Guitar amp

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Guitar amp

Postby Martinez » Mon May 09, 2005 5:46 pm

Now I know this isn't a mastering or recording question but it sort of is,
a recording question that is.

the reason I am asking you guys is because most of you play guitar and have recorded a lot of guitar amps in your time and your ears a way more matured than some punk kid with 2 chords on some guitar forum.


anyway I am trying track down a decent all valve head, I mean a really nice sounding head but there really is bugga all out there in that catagory.
amps like soldano and bogner are just to ludercrisly expensive and anyway theres no way of playing one before I buy it anyway, its about 8 grand for a soldano head anyway!

at this point I'm open to suggestions, my only thing is that it must be ungrungy and record well (sit well in the mix well live and recorded)
it's mostly for lead work (very fast runs!)


any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks!
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Postby Kris » Mon May 09, 2005 6:27 pm

www.budda.com

Budda kicks ass.
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Postby Sean » Mon May 09, 2005 6:34 pm

Marshall Superlead all the way. Plexi or JMP it doesn't matter but that sounds like what you want.
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Postby PeterR » Mon May 09, 2005 6:42 pm

what about handmade Aussie?

go for a Sherlock, BJ Amps and there's a few others. These guys do great work.

check this forum out.

[url]http://www.guitargear.net.au/forums/[/url]

as long as you are in Aus - I assume you are.

Peter

edit: can't get BBCode working - maybe because of firefox? I have it switched on in my profile but doesn't seem to work.
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Postby rick » Mon May 09, 2005 7:50 pm

my feeling is a early 70s marshall jmp superlead is just about the best recording amp head ever ,
but if your a shredder you will want some more distortion.
get a stomp box

its no shredder but the marshall will still have tone for days
good enough for acdc - van halen - clapton -hendrix etc etc

they are some catches

get it serviced recapped retubed and cleaned ($500-650)
get a box that loves that amp ( mesa boxes dont)

go back it time 2 years and buy mine
( i could not sell it for love or money for 4 years - not modern enough they said ! )

if you can find a "park" version look no further your there
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Postby davemc » Mon May 09, 2005 9:22 pm

Labsystems Cage is a nice amp. Maybe not heavey enough?.
Soldano's pop up every now and then.
Just have to be in the right place at the right time for a bargian.

Do not mind Engl amps as well.. Although I do like mesa stuff.
What about a pre, power amp and speaker.
Although a lot of tone from the player.
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Postby Martinez » Mon May 09, 2005 10:08 pm

thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Kris_
youre right about Budda's kickin ass. from what I heard from that mp3 on the site they sound awesome but there doesn't seem to be any deals in oz,

any Idea what the cost is?


Sean\Rick_
Marshalls aren't really what I'm after. Malmsteen plays plexies and I don't particularly like his tone.


Peter_
Thanks heaps for that helpfull tid bit, BJ seem the way to go.
gave him a call before and left my number, hopefuly I hear from him soon
He sounds like he really knows his stuff from what I've read and He will taylor it to your wants and needs, then fine tune it to your playing style!
you can't complain about that!

Dave_
Mesa's are pretty good but the top end sounds really horrible to ears, I've got a friend who owns a dual from '92' and he reckons their a totaly different animal now, and not for the better!
Played a couple of engl's at venue and their not really what I'm after either.




thanks everyone for the help,

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Postby rick » Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 pm

"Marshalls aren't really what I'm after. Malmsteen plays plexies and I don't particularly like his tone. "

the first part i understand , but the second part ....?

malmsteen has tone...?
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Postby Henry » Mon May 09, 2005 10:28 pm

You don't state what type of music you want to play.

Versatile amp is Vox AC30 or Laney VC30. I use one with a valve preamp distortion and it works very well and you don't sound like everybody else.

I had a 70's Superlead for 10 years which was completely overhauled but sold it when I got a Marshall 50 watt Anniversary which sounded much better IMO. I think the newer amps are even better but it depends on the sound your after. eg. They're no good for metal.

If you play Rockabilly, the Peavey 30 is fantastic.
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Postby Martinez » Mon May 09, 2005 11:17 pm

Sorry Henry,

I didn't mention what music I play because I didn't want to be pigeon holed as to the kind of sound I'm after, which seems happen a lot.

I do play metal yes, but the good kind, that is not flat out nonsense and not drop tuned crap with two chords (usualy E,F), but I also play instrumental guitar with orchestral arrangments which is tastefull and pleasant not just shredding over a string section.

the trouble with most so called metal sounding amps is that there's no substance to the sound at all.
its just thin buzzy distiortion with to much bottom end, which might be fine for youre average metal band but certainly not for my arrangments.

for some reson most amp makers think that this sort of sound equates to a metal sound as if the two are one and the same.

the irony here is with a thicker distortion (that is closer to an A class sound) you actually get a much heavier sound and you can actually use the amp for playing different styles as well.
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Postby David W » Mon May 09, 2005 11:38 pm

OK heres a subject that I feel very passionate about afterall Its only in the last 7 years that Ive been taking recording very seriously.
Before that I played guitar and played aroung 5 hrs a day every day since I was 16 now 35.
My first serious and was a fender twin reverb. A great amp but I was into a heavier sound.
Secondly a Marshall JCM800 2204. I fell in love with this amp.
I later joind a band and we took a loan to buy some gear and I was convinced to buy a new 9000 Marshall rackmount series at the time (The worst desission of my life).
Gladly sold it at a big loss for a marshall combo (Litte known series aimed at country market) Very underated amp cant remember series.
Sold it and tried to give it all up.

Always had a desire to record music started with Roland VS800 and ended with Pro Tools HD.
Only a coupple of months ago desided to invest in some instruments for the studio.

Trialed many amps

[b]VOX AC30 [/b]although very good not quite the sound i like.
[b]Newer Marshall 2000 series [/b](Barff)
[b]Marshall Hi Gain 900 [/b]not to bad.
[b]Marshall 6100 anaversary edition [/b]nup.
[b]Marshall JCM800 2204 [/b](As the fonz would say HEEEEEEEY) 8)
8) 16 years after buying this amp I remembered what a rock amp should sound like.

HAH glad to get that off my chest.
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Postby Simon B » Wed May 11, 2005 7:08 am

In terms Of guitar amps I would have to say the super lead 100w is a tone temple, ridicuously loud but incredible. sure malmsteen uses them, but he is also still wearing leather pants and doing karate kicks..... somone should tell him its 2005 and enough.

Before satriani got a custom satriani amp and before vai got a custom vai amp they were using the marshall super lead on most of their stuff.

the carvin legacy, which is the vai custom, doesnt strike me as a tone temple. and I played with it for a long time. I own a marshall super lead with four vintage greenbacks, I also own a mesa boogie subway rocket, it isnt like most mesa's, its a 25w class a combo and a little secret weapon if you will

I want a fender twin, and ac30. then I would be happy with my amp range.

also another brand of amp to check out is rivera, stupidly priced, but really really nice amps. If you are in melbourne you can check out my super lead. or you can check out a rivera at guitar sales centre on nepean highway. they have a second hand half stack there.

hope this helps
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Postby Martin » Wed May 11, 2005 11:30 am

its a smaller amp but i use an Engl Thunder 50 Reverb... seems to be pretty versatile but i'm not a metal player by any means.. what i do like is that you can get a pretty wide range of tones

the clean sound isn't too top-end-less and muffled and you can still push it really hard and get a sound that you wouldn't think possible for a single 12"

i've never much gotten into amps in details, too busy trying to play the right frets and strings (im an acoustic player first and foremost anyway) but i like this Enlg quite a bit more than JCM's and Twins i have played in the past..
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Postby glynbo » Wed May 11, 2005 12:13 pm

I use the original peavey evh 5150 for most stuff.
It's got a great clean tone (although others I've heard have not) and a much better distortion that the mkII in my opinion.
and heaps of gain. from just nice and dirty to way over the top!
but I'm presuming u've tried one already.
the type of cab makes a big difference too.
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Postby michael » Wed May 11, 2005 4:19 pm

seriously through this is an even more subjective topic than "what's your favourite mic pre". (Not that there is anything wrong with that i guess...)

Anyway if it purely a recording amp, test out some little combo. Someone already mentioned the Engl Thunder 50. You really really do not need a loud amp and box, some of the meatiest recorded sounds can come from nothing more than 'practice amps'
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Postby David W » Wed May 11, 2005 5:40 pm

Exactly Michael.
Thats one reason I love the JCM800 2204 so much as it is 50 watts you can realy drive it without it going to rediculous levels that put a strain on the mic.(beyer 160 and 57 sound great Eddie Kramer apparently used these for Hendrix and Zepplin)
Having a closed back quaddie gives the cab more compression as well rather the more open sound of a combo I suppose that could be up to personal taste.
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Postby Chris H » Wed May 11, 2005 6:43 pm

Speaking of Australian amps, check the options here:
http://www.retrosound.com.au/index2.htm
On offer are a variety of reproductions of classic valve amps that are ideal for recording.
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Postby Martinez » Wed May 11, 2005 8:15 pm

Look its like this guys,

the sound I'm looking for is fat, I mean really fat, I mean I'm talking Kirsty Alley here!.

its like a cross between steve vai tone from the first verse of the animal and the sound of an old fender twin being cranked only fatter sounding with no grungy bottom end or bottom end clipping and more bite such as gary mores tone off still got the blues.

now I know there's gonna be a whole lot of people going, ''it can't be done man'' but I know it can because Iv'e done it by piggy backing but It's a bit noisey and a bit of a pain to cart around two amps,

I definatley need head with a quad because its part of the sound and I dont just need it to record with.
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Postby Kurt » Wed May 11, 2005 11:28 pm

Mesa Boogie dual rectum-frier. They don't call 'em that for nothing ;)

For anything from clean to ball-tearing distortion nothing beats 'em out of the box.

