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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. 19sixty3

    19sixty3 Tele-Meister

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    This is exactly how I use mine. Straight into a PA or connecting a Seymour Duncan Power Stage 170.

    E3903A33-CC0F-4FAE-8D89-CC1830DAF360.jpeg
     
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  2. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    For me, the amp is THE most important piece of gear, so I'd spend whatever you need to get the sound you want. I'm spoiled now, though, since I can build whatever I need for WAY less than $1000 (my tastes are simple though).

    I also have a Silverface Pro Reverb and a Silverface Twin Reverb, both bought for $500 each, so you CAN get some excellent amps for not much money if you look.
     
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  3. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    When the Clubster was introduced, I tried one out and it was very good. Not as good as My Chubster 40 though. There are a few similar models to the Chubster 40, but the deep cabinet makes a real difference. And 40 watts is great for most situation. because of the channel switching, master volumes, and gain stages, it sounds great anywhere you're going to play with a drummer.
     
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  4. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    There are so many great amps around $1000. Hard part is choosing!
     
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  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I like the R series of Rivera’s a great deal. When I saw the schematic for the
    Clubsters, I was amazed at the difference between it and the othe Rivera’s with which I have been familiar in that there was solid state signal processing in the Clubsters. As I learned back in the 1990s, it serves one well to count the preamp tubes plus the phase inverter and compare that to functions. Even without schematics, one can deduce a lot.
     
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  6. SJFR80

    SJFR80 TDPRI Member

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    It’s gotta sound good, no point skimping on an amp!
     
  7. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've got more than a few guitar amps around here for a bass player, but if someone called me and asked me to sit in, I would bring my Rivera R30 1x12. Missing a few of the higher end bells & whistles from the Rivera line, but a workhorse to be sure. It's an ancestor of most of Riveras' non-metal line, and very versatile if you've got the footswitch.

    My old bandmate played a Mesa Boogie Nomad 55 1x12, also very versatile, but very loud. I think the 45-watt version (4xEL84s as contrasted with 2xEL34 in the 55) would be a touch quieter, and a pair of tubes could be pulled if necessary.

    As for amps I've never owned, the Mesa F30 seem like real straight forward workhorse, as well.

    Any of these amps should be available on the used market in your budget.

    Also remember that many amps can be made louder or quieter by judicious use of speakers. Given your description of never getting a 15-watt amp cranked near to wide open, a less efficient speaker can help with that, though it will change tone to some degree. If memory serves, the stock unit in most early era Hot Rods and Jrs were insanely efficient, like 102dB, and replacing that speaker with something in the 98dB range should make one of those much easier to handle.

    Finally, in my VERY LIMITED experience, ALL AC30s are wicked loud.

    edited for stupidity
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  8. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    While there are plenty of good “affordable” tube amps out there (especially used), I’m of the opinion that the cost of a rig should be 60-70% amp and 40-30% guitar.

    as far as a good 15-watt tube amp, I’ve seen plenty that are under $1000, even new...you just need to go out and find what works for you.
     
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  9. jayhawknavy02

    jayhawknavy02 TDPRI Member

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    I have a Fender SuperSonic 22, IMO, a really great amp, very nice clean with fat option on one channel, and a super overdrive channel with two stages of gain. The two channels and "fat" option are all selectable by foot switch. Also has an effects loop and a tube driven spring reverb. Of the Hot Rod and Supersonic, the Hot Rod was sold. Can't speak to durability as I don't gig, but its had zero issues for the previous owner who was a professional musician for almost a decade other than tubes.

    [​IMG]

    You already mentioned use of the Orange Rocker 15, which IMO is a great amp. I have a Boss Katana Mk II which you already have as well. I spent some decent time tuning my Katana models next to my tube amps and got "pretty close" when quarantined in my house. I set them side by side and messed with the EQ and other settings until I got "close enough" to the real thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  10. Shinrock

    Shinrock TDPRI Member

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    Very important part of the conversation. In my low-weight opinion for my own purposes:

    1) Electric guitar: no. I secured an American standard tele second-hand for around $900. I cannot make a $1500-$3000 guitar sound any better than I can make that tele.

    2) Acoustic guitar: yes. My Taylor 314ce sounds $600 better than my Martin DXME.

    Summary: I agree with the consensus. Amp > guitar.
     
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  11. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    Buy as much amp as you can afford. I agree with many of the respondents on this thread. A better amp won't make you a better player through some sort of alchemical relationship between price-of-equipment and your skill level, but having a nicer amp will almost certainly make you want to play more often. And that is the key to sounding better. It applies to all your equipment. The way to get better is through more practice, and better sounding equipment will be more enjoyable to play for longer periods.

    $1,000 seems to be a popular price-point at which so-so amps jump up a level and become pretty-nice amps. Many of the classic, popular, desirable Fender tube amps cost around $1k: Princeton, Deluxe, Twin, etc.
     
