Amps with "soul"

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Richiec, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Richiec

    Richiec TDPRI Member

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    After spending much time messing about in my local store I was chatting to the guy who worked there about my newfound love for telecasters and fender gear in general. He decided to lift the fender twin reverb down for us to play through, pretty sweet of him saying as he knew I had no intention of buying it.

    Obviously I fell in love with the tone of this thing straight away, I also played through a supersonic twin which again sounded brilliant, as the guy in the shop put it "these amps have soul". I'd never played through a fender amp up until this point, I'm currently using a peavey vypyr tube which does come up with some pretty decent tones surprisingly but it lacks any depth and that "feeling" just isn't their.

    I have yet to play through fenders smaller amp ranges but I'm curious to see if they have the same sort of feel and sound that these higher end amps do. I can't justify the price or the size of the twins at the minute, I play bass in a band and would only need the amp for home use and possibly the odd jam or open mic night.

    So tell me.... how do amps like the blues junior fair up next to the likes of the twin amps? Is that lush tube driven sound still their? Do these amps still provide that warm tone I'm looking for? It's kinda hard to explain without sounding cheesy but it's like the guy in the store said "these amps have soul". I'm hoping the smaller stuff still provides the same feeling.
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Being as they are part of the signal chain, and as such are an extension of the guitar plugged into them, any amp can have "soul" if it inspires you in any way. The thing is that different people like different things, so the Twin might float your boat, but the guy standing next to you might find that a Mesa Triple Rectifier moves him in a way that the Twin cannot. It's all subjective.

    But I do love my DRRI... ;)
     
  3. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    Totally different amps. I never know exactly what people mean by "warm" or "lush." If the Twin sounded like that to you though, then that's what it is. A blues Jr. doesn't sound like a Twin obviously. I suspect part of the Twin sound is the 2x12 combo itself, and a big part of it is the amp circuit, part of it is being open-backed, etc. Not any one thing. If you don't want a Twin, but you want something like it, breaking down these things might be a good place to start?

    By "smaller" do you mean like a 1x10 or 1x12 combo that weighs less?

    Sounds like you had a good experience there!
     
  4. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    My 69 Silverface Princeton Reverb has soul without a doubt. You know it when you hear it. To my ears it sounds like the voice of an angel. I remember the first time I heard it, I was about 13 years old -- the amp was a Gibson Falcon with reverb.
     
  5. Richiec

    Richiec TDPRI Member

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    I guess If you had spent the majority of your time playing through a solid state modeling amp you might be able to understand what I mean when saying "warm" and "lush" heh..... I guess I mean that nice tube sound.

    And yea, I'm looking for a 1x10 or 1x12, obviously price is also an issue for me, I've spent a fortune on gear recently (bass, bass amp combo, my telecaster) :lol:
     
  6. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Twins are actually cheaper right now than Fender's smaller amps, especially the Silver Face Twins. If you really like the way they sound, now might be the best time in the last three decades to pick up one of these old beasts.
     
  7. sacrificetravis

    sacrificetravis Tele-Meister

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    Fender's amp ads used to say (the may still say) "the soul of tone". I get it about the feel of the amp. A blues jr is different from a twin as has been stated but id say try as many different models as you can and see what moves you. For me if I were going for a new fender amp it would be the excelsior, the pro jr, drri or prri. The drri or prri may be closer to what you want. Don't forget to check out the hot rod series though, or if you can find one a pro tube series from the 90's.
     
  8. willpayne

    willpayne TDPRI Member

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    The excelsior is not a "fender" sounding amp. It's very thin sounding. I had one for a while and traded it. I just expected something completely different out of a 15. The trem in it was awesome though!
     
  9. Richiec

    Richiec TDPRI Member

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    In order for me to afford a twin I'd have to get it on finance, either that or sell my taylor 314ce which I could never do!

    spending over a thousand pound on an amp that is never going to leave the bedroom seems a bit excessive for me. I'm trying to justify it by thinking it would be with me for the rest of my life and played/loved over and over again. I guess it's one of them amps that once you've got, you don't really need to worry about tone chasing and upgrading any longer.

    These have also caught my eye recently.... http://www.andertons.co.uk/combo-am...-deluxe-reissue-combo-guitar-amp-in-tweed.asp

    I'm trying to stray away from high gain stuff, I played metal for over a decade and Im sick of it now. I'm really keen to learn new styles.
     
  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I love my Soul Of Tone t-shirt. I'll be terribly bummed when I wear it out!

    I own nothing but Fender amps these days. Modern and vintage.

    I have never owned a Twin, but loved the few I've played through and the go-zillion I've heard over the years.

