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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Also, what many people overlook is not just how they sound, but how they respond and react to your playing, that's not something you can really tell from a youtube video or listening to someone else play one. The feel of a D style pedal into a Fender (or any other amp for that matter) is not the same as the amp (clones included)

    When I first started playing the D style clones I noticed the feel and response immediately. It was actually more difficult to play the amp, compared to overdrive pedals into other tube amps. The amp brought out more nuances and seemed to make my finger technique drastically more important in shaping the notes sound and behavior. Minor technique flaws seemed to show more. Once I got more accustomed to the behavior of the amps I preferred that response because I feel I can play more expressively through amps with similar response.
    bloomz and telemnemonics like this.

  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    What is "note-flipping"?

  3. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    It's when your mortgage gets sold to another mortgage provider. :)

  4. scooter_trasher

    scooter_trasher Tele-Meister

    Jul 2, 2012
    I really don't see me ever ponying up for for a DUMBEL anymore than I see Mr Dumbel making time to build a slug like me an amp, for the labor I would be willing to pay him, coupled with the fact that most of those old rock stars are deaf from standing in front of Marshall stacks and the DBs involved for them to hear the high notes would be like sticking an ice pick in my eardrums, the tones you hear are post production, after being run through a multi-channel mixing board with a sound engineer, (that can actually hear), shaping the product with Dolby & active graphic equalizers , I cringe every time a bar band drummer hits a cymbal. I'm pretty sure that most of what they pay for on a Dumbel is for him to shape the tone & bias for their particular taste.

  5. scooter_trasher

    scooter_trasher Tele-Meister

    Jul 2, 2012
    I take it that sounds good to you :)

  6. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 21, 2015
    There you go.
    Pretty much end of discussion IMO.
    bloomz likes this.

  7. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    You know what it is! :lol:
    ac15 likes this.

  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    Note-flipping is when the second harmonic blooms. It's an octave higher, so someone must have called that flipping.

    There's an echo effect in this thread about Dumble's practice of tweaking amps for specific players. Yes, he did this. But to say that every amp he built was unique is misleading, as the structure of his amps did not change with every player. In other words, he didn't design a new amp for everybody.

    The guys over at the Amp Garage have been tracking the Dumbles for years.
    Teleguy61 and codamedia like this.

  9. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Amps are amps. They make the guitar louder so it can be heard. Some sound like crap, some sound amazing, some inspire, others are just darn good. I've played a real Dumble and it was "good". I've played a Dumble clone and it was astounding. Best amp I've every played through.

    Thing is it's always going to come down to what's being played and does it work with that amp and settings. Pete Thorn has proven without a shadow of a doubt that if you're a great player and writer...and know how to write for a particular tone, it will be a win every time.

    And please, stop showing us that horrible Kaiser video, lol. Sounds like dying rats!
    h4ck.b0x7 likes this.

  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Like many of us, I've never played a Dumble. But I can still engage in thoughtful speculation, just like I can about many things I have not actually experienced in my life. That alone does not invalidate an opinion. In my opinion.

    Quality or not, I think it's certainly hyped. Anything in short supply, with obfuscated internals, created by a recluse... He could be selling slightly modified Fenders :rolleyes:, and with the right spin, prices will skyrocket.

    Is it a quality amp? No doubt. Just like the many other $3-$5k modern amp designs on the market.

    And those lists of celeb players... at one time or another most of them have played every quality amp design on the planet.

    Just because it's a quality amp, doesn't mean you'll like it.

    Personally, I don't like the Dumble "sound". That singing sustain they're known for. I've heard that a lot of the "magic" is in the feel of the Dumble to the player. That sounds quite feasible to me, but of course I've not played one, so I dunno.

    In that wacky interview clip, I found Howard's focus on the electrons fascinating. The little that I know about tube amp design has been best learned by thinking at the electron level.

  11. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2011
    United States
    LOL, not at all. I was kinda taking a jab at the douche playing the guitar with my Dr. D reference to Dumble.
    scooter_trasher likes this.

  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    But only when said mortgage was initiated to cover the cost of a guitar amplifier.

  13. Staypuft1652

    Staypuft1652 Tele-Meister

    Mar 7, 2017
    ND, USA

    Apparently at least 10 parts.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    beyer160 likes this.

