Looking for a bright, crunchy amp for indie/post-punk

Messages
11
I play in an indie/post-punk band and I'm trying to find the perfect amp for my tastes.

I currently play on an Orange Rocker 30, which is a great amp, but very dark sounding to my ears. Way too much low mids, and I want something brighter with more top end.

I really enjoy the tone of Sonic Youth, the Pixies, At the Drive-in, Fugazi, but the Marshall sound is a bit too low-midrange for me, I think.

Particularly I enjoy the tone of a band called Number Girl from Japan. Their rhythm guitarist plays some type of AC30 but I'm not sure what kind, maybe one of the 90s Top Boost reissues.



It just has this bright, crunchy sound that I find absolutely intoxicating.

I've tried newer AC30s, particularly AC30cc2, and AC30c2, and they sound nice but are lacking a certain ballsy-ness and fullness that I'm looking for more of. There's a variety of tones to be dialed in but they just seem fickle and thin-sounding. I've heard older AC30s are better, like maybe a 6/TB reissue, but I'm open to clones as well like Hayseed or any of the others for more of a full sound with better bass response.

I'm not a huge fan of the Fender sound, but I have played a 59 Bassman RI that was very nice. Not quite bright enough for me though.

I haven't played many Marshalls, there might be one out there with high-mids that hits my sweet spot, but I haven't played it yet.

Another option might be an Orange AD30, but I haven't heard anything definitive about them.

Also, I use a decent amount of pedals and I'm looking to get more. The Rocker takes them terribly, and I'm hoping to find something that handles my loop pedal better and more clearly.
 
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4,673
What kind of guitar are you using? In that clip, you're hearing the sound of a telecaster. A Tele into an AC-30 will get you that sound. I have a Tele, and an AC-30TBX and I could make it sound exactly like that if I wanted to.

If you're after that super bright quacky sound, you need a Tele. The amp is secondary to that sound and many amps will do.

Here are Teles/Jazzmaster into Marshall JCM800s. See how similar it sounds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsWLzUCEYB8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WmKgNrxTII
 
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11
fiveightandten: Damn, those clips of the bands with the teles really sound awesome. Right up my alley.

I play on a les Paul clone by SX with P90s

I just figured the sound of the Rocker was too dark in general and that a guitar wouldn't make too much of a difference.

I have honestly been considering a Tele or Jazzmaster for quite some time now.

brettk7: I have tried a couple boosts into the clean channel, it didn't seem to make TOO much of a difference. It's just very muddy and undefined to my ear, and I want a little more sparkle and presence.

The Natural Channel on that amp seems very unuseable for me. It's very muddy and especially with my loop pedal, things get muffled so quick.

My friend let me use his Keeley Time Machine Boost on it once and did sound pretty good, but I barely got a chance to play it at that time.

People have suggested I get a Fender Twin but I've always had this aversion to them for the style of music I play.

insubordination: I know they're really great aren't they? I'm actually into a lot of Japanese stuff, like LITE and toe, and downy are all really great bands.
 
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KindaFuzzy

Member
Messages
817
See if you can find an old selmer zodiac, I've been messing with that circuit lately and it sounds just like you described, bright and crunchy in a unique way.
 
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4,673
fiveightandten: Damn, those clips of the bands with the teles really sound awesome. Right up my alley.

I play on a les Paul clone by SX with P90s

I just figured the sound of the Rocker was too dark in general and that a guitar wouldn't make too much of a difference.

I have honestly been considering a Tele or Jazzmaster for quite some time now.
Yeah, No Knife is pretty awesome. Check out "Fire in the City of Automatons". Great record, and the entire thing has those quacky Tele tones on it.

P90's with the right amp will get you in the ballpark with an AC-30. But the sound you're looking for is really the sound of a Tele. Again, if you like those sounds, you're looking for the sound of that guitar, not the amp.

My suggestion would be to pick up a Tele. The Squire Classic Vibe Teles are great guitars if you're looking for one on a budget. Keep your amp for now. The Natural Channel on the Rocker 30 would be the way to go with a Tele for that sound. But if you can't crank that channel up loud, try the overdrive channel.

