WTB on a budget...Boutique Analogs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by onemind, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. onemind

    onemind Member

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    So a friend of my son called, he wants a tube amp, is on a budget and has no idea what he wants.... I invited him over and he came along with his drummer buddy and I let him play his LP Studio (which I picked out for him!) through some various amps.... Goodsell, Metroliner, Carr Vincent, Sommatone Roaring Twenty, Carr Mercury.

    While he liked them all it was clear that the Mercury 'spoke' to him. I gave him a bit of a primer on amp types, tube types, etc. and we discussed his needs. I debunked the Guitar Center salesman's claim that he needed 40 watts or more to keep up with a drummer as well.

    I'm thinking with a budget of 500-600 or so He might do well with a Mesa...Subway Rocket comes to mind...

    Any other 'boutique-analog' amps he should consider. Cheap Rivera? Crate? Which one will cop the gainy Marshall characer of the Merc the best?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  2. onemind

    onemind Member

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  3. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    I have a Carr Mercury that I absolutly love to bits - honestly whenever I am in a guitar center I always find everything I play sounds like crap. I used to have a couple Mesa's and I liked their non-high gain/modern amps like the Lonestar Special that I used to own but the Mercury outclasses it as a clean to grain amp.

    Had I not bought the Mercury I would have been more interested in the Mesa Express 5:25 after owning the Lonestar.
     
  4. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Don't laugh, but (ok, laugh if you want), but I've played a ton of boutique and vintage amps and a Fender Blues Jr with JJ tubes and a Celestion G12H30 replacement speaker might surprise your friend's son. It sure surprised me.

    Should be right at or slightly below his budget if you buy the speaker from Avatar (get the Hellatone 30 - it's a broken in G12H30 with a Hellatone sticker slapped over the Celestion one, for about $89) and don't waste extra money on laquered tweed.

    With these tubes and this speaker, you get a nice Marshall-growl-meets-Fender-cleans.
     
  5. Gigbag

    Gigbag Member

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    US Masters Guitar Works: Masters TVA30 is a 30 watt (head or combo) 4 EL84 amp which has a street price of $500 to $650. It's worth checking out. It is an import, but mine has been problem free for 8 months. A wide variety of tones.

    Does it have to be boutique?
     
  6. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    I agree, That is my amp with the exception of a Greenback in mine. Sort of a mini Bluesbreaker. I have 300 in it.
     
  7. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    You know, I just don't know anyone who has one of these that doesn't love it. I gig with mine in smaller rooms. I prefer its tone and dynamics to many well kept and well restored vintage Fenders I've owned.
     
  8. Gibson 1964

    Gibson 1964 Member

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    Frenzel? I use them. They have solid all tube amps at a low price point and IMO, they smoke the blues jr.
     
  9. dead mike

    dead mike Member

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    for $910 bucks you can get a Clark Beaufort off of ebay. There new and come from the man himself. Easily the best bang for your buck ever.
     
  10. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I am constantly amused at how, when an OP asks for recommendations in certain price range, so many come back with recommendations that cost more.
     
  11. doc

    doc Member

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    Vintage Traynor.
     
  12. onemind

    onemind Member

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    He actually ended up buying a rectoverb combo I found for him locally... under 700. The high gain appealed to him, He also checked out a Crate (tube) amp, but ended up returning that.
     

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