1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

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

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

  1. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    263
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Here's what a great player can do with a Squire Strat. Notice none of the folks are plugged into $500 Amps.
    Some postings on this thread made this very point. Much better to have an expensive - reliable amp than an expensive guitar and cheap amp.
    Jack Pearson could make a Kleenex box with dental floss stretched across it sound great because of his playing skill.




    The cheapest Amp I see on stage is a 4x10 Fender Hot Rod Deville that sells for $1000 NEW.

     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,372
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I don't think the question was about what we can and can't do.
    I'm also pretty durn certain the question was not along the lines of something like "I'm a beginner, can't play to save my life, wanna join a band, but not sure if I should buy a $1000 amp or get some lessons?".

    So why all the off topic player skills and "you can't tell me what to do!" talk?

    The OP plays in several bands, we're not here to suggest his playing needs improvement.

    While there are cheap amps that sound pretty good, we keep coming back to the ridiculous debate:

    Are better quality amps actually better quality amps that amplify better?

    Or are all the cheap amps just as good as the mid priced and high priced amps, essentially all sounding about the same?
    Those who keep insisting or implying that cheap amps are as good a sound as you can get, y'all sound a little crazy!
    I didn't see any sanctimonious cork sniffing suggestions the OP buy a boutique amp.

    You sound more sanctimonious than most of the suggestions for commonly used medium size two channel tube amps that cost up around $1000, which the OP inquired specifically about.
    Maybe I sounded sanctimonious to you when I suggested that the amp should be at least as good as the guitar?

    Why is it that you seem to think the guitar should be better than the amp?
    If you don't think the amp should be at least as good as the guitar?
    Genuinely curious about this sort of idea?
     
    bottlenecker and kookaburra like this.
  3. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    479
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2020
    Location:
    Florida
    Yeah, he is phenomenal.
    How about this demo of the amp:
     
  4. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,140
    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    I'm down to one amp now, but I spent more than $1K on each of the "final three". It came down to what I could load into the trunk of my car without making an appointment with a chiropractor for the next day along with space availability in the new house.
    #3: Dr. Z MAZ Jr. Reverb and 2x10's. Great sounding and versatile. Used in excellent condition $1300.
    #2: '69 Super Reverb with original CTS alnico 10's. SR's are the best sounding amps ever IMO. $1150 in 2007.
    #1: Allen Sweet Spot w/Eminence Li'l Texas 12" neo. $1150 as kit that I assembled 2005. It does everything I need and weighs 28 pounds.

    Yes, I think you should spend more than $1K to get an amp that does what you need and that will be usable/repairable for a long time. USA handwired is my chauvinistic preference; high-quality PCB is OK, but I don't want anything that has tubes, pots, or jacks mounted on PCB's.

    As a footnote, only one of my 7 guitars cost more than $1K - that's the one in my avatar.
     
  5. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,589
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Only went over a grand on one amp, a 67 blackface Deluxe Reverb, 11 or $1,200. Several of the amps I had should've been over a grand, going by internet prices, but if you got the cash and someone needs it you get deals.
    As far as new amps go there's nothing for under a grand I want. I'd be looking at things that start at probably two grand, and don't say Fender, Marshall or Vox.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  6. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,873
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Location:
    left coast
    nah, $1000.00 for and ,that'll cover my psych meds and shrink for quite a while
    your write about that
    It costs time and effort check this out


    charlie_brown_lucy-rose wood or maple.jpg
     
  7. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,476
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Location:
    Albany NY
    Even if you get much of your drive tone from pedals, the amp is a big part of your tone.
    If you're getting your core drive tone from the amp itself, obviously that's even more true.

    I have a couple of pedalboards for use with clean amps when I don't bring my full rig.
    Have used a variety of different backline amps.

    Everything just plain sounds better through a good amp.

    Is it something the audience would notice? No.
    But I hear the difference.

    IMO it's worth getting a good one. Which also is more likely to be solid and reliable.
     
  8. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,641
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    Good news!

    Even if you want something boutique/fancy there's so many well-built sleeper amps out there.


    In the Vintage world names like Traynor, Ampeg, Chicago built stuff like Gretsch/Supro, Gibson, WEM, Carlsrbo, Rivera-era Fenders *just old* and plenty others out there outside of pre-70's Marshall/Vox/Fender.

