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#1
Hey guys and gals,

I'm sure the topic of great clean amps has been covered millions of times, but i searched for a lifetime to no avail.

My question:
What are some excellent clean amps under $1000? I've been searching and demoing for quite a while and haven't been able to target one amp that absolutely astounds me. I figure now would be a great time to ask for some expert advice.

I play mostly jazz/fusion and blues, but sometimes stray toward classic and prog rock sounds. I don't usually play anything heavier than ac/dc. I prefer a bunch of clean headroom with just a tinge of breakup (just a little tail to add a bit of character). If i could have it my way, i would be able to afford a vintage Hiwatt custom, but at this time there is absolutely no way.

My favorite clean tone has come from a Fender DRRI, but i usually prefer something a bit warmer and less ice-picky. As far as crunch/overdriven tones are concerned, I don't typically spend a ton of time with them. I sold a TSL601 this past summer (thought it sounded brutal).

Some artists that influence my tone:
Gilmour
John Mayer
Mark Knopfler
Brain May
SRV
Hendrix

I'd prefer an amp that has the capability to cover most everything. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. There has to be some sort of low-end boutique/specialty amp (really anything,) that will be what I'm looking for. Anything from 20-30watts.

Thanks in advance

Lucas
Last edited by LucasCLarson at Feb 7, 2009,
#2
I was gonna suggest the deluxe. The ice pick could be from un broken in speakers or the stock tubes. I'd get one, swap the preamp and output tubes and make sure you break in the speakers well.
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#3
classic 50...great cleans and some nice crunch when needed, especially with a ts or other od pedal
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#6
Fender Blues Deluxe and upgrade the speaker to a Hellatone Celestion GH-12, get NOS tubes and you will be set.
Amp:
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#7
Peavey Classic 50 I agree with, try and find the 2x12 combo...You wont be let down...it's super versitel.
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#8
Quote by LucasCLarson
i didn't even consider that.

Has anyone heard about the cleans on the new Egnater Rebel?



Warm and mushy, not good if you ask me. The whole amp is not good especially considering the head alone is 600 bucks.
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#9
Call it cliche, but I still love the Fender Twin. It might be slightly over your price range, but I think it would be worth it.
#11
Yeah, I thought it sounded a bit good to be true.^

I'm not a fan of the new deluxe series amps. I think they sound very flat, and lack a lot of flavor. They just aren't clear enough for me. The americans are a different story, but they fairly hard to come by.
#12
Quote by LukeBTH
Call it cliche, but I still love the Fender Twin. It might be slightly over your price range, but I think it would be worth it.


Another great suggestion, the only reason I didn't mention it was because TS asked for a little bit of break up, something the Deluxe can do at somewhat sensible volumes.
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#13
By breakup i mean just a little tail end. Something to add a bit of edge and character to the cleans.
#14
Quote by Kevin Saale
Another great suggestion, the only reason I didn't mention it was because TS asked for a little bit of break up, something the Deluxe can do at somewhat sensible volumes.


Very true
#15
There are many vintage fender bassmans floating around ebay and craigslist. They are the best clean amps.
#16
wow, great. I totally forgot about the Bassman. Anyone know how they take pedals?

Btw, that bluesbreaker sounds promising. However, its at the high end of my budget.

Keep those ideas coming!

Thanks everyone!
#19
Riveras? The only one I've played is a Pubster 25, and it had no clean headroom at all (although it had a sweet crunch). The higher wattage ones may be different though.
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#22
This ones solid state but...Roland JC-120
As far as tube I'd probably get a Ceriatone Overtone Special with a 212 cab of some sort, also, check out the Vox AC-30.
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#23
AC30 is a great bet, throw a treble booster in there and you're in brian may heaven. The riveras I've played all had great cleand and lovely overdrive, certainly worth a try, though new I believe they're past your budget.


The deluxe will do that little bit of break up you're after. And though it's quite a bit below your budget the Blues Jr. does that edge of break up tone as well. I'll readily admit that in your price range it's not the best amp, but it's worth a try. Who knows, maybe you'll love it and save 500 bucks.
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Last edited by Kevin Saale at Feb 9, 2009,
#24
One of my oldest friends has the Blues Jr., and it's a surprisingly versatile amp. Either that, or he's a savant when it comes to amp tweaking.

My first thought was a used AC-30, since new goes a bit over your budg.

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#25
Quote by BaffAttack
One of my oldest friends has the Blues Jr., and it's a surprisingly versatile amp. Either that, or he's a savant when it comes to amp tweaking.

My first thought was a used AC-30, since new goes a bit over your budg.



They are fun to mod
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#26
Quote by Kevin Saale
They are fun to mod


The Blues Jr. or the AC-30?

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#27
Blues Jr. If I got an AC30 I'd probably mod that too
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#28
Modding is life...?

What would you do to a Blues Jr, out of curiosity?

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#29
Actually, I've already replaced the tubes, the tone caps on the bass and mid control and changed the bias section so I can adjust the bias of each tube independently. Fender sets the bias suicidally high from the factory, almost 45ma to the EL84s!

I plan on replacing the speaker, the output transformer and possibly even mod it to accommodate 6V6 tubes. The last bit I may have a professional do since it's quite an undertaking.

Really the only bad thing I can say about the amp is the factory bias is way too high and the stock fender tubes are a bit harsh. You can kill two birds with one stone there by ordering new tubes and asking the tube company to give you power tubes that will bias very cool to counteract the insane bias fender sets on these amps. It won't be perfect, but it will improve the way the amp runs and improve the sound.
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Last edited by Kevin Saale at Feb 9, 2009,
#30
Heh, that's less modding and more just taking the chassis and creating your own boutique amp.

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#31
Nah, it's really not that much, especially considering how much more other people have done.
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#32
Yeah, I know, just felt like joking about it.

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#33
Quote by BaffAttack
Yeah, I know, just felt like joking about it.



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#34
i think the Mesa Lonestar has some of the best cleans i've ever heard out of an amp and you can easily find one on ebay for around $1,000.

check it out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00Heev2_94A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb4dUNSh1Ac&feature=related
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Last edited by Waterboy799 at Feb 9, 2009,
#35
I've seen the lonestars before. I have yet to play them. Those Timmons vids are great.

Don't they make a Lonestar combo as well? Maybe i'm just dreaming.


How is the bottom end on the AC-30. It was actually my very first recital amp (guitar teacher's amp) about 8 years ago. I wasn't concerned about tone back then, but Purple Haze sounded pretty awesome through it.

I am having a hard time finding thirty-twelves. I think they may have stopped making them (I wasn't able to find any on the website). I have heard of used ones going for around 500 used.
Thirty Twelve:
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#36
Yyeah, they make a Lonestar Combo. It's quite nice.
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#37
Quote by LucasCLarson

I am having a hard time finding thirty-twelves. I think they may have stopped making them (I wasn't able to find any on the website). I have heard of used ones going for around 500 used.
Thirty Twelve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-boWPXwuYC0


I've seen them used for around $500. I played a different Rivera, honestly forget which one because I wasn't familiar with them at the time - it was very nice, they make great stuff.
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#38
Some of my favourite tones, clean or overdriven, are through a Vox AC30. Check out their new handwired series.. it sounds absolutely amazing.

Also the tone in the video in my sig is gotten though an AC30..
#39
Quote by LucasCLarson
what do the masses have to say about Rivera amps?

Check out any clips you can find of Eric Sardinas. He's a brilliant slide player who uses a larger Rivera head for everything (not sure which model). He gets great cleans & quite a bit of crunch here & there (he plays old steel Dobros through the Rivera). He uses it on the road & beats it to death, & it still sounds great.

If you really want spectacular cleans with remarkable dynamics (& I know this isn't in your requested price range, but if you love cleans, you must try them), then you need to check out Mojave Amp Works, Divided By 13, & 65 amps. All are just insane, but you get what you pay for.
Good luck!
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#40
Sound City 50 plus.
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