#1
So i recently met a great amp tech who would design a custom amplifier for me for a great price. I played out of his own stuff and it's AWESOME! He's great at imitating other amps and adding his own features and higher quality parts to make them sound way better

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION.

I'm looking to build one off of a pre-existing design. Very stuck between the PRS archon, Bogner Uberschall, and Framus Cobra/Dragon to create my own version of with some very nice added features.

I want to mainly use this for recording. Can anyone tell me their experiences with these amps on recordings? The way they sound? A description of the high gain channels? Anything at all that'll help me decide which one i'm looking for.

Thanks so much!
#2
archon - pretty dry IIRC, not much harmonic overtones created by distortion, I think Tim Mahoney from 311 used one in their last album.

uberschall - like a better mesa, fairly natural sounding, powerful

cobra - tight and angry

But this as you describe it would really be a jump in the dark.
If you're spending that kinda money on an amp you owe it it yourself to go trying some amps and decide for yourself what you like best, then tell your builder what features you want.
Name's Luca.

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#3
Thanks so much dude! Sadly I have no idea where I can try any of these amps out. I live I n NY, not too far from the city, but even there, none of the big guitar/music stores have these amps. All they carry are the really really common stuff when it comes to high gain . Marshall jvm/Jcms, Peavey 6505, Engl fireball, 5150iii etc. Occasionally I'll find something cool like a diezel but I've got no clue where any of these amps are.

Also , I hear a lot of people comparing the bogner to rectifiers. From what I hear, the bogner sounds way smoother and a bit more airy if that makes sense (from what I hear on recordings anyway)
#4
I went to the Axe Palace in walpole MA and the sales guy there was very cool and helpful; he was making the PRS Archon sound like the best amp ever. Maybe it is because of the styles of music I like to play, but I didnt really like it (im into Metalcore and hardrock). I plugged into an Engl Fireball II right after the Archon, and we both agreed that the Fireball smoked the Archon (no pun intended).

Never played the Cobra. I played the Dragon, but didnt like it at all. I was told that they are really tricky to eq, so it could have been my own fault. It felt very brittle to me. Seemed to lack fluidity, smoothness, and thickess.

Never played the uberschall; but it sounds awesome in every clip I hear.

If somebody offered to build an amp for me, I would definitely do some variation of an Engl amp. Maybe a combination of the Engl Retro tubes clean/dirty channels with the high gain channel of the fireball II, plus midrange focus/open. For additional features, i would say built-in noisegate, powerscaling, fx loop, compression reduction mix knob (like the Kruse Kontrol mod), and a tight/open bottom switch like on an egnater vengeance/armageddon.
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Last edited by Watterboy at Dec 24, 2014,
#5
Quote by Watterboy
an Engl Fireball II right after the Archon, and we both agreed that the Fireball smoked the Archon (no pun intended).
No fireball II exists.

There's the fireball 60, the fireball 100, the powerball and the powerball II.

Nice pun tho
Quote by Watterboy
compression reduction mix knob
Gain reduction is an effect of compression, but "compression reduction" means reducing the amount of compression, which again means reducing the amount of gain reduction.

So it's either compression or gain reduction.

I much like the tight/loose idea if it's done good, think about it TS.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#6
Engl has one too many balls to keep track of...

The Archon is a good amp but my general impression of it was it needed maybe a good pedal or two to make it great (reverb for cleans, EQ, etc.). The high gain channel did sound nice and thick though, definetely workable. It's pretty good at cleaning up too. That's pretty much all I can say. Hook a good board into it and it's a solid amp.
#7
Quote by Spambot_2
No fireball II exists.

There's the fireball 60, the fireball 100, the powerball and the powerball II.

Nice pun tho
Gain reduction is an effect of compression, but "compression reduction" means reducing the amount of compression, which again means reducing the amount of gain reduction.

So it's either compression or gain reduction.

I much like the tight/loose idea if it's done good, think about it TS.


I meant the Fireball 100 lol. It came out almost 8-9 years after the fireball 60 and at the same-ish time as the powerball II so thats why i called it that lol.

And as for the compression thing- like I said, however the kruse kontrol mod works. I think that would be a good addition for an Engl amp stock, since so many people bitch that they are overly compressed (personally, I dont see it- they are high gain and supposed to be compressed). But that should still shut their stupid faces up
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Last edited by Watterboy at Dec 25, 2014,
#8
Quote by nor.omar.9
Thanks so much dude! Sadly I have no idea where I can try any of these amps out. I live I n NY, not too far from the city, but even there, none of the big guitar/music stores have these amps. All they carry are the really really common stuff when it comes to high gain . Marshall jvm/Jcms, Peavey 6505, Engl fireball, 5150iii etc. Occasionally I'll find something cool like a diezel but I've got no clue where any of these amps are.

