Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

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Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby herb_ransburg » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:47 pm

Marshall? Mesa? or Fender? Oh My!

Just wondering if anyone out there had a preference for these amps for blues (and jazz)? How about quality, build, and workmanship of their units in the $300-$600 range? It needs to be more suited for blues with a warmer sound vs. being distortion capable. (if that makes any sense)

To Tube, or not, to tube?

Not sure what the guys at the local stores (GC and SA) get on commissions, but not many of them agree on which is a better selection for blues and jazz. I concluded that I should ask the folks that are NOT paid to provide advice - The Membership.

Thanks for any input. Marshall, Mesa, and Fender don't have to be the only options, but I figured I couldn't go terribly wrong with those as my starting points.

Thanks!
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby ricochet » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:17 am

Well, what sort of blues (and jazz) are you planning to play? In what sort of settings?

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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby grady » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:36 am

there are good ones and bad ones in all 3 brands.

I personally prefer the Fender Pro Jr.
However,,,it is about the only Fender amp currently in production that I like.

I would not recommend a Marshall at all for Blues/Jazz

Mesa/Boogie has some nice single channel amps that I like.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby dgdgbd » Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:56 am

Blues and Jazz require very different amps...most Blues musicians are very concerned about having a good tone. Jazz guitarists tend to like poopy sounding Solid State amps like a Polytone Brute or a Roland Jazz Chorus.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby lightninboy » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:15 pm

I've had a few old Marshalls, and they're great amp's.
Real nasty and simple.
My 1970 JMP super lead ROCKED!
The JTM45 sounds great, but worth a lot of money.
I've also had some new Marshall's that weren't all that good.
Apart from the JTM45, I'd say they aren't really blues amp's.
I'm not a big fan of Messa Boogie amps.
I've played along side guys who use them, and I've allways had a bigger sound.
However, I haven't played 'em all, or heard them all.
Basically they're just a hot rodded fender, so some of them probably sound great for blues.
My favourite though is Fender.
I have a really nice custom shop fender amp, a Duel Pro.
Best tone I've ever heard, by a long way.
Old Fenders are great for blues, probably the best.
Bassman, Showman, magic!
A few years ago, the shop gave me a Fender Vibro King to try for a week.
Great amp, with nice break-up, 3 control reverb, 3x10.
Hot sounding blues amp!
Or maybe the re-issue Bassman would be nice, but I havn't heard them.
Funny thing though, you'd be supprised at who uses solid state amps, and sounds hot!
BB King for one.
A lot of the time, tone comes from your fingers.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby ricochet » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:32 pm

B.B.'s used lots of different amps. He's one who turns up everything on the amp as far as he'd like it to be at max and controls the volume and tone with his guitar knobs, which is a good plan.

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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby blues power » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:39 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-08-05 AT 10:42 AM (EST)]the only amps i can think of in that price range that sound good are these.

HRD 40 watt
Used JCM 900 50 watt
Used mesa F-30 (prob closer to $700)
Music man HD 65 or 130. (I had this amp in the 70's and im sorry i sold it)

I never listen to any of the salesmen in GC or SA cus i find that all they want to do is make a sale. evrything to them sounds great and push that famouse saying. "oh yea man that sounds great this is the amp for you" ive head it all b4. I onlt go there to try the gear and then i make my deal and thelocal store and i always get better deals and service and the local mom and pop store. around here they beat the chain store prices and the know about the gear that they sell.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby rustyslide » Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:32 pm

I play jazz and jazzy-blues on my little Tech 21 Trademark 10 which is set to sound like a low-gain Marshall.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby bluejay » Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:10 pm

What are you planning to play through it? My Tele's single coils have a love match with my Pro Jr., but an Esquire with Atomic II humbucker that I had for a while didn't get along with it at all. So take your guitar and its PUs into account. For under just under $300, the Pro Jr. seems a great deal on a tube amp to me.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby herb_ransburg » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:20 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-09-05 AT 07:15 PM (EST)]Thanks all! I appreciate the comments and advice.

What I will be playing (trying to learn!) is more T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian styles. I have a couple of Oscar Schmidts and Ibanez Artcores in the stable at the moment. One day the guitar Gods may grant me the skills (and money!) so I can snag a 335!

Thanks again!

Herb
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby bighollowtwang » Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:09 am

>What I will be playing (trying to learn!) is more T-Bone
>Walker and Charlie Christian styles. I have a couple of
>Oscar Schmidts and Ibanez Artcores in the stable at the
>moment. One day the guitar Gods may grant me the skills
>(and money!) so I can snag a 335!

If you're really going to focus on the styles of Charlie Christian and T-Bone, you might want to forget the 335 and go for a fully-hollow archtop. Even an ES-330 will get you closer if you don't want to deal with a full-depth guitar.
And if that's the guitar style you are going for, I would suggest you forget about Marshall and Mesa completely. The Fender amps that will get you that type of sound are the old tweed amps, a blackface Fender will NOT sound like that no matter what guitar you plug into it. My vote would be for older (50's and early 60's) cheapos such as Silvertone, Supro, Danelectro, Harmony, and others.

I have a 1961 Fender brownface Super and a 1960 Silvertone 1433, I'd have a hard time telling you which one sounded better, even though the Fender is worth at least ten times as much!!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/a ... cf0001.jpg
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby orb mellon » Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:08 pm

I'm with BHT. Nice guitar by the way. I have a silvertone Dano of the same vintage. They do sound great.

IMHO, if you can find a Supro Thunderbolt, your quest will be over.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby herb_ransburg » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:18 pm

Thanks again for the advice and feedback.

I decided to go with something from the Fender line of reissues. From what I could research T-Bone favored the Bassman which Fender has a couple of "clones" out there - the Deville and Deluxe (not the HotRod) that I am going to go audition. The price tag tetters the top end of what I want to spend on amp, but I don't suspect I will need to buy another for a long, long, long time. Plus, it's Christmas!

On that guitar model suggestion, I located this link as I was doing my homework, http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibson.html, and learned alot about the vintage Gibson models. Great site!

Thanks!
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby blues power » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:58 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-12-05 AT 10:03 AM (EST)]sounds good. if your dead set on Fender look into the Pro Reverb reissue. I bought one in Oct and its a really great blues amp. ch. 1 is not as twangy as a twin and it stays clean all the way to 10. the 1/4 power switch lets you crank it at home withoout annoying the neighbors..
the tone is somewhere between a super reverb and a twin and with an overdrive boost (my Fulltone OCD) i can get a fat Bassman tone on the clean ch. and classsic Jimi voodo Child tone on the drive ch. the Drive ch. is creamy loads of harmonics and perfect for classic rock without the pedal.

Cons: when you first turn it on its kinda dry. BUT it take the tubes about an hour to get real hot and start to push that classic fender tone. Once i get to that point i never want to turn it off.
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RE: Marshall, Mesa, or Fender?

Postby roy bluesboy » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:01 pm

The gibson rv-15's sound alot better to me than most fenders. The 10" model sounds thin, but the 12 icher is warm & glassy at lower volumes and has nice blues tones turned up. The blues deluxe's are ok, but I have never been a fan of the overdrive channel. Most guys use a pedal for lead stuff through these amps. The clean channel is good but not in the same class as the gibson imo. I am not a fan of the location of the controls (back) but the tone makes up for it. Even though I normally prefer 6v6 tubes the Gibson does not get "squishy" sounding like alot of el84 amps do. Why not test drive a gibson too? They can be had for 500-600 on ebay. Just my 2 cents. Roy BB
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