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New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:38 pm
by bluescentric
So I've just got a little Behringer amp that I bought when I first started playing guitar. It's only redeeming quality is that it's got some switches I can play with to get distortion or keep it clean if I want (and I don't have any effects pedals, so it works out nicely for now.) Other than that it's an annoyance to me. I'm planning on shopping around for an amp, but once I made the decision... it dawned on me that, while I've been gung ho on the guitar, pickups, sounds, etc, etc.... I don't know jack crap about Amps lol.

So where should I even start?

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:18 pm
by lpdeluxe
Start with your budget and your expectations: will you be playing in the bedroom, coffeehouse, dance hall? Do you want raunch, clean headroom, lots of effects?

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:04 pm
by leftyguitarman
Forget solid state and go with a tube amp. That's a start.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:05 pm
by Bournio
Tube amps aren't always the best option... If you're after a really clean tone with little distortion then solid-state amps are the way to go... tube amps (even ones with a gain control seperate to the volume) do distort more than solid state amps at a given volume, even if the pre-amp tubes arent overdriven themselves

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:14 pm
by Rhambama
I've been very happy with my Fender Super Champ XD. Great little practice amp with rich blues tones. It's solid for both singles and humbuckers.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:31 pm
by lpdeluxe
Buy with your ears, not preconceptions. One of my favorite amps is the Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight, all 26 lb and 250 watts of solid state. Great Fender tone, small and unobtrusive, clean and drive channels, effects...I also have various tube amps, which are called into service when I want a different sound from the JM, or when (as with the tweed Blues Jr NOS) I want to look of it at the venue. I have a Band-Master VM that I plug into a 1-15 cab for that unmistakable, rich 335 sound (and while I'm on the subject, when someone says "they're not like the OLD Bandmasters," just nod wisely: they're not, but they sure sound good). Then there's a modified Pignose G40V, raunch and roll, and my venerable '63 Silvertone 1484.

All small and relatively light, and they work with what I do.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:29 am
by thunda1216
Bournio wrote:Tube amps aren't always the best option... If you're after a really clean tone with little distortion then solid-state amps are the way to go... tube amps (even ones with a gain control seperate to the volume) do distort more than solid state amps at a given volume, even if the pre-amp tubes arent overdriven themselves


*WHAT?* Ever tried to get a Twin Reverb to distort?

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:35 am
by thunda1216
Pignose G40V, Pignose G60VR, Peavey Classic 30, Crate Vintage Club, Peavey Encore, Peavey Bandit, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Bassman 50, Delta Blues...the possibilities are endless. It boils down to what you want in tone and the venues you play.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:35 pm
by birddog
Good advise so far.
As mentioned I think you wallet and your ears will be your guide.
Took me about a year and a half to decide on my second amp so as long as you have something to play through, take your time. Do lots of research, talk to people and try out what you can.
Don't be afraid of used amps,(tube amps will be around long after we are gone) I finally decided on an old bassman off ebay, it worked but is being tweeked as I write this. I'll still have less in it than some amp heads you can buy new.

Wally

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:34 pm
by jeffl
If you're gonna plug into a Super Champ XD and try it out, you may as well try to plug into a Fender Pro,Jr., and a Fender Blues Junior. The earlier post about determining how much power you need is the starting point. If you're just playing at home, even a 5-watt tube amp'll do the job, and something like a 50 watt tube amp would be way too much. 15-30 watt tube amps are pretty flexible, in that you can reign 'em in for house playing, but they're loud enough to use for small gigs, especially if you mic them into the mains. I'm a harper, but IMO you'll want more wattage in a solid state amp than you'll need in a Class A or A/B tube amp. It's not good to buy way more power than you'll need. You got a good local music store nearby that'll let you plug in and maybe lend you some of their expertise...?

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:46 pm
by Troubleman
Bournio wrote:Tube amps aren't always the best option... If you're after a really clean tone with little distortion then solid-state amps are the way to go... tube amps (even ones with a gain control seperate to the volume) do distort more than solid state amps at a given volume, even if the pre-amp tubes arent overdriven themselves



I'd respectfully disagree...
Fender Twin Reverb - industry standard clean
Fender Super Reverb - as tube amp guru Aspen Pittman (groove tubes) puts it "The King of Kleen"
Hiwatt Custom 50s and 100s amps - awesome clean tones; Pete Townshend had to crank 'em LOUD to get a bit of overdrive

I think the late Albert King (acoustic model 360 or roland jc-120) and BB King (lab series) not with-standing, the overwhelming preponderance of blues guitar players prefer tube amps - SRV, Bonamassa, Clapton, Gary Moore, Jeff Healey... (add more names here)....
I think most of those players like a bit of dirt in their tone
The best blues amps are those tube amps that can be pushed to overdrive, but clean up nicely when the guitar volume is rolled back - black panel Fenders a known for this...


jb

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:59 pm
by jmcphail
If I had money and were buying amps, a nice Deluxe Reverb would be first on my list. Also consider one of the tweed reissue Bassman, they have a nice sound. I've owned both of them in the past and regret selling them. I'd also buy an AC30 for its sound, but I wouldn't think of it for blues really.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:18 pm
by lpdeluxe
I like the Blues Jr NOS for its size and appearance (this is the tweed version). The price has gone up from when I bought mine, but I'd be tempted at the higher price if I didn't already have one.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:16 am
by leftyguitarman
Bournio wrote:Tube amps aren't always the best option... If you're after a really clean tone with little distortion then solid-state amps are the way to go... tube amps (even ones with a gain control seperate to the volume) do distort more than solid state amps at a given volume, even if the pre-amp tubes arent overdriven themselves


Bournio, I think you need to leave. :lol: :mrgreen:

While tube amps do tend to distort, that's why they're great. The only solid state amp I would ever buy is the one I own; an Epiphone Triggerman. Even then, I've played through it about two times in the last month. Solid state tone is just lacking. It all sounds so un-natural.

Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:19 am
by Rhambama
If I had money, I'd go for one of the NOS Fender Tweeds. I really like their tone.