Also , I hear a lot of people comparing the bogner to rectifiers. From what I hear, the bogner sounds way smoother and a bit more airy if that makes sense (from what I hear on recordings anyway)

I'm a bit confused as to why you would want to have an amp based on amps you've never tried. if I was doing a custom amp it certainly would be based on MY NEEDS vs just copying an amp. if this guy is a good amp builder then he should be able to give you what you want not just copy something else. why those amps?
#9
Quote by monwobobbo
I'm a bit confused as to why you would want to have an amp based on amps you've never tried. if I was doing a custom amp it certainly would be based on MY NEEDS vs just copying an amp. if this guy is a good amp builder then he should be able to give you what you want not just copy something else. why those amps?


This. I know its hard to find stores that carry highend gear, but look up the closest retailer, grab a friend who is into guitar and gear, and make the trip. Go expand your pallette and play some amps. You might even realize you dont need a custom amp and there is already one out there for you.
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#10
The PRS Archon like most PRS amps I have played falls way short of the hype (love their guitars though)

The Uberschall is the only amp I regret selling. It has a ballsy almost mesa quality but it cuts through a mix easily like a marshall. The note definition is really great even with insane amounts of gain. Mine was before the Twin jet model and the cleans were mediocre at best, but deff usable. I also had the EL34 version not the KT88.

The Framus Cobra is more of an old-school sound (1990's)and IMO sounded best when using a Greenback loaded cab over a V30 loaded cab. It is a very dry type of tone, but I do like it much more than the PRS Archon.

I highly doubt your amp builder is using higher quality parts and components than any of these brands. Not that he isn't using parts on par with them, but to say what you did is very naïve and shows that your really not sure of what you want in an amp.

If you want my suggestion, go try these amps out, there are more than one store in NY that will have one or more in stock. You may be better off buying a used version of the amp you like rather than having someone build you a clone.
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
#11
I've never tried an Archon because, even though all of the local guitar centers stock PRS guitars, they never have their amps. I've heard great things, though.

The Uberschall depends on the version you're talking about. I had a Rev Blue for a while and it sounded GREAT with an overdrive but was completely unusable without it for me. Cool sound for hard rock but it was too bassy and muddy for tight metal. The Twin Jet is considerably tighter and more versatile IMO.

The Cobra is like cross between a Dual Recto and a 5150. It has the huge bottom of a Recto but a little more prominent midrange bite. Clean channel is nice but the gain structure doesn't make it very versatile outside heavy genres. Build quality on them is terrible. It was too one dimensional of a sound for me at that price so I got rid of it. I think the Dragon would be more my style.
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#12
Quote by nor.omar.9
Thanks so much dude! Sadly I have no idea where I can try any of these amps out. I live I n NY, not too far from the city, but even there, none of the big guitar/music stores have these amps. All they carry are the really really common stuff when it comes to high gain . Marshall jvm/Jcms, Peavey 6505, Engl fireball, 5150iii etc. Occasionally I'll find something cool like a diezel but I've got no clue where any of these amps are.

Also , I hear a lot of people comparing the bogner to rectifiers. From what I hear, the bogner sounds way smoother and a bit more airy if that makes sense (from what I hear on recordings anyway)


Ignore "what you hear." The best advice is to try out the amps in person.

Make plans to attend an AMP SHOW <G>. Dallas and LA are on the docket. They DID do one in NY, but I think you'd have to email Lonnie to find out if they're going to do another. Here in LA (first week of October), the LA Amp Show is held in a hotel right next to the Van Nuys airport (both civilian and military planes), and the rooms are pretty soundproofed. The various vendors get their own hotel room (minus the bed, etc.) and can crank the amps to some serious volumes without bothering the other vendors. MUCH different from NAMM, where the sound police are constantly fighting to keep the noise levels DOWN in a big open area. You'll see both large and small vendors, and some of the latter probably already have the very amp you'd like to have. And a whole lot of them will build you something custom. Better yet, you can actually talk to a lot of the people who design and build the things. Take a look at who appears at these. You'll find yourself check to jowl with arena-class rockers who are hanging out in shorts and t-shirts with everyone else. : http://www.ampshow.com/
#13
have you seen the guts of an uberschall? i don't know how many could custom one or two botiuque amps hundreds of soldering joints, does he have like a wave thing like mesa? i would have a really hard time believing he can get it done right in a normal sized head nonetheless.

buy what you want.
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#14
Well thank you everyone! And for argument's sake :
1- I did not look inside all of these, but a lot of big names like Marshall tend to have VERY cheap builds and shitty quality components these days

2- This is just a starting point for me. I know what my needs are and I would have them installed for sure. ex: Pre EQ like some of the fortin amps have is one thing for sure. Several voicing switches like those on the ENGL special edition or egnater armageddon as well. And probably a gate which i can cater the settings to each individual channel.

