#1
I play in a kind of indie / alternative band in the vein of the Pixies, 80s REM, or guitar-era Radiohead. I currently use:
  • 1973 Fender Princeton Reverb (Oak cabinet, rewired)
  • Early 00s Fender Twin Amp "Evil Twin"

The Princeton runs out of gas in certain situations and the Evil Twin is both fickle and very inconvenient to move. Obviously I like the the bright Fender sound (my singer / rhythm guitarist uses a Marshall into a Mesa cab, so the contrast is good). I'm a huge fan of the Super Reverb but those don't really solve the mobility problems of the Twin.

I'm looking for something between the two in volume: probably a 1x12 combo. I have fuzz and distortion on my pedalboard so I have no need for a multi-channel amplifier. What I'm looking for:
  • Single Channel
  • Spring Reverb
  • Tube Amp (duh?)
  • ~20 Watts (A-Class) or 40W (A/B)
  • 1x12" or 2x10" - Combo prefered but small head/cab would also be okay


I'm an adult with a real job, so value is the objective rather than budget.
  • Preferred: <$1000
  • Accepable: Up to $2000


I'm considering a Blues Jr, but I'm kinda "blah" on the tone. They're a little too ubiquitous. Maybe a Deluxe Reverb?
Last edited by RadioMuse at May 18, 2016,
#2
VOX AC30 seems like a no brainer for that kind of music. It doesn't quite have the fender cleans but it'll go really well with the marshall. A nice AC30C2 used is well under your budget. Even new ones will cost you less than 2000. They take pedals really well, too
#3
Quote by flexiblemile
VOX AC30 seems like a no brainer for that kind of music. It doesn't quite have the fender cleans but it'll go really well with the marshall. A nice AC30C2 used is well under your budget. Even new ones will cost you less than 2000. They take pedals really well, too


+1

Or if you want to keep more of those cleans, but add more dirty options (more than enough for indies & stuff), try the 40W Hot Rod DeLuxe.
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Last edited by Airfish at May 19, 2016,
#4
Deluxe Reverbs are lovely, both the '68 Custom (which also has a "Custom", Bassman input if you want to have fun with that sound) and the '65 RI would be great options, and they're a lot easier to move around than the Twin. I'd definitely recommend that if you're just after the cleans.
#5
I just reread your message and see how you want to avoid the heavy lifting.

The AC30 has 3 handles and I *think* is lighter than a twin but not by much.

I know what you,re saying about the blues junior but a speaker swap and a few very easy mods will transform it into a completely different beast. It's definitly worth considering

EDIT: Another point to consider is that the reverb on the blues junior isn't footswitchable
Last edited by flexiblemile at May 19, 2016,
#6
I have an HRD. Good amp. Terrible dirt channel, though.

Another good option would be one of the Carvin vintage amps. New, even the 2x12 combo is in your price range, and a used one will be under $500. The Vintage 16 is 16w 1x12, the Nomad is 50w 1x12, and the Belair is a 50w 2x12.

http://carvinaudio.com/collections/vintage-tube-amplifier-series
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
I'm not worried about footswitchable reverb. Live I just leave it on, in studio I can make adjustments between takes (some of the stuff with more gain is nice to have dry).

I'm more worried about the clean tone than the OD, though a little breakup would be nice. I'm definitely leaning toward a Fender Deluxe Reverb, but I've never been enchanted with any of them I've played through other than the time I used a house amp at a gig in stereo with my Princeton...

I'm not gonna go AC30. It would work for the sound well if I was trying to copy the groups I mentioned rather than merely emulate them and try to take it other places. This isn't a cover band. I've played most of the obvious choices, I was just wondering if there was some oddity out there worth really looking into? Maybe a Gibson amp? (if nothing else I would love the irony of playing a Fender into a Gibson)

EDIT: I'll look into the Carvin. A Nomad 50W sounds like it might be a good fit. Bummer that it's digital reverb, not true spring. I love the splash of spring tanks.
Last edited by RadioMuse at May 19, 2016,
#8
There are a lot of good reverb pedals out there, some of which even do a pretty good imitation of a spring reverb. I use my 'verb pedals more than I use the reverb on my HRD- more options.
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!
#9
Matchless Chieftain if you can afford it. That'd be the first amp and last amp that you'd need to buy for the music you describe.

