Lookin for a new amp, advice please.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by jgwcaster, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. jgwcaster

    jgwcaster TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    53
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Location:
    Delaware, OH
    So to be clear TAF is not making amps currently. Since the founder passed the company has been in hiatus. It sounds like a son is planning on reopening at some point. Rumor was they were working on the aesthetic appearance of the amp.


    The company is located in Delaware, OH. Five years ago several local shops in the area had the amps for sale. Now I only know of one shop and they have three heads. A TAF-10, TAF 14 and a TAF 30r.


    Your right there are lots of great amps out there that are more well known than TAF and yes I might be attracted to something a bit more unique, hand built or local. Perhaps the TAF is an unwise purchase because there is so little known about it. I am trying to figure this out.

    Here is a bit of my thinking when it comes to gear purchases and this current amp quest:

    Perhaps what I am most interested in is possibly picking up an amp that has a high build quality at a pretty great price. The TAF-10 is around $300 (which is admittedly in too good to be true territory.) I am uncertain about the build quality or difficulty of maintinence which is why I started this post.

    Back in the 90s when I first picked up the guitar I was a broke teenager and fought with a lot of cheap gear. It was what I could afford and served me well enough. Though I am not convinced the squire starter pack was a smart purchase. It got me started but I think I spent as much time tuning and fixing as I did playing.

    Now when I buy gear I try to be mindful of build quality. Less time fighting with bad tuners, junk nuts or bridge screws that unadjust themselves (my old Tex mex tele that I miss dearly now, hated that bridge) less time fighting with poor quality is more time playing.

    What I purchase does not have to be boutique or ultra high end (can’t afford and my talents are not worthy of super high end gear.). But I am more hesitant picking up mass produced stuff that may or may not yet have a good track record (perhaps the Vox Ac10 sits in this catagory for me. I get that the Vox ac10 has great reviews I just wonder about the lifespan of the amp, what happens when they start needing repairs? Will it be more like my AC4, not worth the expense of repairing? Will the TAF have the same problem?

    My good amp is a 73 Fender Champ. I love it’s tone. My spare is a Vox ac4 with a 10 inch speaker. It’s tone does not excite me (the tone knob does almost nothing) I feel like the only control I have over it is volume (I like the tone controls of the champ, still minimal but a lot going on). At one time I had a Fender Mustang 3. All I ever did was tweak and tweak. Simple controls and a pedalboard is the route for me, I am no patch builder.

    Those are my two amps. I am looking for an amp with a bit fuller sound. Perhaps I wrongly believe that a 12 inch speaker would do this I was thinking something with a bigger cab, speaker might be a nice step up. I have some cash right now, about $600, which can get some good stuff but amps can get expensive quickly. I would trade the Voxac4 to help with a purchase too.

    Enter the TAF, handbuilt by a guy who took a lot of pride in his work.

    That’s why I came here looking for anyone who had experience with the amps or thoughts on maintaining a unknown make of tube amp.

    I might get the TAF, I might not. I think there are good reasons to consider it and there are clearly some reasons to be hesitant about it.

    I am open to suggestions for great Tube amps 15 Watts or less with decent build quality. I like the chime of the Vox ac15 (just weighs a million pounds) I like fender clean tones.

    Still going to try out the TAF tomorrow unless one of you all have snuck into Delaware a purchased it already :)
     
  2. jgwcaster

    jgwcaster TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    53
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Location:
    Delaware, OH
    Okay. TAF is a no go for me. It comes down to too many things I don’t know enough about.

    The amps sound really good.

    But:

    1. I don’t think I am really ready to do the proper homework for picking out a cab.

    2. As much as I like the idea of point to point hand made locally there is just too much I don’t know about the amp and the company.

    3. I picked up my Fender Champ today and asked the amp tech what he knew about TAF. He was neither for or against the amps and felt working on them should not be an issue but said he had never been inside one yet. He thinks the maker built a couple dozen. Sometimes these handmade amps are built wonderfully sometimes they are surprises inside.

    The TAF might be an amazing amp, but I don’t think it’s for me.


    All that said, the amp quest continues.
     
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