How many amps before finding the "perfect" one?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by steam-powered, May 27, 2017.

  1. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Hmm. Let's count.

    HR Deluxe? Nope.

    5E3? Pretty close, just not quite enough cojones for full band use.

    BFSR? Closer still. Gorgeous cleans, especially with a set of WGS speakers. Little light on mids, awkward weight.

    18W? Great blues/rock amp, not too heavy, cleans in a full band situation lacking.

    5F6-A Bassman? Yeah, that's it. Clean tone to die for, great distorted tone, not excessively heavy, and hits the sweet spot at the perfect volume for me. No better amp with a good Strat IMO, either.
     
  2. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Holic

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    I've heard these are everything the Vibrolux reissue should be. Is this true?
     
  3. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    It goes in cycles because the perfect amp for me today is not the perfect amp for other points in my life.

    In the late 70's/early 80's I went through 6 amps before finding "the perfect" amp... a Hiwatt Custom 100. I used that Hiwatt from '81 - '85 in various rock, top 40 and punk bands. From there I went utilitarian... I was on the road 48 weeks a year playing the country clubs and needed reliability. There was 1 name... PEAVEY! Two Special 130's did the job perfectly. In the late 90's I bought my first of two Musicman amps... and again, the perfect amp(s) for what I was doing.

    About 8 years ago I got the itch to do a make over on amps and began trading/selling/buying. Another Hiwatt, a BF Bandmaster, two Blue Deluxe's (one MIM and one US), a Boogie MKIIC+ (bare bone combo, no reverb, no eq), a 4x10 Deville, a '65 twin, a VOX AC30 and a '65 Deluxe. The AC30 and the '65 Deluxe found a home and made a nice tandem but then a deal fell on my lap for an SF Vibrolux. So now I am sitting with the AC30 and a '1970 Vibrolux. Both are great amps, both have something different to offer, and both find a way to the stage regularly. I don't have any plans on making more changes, but you never know.

    Two amps that could lure me in to making an addition (not a change) are a Lab Series L5 or L9, and a '70 Hiwatt Bulldog (1x12 combo) Custom 50. I have a soft spot for those old Hiwatts but would prefer a combo.
     
  4. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    There are any number of perfect for me amps out there. I am still finding them.
    MD
     
  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Yes.
    Between the muddy tone (and I ain't talking McKinley Morganfield) and the noisy operation, that Blackface/white knocked Custom Vibrolux Reverb was a horrible disappointment...

    Discontinuing the brownface '63-reissue Vibroverb in favor of the Custom Vibrolux Reverb was a bad idea all the way around.

    I've heard good things about the new silverface Vibrolux Reverb amps, but haven't played through one myself.
     
  6. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure the perfect amp exists, at least for me. As my playing advances, I find my curiosity in different tones grows. Pedals alone won't give I've me what I want, it's more in the amps for me.
    At the moment I'm using about a half dozen different amps depending on what I'm after.
     
  7. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks. It's interesting, because I played one (and only one) Vibrolux that sounded pretty good and wasn't noticeably noisy, but without anything similar to compare it to. That type is on my short list for good gigging amps, but I need to try a couple more specimens.
     
  8. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    First one was a '66 BFDR, way back in the early 70's, when everyone was stripping blonde teles to natural, and installing Gibson neck humbuckers (yup, did that too). That one sadly went down the road for college tuition, a worthy fate. Later came the first Twin Reverb, An early 70s, which had been modded with a single 15" Altec, and Twin fever took root. Have had a few more vintage Fenders over the years, PR, SR, a 5e3 clone and Peavey Bandits. But for me, it always comes back to the vintage SFTR, presently 50 watts with 2 tubes pulled. A Peavey Classic 30 for smaller gigs and a Bandit for the practice space rouund out the herd for me.
     
  9. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I shoulda just stopped at my Twin Reverb...
     
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  10. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Holic

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    Haha, winner!
     
  11. LuthRavin

    LuthRavin Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Many, many amps went by the way side..over the years..then one day I traded in my Rick 360/12 and went home with a 1965 original Super Reverb and mid 90's Fender Bassman Ri. blue frame..completely satisfied ever since.
     
  12. steam-powered

    steam-powered Tele-Meister

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    Interesting that a number of folks started/ended with the Twin Reverb! A good friend of mine bought one as a teen in the 70s and never thought of using anything else since.
     
  13. jorbjorb

    jorbjorb Tele-Meister

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    lol I went through five before finding the one.

    Randall -----> Marshall MG ----->Peavey Windsor------>AC30-------->AC15------>68' DRRI.

    I think the 68' DRRI is the perfect amp lol.
     
  14. jonny munksville

    jonny munksville Tele-Meister

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    Park G10
    Peavey Bandit
    (pre transtube)
    Marshall Valvestate 60
    Fender (Rivera) Twin
    Laney VC30 210
    Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
    (White, Celestion Neo)
    Fender Deluxe VM
    Roland Blues Cube
    Fender Supersonic 22
    Fender Custom Vibrolux Reverb


    For a while I've been using my brother's Hot Rod Deluxe (standard 1995 model, which I had suped-up by a great amp tech, sadly now it's dead - could be a fuse) so I'm using a friend's Fender Silverface Pro Reverb, which is a super clean thing, with a character all of it's own.

