Victoria twin worth the $900 increase over Fender?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Vaughn4380, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Member

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    Looking for a new tweed amp around the 40 to 50 watt range. The Victoria 50212 low-powered twin is really calling out to me. But then I read more reviews about the Fender bassman LTD and start to second guess myself. I know I could save $900 by going with the Fender. An added bonus is I have tried out the bassman several times and already know I like it, but no one in my state has a 50212 available so I would be ordering blind (but trust that Victoria has a great reputation and we all pretty much know what a tweed twin should sound like).

    Either amp will be used as a loud-clean platform for pedals.

    Thoughts?

    I plan to buy new and I keep my amps forever so resale is irrelevant to me.
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Somewhat different beasts, esp with the 4x10 vs the 2x12. A better comparison would be the Fender LTD and the Victoria Bassman version, or the Fender Tweed Twin RI (it is not a true re-issue, it has some modern updates) and the Victoria version.
     
  3. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    the Bassman LTD is not a point-to-point wired amp like the Victoria will be, if that matters to you - any future repair, and you say you keep amps forever, will be much easier with the Victoria - straight-forward 50's hardwired chassis, as opposed to replacing PC boards, if you could still get them (talking having kept it "forever" here). I should think that would be the main difference (other than the tone differences between the way the two different chassis's are wired - signal path affecting tone) The Tweed Twin is not a Tweed Bassman tone-wise, so that will also be the biggest difference, though if they were both up to half vol in a band mix, you'd be hard pressed to hear those differences since the LTD uses 2X12's instead of trad. Tweed Bassman 4X10's - that is where the big tone difference will be. for Tweed Twin reference listed to Keith Richards (any live recordings from last 20 years) and live recent years Clapton. Tweed Bassman, Fabulous Thunderbirds first LP, early Debbie Davies LP's (but all those Bassmans were 4X10's), don't know of any recordings that feature a Bassman LTD specifically. If your going long on the ownership of the amp, I's say the Vicky is your better bet for ease of repair if needed and eventual re-sale - the Tweed Twin is a timeless classic amp.
     
  4. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    My thought would be that any reputable builder's hand wired amplifier is going to be well worth a $900 upgrade over the mass produced printed circuit board version of the same amp. There's also other options out there for you, I know this builder gets high praise:

    http://www.clarkamplification.com/piedmont.html
     
  5. jklotz

    jklotz Supporting Member

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    Can't comment specifically about the amps, but since you plan to keep it forever, I wouldn't let $900 be the deciding factor. Over the course of ownership, that $900 won't average out to much compared to living with having chosen a second choice. IMHO, of course.
     
  6. zenas

    zenas Member

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    If your going for a tweed Twin tone first thing you need to do is know which tweed Twin tone your after. Kieth Richards for example uses the high power tweed Twin. That's an expensive amp weather vintage ($20,000 plus) or a well built clone.
    Low powered Twin as we commanly call it normaly means the 5E8 5E8-A. but there was a couple of more Twins before that that could be called low power as well.

    Fender hasn't made too many amps in the last 40 years that I'd own. Maybe I'm a snob? :)
     
  7. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    Another Tweed Twin reference recording could be the recent Joe Bonnamassa Red Rocks concert. I kid you not. He was using vintage Twins and Bassmans, but only the Twins were mic'd. No effects except for a boost and wah. Plus, he used a variety of guitars and you can hear the differences. My favorite was a 335.

    Most of the modern Clapton recordings will feature his noiseless loaded Strats, which I don't think are a good tone benchmark for most people.

    For Keith, I'd try to find some good YT clips from their last tour we he has just two Twins on stage. His previous rigs were massive even though the Twins were the foundation. He also sneaks a tubescreamer in there. ;)

    As for Victorias, I just bought my first one used here on TGP. It's a 35210, but I love it and the quality is top notch.
     
  8. MVrider

    MVrider Member

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    Funny how the crowd is fond of saying "Tweed Twin." As if they're all the same...
     
  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka Member

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    Bassman Ltd is over filtered and B+ is way too high to sound like an original tweed era circuit.
     
  10. DGG

    DGG Member

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    Someday consumers will understand that it isn't all about price per se.

    The mass produced stuff that exists use DIFFERENT components and they all sum up to a DIFFERENT sound. Just because they use the exact same circuit isn't everything. Some sound good others don't.

    An added benefit of a hand-wired amp is that it will more likely tolerate gigging situations- being moved, banged, dropped, etc. better than a PC board built amp. Your modern TV's and appliances have PC boards in them. Notice what happens when you start moving them around too much, banging them around, dropping them, etc.? Some PC built amps are good to go but others aren't.

    You can't simply use your ears. You have to consider the amp's ruggedness depending on your situation. If you don't play out, then it can be more delicate. If you are having it transported in a truck, on a pot-holed filled street to and from gigs you may want to consider a better build.

