I've got a Germino Lead 55 coming tomorrow!!!

ebenezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,101
So it's a very early Lead 55, serial # 10. What am I in for? I had a Masonette that I LOVED, so I know what a good Germino sounds like. For those who have had both a Masonette and a Lead 55, what did you find different/same? And for those of you who have a Lead 55, tell me why you love it? Thanks for keeping my GAS going my TGP brethren!
 

PaulE

Supporting Member
Messages
1,375
My old amp- shoulda never parted with that one.
Get caught up in the trading scene sometimes.
If I recall that had a different transformer than the ones that came after it.
I shipped it to Greg G per the buyers instructions and I don't know what upgrades were done at that point.Monster amp.Had the huge logo on it when I had it.
Hope you enjoy it.
 

ebenezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,101
The amp made it! Looks like the BIG old logo got changed out on it. Greg Germino said the amp has a high voltage PT which supplies roughly 485vdc to the output tubes. I haven't got a chance to play it yet, but will give a full report later this week. Here's a pic of it!

My old amp- shoulda never parted with that one.
Paul E, how long did you own it? Did you buy it new or used?

 

Veritas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,819
I owned a LV55 for a while...and man...that is one of the greatest amps I've ever played, hands down. It sounded sooooo good. If it weren't for my love affair with my Matchless Clubman, I would have kept it.
 

Kaos Blues

Member
Messages
62
ebenezer:

Love to get a review of the amp....especially the cleans and crunch sounds. I'm keen to read how 'big' or 'chimey' the cleans/crunch sound are. I expect the gains to be great..Do you have a strat style guitar to run through it?
 

fjs1962

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,390
I owned that amp for a while too, back around 2005-2006. It's a very cool amp, and super punchy with the high voltage power trannys Greg was using back then. It was my first Germino and I've owned one ever since, currently a 2007 Lead 55 Greg made for me.

I have a couple of pics of that amp when it had the original big block logo. if you want them email me and I'll reply back with the pics.
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Supporting Member
Messages
8,966
Sweet!
Looking forward to your thoughts on your new amp, and how it compares to the Masonette (which is scheduled to arrive today!).
Hope you love the new amp even more!
 

ebenezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,101
So the new one arrived the other day. At first, I was not impressed. My initial thoughts were that I should try and get my Masonette back. But I was playing it without a band, and was not used to the low end being present as my Masonette, lovely as it was, did not have as much on account of the smaller iron in it. So after a couple minuets of eq'ing and getting a general feel of it, the band came in. And wow!! It was mean without being harsh. Cut though while still retaining warmth, and just flat out brought IT! Because it has the SS rectifier, it had so much more attack. It is definitely a more ridged amp than my Masonette was, but I count that difference in being more of the SS vs. Tube Rectifier. I would say that the crunch I had always been looking for, with a slight bit of low end chunck is there. I'm still learning about this amp, but was presently surprised. Once I put some time with it, I understood it. It was a big leap from my Masonette tone wise. Still in the ballpark, but very different indeed. The Lead 55 seems to have a bit more low and high end. But that classic Germino "feel" is definitely still there. My other guitarist said, "That amp sounds like the 70's rock". I would have to agree. Because of the difference eq-wise I would say the Masonette has an older (darker, more spongy) feel to it. The Lead 55 is pure 70's Marshall crunch.

On a side note, I know a lot of people have said that the Arcom is a great attenuator for the Germino. And while it probably is, don't count out the less expensive Alex Attenuator. I have one and for going down 3-6db's (1 or 2 clicks), the Alex is fantastic. I thought about getting an Arcom, but the price just killed it for me. For my money and my needs the Alex is a great useful tool. It knocks off just enough volume to make this amp work at most venues.
Anyway's this amp is definitely a keeper! Now to dive into a bit of tube swapping. Been thinking about finding a good NOS Mullard for V1.
 
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ebenezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,101
ebenezer:

Love to get a review of the amp....especially the cleans and crunch sounds. I'm keen to read how 'big' or 'chimey' the cleans/crunch sound are. I expect the gains to be great..Do you have a strat style guitar to run through it?
As I spend more time with it I will definitely get you a review of how the cleans are, especially through a strat style guitar.
 

GuitarBrent

Member
Messages
2,406
As a very long time owner of a Lead 55 (I've owned mine since 2003), I can tell you the cleans are huge and chimey. The crunch is like all the classic records. The low end is huge, but tamable with the bass control (when I have it above 8, the bass control is down around 2-3, so as not to overwhelm). With a strat, it's the sh-t. With p-90s or humbuckers, it's the sh-t. It's an awesome, awesome amplifier. I've owned it 9 years now, the longest I've ever owned any amp. And I still get that feeling of playing a new amp every time I turn it on...it's that good. Oh, and I use an Alex with mine too. Nothing can touch it for the money. It retains the tone and feel of the amp down to very low volumes, which is good, since the Lead 55 is an incredibly loud amp.
 

DICKIE C

Member
Messages
3,982
As a very long time owner of a Lead 55 (I've owned mine since 2003), I can tell you the cleans are huge and chimey. The crunch is like all the classic records. The low end is huge, but tamable with the bass control (when I have it above 8, the bass control is down around 2-3, so as not to overwhelm). With a strat, it's the sh-t. With p-90s or humbuckers, it's the sh-t. It's an awesome, awesome amplifier. I've owned it 9 years now, the longest I've ever owned any amp. And I still get that feeling of playing a new amp every time I turn it on...it's that good. Oh, and I use an Alex with mine too. Nothing can touch it for the money. It retains the tone and feel of the amp down to very low volumes, which is good, since the Lead 55 is an incredibly loud amp.
I used to watch your vids, Brent. They were among the vids that introduced me to Germino amps. Good to know you still own it!
 

ebenezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,101
As a very long time owner of a Lead 55 (I've owned mine since 2003), I can tell you the cleans are huge and chimey. The crunch is like all the classic records. The low end is huge, but tamable with the bass control (when I have it above 8, the bass control is down around 2-3, so as not to overwhelm). With a strat, it's the sh-t. With p-90s or humbuckers, it's the sh-t. It's an awesome, awesome amplifier. I've owned it 9 years now, the longest I've ever owned any amp. And I still get that feeling of playing a new amp every time I turn it on...it's that good. Oh, and I use an Alex with mine too. Nothing can touch it for the money. It retains the tone and feel of the amp down to very low volumes, which is good, since the Lead 55 is an incredibly loud amp.
Amen! I'm glad you still love the Lead 55! I'm actually convinced it made my band play better the other night. They were able to hear every nuance of my playing so we were able to lock in better on the "groove". Anyways, still loving my Lead 55! It sounds like balls to the wall Rock!
 




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