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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Digiplay, Jun 8, 2021.
An amp has a huge effect on the sound. I'd put it above pickups on the ability to alter the sound.
Yes, but there IS a cable between the receiver and whatever it plugs into
The wireless system I've seen lately was composed of two units, one plugs into the guitar directly and the receiver directly into the amp- no cable, at least in this example. I am guessing the reference to cables was in the nature of those tone-o-philes like Eric Johnson, who can hear the subtle differences of different cables. Me, as long as my signal gets from guitar to amp, through cables, I'm good.
All of those pieces depend on each other, so IMO it's kind of pointless to put more emphasis on one part than the other.
Also, we are all very subjective about what we consider great tone to be. Because of that, any given individual may not find Lollars or a Dumble to be the pinnacle of guitar tone, while others will prefer something else.
But considering at least basic single coil pickups, I find that they mostly just vary with how much treble content they have, more than anything else. The big question is does any given pickup have just the right amount of treble for your wants or needs? If not, can you properly compensate for it at the amp?
I got a Marshall Origin 20H about a year ago, and it has a tilt control on it. This is the first amp that I've owned that I'm able to plug in any guitar, whether it have low output single coils, or really hot humbuckers, and be able to dial in the amp with utter precision, and get equally good results. In the process, I've kind of come to realize that simply having T/M/B tone controls on the amp isn't enough, and even having a presence control with them isn't enough either, unless I just stick to one type of pickups, with similar output levels, and similar amounts of treble response.
The amp is a governor on your sound. It doesn't matter how good the guitar is as the amp limits what you hear. That doesn't mean you need some high level stellar amp, but it does mean amp sound has a definite impact on what the guitar is allowed to produce.
Some people don't like Twins, or any other Fender amp. So, stop assuming that what you like has to be what everyone else likes
I could have used "big tube amp/12"speaker" instead, I guess.... you don't like twins, fine...
When I bring a new, excellent amp into the house - or optimize one I already have via speaker changes, tube-rolling, mods - new potentials open up for every guitar here. It's happened over and over. Amps are the critical factor. They bring out what's in the guitar and the rest of the signal chain.
Guitars are important too, of course. But I do agree with tfarny's post, about how "better" in a guitar is not always just tone, but playability, feel.
The sweet spot is when you have both. Unusually good sounding and playing guitars, and quality amps that allow you to hear everything better.
The Speaker is the most important part of the chain imo.
You can line up a signal chain of the most high end gear and it will fail if the speaker is crap.
My first electric guitar was a 1991 Fender American Standard Strat. I consider it a good guitar.
My first amp was a Peavey Bravo. I just couldn't bond with it. Not bad, but not great.
I was trying out amps in the local shop when an older guy said "Listening to you play, you need to try the Fender over there." I resisted because of the price, but eventually plugged into a Princeton or Deluxe Reissue. (I have no idea which.) One strum and done. It was love. Or lust. Whatever.
I ended up buying a 76 Champ off eBay and everything sounds good through that thing. Better guitars sound better but every guitar sounds better through it than through whatever else I've heard. Although, I did really love a partscaster tele through a Peavey Delta Blues 15, but that's another story.
I recently bought a Greta for my wheeled rack I now live on at school. No clean headroom, but there's potential there that I never found in the Bravo.
What lesson do I have for you here? Nothing really except maybe:
- the law of diminishing returns. Unless you play better than I do (which is a definite possibility), I can't imagine that things get that much better after the American Standard level guitar and the PRRI/DRRI amp. Those models may change depending on your style which follows into...
- the right amo for the job. I wanted to love a Traynor amp, but couldn't. I wanted to love the Katana but couldn't. For me the Champ is the bomb.
So, good luck. Hope my experience may help.
Guitar > Amp > Cab/Speaker
All three of those are large contributing factors to the tone and should all be considered equally.
Even when an amp is a COMBO.... the speaker choice has a big impact on the tone.
That said... stock pickups and speakers have created some wonderful music over the years. You don't HAVE to "upgrade"... it's just an option you have
Amps for the win.
Valve, solid state FET, solid state IC, solid state analogue modelling, digital modelling, next-big-thing. Find your sweet spot and play. There's as much joy to be had, albeit a different joy, playing a Champ-a-like or some other simple, low powered, fine sounder as there is leaning in to the gut-flora sterilising effect a moderately powerful amp gives while annoying a 4x12", and a Roland JC-120 at full tilt?
Amps. The more the merrier. So many different voices to be heard. You need a damn fine speaker or two too to get the full effect.
For me it was some Fender solid state thing to a 120W Crate 212 thing to a Marshall JCM900 half stack.
I am in the amp camp......amp with quality speakers......I slapped a 10" Rajun Cajun into a cheap Fender DSP25 modeling amp and was blown away by how good it sounded.....I believe speakers trump circuitry. This is going to be my next post
I have two electrics (Tele + ES-335).
I have three amps (5e3, PR, AC4HW1).
Guitars/pickups make a difference, but amps make the biggest difference to me.
Amp is 80% of your tone easily. Even effects have more influence on your tone than pickups. The guitar should be setup for “feel” and how it reacts with your gear. A telecaster turns into a metal monster plugged into a 5150 and a twanger into a clean Fender. The character of the guitar is still there but most pickups sound similar with subtle EQ and output changes.
A great amp makes every guitar sound great.
A great guitar won’t save a poor amp.
Great pickups can make a cheap guitar sound wonderful.
The amp and the speaker(s) matter at least as much as the guitar and pickups.
That's what I've found out as well DD
With EQ changes on the amp, I'm able to make my two Teles (AVRI 52 and T-63) sound almost identical, and within a recorded mix, there is no audible difference.