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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by homesick345, Feb 5, 2016.
Like awesome but people don't realize it
I nominate the late seventies British Burman Pro Series running four KT77s in the power section.
The 80's Hiwatt Lead amps. They take a lot of flak for not being 'real Hiwatts' but they sound sick, or at least the one I've got does. For the people who want a Fender/Marshall hybrid this might be it. The cleans are very sparkly, like a nice BF twin, but with more harmonic content, to my ear. The overdrive gain will easily make a JCM800 raise it's eyebrows. Marshally, but more clear sounding. The tonestack is extremely versatile the mid control can go from a massive mid 'scoop', to a nearly flat EQ, for example. Overall the amp is very sensitive to guitar/pickups/playstyle.
They go for about $600-900, so they're not very pricey, either.
Late 50's / early 60's Ampeg Jets or Rockets. As good as or better than tweed Deluxes, yet hundreds of dollars cheaper.
I'll list a few, and just for brevity stay in the Fender world.:
1. Late 5D3 wide-panel Deluxe. During '55 Fender changed the tube complement in 5D3's from octal preamp tubes to a 12AY7 ad 12AX7 "miniature" tube but had not yet changed to 4 inputs or a narrow-panel cabinet. Many players looking for "Tweed Deluxe" sound go for 5E3's automatically, assuming the 5D3 uses the old octal tubes and won't have enough such or drive.
To the contrary - it has a boatload of drive and a warmer, rounder sound than the usual 5E3 Deluxe. No negative feedback for a raw but very controllable sound. Sightly darker than the 5E3, it's great for smoky blues when cranked up, and the clean tones are incredible. I've found it's best played cranked up, with guitar controls rolled back (both) a bit and a light touch - then just drive the thing from guitar controls and pick attack! It really does not sound like any other Fender amp. Puts out about 12 watts and an amazingly versatile club amp.
2. Musicmaster Bass Amp. These are weird amps. There are two versions, and both became hot tickets about 15 years ago (when you could get them easily for $120) but then seemed to fade away. There is a 6V6 version and 6AQ5 version (an output tube more common to Gibson). Oddly, for a budget amp, Fender used a transformer-coupled phase inverter! The 2 versions actually sound quite similar (the 6AQ5 being very close in performance to the 6V6)
Rumors started that the 6AQ5 amps were prone to overheating, which then spread to the 6V6 version, and kind of killed off desirability (although prices haven't dropped much from their high point. I've had 3 of each and NEVER had a heat issue.
The stock speaker is awful! Almost ANYTHING is am improvement, although I personally like Celestial Creambacks or the similar Warehouse Speakers ET-65.
And it's a guitar amp. Terrible for bass. BUT - with a few component upgrades/changes and careful voicing, it's about as close as you can get to a tweed deluxe between a 5D3 and 5E5 for a few hundred bucks (especially with a VINTAGE Jensen - not those Italian wannabees.! I I did not have so many small amps I'd be hunting for one.
3. The '62 Concert. OMG. This (and baby brother the '62 Princeton) have, IMO, the BEST clean tone of any Fender amp...check that, ANY amp...ever. The REAL vibrato is to die for, with real pitch variation. You don't even WANT to use reverb with one; the solid cabinet and 4 10" oxfords sound incredible and add a nice resonance.
4. '62 Princeton. See above and downsize it. A friend uses one as his primary PEDAL STEEL amp!
5. The Holland Little Jimi. This is the star of the show. Fender 3-knob tube reverb built in, 2x10 or 1x12, 35 or 50 watts. Fenders cleans at low volume, with early breakup that does into the smooth, warm, buttery OD reminiscent of Larry Carleton's Dumble sound or a REALLY good vintage AC30 Top Boost. Mike is back in production after having his company snaked out from under him. His amps have ALWAYS been undervalued by a huge amount (I stuck an Eminence Reignmaker variable speaker in it and can use it anywhere). And they seem to sell for about the price of a reissue DR! All hand-wired and built like a tank.
Mike knows some people had problems with the administrative end - amp parts disappearing, long delays, and wants to rectify ANY old problems - so if you contact him if you had a problem, explain (nicely) what happened and what you needed, he's going to try to set everything straight.
I've never heard of anything like it.
But the big thing - his amps are ALL stunning. Bad Company was using one on their 2008 tour, and they have ben found in studios all over. The rarest (I think ) is the Bishop, which has a separate chamber with a 10" speaker at the bottom of the cab, aNd a different output circuit that puts nothing but reverb through the 10! The description sounds weird - but the amp sure as hell doesn't.
By and FAR the Gorrilla GG20 also known as my first amp.
I mean, look at it. LOOK AT IT, DAMMIT!!! That is 20 sizzling watts of pure animalistic power!
Crate V50 or Sessionette 75 - you can pick both up for peanuts and they are both killer amps.
Maybe not the "most underrated ever" but for the fact it's totally unknown and incredibly cheap when you can find one:
Nope..not hand wired, no master volume, no frills either, just 50W, el34 pair and a pair of 12ax7a's and it was made in the US too.
Imaging a 1987x without compression and you'll be pretty close to how this sucker sounds. It does need no be fairly loud to "get there" but when paired with a decent paf type bucker it goes into full throttle British crunch time machine mode. It takes up quite a bit of space in my little studio room too....but I'm glad I haven't sold it. One hell of a half stack for $400 total w/matching cab.
Second gen Crate Vintage Club models. Black tolex, standby switch. I'm most fond of the 5212. A 50 watt 2X12 combo. Really heavy, but a seriously great amp.
You can't get a better clean or dirty for $200, which is usually about all these go for.
That's a fantastic amp. Just utterly FANTASTIC.
A lot of Traynor's don't get the love they deserve.
Sound City amps used to get more hate than any other a couple of decades back, though now they get a little more respect, sort of.
I had a 40w Concord and now have an 80w Concord, both with reverb, great singing cleans, partridge transformers, mil spec Hiwatt style wiring.
Original late 60's Ampeg Reverberocket 2. 18 watts of pure musical bliss powered by cathode biased 7591's. The more I play this amp the sweeter it sounds.
Best tremolo and reverb on the planet.
Used amps normally available in EBay priced a fraction of the same vintage Deluxe Reverb. Don't pass it up!
Oh man, I feel less alone in the world knowing someone else is familiar with the V-50h!
Come to think of it, I think it was made by the same company who made/designed the early vintage club series too! (St. Louis Music Co.)
First generation Dr.Z Mini Z
Fender Excelsior Pro
Another vote for the Fender Prosonic.
Let me figure out what I should sell off and get back to this.