  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  13. Twin52

    Twin52 Tele-Meister

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    If you can afford it, and you have tried something you really like that much better than less expensive amps, then yes. But they are plenty of great amps that are less expensive than that. An amp is an important part of your sound. I spent money on guitars for years before someone told me what a difference it would make to try a better amp.
     
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  14. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

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    Does it really NEED to be an amp?

    I am asking because the best piece of kit I own is the Torpedo CAB M that I use 95% of the time. I run a BD2 in it, have three presets that I use (Marshall, Vox & Tweed twin) and it‘s like carrying a whole set of amplifiers on a nano pedalboard... And if it‘s worth anything - I really love tube amps and even build them myself, but nothing beats the practicality and consistency of this small rig. And this rig will set you back less than 400 bucks.

    Sound? All the gigs I did with it sounded amazing on the recordings... Feel? When playing with a band, I cannot tell the difference.

    The best part is, you set your tone quite easily at home and forget about it. You just fiddle with the BD2 and/or the volume knob to control the gain.

    As for your original question - no I would not pay more than a grand for an amp. Anywhere from 500 to a grand you can find nice used amps that can cover whatever you want.
     
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  15. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I ever had the need for something that was gonna be loud I'd either get a Twin Reverb or an AC30, just because I've always wanted each. I doubt I could lift either though without screwing up my back.

    Right now I've got an AC15 and a Blackstar HT Studio 20. They're plenty loud for anything I'm gonna do in the foreseeable future. In fact, I've only been playing through my little 5-watt Supro for the past four months or so - and it's probably too loud for where I'm living.
     
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  16. PoorNoodle

    PoorNoodle Tele-Meister

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    Based on your needs I would go for the Marshall or the Blackstar. Probably they can even do death metal with a TS in front. :)
     
  17. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i've owned vintage bassman heads, ampeg heads, DRRIs...i've never spent 1000 dollars on an amp, maybe max 800. i don't think it's necessary. depending on cab configuration, i wouldn't want to spend more than 1200. excluding steals (got a DRRI for 350 or 400 bucks once) which you have to have patience for, you're probably going to get nailed at least 600 for something quality these days.

    but there are a lot of excellent used amps floating around for under 1000 bucks. i think people that are going to talk you out of a silverface or something like a sovtek or traynor are just corksniffers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  18. 6String69

    6String69 Tele-Holic

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    I also have an orange rocker 32 and it is awesome. It is very well built and I love the sound. Plus it can do 15 watts or 30 watts. I think a new one is just about $1000.
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Numbers mean nothing.
    A great amp means everything.

    IMO the amp should be three times as good as the guitar, which also means nothing but my answer is that the amp is where the magic lies, the amp is the most important part of the signal chain, the amp is the thing that makes the sound.

    For numbers, figure a CV Squier is a retail price standard that is fully adequate.
    Call that $400?

    You say you want a tube amp, and you don't want a tiny amp, plus you'd like the amp to make both Rock and Country sounds that are professional grade.

    Is there a decent size tube amp that reliably does Country clean and a range of Rock distortion priced at $400 new retail?
    No.

    Are we looking at the cost of an amp?
    Or at the screaming deal we prefer?
    Kind of needs to be the cost since screaming deals are a random occurrence.

    So what new retail $800 tube amps are both professionally reliable, and also deliver all the clean and distorted sounds you stipulate?

    I'm not sure but in the $800 selection it might be harder to get a reliable two channel Rock & Country sounds medium size tube amp.
    They are out there but there are not really tons of them, depending on the range of sounds and the standard of reliability.
    Raise that to $1200 or 3x the cost of a reliable do all CV Squier, and you have a bigger selection.

    Put another way, manufacturing a medium size multi channel tube amp that delivers all the sounds you want for $800, requires cost cutting measures in manufacture. Cost cutting lowers quality, it's simple math.

    Used amps are where I look because I don't mind waiting a year for a screaming deal.
    I also prefer tube amps that are worth more after ten years of use, rather than tube amps that cost more to fix than they are worth, after ten years of use.
    Cheaper medium size tube amps of today, eventually need repair, and by then they are worth near the cost of service.
    Not that it's bad to lose value, cars do that.
    However, there is the other option to spend a little more and get an amp that's worth fixing in ten years and every ten years for your whole lifetime plus the life of your kids.

    Many of us don't care about that, but this is where numbers mean something!
    Price point amps are basically disposable after maybe 20 years, as the repair cost exceeds the value by too much.
    It doesn't cost as much more to build an amp that will hold value for 50 or more years, than to build an amp that goes in the landfill at 20 years. Do the math and those "better built" amps are the winners in value.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  20. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

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    Just out of curiosity - how do you „measure“ an amp to tell if it is three times better than a guitar? Purely just because it‘s three times more expensive?
     
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