Post by ourclarioncall on Mar 26, 2020 16:59:17 GMT -5
What has been your amp journey ? First amp, last amp , everything in between
What was your favourite ?
What do you use now at home ?
I started with a Marshall 100 watt valve state .
Then a Marshall solid state head and a 2 x12 cab (which I got in a deal with a 79 brown heavy strat)
A blue Laney lion heart 1x12 5watt valve amp. Bit of an anticlimax. My first valve amp and I was really expecting something special but nope. I really really wanted valve amps to be what I Had built up in my head but they haven’t quite delivered . Well the ones I’ve had a fair bit of time . Having said that, if I had a few quality effects pedals I maybe would have been a lot happier. Like a tube screamer , compressor, reverb /delay.
A small blackstar modelling amp 2x3”
I had a friends 2x10 Marshall valve amp for a while and it was a nice sound
Had a cousin’s 30watt fender blues deluxe and I thought it was horrible . Could not get a sound out of it I liked . And I cranked it really loud and stood in a different room.
Now at work , I used a Roland micro cube and a fender mustang 1x10. Both modelling amps. I’ve been really impressed with fenders modelling of their own fender valve amps.
Still searching for “the amp” of my dreams.
One of the most fun times I’ve had was when I played through a Marshall half stack at a jam session and for the first time I could really hear myself well in the room. Anything smaller than that in a band context I’ve never been as satisfied .So for band situation, I think a Marshall 4x12 would be my choice
But for small rooms /at home valve amps are typically just too loud.
I find for recording a valve amp really shines through and exposes the fakeness of modelling amps. Also in a live performance modelling amps to to get exposed.
But for small bedroom use, Modelling amps are super convenient and sound better to me.
I am looking for at either a fender mustang 2 (1x12) or one of the newer fender mustang GT amps (1x12) with WiFi and Bluetooth and also a 60 second inbuilt looper pedal.
I used to build my own hifi stereo amps and speakers when I was at high-school in the '70s and my early noodling on guitar used those. But my friend at uni had a real guitar amp, so cool with reverb, tremelo and fuzz built in, and I borrowed if for a summer.
But I didn't carry on except for a bit of acoustic, until about 2005, and soon after that I showed up here.
The first amp of my new mid-life crisis was a little Mg10 from Marshall. I'm still using it as a pc sound monitor, and now we are teaching only online at Sydney Uni, my students talk to me through it on Zoom.
I got a dsl combo in 2006, still have it and fixing it's problems taught me a lot.
But when I was doing a Weekend Warriors course in 2007, I got plugged into a Marshall Vintage Modern. One strum and I heard the sound I'd always wanted. But at about $2500 it was way much for me. But much more recently I found a mint one for a quarter of that, and so now ive arrived.
Like JohnH, when I started playing, it was through my father's Hi-Fi amp/speakers- a Knight Kit amp he had built in the early 1960's. Like playing through a PA amp, it had no color to the sound at all, very sterile sounding.
Other than a brief time in a band, I mostly have played for my own amusement, and I've never owned a Marshall stack or anything like that- never needed anything more than a small practice amp, so I've had a succession of those.
My first amp, circa 1969, was a 5-watt solid state Harmony with an 8" speaker, 2 inputs, V and T controls only. It sounded horrid, but was all I could afford at the time. This was when solid state amps first started becoming available, and amps like mine were the reason they got a bad reputation. But, hey, it was stylish, with grey/silver speaker cloth with a red racing stripe woven in.
A bit later, I briefly owned an old Fender Bandmaster that I bought for $75- it was not just used, it was used up. It had the white Tolex. Only one channel worked, and the one that did had a bass knob with a bent shaft so that it would only turn halfway around before the knob hung up on the faceplate- had to remove the knob to rotate it past about "5". All the pots crackled when turned. And, while it was much louder than my 5-watt practice amp, it was nowhere near as loud as the new Bandmaster in the music shop downtown, so even in my ignorant youth I suspected something with it was amiss. I played it through a 15" organ speaker I scrounged out of an old church organ someone had, and I put the speaker in a Univox 15" cab that I found without a speaker in it, sitting on the curb for the trash. Nothing like garbage-picking one's guitar rig!
After the 8th-grade garage band broke up, I was short on funds and sold the Fender for $40. I've regretted it ever since- even though it was beat to crap, vintage Bandmasters bring big bucks these days.
Years later, I bought a Used Crate Model One- the original US-made Crate, 1x12" speaker, in a raw wooden enclosure. This amp sounded pretty good, and it was my only amp for many years.
Then, in the late 1990's, I got a 25-watt Fender Frontman 25 "R" (for "reverb") 25-watt amp, which I still have. Decent amp for a cheap price but the gain channel sucks. Currently, this is my "away game" amp, I keep it at our cabin in the Pennsylvania mountains.
Currently at home, I'm using several different amps, depending on mood. I have a Fender Princeton 65, which is an early-90's vintage SS with a single 12" speaker. It has some issues but my son-in-law gave it to me for free so I can't complain too loudly. Not a bad sound for a solid-state amp but none of the tube "warmth" when playing it clean. I also have an old Peavey StudioPro 40 that I bought off ebay for $50. It has the classic Peavey pre- and post- controls so one can "dial in" a low volume on the power amp but still ut the preamp into distortion. Has a great onboard reverb, and has push/pull "bright" and "deep" controls on the Vol knobs. Has a single 12" speaker. This is definitely my favorite amp. Old Peavey solid state amps are cheap out there, snag one if you get the chance I say.
I also have a tiny Orange "MicroCrush" battery-powered amp for travel with a little 3" speaker, has an onboard tuner which is its only redeeming feature. Doesn't sound like much. I hardly ever use it, and I've been angling to find a better battery-powered option for a while.
A year or so ago, I also bought a Quilter "Microblock" amp-in-pedal which I use quite a bit, it's usually either that or the Peavey. I run it through a 15" cab I built from a kit with a 15" Eminence speaker in it. For a tiny little solid state thing, it gets a good range of sounds with 3 knobs.
I'm working now on rebuilding a pair of child's 1/2 size electric guitars for my youngest two grandsons, and picked up a pair of old Peavey's off of Ebay recently to go with the guitars- goal is to be finished by Easter, as a present for both. Both are small practice amps, one is an "Audition" model which is just ok-sounding. The other is an older-model Transtube "Blazer" model with an 8" speaker. This thing flippin' CRANKS! It sounds a lot like my 40-watt Peavey in a (much) smaller package. (I may have to keep this thing and find another for the grandson, best small practice amp I've ever used)
EDIT: And, I forgot to mention one other amp- I have a Traynor solid-state bass amp, just a small practice amp with a 10" speaker. Not very loud but OK for the few times I break out the bass to fool around on.
Post by thetragichero on Mar 28, 2020 11:42:19 GMT -5
I'll do bass for now and type up guitar later
my first bass amp started life as a portable, battery powered solid state amp that my father probably bought before i was ever born. since this to be for bass, it needed big speakers, right? enter a pair of home stereo speakers someone set out for trash. they each had a 12" speaker and some smaller speaker, so out came the jig saw to make one of the baffles 2x12. pretty poor grill cloth job later and the baffle was done. cut out a rectangle on the top to access the controls and mounted it inside. this was powered by a 12v dc adapter with the ubiquitous (for our house) heatshrinked plug on the end. for what it was this thing held up for our weekly band practices in the basement... until it didn't my guess is that we probably hooked it up to run at half the load that the amplifier was designed to so it sounded louder than it should... until it didn't. why did i just play through his vintage deluxe reverb? because of that old myth that bass will destroy a guitar amp! i should also note that i kept that speaker, on its side, and used it as a night stand until after high school. the fact that the front baffle would come off fairly easily made the inside my go to spot for hiding things i did not want my parents finding... plus my actual night standbyll got moved next to my pc to be used as a stand for my four track
that was 7th and part of 8th grade i don't think i received my next bass amp until 9th or 10th? maybe it was the following Christmas, who knows. anyway my next amp was a big ol crate bx100 1x15 combo amp. not exactly super heavy but built in a way that its large size plus only a single handle on top made it quite difficult to move around. I'm pretty sure this amp is why I've never trusted an xlr line out and have always miced bass amps... this got a fair amount of use, even in my early 20s (i did not bring it on campus though... something about giant amps being overkill for student housing). before i moved to Florida, i traded this along with my record player and its preamp for the squier strat that originally brought me to the forum, a raven solid state combo amp (which ended life being stripped and having a poorly constructed 5e3 clone in it), and my hardwire tube overdrive (which i just let go a few months back after needing to go mini size for my small pedalboard)
couple of years without a bass amp until... a responded to a Craigslist ad for an ampeg b2r rackmount head and hartke 4x10. this ampeg might've been the worst sounding of anything I've ever owned and yet i still held onto it until a year or two ago. this was the first big power bass amp for me. i tried a blue tube Plano in front of it to get more grind, even ran a crazy jfet boost i made into it. THAT sounded great... until i started to small burning. thankfully no apparent long term damage it did get played outside of the practice room by my bassist at the time a fair amount, but as soon as i was able to devote the next rig to bass only service....
if I get to the guitar stuff later, I'll mention my rackmount era (in the early 2010s... well after the 80s lol) but the next bass rig was a peavey rockmaster preamp into a peavey classic 120 power amp. on the clean channel, with the master almost full up (on 10 there was too much loss of definition) and overall volume controlled by the preamp volume i could get close to that svt grindy pushed cleans. this was played (mostly on one of the distortion channels) by a number of guys (not me) quite a bit through the hartke 4x10 (sometimes stacked with a hartke 1x15 because big speaker means bass, right? lol) or my Marshall valvestate 4x12 (for maximum wall of noise)
saw a bunch of touring bands play these bright orange amps and i was swung by the marketing so i checked my sweetwater available credit and could only afford the original orange terror bass 500. never was able to get the mids/upper mids i find so important to bass guitar, even with the tweeter in my 1x15 turned on it was just blah. sold that a year or so back to buy broken amps
i think that brings me to when i started buying lots of broken stuff... three acoustic 140s (i still have one that use as my main amp), an acoustic 370 (which i paired with old faithful hartke 4x10 in a trade for my 1965 sano combo), ampeg svt iii pro (okay this one got that svt sound!), sunn concert bass (liked it more as a guitar amp than a bass amp), 69 sunn 200s that is in need of some love still, 69 kustom k200b that is in need of some love still. worship pastor at one of the churches gave me his hartke 3500 bass head (sold) and 4x10 (with 5" speaker instead of a tweeter), so of course I'm stuck with a 4x10 no one wants again....
current setup(s): acoustic 140 someone cut down the chassis on, removing one of the preamps, and put into a smaller head shell. played into either an acoustic model 105 4x12 (technically a guitar cabinet) that has 4 organ pull pyle driver speakers in it (i LOVE these. one of the original Eminence alnico speakers has an open voice coil so i had to figure out something on the fly) OR my repurposed pair of kustom 1x12 pa speakers (replaced with more pyle driver speakers) as my "portable" rig my 'backup' is an old dbx 166 compressor i use as a preamp/di into a stereo power amp sand the hartke 1x15 (speaker replaced with an Eminence kappalite 3015, eventually will replace the tweeter with an Eminence mid-range driver when i 60 bucks burning a hole in my pocket)
stripped my Marshall dsl100 chassis and will be building a high plate voltage (~600v), low screen voltage (1/2 b+) take on the Marshall jcm800 model 1992 bass amp
besides that i think that's it? guitar amps might even be longer.....
A cheap self contained amplifying box designed to plug a record deck into. Rubbish. Landfill.
Dad's Welson twin manual organ. OK if I run the SupaTonebender fuzz, Crybabh wah and an old WEM valve driven CopyCat through it (and used headphones). The ToneBender went in the trash after I got an amp with a distortion channel. So did my EH Screaming Bird treble booster. Both seemed like junk back then. Who knew? Don't throw anything nowadays. Need therapy with that!
WEM Dominator Bass Mk1 valved combo, 15". Just fantastic. Part exchanged for a no name 50 watt solid state head and no name 2x12 cab. At last a stack amp! WRONNGGG! Rubbish. Part exchanged for a 1960s AC30. Joy!
By pure coincidence, I ended up buying back the very same WEM Dominator. Part chopped it again almost immediately. You can still see the circular scar on my forehead.
Peavey Backstage 30. Devoid of any soul. Antisceptic sounding. Really well built though. Part exchanged along with my prized ancient WEM CopyCat for a Yamaha G100-112. Very decent solid state amp. One of the first (maybe the first?) MOSFET guitar amps. Designed by Soldano I think? Still own it. Keepers are.
Part exchanged the Vox for a Session 15-30 valve amp aound 1980 which I still own. The 15-30 is a very rare amp and was in on the booteek market 20 years too soon. Did I really off the Vox though? Jeez. Now you can really see the scar where I had it removed.
One of those aforementioned Peavey Blazer thingies. Tried to recreate the lost Backstage 30. Simply awful. You must have had a different model I guess. Became convinced that Peavey had gone soft in the head. Sold as soon as possible to a friend. Felt guilty for a couple of minutes.
Three (yes 3!) Yamaha AA5 portables. They are Yamaha's turds and I can offer no reason why I bought three of them. Still own them. No one in their right mind would buy them off me! Once upon a time they'd be landfill too, but I never throw anything now.
Tech21 Trademark 10. Lovely little solid state amp. Still own it.
Another Session. A Rockette 20 watt. Sounds great but a bit limited. Currently a project to be reclothed in VOX livery. I'll.get around to it one day, I have all the cloth, tolex and parts. Should be fun. Other makers have caught up with Session but they blazed a trail with how to make the fastest fuses on three legs give valves a serious run for their money.
Tubes/toobs/valves. Vacuum tubes- so I guess you guys have it. Diode, triode, pentode- they're all valves to me, and since unlike amps and pedals there are no semi conductors in passive guitars, there's no "electronics" in electric guitars- just electrical circuits. Electronic guitar anyone?
Session Sessionette 75watts. Awesome solid state amp. Legendary. Still own it.
(Check out Session's current "Blues Baby" offering. They designed the amp's chassis to fit into a Blues Junior cabinet if you want. Why? Go figure.)
Far eastern Hiwatt 20 watts solid state combo bass amp. Bought for my Gretsch Committee bass. It's a box. It makes noise. Well it did the last time I used it, anyone's guess now. Still own it.
Bought another Yamaha G100-112, so stereo now!
I would love to get my WEM and VOX back but there you go.