    In the new world, again Traynor, certain Fender models like the Prosonic, Blackstar Artisan series, used custom builds from Mojotone to Ceriatone, used clones from Marsh and similar builders, and certain 90's Orange amps full of old stock parts can be had for a bargain if you dig hard. Lots of stuff.

    The expensive modern stuff finds a niche, the company and their service can sometimes be a factor in the price. Other times it's rarity, other times it's an established brand that's been built up slowly for decades until it has real value. When I had a Germino it was cool knowing I could send it to Greg for service if something went wrong, which nothing ever did!

    The expensive vintage stuff? I'm afraid there's a mojo upcharge m'boy.



    But, I can't give much more advice in the "should" category as I just spent $2500+ on a cab alone, insanity.
     
  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,229
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    wisconsin
    If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve had just as much fun playing a Peavey Delta Blues as I have playing a Friedman, Bogner, Savage, Diezel, etc.

    Realistically I could be completely happy with a Delta Blues. So no, you don’t NEED to spend a lot to get good tone and have something reliable.
     
    basher and Marc Morfei like this.
  10. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,159
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    Seligenstadt, Germany
    My main amps for gigging, recording and rehearsal are 20 Watt tubecombos from Hughes & Kettner. One had a failure during an open air in August 2017 after 3 hours in the sun (the effect-loop ceased working due to overheating). Had it repaired, never a fall-out again. One is from 2006, the other 2009.
    I bought both second-hand, one 2013, the other (as a backup) 2016.
    I would take them to a tour as well, if I'd be a touring musician. They are absolutely loud enough for small clubs, whenever we played a larger venue, I miked them with a Shure SM58 and everything was fine.
    They both were around 250,- Euro on ebay.
    So, no, I don't need to spent 1000,- Dollars or more. I get the sounds I want (both clean and overdrive with additional pedals), the volume and the reliability I need from a lot less expensive amps (by the way, they were less than 1k when they were new).
    You may need something else, if the sounds you want demand a different amp, but as far as I understood your original post, you get along fine with a <1k amp, so again: no.
     
  11. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    263
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Delta Blues is a very good sounding amp with a speaker change but if I'm playing gigs regularly I will also have another amp as a backup no matter what amp I'm using. I've owned both the 1x15 and 2x10 versions and in my opinion all the amp needs is a speaker change. Not a fan of the Blue Marvel speakers.

    Note: I use to deal in used guitars and amps and have owned / played most of the popular model amps.
     
  12. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,139
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Wow a lot of opinions here! Rule I've always heard and totally agree with is, A cheap guitar will sound great through a good amp, but an expensive guitar will sound crappy through a cheap amp.

    As for price point... well your mileage my vary. Back about 5 years ago I stupidly bought a Fender Vibro King. It was brand new and a great deal. Top of the line Fender amp, right? Ended up being a problem child. The power transformer went bad - for no reason other than it was defective. That cost me a chunk to fix. Had some other issues like Reverb section power tube kept going microphonic. It was heavy and difficult to move. Also the speakers were just the regular Jensen P10R's that they put in everything. I regretted buying it.

    As for VINTAGE. Again, your mileage may vary. Some guys on boards seem to think that vintage amps were made with some sort of mystical fairy dust in Santa's workshop or something. I've dived into the vintage amp pool twice and I won't again. Both times the old amps I've had needed a fair amount of tech work to keep them in playing condition. Everyone seems to think you drop some new caps in and you're good to go for 30 years. Not so. One of them (1960 Brown Super) had to have its board completely rebuilt because the original fiber board material had become conductive resulting in a whole slew of noises and other side effects.

    All I will say is unless you are a tech or an expert in old amps I would steer clear of them. It could be great. You could also be inheriting someone's problem or something that's been molested by under qualified techs over the decades. I'd also stay away from buying any vintage amp that isn't local where you can check it over yourself before buying.

    My experience is that the absolutely #1 determining factor in the quality of tone from an amp are the speakers. There's plenty of Fender reissues floating around on the used market for great prices. For the most part these are great amps and if you drop in a great speaker they're even better.

