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guitar amp selection...
Old 5th January 2003
  #1
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
guitar amp selection...

Smack dab in the middle of a gtr amp shootout. So far the Rivera Knucklehead II is coming out on top. The Dual Recto got fired...by me. Next up is the Mesa Studio Preamp/Strategy poweramp combo. Michael, I wish I could try your Engl. I'll post as the shootout progresses.
Old 5th January 2003
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Cool! Any Gearslutz near by that can join in?


Old 5th January 2003
  #3
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: guitar amp selection...

Quote:
Originally posted by drundall
Smack dab in the middle of a gtr amp shootout. So far the Rivera Knucklehead II is coming out on top. The Dual Recto got fired...by me. Next up is the Mesa Studio Preamp/Strategy poweramp combo. Michael, I wish I could try your Engl. I'll post as the shootout progresses.
Darian

I need the ENGL for about two more weeks and then we start to mix. If you come up with a good idea about shipping, you can have it for a while, if it's not too late by then.
Old 5th January 2003
  #4
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We'll be recording gtrs around Tuesday or Wednesday. No big deal, just be cool to check that against the others...
Old 6th January 2003
  #5
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Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Would love to hear how the Carvin Legacy shoots with these amps. Not sure what you're after as far as tone but the Legacy reminds me of an older Marshall kinda thing, almost "brown" if that's the right word. Certainly not in the same price range as the other amps mentioned but I have one, dig the hell out of it, and would be curious to see... don't suppose you could get your hands on one of these?
Old 6th January 2003
  #6
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I hate all this new guitar stuff. I haven't liked much new guitar equipment since the end of the 70s ( I'm 22 BTW). Just sold my '86 Marshall JCM800 with 4x12 "Vintage 30s" for '66 Fender Twin Reverb. I tried a MESA Tri Axis a few years ago, with a view to buying it. It didn't do anything I liked, which is ridiculous for a guitar preamp costing Β£1500. I've used Rivera combos in studios a few times, they sounded like burnt toast (undynamic, unresponsive, flat frequency crunch, eugh!). This is obviously just my opinion but at least its based on experience.

Pods seem to do the nu metal distortion sound (i.e. MESA, Soldano, etc) as good as any real amp. I saw a 60s Ampeg Reverberocket going for a steal in a local shop recently. Thats the sort of thing that gets me really excited. Give me an AC30, a Plexi stack or a Blackface/Silverface combo anyday ( or possibley a Boogie Mk1) and I could get the job done. Obviously you and I are into different stuff, so take no notice of me.
Old 7th January 2003
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
I 'm with you, young Steamy. But then, we design and build plexi 20watt-type amps in the UK.

Tone? Ah well, no use to talk about it.......one might as well dance about architecture.

Speaking of dancing about architecture, who here uses both modern and vintage amps and can put the difference into words?
Old 7th January 2003
  #8
Gear Nut
 
DrC:Drive's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Amps I have played them all. The ultimate is my BadCat Blackcat 30. Modelled on the Vox AC30 with balls and it does not blow up. It is the most pure toneful rewarding sound for all styles. Designed by amp guru Mark Sampson (essentially an improved Matchless DC 30. It costs, but lends an unmistakeable sound to recordings. It beats them all.

James Cullen
Seabrite studios
Old 7th January 2003
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Geetar

Speaking of dancing about architecture, who here uses both modern and vintage amps and can put the difference into words?
You can't because it really depends on the type of amp. Some "modern" amps are based around old amp ideas, like the Black Cat, Penn, Top Hat etc. Those are going to be similar and compare favorably to old amps. Something like a Rivera or Dual Rectumfrier are totally different but can still be compared to a JCM 800 or old "vintage" Boogie like a MkI or MkII.
Old 7th January 2003
  #10
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Right now it's a toss up between the Rivera head and a Mesa Studio Preamp/Rivera "Hammer" poweramp combo. The 5150 got shot down. Tomorrow morning we will try the VHT Pitbull and the Mesa Mark IV.
Old 7th January 2003
  #11
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've done a lot more amp comparisons this past year then previously, as my "amps in residence" count has doubled. In tweaking them all, I've gotten more comfortable with tweaking amps that come in for recording as well. I was surprised at how much the modern saturated amps can be improved by pulling the crap tubes that come stock, and swapping them with some of my favorites from vintage amps. I'd been told that this wouldn't make a great deal of difference in modern high gain circuits voiced using modern production tubes, but it sure does. The difference between my Triaxis/ Simul-class amp using the stock Mesa tubes and using the RCA black plates from my Twin is not subtle. It goes a long way to leveling the playing field between those two amps, and turns some of the Triaxis' buzzy fuzz modes into defined crunch.
It's helped a lot with players who only want to use their own amp, but will agree to trying some different tubes. Then I have to explain why their amp sounds better, and why they can't buy those tubes at Guitar Center...
Old 8th January 2003
  #12
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
OK, now it's between the Pitbull and the Rivera Knucklehead. Tomorrow we will try a Pitbull with KT88 tubes; the one we have now has EL34's. Might give us a tad more head room. More fun maΓ±ana.
Old 8th January 2003
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
3 cheers for Paul

