Looking for an amp…

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    • #1596

      Bonjour tout le monde!

      I’m thinking about amps.  I have a couple low watt tube amps (Montgomery Ward and Ampeg) that will be coming my way soon.  I have a Marshall GR15 CD solid state that I love too.  But I’m thinking abut something a little bit bigger and a little more versatile.

      Wish list:

      • Combo
      • 20w or less
      • 10″ or smaller speakers (a pair if possible)
      • Completely solid state or with a tube pre-amp (hoping to save weight)
      • two channel switchable.
      • Balanced (xlr) line out
      • effects send & receive for both channels (if poss)

      Does anyone think such a beast exists?


    • #1607


      I’m a tube guy, tried the others, returned to the tube……THE HOT amp right now is the Supro Keeley modified, 800 bucks US, you have to order and wait, everything you’re asking for except the XLR out, master volume as well……if that doesn’t float it, tweed deluxe and turn it up

    • #1612

      Thanks Rich.

      I’ve been in love with Steve Stills’s tone from the CSN tour of 1994.  Tele through a 4×10 Deluxe. Fat, rich tone with the perfect amount of break-up when pushed.

      But I need something smaller and more sonically versatile for gigging.

      I’ve learned in my travels that power conditioning helps solid state tone.  A high quality transformer will take away a lot of the coldness of solid state tone.

      I might end up with a Line 6 Pod and a small ‘personal monitor’ but I was hoping for a proper amp.  🙂

      May have to ask the local guy to build me something!


    • #1614

      I think Steven was using a 4×10 Bassman, a 59 I remember, Check out the youtube demos on the Supro, I’m saving all my change for one

    • #1615


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #1621


      Premier Guitar does a video series posted on YouTube of gig rigs.  Every touring guitar and bass player they can find from Alex Lifeson to Ben Fogerty (John’s son on tour with him).  The info is endless and the variety of solutions to sound and logistical issues is endless.  Cool guitars too like Eric Johnson’s signature Fender Thinline Strat!

      I am not a gear head, but I like looking at how gear heads manage their sound.  It gives me ideas for managing mine with as little fuss and as little gear as possible.



    • #1662

      OK so I grabbed a Marshall MG30CFX off Reverb for a reasonable amount of euros.  I based my decision largely on my experience with the older, more analog, GR15CD.  I’ve spent about 6 hours with the new amp and put several different instruments through it.  Here are my thoughts.

      2.5 out of 5 stars/picks

      – Squier Telecaster (stacked humbucker in the neck pocket)
      – JBovier EMC-5 solid body 5 string emando
      -Arrow G5 5 string hollow body emando made by Paul Lestock with a Kent Armstrong pickup

      – Origin Effects Slide Rig (dual preamp/compressor)

      The amp has 4 channels.  Each channel has a gain stage and a volume stage separate from the Master volume
      There’s on board reverb plus 5 other effects chorus, phase, flange, delay, and octave.
      Two 3.5mm jacks: one for audio in, one for headphone out (emulated amp signal).
      One footswitch jack
      One input jack
      Button: channel switch between clean and crunch
      Button: channel switch between OD1 and OD2
      Button: tap tempo for delay/switch between preset mode and live settings mode
      Button: Store (save setting to preset mode)
      Knobs: Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, Reverb, Volume (relative to gain), effects, Master volume

      On the surface this looks brilliant.  But as it happens, unless you’re a fairly simple minded metal head you’ve got work to do to get decent tone, and you’ll need to add some signal enhancement to get good tone.

      The clean channel is very good.  It’s certainly very clean.  You can almost get a bit of overdrive if you crank both the gain and the channel volume ALL THE WAY UP.  I suspect we’re overdriving the power amp here rather than the pre-amp because turning down the Master volume kills the growl.
      Upside: Loads of headroom for signal path effects.
      Downside: no subtle dirt ala Ry Cooder

      The Crunch channel is crunchy.  Hard to clean it up, looking for that ‘just ever so slightly overdriven’ sound if pushed.  Gain all the way down to one little tiny notch this side of too low, Channel volume all the way up.  Serviceable in a pinch.

      Do the same for OD1 and you get good overdrive without being stupid.

      Forget OD2 entirely.  Not worth your time unless you’re in Sepultura.

      There are actually two types of reverb to choose from.  And here Marshall did something well.  You can use spring reverb or plate reverb.  My current favourite is just a touch of plate.

      The effects are meh.  If you’re a beginner, they’ll give you a good idea of what they are and how they sound.  But the quality lacks a bit.  For example, the octave has a bit of latency and the chorus is not subtle enough.  Pedals are better.  But I did not buy this amp for the effects.

