Pretty amazing SS POS that isn't

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bluesdoc, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As long as I'm back on the bus, for better or worse, I got something new. Well, not really new...... probably 30+ yrs old. A well known amp guru and I were chatting a couple of weeks ago and he made a statement that a great sounding ss amp COULD be made, with the right know-how. He was a ss guy before become a tube meister. So, he mentioned this amp to me as an example of a great sounding ss amp from yesteryear, that could be picked up pretty cheap now and then. I found this ebay deal and bought it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5786394911&ssPageName=ADME:B:BN:US:1

    Here's the HC reviews (fwiw): http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data/Acoustic_Control_Corporation/150-01.html

    Gotta say, it does sound damn good!! I've only spent about an hour with it so far, with only one guitar (ssh strat) and one cab 1 12 but it's a keeper. Pretty damn good with a lead pedal in front also. I can detect a whiff solid stateness, but mostly it's great. I have to agree with the HC reviews, so far anyway. Just had to share. So, next time you're sauntering past a dumpster with various electronic remnants, you might want to take a dive and see if you find one of these.

    btw, for comparison, my amps these days include a PV C30 and C50, VHT pb45 combo, Fargen-Soloway jazz amp (based on the blackbird), and my homemade Trainwreck Rocket clone. Gettin' tight in my little music room...... :eek:

    OK John P, whaddya think?? ;)

    jon
     
  2. guitarpkr76

    guitarpkr76 Guest

    I think their are a few good solid states out there. I played through a Fender Studio Lead one night at a resteraunt using a Keeley blues driver for the overdrive and it sounded really good. I've also seen a picture of Stevie Ray Vaughan playing through one of these before.


    -Brenton
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Those Acoustics are good. They prove the point that a SS amp built heavily with decent components (not down to the cheapest possible price like most of today's SS junk) will sound good - if not exactly like a tube amp. They can sound really excellent with pedals too, although they generally don't if you overdrive the power stage... and they tend not to be too reliable if you do that either (and they kill speakers).

    In other words, you just have to approach them a bit differently from tube amps. SS got a bad reputation early on that it never really recovered from, because most musicians didn't understand that (IMO). Consequently, it's now very hard to build a great SS amp, since doing so is nearly as expensive as building a decent tube amp, and then it won't sell, because "SS is second rate".

    It's nowhere near as true for bass players, of course :).


    FWIW, I like the Fender Studio Lead and the other amps from that series too - designed by Paul Rivera at the same time as the 'II' series of tube amps.
     
  4. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Well, I have to admit that I liked the British equivalent of about the same time period the H/H IC 100

    The ones that came after were not so good either......

    The IC100 an be heard on The Sweet stuff, very crunchy. I liked the illuminated controls -first time I came across them.

    Many around in Britain, John?

    Best, Pete.
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    For a couple of years in the mid 70's I used a SS Acoustic BASS amp thru an Ampeg 4x12. Les Paul Custom with an MXR distortion and chorus pedal and I was happy as a clam! :eek:
     
  6. 1kidc

    1kidc Member

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    As long as you use pedals for distortion and not the amp itself, the late 70's - 80's Yamaha g-50's and g100's are hard to beat for loud, clean and reliable sound. Slap an EV in it and you're good to go. Also works pretty damn good for acoustic guitar...

    Mike Stern used them for many years. VERY pedal friendly. I still use a pair for outdoors gigs where rain or heat might be an issue for my tube amps. And did I mention that they are very hard to kill?

    The last one I picked up on ebay (damn near mint) cost me all of $75..... THAT is a bang for the buck amp.....
     
  7. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    This is my kinda thread. I was on my way to a local pawn shop to check out an Acoustic 150, but it had just been sold. There are plenty around town. I'm sure I'll get another chance.

    The one from the link looks new! Wowwy wow wow.
     
  8. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah Sam, I obviously paid a (non-dumpster) premium for the restoration. I would have been just as happy with a trashed looking one but this was there when I looked and it was only the price of a pedal, so.........

    My understanding is that part of the sound quality is a function of use of an output transformer, which most ss amps don't use. Iron makes things sound good, no??

    jon
     
  9. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    Shhhhhh! There's no OT in that thing.;)
     
  10. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    The Continental!!!
     
  11. leofenderbender

    leofenderbender Supporting Member

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    I had an Acoustic 4x10 cabinet in the 70's that was better than anything else going on at the time.
     
  12. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    If Albert King can get a good tone out of them, so can you!
     
  13. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Sam, I stand corrected........

    Just played it for about an hour after a little more dialing in and using the PV footswitch to control RV and Tremolo (just a tad here and there). I settled on my V-Stack Classic in front and holy crap, this thing sounds reeeeeeealy good. Good enough, anyway. Whenever your rig keeps you playing and playing, not answering the phone, or doing other stuff you're supposed to be doing, you have to figure there's some good sound happening :)

    And THIS for the price of a pedal :eek: :rolleyes: :D

    jon
     
  14. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Mike Stern used two SS Acoustic amps during his Miles days w/ a Strat and MXR Stereo Chorus - great tones.
    Frank Marino also used solid-state Acoustic amps - also some incredible tone.

    Slightly OT: I have one of the old orange Roland Cube 60 combos here - super amp for teaching/rehearsals/etc. Nice clean tones - some jazzers still gig w/ 'em. Great overdrive w/ the V-Stack Classic in front (a killer pedal).
     
  15. jda

    jda Member

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    That was my first amp ever. With an 8x10 cab, I think it was..I was 14.
     
  16. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    Busted!!

    Champagne, Mr Kane?
     
  17. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Ah, great minds run in small circles...... :D

    jon
     
  18. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I played almost all my gigs in college with a GK 250ML. It's not my favorite amp these days but it still sounds pretty good, especially for a 2x6 combo.
     
  19. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I can't lie about it, this is a good unit.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Once I flew down to record at my brother's studio in southern california. He said he would provide an amp so I could just fly down with my guitar. I told him all I ask is that it be a decent tube amp, Fender, Marshall, whatever. So I get there and to my shock there was this ADA preamp into a Marshall Valvestate poweramp into a huge blue 4 x 12 Crate cab. I expressed my displeasure, but after about 15 minutes of finding the best patch from the ADA and figuring out how to dissable the swirly effects, I had a very happening tone. I was shocked! I was happy! I was shappy! It really was a damn good tone.
     

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