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Best Amp for Blues Tone

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by joel_ostrom, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2006
    Calgary, AB
    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,

  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    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 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.

  3. Djohnson

    Djohnson TDPRI Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    You will definitely need a tube amp I use a Crate v32 Palomino and love it

  4. jh45gun

    jh45gun Banned

    Jan 20, 2006
    Northern WI Gods Country!
    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.

  5. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Sounds more like a country song than the blues to me... :D

  6. CancerLeoCam

    CancerLeoCam Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2005
    OC, CA

  7. aznxtasy341

    aznxtasy341 Tele-Holic

    May 29, 2006
    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

  8. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    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.

  9. Big Steve

    Big Steve Tele-Holic

    Apr 24, 2006
    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.

  10. Reno Sepulveda

    Reno Sepulveda Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 16, 2003
    Nowhere man
    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.

  11. OrovilleTim

    OrovilleTim Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2005
    Lake Oroville, CA
    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 :cool:

  12. Frankie

    Frankie Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Jul 11, 2003
    Fostoria, Ohio

  13. nonvintage

    nonvintage Tele-Holic

    Mar 3, 2006
    San Diego
    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,

  14. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2006
    Calgary, AB
    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.
    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. Jr.

    Give it a listen, let me know,

  15. Rathmann

    Rathmann Tele-Meister

    Apr 28, 2006
    Milwaukee, Wis.
    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.


  16. Reno Sepulveda

    Reno Sepulveda Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 16, 2003
    Nowhere man
    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.

  17. zooropamofo

    zooropamofo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2006
    Long Valley-Birches
    Tubes fo sho....personally, I'd second the opinion to grab a Fender Tweed...

  18. JamonHamon

    JamonHamon Friend of Leo's

    Go for a pedal - G2D Cream Tone

  19. Joe K

    Joe K Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2003
    Bethesda, Maryland
    TWEED CHAMP, how good?

    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: Jan 31, 2007

  20. franchelB

    franchelB Friend of Leo's

    Sep 25, 2005
    Irving, United States of Texas!
    Try Peavey's Delta Blues...seriously.

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