Okay, so explain the allure of D*mble...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bscepter, Sep 9, 2005.


  1. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    I guess I just don't get it. I mean I'm sure they sound great; many amps do. But what is it about these ugly beasts (and they are ugly) that justifies their astronomical price tags?

    Is it just a question of rarity?

    But, seriously, if you were going to spend $15k on amplification, wouldn't you rather buy a vintage Plexi, Fender Tweed and a JMI AC30 instead?

    I'm confused. Convert me!
     
  2. John Bell

    John Bell Member

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    Perhaps its the fact that he won't make one for just anyone.I tried to buy one in 1993.I had more than enough cash in hand and the answer was "no and don't ask again."

    I guess I didn't know the secret code word or something.....;)
     
  3. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    Gee whiz. Talk about eccentric! Is it true you have to send him a recording of your playing before he'll even consider building an amp for you?
     
  4. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I met him once at Capitol studios on Vine, years ago. Seemed a decent enough chap, I guess he has his niche and is happy with it - I didn't ask to order an amp though. I had decided that cascaded pre-amps were not really my thing but later bought a Boogie - I am nothing if not inconsistent......

    Best, Pete.
     
  5. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Resale of these amps is much higher than the original price. They are coveted 'cause there aren't that many around and there are several famous Dumble users w/ who are known for their fine tone. Alexander does not presently build many new amps as he is busy w/ his existing client roster, works on his own, has some health issues, etc. Drag, but that's how it is...
     
  6. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    arent we all... arent we all... ;)
     
  7. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    Impossible. Your mind is already made up.
     
  8. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    Not at all. I said I don't understand the appeal. I didn't say I didn't like them. I'm just curious as to why -- other than their rarity -- they command such high prices when there are so many great vintage and boutique amps out there.
     
  9. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    I had one and it was great. I liked having the money better though.
    Most of the guys that sound great through Dumbles sound great through other amps as well.
    He does make a great amp and was the front runner in the pre gain thing.
    I didn't pay 15G's for mine, nor did I sell it for that much either..
     
  10. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    I thought you said your mind was not made up.
     
  11. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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  12. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    The road to yet another locked thread looms before us.

    :D

    Seriously, this topic has been hashed, rehashed, and served up as hash-and-eggs so many times already...and the worst and most un-illuminating of the discussions always have a question exactly like this somewhere in it.

    If you really, really, really have never, ever, ever had or read this discussion before, I politely and respectfully suggest you simply hit the archives of either TGP or Google.
     
  13. glasman

    glasman Guest


    From what I have been told by a friend who Dumble modified a Fender Bassman, that this would be correct. Alexander interviewed him for a couple of hours on the phone going over who he had worked with, where he had studied, types of music played and playing credits.

    But in the end, he did make the cut. And his bassman mod sounds really cool.

    Gary
     
  14. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

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    This has happened with the Trainwreck Express amps as well. Many/most examples of the Trainwreck Express and the Dumble Overdrive Special amps are capable of producing exceptional tones at the hands of a capable player. Both amps offer tone and responsiveness that is different from other popular guitar amp topologies. Recordings from popular artists and legend both have affected the desireability of these amps. Due to the limited number of each in existence they are nearly unobtainable. There are people willing to spend $20K-$30K for one of these amps so when one becomes available (especially via auction) the price is driven higher and higher as time goes by. That pretty well covers why Dumble (and Trainwreck) amps command the high prices that they do.

    If one is interested in a Trainwreck Express or a Dumble Overdrive Super (or a late 60's Marshall Plexi SL 100, or a '59 Fender tweed Bassman, or a Vox AC30, etc.) there are botique amps inspired by these amps being built today for very reasonable money. It's a good time to be a guitarist! :)
     
  15. duffyguitarman

    duffyguitarman Member

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    Somehow you did it wrong, sooo, "No amp for you!!":D :D :D
     
  16. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    I did. It isn't.

    I'll look at the archives. I didn't realize this was such a contentious issue. I only heard about Dumble a few months ago. I've been playing old Marshalls, Fenders and Voxes most of my life. The whole boutique thing is new to me.

    I understand the time and effort that goes into making a hand-made amp. I realize that most builders never "get rich." I understand, also, that the market wil bear what the market will bear. If people are scrambling to pony up the cost of a new Honda Civic for an amp -- let them, by all means. I was just curious as to what the consensus was regarding the reason for this.

    Perhaps, before this thread is locked, somebody can suggest a couple of songs that feature this holy grail of tones. Is David Lindley playing one in his amazing solo on Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty," for instance?

    Sorry to have offended... :confused:

    On edit: I've since gone back and reviewed other threads on this issue. Clearly, I had no idea as to the passion this subject foments.

    Mods, please lock, as you wish. Out.
     
  17. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    Speaking strictly for myself, you didn't offend anybody.

    Threads on this subject go downhill freaking fast, is all.
     
  18. raz

    raz Member

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    It's not that the issue itself is contentious. It's that it's freakin' old and it's been beat to death just about everywhere. So people get grumpy about it.

    They're great amps. They're the dog's bollocks. They're overhyped. Lots of great players have used them. Most of the legendary players didn't or don't. They have a distinctive voice. Dumble's a madman. Dumble's a genius. Dumble's a bozo. The amps cost mucho dinero. They're made out of unobtainium. They're worth it. They aren't. Whatever. This is how it goes.

    The thing is, Dumble's only built somewhere between two and three hundred amps ever. And for every guitar hero that's used them, there must be three who didn't.

    And in my humblest of humble opinions, anyone who thinks a Dumble is the be-all, end-all has taken leave of their senses.

    R
    A
    Z
     
  19. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    When you play a Dumble that fits with your playing style, touch, etc. it just works. It feels right, responds right, and sounds glorious. That said I have played some great ones (Orange suede overdrive reverb combo) and some that didn't quite fit (EL34 ODS 50) though given how old most of them are, you never know if they've gotten the right care etc. so in addition to being voiced perhaps not to your liking, they may need some work.
     
  20. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    hey RAZ, have you ever played one?

    Hope you're enjoying the cabinet :)
     

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