The best amps are easy to dial in

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mr. Kite, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Ken Moon

    Ken Moon Member

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    A smart builder will make sure his amps sound at least OK with all knobs at 12:00.

    Hard to dispel a bad first impression.
     
  2. David Vee

    David Vee Member

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    Amp designers : please KEEP IT SIMPLE!

    I tend to stay away from the "complicated" amps. My new Swart AST Mk II head and I understood each other in minutes, producing incredible tone.

    Like the (in)famous Gearmanndude says in his YouTube pedal demo videos, "... can't spend the time reading a manual to figure out all the knobbies..." Amen, brother.

    Think of why the Tiny Terror took off: great tone with only volume, gain, and tone knobs (and at the right price, too).

    Great Vintage Marshalls - volume, tone, an later on, gain.

    Great Vintage Fenders - volume, tone, and later on, reverb/vibrato.

    Over the years designers have added all sorts of pull knobs, toggles, channels, effects, mid-boosts/cuts, filters, or ill-designed master volumes.

    Guitar amps, IMHO, should not look like the control panel to the Space Shuttle. Mesa Mark V anyone? Great modern and vintage tones do lurk in there... but you WILL fiddle with it finding them. Dammit Jim, I'm a guitarist, not a fiddle player. (I know... just couldn't resist a vintage Star Trek moment.) Let's face it, a vintage Mark I or II will sound better. Coincidence? I think not.

    While some designers are adding on to and modifying their circuits with the latest bells and whistles, I'd like a coffee maker loop, or maybe a beer tap switch. Yeah, that last feature would catch on. Tone on tap...

    Rant over.
     
  3. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    The OP is so broad as to be almost nonsensial. What exactly constitutes "easy to dial in"? If it means intuitive, it raise the point that intuitive is always somebody's perception of intuitive. For instance, I find it much easier and intuitive to dial in my Mesa than the Bassman i used to have. Many will feel the opposite I'm sure, but whose ease or problems have the power of definition in this case, me or them? Since ease of use is so subjective can we really sensibly discuss whether easy/hard amps are better?
     
  4. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    I know I'm happiest with amps that are easy to dial-in. I've had a few amps that I always had to mess with -- they were never quite right. I'd try different tubes and different speakers, turn and twist knobs back and forth, rinse and repeat....

    That's very frustrating to me.

    After years of swapping amps in and out, all 4 of my current amps are very simple and they all sound great to me.

    It's my inexpert opinion that simpler circuits yield better tones (to my ear)
     
  5. Critter

    Critter Member

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    I do enjoy amps that just naturally sound without a bunch of messing
    with. I mean who would really want to have to tweak a

    We interrupt this broadcast to give thanks to Paul Rivera and Reinhold Bogner for making great sounding amps that have lots of cool swithces, buttons, and push-pull knobs to give a greater tonal palette. Now back to out program..

    bunch of knobs buttons and switches to try to get a good sound.
    after all there's nothing better than good sound...
     
  6. guitarvc

    guitarvc Member

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    Amen brother! My settings are different, but there are no bad tones out of the Mod 50, or the SLO, Shiva, Diezel Einstein, any Rinehardt, Two Rock, Trainwreck or good clone, Fender Super, JCM 800, must I go on?
     
  7. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Two of my favorite amps:

    Dr Z Carmen Ghia - 2 knobs, a zillion tones

    Victoria Regal II - very few knobs that all go to 11 - if you don't like the tones, change a few tubes - no adjustment - only extra required is a pair of oven mitts.
     
  8. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    When I first got my MarkIV it took me about half an hour to try different settings (since I was new to the amp at the time), and since then I have barely adjusted them since. The most I'll adjust is the Presence knob according to the room acoustics- I either turn it up, or down. Half a second adjustment. Quicker than waiting for the standby to warm up! Simple as that.
     
  9. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    2 favorite amps: marshall 20watt lead and bass and a tweed champ. the lead and bass has a surprisingly wide tonal palette for only vol and tone knobs.
     
  10. PeeCee

    PeeCee Member

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    If this were true any single-knobber would be a great amp. Some idiot-proof amps are great, but...

    Some amps are just deep, and may take a while to understand. I don't think that's a bad thing. I've scored some great amps used be use the sellers didn't put in the necessary time to "get" them.
     
  11. DougDoppler

    DougDoppler Member

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    The "best amp" is found by plugging in a really well matched guitar and pickups for that amp and cab that complement the way the amp was voiced. In general it takes me at least a day to learn the sonic nuances of an amp and how to play it. Not the only way, but a very functional way to discover the musical nature of an amp... Cheers ~ Doug
     
  12. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    (i hit the quote button before i read that last part...)

    Isn't that 100w? ...and don't you need a cabinet for it?
    Big big change from a Fender combo!
    Either way.....it's really awesome to just turn an amp on and get GOODNESS!!!!!
     
  13. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I can dig what you're saying. I can plug in a superlead or Hiwatt and it's got tone just dripping out of it without even trying. I'll do the same thing with my Mesa and I'm always tweeking to find the sweet spots. Vox is pretty much plug and play as well.

    Non master volume has a lot to do with it (with the exception going to Hiwatt).

    Less has always been more in the amp world! :drink
     
  14. brikus

    brikus Senior Member

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    +1 It's REALLY annoying all this "less is more" nonsense. It's like guitarists hate progress and options. Makes no sense. :facepalm
     
  15. rockin-ron

    rockin-ron Member

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    The best amp is the one that inspires you to play, excites your own aural senses, and makes your fingers hurt because of it's addictive nature, but allows you not to spend hours scouring these forums for the answer only to find opinions, a load of horse manure, arguments, conflicting ideas, misinformation, and once in great while a truly useful response.
     
  16. Unabender

    Unabender Member

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    No, a smart builder. Mostly everyone turn the controls at noon when trying out a new amp, so it only makes sense to build the amp like that.
     
  17. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I agree with the 12:00 rule. If I don't like the amp with everything pretty much at 12:00 there's a good chance It's not for me. There's nothing wrong with tweaking but the 12:00 test will help reveal the overall personality of the amp. My Komet almost never leaves the 12:00 position.

    Re: uber tweaking amps. They always seem to be a compromise to me...all of them. One sound is great and the other is O.K. at best. I wrestled forever with my mesa mk-3, Egnater TOL and IE-4, Triaxis, and some amps I tried extensively in stores, like the MK-V and the Diezel VH-4 and usually found one channel I liked (Channel I on mk MKV) and a bunch of channels I didn't like at all.




    IMHO,
     
  18. brikus

    brikus Senior Member

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    Well, actually, I've never done that when trying an amp.
     
  19. Melodyman

    Melodyman Member

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    Ah yes I have fond memories of complex amps I used to own, like band mates rolling their eyes and getting twitchy while you are trying to dial in your tone and when you finally do they still think it sucks lol.
     
  20. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

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    Yep, it's as though you're trying to coax a tone that's just not in there.
     

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