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Epiphone Blues Custom 30

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Phylian, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Phylian

    Phylian TDPRI Member

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    Alright! So it's finally time to upgrade to a tube amp! I came across a Blues Custom for $300 and I was wondering if that was a good deal?

    I've really been looking into the BC30 heavily to see what it's like and I gotta say I really like what I'm seeing/hearing. The youtube videos sound pretty good but it's hard to tell without physically playing one. From what I've seen the sound is somewhat similar to a vox ac30 and fender bassman. Both of which I adore. How does it take pedals?

    I did see that some people suggested some modifications to get the best sound out of it. Which is ok because I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, of course I want to play through it first to see how I feel about the sound as is. But I most definitely plan on adding a master volume

    I play mainly for my church, usually I use the church's egnater or I use my fender mustang if if I play for the student ministry since it is a much smaller room. But soon the student ministry will be moving to a much much larger room with a stage. I like the idea of putting it on 15watt mode and putting it in an isolation box.

    Anyone have experience with these?
     
  2. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    I had one, sold it because I found my Blues Deluxe and Twin Reverb better sounding in the clean department, but the BC-30 is not a bad amp at all. Actually, it was much better in doing the overdriven sounds when you cranked it up than the BLDX (never tried to crank my Twin up to to point of break up). I did find that limiting the use of the BC-30, with 30watts head room is not a lot, but if you like your sound a bit dirty it's fine. And I think the BC-30 already has a master volume?

    But mind you, the BC 30 was at least as heavy as my Twin, maybe even heavier! That's why I did put casters on it.

    I sold it for 200 euros which is about $300 I think.
     
  3. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one for a while and it responds well to a tube change. They ship stock with Sovtek 5881 power tubes which sound a bit harsh. I usually had EHX 12ax7s in the front end. I put Reflektor-marketed Svetlana 6L6GCs in the power section and the amp really came to life. Huge piano-like bass response and almost Hi-Fi mids. I didn't notice huge tonal differences when changing the rectifier tube. It is cathode biased and it will take nearly any tube from the 6L6 family without any problems with no biasing required - even KT66s are no problem (the tranny can take them) although you need to add spring retainers in lieu of the bear traps. The speakers are a bit tight for my taste but improve with time and playing. As noted above, it's heavy and to be honest not all that loud for a 30w tube amp. I didn't really dig the clean channel that much as it was always a bit spikey in the high end though you can dial it out. I always played through the OD channel with the gain low and the master high and used a fuzz for more dirt. Oh yeah, this amp loves vintage effects like wah, vibes and fuzz - so make yourself up a Jimi Hendrix-style pedal board. The reverb was passable but not very inspiring sounding although it is tube-driven and recoverd. The amp is kind of Voxy, kind of Fendery but has it's own kind of vibe too. If you can get it for a good price give it a go. I actually sold mine as I really prefer the solid state Epiphone Triggerman 60 DSP combo which is more versatile (ie FX loop, great onboard delay and reverb, records outs etc) and is louder with better cleans.
     
  4. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

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    I find them too bright and harsh.
     
  5. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    A common criticism that is not totally unfounded. There is a sharp spike somewhere in the 1 to 5kHz region on these amps. Part of that can be tamed with a tube change (much harshness comes from the Sovtek 5881s which don't sound good in this circuit) and keeping the treble and midrange settings on the lower side. These amps don't eq like others, when you get a good sound the knobs will be pointing in funny directions that is unlike positions you would use on Fenders and Marshalls. Having said that I think the OD channel has a smoother tone.
     
  6. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I had read somewhere that these had a similar flavor to the old JTM45. Is this not true?
     
  7. Starshine

    Starshine Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never played one of these, but the guitarist for the Hold Steady uses them live and he has great tone. One pops up on the local CL from time to time for $250 and I'm always tempted, but the weight scares me away.
     
  8. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

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    Those things are loaded with bright caps and treble boost caps. Mod that crud outta there and then maybe it might sound better.

    Not into OD channels at all.
     
  9. Phylian

    Phylian TDPRI Member

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    I plan on definitely cutting the bright caps and adding a master volume (Which it definitely doesnt have). I'll probably wait a bit before replacing the tubes, I'll need some extra cash first. Which is why I'm interested in this amp, because it wont break the bank
     
  10. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    I saw some people go down that route at the old Epiphone forum (now all part of the greater Gibson forum). They clipped one cap, weren't happy, clipped another cap weren't happy, clipped another cap, liked it for a while but then weren't happy. Some people kept theirs modded or experimented further but in the main I didn't see a lot of totally happy campers. Do a bit of Googling and you should find those old threads. A lot of useful info in there. I found a power tube change really improved things to the point where I was quite happy. Actually it really was night and day. When I was selling the amp one prospective buyer said "can you get a sound out of it that isn't so muddy?" I thought it sounded bright enough.

    The trick with the OD channel is not overdrive it - run the drive low and the level knob high then use pedals to push it. Sounded great. Also running the EQ in independent mode reduced volume a little but also the top end spike - I could never get the interactive mode to work for me. In addition I never liked the 15 watt mode which seemed to always hum a lot. But the main down sides of the amp for me were the reverb which was just too shallow and the lack of FX loop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  11. scraf

    scraf Tele-Meister

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    Howdy, topping this particular thread due it to being relatively recent.

    I obtained a Blues Custom last week, was a decent price and makes any guitar leaning on it look great.

    .... but, unfortunately it's got the "Ice Pick" tone problem, on a single coil Tele it's unlistenable without the tone control on the guitar itself rolled halfway back, and that's coming from someone who's lost most of the high frequencies in his hearing over the years.

    So it's going into the shop.

    I'm going to discuss the "snip the caps" mod, question, does that mean literally just disconnecting one end, or replacing with a wire ? The repair man knows what he is doing, is changing capacitors a common tweak ?

    Then there are a few things that I think need attending to:

    A hiss, gets louder with volume control, with nothing connected.

    A hum, a lot worse when pedals connected, even worse when in Class A 15 watt mode.

    Switching the EQ to interactive mode causes a leap in volume.

    Those issues above me be remedied by new tubes of course, but I have no idea what is and isn't acceptable to begin with unfortunately.

    Thinking of getting the standby switch replaced by a master volume, and was also considering getting a mod to let the footswitch change the EQ from independant to interactive mode as opposed to turning the reverb off and on. Does anyone turn their reverb off and on mid set by the way ?, otherwise I'll probably remove the extra switch from my footpedal as accidently turning the reverb off is something I'd probably not notice till it's time to pack up.

    Managed to get some lovely sounds out of it, with the tone rolled off on the guitar, or with an equalizer pedal, both of which I'd rather not have to use.
     
  12. scraf

    scraf Tele-Meister

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    ... and this thread drops back to obscurity.

    However very handy to have my own thoughts documented if nothing else.

    Woke up this morning with an extra "mod" idea, that is to get an extra input added, or two, preferably with independent volume controls.

    Reason being; I use a Lap Steel and an acoustic alongside my normal electric guitars, after I've dialed in the electric right if I A/B to the steel the steel needs a volume boost.

    There are work arounds of course, currently feeding the acoustic and the steel into a jamman looper, which gives me two in and one out, with a volume control, then a/b'd with the electric.

    However it would be lovely to be just able to plug everything straight in of course.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Why did they stop having extra inputs in amps btw ?
     
  13. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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  14. scraf

    scraf Tele-Meister

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