Sounds Crazy But..: KT88 Shiva owners have you tried this???

cpa2guitar

Member
Messages
314
About four years ago, after not buying a new amp for 30 years, I resumed my tone chase. The first amp I purchased after this three-decade dearth was a 20th Anniversary Shiva with a 16 ohm Ubercab 412. I could not bond with Channel 2 on this amp, but Channel 1 had among the best, maybe even THE best, clean tone I'd ever personally experienced. So even though I was disappointed with Channel 2 and have purchased and subsequently traded or sold a number of amps since buying the Shiva, I kept the Shiva for its great clean tone, but also for another reason that brings us to the purpose of this thread.

I'm going to sound crazy, but that Shiva head through the Ubercab makes the best acoustic guitar amp that I've ever come across (I know... crazy, right? :messedup ). I have a few acoustics, but currently the only one with pickups is my Tim McKnight MiniMac, which has the K&K Pure Mini. Tim's installation (by the way, Tim is a really good luthier and a great guy) included conversion to a 1/4 inch phone jack in the guitar's end pin so I could use the same cables for this guitar that I use for my electrics (Van den Hul Integration Hybrid cable with Cardas Audio Rhodium ends from Lava Cable). It took just a bit of fiddling with the Shiva's bass, treble, and presence controls to minimize the difference in the amplified tone and the guitar's unamplified sound (I go straight from the guitar to the Shiva without a separate preamp), but the MiniMac sounds natural and gorgeous through the Shiva. I don't know why, perhaps the big glass of the KT88s have something to do with it, but the Shiva preserves the natural sound of my MiniMac in a way I would not have thought possible.

I doubt anyone would buy a KT88 Shiva just for their acoustic guitars (though given the price of some specialized acoustic guitar amps, perhaps the Shiva should be considered), but there is value and convenience in having one amp to cover both your electrics and acoustics. Further, I have not heard a better acoustic amp, though in fairness, my exposure to dedicated acoustic guitar amps is limited.

So I will close with a question and an assertion.

Question: Do any of you who own a Shiva also use it for your acoustics?

Assertion: If you have not tried plugging an acoustic guitar into your Shiva, you owe it to yourself to try this and hear it for yourself.

Disclaimer: Everything I've written here only applies to the 20th Anniversary Shiva with KT88s. I have no idea how an acoustic guitar would sound through the Standard Shiva with EL34s.

Regards,
Kirk
 
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Crash-VR

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,151
Not a Shiva, but my RedPlate BluesMachine66 sounds great with my Santa Cruz plugged into it. It also has the K&K Pure mini pickups installed. I tried it on a whim and was really surprised at how great it sounds...
 

cpa2guitar

Member
Messages
314
Thanks for posting that, Crash-VR, because I wondered if there were other amps that could do this or if the Shiva was just a fluke. I would really like to find an amp that has Shiva cleans and can work great as an acoustic guitar amp, but that also has great dirt and distortion. Since your RedPlate also works well as an acoustic guitar amp, perhaps this acoustic/electric guitar amp thing is not as rare or unusual as I thought.

Thanks,
Kirk
 
Messages
969
Years ago I saw John Jorgenson and band laying an electric gig. Midway he plugs his acoustic into his matchless and it sounded incredible....
Reading this thread it certainly provides food for thought.....
 






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