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What are the good analog solidstate amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by perttime, May 7, 2014.

  1. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

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    Did someone say Roland Jazz Chorus?
    Our other guitarists JC cost me sleepless nights when I had my Music Man.
     
  2. Kustom250

    Kustom250 TDPRI Member

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    Yep.

    And many old Peaveys.

    The Quilters are really nice.

    I've got no problem with SS, it just has to sound good.

    The one classic SS I've never gotten are the Roland Jazz Chorus models. Just not a sound I like at all.
     
  3. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    Designed for classic Jazz guitar sounds the Henriksen is excellent in it's application.
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    For my purposes, the Lab Series L-5 is the on ly solid sate gutiar amp that I care to put a guitar through. I have not heard a Pritchard. That $2K plus is support of what an EE friend told me once. "Wally, there is no reason why a solid sate circuit cannot be made to yield tube harmonics. The only problem is that it will cost so much that not very many people will buy it." At teh time, this fellow was building and selling...to studios and deep-pocketed private individuals....solid sate monoblock power amps to the tune of $30K a pair...back in circa 1995. I thought about what he said about the expense....the Lab L-5 I bought in 1978 cost me well over $2k in 2014 dollars. Not very many people bought them!! LOL


    perttime, as to what does a certain SS amp do well??? THe L-5 will do almost any sound you want to get IF you understand 1)what those soudns are and 2)how to manipulate the amp's controls...everyhting from a tweed Champ to a TR...to high gain...what you want?? IT is there, ime. The Labs were built by the Moog folks...people who understand totally how a note is produced---the attack, what that note's make up is harmonically, how that note sustains, and how that note decays. Teh reverb circuit in the L-5 is better than any of the SS reverbs I have heard in many of these modern 'all-tube' amps....that includes any of the Marshall JCM 900, TSL', Dsl's, Peavey Classic 30 and 50, the Blues and Hot Rot Deluxe/Devilles. I would play the L-5 before I would play any of those Marshalls I just mentioned....because there is a better vintage Marshall tone to be had with the L-5 than in those new Marshalls....which have a great deal of SS circuitry in them..not just the reverb.
    I still prefer an all-tube amp, but the Lab is the only SS guitar amp I have played through that I have kept.
    My old Kustom K200 was a good SS amp in comparison to almost anything else..but it still sounded 'solid state'. The TEch 21 things are impressive for their cost.

    perttime, if you are looking for new SS--- the Stewart Ward might be worth a listen......but imho a true tube amp would be a better bet. IF you ever run across a good old Lab SEries L-5, L-9 or L-11...try it out. Note: the controls are the key. I showed the schematic to a young Masters EE, and he didn't even pretend to understand what or how the Multifilter circuit worked. IT is not a simple amp....and yes, muchxs, that compression circuit WORKS, doesn't it?
     
  5. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a lot of tone success with the MosValve stuff when I was running a rack setup... their 962 power amp is still one of the better power amps out their as far as I'm concerned, and would gig with one in a split second (as long as I had a kickin preamp in front of it, of course...)
     
  6. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

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    wasn't Lab Series made by Gibson?
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Weren't they were made by Moog (for Gibson), which at the time was a division of Norlin?
     
  8. TheSmokingMan

    TheSmokingMan Banned

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    I like the old kustom stuff
     
  9. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Tele-Meister

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    JC120 at high levels sounds amazing.
     
  10. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    For pure clean, my old 80's Yamaha G100212 (I had both the II and the III) ate my JC120 for lunch. The Yamahas both had a flatter frequency response (less scoop, more mids) which allowed them to cut through a band much better than the Roland. This also gave the Yamahas a more convincing traditional jazz tone than the JC. With the onboard parametric mid control, the Yamaha had a wider range of basic tones.

    We played much louder in those days, and I drove that Roland into clipping at certain gigs. I never clipped either Yamaha, ever. They had better transient response; I think it was that they had conservatively rated 100W mono power amps with high-reserve power supplies, compared to the two 60W amps in the Roland. The Yamahas had better headroom, no doubt.
     
