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Please help pick my next combo amp

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
I need some help please... Which one USED? Budget is roughly $1k (but I can spend more if really required). I have a Kemper and a bunch of rock/metal amps. I also have a Sky King in storage that I don't want to travel long term with. I'm looking for a smaller wattage combo amp I can crank at home, takes pedals, and I wouldn't cry if it was lost.

Contenders:
Morgan MVP23 - besides Mr Morgan and the warranty repair issues (I'm handy and it would be used so just use a local tech if necessary), this seems the best for my considerations below. I loved the youtube demos I've seen. Power scaling!
Mesa Blue Angel - older, I've heard tech issues and can be noisy?
Mesa Cali Tweed - Love the 40w, dislike 2 and 10w - they sound like flubby attenuated garbage on youtube vids (better in real life?), expensive since few/none used.
Suhr Badger 18 - expensive and inconvenient, bc need a cab. But seems to be a huge fav of a lot of people.
Mojotone Black Tweed or Brit - doesn't seem like anyone owns these, but the demos seem great
Supro Black Magick - great demos and decent price
Dr Z Maz 18 - another TGP fav from what I see?
Gibson GA40 or 42 - Never see any love for these, but the Kemper profile I have is 10/10 for what I want.

Considerations:
  • Livingroom or mic'd, blues/jazz jams. Ariel Posen type stuff (I have other amps for being loud)
  • Beautiful spanky cleans with some rhythmic "chunk" when playing chords (E.g. Elliott Pinetop, Matchless Independent)
  • Beautiful edge of breakup tones (not harsh)
  • Cranked tube distortion (amp on 10) like an old Champ or Skylark. Not that flub/woof that a lot of amps get that aren't designed to be cranked.
  • Takes pedals well (OD and fuzz)
  • 112 combo, unless you have a reason (e.g. 112 version of recommendation is "too boxy" sounding)

Any other expert recommendations? Go "cheap" and get a Supro Blues King 10? Is there a better Morgan or Z for what I want? Just use Kemper profiles and save my money?

tl;dr paralysis by analysis
 

TL;DR

Member
Messages
1,397
A Budda SD 18 or 30

I have the 80 head and it just sounded really good before it went into storage with all my other amps
 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
A Budda SD 18 or 30

I have the 80 head and it just sounded really good before it went into storage with all my other amps
Haha I have a Budda SD80 I actually brought with me lol. Ridiculously loud but amazing. It has a problem with the volume cutting out (swapped all tubes so not that) unfortunately.
 

TL;DR

Member
Messages
1,397
Haha I have a Budda SD80 I actually brought with me lol. Ridiculously loud but amazing. It has a problem with the volume cutting out (swapped all tubes so not that) unfortunately.
Doh!
I’m silent these days, but I loved the “clean” channel on that amp. So touch sensitive, I could get anything from fat twin to bluesbreaker with my volume knob. I also have a Mesa DC-3 combo which sounds amazing
 

Benz2112

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,936
The mk1 Badger comes in a combo, when I was shopping for mine, the combo was less desirable on the used market, might be able to get one at a nice price. It has fantastic edge of breakup tones. Ariel has been my favorite player for about the last year, he inspired me to get a baritone. A little reverb and trem and you can nail his core tone, then hit it with a fuzz to get that lead tone.
 

DV52

Member
Messages
5,402
I own a Badger 18 Combo it is very nice .

I agree with @8len8 about the 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb , I am seriously thinking about one.

I have not played the others so I will not speculate .
 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
The Maz 18 Mkii is a beauty, but if you really like the GA40, you should check out Doc's DB4...
OMG... a little out of my price range... but how does that amp get so much done with no knobs lol. I always loved the Z-wreck, but wow.


That clean tone @1:00+ is insane.
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,533
Mesa Fillmore 25 is another strong contender. They are rarely found used but if you save up just a bit more you could get a brand new one with 5 year warranty, hard to beat IMO:

 

Jack Dotson

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,133
I love, love, love the MVP-23. I’ve been through so many amps over the years and it’s tough to find the right one for home use. The 23 has an awesome master volume, as the name suggest, and can be dialed for several sounds. They provide recommended settings for Vox, Marshall and Dumble type sounds they’re all pretty spot on. Takes pedals well, dead silent at idle, easy to dial in at any level. I can’t think of a single Amp
I’ve tried or owned that I like better. This is one amp that’s definitely under the radar IMO.
 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
Mesa Fillmore 25 is another strong contender. They are rarely found used but if you save up just a bit more you could get a brand new one with 5 year warranty, hard to beat IMO:

I think that amp was actually mentioned in every Cali Tweed demo.
 

lostpoet2

Member
Messages
3,280
I’m a long time maz 18 owner, but I would recommend you look at used Carmen Ghia combos. They sell all the time for around $1000 or a little less.

 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
I just discovered why you don’t look at Reverb while you’re lying in bed at 3am if you already have plans to buy something.

I bought a guitar I didn’t “need” and haven’t told the wife yet. So.... I may need to postpone the purchase another month lol. The good news is maybe I’ll be able to afford that DB4. Seriously... it’s gotta be a trick. No way you get tones that good without 20 knobs and switches. Lol
 

EmandoDave

Member
Messages
988
Lots of interesting options for Rivera amps under $1K on Reverb. Great BF cleans, incredible gain channels, and excellent fx loops.
 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,305
So I somehow ended up getting deals on a bunch of amps since I posted this lol.

Victory RK50C Richie Kotzen sig 112 combo
1965 Gibson GA-5T Skylark 110 combo
Watkins Scout 112 Combo

I have the (Tonejunkie) Pinetop profiles on my Kemper and they are amazing. That amp is definitely on my short list.
 

jpastras

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
983
If the Gibson GA 40 is perfect for you, I, suggest either buying one of those or looking at amps based on that amp.

I am pretty sure the Victoria Golden Melody is a GA 40 clone, and I vaguely recall there being another - maybe Juke amps makes one?
 




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