#1
I used to like a squeaky clean tone, but lately it just doesn't really speak to me anymore. I got to mess around with some tube amps and I pushed them until the clean tone got just a tad hairy. You could still call it a "clean" tone, but you could hear this smooth overdrive starting to happen when I started to dig in with the pick. It was smooth in the break up, but it was still glassy and clear at the same time.

My Vox VT50 can approximate the tone fairly well for practice and rehearsal on the "modded clean" model, but I want tube amp that can achieve this tone as well. I notice that I prefer dirt pedals into an amp that sounds like this because the pushed tone of the amp seems to smooth out the pedals a bit and I can hear the tone of the amp come through a bit more.

My question is, what amp could do this tone without killing small children and making sound men want to kill me?

I've been thinking something like...

Fender Blues Junior
Fender Pro Junior
Fender Princeton Reverb
Fender DRRI
Peavey Classic 30
Bugera V22
Bugera BC30

Nothing more than 30 watts, which is probably too loud at that point for the tone I want anyway (but you never know). It would be nice if there was perhaps an amp that had master volume and a gain knob for the clean channel so I could control the volume, but perhaps I ask for too much in a budget under $900? I always did like an easy way out. I am the singer/lead guitarist in a band so yes, I am going to use it to gig with. The VT50 will work for practice/rehearsal, so this amp will be a strictly gigging amp.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#3
i really dig the fender blues deluxe for that...it has a really warm quality that i feel that other fender amps lack. The OD channel on the amp imo isn't that great on its own, but for what you're looking to do, definitely try it out
#4
Yeah I reckon the Blues Deluxe and a TS-808 to slightly drive it. Or a BBE Green Screamer - it's a little more transparent.

I think I see what you mean, it's sorta like John Mayer tone, right?
#5
You might say that. I'm approaching it from more of a indie/rock or alternative standpoint though. I want it to break up slightly, but I still want it clean enough to run fuzz and distortion pedals into it. I'd like that kind of glassy break up without using an OD pedal though.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#6
if only your budget could stretch another $1000 or so! The Dr. Z Maz 18 does the tone you're describing better than any amp by far. Go to the Dr. Z Amps website and at least check out the video of the Maz 18, it's deffinitely worth hearing.
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Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#7
I see what you mean. That type of tone isn't that easy to get just from a guitar and amp. I know that John Mayer uses a Blues Driver and a Keeley Katana boost, as well as a heap of T-Rex pedals just to get his 'clean' tone. So maybe something to try out would be using your OD pedal as a boost as opposed to using the overdrive sound. that's why i suggested the BBE green screamer - it doesn't have very much gain.
#8
I see...but couldn't a lower watt tube amp get that tone where it's still clean but has some of that hair starting to happen as well? What exactly is hard about it? I could do it on the medium watt tube amps but they were a bit too loud for mic'd up situations. I was thinking a lower watt tube amp could get there at reasonable volumes???
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#9
If you could get a tweed deluxe clone of some sort that would be ideal because those amps are never compleatly clean. Of the amps you listed the blues Jr is by far the best. I love my blackface fender style amps but they are more of the crystal clear tone that you want to get away from. I'd also consider a Laney LC15 and a Vox AC15. Both of these are a grainy British clean that is quite different than the fender tweed cleans but they are still within the realm of the tonal description you gave. So give them a try and see what you like.
#10
Quote by Bright Light
if only your budget could stretch another $1000 or so! The Dr. Z Maz 18 does the tone you're describing better than any amp by far. Go to the Dr. Z Amps website and at least check out the video of the Maz 18, it's deffinitely worth hearing.
+3.52 I played with one at my local music store. Even being a gain-loving metalhead, I can really appreciate the tones this thing has to offer. Throw any dirt box infront of it, this thing will make an MT-2 sound good!
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#11
^the Maz 18 is an awesome amp but stretching a budget $1,000 isn't really "stretching the budget," it's breaking the bank. If the TS can afford one it's worth a look, but given the price range of the amps they would looking at I wouldn't have considered the Maz as an affordable option.
#12
Quote by CorduroyEW
^the Maz 18 is an awesome amp but stretching a budget $1,000 isn't really "stretching the budget," it's breaking the bank.

It's the amp buying equivalent of goatse.
Gear:
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

Bugera Users Militia. We are horrible people. With a sprinkler fetish.
~ BUM: For all things extinguishing

Rackmount Tube Amp Project <<< Updates!
#13
definately some sort of a fender or american voiced low watt tube amp.

my top choice... DRRI

however the princeton reverb is worth a shot because i think it has a tad more headroom and might be closer to your volume range.

also check out various clones and takes of fender tube amps, everyones doing it :]
If you don't talk to your kids about GAS, who will?
#14
Quote by NakedInTheRain
I see what you mean. That type of tone isn't that easy to get just from a guitar and amp. I know that John Mayer uses a dumble.


fixed.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#15
Alright since you can't afford the MAZ let me suggest something that I do with mine that gets me the tone you're looking for. Try out lots of amps with Master Volumes and Pre/Gain/Volumes. Now start by cranking just your Master Volume to the MAX. Depending on the quality and purpose of the amp this should get you a nice, loud, "hair on the edges" clean tone you're looking for. Bring the Pre/Gain Volume up as needed depending on your volume needs.

Now this leaves your pre-amp section fairly UNderdriven and your power amp section wide open. Now what you do to get the distortion/overdrive when you need it just hit a good clean boost pedal like the Xotic Effects RC Booster and this should force enough juice into your pre-amp section to cause it to overdrive and what you get is a nice combination of pre and power amp distortion at the touch of a button and it's ALL from your amp. No OD pedals needed. I really prefer this option to ANY OD pedal out there with my MAZ.

And get good at working your guitar's volume knob, it will open your dynamic possibilities so much. Pay attention to great players like Brad Paisley and John Mayer, they constantly work their volume knobs.

Note that what I described may not work that great with a lot of amps, the MAZ 18/38 really is one of a kind in its uhhh..."dynamic co-operation" lol. I'll give a general rule of thumb for amps that repsond to this method well...something with MODERATE clean headroom, not too much like a Twin Reverb, and something with both Master and Pre/Gain Volume knobs. Maybe even a Weber Attenuator. Stick to 30-40 watt amps for this tone.

Again, this is all from my experience with my MAZ and not every amp will behave and respond well with what I said.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce