What is the best solid state Fender guitar amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by blacklodgebob, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, David, Justin's last comment knocked a little sense back into me. :)

    Funny thing is, I started out learning to play guitar on a borrowed solid-body Strat copy - a crudely made instrument with high action and heavy gauge strings that practically cut my fingers in two. And I had no amp to play through, so I played it acoustic. And at the time, I was glad to have access to even that!

    -Gnobuddy
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    A classic description of Fender solid state. My take FWIW, I avoid the drive channel and do the pedal in the clean channel thing. Two plusses. I have always found that you need to turn up a tube amp to a certain point to get their "tone" and I do not mean their distorted tone. My M-80 sounds fine at a lower volume setting. I am a tweaker, and I have not made a component change to my M-80. It sounds just fine stock. Shock.
     
  3. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    LOL! You should have seen my first guitar. I saved all summer and bought a $9.00 plastic Sears flattop, nylon strings and all. When my folks bought me a used Stella for my next birthday I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I think I was 11 at the time.

    Justin
     
  4. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Fender Ultra Chorus Amp and Yamaha G100-112 Series II amp. Both of these are very warm sounding, reliable, gigging amps and best yet....they were MADE IN THE USA!
     
  5. WildcatTele

    WildcatTele Tele-Meister

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    I'm a big fan of the red knob Deluxe 85...I bought my first one in '90, had it for about ten years as my only amp and loved it. Sold it and bought another in '02 that I've had now for another ten years, never had any issues with either...although it's main purpose now is exactly what the OP is after, it's a backup to my '65 TRRI. You get all the Fendery chime with the clean channel plus two different gain stages on the OD channel, nice spring reverb, plus you can run the channels in parallel and mix the clean and overdriven sounds (something I rarely do, but it has it's charm). AND they can be found for usually well under 300 bones on Ebay.
     
  6. hooch1

    hooch1 Tele-Meister

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    You do know that all of the "tone" in a SCXD or VCXD comes from a DSP right?
     
  7. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Fender M-80 is a fine clean amp, and you can get some interesting distortion tones out of it...

    I also liked the Deluxe 90/Princeton 65 amps, I actually recorded an EP using one, sound came out pretty decent...

    Rented a Princeton Chorus one time (main amp was down) I absolutely hated it... went back next day... same with a red-knob deluxe from that era, I just couldn't get a good sound out of those amps...

    OTOH, the Rivera-era Stage Lead (and Studio Lead) were very nice amps, no problem gigging with them...worth looking them up sometime...

    As for other brands... YIKES!!!! Too many good ones out there... :D

    Franc Robert
     
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  8. jeb stuart

    jeb stuart Tele-Holic

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    jonny greewood rocks a 85 for his dirt in conjuction with as a c 30. my ultimate chorus 2x12 has great cleans. now i play a 65 supro and a drri L E. left the SS in md when i moved to nola but if i could of brought it i would of found a way to rock all three and had that highlight my cleans. just a wall of sound
     
  9. mudbelly

    mudbelly Tele-Meister

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    How about a Fender ultra or Ultimate Chorus? Thats the SS Princeton's big Brother.
     
  10. gpasq

    gpasq Friend of Leo's

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    +1. It's the right size, sounds great, it's loud, it's inexpensive and you can make it sound pretty much like whatever amp you're currently using without much difficulty.

    And if you need one in a strange town, it's easy to get.
     
  11. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    Now where in the world did you get that idea? In addition to the solid-state bits, the SCXD has basically half of a (tube) Princeton in it, and the VCXD has most of a (tube) Champ in it. Those tubes most definitely contribute to the sound, which is why the clean channel in both these amps sounds much more attractive and much more "tubey" than the other amps with the same solid-state bits in them ,i.e. the GDECs.

    On the drive channel of the SCXD (and the distorted voices of the VCXD) most of the tone does come from the DSP, which is why these voices don't sound very good to a lot of us. Usable, maybe, but not good. That's why there are a ton of SCXD owners who basically only use the clean channel.

    I once spent a little time comparing a VCXD and a Fender Mustang I side-by-side in a Best Buy music store. The Mustang sounded harsh and ratty no matter what I did with it, while the VCXD immediately sounded good on the clean voice. You could definitely hear that single-ended class A beam power tube doing its thing.

