Recommend Me An Amp.

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seenoevil II
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Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:39 am

If a thread like this already exists, my bad.

For the past 5 or so years, I got rid of my Ampeg 90s multichannel half stack and went to a 7 watt Fender Bassbreaker 007 as my everything Amp. I have a fair amount of hearing loss from music and I wanted to not exacerbate it further. The plan was to be militantly low volume, and it's mostly worked. My thinking being that 7 watts will do for any room small enough not to have sound reinforcement. But I have run into problems.

Ameteur shows that are bigger with only a very basic PA set up. I'd max out the amp and lose all semblance of headroom and be left with a hideous, sputtering tone.

Medium actual venue stages where despite there being ample monitoring and reinforcement, the single 10" just dissappears in the open air and the wedge monitor winds up being louder than the actual amp on stage.

So, I've decided that more power is needed in certain contexts. Here is the want list.

A good amount of clean headroom with a preferrence for glassy, chimey sounds. Think Malkmus clean tones. I like breakup, but not that much, and I prefer the chundery, dark break up of power Amp breakup to the fizz of preamp. I use lots of jazzy, weird chords so too much grit makes my chords fall apart as harmonic resonances creep in.

Loads of bass. I play alone, so I need to bring the whole frequency range. Oddly, I've found Champs and other low watt dudes do this just fine in small contexts. Obviously, this is a relative measure as I could get a gargantuan bass cab.

Relatively quiet. This is easy, right? Just get a twin and crank it to the sweet spot. I mentioned Malkmus, I should just get an Orange and a 4x12. Except, I still have hearing issues and don't want to make them worse. So, if I could get this mostly clean, cinematic tone while moving enough air for medium rooms at around 90ish Db. that'd be great.

Budget 500-1200.

Things I've looked at:

DRRI silverface or blackface. Frontrunner.
Pros: small size, reverb/tremolo, super cool.
Cons: higher end of budget, concerned not enough headroom.

Hotrod or blues deluxe. Safe boring choice.
Pros: So so cheap used, 40 watts of headroom.
Cons: kinda meh tone, too much head room (volume at 3 max at shows).

EHX Sovtek Mig-50 clone. Oddball
I like the darker break up, could keep it in the clean range of its volume. Built like a tank.
Cons: Need a cab, likely too loud, no reverb. If cranked for special occasion- will turn Norwegian.

Quilter thing
Pros: cheapish, hyper portable, hyper versatile, hyper durable, antenuater built in. Actually kinda perfect.
Cons: no reverb(?), need cab, no t00bz. I haven't owned many tube amps and might like to before they go the way of the steamengine.

If I could, I'd like to avoid vintage amps. I know they're built more robustly, but the cost of recapping or chasing down some mysterious issue is something I want to avoid.

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Tele295
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by Tele295 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:13 am

If you took a DRRI and replaced the rectifier with a solid state plugin, you’ll get lots more clean headroom. Speaker choice will affect this as well.
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:23 am

I'll toss an oddball in and say maybe one of the Hughes & Kettner Tubemeisters -- there's both a 20W and 40W head, and IIRC there used to be a combo and it might be discontinued. You get 2 channels plus a boost on the 20W and 3 on the 40W, clean is really clean, dirty is really dirty, they have a ton of low-end but are still clear (and very flexible depending on how you set them up). They're heads, so you need a cab, but they also have attenuation to get 20/10/5/1W or 40/20/5/1W (IIRC), as well as no-speaker-output and a DI so you can get whatever amount of headroom you really need without needing to compromise on either headroom or volume depending on the situation. The 20W is around $760 new, but I've seen the 40W (which I would really recommend over the 20W just for the extra channel, which is sweet hypermodern-Marshally goodness) for around $700 with the bag and footswitch on Reverb several times. They're well-built, small and lightweight, sound good, and look gloriously shiny and blue when turned on.
I've had my Grandmeister (same general idea and but more stuff crammed into the box) for 3 years now and every time I'm like "hey I feel like I might want a new amp" I look at it and go "yeah but realistically what's gonna work better for me?" and give up on that.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by Guy Guyatone » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:35 am

You might want to consider a powered PA speaker that can accept the line out from your amp. No tubes, but light and powerful. JBL EON612 or QSC CP12 around $400.
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by Larry Mal » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:38 am

I liked my DRRI and wish I still had it.
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seenoevil II
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:49 am

Guy Guyatone wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:35 am
You might want to consider a powered PA speaker that can accept the line out from your amp. No tubes, but light and powerful. JBL EON612 or QSC CP12 around $400.
I keep forgetting about the line level output on my amp. Thats an interesting idea. Tbh though, I think I wanna get into something a little cleaner and a little less EL84 as well.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by andy_tchp » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:18 pm

Came to suggest this:
seenoevil II wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:39 am
DRRI silverface or blackface. Frontrunner.
Pros: small size, reverb/tremolo, super cool.
Cons: higher end of budget, concerned not enough headroom.
Surprising amounts of headroom, and absolutely capable of being 'too loud' if the need arises.

The '65 DRRI (Blackface) would be the pick IME.

The '68 Custom' with Silverface cosmetics is voiced for more mids, earlier breakup and has a Celestion speaker. The one I tried just sounded... 'ok'. The DRRIs I've played had more headroom and sounded much, much better to boot (that Fender clean tone).
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by Larsongs » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:36 pm

How about an SM57 on the Amp thru whatever your using for vocals.. PA or whatever....

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andy_tchp
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by andy_tchp » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:45 pm

Larsongs wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:36 pm
How about an SM57 on the Amp thru whatever your using for vocals.. PA or whatever....
From the OP:
seenoevil II wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:39 am
I have run into problems.

Ameteur shows that are bigger with only a very basic PA set up. I'd max out the amp and lose all semblance of headroom and be left with a hideous, sputtering tone.

Medium actual venue stages where despite there being ample monitoring and reinforcement, the single 10" just dissappears in the open air and the wedge monitor winds up being louder than the actual amp on stage.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by BarnyardCoral » Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:37 pm

It really sounds like a Supro might be a good option for you. They've got amps in the 25-60w range with a host of speaker configs, and the higher output models tend to have a lot of headroom and great cleans. There's the Royal Reverb, Statesman, Galaxy, Coronado, Rhythm Master, Thunderbolt, Jupiter, and Titan, all of them offering between 35-60w. I have the 25w Saturn MKII and it has a lot of headroom, so I suspect you'll be even better off.
And I will be the one to hold Larry Csonka down, kiss him so hard, I'll take Larry Csonka's breath away...

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seenoevil II
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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:28 pm

Supro definitely is a contender now. The royal is like a vibroluxe that's more versatile (and right now I can buy one that was owned by Colin Haye, I did use the word "chunder" in my op. That may be a sign).

I'm weirdly drawn to the idea of coming down to clean tone from a monster like a mig-50 or jcm800, but I think that's about assertimg dominance.

Alas, it's likely to be a DRRI.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:10 pm

My bandmate uses a Supro Thunderbolt with a 15”. Pretty good sounding amp and plenty of low end.

Most Supro reissue combos I’ve tried had a nasty rattle at volume though. Good amps to try in person first.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:10 am

Going by your description, I suspect a Vibrolux Reverb RI might serve you better than a DRRI. It has 6L6 power tubes rather than 6V6s, which should give you more glassy, clean headroom. Plus, two speakers should result in more bass presence.

Another option would be to get an old Bandmaster head (they´re still affordable, even on Reverb) and buy or put together your own 2x12" cab. You´ll probably end up paying roughly the same as you would for a DRRI, but you´d have a much better amp (imo).

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by seenoevil II » Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:11 am

Oof. Just looked at Quilter more closely. Looks like they moved manufacturing from the US to China and passed those savings directly into their profits. You're allowed to make stuff in China, but you're not allowed to charge the same price for though.

I was rooting for them too. Oh well.

Man, amps are fiendishly complicated.

I was looking at the vibroluxe too. Seems cool.

Might tap out and get a HR deluxe. There are 4 different ones on CL for sub 500. Is loud. Has t00bz.

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Re: Recommend Me An Amp.

Post by BarnyardCoral » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:08 am

seenoevil II wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:11 am
Oof. Just looked at Quilter more closely. Looks like they moved manufacturing from the US to China and passed those savings directly into their profits. You're allowed to make stuff in China, but you're not allowed to charge the same price for though.

I was rooting for them too. Oh well.

Man, amps are fiendishly complicated.

I was looking at the vibroluxe too. Seems cool.

Might tap out and get a HR deluxe. There are 4 different ones on CL for sub 500. Is loud. Has t00bz.
HRDs are good amps, but notorious for getting loud real fast on the dial. A quick and easy hack for that is a 12at7 in v1. It'll still be plenty loud but you'll have a more useable range on the vol pot. Put some decent speakers in there and you'll have a cheap but great sounding amp.
And I will be the one to hold Larry Csonka down, kiss him so hard, I'll take Larry Csonka's breath away...

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