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Re: looking for an amplifier

12/12/1997 11:33 PM
Paul Markwalter
Re: looking for an amplifier
Find a '68 69' 70' Deluxe Rev. that works for 300.  
and pay a good tech a couple hundred to overhaul it... now you have a great starter amp for Blues and R+R that can be used in small clubs. A plus is that your $ is safer in a vintage amp than a newer pcb amp. I've seen the innards of a lot of these new amps in the 500. range and I don't think many of them will be around in 10 years, much less 30.
12/16/1997 11:58 AM

First off....I am a high gain nut. Nothing to me  
sounds better than a good high gain amp with a  
great sustain and crunchy bass response. In a combo (open back 1-12) its hard to get the bass,  
but there are still many great sounding combos.  
OK...I have been through all the Boogies, Marshalls, a 5150, Soldano HR50, Rivera Jake  
and lesser amps.  
I have kept 12 of what I consider to be the best sounding of the bunch. In terms of combos, there are a few that are superb.  
30TH Anniversary Combo  
JCM900 Dual Reverb Combo  
The 30th is the most versitile, but both have  
that trademark Marshall crunch with a very tight bass response..not flabby like a shitty sounding Fender Hot Rod bullshit amp. There are slight tone  
differences between the two amps and within the channels of the 30TH . Channel two on the 30th sounds different than channel three.  
You can find a used 4501 (JCM900 50 watt 1-12)  
for $500 or so...Its a great amp, and I gig with it and so has Steve Vai. The 4101 (100 watt version) is probably more in-your-face sounding as 100 watt Marshalls tend to crunch up better. This is because the 100 watt heads are designed first.All R&D is on the 100 watt heads. The 50 watt output transformer does change the sound a bit, but the 4501 is a sweet sounding amp.  
Mesa Boogies:  
These are the best sounding high gain Boogie  
combos. Each has its own sound or voice. The closest one to a Marshall is a TOV, but the TOV sounds closer to my 5150 than anything else. You can find a used MKIII cheap. The non simulclass versions crunch up better if you are into that sound.  
And now for the cheap way to go.  
A Fender (solid state) Princeton Chorus is a very  
good sounding amp for the money. This amps sounds very close to a Rockman, and at low volumes can hang with just about any amp on the Market. If your son plans on playing at home and never joining a band..the Fender is the way to go.  
If not, I'd get the Marshall. I have a 2210  
JCM800 100 watt head, Silver Jubilee, 30TH and  
JCM900 Dual Reverb combo. To me, nothing beats  
a Marshall for live use. I have tried everything  
on stage and have been doing the club scene for 20 years. The sound (voice) of a Marshall punches  
through a band like no other amp. Its just the right tone for a band. Off course, my 5150, TOV and Soldano sound great...but a Marshall just  
has the perfect voice for a guitar player in the context of a band IMHO.
12/16/1997 2:14 PM
Fender Silverface Deluxe that is blackfade moded is my vote, hands down, for a starter amp that does the blues/classic rock sound. There are many still many around and the price is in the $500 range. This is an amp that will outlast any of the new stuff. Point to point wiring and tube heaven. Parts are plentiful and there are many people willing to help if there ever is a problem. As an added bonus the resale value is much better than most anything on the market. Just as a note if you wanna get the ultimate then look for a B/F or S/F Super Reverb. This is THE amp for blues and still can be found for around a $1000 in great condition. You will make money on this amp since they are getting scarce. Jerry
12/17/1997 8:34 AM

I agree Jerry that the Deluxe is a great amp. many songs where recorded on these amps including Jay Graydon's solo on Steely Dan's hit 'Peg'.  
But, its distortion comes with volume, and to get the right sound, you would have to crank up the amp. There are many great sounding amps today  
like a Peavey 5150, that can get a great sound at  
very low volumes. Jay also used a compressor for  
sustain help, and the amp was modded by Paul Rivera.  
Today's amps are much better. In particular, a Mesa Tremoverb will give you mega gain and sustain  
combined with lush reverb at a bedroom level.  
But to each his own.....That's why hamburger joints sell chicken.  
12/17/1997 12:14 PM
I'm not one to debate moot issues regarding musical tastes but I tend to disagree that the amps of today are much better. The pc boards suck, plain and simple. The reliability factor is questionable. Many techs cringe or even refuse to work on them. In order for amp manufacturers to make a profit they have to cut production corners and guess who gets the short end.  
I agree, Mesas are nice amps but geez look at the costs for a Tremoverb, $1800 list and hardly any discounts on Mesa. You can still pick up a b/f Super Rev. for $1000 and a s/f Deluxe Rev. can be found at bargain prices if one is not in too much of a hurry. The Fender tube reverb is by far the best IMHO. Also, I haven't seen a whole lot of Mesas doing the blues thing.  
I guess that in light of the original question I'd recommend that the Peavey and the hybrid Marshall be passed over because of poor sound and reliability problems Jerry.
12/17/1997 9:01 AM
John D.
Yeah, you can't beat a good ol Marshall for just about the greatest sought after clean sound in all guitardom!!! Marshall is just so well known for its... oh yeah, versatility!!!! High Gain Rules!!! (all of teenybopperland)
12/26/1997 10:40 PM
Jonathan krogh

man......i dunno,i actually prefer the older marshalls(!!what a surprise!!!)  
like the JMP's etc. and i find them to have an appeal similar to that of the aforementioned deluxe reverb.  
All my amps are basic non-master vol ,non channel switchers,  
a 68 deluxe reverb(sweet raunch),and ampeg v4(nice and clean,gorgeous yet painfull crunch when cranked),  
and a late 70's JMP 50w,  
i find that the jmp stays nicely clean up to a volume way sufficient for gigging(plus those lovely nips and growls when you attack the strings),and then of course i do the stomp box thing for my main diet of hard R&R.  
goddamn i wish marshall woulda put a good reverb in more of these old amps.

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