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#1
OK so I'm pretty new to tube amps. Just really got into playing electric guitar. I've read at least a dozen threads on tube amps here and read tons of stuff elsewhere. Wanting to get a pretty decent tube amp. I'm looking to get something used for around $500-$700.

So far I've found several of each of these locally for around $550-$600.

Fender Hot Rod Deville 410: http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Hot-Rod-DeVille-410?sku=480508

Marshall JCM2000 TSL602: http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Marshall-JCM2000-TSL602-Combo-Amp?sku=483197

I play an American Deluxe Strat. I like to play a very diverse array of music, but I don't really dabble into extremely heavy metal. I mostly like to play blues and classic rock type stuff (SRV, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers, etc.). Now some questions. I'm a noob about this stuff so please help me out here...

1. Based on what I play, should I be more concerned with making sure I get an amp with sensational cleans? I have read that the Hot Rod Deville doesn't offer any good drive. I do have a Keeley modded TS-9 so should I be more worried about a great clean channel and just let my tube screamer pedal do the drive?

2. I've read that the Hot Rod Deville is just insanely loud. People claim to have played crowds of like 1000 with this thing on like 3. Is this accurate? Wouldn't not being able to turn the amp up past 1 or 2 in a practice or even small/medium gig setting keep you from really warming up the tubes and getting the best tone?

3. Would I be better off getting something like the Fender Vintage '65 Reissue Deluxe Reverb since it's only one 12" speaker and 22 watts. If I understand correctly it seems like I should be able to get better tone out of this since I could actually turn it up past one... not to mention it seems to be the consensus opinion that the RI Deluxe Reverb is a far superior amp tonally. Am I way off here?

4. I played that Marshall I linked above except it was the 1x12 instead of the 2x12 model like the ones I'm looking at. Now the one I played wasn't anywhere near as loud as I expected. I had it completely dimed and I honestly could've easily used more volume just in a practice setting. The amp was acting kind of funny though so I'm wondering if it was just screwed up. Right in the middle of me playing through it, it suddenly got really quiet and stayed that way for like 45 seconds. So do you think this amp is just screwed up? Would the 2x12 version of this amp be comparable in volume to the Fender Hot Rod Deville?

I need to be able to dial up a pretty good amount of volume, but I don't want an amp that I can't play past 1 if it's going to keep me from getting the full tone potential. I really want to be able to push whatever I get and make it wail... while still having enough clean headroom to have pretty damn loud cleans.

tl;dr... can't help ya. I've got a lot of questions
#2
wow... wall of text...

ummmmm, am thinking a peavey classic 30?

nice bluesy rock tone, and your ts-9 should go brialiantly with it
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
Gibson RD Artist
Fender American Standard Telecaster

Amps:

Framus Cobra
Marshall JCM800 2203 - 1960A

Pedals:

Crybaby 535Q
Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive
#3
the classic 30 is a good recommendation, though it's cleans are good, they aren't fender sparkly type of good. still, a great amp for your playing styles
Quote by metaldud536
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At first he was like...
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#4
^--- Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look at those. Would I be better to get something like the classic 30 or to go for the Fender to get those sparkly cleans?

How about my questions 1-4?
#5
Really wish I could help you with the rest, but fate would have it that the other guitarist in my worship band plays through a Fender Hot Rod and a Keeley TS-9, and he gets some pretty heavy overdrive out of it. I have never seen him use his onboard drive channel, so my assumption is that the TS-9 sounds better. With the Fender/Keeley TS-9 combo, he goes between really sparkly cleans to an overdrive similar to Zeppelin or Pink Floyd tones.

Just my two cents, wish I could answer more of your questions. I will say that to compensate for how loud our Fenders are (I play through a 50w Bassman), we're planning on using Keeley Compressors as a sort of volume limiter, and cranking the amps up to saturate the tubes (he already does this and my KeeComp is on the way).

Hope that helps.
Tobacco Sunburst Fender Strat
(Lollar Dirty Blonde pickups)
Fulltone FatBoost
MI Audio BoostnBuff
Fulltone OCD
This1smyne "Pearl"
Wilson 10Spot II
Red Witch Phaser
Fulltone ChoralFlange
BOSS DD-7+DD-20
Tech21 RVB
'59 Bassman Reissue
#6
eh, people brag about how loud tube amps are, both mine arent all that loud, my bassman runs at 130 wats, my marshall's running the best part of 150 with all 4 tubes (currently has 2 pulled), and honestly, they sound just as good as smaller wattage amps at lower volumes

sparkly cleans are great and all, but you're a blues/classic rock guitarist yes? you want a bit of grit to your clean sound.

why so stuck on fenders? if you want a fender for blues get a bassman, you'll thank me later, wont do rock, but awesome blues.

probably shot tubes in the marshall, that or there's something majorly wrong, stay away, new set of good tubes will set you back a fair bit.
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
Gibson RD Artist
Fender American Standard Telecaster

Amps:

Framus Cobra
Marshall JCM800 2203 - 1960A

Pedals:

Crybaby 535Q
Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive
#7
I'm not set on Fender at all. I'm really interested in that Marshall I linked to as well. Any thoughts on it?

As for being concerned about sparkly cleans, I feel pretty good about the option of coloring a sparkly clean to any kind of grit I want with the tube screamer... but I can't really color an already gritty clean into a sparkly clean. Am I thinking about this wrong. I really don't know about this stuff yet. Trying to learn now.

And you are saying that running something like a Hot Rod Deville at one will sound just as good as running a comparable quality amp of lower watts at a higher volume?
#8
it's better to go with something with good cleans, and just let your TS9 do the overdrive. reason being is that you can fix a crap amp overdrive with good OD pedal, but you can't really fix a crap clean.

i haven't played the hot rod deville, but i heard it doesn't take pedals well.

or you can try a Traynor YCV-50 blue. great amps also.

the thing you'll like about the Classic 30 is that it has really good clean channel (but still doesn't compare to the fender sparkly clean :p ) and a good crunch channel that CAN do the br00t4lz with your TS9 if you want it to. that being said, this amp is EXTREMELY pedal friendly


EDIT: i played a DSL 112 combo a while back, i really wasn't impressed though. it just seemd, meh.
Quote by metaldud536
...I mean if indians stood naked in front of me, i couldn't tell if they're hispanic or native american. unless they put on clothes

At first he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you, man. No homo

But then, he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you even more now. Slightly homo
Last edited by SomebodySomeone at Feb 23, 2009,
#9
What about something like the Vox AC30? Read good things but haven't been able to try one out yet.

I also looked at getting a brand new Blackheart Handsome Devil head and 1x12 cab. Anybody have experience with these? Haven't been able to find a store with any in stock.
#10
sadly my GC doesn't carry the AC30 so i don't have the pleasure of giving you an opinion on it.


i don't know how much they run used but maybe a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special might be up your alley.

EDIT: i've yet to see a Store that actually CARRIES them in house(the handsome devil). it seems like one of those things that are online only. like a Ibanez RG1570 or any Ibanez Prestige series for that matter
Quote by metaldud536
...I mean if indians stood naked in front of me, i couldn't tell if they're hispanic or native american. unless they put on clothes

At first he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you, man. No homo

But then, he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you even more now. Slightly homo
Last edited by SomebodySomeone at Feb 23, 2009,
#11
The local dealers I checked with around here said they always order the handsome devils but that they sell them as soon as they get them.

Doing some more reading and it seems that people are nuts about the Fender Twin Reverb amps. What's their story.
#12
Quote by jimtaka
The local dealers I checked with around here said they always order the handsome devils but that they sell them as soon as they get them.

