Good clanky solid state amps

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aboutstairs
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Good clanky solid state amps

Post by aboutstairs » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:12 am

Hi,

I'm looking for a solid state amp to pick up that does the percussive, clanky Andy Gill Gang of Four thing. Sharp transients and bright, I guess. That above all is the guitar tone I want, and I'm aware that he used a Carlsbro Stingray but those are not easy to find in 2021. I have a Jag and a Strat and an assortment of pedals (incl. an Intersound IVP clone), and a Kemper and Fender DRRI, but I can't seem to quite get all the way there. Most of the old threads I find on this that usually pose the same question verbatim get "try a Roland JC". I suppose I'm looking for an amp that's "solid state and proud", but that's not necessarily totally accurate as IIRC e.g. that Carlsbro amp's distortion came from a "suzz" circuit that tried to emulate tubes as a design goal and ended up somewhere else. Would a Roland JC satisfy me? I browsed around a little and heard good things about Lab Series, Yamaha G series, ZT Lunchboxes, old Peavey SS amps and the old Acoustic Control Corp stuff, but I'm reluctant to pull the trigger on any of those as I have a Yamaha JX30 that's, well, pretty warm and soft and more of a blues/jazz thing than something aggressive. People like Quilters a lot too but those look to be explicitly voiced after Fender and Vox circuits. I'm not asking for an amp that sounds like shit, just something more aggressive and sharp and metallic than the spongy tubey thing. Any advice from experience would be helpful.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:42 am

Honestly, Boss Katana/Nextone/Waza -- they say they're going for the tube thing, and they do an okay job at it, but they're super bright and attacky for being tube. I could definitely pull off tones like the beginning of "Damaged Goods" on my old Katana (RIP buddy), especially after messing with the built-in stuff.

Katana is the lowest-end line, $240 for the 50W 1x12, up to $680ish for the head and separate 2x12; Nextone is a bit more, and Waza is $1K and up.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by mbene085 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:50 am

Truly, give some JC amps a shot. They have a reputation as one of the all-time great clean tones, but I was shocked to learn how many overdriven tones on recordings have been JC120s that were sitting in the studio. They're versatile amps and we're sort of typecast, especially in internet lore and guitar magazine culture, they can do a lot of things well, including the type of tone you're describing (with the usual disclaimer that talking about sound is like dancing about architecture).

I'm surprised you haven't gotten there with the Kemper. I owned one, and it could definitely do that type of thing. What profiles have you used, and what is your monitoring setup? Which power amp/cab? FRFR or guitar speakers? The usual reason I find that people don't gel with a Kemper is that they aren't listening to it the way for it to sound how they want. You need to disable the cabinet emulation and run into a guitar cab if you want "amp in the room" tone, which is really different from the close-mic'd tone you hear on recordings or straight out of the Kemper into FRFR monitors.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by sessylU » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:26 am

Dunno if it's what you want, but give a go on a Fender Roc Pro 1000. Solid state, loud, not JC sounding. Cheap enough to take a punt on. They are available these days for fuck all, and I reckon that's probably set to change.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by johnnysomersett » Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:44 pm

Peavey or Traynor will both do this in spades.

Where are you based? Theres almost always a few Stingrays for sale in the UK. I just checked and there's 3 on FB Marketplace right now. and cheap.
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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:51 pm

Clank is in the fingers.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by noisepunk » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:26 pm

doesn't seem like you need anymore suggestions, but a Gibson GSS50 would do exactly what you're after, even without pedals. an old bandmate found one for almost nothing seven years ago and i started using it as my primary amp when my princeton stopped working mid-gig. definitely bright, sharp and cold, and a pretty unique sounding breakup that i was a pretty big fan of.

Image

a totally different way you can get something like Andy Gill's sound is to use a fairly bright delay pedal with the time just shy of zero (basically as short as you can get it to be without being able to hear distinct repeats), and the feedback at something like 80%.
Last edited by noisepunk on Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by noisepunk » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:27 pm

< a whoopsie happened>
Last edited by noisepunk on Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by jorri » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:32 pm

Roland JC
Peavey stereo chorus
Ampeg ss140c
(these three similar thing, they are all jazz chorus amps but the latter 2 might cost 15% of the first one)

bit different (clankier?)
-HH IC 100 or V-S (a frequently used one, quite rickety but is like a 'post-punk' amp if ever such a thing existed- also have the bass one)
-Carlsboro Stingray Super (my actual amp, seemingly nothing to do with later carlsboro, seemingly has the best distortion ever on a solid state)
-Yamaha G series (i have one of the first G50 that says 'fifty', but it lacks the controls, get a later one there are lots of models and various 'mark' numbers.)

