Which Amp should I get?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ickylick, May 19, 2018.

So many choices...

  1. Princeton Reverb

    38 vote(s)
    56.7%
  2. Vox AC15C1

    8 vote(s)
    11.9%
  3. Vox AC4HW

    2 vote(s)
    3.0%
  4. Bassbreaker 20

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Marshall Origin 20

    4 vote(s)
    6.0%
  6. Consider a Boutique Amp

    9 vote(s)
    13.4%
  7. Consider a different Fender Amp

    10 vote(s)
    14.9%
  8. Save more for a Tone King

    2 vote(s)
    3.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It would help immensely if we knew your musical preferences and style; i.e., what genres of music do you play, and are you a frontman or a rhythm player.

    The amps you name are all very worthy candidates, but each brings its own unique aresenal to the table.
     
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  2. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Allen Encore. I see them show up used on reverb for $1K (head) to $1500 (combo).
     
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  3. ickylick

    ickylick Tele-Holic

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    I play Lead more but also rhythm when there’s a need for a 2nd guitarist.
    I stated a few posts down that I play mostly classic rock but that I’m looking to build a new tone from the ground up so I’m open to suggestions.
     
  4. ickylick

    ickylick Tele-Holic

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    I actually love the sound of Tone King amps. And although I have no issues buying used guitars, I have zero experience with used tube amps, which makes me wary. Is there any basic buying guidelines I should know or inspect when buying a used tube amp?
     
  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Play a Goodsell super 17 before making up your mind. It likely will make up your mind.
     
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  6. jason.clark

    jason.clark Tele-Meister

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    For $1500, you could probably get a used Princeton Reverb AND a used AC15c1.

    Out of the amps on the survey, my choice would be the Princeton. Although Deluxe and Vibrolux aren’t out of the budget, it looks like they’re a little bigger/louder than you’re looking for. Be careful, the new amp might just put the HRD on the curb!
     
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  7. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    ickylick,

    I gigged for a couple of years with a SF Princeton, and I played in a band with two guys who had BP Princeton Reverbs. If you're building a new tone from the ground up, I would shy away from the Princeton as I found they did one thing and that's it, and look for an amp that is distinctly different.
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Left out one of the most important basic food groups: The 18w Marshall.
    In particular the more modern TMB variety, which is different from the overpriced 1974x that Marshall sells, which has a more limited range of sounds.
    While you'll find lots of boutique interpretations of the 18w TMB under the names of the builders, there are also Ceriatone and others building clones, and lots of solid hand wired kit builds that sell for surprisingly low prices compared to what boutique builders ask for slightly modded copies of vintage Marshalls.

    WRT the sound of these amps, they cover lower to medium volume clean sounds that are as killer as cleans get, up to drummer friendly crunch that generally cuts better than a DRRI, though with slightly less max volume.
    Also, if not fitted with the customary inefficient greenback speaker, they have quite a lot of usable clean volume, and very good low end compared to Fender PRRI and DRRI.
     
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  9. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  10. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    If you have a good back, I'd get the AC15, but it's quite heavy for a 15 watt amp. (47 lbs.) A Princeton reverb however, only weighs in at 34 lbs. and is more in the category of a grab-n-go at either 12, or 15 watts, and is loud enough for gigging, unless the band is very loud. You can mic it and tilt it to ear level.

    It has a good reverb, (better than the Vox), and an excellent tremolo. I've owned both, and besides the weight, the other consideration is application. For me, the AC15 has a lower threshold before breakup (so it's good for blues) than the Fender. They are both excellent choices.
     
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  11. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    What about a Supro? They're low wattage, right?
     
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  12. ickylick

    ickylick Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for the input, it's nice to hear you have experience with both amps and wow!~ I didn't realize the AC15 is so heavy for a 15w amp. I've lugged around my HRD & a Twin so I'm familiar with the pain of heavy amps, got a hand truck for that mess~ Do you prefer the tremolo of the Princeton over the Vox? How comparable is it to a Twin Reverb (it's been a while but I recall liking the Twin's Trem). I've never got to try a Princeton in person (except audio/vid clips on youtube), but I have tried an AC15.
     
  13. ickylick

    ickylick Tele-Holic

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    Several of you guys seem to suggest a Supro, they def caught my eye.. guess I'll have to go try one for myself come memorial weekend.
     
