Which tube amp(s) for headroom w a *bit* of hair?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by corbo, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 for a vox ac type of amp.
    « Hair » often comes with running out of headroom, but some amps like Voc AC’s seem to always have a bit of hair to their tone, even at lower volume. It must be an EQ thing.
    One with a master volume (or power scaling like on Morgan amps) would give you all the flexibility volume-wise to keep your hair consistent.
     
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  2. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    vibrolux reverb. probably the best amp ever made for that descripiton. only slightly louder than a deluxe reverb.
     
  3. NBS2005

    NBS2005 TDPRI Member

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    They are not cheap, but the Mesa Boogie Cali Tweed in head or cab would do everything you want. Power settings of 2, 10, 20, 30, and 40 watts depending on what tubes get used and how.

    I've had mine for a few months. I play it all the time; at home and at jams. My pedals (a TS clone, a delay, a Joyo AM sound) are not getting used at all. Not gigging with it yet, but I'm sure it would handle whatever I could throw at it.

    Again, not cheap, but for me oh so worth it.
     
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  4. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Marshall Origin 50

    Plenty of headroom, especially with 3 way attenuator (50/20/1 watts)

    Classic Marshall without crazy gain. Has a boost switch and master volume, but really only gives you a fair amount of hair. Works good with pedals too.

    It's a solid rig I believe. On sale too right now.
     
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  5. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    One amp that has served me really well is a Marshall DSL40C. It will do passable "country cleans" with the guitar volume rolled down, and will get as much dirt as you want or generally need. Some players will want or need more gain on hand, but I've found that with the gain at 9 O'clock, less than 1/3 of what the amp has, I have enough gain to play anything on a classic rock playlist -

    All of the usual disclaimers here - YMMV, do not use this advice before operating heavy machinery etc.
     
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  6. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    5E7 Tweed Bandmaster or 5F4 Tweed Super with the 5E7 local negative feedback value. They're the same amp. That resistor and the number of speakers are the only things that separate them.

     
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  7. Condor84

    Condor84 TDPRI Member

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    Also, I forgot to mention that I'm running my Alamo Montclair without any global negative feedback, so I'm able to push it a little more. With it intact, the amp runs clean, right untill 11 on the Volume knob. Simple modification to make without screwing with anything. Also, it's cathode biased as stock, so it's super easy to maintain.


    But after seeing the Marshall origin 50 that another poster mentioned, then seeing the price, I'm super interested in one, and I haven't thought about having a Marshall again in like, the last 12 years or so. I wonder if I could sell my Altec-Lansing tube head that I was thinking of converting for one instead...
     
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  8. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Given that description, I agree with some others here on Vox amps. I tend to like moderately loud amps, and I would go for an AC30. They are loud but not silverface twin reverb loud. Great cleans and dirt. But of course they vary wildly from old ones to newer ones. You should probably approach Vox AC30/AC15 amps like approaching acoustic guitars. You'll know when you find the right one. They definitely are not all equal. But a good Vox will do very nice hairy and creamy and really nice cleans.
     
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  9. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Tele-Meister

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    I absolutely love my custom Vibrolux reverb for exactly that kind of playing and getting the best part of the Twin Reverb sound - with slight differences - but lighter and not as loud.
     
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  10. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Classic 30, blues deluxe, supersonic 22, blackstars...loads of options, really. A two channel design with clean and gain channels should get you what you’re after, depending on the flavor a dB level you need.
     
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  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I keep seeing this show up in the youtube sidebar, which might be of use to you. Maybe since I clicked it, it will finally go away.

    Fender vs Vox vs Marshall: What's the Difference?
     
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  12. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Vox AC15

    Or for something big, an early silverface Fender Bassman Ten with the master volume
     
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  13. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Meister

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    Dr. Z

    Just look. You’ll find something.
     
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  14. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Add to the above your budget. Without these, all of our suggestion are random noise.

    Having said that, another satisfied MESA California Tweed owner. Everything NSB said, except I still use pedals on occasion. Texas Special comes to mind, too. Or, if you can find one, one of the Express series might suit as well.

    OTOH, I’ve been able to fill a small space with clean and hair sounds with an Epiphone Valve Jr. head through an Avatar 2X12 cabinet. Not super loud, but it was adequate to purpose on specific occasions. It all depends on the spaces you’re trying to fill most of the time.
     
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  15. corbo

    corbo TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Budget is, ideally, around 1500, but 2k max.
     
  16. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    Clean jazzy chords, a base for drive/chorus… I think the Vibrolux suggestions are spot on if you play mostly clean. 35 watts is a LOT of sound. For me a Deluxe is enough, but then I'm biased.
     
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  17. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Smooth distortion is a bell shaped curve.

    You'll get distortion and grit accompanying relatively low gain. More gain results in more grit up to a point. Beyond that it smooths out. Then we get into interesting phenomena such as acoustic feedback and note bloom.

    Lotta folks think you can get away with sloppy playing with overdrive. Not true! You need to play super clean because more gain amplifies everything, every little noise, every click, every finger squeak.

    I like to watch Sonny Landreth as much as I like to listen to him. He's from down South where they play loud. H.R. Geiger I mean H.A. Dumble likes Sonny, too. So Dumble built Sonny a Dumble.

    Sonny generally uses an overdrive tone that sounds like it's going to eat him if he doesn't keep it on a tight leash. He's a total master of his instrument. He's so in control.

     
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  18. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Reverb has California Tweeds (1x12 combo) new starting at ~$1700, new. Sweetwater at $1900. Other recommendations here are under that, but few can have decent gigging volume and bedroom quiet in the same amp.
     
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  19. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Oops, duplicate post.
     
  20. miotch

    miotch NEW MEMBER!

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    Just got a Budda SD18 and "headroom with a bit of hair" is a great description for the clean channel.

    I also looked closely at the custom Vibrolux Reverb and loved it. It had more clean headroom than I expected, to be honest. And maybe not enough hair at the volumes I play through these days. But heck, I use pedals too, so I can always get close to what I need.
     
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