Laney LC50 for more realistic financial expectations:
https://reverb.com/item/1870263-laney-lc50-black

If you don't need the wattage, look up the LC15, I have it and love it, very sweet amp.

Traynor YCV40 is also a good choice.
#10
On the other end of the price scale from Carvin...a used Dr. Z Maz Jr. 18 1x12 combo would be a helluva nice sounding amp for your purposes. Has reverb, but I suspect it is NOT of the spring variety.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Z-Maz-Jr-18-2x10-Combo-Amp-with-Reverb-/262435375825?hash=item3d1a5e0ad1:g:3VEAAOSwx-9Wu4cO

The NR (no reverb) version of the amp is even cheaper- @$1800 new, with nice used ones starting @$1500.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Dr-Z-Maz-18-Jr-NR-1x12-18W-Boutique-Tube-Combo-Amp-/291673769717?hash=item43e91c86f5:g:MUUAAOSwll1Wu6kT

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=Dr+z+maz+jr+NR+&item_region=&make%5B%5D=dr-z&condition%5B%5D=used&price_min=&price_max=&ships_to=XX&item_region=
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!
#11
Personally, I would keep the Princeton and mic it for gigs. World class clean tone, great verb, good breakup, and super portable. I use a Super Champ XD for those times when I need small and light but the Princeton is better.

If you "must" buy another amp:

HRD is always a great choice for Fender clean 40w gig quality. Just ignore the drive channel.

Mesa has a lot of great amps in the 20-30w range that sing. (Princeton circuitry)

DRRI is a good choice but for $1k you might find a nice vintage Blackface and they are better.

Fender Super Sonic is another amp that has world class clean tone with reverb. The OD channel is also good but you don't have to use it if you only want 1 channel.

For reference: I currently own a 64 Super Reverb, Mesa F-30, Super Champ XD and have owned or gigged most of the amps listed above. Well within your sonic space.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 19, 2016,
#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I have an HRD. Good amp. Terrible dirt channel, though.

Another good option would be one of the Carvin vintage amps. New, even the 2x12 combo is in your price range, and a used one will be under $500. The Vintage 16 is 16w 1x12, the Nomad is 50w 1x12, and the Belair is a 50w 2x12.

http://carvinaudio.com/collections/vintage-tube-amplifier-series



I think the dirt channel is fine if you know what to expect. Not hard rock, a little drive lol
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#13
I know what to expect- I've owned a HRD for @11 years now.
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!
#15
Check out a Mesa Lonestar if you want the reverb. Lonestar Special may work too.
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#16
Quote by RadioMuse


EDIT: I'll look into the Carvin. A Nomad 50W sounds like it might be a good fit. Bummer that it's digital reverb, not true spring. I love the splash of spring tanks.


My Belair (2x12 version of the Nomad) is a spring tank, but the new ones are digital. I will say this, however. I have a late '80's Carvin X112E, and Carvin reissued the X100 series amps with smaller transformers (not great) and a digital reverb, and the digital reverb actually sounds better than the spring tank. Go figure. I definitely wouldn't worry about that. Or go find a good used one that has the tank.

Regarding the Nomad. It's a two-channel amp. The Soak (gain) channel was designed with Allan Holdsworth and it's excellent for his style of legato work. Some time back, Richard L Hassebrock went into the tone stack and published a set of mods that can be done to the Nomad/Belair (Google: Hasserl Mods) that most users believe should be adopted by the factory as the default. I have the Stage II mods built into mine (I actually live close enough to Richard to have had him do them! Any reasonably decent tech can do them for you) and they operate exactly as advertised. It turns the SOAK channel into something that sounds more like a vintage Marshall, but with more gain available than any vintage Marshall ever had. Suits me all to hell and back.