grggt grggt grggt

__________________
Regards,
Wayne Gardner
Producer/ Engineer
Forestville Sydney Australia
Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.gtamusic.com
Old 9th January 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
out1ear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The amps I'm really digging right now are the Bogner Cheva and the VHT Pitball. I mostly record heavier rock, but I find both heads to be very versatile. The Bogner seems a bit dull through 30wt cabinets, so I like to split it to a cab with 70wt speakers.
Old 9th January 2003
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Funny enough, I have a VHT Pitbull combo with 1x12 and EL84's here. Hardly anybody uses it and I usually have to twist their arm to do it. But, when they do plug in it sounds pretty good, really good with a 4x12 instead of the 1x12. Anyway, I've thought about selling it recently or trading it for something else. Maybe a Bassman head or something. I dunno.

Anyway, here's a picture of a recent guitar overdub session at my place. The band was Skycam. Not all of this is mine but a decent amount is.
Attached Thumbnails
guitar amp selection...-amps_01.jpg  
Old 9th January 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And from the other side
Old 9th January 2003
  #17
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Jay,

Is that a Full-Drive 2 pedal is see before me ... it's a little diamond.

Impressive set-up.

__________________
Regards,
Wayne Gardner
Producer/ Engineer
Forestville Sydney Australia
Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.gtamusic.com
Old 9th January 2003
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Ianneve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
THose are some nice amps but you simply HAVE to try an Aiken. Kicks my vintage Marshall and Fenders ass. Soooo nice. Kinda Marshall meets vox but more Marshall. BUt sweet. Articulate as anything I've ever played. More even. So musical and sweet and rocks but back off the guitar and it cleans up. This is the best Amp I've ever played hands down. Aiken. The search is over...
Old 9th January 2003
  #19
Gear Nut
 
chrisjin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
this is a subject I am very interested in and have put a lot of thought and experimentation into over the last eight years...

I ended up building my own amps... I have been through everything and worked on the design for about five years...I ended up ditching all my old marshalls, bassmans, etc...last year I finally got a pair of them working and I would frankly never use anything else...

The design is a hybrid between a marshall plexi and an original bassman...Its completely class A...no dual rectifier...I used to variac amps to get sag and compression like effects, so I actually built that into the whole circuit...The amp strains the transformer when overdriven, but it is not limited at all to that and has a great clean tone...

The really cool thing though is the amps are only 3 watts...this serves two purposes...

1- to be able to get the full amp tone without it being excessively loud.

2- because the wattage is so low, I can use non-electrolytic filter capacitors...this would be totally unrealistic to do in a high wattage amp because you wouldn't even be able to fit 1 of them in a chasisis...the difference in the tone is amazing...each filter cap though is around $30 as opposed to cheapo electrolytics...electrolytics are in all the filter sections of every guitar amp that has ever been made...

they have a direct out that you can run into a larger tube power amp if I want to play loud and you can just unplug the speaker from the amps themselves... it engages a resisitor to take the load...again the resistor is tiny because of the low wattage..you try to do this with a Marshall and you need a resistor the size of a burrito.

I'd like to put up some pics and some recordings for you guys to check out...I've been thinking about marketing them....
Old 9th January 2003
  #20
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool pics, Jay!
The winner so far is the newer Pitbull (we changed to the Ultra Lead with KT88 tubes), but that may change tomorrow. I'm gonna try some different cabinets to see if I can get a little more focused punch. Sounds great.
Old 10th January 2003
  #21
Gear Head
 
Lars FM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nice amps Jay, whats the head between the halfstack with the Carvin and the JCM800 heads and the rectumfrier head. How's the brown Princeton, it certainly looks nice

Chrisjin, i'd love to hear your 3w amp, can you PM me a clip?

Lars
Old 10th January 2003
  #22
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Lars FM
Nice amps Jay, whats the head between the halfstack with the Carvin and the JCM800 heads and the rectumfrier head.
Lars
Looks to be a Sound City L120, made by Dallas Arbiter of Fuzz Face fame.
Old 10th January 2003
  #23
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Drundall

I heard your singing on one of mine and my friends song (Mr Neve sucks), great!

We are using the Bogner Ecstacy and a marshall 4*12" 75W celestion. I would try the new Bogner Uberschall and the Uberschall cabinett.

I used to live in LA and I have tried and visited all the major amp designers and been trying out prototypes, (Groove tubes, Mesa boogie, Soldano, VHT, Bogner, Peavey, Crane, Ampeg, Marshalls, Fenders, Gallien Kreuger, Riviera and mm, but trust me Bogner is the ****.