    Another added benefit is that you most likely had ONE person working on your amp from start to finish. Customer service is most likely better.

    Support your builders.
     
  11. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Member

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    Thanks for the input guys, for the record I am talking about Victoria's 50212, which they state is a 5E8-A circuit around 50 watts.

    I think Richard's and JB's twins are the 80 watt high powered versions, so they should (in theory) sound different than the low powered twin, right?
     
  12. MVrider

    MVrider Member

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    Completely different preamp circuit, different transformers... I don't care for the low powered versions at all. But the BIG Twin? THAT is a different story. ;)
     
  13. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    One other thing to consider is that those are both large loud amps. The tone guys like Keith Richards and Bonamasa get out of those amps is at stadium fully cranked volumes. I am not sure where you are going to use this amp, but the tone with the volume on 3 isn't the same as the tone with the volume on 10. Good luck on your amp quest.
     
  14. JDutch

    JDutch Member

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    Victoria is one of the finest builders of amplifiers around today, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of its products, as long as I was sure of what I wanted, and, yes, Victoria's amplifiers are going to be better and cheaper pound-for-pound than Fenders. Fender's handwired offerings are going to be considerably more expensive than Victoria's and, IMO, not as good.

    The tweed Bassman and Lo-powered Twin are very different amps. Not only are the circuits different, but the dimensions of the cabinet and the number and types of speakers also greatly affect tone. I'd recommend listening to the clips of Victoria amplifiers on Ultrasound's website (http://www.ultrasoundampsales.com/amp_browser.php) or, if you're looking enough to live anywhere near Ultrasound, visiting Gene at Ultrasound to try out some of these amps. Even if you don't live around Ultrasound, Gene still would be happy to consult with you about what you're after.

    I, personally, own a Victoria 45410, which I bought after playing through vintage Bassmans and the current production Bassman Ltd., which sounded sterile and hi-fi in comparison to the 45410. The 45410, even without NOS tubes, compared very favorably to the vintage Bassmans I tried. I like the Victoria 50212, especially because its low end isn't as flubby as the 45410's, but in the end, I bought the 45410 because it seemed to have more personality than the 50212 and also had more growl, which is what I was looking for. If you're after Keef's recorded tones, I think a Deluxe would be just as good as a Twin, particularly if you have volume restrictions. In my experience, Tweeds sound like they're going to die when cranked to 10, but to make the magic happen, you need to be able to open them up to about 6 or 7 on the volume knob, then play with your guitar's volume controls.

    I've heard good things about Clarke, but the sound samples on Clarke's website just didn't do it for me. I might have felt differently if I could try a Clarke in person, but Victoria successfully has ended my Tweed GAS.
     
  15. zenas

    zenas Member

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    At least they said "tweed" that narrows it down a little vs. just "Twin".
     
  16. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Senior Member

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    How far away is the nearest Victoria? It might be worth spending $200 or more on a road trip (gas, food, cheap motel) to try one out if it means that you wind up getting what you want to hear, with you playing your guitar through each amp.

    If I was going to spend that much money on a keep-it-forever amp I'd really want to try out both.

    (Having said that if I could afford the extra $900, sight unseen I'd probably go with the Victoria just because of the PTP wiring.)
     
  17. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Member

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    Yeah, good point, I plan to get most of my gain from pedals with these amps. I play in churches that seat from 50 to 1000, with a few outdoor festivals thrown in throughout the year. I am looking for a balanced clean sound that is nice and full with my teles (i.e. no scooped mids like the blackface Fenders).
     
  18. JackOrionWas

    JackOrionWas Member

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    I own a 50212. I found it on craigslist for 1,500. I took an archtop to try it out, looking for more headroom than my Cream a wheat or AST pro could dish out. I wasn't overwhelmed because I was really looking for a Twin Reverb sound. I was walking away but the seller offered it up for 1,400 and I knew better than to pass on it. Cash will always disappear so I'd rather not hang on to it when it's around in plenty. Better to invest it.
    Anyway I'm glad I did buy because when I got it home and really dug into it, WOW! If you have a chance to grab one do it. You will not be disappointed. It's clear deep and powerful. Extremely 3 dimensional. The tone stack is beyond interactive. I'll tell you the other amp to maybe look out for is the Tungsten Blue Point. Both my Victoria and Tungsten are of supreme build and tone qualities.
     
  19. JackOrionWas

    JackOrionWas Member

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    BTW don't worry about it not sounding good at low volumes. You may not get the natural overdrive but it's a killer KILLER warm sounding clean. Just use a good OD or Fuzz and you're set. It's a surprisingly light and compact amp. about 3 inches taller and wider then a Deluxe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  20. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Member

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    Good to know, thanks.
     

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