The Best Amp For The Blues

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The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Honeyboy » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:22 pm

I'm writing an article for my website and I need some help. I want to talk about what is the best amp for the blues. I know a lot of people like a Super Reverb but I'd like to get other people's opinions. Please share your thoughts.

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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby gatorblue » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:25 am

So many good ones. To me, the 53-54 5B6 Bassman 115 was the best ever. The 37-39 Gibson EH-150 suitcase tweed (112, 15 watts class A) is a killer blues amp. the old Champs are great amps--especially the one with the 8" speaker. But again, these babies are really expensive and very touchy if you gig much.

On the new stuff out there, the re-issued Bassman LTDs are pretty good, but too loud at 60 watts, in my opinion. A lot of people like the Blues Junior, but I think the Peavey Delta Blues 115 is better and is one of the best on the market. A new one can be had for around $625--it is truly a remarkably good amp. I've never been a Peavey fan, but after hearing some of the best pickers in Memphis, Nashville and DFW play these, I tried one out and bought it on the spot. They really hit a home run.

Some of the boutique amps out there--Dr. Z Maz Jr and the smaller powered Bad Cats and Victoria's are super amps if money is no problem. There are some really nice old Kays and Silvertone tube amps from the 60s that still sound great. You might need to replace a cap and a few tubes, but they can be super finds. And they have killer mojo. Very good amps for harp and guitar.

The lower watt Magnatones were super amps as was the 15 watt Marshall that they made for a couple of years. This subject is highly objective and you should get a huge diversity of opinion on this subject. This is just my take on the best blues amps.

I hope this helps.

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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:17 pm

My amp's the best for the Blues.
You can just write in your article: Bill's amp is the best. 8)
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Jakeblues » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:49 pm

I vote for Bill's.

Ask 10 players and get 100 answers. I like an amp that I can walk the grey area where the amp is just starting to break up, so I can work the tone with my right hand technique and the vol control on the guitar. I guess any number of amps will fit the bill, but I had a Fender 75 that I liked lot. Now I have a Mesa 50 Caliber with a very clean 100 watt Jensen. I know Mesa's are usually associated with a high gain sound, but this is basically a Fender circuit. getting all the gains set right tke some time, but I like the results.

Tone-wise, one of my favorite plyers is Johnny A. I think he uses Vox an Marshall. (I seem to remember him having at least 4 amps on stage the last time I saw him.) Fine, as long as someone else is moving it all.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby j bird » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:27 pm

IMO, there is no best. I think an article on how to get certain blues sounds via different amp & guitar combinations would be much more beneficial from an educational standpoint. There is quite a broad tonal landscape between the blues of BB King, Muddy Waters and modern contemporaries like SRV .etc

Example: a Gib 335 and a strat into the same deluxe reverb will sound dramatically different.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby panhead201 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:51 am

I've looked everywhere for a Bill,s Amp.Nobody has any idea what I'm talking about.Even Sweetwater and MF,ebay and c-list.Must be real boutique.Guess I'll have to stick with I've got.A couple of months ago,a friend wanted to trade me a Mesa Blue Angel combo 4-10,s for my Mesa Nomad45 combo.I did it cause I never got along with the Nomad.I'm used to all Mesa,s buttons,still got a few of their amps,I just never dialed in the Nomad.I love this amp.It's got 6 buttons,and the most amazing cleans I've ever heard.I've been playing hours every day cause of this amp.I've got a 68 black LP Custom and a 72 ES-355-TDSV stereo that love the Blue Angel.I'm lefty so when I find a decent guitar I keep it.I got both of em new.I'm running the stereo between the BA and a Fender Blues Deluxe.Not an RI.I'm having a blast.Been recording analog just to do it and it sounds great.I've got 8 bucket list tracks,stuff that's been rattling around in my skull for a half century.Now,if I ould only write vocals that don't sound contrived....."Pointing at it on the wall ain't gonna help you,he computer says we don't have one"....Bill,s Amp dealer,just the other day.P.S. how come I can post stuff on my Macbook and not my windows desktop?
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby BobHolland » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:43 am

I figure the best amp for the blues is the one you got. Not about what you got as much as what you do do with what you got. :wha:
I have a Fender Blues Junior (Blond) amp. (2002) Ampeg B100R Rocket Bass Amp, GK 1001RBII Bass amp, Gk 410 Speaker Cabinet. :D
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby j bird » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:49 pm

I will say in general, a deluxe reverb is a great all purpose blues amp. It has the right balance of vol, headroom and a tad of hair when you want to crank it. I don't have one though because it is so common of an amp choice here. I have a few that I use....a 5e3 clone, an old reverb rocket, a sf baseman head, or a sf vibrolux. All of these have their own special thing. I like them all.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Clifford D » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:20 pm

I would so unhappy with a small nasty amp. I own a Fender SuperSonic 60.
This is a moddern amp that has a Vibrolux, a Bassman, and a third "burn" channel.

At this point many blues snobs are laughing, But. here's the thing, I'm not a blues purist by any means. I like crystal clean bell tone, the Bassman provides this and reflect that Fender vibe. The burn channel plays itself. It can cop SRV Texas Flood better than what my Zendrive2 can produce on the Bassman channel. So I rarely use the pedal. The amp is a true pedal killer.

