Roccaforte Custom 40 vs. Cornford Hellcat

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wickerman, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    I've narrowed my next amp contenders down to these two.

    Zep, Skynyrd, Lizzy, Rush, Fleetwood Mac. I know the Rocca excels at these tones, and can probably get me into Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Van Halen territory with the right pedal. However, I'm guessing I'll have to kill my hearing to do it or invest in a Hotplate.

    The Hellcat has TWO channels with independent gain controls plus Reverb which are big pluses for me. No Hotplate required.

    My heart says go Rocca; my head says Cornford. I guess I'm hoping someone can convince me that the Hellcat can do all of the above equally well. Unfortunately, I've only heard the Guthrie Govan clips which are all blues/jazz/fusion tones -- I'm not into that. The reviews say it can do all this, but the Cornford seems... I dunno.. a bit refined and modern?

    Hope someone can help me out here. I need to make a decision soon, and I'm beating myself up over this.

    BTW, I'll be buying used. No chance of trying first.

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    Hellcat has

    Build quality up there with the best
    Internal construction that is fabulous.
    Overdrive channel with loads gain
    Clean channel that is so sweet.
    A very loud 35 watts thats gets you into the upper regions of your master vol and total saturation.

    My bias is with the Hellcat as you can read, but Roccaforte make amps that will blast your mind too. Only thing you can do my friend, is try em and see, only your ears will decide, not the opinions of others.

    wher you gonna come across a used Hellcat ? In the UK they go 2nd hand for almost the new price, a 2nd hand Hellcat in the UK is rarer than a good Frank Carson joke, this guy makes pauly shore sound hilarious , so you can estimate the rarity im hinting at !

    good luck :dude
    jimmy
     
  3. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    That's why I gotta bite while it's available! ;)

    I wish there were some other clips around besides the Guthrie ones. Hey Jimmy, can it shred?
     
  4. Distortion

    Distortion Member

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    I have owned both and comparing them is an apples and oranges thing.
    The Cornford is el84's, and the Roccaforte is el34's.
    My preference was the Cornford, but the Custom 40 was also a very nice amp.
    Buying amps without hearing them first is a 50/50 thing, but you can always sell it is it is not your thing.
    Or you can do what many do.. buy both and have your own amp shoot out..
    Then sell the looser :)
     
  5. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    Shred is a word I hate buddy. I can tell you , it plays music, if you want heavy overdrive, the Hellcat has it by the bucketload, I got offerred sessionwork after a guy heard me do Still Got The Blues in a gig we played were I was using the Hellcat, it is so sweet.

    For cleans, try shine on you crazy diamond using the Hellcat, have a hankie to wipe the tears from your eyes though. The reverb is awesome.

    Im buying a 120 watt Peavey 6505 too , when I want to shake the rafters, thats the amp to do it, its merciless, the Hellcat , to my ears , just oozes class, its a loud 35 wtts , i have the cornford 2x12 also and thats a marriage forged in heaven, but dont forget, dougs amps are as good , id love to have one of his custom80 or hi gain 100 myself.

    dont be swayed by opinions, like i said, your ears and what you feel inside are what should you should base your opinion to purchase with. for me a clincher was , you certainly do not need an overdrive pedal with the Hellcat, you will with the rocco , im a clutz with pedals , thats why i sold em off , but a rocco with a good pedal will kick serious arse.
     
  6. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Thanks again for your thoughts guys. It's gonna have to be a blind (deaf?) purchase, unfortunately. Distortion has it right, although I'm not sure I've the guts to buy two expensive amps. I guess I'll go with the Cornford since I'm trying to increase pedalboard space and I don't want to have to start a mammoth quest for the perfect overdrive pedal. :cool:

    BTW, for 'shred' read Megadeth-level overdrive that stays reasonably tight in the low registers. :dude
     
  7. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Jimmy, how did you know I'm from the UK? :D
     
  8. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    i didnt, but you trying sourcing a rocco in the uk dude.
     
