The most reliable amps

pippoman

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Sorry, just woke up so nothing witty to offer. SF and BF Fenders are still kicking but need maintenance as is to be expected. I would say amps that last the longest are vintage amps that sounded great to start with and landed in the hands of owners who had competent amp techs to keep them up. Amps that sounded “meh” probably didn’t get as much attention and were laid to rest.
 
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LBrewski

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I wouldn't call Peavey Classic 30s the most reliable by a longshot. They use a split board design with a ton of jumpers that can either overheat or rattle enough to where connections get broken and the amp stops working.

View attachment 888790 View attachment 888791

It's a very common problem and while not impossible to fix, is an awful design in my personal experience.
They do sound good and when they work they are nice... but I would never have one as my only amp after what I dealt with.

Not sure if that issue goes beyond the Classic series in Peavey, but it certainly gives me pause to call them "the most reliable."

Fender is definitely more trustworthy as far as I've seen.
My buddy has a Twin that was dropped from a shelf in the GC warehouse when it was new. Cabinet was TOAST! He bought the amp for $40, new. Had a guy make a new cabinet for it, the amp WORKED! Hell, I think even the tubes survived the fall.
He still has it and it works fine to this day, 20 years later. That is some good internal construction there.

I've repaired a couple of these Peavey Classics - definitely NOT fun to work on. Recently I tried to fix a friends Fender BassBreaker 7w head - nearly impossible to disassemble and no schematics available. I told him I'll take another run at it when schematics are published.

Otherwise, my old 66' DR was great - over the years only one tube and one resistor. My 95' HRD had some cold solder joints and one tube failure.

My Mustang III has been perfect :)
 

ferenc

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I am a fan of Laneys, the slightly older ones (English made VCs, LCs, GHs and so on). I had owned a GH50L and after years of not playing, sadly selling the old one, bought another one, used and it is just a workhorse. It is now, what, 30 y old...

I do believe the future is in modeling/digital amps, Kemper is on my to buy list, when they issue a mk2.

zz
 

Chuck berry

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I know everyone has a preference of what kind of sound your looking for. When l was looking for an amp years ago l was looking to hear the sound of my instrument true sound.
Its cool that we have all those pedals distortion computers for those who are in that sort of thing. But you'll never hear the sound of your amplifier.
The fender hot rod is one of the best l've ever played with and still do.
 

Tim S

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Not tube, but Andertons proved 9 years ago, thru a series of videos, that this amp is basically indestructible

 

Tom Grattan

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76 Musicman 100RD. I bought it new. Truly a great amp. Yes, it's heavy but don't put the moniker that all tube amps are unreliable. If you are a concentious buyer and know what you want look around. you can get great tube amps at reasonable prices. Look at Quitler, a very good solid state amp, but it costs $$$. As far as having to crank up the amp to sound good I suggest you try a variety of tube amps. Many of the older amps started to use gain which took care of having blast away (how about two twins) to get the tone you want. Also, tube amps can be fixed. Many of the cheap solid state amps end up in the land fill. Also, don't believe everything you read on this forum.o_O
 

Hpilotman

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I have been in some heated discussions on this forum in defense of tube amps over digital [such as Tone Masters.]
I have owned tubes amps since 1973 and still own 2 Fender tube amps. I prefer the live sound of a Tube amp over SS or digital.
I do own a Class D Quilter amp and like it also.

Unfortunately due to the nature of vacuum tubes there is no such thing as "most reliable tube amps".
I have had pre-amp vacuum tubes last 30 years and some last 5 minutes.
Vacuum tubes are unpredictable.
I know people still using 30 year old Peavey SS amps that have never been to a repair shop.
 

Dik Ellis

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Had a '63 Super Reverb for 50 years, and a Mesa Boogie MKIIB+ for 40. The key is to take care of them. Mine are old, but they don't look like relics. I agree with the other posters, you can't go wrong with a Fender.
 

Whitebeard

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Most modern consumer amps are built to a price, PC board mounted pots, jacks and tube sockets. They may be reliable, but are a bear to repair and service. If you're looking for a reliable, serviceable amp, you don't need to go vintage (with unknown maintenance history) if you're willing to pay a bit more.

Properly wired amps, hand-built with top-quality components are available; Allen, Victoria, Ceriatone, Headstrong, Park (recent), Dr Z, and many others will give long service, will be easy to repair if they do have an issue, and easy to maintain.
I'd add Vintage Sound Amps (hand wired FBF clones) to that list.
 

Whitebeard

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I wouldn't call Peavey Classic 30s the most reliable by a longshot. They use a split board design with a ton of jumpers that can either overheat or rattle enough to where connections get broken and the amp stops working.

View attachment 888790 View attachment 888791

It's a very common problem and while not impossible to fix, is an awful design in my personal experience.
They do sound good and when they work they are nice... but I would never have one as my only amp after what I dealt with.

Not sure if that issue goes beyond the Classic series in Peavey, but it certainly gives me pause to call them "the most reliable."

Fender is definitely more trustworthy as far as I've seen.
My buddy has a Twin that was dropped from a shelf in the GC warehouse when it was new. Cabinet was TOAST! He bought the amp for $40, new. Had a guy make a new cabinet for it, the amp WORKED! Hell, I think even the tubes survived the fall.
He still has it and it works fine to this day, 20 years later. That is some good internal construction there.
I had a Classic 30 for a while and it was just noisy.
 

TC 57

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76 Musicman 100RD. I bought it new. Truly a great amp. Yes, it's heavy but don't put the moniker that all tube amps are unreliable. If you are a concentious buyer and know what you want look around. you can get great tube amps at reasonable prices. Look at Quitler, a very good solid state amp, but it costs $$$. As far as having to crank up the amp to sound good I suggest you try a variety of tube amps. Many of the older amps started to use gain which took care of having blast away (how about two twins) to get the tone you want. Also, tube amps can be fixed. Many of the cheap solid state amps end up in the land fill. Also, don't believe everything you read on this forum.o_O
re cranking the volume up, maybe people buy amps that are of too high wattage?
 

TC 57

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I know everyone has a preference of what kind of sound your looking for. When l was looking for an amp years ago l was looking to hear the sound of my instrument true sound.
Its cool that we have all those pedals distortion computers for those who are in that sort of thing. But you'll never hear the sound of your amplifier.
The fender hot rod is one of the best l've ever played with and still do.

What do you mean you'll never 'hear' the sound of your amp?
 

TC 57

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I have been in some heated discussions on this forum in defense of tube amps over digital [such as Tone Masters.]
I have owned tubes amps since 1973 and still own 2 Fender tube amps. I prefer the live sound of a Tube amp over SS or digital.
I do own a Class D Quilter amp and like it also.

Unfortunately due to the nature of vacuum tubes there is no such thing as "most reliable tube amps".
I have had pre-amp vacuum tubes last 30 years and some last 5 minutes.
Vacuum tubes are unpredictable.
I know people still using 30 year old Peavey SS amps that have never been to a repair shop.

there is also a limited number of factories making tubes..I avoid moving my amp if it;s been on a while and a few minutes after switching off
 

radiocaster

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Theoretically you could buy any amp and never use it and keep it like new for well beyond your lifetime.

But transportation and power cycles and environmental factors make this an imperfect and subjective endeavor.
No. You'll have to change the filter caps.
 
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