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Favorite Amps For Recording
Old 20th May 2003
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Dan writes:
The big issue that is a pain with the later Mark series is there are so many controls that you can spend more time tweaking than playing. I would only offer a Mark III or Mark IV as a house amp for clients if the goal was to spend time not recording. I've spent to much time plugged into a Boogie not really playing to expect much better. I'm not afraid of a player who has one and know his sound and how to get it out, but there really is a layer of learning to play these amps that scares me with someone who hasn't logged the time with one.
You are so right. Of course, that's why I got it. I can pretty much send a telecaster into it and get a Fender sound, but I can get a pretty grungy sound as well.

A year ago, when I started getting into all of this seriously, a friend of mine asked, "What equipment is taking you the longest to learn?" I told him that on the digital end, it was the Pro Tools software itself.

"What about the analog side?"

"Definitely the Mesa Boogie amp," I said.

He looked at me like I was absolutely BSing him. I was absolutely not.

PS -- Fortunately, I live in Texas, where no one uses anything but their own amps. And they're almost always Fender.
Old 22nd May 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by dougsthang'
Never saw Dumble mentioned which is surprising. If you could ever get Howard to build you one, they're quite special amps..Are they even still around?

The other amp that impressed me was Dweezil's new Peavey amp the Wiggy.. I was up at Dweezil's studio and he showed me the amp he was designing for Peavey. The first model was all solid state but they just came out with a tube version. Man, that amp has a thousand tones in it and it's all simple volume eq changes. The eq is very active with just a little nudge changes the tone radically. The amp records great as well. Dweezil went with the "auto display" making the control panel look like a car's read out. Maybe that made people dismiss this amp as a gimmick amp. It's worth a look for any one in the market..
Dumble came up in an amp modding thread. Personally I think they're way overpriced and not that cool for me, but I can see the magic in there for players with a light touch.

I remember the first time I played through a Wiggy. Hated it. I couldn't get anything remotely inspiring or useful out of it. Maybe there was something wrong with that amp but I spent about an hour with it and even tried a few cabs and didn't like what I was hearing. That was a bummer because I like Dweezil's music and he usually has good tones. But, I tried the Wiggy 2x12 cab with a few different heads and thought it was great. I keep looking for one on blowout or used.
Old 23rd May 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Man, that surprises me about the Wiggy. Dweezil ran me though it at his studio and he pulled a bunch of great sounds out of it. He nailed the early Van Halen tone. The newer Tube model was a bit more pleasing to my ear. It's a little pricey but a nice amp none the less. I was listening through the playback monitors from the mic'd 4X12 cabinet. It sure sounded nice once it was on a track, sat very nicely...
Old 24th May 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Maybe the one I played was defective or something, because it didn't have ANYWHERE near enough gain to pull off the VH tone and I tried it with a bunch of different guitars including a Wolfgang. I'm not a gain head at all and the early VH albums aren't that gained out but I recall the Wiggy leaving me wanting a lot more in that department. Maybe it's great once you open up the master. I know that's the one thing I didn't try just because I didn't want to hern the guys in the store. I'll have to give it another shot when I see it.
Old 27th May 2003
Gear Head
archtop's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I'm gonna sell my mesa studio caliber 22+
and archtop lyle(and a couple of cars ,so I can get the THD UNIVALVE
Old 28th May 2003
Any opinions on the re issue Ampeg reverb rocket combos?

I have a lead on one unused for $800

I think it is a dual 12" speaker model...

Is that good?

are the reissues any good, I feel I must go for it!

