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Valve Amps?

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I kinda wanted to broaden out the other thread on here about valve sounds. I'm definitely interested in geting a valve amp in the not so distant future but wanted to hear some opinions/advice on what was worth looking into or staying away from.

I'm not a big fan of Marshall (sorry to the Marhsall fans) but obviously wouldn't rule them out. One which really stood out for me a while back was a Music Man (couldn't give you the model now I'm afraid).

I've been interested in trying some Vox amps but recently had a shot of a couple and was a little disappointed if I'm being honest. Again can't remember which models and I didn't really have enough time to play about with them.

Anyway...what's worthwhile in your opinion? I'm not looking to pay stupid amounts of money but am wanting to put some cash aside and invest in a quality piece of kit.

I blame Scott Blessed/Weapon for leading me towards this new obsession.

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I kinda wanted to broaden out the other thread on here about valve sounds. I'm definitely interested in geting a valve amp in the not so distant future but wanted to hear some opinions/advice on what was worth looking into or staying away from.

I'm not a big fan of Marshall (sorry to the Marhsall fans) but obviously wouldn't rule them out. One which really stood out for me a while back was a Music Man (couldn't give you the model now I'm afraid).

I've been interested in trying some Vox amps but recently had a shot of a couple and was a little disappointed if I'm being honest. Again can't remember which models and I didn't really have enough time to play about with them.

Anyway...what's worthwhile in your opinion? I'm not looking to pay stupid amounts of money but am wanting to put some cash aside and invest in a quality piece of kit.

I blame Scott Blessed/Weapon for leading me towards this new obsession.

Marshall get a bad name for their disgusting solid state shit, some of their valve heads are sweet. However, Fender FTW.

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What are the wonderful Haho boys using at the minute? Didn't Mini have somthing a little different?

You'll be thinking of Hines' amp, which in addition to being amazing, is near-impossible to find. Fenders all the way for guitar amps, Ampeg for bass.

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Are you after a head/cab or a combo?

A combo is a good bet as it'll often be loud enough, and mic'd up in larger venues. Extra presence can be added by plugging into a cab if you really need.

If you're not wanting to spend too much then Marshall or Fender are good bets. a JCM800 combo would set you right for not too much beyond 500.

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Probably a combo to start.

I personally like quite warm mids but if I can vary that with some brightness, I'd feel I'd be on to a winner.

From what I've been (briefly!) reading, I'd like to have a fair bit of headroom on a clean channel before the distortion starts kicking in.

Would it just be worth asking people what they use AND/OR like and why? What charateristics make special in terms of it's sound.

What is it you get from your valve amp that wouldn't be satisfied by other options?

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Would it just be worth asking people what they use AND/OR like and why? What charateristics make special in terms of it's sound.

What is it you get from your valve amp that wouldn't be satisfied by other options?

Marshall JCM2000 50w head. I got it because it was 200, and despite not being amazing, they seem like a safe, reliable bet. The clean is sparkly and the OD is crunchy with loads of range. It's not really cabable of providing anything to chugga-chugga without sounding a bit fizzy, but that's not what I'm after anyway.

I strive to get good tone but I'm not the type to spend fuck loads of money on it. Instead I just work with what I've got and it seems to work.

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I have a VOX AC15 Custom Classic which I really like. The Top Boost is good as is the reverb and tremolo (both foot switchable). It's pretty loud too! They seem to be about the 400 mark but I got mine a little cheaper. It has a really nice warm sound and a good clean tone. There is not an overdrive channel though so it's extra OD pedals all the way if you want to switch between clean and dirty tones.

It's pretty heavy and only has one carrying handle, which I guess is a down side if you are planning to cart it about a lot.

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The Vox is something which I've been thinking about trying for a while. It's the lack of a mid control that worries me. That's the same on the AC15 isn't it?

As an aside Mike, are you jammnig out ideas with Dave Officer in Siberia? How is that going?

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The Vox is something which I've been thinking about trying for a while. It's the lack of a mid control that worries me. That's the same on the AC15 isn't it?

As an aside Mike, are you jammnig out ideas with Dave Officer in Siberia? How is that going?

Aye, it's just bass and treble. If you like you can always come and have a look at mine. I am indeed jamming with Dave, it's going well. A good few ideas are coming together nicely now.

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Guest idol_wild
Aye, it's just bass and treble. If you like you can always come and have a look at mine. I am indeed jamming with Dave, it's going well. A good few ideas are coming together nicely now.

Good. I have no idea about your musical abilities as I've never seen or heard you perform, but I feel Dave being musically reduntant is a waste of ability.

