Is there one do-it-all amp?

roeg

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Twin Reverb.
Damn, if this bug isn't biting me in the backside again...ran across one in a guitar store yesterday. From the look, 1971. Pair of JBL's(they looked *newer* edition).

I like used amps, if they work just fine. This TR. is beat, but intact.

Tempted to go back and check out the JBL's for their magnet sticker...could be K's...or E's? dunno.

I appreciate the JBL sound. I have a 1980 Deluxe with a vintage OEM JBL . The sound is everything you read and hear about. The hook.
 

Fiesta Red

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My ‘63-reissue Vibroverb does it for me—it sounds equally good for guitar and harmonica (important to me), and equally good whether guitar has P-90’s, single coils, lipsticks or humbuckers…however, I have to use a pedal (or more recently, an attenuator) to get some breakup…it is clean way up into “Peel The Faces Off The People On The Front Row” volume.

The only other amp I’ve owned that I feel similarly about was a 1973 Bassman Ten—and it’s master volume allowed for breakup at lower volumes. I sold it well over a decade ago. The weigh, unwieldy shape and lack of tremolo/vibrato/whatever was the reason I chose the Vibroverb over this one.

For my purposes, I’d really like a 59-reissue Bassman or a Tone King Falcon 10…(but obviously I don’t want either of them too much, because I don’t have them)…but either of those would work well for me.
 

JL_LI

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That guitar makes my knees weak. I'm blushing.
Back in high school in 1965 there was a kid who played rhythm in a garage band on a Single Anniversary. Green on green. I thought it looked so cool. I had a Melody Maker but wanted an SG, LP back then. I also wanted a Stratocaster. A red one. One of the advantages of NOT trying to make ends meet as a musician is that in retirement, I’ve accumulated everything I ever wanted. I have my Annie. I have an SG, and two Strats, one a CS. I also have a red one, my avatar Telecaster. Spock, my intellectual idol, was right. “Live long and prosper”.
 

MilwMark

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It really depends what you mean and what your expectations are. My view is many get lost in minutia. Others will vigorously argue otherwise. If you mean, one amp to be satisfying for home use at 70-75db and live use at 90-100+ db, I'd say "no". But my Roland JC-77 sounds and feels amazing for any live application (original country to punk/garage). And either my Waza Air headphones (silent) or Katana 50 (70-75db) do amazingly well at replicating that experience and feel for home. Which is never quite as good as live - air = better. YMMV.
 
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41144

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A few more details would help inform opinions here .... especially just for home play/home and gigs/just for gigs; also style(s) of play C&W/Death metal etc.

So, the following as a home player, who rehearses (most weeks) with a band and, in a busy year, we might do 1/2 a dozen gigs 😌.
ie ... purely for the love of music player.

For the price the Blackstar HT range are great value for money. I've still got an HT5R at home, but got tired of a HT20 for playing out (and I really don't need a 100W or even 50W stack!) .... now using an Orange Rocker 15, if you're not familiar with Orange have a look at it, very versatile (and loud) for both home and away (albeit small & mic'd gigs) playing.

So, why ditch the HT20 ... I like using 'Gain' channels and the HTs (both the 20 & 5) go from a reasonable 'crunch' at about .5 to 1 on the Gain control to total saturation/mud at anything above 1ish (8 o'clock).
The irony, for me, is that the 'Clean' channel(s) are great and take pedals really well - however, even the HT5 is currently sat in the garage unused for several months now.

tbh, for home use ... save yourself a few hundred $/£ and buy the HT5R - which has all the same features - ie unless you live in the wilderness or have a home-studio you'll never get the HT40 volume 'cooking'. Even the HT5 full blast, with a pretty efficient stock 12" speaker .... gets very loud.

Just a personal opinion here but, to have just one amp, I would go tubes rather than SS/modelling but ... brookdalebill is, again, spot on in recommending the Roland Cube. Think you'd have to go used on that, but any of the 40/60/80 models are a great, the Rhythm guitar with us uses one and they are highly versatile and great sounding for SS/modelling.
 

stormsedge

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Blackstar HT Club 40 Mk II.
Yup. It will do it. I have a Blackstar HT 40 Club Mk I (EL34). Very versatile. The 40/4w switch on the Mk II would be even better.

That said, I also have a Quilter 201. Also very versatile used as a pedal amp. The Aviator series looks even better.

Happy Hunting!
 

VonBonfire

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Damn, if this bug isn't biting me in the backside again...ran across one in a guitar store yesterday. From the look, 1971. Pair of JBL's(they looked *newer* edition).

I like used amps, if they work just fine. This TR. is beat, but intact.

Tempted to go back and check out the JBL's for their magnet sticker...could be K's...or E's? dunno.

I appreciate the JBL sound. I have a 1980 Deluxe with a vintage OEM JBL . The sound is everything you read and hear about. The hook.
Well don't just stand there, go get it!

Only half kidding. I bought two of them, a 69 and a 72. They are affordable and reliable. I got enough JBL's D and K models to load both of them but one came cheap with what I thought were junk celestions. Turns out they are discontinued 100 watt brit models that sound great so that's my "lightweight" version. Doubt I'll trouble myself with any other amp again as an ES into a Twin with JBL's is pretty much the ultimate bluesman's rig.