If a Tele with the Rocker isn't doing it for you, you can move to the AD30 if you want to stay with an Orange. Channel 2 on the AD30 is plenty bright enough to do sounds like that, and the AD30 takes single coil guitars VERY well. FWIW, I have an AD30TC and that amp will also do the sounds you're looking for (with a Tele), definitely better than the Rocker for it, as there's less gain and more tonal control.

A Vox AC-30 is a different animal and a great amp as well. I prefer my AC-30TBX to the AD30TC, but they're both great amps. I took the AD30 over a Vox AC-30CC2 (which I had and sold to get the AD30TC). I prefer the Orange to the newer Voxen.

Hope that helps. Here's another No Knife song with some cool guitars in it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOTcz9nJY4c

-Nick
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,785
You might consider a pedal like the Fromel Shape EQ with your current rig.
For me, it's a game changer, especially the Parametric mids. I use different amps from place to place and I can use the Fromel to quickly dial in an EQ curve by ear that really works well. There usually are a few in the Emprium.

-bEn r.
 

Aeon

Member
Messages
191
I have a Rocker 30 as well, and I think the amp is plenty bright and capable of getting the tone you are describing... IF you play the right guitar through it.

I would look into picking up a Telecaster if you want the sort of tone in your youtube link. See if you can borrow one from a friend or acquaintance to test it through your amp. You will need to adjust the Gain and EQ settings, since the humbuckers, single coils, and P90s all require different settings depending on the amp. My guess is that your current guitar is inherently pretty dark.

I know that with my Jazzmaster through the Orange I need to turn the Treble DOWN and often roll off some with the tone knob on the guitar as well. Whereas with my ES-339 I push the Treble past noon.
 

sixstring531

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,201
Oh, BTW...here's a guitar shootout vid I did a while back. Listen to the difference in tone between the Tele and the Les Pauls:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRwCqSERUMM

That's through a Laney, which has a very Marshall-eqsue sound to it. All settings the same for each guitar.
I'm going to piggyback on the Laney suggestion here:

I played a Laney GH50L throughout my college years (indie post punk...) and it does exactly what you're looking for. Also, they're cheaper than most marshally amps out there and I think there is one in the forum right now. I loved that amp!
 

RocksOff

Member
Messages
7,457
Actually, the Marshall sound is upper mid range. Fugazi, you say? Marshall JCMs. Great guitar tone.
 
Messages
4,673
I'm going to piggyback on the Laney suggestion here:

I played a Laney GH50L throughout my college years (indie post punk...) and it does exactly what you're looking for. Also, they're cheaper than most marshally amps out there and I think there is one in the forum right now. I loved that amp!
I wasn't making as suggestion for him to get a Laney. I'm saying that the sound he's looking for is the sound of a Telecaster, not from a particular amp. I posted the comparison up for him to hear that, and just mentioned the Laney so he knew what amp was used.

You can play a Tele through the Laney and it will sound like that. You can play it through a JCM800 and it ill sound like that. Play it through an AC-30 and it will sound like that. Play it through and Orange AD30 and it will *still* sound like that. ;)


-Nick
 

mtperry85

Member
Messages
758
I love P90's, but they are exactly the wrong pickup for the sound you want. My guitars with P90's can make an ice-pick amp sound dark. I second the Tele recommendations. Before you go for a Fender, however, check out a G&L Asat Special with Leo Fender's MFD pickups. They look kinda like P90's but have an entirely different tonal range.
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,734
If you are using a Les Paul clone or variant, or anything with humbuckers - you won't get that sound without heavy EQ'ing. The vid sounds like a Tele on bridge or bridge/middle - that classic, cutting bite. It's sharp but it's chimey too. Can be done with most Fender single coil bridge pickup'ed guitars.

Alot of Japanese indie/"postrock" bands go for that exact tone actually...









Take note: The last band in particular are using an Orange. AD30?
 




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