This is good news - I am keen to hear :)

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The fewer the knobs the better the tone. Don't buy anything with more than one clean and one distortion channel. Point-to-point wiring is desirable. Anything with built in IC (integrated circuits) are best avoided.

The essence is, the simpler it is, the better it will sound but the less versatile it will be. In order to make the best choice you need to test it out with your own guitar. If you're a good guitar player then you'll be able to get your sound without a zillion controls!

In the bar we only went for multi channel amps with lots of controls as they needed to be versatile as lots of people with different requirements would be using them.

If you're planning using a distortion pedal then go for a single channel clean amp like a HiWatt as this has amazing tone, and you won't need any built in distortion.

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But a distortion pedal will never sound as good as the overdrive you get from hot valves. Instead, you are best getting an amp that will dbe driven as much as you need, then just roll off your guitar volume to clean it up. Or get an amp with two channels if you really need.

I agree with not needing anything more than one clean and one OD channel though. All these 4 and 5 channel amps are just ridiculously pointless.

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But a distortion pedal will never sound as good as the overdrive you get from hot valves. Instead, you are best getting an amp that will dbe driven as much as you need, then just roll off your guitar volume to clean it up. Or get an amp with two channels if you really need.

I agree with not needing anything more than one clean and one OD channel though. All these 4 and 5 channel amps are just ridiculously pointless.

You get valve distortion pedals. It's just a outboard preamp. One advantage of using these with a single channel clean amp is that little in the way of noise gets into the channel (as the components are separate, same reason as people buy HiFi separates). The other advantage is that you can buy different valve pedals for different sounds. Provided you only plug one valve distortion in to the chain at any time you should retain impressive tone. Also let's you change your basic sound whenever you want without buying a new amp.

If I had any talent whatsoever and could play guitar then this is the direction that I'd go in.

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Cool, that'll be good. Sometime after Christmas would be good. Get the festivities out the way and then down to some serious ampage etc...:up:

No bother, just drop me a PM sometime and we can sort something out.

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the fender twin, hot rod deluxe et al are terrific combos, beautiful clean and break up really nice.

you can pick up the peavey classic range which is slightly cheaper but also have *that* clean sound. I swear by my peavey classic. terrific amplifier for clean.

alternatively you could source out some of the old dallas Sound City series, they are like the equivalent of an old pa head but shape everything really nice and you can double up as a bass head too!

the 70s Carlsboro top 50/100 series are also fucking wicked, similar to the sound cities.

If you had a decent bit of cash you could always pay "over the odds" for an old sovtek. the sovteks are built like tanks (russian) and sound absolutely beautiful, but as richard says they are hard to find and you will pay around the 500 mark for it.

Marshall jcm800 is a great amplifier as an all rounder, the clean isnt the greatest thing in the world though

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Point-to-point wiring is desirable. Anything with built in IC (integrated circuits) are best avoided.

If you're planning using a distortion pedal then go for a single channel clean amp like a HiWatt as this has amazing tone, and you won't need any built in distortion.

yes. this is completely spot on in my opinion

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But a distortion pedal will never sound as good as the overdrive you get from hot valves.

couldnt disagree more. get a valve amp with shit loads of clean headroom. fender supersonic/ fender twin/ hi-watt, use a P2 pete cornish fuzz for distortion. imho you cant get a better lead tone. the above is the guts of dave gilmour's tone... he kinda knows a thing or two about guitar tone i reckon...

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That's some ace advice. Thanks Maxi. I love the look of the Sound City's and Sovtek. I'm pretty sure I tried a Sound City a couple years back and quite liked it. Just wasn't that interested at the time.

In terms of hunting these sort of amps down and trying them out, is it just a case of trawling the net, ads, and seeing what comes up?

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In terms of hunting these sort of amps down and trying them out, is it just a case of trawling the net, ads, and seeing what comes up?

pretty much. there are heaps of forums around the net as well which are worth joining as people trade/sell quite frequently. I aint used many guitar ones for a long time, but Im sure if you google em you should find.

ps. the standard of the older sound city amps are great, the new ones are not so good (the name was licensed to a cheap manufacturer recently-ish I think, bad components, built by robots and sounds a bit shabby)

Also, speak to SCOTTY BLESSED for advice!

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if you're going down the route of second hand pa amps I've heard/seen Simms Watt to be pretty good too. Harder to get your hands on than the sound citys though.

one of the flatlands guitarists used to have this sweet orange Simms Watt PA amp and it was awesome. and just about kept up with the other guys MATAMP!

the best thing about those sound city/carlsbro/other older amps is if you hit up ebay you can usually get one for in between 250-400 bucks. really good deals. the only problem with the ebay route is, unless you actually know someone who has a similar amp, trying it out is going to be a total farce. probably why i've never gottwn round to it....

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