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LOUIS ELECTRIC Tremblelux vs. Tremverb vs. KR-12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by donden, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. donden

    donden Member

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    Gear Page Brothers and Sisters,

    For those of you who have had the good fortune to compare the Louis Electric Tremblelux, (Deluxe Buster), Tremverb and KR-12 amps, would you please describe the differences you hear between them.

    Also, if you have used any of these amps with a band, how did they do?

    Thanks very much,

    Don
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  2. RJLII

    RJLII Member

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    Check out this Buster clip. Nice Amp!

     
  3. donden

    donden Member

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    Thanks, Brad. Thanks, RJL. A great-sounding amp, indeed.

    If any of you Louis Electric enthusiasts have had a chance to take BOTH amps for a spin, I would appreciate hearing from you.

    Thank you, Don
     
  4. Curly

    Curly Member

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    Don,
    I have played both amps, and ended up with a DB ... more my style, and I bought it from a fellow TGPer, who is also a good friend.

    I also have a '56 Deluxe, as well as a Mission Amps Deluxe I built so I'm quite familiar with the 5E3 circuit.

    I really didn't play the Trembleaux enough to give you a good impression. however, it's a somewhat different amp than the Buster.

    Instead, I'll offer some comparisons between the DB and a 5E3.


    the DB is:
    • 20 watts
    • fixed bias
    • uses a Greenback
    Imo, it's a great amp that addresses some of the common issues that players have with a 5E3 amp, that is, early breakup, low volume for gigging, and a somewhat soft bass when pushed. It's perfectly capable of gigging in a small club, with the advantage of lightweight and portability.

    OTOH, I also love the squishy feel, and beautiful, crunchy, long sustain of the 5E3.

    Now, if you feel that Deluxe type amps with a little more "oomph" are what you're looking for, then I'd also compare the Tungsten Crema Wheat with the Deluxe Buster, and see which you prefer.
     
  5. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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  6. ryhlick

    ryhlick Supporting Member

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    Not to derail the thread, but has anyone directly compared the Tungsten Cream of Wheat and the Louis Trembelux (6v6). I would love to hear from someone that has experience with both.
     
  7. TMock

    TMock Silver Supporting Member

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    I've not played the Buster or the Crema Wheat, but I've done a lot of listening to those two. I've also owned a beautiful Tremblelux (the red reverb unit in the YouTube video) since early this past summer, so I'll throw out a few observations.

    First, like most builders Lou Rosano seems to have a sort of sonic signature that's in most, if not all of his amps. They have a very woody, "organic" upper mid and treble. There's also a serious punch to the note attack--I've read one user calling it a "bang", which I think is a perfect description. That "bang" to the front end attack of his amps that is really fun, but can be a bit startling if you've only played small amps with a good bit of compression. It's VERY hard to hide behind Lou's amps.

    I've only heard the Buster in Lou's clips, but it has a lot of that woody upper mid tone that I hear in my Tremblelux. It's got a lot of the "bang", too, even though it's about 10 fewer watts. The main differences seem to be that the Buster has less headroom with a more aggressive driven tone. You won't get the driven sounds you hear in the Buster clip above with the Tremblelux unless you crank it way up--and that Buster's only at half volume! The Tremblelux can definitely grind, but it's a very composed grind that seems to want to sing the blues more than play hard rock.

    The Crema Wheat seems to have a little more relaxed attack with a bit more of that classic tweed sag than my Tremblelux does. A beautiful and classic tone, but definitely different than the Louis Electrics. My Tremblelux has 6L6s, which makes even more stout. 6V6s will move you a bit closer to low-powered tweed, but not much.

    To my ears, Lou's tweeds all want to be "big tweeds", even the little ones. The Crema Wheat seems more after the "small tweed" sound, just with better headroom and a slightly firmer bass.

    Something else to think about--Lou's amps HAVE to be turned up if you want to come anywhere close to using them to their full potential. If you're looking for an amp to play on 2, I would honestly recommend a smaller, squishier, cathode biased amp. Otherwise, you're buying a Ferrari just to coast it up and down the driveway.
     
  8. donden

    donden Member

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    Thanks, Curly, for your helpful insights about the differences between the Deluxe Buster and a traditional 5E3. So, if I'm understanding you, correctly ... while the changes made to the circuit give the Buster more clean headroom and tighter bass than a 5E3, they also remove some of the 5E3's characteristic "sweet, spongy, compressed" tone ... and you also lose a bit of sustain in switching from Cathode to Fixed bias. Do I have that right?
     
  9. donden

    donden Member

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    An Excellent idea to compare the Deluxe Buster and Crema Wheat! Thanks, both Curly and Bluesjuke. I have watched & listened to the Greg V. Crema Wheat video several times, and have compared it to the vids of Arthur Neilson playing through a DB (that RJLII pointed me to.) To my ears, both are excellent-sounding amps.

    I would imagine that, with fixed bias and 6L6s, the Buster would have a little more clean headroom than the cathode-biased 6V6 Crema Wheat ... but then again, some may find the Tungsten to be closer to the sound of a traditional 5E3 because of those factors. (Again ... the dreaded Trade-off. Aargh!)

    I have also compared those DB vids to a clip of Arthur playing through a red Tremblelux at an amp show (TMock's, perhaps?) The only problem I find with comparing video (or sound) clips is ... there are so many variables involved in different recordings, that I never know how accurate a picture I am getting. Which is why I also appreciate hearing from those of you who have had a chance to hear each of the amps, first hand, and can describe the Tonal (& other) differences between them. At least, when the information is coming from one source, there is a consistency about it.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  10. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    Am I correct the Buster is built with 6L6's and a slightly different OP Transformer to a normal deluxe?
     
