Solid State amp you've known and loved,,, or hated,

ekaplan

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Aug 23, 2010
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Pennsylvania
Quilter Tone Block 202 with the Quilter BlockDock 12" cab sounds very good and takes pedals pretty well. If you are sitting in front of it in isolation and compare that to sitting in front of a good tube amp, my thoughts are it's about 90% to 95% as good as the tube amp from a sound and feel perspective. It has an FRFR setting so it works well with modelers, also. The Quilter Facebook group has regular posts about guys selling off all their tube amps, and I understand why--the sound is very good--but I still think a good tube amp beats it in isolation.

In a mix with others, only you will "feel" and perhaps hear the difference, but for most types of music, the audience would never tell the difference. I gig with the Quilter and love that the amp and cab together weighs less than 30 pounds.
 
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FLRocker

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Jun 15, 2006
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Over the years I've had a few solid state amps I loved: the Fender Princeton Chorus (red knob) was a nice amp with good sound, but with a 2x10 50 watt (2x25) setup, it lacked gigging volume for the hard rock band I played in. I replaced it with a red knob Power Chorus, essentially the same amp but in a 2 x 12, 130 (2x65) watt form factor - definitely fixed my volume problem, but was too loud for bedroom use. I also had a mini cube that was excellent and now have a boss Katana MK II head.
 

Spanglishsparky

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Spain
I love both my Sessionette 75 1x12 and 2x10 combo's they're extremely versatile, take pedal effects with no problems and are as loud as heck.
 

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Suho

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Jun 21, 2011
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Albany, NY
Fender Stage 112. For Fender cleans, it was as good as you could ask for. Decent reverb. It was incredibly loud. I wish I still had it.
 

dreamsinger

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Apr 21, 2013
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Marysville, WA
I have an Ethos OD Amp on my pedalboard that sounds like a million bucks. Whether it sounds like a Dumble is anybody's guess but it sounds exceptionally good. I went a bit overboard on the cab with a RevSound 2x10 loaded with Celestion Golds. Probably should have stuck with a nice 1x12 for portability's sake.
 

Chas3rd

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Mar 27, 2020
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Topeka, Kansas
I hated my mid eighties solid state Yamaha 2x12 100 watt combo. It was as harsh as broken glass without a good tone in it! Only thing it was was LOUD! Caused me my brain damage.... ..it looked cool as hell though.
 

clusterplucker

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May 30, 2013
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Alabama
My first amp was a Peavey Studio Pro 40. I got it in 1984. I still miss this amp. It had become my go-to amp for blues harp with a shure green bullet mic--but I stopped using it as a guitar amp as soon as I got my first tube amp in the 90s. I recently obtained a Polytone Mini Brute and I can't imagine a better jazz amp.
 

lavrgs

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Oct 28, 2009
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Oregon
When I started reading this thread a few days ago I was interesting in hearing about amps that would fit on a pedal board...there's some good info...might even consider an Orange tiny Terror.
As I get to the end of the thread I started to do a mental inventory of the SS amps I have. JC120 has been around for a long time, but it seems to be glued to the floor...there has been lots of respect shown for these in the thread and clean sounds are its forte...forget the on board distortion... I get it.
I bought a Line 6 Flextone II to make going up a steep set of stairs to the practice space easier. The Line 6 don't seem to get a huge number of mentions, but for me it has a decent clean tone and takes pedals well. I use it for gig that have sketchy power over tube amps.
There is a Genz-Benz Shenandoah 100 that is an amazing acoustic amp BUT it has been used for bass on gigs where I don't want to carry multiple amps...I should plug an electric in to see how it sounds >> negative benefit of having amps for specific tasks.

There is a lowly Peavy Decade that rarely gets any love...but it sounds pretty good as an acoustic amp.

Since I don't have a particular tone that I strive for I can get a sound I like out of most amps...I recently built a Ruby (1/2 watt ) and it sounds good out of a 1x12...after struggling to control the volume of 12-18 watt tube amps it seems a bit too quiet...9-)
EDIT: Tonehammer 500 bass amp...very light very usable
 
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mexicanyella

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Jan 26, 2012
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3,744
Location
Troy, MO
I know it's heresy, but I just love the clean sound of a Crate amp with just a little onboard chorus and reverb dialed in ...
They don't do gain or distortion well ....