I also own a Bogner Fish preamp(only 200 units made) and a VHT 2150 with 6550 tubes and four 4*12" marshall vintage 30W celestions is what I used live. This is killer sounding wall of crunch.

Best regards
Baskim Zuta
Old 10th January 2003
  #24
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ack! Ok, let me try and figure this out... I know the blue pedal on the board in the foreground is a Fulltone of some kind and there's an Ibanez analog delay next to it. You'd have to send an email to Trevor from Skycam to find out for sure. He was playing through the Fender 'verb and Deluxe which are both original's, no reissues for him. The Jag (or Jazzmaster, blue in the lower corner) is also his. The band also owns the Sunn head (on the ground next to the 'verb tank), all the Fender amps, some of the pedals and the Mesa 2x12 cab. The rest of it is mine all mine including the PRS and the Strat.

Yeah, the "mystery" amp is a Sound City 120. It's louder then all ****. Runs on a half dozen (yeah, 6!!!) EL34's and has no master volume. It doesn't get used much, mainly because I need to get a power break or something to bring it down to a reasonable volume. It's got the strangest EQ on it too. I got that and the Carvin X100B (anyone know the footswitch pinout???) for $250 and had to dump some dough into them. The SC120 needed to be recapped and still has some "issues" unless it gets to warm up for about 5 minutes before taking it off standby. I also need to get a few knobs for it. I want to replace them all with chicken heads. Supposedly they sound great for clean stuff as it's loosely based on a Hi-Watt and uses the same Partridge transformer. But, I think it sounds better running wide open. The Carvin had three power tubes and a 1/2" of dust on and inside it. I yanked the tubes and replaced them all. Total investement in both amps was just over $500. Not too shabby for decent all-tube amps.

Anywhoo, the Recto, VHT and PV classic didn't get touched on that project.
Old 10th January 2003
  #25
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hello Mr 2",

Done the Uberschall thing on another album. This project is a super high gain setting with very fast playing and chord changes. The guitar player has done 6 albums with Boogie amps because he freaks out on low end and if it's mushy or slow in tracking the amp is fired. Totally different ballgame than say slow metal, which I agree sounds good with Bogner. Has to be very tight and focused but big

By the way, tracking through Neves to 2", thought you's like to know
Old 10th January 2003
  #26
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Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
... I got that and the Carvin X100B (anyone know the footswitch pinout???)
I used to have an X100B ("86" 6L6GC version) but can't for the life of me remember the xlr pin scheme for the footswitch (FS36). I'm pretty sure Carvin still provides schematics for the X100B or someone in tech support may have the answer. 1-800-854-2235
Old 17th January 2003
  #27
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Decided on the Pitbull and a recto cabinet with an extra Boogie cab blended in for low end. It's amazing how much more bottom that cab has...
Had to rent another 1073 to get it going but now we're rockin'!
Old 18th January 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
MadGuitrst's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I absolutely love the VHT PitBull Ultralead with KT-88 tubes (6550). The clean channel sounds better than the clean channel of any other high gain amp I've tried. The lead channels is outrageous...ultra high gain, tight, defined, etc. However, the magic of this amp lies in the crunch channel. It breaks up perfectly. It reminds me of my old Ampeg amps, only with magic dust sprinkled over it.

I looked high and low for an amp like this an tried just about everything. While there were amps with bigger, rounder clean channels (Matchless, etc), IMHO, nothing touched the crunch channel...nothing...and the lead and clean channels were icing on the cake. This is the Holy Grail of amps for me.

FWIW, the VHT 4x12 with the 2 greenbacks and 2 vintage 30s is a perfect mate...sounds great and is great for recording.
Old 25th January 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 
RyanPitch's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs ➑️
I got that and the Carvin X100B (anyone know the footswitch pinout???)
Ha, well, better late than never I guess. Ironically, in 2003 I also lived in central Illinois and was putting a band together in Champaign. I think we went through 4 or 5 different X100B amps. Funny thing is, they all sounded a little different.

I think they were so old and had been re-tubed/re-biased a number of times, so who knows. I *do* know the pinout and I *do* have the entire circuit layout for this amp if you want it.

Pinout:
1: channel switching
2: Reverb select
3: Effects loop

And I was going to start a new thread about this, but maybe one of you guys know: how can I mod this amp? I love it, but it farts out in the low chugga stuff, kind of like that big muff pi sound you were talking about. Its mids and highs are GREAT, but the low E string stuff flubs out. Any ideas? What does re-capping an amp do?

thanks.
Old 25th January 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I dont know if these amps are famous in USA, but i like them a lot: Diezel.

I got a dual rectifier, peavey 5150, krank revolution and a marshall 2550...
All got their sounds. Blending differnt amps helps a lot.
Serveral times i recorded with engl amps, savage 120 + se, and engl straight (great on rhythm guitars) .. great, too.
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