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Old school solid state, lightweight and giggable

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,133
QUILTER, they sound better than tube amps.
I think they are very useful, and have a Mini that I’ve used for a few rehearsals, but given the choice of the Quilter and any one of my well-maintained tube amps, the amps win every time.

I agree that the Quilter sounds different than a tube amp.

Different may or may not be better. That’s wholly subjective. For you, in this case, different = better. I’ve arrived at the opposite conclusion.
 

Z Boogieman

Member
Messages
126
Not a 112, but my GK 250ML, covers a fun vintage solid state sound. Stereo, effects loop, durable. Had this one since the eighties and gigged with it into the mid nineties. I still keep it for the small footprint, good headphone amp, add cabs it is even better. Aim it at your head as a monitor, let it rip.

Using modern noiseless single coils and humbuckers help keep the hiss and extraneous unwanted noise down. It is old, a little tired, but has some life left in it still.
 

Just Mike

Member
Messages
394
Just curious. Why are you looking for solid state and non-modeling?
I want something that will take drive and distortion pedals well. I know some modelers do, but the ones I've tried- spider valve, cube 80xl dont sound like my tube rig and I'm guessing that the digitization of the signal has a lot to do with that. After all, no matter how hyped or expensive a modeling amp is, it is still a completely different treatment of the analog signal.
It's like entering the matrix where a digital copy of a beautiful old strat thru an old tube screamer is put thru a digitizer and turned into a clone of itself and the bits and bytes of the clone are algorithm'd thru brigades of buckets and floating points and a not so good copy of it is spit out thru a FRFR. It may sound good, but it's not real. And yes, I'm an old guy and I'm doing this because I want to.
 
Messages
3,290
I know it's Digital but the Katana has taken pedals quite well. I've used Boss, MXR, Digitech, Paul Cochrane, JHS, Lovepedal, Joyo, Caline and they've all sounded great.

Those late 90's Fender Solid State amps were awesome. I had the Ultimate Chorus. Wish I never got rid of that. I think they had a Princeton 65, Stage 100 and Stage 160 that I still see out there. Great sounding amps.
I think the Marshall MG series is also great. And the Peavey Bandit is a bit heavy but the Peavey Envoy is lighter and sounds just as good to me.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,110
Peavey Bandit. Between $100-200, roughly 40#.
About the same as your Traynor.(45lbs)
I have an old PV Special 130, also heavy.
Cabs, speakers, and roadworthy builds are heavy.
If you had someone make you a lighter cab for your Traynor and you put a neo speaker in it, you could probably reduce the weight by about half.
It won't be half, but this is a good idea.
 
Messages
48
Peavey Studio Pro 112 worth trying out- lighter than a Bandit and often cheaper. Yamaha and Fender made some great (and loud) solid state amps in the pre-modeling era. The current Tonemaster and Blues Cube amps seem like the modern equivalent.
 

ballynally

Member
Messages
2,137
I didn't like any of the Quilters I've owned at all. I think it might be the class D digital power. No ass, though I haven't owned any of the more expensive ones.
Old school solid state can be pretty cool.
For modern amps i love the Orange cr120 head. Class AB all analog except for the reverb. Really powerful.
Its power is actually underrated as opposed to the class D stuff which is often overrated.. the orange has 2-100 watt class A B power amps in it.
The Quilters are switching power amps that run the output section so no heavy elements are needed. To say the Quilters are digital amps would be overstating.
It's an analog front end w some clever eq sections.
Since the output section is clean the vibe has to be achieved in the front end. That is no different from a total SS amp which does the same.
Anything solid state with class AB power sections will be heavy, especially in a combo. So, for me a Quilter makes perfect sense and if you don't like them i'd say it's the front end you don't like. I still prefer valve amps over anything SS when i push the output section.
I would go with a head and cab. Ive gigged w a SS Ampeg pf350 bass amp head and a cab. Though the EQ section is catered f bass players it's still usable.
The mentioned Orange might be considered.

To go back to Quilter, they are actually quite good as pedal platforms and most of their preamp sections do have some grit/tube vibe one can dial in.
As for being 'wimpy/"no ass"i can't disagree more. Depending on your needs most quilters w be fine for small venues up to 400 people, even the deck of cards size Microblock45.
Again, depends on what you play. Tuned down metal probably not. Most Americana styles w be fine.
If you normally push 4x12s only the 200w Toneblocks w do and Twin style 2x12 w be ok.
Going down to 1x12 and the Microblock45 w be plenty, imo. Or the 100w if u need it (i don't).
Actually, ive gigged w both a MB45 for the low end (!) clean section into a 1x12" cab and a single ended Champ f dirt for a wet dry setup.
Beautiful!
 