The clean channel on the Nomad/Belair is gorgeous, and I'd put it against any Fender. With the Hasserl Mods, the only thing that affects the clean channel is a "presence" control that's added to allow you to adjust the amount of negative feedback applied to the power tubes anywhere from the stock amount to zero. Reducing that negative feed back results in an amp that's more touch-sensitive, and gives you a clean channel that will give you some bluesy breakup when you dig in.

One last thing: This amp sings with a pair of V30's (or one in the case of the Nomad), but give them time to break in and get rid of that initial slightly abrasive tone they come with new.
Last edited by dspellman at May 19, 2016,
#17
I love my Super Reverb, but yeah it is a bear to lug around...

I have to agree with both Flexiblemile and cajundaddy.

The Blues Jr is a good little amp, not very heavy and sounds good. It can sound a lot better with a speaker upgrade, and a couple of easy mods will open it up quite a lot. If I could afford it I'd be looking at one.

Cajun listed a couple of good options, I like Mesa amps a lot, and the Fender Super Sonic is a very good amp. A bit on the pricey side, but it sounds great and would easily deliver what you want. I've played a couple of Mesa amps, their older 22 caliber series would stay onstage with any 50 watt amp around, and sounded fabulous. Keep the gain down and it would match the Fender clean sound, give it a little more gain and it was more like a Marshall. The newer Subway Rocket is 20 watts, one 10" speaker, I have a friend who loves it. Their bigger amps in the 30 to 50 watt range are hard to beat, just make sure you keep the gain down and they will do a nice job of cleans.

Another option would be a Peavey Classic 50. A bit on the heavy side, being a 2x12 combo, but it's a great sounding amp. I'm not too familiar with Peavey's newer amps, but if they have anything in the 30 to 40 watt 1x12 range, check it out. Peaveys are built to stand up to roadie abuse, there's a reason they've been making the all time favorite PA gear for 40 years.

I can't remember what other amps Fender makes in the below 50 watt range and 1x12 configuration, I think the Deluxe Reverb is 22 watts, Vibrolux is 50lbs, 2x10 speakers at 35 to 40 watts. Had to look up the Fender amp field guide for some specs...Blues Deluxe is no longer made, if you can find one it's a great amp, 1x12, 40 watts and killer sound, 40lbs. (Super Reverb is 86lbs, Twin Reverb 69lbs.)

If it were me, I'd look into a Blues Jr and a better speaker. Less expensive than some of the other amps, even after a speaker upgrade, and a couple of easy to do mods and it's a very good amp. At 31lbs it's not hard to lug around. I'm using a Pro Jr right now but not enough bass for me, but for the really low volume gigs my band plays it does a good job and is the same weight, around 30 lbs. I've been accustomed to having the Super Reverb or a Peavey MX behind me for 30 years, enough bass it sounds like a 10 foot bulldog barking when I hit a low A, plenty power for big clubs, but neither is exactly lightweight to lug around...that's OK I have a dolly...so the little Pro Jr took some getting used to, not having that big sounding bass response, but it's a good amp. That would probably be my only complaint about a Blues Jr too. One 12" speaker just won't produce the bass of a 4x10 cabinet, since it moves a lot less air. Other than that, I could live with it...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#18
I was thinking classic 30,something from dr. Z, or a lower wattage and stripped down mesa (. 22 cal)?
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#19
Or a mesa f30 too.
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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/
#20
I thought about Classic 30 too, but I found them to have too much treble and not near enough bass. I modified one for a friend for that reason, it was so hard to take apart and put back together I don't think I'd want to do it again. I can open up my Super Reverb and be soldering in parts in 5 minutes, it took me 20 minutes just to get the Classic 30 out of the chassis. I've played a dozen, passed up a chance at one for $125, it had too much treble and hardly any bass at all. I didn't know I could mod it, if I had known that I would have grabbed that deal. I'd probably still have it too...

The 22 caliber Mesa is great, that's the one I played, but it was the original one made around 1980. If they still make it, that's one beast of a low wattage amp.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#21
(on the Mesa subject) the smaller express amps are nice

Another thing would be to get a speaker with a neodymium magnet. HUGE weight difference.
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/