  11. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Tele-Meister

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    I love my Pritchard. It has cured me of any amp-related GAS. There is nothing else in the world that really compares to it. I used to think it was expensive until I considered what it would cost me to replace it! It can be very, very, very loud.

    For really good tones at a much lower price, I like the Peavey transtube stuff a lot - much more than Tech 21. The newest Vypyr amps still use analog distortion.

    I don't know what happened to the RR1 from Retro-Channel. You can sometimes find them used. They can be extremely loud.

    I'm very optimistic about Quilter amps, but they don't really cover the Marshall spectrum yet. They are loud.
     
  12. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Tele-Meister

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    My perspective is that all these amps sound good for certain things, so the biggest differences are in how big that sweet spot is and how the amp responds to the player. Every amp line also has a certain grain or texture unique to that technology. You either like it or you don't....

    The Tech 21 amps were probably the first to have a sweet spot comparable to a tube amp for clean and dirty. Peavey came out with TransTube around the same time and has continued to evolve the design over time.

    V-stack was another DI-turned-amp that was never really competitive with Tech 21. Like the Tech 21, it offers more of a polished, recorded sound than a raw in-the-room sound. Neither is loud enough without assistance (such as the Tech 21 power engine).

    I'm not familiar with the Randall amps, but they seem to keep in selling them, plus they have a few tube hybrids. Mainly for the high-gain crowd.

    The Pritchard, Quilter, and RR1 are in a different league dynamically. They are each different beasts, with Pritchard being the most versatile, complex, and expensive. They all sound and feel "alive" and "real" under a wide range of gain settings. Maybe not exactly like their tube-powered counterparts, but they are seriously good alternatives in their own right.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't even know if Gibson was involved. Lab Series is a separate entity from Gibson, and both were owned by Norlin at the time. In any case, the amps were designed by Moog. They were built by Lab SEries in Lincolnwood, Illinois.
     
  14. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Although I'm still in the honeymoon (got it since last friday) I really really like my Award Session Bluesbaby 22!
     
  15. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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  16. HopDog

    HopDog Tele-Meister

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    I picked up an excellent condition Tech 21 Trademark 10 a few weeks ago at my local shop for $100. I love it...sweet sound that is more dynamic than my previous experiences with solid state (entry level stuff).

    They also had another T21T10 that was a little rougher around the edges and was missing the name badge for $80. That is a TON of fun at that price!
     
  17. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

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    The best SS amp I ever owned was a Marshall Valvestate. The best I ever played through was the same Marshall Valvestate. I have been a tube guy most of my life so I dont have a lot of experience with SS
     
  18. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

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    Love my Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. Am interested in the Quilter series, though.
     
  19. thedavydark

    thedavydark TDPRI Member

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    Over here in Europe two names you can't ignore are Hughes and Kettner and Jürgen Rath. Rath was a chief designer at H&K, then set up his own company "Rath Amp" before joining forces with PCL Vintage Amp and designing models for them. All the SS amps Rath has been involved in sound and feel just like valve amps - they all have current feedback power amps - just as Stewart Ward's new creation has, but Rath started using them back in the late 80s.
    My first amp was a Sessionette 75 and I loved it. It sounded great - but just lacked that litte something that is going on in valve amps between the OT and the speaker. From what I gather, Stuart has now nailed that too, and as a gear-a-holic I shall be ordering a BB any time soon.
    The point I'm making, is that a really good SS amp (in the sense that it is indistinguishable from a really good valve amp) has to have current feedback. The old Yamahas, Rolands, H&H etc. etc. were all fantastic at offering something different and often something special, but they were never true all-rounders that could be controlled from the volume pot of the guitar. The best SS amps available today are now as good as any valve amp on the market (and I have a few rather nice boutique amps lying around to compare them with).
     
  20. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Somehow I'd forgotten that Hughes & Kettner does transistor amps too. For some reason they (EditionBlue ) are rarely mentioned (???)

    Rath and PCL Vintage Amp were new names to me. I couldn't find anyone selling PCL Vintage Amps, or any pricing. Are they still in production?
     
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