    I still have an SCXD. Because it's a push-pull amp, much of the (2nd harmonic) tube distortion from the 6V6 tubes cancels out, and the amp is almost too clean at low volumes, certainly much cleaner than the VCXD. But if you push the output tubes a bit - get the volume up to 7 or so on the clean channel - a little tube distortion leaks through, and you start to hear a much sweeter timbre from the tubes doing what they do best. Again, many, many SCXD owners have discovered this independently - the amp sounds better once it gets loud enough for the tube distortion to be heard.

    -Gnobuddy
     
  12. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Polytone Mini Brute. If you can find one.
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  13. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I've been gigging with a Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight for several years now and love it. I bought another one for back-up as I heard about the reliability issues, but so far no problems. My average gig is 3 hours, but the group I play with is not very loud. I have started using a fan blowing on it to avoid overheating as I hear that's the main cause of failure. Discontinued, they are hard to find, show up on e-bay occasionally. The 2 ohm speaker is harder to find than the heads.
     
  14. RaistMagus

    RaistMagus Tele-Holic

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    What's the word on Princeton Choruses?
     
  15. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    i've got a friend who has an M-80. it's beat to hell and he's got a full Mesa stack, but he still uses the M-80 regularly. i don't think the drive channel sounds very good, but running a distortion pedal through the clean channel works really well. the nice thing about Fender "red knob" amps is that they can be had for pretty cheap on Craigslist and they come up often. (just FYI, most of Fender's SS amps in the 80's had red knobs, hence the name.) the Stage 100's were pretty good too, although i think that their drive channel also suffered from a bit of solid-state "fizziness".

    for modern SS, i'm a big fan of Carvin's SX series. 100w, 2 or 3 channels (depending on model), effects loop, made in the USA and they go for $299 brand new ($349 for the 3-channel model.) aside from the built-in effects, they're actually analog and not digital. even though Carvin is mailorder-only, they have a very generous return policy if you don't end up liking the amp. they are 2x12 though, so they might be bigger than you want. still, i figure i'd pass along the info since i think they're fantastic sounding amps (and Carvin is great to deal with.)
     
  16. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Fender Ultra Chorus Amp and Yamaha G100-112 Series II amp. Both of these are very warm sounding, reliable, gigging amps I would agree, Telecastoff1, with the Yamaha G100-112 if the series two is as good as the series 1 was. I had one in the 70's and it was terrific until it died last year. I have been looking around for a replacement and, I know this will attract some flack, found the Frontman 212R. It is a pretty good replacement for the Yamaha and is pretty close to being identical in sound, settings and volume. There you are someone has said it - Frontman.
     
  17. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Tele-Meister

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    I'll add another vote for the Deluxe 112 plus. I have one myself and like it quite a bit. The clean channel sounds fantastic, imo. The drive channel on the other hand is that typical Fender OD, which is pretty meh. I run a DOD rackmount processor through my clean channel for overdrive which sounds pretty darn good to me. Great amp though, light and powerful. :)
    I know few will agree with me, but I actually prefer SS amps to tube amps for multiple reasons. SS amps get bashed a lot on guitar forums for some reason I've never quite understood, when in reality they can sound really good.
     
  18. giginthesky

    giginthesky Friend of Leo's

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    i've got a couple decent fender SS's.
    fender 85
    princeton chorus (the 2/10 not the 2/12)
    sidekick 20 with reverb
    sidekick 65 with reverb
    i favore the sidekick 65 the most and use it in stereo with a very old bandit 65 for rehearsals. they usually sell for pretty cheap, too!
     
  19. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

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    I use to have the fender 85 amp back in the early 90s, how many watts is that, I forget ?

    I loved the sound of that amp but it just wasn't loud enough to gig with, so I had to go with a stage 112 SE Fender amp.....20yrs later, I still have the stage 112 and going strong.




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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  20. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Cyber-Deluxe that I use for rehearsals when I don't want to lug around my pedal board. It takes some time and patience to dial in, but it's a can do anything and sounds great for what it is.
     
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