NAD: Milkman Sound 20W Creamer

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Vertigho, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll post details of my initial thoughts/impressions of the Creamer after I've had a week or so with it.

    But, I had to get this post in tonight because in 45 minutes it will no longer be NAD.

    I've had a couple of recent "swings and misses" in my search for a portable 1X12 combo that was *the one* and, after an hour +/- with the Creamer, I can say I think I'm really going to love it - it is very special and it seems to be just what I've been looking for.

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    westmike, broken_sound and Smashies like this.
  2. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    Brownface Vibrolux circuit? Looks very cool!
     
  3. shovelhead82

    shovelhead82 Member

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    Congratulations. That is a very nice looking amp. The Brownface cosmetics are sweet. I would love to hear some clips.
     
  4. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    Defintiely has a similar look to a Brownface Vibrolux (here is a '61)

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    But, my understanding of the Milkman circuit is that it isn't a direct clone of any particular Fender circuit but a hybrid of a Princeton and a Tweed (more on this below). The "brown" aesthetics of this Milkman is more of an aesthetic thing (this is how Cliff @ Destroy All Guitars specs them, and I acquired mine from DAG), and I certainly like it.

    From what little I've read of the Brownface Vibrolux, it has 2-channels and tremolo only (no reverb) and generates about 30W running 2 6L6's; whereas the Creamer has a single channel with both reverb and tremolo and it is cathode biased, thus, can run either 2 6V6's (at 20W) or 2 6L6's (I don't know its power output when running 6L6's).

    As for the specifics of the Creamer circuit, it is described (on the Milkman Sound website ) as follows:

    And, another piece of info from the FAQ page on the Milkman Sound website:

     
  5. Dicky

    Dicky Member

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    She's a beauty!

    I just received the same amp from Destroy All Guitars on Tuesday ... tonight's the night I get to get it going at practice .... the wife's birthday may have come between me and my new toy.
     
  6. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    Very nice - congrats on the new Creamer! Cliff shipped mine on Tuesday and it arrived yesterday (NC -> VA, a very short trip). Please share your thoughts with me/us after you've had a chance to spend some time with it.
     
  7. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    There are clips/videos of the Creamer on the Milkman Sound website. I must admit, however, none really "spoke" to me. It would take some work for me to get some sound clips recorded (I've never done so), but I'll see if I can make it happen.
     
  8. briankp7

    briankp7 Supporting Member

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    The Milkman Sound Amplifiers are my favorite. I got our first order in at my shop and I've never been more impressed with an amplifier! I'm ordering a Creamer for myself! Tim does a great job with all of his amps, The creamer tends to be my favorite but the half pint is a great 5 watt amp. It's for sure the absolute loudest 5 watt amp I've ever heard!
     
  9. Dicky

    Dicky Member

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    Had a chance to run the Milkman in two separate band practices. (top 40 cover act and original country group) The amp is chimey, lush and beautiful. It sounds a lot bigger than its size and weight would suggest. The reverb is powerful for lack of a better word and I find I run it fairly low and still get some smooth warm verb. It can give up the good in a good way and for the most part takes pedals well. While I'm not big on much other than ods and the occasional delay I'm finding that my preference with this amp is to simply boost versus colour the tone. I really like the natural sound of the amp and find that some pedals take away from the amps natural beauty. I'll be playing it Wednesday at a gig and hopefully get the same vibe in a live setting. I am in the process of tweaking my board slightly and potentially will lose an od or two in the process.

    So far I have no complaints with this amp. The sounds are beautiful and while it's very much in the blackface/tweed family it's not shrill or over trebly at all. I searched for the longest time for a new amp that was both great sounding, played to a guitars characteristics and would make sense for gigging. I was leaning towards a MV amp but there's no need with this amp.
     
  10. PopsDiesel

    PopsDiesel Supporting Member

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    I'm curious about these amps too, especially whether or not they have enough clean headroom to gig with. Coming from playing mainly a Vibrolux for years, anytime I drop below a 35W amp, the low end gets mushy and loses its snap when playing out live. How does the Creamer hold up? I always wanted to be able to gig with a Deluxe but it was never quite enough amp on stage, Thanks, VERY cool amp
     
  11. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    I cannot address the Vibrolux vs. Creamer issue directly. However, as an indirect response, you may wish to consider one of Tim's other models (e.g. , the 40W Mini Pedal Steel, or the 50W Sideman [2-channel circuit with one channel designed for guitar and the other for pedal steel]).

