BMRI LTD...Should it stay or should it go?!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by sbpark, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    I've had an on again, off again relationship with my BMRI LTD. Times when I loved it, but more often than not it's just not working out. Seems like compared to the other amps I have now (SIlverface Champ, '72 Princeton Reverb (Muchxs modded) and an AC15) I always have a much harder time dialing in a good sound on the BMRI. The Princeton and AC15 are pretty easy to dial up something nice, but the BMRI takes a lot more time and knob tweaking, and still ends up sounding too shrill, or too bottom heavy, or just not that good to my ears. I've tried different tubes in it, and had t rebated each time, and it always seems to have the same sort of underwhelming vibe to it, regardless of what tubes were in it, etc. (I've tried MANY different preamp tube combinations).

    And the one thing I have found with the amp is that, contrary to what most have said about the amp, it does NOT seem to take pedals all that great. It's a pretty finicky amp for dirt pedals. Never had an amp that is so hot or cold with overdrive pedals. Seems to be an amp that will let you now right away is if a dirt pedal will work with it or not.

    Int he amp's defense, I've never even really had a chance to really open it up and use it to it's full potential. The band I play with doesn't play at ear-bleeding levels, and the other guitar player and myself both use Princetons.

    It's a beautiful amp to look at. When I bought it a few years ago I paid $600 for it and also gave the guy a RAT pedal as part of the deal. It's just not getting used these days. Since getting the '72 Princeton Reverb back from Muchxs and discovering that it works perfect for the music and band I'm playing with, I don't have a desire for another ramp. And the AC15 seems to be a great amp for recording when I want a change from the PR. I don't really have any other gear on a 'wish list' currently or anything else I want, so it's not about flipping the Bassman to put toward some other epurchase.

    So what do you think I should I do with the BMRI LTD?
     
  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    All of the sonic issues you just described, describe every experience I've ever had with one of these amps, to a T. So glad I'm not the only one! As for what to do with it...

    Seems like you have most of your amp bases covered. Maybe swap it for a cool guitar. 12 string electric? Gretsch? What would you kinda like to have, that you don't have?
     
  3. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    I used to love the BMRI, but always spent more time turning knobs than playing. I think what I've come to learn is if you give me something with too many options (i.e.. too many knobs) I'll just keep tweaking and tweaking. That's why I dig the Princeton and the Champ so much. You deal with what you have at your disposal. The AC15 is even getting close to my threshold for too may EQ choices with the way the VOX EQ works and top boost, etc.! I'm the same way with pedals for the most part. Too many knobs and I'm not interested.

    Well, my main guitars now are a 52AVRI, 2013 SG Standard/'61, and a Casino that has Fralin P90's in it and a Bigsby B7. Also have a, '85 MIJ Strat with some great Fender '57/'62 Pickups in it, an '07 Melody Maker and a killer 1976 Precision Bass. Aside from a Gretsch, which I'm not a giant fan of one way or another, I feel like I have most of my bases covered guitar-wise.

    I would like a nice acoustic. I have two lower end acoustics, but they both sound great (Recording King, Yamaha) but have always wanted one nice acoustic, but for what I could get for the BMRI used I'd have to add a bit of cash to be able to get a nice acoustic guitar. However, the Guild GAD series are pretty reasonable as far as price and seem to be well-liked.
     
  4. Gringo13

    Gringo13 Tele-Holic

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    Let me preface my post with this...

    A lot of the tone potential in these amps is in the speakers, tube selection, plate voltage, and volume.

    When I first got mine I wasn't completely blown away by it. The tone was just too stiff and I didn't like my OD pedals through it at all. I had my amp tech lower the lower the plate voltage and install 5881 power tubes. He also upgraded the gut components and presence sweep. It immediately sounded so much better. Then I installed two of the Emi Legend Alnico and two Legend ceramics. The stock Jensens just don't sound that good to me.

    So yeah, I did a bit of work to mine, but it's an awesome amp for Americana rock to dirty blues, imo.

    That said, it doesn't shine until it's up to 4 or so on the volume, so that's an issue, but the lower voltage and 5881 gives it a sweeter tone earlier on the dial. Mine is still a bit too bassy for me (yeah, I know), and the only OD pedals I like with it are transparent OD and boosts. Considering it's a mid-heavy amp and most OD pedals push the mids, this makes sense.

    The Fender tweed stuff is a different monster than the "typical" Fender tone and comparing the Bassman to even most of the other tweeds is difficult.

    I love my LTD, but I also acknowledge that sometimes I need my SF Vibro Champ.

    If you're not interested in trying other speakers and the other "mods", then I say sell it. Life is too short for bad tone.
     
