#1
I know everyone in the guitar world including myself is kind of obsessed with finding a Holy Grail of sorts of vintage tones...but I wondered today if there is a company that isn't. That doesn't give a **** about what a vintage Marshall sounds like, or a vintage Fender, or how their technology is how they built them in the old days and authentic vintage tones and what not.

Someone who cares about finding new ways to innovate and give unique tones to a guitar amplifier and not give any credit to old amp companies. No "Sounds like a vintage Marshall" or "Sounds like an Orange cranked to 10"

Is there such a thing out there?
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#2
Yeah loads of them.

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#4
RBM01991 that is actually quite an ignorant statement...

ENGL, Diezel, Mesa Boogie, Orange, Egnater, Peavey, Fryette, Carvin, Randall, hell even Marshall to mention just a few - all of them are pushing the envelope. There are tons of manufacturers out there, including some Italian amp designers that are doing new things (Alessandro?).

For example, it will be stupid for Marshall to give up their cash cow which is the JCM800 and Bluesbreaker series. At the same time if you look at the Yngwie Malmsteen JCM800 you'd notice that it is a very different amp, just that all the action is happening in the back while the front looks like a Plexi.

Orange - what is retro about Orange? They've introduced whole new lines of amplifiers, the Dark Terror for example being one of the few that introduce new sounds and new concepts...The new Peavey line - they've pretty much redesigned everything...

There is also a big reason why people like vintage tone - because it is good!

I usually like an amp that has "vintage tone" and can do other things as well, i.e. covers all the basses.

Talking about innovation, Randall had the modular series which was amazing (and now sadly discontinued!) - you buy the power amp and the preamp has 3 slots which you can fill in with whatever module from them you wanted and they had an excellent selection. If you want vintage - you got vintage, if you want modern - you got that as well. Now they have some crazy new amp designs again, you can get a Satan and make it your bitch

Laney's TT and HT series - nothing vintage about these...

I could argue that modeling amp companies don't care much about "vintage tone" as for example Line6's emulations of the classic amps is nowhere near the real thing
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 11, 2014,
#5
No guitar amps manufacturer even changed the appearance of their amps from what they used to make in the '50s, and while some may focus on modern sounds - ENGL, Framus and Diezel for example, they all have some "vintage style" amp, or a "vintage" something somewhere.

ENGL makes the retro tube, Diezel makes the einstein, Mesa makes a shit ton of vintage-centered stuff (lone star, king snake, transatlantic...), orange makes the OR series, egnate makes the tweaker which even has a "vintage/modern" switch, Peavey makes the classic series and the delta blues, fryette makes the memphis, carvin makes a vintage series, randall's nuno bettencurt signature doesn't really sound modern, and don't even get me started about marshall and laney.

Everybody tries and "pushes the boundaries" as much as every other guy - the characteristic of the electric guitar sound hasn't changed a lot in the last 40 years, people just raised their amps' gain, and in the last 10 years the only considerable change was in djent.

So not only the guitar amps manufacturers don't care about not sounding "vintage", but also the guitarists don't care about not sounding "vintage" for the vast majority.
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#6
Quote by RBM01991
Someone who cares about finding new ways to innovate and give unique tones to a guitar amplifier and not give any credit to old amp companies.

Is there such a thing out there?


yes and no. it just depends on how you are anyone else wants to perceive the question.

as you can see, one person listed a bunch of companies that are 'pushing the envelope' while another mentioned many of those same companies as 'providing vintage style amps'.

the answers you are going to get to the question reflect an individuals perceptions and ideas about tone, not an objective idea of what is going on with amplifiers.

some people will say even using tubes is bowing to old amp companies, while some people will say companies like mesa boogie is making new and original designs (though the Mark I harkens back to 1972 and the rectifier line dates back to 1989). people will debate about the originality of Mesa's Rectifier amps (are they really something different or just another version of the hot-rodded marshall tone so popular from the era of their birth?).

there is just no true answer to these questions that really isn't just someone's take on the idea. pulling out the schematics for any and all of these amps shows more similarities than differences. to a trained in animal anatomy the evolution from a reptile's 'hand' to a bird's wing is obvious.

another way of looking at things is nothing exists in a vacuum, even 'different' designs reference 'classic' designs so as to be different from them. just as you don't find one species completely cut off of the evolutionary tree, you won't find any type of amplifier that doesn't owe some type of thought or idea to a previous concept of amplifiers.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Sep 11, 2014,
#8
Umm..... There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of amps out there that don't even attempt to sound anything like a vintage Fender or Marshall. You should go look at some of them. Instead of playing vintage Fenders and Marshalls and complaining about how they sound like vintage Fenders and Marshalls.
#9
wel lengl, laney, diezel, most high gain amps, anything like axe fx or kemper, etc
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#10
Lol this guy asks a question and everyone attacks him.


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#11
probably every major amp brand has a vintage model. probably because the "vintage" tone accounts for about 80% of music.
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#12
Quote by the_bi99man
Umm..... There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of amps out there that don't even attempt to sound anything like a vintage Fender or Marshall. You should go look at some of them. Instead of playing vintage Fenders and Marshalls and complaining about how they sound like vintage Fenders and Marshalls.