Old 28th May 2003
Gear Head
archtop's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I remember two Ampeg (original) sngle 12's reverbarocket's at Danny's Vintage Guitars,
One sounded awesome,the other didn't.(seems to me they were only $300, is'nt
$800 kinda steep.
But Jules come on you must have some neet funky old tube gear pre's, power, eq's etc..
My favorite frankenstein rig i'm running this week is
Tube roberts reel to reel 1/4 portable tape deck(if you call 60 pounds portable), coming in to MIC in ,preamp out( if I'm feeling really sassy;speaker out.) to graphic eq for huge mid bump, to mono tube Raymer power amp to a single 12".
highlights: overdriven tube pre's, overdriven tube power ,speaker distortion.
Old 29th May 2003
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
I'm always liked Marshall and (tube) Park amps in the studio and live, often recording with a Marshall hybrid 4203 Artist combo along side a (Andrew Barta modified) Park 1207 through a Marshall 4 X 12. Now that I no longer, alas, spend a lot of time tracking to 24-track Studers through vintage Neve consoles, I'm using a variety of small amps. I've been getting some great sounds with silverface Fender Champs (swapped the 5Y3 rectifer tube to a 5V4 to make it a little less spongy, replaced the speaker for better bass response.) The Ampeg Jet and SuperJet reissues are cool. But here are two little known but high quality options that I've been quite pleased with:
Decware and ValveTech. They are probably the most reasonably priced hand-made, high quality amps around.



The Decware is very "hi-fi" neutral and noise-free - great for clean stuff and for use with pedals; and the ValveTech has the ability to sound clean yet thick at the same time, if that makes any sense, and can also get quite dirty. It's one of the most "musical" amps I've ever played through. I have the head (amp) only from these two manufacturers. I'm using Celestion-loaded Bell & Howell 16mm film projector extension cabinets for speakers (each 1 X 12). They have a quasi horn loaded cabinet design; and the light green color screams 1966.




Old 30th May 2003
OK it was actually only a one speaker model reisue of the reverb rocket. I got it for $550 and that will seem a lot for those in the USA but for the UK it is good. It had 2 x groove tube power stage valves and normal russian small valves on the input side.

what valves do you suggest for it?

it has an accordian input!

there are chips in it and ribbon cables..but it don't seem bad..

It's last owner was John Entwistle! (RIP)
Old 30th May 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I heard from somebody that Ruby Tubes are way better than Groove Tubes. Can anyone verify or discount that claim? This came from a guy who has a tendency of claiming to know more than he does. Help me to help him think before he speaks.. unless he's right. heh
Old 30th May 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
There are really only a handful of factories that still make tubes. Most of the common stuff comes from either Russia or China. The only real differance between the different tube companies is their testing & grading process. The bigger names get first choice, the stuff that they reject has to go somewhere. I've never heard a complaint from anyone about either Groove or Ruby stuff.
Old 30th May 2003
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years
Or try this, but be forwarned, it's an exceedingly slippery slope.

Mike is a great guy though, tremendously helpful, and if you got a bunch of stuff in one shipment it'd likely be worth the transatlantic hassle...

Old 31st May 2003
Gear Addict
muddy's Avatar
🎧 15 years
hey jules. what's the model# of yer rocket? is it the reverb or jet? the great one was the little jet that took 2 x el84's. i've got a link for you, a guy in florida, who has the lowest prices on new & barely used nos valves. & he's extremely honest. he'll talk you out of what isn't necessary, even if it loses him some money.


his name is jim, & you can tell him michael lawrence from nyc recommended you. the other guy, who's a bit pricier, but still more reasonable than the kcanos guy, is charlie kittleson (you can say hi there, as well)


i bought 2 nos mullard 12ax7's from jim (the 1st guy) for $30 a piece! and a nos mullard gz34 rectifier for $60. charlie, on the other hand, charged me $60/ea for the other 3 mullard 12ax7's (kcanos, btw, charges $90!) i needed for my amp & $175 for a matched pair of mullard el84's (granted, the el84's in a mullard are harder to come by). i'll tell you, the mullards ARE the way to go. i put 'em in my new sonic machine factory '15 watter'


, & the diff was breathtaking! really brought the tone into focus. they make the groove tubes, ruby tubes, elect hrmnx, sovteks, ei's, you name the present day crop, sound like ****e. you see, back in the day, along with other factors, they just pumped (as in vacuum) the tubes for longer. that alone greatly effects the quality & tone. and they'll last you much longer. those little ampegs were great sounding amps; they're worth puttin' great tubes in.

Old 12th November 2003
"This is going to sound like heresy, esp. from me, but the Line6 Vetta is one combo that I need to borrow again and shoot out its modelizations against the real amps it emulates. It sounded good on an album we did here last month...there were about 15 vintage amps the artist brought into the studio, and that one amp -- which he borrowed to try out -- ended up doing the whole album.


