Lotta Same Style Amps? Or the Variety Pack?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tom Gross, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    North Carolina
    So do you, in general, have several amps of the same tonal style with variations, or sort of one each of several styles?
    Just curious.

    I currently have 3 Dumbly amps, and one that would fit in the BF w/great Reverb realm. So I guess for me, I would rather have variations on the type of amp that I believe fits me, and have to do without a Marshally or Vox-like or whatever amp.

    How about you? Variations on a theme, or amp tonal buffet? Or both?
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    How about neither? Since 2003, I've had only one occasion where I needed an amp besides my TR for a recording session (an ad client wanted something Edge-ish, and I borrowed a pal's old Vox). And even in that session, I probably could have used my own amp, and gotten a reasonable tone, but the client was coming for a dog and pony show, and I didn't want to get into a pissing match over whether I was using the "right" amp.

    As Tom knows, I have one amp that I really love, and it does everything I currently need (TR Onyx). I can get a ton of different tones out of it just by setting the knobs in various ways.

    But if I DID need more than one amp, it would only be to cover recording sessions in styles I don't usually do. I'd probably want something very different sounding, and it would depend on the needs of that particular session, and whether I'd think my musical direction warranted buying another amp, as opposed to simply borrowing one for one session from a buddy.

    So I guess my answer is "Variety Pack" if I just HAD to have another amp. I'd probably ask Joe and Bill if they could build it for me, just because I love their work so much.

    At one time I had 5 or 6 really nice amps in my studio. Over the years, I got rid of them. It WAS, however, really cool to viddy a bunch of amps lined up against my studio wall. ;)
  3. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    For me, it's all over the map, though not into high-gain and/or marshall territory. Started out BF, then found gibson tweed (Les Paul), neo-Fender tweed (Clark Tyger), most recently Silvertone tweed. Then there's the magnatone contingent. If I had the money, I'd be grabbing a Gries 35, Goodsell something, Sewell Wampus Cat and Juke anything, in no particular order. You can't have too many amp flavors.
  4. Dave LaP

    Dave LaP Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Baltimore Maryland
    I guess I'm in the other camp. I try to go for variety. I have my Fender needs covered with two Lil King (Princeton clones) and my 65 Amps London can do the Marshall and Vox thing for me. When I want a Dumble type sound I use a Zendrive and it gets me close enough.
  5. sgmarshall

    sgmarshall Member

    May 7, 2005
    I have 4 Marshall heads, a TSL, a JCM800 2205, a MKII 50w master, and a 1987XL reissue. I'm currently looking for a different tonal flavor, thinking along the lines of a vox, and looking into the new Gibson GA20. When I play covers I grab the TSL, since I get the Marshall tone, and have the versatility.
  6. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Austin, TX y'all
    Variety... Tweed, BF, Vox, mini-marshall.

    and then a couple others here and there, just for fun.
  7. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

    Oct 31, 2003
    Different stuff. My greer is it's own thing, sorta Voxy Marshall, and the Z is the Brown Fender ish sorta kinda thing. Both radically different.

    My Greer Thunderbolt on order is cathode biased EL34 sorta in the vein of matchless, though again, it'll have it's own vibe.

    I guess lots of different, but with their own unique vibe.
  8. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2002
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    I have too many BF style amps. I have a Tone King Comet 40B, a Tone King Meteor II, a BF Vibrolux Reverb, and a BF Pro Reverb - they're tonally speaking pretty much all the same, with minor differences.

    I have a Dumble style amp (that I love) and a Blonde Bassman head (which I virtually never use).

    Truth be told, I use the Meteor II and the "D" style amp. Haven't played a gig on the BFVR or Bassman head in years. The TK Comet is semi retired since I got the Meteor II.

    I'm wanting to change to 1 BF style amp - probably sell the TK Meteor II or Comet 40B , sell the BFVR, keep the BF Pro (they're sooo cool!), sell the Bassman head too.

    I want a Tweed amp, and Vox-ish amp, grab and go's both. I'd love to have a Marshall too ..... And God forbid, after having a "No thanks, I don't use 'em" attitude about pedals and pedalboards, I'm wanting to put more money and time into a good pedalboard with 'mo 'bettah pedals.

    I think that puts me in the "several of each style" camp. (GRIN)

    And I'm the same way with guitars.

    All that said, I played the entire decade of the '80's with one amp (Jim Kelly FACS 30/60w w 4x10's)and one guitar (Dot Neck ES-335). I may go back to that one day ....

    Dana O.
  9. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Upstairs, L.A.
    I'm all over the map:

    Ampeg Reverb-e-Rocket II - got it's own thing
    Ampeg VT-40 - definitely got it's own thing; some overlap with other Ampegs, some Fenders and Marshalls (very versatile amp)
    Fender Super Reverb - a classic for "the Fender sound"
    Vox AC30CC2x - the definitive Vox sound, IMO
    Heritage Colonial - vintage Fender and Marshall sounds
    Orange Rockerverb - Sounds like no other amp
    Roccaforte Rockie - If Marshall made a good 30w amp, it'd probably sound like this.

