MusicMan Amps - how do they take pedals?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by maccampbells, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. maccampbells

    maccampbells Member

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    Looking at moving into one of these as my primary amp. I understand they are hybrid with the tubes in the power stage and SS in the preamp which kind of seems backward, hindsight being 20/20.

    I played a 2x10 one hundred watt version today, but the store didn't have a nice distortion pedal to put in front of it. The cleans were really nice, and I didn't mind the built in distortion for rhythm playing, but I need a real searing lead tone. Also I couldn't get the "chugga-chugga" on the bass strings without it losing low end definition. I don't know if that was a result of the 10" speakers or the built in distortion.

    Anyone with experience with these that can chime in please?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jellyfishstu

    jellyfishstu Member

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    I have a musicman head and 210 cab. They are great amps and take pedals very well. I don't even use the distortion channel on mine. I just use my zendrive and it sounds awesome.
     
  3. drgonzoguitar

    drgonzoguitar Member

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    I used a BK Butler Tube Driver for many years in front of my Music Man. I would have the amp dialed for a small bit of SS dirt, and then punch it with the Tube Driver. I used an Ibanez Delay Champ and an occasional chorus or phase 90. The amp is real pedal friendly!
     
  4. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Actually, many people believe that Leo got the hybrid right on the Music Man amps. I am one of them.
     
  5. maccampbells

    maccampbells Member

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    Ok thanks guys. The owner of the local shop said I could leave my current Marshall there and take home the MusicMan for a night to try it out with the band. Very Cool. Going to pick up a distortion/overdrive pedal to throw in front of it. I don't have many pedals now.
     
  6. remedy

    remedy Member

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    For roughly the past 15 years I've been using a Musicman 2X12 HD 150 combo as my main rig. I've used a variety of pedals with it & have had good sucess. My best tones came from using a gain boost to push it over the edge for solos (I use a Carl Martin Hot Drive & Boost and only use the "boost" side). This is by no means "searing" but is great for a wide variety of music. I'm running Celestion speakers in it which helped with the clarity quite a bit (before it got "mushy" at higher volumes).
    As for theses amps doing the "chuga-chuga" thing, if you run it through a 4X12 you MIGHT get close, as a combo though no way....
     
  7. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    So is Chris Cain. :D

    Of course Chris plugs straight in.
     
  8. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    I have a 112RD65 [for sale right here on the emporium, btw :)], and it takes pedals really well, which is a good thing since the amp's own gain distortion kinda sucks. Killer amps - very loud, big cleans, tons of bottom end. Try an OCD with it - you'll like very much!
     
  9. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I gigged with a 130w head into 2x10s and then a 65w 2x12 combo for several years. Big loud cleans, take dirt pedals reasonably well although they are pretty stiff amps and don't have the sag of even something like a Fender Twin Reverb. Overdriving the SS preamp sounded gritchy to me, not something I could use but with a TS9, SD1, TIM, I got some decent tones and if you can crank them loud enough to get the power tubes saturating (loud) they smooth out some. I never had a problem with mine but I've read that certain parts for the preamps are getting harder to find.

    Curious which Marshall you're trading, and why? MusicMan is essentially Fender tone on a budget IMHO and quite a bit different from any Marshall, good choice for country or blues but I wouldn't recommend it for 'chugga chugga' :)
     
  10. maccampbells

    maccampbells Member

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    I've got a Marshall Valvestate 275. I've only had it for a few months but feel like I have already reached the end of the road with it. It has the searing thing down, but the less overdriven tomes where I want to dig in and drive it harder are just not there for me.

    BTW, the dealer is asking $499 for a 210 RD one hundred. I can't find a lot of info on these. The price seems in the ballpark if a little high? The grill cloth is torn. Any frame of reference here?
     
  11. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Leo Fender did the Musicman guitars not the amplifiers.
     
  12. drgonzoguitar

    drgonzoguitar Member

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    Leo was instrumental to the design of the amps. His name does not show up much due to the legal "non-compete" clause with Fender, but he was part of the design team on these amps. Ernie Ball bought Music Man in 1984. Leo and George Fullerton started G&L Guitars in 1980. Music Man actually made amps before getting into guitars.

