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Why is there little respect for the Rivera era Fender's??

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Bill Beck, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. Mik

    Mik Tele-Afflicted

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    I spent some time this w/e with my 112 Concert

    Briefly: it's a good amp. It's not a POS, the clean channel isn't all that loud and the amp favors (impedance matching issue?) higher output pick ups and active pick ups. The Lead channel is fun, can rip pretty loud and doesn't "suck". Tweak, adjust, good tone can be dialed in.

    I've been running 7581A power tubes, for kicks I ran some cheap Chinese 6L6GC STR's-and I like the tone!-less headroom, actually got a little break up on the clean channel with a 52RI.

    Effects loop works fine, long tank reverb sounds good, all tube.

    It's not a blackface Fender etc., it's a high gain amp-that is, I mean it's Lead channel oriented, I had fun running an EMG/Gilmour hardtail Strat clean and lead, hit with the midboost and all...not a popular set up around here...there are many better amp choices for trad Fender guitars and sound (I have other amps for trad Fender sound), so what, the Concert's a good amp when correctly applied (musically that is, not as a doorstop, boat anchor, landfill...)

    Mik
     
  2. BrianF

    BrianF Friend of Leo's

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    modern amps vs. vintage style

    That's my point I guess.....comparing the Rivera amps to the black-silverfaces...they fall short in terms of pure tone. For those guitarists that are more enamored with multi-effects etc...the concept of pure tone of a classic tube amp becomes less and less relevant. What's the point of a simple classic tube amp, when you precede it (or in an effects loop) with a pedal board or rack full of tone-sucking solid-state devices. It all depends on what kind of music or playing style your into. Everything is relative ....
     
  3. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    On the one hand, it is a shame that Fender seemed to lose something while gaining something else. On the other, all companies progress. Nowadays, Fender is producing amps similar to tweed, blackface, and Rivera style circuts. If it hadn't been Rivera's designs that ended the original production of the classic amps that so many of us love, it would have been something else.

    Things happen in cycles though. Now we're getting reissues of the amps that we like from yesteryear, and we've got things like the Twin Amp, with Riveraesque dirt channels.

    Personally I always liked what a guy named Randall Smith did with the Fender designs in a little shack in the woods of California. But then, I just put money down on a .50 Cal Boogie, so I may be biased. Still, The closest thing to the "best of both worlds" amp I"ve ever had was a Boogie Studio .22. I maintain to this day that the Studio, along with a greeback someone had added before I took posession, was one of the top 3 clean sounds I've ever heard.
     
  4. Mike Better

    Mike Better Tele-Meister

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    Just to get the other side of the coin, I don't like the sound of Mesa amps, I don't like the construction of them, and I don't like Randall Smith's business practices.

    Mike
     
  5. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    Feel free to elaborate. I won't feel attacked, I'm just curious.

    As far as construction goes, I know of a Dual Recto that's survived for years of touring abuse without skipping a beat - and when I say abuse, I'm talking about living in a van during summers and winters, sitting on snowy Canadian-winter sidewalks waiting to get loaded into said van, and getting jarred around through every club in North America.

    The sounds? Well, I don't usually care for the popular concept of Mesa sounds. The modern hot-humbucker-through-recto sound is far from my cup of tea. So if that's what you're referring to, I couldn't agree more. I prefer a decent older model 1x12 combo EQd for a little more midrange that usual. I find that helps put them about midway between Fender and Marshall sounds.

    I am definantly curious about any gripes with the business practics however.
     
  6. Mike Better

    Mike Better Tele-Meister

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    I'm no amp maker or amp tech, so I should probably let someone else elaborate, but most, if not all, amp techs I know consider the whole mesa brand tube thing a big scam. Not to mention his own brand of patent warfare, i.e. patenting things invented 70 years ago by other people. Someone else can prolly fill in the gaps, maybe Big Cookie, or Mark Norwine if he's still around.

    Mike
     
  7. Tremo

    Tremo Banned

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    A friend of mine has a Mesa Studio 22. IMO it sounds like dog poop. The clean channel is dead, dull and lifeless. Just like the Rivera-era concert. The Mesa's buzz channel is very harsh and muddy. IMO, it's a POS. If you like Mesas, more power to ya. I wouldn't be caught dead with one. Of course, I'm not a gain player.

    If I still had my 2x10 Concert, I'd probably gut it and build in a tweed circuit. I have no use for FX loops, too many needless bells and whistle toys, gets in the way of serious tone and playing. If you want a zillion sounds and effects, you might as well buy a Cyborg Twin, which is also a POS, IMO.
     
  8. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not too worried about it. I'm 100% sure that any Studio .22 that sounds lifeless and/or buzzy has some problems. Mine was far from either. The clean channel was clear and bouncy, not unlike a DR, though the EL84s and various circut differences gave it a slightly different voicing.

    The tube thing has always amused me. Randall Smith wrote a couple of articles on it, and his logic is sound, but assumes that people want to keep things simple rather than expiriment with tubes. Unfortunately, some of his amp designs could use a little mixup in tubes for best tone, so any Mesa I get will recieve an adjustable bias mod quickly. In fact, the reason I got rid of my .22 was that the drive channel had a very bright overtone that didn't seem to want to go away. Nowadays, I know enough to try some different tubes (maybe JJs) to tame that a bit, and I'm not so afraid of extreme EQ settings.

    Buying used, the warranty issue with Mesa tubes is moot. I actually haven't heard a Mesa amp made after they started their recto phase that I'd give more than a 6 out of 10. I will also admit to finding the idea of the Road Kind a little offensive, as it's completely out of the price range of most players, and is being marketed as a mainstream must-have amp for all rock artists.

    Still, I've seen much worse from other companies such as Gibson, and Mojave AmpWorks. Sometimes I get a little irritated that there are so few companies making affordable products that seem to care about business and personal ethics.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Here's my test

    Well, for what it's worth, I've got a Princeton Reverb, a 59 Princeton, and a Super Champ.

    I can adjust the Super Champ to sound the same or better than the Princeton Reverb's clean-to-overdriven sound.

    I can then crank up the gain and pull the mid-boost on the Super Champ to sound very much like the 59 Princeton turned up.

    So for me, the Super Champ covers the classic, small-amp Fender sounds from clean to dirty.
     
  10. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I have the 1x12 concert, with a weber Cali 12 in it. It
    sounds ok, it's very loud/clean, and it has PTP which makes
    it easy to work on. If you want something darker than the
    classic blackface sound, but not loose and spongy like
    tweeed, you can get it., but it's never as "lively' as agood
    amp should be. It sounds better with hummers than with
    single coils. The drive channel...well, I never could get
    much decent from that. I used to regularly play it, playing
    jazz/r+b stuff, and think it sounded ok. Then i'd plug in a
    princteon reverb and a big smile would come across my
    face
     
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