Which amp for ZZ Top tones around $1000?

Apex1rg7x

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65
Hey guys im looking to buyan amp that can get me close to ZZ Top tones for around $1000. It can be either a combo or head/cab, doesnt matter either way. I was looking at different Dr.Z's but am not too familiar with them to make a good decision. Would a Egnater Rebel be an option at all? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Peeb

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ZZ Top covers a lot of decades, and a lot of sounds. Can you narrow things down a bit?
 

GAT

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19,060
Go with an amp that can cop some vintage marshall tones.
 

wishkahdaddy

Silver Supporting Member
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2,169
Hey guys im looking to buyan amp that can get me close to ZZ Top tones for around $1000. It can be either a combo or head/cab, doesnt matter either way. I was looking at different Dr.Z's but am not too familiar with them to make a good decision. Would a Egnater Rebel be an option at all? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I got some great zz top tones from my soldano. (just don't crank the gain so damn much). soldanos are expensive but their "off brand" jet city amps will get you there for well under a grand. best bang for your buck for zz top if you ask me. gimme all your loven'...
 

Apex1rg7x

Member
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65
ZZ Top covers a lot of decades, and a lot of sounds. Can you narrow things down a bit?
Good point. Think Sharp Dressed Man and Tush. Im sorry im not too familiar with the changes they made throughout the decades. Thanks again.
 

straightblues

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9,653
There are also lots of good pedals that do the ZZ Top sorta tones. Most Tweed voiced pedals can get you there.
 

Peeb

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From: Bluesbreaker 59: I've spent more hours than I care to share researching and pining over Billy Gibbons tone, playing style, note choice, vibrato, really everything he does as a player.

My research has led me in circles time and again, but I was on top of it a couple different times:

1. Email from a Jay Leno stage hand, last year - Said he saw the backstage rig in plain sight, the amp was a Marshall Valvestate 1x12 combo, with all the Eq's and frequency analyzers, etc.

2. Amp repair company in Texas- found a name and a phone number of an ex- Gibbons tech, asked some questions, specifically regarding the Rio Grande amps, and also the amps on early recordings. I then tried to call back a couple of times later, and the phone was mysteriously disconnected. The guy gave me a BIG CHUNK of info.

My assumptions of the early tone has always been a combination of any of the following:

1. Tweed Deluxe
2. Tweed Dual Pro (plow front)
3. 100 watt Marshall Superlead into 4x12
4. Vox Super Beatle (from Moving Sidewalks days)

Mostly recorded in rooms with wooden floors, if you've recorded in an old wooden room, you know what I mean, you can hear the wood. Especially with a big 4x12 cab.

The guitars Billy had available on the early stuff:

Pearly Gates
1958 Flying V
Pink strat from Hendrix
Blue hardtail strat (by Tres Hombres)
Fender Esquire (from Moving Sidewalks days)

Anyway, sorry for the length but I been studying Billy for quite a while, I'm totally obsessed with his tone.
Here's some info on the "early" sound.
 

clumpster

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79
Nice post! Thanx!
I would have thought a Super Reverb would have been in there somewhere. Learn something every day!!
Sea Dub
 

BadHat

Gold Supporting Member
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7,254
More than $1,000, but a Mojave Scorpion will get you right there with just a guitar and a cord.
 

Seektone

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830
Greer Underdog 15 mod-1: bit o tweed and a bit o marshall. Used for right around/just under 1K around here.
 

DICKIE C

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3,982
You can't go wrong with Marshalls. Superleads would be great, but for under $1000 you can get an early '80s (pre-'85) JCM800 on Ebay, it's a buyer's market right now. I used to own an '81 2204, it'll get you there.
 

Scott Auld

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An AC30 occupies the space somewhere between a Tweed Deluxe and a fizzy Marshall. With the right choice of pedals into an AC30 you can get pretty close to all of Billy's eras. But there is a huge difference between the sounds on Degüello, Eliminator, Antenna, and Rhytmeen.
 

farlowhigh

Silver Supporting Member
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1,186
Twister Dust Devil? seems a killer combination of hotrodded marshally and tweedy tones...combo is 900 new, 12 watts with variwatt power scaling, some very cool clips on youtube...
 

Apex1rg7x

Member
Messages
65
Isnt the new Dr.Z Monza supposed to be really close to early ZZ Top tones? I thought i read that somewhere.
 

MightyGuru

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Messages
6,998
I got some really close Tres Hombres tones from the Boss '59 Fender Bassman pedal...no really, I did.
 

toneboy

Member
Messages
551
well,you cant be up on billys tone as much as you think.
you left out one BIG thing.
the FOXX TONE MACHINE.
one more for ya from way back,the bizark tone.
yeah,im a BIG fan.
 

MBreinin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,824
Ok, well if you want to get Eliminator tones, then get the Eliminator AMP. That is a Legend Rock N Roll 50. Check E-bay. They are cheap and that is what he used on that record, exclusively.

If you want early ZZ Top, you are looking at Tweeds, Browns and Marshalls. He most certainly used Tweed Deluxes, Brown Deluxes and 100 watt metal panel Superleads.

Tush is without a doubt a Marshall. I would look for something voiced like a Marshall, and work pedals of other flavors. Or, something that combines Marshall and Tweed, like the aforementioned Greer Mod 1. Another amp that does this is the River City Blues Boy. I have one and it falls somewhere between a Tweed Deluxe and a Bluesbreaker. Pedals take it into several directions. It will sound very much like a Marshall if you choose pedals correctly.

Oh, and the Dr. Z. Monza videos I have seen on YouTube make that amp sound VERY Billy F. Gibbons.

Mike
 






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