Something more special:
-A musicman 'HD' series. Its 'reverse' hybrid in that the preamp is solid state but has a tube power amp. It seemed to be used by similar post-punk bands, as well as more traditional players (as it was basically a continuation of Fender amps, Leo having designed it)

(and just looking at equipboard Gang of four used Peavey and Carlsboro, apparently, but different models)

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by stevejamsecono » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:53 pm

+1 on old Yamaha amps. The V1 G100 looks awesome too.
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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by aboutstairs » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:54 pm

mbene085 wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:50 am
Truly, give some JC amps a shot. They have a reputation as one of the all-time great clean tones, but I was shocked to learn how many overdriven tones on recordings have been JC120s that were sitting in the studio. They're versatile amps and we're sort of typecast, especially in internet lore and guitar magazine culture, they can do a lot of things well, including the type of tone you're describing (with the usual disclaimer that talking about sound is like dancing about architecture).

I'm surprised you haven't gotten there with the Kemper. I owned one, and it could definitely do that type of thing. What profiles have you used, and what is your monitoring setup? Which power amp/cab? FRFR or guitar speakers? The usual reason I find that people don't gel with a Kemper is that they aren't listening to it the way for it to sound how they want. You need to disable the cabinet emulation and run into a guitar cab if you want "amp in the room" tone, which is really different from the close-mic'd tone you hear on recordings or straight out of the Kemper into FRFR monitors.
I use the Kemper direct into my recording setup (so through studio monitors) or into headphones. I don't own a standalone power amp. Profiles-wise I just use the popular ones, MBritt and TopJimi etc., with a general preference for Fender Twins and the brightest medium-gain Marshall SLs I could find. I'll admit with profiles I kind of just use them out of the box and haven't looked too much into tweaking the parameters. I have the factory Roland JC and the MBritt one and they've just never quite done it for me, but maybe they just need some adjustment.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by aboutstairs » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:55 pm

johnnysomersett wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:44 pm
Peavey or Traynor will both do this in spades.

Where are you based? Theres almost always a few Stingrays for sale in the UK. I just checked and there's 3 on FB Marketplace right now. and cheap.
Based in West Coast USA. Actual Carlsbros are hard to find on Reverb and eBay.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by aboutstairs » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:03 pm

Yeah, I'm not necessarily the kind to, like, hit a lick on Andy Gill's estate because I need to have his personal exact Carlsbro, just something in the ballpark. I'm seeing some good deals esp. on the Yamaha G series stuff.

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by johnnysomersett » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:49 pm

aboutstairs wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:55 pm
johnnysomersett wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:44 pm
Peavey or Traynor will both do this in spades.

Where are you based? Theres almost always a few Stingrays for sale in the UK. I just checked and there's 3 on FB Marketplace right now. and cheap.
Based in West Coast USA. Actual Carlsbros are hard to find on Reverb and eBay.
Ah, yeah in the States they're not particularly common. I've sourced a couple of HH amps for people before that struggled over there... HH and Carlsbro amps are so common they're almost used as doorstops here 😂
Silly Rabbit, don't you know scooped mids are for kids?

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Re: Good clanky solid state amps

Post by jorri » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:10 am

johnnysomersett wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:49 pm
aboutstairs wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:55 pm
johnnysomersett wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:44 pm
Peavey or Traynor will both do this in spades.

Where are you based? Theres almost always a few Stingrays for sale in the UK. I just checked and there's 3 on FB Marketplace right now. and cheap.
Based in West Coast USA. Actual Carlsbros are hard to find on Reverb and eBay.
Ah, yeah in the States they're not particularly common. I've sourced a couple of HH amps for people before that struggled over there... HH and Carlsbro amps are so common they're almost used as doorstops here 😂
True, they are pretty british things i suppose. Even the music school had an HH for guitar lessons i went to as a kid.
But that cyan colour front panel lighting? Almost worth using just for that. I find them the grittiest out of what i mentioned.
Worth noting both carlsboro and HH have tranformers, despite having no tubes, am told this is a large part of tube amps sound, so there is an element of grittiness or odd harmonics one might not expect from contemporary solid states. And i dont know if the distortion utilised that but that "valve sound" or "suzz" are great, like better than tubescreamer/bluesdriver great imho.

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