Soldano SLO or ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by JWR, Jun 30, 2005.


  1. JWR

    JWR Member

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    I've been considering a Soldano SLO amp and am curious what type of grades these receive compared to other top of the line boutique amps. Specifically, the Roccaforte or Bogner products. I am specifically looking for a boutique with a fine master volume.
     
  2. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    I'll put an SLO up against any other amp on the planet in terms of overall quality. Individual preferences in tone aside, it's as good as any other boutique amp you care to name. Personally, I'll take one over a Roccaforte or Bogner any day.

    If you do go for an SLO, though, make sure you get one with the Warren Haynes mod. I would never play through a Soldano without it.
     
  3. gearo999

    gearo999 Member

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    But will the SLO do classic rock sounds? It seems as if its a one trick pony. I mean the cleans are just so so right?
     
  4. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    There are two primary complaints that I usually hear about Soldano amps, neither of which I agree with.

    The first and most common complaint is that they are overly bright and/or lack bass. First of all, while they do sound a little thin to my ears in their stock configuration, the Warren Haynes mod fixes it perfectly. Second, while its upper-mid peak and relatively quiet bottom end (compared to a Dual Recto, at least) aren't optimal for bedroom wanking, that voicing makes the amp fit perfectly into a band situation.

    The second common complaint is that the cleans are subpar. While it probably wouldn't be my first choice for an ultra clean amp, I find its cleans to be very good for an amp whose specialty is high gain sounds. Mark Knopfler, a man legendary for his clean tones, apparently agrees with me, as he used one for several years (and may be using one still; I'm not sure what he's playing these days).

    Basically, unless you're looking for either the muddiest tone possible or the most pristine clean tone imaginable, the SLO is definitely worth looking into.
     
  5. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    It's definitely more than a one trick pony, particularly if you keep the preamp gain down to reasonable levels and push the power section as you would with most amps. You can get great Marshall-like crunch and OD sounds, easily controllable via your guitar's volume knob.

    As far as cleans are concerned, the trick is to use the crunch channel with the guitar's volume rolled down for your cleans, rather than the clean channel (which is a little lifeless in my opinion).

    I usually keep the volume on my guitar rolled down a bit. That way, the crunch channel gives me a great clean sound, and I can add a bit more grit either by picking harder or by rolling the volume back up. On the OD channel with the volume rolled down, I get a harder crunch sound than on the other channel, and increasing the guitar's volume will bring me into classic rock OD and beyond.
     
  6. rocketboss

    rocketboss Supporting Member

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    Awesome recording amp! I almost always use it for tracking leads. Like mentioned above, sounds great in a band setting. Plus if their are two or three guitars on stage the SLO will win. It really cuts through!

    Nick
     
  7. JWR

    JWR Member

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    How does the SLO do in lower volume situations. I am in my home studio alot and am looking for volume versatility as well. I like what I am hearing so far and I have listened to the samples. What specifically does the Warren Haynes mod do?
     
  8. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I just came from the Solodano site and the Hot Rod 50 might be more your speed.............

    http://www.soldano.com/
     
  9. JWR

    JWR Member

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    I've played the Hot Rod 50. But have yet to try the SLO. A 50 watt is definately not out of the question and perhaps more applicable for what I would like to use it for. I have always preferred the Super Lead type amp to the 50 watters, but I'm staying open minded. I do like an amp to be a voiced a bit on the treble side.
     
  10. rocketboss

    rocketboss Supporting Member

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    You need to play the SLO! Its the flagship of Mike's line. Its sure to be a classic.

    Mine has the Depth mod only which I really like. Speaker choice can alter the tone of the amp alot. Didn't care for the greenbacks, V30's were better once the Depth mod was done. My Soldano 4x12 now has the Eminence V12's which is what Mike's cabs ship with. I bought my cab used with 75 watt Celestions and was not liking them at all. Also the Celestion G12H30's sounded great.

    Nick-
     
  11. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I had an SLO that had the depth, Haynes, SRV and loop mods. It also had NOS Phillips 6l6 power tubes. I didn't like the amp at all.

    The amp was pretty fizzy in the gain channel. I called Bill at Soldano so many times doing mods to undo the fizz. I ran the treble and presence on zero to help kill that mosquito nest. I finally did enough mods that the amp was warmer. But it still wasn't as tight as I'd like. The amp just has a slow response for me. I didn't like that. I like that quick snap for attack.


    The crunch channel is pretty Marshally and I loved it. I used an overdrive pedal and that was better than the lead channel. The clean channel is HYPER clean. I don't know what some guys here are thinking. It's so clean it almost sounds direct. It's a total funk channel and real cool if you're in a disco band or doing a lot of funk.

    I just stayed on the crunch channel and rolled my volume down for clean, used a pedal for added dirt. I used it as a one channel amp.
     