    Music Man discussion forum:

    http://www.pacair.com/discus/messages/37/412.html?1076352327
     
  13. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I'm not familiar with that model Marshall but the MusicMan, especially a 100 watter, will be CLEAN with a capital C. It is a good clean platform much like a Twin Reverb, but with some added stiffness from the SS preamp. Night and day from a modern Marshall with tons of gain from cascaded preamp or even diode gain stages. I gigged with both a 130w and 65w Music Man. The 130 had great cleans but was fairly sterile sounding even with an OD pedal until you got it loud enough to push the EL34 power tubes, which was loud (got the cops called on me several times with that amp! :D ) The 65 was similar tone but more manageable and I did alot of rock and blues bar gigs with mine. I used all kinds of dirt pedals with it, from Boss to Fulltone and Menatone. The 130 I had had a huge cab for the 2x10s with a horizontal slot port at the bottom, the 65 was a 2x12 combo much like a Pro or Twin Reverb. I eventually got a nice '71 Super Reverb which was a huge step up IMHO in terms of tone and especially feel. Johnny Winter and Eric Clapton both played big shows with MusicMan amps in the 70s but they were able to play them wide open and the tone was not bad. They were unique at the time b/c of the Fender-voiced preamp and the EL34 output section.

    Thing is, when I got mine I knew what I wanted, a Fender, but couldn't afford it. I'm not sure the MusicMan is really what you're after. It is not a great amp for getting natural overdrive that is touch sensitive to pick attack like lower wattage all-tube amps, and doesn't have alot of gain built into the design like the Marshall. 2x10s are not going to give you the big low end and good high gain sounds you seem to want. The closest thing to compare to that MusicMan is a Twin Reverb with 2x10s instead of 2x12s. By the time you spend money chasing the right pedals to give you what you're looking for from it, you could have bought a more appropriate amp. Going from what you've said it sounds like you want a 50w or 100w all-tube Marshall head, like a JCM800 or clone, and a 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet, or something similar.

    Sorry if I seem like I'm dogging MM amps, I'm not, I think they're good for what they are but not for every application....Anyway, $499 is probably about right, maybe a bit high, I think I paid $350 for my 65w combo ten years ago.
     
  14. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    For a 210RD100, $499 seems right on for me, even a touch low if it's in minty condition. If it's not minty, then it's about right. You say the grille cloth is torn, so $450 - $499 sounds about right. They're great amps for the right application. Great for country with a Tele, great for Blues -- even jazz, since you can get killer loud cleans. I agree with the other guys about it having specific applications, agree that the SS distortion sucks. I don't agree that it's a Fender on a budget, and in fact, many MM fans think it's Leo's improvement on what he felt they hadn't been doing right with Fenders. (BTW -- Leo most certainly *was* involved in the production of MM amps). But it does sound from what you are describing that it may not be the right amp for you.
     
  15. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Interesting. Compared to his earlier amps you think, or to where CBS was taking Fender in the 70s?
     
  16. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    I'm guessing to where CBS was taking them. I don't know that I'd actually say that they're better myself - just pointing out that there are those who think so. Personally, I think they're a different beast, and whether they're better or worse depends on what you're looking for in an amp. But ain't that the truth about pretty much all of it? :)
     
  17. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    When you have a tube on the input of an amp, you can boost the input with a pedal and overdrive the first stage. That's essentially the genesis of Mesa Boogie. When you do that to an op amp circuit which wasn't designed for overload, the signal hits the rails and sounds not so good. Tom Walker designed the 65/130 line and according to an old pal of mine, played a telecaster. You hit the Hi input of those amps with a Les Paul, and it will distort. Short of dropping the gain of the first stage (which I recommend), use the Lo input.
     
  18. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Yup :)
     
  19. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Interesting, thanks. Actually I don't remember which input I used, but I got some decent tones with a Strat hitting the front end with a TS9 or Boss SD1 (this was years ago, before I started hanging out on pedal forums LOL). I was referring instead to the "overdrive" obtained by cranking the preamp volume all the way up, it was *really* bad, almost JCM120 bad. I realized at that point, that was not what those amps were designed for...nice cleans though, would make a great country amp I'm thinking. Not quite enough sag for me for blues or rock even with dirt pedals, but what do I know, Johnny Winter and EC both used 'em!
     
  20. doctord02

    doctord02 Member

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    They were prominently used by Aerosmith and Heart back in the day was well.
    I had a HD130 212 loaded with EV SRO's. Talk about a twin killer (and back breaker!).

    Only so-so distortion with the master volume, but a killer pedal platform. Come to think of it, I think Fripp of King Crimson was a Music Man user as well...
     

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