Are Gibson guitars too much for vintage/low watt Fender amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Che_Guitarra, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Tele-Holic

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    From all i've heard and seen I think it's almost impossible to make a strat or tele sound bad through the first generations of Fender amps... but when you reach for that other brand of guitar (Gibsons, or any guitar with double figure pickup impedence) i'm not convinced I like what I hear.


    I've put my next build plans on ice, as I want to work out if there's any theme or trend to the vintage Fender amps that sound great with a Gibson. I mean, I like playing these guitars too, but I also have a penchant for low watt Fender amps that I grew up listening to and can potentially clone.

    I guess if you play BB King style blues a rounded out tone is just what you're chasing, but I cut my teeth on stuff like Dick Dale, Hendrix, Brian Setzer, Van Halen, Mellencamp, SRV - thus i like a crunchy/bitey amp that can handle broader rock genres, regardless of the guitar in my hand... and hopefully without resorting to a 100W plexi. Fender is my preferred brand afterall.


    Are there any rules of thumb I need to observe (in regards to the first generations of Fender amps) when I reach for a Gibson? Or am I chasing the impossible dream trying to get these two to love each other? I mean, i've been on the Line 6 bandwagon since I bought my Flextone amp many moons ago, so maybe i've come to view 'real' vintage tube amps through rose tinted glasses :oops:
     
  2. bigmuff113

    bigmuff113 Friend of Leo's

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    When I go to GC/ Sam Ash I always try Gibson style guitars through low watt amps, and they suit low watt fenders fine.
     
  3. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I guess it all depends on what you like. I have an ES-339. I want to love that guitar. It looks amazing. I love how it feels and plays. But through my 5F2A? Lately is seems sorta blah compared to my Tele or Strat. Thinner sounding. There are others here who may disagree, but to my ears, the Fenders that I own sound better. It can sound good, but after playing my tele through the tweed for a month, then switching to the Gibson, I can't seem to dial in what I am looking for. If I put my Fender guitars away and only play the ES-339 for a while, it starts to sounds great again. I prefer my ES through my 68 SFVC or 5E3 clone, much more it seems than through my 5F2A. A cranked small tweed with a Fender single coils, to me is exceptional. YMMV, IMHO etc...
     
  4. Gringo13

    Gringo13 Tele-Holic

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    It seems that the tweed Champ and smaller amps are voiced more for single coils, as I've found the tone too dark with most humbuckers. However, I've played a Les Paul through my Bassman and liked it, so it may be that the lower watt older Fenders aren't as good for buckers. Neil Young seems to like them, though... but his tone is "ugly" haha. I think each amp and guitar combo gets different mileage.
     
  5. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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  6. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    There are arguably lots of similarities between the early Fender and early Gibson circuits, and here's a site that lists them:

    http://www.rru.com/~meo/Guitar/Amps/Gibson/gfmap.html

    I used the word, "arguably" since your ear, not mine, and not a list of similarities is the best judge. It's really a matter of preference.

    However, I play both single coil and humbucker guitars through a 1960 Champ and through a 1959 Gibson GA-5 (which have virtually identical circuits, tubes, cabs, and speakers), and they sound great through each. The only difference is that that Champ is slight bit darker, but not much.
     
  7. Gringo13

    Gringo13 Tele-Holic

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    The bridge bucker sounds good in the 5f1, but most neck buckers are too dark for my taste.
     
  8. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think they can be through small amps but when you put one through a twin reverb you have some tone. I do agree with the earlier post about Neil Young though so what do I know?
     
  9. ojaverde

    ojaverde Tele-Holic

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    My Les Paul sounds great through my 5F11 Vibrolux(12 watts). It does have three inputs, and from what I understand they are each set up for different types of pickups. So input number one is supposed to be better for Single coils, and input three works better with Humbuckers. But in my experience I can play my Les Paul through any of the inputs and it will sound good. A little less volume on input three, but it isn't too dark even on the neck pickup. P90's sound great through this amp as well.
     
  10. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Tele-Holic

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    My 5F1 is a dream with a Tele in hand, but it just becomes a zero definition low pass filter with a Les Paul or Jackson in hand... but we play different styles. I've heard the top beginning to disappear on a couple of the Fenders i've played, now I realise it's probably a headroom issue combined with my guitars of choice.

    Here's a few tracks to demonstrate my canoodling:

    http://soundcloud.com/cheguitarra/latino-in-ya

    http://soundcloud.com/cheguitarra/hotrod-baby

    http://soundcloud.com/cheguitarra/brave-tales-of-ulysses


    These are just demos I recorded with my Line 6 FLextone, but when I record off all these tracks at release quality I want to be using real amps. Fender has what i'm after - I know it - but I haven't encountered the right one yet.
     
  11. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    Les Paul's and Deluxe Reverb's are made for each other.
     
  12. Scantron08

    Scantron08 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never heard of such a suggestion. Great guitars and great amps pretty much always sound great together. Those Gibson pickups will do wonderful things for the true tube overdrive you seek through a small-wattage amp. I play my Les Paul through either a 15-watter or a 22-watter (though admittedly not Fenders - my only Fender amp is a biggie - 70s SF Twin), and it sounds amazing.

    I would venture to say that your Gibson through almost any tube Fender will sound worlds better than your Line 6.
     
  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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  14. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Tele-Holic

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    BTW - my definition of low watt is something under 20w... Seeing I don't gig I can't really accommodate anything with larger capacity.
     
  15. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you think it is a problem with the output of the guitar being too hot, simply back off a bit. I had a strat, someone had put some really hot dimarzio humbuckers in. It would overdrive an amp without a distortion box. Turned them down on the guitar, sounded fine.
     
  16. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    The problem with small tube amps under 20 watts is the speaker gets smaller and smaller. I played a Raven SS 20 watts a couple of years ago and it came with a 12 inch speaker. Sounded great at low volumes, next to a Champ at low volume that wasn't as good.
     
  17. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't know what you're talkin' about.

    I generally play single coils albeit hot single coils in my cheap Strat. I have a couple different versions of those, all hot...

    I was over a buddy's place a while ago, went through various Teles, an LP Junior w/ P90s... ended up with a Frampton replica Les Paul Custom into one of my Champs. It was like "More, more, more, most"

    On the other end of the spectrum just about every pre- JCM900 Marshall is a modded '59 Bassman including most of the tube JCM800 line. No one complains about hot humbuckers into Marshalls.
     
  18. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Trust me, that isn't the problem in small amps. Lotta people think the amp plays clean and the speaker breaks up. A "clean" speaker won't clean up a dirty amp.
     
  19. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Tele-Holic

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    I'm readying for my flight back to (work) site, but when I get get back i'll post up a video to show how my amp is rolling with my Jackson or LP. If champs are supposed to sound pretty good with humbuckers i've obviously made a circuit error with mine - i'm getting no treble/mid response at all above, say, 1K Hz. It's not something you can miss. But, on the flip it sounds fantastic with any single coil guitar I own.... it's just got me scratching my head a little why it's so.
     
  20. JosephB

    JosephB Tele-Afflicted

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    neil young's LP has a p90 and minibucker. not really the same. and his amp isn't really a straight-up fender, either.
     
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