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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Amp for Blues Tone

I'm starting to become interested in Strats and Strat tones (Tele-players..."OH NO"), but I was wondering what the best kind of amps is to achieve a real good blues rock tone.

I like the unique sounds that Strats give to rock (particularly the noiseless pups). Which kind of amp can give the best Strat quack, tube amp or solid-state? What kind of EQ settings? How much gain?

Just feeding my curiosity here,
Cheers,
Joel

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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IMHO..
a tube amp, preferrably tweed Fender or '50's Gibson. some brownface FEnders do it well. The BF circuit is famous for certain rock/blues tones generally with an overdrive in front of the amp with Strats.
Or....anything that will amplify your guitar when your dog has been run over, your one true love has deserted you with your best friend, and your car/truck/motorcycle has just quit running.....you get the picture. Without the feeling, no amp will do; and with the feeling almost any amp will suffice....albeit some better than others according to personal taste.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You will definitely need a tube amp I use a Crate v32 Palomino and love it
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Silvertone amps and guitars were used by a lot of the old blues players. Silvertone amps today are sought out for that blues tone Harp players like them alot too.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
when your dog has been run over, your one true love has deserted you with your best friend, and your car/truck/motorcycle has just quit running....
Sounds more like a country song than the blues to me...
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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6V6 based amps.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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either when your baby just left you
or you just found out
or uhh if you were born under a bad sign heh


otherwise, buddy guy, muddy waters, and most other studio guitarists of the late 50's call it the fender bassman
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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re Blues tone

I think SS amps do the quack thing just fine, but it's hard to beat a good tube amp for blues.
That said, WHICH Blues tone are you talking about? there are so many to choose from.
FWIW Albert King used solid state Acoustic brand amps for years, then later he used Roland Jazz Chorus amps a lot.
Freddie King used a Fender Quad Reverb (a Twin with 4 -12's)
BB King likes the old Gibson LAB series SS amps, Robert Cray is using Matchless amps I believe.
I'd say go play a bunch of amps and see what YOU like.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a very broad question. There are so many styles of blues. What you need to do if tell us whose sound you are going for and then we can recommend the best amp. Also, we need to know your budget. You can get blues tones at every budget level.

Having said that, blues guys are usually into Fender amps either tweed or blackface. However, there are lots of guys who have used different stuff as has already been pointed out. If you want to go for a more modern sound, the Dr. Z amps are great.

As far as gain goes, blues can be all over the place. I personally play pretty clean on the verge of breakup.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Since you said Blues here's what you MUST do. Get yourself down to Clarksdale Mississippi on the seventh day of the seventh month. Then at the stoke of midnight, break into the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church there and rip up two of the old swamp pine floor planks, leave at least $200 in the collection box and run like hell. I mean it.

Then send the ancient, sanctified swamp pine planks to this cat out in CA and tell him you want him to use them to make you you one of these Plug your Strat into that puppy and you'll instantly lose one lung just like Hubert Sumlin did but you'll also suddenly sound just like him too.*




*Please don't actually attempt this as it would result in defacing a place of worship that's dear to the community and also likely get you killed or badly maimed.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, I looked for what one Telecaster blues legend, in the form of Albert Collins, was playing through, and found the following on the Fender site:

"1970s Fender Quad Reverb. 100 watt tube amp similar to a Twin Reverb except with four 12-inch speakers instead of two."

And don't forget the 150' cable too
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Old January 30th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=rodeo_joel]I like the unique sounds that Strats give to rock (particularly the noiseless pups). Which kind of amp can give the best Strat quack, tube amp or solid-state? What kind of EQ settings? How much gain? /QUOTE]

As you can see your going to get a different answer from everyone that replys. It depends on what type of blues your wanting to play, dirty texas style, clean Chicago or both, or something in between. The Fender stuff is a good call, though you may want something with a master volume to dial in some dirt with out using a pedal or ear bleeding volumes, and Fender has that too. Go into a store and plug in, check some stuff out. Though its tough getting a good feel for an amp sitting in a music store, but you can get a rough idea for it anyway.

What kind of amp do you curently own ?
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It depends on where you're playing! Small gig BFDR or Tweed Pro, Medium to Large sized gig, Vibrolux Reverb, Super Reverb, Twin Reverb or Tweed Bassman,
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Steve
This is a very broad question. There are so many styles of blues. What you need to do if tell us whose sound you are going for and then we can recommend the best amp. Also, we need to know your budget. You can get blues tones at every budget level
This is something I have yet to figure out. Like I say, i'm very new to blues and rock type guitar. But I'm wanting to deviate slightly from the country twang of the telecaster, just to broaden my horizens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie
depends on what type of blues your wanting to play, dirty texas style, clean Chicago or both, or something in between
This is all greek to me. I've still yet to learn the various kinds of blues, and even the names of the types of blues that i've heard and liked.

For reference sake, i'll direct your attention to this sound clip given to me on a separate post on the Seymour Duncan site. This is a comparitive clip of the JB Jr. bucker. This is kind of the first rock/blues tone I've heard and I really like it.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/compareTones/JB Jr.

Give it a listen, let me know,
Thanks,
Joel
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Depends on how much you want to spend

There are so many different blues tones. Regardless of whether you want that British Crunch blues or that American Sweet Singing blues, you will need tubes -- and a lot of 'em. The British Marshall tone and the American Fender tone are different in that the Marshalls and amps of that ilk tend to be very glassy clean and crunchy and raunch overdriven -- whearas to my ears Fenders and American-tubed amps tend to sound fatter and warmer and just get fatter and warmer as you turn them up.

Regardless of which direction you go, the ULTIMATE in blues tone requires not only a tube preamp and power amp section but a tube rectifier. The rectifier is responsible for turning alternating current from the wall socket into power usable by the amp. The COOL thing about a tube rectifier is that when you turn up the amp and send a really hot signal through it, it places a big demand on the rectifier, and that tube can only respond so quickly. So you get, like, a whole other level of tube compression and juiciness.

Some people say you can't tell the difference that a tube rectifier makes, but I beg differ.

~c~
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Listening to that sample of SD's JB stacked Humbucker, that's not really a traditional Strat blues tone. When I think Strat and blues I think Hubert Sumlim, Otis Rush or Jimmie Vaughan. That's more of a Gibson, Freddie King, early Clapton tone.

Next thing you need to tell us are you playing in your garage by yourself or with a full band in a big room? There are no wrong answers to these questions so be honest with yourself.

For that cranked tone at low to moderate garage volumes those little tweed champs everybody is gushing over would be all you'd need. Since they are tweed and all tube they rate very high on the blues snob approved list.

The classic recipe for that tone however is a Gibson Les Paul and a KT-66 based amp like a Marshall JTM 45 or Dr. Z Rt. 66
Truth is there are all kinds of amps out there that will get you in the ballpark. Check out all the tube amps under 50 watts and you can, and buy what YOU think sounds best.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Tubes fo sho....personally, I'd second the opinion to grab a Fender Tweed...
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Old January 30th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Go for a pedal - G2D Cream Tone
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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TWEED CHAMP, how good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Sepulveda
For that cranked tone at low to moderate garage volumes those little tweed champs everybody is gushing over would be all you'd need.
Darn, now you've got me thinking as well. If I already have a VibroChamp (& MMB),

Do you think a Tweed Champ would offer much that is different?

(This note moved to the "Best Tweed for blues tone" thread.)

Last edited by Joe K; January 31st, 2007 at 11:33 AM.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 11:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Try Peavey's Delta Blues...seriously.
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