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ballynally

Member
Messages
2,137
I want something that will take drive and distortion pedals well. I know some modelers do, but the ones I've tried- spider valve, cube 80xl dont sound like my tube rig and I'm guessing that the digitization of the signal has a lot to do with that. After all, no matter how hyped or expensive a modeling amp is, it is still a completely different treatment
.
And yes, I'm an old guy and I'm doing this because I want to.
Consider this, there is something great about OD pedals into edgy valve amps that SS amps cannot provide imo. I think you agree.
Any SS amp will retain a rather harsh, direct bite between 1 and 3 kHz you can't quite dial out.
It's something that some players might actually like, a clean, very responsive, direct sound.
Put an OD/distortion in front of that and you make things worse.
In fact, that's the argument for using a modeller, with or without IRs. It's to get to a simulated valve amp sound.
It does it better than a SS amp, again imo.
The difference in sound between SS and digital amps got very little to do with the 'digitalisation' of the signal.
If your focus is on early SS tech and you think it's going to sound better than a digital amp, especially with distortion effects i think you are going to be disappointed.
Mind you, ive great fun w my SS Marshall Lead 12 amp head.
It does the cranked Marshall sound pretty good, but it's quite one dimentional.
I picked one up last year for 80 pounds.
It's 12 watts and almost held up in a gig. You reach the ceiling pretty quick b has more headroom than a 5w Marshall.
There's also a combo version.
 
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Just Mike

Member
Messages
394
So on Monday I found a deal i couldn't pass up on FB Marketplace. A guy had an old Yamaha G100 1-12 combo for $50.00. He said it got dropped and has some problems. Well, I dabble in repairing amps so I took a chance. I looked up the amp online and found that they were pretty unique and have a great clean sound. Jazzers really like these amps and Robben Ford played thru them back in the day. So I got it home and tore it apart to look for some physical damage and found none. To make a medium long story short, I found it had a partially shorted speaker (I've built a few tube amps and reconed a few speakers in my day). I happened to have an EVM 12L lying around (which these jazzers say is the magic combination with these amps) I put it in and this amp sounds really good. I've always been a hard rocker and played LP/Marshalls, so I'm not qualified to describe the sound, but with a strat this amp has "something" that I really like. But GAWD is it HEAVY. A nice diversion, but I'm still looking for a lightweight SS amp. And I blame social distancing for this latest quest of mine.
 

rambleon

Member
Messages
5,595
So on Monday I found a deal i couldn't pass up on FB Marketplace. A guy had an old Yamaha G100 1-12 combo for $50.00. He said it got dropped and has some problems. Well, I dabble in repairing amps so I took a chance. I looked up the amp online and found that they were pretty unique and have a great clean sound. Jazzers really like these amps and Robben Ford played thru them back in the day. So I got it home and tore it apart to look for some physical damage and found none. To make a medium long story short, I found it had a partially shorted speaker (I've built a few tube amps and reconed a few speakers in my day). I happened to have an EVM 12L lying around (which these jazzers say is the magic combination with these amps) I put it in and this amp sounds really good. I've always been a hard rocker and played LP/Marshalls, so I'm not qualified to describe the sound, but with a strat this amp has "something" that I really like. But GAWD is it HEAVY. A nice diversion, but I'm still looking for a lightweight SS amp. And I blame social distancing for this latest quest of mine.
You mentioned Marshall + LP so here's an alternative idea to the standalone SS amps. Get a Kingsley Constable tube preamp pedal and a Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170. It may not be the cheapest option, but is definitely compact and sounds amazing. I currently run that setup, with a bunch of other pedals into the Constable. The Constable lives on my pedalboard and the SD Powerstage on top of my speaker cab. If I had a little more room on my pedalboard, I bet I could fit the Powerstage on it as well.
 

ballynally

Member
Messages
2,137
The notion that SS amps are light only applies to flimsy low power builds.
Cabs and speakers are always heavy and high powered classic SS amps have very beefy heavy iron power supplies. For any that were aimed at the pro market sturdiness was prioritized over weight.
Yes, those sturdy ss combos worth their salt were pretty heavy and would compare in weight with their valve counterpart.
Cabs were usually either mdf or particle board, so heavy.
Heavy speakers were also preferred.
That didnt help in the end and most players reverted back to valve amps in the 1990s except f the budget options which is still the case.
Fender started making reissues of their classic brownface Bassman and 63Vibroverb, plus their new tweed looking Hotrod series and did very well (and still do).
Since on stage dB requirements have gone down over the years people have been looking at lighter options, with new tech, ie, digital and amps w switching power supplies coming to the fore.
When those elements are sorted the only heavy things that are left are the cabinet and speaker(s).
Some now offer lightweight pine cabs and neodymium speakers weigh a lot less.
You can now have a pine cab plus a 12" neo speaker that weighs under 8 kg. Put a neat ss/or digital amp on top and you get a 10kg combi.
That's why i would never go back to an old heavy ss (combo) amp myself.To me, there is no good reason for it. Some were quite good, like the above mentioned Lab series (though never magical) and now they are much less practical compared to other options. Plus, with valve preamps like Kingsley you can have the juice to put into a digital or ss power section.
 
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Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,110
Another vote for a Peavey Bandit...the one with the red stripe,and block logo.
As cool as PV may be any amp that is 40lbs and more in some models is hardly a replacement for a 45 lb amp that the op thinks is too heavy. Check the specs.
 

White Limo

Member
Messages
987
If you want a Peavey grab the Studio Pro in red stripe if you can find it. It’s about 90% as loud as a Bandit but wayyy lighter.
 




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