  11. donden

    donden Member

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    Yes ... 6L6s ... larger transformers ... fixed bias ... plus a few tweaks to the circuit that increase the amount of clean headroom and tighten up the bottom end. As Curly and TMock mentioned, the Buster is not a remake of a traditional 5E3, but rather Lou Rosano's take on a more gig-friendly 5E3-style amp.

    More info here: http://www.louisamps.com/content/buster.asp
     
  12. donden

    donden Member

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    Hey Brad . . . Get Your OWN Thread!

    Just kidding, my friend. You are welcome to hijack a thread of mine, anytime. :)

    I am curious about the Crema Wheat, as well, so am happy to include it in these comparisons. I just don't want the Tremblelux to feel like it's being pushed aside for the "new chick in town," so I would still appreciate hearing from any Tremblelux owners out there ( ... if that's okay with you, Brad. ;) )
     
  13. amp boy

    amp boy Member

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    hey Donden,

    If you get one of Lou's amps let me know......i'm interested in them as well.
    Go on the Weber forum, or just search around and there has been for some time the beef mods for the 5E3. Every builder probably has their own tweak in there.......but it's a river from the same pond.....for the most part.

    It's all a matter of what variables are chosen....tubes...transformers...choke....paul C mod....parts.....SPEAKER...and so on. I think some guys wire it to be internally jump'd
    for a "hot" channel etc...

    man.....i was so into building a mission kit and then i got distracted.......ack.
    damn temptations..........someday i'll get it right !!
    : )

    oh,
    i'll give a prop on this 5E3 GETS RIPPED !!!! thread....
    http://doonsteramps.com/doonster amps_006.htm

    I didn't know John, but bought a 5E7 from him on here.
    It's just sweet. I'm going to play it later on today.....i made a fun pedal discovery with it last week, and i want to get into it more.
    I just emailed him to tell him about it.....i still email him once in awhile...tube recommendations and such.
    nice dude.

    I think i'm officially a Tweed Head.
    Anybody got a Pro i can play through ??
    : )
     
  14. TMock

    TMock Silver Supporting Member

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    The Tremblelux is going to give you the biggest and loosest bass of the three, since Lou tried to keep the Tremblelux pretty true to the old school tweed tone. The other two have been tweeked specifically to tighten that up a bit.

    You won't notice the looseness unless you like to dig into the low notes when the amp is pushed. But if that's how you play, you'll notice the difference pretty quickly.
     
  15. davebc

    davebc Member

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    I played both the Tremblelux and the Buster. (and fortunate enough to own a number of Lou's amps.)

    TMock observations are dead on accurate.

    I probably the guy who's been using the term "BANG" to describe the incredible percussive quality in Lou's amps. It was one of the first things I noticed.

    A simple bend of the G string is literally like instantly taking a right hook to the face. You never see it coming. You never expected it(other amps have never done it) and it completely spins your head around. All in a good way because Lou's amps are so warm and organic sounding.
    It's definitely "startling"!

    It's the grand piano bang! It adds a lot of serious punch to your playing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
    ipcmlr likes this.
  16. davebc

    davebc Member

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    A couple of months ago I bought a Louis Tremoverb which I post a quick review up shortly if anyone's interested in reading about it.
     
  17. ryhlick

    ryhlick Supporting Member

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    I would love to hear about it. Thanks
     
  18. donden

    donden Member

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    TMock,

    THANK YOU Very Much for your Excellent observations and descriptions of
    the Louis Electric signature sound, and the differences between these 3 amplifiers. It is a Big Help, and I appreciate it.

    The heavily over-driven sound in the Buster w/ Les Paul clip above is more over-drive than I would use, but that clip did lead me to 3 other clips of Arthur Neilson playing a Tele and a Strat into the Buster, which gave me a much better idea of the clean and "on-the-edge-of-break-up" tone of the amp.

    As for your Tremblelux ... do you find that it has enough clean headroom and oomph to cut through in a band situation? How do you think it would do in a 5-piece Blues/Soul/Roots/R&B band situation?

    Thank you, again for your helpful insights. You rock, T-Mock. :)

    Don
     
  19. donden

    donden Member

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    Thank You for your helpful input, Dave.

    Since you have experience with both the Tremblelux and Buster, which one would be your amp of choice for a gig in a 5-piece Blues/Soul/Roots/R&B band ( ... and why)?

    Thanks very much.

    Don
     
  20. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Easy, The Tremverb for that one! You owe it to yourself to check it out.

    Why? It's the best pure tone reverb amp I've ever heard in my life.

    For my taste it was just MORE of everything described above. Single 12 combo.

    I ended up buying the one Lou built for Doyle B. This was after they had a logistical problem hooking up.

    But, giving an either, or answer would be tough.
    The Tremblelux has more headroom sounds slightly more complex.
    I did have the pleasure of cranking the Duster on 12 with a Lester!

    There's a youtube video of Arthur playing a Tele through a Tremblux
    that sounds really amazing.

    In fact there is a big selection of youtube videos Arthur Neilson(from the above video) putting the Duster, Tremblelux, and the Tremverb through their paces
    using a wide array of different guitars. I think would be extremely helpful for you to check them out. Just do a search of youtube search on Louis electric.

    And, while your at it type in, Coco Montoya plays Louis Electric Tremverb.

    Words can only help so much.
     

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