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Your Favorite Off-Brand Amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Dan R, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I've only ever seen one Elk amp in the UK - a sort of Showman copy with a separate 2x12 cabinet. This was around 1971/2. I bought it, used it fairly happily for a while, then sold it on. Never seen another in this country or indeed anywhere else.
     
  2. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a '52 Silvertone "Champ" amp. It has a jazz guitar silk screened on the grill. I have a Weber 8" sig. speaker in it and it rocks, especially with a lap steel.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I can't quite get with the idea that Hiwatt is an "off brand", but I guess you have to draw the line somewhere.

    The Harry Joyce built Hiwatt clones are at the top of my list of favorite off brands, and some of the Sound City amps, like the 40w and 80w Concord are pretty killer.

    Maybe boutique amps kind of miss the "brand name"-ness of off brand.

    Vintage Park amps are killer, and sort of qualify as off brand.
    Supro Valco are favorites, and the DeArmond amps made for CF Martin are also amazing and arguably better than their competition at the time.
     
  4. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a big fan of the James Brown designed Kustom tube amps. Whether American made like the Coupes, or Chinese like the Defender line, I've liked the better than Fender.
     
  5. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been playing a tube Standel amp for about 20 years now. 25 watts, two 6V6s/three 12AX7s into a 15" speaker. It's pretty darned cool and a real conversation starter.

    A friend just brought home an old Guild Thunder 1 Reverb that just knocked me out... it's about 15 watts, has a two-toned grille cloth and has a 12" Jensen speaker for the main sound, and a separate 8" speaker just for the reverb. It's pretty trippy to hear in person, though I have no idea how the typical club soundguy would mic it. :D
     
  6. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I've owned a couple of excellent Roland amps - Blues Cube 60 and a Cube 60. And I have a Rocktron Replitone 2x12 that I love.
     
  7. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    Sound City.

    I owned a 120 and a Bass 150. The 120 was extremely loud through a cabinet with two D130s. I used it for bass through a couple of D140s. Great British tone without sounding like a Marshall, Vox or Watkins. Being voiced for guitar I had to back off the presence a bit. The Bass 150 was the best sounding tube-powered bass head I ever owned and totally trouble free. I didn't like their speaker cabinets because the composition board in them was flimsy.

    The original Hiwatt amps the Who used were really modded Sound City amps.
     
  8. pasquale

    pasquale Tele-Meister

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    Pretty much any early 60's Gretsch amp is a killer. I love my Country Gent 6160 2x6L6 with one of the most clever tremolos ever.
     
  9. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    The best least well known for me is my kalamazoo 1. Would love to find a model 2 with reverb someday. Probably very much like an old supro. That 'zoo 1 is a killer small tube amp. Just a pure insane overdrive monster. I also have a little silvertone XL10 that is a very nice amp but not much overdrive out of it. Its a surprisingly well built, clean, stout little amp.
    More well known but not on the A list is my crate V30 and my peavey classic 50-410. Outstanding tube amps of very high quality. Started looking for a fender hot rod but using my ears I ended up with these instead. My wallet thanked me as well. I actually have an extreme dislike of the hotrods after using mine and seeing other peoples problems with the fender series.
    I also have a 50 watt randall SS guitar hear that is atrocious for guitar. But is shockingly great sounding for bass.

    Top winner for usability is that little Vox DA-5. Its the leatherman of amps. It does everything well enough and its small enough to always be handy when you need it. It blues, it rocks , it metals, it jazzez it will PA at the same time. Slices, dices and even auto wahs. With it around sometimes I don't bother turning on a tube amp for weeks.
     
  10. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    And if I could justify spending the bucks I'd think real hard about a Matchless, if by off-brand you mean "really high end."
     
  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'll join in on the Garnet bandwagon.
    Both of mine sounded great, and never faltered!
     
  12. Deckard

    Deckard Tele-Afflicted

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    Traynor and Garnet are both stellar
     
  13. gatorfiend

    gatorfiend Tele-Meister

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    My amp tech buddy has a Sound amp that sounds amazing. The company was started by a guy that worked for Ampeg and it showed in his amps. He actually sent me something yesterday on them where someone described them as a cross between an Ampeg and a Fender. Two Jensens in the amp but built vertically rather than the speakers being side by side. Great amp.
    Once I got my Gemini I thinned things a bit and sold a nice Danelectro DM-1o, that now I wish I'd have held onto, that was a sweet little 6 watt amp.
     
  14. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    When I was in high school DOD effects pedals built amps for about 2 years. I purchased a 60 watt G112 model and have had it ever since. It's solid state, and has built in grunge distortion. It's great for bedroom playing along to rock, and has served as a practice amp for vocalists in bands I've played in. I know it's not tube, and probably not the hottest thing on the block but it gets good rock tones and I've never heard anyone reference one of them on this forum. I never use it to gig but since I've never really seen or heard of one anywhere else I'm holding on to it. No reason not to.
     
  15. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    I often miss my 100watt Simms Watts stack I had as a kid in the 70's. Loud and with the lovely aroma of hot valves.

    Blackstar seems to be gaining ground, and I've liked the ones I have played.
     
  16. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    And then there were the usually cheap Bogen and Knight-Kit PA heads. Got every one of mine for less than $50.00, that is, until the ebay speculators glommed on to them.
     
  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For me, Gibson amps up until about the early 1960s. I also love BF Fenders but I feel like the old Gibsons are overlooked. Maybe they were inconsistent in quality or something.

    I own two. A Lancer (supposedly close to a 5d3 I think it is) and a GA-30 from 1949! Great. Warm, lively cleans and excellent grind. The GA-30 had 1 mic and 3 guitar inputs. I only ever plugged into the mic input anyway, so I added trem to the amp, using the 3 guitar inputs to house the two trem knobs and the trem input. Magic.
     
  18. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

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    Univox....I had 2 of these heads and they were nice.

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  19. Newt522

    Newt522 TDPRI Member

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    Silvertone Twin Twelve with the blue Jensens.
     
  20. Mgeek

    Mgeek TDPRI Member

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    Got a great little Japanese Acetone tube amp. It's probably about three watts, not very loud at all, and to most guitarists would probably suck. Ie it doesnt really distort in a nice way and sounds tinny.

    BUT... There is inbuilt trem and a reverb with a TINY, pencil sized reverb tank which have a really cool character, unlike anything I've heard elsewhere
     
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