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Quilter Makes Best Guitar Amps For Working People
Old 17th December 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Thumbs up Quilter Makes Best Guitar Amps For Working People

So tubes/solid state/modeling blah blah. What you want is to get the job done right, and do so every time you plug in. Yeah I bought my Mesa Boogie in 1980 from Randy Smith, built in his basement long before the factory. And I loved my Tone King Imperial for a long time. But dang, carying that heavy iron everywhere and the problem with noisy reverbs, rattling tubes, never really knowing if something might happen on stage.

So I got a Quilter Aviator Gold and soon after the 101 Mini Head.

First impression: disappointment. I was playing a lot of Jazz and wanted that sweet bell high end over a creamy rich bottom end. What I got was a brittle high end that wrecked the bottom. Not my sound.

But I read about Class D amps sounding better as the caps stabilized. And that it could take 400 hours of burn in time. So what the hell, they became my only amps. And it happened. The harshness disappeared. They got creamy.

I use a Tone Tubby Ceramic 40/40 OR a Telonics Neo12 (faithful to a JBL K130) in separate cabs.

I did a side by side and crap, the Quilters held up to the tube amps just fine. They are different in that they seem a little faster in their response, who knows, to me they feel snappier but just as warm. Speaking of fuzz, they overdrive really musically. If not a "copy" of a tube saturation, something just as good, ear grabbing and ear pleasing. And the clean tone really is true to the best of tube amps, especially vintage Fenders. You just need a really good cab and high end speaker or two. And don't worry, these amps have GOBS of real world power. None of that solid state too pooped to pop weak watts and over-rated peak power nonsense here. Can you say HEADROOM?

It takes a LOT of getting used to the 101 mini, but as I get used to the concept of additive and subtractive tone sculpting on a guitar amp I loved it. Truth be told it sounds good set a lot of ways, even ones you might not use.

I put a Lehle Sunday Driver on the clean channel of the Aviator Gold for my Fender D'Aquisto Elite (Archtop). It sounds as creamy golden good as any amp out there and better than most could dream of. Without the Lehle it's still great, but the Lehle takes it into Guitar Audio Bliss.

I love Rocking out on the 101 Mini Head. It gets more and more fun, and sometimes I have to stop and gush at a really good sounding note.

I had to write this because I saw good players passing on these because of that initial sense of brittleness in the high end. I'm the average guy on the street with no connection to any company...no connection to reality really, except I KNOW guitar gear. I was a Fender repair guy and taught guitar forever. Never made a real living but had fun. I would have had more fun if I could of done it without the heavy lifting of my old tube amps. NOW I'm set!

You gotta spend a lot of time burning these in. Once you do you've got a versatile, fun to play tone beast monster of an amp that weighs just a few pounds! And the build is full on professional quality. None of that consumer crap that breaks first time you throw it out a hotel window. Holy crap! I love these amps!
Old 17th December 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I'm a Quilter believer. The 101 into a guitar cab to my ears is virtually indistinguishable from a tube amp. I gigged a 101. An amp on your pedalboard! Amazingly great.



I decided to go direct again with a Rivera load box and @ Joe Porto fortunately pointed out (before I blew up the Quilter) that a Class D such as a 101 can't run into the Rivera. Bummer. I sold the Rivera, went through a couple of Orange tube amps and finally ended up with Egnater > Rivera > mixer.

But yes the Quilter is absolutely amazing at how well it sounds like a tube amp.
Old 17th December 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quilter For the People

Yeah, the 101 doesn't have a line out unless you use the send. The Aviator Gold does and it's really good. You can definitely record with it and getting your sound onstage is fast and easy. You can use it as a direct box itself, with no speaker load. That's CRAZY talk!! But it's true.
Old 18th December 2017
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
"As the caps stabilize."

Is this for real? Not being sarcastic -- can and does this really happen?

Or is it like when I was in fifth grade and this we got this new kid Jerry in our room who had just moved to Illinois, and his South Philly accent was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard. But after a couple weeks, not sure why, I hardly noticed it anymore.

