New Blues amp... where to start?

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

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

Postby Bournio » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:30 am

leftyguitarman wrote:
While tube amps do tend to distort, that's why they're great.


That's what I'm on about. Valve's have a higher THD(no not THC, though...) than transistors with the same voltage... so by default they distort. It's a fact of life. A perfect acoustic amp would be similar to the acoustic amps/preamps you can buy. but not everyone wants that, that "warm" sound is distortion....

I guess I should re-word this when a gallon of beer hasn't been involved!
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby Rhambama » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:57 am

Having a tube amp makes getting blues tones exponentially easier IMHO.

Another good one to look at is the Epiphone Valve amps, I have a Valve Special that sounds a lot like a Fender Jazz King.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:12 am

THC and beer eh Bournio? Sounds like a good night! :lol:
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby birddog » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:33 am

leftyguitarman wrote:THC and beer eh Bournio? Sounds like a good night! :lol:


Always makes my amps sound better ! :mrgreen:

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

Postby Rhambama » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:19 am

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

Postby MakaInOz » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:51 am

The place to start is..........an interview with yourself!

Self, what do I want to achieve? Self, what level of investment am I willing to make (time and money) to achieve that?

That will give you some firm requirements about what sort of venues you want to play (bedroom or stadium?), what sort of band you want to play with, whether this amp will be the first of many or the only one for the next 10 years, physical restrictions regarding size/weight etc etc.

The chances of the amp meeting your requirements are much greater if you've really sat down and figured out what your requirements are! Prioritise your requirements - essential (must be met) and then desirable (in order of desirability). Then you need to ensure the required amp characteristics can be met by your budget - no good figuring out you need a Ferrari if you can only afford a Hyundai.

Spend lots of time on the 'net getting a list of possible candidates. Musicians Friend etc are great place to get basic specs and reviews. Harmony Central for lots of reviews. Get a long list of possible solutions, then start thinning it out. Once you've got it thinned to something manageable (< 20) you can start 'test driving' - detailed specs, youtube sounds, visiting music shops etc. Take your essential and prioritised desirable characteristics list with you. DO NOT CHANGE THIS LIST IN A SHOP! But you can go home and review you requirements if you find that there are characteristics in the market place you hadn't considered adequately.

Then buy the one you fall in love with, even if it doesn't match your list! There's as much heart as brain in buying 'the' amp.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:49 am

Great song Rhambama!
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby rustyslide » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:59 pm

Not all amps are a good fit with all guitars, so you should probably aim for one amp that sounds pretty good with all of yours.

The single-knob 5W class A tube amps that are pretty popular right now aren't quiet, before you get enticed by the price and rave reviews. If you want quiet, you need an amp with a master volume control or an attenuator.

What Behringer amp do you have? I have a Tech 21 amp that Behringer copied and it's fantastic.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby lpdeluxe » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:04 pm

I'm one of those who first finds the right guitar, than looks for the right amp to go with it. When I'm shopping amps, I take the guitar I'm looking to match up so I don't have to guess.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby Rhambama » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:47 am

Also, take your amp when you go guitar shopping for the exact same reasons!
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby leftyguitarman » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:27 am

Rhambama wrote:Also, take your amp when you go guitar shopping for the exact same reasons!


There's no way in hell I would lug my Classic 50 into some guitar shop.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:46 pm

My little locally owned store will let me take amps and try 'em out for a few days , just as long as I'm willing to buy it or fix it if I break anything (depending on whether it's a new or used amp). I'm pretty sure he does that for all the customers that he knows well. I did try out a new keyboard amp one weekend that broke, but it didn't piss the store owner off 'cause he'd had some quality issues with the amps before (it was a 25-watt Crate keyboard amp, and it took months to get it fixed under warranty).
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby maxx england » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:48 pm

I think the ideal is to have a tone in your head and then try the guitar you will play for that tone through as many amps as possible until you find The One. Don't buy anything until you do, because then you're stuck with it.

I was lucky in that I bought an amp without a specific tone in mind not long after I started playing, and now I find it matches my Strat and what I want out of the sound, but that's a rare story.

Modelling amps, I don't know. Once you start giving yourself over to the amp and the technicians who designed it, where do you fit in? How much sound is you, and how much is Engineer Itchinaka?

I like the Roland I've been loaned for it's simple solid state honesty, and it's not far out from what I want, I like my little practice amp which has a good range for the community band set list when it's mic'ed up, and Lummo knows this one, the 2w battery box, Hounddog Taylor is alive and well and living in a Realistic £2 second hand amp. But the thing that gives me the animal edge that I want when I play Red House, that's my old Phoenix. Half valve, half transistor, 100% teeth and claws.

Have fun looking, it's out there.
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby strathound » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:54 pm

I'm with you fellas! ;)
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Re: New Blues amp... where to start?

Postby lpdeluxe » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:29 pm

maxx england wrote:Modelling amps, I don't know. Once you start giving yourself over to the amp and the technicians who designed it, where do you fit in? How much sound is you, and how much is Engineer Itchinaka?


I'm not familiar with modeling amps, but I have had a Line 6 Floor Pod Plus for a couple of years. I bought it for the wah and easy access to effects, but curiousity led me to trying out the amp model presets. I have concluded that they are too cartoonish for me. Do players really want to sound like that?
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