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#1
Companies like Marshall and Mesa are famous for figuring out how to get even more gain out of an amp and keep it sounding good. What do you think will be the next major revolution in amp tone, more gain?
#2
If I knew this, I'd be a billionaire....
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#3
You mean after the "boutique tone at modest price" revolution we're currently in which was an offshoot of the lunchbox amp craze? Seems like they're going with less gain these days.
#4
I don't think more gain is a revolution in the slightest. It's been the status quo for 30+ years.

Actual revolutionary amp stuff? I think we'll see lots more things like the Axe-Fx and the Kemper profiler, and as processing power increases we'll probably start to see "complete environment" modeling, start to finish, that is able to process and account for things like your individual guitar and the acoustics of the room you're playing in, to give you the ability to control how the end result sounds, not just the last step before the speaker throws it headlong into the world.
#5
Um, compare a Recto to a plexi and tell me that much of a gain difference isn't a revolution.
#6
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think more gain is a revolution in the slightest. It's been the status quo for 30+ years.

Actual revolutionary amp stuff? I think we'll see lots more things like the Axe-Fx and the Kemper profiler, and as processing power increases we'll probably start to see "complete environment" modeling, start to finish, that is able to process and account for things like your individual guitar and the acoustics of the room you're playing in, to give you the ability to control how the end result sounds, not just the last step before the speaker throws it headlong into the world.


I agree, I think we will see systems that 'auto-EQ' to the room/venue, based on presets, and maybe even systems that compensate in real-time for audience noise, density etc. based on prepositioned mics by altering frequencies, power levels etc. (maybe even directional control and focus of speakers?) to provide a consistent experience for as many audience members as possible.

And as much as I like tube amps, they will become unnecessary.
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#10
I'm thinking about cheaper and cheaper all digital stuff, but we'll probably keep the power tubes if ya ask me.
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#11
I cant believe how good the amp models sound on Garageband for iPad - even low gain bluesy models which traditionally need authentic tube driven overdrive.

...and you can multitrack and jam with yourself. And its full of effects. And you can use headphones. And everything you record syncs to your iphone.
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#12
stevo - long time no see, where ya been?


I agree though - things like Kempers, software/processing in general and apps for phones will just keep getting better and better.


I think the big question is: When will the tube manufacturers get to a point where it is no longer feasible to make tubes, if ever?

#13
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
stevo - long time no see, where ya been?


Having a life... I didnt care for it. [jokes]

just getting back into guitar after a spell of not having time...or should that be making time for it.
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#16
More amps like the Randall RM series. Could be as cheap as a vypyr. There can be SS or tube modules. SS or tube power amps. Instead of modeling amps with 200 different amps to choose from, you can pick just a couple that are generally going to outperform a modeler with a million modes. So you're spending the same amount of money on 2 or 3 channels that you would be spending on 15, but it's the 2 or 3 that you actually want.
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#18
Quote by ambler3
Maybe the next thing will be DSP cabinets, that have flat response speakers, but you can change what frequency response you'd like.


That actually sounds really cool. You could probably add break up characteristics, and just make them all 200+ watts. Maybe even make its impedance adjustable. Though admittedly, I have no idea how that would work.
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Last edited by tas38 at Dec 11, 2013,
#19
Quote by robman408
Um, compare a Recto to a plexi and tell me that much of a gain difference isn't a revolution.

Not a revolution at all, but the evolution of guitar tones. Your comparing an amp designed in the 1960's to one made in the early 1990's that is a huge gap in time, musical changing/development and all the other amps made inbetween those two are the stepping stones to get to the Recto type gain.

Like I said it is an evolution of sound not a revolution
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#20
More gain isn't needed any more. Most high gain amps have more gain than you will ever need (it will just sound muddy with too much gain). If you want more brutal tones, you don't need tons of gain (and you can achieve lots of gain by just running many ODs in front of your amp), you need the right amp voicing.

Yeah, I think digital stuff will improve and get cheaper and cheaper. But if digital stuff can't do anything but model amps that already exist, I don't see a point in it. As somebody said, they should make their own sounds, not just model classic amps. Because if you model a thing that already exist, the real thing will always sound better and it makes more sense to buy the real thing if that's what you need, unless you can buy the digital model of the real thing for $1 and it sounds so close to the real thing that you can't hear the difference. But still, why don't they make their own sounds?

But if we knew the next "amp revolution", it would already exist.
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#21
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But still, why don't they make their own sounds?



Problem is, this is a false assumption. The models are given names so that one can relate them to a specific amp, some being more accurate and some less, not because that's the 'only' thing that can be generated.

Pretty much any modern modeler's voicing can be edited to provide amplification qualities simply not found in ANY previous amp, tube or SS.

Of course many (most?) of them sound like hammered shit, which is WHY no one produced amps that 'did that', whatever 'that' might be.