I've always assumed I just got used to it. But now I'm thinking... maybe his caps stabilized.
Old 18th December 2017 | Show parent
  #5
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➑️
"As the caps stabilize."

Is this for real? Not being sarcastic -- can and does this really happen?

Or is it like when I was in fifth grade and this we got this new kid Jerry in our room who had just moved to Illinois, and his South Philly accent was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard. But after a couple weeks, not sure why, I hardly noticed it anymore.

I've always assumed I just got used to it. But now I'm thinking... maybe his caps stabilized.
I think the explanation is simple, the OP is getting used to his new sound. FWIW, some of my guitar player friends swear by these things, but I'm mostly a vintage tube amp guy
Old 18th December 2017
  #6
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norton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And you don’t think the speakers had something to do with your amp sounding better? Hemp cone and a job clone? A little smoky amp should sound good through that combo.
Old 20th December 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quilter Subjective or Objective?

I never had the set up with Quilter OEM speakers in it. My amps are just Quilter heads thru my own cabs. Speakers aren't a factor.
Old 21st December 2017
  #8
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbfinger ➑️
I use a Tone Tubby Ceramic 40/40 OR a Telonics Neo12 (faithful to a JBL K130) in separate cabs.
I kinda question whether the Telonics is, in fact faithful to a JBL K130. For one thing, they don't give a full spec sheet with full frequency response and efficiency ratings. And it uses a Neodymium magnet, not Alnico. The Neo magnet is more efficient, but in my experience also often imparts a somewhat harh brightness to the upper mids and highs. The pic on the website looks suspiciously like the neo 15 my former pedal steel player had in his live rig, which I hated, compared to a pair of D120Fs in my Twin Reverb he used in practice. Telonics is using a magnet assembly config that's similar to an Alnico based assembly, but the physically smaller size of the stronger neo magnet will cause the field to focus around the voice coil somewhat differently than in the JBL. What difference does all this make? I'd have to put the Telonics up against a real JBL D130 to really know. It's possible that a lot of what I didn't like about that steel rig may have been due to the front end of the rig - I'm also not fond of what he used for a preamp and power amp, either.

Anyway, I'm not knocking the speaker, just suggesting that the claim it's "faithful" to the JBL might be overstating a bit.
Old 24th December 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Telonics VS JBL K i30

Well I had the luxury of side by side comparison at my friend's studio. He's got a lot of 60's and 70's black and silver-face Fender amps, some with old JBL's. We plugged my amp into the K130 and the Telonics using a Les Paul and a Fender D'Aquisto Elite. The K130 had massive lows. The Telonics just a bit MORE. Otherwise we could not hear a difference. Freaky really...
Old 24th December 2017
  #10
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I think that more than the speaker, the difference is the musician. I noticed the people who complained the most were all Jazzers, some with more than 30 years gigging experience. That's me when I'm not playing rock. My post was to encourage them to stick with the Quilter because it gets better. Now maybe it's not possible on paper. Maybe you never had a problem. But getting a perfect Jazz tone involves that high end being juicy sweet, never harsh. These amps when new sound harsh to a lot of people I know and Ive seen others complaining online. Mine no longer has any of that edginess. I understand the subjective aspect of sound. I never thought my JBL 305's got better with "breaking in". A lot of people do. They missed the part on the box where it states 305's are burned in at 100% power for 100 hours before shipping. They are sold already broken in. Maybe Pat could offer it as an option for picky players. Kidding.
Old 25th December 2017 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbfinger ➑️
Well I had the luxury of side by side comparison at my friend's studio. He's got a lot of 60's and 70's black and silver-face Fender amps, some with old JBL's. We plugged my amp into the K130 and the Telonics using a Les Paul and a Fender D'Aquisto Elite. The K130 had massive lows. The Telonics just a bit MORE. Otherwise we could not hear a difference. Freaky really...
What kind of music?
Old 26th December 2017
  #12
Gear Guru
I like my 2k watt ncore Hypex power amp section. That amp will cause bathroom breaks. Some use those amps for studio monitors. It's GTG for a bass rig. Only weighs about 4 lbs. It's class D perfected.
Old 26th December 2017 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
I like my 2k watt ncore Hypex power amp section. That amp will cause bathroom breaks. Some use those amps for studio monitors. It's GTG for a bass rig. Only weighs about 4 lbs. It's class D perfected.
Sure, but Hypex amps are very different from the Class D amps incorporated into your typical mass produced musical instrument amps from your local GC or whoever.

