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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

Guitar Amp With The Best "Unplugged" Sound

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by 3-Chord-Genius, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    We love to talk about the natural acoustics of electric guitars, and how great some of them sound unplugged. On that note, some amplifiers deserve to be recognized for their unplugged sound sounding better than their plugged-in sound. Here is my nomination: Gorilla.jpg
    Geo, Obsessed, CFFF and 20 others like this.

  2. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    I hope you're not using any pedals. Straight in or you're just hiding your deficiencies, imo.
    Richie-string and 3-Chord-Genius like this.

  3. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016

    This is an example of one of the finest sounding amplifiers on the planet when unplugged. The bass response is tight and focused, the mids are forward and present and the high end trills and ululates in a manner which delights all those who hear it in its preferred state.
    As with most examples of its ilk, the sonic beauty found deep within is lost the moment its purity is affected by electron flow.
    I once owned one of these fine examples of audiophile delight and found it sounded its finest when kept at least 6ft away from any source of power that could corrupt the mellifluous beauty found within.
    This amplifier is the amplifier I present as a high point of unplugged worthiness. It can only be bettered by donating it to someone else so they can appreciate it for what it truly is.
    picknfool, thegeezer, TigerG and 9 others like this.

  4. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    Haha, because whenever I see threads about "worst amps ever", Gorilla amps always top the list.

    I have never heard one, but am now oddly curious.

  5. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011

  6. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    After the jam session I went to last night. I nominate the Marshall MG.
    The guy spent a bunch of dough on a Gibson Les Paul then cheaped out on the amp.

    Of course I bought a Les Paul in 80 or 81 and played Peavey solid state for about a decade. So I can't talk. (but I was young)
    LuthRavin and 3-Chord-Genius like this.

  7. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Line 6 Spyder 15.
    Axis29 likes this.

  8. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    Oh, God. I had one of those years ago, as a practice amp. Guy threw it in on a deal for a Strat. There was absolutely no way to get any kind of decent sound out of it. When I sold the Strat, I threw it in on the deal and the guy who bought my Strat said, uh, no thanks. I couldn't give the thing away.
    KyAnne likes this.

  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Teisco Checkmate 10 Solid State. Best unplugged sound ever!

    And or safety I recommend removing the 2-prong power cord.

    That's all.

    Oh, and I'd use a non-powered true-bypass bypass pedal on bypass. The best cables would be copper-free, unwired, non-insulated "zero connector" uncables. Absolute transparency with a completely flat response.


  10. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    I had an early model Marshall MG15DFX. Unplugged it was a delight. [1]
    I had an early model Marshall MG100DFX. It unplugged itself by going 'Phut!' when used at full power. The replacement went 'Phut!' in the shop when I tried it out. They were fitted with what amounted to a computer heatsink&fan arrangement that was not known to be reliable. When they went 'Phut!', the drive sound improved tenfold.
    I got a partial refund on the MG100DFX and walked away with an MG50DFX. It too went 'Phut!' after being used at full power for a few minutes. I got my money back.
    The unplugged 'overdrive' sounds were fantastic on all the early MG-DFX series. Amongst the best in the business.

    [1] To be fair to it, at low volumes, plugged in, clean, it was OK for what it was. Even the larger ones were OK plugged in, clean, up to a point. The overdrive at high output levels on all of them was best appreciated when they were devoid of AC. The only way to ensure longevity and tonal bliss was to ensure a separation distance of at least 6ft twixt plug and socket at all times.
    BobbyZ likes this.

  11. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

    I certainly believe the "Esteban" amplifier wins this contest......with maybe the Urban amp following.....
    Geo, Carcinogen, BobbyZ and 1 other person like this.

  12. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

    Nov 12, 2014
    Watford, UK
    I had a Marshall Valvestate that exhibited this behaviour. After the third Phutt, I found it sounded better after I'd given it away.

  13. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU

  14. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Well, there IS absolutely NO hissing, popping, crackling, or anything else from the amp unplugged...from the wall...just nice clean, clear, crisp...silence (wink,wink)!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    BobbyZ likes this.

  15. DeVilleDude

    DeVilleDude Tele-Holic

    The silence of this thread is deafening.
    Squittolo, JayFreddy, LiteAsh and 2 others like this.

  16. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Yeah, I heard that, too (wink,wink).
    LiteAsh likes this.

  17. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Meister

    Jun 14, 2017
    The backyard

  18. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    heck with all these little tiny amps. I had a great big one - 375 Watts - that sounded SO GOOD when it was unplugged. And if you took it a step further, and unplugged the 2 4x12 speaker cabinets, it sounded even better. True 70s goodness in a great huge package. If you really want great unplugged sound, you gotta unplug something big.[​IMG]

  19. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    Interesting thread !

    This is one of my favorite amps to play unplugged, the Carvin Nomad. It's very similar in "unplugged" tone to the Fender Blues Deluxe.
    I added a second photo to prove that it really was unplugged.


    IMG_8668.JPG IMG_8669.JPG

  20. Jules78

    Jules78 Tele-Holic

    Dec 12, 2016
    Northern VA
    Like @VintageSG I also have an mg marshall, the mg10cd. Mine still works though, even unplugged. Although plugging it in helps prevent it from falling over and unlocks its best feature, you can plug in a "cd player" and jam.

    Attached Files:

    KyAnne likes this.

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