But thanks for the feedback everyone
#17
Quote by nor.omar.9
I did not look inside all of these, but a lot of big names like Marshall tend to have VERY cheap builds and shitty quality components these days
Not really.
Some mid tire amps have fairly cheap components but they still are built like tanks - peavey's, blackheart's...
Quote by nor.omar.9
Sadly like I said there's nowhere for me to try these amps.
Then you're likely not to get an amp that does exactly what you want.

If it's gonna cost you that money, you wouldn't really wanna get an amp that doesn't do exactly what you want it to, wouldn't you?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#18
Quote by nor.omar.9
Well thank you everyone! And for argument's sake :
1- I did not look inside all of these, but a lot of big names like Marshall tend to have VERY cheap builds and shitty quality components these days

2- This is just a starting point for me. I know what my needs are and I would have them installed for sure. ex: Pre EQ like some of the fortin amps have is one thing for sure. Several voicing switches like those on the ENGL special edition or egnater armageddon as well. And probably a gate which i can cater the settings to each individual channel.

But thanks for the feedback everyone

1 Where did you come to this conclusion from? because your 100% wrong.

2. To have something like your looking at custom built will cost way more than just buying an amp


You obviously are new to the amp world, take a day drive to a bigger city (Buffalo, NYC, ect) and try a bunch of amps out, you'll be surprised at what is out there
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
#19
so you thing he is capable of building amps like this? that is just a road king. then combine and other amps in there and blended?

http://www.tonymckenzie.com/Site/images/pimages/road_king_chassis_2010.jpg
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
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#20
^ if the guy's got the design and PCB's and the components all lined up than it's a work you do in a day.
If you know what you're doing.

The design's a lot more of a pain in the ass really.

Especially considering TS seems to want the guy to throw every possible option in it 'cause he doesn't really know what he wants the amp to sound like
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#21
OP according to your profile you live in NYC. if you can't find any of these amps to try out then it seems to me you aren't looking very hard. as mentioned you seem to be on the clueless side (no offense).

what is your current gear and what styles of music are you playing? I wouldn't say that all regular amp makers are using crap components or are poorly built. some of us seem to be getting by without a problem with amps far cheaper than what you mentioned.

you need to give us a much better idea of what you are shooting for tone wise and features wise as so far you really haven't. also who is the amp maker I'd love to see his website.
#22
Quote by Spambot_2
^ if the guy's got the design and PCB's and the components all lined up than it's a work you do in a day.
If you know what you're doing.

The design's a lot more of a pain in the ass really.

Especially considering TS seems to want the guy to throw every possible option in it 'cause he doesn't really know what he wants the amp to sound like


i was just posting to show some the guts. even though a PCB would if he is going need something pretty different things the OP has got and request.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#24
Quote by Robbgnarly
1 Where did you come to this conclusion from? because your 100% wrong.

2. To have something like your looking at custom built will cost way more than just buying an amp


You obviously are new to the amp world, take a day drive to a bigger city (Buffalo, NYC, ect) and try a bunch of amps out, you'll be surprised at what is out there


1- he opened up some big ones right in front of me
I forgot exactly which Marshall , a fender twin reverb reissue and several others and showed me exactly what sucks about how they're built.

2- I live in NYC. Pretty big city. Like I said most stores don't have things that aren't super popular like a dual re c or 6505 as far as metal amps go.
#25
I would make appointments to go play some of these amps. It will give you a great foundation.


http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4812028625.html Egnater TOL $900
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4828853421.html Carvin Preamp 4 $1,000 somthing
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4827580558.html Fender SuperSonic 60 combo $850
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4806302397.html Ampeg VL-1002 $850
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4787774674.html Marshall JCM200 DSL 100 $800
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4819264677.html Marshall JVM 410
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4775379104.html Marshall JCM 800 combo 2203 $800
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4811181983.html Mark V combo $2000
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4762892399.html Orange Thunderverb 50 $1450
http://longisland.craigslist.org/msg/4784726790.html Peavey JSX $800
http://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/msg/4832302092.html Bogner Shiva $1500
http://newyork.craigslist.org/stn/msg/4831972569.html Marshall JMP $900
http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/msg/4794705380.html Mesa Triple Rec halfstack $1850
http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/msg/4822254477.html Egnater Tourmaster $1,000
http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/msg/4831680663.html Egnater Renegade $900

Those are asking prices obviously. I wouldn't pay $900 for a Renegade but it is a cool amp and really good tone for being made in China and all.

Then, take that new foundation and listen to bunch of clips online and amp shootout vids.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jan 4, 2015,