Humans actually only experience a relatively narrow group of sounds as 'pleasant', especially as compared to the amount of sounds that exist, even when taking the vast divergence of 'music' in the world into account. Most of what we can generate is simply perceived as noise...

So while I'm not saying that we've found everything that exists that we might sonically enjoy as a species, it's a good bet that we've found the vast majority of it, and anything 'new' in the future is more likely to be a unique presentation or arrangement of what we already know than anything as of yet 'undiscovered'.

So all the 'tweakability' in the world isn't really of significant benefit, even if it didn't already exist.
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#22
Quote by robman408
Um, compare a Recto to a plexi and tell me that much of a gain difference isn't a revolution.

A revolution is a sudden, distinct change. The progression of increasing gain over the 25 years that separated the Plexi and the Dual Rectifier is the opposite of a sudden and distinct change, especially if you take into account all the amps that came in between (and before, and after).

I would call the Recto in and of itself revolutionary because of the distinctness of its sound and its popularization of "sag" and amps with a trillion knobs, but saying that more gain is revolutionary, or was revolutionary in 1989, is just not correct from a historical standpoint. As Robb said earlier, that's evolution, not revolution.
#23
Especially when the Rec is at its heart an SLO preamp with a few Boogie power amp tricks.
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#24
Arby brings up a good point. Take for example 4 of my favorite amp 'models' on the Peavey Vypyr.

Twin
Diezel
Recto
6505+

Do they sound exactly like those amps? No.
Does it give me a decent approximation to base my sound off of? Yes.

For example, all other settings being equal, the Recto and Diezel models are very similar with the Recto being tighter and Diezel being juicier.


And yeah - everyone (lots of people) still seems to think that lots of gain means 'more metal' or 'more brutal'. It doesn't work that way. Think of the nastiest square wave type fuzz you can think of. Is that going to be appealing for most modern metal where tight palm mutes and liquid type leads need to coexist?

We've hit the max gain thresholds IMO, now it is a matter of what you can do with it - which boils down to amp and pickup designs largely and emulators of course.
#25
If the recto were evolutionary it would be a relatively small incremental change like just throwing more gain at the front end. But because it isn't (the result would be terribly fuzzy) it's a revolution.
#26
Quote by robman408
If the recto were evolutionary it would be a relatively small incremental change like just throwing more gain at the front end. But because it isn't (the result would be terribly fuzzy) it's a revolution.


Perhaps it might help if you explain with some reasonable level of detail why you think it is what you think it is, instead of relying on subjective pronouncements?

Specifically, what aspects of it do you feel were revolutionary?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#27
That makes no sense. The Recto's level of gain was not completely new and unprecedented. What, exactly, are we throwing more gain at? A JCM800? 900? SLO? 5150? Blue Stripe Mark III? All of those amps can take gobs of distortion without being "terribly fuzzy" so I don't see how the Recto was revolutionary in its levels of gain, any more than the JCM900 was revolutionary for simply having more gain than the 800. What did the Recto have that the Blue Stripe didn't? They've both got terrifying amounts of distortion. What the recto had was that low end chug and sag, thanks to the tube rectifier section.

The Recto had an evolutionary level of gain; it was well within the general trend of increasing levels of preamp distortion in the years preceding and following it. The revolutionary aspect of the Recto was the way it handled the low end and the compression/sustain.

The Rectifier series was absolutely revolutionary, hugely massively and undeniably so. To attribute its influence to a simple and linear gain increase over previous amps is just completely missing the Mark.
#28
^+1
Roc hit it on the head
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#29
these new solid state amps. the transistor is going to revolutionize guitar amplification.
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#30
Quote by robman408
If the recto were evolutionary it would be a relatively small incremental change like just throwing more gain at the front end. But because it isn't (the result would be terribly fuzzy) it's a revolution.

Roc pretty much nailed it but there is a lot more going on with the Rectifier series than just 'throwing more gain at the front end'. There were also several patents involved as well.

I also like how Roc capitalized Mark
#31
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I also like how Roc capitalized Mark

I knew someone would get it.
#32
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#33
Quote by Arby911

Of course many (most?) of them sound like hammered shit




Quote by Roc8995
That makes no sense. The Recto's level of gain was not completely new and unprecedented. What, exactly, are we throwing more gain at? A JCM800? 900? SLO? 5150? Blue Stripe Mark III? All of those amps can take gobs of distortion without being "terribly fuzzy" so I don't see how the Recto was revolutionary in its levels of gain, any more than the JCM900 was revolutionary for simply having more gain than the 800. What did the Recto have that the Blue Stripe didn't? They've both got terrifying amounts of distortion. What the recto had was that low end chug and sag, thanks to the tube rectifier section.

The Recto had an evolutionary level of gain; it was well within the general trend of increasing levels of preamp distortion in the years preceding and following it. The revolutionary aspect of the Recto was the way it handled the low end and the compression/sustain.

The Rectifier series was absolutely revolutionary, hugely massively and undeniably so. To attribute its influence to a simple and linear gain increase over previous amps is just completely missing the Mark.


doesn't the recto arguably have less preamp distortion than an SLO (which, as matt said, it was sorta based on)?

I mean if you're looking at supersaturated high gainers the recto wouldn't be my first choice. Pretty high gain, sure. revolutionary high gain? not so much.

as you said, it's its tone etc. which is arguably more revolutionary (and even that's probably more evolutionary than revolutionary). it's definitely a classic. but it's not "oh my god where the **** did that come from? I was playing my fender champ and then this recto appeared!"
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#34
Quote by Dave_Mc
doesn't the recto arguably have less preamp distortion than an SLO (which, as matt said, it was sorta based on)?

Matt or some of the other guys would be a better person to ask, I don't have a lot of hours on those super high gainers. From memory I think the recto has more, but it's also so much sludgier than the SLO that it sounds heavier, when maybe the amount of distortion isn't so different. Looking at the schematics, they are very, very similar. If one has more gain than the other it won't be by a whole lot.
#35
They're practically identical as far as gain goes, though yea, the two channel Recs had a tiny bit less. Dunno about the three channels. The big difference is the effect the tube recs have on voltage and sag.
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#36
The only reason I wouldn't call the Rectifier revolutionary is because it didn't revolutionize anything. A high-gain amp with a tube rectifier is very innovative but it never caught on. Other brands weren't doing it. It was Mesa's thing. The only other amps that do it are amps that the cheaper "knockoffs." I can't see modelling really becoming big because you can just get the real amp.

The only thing I can envision are guitar amps going the same route that bass amps have. They've become much smaller and lighter. They also stopped using tubes. High quality solid-state amps can be the next big thing but it needs to be done well. The Retro Channel RR1 was good but it should've been smaller. Solid-state amps are trying too hard to look like tube amps. A big company has to do it so that every other company tries to get a piece of the pie though. Almost all of the major amp manufacturers as well as a lot of boutique makers made lunchbox amps after the success of the Tiny Terror.
#37
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
That threshold has been broken too...


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#38
Quote by Carrot
Beer holder and an ash tray...
Now I just need an amp to put in one of those.

Yeah, because you don't want to buy a Blades amp. From what I've seen they are a death trap. The 'ashtray' is just a handle and the cup holder could collect condensation and drip down inside the amp so the whole thing is a cluster joke.
#39
Kemper, nuff said
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#40
Quote by JELIFISH19
The only reason I wouldn't call the Rectifier revolutionary is because it didn't revolutionize anything. A high-gain amp with a tube rectifier is very innovative but it never caught on. Other brands weren't doing it. It was Mesa's thing. The only other amps that do it are amps that the cheaper "knockoffs." I can't see modelling really becoming big because you can just get the real amp.

Whaaaaat
Ok,
  • The recto was the sound of the 90's nu-metal and similar bands. The recto introduced the saggy, grainy and bassy sound that eventually morphed into today's Djent and downtuned sounds. The recto revolutionized everything. It took popular music and metal from British style distortion to American, and from treble emphasis to bass. The Dual Rec absolutely changed the way that music sounded.
  • It caught on in that the Dual Rectifier was crazy, crazy popular and remains a big seller to this day. Not a lot of amps in that price range have that sort of staying power, especially non-reissue types like Plexis etc.
  • There are several reasons other brands won't do it, but I'll give you what I think are the two most important: 1. Mesa is litigious as hell and protects stuff like the switchable rectifier design very, very aggressively; and 2. Who wants to compete with Mesa on their expensive flagship, signature amp? Does anybody else make an Orange Rockerverb? Not really. How about a Twin Reverb? None of the big guys.


The only thing I can envision are guitar amps going the same route that bass amps have. They've become much smaller and lighter. They also stopped using tubes. High quality solid-state amps can be the next big thing but it needs to be done well. The Retro Channel RR1 was good but it should've been smaller. Solid-state amps are trying too hard to look like tube amps. A big company has to do it so that every other company tries to get a piece of the pie though. Almost all of the major amp manufacturers as well as a lot of boutique makers made lunchbox amps after the success of the Tiny Terror.

Everybody makes a lunchbox amp because the margin on them is fantastic, and they can sell a boatload of them for every $3K monster they move. You can't pretend to have your pulse on the trends in high-end, cutting-edge stuff by only looking at the cheap amps. That's where manufacturers make money, and it's a relevant discussion, but it's not really what we're talking about here with amps that change the course of recording and genres. Perhaps that is slowly changing, as recording becomes cheaper and more accessible, and "indie" sound engineered not to sound popular becomes popular, but to say that the Dual Recto was not influential or revolutionary is just totally wrong IMO.
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