Amp Confusion

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Amp Confusion

Postby Honeyboy » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:49 pm

I have several amps that I love. I have one that I almost sold recently. I used it last night at a gig and fell in love with it again. I took down my Craig's List ad and now can't wait to use it again.

Why am I so confused about amps and my sound? Seems like I go from amp to amp... searching for something that I already have.

Is this a kind of musician's disease?


Rick Honeyboy Hart
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Re: Amp Confusion

Postby birdmove » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:07 am

Yes. It's called GAS--gear acquisition syndrome.
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Re: Amp Confusion

Postby straightblues » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:38 pm

I have been on a very long amp search. I have owned at least 20 and probably more. The issue is I didn't ever find one that sounded the way I wanted it to at the volume I wanted it. I was always fighting. Then I got a Fender Harvard. This amp just does everything I want. It has three inputs that are progressively dirtier. So I can get grind at low home volumes and get cleaner tones at louder stage volume. It just does everything I had hoped my other amps would do but failed to do.

So your amp that sounded great with the band, probably doesn't sound that great at home. Maybe you need to get two amps, keep that one for the stage, and get a quiet one for home.
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Re: Amp Confusion

Postby gatorblue » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:14 am

After playing 40 years (mostly blues), the best advice I can give on amps is two words -- lower wattage.

90% of all gigs you play don't need 50-100 watts. The amps that are good quality but only run 15-30 watts are your best bet. You get the best tone--and the most responsive to your playing--when you overdrive a tube amp "naturally." It took me many years to finally figure this out. I like to set the volume at around 7 to 8 and then turn my guitar volume knob to around 3. You still get the beefy sound and when you turn up you guitar volume a bit for solos, you get the natural sustain and overdrive that a pedal just can't really reproduce.

Serious amp experts like the guys at Victoria, Dr. Z, Chieftan, Matchless, etc all agree that tone comes from 4 things--the tubes, the speakers, the cabinet, and the "stress" on all of them. You can't turn a bassman down to 3, for example, and hit your OD pedal and get the same sound as driving a small fender, peavey or vox naturally. I also own a very high quality attenuator, a Weber. It does a good job of "eating" the watts from the power amp, but it's still not the same because the cab and speakers are not straining so it's just not the same. I can't tell you how many times I've had younger guitarists come up and ask what kind of box I use to get my overdrive. When I tell them that it's just the amp, they freak out.

There are some nice low wattage amps out there that do a great job on blues---Fender Blues Junior 112, the Peavey Delta Blues 115, the Vox AC15 112--you can get great tone out of these and they run around $600 new or $400 used. I see people spend twice that for a bigger wattage amp, and then spend another $500+ on all types of pedals to get a sound that's not as good as what they could have had with just the amp. As Eric Clapton demonstrates---you can always mic your amp in bigger venues.
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Re: Amp Confusion

Postby JLHooker » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:02 pm

I have 3 amps,an old 65 twin reverb,a peavey classic 50 and a peavey delta blues.Of the 3, the classic 50 is my favorite maily because of the master volume control.I don't play out except for an occasional jam, then I use my delta blues because it has a good tone and its smaller and easier for an ol' man to move around.
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