What Do You Look For In An Amp?

bgmacaw

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I was thinking about this earlier today when I was fiddling around with various amps I have here and wondered what the folks here liked in an amp.

I guess you could say I like the proverbial "clean pedal platform" type amp that has some warmth to it (ie not brittle or digital sounding). I want it to work well with the various preamp and amp-in-a-box pedals I have. I also like good EQ settings and an effects loop that plays well with various reverbs and delays. The ability to go direct-in easily would also be a selling point for me. I also like scalable volume where I can go from playing in my home office to a stage without having to do much tinkering.

What do you look for in an amp?
 

Dismalhead

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FYI, my sound is very much '80s metal - chorusy sparkly cleans, crunchy distortion, and Satriani-sounding leads.

1. Manageable weight - under 50 lbs.
2. Must be loud enough to hold up at a loud jam session with a drummer.
3. Quiet clean so I can run my pedalboard and not disturb the neighbors.
4. Simple controls. Single channel is fine.
5. Roadworthy construction.

Doesn't need to have reverb (or any built-in effects) - a couple of my amps don't and I don't miss it a bit.

All my current amps are simple, old-fashioned tube combos that I'll adjust to give a touch of breakup and then I use them as pedal platforms. I would like to have an amp with direct out though. Right now I have to mic them all to get a decent recorded sound.

I've done the loop thing before, but I got sick of having multiple cables running to and from my amp. Now I just go in the front.

Current rig is stereoing out to a Mesa Subway Rocket and a Vox AC15C1.
 
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JohnnyThul

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I always check the EQ. I hate hiss and piercing highs, if the EQ cannot dial that out completely while at the same time still offering enough pleasant highs to make the sound cut, then the amp is not for me.
If it's a head, I would at least want to check it with a more modern speaker type like a V30 or G12-75 and then with a vintage type like a Greenback, to get a better idea of frequency response.

On modern amps I find that I have to quite dramatically adjust the EQ to make them work for me, but most get the job done then.

Besides that, I am a big fan of reverb,so, if the amp won't have it, it ain't for me unless it sounds breathtakingly good.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I'm (I think) done buying or needing amps, but I have a pretty low bar on what I like or need:

- a clean sound similar to BF/SF Fender combos w/Reverb (my Pathfinder is the exception for me)
- very lightweight ( back!), like 20-25 lbs. Can't carry much for gigs.
( don't need much output)
- MUST LOOK COOL!
> anything else- Tremolo, Lead Channel Line OUT, are cool bonuses, but not needed
- gotta be cheap!
 

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AAT65

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Until earlier this year I was using an AC15C1, and I’d still say that is a pretty near perfect guitar amp if I never wanted to play clean at gig level. It fantastic from slightly hairy to pretty dirty, and the tremolo is sweet. With an ABY foot switch upfront for channel switching it is very capable.
However I’ve got more interested in adding clean sounds to my repertoire and the band’s, so I’ve now switched to a Jazz Chorus JC-40 which gives me tons of clean headroom and a very lush built in chorus sound, and I get my distortion (& many other interesting sounds) from a BOSS GP-10 up front. Mostly for distortion I use the GP-10’s AC30 preamp model so I get back to where I started, but with many more options, including line out for live mixing.
 

Mowgli

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A nice smile, tender eyes, intelligent conversation… ohh you’re asking about amps.

I guess it depends on the style of music I’m wishing to play.

For rock and pop, usually a versatile amp (and complimentary speaker) that can deliver a wide range of different cleans and distortion tones; typical Fender, Peavey and Music Man amps with a pedal board.

For typical clean country, the Twin, SFPR, Vibrolux, Concert ii, Special 130, Reverberocket and pretty much all Music Mans cover the waterfront.

For clean jazz, too many great warm clean amps to mention.
 

blowtorch

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Great sound
Versatility
Portability (lightweight and not too bulky)
Economical

based on these criteria, I've at turns considered my VOX AD30VT, Fender Mustang III and (currently) DV Mark FGC121 THE AMP FOR ME. The Mustang won out in terms of versatility, the DV Mark is no slouch by any means in that department, but it's weight and small footprint mean it's what I gig with
 

gridlock

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Tampa, Fl
Good full tone with decent bottom end. Good natural overdrive is a plus but I can get these with a couple of good pedals
 

sax4blues

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Colorado Springs, CO
I want to say simple because my first two amps are single channel, no reverb, loop, foot switch. But….. I just bought this:
image.jpg
 
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middy

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Apr 28, 2010
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MSP
I was thinking about this earlier today when I was fiddling around with various amps I have here and wondered what the folks here liked in an amp.

I guess you could say I like the proverbial "clean pedal platform" type amp that has some warmth to it (ie not brittle or digital sounding). I want it to work well with the various preamp and amp-in-a-box pedals I have. I also like good EQ settings and an effects loop that plays well with various reverbs and delays. The ability to go direct-in easily would also be a selling point for me. I also like scalable volume where I can go from playing in my home office to a stage without having to do much tinkering.

What do you look for in an amp?
Not sure why you would need an effects loop in a clean pedal platform?
 




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