  14. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    Hi, I think they both have pretty good tremolo, although I was a little partial to the Vox.....never any problems, rich and smooth. The Fender is also very good, but once in awhile, I had oscillator problems. I mean you could some times hear it clicking in the signal. Most of the time though, it worked excellent....just a little temperamental I suppose. I've heard of TR's also sometimes having the same issues. As I said, they are both GREAT amps, but I do lean a little towards the AC15 because I like to play blues, and with my Tele, that little breakup when I hit it hard gives me the shivers....it's that good! Good luck amp shopping, it's a fun adventure.

    Oops, I forgot to mention that the AC15 is a pretty good value for the $$$
     
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  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Same as everything....caveat emptor. Gain knowledge...put your ear to things....inspect the amp....oh, and check the fuse first. From what I see when looking, people who put as much money as they do into an amp like the MKII are people who have some experience and take care of things.
    It is a good thing to know a good tech from whom to gain insight...and who can take care of your amps for you until you gain enough knowledge to do some things for yourself. Ime, a new amp needs the insight of a good tech for many people in many situations. I have had one boutique clone of a Prin Rev brought to me....sounded like there were three blankets over it. It was built the first week of last June and this was at the end of that month. There was a defective treble tone circuit cap, an improper arrangement of tubes, and a speaker that might be good for a little bass amp but useless for guitar. When it left, it was full of rich musical sound. The manufacturer paid me for the repair...the owner paid for the other work, and we made a trade on a speaker I had that brought the amp to its final status.
     
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  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    FWIW power is pretty much meaningless when it comes to loudness (or output - "volume" can be a misleading term because it's the name of a control).

    Some of your proposed choices are MUCH louder than others - for example, a good AC15 will have about the same loudness as an average Super Reverb, and an AC4 could be a perfect or terrible choice for a home amp depending on which speaker it has.

    Amp design, setup/"fine tuning" and speaker(s) (sensitivity, total cone square inches and cabinet type/construction) are far more important than power. It's nearly impossible to compare loudness levels and breakup point of amps you've never played with YOUR guitars,

    In most cases the best sound is that near the top of the amp's headroom, just below where a nudge of the guitar's volume control could push it into mild saturation. That should generally be your "target tone".

    And that's LOUD with most amps. A Champ run through a good 12" speaker, dialed up to the headroom limit is pretty darned loud; and AC15 is deafening in a small room at that level.

    For home use I'd be looking only at single power tube amps or very low gain dual El84 (or EL86) amps. Anything "bigger" (having more output/loudness) will not be able to drive the speaker(s) to full frequency response at a reasonable volume level, and the resulting sound will generally be thin.

    The same tonal guidelines hold true for gigs, where the best tone is usually obtained with the smallest amp that's practical, run near the top of its headroom - with guitar controls dialed back a bit. Then you get the full response and dynamics the amp is capable of and can drive it into mild saturation simply by nudging your guitar's volume control.

    ergo it normally requires having multiple amps if you play different types and sizes of venues.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  17. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Holic

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    You want to find your own sound, but are asking if 50 year-old technology is the way to go? You have a combination of single-coil and humbucker based guitars, also 50 year-old tech.
    Here's what you need to do. First, gather some cash. Next, work your way BACKWARDS testing from Tone King down to budget amps. Don't buy yet.

    I have a TK Sky King, and owned a Falcon for a couple of years. I sold every amp in my room after a few months with the Skyking. If you audition all the options, and choose something else, that will be your amp and your voice.
     
  18. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want a low volume Vox sound, consider a Mesa TA-15 (no longer in production; would need to find one used). Better Vox sound than the AC4s I played. Does both clean and dirty Vox, plus Fender BF, Marshall and Mesa tones. I use the clean Vox and the Mesa sounds. Has an attenuator with three settings.

    A while back I had my heart set on a Princeton. Wanted to compare a Reverb to a 68 Custom. Never found a 68 Custom to play through.

    Eventually I bought a used Vibro-Champ, the EC model with attenuator and trem. The attenuator is great--even on a little amp like a Champ. And it's a beast on full power, even at 5 watts.

    Good luck.
     
  19. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Considering I have both the Princeton and the AC15C1 how would I know. Oh, Princeton with Fenders and AC with my SG. Although the Princeton is overall more versatile.
     
  20. john_humphrey79

    john_humphrey79 TDPRI Member

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    I really love my fender bassbreaker 15 far. It came with a G12 in it and sounds really good with my pedals. Honestly though I would like at the Princeton Deluxe Reverb FSR versions with the upgraded 12 inch speakers. They sound great.
     
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