Which amp(s) to keep?

scottcw

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I have recently moved to a much smaller place and need to downsize my amp collection. I am interested in the psychology of how people make decisions, so I thought I would throw this out there to get insight into what drives these kind of choices.

I need to choose 2 from the following:
  • 1963 Fender Brownface Vibrolux combo. A brown Vibrolux was reportedly used to record Sultans of Swing. Pros: Excels at cleans; great pedal platform. Cons: Not the greatest OD I have played; players have commented that it can feel "stiff."
  • Filmosound "Bernie" conversion head. Pros: A dirty little monster, begs to be turned up to the edge of feedback and use pick attack and guitar volume; loves most of my pedals; tiny and portable. Cons: Good, not great, cleans; needs a separate speaker cabinet.
  • 1968 Marshall 1987 50 watt head. The real deal. Pros: Surprisingly good cleans; the sound of rock turned up; loves fuzz. Cons: Not very practical volume; needs a 2-12" cab at minimum.
  • Stark X-Ray combo. A tweaked tweed Deluxe. Tighter bass, more focused. Pros: The most versatile of all - gorgeous cleans, mid-gain, and full distortion; lots of bounce and feel, like you are playing the amp as much as your guitar. Cons: Can't think of any.
Please share which 2 of the above you would keep and why. Go deep.
 

zenas

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8,228
You primarily playing at home?
If so pick the ones that sound best to you at the volume you'll be using.
Myself I'd keep um all, you only got four.
 

Dale

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10,277
I have recently moved to a much smaller place and need to downsize my amp collection. I am interested in the psychology of how people make decisions, so I thought I would throw this out there to get insight into what drives these kind of choices.

I need to choose 2 from the following:
  • 1963 Fender Brownface Vibrolux combo. A brown Vibrolux was reportedly used to record Sultans of Swing. Pros: Excels at cleans; great pedal platform. Cons: Not the greatest OD I have played; players have commented that it can feel "stiff."
  • Filmosound "Bernie" conversion head. Pros: A dirty little monster, begs to be turned up to the edge of feedback and use pick attack and guitar volume; loves most of my pedals; tiny and portable. Cons: Good, not great, cleans; needs a separate speaker cabinet.
  • 1968 Marshall 1987 50 watt head. The real deal. Pros: Surprisingly good cleans; the sound of rock turned up; loves fuzz. Cons: Not very practical volume; needs a 2-12" cab at minimum.
  • Stark X-Ray combo. A tweaked tweed Deluxe. Tighter bass, more focused. Pros: The most versatile of all - gorgeous cleans, mid-gain, and full distortion; lots of bounce and feel, like you are playing the amp as much as your guitar. Cons: Can't think of any.
Please share which 2 of the above you would keep and why. Go deep.
1963 Fender Brownface Vibrolux combo
Stark X-Ray combo

I would get a load box / reamper and work those.

 

scottcw

Low rent hobbyist
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3,986
You primarily playing at home?
If so pick the ones that sound best to you at the volume you'll be using.
Myself I'd keep um all, you only got four.
Home and church. Keeping all is not an option. I literally do not have the space.
 

Echoplexi

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Keep the Marshall for sure. I want to say keep the Fender too, but your description of the Stark sounds like you really love it, so you should probably hang on to that too.
 

scottcw

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Funny how we think. The Marshall is the most impractical amp of all given the volume, yet the one everyone says to keep.
 
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blackba

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I would keep the stark X-ray for the cleans and versatility and the filmosound for its breakup. Both should be easy to take to Church as well.

What I would do if you have time, is put a couple of the amps in the closed for a few weeks. See if you miss them or long to play them. If not, than you are probably fine selling them. If you do, try one or both of the others and see for that.
 

harvey j

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I would keep the stark X-ray for the cleans and versatility and the filmosound for its breakup. Both should be easy to take to Church as well.

What I would do if you have time, is put a couple of the amps in the closed for a few weeks. See if you miss them or long to play them. If not, than you are probably fine selling them. If you do, try one or both of the others and see for that.
I would sell all of them and buy a Quilter.
 

johnnyjj

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450
Funny how we think. The Marshall is the most impractical amp of all given the volume, yet the one everyone says to keep.
Well, in a smaller place, you can still work with it by using an attenuator, or as a pedal platform. Although people hear 'Marshall' and primarily think screaming kerrrannggg, as the OP states, those vintage heads have lovely cleans - the Bassman heritage really shouldn't be overlooked.
 

Geeze

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2,430
  • 1968 Marshall 1987 50 watt head
  • Stark X-Ray combo
I'm with @Richard Guy on this one. The Marshall for sure - how many of those exist in the wild? Oh and fer sure, um duh, MARSHALL!!!! Thick chewy greatness just flow out of those and probably harder to find in decent shape than most of the 60's Fenders. I also choose the Stark as you commented on it's flexibility and lack of cons.

So now I have a question for you, @scottcw : Since I just moved from a smaller place to a larger place where I can use more volume as well am I required to acquire more amps?!?

Russ
 




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