Jon Atack
[email protected]"

Tell the owner there is a free upgrade

Q. How is Vetta II different from the original Vetta?
A. Vetta II has three main component differences from the original Vetta:
New software provides more amp models, effects, and features. In addition to Vetta’s original 49 amp models, 24 new models have been added, plus a “Bypass” amp model, for a grand total of 74. Of the new models, 12 are new Line 6 Originals, and 12 are modeled from various classic and modern amps. The new models are:
Line 6 Originals Amp Model Based on*…
Line 6 Variax Acous '03 Connor 50 Conford '03 mk50h
Line 6 Super Clean '03 Deity Crunch Diezel '03 VH4-Crunch
Line 6 Super Sparkl '03 Deity Lead Deizel '03 VH-4-Lead
Line 6 Sparkle Clean '03 Deity's Son Diezel '03 Herbert
Line 6 Crunch 63 Fn Black Vib Verb Fender '63 Vibroverb
Line 6 Smash '67 Fn Black Dual Show Fender '67 Dual Showman Head
Line 6 Fuzz '72 Fn Silver Bass Head Fender '72 Bassman Head
Line 6 Chnk Chnk 87 Brit Gain Silver J Marshall '87 Silver Jubilee
Line 6 Big Bottom 92 Brit Gain J-900 Clean Marshall '92 JCM-900-Clean ch
Line 6 Treadplate 92 Brit Gain J-900 Dist Marshall '92 JCM-900-Dist ch
Line 6 Lunatic 03 Brit Gain J-2000 Marshall '03 JCM 2000
Line 6 Agro '02 Missippi Criminal Peavey '02 5150 II

Q. Are there any differences between the old and new versions of Vetta’s 49 original Amp Models?

A. Yes, although many of the changes are subtle. The differences break into three categories: 1) Tonal improvements due to more refined modeling since Vetta was released, 2) Drive knob scaling, to reduce volume changes over the drive range, and/or 3) Channel Volume scaling, to provide a more consistent output level from amp to amp. The end result is an even more refined tone than before. Additionally, some of the cabinet model refinements that have been made for Flextone III and HD 147 have been also made to Vetta’s cabinet models.

Q. Are the Direct Outputs different?
A. Yes. Vetta II takes advantage of the improvements to our A.I.R. II mic and cab modeling that we have since used in PODxt, the Flextone III and HD 147 amps. The Direct Output sound is now more realistic than ever.

Q. What new effects are in Vetta II?
A. A handful of newly created effects have been added to Vetta II, of various types and in various categories. There are two new Distortion Stomp Boxes, five new Modulation effects that can be used as Stomp Boxes or Post Effects, two Tremolos that can now be used as Stomp Boxes, six new Modulation Post Effects including stereo modulations, a stereo post Delay, and 12 new Synth/Filt Stomp Boxes that emulate many classic monophonic synthesizers and filter sweep effects.
Q. Any changes to Vetta’s original effects?
A. In addition to the added effects, The Phaser model now has a feedback control, as does the Reverse Delay. Some of the reverbs have also had some subtle improvements.
Q. What’s new with the Post Effects routing?
A. Vetta II now allows for the five stereo Post Effects to be connected together in any order, and each can be selected to operate in series or in parallel, or chained to create combination effects. This routing is changeable in the same simple manner that the Stomp Box effects can be routed.
Q. What else is new?
A. A long list of software improvements have been added in Vetta II. Here are some highlights:
- Multiple Volume Pedal response curves
- Double Tracker On/Off switch
- Speakers and Direct Outs switchable on or off per channel
- Improved Tuner response
- Half-power mode for controllable lower volume use
- MIDI Sysex commands for parameter editing

Q. How can a Vetta be upgraded with Vetta II’s features?
A. All of Vetta II’s software features (which includes everything but the Vetta Digital Interface) can be downloaded into a Vetta through its MIDI interface. This download is available for free at www.line6.com to all Vetta owners. All that’s required is a computer with an Internet connection and a MIDI interface.
Old 12th November 2003
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Unfortunately i've only worked with "rush" stuff when that amp comes in. The Vetta never really did anything for me because the players never had it set properly and it took a bit too much of my time to wade in on a tight budget. I'll be sure to contact you the next time for some tips Jules...
Old 12th November 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Favorite amp for recording is like saying favorite mic for recording. It totally depends on what you are going for.
Old 19th November 2003
Gear Addict
NuSkoolTone's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Surprised no one mentioned a THD uni or bi-valve.