    So, I'm definitely 'the variety pack' kind of amp enthusiast. I love all kinds of amps and enjoy trying new stuff all the time.
  10. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Eastern Standard Time
    In addition to having a fender-y and a marshall-y style amp, ideally I would have a big amp, for loud drummers and a small version for smaller places and quieter bands. (e.g. a twin reverb, and a princeton reverb would cover blackface sounds loud and soft.)

    If you do a lot of session work, sometimes its good to walk in with the right "looking" amp.

    I've always heard that combos will track rhythm guitars well in the studio.

    Now I'm not made of money, so I tried to get one that would cover all bases reasonably well. I've been having mixed results with a mesa Mk.1 reissue. The more I play, however, the more I value "small amps" and what they can do.
  11. e-z

    e-z Member

    Feb 14, 2005
    A bit of variety but not a wide spectrum of tone available:

    Matchless DC-30
    Hiwatt DR-504
    Juke 1210
    65 Amps London
    Ampeg V-2
  12. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I've got three different amps right now and each was selected to fill a certain role. A Rivera El34 K-55 head, an Allen 5881/6L6 Old Flame head, and a Tophat EL84 Club Royale 2x12. All have different flavors but I have found settings on each that sound similar. That semi-dirty tone that cleans up when you pick softer. I use the Allen the most and plan to use the Rivera as a backup. I haven't figured out where or if the Tophat figures into my current band but I did use it all winter for something else.
  13. DodsonLP

    DodsonLP Member

    May 29, 2005
    I try to have the right amp for the right application. I want to be able to get the tones I like in high volume and low volume to fit the venue also. i guess I am one that has too many amps that do the same thing as well as too many that do different things. My excuse is that I will supply amps as backline or studio needs every now and then, so I "must" have lots of amps.
  14. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Granger, IN
    Distortion, I dig Dumble style amps.
    Clean, I'm all over the map.

    My amps:
    1)Two Rock Custom- Great BF style cleans, and distortion that is just what I like. Although I use a pedal with it as well that works GREAT (Stampede SOV-1)

    2)Matchless SC30- Chimey cleans ala Vox, and overdrive with the right pedal (for me, the Burn Unit or the Klon).

    3)Tone King Meteor II- Again, great BF cleans, and overdrive with the right pedals (ZenDrive, FD2, Klon, Burn Unit)

    4)Wakarusa A2 combo- Tweed Deluxe clone with something extra.
    This amp digs my ZenDrive and the Klon. With a Tele, this little beast is something special.



    Nov 17, 2004
    Fayetteville, NC
    Guytron GT 100FV
    '75 Marshall 100W JMP
    Carr El Moto
    Dr Z Maz Jr
    Dr Z Delta 88
    Germino Classic 45
  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    K7C 4K8
    2 Carrs
    1 Dr Z

    These plus pedals get me what I seem to need. You always have to look at other ways to get sounds. A producer wanted a "Reelin In The Years" solo sound. My overdrives were a little too full sounding. I ended up turning the depth knob of a Voodoolab Term off and turned the volume all the way up and used it to overdrive my Carmen Ghia.

    It was awfully thin for me but he liked it.

    Tone is found anywhere you look.

    PS: Sorry for the slight deviation from the thread.
  17. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

    May 20, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    I used to keep a variety of amps around (mostly vintage Fender and Marshall amps). I'm pretty well focused in on a particular tone and feel - the Dumble inspired amps do more or me than anything else. Both of my current amps are pretty similar in tone.
  18. clarkram

    clarkram Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Woodstock GA
    I use a 1. Komet Constellation
    2. Aiken Intruder 30W
    3. Tone King Meteor II
    4. Divided by 13 RSA 31
    They all sound considerably different from each other.
  19. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    Central New Jersey, USA
    I majorly thinned the herd down to a couple of Pro Jrs, Carr Rambler 1x12 combo, and a micro cube for home practice.

    I can get a nice clean to slight breakup from either of the tube amps, although diff flavors. The rest comes from pedals.

    I'd love to get a Vox or Marshall 18 watt inspired amp.

    Probably too much for my needs, but would love a Deliverance
    60 watter (with hotplate)

    I likes me a lot of flavuhs ;)
  20. Rob Livesey

    Rob Livesey Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Manchester UK
    Hi Tom,

    Definately a variety man now. I've got to the point in my playing now, that I can get calls to do various kinds of gigs, all of which I love to do, but which require a different approach.

    Amps: Fuchs ODS SLX 100, Fuchs ODS 100w Mod amp (Twin Reverb platform), Fuchs Train 45, Clark Beaufort, '65 Deluxe Reverb.

    Tonight I'm off to a jam night packing just the Tele and the Beaufort, simply because it's wonderful to walk into a gig with a guitar over your shoulder and your amp in your hand, set it down and get a great tone. It's a lot of blues tonight so the setup is great.

    Variety is the spice of life....


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