    Also, my understanding is that - if you are looking at a Milkman Sound amplifier - you are not limited to Tim's "standard" specifications/models. You can discuss particular needs with Tim and he can customize things as needed.
     
  12. sfarnell

    sfarnell Gold Supporting Member

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    OP, how does the Milkman compare to the Swart that you have? Similar tone? Similar specs?

    I'm thinking about getting the Milkman or the Swart AST Pro, or just a Princeton Reverb hand wired by George Alessandro. Can't decide.
     
  13. M138

    M138 100% Fenriz Approved

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    Never heard of them before. Love the name though :)

    Congrats!
     
  14. Vertigho

    Vertigho Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, at some level, the specs are similar: 2 6V6 power tubes, 18-20 Watts, cathode biased, single channel, reverb and tremolo.

    But, I'm certainly finding that - with regard to tonality and voicing - my Swart (which is an AST MKII head + 1X12 cabinet, btw) and my new Milkman are significantly different. I've had the AST for 6 years and it's just a great, great amp: very touch sensitive, round, warm, full, glorious tremolo and reverb. It has a mid-range forward, wooly voice - though I should mention that I have my AST fitted with a 5Y3 rectifier so it does break up pretty early and likely contributes to its overall wooly character.

    The Milkman seems to have a more neutral, clean voice. But, not at all in a thin or sterile way. It too is full and warm but with an overall different voicing than the AST. When you play it, it really *sings* (for lack of a better way to describe it, but that's how it sounds/feels to me when played - like it is truly singing; or, perhaps could be described as piano-like in its voice). I haven't pushed the Creamer to the point of significant breakup (yet) since it has neither MV (which the AST head does have) nor attenuator nor power scaling (and it gets pretty darned loud). Rather, I've been using pedals - specifically, Spaceman Saturn V and Bearfoot Uber Bee and have loved how those have matched with the Milkman.

    The Creamer definitely seems to lean to the Princetonian side of its heritage in its overall voicing (at least when run clean). Cliff @ DAG describes it as somewhat darker, warmer, woodier than a true Princeton circuit.

    Lastly, they seem have different character with regard to reverb and tremolo, but I've yet not experimented much with the Creamer in this regard so I don't want to draw any conclusions at present.

    If you're looking for something in the Princeton camp, I'd think the Milkman would be a better fit (or the modded PR, but I cannot speak to that directly). But, the AST is a great (though different) choice.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  15. PopsDiesel

    PopsDiesel Supporting Member

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    Nice review, very helpful. I've gone down the rabbit hole so many times with expensive boutique amps that on paper I thought would be "the amp" but have missed far more times than fiscally imaginable. I won't buy another amp without playing it first or buying from a dealer with a return policy. That said, I'm really curious about this amp especially with the 6L6 option for more headroom. Thanks again, great detailed reviews like this help to reduce the dreaded"mistake"
     
  16. sfarnell

    sfarnell Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, that helps. I gather the Creamer is more BF with a little grit and more headroom and the Swart AST is more in the Fender Deluxe camp with not much headroom. It's a tough decision. I'm in the Bay Area so maybe I can arrange to audition a Creamer.
     
  17. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    The way it is described the Creamer sounds a little bit like the Tungsten Crema Wheat - of course plus trem and verb, more options.
    Both with 20 watts, more headroom than a Delxe but based on that, cathode, 6V6 or 6L6, no MV, singing voice, big for its size, blackface/tweed mix.
    Similar name too!
     
  18. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Same experience here. What sounds outstanding at home or at practice doesn't always translate as well in a bigger room next to the rest of the band if there's not some extra power to spare.

    I've found alot of this ability actually has to do with the frequency response of the amp too. I've played a blues junior to good effect next to a higher powered 30+ watt combo the other guitarist had and was still able to cut through the mix like a knife, while a JTM45 even cranked was basically lost on the sound of the whole band. The JTM sounded excellent at home and in a trio, but not in that particular application with another guitarist.
     
  19. Ed56m

    Ed56m Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the review. Just heard from Tim that my amp build is coming up next week. I'm having mine made with 6l6 looking for more clean headroom. Should have it in a few weeks can't wait.
     
  20. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I was really interested in the Milkman Amps for our current duo project outside of the band. I am a nut for cathode biased amps with reverb and tremelo, so these caught my attention.

    In the end, the poor Milkman clips and rarity of the amp pushed me elsewhere. I went Swart and have been very happy with the 5W tuxedo amp I have with verb abd trem. Plus, you can swap output and rectifier tubes as well. I like the 6l6 output and 5y3 rectifier.
     

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