Tech 21 Trademark 60

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by gitapik, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Hey. I played through one of these and liked the sound. Just played clean and some subtle breakup.

    Any takes on this amp? Compared to, say, a Peavey Classic 30?
     
  2. davidchagrin

    davidchagrin Tele-Holic

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    The Trademark amps have gotten some love on the TDPRI.
    I know that if I were in the market for a new amp, I'd be seriously looking at this one!
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Folks I knew that use them, have major digital processors that send pre-fab signal in.
    Good SS for reproduction purposes. Never see them live much.
     
  4. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    I had one. Still have it but it's broken and I'm using it's cab for a Vox Pathfinder 15R.
    Sounds great in the clean channel. I never like the drive channel.
    I've seen a few pro musicians using them here in Portugal. Actually, my amp was from my ex-teacher that was a pro musician. He even played it on TV!
     
  5. waytooslow

    waytooslow TDPRI Member

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    still have one, rarely use it since going back to tube amps ..But I have been thinking of using the line out of my SCXD through my time effects and into the TM60... any thoughts on that?

    I still use my tm10 in the living room to diddle around on when watching the tube or let the kids play around.
     
  6. songofthewind

    songofthewind Tele-Meister

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    I have a TM60. Very good SS amp, well designed and made. Unusual EQ which some more conservative users MAY find off-putting.

    Like any quality SS amp, it it has predictable headroom. Interestingly, the design has hardly changed since its introduction, which, as a satisfied owner, I interpret as "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    It is, for me, a stable, clean platform for guitar which takes pedals (JD-10, ZenDrive clone, VS Route 66,even the dreaded Bad Monkey) very well. Just set the master EQ to flat and swing that PUNCH control on the clean channel for amazingly variable but musical sounds.

    Boringly, it gets the job done..
     
  7. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Absolutely terrific amp right out of the box and even better still with a speaker upgrade to a Celestion G12K-100. Others report good results with an Eminence Wizard too. Once you get the hang of dialling in your preferred sound(s) it's a very satisfying amp to use and the build quality is also superb. Not only that but the firm has a great reputation for customer service should it ever be required.

    Our friend songofthewind sums it up well in the previous post, although I'd say the predictable headroom he describes is pretty damn high. I know he's also had, as I still do, a Roland BC-60 Blues Cube and IMO they're equally great, but different from each other, and both just a little cut above the very popular digital Roland Cube 60, which - hey, guess what - I also own and gig regularly.

    I don't own a Peavey Classic 30 but I've used them and they're a very nice amp too. Tend to suffer from rattly tubes unless a "tube tamer" device is fitted. The C30's a good-value and useful piece of equipment, but I do suggest checking out the TM60 for its capability and versatility.
     
  8. Telelick

    Telelick TDPRI Member

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    It's a great amp that is very versatile. The tone is great, it does both the Fender and Marshall thing very well. Sure my JTM and Twin Reverb blow it away in terms of tone but I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've fired up my Trademark while my JTM or TR was warming up and never got to actually playing the tube amp I was warming up. I use for smaller gigs and nobody ever says "your tone sucks without tubes". I think Les Paul actually gigged with one for a while. It's a great amp.
     
  9. Talacaster

    Talacaster TDPRI Member

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    I have one, been using it for about a year now. previously I was using a Tech 21 PSA-1 preamp through various poweramps but got fed up with that and just wanted an amp and some pedals. Since I was familiar with Tech 21 I went with the Trademark 60. One of the reasons is I didn't want any tube maintenance or hassles. I was already familiar with the Tech 21 controls so it was no big change on the Trademark 60. So far I really like this little amp , it has a few downsides but all in all it's nice.

    The trick with this amp is not to approach it as a standard tube amp that we all know. The controls work differently and takes a little while to get your head around, this is probably the single biggest reason why some people say they don't sound good. The problem is they don't approach the amp correctly.

    Channel 1 is supposedly voiced like a Fender and you have 3 controls. Drive , Punch and level. Drive is the input sensitivity much like on a standard amp. Increase this to the point of break up then back off a bit for a clean tone. Punch is the midrange breakup control, it's NOT a tone control, it controls the amount of midrange breakup so as you increase it you can hear some increase in the mids but also midrange breakup. level is the master level for that channel. There is also a Bite button which adds some highs kind of like a presence control and also adds a very slight volume boost.

