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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Dumble - An Unpopular Opinion

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Veltek, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country
    I know I will probably get a lot of grief for this... but I just dont get it!

    My Disclaimer is that I've never heard a dumble in person. I've heard youtube clips and a few high fidelity audio files through decent headphones. But never in person.

    The Dumble sounds good, heck it sounds pretty good. But Honestly I don't feel like it sounds better than most other amps in the $2000 price bracket. I don't hear the magic everyone else claims to hear. Am I missing something? What do you guys think? Is the Dumble magical or just hyped up by exclusivity?
    Flakey, JTM45blues, Jakedog and 4 others like this.

  2. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 29, 2010
    Tryon, NC
    Can't hear the electrons trapped in that crystal lattice?

    Tin ears!

    Wish there were more videos... Sorry for the crappy quality.


  3. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars TDPRI Member

    Apr 15, 2017
    ...playing in traffic
    Your disclaimer is the reason you're having a problem. Not hearing or playing an amp, regardless of brand, is part of the reason your opinion is skewed. Youtube is not the way to listen to amplifiers. Playing through one with other musicians/the appropriate skill set, will lead to a set of conclusions more in keeping with a matured experience.
    lfmn16, mrmousey, ecosse and 2 others like this.

  4. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country
    Most of my friends and social network don't take $120,000 amps to blues jam nights haha. I have heard clips online through decent headphones that have been lossless files. I doubt I will ever have the opportunity to play one though. I feel like most of the people around here who claim how magical and amazing the Dumble is, also have not played one. Which is why I am wondering if they -hear- something that I am missing.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  5. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    IMO - it's a bit of both...

    Rather than listening to You Tube tracks, research actual recordings of these wonderful amps and listen to them that way. David Lindley, Eric Johnson, Sonny Landreth, Larry Carleton, etc... They didn't all use them exclusively so a little research is in order to know when you are hearing a Dumble.

  6. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

    Apr 25, 2015
    Larry carlton is a well known user of dumble. However his most iconic recordings were done with fender and mesa. Larry sounds like.....well...larry.
    Sooper8, chemobrain, Jakedog and 3 others like this.

  7. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country
    Yeah! Exactly, I'm not saying the dumble sounds bad. But when I think of Mayer I think of Tworock, Milkman, PRS. When I think of Clapton I think of Tweed Fenders, and Marshall Bluesbreakers. And they get some very iconic, amazing sounds from those. I don't notice their tones or recordings being any "better" through certain periods when they may or may not have used a dumble.

  8. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

    Apr 25, 2015
    Im guessing here but...having owned a fuchs ods50, which is a clone of sorts,i found the tone shaping and voicing to be outstanding. The real difference was the touch sensitivity even at high gain settings. It was remarkable.

  9. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    Surely if you need to research in order to know whether you're hearing one, then they don't really stand out among other quality amps? :twisted::lol:
    Poppa54, Jakedog, moosie and 4 others like this.

  10. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Way before the price hike of the last decade; here a partial list of some players who were already Dumble enthusiasts; singing HAD praises... They "heard the magic".

    But now thanks to opinions on forums, it seems they are all idiots who don't know $#@it ......Thank God I did not believe these misguided professionals (who love to throw money as a hobby). - I now resolutely insult Dumble left right & centre (without ever having heard or played one). It sure feels better

    Eric Clapton
    Sonny Landreth
    Larry Carlton
    Robben Ford
    David Lindley
    John Mayer
    Lowell George
    Carlos Santana
    Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Joe Bonamassa
    Keith Urban
    Steve Kimock
    Ry Cooder
    Ben Harper
    Eric Johnson
    Kirk Hammett
    Jason Isbell
    Kenny Wayne Shepherd
    Jackson Browne
    Bob Rock
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    swany, Jakedog, brookdalebill and 3 others like this.

  11. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    That's your problem right there. You're comparing it to amps in the $2k price bracket. The cheapest price I could find was $25,000. Everyone knows you get what you pay for. Why pay for a $2,000 amp you love, when you could get a $25-180,000 amp that you don't love? It's obviously going to be better...
    RLee77 likes this.

  12. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    Call it the magic spiral. The way a great instrument feels or reacts makes you play differently, and better. The instrument responds, and pushes you higher still. Away you go, higher and better, better and higher. Playing with great players can do something similar. Of course, the better and better part may all just be in your head, but it's still a rush.

