Dream amps that turned out to be letdowns

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by naveed211, Nov 7, 2019 at 9:12 AM.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    It's funny. Any time anybody looks for an amp recommendation of any kind, for any purpose, it is guaranteed someone here will recommend a Twin.
    "I'm looking for a small inexpensive amp I can play in my bedroom and not wake my grandmother when she is sleeping."
    "Twin Reverb. With an attenuator."
     
  2. redchapterjubilee

    redchapterjubilee TDPRI Member

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    JCM 800. Just not my thing but for many many years before I owned one I thought it would be.
     
  3. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    In about 2012 or 13, I bought a late 70s (I think it was a 79 too) VR off Craigslist. I’d just gotten back into playing after basically not playing for a decade. I did a little research online, message boards and all that. The majority of people were saying Vibrolux. So I snatched that one fast. I think I paid 800 for it.

    Took it straight to a tech a coworker had recommended. I knew even less about amps then than I do now. Anyway l the guy replaces the transformers, big overhaul. Oh, and he “blackfaced” it. When I got it back, it was clean, sterile, shrill and just way too loud. I ended up selling it off a couple of years later.

    In hindsight, a tech who really knows their way around vintage tube amps could have likely made it a great amp. It’d still have been too loud for my needs.

    So THAT amp was the big mistake.

    Earlier this year, I bought a ‘79 Deluxe Reverb. Again, Craigslist. This one powered up, but basically all it did was a very loud constant hum. I took it straight to a tech in St. Petersburg I’d found online. Now THIS guy knows his way around amps. He only replaced what needed replacing, didn’t alter the circuit. The speaker it came with was pretty much shot, so he offered two options he had on hand. I went with the one he said was the better speaker, which turned out to be the Hempdog. Great speaker, but really too much speaker for a DR. And too efficient for my purposes.

    It’s still in there, but the DR gets very little use. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great amp. I hope to start using it on occasion. Still trying to get a regularly gigging situation going.

    In the meantime, I’ve found the perfect tone for my 60s-70s brand of classic rock. 6G2 Princeton combo, 12” Eminence Maverick, Pure Sky OD pedal (low buck Timmy clone), and usually either my strat or tele. Leaning towards my Strat more often these days. Just enough tweedy raunch to make it a little ballsy, but the tone of the guitar/amp combo still shines through.

    It’s been a long quest. Lots of detours, dead ends and wrong turns. The Vibrolux was a big one. Before that one, I also spent about a year thinking Vox Valvetronix modeling amps were the answer. Ll
     
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  4. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    I've never owned an el84 amp or Vox in my lifetime, but got enticed to buy a used Z-Wreck clone head by the promise of great cleans and killer distortion all available with your guitars volume knob. Well, I got neither. Don't get me wrong, Its a great sounding amp but I'm a 6L6 guy and even solid state for cleans. Now I can't sell this handwired work of art cause nobody over here has ever heard of the brand. This was to be my be-all and end-all amp purchase, but I'm back to my Yamaha G100-II...
     
  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    This one's easy but it goes back away I used to be a Guitar Player magazine addict for many years and in the back of each issue there was always ads for Carvin Bel-Air 212 amplifier $399!

    This sounds perfect on paper all tube 2 12 50 W clean Channel dirty Channel Reverb, fake Tweed cabinet
    total piece of garbage tonally
    Spiky cleans and terrible Distortion could not do anything with it I bought it as a backup to my Fender Pro Reverb sold it quickly

    I am or was a fan and owner of Carvin PA stuff
     
  6. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    I guess you won't be in line for this...
    https://hudebnibazar.cz/carvin-belair-2x12-50w-reproduktory-ev-evm-12l-hardcase/ID183377/
    its only $740.00
     
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  7. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 1:33 PM
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  8. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I give you permission to dwell in these Nether Regions with me. My partner is a Marshall guy too.
     
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  9. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Reverend Kingsnake ultimately didn't do it for me. I had Doug at Talos Amps revoice it for me so it was more like a DR on steroids. I like it just fine now.
     
  10. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    When the SUPRO RI amps came finally to France in 2016, I was very interested by them : vintage unusual cool look, tremolo, reverb. Costing an arm, yes, but if they sound great... :cool:

    My local music store (owned by a long time pal) entered a Saturn, a Royal and some others. I was there for helping him to open the cartons.

    Now I can tell that they only cost an arm :lol: . Their tone is poor, bassy, mussy, the reverb sounds like a pile of scrap, the tremolo is average :confused:... They only have the look and the price, no way for the tone. o_O

    Needless to say, I was very disappointed ! :(

    -tbln
     
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  11. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

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    Silverface Vibro Champ. Even with a Weber speaker I couldn't get a good tone out of it.
     