Go ahead then, start listing the hundreds or thousands of amps that don't resemble a vintage amp or a tweaked vintage amp. Sure there are plenty, but your statement makes you just seem like an ass hole
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#13
Marshall makes amps like this. The only way the MG could have sounded like that is if they weren't even trying to sound close to the vintage Marshall sound.
#14
"vintage tone" is all about advertising buzz. tone is all about how you use it. what ever the current flavor is that is "modern". just remember that in 1956 a Fender was "modern" rock tone for instance , in 1968 marshall was etc.
#15
Practically every low and mid-gain amp is classified as vintage and every high-gain amp is classified as modern. Using other amps to describe something is just the way to convey the tone to someone who might not be playing or hearing it. Describing an amp is "Voxey" as opposed to "Fendery" tells you a lot about an amp. Many people know what those amps sound like and they understand the characteristics. When you can only convey the tone through words (like in a print catalog or a magazine review), using something very familiar as a reference tone helps a lot. A lot of amp designers don't have vintage amps in mind when creating something, but anything lower gain will inevitably be compared to other lower gain amps. Amps like the Fryette Memphis, the Peavey Classics, and the Orange AD30 aren't based on popular old amps. But they get compared to them a lot.
#16
Quote by RBM01991


Is there such a thing out there?


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#17
Quote by XxIRONxMAIDENxX
Marshall makes amps like this. The only way the MG could have sounded like that is if they weren't even trying to sound close to the vintage Marshall sound.


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#18
Quote by JELIFISH19
Practically every low and mid-gain amp is classified as vintage and every high-gain amp is classified as modern. Using other amps to describe something is just the way to convey the tone to someone who might not be playing or hearing it. Describing an amp is "Voxey" as opposed to "Fendery" tells you a lot about an amp. Many people know what those amps sound like and they understand the characteristics. When you can only convey the tone through words (like in a print catalog or a magazine review), using something very familiar as a reference tone helps a lot. A lot of amp designers don't have vintage amps in mind when creating something, but anything lower gain will inevitably be compared to other lower gain amps. Amps like the Fryette Memphis, the Peavey Classics, and the Orange AD30 aren't based on popular old amps. But they get compared to them a lot.


In all seriousness, this is the answer you were looking for if you like it or not. There's not really such thing is vintage or modern in respect to "tone" especially when on most higher quality amps today the formula and circuitry is mostly the same. There's a reason we haven't abandoned tubes entirely, though it looks like that day might be on its way.

In addition, I believe when someone hears an amp and perceives it to sound "modern" they more or less mean that they can audibly hear more EQ peaks passed around 6khz also more sub-200Hz.
#19
Guitar sounds like guitar. While many companies are pushing the envelope and trying to develop new sounds, it still has to sound like a guitar... And vintage tones have set the stage for what a guitar sounds like. If you want to sound like something other than a guitar then you should play something other than a guitar.
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#21
Quote by RBM01991
I know everyone in the guitar world including myself is kind of obsessed with finding a Holy Grail of sorts of vintage tones...but I wondered today if there is a company that isn't.
Is there such a thing out there?


Not really.

On October 4th and 5th, the LA Amp Show will be in town. It's held in a hotel positioned right next to the Van Nuys airport, and each manufacturer gets is own fairly well sound-proofed room, and they blast those suckers hard when the doors are closed. They hand out earplugs as a freebie when you walk in the door.

Mostly what you hear, from both tube manufacturers and modelers alike, are the same old sounds. Guitar players are a legion of followers, a herd of sheep. They'll fill forums like these with, "How do I sound exactly like ________" queries. And because of that, manufacturers are fat and happy and build the same old stuff year after year -- it sells.
#22
Quote by tubetime86
Guitar sounds like guitar. While many companies are pushing the envelope and trying to develop new sounds, it still has to sound like a guitar... And vintage tones have set the stage for what a guitar sounds like. If you want to sound like something other than a guitar then you should play something other than a guitar.


Ah, the sound of a mind closing. Lock the door, toss the key.

It's like being a sled dog. If you're not the leader, you lock in on the a$$hole in front of you and follow.

A piano sounds like a piano. An organ sounds like an organ. A clavichord sounds like...
Wait a minute. I play a keyboard. I've got a Korg Kronos X. I can play slap bass on that thing. I can play tenor sax on that thing. I can play drums on that thing. I can play bells on that thing. I can play a whole lot of...well, I'm not sure HOW to describe some of those sounds.

Anyone who's ever played a MIDI guitar knows that you can get a lot more out of a guitar (as a controller) than guitar sounds. Even those of us with Variax guitars know that we can sound like a whole lot of guitars (including nylon string and 12-string) and more (banjo, bass, sitar, yada yada).

While keyboardists have been innovating, guitar players have been stagnating, chasing their own tails in their own little world, using little of what's available to them because they think that's all there is and, more importantly, because they think that's what's expected of them. Minds (and case) closed.
#23
Quote by tubetime86
Guitar sounds like guitar. While many companies are pushing the envelope and trying to develop new sounds, it still has to sound like a guitar... And vintage tones have set the stage for what a guitar sounds like. If you want to sound like something other than a guitar then you should play something other than a guitar.
While I agree with you to an extent, meshuggah doesn't sound like whatever '30s big band using an electric semi hollow rickenbacker.
Name's Luca.

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