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#1
I'm looking for some advice on a new amp I want to buy in the next year.

I currently have my eye on a Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R, Diezel Schmidt, Matchless Independance (I'll have to wait until one comes up second-hand), Fryette Memphis, Matamp King Street and Mesa Boogie Lonestar. Those are the ones that I know I want to try out when I go on holiday next time to the UK.

Here are a few specs. I need:

  • Very good effects loop that suits pedals, preferably with a level control.
  • Two channels, or at least the potential for sparkly, warm, responsive cleans, and bluesy, Kyuss-type distortion.
  • Sounds great at all levels. I don't want an amp that sounds pants at low volumes.


That's basically the necesseties out of the way. Here is a list of attributes I'd like:

  • Isn't fuck-off huge or 100 watts. If it needs to be that loud and large physically, it has to have the ability to cut down to at least 30 watts, like the Lonestar.
  • I'd rather not go with EL84's as they tend to be a little fizzy unless you crank them hard. Of course, they are very common with low wattage (30) clean amps, so I don't have very much choice. The potential for hard rock tones at lower volumes is a must, as I said, so Fender and Vox aren't entirely practical.


That budget is a limit. Please don't tempt me with something I cannot afford, like a Two Rock. And, also, please do not suggest amps that are boutique American amps, because I cannot afford to import/ship them over. Unless they have a reasonable selection of dealers worldwide, I'm going to have to ignore them or I will keel over with frustration.

Anyway, let's help Danny out by posting some kick-ass amps and their characteristics.
#2
out of the ones you've looked at i'd go for the Matchless or Boogie. both are rather fantastic machines. the distortion is very smooth and the cleans are also brilliant on both of them, seeing as the matchless is out of your budget unless you go used take the Mesa.

i'm not too much of an officianardo in this kinda of amp so thats all the advice i can give, hope it helps!!
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Quote by Bladed-Vaults
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#3
you has a soldano!

I heard great things about the bad cat. I'm pretty much a fryette fan boy though. Memphis is supposed to be awesome. I'll know for sure this week.
Suhr has dealers in the uk right?

BADGER 30 or CAA PT50 nomnomnomnom
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#4
Quote by shredftw
out of the ones you've looked at i'd go for the Matchless or Boogie. both are rather fantastic machines. the distortion is very smooth and the cleans are also brilliant on both of them, seeing as the matchless is out of your budget unless you go used take the Mesa.

i'm not too much of an officianardo in this kinda of amp so thats all the advice i can give, hope it helps!!
Thanks, mate! It does help. I wasn't thinking too much into the Boogie, but I will.

Quote by AcousticMirror
you has a soldano!

I heard great things about the bad cat. I'm pretty much a fryette fan boy though. Memphis is supposed to be awesome. I'll know for sure this week.
Suhr has dealers in the uk right?

BADGER 30 or CAA PT50 nomnomnomnom
I dunno, those Suhr Badger amps seem more like Marshall clones than tender clean machines.

A place in Germany had a CAA 100 for SUPER cheap the other day. I think it's sold now, and I'm not surprised (it was as cheap as they are brand new in American - which is CHEAP). I'm not too concerned though, to be honest. It sounds too much like my Avenger.
#6
Quote by AngryGoldfish
Thanks, mate! It does help. I wasn't thinking too much into the Boogie, but I will.


well look at Andy Timmons, his tone is godlike and even though its twinned with a Stilletto and theres a BB Preamp thrown in when i played the Lone Star Special combo i was like OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM. its a lovely amp
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Suhr Guitars

Mesa Boogie

Friedman Amplification

Fractal Audio Systems


Quote by Bladed-Vaults
*Bane voice* ahhh yes. The br00tz, I was born with it. Molded by it. I didnt know of the light until I was already a man.
#7
what's wrong with the soldano?

best places for amps in the UK, that I'm aware of, are probably guitar guitar, sounds great (based on the website, i haven't been), oxford guitar gallery, coda (ditto SG)... best bet is to take in as many of those as you can.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Maybe you can find yourself a Trainwreck clone? Those are pretty hard rock amps, but very very loud...

I don't have any experience with those amps you listed, none of them are on this part of the world sadly.

That said, aren't the Matchless amps those type of amps going for that twangly semi-clean type tones?
#9
From the clips I've been listening to, the Lonestar sounds stunning. But I've never really liked Boogie products, so it's something I'm still holding back from.

