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Should I spend more than $1k on an amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Shinrock, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Low shelf gear played by a great player sounds great
    That goes for guitars and amps.
    Sounding great doesn't cost money.
    It costs time and effort
     
  2. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Before you spend all that money go get a Vox MV-AC. Fantastic amp! That NU-Tube is worth checking out.
     
  3. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    Laney L5s. A tube amp that has a built-in load, so it can be run without a cab. XLR out with switchable speaker emulation. USB, so you can interface with a DAW. The amp has two channels and a spectacular sound. Since it can work without a load, you can crank it and get good output tube distortion straight into a PA. This will give you all the volume of the PA.
    The amp head costs $919USD.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve said it before and I’ll stand by it- there’s no need for a gigging player to own an expensive amp filled with top shelf bits and unobtainium, unless you just want to. In which case, it’s your money, and you can’t take it with you, so enjoy it!

    But I will testify in court that yes, high end, hand made, boutique amplifiers can sound noticeably better than off the shelf “consumer grade” amps. At home. Or in isolation in a studio situation. Once you’re on a loud stage with a full band, and cymbals crashing, and bottles clanking, and people talking, and a blender running cause you’re girlfriend just has to have her margarita frozen, and everything else that goes on at an average club gig, those subtle nuances go right out the window.

    $100 cables and $2k amps and $300 drive pedals don’t sound any different than $40 cables, $800 amps, and $60 drive pedals once you’re in the thick of it.

    There’s a reason the Hot Rod Deluxe is the best selling amp of all time, and is on more stages all over the world than any other amp made today or in history. I don’t personally like it, because I don’t care for most Fender voicings. But it’s a great workhorse. And it isn’t just being used by guys in dive bars playing Sweet Home Alabama and Mustang Sally.

    I like Marshall voicings. I’ve gigged with a Reinhardt. I’ve gigged with a Splawn. It was fun. They’re awesome amps. I had just as much fun, and made just as much money gigging with my JCM900s, my 3203 heads, and my Origin. None of which cost me more than $450.

    I’ve gigged for my rent and groceries since the late 80’s. I’ve only ever owned one amp that consistently broke down and left me screwed, and it was a high end, expensive amplifier. All the rest were plenty reliable for a working schmuck like me.
     
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  5. Shinrock

    Shinrock TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the great feedback! I noticed a couple similar responses, so let me clarify a couple things:

    1) I don't NEED a new amp. I want one because...you get it. The intent of this post was more general: I love hearing your opinions as if you were in my shoes.

    2) I currently have and use a Vox AC15 and Orange OR15. I love them both, but for different reasons: a tele through the mostly clean Vox is perfection, and humbuckers through the dirty Orange are killer. I would prefer my next amp to be two channel; I'd like to get 85% of both great sounds out of a single amp.

    3) I also own and have gigged with a Katana 100 head and matching 2x12 cabinet. The sounds are very good and versatile, but it just doesn't have that "feel" (I'm sure you understand). Plus I'm highly prone to option paralysis.
     
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  6. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    I had another response typed out, but with this info I say spend what you can afford to spend to get the amp you want.
     
  7. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

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    Why not see what sounds best? I have owned vintage Fender and Marshall and others - JCM-800, JMP, Twin Reverb, Bassman, The Twin, etc. My favorite is the Blackstar HT-40 I got used for $350 at Guitar Center, because I can plug straight in and get sounds I like.
     
  8. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    yeah, I don't know -- AC15c1 is a good solid amp, gigged one for a while. But when a Bad Cat Cub 15r came along for a decent price, I jumped. I had the money (the golden period after I got my kids through college & before I retired). And it sounds amazing. The switchable EF86 / 12ax7 front end makes a difference, the boost sounds sweet, the big iron gives it a low-end authority that's just not there in the Vox. I've had guitar players come up between sets to ask about my sound. I'm sure civilians don't know & don't care but I hear it. It's worth it to me.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Spend the money on something reliable and proven in two sizes. Like a Deluxe Reverb and a 35-45 watt style Fender. Or spend it on other brands with similar power. Dr Z, Vox or whatever "slops your dripper". That covers everything.

    Half way measures like PCB modern types will eventually be an issue, but can work for a while.
    You can spend more $ over the years trying various less popular schemes than just doing it right in the first place.
     
  10. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never spent more than 500 bucks on a piece of gear. I've got vintage Gibsons, blackface bandmaster, silverface twin. You've got to be patient and it might take a couple years before something comes along.
     
    blowtorch likes this.
  11. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm biased since I build and repair amps, but I think plenty of others will agree, hand wired is worth the extra money. Unless you're talking complete destruction in a fire, they will always be repairable, and almost always for a small fraction of the cost of a new amp.
     
  12. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I keep getting the Clubster and Chubster confused. The Clubsters have solid state input stages. I see that the .chubsters runs two more 12A-7s than do those Clubsters....all tube processing in the Chubster, I suppose.
     
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  14. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    Going by the adage that you never know what the future may hold I've always tended to buy a bit more amp than I need right now. To me if that means shelling out a few extra bucks up front it still beats losing even more bucks to sell what I've got and upgrade down the road.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  15. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Afflicted

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    Who ever said playing music was supposed to be fun? I thought it was supposed to placate your financial advisor.
     
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  16. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think there's a particular dollar value that you can assign to what you hope to attain and achieve, friend Shinrock.

    With that much gigging going on, and your needing something both versatile and reliable, I think it's safe to say that you can spend well under one Grand and still be satisfied.
    The ones you named are all fabulous.


    There's an old saying though;
    "The most reliable guitar amp is two amps."

    I always bring a spare, no matter what the gig, job, party, or situation.
    Even if I leave it in the van.
    It's like insurance.
    Only smarter.

    In that vein, you can get a Fender Blues Junior with a cannabis speaker for six-fiddy, and bring along a great spare in the vein of an old and trusty Peavey.

    Just thinking out loud.

    :)
     
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  17. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Afflicted

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    I bet from on stage you can’t tell if the patrons have on sandpaper underwear.
     
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  18. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sure
     
  19. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Should I spend more than $1k on an amp?

    Well, I'll personally transpose the question :

    Should I spend more than $1k on a guitar?

    If the answer is yes - and chances are - then why not spending more than $1000 on an amp ?

    How many Guys owning L-series or 60s LP speaks in detail of their beloved tone... Via laptop or console sound system ? I find this quite ridiculous...

    "An amp, my kingdom for an amp !" Shakespeare, in Richard III...

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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