Doing some more reading and it seems that people are nuts about the Fender Twin Reverb amps. What's their story.


the 65' Fender Twin Reverb.
supposedly the HOLY GRAIL of cleans. it's the amp which all clean standards are derived from apparently.once again, stoopid local GC doesn't carry it

the reissues are quite pricey if i remember correctly.
Quote by metaldud536
...I mean if indians stood naked in front of me, i couldn't tell if they're hispanic or native american. unless they put on clothes

At first he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you, man. No homo

But then, he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you even more now. Slightly homo
#13
Yeah they are $1200 new. I see a bunch on craigslist for $800-$1000. There was one listed for only $500 but it was almost a month ago so I'm sure it's been snatched up. I e-mailed the guy just in case.
#14
yeah apparently their tone is heavenly. i've seen clips on youtube and so far, i'm impressed. i think john mayer uses them. they get a good saturated tone as i've seen in the clips.
Quote by metaldud536
...I mean if indians stood naked in front of me, i couldn't tell if they're hispanic or native american. unless they put on clothes

At first he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you, man. No homo

But then, he was like...
Quote by Twistedrock
I love you even more now. Slightly homo
#16
Marshall amps are not really known for their cleans. I would lean towards a fender.
#17
Any recommendations for a Fender or any other amp that I can get pretty loud cleans from but also can break up without getting just insanely loud. Seems like you have to get the twin reverb obnoxiously loud to get it to break up.
#19
Quote by R.D
wow... wall of text...

ummmmm, am thinking a peavey classic 30?

nice bluesy rock tone, and your ts-9 should go brialiantly with it


this i tried this out last week it seems perfect

07 Fender American Deluxe Strat
07 Fender Custom Telecaster
09 Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster
09 Fulltone OCD V.4
10 Ibanez WH-10 V.2
09 Splawn SuperStock
10 Jet City JCA-20
97 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Yeh the SICK! bit sounds a bit stupid.

#20
Quote by bartdevil_metal
Maybe look into a Fender Supersonic? They have good cleans and a decent drive channel IMO. It won't get too heavy, but you should be able to cover Zep with it. I also recommend a decent fuzz.

http://www.fender.com/products/supersonic/

Thanks! That seems like a really good option. I'll definitely try one of these out.
#21
Jim, where are you going to be playing with this amp, and how loud do you need it to be?

I have a Fender Blues Junior NOS: http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Hot-Rod-Blues-Junior-NOS-1x12-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=483711&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=44750936

It is an incredible amp...possibly the best for the money. Don't let the 15w fool you, it's loud...really loud. In a studio setting, you won't want to go past 3 on master when the volume is maxed out for distortion. It also produces brilliant cleans that get very loud as well.

I use this amp with two strats: One with a TBX MidBoost, one with a vintage 62 setup. With the TBX, I can produce ZZ Top like grit, along with Cream like women-tones. In between, you can get SRV, Hendrix, David Gilmour...everything, without the need for pedals if you have the right guitar.

Here is an example of a man that uses his Fender BJ NOS exclusively for SRV Tones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFdAaZK4098&feature=related (That's with a pedal similar to a TS-9 and a mexican strat).

Just a thought
#22
I have been looking at the blues jr., but haven't been able to try one out.

The volume I need is kind of a difficult thing to answer. Technically I don't need much really. One of the guys I play with has a really, really nice Yamaha PA system. So even at practices and venues that don't have a PA, I'll always be able to play with one. BUT.... I do want to be able to have the volume to play with the drummer without miking the amp. He does get a tad on the loud side when he gets excited lol. The guy that owns the PA also lives 3.5 hours away. He usually leaves it here, but not always. If he has the PA, I need that volume.

What I really want is an amp that I can play without having to mike. I want to be able to get cleans loud enough to play with a loud drummer. Ideally I'm looking for something that will stay clean at a volume loud enough to play with the drummer, but will break up when pushed just a tad farther. I'm thinking that my best case scenario is having the amp as loud as it can go without breaking up, then when I need the drive I can make a small adjustment to the guitar's volume knob or use a slight boost from the tube screamer to make it break up. Does this make sense?
#23
Yup, that makes perfect sense.

