The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Amps that are similar to the UAD Marshall Bluesbreaker?
Old 10th January 2017
  #1
Amps that are similar to the UAD Marshall Bluesbreaker?

Obviously the Marshall Bluesbreaker 1962...

But are there others I should look into?

Currently I am amp-less, and I've been using the UAD Marshall Bluesbreaker 62 amp sim when I play. I love it. I think it sounds great. Currently, I use it for clean tones that have a bit of a bite - no high gain sounds here. But I'll be looking to buy an amp in the next 12 months (for recording and small gigs) and I want to have an idea of what to look for before I start testing amps in person.

In the past I've owned a Peavey Delta 30 and a Fender Champ 600. I wasn't thrilled with either of these and bought them because I could afford them and didn't really know much about guitar amps (still don't, but I'm learning now). I've been playing for 15 years and am setting up a small recording setup (synths, guitar, drum machine, vocals).

My only guitar at the moment is a 2015 Gibson ES-339 Studio, and I almost always use the neck pickup. The songs I'm writing are influenced by dub, post-rock, and alt-country (like a session with Tortoise and Wilco, mixed by King Tubby). My price range for an amp is $1k to $4k. Preferably something 35 watts or under. Looking for a full-range clean channel that can bite. Tremolo is a huge plus.

What would you suggest? Is the new Marshall Bluesbreaker 62 a good deal?
Old 11th January 2017
  #2
Funny i just demoed that same plugin last night!

I can get reasonably close with my BB preamp pedal from Xotic ( BB stands for Blues Breaker) - the pedal was designed to emulate those tones. I run mine in front of a Mesa Lonestar special combo - it sounds great on the clean or dirty channel. You can probably do better with the budget you have, but not a bad option to check out if you already have a decent amp. It's a great overdrive pedal regardless.

Also, Check out the Marshall Jubilee plugin from UAD - it's fantastic.
Old 11th January 2017
  #3
For amps, check out Mesa combos ( rectoverb, triple crown or Lonestar etc) very flexible and sound great at low volumes -perfect for any gig. Victory amps and Friedman make amazing Marshall type amps as well as many others, but those are pricier.

One of the potential issues with buying Blues Breaker is that the sweetspot will be too loud, so keep that in mind - those old amps were made to be as loud as possible because they didn 't have powerful PAs back then.
Old 11th January 2017
  #4
Deleted User
Guest
" Looking for a full-range clean channel that can bite"..."Bite" from a neck pick-up can be difficult. In any case, I have a friend with a "Bluesbreaker" combo. Louder than the dickens, ANY 45-watt (+/-) tube amp will be that way. It is a real beast to carry, as well as to listen to when it's opened up. He ends up in my little studio using my Marshall Class 5 through a 1x12 cabinet and likes that. To top it off, if you want "vibrato" (tremolo?), there are some great stomp boxes out there that will do that and more - Earthquaker makes a "Nightwire" that I love...."harmonic tremolo" from that puppy through a nice tube amp is really special. Something to consider...
Unless you are needing to compete with a live drummer, there is really no reason to rely on a 50-watt tube amp, IMHO.

So THAT'S what the "BB" stands for... I learn something new every day...LOL!
Old 11th January 2017
  #5
@ Moonbaby Yes, tremolo, thanks for pointing that out - I've edited the original post to be clearer. Also, I use an RMC8 wah and keep the rocker at full tilt to give me bite on the neck pickup.

I think Mesas are a good recommendation. I was a fan of Trey Anastasio in my younger years and I believe the secret to his tone was wah at full tilt + Ross-style Compressor + Mesa style amps (I believe he used Blackface Fender DR amps that were modded to act more like a Mesa - a Mesa/Boogie disguised as a Fender).

So, then I should look for a lower wattage Mesa/Boogie?
Old 11th January 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Friedman Dirty Shirley or DS Mini.
Old 11th January 2017
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellekei View Post
@ Moonbaby Yes, tremolo, thanks for pointing that out - I've edited the original post to be clearer. Also, I use an RMC8 wah and keep the rocker at full tilt to give me bite on the neck pickup.

I think Mesas are a good recommendation. I was a fan of Trey Anastasio in my younger years and I believe the secret to his tone was wah at full tilt + Ross-style Compressor + Mesa style amps (I believe he used Blackface Fender DR amps that were modded to act more like a Mesa - a Mesa/Boogie disguised as a Fender).