The Diezel has been on top of the list for ages. It basically has all the features I want. They're just so hard to find.

Quote by Dave_Mc
what's wrong with the soldano?

best places for amps in the UK, that I'm aware of, are probably guitar guitar, sounds great (based on the website, i haven't been), oxford guitar gallery, coda (ditto SG)... best bet is to take in as many of those as you can.
The Soldano is a single channel amp. The cleans are awful on it. Really bad. Rolling back the volume removes the gain, but it also removes the highs and sparkle.

I'm planning on A/B'ing this future amp with the Soldano since it has the best high-gain tones I've ever heard, period.

I'll take a look to see what those shops have to offer.

Quote by stykerwolf
Maybe you can find yourself a Trainwreck clone? Those are pretty hard rock amps, but very very loud...

I don't have any experience with those amps you listed, none of them are on this part of the world sadly.

That said, aren't the Matchless amps those type of amps going for that twangly semi-clean type tones?
The Matchless amps are predominantly Vox clones but with more modern features. The Independance is a three channel, high-gain amp. But it has superb cleans as well, so I hear. I'm looking, really, for a channel switching amp that has a sparkly clean and a crunchy overdrive.

Trainwreck clone? Any idea who make those?
Last edited by AngryGoldfish at Aug 9, 2010,
#10
so you're looking for a clean amp? with a preamp gain control?
you want something not marshall voiced?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#11
Quote by AcousticMirror
so you're looking for a clean amp? with a preamp gain control?
you want something not marshall voiced?
Basically, yeah.
#12
game plan.

upgrade hr avenger to fx bypassable slo
purchase mesa transatlantic
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#14
Quote by AcousticMirror
game plan.

upgrade hr avenger to fx bypassable slo
purchase mesa transatlantic
Soldano are the only people really able to do that, and that means sending it off to America and sending it back.

To be honest, I'd rather get a whole new amp. I've always wanted two amps with different voicings, hence why I didn't save up and get the Decatone, Soldano, or Hot Rod+ and have someone local add a Depth Knob.
#15
If you like Soldano gain and want a clean channel and medium power, why not get a Soldano Lucky 13-50? Great amp...
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#16
wreck is a single channel non-master monster. it won't be scaled down to any "lower" volumes unless you add a VVR.

when you mention two channel, do you need it footswitchable? do you need two INDEPENDENT preamp channels? how bout the tone stack? can it be shared? or do you just need to make it go clean then drive with a flip/stomp of a switch?
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#17
Quote by AngryGoldfish
Soldano are the only people really able to do that, and that means sending it off to America and sending it back.

To be honest, I'd rather get a whole new amp. I've always wanted two amps with different voicings, hence why I didn't save up and get the Decatone, Soldano, or Hot Rod+ and have someone local add a Depth Knob.


no no I mean trade you're hr avenger for a slo.
The + doesn't have a preamp control on the clean channel right? Totally different beast from the slo.
SlO channel 1 - crunch mode engaged for vintage rhythm
channel 2 - overdrive
then you pair it with something like a mesa transatlantic for power tube distortion.
perfectlos.

You don't need to send your stuff to mike to get it modded. If you email them and tell them you are in Europe they will send you the schems. I just gave the schems to my tech and he did all my mods for me. Depth knob is easy. Ripping out the fx loop is easy.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/nofx.mp3
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/poppunk.mp3
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/cowpunk.mp3

lawls. anyhow. I think matchless is a good choice. I'm not to knowledgable about the European based guys. Emery maybe? Cornford? JMI?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#18
Quote by ECistheBest
wreck is a single channel non-master monster. it won't be scaled down to any "lower" volumes unless you add a VVR.

when you mention two channel, do you need it footswitchable? do you need two INDEPENDENT preamp channels? how bout the tone stack? can it be shared? or do you just need to make it go clean then drive with a flip/stomp of a switch?
Yeah, I thought that might be the case. I can't be bothered with amps that need to be cranked. They are completely useless to me, really.

And a tone stack can be shared. That is no problem. The two channels don't NEED to be footswitch-able, because I already have the Soldano I can switch into, but it would be useful. Entirely separate preamp channels would, like I said, be great, but it's not a necessity, not at this stage right now where I'm just looking around for the right tone.

