Is there one do-it-all amp?

basher

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Make sure you have a local tech that's certified to work on Blackstar amps. Nobody else has the schematics. The HT Club 40 is a great amp besides that issue; I like mine a lot.
 

VonBonfire

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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.
I think we have radically different views of what a loud drummer is. I can't get on top of the band mix and maintain a clean tone using a 22 watt deluxe. This is why I use Twins. Clean and edge of breakup can be maintained and you can still get out front of the mix without going full blown overdrive when needed.
 

Chicago Slim

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It all depends on if you are open to pedals, modeling etc.

As mentioned before the SCXD does a pretty good job, without pedals. The Boss Katana's and NexTone's, also do a great job of flexibility, with effects.

My Bad Cat Cougar 15 is all tube and has a Tone switch that sets your low-end EQ, for Marshal, Vox, Tweed and Blackface sounds. Using EL84 power tubes, it does do a better job for Vox chime. I also had the same control on a Kustom Defender 15. It's not one of the big amp manufacturers, so few have heard of them.

 

Tim S

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If you’re open to modeling amps, there are many good choices at both affordable and nose-bleed prices.

If you feel you need tubes, then get a tube amp with several different preamp circuits in it. For me that was Mesa & Tone King. YMMV (but make sure the preamp circuits are truly different if you want a “do it all” amp)
 

Tuneup

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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 would take a look at the Quilter Aviator or some of their other offerings.https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AviatorCub--quilter-labs-aviator-cub-50-watt-1x12-inch-combo-amp
 

Tuneup

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mexicanyella

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You can have a do it all amp, as long as you don't really want to do it all.
This made me chuckle. True, and succinctly put. “Do it all” can mean different things.

I get a lot of mileage out of just about the unsexiest amp ever: an early 90s Peavey TKO115S, which is a bulky, heavy, tall box with a 15” Scorpion in it and 75 watts. Intended for bass, it has all the weight and bulk of an old-school gigging bass amp but is underpowered for that use.

But for playing and recording at home, it is flexible enough, without any pedals, to do crunchy rhythm guitar using a humbucker and with the gain turned up. It sounds fine for bass at home levels either clean or slightly dirty, and it even does my lap steel justice if a dry lap steel part suits what I’m doing. If I need reverb or tremolo (or high gain distortion for guitar) I can add pedals...but it’s a pretty flexible preamp with pretty flexible active EQ. And a speaker that can survive bass at that low power level, and which extends high enough to do the other instruments justice without weird excessive EQ boosting
and cutting.

Most people would probably not seek out a TKO based on this experience, and it sure sucks to carry around. But if I had to cut back to one amp, I could do just about everything I need to with that one. And maybe a hand truck. As long as any bass gigs had decent PA support so the amp only needed to be a personal monitor.
 
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printer2

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What do you want in an amp? Cleans loud enough to tame a drummer? Loose and woolly (just making up a term) to do Neal Young stuff? Tight and gainy to do metal? Whisper quiet without loss of tone (what is tone anyway?) so the baby in the next room can not hear your mistakes? Smoky character to do bluesy stuff? Simple one knob EQ to let you concentrate on playing, until you want a bass, mid, treble, presence and cut controls along with switches to change the character of the EQ to amaze the bass player (who hopefully does not have a graphic EQ and throws it right back at you)? The sound of 6V6's or 6L6's but can pretend they are EL84's or EL34's? Simple reverb or an effects loop to delay and modulate all night long with the controls while the band patiently waits?

And if you get it all, what is there then to strive for?
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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What do you want in an amp? Cleans loud enough to tame a drummer? Loose and woolly (just making up a term) to do Neal Young stuff? Tight and gainy to do metal? Whisper quiet without loss of tone (what is tone anyway?) so the baby in the next room can not hear your mistakes? Smoky character to do bluesy stuff? Simple one knob EQ to let you concentrate on playing, until you want a bass, mid, treble, presence and cut controls along with switches to change the character of the EQ to amaze the bass player (who hopefully does not have a graphic EQ and throws it right back at you)? The sound of 6V6's or 6L6's but can pretend they are EL84's or EL34's? Simple reverb or an effects loop to delay and modulate all night long with the controls while the band patiently waits?

And if you get it all, what is there then to strive for?

Loose and Wooley. Sounds like my x wife
 

Jack Clayton

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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.
I'll probably never buy another twin reverb, because I'm not interested in having my back broken and my eardrums shattered.

That said, there is little on earth that sounds better than a silverface TW with a pair of JBLs.
 

Cedarburger

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I am really learning a lot from all the responses and requests for additional information. There is a lot to think about. I don't have a lot of money tied up in amps (total about $500), but was wondering if/how to simplify. Maybe I just mess with them for now and in 5 years or so I decide what to do. I am a bedroom player only and always will be.
 

Tim S

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I am really learning a lot from all the responses and requests for additional information. There is a lot to think about. I don't have a lot of money tied up in amps (total about $500), but was wondering if/how to simplify. Maybe I just mess with them for now and in 5 years or so I decide what to do. I am a bedroom player only and always will be.
Given that, you could do much worse than a Spark 40. That can emulate most amp types for a stay-at-home, bedroom player.
 
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bottlenecker

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This made me chuckle. True, and succinctly put. “Do it all” can mean different things.

I get a lot of mileage out of just about the unsexiest amp ever: an early 90s Peavey TKO115S, which is a bulky, heavy, tall box with a 15” Scorpion in it and 75 watts. Intended for bass, it has all the weight and bulk of an old-school gigging bass amp but is underpowered for that use.

But for playing and recording at home, it is flexible enough, without any pedals, to do crunchy rhythm guitar using a humbucker and with the gain turned up. It sounds fine for bass at home levels either clean or slightly dirty, and it even does my lap steel justice if a dry lap steel part suits what I’m doing. If I need reverb or tremolo (or high gain distortion for guitar) I can add pedals...but it’s a pretty flexible preamp with pretty flexible active EQ. And a speaker that can survive bass at that low power level, and which extends high enough to do the other instruments justice without weird excessive EQ boosting
and cutting.

Most people would probably not seek out a TKO based on this experience, and it sure sucks to carry around. But if I had to cut back to one amp, I could do just about everything I need to with that one. And maybe a hand truck. As long as any bass gigs had decent PA support so the amp only needed to be a personal monitor.

When you say gain, do you mean some kind of built in distortion circuit ín the amp?
How are the highs with your steel guitar?
I do believe in having some kind of loud clean solid state thing around, but I can't say I get what I really want to hear out of them. But I would like to replace the current one with a peavey, maybe a special 130. Some kind of poor man's steel guitar amp type of thing. (Assuming a nashville 400 isn't going to pop up cheap on CL).
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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I think we have radically different views of what a loud drummer is. I can't get on top of the band mix and maintain a clean tone using a 22 watt deluxe. This is why I use Twins. Clean and edge of breakup can be maintained and you can still get out front of the mix without going full blown overdrive when needed.
There is NO way a Deluxe is gonna poke out from behind an actual LOUD drummer. But I have heard 20 watt amps that are much higher headroom than a Fender Deluxe.

A deluxe is made to sound real good around 3-4.5 captured with a mic and either recorded, or sent to FOH.
 




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