So, then I should look for a lower wattage Mesa/Boogie?

My mesa lonestar is 30 watts and is more than loud enough for any venue.
Old 11th January 2017
  #8
Deleted User
Guest
I have too many amps One of them is a Mesa Studio Caliber, which is about 22 watts from EL84 tubes. The 'Clean' channel does, to my 60-year-old ears, sound very "Fender blackface". The lead channel doesn't get used much these days...to "fizzy". I must warn you, that my amp tech here was a Mesa authorized service center for years and told me that the "DC" line of amps that they made in the 80s-90s were over-engineered and prone to printed circuit board failures. I've not had any problems with mine, but then again, it doesn't get taken out of the studio. Also, "Fender blackface" and "Marshall Bluesbreaker" are not the same tonally.
I don't know what part of the world you live on, but in the US there are plenty of small "boutique" makers of Bluesbreaker type amps. Try looking at what companies like Marsh Amps and Reeves have to offer. Those two definitely have smaller versions that would suit what you're looking for at much less volume levels.
Old 11th January 2017
  #9
Thanks @ Joe Porto I really like the simplicity of the controls on the Friedman and it sounds smoking. Now, if only I could find a properly mic'ed demo of someone using the clean channel...
Old 11th January 2017
  #10
@ Moonbaby Correct, I am not looking for a Fender blackface tone. I feel that the Bluesbreaker is more harmonically rich in the mids and that is what I'm after.
Old 11th January 2017
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
@ Moonbaby Correct, I am not looking for a Fender blackface tone. I feel that the Bluesbreaker is more harmonically rich in the mids and that is what I'm after.

Understood. This is why you need to look at the smaller Marsh, Reeves, Friedman, etc. models. Little tube amps are making a big dent in the amp market thanks to home studios.
Old 11th January 2017
  #12
I think the Friedman Dirty Shirley combo is going to be what I look towards. The sound is right on the money for me - and yes I know it'll be louder than what I need. Would a Radial Headload V16 be a good idea to reduce the volume when at home?
Old 12th January 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
For amps, check out Mesa combos ( rectoverb, triple crown or Lonestar etc) very flexible and sound great at low volumes -perfect for any gig. Victory amps and Friedman make amazing Marshall type amps as well as many others, but those are pricier.

One of the potential issues with buying Blues Breaker is that the sweetspot will be too loud, so keep that in mind - those old amps were made to be as loud as possible because they didn 't have powerful PAs back then.
Good amps, but they don't sound anything remotely like a Bluesbreaker.

Buy the real thing.

Marshall did make a similar amp with tremolo and reverb that was 18 watts out of two EL84s, but they're EXTREMELY rare. In fact, I've only seen one, which was owned by Jorma Kaukonen, and which I was lucky enough to play because he shipped it to Don Wehr's Music City where I was working after purchasing it in Europe.
Old 12th January 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellekei View Post
Thanks @ Joe Porto I really like the simplicity of the controls on the Friedman and it sounds smoking. Now, if only I could find a properly mic'ed demo of someone using the clean channel...
Why bother? No innerwebz "demo" ever sounds like the real thing after the lossy compression of the YT conversion and other destructive processing has been applied, not to mention what might have been done during the actual recording.
Old 12th January 2017
  #15
@ John Eppstein 'Cause I gotta get a frame of reference, though I understand your point. This guy did a pretty good job covering a lot of territory: https://youtu.be/EhdDlmeldo4

All the other demos I found were either all high-gain or terribly mic'ed.

Thanks for your input. I don't think Mesas are on my list anymore, so thanks for driving that point home.
Old 14th January 2017
  #16
Pickup an old Peavey "Classic" Fender Bassman 4x10 knock-off. Load it up with EL34 power tubes, re-bias and go.
Old 18th February 2017
  #17
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellekei View Post
I think the Friedman Dirty Shirley combo is going to be what I look towards. The sound is right on the money for me - and yes I know it'll be louder than what I need. Would a Radial Headload V16 be a good idea to reduce the volume when at home?
I really like the UAD Dirty Shirley. I've been jonesing after a real DS40 since I played it.

