Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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. LP26

    LP26 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Earth (Part-Time)
    My favorite unplugged amp is the Pignose...
  2. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 23, 2003
    oh yeah, got one of them, too. But you can't just unplug that one at the wall - you have to rip the batteries out of it to make it sound right.
    richiek65 and 3-Chord-Genius like this.
  3. Knowcaster

    Knowcaster Tele-Holic

    Jun 30, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have a Deluxe Reverb that just does not sound all that great unplugged. Maybe if I downgraded the speaker and tubes (too bad Radio Shack is out of business), that would make the unplugged sound better. Or maybe if I made the bias really cold.
  4. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    Strangely, my guitars sound much better unplugged - primarily when I'm attached to the business end of them.....:lol:
  5. Marcus M B

    Marcus M B TDPRI Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    London, England
    This is the best thread this month. I'm getting some real technical insights here. I finally have some understanding of why the famous MTV unplugged series in the 1990s didn't just use cardboard boxes and tea chest basses. There was obviously a particular auditory ethos they were going for. Perhaps it isn't a binary on/off question, either. Perhaps, if we feel sometimes our sound is a little "over-plugged", we could take a step back and redefine our sound along a "low electron" style. That's certainly what my mother recommended to me all those years ago when I was learning in the living room, albeit she had more rudimentary language to communicate her teachings.
    Richie-string likes this.
  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    Lurking on the 'shelf of best left alone', I have a SubZero Tube-H5. This excrescent wonder somehow gets good reviews for its powered on tone on Amazon. I was suckered in to wasting money on this foetid pile of monkey leavings. I reasoned, incorrectly, that if nothing else, I'd have a chassis and housing to build my own amplifier in to.
    Powered on, and plugged in to a speaker cabinet, it isn't too bad. Just some gentle 50Hz hum on its supposed clean channel. Depress the drive switch and depress yourself as even the 50Hz hum sounds hollow and flaccid. To really get depressed though means inserting a cable into the input and the corresponding outlet of your guitar.
    Reel with nausea at the sub-starter pack wailings that issue forth. Be reminded of the mating song of the Harpie surrounding each note as the under specified components struggle to match even nails on a chalkboard tonality. The hollow, scratchy miasma that greets you reminds you why this amplifier resides, unpowered on a shelf, awaiting its fate.
    It is truly a couple of cubic feet of disappointment, poorly wrapped in thin vinyl.
    Unplugged, it shines as somewhere for dust to collect. At this task, in this role, it is unsurpassed.
    KDawg64 and Guitarteach like this.
  7. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    shouldn't this actually be in the bad dog forum? where all the worst threads go ?
  8. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Holic

    May 7, 2015
    TUbe amps sound so much better unplugged than digital amps. I a/b about a half a dozen unplugged amps just last week and I must confess, though most sound quite alike, the fender was quieter than all the rest.

    Feedback was not a problem whatsoever, and the hum was minimal, the problem though, was when they were unplugged I couldn't see the light to tell if they were on or not.
  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    First Act amps are horrible til you use a good speaker.
  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    As voltages begin to approach zero, it finally breaks up into a complex cascade of tonal bliss.

    jhundt likes this.
  11. My first ever guitar amplifier was purchased from a catalogue and had an absolutely wonderful unplugged sounded. Here's a picture that i managed to find much to my surprise as these units were so esoteric the vast majority of the guitar playing public were unaware of them.


    The cabinet was all plastic because this material provides the best resonance and all round bass response. Just two controls, Volume and Tone, so as not to interfere with the purity of the signal path. I can truthfully say that i have never heard a guitar amplifier quite like this since. Absolutely staggering is the only way to describe this unit. I can honestly say that you'll have never heard an amplifier quite like this in your entire life, and i very much doubt anyone will again because i don't think these units are mysteriously any longer in production, i have no idea why. A true classic in every sense of the word. If only i had known then what i know now i would have kept this amp, definitely the one that got away for me.
    thegeezer likes this.
  12. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

    Sep 26, 2010
    These were all the rage a few years back (may be decades by now...), so I went out and bought one. Initially I was a bit disappointed, until I found out just how good they sounded unplugged! Sadly my economic situation required that I sell it... Fortunately for me, Eric Clapton's Unplugged album had just come out, and it seemed everyone was riding the unplugged wave, and I was able to sell it at a tidy profit to an unplugged band that played mostly piccolos, banjos, and accordions.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    Georox and thegeezer like this.
  13. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    My Acoustic 100 Watt head was so quiet and neutral sounding unplugged that it almost didn’t need its 6 X 10 cabinet. Powered up it was intolerable, but it readily fried its heatsink-free power transistors and everything was good again.
    thegeezer and jhundt like this.
  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    Not just guitar amps. Carlsbro had the absolute best ‘unplugged’ PA around when i started my first school band.

    Just flip that switch and as the indicator light faded, everything you were missing would be revealed in stunning clarity. With an unplugged pair of 1x12”s, it had the most amazing 3D soundstage.

    We positively relished each blown fuse and the musical liberation it would bring us.

    jhundt likes this.
  15. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    [​IMG]via Imgflip Meme Generator
  16. midnight340

    midnight340 Tele-Meister

    Dec 27, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    All this discussion and I am surprised that no one has yet discussed how much better silent tone you get from a basswood cabinet than, say, alder or ash!!
  17. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    There was a time Carlsboro was the be all and end all of 'My First PA' systems. Every nascent band had one. Every venue had one. One thing bound them all together. One fuse to rule them all and in the silence bind them. The trip to Carlsboro Sound in Sheffield was either penance or pilgrimage.

    Truly a sound absorbing way to fail to A the P. Still, they held at least four pints stable while they didn't work.

    Nonsense! MDF is the best unplugged material. Bah Humbug!. MDF is exquisite when silent.
    midnight340 likes this.
  18. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    Yes. Although injection moulded plastic can offer those elusive ‘haunting mids’ when fully unpowered.
    midnight340 likes this.
  19. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    All my amps sound the same unplugged.
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