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Back in the mid-late 90s the singer of the band I was in played an Alvarez acoustic that was nearly as trashed-looking as Willie Nelson’s “Trigger,” chopping out rhythm chords while I played electric. The Alvarez had an internal mic, this tiny gooseneck condenser thing. Looking around for a good way to amplify that guitar, we tried one of the bandmember’s little Crate G20C-XL like the one in the picture. It had two 10-watt power amps each feeding one of two 6.5” speakers, as I recall.

We put a compressor pedal in front of it with fairly aggressive settings and the output cranked up somewhat to make up for the internal mic’s low output. The amp was set as loud and clean as we could get it, with the lows rolled off quite a bit and the mids pushed a bit. It actually worked well in the mix. It seemed to miss the low-mids feedback zone—maybe due to the tiny speakers and EQ settings—and it added the syncopation the singer was putting across into the mix without being a big, lush, space-hogging pretty acoustic sound.

The chorus effect sounded okay but we didn’t use it because we were trying to get a rhythmic syncopation effect, not a spacious lush acoustic guitar tone. It was juuuuuuuust loud enough for us all to hear on stage if it was aimed correctly. It was the piccolo snare era so there was a lot of high frequency action from the drums, but it seemed to fit itself in among that.

By itself it was a little like playing an acoustic through a police bullhorn, but in the mix it worked surprisingly well and got us through some shows before the singer ponied up for a real acoustic amp.

I used to get the biggest kick out of putting that little thing on a milk crate and watching soundmen look at it trying to mic it. An SM57 was almost as big as the amp.

It sounded kind of cool with electric too, also compressing the crap out of the signal and setting it loud, clean, bass rolled off and mids up. Would’ve been a great lo-fi busking tone for bluesy playing.
 
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lmjmitchell

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Oct 23, 2019
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549
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NC
I bought a Quilter a couple of months ago and it sounds fantastic.

The Fender GTX100 isn't bad either. Vox seems to have some nice SS amps also. The Yamaha THR is nice if you want a small amp.

I picked up a Line6 Helix LT a few weeks ago and the amp emulation is great.
 
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Clickfiend

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Apr 22, 2020
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Seattle
I love my Orange 35rt. Clean or crunchy and louder than it looks. No digital modeling, just two channels (clean & dirty) of solid state Orange amplification (does have a digital reverb feature and cab simulation out). It has an effects loop, aux in, tuner and cab simulation out on the headphone jack. It takes pedals really well, but I mostly just plug in direct and play.
 

Flyerdude

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Mar 19, 2016
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West Gippsland
In the eighties I had a JC77 and liked a lot. I sold it to the second guitarist in the band and he is still using it. I’ve had several valve amps since then and still own several, each one I still like and don’t really want to part with. This year I bought a JC40 and it’s great, better than the 77 and at least as loud and dynamic.
 

MusicCityGrooves

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Jun 30, 2016
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Nashville, TN
My Lab Series L5. 2x12, 100 watts. Hands down most versatile, reliable , warmest sounding solid state amp ever made imho...

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I gigged one of these in a fusion band in the late 70's, and I really dug it. Pushed the front end with an EH LPB-1 to get the gain I wanted, and it was creamy and toneful.

I found less joy with a Yamaha DG80-112, and later a Mustang III V2, both of which put me squarely back into the tube camp.
 

harpdog

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Jun 2, 2013
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near Chicago
Watching this thread, happy with my SS Champion 50XL, searching out every SS amp mentioned... Jonesing for SS POWER...maybe I want a Champion 100...but would I regret NOT stepping up to a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb...but then would I kick myself for not getting the Tone Master Blonde Deluxe Reverb....
and the wife says, "just get it...it makes my Christmas shopping easy."

OK then. On the way.
 

Bean1871

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May 10, 2020
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62
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New York
I have three SS amps at the moment:
A pignose (meh), Champion 20 (still getting acquainted...still twiddling knobs) and a Pf 15R (like). I would consider buying another Tech21 Trademark 60 or smaller, or a Power Engine, and I like what I am reading on the Champion 100 and the Tonemaster series. And some of the old 2x12 Peaveys are intriguing...
 




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