I love Mesas, but I have to agree about them not sounding like any Marshall. Or at least, none I've ever played.
Old 18th February 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I really like the UAD Dirty Shirley. I've been jonesing after a real DS40 since I played it.

I love Mesas, but I have to agree about them not sounding like any Marshall. Or at least, none I've ever played.
Funny thing is I actually don't like the UAD Dirty Shirley. I'm considering looking into the Friedman Runt 20, though.
Old 18th February 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mcgruff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Why bother? No innerwebz "demo" ever sounds like the real thing after the lossy compression of the YT conversion and other destructive processing has been applied, not to mention what might have been done during the actual recording.
You don't get the feel of the punch-in-the-gut dynamics of the live amp but a good recording at a higher def can give you a good idea of the timbre.
Old 18th February 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
mcgruff's Avatar
 

Avatar make a good 18W (baby bluesbreaker) head. Match it up with the cab & speaker of your choice.

If you're into DIY you can even make your own. The great thing about the classic tube amps from the 50's and 60's is that these circuits are often some of the simplest to build.

EDIT: no tremolo but you could always add that with a pedal like the Strymon Flint.
Old 18th February 2017
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgruff View Post
Avatar make a good 18W (baby bluesbreaker) head. Match it up with the cab & speaker of your choice.

If you're into DIY you can even make your own. The great thing about the classic tube amps from the 50's and 60's is that these circuits are often some of the simplest to build.

EDIT: no tremolo but you could always add that with a pedal like the Strymon Flint.
I just got the Empress Tremolo2, So actually no need now for tremolo on amp.
Old 18th February 2017
  #22
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellekei View Post
Funny thing is I actually don't like the UAD Dirty Shirley. I'm considering looking into the Friedman Runt 20, though.
Really? That's one of UAD's better sims. I'm really not an amp sim player, and that one stood out as exceptional.
Old 18th February 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
I'll take a shot having just demoed 3 actual Bluesbreakers. They are weighty beasts. Love the tone but beyond luggable, you would need to invest in a 2 wheeler cart at the very least to haul it around.

Two options which are similar but lighter. JVM Head and an Avatar 2x12 cab. Splits up the weight and makes it more manageable. Less low end push but a phenomenal Marshall clean for the money is a DSL40C, a very manageable weight and 45watts. Cuts through most any band.

The difference is the breakup point you can coax from each of these. With a Blues Break, it's loud, I mean really loud. You can use a power soak or even the BBpedal mentioned above to lower the volume of the breakup. The JVM has a master channel so volume control is built in. The same for the DSL40C and although the breakup is not as authentic Marshall sounding it's not bad. So there is a couple of options i.e. JVM head and cab around $1500 used. DSL40C around $500 used.
Old 18th February 2017
  #24
Here for the gear
Friedman Runt 20 head, your choice of cab.
Old 19th February 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
Isn't the Dr Z Route 66 supposed to be in Bluesbreaker territory?
Old 21st February 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
I have a Marshall Bluesbreaker and it has tremolo on it. It also has KT-66s in it. The reissues I've seen have had EL-34s in them IIRC.

If I were looking to buy a map to get into that territory I would probably defy logic and buy a reissue Tweed Twin. I remember seeing a video of Clapton where he talks about how he switched to the low powered Twin because they were more consistent. His toan is pretty close through the reissue Twin (not Clapton Twin -which is an awesome map as well) he is playing in the video.

I should also note that I haven't played the UAD Marshall, but their Deluxe is nothing like my old 50's Deluxe so if their Marshall is that off it may be in some other territory as well.

Old 21st February 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
Here is the EC video:

Old 22nd February 2017
  #28
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
I am hearing good things about the Fender bassbreaker 15. some people say that it is a mix between the bluesbreaker and the bassman
Old 22nd February 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I am hearing good things about the Fender bassbreaker 15. some people say that it is a mix between the bluesbreaker and the bassman
I saw the Bassbreaker and it looks like something you would buy at BestBuy.

Not sure how it sounds, but it feels like a piece of junk. Save your money and buy yourself something that's made a little better. There are some really decent lower priced maps out there these days.
Old 22nd February 2017
  #30
Louis Amps makes a blues breaker. Great sounding amp and good company. It's loud though.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump