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#1
I have a Fender HRD combo I love, but as I shop around for an amp for heavier stuff- like Orange or Mesa- I have been considering all kinds of options, including replacing the HRD.

I have been looking at the boutique makers like Dr. Z, Divided by 13, Komet, etc., and some of the newer mainstream kids on the block, like the revived Supro amps. Most seem to favor delivering stellar cleans and classic rock tones, so they're looking more like HRD replacements as opposed to beating out the Orange & Mesa amps I 'm considering for heavier stuff. (I have seen other "metal" amps like Jet City, etc. but Orange still appeals more...)

Well, I can go into my local stores and find the more mainstream stuff, but the rarer amps...no luck. All I can do is watch demo vids.

So, given that I want an amp for things like metal and might replace my HRD with something for...well...everything else- am I better off sticking with what I can find locally, or are some of these more exotic amps worth buying blind? Are their cleans cleaner? What am I getting for that extra $$$ besides sexy good looks and (possibly) the derision of more serious musicians?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 17, 2015,
#2
For those kind of amps, just my opinion, but you're better off getting a Fender and modding the crap out of it, which is basically what those are, maybe with better build quality. I guess Supro is kind of different, but they're just reissues really.

To me, proper boutique is something extra, like a Shiva for example. Super fender clean tone and super marshall-esque dirty tone in one amp with excellent build quality made in USA.

I don't think any amps are worth buying blind, maybe save for something like a 1959SLP (if you can turn it up) or a Dual Rec etc where you don't really need to hear one in person to know what it sounds like, since it's so ubiquitous and on so many recordings. A small boutique combo with big $$$$ could easily lead to huge disappointment imo.
Quote by Cathbard
You, my man, are a gentleman and a scholar.
Quote by Knarrenheino
You hold your guitar upwards from your lap like an erect phallus and tell me I have problems?
Last edited by Badmotorfingers at Apr 17, 2015,
#3
I agree with pretty much everything Badmotorfingers said. However, I'm also the dude that has owned like 36 tube amps in four years now. So what do I know? Want my 1965 Bandmaster?
#5
Yeah, trying to keep it a touch under $80k.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 17, 2015,
#6
you can for sure get some good equipment under 80K ...lol .... the Dr Z's seem priced pretty reasonable for used but probably a real hit and miss for finding one local to try , there was a Karmin ghia on the CL a few months ago for 1200.00 that seemed like a good deal , not a whole lot more than what I paid for a older Super Reverb but you'll probably be buying blind if theres nothing local
#8
Maybe less common not boo-teak is the answer.

If you're thinking about Mesa for the heavier sounds, look into the Roadster and Roadking 2 - both in the Dual Rec family. They are essentially the clean channels from the Lonestar and distortion channels from the Dual Rec (but darker and "better"). Roadster is 6L6 or EL34. Roadking is both.

My Roadster has knobs and switches for days but it's pretty intuitive. I picked up a 212 combo for $1100. Chl 1 is Clean, Fat, Tweed. Chl 2 is Clean, Fat, Brit. Chl 3 and 4 are both Raw, Vintage, Modern but with different Presence responsiveness. Each channel is 50/100W selectable, Reverb, Diode or Tube Rectification. Global Spongy or Bold on the power section.

You could also look at an Engl Invader II or Powerball II.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
Quote by NakedInTheRain
go modular bro!


Given your space constraints, this is the best answer. An RM50 with your choice of modules and a few in reserve would let you play whatever you wanted.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#10
I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and haven't seen a local Dr. Z...EVER! Ditto the other amps I've looked at.

I met a guy who is an amp freak- he has more than 30- through my church. He happened to own a Komet and suggested to me that I'd probably like it. But he seems to have moved on- haven't seen him in months.

It's frustrating: I want to try these amps, but can't.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
It's not that exciting to try all them amps. If you really really want to try some of them just save up some money, realize that you'll lose a bit in shipping and start rotating through stuff on tgp or guitar center used.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and haven't seen a local Dr. Z...EVER! Ditto the other amps I've looked at.


Dude.

Dallas/Fort Worth has some stunning and expensive women, and that would be about the only reason I'd be there.


Road Trip.

Two choices, New Joisey or El Lay. Come to the freakin' Amp Show.
I haven't been to the New Yawk version, but here's the information:

Saturday June 6, One Day Only
Mariott-Hanover Hotel, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany NJ 07981
Never been. Don't know.


The LA Amp Show is usually the first weekend in October (usually two days), usually at the AirTel Hotel in Van Nuys. This is where the Boutique Folks come to show their wares.

The show takes up two buildings at this hotel, which is pretty soundproofed thanks to its location right next to the Van Nuys airport (which also accommodates military aircraft). Each vendor gets a room, and when they close the doors, they can crank. You're handed Hear-O's at the door. That should give you a hint. There will be amps there that you will see nowhere else (unless you happen to live next to the guy that makes them).

http://www.ampshow.com/

You'll be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt and look to your right and Phil X will be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt. You'll look to your left and Nikki Sixx will be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt. Behind you will be Dweezil Zappa. And off to the right will be Barney Drinkwater in shorts and a t-shirt and nobody knows who the hell he is and will never know who he is because he's just an ordinary guy plinking on his Squier at home. But everyone is treated the same and most of these guys *are* the same gear hounds, except that Nikki will have driven up in a Lamborghini Aventador and Barney will have come from Bakersfield in a three-year old F150. It's better than NAMM.
Last edited by dspellman at Apr 17, 2015,
#15
I was at the one in jersey for a little bit. Didn't see anyone famous. Mostly just a bunch of old white guys playing bluzak.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#17
The LA Amp Show is usually the first weekend in October (usually two days), usually at the AirTel Hotel in Van Nuys. This is where the Boutique Folks come to show their wares.


I'll be in Rome, so...

Two choices, New Joisey or El Lay. Come to the freakin' Amp Show.
I haven't been to the New Yawk version, but here's the information:


Regardless of location, I'm not traveling out of state just to try an amp! The cost to me...well, I'd be better off doing what AcousticMirror suggested- buy, then try, then sell off if required.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
The Mesa Roadking and other options above sound good. Have you look at Egnater Tweaker? I think with overdrive it might even do the heavier stuff. Also look at Traynor Blue which is essentially a JCM800 clone, good cleans and with overdrive you can pretty much do anything metal with it. Maybe Mesa Mark V will do or Fryette Sig X as they seem to cover everything. The JSX covered all the bases but is discontinued so you can find used only.

I played a few boutique amps but for the most part the two that really blew me away was a PTP (point-to-point) Marshall Plexi and Matchless Chieftain. The Chieftain had an almost 3rd dimension to its sound, it was amazing on cleans. That would be my first go to amp for cleans if price weren't an option. The Plexi was a close second and it could deliver some of the mroe known Marshall sounds at an ear piercing loud 50 watt volume, which was a downside to it.
#19
Another buddy of mine JUST recommended the Egnaters to me today. Biggest advantage- I can try them at a store just 9 miles away. So that will be done. Thanks!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Another buddy of mine JUST recommended the Egnaters to me today. Biggest advantage- I can try them at a store just 9 miles away. So that will be done. Thanks!


I like the Tweaker 88, wasn't excited about the others.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#21
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I'll be in Rome, so...


Regardless of location, I'm not traveling out of state just to try an amp! The cost to me...well, I'd be better off doing what AcousticMirror suggested- buy, then try, then sell off if required.


Pope's always welcome. I've told him that.
It's been a while since we've had a pope come through; last time was in the fairly newly built Popemobile. Came through Chinatown, very near my studio.

Just to be clear, you wouldn't be trying AN amp. There are kajillions.
And you can try them at volume, and you can A/B them (usually after hours). And the builders/owners of the companies are there. Want to talk to Bruce Egnater? He's been there, as has Dan Boul. Check the photos of past shows.
#23
You'll likely have to buy blind. Dr. Z makes about 20 amps. Good luck finding a store that has even half of them in stock. If you're interested in some of the less popular offerings, you might never see them in a store. And I disagree with the modding thing. You shouldn't buy a Bassman with the purpose of modding it to become closer to a JTM-45 for a few reasons. It's not cost-efficient at all. And you're probably not even going to get all the way there. They're worth buying blind. But do your research. If buying new, make sure to get it from a place with an excellent return policy.

And don't get caught up in the boutiqueness (boutiquity?) of them. Mesa and Orange were once brands like that but they got bigger and expanded their reach. They're not even less expensive than a lot of boutique amps. Most Dr. Zs are in the price range of Lone Stars and AD30s. Supros are even less. The range of boutique amps is pretty huge. You can get them new for under $1500 or higher than $3500. It's tough to be for or against boutique amps without knowing specific models. For all we know, you could be talking about Plexis. Dr. Z's version of a Plexi is less than what Marshall is asking for, especially for a handwired one.
#24
Quote by dspellman


Just to be clear, you wouldn't be trying AN amp. There are kajillions.
And you can try them at volume, and you can A/B them (usually after hours). And the builders/owners of the companies are there. Want to talk to Bruce Egnater? He's been there, as has Dan Boul. Check the photos of past shows.

I've been to conventions, so I understand. Still, I have to have more on my table than twangin' before I book a trip out of state.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#25
The Oranges highest on my list are the Thunderverb and Rockerverb. The Supros just showed up in my FLMS, so I'll be able to try them and the Oranges once I set my budget in concrete. The Mesa Transatlantic and Royal Atlantic- now discontinued- were my front runners in that brand.

The others? Well, they show up in gear demos (for pedals and guitars), as well as recommendations by other musicians and, of course, websites' suggestion bots. Sometimes they showed up in google searches when I was looking for other gear.

I'm generally looking between 25-50w, combo only, and under $3000. I'm actually looking less than that in general, but I know ME and I understand that sometimes you have to expand your budget to get what you want. But if I'm spending that much, it had better be a killer, because it will take me some time to come up with that.

My gut feeling is that the classic Orange tone is probably going to make one of those the winner on the harder side of things, and the other amps are sort of competing to replace my Fender. Any amp that can cover American & British cleans has an advantage. Any amp that can deliver great cleans and dirt has an advantage. Any amp I can personally test has an advantage.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#26
was less than excited by the Dr Z i tried same with Victoria. granted i'm not a fender clean kinda guy. as far as i can tell the boutique thing is more for folks that want something very specific that they feel the name makers don't deliver. of course there's the hand wired thing etc as well. many have modern things like fx loops and are patterned after vintage amps.

personally i haven't really considered buying a boutique amp as the name brands seem to meet my needs. i do own a Legend amp which was one of the very first boutique amp makers back in the late 70s (used by billy gibbons on Elimanator).
#27
Quote by dspellman
...

The LA Amp Show is usually the first weekend in October (usually two days), usually at the AirTel Hotel in Van Nuys. This is where the Boutique Folks come to show their wares.

The show takes up two buildings at this hotel, which is pretty soundproofed thanks to its location right next to the Van Nuys airport (which also accommodates military aircraft). Each vendor gets a room, and when they close the doors, they can crank. You're handed Hear-O's at the door. That should give you a hint. There will be amps there that you will see nowhere else (unless you happen to live next to the guy that makes them).

http://www.ampshow.com/

You'll be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt and look to your right and Phil X will be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt. You'll look to your left and Nikki Sixx will be standing there in shorts and a t-shirt. Behind you will be Dweezil Zappa. And off to the right will be Barney Drinkwater in shorts and a t-shirt and nobody knows who the hell he is and will never know who he is because he's just an ordinary guy plinking on his Squier at home. But everyone is treated the same and most of these guys *are* the same gear hounds, except that Nikki will have driven up in a Lamborghini Aventador and Barney will have come from Bakersfield in a three-year old F150. It's better than NAMM.


I went to the L.A. Amp Show in 2011.
$20 to get in but more than worth it IMHO.
And yeah, they gave me ear plugs at the door.
It was very cool.
Dweezil Zappa was there demoing the Axe FX (II I think). I sounded pretty damn good.
Of course, he's no slouch on the guitar either.
Didn't see any other "stars" there though. I wasn't really looking for any though.
What I did see was A LOT of cool gear.
I was impressed by the 65 Amps and the Friedman Amps.
There was some guitar vendor there that had a guitar with boobs.
There was a few pedal vendors there as well.
FSB's favorite antagonist, Lance Keltner was there.
I got pictures of him.
I was thinking about introducing myself to him as a member of FSB, but decided not to.

I "won" an Eventide t-shirt during a seminar/talk/whatever.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Apr 17, 2015,
#28
Quote by dannyalcatraz
The Oranges highest on my list are the Thunderverb and Rockerverb. The Supros just showed up in my FLMS, so I'll be able to try them and the Oranges once I set my budget in concrete. The Mesa Transatlantic and Royal Atlantic- now discontinued- were my front runners in that brand.

The others? Well, they show up in gear demos (for pedals and guitars), as well as recommendations by other musicians and, of course, websites' suggestion bots. Sometimes they showed up in google searches when I was looking for other gear.

I'm generally looking between 25-50w, combo only, and under $3000. I'm actually looking less than that in general, but I know ME and I understand that sometimes you have to expand your budget to get what you want. But if I'm spending that much, it had better be a killer, because it will take me some time to come up with that.

My gut feeling is that the classic Orange tone is probably going to make one of those the winner on the harder side of things, and the other amps are sort of competing to replace my Fender. Any amp that can cover American & British cleans has an advantage. Any amp that can deliver great cleans and dirt has an advantage. Any amp I can personally test has an advantage.


orange cleans are not bad. the rocker verb is a very nice amp
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#30
****ing epic
Quote by Cathbard
You, my man, are a gentleman and a scholar.
Quote by Knarrenheino
You hold your guitar upwards from your lap like an erect phallus and tell me I have problems?
#31
I have always loved that vid.

Thanks to Big Bob, after I buy my booteak amp, I will use the lingerie that I get at the same time I buy the amp to make a new grille cloth.


I have also always wondered what that epic modification was...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
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
#34
Quote by gregs1020
SLO or GTFO

I thought it was Weber or GTFO
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
#36
Quote by Robbgnarly
I thought it was Weber or GTFO


I hope so- I already got 2 Webers!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#37
Quote by monwobobbo


hmm... maybe i could talk the old lady into letting me get a booteak amp if she can get some lingerie at the same time. food for thought

"Hey- is your grille cloth torn?"

"Nah, man, it's crotchless."
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#39
Quote by AcousticMirror
every lick in that video was just the worst.

OK Jealous
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
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