Not happy with my amp - help


I have a Classic 30 with JJ tubes - everything else stock. I loved it when I first got it, but as my appreciation of tone (thank you) has improved and pedal collection expanded, it is not doing it for me anymore.

It gets too harsh or honky or "ice-picky" for me when I start to drive it or hit my bad bob for a boost (makes me jump for my tone knobs). I find the first channel is great with a low gain OD or compressor, but weak if left alone (not a fan of the "boost"); the second channel is the opposite, nice on its own, but squeals too quickly when I push it. I can't seem to stack anything.

I play a very nice strat through a 69 - Clyde - Bi-comp - phase - small fry - AM TS9 silver - analog delay - bad bob. I run my eq with a little more in the mids. I play blues and rock in a cover band on the weekends.

Have I outgrown my amp or am I doing something wrong?

I have been looking at other amps, but I am not in the $1000 plus market and don't want something too big or loud (I play small venues).



What speaker do you have in there. I have seen many Classic 30's become boutique killers with new speakers and good tubes (Which you have covered already)

A friend had one with a JBL in it that sounded awesome.


The stock speaker - I think Blue Marvel or something like that (not at home).

Speaker suggestions?


Mine's a blue marvel.

I was just wondering, after doing this myself last night and being amazed again at how nice the amp itself sounds......couple of things,

Try just plugging guitar into the amp....what about then?

I've noticed last night there are SEVERAL settings for it that at first sound similar but in the end are not. It can be hard to try to adjust an amp "as if you never saw it before" but if you can get into the mindset...

Specifically the BASS control is weird...if I really crank it, the other controls have less significance, but after the noon setting, the bass doesn't seem to get worse or flabby, but treble and mid change.
I also tried and found great settings down with all controls under noon.

it may have been due to a battery going out in my H2O in the effects loop, but I definitely heard tone suckage stop when I unplugged the effects loop.

I have a 2 x 10" cab that I also like using along with the combo speaker.
It gives it a rounder, and deeper sound.

Somtimes it is good to go back to guitar->amp, to get the best basic sound (and remind you what the amp sounds like) for a while, tweak as if you don't have "the usual settings" and really listen to it with the idea of hearing what it can do (maybe tube wear also changes how the same settings have sounded)...then add the pedals again and see?


I think you need to set up levels of gain. If you like ch.1 with a bit of comp or OD, start with that as a core tone with the pedal on. You then have several other ways of boosting that. Or if you prefer the hot channel alone, back off of the gain some and leave "room" for the boost. Too many boosts might be an issue too if you've got them running high. With my JCM 800 I have kindof the same issue. If I use the dirt channel, one boost on that is quite enough. If I use the clean, one pedal for dirt, (OCD), one pedal for boost, (SD-1) and thats it. Whats nice is with the clean channel you have a clean with no pedals, a dirt with one and a lead boost with two on. Anyhow, I think simplifying your OD/boost situation and deciding to stay with either the dirt or clean channel of the amp is whats best.

The Keester

I had the Peavey and brought it back for the same reasons you outgrown it.

In the lower price range you should consider the VOXAC15CC or AC30CC with a speaker and tube upgrade.


I have a classic 50, and feel same way about mine.. I loved it at first but now it just does not sound that great anymore. I to feel it is very harsh and brittle when you turn the gain up.. After doing some research here most people recomend to throw some greenbacks or Vintage 30s in there to really wake it up.. I leam leaning toward some Emminence GB 12s


If you want to keep the amp, I'd recommend putting a G12H-30 in it, that worked wonders for mine compared to the Blue Marvel which blows IMHO (actually it really blows, as in blew the first time I gigged it).

BUT...I spent a good deal of time and money on my C30 and it still didn't give me what I needed and I couldn't get rid of a certain nasal harshness. Not a bad amp at all especially for the price but not great, cab rattles, fuses all internal, tiny transformers, poorly voiced mid/gain boost...

If you have $800-1000 to spend I cannot recommend highly enough to check out a used TopHat Club Deluxe or Club Royale 1x12. So much better on every level for me personally than the C30, great great amps....


Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
During the nineties I had a Fender Blues Deluxe that I popped a V30 into and it wailed. Got compliments from a bud that played a vintage Plexi through a 2x12.

They have been reissued ($650) but the original model can be had at a better price.

They take pedals really well and won't exhibit the problems you described.

Here's an example on eBay (not my auction) :


dave s


You can definitely try some amp EQ'ing before giving up and moving onto something that might cost you lots of cash. Isn't that the amp that everything goes to TWELVE?!!! :D

Try a WAY darker EQ setting on your clean channel. Use pedals to get everything else. By nature, (EL84) the Classic 30 is a pretty 'bright' sounding amp. Also, run the reverb (sproing!) pretty low.

Try setting the tone controls to 2 treble; 4 midrange; 4-8 on the bass control. Start at 4 on the bass control and increase until the tone really fills out but stop before it 'flubs out.'

Can't remember if that amp has a master volume, (my brother has one) but if it does, experiment with the master near full-on and the channel volume really low. Reverse the volumes and see what you get.

The bottom line when using pedals into a clean amp is to get the thickest, fullest, 'near flat' tone you can find and use the pedals to get your gain tones. The pedals nearly ALWAYS bump mids and add a bunch of high-end.

Try to stay away from trying to boost the amp's gain channel with OD or Dist pedals. That channel is already a 'can-of-bees' distortion anyway. maybe a clean boost, but not much more.

Good luck and let us know how things work out.


The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
You may have outgrown your C30.

I still enjoy mine. I have a Weber Blue Pup in there with the 112E extension cab. I still like the tone of that amp and I've got quite a stable of good amps.


Silver Supporting Member
Every time i take a break from my c30 and come back to it, i fall in love all over again..I got a v30 and jj's, but even without those its an awesome little amp...I also highly recommend a 1x12 ext. cab...makes it sound HUGE!


Senior Member
I had a Cl30 head, tried different cabs, still it was just flat and harsh to me. Didn't seem to accept pedals, I had to move on.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom