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Old December 3rd, 2012, 05:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help! Serious tone searching. Orange, Gibson and Mesa

Hey guys! I don't post much, usually just lurk in the shadows. But love reading all this stuff.

My tone search (quick version):
Owned a Tweed HRD for 6 years. Moved to Nashville. That amp doesn't work around here (too loud, not versatile enough). Bought a Vox AC15 to remedy (loved it in the shop). That's not working either.

I put those up for sale and now currently have offers for these 3 amps:
1) 1965-66 Gibson ga-20rvt
2) Gibson ga-20rvt *reissue*
3) Mesa TA-15 with an Orange 1x12 cab

I need guidance please!
(I play a Nashville Tele mainly, Fulltone pedals. Music is country, blues, rock, post-rock; anything this crazy city calls for).

Thank you all ahead of time!

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Old December 3rd, 2012, 06:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To my ears, that Mesa TA-15 is one sweet amp, and is VERY versatile. There are a ton of tones in it (Vox, to Fender, to Marshall to Mesa).

Doesn't have an effects loop if that matters to you.

I played through one and loved it. I can't comment on the other amps, don't know anything about them.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am a big fan of Mesa... My Mesa Lonestar is my number one go to gig amp. I can cover just about anything I need in a cover band. I heard some demos of the TA15 and liked what I heard. Once you learn how to turn the nobs on a Mesa, you will find lots of different tones
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can't comment on the Gibson amps either. Checked out the TA15 and thought it was really nice. I was comparing it to my Mesa Lonestar Special, which I still think sounds better - but it depends on your needs and abilities (in terms of lifting). The TA15 head is light and very portable. The LSS 112 is 60lbs, but man can you get sounds out of it. For a gigging musician it has everything that you'd need - up to 30 watts.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 07:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys!

Honestly I have been leaning towards the Mesa / Orange combination. Gonna see if I can try it out. I heard the Gibson amps are kind of one trick ponies, which worries me.

Weight is no issue, I'm only 23 years old :p

That LSS 112 is awesome looking, but my price cap is around $800.

What does everyone think about combining that Mesa head with the Orange cab? The guy is wanting $800 for the pair. Do those two things go well sonically do you think?

Disclaimer: Always a combo person, so shopping for a head and cab is making me pretty wide eyed.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 08:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A separate head and cab is sooooo much cooler than a combo. Your not stuck. You can use that head with a 1X12, a 2X12, a 4X10, a 1X10, a 2X10, a 4X12 you name it. Extremely versatile rig, and makes loading breezy. One piece in each hand really balances the load.

I like the TA15 head quite a bit. If you need versatility, I would look at that over the Gibson amps.

Just curious, what didn't you like about the Vox? Was it the AC15C1, or CC1?

I tried a CC1 many times and absolutely hated them. Got an AC15C1 brand new back at St. Pats this year, and have been loving it ever since. I got it do pretty much what you're doing. Club gigs with tons of different artists and bands. I couldn't be happier with mine.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice Jakedog.

It was a used AC15C1 with the bright cap mod. Celestion Greenback. It really didn't play well with the guitar and my pedals at all. I can see how people love the amp, it just wasn't the clean or dirty tone I'm searching for, that's all.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ab763 blackface will do ya.. once you get in that zone you will stay there..everyone has different tastes however all the new, reissue, modelling stuff..I never bought it just tried it and never ever felt compelled or even tempted to replace any of my old fender stuff..If you play a tele for country or blues jazz and even rock..(I don't know about that really heavy metal stuff though..) I think a nice 40 watt ab763 will have you covered with the right pick up selection and right pedals.. However I have many of the old circuits but the ab763 is a good one..
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My vote goes to the old Gibson. I tend to stay away from amp overdrives for club gigs. The reason why is because there are too many variables. You may have to turn down your stage volume and then either adjust you preamp gain or your master volume. You can have a great tone at sound check and then paper thin after you have to change one thing.

To me it makes more sense to use a clean amp with pedals for your dirt if you are doing club gigs. The old Gibson amps from that era are great values and rival Fender amps from that era in many cases. I would also keep an eye out for Ampeg amps of that same era. You get a very Fender-y tone without the vintage Fender price tag
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Old December 4th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Love my TA 15. If it just had the Vox side it would be a great amp but with the second channels Fender, Marshall, Mesa switch this amps a swiss army knife. It's amazing how much clean headroom there is on the 25 watt setting. I use mine with a 2X12 half stack and it cuts well with drums and other instruments. I have other amps including a 65 Tupelo and a Mesa 5X50 Express but this little lunch box holds it's own.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have the Gibson Minuteman GA 20RVT...
Tone control affects output vol, what great dynamics...Plopped a merc trannie that
kicked it up a notch..odd preamp tubes.. (treble 8..bass 5)

Never played that Mesa...but they are always good products.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Mesa would be great with the Orange. If you can't get a good sound out of that rig....the problems not with the amp.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I vote mesa.

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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Great. Thank you everybody!

Going with the Mesa / Orange combo!

Some reviews were saying online that the Gibson (old and new) GA-20 are kind of one trick ponies. If they do your trick, awesome. If they don't, well you're stuck.

Thanks for the advice everybody!
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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don't they like Fender amps down there?
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