  12. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    Fender 57 custom champ for me.
    Bought it online without trying it, considering how mythical the 5f1 is and how accurate these handwired reissues from Fender are supposed to be.
    Can’t say it sounded bad in any way, but definitely not the one for me. I think it’s the 8 inches speaker that I did not like, because since I sold it I’ve bought a 5f2 clone with a 10 that has become my main (and now only) tube amp.
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  13. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    Mesa Boogie mark II C, DC-10, Express 5:50, F-50, Lone Star. I've tried to like Boogie amps, but they just don't work for me.

    More recently, I bought a Genz Benz Black Pearl, having heard nothing but stellar reports. I worked with it for months, but it just sounds hard, harsh and unpleasant. I can get it to sound good at home, but at rehearsals and gigs, it is hugely disappointing.

    The only amps that have ever really worked for me have been my old Seymour Duncan Convertible, my Rivera M100 and Fandango 2x12. But those are too heavy any more (I work out and am in excellent physical shape, but who wants the hassle?) so I use my RI Fender Blues Deville 1x12.

    Another amp that sounds great, get ready for a laugh, the Peavy Valve King. I entertain buying a 1x12 VK sometimes.
     
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  14. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Not really a dream amp but the Peavey Mini 20 kind of let me down. On it's own it wasn't a bad amp but I use a stereo setup. The other amp in that equation was a Blackstar HT20. I tried twisting dials for a month but I just couldn't get the Peavey to play nice with the Blackstar. I liked the Blackstar better so the Peavey went away
     
  15. MitchJ89

    MitchJ89 Tele-Meister

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    Same experience. I tried everything, every setting, even moved the amp to different locations and elevated it. Sounded like a blanket was on the amp and a bad compressor running into it.
     
  16. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Used a Bogner 22 watt tube amp or maybe it was 20 watts...same conclusion. The one I used was boring, toneless, gutless, didn't know how to take it's place in the overall sound-mix. Have the same problem with stock Traynor 20 watt tube amps, have found a couple in rehearsal studios that worked for me but most don't.
     
  17. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Meister

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    Here's a blast from the past: 1970 Fender Scorpio solid state. Bought it from a guitarist in our band, didn't care for the shrill, flat sound. Ended up trading it for a 1967 Pro Reverb (sure wish I had that one back). Another was a Peavey Bandit-just couldn't get "my sound" out of it. Also I can't see to bond with EL84 or 6V6 powered amps- I just prefer the tonality of 6L6s. To that end, I'm using them in my SFDR and SCDX. Only 6L6 amp I didn't bond with was a Vibrolux Reverb Custom. Broke up waaaay to early.
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Matchless Chiefton that fit that category. Bright, brittle, loud and only sounded good loud.
    I had a Carmen Ghia i really loved. So I had heard a Mazerati was the same, but with 4 power tubes/more power. I tried one and just didn't get where I wanted to be.
     
  19. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I agree about Boogies. Their preamp drive sounds are too fuzzy for my taste. I want the fattest, yet cleanest bluesy tone I can get with guts, attack, and sustain, but the least amount of fuzzy distortion, like a cranked 410 Bassman, or BF Deluxe or Super. I had a PV Classic 20 and when the Classic 30 came out, I got one of those, and I loved it. Well, I made the mistake of trading it for an equivalent MB with two EL84s and a 12" speaker, and I couldn't get that sound out of it like I could the Classic 30. I had to return the MB and get another Classic 30. Then I went to work for the exclusive MB dealer here, and so I got to try all their amps, and I liked the Lonestar series more than most others. But my favorite was the Electradyne. It was the anti-Boogie of Boogies, the complete opposite of a MKV with it's 18 channels and hundreds of mini switches (I'm exaggerating for effect). It was kinda their modern version of a JTM45 or Super Lead, with one set of controls, but it did have three switchable levels of gain, clean, low, and high, and gain, master and 3 band eq controls. I plugged a Strat into it, set everything at noon, except the master, and it sounded perfect. I said to myself "this is the best Boogie ever". But, it didn't last long, 'cause Boogie buyers want all those channels and switches and graphic EQ, and all that intricate stuff, which to me is just more stuff that can break and need servicing.
     
  20. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Marshall JCM600. I bought it as salvage and totally rebuilt it. I thought I needed a Marshall. In the 3 years I owned it, after the initial euphoria wore off I played it twice. Sold to someone who wanted a Marshall.
     
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