Solid state shootout: Gibson Lab Series, Peavey Bandit/Transtube, Roland Jazz Chorus, other?

Solid state shootout: Gibson Lab Series, Peavey Bandit/Transtube, Roland Jazz Chorus, other?


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Hossius Maximus

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I’ve had a Lab Series 5 since high school 1987. Awesome amp. People always love the sound and ask where I got it. My friend’s dad was a VP at Fender at the time but used to be a VP at Gibson.

He had about 10 of these in his garage along with loads of prototype guitars.

$150 and I’ve played it for well over 30 years.
 

elihu

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Marshall had some good sounding solid state amps in the 1980's like the Lead 12, Lead 20 and the Master Lead 30. I managed to snag a Lead 20 on the bay for $120.

This is the video that inspired me to get one. Alvin is playing through a Master Lead 30.

 

Chiogtr4x

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Mustn't forget the 50 and 100 Watt Yamahas from 1980s

My first and second amps ( 1976, 1982- #1 was stolen), were Yamaha G50-112's - until about 1988, when I got my first Fender

Curious to see if I'd still like the sound today?
 

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ReverendRevolver

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choice was other, but than again its a Peavey.
i have the express 112 blue stripe and it does a marvelous clean.
not so fond of the transtube distortion, but i gues that some rock and metal heads would like it.
i think this amp is a good start for pedals because if cleans turn out well, that you can go everywhere ;-)

Old evans, sound creator amps have the same good cleans, and i even like the little crate 15R
Evans don't count. They're handmade boutique SS and aren't exactly common......

That doesn't make them super expensive though, just not exactly easy to find.
The one I sold sat for a spell before a steel player put an offer on it.

I can't say I've ever been a fan of Crate SS. My first exposure to "real amps" was a SS Peavey 2×12 classic chorus and a long-borrowed silverface champ. Started off kinda spoiled I guess.
 

Ronzo

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I have two giggable SS amps for guitar. And a Blackstar Fly 3, which has disappointed me.

- Sunn Concert Lead head plus a Cerwin-Vega 2x12 cab. Uncontrollably loud. Tone is ok at high volume, but sounds poor at low volume. It sounds much better when used for bass.

- Fender red-knob Pro 185. Essentially a SS Twin Reverb - a 180 watt RMS 2x12 combo. 55 lbs, plus the necessary casters. Clean channel is extremely powerful. The secret sauce in the amp is in the variable power effects loop; use a short TS patch cable to jumper the loop and use it as a master volume. As with most of Fender’s SS line at the time, the power amp section is run flat-out, and the preamp section is where all of the desired tone is derived. Unless the preamp is run at a high level, it’s going to sound poor. Set the amp’s (many) controls to get your preferred sound with the variable effects loop jumpered and set to minimum, then bring the effects loop control up until the volume desired is achieved. Many did not know about this trick - so they thought the amp was terrible. I gigged that thing a lot and never had a complaint. (Never needed to be mic’d at any gig, ever. Crushing power when needed.)
 

David Barnett

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- Fender red-knob Pro 185. Essentially a SS Twin Reverb - a 180 watt RMS 2x12 combo. 55 lbs, plus the necessary casters. Clean channel is extremely powerful. The secret sauce in the amp is in the variable power effects loop; use a short TS patch cable to jumper the loop and use it as a master volume. As with most of Fender’s SS line at the time, the power amp section is run flat-out, and the preamp section is where all of the desired tone is derived. Unless the preamp is run at a high level, it’s going to sound poor. Set the amp’s (many) controls to get your preferred sound with the variable effects loop jumpered and set to minimum, then bring the effects loop control up until the volume desired is achieved. Many did not know about this trick - so they thought the amp was terrible. I gigged that thing a lot and never had a complaint. (Never needed to be mic’d at any gig, ever. Crushing power when needed.)

Our local blues club had one of those for the house amp for their weekly Tuesday Night Blues Jam. My view was that it was an amp that had some good sounds in it, particularly the clean channel, but definitely gave you enough rope to hang yourself too. The little red buttons for combining the channels would confuse people too.
 