    For a smaller amp, I would suggest the Princeton Reverb. It's got a very sweat clean that can be used up to live band volumes (not loud band, but band). I use mine all the time in smaller venues. Try to find one used, I did. I paid about 650 USD for one with an expensive replacement speaker already installed.

    The Blues Deluxe you showed is a good amp. They sound a little less like the vintage Fenders... a touch more hi-fi if you will. They have seen a billion stages and are used every night by guitar players. I have a bud, who's a pro, who uses nothing but a Hot Rod Deluxe or a Hot Rod DeVille (depending on the size of the venue). But, it is 40 watts and has a reputation as having a touchy volume knob... that home playing, might get loud.

    I loved my Excelsior. I only sold it because I did a huge favor for a friend... That is one piece of gear I have seller's remorse over. However, it doesn't have reverb and I like a little splash most of the time. So, in all honesty, my PRRi covers the ground I'm missing.

    The Blues Jr? I have mixed feelings about them. I had one an NOS version. I initially liked it... but grew to really dislike it. I have two buddies who play through them and they sound great. But I was very unhappy with my sound. I replaced it with the PRRI and am very happy about that change.

    Fender really makes a huge variety of awesome amps these days. Something for just about everyone, I think!
     
  11. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have not heard a Blues Deluxe, just commenting on the circuit. Basically something like a Deluxe with an added gain stage in front to give some early Bassman crunch. SS reverb, I don't have an issue with that. Enough gain to do lead/rhythm switching otherwise standard Fender.
     
  12. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    IMO, no blues junior has anywhere near the soul of a vintage fender twin. This could just be personal taste, as EL84 type amp circuits rarely work for me, at least the 2xel84 kinds. I also find the blues junior pretty boxy sounding.

    The mention of princeton reverb is right on. That's a great small amp circuit, with the kind of clear and beautiful cleans I associate with the later fenders, and a unique kind of OD sound too. Of the smaller BF/SF fenders, my favorite is by far the Vibrolux reverb. At 35 watts, 2x10, it manages to be a big amp in a small package. Extremely versatile, and has I think the best, most natural overdrive sound of any of the modern fenders.

    Twins are wonderful, but impractical for what I do. Depending on your volume requirements, either the princeton or vibrolux reverb would probably be excellent choices. Also, there are many modern equivalents, replicas, "inspired by" examples of these circuits. Check out Allen amps, for example. The Allen Encore is one fine amp, very much VR inspired, but with extra features and confiiguration options not available in the original.
    MD
     
  13. Rydell

    Rydell Tele-Meister

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    You simply cant compare the Blues Junior to a Twin.It's for home use only? Go find a used Twin. Shouldn't be to hard today.
     
  14. Rockin Ronny

    Rockin Ronny TDPRI Member

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    Hi Richiec ,I have exactly those two amps and they both sound great, of course the blues junior will never give you that twin sound but it'still a very good sounding amp with some tubes and soul haha,,,it's bot his own caracter...hope that helpss
     
  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    No, actually the Blues Deluxe is not a Deluxe with more volume in a tweed covering. It's supposedly voiced to sound like a Bassman with master volume and reverb... But the circuit is different... It's kind of a modern interpretation of what Fender thought guitarists looking for a Bassman wanted. That's all I'm really gonna say on that one! LOL

    However, please realize the Custom Vibrolux Reverb (the current Vibrolux badged Fender amp) is NOT the same thing as a Vibrolux Reverb. it is 40 watts and it is 2x10, it does have reverb and it does have black tolex. But it is not the same circuit that Mad Dog is referring to. (It's a 6g16 Brownface Vibroverb that's been 'enhanced'). It's good in it's own right, but different.



    Confused yet? :D
     
  16. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting. So, does it have more of a Tweed sound?
     
  17. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    soul=$$$

    give jeff beck a pro jr and it will have soul, or Page a valco and add water=instant soul.

    Today soul is bought and sold at hot topic every day, right next to the big pretzel shop.
     
  18. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cynic, where's your Soul, Man?
     
  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    soul=mojo=hype

    i believe in gremlins more than soul. you know, why that old amp keeps breaking.
     
  20. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Who said it had more volume and what is wrong with a modern interpretation of a old circuit? It looks to me like a Deluxe Reverb with an extra gain stage before what would be V1 on the Deluxe. Is it a Bassman? No, is it a deluxe? No. But it does have the standard Fender gain stages with 1.5k/100k resistors and 22uF bypass, a LTP PI section that biases the tube with a 470 ohm resistor, and standard values for the 6V6's. The lineage is quite apparent.
     
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