While the Blues Jr. NOS has absolutely gorgeous cleans, they come at a cost...somewhat low volume. In a studio, it's perfect, but when trying to compete against a drummer, it will be very close.

My best recommendation would be to get your hands on one with a drummer near by, and see how it sounds over the drummer. The amp is definitely louder than a drummer, but it might not be producing the cleans that you want at that volume.

In that case, I'd recommend this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Blues-DeVille-410-Reissue-Guitar-Amp-103298501-i1145957.gc

You'll get similar sounds to what the Blues Jr. will produce, but you will have great cleans at much higher volume.

Plus, 4 10" speakers is just cool
#24
See if you can't find a used '65 Deluxe Reverb reissue. Then you have good clean tones and good overdriven tones... I'm sure some people will say the reissue is lacking, but the ones that I've played I've quite liked...
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 23, 2009,
#25
Well the Twin Reverb will stay clean at extremely high volumes. I'm getting one soon enough and I've tested with it ALOT and cranked it in a soundproof room and it had perfect cleans at very high volumes, easy to get over a drummer. I then ran a Fulltone OCD, EHX Memory Man Deluxe, MXR Phase 90 and an RMC Picture Wah through it and I got into late 60's rock n roll heaven.
#26
The thing with tube amps is this: the tubes saturate the more signal is pushed into them (the higher you turn the volume knob), so to get absolutely crystal clean tones at gig levels, you'd need a pretty high wattage amp - i'd say the deluxe reverbs (quiet!) 22w are already pushing it!
What I'd highly advise you to do is to go to the nearest GC and try out a) the HRD with your tube screamer - usually they let you bring your own stuff to test with their gear and b) the peavey classic 30 to see whether you like its cleans enough (maybe compared to the twin reverbs cleans, if you like) to buy it.

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
france is laaaaame


Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#27
Quote by jimtaka

I play an American Deluxe Strat. I like to play a very diverse array of music, but I don't really dabble into extremely heavy metal. I mostly like to play blues and classic rock type stuff (SRV, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers, etc.).


Blues and Classic Rock on a budget= Peavey Classic 30 Territory; the Marshall has what you want for Classic Rock but it's cleans are.... lacking. Fender can do SRV, blues and with some serious cranking can get into classic rock territory; and most of them take pedals pretty well.

Because you have $700 and are looking at used stuff, I would go for a higher end Fender Amp personally and stick the TS infront of it. I think a DRRI/Blues Junior won't quite be loud enough over a drummer ( unless cranked near to the max) and the Hot Rod series amps simply don't sound that good if you have that kind of money.
#28
Yeah I was really looking hard at the Hot Rod Deville because I've found a few locally that I can get used for like $500. But everybody seems to agree that they aren't even close in tone to something like a Twin Reverb or Deluxe Reverb.

I checked out a Vintage Reissue '65 Deluxe Reverb today that a local shop is selling brand new for only $695. I absolutely love the tone of the thing and it's a total steal at that price... but I was unsure about the volume level for good cleans. I think I want something that can go a little bit louder before getting gritty. I may just buy it anyway and live with having to mike it sometimes. I really loved the tone and it's such a good deal.

The Fender Supersonic that somebody recommended above seems like it might be exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately there aren't any used ones for sale near me and I can't afford a new one. I guess I'm just going to have to wait until one shows up.

Anybody have experience with the Engl Screamer 50? The other guitarist I play with just ordered one today here:

http://www.themadape.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=E-330&click=1540

I have looked up some videos and stuff on youtube and they sound freakin' sweet imo.
#29
Quote by jimtaka
I checked out a Vintage Reissue '65 Deluxe Reverb today that a local shop is selling brand new for only $695. I absolutely love the tone of the thing and it's a total steal at that price... but I was unsure about the volume level for good cleans. I think I want something that can go a little bit louder before getting gritty. I may just buy it anyway and live with having to mike it sometimes. I really loved the tone and it's such a good deal.


