Miniplex or Soultone Wilbur?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Custom, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    I'm looking for a small amp primarily for home use but which I might play samll gigs with. I have a Rockytop 18 with power scaling. Love the PS, and that's a requirement for what I'll be buying now. What I don't love about the 18 watter is the loose bottom end. I'm considering the miniplex and the Soultone Wilbur. Are either of these going to be tighter than what I currently have. What I would really like is the tone of my '73 50 watter through the high input of the low sensitivity channel with the volme at 1:00 at house friendly levels. I'll be playing through a Mojo 212 Marshall slant cab with G12H30s or greenbacks (or a combination). Can I get there with either of these?
     
  2. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Anyone, anyone at all?
     
  3. hathisisfunnyha

    hathisisfunnyha Member

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego
    I owned a version 1 miniplex and it definitely nailed the different years of Marshall on the Decade switch (60's, 70's, and 80's). I think the newer version of it has more available gain and power scaling. I was definitely pleased with Ben's voicing
     
  4. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

    Messages:
    8,747
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Wow. Easy there ... it hadn't even been an hour ...

    I have the Mini Plex Mk2 and love it. No experience with the Wilbur, but those Soultone amps really look like incredible amps.

    They do seem like different amps: the Wilbur is EL84 and seems to be in the 18 watt realm. The MP is EL34 (or any other tube) and is made to capture tones from JTM45 up to JCM800 with the decade switch.

    Seems like the first decision is what type of Marshall tone you're looking to capture. From there, it seems you can't go wrong with either.
     
  5. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Sorry, there are so many posts on this forum that it seems like things could be quickly lost at the bottom. You are probably right, Ban, reagrding deciding which tone I want. What I'm really after is the tight breakup I get on my 50 watter, at volumes I can tolerate, but with the ability to play small gigs if I choose. I've thought about about a 36 watter, too, like the Reinhardt Titan, but it's probably more of the 18 watt tone. True? How loud is the Miniplex through a 212?
     
  6. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Member

    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    I love the new version of the Miniplex but you might also consider a Suhr Badger as I think the low end is tighter and more focused on the Badger. the Miniplex does offer a wider range of Marshally voicings and I love it but if you are specifically concerned about the tightness of the low end, the Badger might be a good choice for you...definitely a wider range of sounds in the Miniplex with the decades switch and the VOS switch and the tube swapping possibilities, but the Badger has a really great voice of its own that adds some appealing Voxy chime to the equation and has what I think are better and fuller cleans than the Miniplex II...just got the Miniplex II, though, and so my observations are only based on a little bit of time with the Miniplex II. More clean headroom on the Badger as well if that matters to you...they are both really great amps and I am going to keep both as I find them sufficiently different to justify both...of course it doesn't take much for me to justify keeping or buying an amp, and so I am probably not the most trustworthy in that regard either!
     
  7. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

    Messages:
    8,747
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Not sure about the Reinhardt---I've never played one.

    I do know that Ben does a 35-40 watt version of the Mini Plex (called the Mighty Plex) that forum member Voojo should be getting in this week. That seems like an option. It's also power scaled.

    I use my MP with one of Ben's 2x12s and I can get wonderful sounds at very, very low volumes. I mean very low TV levels. It can also get very loud. Way to loud for home use for me. I can't speak to whether it will hang with a drummer, but others here probably can.

    As for some of farlowhigh's comments, I'm not so lucky as to be able to A/B the MP with a Badger here in my home, but I have played the Badger, and I think it's a really great amp, too.

    I will say that I feel my MPII has a very tight low end---LP neck pickup posed no problems there---and I really love the cleans in 60s mode. Again, I can't A/B the two, but I'm happy with the MPII in those areas. Remember, this is at low volumes though---not sure what would change if it were run flat out.

    I should say, however, that I have one with Ben's tube effects loop, and I keep that on pretty much all the time. And it DEFINITELY changes the tone (fatter, darker, a little less gain) so my observations could be somewhat different than others.

    BAN
     
  8. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Hmmm, I really hadn't considered the Badger, thinking it was more of the 18 watt same. I assume it runs EL84s? Which one gets closest to a 73 metal panel?
     
  9. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Member

    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    BAN could well be right that the Miniplex II low end is tighter than I am giving it credit for. I just got the Miniplex and I haven't had much time with it yet and with all the options available, I may just not be dialing it in right yet...I also don't have a Les Paul and so have only tried it with a ES-335 and a strat...

