What's your favorite amp to get old Van Halen brown sound that is not a Marshall?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pickslide, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The “just get a Marshall” chorus here seems to forget that legions upon legions of famous as well as unsung guitarists played thru plexis for ages.. and didn’t sound like that. Sure, you can get there with a “good” four hole plexi on a good day with a variac...but not every plexi gets there. And Eddie has been little help because his taste changed (nothing wrong with that but his seminal VHI tone is what so many folks want and he doesn’t use that tone anymore). Having said that, I’ve heard Eddie play thru a little Polytone combo and he sounded like Eddie, so there is the “hands” thing.

    Friedmans have been suggested and they certainly do modded Marshall well, but Eddie’s tone to my ear requires a bit more stiffness. Splawns are a bit stiffer than Friedmans and seem to do a good job. I don’t do EVH well no matter what I play thru, and I’ve seen guys who do Eddie well get there with Marshalls, Splawns, Friedmans, and many of the other amps suggested. Lots of these amps get you into the ball park, but you gotta swing that bat yourself.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  2. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    Like Wizard stiffness?
     
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  3. Sheppard93

    Sheppard93 Member

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    My Soldano Astroverb can get as brown as Willy Wonkas pool. Not sure it’s enough wattage for you but it’s certainly loud enough for most applications
     
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  4. NortheastHick

    NortheastHick Supporting Member

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    Splawn
    Honorable mention goes to the Ceriatone chupacabra.
     
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  5. PaulHudgins

    PaulHudgins Member

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    If it's just the Brown sound I would get a Bray, I have Bray modded Marshall 1987x that was built before he started his building his own amps. His amps do really well at hitting that tone. If I wanted a more versatile Marshall syle amp that covers more ground I would get a Metroplex. One amp not mentioned that I would love to try and does that high gain modded Marshall sound is the Reeves Super 78'.
     
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  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Member

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    Friedman...though admittedly I am in the “just get a Marshall” camp otherwise.
     
  7. Jecht

    Jecht Member

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    Suhr SL68 and SL67 nail that tone with their built-in variac switch.
     
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  8. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ve only once played a Wizard but I do recall it having a firm feel!
     
  9. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    There ya go.
     
  10. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    Suhr SL68/67 can do it nicely.
     
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  11. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Silver Supporting Member

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    Suhr SL68, my fav plexi style
     
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  12. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    Since we’re talking about Suhr amps, this might be relevant.

     
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  13. pickslide

    pickslide Supporting Member

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    Just to update...I just grabbed a Germino Lead 55LV for a good price to try out. Always hear amazing things about this amp so figured why not. Plus if it can do this then I'm plenty happy

     
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  14. Plexiglass

    Plexiglass Member

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    Nice, thats just about what my Headroom 100 sounds like and Jacob is pretty much straight in on these clips if I remember correctly. If you are after very early VH then I don’t know why you wouldn’t go with a 1959 circuit from a reputable builder that just went after authentic tones with original circuit.
     
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  15. milli vanilli

    milli vanilli Member

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    People have been chasing Eddie's brown sound since the very first VH record came out... gear can get you close, but Eddie is Eddie...
     
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  16. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    More about the player than the amp IMO.
     
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  17. Kentano2000

    Kentano2000 Member

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    “Swing that bat yourself.” In other words it’s in your hands - touch and attack. I’ve heard guys who play through the amps above who do VH stuff but don’t quite sound like the man himself. The notes are pretty much right but it’s not quite “there.” Tons of others do it spot-on. This has been discussed ad infinitum here but it’s always worth keeping in mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  18. mikendzel

    mikendzel Member

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    I had a Splawn Quickrod that I sold because I wanted to get the Drop B+ version (but still haven't ordered because of adding another kid and his subsequent occupation of my music room) and it definitely had the goods to get the VH tone.

    That said, however, it took quite a bit of experimenting with nuance and timing to get the licks to sound like Eddie. I was never really good at it, even after practicing specific licks for quite a while. Specifically the vibrato, pinches, and my lack of Phase 90. The timing is probably the hardest part!

    That Quickrod was amazingly fun to play, but I wanted the squishier attack of the Drop B+.
     
  19. pickslide

    pickslide Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the input. I guess I'm generally looking for that type of tone/sound coming from the amp. Doesn't have to be dead on and no I will never sound just like Ed. I just really like that type of sound.
     
  20. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    There's a million options really.
    Figure your budget and wattage requirement and go from there.
     

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