  13. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    Clapton bought a Dumble ODS a few years ago. I remember seeing a photo of it onstage, but don't think I heard it. He cancelled some performances soon after he got, due to some neurological problem with his hands. There's not a connection between the two--I'm just providing a time frame.

    I can hear some time-related and dynamic aspects of how an amp sounds in a YouTube recording, but the frequency spectrum is way out of balance.

    An increasing number of forum members appear to own Dumble clones, now. I have a custom-built 15w Quinn SDQ (two identical ones) and a Ceriatone OTS. They definitely share many of the same characteristics. Ceriatone makes a sub-$1k lunch box Dumble-like amp that sounds good in the time domain and dynamic touch sensitivity. The quality of the overdrive sound is really important, since there are about 6-7 ways of controlling the clean-OD relationship. I don't care for the Larry Carlton kind of LA smooth OD at all. I like to be have to work at getting individual note sustain, instead of going into square-wavesville, which can easily happen if I'm not careful. Sure don't like that sound at all.
    8barlouie, RLee77, Doug B and 3 others like this.

  14. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Touché... but tone is subjective and build quality often cannot be heard. Most of his amps were customized for the individual... matching the tone and feel they were looking for. That takes time... lots of time. Hard to put a value on these sorts of things.

    I trust the list of users @homesick345 has listed (a list I have always been familiar with)... if they feel a Dumble has some magic how arrogant would someone have to be to argue with that never owning one?

    I don't mind that tone at all :D... but I get what you are saying. I find it interesting that I don't think of smooth OD at all when I think Dumble... I think about "greasy, gritty" tones such as David Lindley and Lowell George.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    telemnemonics and Steve 78 like this.

  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I had a good clone. I'd say just another quality amp.

    His design is a bit different and sounds and plays a bit different than some more conventional designs.

    I feel like it relies on all preamp distortion and no power amp distortion, but done in an intesting way. I could be wrong about that. I just felt like the power stage was very clean and the pre stage was cleverly done to supply dynamic gain. Again, I don't read specs so I could have it backwards for all I know.

    Again, clever design. Not "better".

    I can get most but not quite all of what they supply with a BF/SF type Fender with more headroom than I need and pedals supplying the gain. The part I can't quite get I don't actually need, so maybe I could get there with different pedals (a comp + OD maybe? Comp supplying that clean sustain and OD the distortion?). But I haven't tried.

    The price, as with most things, is not necessarily a corollary to quality in some absolute sense, but to scarcity, perceived value, status and many other factors that apply to a very limited product that gains special status.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017

  16. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Used market prices are dictated by supply, demand - and in the case of Dumbles, collectors and speculators. There are so few Dumbles available because the people that use them (eg: the actual players) don't generally get rid of them. The price then gets compounded because many (if not most) Dumbles were owned by well known players. They were expensive when new because they were customized for the buyer, not mass produced.

    The value they are now is 10 fold thanks to investors and collectors... not because real guitar players are paying that price believing it's the amp they need. Well - maybe Bonamassa :D
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017

  17. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    If you replace "Dumble" with "Ferrari", you'll realize that your statement has flaws...

    If you told someone "I've never driven a Ferrari, but I've seen lots of pictures of them, and videos of other people driving them, and I just don't get what all the fuss is about! How different could it be from my Ford Taurus? They're both cars, right? They both get you from point A to point B, right? How could it possibly be worth so much more to some people? I know I only drive to work every day, and take an occasional road trip, but some people seem like they can't live without one? Who could REALLY need a Ferrari, and get their money's worth out of it?"
    radu5er, chemobrain, bloomz and 3 others like this.

  18. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Kent, OH
    Regarding the thread title, I'd assert that it's a VERY popular opinion to slag on a $25k amp. Since the vast majority of us can't afford it, it's comforting that it doesn't sound all that magical.

  19. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2011
    United States
    There are certainly more videos with Dr. D

    This video has at least 9 parts on YouTube.

    Tremade and pondcaster like this.

  20. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    The Dumble has been hyped for what it is, but like I've said in other posts, Don't we just want a good sounding amp?

    The circuit design is very archaic by todays standards. You can have the Dumble sound AND two channels without giving up the cascaded structure for the OD. The Dumble FX loop is also a joke, and some vendors have improved upon that.

    The Original Dumbles are what they are, but the circuit belongs to a $2000 amplifier. These things are not rocket science, much less magic.
    Flakey, ecoast and 8barlouie like this.

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