You have to REALLY crank a fender to get them to drive. I'm pretty sure deluxe reverbs have TONNES of headroom. Enough that you may NEED an OD pedal for any sort of drive tones. But the cleans out of it will be phenomenal.
I'm Joel. I play guitar. I am a student. I look at the cost of tuition, not in a dollar value, but in the guitars I'm sacrificing now, to be able to buy later.
#30
It's only a 22 watt 1x12. I did have to crank it to get it break up... but it still wasn't like offensively loud. Well not really crank it. It started breaking up around 5.
#31
Quote by jimtaka
It's only a 22 watt 1x12. I did have to crank it to get it break up... but it still wasn't like offensively loud. Well not really crank it. It started breaking up around 5.

that's what the problem with your request is - any smaller wattage tube amp will break up before you reach the sparkly-clean-at-drummer-level volume

the ENGL is going to be a lot more expensive, but i cannot comment on it, haven't tried any so far

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
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Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#32
^-- Right. Which is why I am not looking for smaller wattage tube amps I figure I need at least 40 watts, but preferably 60 or 85.
#33
Hey Jim!

I am going to suggest the Vox AC30. Beautiful amp with awesome cleans and a decent amount of drive. With that Keeley modded TS-9, you can get those SRV tones NO problem at all, and more if you need.

I think the marshall you were playing on was likely messed up. It should not cut in and out like that, and cranked, it should have been HUGELY loud. Even a 30 watt tube amp is obscenely loud.

The RI Deluxe Reverb is a great amp as well, and yes, people do play huge concerts with these things.

The 1x12 vs 2x12 isnt reall an issue if you go with the AC30, as its already a 2x12 combo.

The extra speaker doesn't really add more volume as much as it just spreads the sound out more.

Hope this helps
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
#34
You won't necessarily need a Screamer. The Engl Thunder is a bit cheaper and will sound just as good as the Screamer for what you are doing, it sacrifices some of the Screamers versatility though. You can get a used one between 500$ and 600$ I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YekDwOrh73k

Don't ask me what he's talking about, but this video should give you a rough idea of what the Thunder sounds like.

EDIT: From what I've heard, Engls don't like being boosted much, so your OD pedal might not work to well with it. I didn't try boosting a Thunder so far, so I can't say for sure. But the amp has plenty of gain already and is pretty articulate, so you might not even feel the need to boost it. Just saying, best thing to do is trying one out with the pedal if you have the chance.

The Marshall you played was probable f'd. 40 watts of tube are enough to tear your ears off when you're sitting right in front of it, so if it wasn't loud, it was most likely damaged.

Sorry, I can't comment on the Fenders, I have little experience with them.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Feb 24, 2009,
#35
http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/1048051795.html Tweed Delta Blues, $400, it's a classic 30 with tremolo.
http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/1046187638.html Tweed Blues Deluxe RI, $600, with the OD you have it would do hard rock and keep good cleans at volume.
http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/1043353411.html Tweed Classic 50. More clean headroom than a hair salon. $375
http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/1038084149.html Classic 30, finally a non tweed , asking $350
Also the is an HRD for $500, and misc other interesting deals.
Nashville has an awesome craigslist.

All of these would hit the tones you are after. The Marshall you played had issues.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Feb 24, 2009,
#36
Quote by jimtaka
Thanks! That seems like a really good option. I'll definitely try one of these out.

the supersonic a bit out of your budget i think, but theyre real versitale, and they sound good
its a bassman and a vibrolux pretty much, umm.... im not sure about the drive channel, ive heard it is good but ive never heard it for myself
Last edited by eberg2 at Feb 24, 2009,
#37
Quote by eberg2
the supersonic a bit out of your budget i think, but theyre real versitale, and they sound good
its a bassman and a vibrolux pretty much, umm.... im not sure about the drive channel, ive heard it is good but ive never heard it for myself

Yeah a brand new anything is out of my budget really. I mean I can get some brand new stuff, but I'd rather buy used and get a much better amp. I would think I could get a supersonic for $700 used. Do you not think so?

Quote by Brendan.Clace
I am going to suggest the Vox AC30. Beautiful amp with awesome cleans and a decent amount of drive. With that Keeley modded TS-9, you can get those SRV tones NO problem at all, and more if you need.

First, glad to see you made it out of the FOTB And yeah I've heard a ton of good things about the AC30. My buddy's shop has some in stock so I am definitely going to go and check them out.

Quote by Brendan.Clace
I think the marshall you were playing on was likely messed up. It should not cut in and out like that, and cranked, it should have been HUGELY loud. Even a 30 watt tube amp is obscenely loud.

Yeah I literally had the amp less than three feet from my face and it was dimed out... I would expect that to hurt my ears, but it wasn't really noticeably louder than my 15 watt SS practice amp. It was the first tube amp I tried out and it had me questioning what the big deal was. lol

Quote by Brendan.Clace
The RI Deluxe Reverb is a great amp as well, and yes, people do play huge concerts with these things.

Yeah I found one of these in a local shop that is actually within my price range and brand new. They had it on sale for $695. I absolutely loved the way it sounded, but it just didn't have enough clean headroom. I wouldn't be able to get cleans at the volume I want without being miked into a PA.

Quote by TheQuailman
You won't necessarily need a Screamer.

I'm not getting one. My friend just ordered one yesterday. I was just curious as to what y'all thought about them. Neither of us have ever played one.

Quote by gregs1020
Nashville has an awesome craigslist.

Yeah there's tons of stuff listed every day! That's where I'm primarily looking. Right now I'm just kinda waiting to see a supersonic and a vibrolux show up. Those two seem to be the most promising of the Fender amps for what I want. I think I'm leaning more towards the vibrolux just based on soundclips and what I've read... but of course who knows what I'll think when I actually get to play one.
#38
For what it is worth, you are doing this right. Staying in the used market just means you can afford a much better amp. You are also being patient and trying a bunch of stuff. Keep it up and you will know when you find the right amp.
#39
Quote by jimtaka

Yeah there's tons of stuff listed every day! That's where I'm primarily looking. Right now I'm just kinda waiting to see a supersonic and a vibrolux show up. Those two seem to be the most promising of the Fender amps for what I want. I think I'm leaning more towards the vibrolux just based on soundclips and what I've read... but of course who knows what I'll think when I actually get to play one.

If a Prosonic pops up, don't ignore it. It's the older brother to the Supersonic. The cleans are voiced very similar to the vibrolux. And some of the prosonics are sea foam green. Keep up the good work, like said, you are doing this right. This is how I got my Vibroverb, I think I trolled clist for about 2 months and then went, "nooo waaaay" when I saw the listing.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#40
Thanks for the help and compliments guys.

Yesterday I got to try out that Marshall JCM2000 TSL602 that I mentioned in my first post. It was definitely an awesome amp. I'm just not sure about the clean headroom on it. I'll have a better idea after I try out some more Fenders. I'm definitely still considering that Marshall though. It had awesome crunch, good volume level, and some really cool features.... plus at only $600 for a $1600+tax amp, it's a helluva good deal.

All that being said, I am going to try out a Vibrolux tomorrow afternoon/evening. Hopefully I'll be able to make a decision after that. If the Vibrolux can get the same volume as the Marshall, has enough clean head room, and if I can coax some good crunch out of natural overdrive and my TS-9 then I think I'll be set.

I checked out the Peavey's that everyone recommended earlier in the thread and I just really wasn't impressed. The one I checked out specifically was a Classic 50/212. It was plenty loud, and it was also pretty versatile... but I thought it did everything just kind of meh. Versatility is all well and good, but it seems like it is at the price of a mediocre version of everything with this amp. The crunch didn't have anything on the Marshall JCM and the cleans weren't anywhere near as good as the Deluxe Reverb. I realize that you can't get Marshall crunch and Fender cleans out of the same amp (or if you can, please let me know what that amp is), but I'd like to get closer than the Peavey was.
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