Ronzo

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Our local blues club had one of those for the house amp for their weekly Tuesday Night Blues Jam. My view was that it was an amp that had some good sounds in it, particularly the clean channel, but definitely gave you enough rope to hang yourself too. The little red buttons for combining the channels would confuse people too.
Yup. It takes a very close read of the manual and a LOT of tweaking to find good tones. But I found the quest to be worth it.

Not a “plug and play, Magic Six” amp, by any means. In a jam situation, tape over all the controls and run it as a clean pedal platform. And turn that jumpered effects loop down! 😁
 

hopdybob

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Evans don't count. They're handmade boutique SS and aren't exactly common......



I can't say I've ever been a fan of Crate SS. My first exposure to "real amps" was a SS Peavey 2×12 classic chorus and a long-borrowed silverface champ. Started off kinda spoiled I guess.
sorry, but in this case you are wrong, if i remember correct Korg was behind these amps and effects ;-)
 

ReverendRevolver

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sorry, but in this case you are wrong, if i remember correct Korg was behind these amps and effects ;-)

While I am wrong (constantly), I'm pretty sure we're talking about 2 different companies.
20191123_234618.jpg 20220202_140518.jpg

I'm talking about the oddball company making these things that are well regarded by pedal steel players.

I'd never seen the stuff in your link before.

Which I suppose means they're both not all that common.

Learn something new everyday I guess.
 

BluesRoot

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I bought a Lab Series L9 brand new in 1980. I loved it was sorry that I traded it away. Later on I bought a used L9 and had a Lab Series Head (I think it was an L11). The L5s were also outstanding but I never had one. If I had unlimited space I would buy one just to have it around. Lab Series amps will amplify electric or acoustic instruments equally well. My favorite current production solid state amps are Quilters. I have a MicroPro 8 Mach II with a 12" extension cab. I seldom use the cab but it would come in handy at a loud jam session. If you care to read my ramblings about my solid state experiences you might not guess that I have a fair number of tube amps. Who says you have to choose one or the other?
 

VonBonfire

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Marshall had some good sounding solid state amps in the 1980's like the Lead 12, Lead 20 and the Master Lead 30. I managed to snag a Lead 20 on the bay for $120.

This is the video that inspired me to get one. Alvin is playing through a Master Lead 30.


Wow that sounds good!
 

archtop_fjk

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Here’s my L5. One of the strengths of this amp is the midrange control with adjustable center frequency. It produces a really Marshall-like crunch. Combined with the compressor, you have a very unique lead tone.

If you don’t own an L5 amp, Aion Effects sells an authentic preamp pcb.



3570F1C5-A6ED-42C9-9F26-0CFE140C132E.jpeg
 

hopdybob

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While I am wrong (constantly), I'm pretty sure we're talking about 2 different companies.
View attachment 947572 View attachment 947573

I'm talking about the oddball company making these things that are well regarded by pedal steel players.

I'd never seen the stuff in your link before.

Which I suppose means they're both not all that common.

Learn something new everyday I guess.
your right, 2 with the same name.
but than again, the evans 'sound creator' line give a good and loud clean.
they are known as not easily distorting
 

USian Pie

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I use Quilters for everything right now. I really like big cleans. And I mean clean, not that slightly breaking up sound that people on YouTube call clean.

I really like the bigger Roland Blues Cubes, too. I think their mild overdrive sound is very good but it's not worth the price of admission to me.

The little Blues Cube Hot was a different beast. It's not my thing but I very much understand the appeal for people who like that "little amp about to explode" sound.
 

perttime

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My first and second amps ( 1976, 1982- #1 was stolen), were Yamaha G50-112's - until about 1988, when I got my first Fender

Curious to see if I'd still like the sound today?
I haven't actually played through one but people keep praising their clean sounds.
 

Bedder18

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the jc120 allows for dual mono input to the power section. using the pre (and tone stack) of any decent valve combo as the front end (of a “wet/dry/wet” rig) is inspiring.

Wouldn’t want to gig with it, though. If I was the OP, Id rather have a decent look at a modeling alternative and play through FRFR/FOH or studio monitors at home.
 




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