  9. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    from what youve described.............try a Cornford MK50H, cheaper and more widely available than a Hellcat too , all the drive you could ever want and has two master vols, in effect you have awesome crunch rhythm and big boost for solos controllable from footswitch.

    Ive only one dealer to suggest to you, ask for Steve at Sounds Great in Cheshire, they are the UK`s best dealer and Steve is simply a gem. Tell him James from Northern Ireland recommended you speak to him, he`ll treat you well.
     
  10. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Already done, thanks. ;)
     
  11. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Thanks a lot. :)

    Of course, the MK50 has no reverb, which is a minus. How does it compare tonally with the Hellcat? Are the cleans as nice? I take it you think the MK50 would be better for my needs?
     
  12. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    if your big priority is nail ya to the wall gain, then i dont think cleans are gonna play a big factor in your playing. the mk50H is certainly gained towards rock and gain, big tube el34 tones aplenty. the hellcat has the greater diversity.

    ronny jordan records jazz for guitar techniques with the Hellcat and man what a tone, with the right gtr (hint R9) you can get endless and effortless sustain with the Hellcat , and the MK50H will go there too.

    The reverb for the cleans with the hellcat will knock you senseless, but............if megadeth peace sells is your bag , reverb aint gonna be that important, if you need it, buy an EHX holy grail.

    if you said you like to play from jazz to metal, id say without hesitation , Hellcat, if you say screw the cleaner stuff , its just metal i wanna play , id go for the MK50H.

    The MK50H will have a bigger and heftier sound, the Hellcat will be the sweeter of the two.

    I hope this helps.

    jimmy
     
  13. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    oh aye

    and dont forget, Cornfords are designed with Vintage 30s in mind, thats the speaker Martin used to base the tone around.
     
  14. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    The V30 thing bugs me somewhat (I've hated that speaker in all the other amps I've tried it in) as do the problems I have read people having with changing to different brand tubes. One of the reviewers at HC says he uses a G12H cab with a hellcat top and that this is a great match. It would be my speaker of choice.

    Great cleans are critical for me, but not fat, jazzy cleans... More country/rock, rockabily/surf tones.

    I'd say my priority on the overdrive side is getting a good hot plexi-style sound like Skynyrd and Rush, rather than all-out gain. I can always use a clean boost if I need more.

    That said, I reckon the Hellcat is probably still top contender. I have read that some folks feel it has a shrillness that can't be dialled out. Is that your experience, Jimmy? Maybe they're hearing the harshness of the V30?
     
  15. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    the Hellcat is certainly not a muffled and bassy sounding amp, it cuts through a mix like a knife through butter. Its certainly NOT ice picky, its one of the sweetest amps ive ever played. its notgonna have the bottom end whumph of an engl powerball ...but it wasnt designed to have it anyway. if diversity is the name of the game, the Hellcat is a gem.
     
  16. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Thanks once again. The Hellcat it is. :cool:
     
  17. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    regarding power tubes, there is a resistor that will get burnt out by certain power tubes, i spoke with martin about this and he sent me the identity of the resistor and its value that you get a tech to change over. one brand of tubes you definitely dont use is harma. ive lost the correspondence that martin sent me about this, to replace the resistor is 1 minutes work. personally the sovtek el84 tubes i use sound bloody great and from hotrox they are £27 a quad.......they suit me just fine. one other thing id advise is get highgain 120 rated on each triode JJ 12ax7 preamp tubes, ive dealt with bob at eurotubes and he sends me them , stunning match for the hellcat, the lesser gain jj`s sound a wee bit too polite.

    heres a look at the immaculate innards of a hellcat for you
    [​IMG]
    hope this helps

    jimmy
     
  18. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Fantastic. Thanks again! :cool:
     
  19. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    my pleasure and only too glad to help.

    im just back from 3 hrs band practice using the Hellcat / 2 x 12 cab and my ears are riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinngiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.
     
  20. wickerman

    wickerman Guest

    Just curious -- Tell me about your band/music. I'm interested in putting your amp of choice into musical context. :)
     

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