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WHAT is THE best sounding amp you've ever played through?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by blowtorch, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. basher

    basher Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 7, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I don't think I've ever had a peak amp tone experience, though I've played through some nice ones. My only amp all through the 80s was a 50-watt Music Man, and I'd love to have it again, but I don't know if it would sound as good to me now. 30-odd years is a long time for one's tastes to grow and change. Currently I'm loving the sounds I'm getting out of my Blackstar HT40.
  2. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

    Dec 19, 2017
    Tampa Bay Area
    There are a few...an early 70s Twin Reverb, an early 90s Mesa Blue Angel, and a modern Dirty Shirley.
  3. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 15, 2010
    I've probably answered this before, but I'm not gonna search to make sure, so...

    I'm very fortunate, I still own my "best amp ever"...it's a 1990 Fender '63-reissue Vibroverb that I bought new-in-the-box in 1992 from the lamentedly-defunct JAM Music and Sound in Arlington, TX.

    JAM used to take a lot of my money before finally being slowly strangulated by Darth Vader...erm, I mean Guitar Center. I bought my first three pedals, my first vocal mic (SM58) and first harp mic (Share Green Bullet), and my Fiesta Red Stratocaster there, as well as cables, harmonicas, etc. My group of friends made considerable purchases there as well, but our contributions could not stave off the Big Box Purchasing Power of GC, and JAM went belly-up.

    Anyway, that Vibroverb is my all-time favorit-est, best-est amp ever...

    The (close) second place finisher on this list is a 1972/3? Fender Bassman Ten I used to own. It was the first tube amp I ever bought, at the also-lamentedly-departed Longhorn Music in the beautiful Polytechnic neighborhood in the east side of Fort Worth (cue gunshot sound effects).

    Similar to the Vibroverb, it sounded equally good for guitar or harmonica. It cut through the mix awesomely, without being idiotically loud. The Master Volume circuit made it to where I could get breakup at reasonable volume. I used it for guitar, harp, bass, keyboards and even as a makeshift PA system for a couple of parties and gigs.

    I sold it (instead of the Vibroverb) because of two factors:
    (1) No vibrato/tremolo/whatever-you-call-it.
    (2) Size and weight...especially the latter. That thing was tall and heavy.

    I miss the glorious sound of a 4x10 speaker compliment with a closed-circuit cabinet, but a recent excursion to Charley's Guitars in Dallas reminded me why the Bassman Ten left the herd...I was looking at one, vaguely considering if I wanted to move some items I wasn't using to fund the purchase...and then, on a whim, decided to pick it up...

    Oh yeah, that was the largest factor leading to me selling it!

    I picked it up without damaging myself--but--Dang, that thing weighed a ton!

    My surgically-repaired neck said, "This is a bad idea..."
    My surgically repaired shoulder said, "What have I ever done to you? Why would you want to do that to me?"

    Those two complaining body parts saved me about $900...but those 4x10 speakers sure did sing!
    Shuster likes this.
  4. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Feb 5, 2014
    Late 50’s Fender Bandmaster (I want to say ‘57 but I honestly am not certain) followed closely by my ‘66 Super Reverb. Different amps, both awesome. The Bandmaster made my ‘63 ES-345 come alive in a way i’ve never experienced.
    twr102 likes this.
  5. twr102

    twr102 TDPRI Member

    Apr 6, 2018
    Two Rock Custom Reverb
    Marshall JTM45 reissue, full stack
  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Honestly? Vox Pathfinder 15R. Yeah, that’s right, a SS amp. It is the best sounding amp I’ve played through. If you need an explanation of that choice, I’ll elaborate, while at the same time giving my caveats.

    I don’t consider myself that experienced when it comes to amps; although I’ve been playing guitar for 50+ years, I didn’t own an electric guitar or amp until 2008. But going with “played through” as the key criterion here, in the last decade, as far as tube amps are concerned, I’ve recorded in a studio with a Vox AC15, and played through/test-driven a dozen other tube amps (Egnater, FMIC, Mesa Boogie, Orange & Peavey). I’ve also played through/test-driven other SS amps (Crate, Kustom, Marshall & Roland). And I’ve also owned/gigged with/played through Peavey Bandits, Studio Pros and Envoy 110s of different “stripes.”

