Which amp shall I get

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by hamfists, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    I have a difficult decision to make. I am thinking of down grading my amp. I have a tone king falcon which I love but it’s a lot of amp for me as I’m only a home player and only really use it on the rhythm voice which is based on a blackface tone. I only really need the amp to take my pedals as I get all my gain from pedals and I use a strymon flint for reverb and tremolo.
    On the list are

    Blues junior (think it will be to bright for me)

    Fender excelsior (had before and loved it)

    Orange rocker 15 (not really my type of amp but open to try it)

    Build myself a custom 5 watt blackface champ head and cab (quite a bit of work but I’m willing to do it)

    Any other suggestions would be good

    I do like a decent sized speaker and it has to be a tube amp. I play mostly blues and rock.

    Any help would be great.
     
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  2. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Princeton non reverb....hands down IMHO
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    "Champ-like" or SF Champ
     
  4. Gibsonsmu

    Gibsonsmu Tele-Holic

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    I'd do a champ with a 10" speaker
     
  5. TeleAnthony

    TeleAnthony Tele-Meister

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    Have you tried the Ibanez TSA15. It is available as a combo and head/cabinet. It is one I am considering as my HRDLX is not practical for me anymore. Home player, jams, etc., no gigs.
     
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  6. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    Any silver face Fender tube amp - just cant go wrong and strangely enough can be had for way less than reissues!
     
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  7. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure how helpful this will be but, FWIW, I'd recommend trying some of them before you commit. I'm based in East Anglia and can recommend a visit to Peach - on the outskirts of Colchester. They've sell Fender, Orange and Tone King - as well as many others you may / may not have tried or considered. Obviously, there are numerous other retailers within easy striking distance of Cambridge.

    If this is going to be your one and only amp, isn't it worth a bit of hands-on research?
     
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  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    ,Just my opinion, but unless the goal is to sell the Tone King and buy a less expensive amp for financial reasons, you have an ideal amp. You can’t get much smaller.....it would take a 1.2watt amp to reduce the voltage by half through the same speaker. You have an attenuator in that amp so that you can run the amp at any volume you like, correct? Ime, you have a superior amp that yields sonic qualities that will be hard to match with a less expensive amp....or even more expensive amps.
    That said, if we were closer, I would do my best to trade you out of that Falcon if I had any of those lesser amps you list....none of which can compare, imho and ime. Mark Bartel’s designs work very well, ime.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  9. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Try a bunch of amps before you sell the tone king. If something smaller or simpler or "lesser" really inspires you, maybe it's worth the trade off.

    Pedals sound different through different amps. So there's a decent chance that whatever new amp you get might not sound as good with your current drive pedals. And then you're on the hunt again for dirt boxes. And that search can last years and cost lots of money (I know from experience).

    I would also suggest buying the "lesser" amp first. Bring it home. Compare it to the tone king side by side in your space. The room can make a lot of difference in the sound of an amp.
     
    hamfists likes this.
  10. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Holic

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    I have a Falcon, as well as a Sky King. I love both. If you trade the Falcon for a Princeton non-reverb (great amp), you'll find that all you've done is lost the attenuator, voicing options, ultralinear mode, and build quality...in other words, I'd hate for you to be too hasty.

    It could be a speaker issue... I have a Falcon (10"), Sky King (12") and Delta Blues (15"). The Sky King has the Falcon built in (ultralinear), but the 12" speaker makes it fuller and more detailed...more "bloom," if that makes sense. That said, I play the Falcon just as often, because it's...tight. In your face. And it really helps to elevate or tilt the amp to focus it to your ears.

    Maybe try some cabs out with different configurations (2x12) before selling the amp. The amp speakers you listed above are 12, 15 and 10, respectively. Maybe that's more the issue...ideal speaker size.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure why you want to downgrade from your 12w amp.

    IME cheap amps are disappointing when compared to a really good amp, which you have.
    And while I like my old Kendrick 5f1 Champ, it gets tiresome for me to have as the only amp I play, which I did for a while and stopped. A great sound but...
    Aside from maybe finding a nice old BF or SF Fender amp for your chosen sound, and getting it serviced, I can't suggest any of your options as being good IMO.

    If you really need the funds, then an Excelsior is cheap enough and you already know you like them. But how much time did you spend with only that amp, and why did you move on?
    IME there have been amps I liked more when I only played them a little bit, and they gradually got less and less attractive as I found their weaknesses.

    Blues Jr I like in the store and get sick of fast at home.
    Many amps sound pretty good until compared to a great amp.
     
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  12. Serenity23

    Serenity23 Tele-Holic

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    Kinda answered your own question. I get that trying new amps is fun, but it could be a long and expensive road. If you've already found something you love, i'd go with that.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    IF I had seven Excelsiors, I would trade them even for that Tone King.
     
  14. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    OK, let's recap.
    You have an amp you love.
    You get your drive tones from pedals, and you've got a rig that gets you what you need, there.
    So, you're really happy with what you've got.

    You then list possible replacement amps, 2 of which you already believe won't be the best solution for you.

    My recommendation...
    ...turn off your computer/phone and stop listening to the "voices" telling you about their latest, greatest tone discovery.
    Go plug into your wonderful Tone King Falcon and enjoy it.

    Unless you have pressing financial needs, down-grading to any of the amps you've listed makes no sense to me.

    And if you really want to build yourself another amp, by all means, do that.
    Just don't sell the Falcon before you finish it.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I can more easily understand having had great guitars and selling them off to end up with just a Squier or Epiphone.
    I don't know anyone who owned truly great amps and sold them off to end up with just a Blues Jr or Excelsior.
    I know some players get rid of their vintage PR/ DR/ TR amps and use PRRI/ DRRI TRRI instead, but those "cheapies" are $1000 or more, so while some of us consider that a downgrade, it's not that far down. More aside than down.
    Going to a B Jr or Excelsior from a Tone King?
    These old ears can only help us out just so much.
     
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  16. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the replies. My main motivation is freeing up some funds to get a strat as I can get a second hand blues junior and classic player strat for less than the falcon. The falcon is an amazing amp and if I sold it I think I would regret it pretty quickly but wondering if anything more affordable would come close.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hey here's a thought!
    Bring your Falcon over to @Jakedog 's place and maybe he has something you'd trade for!
    Poor guy still can't find the amp he loves (or loves now) after decades of touring.
    Being totally happy with the amp you already have?
    Great fortune!
    Maybe it's time for a change?

    .......?
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ....For a Strat?
    Dime a dozen!
    Great amp?
    Out of 20, I've got X number of great amps where X equals zero.

    OK maybe four are really good, but none are the one.
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Re: The Blues Jr, there seems to be three camps.
    Love them.
    Hate them.
    Put endless mods into them and eventually love them, at which point they're almost a Tone King.

    OTOH nobody hates the Peavey Bandit or spends big bucks trying to make it sound good.
     
  20. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

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    Keep the Tone King. I’m a home player(if you can call it that) and have gone through a few amps. Having a quality amp like you have might be missed if you try something a little less than what you have. I know I’ve gone from 5 watt Champ on up then back down. I seem to return to a Fender in the 10-15 watt range(I like both flavors)and have a Champ for a back up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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