#1
OK, here's the back story: My work for a musical instrument-related products manufacturer affords me better prices from certain companies. Through the parent company of Ampeg, Crate and Blackheart, I am able to do just that and was planning to buy a Blackheart Handsome Devil. I just found out, however, that they're availability is pushed back to May.

No bueno for me because I'm without amp and had already waited a month to learn this news.

Coincidentally, I came into some extra cash today as well and am now considering upping the ante for my amp purchase. They have Ampeg J-20s in stock and I could pull the trigger on a really bitchin' amp, but I don't know much about them.

Does any one have any input on this amp? Anyone played it? Own one?

I'm curious about whether or not I should expect a special sound from 6V6 tubes vs. others...and what do three preamp tubes bring to the table that might be different from the usual two?

Thanks in advance for your answers and insight.
#2
Wow, you guys are amazing. This is the second time I've posted a question.

This is also the second time my post has been trickled down the thread pages with lots of looks but no replies.

Does that happen a lot?
Last edited by carpepax at Mar 25, 2008,
#3
I have never even seen one in a music shop, let alone played one. I really want to, too, because I like ampeg amps. I also have never played a blackheart, but best of luck deciding.
#4
I think Keith Richards may have used one at some point over the last 50 years. haha. Probably looking at great cleans, sweet classic rock tones. Sorry man, but that's all I know. Supposed to be good.
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#5
It's a great amp, similar to a Fender Deluxe Reverb - sans the reverb. Great cleans, beautiful tube driven tremolo. Cranked up you'll get that bluesy Fender overdriven sound. There's no doubt in my mind that I'd prefer the Ampeg to the Blackheart, but if you're looking for more gain than cleans, the Blackheart (or something else) might be better for you.

Although it will take pedals well.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#6
Thank you Slats,

I read a hands-on review that described the J-20's sound as very Fender-like, sounding like one amp at the lower volume range, a different Fender in the middle of the volume range and ending up with the sound of an AC15 as the tubes overdrive.

My preference would be to have a master volume so I can get the preamp overdrive at lower output volumes, but I'm thinking of putting an attenuator between the power amp and speaker. Until then, I will be content to use the amp at lower volumes and pedals for overdrive or distortion and other effects.

I might be selling my Boss DS-1 to save for a good overdrive. I spoke to a player today who recommended the Fulltone OCD. I don't want to play much metal, but I would still like a smooth, tight distortion at my disposal. Is there a better option or can the OCD give me that?
#7
I could see the Vox analogy. The Ampeg's probably a little "darker" than a typical Fender. It's a better amp than the AC15CC, IMHO.

The OCD is by no means a metal pedal. People here swear by it. I have an Ibanez TS808 that I'm very happy with, while others prefer the Maxon versions. There are so many OD pedals out there, and it's so subjective, that you really need to test drive as many as you can.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#8
People tend to favor the TS808 over the TS9, but I have an Ibanez TS9 that I absolutely love. Nice and warm. Get rid of the DS-1, though. No need to use that with a tube amp.
Member of the EHX Guild

Yamaha SG500B
Danelectro Fish 'n' Chips EQ
EHX Russian Big Muff
Roland Cube 30
Jake will suffice.

Join the revolution, GG&A.
#9
Thank you, too, Carniferous. The DS-1 was an impulse buy and I admit I've already been thinking it a bad choice. I look forward to trying some different options through the J-20.