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PunkKitty

Amp dilemmas

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Posted (edited)
I admit it. I know next to nothing about amps.

I've always concentrated on guitars and basses. I'm set for bass amps, but I would like a good guitar amp. The only amps that I've tried that I really liked were a 5E3 clone, and my old Kustom Defender v50.

I'm building a 5E3. I'll get back to it after my hands heal. But I really miss the Kustom. I had to sell it when I was short on cash. It had great cleans, especially after I swapped the speaker for a Jensen. And it got really nice and dirty when I wanted it to. Now, I'm in a different place, and I can afford to save up for a decent 1x12 EL34 based amp like the Kustom.

It's nearly impossible to find another Kustom, and honestly, I don't know if I want one. But figuring out what I want is the problem.

I really don't know where to begin. Marshall, Mesa? What else should I be looking at? I'm looking at a max of $700-$1000. I've had problems with buying used amps, so I'm probably going to buy new. I'm also not opposed to building another amp. I'm not in a hurry.

I like simple amps. No more than 2 channels. I hate built in effects. I got out of IT because I hate programming.
EDIT: I have a decent low watt EL84 amp. I'm looking for something in the 40-60 watt range. The 5E3 is about 12 watts. I want some variety that I can use at home or to play out. So I'm thinking of an EL34 amp.
Edited by PunkKitty

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Affordable versatility, a PRS Sonzera.

If you can afford more than that, a Mesa Mark Five: 25 or a Rectoverb-25 are one of those "last amp you will ever need" kind of amps.

 

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Yooper has the Mark 5:25 for sale and he's bringing it to PSP.   You might want to check that one out to see if it's to your liking.   If you like the Marshall sound,  you can get the DLS40CR.   Two EL34 tubes and 40 watts.  I think DB had one of those.   Or, as Hangar said, the PRS Sonzera 50. 

You should be able to find good used Peavey Classic 30s or Classic 50s for $500 or less.   They (along with the Delta Blues) are really good solid amps.   These are EL84 amps.    

 

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The Mesa 5:25 Express has EL34s and a 10" speaker with 5 and 25 watt settings.

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1 hour ago, Yooper said:

The Mesa 5:25 Express has EL34s and a 10" speaker with 5 and 25 watt settings.

Mesa Express series is outstanding.

 

 

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To echo others, the Mesa that Yooper is selling is an excellent amplifier with a good price. Plus, he's a top notch dude to boot. 

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Do yourself a favor and find a Traynor dealer near you and check out this amp:

the YCV-50B

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2 hours ago, Conneazoo said:

To echo others, the Mesa that Yooper is selling is an excellent amplifier with a good price. Plus, he's a top notch dude to boot. 

I agree as well.  I think its a perfect amp for what you're looking for.

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Thanks for the plugs, guys.

It's a sweet amp, but it still has a 10" speaker. It won't sound like a Mark series, or Fillmore, or DC5, etc. More like a Champ on the serum that produced Captain America, but with some nice clean headroom.

 

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I've got a '78 Fender Twin Reverb for sale if you are interested.

 

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What kind of music and what kind of bands (how many pieces and what amps are they using?)

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17 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

Affordable versatility, a PRS Sonzera.

If you can afford more than that, a Mesa Mark Five: 25 or a Rectoverb-25 are one of those "last amp you will ever need" kind of amps.

The Mesa Express models as others have mentioned are also quite fantastic.

The motivation behind my amp suggestions is based on the idea of one amp which is versatile enough to do anything you would ever want it to do, now and in the future and I do own two of those amps I suggested. But I also I own a Marshall JCM 800, knowing that it is essentially a one trick pony. All it does is sound like classic hard rock. So if all you want it a one trick pony, a JCM sounds like the 70's & 80's, or a JCM 900 sounds like the 90's, or a JDM 2000 DSL which sounds like the 2000's, then get a Marshall. Just know that a Marshall can only sound like a Marshall. But, the Mesa Rectoverb-25 or the PRS Sonzera for example, are extremely versatile.

(Of those I recommended, I personally like the USA made amps which are "repairable" if anything should go wrong with them. The Sonzera is affordable but it is made in China, so that is basically the only reason why I don't own one. )

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There's a lot out there in that power range. The mesa Express models are nice. You can also find their "Dual Caliber" series such as the DC-5, as well as the somewhat off the beaten path Maverick and Blue Angel members of the "Dual Rectifier" series. They are vintage voiced and lower gain.

There's also the Rectoverb 50, and some other lesser known mesa amps out there.

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4 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

There's a lot out there in that power range. The mesa Express models are nice. You can also find their "Dual Caliber" series such as the DC-5, as well as the somewhat off the beaten path Maverick and Blue Angel members of the "Dual Rectifier" series. They are vintage voiced and lower gain.

There's also the Rectoverb 50, and some other lesser known mesa amps out there.

 

 

 

I had a DC-5 come through here a fews years back that could do no wrong.

Fantastic cleans and nice everywhere else.

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Hi Monica,

I used a Mesa 5:25 with the 10" speaker for a long time. I even gigged with it with Kip and our soul/funk band Soul Trek.

When it comes to Mesa I have a fixed bias ahahaha. Seriously, it is a great little amp, check it out.

I found it great for anything between classic rock to blues. As in the Mesa tradition, it is a very versatile amp. If I were still playing any music at at I would be regretting selling it.

Just my 2c

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Well, to pile on and give my $0.02USD worth of worthless opinion - I switched to Quilter Amps a few years back. No regrets whatsoever.And my back loves me all the more for it. My Aviator 112 weighs a whopping 27lbs. Every guitar player that hears it comments on how great it sounds. Not on how good I sound (grrr), but on the amp.  I played that amp at 6 gigs before Tracy noticed it wasn't the Mesa TransAtlantic that she loves so much.

In the rock band, my bass player now uses a Quilter Bass Block. And my other guitar player (well, he IS my brother) uses a Quilter Interblock 45, albeit into a 212 Mesa Cab 😎.  Don't discount them because they're SS. Pat Quilter has been at this a very long time. 

Hmmm, that may have only been about $0.01USD worth. 

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I'm leaning towards the Mesa. I sent Yooper a PM.

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11 minutes ago, PunkKitty said:

I'm leaning towards the Mesa. I sent Yooper a PM.

Can't go wrong there.  Love my Express.  Quality build and tube swapping is breeze, even for non-handy folks like me.  Mesa tubes are high quality, matched and plug and play in their amps.  

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, tulk1 said:

I switched to Quilter Amps a few years back. No regrets whatsoever.And my back loves me all the more for it. My Aviator 112 weighs a whopping 27lbs. Every guitar player that hears it comments on how great it sounds. Not on how good I sound (grrr), but on the amp.  I played that amp at 6 gigs before Tracy noticed it wasn't the Mesa TransAtlantic that she loves so much.

In the rock band, my bass player now uses a Quilter Bass Block. And my other guitar player (well, he IS my brother) uses a Quilter Interblock 45, albeit into a 212 Mesa Cab 😎.  Don't discount them because they're SS. Pat Quilter has been at this a very long time. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 I agree, when it comes to SS, for me Quilter is the obvious choice. I started with the original Tone Block 200 (which I gave to my son) then moved on to the Pro Block 200, And now I use the Overdrive 200. I still have the latter two amps and added a pair of Quilters Block Dock 1-12" speaker cabs. Together each 'UNIT' weighs in around 25 lbs. Using just the OD 200 to drive both 1-12" cabs (stacked) makes a VERY impressive sounding amp indeed, and you can't beat them for reliability. They're damn near bullet proof. But best of all most folks, even lifelong guitar players can't tell they're SS.

 

Edited by t0aj15

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To be honest, the Vox AC15HW is the, hands down, best amp I have ever owned. I have had it for a couple of years now and the tone is just... to... die... for. It is the classic two channel where you don't have a channel switch but have separate inputs. 

There are no effects (unless you consider natural overdrive an effect). No reverb. No vibrato. One channel has a the low and high controls. You can toggle between master volume and non-master volume. There's a hot and cool switch. You can turn on the Hot option if you want some KILLER old school OD. Turn it off if you want something cleaner.

I play more jazzier tones through it... I play AC/DC through it. I hope I never have to part with it. I have it in my office where I can always see it.

They are on the pricier end... but for what you get, the price is pretty good. I got mine as a demo model from Sweetwater for, I think $1100 or $1200 in 2017.

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:39 AM, barrymclark said:

To be honest, the Vox AC15HW is the, hands down, best amp I have ever owned. I have had it for a couple of years now and the tone is just... to... die... for. It is the classic two channel where you don't have a channel switch but have separate inputs. 

There are no effects (unless you consider natural overdrive an effect). No reverb. No vibrato. One channel has a the low and high controls. You can toggle between master volume and non-master volume. There's a hot and cool switch. You can turn on the Hot option if you want some KILLER old school OD. Turn it off if you want something cleaner.

I play more jazzier tones through it... I play AC/DC through it. I hope I never have to part with it. I have it in my office where I can always see it.

They are on the pricier end... but for what you get, the price is pretty good. I got mine as a demo model from Sweetwater for, I think $1100 or $1200 in 2017.

I have one of these amps that I bought new, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. When I bought it I thought I would set the tone controls to get the famous Vox chime, and was surprised at how thin it sounded, but after a few hours of intense jamming I realized I had to bump up the low end on it to get the output stage working, it was there that I found the tone. And it's a killer harmonically rich tone. My love/hate comes from that I find it's not as versatile (for me) as a blackface Fender style amp to me with their built in trem and reverb, and the Vox for a 15 watter is suprisingly heavy and a bit too loud when driving it into the sweet spot. Love must outweigh the Hate though because I haven't sold it:)

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On 8/8/2019 at 3:10 PM, rockabilly69 said:

I have one of these amps that I bought new, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. When I bought it I thought I would set the tone controls to get the famous Vox chime, and was surprised at how thin it sounded, but after a few hours of intense jamming I realized I had to bump up the low end on it to get the output stage working, it was there that I found the tone. And it's a killer harmonically rich tone. My love/hate comes from that I find it's not as versatile (for me) as a blackface Fender style amp to me with their built in trem and reverb, and the Vox for a 15 watter is suprisingly heavy and a bit too loud when driving it into the sweet spot. Love must outweigh the Hate though because I haven't sold it:)

I can dig it. For me, I just like everything it does. Versatility is in the eye of the beholder. For me, it's very versatile. Basically it's as versatile as I need it to be. Fender Blackfaces are definitely nothing to sneeze at. :)

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4 hours ago, barrymclark said:

I can dig it. For me, I just like everything it does. Versatility is in the eye of the beholder. For me, it's very versatile. Basically it's as versatile as I need it to be. Fender Blackfaces are definitely nothing to sneeze at. :)

Whatever it takes to float your boat:) You should have heard the tone when these two amps where wound up for a recording session a few years back...

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