Which Red Iron?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mikey Likes It, May 13, 2008.

  1. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm trying to decide between the Mil Spec, the T-Rex, and the Bronx. I know some of you have tried all three and am curious about a few things. Paul tells me the bronx is "dark" - now I know that the tones are nice and thick, based on the amp show reviews, but is this really what you all would call a "dark" amp? Will it not produce pinch harmonics with a tele, for instance? No jangling chords?

    I see the mil Spec as an amp which specializes in really nice clean tones, one to use with pedals. Can it sparkle and chime with a strat, jangle with filtertrons, or is it also what you'd call a "dark" amp?

    The T-Rex sounds like a nice balanced amp that can give shimmering complex chords and then grind away when the guitar volume knob is goosed. Is it going to be anywhere near my Carol Ann OD 50, or is it a different beast?

    Sure I'd like one of each, but that would be gluttonous.

    Since there aren't any clips out there yet, any and all impressions and advice (and thanks for your reviews, Hans - I'm partial to 90-minute IPA, too) are welcome and appreciated!
     
  2. The Last Rebel

    The Last Rebel Member

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    I've only played the Mil-Spec, just keep that in mind. I played it at the Dallas Guitar Show, it was really the highlight of my day. It had a beuatiful shimmering clean tone that stayed tight. It really seemed to me to be one of those pedal platform amps, it had a very pure, neutral tone that would be great pushed by some pedals. Paul told me that his Bronx model is similar to the Mil-Spec, but thicker and beefier, which is exactly what I like. The Mil-Spec was great, but a little too thin for my taste, but on the other hand I love milkshake thick tones, so keep that in mind. It had plenty of depth and bass, which might have been, in part, becuase of the cab. I'm right on the egde of ordering a Bronx head and cab from Paul as well. I can't say enough good things about Paul as a person, he's very approachable and informative. He also told me at the DGS that the brunt of his work is still custom, so keep that in mind. He also has fantastic prices, half of what one of the "big guys" would charge for a piece of tonal magic as serious as these Red Iron amps.

    I also feel like quite a few of these threads will be popping up over the next few months. Just wanted to add that.
     
  3. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    You guys are really making me regret that I couldn't be there at the
    show.

    When Paul can find the time, it would be great to get the web page updated
    with basic specs on the new amps and a description of their overall tones etc..

    I'm certain all this attention can be a bit overwhelming.

    What we need here is a limited edition Red Iron Stimulus Amp. :)
     
  4. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    Paul told me today that they are working frantically to update the website.

    The other thing he told me is that some of the TGP'ers (Frankenstrat?) have convinced him to look into the ultimate right-hand tone control machine: an amp with no knobs. Flat-out, and controlled only via the guitar's knobs. For those of us who like simplicity, it seems to be the epitome, and a really cool concept. But that's for next year. Meantime, it's a tough choice between these three.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow....an amp with no controls!! talk about simplicity
     
  6. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I find the Bronx the most interesting running 6550's for clean headroom, but each of them is quite tempting.

    I also noticed that Paul builds stand alone pre amps.

    How about a 2 channel tube mic pre/DI?
    That could be very cool for recording.
     
  7. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

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    I own a T-Rex and it is thick as a milk shake. It is definitely in the Wreck style but more like Tweed Wreck if you know what I mean. It has bloom in spades, cleans up when the volume knob is turned down, but it is loud. It is an amp that needs breathing room. It has sort of a baxandall tone stack, basically I run the volume at 12:00, Bass at 9:30, Treble at 3:00 and bang away. It has overtones galore too. It is a special amp. I almost sold it because it is too loud, but in the end, I love the tone too much. So everyonce in a while if your in my neighborhood, you'll see my garage vibrate a bit........
     
  8. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmm, and the Bronx must be even louder with the 6550s...thanks for the input.
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I don't think any of them are too loud - we all said: just right! They are NOT bedroom amps, however.
    If you want jangle go for the Klean - it's not HiFi clean but big and meaty - the only one of the three tube rectified. If you really want jangle badly you may find you have to look somewhere else, none of them are like a BF.

    Pinch harmonics leap out of all of them but that is way different from being jangly. The TRex is very fast and articulate; the most distortion, I suppose, and actually my least favourite. Why? I'm a big fan ('cos of how I grew up) of British Blues from the sixties and the Bronx has that and more covered in a big American Fat Fudge Sundae! Nowadays to be honest the Klean would cover most of my needs...
    I hate to say it but you should try all three before buying.
    Best, Pete.
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Gee how much for a matched box set? :)
     
  11. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    I have amps that jangle - really looking to cover new ground. I'd love to fly down to Austin and try 'em, but...

    Again, there's nothing like input and feedback when talking about amps. Still a tough choice - anybody want to help rectify? (Snare roll/cymbal crash)
     
  12. gearitis

    gearitis Gold Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking!
     
  13. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    I am going to jump in just to post an opinion or two.
    I will preface by saying that not only am I a dealer, I am Paul's only dealer right now.

    The Mil Spec is one of the most beautiful sounding clean amps that I have ever played.
    The amp will not break up. Now, have I played a set of Duncan Invaders through it? No... But with most normal output pickups the amp will not give up much in the way of gain.
    What it does do is gush beautiful cleans, and is huge and fat, while still having sparkle without harshness on the top end.
    The amp will eat up pedals though and is a big sounding tone platform.
    Paul's use of alternative tube selection in his preamp's (Octals) gives all of his amps a unique voice without taking them too far from what we are all familiar with tone wise.
    Mil Spec = GIANT DELUXE in my book, but with more headroom. Blues, and Jazz guys without pedals will love the amp...
    Rock and blues players, and fusion guys who have a favorite gain pedal or fuzz will love this amp as well.

    T Rex:
    This is like a Texas Train Wreck with bottom end but larger sounding.
    The T Rex is a total touch sensitive tone MONSTER...
    Cleans up with your volume knob, requires no gain pedals to take the heads off of the first few rows, and spews even order harmonics.
    This amp is for the guy who wants to do it all from the volume knob of his guitar.
    You can literally get that lovely clean up that some of us associate with a Fuzz Face on, with the volume rolled off, all the way to full soaring, thick as a herford lead and rock chording tones.
    Think Tweed Champ but 10,000 pounds.

    What I love about Paul's amps is that you can deck them, have no hard/ice pick tones, and play with "I have a hard hitting drummer" volumes, without risking having people scream at you for excessive DB abuse.
    Beautiful sounding amps, wonderful guy.

    The Bronx is its own animal all together and I have not had a chance to live with it quite as much as the other two.
    Suffice to say that it is every bit the amp the other two are but with it's own voice.

    I have been begging Paul to do a two twelve equipped Super Tweed Twin style amp but with his approach. I'm sure it would be wonderful.

    It's a pleasure to work with Paul and I knew from the moment I met the guy that he was a talented, honest and innovative builder who had a big future ahead.
    I'm sure the next months and years are going to be filled with activity out at Casa Sanchez.
    What is a lot of fun is to see Sam's Cardinal guitars next to the Red Iron amps.
    Every Texas Hill country home needs a set even if they residents don't play a note.
    True Functional Art.
     
  14. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks a lot, Lance - I was hoping you'd chime in.
     
  15. indravayu

    indravayu Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    For those of you that have heard/played through the amps, which one do you think would be the best choice for approximating 70's British hard rock tones (ala Jimmy Page, Brian May, Tony Iommi, Mick Ronson)? I thought maybe the T-Rex, but perhaps that has more of an '80's hard rock gain structure?

    I am waiting for some cash to come in so I can place an order for one soon.

    - Chris
     
  16. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    OH NO,
    No 80's gain structure at all! The T Rex is the way to roll.
    Feel free to call me to discuss.
     
  17. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I agree with Lance.
    BUT don't write off the "Bronx".

    Best, Pete.
     
  18. indravayu

    indravayu Senior Member

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    Awesome - thanks again. guys.
     
  19. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    Pete's not making it easy...
     
  20. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Red Iron Amps
    The Trilogy :)
     

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