  5. Gareth John

    Gareth John Tele-Afflicted

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    I play rock and for me it does exactly what I need. I turn it up and push it with a rat pedal. At bedroom levels it sounds lovely clean. I do find though that I only really like it at one setting. Bright Volume at 4, eq flat in the middle and presence all the way up. I never change it up as I don't see it as being very versatile. Compared to my ac30 which has very responsive controls the bassman is a bit less versatile for me. I love the sound the bassman gives and I haven't found a pedal it doesn't take well. Bass man ltds are common so if you do sell you will find another one easily if you miss it.
     
  6. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I've been jonesing for one of these for a while... I played one a month or to ago and it was the tone I'd been hearing in my head.

    If we lived closer, I'd be trying to talk you into trading it for my '69 VIbrolux Reverb... LOL

    The Vibrolux is an awesome amp, with tone of the gods.... But, it's just not my tone. I'm a little bit more of a brownface or older kinda guy (and I have a Bassman 50 to scratch my BF/SF itch). So, the tone that so many people say is the ultimate tone? Yeah, just not my favorite of all time and that's okay. Sounds like you're at that point with the LTD.

    As my mother always says, "That's why they make chocolate AND vanilla"
     
  7. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd move it. There are too many big amps out there at good prices to be hanging on to one that doesn't float your boat and doesn't get much use. It shouldn't be hard to find another one if you reconsider.


    Dang - I wish I lived closer to VA - I'd go out and buy a BMRI and bring it over to you!
     
  8. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    Given all the work and money you put into yours, why didm't you just buy a used (or even new) Victoria? Sounds like you probably put as much, or more into what the amp cost new. It's like someone saying I love my guitar except for the tuners, pickups, knobs, pots, switch, bridge, nut, saddle, etc. After I replaced all those things it's really a great guitar now!

    These days I'm not into putting the time or money into something to see if it works. Either it does what I want it to do, and if it doesn't after simple tweaks I either gets shelved and/or I move on. Not looking to replace all the speakers and try to find a tech who knows this amp and wants to wrk on it to get it to a place where it MAY or may not be acceptable. There are a few good amp guys in my area, but neither will work on PCB board stuff, or at least they won't want to do mods and what not on a PCB amp.

    I do appreciate the advice though, and am glad you're enjoying yours after the work you've had done to it.
     
  9. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Rickenbacker. A Rick 12 string. Yes, please. :cool:
     
  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure what justification there is for keeping an amp or a guitar around you won't play unless it's a collectors piece or something like that which that one isn't. If it was me and I can't get it playing or sounding the way I like then I'd move it and recycle that money into something I would play. Otherwise it becomes a very expensive door stop while you're hauling out the gear you do play.
     
  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    The LTD is the sound of Hendrix with a Strat. That's a tone I like to reach for. I've come to think of it as a Super Reverb with a bit more clarity after hearing them both side by side and the LTD is lighter, so a plus. The trick with the LTD is the jumper from the bright to the normal channel, let's you mix the fatness of the amp with the clarity of the bright channel.

    That said, if you find your tone in other amps, just go there. I keep several around for recording purposes as well as live. The LTD fits a sonic space that goes back in time. If that's not where you need to go, then move to something that works for you.
     
  12. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    You made the point of keeping it around just to have a different sound when recording, which is pretty much why I've kept it. Just to have a different flavor. I also have an AC15 which is a great amp as well in it's own right, but found that I prefer the Princeton for rehearsals, and playing live, but as a recording amp the AC15 is awesome! So is a silverface Champ. Thats why I'm finding it sort of tough to part with I guess. Plus it just looks so darn nice just sitting there, but that's a heck of an expensive decoration for a room, right?!
     
  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maybe you can use IT for an amp stand. ;)

    Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation. It must be my day to be a wise ass again. :D LOL
     
  14. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    Hahahaha! Don't think I haven't tried that.
     
  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    LOL, I'm not thinking a straight up one for one.... But, I'd be willing to make the right deal.
     
  16. Gringo13

    Gringo13 Tele-Holic

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    That's a good point. I'll explain why I'd do such a thing. First, I got it used for a good deal, so I didn't have a lot in it at the beginning. Next, the amp tech is a good friend of mine, so it wasn't like I had to scour the earth and pay an arm and leg for the work. Also, I actually made money by selling the Jensens and buying the other speakers used. Btw, most Victorias have those Jensens in them, so I'd be replacing those anyway.

    Overall, I spent money out of pocket on the Tung Sol RI 5881 tubes, an NOS 12ay7 tube, NOS rec tube, upgraded caps. I have less than a grand in that amp.

    I didn't buy the amp to overhaul it. It just became a project and it's easily worth it.
     
  17. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the amp is for sale now. Bought a 2008 SG Special, so I have to sell the BMRI to pay for the guitar!
     
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