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On the hunt... again. Need amp suggestions.

jb1984

Member
Messages
236
Alright.

As if there aren't enough amp suggestion posts.

I recently got a gig playing for a very rock/punk female singer-songwriter. My 57 RI Goldtop is perfect for this, but unfortunately, my '75 Vibrolux w/ EL-84s isn't. I figure I've got three options:

a) get a really good drive pedal and just go with what I've got
b) get a really good drive pedal and a 2x12 ext. cab for more bottom
c) get a new amp altogether.

I swore I'd never play through Mesas again because I've just outgrown "that" sound... the fizzy, diode-clipping roar that is their trademark - but I'm thinking that might be a good direction to go in for this gig.

Budget is around $1000 - $1200.

I'm thinking that a good candidate would be a multi-channel, 30-50 watt head or 2x12 combo, with a decently gain-y drive channel and thick clean tone. The parts I'm playing require less of the Limp Bizkit-esque chug - it's more of a thick, overdriven tone that maintains articulation for picking patterns and things.

If I had the $$$, /13 RSA23 or a Matchless C30 would be prime choices. Anyone have any suggestions of a used amp in the $1000 ballpark that can kind of pull of a similar vibe? Vox AC30CC was also suggested to me last night... ideas?
 

JStizz

Member
Messages
1,121
you could get an Orange Rockerverb 50. you can find heads on eBay in your price range. thick cleans and amazing rock overdrive.

just a thought
 

frankencat

Guitarded
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,268
Mesa's are hard to beat for versatile and reliable gig amps. I have been using my TopHat Emplexador my Rock and P&W bands and it has made me forget about looking for other amps. :)

I think I would go with something in the Marshall vibe for rock/punk. Maybe something like a DSL or one of the newer ones would fit the bill. Or maybe a Mesa Stilletto or Rectoverb. There you go, right around in a circle :D
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
I swore I'd never play through Mesas again because I've just outgrown "that" sound... the fizzy, diode-clipping roar that is their trademark - but I'm thinking that might be a good direction to go in for this gig.
Just FWIW, Mesas do not use diode clipping.

A Rectoverb might do the job, although a Trem-o-verb is a much better amp despite having more power than you want - it's more versatile, and more articulate IMO. And it's only fizzy if you set it like that on purpose...
 

studiodunn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,554
My only problem with a combo(in the punk high gain context) is the lack of thump. i think a head/2x12 is much better suited for that type of sound. you could pick up a Laney GH or VH series head for well under a grand. I like the OD of them better than most Mesa's and the clean channel kills a Mesa. Good luck
 

jb1984

Member
Messages
236
thanks for all the suggestions so far. the orange and the rivera sound like interesting options, and i think i will try the ext. cab first.

maybe i was misinformed about the mesa diode-clipping - i remember a few years back when i was gigging with a tremoverb and a nomad, a session player buddy "informed" me that the hailed overdrive that you get from mesa and bogner is really nothing more than a diode-clipping fuzz circuit - it's not actual power tube saturation (of course - unless you crank up your 100 watt amp). his perspective was that it's silly to be so married to amps like that for their overdrive tone when in reality, the overdrive is coming from a circuit and not the preamp interacting with the power amp section, so it'd be very similar to just using a clean amp and a drive pedal.

is there any truth to that?
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
maybe i was misinformed about the mesa diode-clipping - i remember a few years back when i was gigging with a tremoverb and a nomad, a session player buddy "informed" me that the hailed overdrive that you get from mesa and bogner is really nothing more than a diode-clipping fuzz circuit - it's not actual power tube saturation (of course - unless you crank up your 100 watt amp). his perspective was that it's silly to be so married to amps like that for their overdrive tone when in reality, the overdrive is coming from a circuit and not the preamp interacting with the power amp section, so it'd be very similar to just using a clean amp and a drive pedal.

is there any truth to that?
No.

Mesa have never used diode clipping in any of their amps (they did in the V-Twin pedal, but that's the only time). I have no idea about Bogner but I would be highly surprised if they ever have.

He's thinking of Marshall, who used it with the Split-Channel JCM800s, Jubilees and JCM900s (except for the SL-X) - but have now moved back away from it.
 

Keld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,010
FWIW, the Mesa Maverick might fit the bill, and is a bit thicker and sweeter than some of the classic dual rec amps.
 

NatDeroxL7

Member
Messages
972
my idea of a punk sound is a tone with as little compression as possible, but a huge distorted open, gritty roar, definitely through a 4x12!

however I have always played very compressed amps...the plexi channel on my EX-Ecstasy was the least compressed thing I've played...I like playing more liquid stuff, so I don't have much to suggest, other than NOT a Bogner XTC.

I think that power tube saturation/overdrive is much less compressed and more 'roaring', at least with EL34s, than pre-amp distortion, so maybe a lower wattage head that you can really crank hard would get a better sound than a high watt head with the gain up. Maybe an 18 watt Marshall type.
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,966
thanks for all the suggestions so far. the orange and the rivera sound like interesting options, and i think i will try the ext. cab first.

maybe i was misinformed about the mesa diode-clipping - i remember a few years back when i was gigging with a tremoverb and a nomad, a session player buddy "informed" me that the hailed overdrive that you get from mesa and bogner is really nothing more than a diode-clipping fuzz circuit - it's not actual power tube saturation (of course - unless you crank up your 100 watt amp). his perspective was that it's silly to be so married to amps like that for their overdrive tone when in reality, the overdrive is coming from a circuit and not the preamp interacting with the power amp section, so it'd be very similar to just using a clean amp and a drive pedal.

is there any truth to that?
Does it REALLY matter? If the tone is there, it's there. But I'm sure the purists would be put off by this if it were true.
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,966
my idea of a punk sound is a tone with as little compression as possible, but a huge distorted open, gritty roar, definitely through a 4x12!

however I have always played very compressed amps...the plexi channel on my EX-Ecstasy was the least compressed thing I've played...I like playing more liquid stuff, so I don't have much to suggest, other than NOT a Bogner XTC.

I think that power tube saturation/overdrive is much less compressed and more 'roaring', at least with EL34s, than pre-amp distortion, so maybe a lower wattage head that you can really crank hard would get a better sound than a high watt head with the gain up. Maybe an 18 watt Marshall type.
Well, I think you'd be surprised, with punk music, how real tube saturation is actually a mid muddier and less roaring. A high gain mesa 50 or 100 watter is going to give you more roar. Whereas a maxed out 18 watter is going to be sludgier. Yes, sweeter for individual note playing, but for chords and punk, as I think of it, more headroom is a bit more articulate when using high gain. Don't get me wrong, I like the tone of power tube saturation because it is less controllable, less prisitine, dynamic, and it's very pleasing to my ears. But if you're playing chugga chugga power chords and palm muting, you're probably going to prefer a higher gainer with more articulation than a maxed out low watter.

If I were in your shoes, I'd probably go for a Tremoverb for the sake of range. If you want to go a bit "more organic" maybe try a Vox AC30 CC with an A/B box for channel switching.

There is also a mesa maverick 2x12, which sound marvelous going for pretty cheap on ebay.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,356
The guitarist in my old band had a Vibrolux and an LP and got just about any tone needed between changing the gain settings and using pedals.

For punk, it would be cool to get a 50 watt EL34 based amp.
I'd go for a Reeves

Custom 50, CP 504 or the Custom Lead
 




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