This amp KILLS!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by telewacker, May 4, 2005.

  1. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    I've been playing Fender amps for decades. I've had some really great ones, and stupidly sold many of them through the years. I've been using a particularly good DR for a long time which I've ABd with many others and never heard a better one.

    I don't think I'll be playing DRs any more. I got an amp that absolutely smokes my Deluxe. It's clean sound with my Tele is gorgeous, bell-like, and perfectly balanced. It has a smokey, woody quality while at the same time it is bright and shimmery, but never ice-picky, like Fenders tend to be. It has the smoothest natural breakup of any amp I've ever owned, and with the volume dimed it just sings. It's the best vintage fender tone I've ever got, and it ain't a Fender. It's what my Deluxe, and every Deluxe I ever played including a particular favorite one used by a well known afficianado who will remain nameless, aspires to be.

    It's a '64 or '65 Ampeg Gemini that I got for $350. I know the Reverberocket's supposed to be the one, but this amp sounds much better to me. The original speaker is the weak link, and perhaps that's why more people haven't caught on to this model. I tried a few different speakers and they all sounded good. I settled on a ceramic Blue Dog.

    If the tubes aren't original, they're close to it.

    I can't get over how good this amp sounds. I can't think of a way to improve it, wheras every other amp I've ever owned, no matter how good it was always had something that could be imagined to improve it, and I wouldn't dream of using a pedal with it.

    This amp and a Tele is like the archetype of the vintage Fender tone I've had in my head for 30 years.
     
  2. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    What model Gemeni? I have a Gemeni I that is incredible (1X12)
    and my brother has a Gemeni 2 that is also amazing (1X15").
    Those old Ampegs are no joke and are absolutely the best bang
    for the buck for the past 30 years. Listen to the Stones "Get
    Your Ya Ya's Out" live album. That was when they were in their
    Ampeg glory days.

    Turn that Gemeni up past 1:00 O'clock and watch out!!!!
     
  3. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    So it'll get that live 'Midnight Rambler' tone?? That's one of my favorite live guitar tones....

    $350 huh?? hmmm.....
     
  4. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    There is no way in hell any of the old Ampegs and Gibsons can sound anywhere near as good as old Fenders so you folks just hush up talkin bout'em!!!!;)
     
  5. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    telewacker:

    You're definitely on to something. I'm jonesing for a Gemini w/15 inch speaker lately. Played a mint Gemini I recently. It has it's own sound, different than the BF and tweed tones, just as desireable at a fraction of the cost. A most pleasing clean ... distortion to my ears not quite up to my DR in that department, but YMMV. It's an inexplicably overlooked amp. I can only think that everyone who played them just had to move on up the the TR, so out they went. Had I not just picked up an old Gibson GA40, I would already have a Gemini.

    Maybe my favorite Ampeg lately is the Mercury M-12. Pre-reverb, it's Ampegs take on the Tweed Deluxe. Wonderful sound!

    I know of two Gemini Is locally (Montclair NJ) and one Mercury (not too far from here) at fair prices. Anybody interested, I'll point the way.
     
  6. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    MikeyG,

    Mick Taylor - Ampeg VT40
    Keith- Ampeg V4

    Yes, I'm talkin' bout the midnight rambler.
     
  7. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    Maybe I just got a particulary good one, or maybe the one you tried wasn't up to snuff, but I'll put its distorted tone up against a Deluxe any day, and I've played a whole bunch of em. None of them were as smooth and rich as the Gemini, especially with the Tele's back pup. Stinging and sweet at the same time, like only a good Tele is capable of. Maybe it's the 7591s or the dinky OT. The bigger box definitely helps the low end, which isn't as flabby as a Deluxe either. I turn the volume all the way up, turn down the bass until the flub goes away, and the OD is divine. Make sure you try a better speaker than the stock one that comes with it.

    It's a Gemini I, and it has the bright switches built into the treble controls. It also has a similar switch in the trem depth control, but the trem isn't working. The accordian input on the right hand channel is the way to go, on this unit anyway.

    I bought another one on ebay that I should have shortly to compare, and to use on gigs where one ain't enough.
     
  8. MVrider

    MVrider Member

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    No, it won't. The "Midnight Rambler" tone and the grindy mid-range comes from the V-series amps of the '70's NOT the blue-Tolex amps of the '60's. Two completely different amps.
     
  9. dangdog

    dangdog Guest

    I have a Gemini (G-12) from about 1971, 12 inch speaker, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 watts. I put an Eminence Legend speaker in it and it sounds like a million bucks. I love the sound of it. I have had a lot of Fenders, but I sure like this Ampeg. Unbelievably loud and clean, very tubey sounding. I tried Yellow Jackets in it with EL 84s, but it sounds better with the original spec tubes (7551?).
     
  10. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    That's a different animal. The Gemini I is a 20 watt amp with 2-7591 output tubes. About the same volume as a Deluxe.
     
  11. jazzgitter

    jazzgitter Member

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    Did'nt Steve Morse from the Dixie Dregs play an Ampeg? I always thought his tone was one of the fattest, richest tones I've ever heard. He plays his butt off too of course.


    Steve
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    For God's Sake: STOP TALKING ABOUT OLD AMPEGS!!! Shhhhhssh already!!!!

    :mad: :FM











    ;)
     
  13. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    That's right. And Phil Brown gets one of the most monstrous grind tones in the known universe with a modern Lee Jackson Ampeg head driving a Marshall 8x10 cab with a Les Paul tuned down to B. Absolutely sick.
     
  14. valcotone

    valcotone Supporting Member

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    Yeah! :dude

    I've got a 1961 Mercury M-12 with the 6V6s and it's a great amp. It sounded "ok" at home, but with the band at the last practice it was great. The overdrive was just killer!! Kept me smiling all night...

    cheers,
    Sean
     
  15. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Telewacker:

    My take on the Gemini I distortion character is certainly not definitive. I had all of 10 minutes to play with it. I know I could get all kinds of great sounds out of this amp, if I just had the time to mess around. BTW: Deluxe Reverb distortion is not necessarily self-explanatory either. It's taken me years of playing with tone and amp controls to find the perfect settings.

    But distortion is not necessarily what I liked best about the Gemini 1. Thought the clean was the equal of anything I've ever heard, with beautiful reverb -- a tone with real character, very different from Fender blackface. Right there, that's reason enough to own one.

    This amp sounds different to me than either the Mercury or the Reverborocket, both of which are a bit more in your face. I'd record with a Gemini anyday. Bet it would record well.
     
  16. Reactionjackson

    Reactionjackson Member

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    Didn't Jeff Beck as well? I have an old BBC video during the Blow by Blow era and he's using an Ampeg as well as a silverface. ;)
     
  17. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    There is no doubt that the Ampegs from the '60's & 70's were
    great amps. These amps can be bought today for 300 to 700
    dollars depending on the model, condition etc....

    I hope the prices stay this reasonable. In fact I'm leaving shortly
    to take a 1/2 hour drive where I'll be picking up a VT40 for
    $450.00.

    See what you have done to me!!!!!
     
  18. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    For ten years I've tweaked my Deluxe, Mullard and Amperex pre amp tubes, various PI tubes, RCA, Silvania, JJ 6V6s, different speakers, etc. I got it to the point where it smoked every Deluxe I compared it to, quite a few were really good 60s era Blackfaces.

    I plugged into the Gemini, played with the tone controls for two minutes, found I liked the treble maxed and the bass at nine o'clock, turned the volume up and that was that. My Deluxe is in a closet now.
     
  19. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    Telewacker,

    I just went through extensive testing with 6 Blackface Deluxe
    Reverb amps. I ended up ordering a Bruno Cowtipper 22, but
    my Gemeni 1 will stay and I'm about to pick up an Ampeg VT40
    today and this time I'll be sure not to part with it.
     
  20. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Funny thing about the DR. Mine's been in the closet a few times. Almost sold it after I got a Gibson GA40, was enjoying that new flavor so thoroughly. Decided to put in a Weber speaker instead. Now the DR is definitely back on the scene. This amp sounds so good, especially with my G&L tele. Can't imagine not having it.

    But definitely lusting after Ampegs.
     

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