      Being able to store your channel settings is really handy.  It makes the amp useful to me.  I can set the gain controls where they need to be in clean and crunch, and then switch back and forth as I wish.  No need to fiddle the knobs to find that one spot on the gain knob where it engages, but not too much.

      My beef is that this amp’s channels are too predefined.  There’s little room for finding your own tone.  The GR15CD is a superior amp in this respect.  You can dial in as much or as little overdrive as you like, though you’ll never get into the metal zone.

      Fortunately for me, I have a Slide Rig.  (It cost more than the amp!)  So I can use the Clean channel to get a bit dirty and the Crunch channel for proper distortion.

      The 3.5mm jacks are a bit touchy.  You gotta wiggle them to get them to connect properly.  So using the headphone out as a line out is not really an option.

      To make it more useful as a gigging amp, I’ll have to have a line out installed.  (To hell with the headphone jack.  Vox make an AC30 headphone specific amplifier that destroys this Marshall.  I own one, and I’ll keep using it.)

      Daniel (still looking really)


    • #1665

      Nice review Daniel,   I want one of those Marshalls so bad, but I’ve got to have tubes……look at the new Keeley Supro….when I get some coin……

    • #1666

      Thanks Rich!

      I think the Vox amps of the same variety have the tube preamp stage.  And this is really what you want for tone.

      Or you could buy one of the Mesa/Boogie V twin pre-amp foot pedals (12AX7’s I think) and put it between the guitar and the amp.

      My SlideRig is solid state, but it’s designed to to emulate the UA Audio 1176 compressor/preamps that Lowell George used for his slide playing.  So tone for days.

      I’m going with solid state for weight.  Can’t fathom hauling around a tube amp (head & cab or combo).  I need a quick set-up and take down with two trips to the car, no more.



    • #2066


      I just got an HBE (Home Brew electronics) Big D pedal, kind of a very cool Dumble clone, best sounding overdrive I’ve ever used and there have been a pile of them, also just added a ARCNE PAF in the neck on my Tele, it’s like somebody took a sock off of it.

    • #2273

      Ok – lemme bring this thread back for a moment –

      I have a Mesa Subway Blues amp – its pretty nice for an electric guitar amp, but I’m not enjoying it with an acoustic in it. I also have the Schertler, which is a great super clean amp, but I’m thinking about a Fender Blues Jr – seems like it might be in that middle spot, where it’d do a good job as a clean amp, but also be able to get some drive out of it with an electric – all without being crazy heavy or too loud for most small gigs –


      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #2274

      Doc Watson toured with a Fender Twin.

      Tad, if you go with an amp designed for electric guitar, get one with a lot of headroom (power before the signal starts to break -up because a stage of the amp is being overdriven).  The signal from a pickup designed to amplify an acoustic instrument is generally broader than an the signal from an electro-magnetic pickup.  The extra power keeps things cleaner.

      I use a DI box or an Orchid Electronics pre-amp and go straight to the board when I’m gigging acoustics, especially if it’s my octave mandolin or an acoustic guitar.  Easier to let the sound guy manage it than tweak things on stage.

      One of the reasons I’ve gone to electro-magnetic pickups and an amp for my mandolin playing is the fact that most sound guys here in France have zero idea what a mandolin should sound like.   Having my own gear allows me to be in control of the sound.

      Is that something you need?



    • #2275

      Tad. I will agree with the Fender Blues Jr. as a great multi purpose Acoustic/elec amp.  Stop by any time to sample mine…   Honey Boy Edwards toured with one.

    • #2285
      Old 97

      I have plenty of amps. My favorites are Fenders, especially Tweed Deluxe, Deluxe Reverb, and Princeton Reverb. Vintage or reissues, they are all wonderful. Every festival I go to has black Face Deluxe Reverbs.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Old 97.
    • #2291

      I’ve looked at a number of Fenders, and mostly what I hear is that you need to crank them up, or maybe I should say run them at higher levels, to get the tone out of them. So as much as I’d love a larger amp, I don’t really want to have to  crank it way up,  so I’m imagining that a 15w or so is all I probably want.  But I am still trying to grok it all –

      And I’m not just thinking just acoustic – my next great hope is to find a thinner body, hollow or semi-hollow, arch top or jazz kind of guitar. I’ve been tempted by a few, but still trying to figure out what I would really use and bond with. Certainly can’t buy a number of them, like I’ve done with flat tops –  and when I’m looking at slightly wider necks, the options aren’t that many –

      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #2292


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