What's the best sounding solid state amp you have played/owned?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wildschwein, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    We all know that tubes sound great, and there is much discussion here about valve gear - but can anyone think of a great sounding solid state amp that dishes up great tone - be it for gigging or practice (=bedroom level playing)? For me it's the 65w Peavey Transtube Studio Pro 112 made in the late 90s (the black and silver model). I don't know why, but for some reason (especially after a speaker upgrade) this amp just oozes sweet valve-like sounds that betray it's totally solid state construction.
     
  2. burner

    burner Member

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    Here are a few that I've found to be acceptable:

    Rocktron ProGAP pre amp running into a Roctron Velocity 300 power amp.
    I got of the very first Velocity 300s on the market and it was a great sounding rig.

    Peavey Transtube.
    I ran two Transtube Bandits in stereo for a couple of gigs and the sound was very good.
    IMO,Peavy really nailed it with this series

    Roland JC120
    'nuff said.
     
  3. Crikey

    Crikey Member

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    The Lovepedal 2W Plexi sounds cool. I won't say it's completely convincing as far as tubey dimensionality, but it does a great spectrum of not-really-clean through increasingly dirty tones. Great for classic rock from its origins into the 1980s, all controlled from the guitar volume knob. And it records amazingly well with an SM57 stuck right up close.

    I was surprised by the lightly overdriven blues tones from a Roland Cube 60 someone was playing in a club once. I was surprised by the clean jazz tones from a Fender Princeton 650 someone else had in another club once. I was surprised another time at Guitar Center when somebody pulled some cool blackfacey clean funky to smoky Hendrixy tones out of a Fender FM212R. In all these cases, I suspect the player was giving life to the sound via touch and technique. But none of those have I played/owned.

    I abhorred the sound of a 1970s or 1980s Peavey Bandit 65 I owned for a long time, but it just wasn't the sound I was looking for and now that I have "my sound" or close to it from other amps, I might not hate that Bandit for being what it is.


    Crikey
     
  4. mlongano

    mlongano Supporting Member

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  5. Dave L

    Dave L Member

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    The Tech 21 Trademark 60 2x12.
     
  6. Teleman

    Teleman Supporting Member

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    Pearce or the Roalnd Blues Cube.
    The transtube Peavey Bandits are great too.
     
  7. RedRock

    RedRock Member

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    Best: an 80s Peavey Bandit 65. It had a clear, powerful
    clean channel that took pedals very well.
     
  8. Dave L

    Dave L Member

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    I just remembered another cool thing. A friend of mine got some really good tone out of a solid state REXX rig, which if I remember correctly was a pretty unconventional amp with an external preamp running straight into a rackmounted head... some sort of cascade thing going on, I imagine.
     
  9. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Fender Princeton Chorus

    Vox Brian May (the little white one)

    Roland JC 120
     
  10. Jon

    Jon Member

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    +1 - great amp!
     
  11. Aslan

    Aslan Supporting Member

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    Tech 21 Trademark 60 (112 combo), if you replace the stock speaker with a Eminence Wizard (103 dB) the amp really comes alive.
     
  12. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Member

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    gigging :
    - Roland JC-120
    - Fender Jazz-king (thank to its 15'')
    - Fender Jazzmaster ultralight (and ultraexpensive)

    home noodling :
    - Vox Pathfinder 15R

    I have found that not many SS amps sound true to the guitar. For example : the Roland Cube 30 o Cube 60 are great modeling amps but they don't let the real character of the guitar come out. They have a kind of artificial voice that you only are aware of if you compare to a tube amp. Also the louder the amp, the louder the difference. I bought a Cube 60 because it sounded good at shop level, but when rehearsing it was just humiliating !
    I play mainly clean, blues/rock/hard may not agree.
     
  13. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    Roland Cube 60. Unbebievable tone from a modeller.

    CT.
     
  14. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    I must admit I'd be keen to get my hands on the Fender Jazz King - I just love 15" speakers for clean guitar sounds.
     
  15. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Member

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    I'm with you ! 15'' SS or even better : 15'' with tubes, like the new ’65 Twin Reverb Custom 15 :drool
     
  16. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Love mine! Play through it all the time. I can get good, usable clean and dirty tones from it quickly.
     
  17. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    Vox Brian May Special

    Smokey
     
  18. vibroverbus

    vibroverbus Member

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    Good 80's-90's era GK amps:
    For guitar, 250ML in good repair and/or with upgrades (they didn't age well) fixed and modded they can really sound great, especially through a stereo cab. i used to run mine through a 4x12 with celestions setup in stereo. loud and great hard sounds with the chorus and gain on. also the 400/800RB bass amps are classics - the old ones at least, i understand the later ones lost the plot a bit. all of these are also built like brick $hithouses and can take being dropped out a moving car window.

    Roland JC's - aside from the famed 120, I used to have a 77 i loved for a short while. I bet would it have been even better with speaker replacements but that wasn't possible back in the (broke) day. Forget the built in distortion though - that always sucked.

    Lab Series - had a teacher with an L5 that was pretty cool.
    Polytones - also cool for jazz cats only

    None of these are 'SS trying to be tube-like' amps though... I think that's really a different category...

    Last SS comment - always been curious to check out one of those Scholz rigs but they're pretty rare (not a Rockman, but the rack-mount pro gear...)
     
  19. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    JC-120

    Kustom 200
     
  20. odourboy

    odourboy Member

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    The most satisfying I've tried is the Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. Does a nice job at Fender Twin/Ampeg (using the voice button) sounds. The drive channel is pretty darn fair as well - a nice bonus.

    I'm a basement player/jammer, not a gigger, so temper my comments accordingly.
     

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