looking for, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the Kelly. Different strokes etc.

I sold the Kelly to a really famous dude, and I hope he's still rocking it!
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
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7,434
I like the tweed tone with multi 10" and the pine/floating baffle, punchy with a nice upper midrange content. I also like the boldness of the Kelley with the 1x12" (also pine/floating baffle).

I think for now I'm going to keep it, and the Clark Tyger (bandmaster) will have to be enough. The bassman will have to wait.

Thanks guys.
Sorry for the derail but… how is that Tyger? I have been kicking around the idea of grabbing one (no rush); Is there anything you would change about it? Is it as good as modern Tweed Bandmasters get? They don't come up often. I don't remember ever seeing one in New England.
 

ebenezer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,143
I had a Suhr Kelley for about two years. Amazing amp. I sold it for a Magic 5e3 and a Down Brownie (6g3 Brownface Fender). Do I miss the Kelley, sometimes, but let’s be honest here. And I know this is a very un-TGP thing to say, but I sound like me no matter the amp. If I wanted to buy the Kelley again I couldn’t, so no looking back on that one. But the Kelley’s are amazing amps for sure.
 

riscado

Member
Messages
519
@ebenezer I've had a lot of Magic amps (Mike Moody's amps are great), I still do have a vibro prince. So I'd be quite happy with what you have.

@eigentone I wouldn't change a think about the Tyger. They are a really good representation of the E series tweed circuits. You can get great cleans with some healthy midrange (not as much as a smaller tweed) and you can definitely overdrive them at higher volumes. The tone range is great and the controls are quite responsive in my opinion. The 3x10" gives it a lot of punch and fullness.

I agree the Kelley has it's own sound, it's not a fender sound. It reacts differently as well. I really like it, but I also like all sorts of fender amps. It is a classic in it's own right I think.
 
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