  12. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain here, but I personally did not like the Soldano SLO I tried. It could have been the voicing (which is just not my liking), or it could be the so-called "mods" that were done to it. It did have the depth mod, but they replaced the tubes with KT-66's. The cleans were also a bit harsh to my ears. The amp just didn't do it for me. Now I think the Roccaforte's and Bogners are sort of different. The Roccaforte High-Gain 100 is more like a JCM800-ish cranked up even more. It is freakin' loud. The Bogner Ecstasy is a hot-rodded Marshall, with (I've heard) a great Plexi-channel to boot. The Uberschall on the other hand is a completely different beast. It is more Mesa-ish with more gain, tighter, added bass, and better.
     
  13. JWR

    JWR Member

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    Thanks for the input, I was wondering about how "fizzy" they sounded. I really want a good master volume amp. My current MV amp is a Marshall 2204 (that I will never part with) is a bit noisy and it is quite annoying at times. I was hoping that an amp such as the Soldano would, by design, eliminate the issues I have with the Marshall product. It is starting to sound like several mods are needed to the stock model.
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I owned the SLO I talked about and a 100HR+ both were on the fizzy side to my ears.

    My all time favorite amp for rock is a Jcm800 2204 or a 2203 (if I ever get to play Madison Square Garden) that amp with an OD pedal is much less fizzy than a Soldano. but if you want channel switching, maybe a Soldano with some modding will work.

    I also owned a reverbosonic for a bit. That amp was very chunky and NOT fizzy. It had a great tone. But not as high gain.
     
  15. gearo999

    gearo999 Member

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    Played a SLO with my band last night.

    1. Great amp. Clean and lead channels cut the mix nicely.
    2. Maybe I just don't know tone but the clean channel is very nice. It's not a fender twin but it will have no problem doing any style of music. I can get nice Fender like sounds out of it.
    3. Lead channel is to die for. I will use a GE-7 in the front for volume boost for lead.
    4. This is not an amp I plan to use for bedroom practice. It will need a hotplate to bring the volume down. BUT is does not sound bad. Its lound. I had the lead channel volume on 2 with the gain on 7. Thinking about a piece of plexiglass so I can get the volume up.
    5. I'm using a Genz Benz cab with one stock and one Texas Heat. I don't think its fizzy at all. Nice mids, nice bottom end.
    6. The loop is just ok. It sounds better with nothing in the loop, a lot better with nothing in the loop.
    7. I think this amp is much better than many of the past amps I have now sold to include 5150, 5150 II, XXX, Marshall 6100 and 6101, Marshall TSL and DSL and VHT CLX.

    Its not a one trick pony. This is what a GOOD hot rodded Marshall should sound like with the good kind of mids. It has a hint of modern sound to it.

    And yes, this is George Lynch in a box!
     
  16. rocketboss

    rocketboss Supporting Member

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    Definitely not a bedroom amp! The amp just starts to sound like an SLO with the master on the lead channel at about 1 or 2 o'clock. On the lead channel I run the gain at about 4 and treble the same. Mids about 3 o'clock with the Bass and depth mod at about 10. I think it needs to be cook'in to get the full effect. I'm running KT66's in mine and Mullard pre-amp tubes. It does take some tweeking to get comfortable with the amp but its worth it!

    Nick-
     
  17. JWR

    JWR Member

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    I had forgotten just how good of an amp the JMP Marshall 2204's were. i had not played mine for awile. I retubed them and perhaps I'll just use one for my MV amp. They are tough to beat.
     
  18. rhmcfarland

    rhmcfarland Member

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    my .02


    The SLO-100 is a great amp.
    It has its own sound, so if you are wanting to "nail" the vintage plexi sound, or ac30 chime and all that, then you might want to look elsewhere.

    i bought mine new in 1991. its extremely reliable and consistent. I had the fat switch and depth mod added a year or so ago, and those are good to have. The KT66HP is another worthwhile mod that adds some round lows and cuts some of the glare that the stock 5881's had.

    You can hear it here:
    www.soundclick.com/randymcfarland

    You can hear the stock amp with Soldano X12000 speakers on the ATKM stuff, and the clean tones with the first 3 church tunes. "Otis..." demo's the amp with KT66HP tubes, and the fat switch on.

    Randy
     
  19. JWR

    JWR Member

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    I have decided on the 50 watt Soldano. Thanks very muich for the advise. I have a Hot Rod 50 in transit. Should mate up well with an early 80's Marshall 4x12 that needs partner. :BEER
     
  20. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I've had my SLO since 1990.
    Never a problem.
    Great for recording (see my link: all guitars into the SLO), living room wanking (all I do these days), and bands (when I played out). I will never ever sell mine.

    It's great for classic rock. That crunch channel will have you in nirvana.

    Fizzy? It can be if you just turn up the controls. I leave the prescence very high (10-11) and bring the mids and treble up from 0 to about 2-4.5. Sweet, smooth, ear candy.

    The Hot Rod sounded a bit brighter to me than the SLO.
     

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