    Channel 2 is supposedly voiced like a Marshall / Vox and also has 3 controls, Drive , Growl & Level. You won't really get a clean tone out of this channel. Drive is going to control the amount preamp distortion , Growl is a funny one, it's an active control, turn left from center and you increase the mids and roll off the highs, turn right from center and it does the opposite, increases the highs and rolls off some mids. Level is the same. The Bass and Treble controls (Low and High) are global.

    The trick is getting them to work together and it can take a little bit off fiddling around and this is where people give up because they try to work it like the controls on a standard amp and I will admit it's confusing but if you persevere you will get there. For me I set the amp as follows and this works pretty well.

    Channel 1

    Drive: around 2 O'Clock
    Punch: 9 O'Clock
    Level: around 2 O'Clock
    Bite: Off


    Channel 2

    Drive: around 2 O'Clock
    Growl: between 9 & 12 O'Clock
    Level: around 2 O'Clock

    Reverb: 9 O'Clock
    Low: 10 O'Clock
    High: 3 O'Clock


    One thing that's annoying is there are no numbers on the dials and the channel 1 level taper is a bit odd, from around 2 O'Clock onwards nothing really happens volume wise. It all happens up to maybe 3 O'Clock. Getting clean headroom out of this amp can be tricky with humbuckers, you can't set the Drive past 2 O'Clock or it starts to break up. With single coils you can go a bit further and this helps alot so it's not a bone crunchingly LOUD amp but it's certainly loud enough for a pub/club gig. It's open backed so in a really large room or outdoors it doesn't project as well as a closed backed cab would so it can get lost a bit. I would think coupled with a Tech 21 Power Engine it would be loud enough for any gig. The effects loop works fine with some pedals and not others as there is no send and return level control so any pedals that go in the effects loop must be able to take a line level signal, I ditched my Boss DD-3 because it clipped in the effects loop. The reverb works fine and the Boost function is definately a plus point for me, kick it in for a solo and you're good to go.

    Mine is the original version with the Tech 21 branded speaker not the Celestion Seventy/80 so swapping would be a pain as the hole for the basket is smaller than a standard 12" speaker.

    I bought it used about a year ago and so far it's been very consistent with no problems at all. One day I would like to do a shoot out with a tube amp to hear how it holds up.
     
  10. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had one for a while and it was great gigging amp. Very versatile and once you get it dialed in -- not really that hard -- it sounds very good. The line out is well voiced and useful. Overall, a very nice amp.
    I sold mine when I got my '74 Deluxe Reverb.
     
  11. Willie D

    Willie D Friend of Leo's

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    The Tech 21 Trademarks are killer amps. Pretty convincing tube-like tones with pure solid-state technology.

    The upside of no tubes is low maintenance, high reliability. The downside is it's not pure tube tone. It's very close, but not 100%.

    The upside of a tube amp like the Peavey Classic 30 is excellent tube tone, but there's a degree of maintenance and upkeep involved. Not bad, but still.
     
  12. Talacaster

    Talacaster TDPRI Member

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    I did a shoot out recently between my Trademark 60 and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III.

    Well have to say that the HRD sounded noticeably better, more organic where as the Trademark 60 sounded boxey in comparison but the Trademark 60 hung there with it. I decided it was time to buy a tube amp and ditch the Tech 21 so I bought a used Blackstar HT-40 on Echo Bay on the back of alot of youtube reviews as well as having played an HT-20 in a shop, even though it's a high gain amp I heard some good reviews playing blues on youtube. I did a shoot out between the Trademark 60 and the Blackstar HT-40 , peh....not impressed by the HT-40 at all (what a waste of time).

    The clean channel was just "OK" but didn't have that certain something the HRD had, the clean channel has a tone control which seemed like a good idea but all you can do with it is attenuate the top end (it's passive not active). Using the Vintage mode at low volumes, the sound was ok but cranked up the bass was response was way too strong with no way to dial it out which for me rendered this channel useless. There is also a boutique mode which drops the low end and raises the mids but this wasn't very pleasing at all.

    The gain channel didn't sound any better than my Trademark 60 and the ISF control (which is supposed to shift the tone stack between a USA and UK sounding amp) didn't impress me.