Quote by Even Bigger D
If you like Soldano gain and want a clean channel and medium power, why not get a Soldano Lucky 13-50? Great amp...
Yeah, I've heard great things about the Lucky 13. But I don't know if I'm interested in another Soldano.

I know some may think it's ridiculous, but I just don't want another Soldano.

Quote by AcousticMirror
no no I mean trade you're hr avenger for a slo.
The + doesn't have a preamp control on the clean channel right? Totally different beast from the slo.
SlO channel 1 - crunch mode engaged for vintage rhythm
channel 2 - overdrive
then you pair it with something like a mesa transatlantic for power tube distortion.
perfectlos.

You don't need to send your stuff to mike to get it modded. If you email them and tell them you are in Europe they will send you the schems. I just gave the schems to my tech and he did all my mods for me. Depth knob is easy. Ripping out the fx loop is easy.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/nofx.mp3
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/poppunk.mp3
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/the%20slo/cowpunk.mp3

lawls. anyhow. I think matchless is a good choice. I'm not to knowledgable about the European based guys. Emery maybe? Cornford? JMI?
I like my Avenger too much to trade it in. It's already quite loud; the SLO is a lot louder in my opinion.

Ahh, I thought it might invalidate the warranty if I started messing around inside. Have you already changed your SLO?

Cornford amps... grrr... they annoy me. I hate their ethos. Emery are American. I'll check out JMI, and I'll listen to those clips.
#19
well, you can go from clean to distorted with a twist of a volume knob. and the point of channel switching is a) fast switching during songs, or b) entire different voicing.

if you want (a), then you'd want a footswitch, independent eq, all the luxuries. if you want (b), then you can look at amps that add half a tube or something. other than that, you can tweak it to your likings. an extra triode does a lot to the available distortion. but more than 4 cascading is way too many. even a boost pedal (treble booster or a flat preamp) would even work. doesn't have to be a tube to drive the first tube in ur amp harder...
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#20
Quote by ECistheBest
well, you can go from clean to distorted with a twist of a volume knob.
The amps that I like - Diezel, Soldano - don't go from distorted to clean very well. Okay, the sound is clean, but it's not prestine or brilliant. It's thick and slushy. That sounds great in it's own way, but it's not what I'm looking for right now.

and the point of channel switching is a) fast switching during songs, or b) entire different voicing.
I don't expect to find completely different voicings between channels, because frankly, I've never played an amp that can achieve that. I've never heard an Orange in one channel and then a Diezel in another.

Fast switching would be great on this new amp, yes, but like I said, I have the Soldano for my high-gain br00talz tone. I need something clean, most importantly, to A/B with my Avenger.

if you want (a), then you'd want a footswitch, independent eq, all the luxuries. if you want (b), then you can look at amps that add half a tube or something. other than that, you can tweak it to your likings. an extra triode does a lot to the available distortion. but more than 4 cascading is way too many. even a boost pedal (treble booster or a flat preamp) would even work. doesn't have to be a tube to drive the first tube in ur amp harder...
Most modern channel-switchers have independant EQ sections anyway, so I'm not too concerned there.

I'm not quite sure what you mean regarding the b) section.
#21
i think it's quite a project to get a sparkly sound and bluesy distortion form the same amp. and by bluesy (used too much these days) distortion you're talking about the thick mid/high mids driven kinda distortion.

it feels like you're describing a blackface clean and a tweed overdrive in the same amp.


i dont think the JMI amps are good at this kinda switching. they are awesome, but they can get the vintage vox voice. but everything else is hard. i'm not that good anymore with amps in the UK. or production amps in general... but at least we got some questions answered to narrow down your choices?
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#22
Orange AD series?

Original'ish Vox AC30?

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#23
Quote by AngryGoldfish

The Soldano is a single channel amp. The cleans are awful on it. Really bad. Rolling back the volume removes the gain, but it also removes the highs and sparkle.

I'm planning on A/B'ing this future amp with the Soldano since it has the best high-gain tones I've ever heard, period.

