#1


Stiff Amps - 50 watt 90-AD "Lil Stiffy" (Ugh)

So I've been looking at a new tube amp for my band over the last few months. I sold my VK, which served it's purpose but always left something to be desired on the OD channel. I've always wanted the option of having several amps through a customized cab as well, and the VK combo just didn't cut it.

So I made a thread and took suggestions. The Krank Ninteen80 was what I ultimately ended up wanting, however Krank does not ship to Canada, it's not on MusiciansFriend, and Guitar Center doesn't ship here either. So I went to Tony Krank's website and picked one of these up new for $600. I hear the amps are very similar, if not identical. The Krank looks a little better in my opinion however.

Features- Your standard fair - 3 12ax7s, 2 6l6s, effects loop, 3-band EQ, master vol, gain, "voice" and presence. The EQ is quite responsive, though presence doesn't do as much as it did on my VK.

I'm assuming the voice function is the standard Brit - American type deal, though I'm not sure which side is which (left american - right brit?). I do know however that turning the dial to about 9 o'clock to the left really adds some nice low end, which I feel this amp lacks otherwise.

The Effects Loop has a volume dial, which is really useful delays and eq's

Sound - This thing is pretty much a rock machine. It doesn't have a nice clean sound, but the clean channel can be boosted to sound really nice, sort of GNRish. There isn't a lot of headroom on this channel, and it's much, much quieter than the lead channel, but I have found a use for this channel as sort of the crunch channel behind the full-blown OD channel.

If I had to compare this amp's OD channel it would be to a DSL 2000 on Ultra or a JCA on the lead channel. Stiff markets this thing as a medium gain amplifier, but I'd have to say it has as much gain as I'd ever use. 75% on the dial is perfect for me. I do use a boost with this amp, but not so much for the added gain as the tightness and sustain it brings. This amp is more voiced for thrash-punk-rock than modern metal.

The sound is super punchy and it cuts through extremely well. It does Megadeth-style riffs well and it has the exact type of sound I'm in love with at the moment. It's the perfect rhythm tone for me, and with an EQ it gives a stellar lead tone as well. I couldn't be happier to play my bands tunes with this amp. It gives them more depth. However, in the studio I would probably use a different amp if I were to do some clean stuff.

I'm currently using this with a Mashall MA 4x12 with Eminence speakers. Probably not the best speakers, but def better than my VK's. I'll get a nice vertical 2x12 cab to go with this amp at some point.



Reliablility I've only had this amp for about a month, but it's been good in its short time with me. The chassis made of metal, and it's construction is simple and solid. I really like how easy it will be to switch out the tubes and whatnot, just a couple twists and the cover will slide right off.

Overall Although not extremely versatile, this amp does what I want it to and it does that thing very well. For a $600 lunchbox tube amp, I really shouldn't be too concerned with versatility either. The components of the amp are solid and simple, and I can carry this thing around with me easily (the VK212? not so much). As an amp for it's price I'd give it a 8/10. The two points are deducted for the name "lil stiffy" and for the clean channel

I could record some clips on my iphone, but I might just wait till I get a better recording setup.
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#2
Nice
My 1980 Jr has a pretty nice clean ch and it gets quite loud (loud enough for small gigs/practice) But I did notice that my 1980jr has a bass and treble controls on the clean channel.
But your right the gain ch can get quite heavy and the sweep function (your voice knob) does do a lot.

I boost the input with a Bad Monkey and a GFS Greenie classic stacked and it does sound mean
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at May 26, 2013,
#5
Stacked? That's intense! I use a Bad Monkey too for my OD and it's always been a monster.

I haven't tried too hard to get a nice clean sound, but I tend to like my cleans to have a decent amount of bass, but it's hard find that with just a tone knob. I always thought my VK had a really nice clean channel right off the bat, so maybe it's just some I'll have to get used to.

I'm curious as to how you use the voice knob on your amp. I think the low end that comes out when you dial it far to the left is really, really nice.
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#6
Quote by evmac
I'm curious as to how you use the voice knob on your amp. I think the low end that comes out when you dial it far to the left is really, really nice.


