Which Suhr Badger is right for me?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dukeh62, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. dukeh62

    dukeh62 Supporting Member

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    I’d love some input on my current amp search. I’ve read tons of posts and watched demos, but still have some questions.

    I’ve played a Clark Beaufort (tweed deluxe) as my main amp for almost 10 years. As much as I love it, I find myself wanting a TOUCH more headroom (not volume) and perhaps a little more British/Marshall flavor.

    I play roots/classic rock tones, and ALWAYS play on edge of breakup. Not looking for mega crunch or super clean. Prefer warmer, rounder tones. I also step on a fuzz quite a it throughout the night as well.

    VOLUME: I play mostly small rooms, and often use an attenuator with my Clark. In larger rooms I can open it up some more.

    The Suhr Badger has me really intrigued. My gut tells me the 18 would fit the bill volume-wise, however, I don’t want to get stuck with having to run it hotter and be stuck with too much gain. On the contrary, I’m afraid the 30 or 35 may be overkill and be way too much amp that I’ll rarely get to play as it should.

    And to make matters more confusing, I think I’d prefer the sound of the 30’s EL34s to the 35’s EL84s because I’m not a big “chime” guy, but I’ve read the 30 runs cleaner which may work against me.

    Help!!!!

    I know it ultimately comes down to my tastes, etc, but would love any helpful insight others may have.

    Again, I HAVE done a bit of research, just still undecided.

    I also considered the Dr Z Maz 18, bit again worry about too much chime compared to what I’m used to.

    Unfortunately I can’t play any of these amps locally.

    Thanks in advance for any insights!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  2. mscotts

    mscotts What?! Silver Supporting Member

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    Get the 30. Amazing edge of breakup tones and the headroom is always perfect because of the power scaling.
    Perfect for all but the really big rooms. Takes any pedal you can throw at it.
     
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  3. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I love my 18! It gets pretty damn loud with my Suhr cab loaded with a Vintage 30. Also, it's not as gainy as you would think. I think it would be plenty for your needs.
     
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  4. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    You can tweak the apparent headroom of an amp by migrating to lower or higher efficiency speakers... thr other way is to run the amp wide open, roll your guutar vokume back till you have acceptable cleanness and use the compression of your amp to carry the volume.

    In most of my playing situations.. from 50 to 2000 people a pair of 6v6s or el84 has ALWAYS been enough, with headroom to spare ( in fact 12W would be useable and 15W adequate) I use a 2x8" 94dB cab for 50.. and a 4x12 at 97db for 2000.. but most of my "regular" dance hall performances for 250 to 500 was with a 1x12 at 97 dB.

    I know a 5E3 circuit is pretty loose and bassy; a tech could revoice the amp slightly (rolling off lows) that should help it cut the mix better with same power.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  5. boldaslove1977

    boldaslove1977 Silver Supporting Member

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    I never thought I was an EL84 guy but I took a chance on a Badger 35 a couple years ago when a TGPer was selling one locally... and I LOVE it.

    It’s not too Voxy... but definitely has more chime than a Marshall... it lives somewhere in the middle, to my ears.

    I usually run it right on that edge of breakup... just enough hair to notice... with pedals for gain. Can still sound huge while keeping the volume low. It’s the best amp I have for gigs where stage volume has to be really low. That said, it can keep up on a loud gig... even with just the 112... but it sounds great with a 212 too. And I’ve yet to find an OD pedal that sounds bad with it.

    The power scaling is really an amazing feature.

    Not surprisingly... it sounds best with the one Suhr guitar I own... but that’s a different topic.

    Getting ahead of ourselves here.. but once you get one... two things to remember....

    1. Keep the power and drive knobs within 2 notches of each other for best results. That’s what Suhr recommends and it doesn’t take long to see they’re right.

    2. When setting your tone, start with the power and drive dimed and work backward from there, using the gain knob as a master volume.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  6. dukeh62

    dukeh62 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the insights everyone. I really love the clips I've heard of the 30, but again, I would just hate to find out I'm strangling the amp with the power scaling on 98% of my gigs. 18 sounds great, too...UGH!!! Such a tough choice!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  7. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    I never played a Badger, but was interested in 1974x type amps. I bought an adapter for my THD Univalve and Bivalve amps to try an EL84. I was really surprised how different it was than other tubes. It is more compressed and gritty ... not in a good or bad way, just different. A tool for a job. I think you should try to test drive both.
     