    Why so many amps? I went through a period of searching for my tone - it was mainly about chasing a certain type of very mild break-up at gig volume. I think ultimately I was searching for a Deluxe Reverb, but couldn't quite stretch to one (or find one second hand locally). My tastes have changed...the tone I'm chasing has changed. I'd now probably keep some of those amps, because they would work well for me.

    I'd still like to try a Blues Junior
    I'd still like to try a Vox AC
     
  15. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I rather doubt that there is one “perfect” amp for anyone, unless the amp will ever and only serve one application. Consider the various possible applications of amplification: bedroom/home practice; jam/band practice; small, medium or large venues; different electric guitars; acoustic amplification; musical styles; etc. Then of course there is the aspect of changing perceptions of tone over time, and branching out to playing new styles/genres of music. Perhaps given all the variables, it’s better to talk in terms of your “main” amp rather than the “perfect” amp.

    I’ve played acoustic guitar for 49 years, but I didn’t play out/gig until after I had an empty nest, in the year 2000. At first, I had a Crate Taxi (30-watt amp) for coffee shop gigs, running both guitar and mic into that amp. Then I stepped up to the Crate Limo (50 watt). Then I heard a guy doing one of the coffee shops I did using a Fishman Loudbox 100. Now my “perfect” amp for acoustic gigs in small to small-ish/medium venues is my Fishman Loudbox Mini.

    It wasn’t until 9 years ago that I bought my first electric guitar. I tried it through my Crate Limo, but it sounded sterile. I went through various Peavey amps: two Bandits (65 & 75), a Studio Pro and several iterations of the Envoy 110. For a while, a Bandit was my “perfect” amp.

    Then 6 years ago, I picked up a Vox Pathfinder 15R in a pawn shop. I now own 3 PF15Rs. I don’t anticipate anything else ever taking its place as my main amp. It’s a wonderfully warm sounding little amp, great tones clean or crunchy, and that great Vox chime. Has both tremolo and reverb, which I use all the time in varying degrees. And such a small footprint, and lightweight.

    It’s perfect as a “bedroom” amp. The amp’s 15 watts is sufficient for small rooms. I’ve gigged with it (in solo, duo and trio situations) to around 75-100 people going through the amp straight to the room. I’ve run a “stereo” Pathfinder 15R rig, set up on either side of the stage, in performance in a school cafeteria. For larger rooms, I’ve run from the Line Output on the rear panel to a PA. In this configuration, I turn the amp towards me to use as a monitor or sorts, and the sound coming through the mains is a louder but faithful reproduction of what the PF15R is doing on stage.

    But if I were playing in a situation where I couldn’t Line Out to a PA and the Pathfinder's 15 watts weren’t enough, I’d go with a Bandit.

    IMHO, YMMV, yada yada...
     
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  16. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

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    i don't believe you will ever find the perfect amp. its human nature to always want something better.i am lucky in that ive been buying selling amps for the last 40 years in that time ive had some truly great amps what was the best I don't know ; you think your found the perfect amp then something else come along.what I do know is the 2 amps ive had the longest and played the most a 61 bassman and a 60s champ have kept me very happy.have I seen anything better I don't know there are many great amp makers out there who can make amps every bit as good as the old amps we all love maybe even a tiny bit better. As for advise I suggest you try them all. Good luck and happy searching all the best oldfish.
     
  17. MMARSH

    MMARSH Tele-Meister

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    I use different amps for different styles/moods/inspiration. If I had to sell it all and keep one...PROBABLY my Trinity Tramp.
     
  18. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

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    My current "need" is twanging around in the living room :D

    So my need has changed since I got my first amp as a kid - and the what seems like dozens that followed - somewhere between 10 and 20.

    Currently a pull-boost princeton at 15 watts is still too loud for the LR but a tone King attenuator allows it be turned up and sound just about perfect.

    Back in my gigging days it was between a Sundown 1012 (Celestion speaker vs the stock EV) and a Black Super Reverb. I realized later that a Deluxe would have probably been better than both.
     
  19. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    My friends quoted here (and many many other good replies) summarize two brilliant-but-opposite directions in this thread: A) Why choose? B) Because I can! Both totally smart and credible approaches.

    Is there an amp out there that hasn't been mentioned? Is there a path someone hasn't followed (love at first sight v. the endless quest / Casanova v. the faithful husband / a linear progress v. the great circle back to where we started)?

    I had to go through a VJ, a SuperChamp X2, and a 68 CPR (all of which I enjoyed while I had them) to get to my homebuilt 5F2a, homebuilt PR, and (LilDawg) 5e3. Now I feel like the tearful guy who hugs his kids and says "I just love you guys all so much!" Not that I don't entertain ideas about having another one....
     
  20. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've owned at least 50 or more amps in the 35 years I've been playing guitar... I've done a lot of buying, selling and trading too...

    But my most recent acquisition, which I've only had a few weeks, seems to be the best by far... my 73 silverface deluxe reverb. OMG, tone to die for.

    [​IMG]

    So ya, it can take awhile before the perfect amp comes along. Keep looking...
     
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