    The digital delay on the HT-40 didn't sound as good a the Tech 21 spring reverb and the -10db pad on the effects loop, although did pad the signal down, still clipped my DD-3 delay. This probably should have a -20db pad to accommodate stomp boxes that can only handle instrument level. This is also one of the downfalls of the Tech 21 which has a line level loop at gig volumes so at least Blackstar did make an attempt but fell short (in my opinion anyway) where as Tech 21 didn't even bother. One interesting thing though was that a delay in front of the overdriven gain channel on the Blackstar sounded good, not mushy like in front of the Tech 21. I have to assume that this is because the Blackstar is a valve amp and reacts differently to an overdriven solid state amp?

    The TM-60 isn't perfect by any means, I still find it difficult to balance the tone between the 2 channels but I did prefer it overall to the HT-40. It may be solid state but it's pretty darn convincing in terms of replicating tube type sounds. Cranked up through a good PA system, I think it would sound just as good as any tube amp. I remember once years ago in the 80's in Boston I went into a club on Comm Ave and there was a guitarist playing a Telecaster and Peavey Bandit doing a sound check playing a Hendrix tune and I was amazed at how good it sounded, I couldn't believe a Tele and a Bandit could sound like that then the sound man turned the PA off and I heard what his tone was like without the PA but it made me realise how good a small amp can sound through a good PA system.

    So the HT-40 goes and the TM-60 stays, the TM-60 is smaller and 20 pounds lighter than the HT-40 as well so that's a big bonus.

    "Don't underestimate the power of the force"
     
  13. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    I'm trying to understand how you went from trying a Hot Rod Deluxe to buying a Blackstar HT-40. It doesn't seem like it would be in the same ballpark. IMO, if you're not going with a HRD, then you would probably want something more along the lines of a Peavey Classic 30 or a Vox AC15C1. Even a Jet City JCA2112RC or a Bugera V22 seems like it would be more versatile and better tonewise. JMHO.
     
  14. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never seen one in person, and this is a wide area with alot of music stores, CL, etc
     
  15. Tech21NYC

    Tech21NYC Tele-Meister

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    The "trick" to setting up the Trademark 60 is to start with the low and high controls at noon and dial in the distortion channel first. The distortion channel by its nature generates more harmonic content and usually requires a bit more EQ tweaking than the clean channel. The clean channel isn't as "fussy" and it's usually much easier toadjust that after the fact vs the other way around. This works for tube channel switchers as well that have shared EQ between the channels.
     
  16. Maradona86

    Maradona86 Tele-Meister

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    I pulled the trigger on one yesterday and CANNOT wait to get my hands on it! I'll be sure to post my thoughts when the time is right. Man, I'm stoked!!!
     
  17. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Very well made analogue SS amps, I had two Trademark 60s- good clean channel, would have liked a mid control on the EQ- though I found the dirt channel useless. I've been using a C30 of late, and replaced the stock speaker with a greenback clone, and put a 12AY7 in V1 and found it an excellent compact amp for gigging, again the overdrive channel is ordinary, not as good sounding as a Laney VC30.
     
  18. GwynG

    GwynG TDPRI Member

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    Nice amps, I had one and it was very good but I needed a new main board for a repair of another one, it took over a year to get one. They are also one of the few amp companies that won't give you a schematic diagram ! however they are generally very reliable,versatile, loud and sound very good, I would have another one so thats a good point as I am 66 and have been building and repairing amps and all other types of electronic gizmos since I was 14 ! So yes,they are good amp;ifiers, Cheers,Gwyn Davies, Wrexham, North Wales, U.K
     
  19. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The Tech 21 amps weren't around when I quit my band and went back to my solo acoustic roots.

    When I got back into electric, I tried a Strat out at a shop (I ended up getting it), playing through a Trademark 60. I really liked it. A lot. So it surprised me when I started reading all those posts about how SS amps suck, etc. I'd mention the Trademark 60 and it was a basic, "meh" reply.

    Whatever. It's a really fine amp. Light. Good price. Durable. If I was in the market, I'd pick one up, no problem.
     
  20. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Very worthy SS amps in my estimation, I'd say 90% of the real tube amp tone roughly. When you get into vol knob rolls and PU selection is where they show their limitation compared to a real tube amp. Very good amps for their price. If I had to pick 1 SS amp I would have to live with beyond all others it would be Roland Blues Cube 60. But Tech 21 is no slouch either.
     
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