    Also to OP's original comment about being unable to open up a 15 watt amp - I feel this. I've always wanted to know where all these people who are getting natural breakup from a Deluxe Reverb are playing. I had a 5F1 Champ reissue and I'm in a rock band and my band would complain I was kinda loud if I opened it up all the way at rehearsals. I've been ordered by a sound tech at a gig to turn down my 5E3 when it was already on 2.

    Do you need to spend more than $1K? No. I recently picked up a lightly used PRRI with a 12" Weber 12F150 speaker in it and it sounds INCREDIBLE.
     
    Rockinvet and Coloradotwanger like this.
  13. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,229
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    wisconsin
    To each their own. I like the Blue Marvels best out of anything I’ve heard in Delta Blues. They sound right, to me, for that amp.

    Not saying that boutique amps and more expensive amps aren’t better sounding than a Delta Blues, they are (a bit). But I am saying I have been completely happy with my tone with a stock Delta Blues. You can get good sounds out of them, bottom line.
     
  14. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Only if youre a sucker for punishment or have too much money and dont know what to do with it!
     
  15. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,858
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    A great player can do just fine with pretty much the cheapest amp available.

     
  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,589
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    My beef with the cheap mass production stuff, tube, solid state, or digital isn't it's sound, it's the durability. But the things last a long time as long as you handle them carefully. One wack to a PCB mounted pot and the repair cost can be more than the replacement cost.
    As long as you're ok with buying something like that no problem. Just hate seeing people disappointed when their amp winds up in a dumpster.
     
    kookaburra and elihu like this.
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,372
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Sorry, I was distracted and mixed up three times the price with three times as good.

    I meant two different but easily confused things.

    1) A cost cutting but pretty darn good guitar is around $400, while a tube amp with the specs the OP listed IME costs about triple that CV Squier, just because that's the cost of making a cost cutting but pretty darn good 30-40w two channel tube amp.
    Gross generalization but while double the cost of that CV might get the amp, the selection of very serviceable guitars at that price is huge, while there are fewer amps at $800 than guitars at $400.
    Again of course if you lower the wattage of the tube amp the price drops, but my answer is 30-40w and two channels, plus reliable.

    2) I do also feel, believe, and in years of playing I find that cheap er guitars are on par with more expensive amps in terms of sound.
    Like many of us, I just find the better amp above adequate gets you more sound improvement than the better guitar above adequate.

    When I typed the amp should be three times as good i meant the amp would cost about three times the CV Squier to be on or above equal sound potential, plus reliable.

    Beyond that I suppose I do prefer my amps be three times the quality of my guitars, if it can be measured that way.
    I would drop boutique money on a truly great amp but I find truly great guitars only cost mid grade sub boutique prices.
     
    smuc likes this.
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,372
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    That's fair and I've played some pretty good sounding cheap amps, like, uh, the Epi VJr (doesn't sound as good as my Kendrick Champ), and, uh, lemme think, Marshall Lead 12, doesn't sound as good as any of my 12w toob amps but Rev Billy used one on some record, and, uh, hmmm.
    Does some rock star using a cheap amp on some record make that amp as great as the rest of the truly great amps?
    Never mid that...

    Are you maybe thinking of the expensive mass produced stuff that's cheap inside like the PRRI/DRRI/TRRI?

    I really can't think of any cheap amps that sound as good as more expensive amps, which for me are usually vintage, but a few are recent production.

    AND many of the truly great amps I've owned and tried out afford truly stupendous sounds!
    I can't help but wonder just how many of the players who keep arguing that expensive amps don't actually sound any better, I have to doubt that they ever played truly great amps?

    Allowing that many of the old BF/SF Fender reverb combos in shops are badly in need of service and don't sound great, plus the RI BF reverb amps really do sound pretty similar to the originals, so maybe those are what you mean when you say the sound isn't as bad as the reliability.
     
    Hpilotman likes this.
  19. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    263
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Don't think he is playing a $150 Squier Guitar like Jack Pearson either.

    Squire plugged into a VVT Amp. VVT Amps are not cheap.
    A video is worth a 1000 words.







    https://www.jackpearsonguitar.com/
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  20. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    263
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    "Different Strokes for Different Folks."

    Even Peavey went to the Celestion Fullback 1x15 Speaker. Excellent sounding Amp.

     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.