    I play predominantly clean, no doubt decades of playing just acoustic guitar shapes that choice. When I do go from pretty to gritty, it’s with just a bit of grit, a hair over breakup, as it were. And I have mostly played in duo or solo performer situations, currently strictly solo performer. So when I do play electric, or an electric set, my amp of choice is the Pathfinder 15R. The tone is warm, and yet it has that Vox chime and can do a nice crunch. It doesn’t do hard rock/high gain that well, but I don’t play that stuff anyway. So the Pathfinder’s perfect for me, and sounds the best to me.
  7. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

    Feb 24, 2015
    Southern United States
    Solid state: Pignose Crossmix 150r with 2 ten inch speakers (Rivera designed)

    Tube: Rivera Knucklehead 55 with 1 twelve inch speaker
  8. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2016
    Duarte, CA
    My amps are my favorites that I've heard.

    64 AC30
    74 Marshall Artiste
    EmerySound Super Baby

    Runner up is my friend's Marshall JTM45 Offset reissue with the 4x12 Alnico loaded cabinet.
  9. Rob77

    Rob77 Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2017
    Brisbane, Australia
    For me its;
    Clean = Marshal JCM900 (DSL) ((I could never bond with Fenders)
    Edge of break up = Vox AC30
    For thick to full Overdrive = JCM800
  10. eyerish

    eyerish Tele-Holic

    May 24, 2009
    Arizona USA
    Any of the twin reverbs i have had 67 to 77. The 1979 bassman 10 (70watt)
    1956 danelectro special. 70s era vox ac30. Early 2000s laney vc30210.
    Recent vox adio air. Marshall lead 100 w/412. Any of the mij roland jc120s i had especially with jbl's. 80s era peavey stereo chorus. Marshall 4140. 1966 or 67 deluxe reverb. Early 70s bassman 100 w/412. 1970 champ. A few others.
  11. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    The one I own - a Dr Z Maz 18 Junior (1x12 combo). Tried quite a few and liked this one best - certainly at the price point. I'm not trying others as it's way too easy to see "different" as "better" when that's not, necessarily, the case.
  12. Zeonoid

    Zeonoid Tele-Holic

    Dec 17, 2008
    Slovakia, EU
    Hughes & Kettner Puretone head (with TAD premium selected tubes) into 2x12 Vintage 30 cabinet ..but way too loud for use at my league gigs..
  13. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 21, 2009
    Cologne, Germany
  14. percy

    percy Tele-Meister

    Sep 21, 2016
    Hamilton ontario
    I'd say my Fender Super Champ X2

  15. HF1600ie

    HF1600ie Tele-Meister

    Sep 26, 2016
    I love my amps, all heads, which are connected to a 2x12 Greenback G12M loaded Harley Benton cabinet :

    - Marshall 2266 Vintage Modern
    - Vox AC50CPH (channel 2 heavily modified)
    - Vox AC30CCH (modified to correct AC30 60´s specs)

    They´re all different, being the AC50CPH something in between the two and able to be the most versatile and the one I play most of the time. I usually say the modded AC50CPH is my "Mox".

    But the Vox AC30CCH... is absolutely beautiful. Either the normal channel or the Top boost channel. I could play ages with just one of them. Perhaps the amp I find to be the most pleasant one to listen. I am getting older, I know...

    I almost forgot the Marshall. Currently I am not using it that much, but I know it is a 100% pure Marshall amp and all I would ever need from the Marshall iconic rock sounds. So... once in a while I go back to him for some weeks.

    It´s hard to pick one, but currently, perhaps the AC30CCH (with the 60´s specs).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  16. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    It used to be my old blackface Twin Reverb that I bought used in 1969. I think it was made in '65.

    But I finally sold the TR not too long after I bought the used 57 Twin Reissue 10 years ago pictured below. The 57 Twin Reissue just checks all the "tone boxes" for me, clean and distorted.

    Ellie Daddy 025.JPG
  17. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    I own many guitar amplifiers, and must say that they all, each in their own way, sound fantastic.
    (Or else I wouldn't own them.)

    They are much like the tools in the tool chest in my garage.
    The tools serve a purpose, enabling me to work on my cars and motorcycles.

    The amps, they serve a purpose, that being delivering my guitar sound, in proper measure to the total mix of our vocals, drums, and bass guitar sounds, to the audience.

    In my mind, there's not one set of metrics that we can all use or apply when deciding which amp sounds best. There are so many variables involved. (Size of the hall or club. Acoustics of the stage set up. Effectiveness of the monitors. Crowd feed-back and appreciation.)

    In my experience, the most important feedback I can rely upon comes from the band's drummer.
    If he can hear my guitar well enough in the mix (and thru the din), and can anchor his groove to it?
    That was a great sounding amp that evening.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
    HF1600ie likes this.
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