  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Agreed, he didn't design a new amp for each player, but had multiple options as well as fine tuning.

    So my low end but hand built Dumble clone has 14 knobs (not counting the bias control) and 6 switches (not counting power and standby).
    IME this amp does not have "a" sound.
    I bought it cheap from a newer builder who had made it as his prototype while learning to build and dial in the design.
    Having never played a D style amp, I perused some of that Dumble tracking at the amp garage Larry mentioned.

    There are two different basic designs, this one being the HRM, which has an extra three band eq section hidden inside the chassis to help balance the tone when switching between clean and dirty settings, because there are too many ways to dial in your chosen sounds to allow one set of tone controls to cover both sounds, factoring in that it is only a one channel amp.
    The other Dumble, (non HRM) has no hidden second tone stack.
    Not sure of what other differences there are between these two design alternatives.
    In addition to the two versions, there are voicing orientations, seems like opposite ends of a spectrum.

    When Dumble clones are built, they are generally clones of one (or another) specific highly regarded Dumble amp that happens to please a lot of different players.

    When I first plugged mine in I got a lot of what I expected from it pretty quickly.
    Then I started thinking about all the interactive volume knobs and voicing switches and how the circuit worked and what the extra eq might do and how to adjust the phase inverter balance, which led me to a hundred pages of discussion about the circuitry and how to use it.

    That kind of killed the whole experience for me, as I have ADHD and get caught up in overthinking pretty easily.
    My favorite amp ever was a Plexi 100 with the front panel missing and no writing under the knobs.

    A Dumble is to me very complicated, can produce a vast range of sounds and responses, and I can indeed "get a bad sound out of it".

    I very much doubt anyone can get a solid grasp of how good or bad a Dumble is without spending a full day or so with one that suits their style, and maybe even (for some of us) getting a little help learning how the controls interact.

    One longer forum/ blog piece I read explained listening to the sweep of each knob with no guitar plugged in.

    Seriously, twenty controls on a single channel amp with no reverb or fx loop.

    Not your basic Fender, Marshall or even Mesa , and not easily brushed off without some study. A specialized tool.
    At the original price the builder charged, they were actually pretty cheap.
    You can pay $3000 or more for an amp you could build yourself on the kitchen table with no electronics experience required.

    The are quite a few amp builders over the years that charged good money for custom builds, some with gooped circuitry.
    Harry Kolbe was a big name when Dumble was building, yet Kolbe amps are almost worthless, despite their success with '80s guitar sounds.

    Only Dumble and Trainwreck bring huge money, player money too.

    That many great musicians can't be mistaken.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    SURF and Larry F like this.

  15. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    I think it's important to remember that Dumble designed and built his amps at a time that would be now considered prehistoric, in terms of general knowledge base of the user population, and available information related to the subject.
    At that time, they were revolutionary. Cascaded channels, channel switching, sophisticated power supplies--these were unknown in the general user world.
    Indeed, until the dawn of TAG, there was very little information available about the builder and his amp products.
    The internet changed all that. The info is now generally available, and there are now many close or exact clones and copies available-both pre-built and kits. And the information to build one yourself is easily available.
    They don't seem that mystical any more, because they are not. They are an interesting design that serves a musician looking for a special thing in an amp. They are not everyone's cup of tea by any means.
    It's a different age than when they debuted.

  16. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2017
    No amplifier is worth $100,000. Sorry.
    Staypuft1652 likes this.

  17. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Nope, especially when there are plenty of clones and pedals to be had that put you in that same zone.

  18. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Well... you say that, but people buy them when they're listed, so they obviously are worth that much, since they're selling.. and once again, that's used price, HAD doesn't charge that. Your statement could be said for any high priced vintage and/or celebrity owned guitar, or amp, as well..

  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Er what? o_Oo_O
    moosie likes this.

  20. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 29, 2010
    Tryon, NC
    Was pathetic attempt at humor. And how had I never seen those other dr D vids?

    To the OP, guess I've heard Dumbles live (Jackson, Lindley, Carlos, George, etc) but never played one.

    Only vids I've seen online the fellows playing through them aren't really doing them favors with their playing style, imo.

    I'm hoping to trade my ol' Mustang III for one!

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