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#1
Hey everyone,

I've been playing a lot of guitar more recently and wondered what is that certain element of an amp's tone that makes you want to buy it.

For me I feel that tone comes from the way the amp responds to your playing. I realized that everyone focuses so much on the way it sounds. It's true that the amp has to sound nice. However, I think when it comes to tone that feel is a bigger factor in what I look for in my sound.

Nowadays as the modelling market keeps getting more advances the differences in the actual sounds of amps are decreasing. I think that it's getting harder to choose an amp purely based on the sound of the amp. Certain tube amps still have that response to nuances in my playing that I can't seem to replicate in the newest modelling units. I have nothing against them, a lot of the latest products sound superb.

I was just wondering what you all look for, as it seems like people tend to look for that creamy distortion or those sparkling cleans. That's just the way I see things, doesn't mean it's true at all. Thanks for reading.
Fender American Telecaster (60th Anniversary)
Egnater Rebel 30 Head/Cab
Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
#4
I go for
1. Capable of high gain and chiming sparkling cleans.
2. EXTREMELY tight and responsive bass... like way tighter than a junkie's bum before prison.
3. Good clarity
4. Noise free (hiss is unacceptable)
5. Good note definition
6. Highly tweakable tone
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
Last edited by ragingkitty at Jun 6, 2011,
#5
1) Lots of low end, slight controllable flub. Thick mids, smooth but grainy, not too much treble
2) Sparkly, moderately bright cleans wwith a warm bottom end
3) Clear chords
4) Enough gain to kill small animals on the heaviest channel
5) At least three channels, ideally four, going from clean clean clean to br00tz and everything in between.
6) Multiple voicings per channel (think Roadster)
7) Ability to save global settings to a memory card/hard drive that is either portable or built into the amp, and switch ability via MIDI controllers
#6
Blue LED's

Uhm, I like single channel amps that respond well with your volume knob. I also prefer them not be be dripping with gain as I do the classic method of cranking and boosting. Works for me anyway. I also look for pretty dark amps I don't like bright ones.
#7
1) Good bottom end, overall a tight thick sound
2) Versatility. I usually look only at 3-4 channel amps. Preferably ones with multiple voicing options (Carvin V3, Marshall JVM etc) Each channel should have it's own EQ.
3) More footswitchable option=better. Be it MIDI control built in, or being able to program things like effects loop assignments, boost or reverb settings. BIG complaint I had with my 6262...Can't switch from clean to crunch via footswitch.
4) Effects loop(s). Preferably more than 1, and preferably assignable. Bonus if it is footswitchable
5) CLEAN cleans
6) High gain if/when you want it
7) If it's a tube amp, ability to swap between 6L6 and EL34 (bonus if you can fit KT88s) and an adjustable bias.
8) Master Volume (bonus for master tone controls as well)
9) 100w+ power section. (bonus if it can be adjusted down via dial or switch) I like my headroom.
10) VALUE! You shouldn't have to pay more than $1500 to get all that in an amp!
Ibanez RGR421EXFM, Michael Kelley Vex NV, Ovation Celebrity. Carvin V3
Peavey 412M w/Eminence Wizards & Swamp Thangs, Rocktron Hush Super C, Furman PL-8C,15 band EQ, Boosta grande, ISP Decimator, Dano EQ, Ibanez TBX 150,TC Elec Polytune
#8
After the general sound I look for dynamics. I can't stand amps that sound the same apart from volume when you hit the strings differently. For that reason alone it will be a long time before I embrace modelling. If it has no talkback I don't want to know about it.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#9
Quote by Vinson
1) Good bottom end, overall a tight thick sound
2) Versatility. I usually look only at 3-4 channel amps. Preferably ones with multiple voicing options (Carvin V3, Marshall JVM etc) Each channel should have it's own EQ.
3) More footswitchable option=better. Be it MIDI control built in, or being able to program things like effects loop assignments, boost or reverb settings. BIG complaint I had with my 6262...Can't switch from clean to crunch via footswitch.
4) Effects loop(s). Preferably more than 1, and preferably assignable. Bonus if it is footswitchable
5) CLEAN cleans
6) High gain if/when you want it
7) If it's a tube amp, ability to swap between 6L6 and EL34 (bonus if you can fit KT88s) and an adjustable bias.
8) Master Volume (bonus for master tone controls as well)
9) 100w+ power section. (bonus if it can be adjusted down via dial or switch) I like my headroom.
10) VALUE! You shouldn't have to pay more than $1500 to get all that in an amp!


And I want a Unicorn...
#11
but the most i look for in an amp is to get MY sound if i cant dial in what sound i like in less than 10 min i move on. i like tight punchy distortion with pronounced mids and crisp highs. and for cleans i like shimmery cleans. some amps just cant deliver what i like to describe as tasty cleans
the second thing is versatility i like an amp that can go from country to rock to meltdown. with minimal fiddling to get it there.
i find these main points in my blue voodoo and i love it. i want another.
Live Rig
Michael Kelly Custom Shop Plum Telecaster
Michael Kelly Custom Shop Plum Patriot


EVH 5153 50w
Jet City 2x12
Custom Board

It is NOT trash metal it is tHrash metal...get it right
#12
Something with loads of buttons......I love buttons.
Current Rig:

Eppy SG w/Swineheads, Marshall DSL 5c, Joyo Vintage OD, Joyo British Sound, Sounds Sounds Fuzz Face, GGG Guv'nor, Dr. Boogie Pedal, Crybaby in Red Sparkle, Digitech Hardwire Delay

The things I would do for a Les Paul...
#14
(1) Fender logo, and
(2) Lots of tubes inside

I've honestly never played a 'proper' Fender amp I haven't liked.

In terms of what it is I like about them - punchy tone, not high gain, great 'cleans', they're a good platform for pedlulz, touch sensitive.

Oh and the thing's got to look good. I wouldn't spend lots of money on an amp that was ugly as sin.

I'd look for the same qualities in any amp for my main tone though.
#15
What do I like to hear in an amp?

Tight bottom end, thick mids with a bit of grit to them, controllable treble, presence & resonance controls, fairly touch sensitive, clear and defined high gain, and a warm clean channel with enough brightness to keep from being muddy.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#16
tone, feel, dynamic response and whether or not it fits my needs
Warning: The above post may contain lethal levels of radiation, sharp objects and sexiness.
Proceed with extreme caution!
#17
Different amps for different jobs.

A big, compressed, modern sounding head for br00tz.

A big, relatively dynamic rock amp that covers a lot of ground with the help of my guitar's volume knob - already own that, so I'm good.

A small, portable amp for jamming that does nice cleans and low-gain overdrive. Wouldn't hurt if it took pedals well, too. I shouldn't have sold my LC15 a year back, it was great for this stuff.

A modeller for experimentation/convenience/headphone-use.


I'd also like a couple different cabs. I've been experimenting with speakers a fair bit lately and I feel that a good, suitable speaker/cab is just as important as the amp plugged into it.
#19
Depends. Ideally I'd like an amp to have a really rounded and warm bottom end with pronounced upper mids and plenty of 80s crunchy goodness.

Alternatively I like mids out the wazoo with plenty of gain.
Last edited by Seref at Jun 6, 2011,
#20
Quote by Vinson
1) Good bottom end, overall a tight thick sound
2) Versatility. I usually look only at 3-4 channel amps. Preferably ones with multiple voicing options (Carvin V3, Marshall JVM etc) Each channel should have it's own EQ.
3) More footswitchable option=better. Be it MIDI control built in, or being able to program things like effects loop assignments, boost or reverb settings. BIG complaint I had with my 6262...Can't switch from clean to crunch via footswitch.
4) Effects loop(s). Preferably more than 1, and preferably assignable. Bonus if it is footswitchable
5) CLEAN cleans
6) High gain if/when you want it
7) If it's a tube amp, ability to swap between 6L6 and EL34 (bonus if you can fit KT88s) and an adjustable bias.
8) Master Volume (bonus for master tone controls as well)
9) 100w+ power section. (bonus if it can be adjusted down via dial or switch) I like my headroom.
10) VALUE! You shouldn't have to pay more than $1500 to get all that in an amp!


Quote by Arby911
And I want a Unicorn...


Quote by Tyler.Allain
Lmao yeah he had A LOT of demands from one amp.


Well, the Carvin V3 has ALL of that (including all the "bonus stuff") as well as a line out with switchable cabinet voicing with level control, A level control on the programable parallel effects loop, 2 mode EQ section (regular and expanded), both effects loops have switchable "tails" so your effects don't have to cut out right when you change channels, and even has programable LIGHTING. While it doesn't do anything for the sound, it's nice to be able to look at the amp from across the stage and see what channel is running.

Extra bonus not mentioned. Made in the USA (I really don't care where it's made that much, but some do) And I got it NEW for $850!!

Maybe I SHOULD check Craigslist for a Unicorn ;-)
Ibanez RGR421EXFM, Michael Kelley Vex NV, Ovation Celebrity. Carvin V3
Peavey 412M w/Eminence Wizards & Swamp Thangs, Rocktron Hush Super C, Furman PL-8C,15 band EQ, Boosta grande, ISP Decimator, Dano EQ, Ibanez TBX 150,TC Elec Polytune
Last edited by Vinson at Jun 7, 2011,
#24
just don't let it explode...cuz you sure as hell won't be able to find parts from the 60s and 70s anymore.

cuz i bought them all.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#25
Do you have any 2N440 Ge NPN transistors min?

Thought not. I have all of them. All 60.


Quote by Arby911

Quote by Vinson
1) Good bottom end, overall a tight thick sound
2) Versatility. I usually look only at 3-4 channel amps. Preferably ones with multiple voicing options (Carvin V3, Marshall JVM etc) Each channel should have it's own EQ.
3) More footswitchable option=better. Be it MIDI control built in, or being able to program things like effects loop assignments, boost or reverb settings. BIG complaint I had with my 6262...Can't switch from clean to crunch via footswitch.
4) Effects loop(s). Preferably more than 1, and preferably assignable. Bonus if it is footswitchable
5) CLEAN cleans
6) High gain if/when you want it
7) If it's a tube amp, ability to swap between 6L6 and EL34 (bonus if you can fit KT88s) and an adjustable bias.
8) Master Volume (bonus for master tone controls as well)
9) 100w+ power section. (bonus if it can be adjusted down via dial or switch) I like my headroom.
10) VALUE! You shouldn't have to pay more than $1500 to get all that in an amp!



And I want a Unicorn...


This was brilliant
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jun 7, 2011,
#26
Quote by CodeMonk
Do you have any 2N440 Ge NPN transistors min?

Thought not. I have all of them. All 60.


This was brilliant


I think electronicssurplus.com has some. They're like $25 a piece and not guaranteed though.
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
#27
Quote by CodeMonk
Do you have any 2N440 Ge NPN transistors min?

Thought not. I have all of them. All 60.


....

what's a transistor.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#30
Quote by racerXazn
Hey everyone,

I've been playing a lot of guitar more recently and wondered what is that certain element of an amp's tone that makes you want to buy it.

For me I feel that tone comes from the way the amp responds to your playing. I realized that everyone focuses so much on the way it sounds. It's true that the amp has to sound nice. However, I think when it comes to tone that feel is a bigger factor in what I look for in my sound.

Nowadays as the modelling market keeps getting more advances the differences in the actual sounds of amps are decreasing. I think that it's getting harder to choose an amp purely based on the sound of the amp. Certain tube amps still have that response to nuances in my playing that I can't seem to replicate in the newest modelling units. I have nothing against them, a lot of the latest products sound superb.


Versatility is my main criteria. I'm using a Vox VT+ modeler right now. It fit my budget and sound requirements suitable for both bedroom and small gigs.

With that said if I could justify the expense I would most likely get a Carvin V3 micro head with a 2x12 enclosure
Gear
Jackson DK2
Ibanez RGR320EX
Guild X82 Nova
Godin Seagull S6

Vox V847
Vox VT40+ / VFS5 VT


Quote by FatalGear41

Right now, there are six and a half billion people on earth who don't care what kind of tubes you have in your amplifier
Last edited by Willowthewitch at Jun 7, 2011,
#32
The sound of babies crying.
The weight of one hundred dove feathers in a pillowcase.
Waterproofing and a wipe clean surface.
Enough headroom to make my cleans sing like a castrated angel.
Enough filth to make Ron Jeremy uneasy.
A maximum output that could be classified as weapons-grade.
Switches, dials and lights that make me feel like I'm a pilot. Or an astronaut. Or.... just clever....
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
#33
Quote by Slap-happy
The sound of babies crying.
The weight of one hundred dove feathers in a pillowcase.
Waterproofing and a wipe clean surface.
Enough headroom to make my cleans sing like a castrated angel.
Enough filth to make Ron Jeremy uneasy.
A maximum output that could be classified as weapons-grade.
Switches, dials and lights that make me feel like I'm a pilot. Or an astronaut. Or.... just clever....


#34
Quote by Slap-happy
Enough headroom to make my cleans sing like a castrated angel.


That statement really unnerved me.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#35
Crisp cleans that don't get brittle when overdriven.
A decent-sounding overdrive channel if there is one. It's the main reason I'm looking into getting a Vox and keeping my Fender for clean/pedal work. My Hot Rod Deluxe's overdrive channel sounded like feral cats getting electrocuted in the Fortress of Solitude.
As Cathbard said, dynamics.
Handles pedals well.
Effects loop.
Has a self-replenishing bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue or Oban on top of it.
Tube.
I am a fake mountain.
#36
Decent clean tones
Tight high gain tones with lots of clarity
Full, warm low-mid gain tones
FX Loop
At least 2 channels
Dynamic drive channels, I use my guitars volume knob/picking dynamics a lot
#37
Great bottom end
Versatility
ALL TUBE!
Cleans that are warm and chimmy
Effects loops
for me i prefer an amp head over a combo (tubes dont need to rattle)
at the moment i prefer lower wattage amps that can drive the tubes nicely to get serious tone, without having to blow someones face off... of course if i were playing in HUGE stadiums i would get 100W tube amps..
i dont worry about loads of gain as i could get pedals to do the job, i would choose a matchless over a mesa boogie anyday
and should be able to handle my pedals nicely
#39
I forgot to say how much I love those single channel amps.

I more recently realized I could use the volume knob for more than just turning my volume on and off. I don't even use channel switching much anymore. I like to turn down my volume knob instead. It may not be the cleanest, but I don't look for the "cleanest" sound anymore. Using the volume knob just lets me really control my tone.

That being said I forgot how many people on UG play metal haha. I'm more of a blues rock player. I used to be in love with the 5150-thick THICK distortion that absolutely sounded amazing. However more recently I have been GASing for an Egnater Renegade or an Egnater Rebel 30. The only thing stopping me from buying the Renegade is that I don't need a 75 watt amp.
Fender American Telecaster (60th Anniversary)
Egnater Rebel 30 Head/Cab
Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
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