And they're not cheap, either.

Class D doesn't HAVE to be crap - Bruno Putzys proved that with Hypex. It's just that it's very easy to produce a cheaply made and cheaply designed Class D that may make spec under limited conditions on the bench but sucks dog balls out in the field.

As I understand it, one of the things Putzys did was build in a power reserve to his designs that cheaper Class Ds lack.
Old 26th December 2017 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbfinger ➑️
Well I had the luxury of side by side comparison at my friend's studio. He's got a lot of 60's and 70's black and silver-face Fender amps, some with old JBL's. We plugged my amp into the K130 and the Telonics using a Les Paul and a Fender D'Aquisto Elite. The K130 had massive lows. The Telonics just a bit MORE. Otherwise we could not hear a difference. Freaky really...
Well, what I'm concerned with is on the opposite end of the spectrum - I don't care much for the highs on a lot of Neo speakers - or microphones, for that matter, although there are some exceptions in the mic department.

Although, as I said, it could be the front end of his rig that produced most of the tonality I objected to - in which case I like Line 6 even less than I thought I did, and don't much care for budget Class D power amps, either.
Old 26th December 2017
  #15
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razorboy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It must be a new marketing concept: ""SOUND LIKE POOH FOR 400 HOURS, THEN SOUND GREAT!"
Old 27th December 2017 | Show parent
  #16
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Jeff Scott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy ➑️
It must be a new marketing concept: ""SOUND LIKE POOH FOR 400 HOURS"...
Old 27th December 2017 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone ➑️
I'm a Quilter believer. The 101 into a guitar cab to my ears is virtually indistinguishable from a tube amp. I gigged a 101. An amp on your pedalboard! Amazingly great.



I decided to go direct again with a Rivera load box and @ Joe Porto fortunately pointed out (before I blew up the Quilter) that a Class D such as a 101 can't run into the Rivera. Bummer. I sold the Rivera, went through a couple of Orange tube amps and finally ended up with Egnater > Rivera > mixer.

But yes the Quilter is absolutely amazing at how well it sounds like a tube amp.
<chuckle>....

So you blew up your Quilter? I've been following Pat Quilter's work since the early "Duck" amps in the late '70's/early '80s and the metamorphosis into Quilter electronics.

Reliability has always been his weak point. I guess the new stuff is no different.

Old 27th December 2017 | Show parent
  #18
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RicTone's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➑️
<chuckle>....

So you blew up your Quilter? I've been following Pat Quilter's work since the early "Duck" amps in the late '70's/early '80s and the metamorphosis into Quilter electronics.

Reliability has always been his weak point. I guess the new stuff is no different.

! No I didn't blow it up. Fortunately @ Joe Porto wrote a post warning me I couldn't run the 101 into the Rivera load box.
Old 30th December 2017
  #19
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
What matters is what matters to ME!

So many so sure of their opinions with no hands-on experience. Comparing Quilters to amp modeling systems like Line 6 displays utter ignorance of Quilter's all analog design and sound. Line 6 is consumer grade digital sounding crap to me. No one in the business would use one unless paid to. That's my hands-on snobbish opinion. And though the Telonics is a neo speaker, not one person here would know it in a blindfold test. It nails a vintage K130 in my side by side tests (playing mostly straight Jazz and Bop in test, it's best as a clean speaker, I like the Tone Tubby for classic rock but would use the Telonics also because it sounds so damn good, it just does. 300 watts too!). That is MY hands on opinion. My Quilter heads thru the Telonics sound as close to a silverface Fender Twin with JBLs as you need to be, and a total weight of about 25 lbs. That's not up to debate. The schlepping factor is huge to a gigging guitarist. If you can beat that and still get YOUR sound it's a WIN. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Disagree all you want, I'm happy and completely satisfied with this set up. I've shared my experience and it's quirks, based on playing classic amps for more than 30 years. It's funny watching you guys picking up your Mesa Boogies and Fender Twins. I can see your balls sweating. Gross.
Old 31st December 2017 | Show parent
  #20
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbfinger ➑️
So many so sure of their opinions with no hands-on experience. Comparing Quilters to amp modeling systems like Line 6 displays utter ignorance of Quilter's all analog design and sound. Line 6 is consumer grade digital sounding crap to me. No one in the business would use one unless paid to. That's my hands-on snobbish opinion. And though the Telonics is a neo speaker, not one person here would know it in a blindfold test. It nails a vintage K130 in my side by side tests (playing mostly straight Jazz and Bop in test, it's best as a clean speaker, I like the Tone Tubby for classic rock but would use the Telonics also because it sounds so damn good, it just does. 300 watts too!). That is MY hands on opinion. My Quilter heads thru the Telonics sound as close to a silverface Fender Twin with JBLs as you need to be, and a total weight of about 25 lbs. That's not up to debate. The schlepping factor is huge to a gigging guitarist. If you can beat that and still get YOUR sound it's a WIN. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Disagree all you want, I'm happy and completely satisfied with this set up. I've shared my experience and it's quirks, based on playing classic amps for more than 30 years. It's funny watching you guys picking up your Mesa Boogies and Fender Twins. I can see your balls sweating. Gross.

Presumably the Quilter's reverb is digital though?
Old 31st December 2017 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbfinger ➑️
So many so sure of their opinions with no hands-on experience. Comparing Quilters to amp modeling systems like Line 6 displays utter ignorance of Quilter's all analog design and sound. Line 6 is consumer grade digital sounding crap to me. No one in the business would use one unless paid to. That's my hands-on snobbish opinion. And though the Telonics is a neo speaker, not one person here would know it in a blindfold test. It nails a vintage K130 in my side by side tests (playing mostly straight Jazz and Bop in test, it's best as a clean speaker, I like the Tone Tubby for classic rock but would use the Telonics also because it sounds so damn good, it just does. 300 watts too!). That is MY hands on opinion. My Quilter heads thru the Telonics sound as close to a silverface Fender Twin with JBLs as you need to be, and a total weight of about 25 lbs. That's not up to debate. The schlepping factor is huge to a gigging guitarist. If you can beat that and still get YOUR sound it's a WIN. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Disagree all you want, I'm happy and completely satisfied with this set up. I've shared my experience and it's quirks, based on playing classic amps for more than 30 years. It's funny watching you guys picking up your Mesa Boogies and Fender Twins. I can see your balls sweating. Gross.
<chuckle>

FWIW, although I have quite a few regular amps of assorted sizes ranging from a 140 watt Twin with JBLs down to a 1.5 watt Vox Lil Night Train, the rig I actually use consists of an A-designs Ventura channel strip into one channel of a small Hafler power amp driving a Totem Audio hi-fi center speaker with 2x 4" woofers and a dome tweeter.

I've never really had any gripe with Quilter's tone, it's their reliability I have issues with. Even in the old days of the Duck amps Quilter had some of the best solid state tone available. They just blew up a lot. Pat Quilter seems to have a problem about using enough power transistors for a given output.

As an aside, it seems like an awful lot of guys these days seem to have the problem of sacrificing quality and reliability for convenience. Hire a roadie, fer chrissake!

Last edited by John Eppstein; 7th January 2018 at 06:50 AM..
Old 7th January 2018
  #22
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Mylithra's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok. I wanted to carry a backup amp just in case me or the other guitarist blew an amp so I wanted something small and light. The 101 reverb 50 seemed to fit the bill. I tested it out and it sounds pretty damn good. I am impressed actually. While I don’t think it sounds as good as my Kendrick amps I normally play, I could totally play an entire gig on one and it sounds good enough where I where I would be happy with it at the end of the night.
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #23
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Jeff Scott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylithra ➑️
Ok. I wanted to carry a backup amp just in case me or the other guitarist blew an amp so I wanted something small and light. The 101 reverb 50 seemed to fit the bill. I tested it out and it sounds pretty damn good. I am impressed actually. While I don’t think it sounds as good as my Kendrick amps I normally play, I could totally play an entire gig on one and it sounds good enough where I where I would be happy with it at the end of the night.
What about the audience? Would they be able to tell the difference between the Quilter and the Kendrick?
Old 7th January 2018
  #24
Gear Guru
I also use a tweaked out Puma 1k watt mini head here. Yes, the preamps now sound great. The Ice Power class D power amps are rf generators and a bit dirty but fine for a live bass rig.
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #25
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RicTone's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott ➑️
What about the audience? Would they be able to tell the difference between the Quilter and the Kendrick?
An audience wouldn't know, particularity true when pushing air. Hearing your own stage monitor you'd hardly know, or wouldn't know, the Quilter 101 wasn't a tube amp.

Does the Quilter 101 have the true pure bell-like tone of a classic tube Fender black face? No it doesn't. But for a Class D it's amazingly realistic. And very lightweight.
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #26
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Mylithra's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott ➑️
What about the audience? Would they be able to tell the difference between the Quilter and the Kendrick?
I dont know to tell the truth. It sounds different enough that I think some people could probably tell but most wouldnt.

Maybe a topic for a different thread but a lot of what we perceive as tone come from technique. I read a story some time back from Guitar player mag or something like that where Ted Nugent and Eddie Van Halen were back stage at some festival they were playing at. Ted really liked Eddies tone and asked to play his rig. Eddie let him and Ted sounded like Ted. Eddie picked up Ted's hollow body playing through Teds amp and it sounded just like Eddie. Ted was mildly irritated and amused at the same time.

The moral of the story as it translates to me using the Quilter vs my Kendrick amps, Its still sounds like me even if the tone is not what you normally hear out of me.
Old 8th January 2018 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone ➑️
An audience wouldn't know, particularity true when pushing air. Hearing your own stage monitor you'd hardly know, or wouldn't know, the Quilter 101 wasn't a tube amp.

Does the Quilter 101 have the true pure bell-like tone of a classic tube Fender black face? No it doesn't. But for a Class D it's amazingly realistic.
That's like saying that saccharin doesn't taste like sugar, but for things that taste like saccharin it tastes good. In other words it tastes good for something that tastes bad.

Quote:
And very lightweight.
Once again, convenience trumps quality.
Old 8th January 2018 | Show parent
  #28
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Mylithra's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➑️
Once again, convenience trumps quality.
and Ill go one further and say necessity trumps convenience. I just had an operation and cant lift more than 10 lbs. I have 2 teles that are 7lbs each but none of my tube amps are less than 20lbs. (22 lbs is my lightest)
Rather than put a burden on anyone to help me, I moved to the Quilter and a light 1x12 cab (Right at 10lbs) plus my nano pedal board. None of this stuff is my regular gigging gear, but it leaves me independent and sounds enough like me to not sound too odd when playing with the rest of my group.
Old 9th January 2018 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott ➑️
What about the audience? Would they be able to tell the difference between the Quilter and the Kendrick?
Not after the second drink.
Old 11th January 2018
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Tom Hicks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I bought the Quilter microblock 45 in Nov. after my classic 30 was in for repairs (again). The classic 50 is nearly as heavy as a twin so i wanted a lightweight backup amp. I gigged with the Quilter microblock 45 in clubs 3 times to test it out, using a joyo american sound in front and was pleased.

This amp the size of a deck of cards now resides in my gig bag for future deployment whenever the need arises.

p.s. After the first set of the the first quilter gig, the soundman came to me and asked me to turn down.
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