Reliabile, affordable, available, and great sound. All you can want in an amp. And no one will just walk off with a JBL loaded twin at a gig and get away with it. You can tell the guilty party cause one arm will be longer than the other one. JBL loaded twin=anti theft device.
 

hopdybob

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@Axis29 asks a very important relevant question.
what kind of music do you play.
If clean is your main thing, than that is the key to a all round amp
i have a old peavey express 112 bluestripe.
does a good fender clean, 2 channel with each a tonestack.
the right base to use pedals with for the overdrive/distorion you need
so i would look for this kind of options
 

estreet

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I have gotten to a point where I would like to scale back my gear and focus on my practicing and playing. I would love to get to 3 or 4 guitars and a single amp, but wonder if that is possible. I would consider a Headrush or Helix, but just not something I can afford. I also like simplicity. That said, I haven't tried one yet, but have been reading a lot about and am very curious about the Blackstar HT Club 40 Mk II. It seems to check all the boxes and wondering if anyone has just one amp that can do everything you want it to.
I have owned a lot of amps - including the HT Club 40. I thought it was good up to a point but when it was pushed it sounded worse rather than better like you would expect a valve amp to. Recently I bought a PRS MT-15 and I have really been blown away by it. Don't be put off by the 15w rating - I play with a loud drummer and it's never not been loud enough at a gig yet. It's heaps better than the Blackstar Artisan 15 and the Vox hand-wired AC15 I previously owned. I know the PRS is marketed as a high-gain amp - and that channel is pretty spectacular but I bought it for it's clean sound which is huge and fenderish. Here's my demo of the clean sound on the 7w setting, there are numerous demos of it's high gain setting around. I'd encourage you to at least try one. No internal reverb though, if that's a deal-breaker for you.

 

Lef T

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The amp that got away from me is the Mesa Lone Star. That amp has beautiful cleans, high headroom, and perfect frequency
I tried out a Lonestar Special at the music store.
I played my Strat through it.
The cleans on that amp were the very best I have ever heard.
I would have to say it was like my notes were floating on air.
Beautiful tones out of that amp.
I may own one just to use for an at home amp.
 

KC

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TDPRI classic: you ask an open-ended question and everybody responds to recommend the amps / pedals / guitars / pickups they have and love.

So maybe narrow down the question for us: do you want a versatile amp -- i.e., one that can sound like a lot of different amps -- or are you OK with a solid core sound that you can flavor with pedals? How big of a gig do you need to cover? Will this mostly be a living room amp or a gig amp? My personal take on this question would be an AC15ish amp -- a Bad Cat Cab 15, to be exact -- but that's just the one sound I can't do without.
 

schmee

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My Deluxe Reverb, with the right pedals does 95% of my gigs. But it can fall short outdoors etc some times. Trouble is, a higher wattage amp is too much for most of the other gigs. My suggestion is to have 2 amps.
18-25 watts and 30-40watts
 

InstantCoffeeBlue

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On the used side, have you considered a Fender Supersonic 22? Even with the current gear bubble, they seem to be pretty reasonable. Maybe it was too much for Fender's traditionalist demographic at the time (the fact that several have recommended a Twin Reverb in this thread speaks to that), but I always thought the Supersonic was a great attempt to reconcile classic Fender attributes with modern flexibility and onboard hi-gain. It's an underrated amp IMO.

Otherwise, I know Mesa doesn't seem to get much love here, but a Subway Rocket would probably be a good option as well. I don't know how the build quality on Blackstars is these days, but I think it's safe to say Mesas are built like tanks.

Both amps can be found used around $600.
 
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Twang-ineer

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If you are saying "Headrush or Helix" DSP in an option. Zoom g3XN is an amazing product. I've spent a lot of time this year with those 3 plus the Boss GT-1000 core. The Zoom is simply an amazing value and VERY easy to use from the PC or the front knobs. It is so close to the quality of the others that it is not relevant to 95% of users. When Helix came out I took a very deep dive, learned the box inside and out - so everything else I use is compared to the Helix ecosystem.
 

Jack Clayton

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In short, no. There isn't one "do it all" amp.

That said, you probably don't literally mean "it all".


For me "it all" means an amp that sounds nice clean, gets good edge of breakup, takes effects well, is quiet enough to record with in a residential area, and light enough not to break my back. Most of all, an amp I generally like the sound of, and can afford. (For me, that means less than a grand right now.)

What fits the bill for me is my Princeton Reverb.

So what exactly do you mean by "do it all." There's almost certainly a right amp for your needs.
 

VonBonfire

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My Deluxe Reverb, with the right pedals does 95% of my gigs. But it can fall short outdoors etc some times. Trouble is, a higher wattage amp is too much for most of the other gigs. My suggestion is to have 2 amps.
18-25 watts and 30-40watts
My twin without any pedals does all my gigs. It's a little loud indoors sometimes and more demanding if you aren't getting the gain you'd like. But I'm in Texas so there is a larger space to fill with sound. In Maryland it might be a little too loud a little too often. You make a good suggestion to go with two amps and that is good advice. My suggestion is to just play louder. The more people you can keep in seats the less likely clubs are to complain anyways and heck I gotta pretty nice sounding group these days. At that point it's just me vs the soundman and well, it's Texas. I'm sure Stevie done it this'a way.
 

drmordo

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RIVERA Chubster 40.
From Creedence to Stone Temple Pilots with the tap of a foot switch. I bought mine in 1998 and have never even considered another gigging amp since.

A buddy of mine had one of those in the 90s and I was kind of amazed by it. I haven't heard one since.

OP - the easy answer is a Line 6 Flextone II. They are cheap and plentiful, and they sound great. I sold my Marshall 20 years ago because the Flextone sounded better, and I still have that Flextone II. That said, the Flextone III is a step down, so stick with the II.
 




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