All that said, I believe the true tone lies in the fingers (the human).
Without a skilled player the guitar/amp does nothing positive.

A clean amp can reveal sloppy playing, a dirty little amp can hide some of that slop but I can tell skill level regardless.

My ASAT Special and Fender SuperSonic 60 are very sympathetic to my playing and that makes it a winning pairing for me.

And, now that I have the sound I seek, I can get back to focusing on the music and my playing.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Clifford D » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:57 pm

And then there's the story of my friends amp quest.
He was in love with his Peavey Vyper, the best amp
he ever used he said.
One day he finds a Fender SuperSonic60 like mine.
Without taking it out to play first he starts changing
tubes to "cop" the sound of his Vyper. Well, the SS60
never did cop the Vyper and in fact sounded just aweful.
When I played it there was NO clean, just ratty hi end
Fingers on a chalk board. And this guy was just going on
how he really found the tone in the amp. I felt he totally
erased all the qualities I love in the amp.

I never told him how I felt, I just politely said "no thanks"
when he offered to do the same to my amp.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby panhead201 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:29 pm

"TONE" to me means something I can't figure out.I sound ike me.I've got a Bugera vintage 5 with a couple tubes and an eight inch paper cone speaker and I love it.It costs more to re-tube one of my high end amps.Blues to me comes from your gut,your fingers just do what you tell em to.It's about being thirteen and cold and hungry,no place to live,and scared to fall asleep cause a couple guys will steal your guitar or god knows what else in NYC.It's meeting the love of your life and she's living with your bass player.She feels the same way you do,but you can't do anything cause the guy's for friend.I left the band and moved to Boston, always wondered "what if".As romantic as it sounds,I didn't miss 5 guys riding in uninsulated Ryder truck in a blizzard,having to set up your stuff after a seven hour terrifying ride.The hotels where the clerk asked you if you wanted the room for an hour.I loved having roadies,the limos,havin a manager who made all the arrangements.I used to like afternoon sound checks,me and the sound guy in a big club.The lunch crowd was gone,the after work crowd wouldn't be there for a few hours.the bartenders were washing glasses,the waitresses were changing tablecloths,whatever.I'd play my ass off.Everybody would stop what they war doing and listen.It made it all worth itI guess that was my tone.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Jakeblues » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:13 pm

BobHolland wrote:I figure the best amp for the blues is the one you got. Not about what you got as much as what you do do with what you got. :wha:


A lot of truth there. I might add as well, "the amp you're used to". When I switched from your basic SF Bassman or Dual showman to the Fender 75, it took a lot of tweeking to get my tone where I wanted. (Granted, single channel, cascading pre-amps are can be a little touchy.) If you're familiar with the rig, you know how to get the sounds/tones you're looking for out of it, both in terms of settings and your touch.

I have a Fender Blues Junior (Blond) amp. (2002) Ampeg B100R Rocket Bass Amp, GK 1001RBII Bass amp, Gk 410 Speaker Cabinet. :D


I had a chance to try an SG through a Blues Jr. at a local shop last week. I like the amp, a lot. I had some trouble getting the tone out of it I was looking for, but I'm pretty sure it's in there. I'd need to be more familiar with it.
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby panhead201 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:06 am

Hope you find what you know's in there,jakeblues.Was wondering what you thought of the SG.Was looking at em in all the catalogs.Them and the new LP jrs.Had been putting aside cash for a new LP.Never kept a burst for very long.They used to look like some kid did em with three rattle can,sThe new ones are incredible.Ice Tea,tobacco.a bunch of em.My MB pro shot craps,there went all my walking around money.I've seen SG,s with ebony boards.I'm kinda partial to ebony.Thanks. Hey clifford,would love it if you posted some clips!!!I'm gonna try as soon as the c-right is done and I figure out how to upload em.........see ya,pinhead
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby Jakeblues » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:18 am

I used to play SG's when I gigged, and I've always like the sound. It's not a guitar often asociated with the blues, but can certainly do the job.

i ended up trading for/buying it: '06 faded w/humbuckers. Has a nice broken in feel, plays well, sounds good. I ws originally thinking about a special w/p90's, but liked this one a lot. (Jr.'s are cool, but I play took much on the neck p'up

Now we'll see how long I last before I start changing stuff...
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Re: The Best Amp For The Blues

Postby panhead201 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:08 am

Thanks,man..I got this Blue Angel amp a couple of months ago an d it kinda woke me up.I hadn't bought anything new besides cables and strings for years.Always liked the looks of em,but the only une I ever had was the SG bodied Les Paul with 3 pickups.Aline white.It looked cool,but I never could get used to it,so down the road it went.Allof a sudden I've been recording and playing my ass off.That's a good thing.Theres 2 GC,s about 40 miles from my house,I thinkI'll take a trip to town.I don't spend a lot of time online but a friend told me about this forum and I really like it.I'm lefty,and in the past you didn't have much to choose from.clifford d,s got me goin,too.I've never put that much thought into anything.I gon't know if I feel guilty,or what.Anyway,thanks for the response.I've never found a single pickup guitar I could live with,either.No bridge,no neck.....see ya,panhead
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