    The Badger is definitely Marshally but as for whether it hits that specific type of Marshall, I am not enough of a Marshall expert to comment (really not an expert at all on Marshalls, I should say). They both sound great at very low levels...the Miniplex might edge out the Badger in getting a great distorted tone at the lowest conversational level... The Badger might get a bit thinner a bit sooner but the power scaling works incredibly well in both amps and so they can both do the very low volume thing quite well...not a big difference there at all since the power scaling is completely effective on both amps.

    If you can try both the Miniplex II and the Badger, definitely do it as there is some overlap but the Miniplex definitely wins in terms of hitting literally more generations of Marshally sounds...the Badger has really a single voicing but it is a great one and the tone controls are really effective and so the Badger is far from a one-trick pony. nice effects loop on the Badger as well which you don't get on the Miniplex II (although Fargen offers customized amps and maybe you could get it as an add-on..don't know if there is room in there...)

    Check out Pete Thorn's excellent youtube demo of the Badger (also check out the soundclips of the Badger on suhrguitars.com as they are really good and representative from a really nice clean clip to a really saturated 80's sounding thing from Steve Stevens...those clips and Pete Thorn's demo show the versatility of the Badger).

    Then check out the youtube demo for the Miniplex and the clips on the Fargen site....maybe you have already done this but I think they are very good in the sense that Fargen gives an excellent demo of the Miniplex II and Thorn gives an excellent demo of the Badger...not as good as hearing them yourself but quite useful for prospective buyers, I would say.

    hope that helps!

    BAN, you are the lucky one in that you have the purple monster! I like the orange on mine but the purple looks cooler and more unusual...
     
  10. tantramar

    tantramar Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    I have a soultone wilbur running through*a 2x12 slant cab loaded with the g12m vintage celestions. It can be switched from the 18 to 20 watt circuit and with either the tube or solid state state rectifier. You can bridge the inputs for added versatility. It also has a sag control that allows you to adjust from bloom to compression. I prefer more bloom but I expect the compression would tighten the bottom up more. I am playing a G&L asat (tele) so I think it provides a tighter bottom end signal in any case. Definitely no fartiness if that's what you mean. With the Miniplex, the Wilbur and the Badger you are choosing among three great amps each with something different to offer but all in the marshall camp. I considered these three as well and went for the soultone. But that was my choice, maybe not yours. I don't know how close the wilbur is to the Rockytop for the 18 watt tone. I do find that I have the wilbur switched on the 20 watt side more often; I like the added headroom and with the solid state rectifier you get a little tighter bottom end. My advice would be to contact each of these builders and get their opinion on their own products because they probably wouldn't want to build or sell you an amp you would not be happy with. A final thought--a less expensive strategy might be to experiment with a few different speakers in the cab you have now to try and tighten up the low end--though its hard to improve on g12h or g12m for that marshall tone.
     
  11. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

    Messages:
    8,747
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Nice post, tantramar! I'd love to try one of those Soultone amps one day.
     
  12. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks for all of the input. Unfortunately, I'm unable to personally try any of these amps locally. With respect to speaker choices, I already have a g12h30 in the Rockytop and it sounds good, just flubby on the bottom. All I play are Pauls, though. A lot to think about here.
     
  13. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Anyone have a suggestion on speaker choices for the Rockytop that might tighten up the bottom end?
     
  14. E-Rock74

    E-Rock74 Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    WI
    Have you considered the Soultone 45? If you get one with EL34's, the Plexi switch option, the SS rectifier switch option, and the NFB option, you will get some serious 50-watt Plexi tone with Power Scaling!
     
  15. tantramar

    tantramar Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Say Custom, I just thought of something I should have mentioned earlier. Apart from a new amp or changing out speakers another really good option would be to buy a good eq pedal. I have an Antelope Effects MDEQ which is a parametric eq (by far the best for guitars IMO), with it you can really fine tune the low frequencies--or any frequencies--keep the frequencies you want and dial out the ones that are giving your amp its looseness. The MDEQ isn't made anymore but they do come up in the emporium now and again. It is a really, really good EQ/buffer if you can find one. BJF makes the Sea Blue EQ, also fairly hard to find but still being made as far as I know. Another candidate is the Barber B-Q. I don't know if it is as transparent as the other two I mentioned but it is readily available. Barber recommends these for amps with a single tone control like the 18watt design among others.
     
  16. Custom

    Custom Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thw EQ is a good idea. Thanks, I'll look into it.
     

Share This Page