THD Flexi vs. Budda Superdrive 18

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by oien, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. oien

    oien Member

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    I've been looking for a gig-friendly amp, and I'm interested in those two amps: THD Flexi and Budda Superdrive 18. Based on reviews, technical data and the soundclips I have heard, I think they will suit my needs. I want a amp with a "cleanish" (not quite clean) and a fatter lead mode(moderate gain). My musical preferences are SRV, Stones, Zeppelin..
    How is the Flexi (in 20 w mode) compared to the Superdrive? I'm thinking of the sound (bright/dark, texture, clear/muddy etc) and "feel"/response.
     
  2. MrDoty

    MrDoty Supporting Member

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    former flexi owner now current budda owner. the budda Kills the flexi. so much more musical and solid. it feels like a real amp where the flexi never felt like a "normal" amp. its hard to explain, but the flexi just felt a little strange to me. I could never dial in a tone i really liked on it. the budda is great though and loud as hell even for a 18 watt. I would take that buddy any day of the week next to that flexi.
     
  3. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    I have not played the Budda.

    If you know how to dial the amp at volume, if your desired tones are all compatible with the basic sonic footprint of the Flexi, and if your playing is up to the slightly unforgiving feel of the amp, IMO the Flexi is the ultimate gigging amp. The amp can be dialed for a great rock tone perfectly suited for your style of music.

    I have a really deep appreciation for electronics and construction techniques and I can vouch that the Flexi quality is a definite cut above even the well made boutiques. Every switch and knob is very well thought out and designed to make it adaptable to different gigging situations. I also love the fact that it can digest a variety of old tubes. When a tube blows, I just yank the bad one and throw any old tube in there.
     
  4. oien

    oien Member

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    I know the THD's. I used to play the Univalve. I still have the Bivalve, and it's a wonderful amp! I'm looking in the direction of a Flexi/Superdrive, because I need something more ..."flexible".
     
  5. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

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    I know what you mean by the amp doesnt "feel" right, I had to ditch my THD because of this far too "Hi-Fi" and not enough of a voicing for guitar. I dunno im not a fan although they're built like a tank.
     
  6. mailman

    mailman Member

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    I have to agree with Gix... although I, too, haven't tried the Budda, the quality build & sensitivity features of the Flexi are top-notch! They're both hand-wired class A/B amps, but they're somewhat different animals in other respects--- the Budda Superdrive combo is 18watts; the Flexi (available as a power head for use with separate cab or can be dropped into a new 1x12 combo enclosure) can be changed to either 20w or 50w. The Budda powers up with EL84's'; the Flexi comes stocked with EL34's, or you can swap-in almost any combination of different power tubes by using external biasing points on the back of the amp. You can also use most any pre-amp tubes, as well...giving you a trmendous "flexi-bility" of tonal possibilities. The Budda Superdrive is considered a "high gain" amp; the Flexi's stength is more "mid-range." However, there's certainly plenty of headroom, and the Flexi easily cuts through the mix. The Budda is 2-channel; the Flexi is 1-channel. But, you can go from clean to crunch to overdrive/distortion by simply turning your guitar's volume knob---therefore "acting" more like a 2-3 channel-amp, without having to plug into different inputs. The Budda is sturdy, I'm sure, but you couldn't get any more "solid" than the Flexi---It's built like a tank to last for years of heavy playing. Andy Marshall obviously put a lot of time & thought into the Flexi, and it's one helluva amp!
     
  7. Melodic Dreamer

    Melodic Dreamer Member

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    The Flexi is a great amp. I had to get rid of mine to get the funds to afford my OD100. It's a great amp though. The other guitarist in my band just got one and he absolutley loves it.
     
  8. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    having owned both i would go for the budda. much better lead sounds without needing pedals. the clean sounds for both amps were pretty equal, iirc. the flexi never really impressed me that much except for it's weight. it was a brick. i tried quite afew different preamp tubes, nos and current and lot sof power tubes (biased them all) and never got the flexi to sound like much. budda.
     
