Why can't I find an amp that does it all?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Demioblue, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Demioblue

    Demioblue Member

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    I have had 3 amps in the last 2 years. A Fender Princeton Reverb Reissue, a Laney VC15-110, and a Blackstar HT5.


    Things I wanted from these amps:
    1. Fender: Great cleans. Didn't break up as easily as a Blues Jr. Fantastic Reverb. Neat Vibrato effect. Open back construction. Larger cab (10" baffle with room for a 12"). Front mounted controls. GREAT bottom end!
    2. Laney: Really sweet overdrive tone. Really light.
    3. HT5: Great high-gain tones. Standby switch, effects loop. 2 channel. ISF Tone Shaping. Light weight.
    What I didn't like about these amps:
    1. Fender: Single channel. No power scaling. No Mids control. Pretty hefty.
    2. Laney: Goes "pop" after a while when you turn it off. Poor reverb. (compared to the PRRI) Cleans not so good. No power scaling. Closed back. Weak bottom end.
    3. HT5: No reverb. Closed back. Single Mids Control. Weak bottom end.
    Is there an amp in the market with:
    1. 5w-15w or 20w power scaling
    2. Accutronics spring reverb (as in what's found in the PRRI)
    3. Vibrato effect
    4. Efx Loop
    5. Standby Switch
    6. Low Mids + High Mids control
    7. Great bottom end
    8. Tube Rectifier
    9. 6v6 to el84 switchable
    10. Larger cab (10" baffle with room for a 12").
    11. Front mounted controls.
    12. 3 Channels: Clean, Overdrive, High Gain (or even 2 channels, with 1 clean, and one drive channel that's really sweet and with a very wide range of gain control)
    13. Footswitchable for channels, reverb & vibrato
    Does such an animal even exist?
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks Member

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    you want a fuchs triple drive supreme?
    you need a soldano lucky 13?

    actually you might just need a mesa tremoverb.
     
  3. Unabender

    Unabender Member

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    Why not just try an AXE-FX and a power amp combination?
     
  4. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    You can't find an amp that does it all because there isn't one. That's why you should have several! :D
     
  5. jimijam

    jimijam Member

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    a nice Germino LoVo55 will do it all for me :p
    How about an Blackstar HT-20? I thought those had reverb?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  6. jchan

    jchan Member

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    There isn't an amp that does it all. You need to coax the tone you want out of the amp you are using. Use pedals, your guitar volume, the amp settings, your technique, etc, to be able to pull it out of the amp. That is the key.
     
  7. ylo

    ylo Member

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    One problem, IMHO, is the speakers. The best clean tones have some top-end high-frequency content, for example BF Fender amps with JBLs in open-back cabs. When driven by a Marshall or Boogie preamp with OD or distortion, the same speaker & cab sounds too bright and fizzy. Anyway, my experience. Your taste and ears may tell you something a little different.

    One solution is something like the Mesa Roadking, which lets you switch from open back to closed back cabinet with the amp channel. Or, get two (or three) amps and a nice buffered or MIDI-controlled A-B-(C) switch.
     
  8. germs

    germs Member

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    because you're looking for the perfect-storm of amps that don't exist.

    i'm almost positive that someone out there would build you one, but i don't think you'd be too excited about the price of a custom amp...not that i know your particular financial situation or anything, but it'll be expensive.

    of all the amp features you list, a Mesa Roadking Tremoverb is probably gonna be the closest you can get with something off the rack. but even then it's lost on your wattage requirement.
     
  9. hk45acp

    hk45acp Member

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    it would be the amp equivalent of this:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. just_one_more

    just_one_more Member

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    If you are willing to let go of the trem and use some of the great trem pedals out there, your options open up a lot more.
     
  11. 5E3

    5E3 Supporting Member

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    Yes, or an Eleven Rack or GSP1101.
     
  12. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm with the others here. Over 15 years I've owned 400+ amps. Of that, a small number were 3 channel amps. Of THOSE perhaps 4 covered most of the ground you want with a few exceptions: the H&K Triamp, the Trace Trident, the Marshall 6101, and the Egnator/Randall Modular. Notice, all of them use the same pattern as the Mesa: complex preamp with a high output power section to allow the pre to do it's job. Notice also, none of them weighs less than 50#, because that's what it takes to get that kind of job done.

    The hardest thing to get from a multi-channel amp to my ears, is crunch. High gain and clean are pretty easy. The above 4 are the only ones that I've owned that do crunch very well. I've also tried the preamp/power amp thing, which you could build to DO what you want like this:
    1. Preamp: Randall 4 channel
    2. Trem/Reverb: Peavey Valverb
    3. Small/flexible power amp: Peavey 50/50 or Mesa 20/20 (if you compromise on weight the GT Dual 75, stereo power amp can run one channel with EL84s and one with 6V6s, but it's a monster...).

    There is no small, simple, inexpensive, lightweight amp that'll do what you're asking, and there never will be because of the competing design ideas (weight vs complexity).
     
  13. john l

    john l Supporting Member

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    This in all seriousness. Ive never understood searching for the one that does it all. Versatillity is fine but Id much rather have an amp that did one thing well then several things just...okay.
     
  14. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    AxeFX Standard + Solid State power amp + 2x12 with EV12L's or similar.
    (solid state for light weight, 1U and lots of power potential)

    You can do what you list above within 2 or 3 patches... then you have over 300 more patch slots to fill after that!

    :dude
     
  15. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Why can't I find an amp that does it all?

    Because, there isn't an amp that does it all.:cool:
     
  16. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    ...for the same reason you can't find one car that'll shuttle the kids back and forth to school, blast through your favorite backroad, go mud-whomping after a big rain or carry 6 bags of cement and a dozen 8 ft. 2x4's.:cool:
     
  17. dalandan

    dalandan Member

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    Peavey Windsor? sounds like something similar to what you want.
     
  18. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Member

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    I'll elaborate on WHY you can't find an amp that does it all from a design perspective.

    When designing an amp focused on giving beautiful clean tones, completely different decisions are made in the design of various areas of the circuit. For example, one might configure the power supply completely different to achieve stellar clean tones than he might to get great high gain tones. Transformer choices, filter cap values, and many other factors contribute to achieving excellence in one characteristic vs another, and these choices are central to the core of the amplifier, so to get both clean and dirty tones from the same amp, certain compromises have to be made.

    There are some great amps out there that do a great job of balancing those compromises, but they are still compromises.

    I suppose it might be possible to build an amp with the greatest of all worlds but it would cost $20,000 and out weigh a VW van :)
     
  19. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks Member

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    you'll need more money that's why.
    the cost of a laney, a fender reissue and a bt-5 doesn't even come close to an amp that does one thing really really well.
     
  20. Blanket Jackson

    Blanket Jackson ¿Qué Hiciste? Silver Supporting Member

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    There are several criteria that you could use a good pedal for, several criteria that are maybe best restated in terms of tone sought (not actual hardware, ex. 6V6 / EL84 switch), and several options you could pursue from there.

    Lots of good stuff being said about the Axe and other modelers, but I have not made that jump myself. For me, I either switch between 2 or more different amps, or choose a single amp for a single base color for the gig, and work around that limitation. Once I started playing a Matchless Chieftain I changed my expectations a bit.

    Frustrating, I know ... :bkw
     

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