  8. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    I have an 18 combo and it is the edge of break up sound . Very good amp !!
     
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  9. dukeh62

    dukeh62 Supporting Member

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    Any trouble with that sound playing with a drummer?
     
  10. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    The speaker will be a huge factor in this answer. Tonight, I was playing a 15 watt amp cranked though an inefficient speaker. I would say plenty loud enough for a medium to medium-heavy drummer and too loud for a medium to medium soft drummer. I plugged into a more efficient 2x12 and boom, was blowing my ear drums out. Of course, some drummers are maniacs, but that's a whole other scenario.
     
  11. mscotts

    mscotts What?! Silver Supporting Member

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    I would get either the 30 or the 35.
    The Power Scaling allows you to play whisper quiet, but once you run out of headroom with the 18 you're done.
    The 30 and the 35 sound pretty similar to each other, but the 30 has a tiny bit more of that Marshall midrange flavor
    because of the EL-34s.... IMO of course
     
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  12. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    I do not play out. I cannot imagine it not being loud enough.
    There is a video of Pete Thorn using one in a band with Steve Stevens I think.
     
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  13. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Supporting Member

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    Honestly I would go 30. The power scaling works so well, it’s not really an issue as far as “strangling the tone”, maybe only if you’re down as low as bedroom volume. For any kind of gig volume it works great. Or, try the PT15 :)

    Exact same size, around the same weight as the 30, and you could set it up for an American edge of breakup thing on ch1 and a killer punchy Marshall thing on ch2/3.
     
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  14. handtrix

    handtrix Member

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    As Pete said, the PT15 is another good alternative to the Badgers. I have early Suhr Badger 18 head though a Suhr extension cabinet loaded with a Celestion Gold and have it dialed in with delay & reverb through the effects loop; plugged straight in. I've used it quite a bit for rehearsals.
    -It also has 4/8/16 outs for any speaker(s) config. You can change the punch with what speaker you decide to use. Generally most prefer the 60w Celestion Vintage 30 1x12, but as John has said, it can handle a G12M loaded Marshall 4x12 pretty nicely.
    The power scaling is nice ;-)
     
  15. corbs

    corbs Supporting Member

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    From your description, I can't imagine you not being happy with the Badger 30. Pete Thorn and Guthrie Govan rocked them live.
     
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  16. stratman89

    stratman89 Supporting Member

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    I could have written the same post. I've been researching the Badgers for a while now and have narrowed it down to either the 30 or 35. I love EL34's but currently play through a Marshall 1974x which I love.

    I think the power scaling would be the cat's a$$.
     
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  17. deangardiner

    deangardiner Member

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    My vote is for the Badger 35 if you are after more of a British flavour and are used to a Tweed Deluxe. The 18 is probably not going to give you the extra headroom you are looking for.
    The 35 does the edge of breakup better than any other amp I have ever owned. Power scaling works great at gig levels, and the gain acts like a great master volume. Also with the effect loop and tone controls after the loop return this is super versatile, works great with preamps like Synergy or Kingsley directly in the return.
    I have not played the 30, based on clips it seems to be slightly less crunchy. It is really going to depend on the speaker.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  18. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    I’m looking into the Badger as well. I’ve owned a number of 15W and 30W EL-84 amps. I always find the 30W too loud for edge of breakup tones, and the 15Wers to sit perfect with a drummer.

    Use a 15W amp with a H magnet 1x12 like a 75W Creamback or V30. You’ll get plenty of volume and nice robust lows. It balances 2xEL-84 amps nicely.

    If you’re looking at the Maz 18 and not set on the Badger, the other amp to consider is the Morgan MVP23. Killer amp. It also has power scaling, and is like a Marshall 18W with more versatility. EQ will let it get Fendery, or Voxy too.

     
  19. jhansenku

    jhansenku Supporting Member

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    I had Badger 30, probably the best amp I ever owned!
     
  20. aryasridhar

    aryasridhar Member

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    +1, I have the Badger 35 for close to 2 years now and love the edge of break up tones, at absolutely whisper volumes it still sounds great.

    Power scaling is the key on this one.

    Has a lot of gain on tap, more of a British voicing.

    Cleans with a strat is just too good.

    I’d say go with the 35.
     

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