Weren't those things MADE for recording?
Old 23rd November 2003
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
For my extreme heavy Tones, which is mostly what I record these days, would have to be the Bogner Uberschall, and a Diezel herbert.
Old 24th November 2003
More cowbell!
natpub's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Mesa Triaxis pre>Mesa Stereo 2/90>Mesa 4x12 75wCelestion Slant
Old 24th November 2003
Lives for gear
toledo3's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by jbuntz
Favorite amp for recording is like saying favorite mic for recording. It totally depends on what you are going for.
That's exactly why the title is favorite "amps".
Old 13th November 2009
Gear Maniac
rockitrecordings's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I know this thread is old, but I decided to restrain myself from making another "your favorite amp" thread.

I love my Traynor 15w combo with greenback

the gain channel is kinda indie pop rock to pop punk

the clean channel is golden, especially with a telecaster and you're pushing it almost into that crunch area.

I bought this like 6 years ago when every pop punk kid that I recorded owned a Crate..... those days still make me cringe "I think MY tone is just fine.".... sure you do crate boy.
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Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
ThunderShepherd's Avatar
🎧 10 years
i've used:

70's Fender Super Reverb
76 Ampeg V4
74 Matamp built Orange OR120
73 Acoustic Control Corp 140
Orange Tiny Terror
Sovtek mig100h
Bad Cat Hot Cat 30
70s Sound City L50 plus
82 Marshall JCM 800 2204 (vertical inputs)
70s blackline Ampeg SVT
old Peavey Century
Peavey 5150 block letter
a slew of others

my favorite is probably the Ampeg V4 for guitar, Peavey Century for bass

worst is definitely the 5150.
Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
I love my little Mesa/Boogie studio .22+!
Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
stag's Avatar
🎧 15 years
60´s Vibroverb and a Tube screamer.
Although the Bassman reissues are awesome.
Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Puffer Fish's Avatar
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I did not see anyone mention Music Man amps. I just worked through an HD130 in the studio and it had a sweet sound. Music Man amps were the next generation of Leo Fender amplifiers, even though they are quite old now! They resemble the Fender sound, so that may not be much of a change or palette widening addition to your amplifiers, but the Music Man amps usually go for pretty cheap and a good tech can trick them out. Just make certain you get one with a master volume. I used to have an HD150 and got rid of it ultimately because there was no master volume control so the amp was a one-trick pony--very clean and very loud. The HD130 I used earlier this week has a master volume control, so it had some gain structure options. Sweet.
Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
paulreed's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I have a '67 silverface bassman head and 2 15' cab in just about mint condition. It used to belong to Atlantic Records in London but they blew it up. I had to replace the capacitors but the original RCA tubes are still working and we put 2 new Jensen alnico speakers in the cab, the same ones it sold with new.

This thing sounds GREAT with a guitar when you crank it up.
I like to mic it with a vintage West German made Beyer M88 on one speaker and a Senn 421 on the other.

the amp is not for sale!!!!

Scott Franson
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
Harry Hughes's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I've been loving the tones I've been getting with Peavey Revalver MKIII.
Great program/VST.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
Anyone tried the Laney Lionheart? Its my favourite amp at the moment, I have the 5w combo in my studio for recording with.

We used the 20w head and 2x12 cab blended with a VHT Pitbull (which I no longer have :( ) on the song "Concise":

Bridge The Void on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos

3 mics on the Lionheart, 2 on the VHT. Mostly Lionheart with the VHT adding some nice top end. Mental guitar tone, for everything up to chunky metal
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Fender Tweeds or modern-built clones are my favorites. They sound good on anything.
Old 16th November 2009
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
The Marshall JCM2000 TSL is an extremely versatile amplifier. With the JMP1 or ADA-MP1 pre amp plays like a beau
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