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Help me choose my next amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by MakeTheRoad, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. MakeTheRoad

    MakeTheRoad NEW MEMBER!

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    Help me choose my next amp


    my budget is around $1000 and there aren't a lot of music stores where I live.

    I play mostly blues, funk, rock, and jazz


    One store I went to look for amps had some used tube amps in great condition, these are the ones I liked and they are all close to $1000


    Fender - Vibro King Combo - $1200

    Fender - Vibro King Combo With extension cab and voltage regulator (some sort of brownbox) - $1800

    I tried this one with my tele and this one I like a lot.

    the spring reverb sounds cool for surf type stuff and the high notes sounded amazing, to my ear this amplifier sounds great for blues.

    Only downside is that it's a bit more expensive and that it's heavy and hard to mover around​


    65 Amps - London Pro Combo - $1000

    This I liked more with a strat it has good cleans (really nice but not as nice as the vibro king to my ears) and a good classic rock gain tone with both voices combined.​


    Dr Z - Z28 Combo - $1100

    Really simple amp, 3 knobs. Great cleans (not as nice as the VK to my ears) and a nice OD sound when pushed

    The tele sounded great with this amp.​


    Mesa Boogie - Mark V 25 Head - $1000
    and a cabinet for the head - $400

    I'm not sure what to think of this amp. I already tried it 3 different times and I want to like it because it's the most versatile of the bunch but somedays it sounds great to my ears and some days it's off and I cant get a good sound out of it. I also think it sounds better with hotter pickups so my tele with alnicos didn't sound as good as a strat with ceramics that was at the shop.

    Ok Cleans, Nice Crunch, and Awesome High Gain Tones. ​


    If I could I would get the mark V for high gain, the london pro for crunch and the vibro king for cleans but my budget only allows one amp.


    Help me choose.


    Theres also another store that only sells new stuff where I played a

    New Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV - $1000

    which was ok.​


    Cheers
     
  2. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Just curious... Are you opposed to modeling amps? They're the digital equivalent of "best of all worlds" (and some might say "the master of none").

    I'm just asking for whoever replies to you (I've been thinking about a Mark V for myself, so I'll go get some popcorn and wait for replies)
     
  3. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Dr Z Z-28 combo with dual exhaust;)
     
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  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    HRDXs are now a grand? :lol:
     
  5. basdenchris

    basdenchris TDPRI Member

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    You've actually gotten to hear them all in person, so I'd say the person best qualified to choose the right amp for you might be YOU ;)

    Do you currently (or do you want to) play in a band? If so, you may find that the Dr. Z and the 65 Amps options get too dirty too quickly for your tastes. If you don't play in a band or have any plans to, can those amps get the right amount (and character) of dirt without being too loud for the space you play in?

    Whether or not you like to use overdrive/distortion/boost pedals will also affect the outcome of this horse race... The Vibro King probably sounds great clean, but if you want real overdrive without peeling the paint off the walls, you'll need some pedals on the floor to help it out a bit and to mold the flavor of overdrive to your liking.

    I'm not experienced with Mesa stuff at all, but outside of that California Tweed one, I haven't seen a video or heard a clip of a Mesa that's gotten me hot and bothered. They're quite popular, so I'm sure I'm missing the boat, but they've never really piqued my interest.
     
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  6. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    Some great options between Vibro King and Dr Z. I would consider how loud or not-loud you need your amp to be. It's no good having the same amp as Pete Townshend uses (Vibro King), for example, if you don't need all that volume.
     
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  7. basdenchris

    basdenchris TDPRI Member

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    And yeah, if you're in the US, don't you DARE pay more than $800 for a new Hot Rod Deluxe, and if you do pay $800, make damn sure it's a 4th generation. Not that the old ones are bad (I have a III that I quite like), but if you're not careful, you'll end up paying brand new price for an old model that you can find used for about $400
     
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  8. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Think outside the box - Roland Blues Cube Stage (or Artist).
    Do some research, try to play one. I'm now mostly tubeless and its great...
     
  9. Evil Funk

    Evil Funk Tele-Meister

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    Love all those amps, but i would never pass on a Z.

    However i'm very biased. I run my american elite tele into a Z-wreck silver set with matching z-verb. The Dr Z amps definitely have some mojo to them.
     
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  10. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Fender Vibro King is one of the best amps I’ve ever played. It’s a huge, rich sound. That’s the one I’d pick (the first one, without extension cab, because I’m not Pete Townsend).
     
  11. basdenchris

    basdenchris TDPRI Member

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    My bandmate has an early serial # Z Wreck combo, and my-oh-my... it's truly marvelous
     
  12. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

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    I'd jump on the Dr Z.
     
  13. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  14. agogetr

    agogetr Tele-Meister

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    i would try to find a big music store and plug into everything there and one might be the standout .
    wait.... are there any more big stores? if you could travel it might be worth it.
    i think your list of possibles has some good choices.
     
  15. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    Not the HRDX at that price..... it's (and I'm not being pretentious) not even on the same level as what else you've mentioned.
    I live in the state where Dr Zs are made and can't afford them, and I feel like I've never heard of someone being disappointed in them. (Maybe because they're easy to sell if you dont love it?)
    Hotrods and Jrs are fenders in the same range as Peavey classic series and mid level combos, which is not bad per se(my price range is vintage I've held onto and this type current production or used...) but you're other options are a Mesa, Vibroking, and boutique stuff.
    You want fender sounds? Vibro king is good, but not the only option. Do you have a sound and power level in mind? You seem to be aiming at a diverse range of stuff. With this budget, you can probably scoop a Dr Z that hits around what you're after if you shop for a bit.
    Don't think I need to say it, but used gear acquired for around typical "street " price is the best investment, as you take loss of a loss, sometimes no loss, if you change your mind. Mesas, old Fenders, and several boutique companies will have something similar to what you've mentioned. Contrary to opinion, the only things that sound like amps in this range are the real thing, but boutique stuff may give you more or less the same sound with modern niceties (like an effects loop in an AB165 Bassman, for instance) dont settle. Unless you find two different usef amps that each do half of what you want (ie fender cleans and reverb and an awesome when hot mesa)

    Happy Hunting.
     
  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There's never been a better time to buy a used Super Reverb.
     
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  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    thing about a HRDX is, you can get a great solid THWACK of a clean sound set up, and then add your fave dirt pedal, and you've got a great amp. But yeah, not for a grand, when you can find those things used for like 3 Bejamins, all day long. My only issue with the HRDX is that IME they are unreliable. That, and they are a little bulky and difficult to lug around, when compared to stuff like Mustangs
     
  18. LeDocteur

    LeDocteur Tele-Meister

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    If you get a chance audition a Hughes and Kettner. They are difficult to find in stores but are great amps.
     
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  19. Fireball519

    Fireball519 Tele-Meister

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    What about a Princeton? Or a Vibrolux?
     
  20. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    You can have them all on a Boss Katana 50 or 100 or head, etc. I'm sure Sweetwater or MF will deliver to you.

     
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