  9. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    Both are great sounding amps but I see this as an apples-to-oranges comparison.
     
  10. Dave Cowley

    Dave Cowley Member

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    As it happens, I own both. I hope this helps! :)

    The SD18 will do an awesome job foot-switching between cleanish and a fat lead sound. That's pretty much what it's built for, IMHO. The Flexi can also sound freakin' fantastic, but for my tastes, you have to open it wide up, turn the boost on, then control it with the volume knob. That can be very loud with the typical EL34 or 6L6 power tubes! It's brighter than the SD18, particularly when you roll your guitar's volume knob back. The flip side of that is that the Flexi can sound thin and harsh (IMHO) if you don't goose its gain enough. But if you want bright chimey semi-cleans when you roll the knob down, the Flexi does that better than the SD18. The SD18 does fat. The Flexi has more bass and more highs.

    The SD18 is loud. Louder than you'd think two EL84s would be. It can't shake the floor as much as the Flexi can, but subjectively it seems comparable volume-wise to the Flexi in 20-watt mode. An advantage of the Flexi is that you can experiment with different tubes and bias points. You could probably get the Flexi less loud than the SD18 with lower-power tubes like 6K6, 6F6, or 6G6 (20-watt mode only for those tubes, though!). A disadvantage of the Flexi is that you can tweak endlessly with all those things in search of the tone in your head and still not find it!

    Both amps are pretty touch-sensitive, but of the two, I think the Budda is more forgiving. If you want fat and simple, go for the Budda. If you want deep and bright and tweaky, go for the THD.
     
  11. oien

    oien Member

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    Many great opinions here, thanks a lot! The Superdrive sounds nice, but how is the balance between the two channels? Is it possible to have "hairy" cleans on the rythm channel, and a louder, breakup/medium gain sound in the lead mode? Is it possible to dial in a "chimey, vox-like" sound in the rythm channel?
    Hm, many questions. I should have played them both, but it's not easy to find those amps here in Norway (The store are about 300 miles away..)
     
  12. mailman

    mailman Member

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    Not sure where you live in Norway, but on the THD website they list the following store as their Norwegian retailer:
    Godlyd
    Langgate 51
    4306 Sandnes
    Norway
    www.godlyd.no

    Hope this might help.
     
  13. fyler

    fyler Member

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    that's part of what i love about it. i think it sounds amazing plugged straight in, but it can also handle a barrage of looping, half speed/double speed wide frequency range craziness without breaking a sweat. it's a desert island amp, for me - in fact, it's the only amp i've owned for four years, now.
     
  14. TeeVee

    TeeVee Member

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    :agree
    Have not tried the Budda to compare, but own the Flexi w/4x12" cab and simply cannot tire of it.
     
  15. oien

    oien Member

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    Sounds like greate amps, both of them! I'd like to hear more about the difference between them. I'm thinking about the tone, not how the're built etc.
    How is the Superdrive semi-cleans compared to the Flexi's (20 w mode)?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  16. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    I have a Budda SD18 head and have played the Flexi 50 on 3 occassions. They are both great amps and, depending partly on whether you like to get your gain sounds from pedals or from the amp would largely determine which amp you might get. Also, the Flexi (to me) will give you a bigger/rounder bass. The Budda will get Fendery to a degree but the low end isn't as big and round.

    The Flexi had a real vintage sound to me. I really liked the Flexi but, the way I ended up dialing it in reminded me very much of the sound and feel I get from my Victoria 35310. So, as much as I would have liked to have the Flexi, it would have been kind of redundant. It sounds great on its own and for certain types of music would not require pedals for more/different types of overdrive or distortion (especially in the 20-watt mode). Having to use pedals wouldn't have been a problem anyway because I use pedals with the Victoria too. As a clean platform, the Flexi would be great.

    The Budda was just so much different than my other amps and the lead channel really seemed to deliver "my sound" so I went with the SD18.

    Terry
     

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