Not sure if you were talking to me or Rob, but I find the sweet spot on the voice knob to be between 9 and 11 o'clock.
#7
Quote by evmac
Stacked? That's intense! I use a Bad Monkey too for my OD and it's always been a monster.

I haven't tried too hard to get a nice clean sound, but I tend to like my cleans to have a decent amount of bass, but it's hard find that with just a tone knob. I always thought my VK had a really nice clean channel right off the bat, so maybe it's just some I'll have to get used to.

I'm curious as to how you use the voice knob on your amp. I think the low end that comes out when you dial it far to the left is really, really nice.

Well on the Krank it is called the sweep knob (but it is the same thing) I actually like it between 11-1 o'clock, the presence on 9:30ish, bass cranked, mid 1-2 o'clock, treble cranked
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#8
Congrats on the small package.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#9
Quote by Grawgos
Not sure if you were talking to me or Rob, but I find the sweet spot on the voice knob to be between 9 and 11 o'clock.


There were like 3 replies before I got finish my reply But ya, that's what I have found too to sound the best. Love the Tony Krank support in this thread. Solid, solid amps.
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#10
Quote by Robbgnarly
Well on the Krank it is called the sweep knob (but it is the same thing) I actually like it between 11-1 o'clock, the presence on 9:30ish, bass cranked, mid 1-2 o'clock, treble cranked


It's basically a parametric control for the mid frequencies. On the Rev Jr Pro, I liked my sweep between the 11 ~ 1:30 positions. At 9 o'clock and below, it gets far too bassy.
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#11
On my Krank Rev+ (I know, not quite the same amp) I like the sweep around 10-12o'clock. Any less and it gets too bassy and any more it cuts out a lot of juice from the deep and low mid reqs.


Quote by R45VT
Congrats on the small package.

Call me Brent
Quote by m33sta.

People would leave guitars for me in a box on the doorstep with a note "Please look after little Johnie, we just cant cope anymore, all he wants to do is hook up with Marshalls, We thought he would be a fender boy.

#12
Quote by ragingkitty
It's basically a parametric control for the mid frequencies. On the Rev Jr Pro, I liked my sweep between the 11 ~ 1:30 positions. At 9 o'clock and below, it gets far too bassy.


Yea, it does get too bassy below 9. It's such an responsive knob, I feel it shapes the tones the most out of any knob on the head.

So I was thinking of getting a vertical 2x12 from Mesa w/v30s in it. Do you guys think this would be a good match with the amp?
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#13
Well with the Krank 1980 they paired it with the Eminence Governor which is a V30 clone.
I have only used mine with Eminence V12's in a 4x12 (sounds really nice) and a 2x12 with an Eminence GB128 and a WGS Reaper HP (Greenback and G12h30 clones) and it sounds good through both.

Jet City has the new vertical 2x12 with V30's if you want t o go that route (it's cheaper than the mesa)
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#15
Quote by evmac
Yea, it does get too bassy below 9. It's such an responsive knob, I feel it shapes the tones the most out of any knob on the head.

So I was thinking of getting a vertical 2x12 from Mesa w/v30s in it. Do you guys think this would be a good match with the amp?


Personally I feel that Krank's EQ aren't very interactive by any means. However, when used with the mid knob, the Voice / Sweep, the EQ stack is very powerful. Blackstar boasts so much about their ISF knob? Krank's sweep knob is far more powerful.

Personally I feel that Krank's amp needs a really tight cab that has really responsive bass. I'd pick up an Orange PPC212. I find that Orange's cabs have tighter bass response than Mesa's. YMMV.
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.
#16
Quote by ragingkitty
Personally I feel that Krank's EQ aren't very interactive by any means. However, when used with the mid knob, the Voice / Sweep, the EQ stack is very powerful. Blackstar boasts so much about their ISF knob? Krank's sweep knob is far more powerful.