I'll take a look to see what those shops have to offer.


oh ok.

does the volume knob on your guitar have a treble bleed cap? the cleans probably still won't be amazing, but if you've got no sparkle rolling back the volume there's a good chance not having a tbc is the culprit. Some people hate them, of course, and say they sound thin, but you're complaining about the opposite problem, so it might be worth considering. it'd be a lot cheaper than another amp (lol). and i mean if you don't like it you can take it out again, no harm done.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 9, 2010,
#25
well, having two amps (or more) to plug into is always awesome dave. just saying...
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#26
yeah sure, i was just offering a solution to his problem of "no sparkle". Maybe he doesn't want to carry two amps, lol.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
Dan, ring Jeff! I'm pretty sure he can get you an amp with the features you need.
I whole heartedly recommend Matamps. The 1224 is a great amp and you can tweak it for a huge gain sound pretty easily I've found.
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#28
Quote by Tom 1.0
Orange AD series?

Original'ish Vox AC30?
I've never played that specific Orange before, but the Orange's that I have played didn't have a great clean tone. Well, it's not that they were bad, but I'd rather have a Matamp over an Orange, personally.

Quote by ECistheBest
i think it's quite a project to get a sparkly sound and bluesy distortion form the same amp. and by bluesy (used too much these days) distortion you're talking about the thick mid/high mids driven kinda distortion.
I see what you're saying - and I probably did use the term 'bluesy' out of context - but you know the Fryette Memphis I mentioned in the OP? That supposedly has 'clean' cleans and 'bluesy' overdrive. There are definitely quite a few amps that can do that. Of course, I understand that you can't get a Blackface clean in a Tweed overdrive amp, but I'm not necessarily looking for either of those sounds.

i dont think the JMI amps are good at this kinda switching. they are awesome, but they can get the vintage vox voice. but everything else is hard. i'm not that good anymore with amps in the UK. or production amps in general... but at least we got some questions answered to narrow down your choices?
Yeah, I know what you mean. Thanks!

Quote by Kcintlob
Sounds awesome. Does it come in England?

Quote by Dave_Mc
oh ok.

does the volume knob on your guitar have a treble bleed cap? the cleans probably still won't be amazing, but if you've got no sparkle rolling back the volume there's a good chance not having a tbc is the culprit. Some people hate them, of course, and say they sound thin, but you're complaining about the opposite problem, so it might be worth considering. it'd be a lot cheaper than another amp (lol). and i mean if you don't like it you can take it out again, no harm done.
It might do. I've never heard about that. I'll take my two main guitars to my friend who fixes up guitars as a hobby to see what he says. Maybe you're very right.
#29
just open the back coverplate of your guitar where the electronics are, and see if you see a capacitor on the volume knob. it'll probably be one of the round disc ceramic ones, i think.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=304

something a bit like that. losing all sparkle is very characteristic of not having one, just to let you know- that's as much (if not more) the guitar than the amp.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
Quote by AngryGoldfish
I've never played that specific Orange before, but the Orange's that I have played didn't have a great clean tone. Well, it's not that they were bad, but I'd rather have a Matamp over an Orange, personally.

I see what you're saying - and I probably did use the term 'bluesy' out of context - but you know the Fryette Memphis I mentioned in the OP? That supposedly has 'clean' cleans and 'bluesy' overdrive. There are definitely quite a few amps that can do that. Of course, I understand that you can't get a Blackface clean in a Tweed overdrive amp, but I'm not necessarily looking for either of those sounds.

Yeah, I know what you mean. Thanks!

Sounds awesome. Does it come in England?

It might do. I've never heard about that. I'll take my two main guitars to my friend who fixes up guitars as a hobby to see what he says. Maybe you're very right.

like you said too, you "can" to some extent. with a few switches, you can KINDA go from tweed to blackface. add a few voltage dividers, you get a sparkle clean blackface tone, to super huge tweed-about-to-blow-up kinda sound too. people don't make that often tho.
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#31
i'm with dave on the treble bleed. prs uses what they call a "high pass filter", not sure if it's the exact same thing, but it does leave the sparkle and remove the gain.

i can't help on the amps available by you, though i will say i find mesa cleans to be way underrated and under appreciated. even here.

good luck.
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#32
Quote by Dave_Mc
just open the back coverplate of your guitar where the electronics are, and see if you see a capacitor on the volume knob. it'll probably be one of the round disc ceramic ones, i think.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=304

something a bit like that. losing all sparkle is very characteristic of not having one, just to let you know- that's as much (if not more) the guitar than the amp.
I'll do that tomorrow.

Quote by ECistheBest
like you said too, you "can" to some extent. with a few switches, you can KINDA go from tweed to blackface. add a few voltage dividers, you get a sparkle clean blackface tone, to super huge tweed-about-to-blow-up kinda sound too. people don't make that often tho.
I really need to try out a Blackface and a Tweed to see whether they're for me or not.

Quote by gregs1020
i'm with dave on the treble bleed. prs uses what they call a "high pass filter", not sure if it's the exact same thing, but it does leave the sparkle and remove the gain.

i can't help on the amps available by you, though i will say i find mesa cleans to be way underrated and under appreciated. even here.

good luck.
Yeah, I much prefer Boogie cleans than their high-gain tones.

I'll definitely take a look at my guitars tomorrow. I also might pick up my Strat from my guitar tech (I know that's pretentious) and see how that works with my Soldano. I've never tried it before with it.
#33
shit just thought,

there is a Mark III Mesa in PMT in southend, they only want 850ish iirc

its one of the very rare ones that even has the Fender tilt arms on it.

has amazing cleans and pretty good crunch and so on.

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#34
Quote by gregs1020
i'm with dave on the treble bleed. prs uses what they call a "high pass filter", not sure if it's the exact same thing, but it does leave the sparkle and remove the gain.


i think it is, but i'm not certain.

You have to be careful to get the right value etc., or you can retain too much sparkle and things can sound thin, and also there are more involved circuits with a resistor too to make it sound more natural. I haven't tried messing about with it, though, i just know you can tweak it.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
I'll do that tomorrow.



i think 50s wiring is also meant to help, which also might be worth considering. you wire the tone and volume pots together in a slightly different way, i think. I haven't tried that, either.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#35
Quote by Dave_Mc
i think it is, but i'm not certain.

i think 50s wiring is also meant to help, which also might be worth considering. you wire the tone and volume pots together in a slightly different way, i think. I haven't tried that, either.

greasebucket right?

The Grease Bucket Tone Circuit
One challenge in getting the perfect guitar tone is cutting piercing highs without adding mud to the mix. The Grease Bucket tone circuit is a relatively inexpensive Strat modification that can be done to an existing Stratocaster that allows you to roll back the highs without muddying your tone. Essentially, this modification adds an extra capacitor and resistor to each of the tone pots that helps control the lows.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#36
Quote by AngryGoldfish
Yeah, I thought that might be the case. I can't be bothered with amps that need to be cranked. They are completely useless to me, really.

And a tone stack can be shared. That is no problem. The two channels don't NEED to be footswitch-able, because I already have the Soldano I can switch into, but it would be useful. Entirely separate preamp channels would, like I said, be great, but it's not a necessity, not at this stage right now where I'm just looking around for the right tone.

Yeah, I've heard great things about the Lucky 13. But I don't know if I'm interested in another Soldano.

I know some may think it's ridiculous, but I just don't want another Soldano.

I like my Avenger too much to trade it in. It's already quite loud; the SLO is a lot louder in my opinion.

Ahh, I thought it might invalidate the warranty if I started messing around inside. Have you already changed your SLO?

Cornford amps... grrr... they annoy me. I hate their ethos. Emery are American. I'll check out JMI, and I'll listen to those clips.


hey hey. Did you buy your hr new? Do you still have a warranty on it? The warranty on mine doesn't really concern me. It's transferable but it doesn't cover transformers. My tech is great. I'd rather pay him for work then ship shit all the way to seattle and back. I've already got mine modded. Bypassable fx loop, depth knob, increased the strength of the channel couplers to stop the normal channel bleeding over.

I had another idea. You should DeYoung your avenger. yum.
Also. Fuchs ODS100. Do they have European dealers?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#38
Quote by SugarRush66
If you do venture to GuitarGuitar it's be worth your while checking out their 65 Amps, if they still stock them. I always meant to try one every time I went in and never quite did ...


The 65 Amps I've played were decidedly British flavored. Absolutely great at that tone though. I think some of the newer models are supposed to capture the American side of things. They're pretty low wattage for the most part.

EDIT: ^^They do but they're like 5000 pounds.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 9, 2010,
#40
Quote by AngryGoldfish

Sounds awesome. Does it come in England?



It's not out yet, but he said it should be out around the end of August. He said it's going to be under $1000 (USD) and will ship to the UK. So it should totally be in your range. Plus, it's all Solid State so it'll mind**** your friends.

The maker was answering questions over at TGP
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