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Old 03-30-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
Wicer
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Picking a First Tube Amp

After upgrading my guitar, before I start buying pedals, I figured I should probably get a tube amp. I am currently using a Roland Cube-40XL, however I am really unsure of where to start looking. I know the difference between head/cabs and combos but not the advantages in each.

My budget is around $1000. I don't mind buying the amp new or used.

The closest city I live to is Montreal, Canada, so finding an amp will most likely not be much of a problem.

I have a Gibson Les Paul Classic and a Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95.

The bands I play the most on guitar are Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton (especially in Derek and the Dominos), Pink Floyd, The Black Keys and Neil Young.

I am currently looking at:
Fender Deluxe Reverb (I know I'd need to buy pedals for distortion/overdrive but that doesn't bother me)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL401

I'm open to suggestions but I'd really like to be able to have a versatile enough amp that can come close to the sound of the bands I listed prior.

Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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a fender with pedals may well be the way to go for those tones... layla era clapton was tweed fender, so is neil young i think. Pink floyd is hiwatt but they were pretty high headroom and he used pedals a lot so you could (presumably) do a lot worse than a fender with pedals. early led zep was a tele and a supro i think rather than marshalls (which came later), and (i'm no expert on these vintage amps, so bear that in mind) i'm guessing that'd be closer to a tweed fender, too, than a marshall. Not too sure on the black keys, but again i'm guessing you could do worse than a fender with pedals, i'm not too familiar with them but i think they use fuzz a lot.

Only two things concern me about the DRRI (and bear in mind i haven't tried it, so this is based on some extrapolation from what i know rather than anything i know for sure):

1: most of those tones you listed might be suited better with a tweed-style fender than a blackface

2: most of those tones (or at least a lot) might benefit from some power tube distortion- unless you play at the same volume all the time (and that volume is loud enough for power tube distortion) that's gonna be tricky without powerscaling or VVR or similar built-in, and I don't think fender uses that feature.

another company's tweed fender clone with powerscaling or VVR built-in might be worth a look, in other words- li'l dawg and frenzel are two people i know who do tweed-style fenders (I dunno if they do powerscaling, though), but I haven't tried them so dunno what they're like. I'm sure there are loads of fender-style amp makers in the USA and canada (it's different here in europe where finding good fender clones is harder).

another possibly easier option is just to buy a blues deluxe or something like that and rely on preamp distortion EDIT: and/or dirt pedals (of course, pedals will work well with those non-master volume more vintage-style amps too when you can't crank them... you can overthink these things, lol ).

finally, a lot of those tones you mentioned are single coil-based, so a les paul mightn't be the best option for that. Don't sell it or anything (LOL), but thinking down the line about a strat or tele might be an idea if you really want to nail those tones. Or fitting coil splits to your LP would do at a pinch- though the stock pickups are probably 2-conductor so you'd probably need to do a pickup swap while you're at it so a half-decent strat or tele might not cost too much more. the classic does have ceramic pickups, though (assuming you're talking about the model I think you are), which wouldn't be the best for those type of tones anyway, so a pickup swap probably wouldn't hurt down the line, either.

it just really depends on how close you want to get and how much bother and expense you're willing to entertain to get there.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
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Although fender is my amp of choice, out of those two the Marshall would probably be your better choice. Check out a Vox AC30 as well.

Edit: Dave brings up some good points, Auerbach uses fender and marshall. I think marshall would provide you with more versatility using less pedals, not that the fender tone is a bad tone to go with, but if you'd like a bit more from the amp itself then it's something to consider.
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I would recommend the marshal MG100

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Old 03-30-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
most of those tones you listed might be suited better with a tweed-style fender than a blackface


Thanks really appreciate your response it really helped. What I found interestingly enough is that the Roland Cube X40 that I have simulates the Marshall sound as well as both Fender tweed and BF amps, so I suppose finding the one I like the most would be the way to go.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:42 PM   #5
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Can you try those amps?

If the DSLs clean channel is good enough for you, that's one or two less dirt pedals you have to buy.

I'm not a huge fan of the DSL combos, but for the lower gain stuff you're looking to play, it certainly might be a good choice.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:55 AM   #6
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You might try looking at a Peavey Classic 50? The Classic's can get pretty close to Gilmour's tone and they overdrive very nice too.

EDIT: They're very obscure, but a RedBear head might be a solid bet for you. They're basically a Bassman clean channel and a JCM800 OD stuck in the same amp. They were built in the Soviet Union and imported by Gibson for a short period. VERY well built amps and within your budget, the only problem is they use oddball Soviet preamp tubes. They're kinda easy to find and dirt cheap, but they don't sound all that great. A lot of owners convert them over to 12ax7, it's a simple mod where you just swap a couple wires out.

A Sovtek MIG might interest you as well, but I think they're they use the same oddball Soviet preamp tube.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerraguitar
Edit: Dave brings up some good points, Auerbach uses fender and marshall. I think marshall would provide you with more versatility using less pedals, not that the fender tone is a bad tone to go with, but if you'd like a bit more from the amp itself then it's something to consider.


Yeah you could do a lot worse than a dsl if you like the clean channel ok.

other options might be a traynor ycv40 or 50 or a kustom coupé, if you're willing to consider the multi-channel, more modern-styled amp route. Or even a peavey classic 50 as flux'd suggested (though i've only tried the 30).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicer
Thanks really appreciate your response it really helped. What I found interestingly enough is that the Roland Cube X40 that I have simulates the Marshall sound as well as both Fender tweed and BF amps, so I suppose finding the one I like the most would be the way to go.


yep. Don't put too much stock in the models' tones- you're effectively critiquing the quality of roland's modelling as much as the amps it's mimicking, lol. But it should at least give you some idea as to the differences.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Vox AC30 is probably the best for your money. That being said, you would probably need an OD or a vintage pedal to get a slightly crunchy tone.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #9
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You're in the right ball park and since you said you want to get into the world of pedals, maybe a fender would be the way to go for you.

However, your modeling amp isn't the amps that you're looking at.

But you obviously have an inkling for the tone you want to hear and you know enough that you can go out and try these amps out and hear them for yourself, which is what I (and everyone else) in this thread is doing.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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Pretty much everything that Dave said with the exception of the Blues Deluxe for preamp distortion, in which I would recommend the Blues Jr. Having owned a Blues Deluxe, the gain channel sounds really thin and just has no life, but the clean channel is traditionally what you would expect out of a tweed Fender, very clean and VERY LOUD, and I would imagine your teeth would crack before you got any decent breakup from it.

Now, if you plan on using pedals for your distortion (which is almost a must with that amp), I would definitely recommend the Blues Deluxe, as it also has an effects loop where you can run your time-based effects. You won't find that on the DRRI or BJR.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:04 AM   #11
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If you are in the U.S.A., look at Carvin. Great stuff, reasonable prices, cool tones.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #12
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1000 opens a ton of options for you. used mesas. do you have a noise volume constraint? trying to play live?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #13
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I think the best options would be Vox AC30, Fender Reverb Deluxe, Fender Bassman
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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I've cranked a Deluxe a few times, at a local pub for a quick jam. They cream right up dude
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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Nothing wrong with the Blues Jr. They are pretty cheap and hold their value & can get you started.

I've found the Deluxe can take a little while to warm up before it starts sounding good. My friend rocks one and it sounded harsh live until at least 2 songs in.
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