The techies at the local music shop tell me the Ashton all valve head can sound great, they're well built but not well set up.
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Postby Kris » Wed May 11, 2005 11:30 pm

How about the Voodoo Lab pre amp? It does a pretty meaty high gain.
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Postby Ausrock » Thu May 12, 2005 2:54 am

Kurt,

I think you mean Ashdown..........from memory they are they old Trace Elliott guys and the amps that I have seen are quite good.

My son and I have had a few Marshalls and I wouldn't complain but these days I stick to my Rivera 5512, it will go almost head to head against our 100watt Marshall and quad.............clean as a whistle to ballsy dirt with power to burn.

8)
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Postby Kurt » Thu May 12, 2005 2:59 am

Nope, Ashton, the homebrand import guys. A 100watt all valve head costs just under $1000.

[quote="Ausrock"]Kurt,

I think you mean Ashdown..........from memory they are they old Trace Elliott guys and the amps that I have seen are quite good.

My son and I have had a few Marshalls and I wouldn't complain but these days I stick to my Rivera 5512, it will go almost head to head against our 100watt Marshall and quad.............clean as a whistle to ballsy dirt with power to burn.

8)[/quote]
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Postby Martinez » Thu May 12, 2005 7:46 am

actualy I have tried an ashdown and it wasn't that great I thought.

I tried one of those ashton 100 watt stacks too just for some amusement up on the sunshine coast,
and boy do they suck! ha ha ha ha.
but what do you expect for that kind of price.

the closest Iv'e heard to my dream amp is a budda,
but some one else was playing it.

sounded awesome though.
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Postby PeterR » Thu May 12, 2005 10:56 am

I've got the 50w Ashton valve head. It was like $500 or something.

Its not bad but its not great. I use it mainly as a power amp. Like all valve amps it sounds better when you really crank it. When I can be bothered Im gonna get BJ Amps to slot in 1 of his JCM800 clones. The tranformers and chassis are almost worth the asking price alone.

Peter
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Postby Martinez » Thu May 12, 2005 5:49 pm

has anyone tried or heard one of those shirlock amps?

Man the 100 watt head very cool for $3500.

looks kinda like the love child of a retafire and triamp

Peter have heard a bj before?

if so what did it sound like?
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Postby Martinez » Thu May 12, 2005 8:18 pm

Wow very cool!

I've just spoken to John at BJ amplifiers,
and I told him about what I was looking for sound wise in a amp.
so to cut a long story short, because I live in Sydney I'm going to send a Cd with various guitar sounds on it with a written explanation of which aspect of each sound I would like to acheive and he will ring me afterwards to tell me whats possible and whats not, and if it is we will take it from there.

One idea I did discuss with him is the fact that I have used for my sound the piggy backing thing and would it be possible to build a amp head with both a pre and a post gain eq, with the presence of the post being a wonderfully transparent presence and he said this would also be possible.

for those of you who don't about the joys of using a pre and post eq it is excellent for effecting the way the distortion breaks up so you can pretty much get any sound you want.

and this baby will two channles like that to boot!

He also told me that he had built and amp like that a number of years ago and it was the best amp had ever owned and that had regreted having sold ever since.

oh and all this for between $2500 and $3000, wow what a rip of merchant
NOT!

If I do end up getting my beautifull Frankenstein made any of you in Sydney are welcome to come and give it a try.
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Postby PeterR » Thu May 12, 2005 8:30 pm

sorry martinez I haven't heard one before. I've seen a few around and they look good but thats really not that useful to you.

from what I have heard he's based most of his amps on the JCM800 for higher gain and BF fenders for blues-rock.

John has done some work for me on my wah before and service was prompt and cheap.
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Postby Damien » Fri May 13, 2005 12:31 pm

i have never really liked marshall amps.
the only ones i have liked are usually really heavily modified.
they are ususlly a one trick pony.

i just played a brand new JCM 2000 DSL (50watt i think)
http://www.marshallamps.com/images/prod ... dsl50.html

i love this amp. its clean, not harsh, not muddy, sounds great.
i have used a lespaul, godin and a strat in this thing and really like the sound.
and the knobs work, to me most marshal knobs do very little when you turn them.

i also like fender bassman, and hotrod diville.
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Postby Sean » Fri May 13, 2005 8:44 pm

Damien,

I would have agreed with you when I first bought my Marshall plexi, but it's not the amp that's meant to be versitile, it just provides one of the greatest tones given to an amp, it's the rest of your equipment that'll make it sound however you want.
It's the same case with fender's as well.
I have to ask what more would you want?
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Postby seb » Sun May 15, 2005 2:53 pm

my 0.02c:

tone: Laney LH50R

tone and great od: Laney VH100R
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