Personally I feel that Krank's amp needs a really tight cab that has really responsive bass. I'd pick up an Orange PPC212. I find that Orange's cabs have tighter bass response than Mesa's. YMMV.


Orange eh? Ill have to give it a look (hope it's vertical but I guess it's not a deal breaker).

V30s are supposed to be a pretty tight speaker am I right? Lots of mid range with nice bass as well. I've heard that cabs don't matter too much in terms of their effect on tone. If that's the case then the Jet City vertical cab may be perfect!
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#17
very nice

^ yeah a v30 is tight

cabs affect tone a bit... it depends, really. much like most other gear, if you're comparing very different ones, then it affects things a lot (say, a too-small cab versus a massively oversized one), but if you're comparing quite similar things, then not so much. So it depends, really.
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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
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#18
Quote by Dave_Mc
very nice

^ yeah a v30 is tight

cabs affect tone a bit... it depends, really. much like most other gear, if you're comparing very different ones, then it affects things a lot (say, a too-small cab versus a massively oversized one), but if you're comparing quite similar things, then not so much. So it depends, really.



And then you have ported and non ported, solid wood vs plywood vs particle board and so on.

As Dave said, cabs impact your tone quite a bit.

Check out some youtube videos comparing various cabs. You'll find dozens of V30 loaded cabs and they all sound quite different. One vid I can think of off the top of my head is a demo of the Mesa Stiletto Cab and the Recto Cab. Pretty big difference in tone just because of the different dimensions of the cabinet.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#19
^ yeah the materials affect things a fair bit too, etc. etc.
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?
#20
^Not only the materials, but the shape/size of the baffle and the bracing all affects how it responds too.

I'll save all you guys from the cork-sniffing, but fact of the matter is, all cabs sound different even if they have the same speaker(s).
Call me Brent
Quote by m33sta.

People would leave guitars for me in a box on the doorstep with a note "Please look after little Johnie, we just cant cope anymore, all he wants to do is hook up with Marshalls, We thought he would be a fender boy.

#21
Quote by Guitar-KID125
^Not only the materials, but the shape/size of the baffle and the bracing all affects how it responds too.

I'll save all you guys from the cork-sniffing, but fact of the matter is, all cabs sound different even if they have the same speaker(s).




And there is no be all end all king of cabs. You might wish your cab was open back for clean and closed in tight for metal...etc..
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#22
Quote by evmac
Orange eh? Ill have to give it a look (hope it's vertical but I guess it's not a deal breaker).

orange 212 cabs sound their best, on their side.


happy new little stiffy day.
#23
I just had a look at Stiff's website... and I didn't see any cabs... what the hell, Tony? IMO I liked the Krank 112 for the mini heads (20 watters basically). If I were you, I'd see about picking two of them.
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.
#24
Quote by Guitar-KID125
^Not only the materials, but the shape/size of the baffle and the bracing all affects how it responds too.

I'll save all you guys from the cork-sniffing, but fact of the matter is, all cabs sound different even if they have the same speaker(s).


agreed.

at the same time, though, i'd say the speakers probably make the biggest difference (certainly unless you're looking at massively different cabs, say like a teeny undersized mdf/particleboard thing versus oversized solid pine or something like that).
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?
#26
Well TS, I know mine is bigger then yours, but I would rather hear about this new amp of yours, instead of discussing that pervasive subject.


But in all seriousness, HNAD man.
My Name is Cameron.
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Last edited by Maineguitarist at May 28, 2013,
#27
Quote by ragingkitty
I just had a look at Stiff's website... and I didn't see any cabs... what the hell, Tony? IMO I liked the Krank 112 for the mini heads (20 watters basically). If I were you, I'd see about picking two of them.


That would be a pretty cool idea. I could leave one at home if I wanted to and I could bring them both out to gigs. I'll look at some pricings.

And the consensus seems to be that I should try a bunch out (or at least listen online) and see which one fits best for what I want?

Thanks for the help guys. Ill get back when I see the new cab. Cheers
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP