Boutique amp builders know what's up

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by CV Jee Beez, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:39 PM.

  1. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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    My two amps are a 65 Lil Elvis and a Sampson era Bad Cat Hot Cat 30.

    I've tried numerous high end speakers in both and in both, the stock speakers are the best match to my ear (and theirs).

    I'm thinking speaker swaps seem more likely in the mass produced amps as speakers are a great way to save some $ in the manufacturing process.
     
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  2. Askwhy

    Askwhy Tele-Meister

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    IDK, speaker choice is such a personal preference. Mark Bartel probably has the best ears in the biz, but i like alnico bounce, hemp mellowness and lower sensitivity so a Blue Chicago tone tubby in my Imperial II is just the ticket. Stock sounded great too, though.
    Agreed about the mass ones, there are some terrible speakers out there ruining the sound of some decent amps. Like everything that comes with the 70/80 lol.
    Guys talk a lot about wattage but speaker sensitivity is the way to get your amp at the right volume and push level. A deluxe reverb with a red fang will drown out much higher powered amps and a vibrolux with low sensitivity speakers will get into a sweet spot at a pretty low volume. In short, horses for courses regarding speakers.
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I am a big speaker swap guy, except for boutique.
    Most boutique amp mfg spend
    loads of time researching the best for their amp.
    They do not necessary go for 'best value' as others
    do
    imho
     
  4. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    I'd have to agree. I have a Soldano Decatone and while not boutique a Kustom Double Cross with their respective cabs. Soldano uses the Eminence Legends whereas the Kustom the V30's and both sound better with their matched cabs
     
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  5. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Holic

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    It seems to me that a big part of what you're paying for with a boutique amp is carefully selected and matched components including the speaker.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Seems Samson did some secret sauce treatment to the speakers in those Matchless amps.
    I don't recall the Samson era Bad Cat amps though, maybe the secret speaker treatment was only in the Matchless amps, but he was one of the more fully realized amp designers.

    OTOH even something as cave man as the Plexi Marshalls are very speaker dependent, in terms of not sounding "right" with other than Greenbacks. They can certainly sound different with different speakers, but they need middy inefficient speakers to get the creamy compressed Marshall sound, and with modern efficient flat eq speakers they sound totally different.

    Dumble had/ has specific ideas for speaker choice, as does/ did Boogie, but those amps are maybe more flexible and can do their thing through a wider range of speakers.

    Personally I keep boxes and boxes of speakers and match to whatever amp I bring into the fold.
    Not always my usual favorite speaker, which is usually a high power alnico.
    Some amps respond better to a ceramic, and some amps like inefficient speakers.
    My 18w Marshalls are actually two different amps depending on the speakers used so I don't even adhere to the idea that an amp can be paired with it's perfect speaker match.
     
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  7. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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    Dr. Z had a great idea. Put the desiccant packet like found in beef jerky on your speaker box to ward off moisture.
     
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  8. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Won't that make my amp smell like beef jerky?
     
  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I’m uninterested in changing anything about my ‘06 Bad Cat Trem Cat.
    The speaker is Celestion specifically made for Bad Cat. I assume it was custom spec.

    Not that this matters, but is my amp considered Sampson era?

    I understand who he was. I think he designed mine but wasn’t with BC anymore at the time of manufacture.

    School me.
     
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  10. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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    I'm not sure about Sampson era on the Trem cat. I've heard great things about it and am curious to hear one in person. Is it EL84 powered? The Sampson era was pretty short as I thin it ended in '04 or '05.
     
  11. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I second this.
     
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