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I need a guitar amp shopping list. 5 amps every studio should have
Old 20th July 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

I need a guitar amp shopping list. 5 amps every studio should have

I work in a studio that does mostly radio and tv commercials. 99 % of the time we use ampfarm, guitar rig, sansamp, or amplitube to get our electric guitar sounds. Plug-ins get the job done but it's just not the same, as all of you know. I"ve finally convinced my boss to spring for some real amps ( thank god) . He's asked me to compile a shopping list of amps that the studio needs. I don't really know that much about specific models of amps, I can tell the difference between a marshal, fender or boogie, but that's about it. I'm a guitar player but I grew up in the amp-simulating pedal generation so don't hold that against me!!
I"m thinking for sure we need one fender and one marshal. so the question is, make a list of 4 or 5 amps that are studio necessities. also I would prefer lower wattage amps, perhaps combos. maybe a decent 2x12 cabinet and a few heads? nothing crazy expensive either.
thanks slutz
Old 20th July 2006
  #2
1. Vox AC30
2. Matchless DC30
3. Fender Twin
4. Marshall JCM 800/900 (with 1960a 4x12 cab)
5. Mesa Boogie Dual/Triple Rectifier

That should pretty much cover all the bases for the standard tones you'll need (although I will admit that some are a bit pricey in that list).
Old 20th July 2006
  #3
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Bat Head Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian
1. Vox AC30
2. Matchless DC30
3. Fender Twin
4. Marshall JCM 800/900 (with 1960a 4x12 cab)
5. Mesa Boogie Dual/Triple Rectifier

That should pretty much cover all the bases for the standard tones you'll need (although I will admit that some are a bit pricey in that list).

What he said...
Old 20th July 2006
  #4
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B
maybe a decent 2x12 cabinet and a few heads? nothing crazy expensive either.
thanks slutz
Traynor tube heads like the Reverb Master. Pretty cheap on ebay. Sound nice and are easy to fix/mod if needed.

Traynor Studio Mate. Little combo that runs off EL84 tube. Nifty little things usually fetch around $300.

Fender Twin, silverface. Can be found used at good prices.

Fender Champ. Nice little thing for clean tones and it sounds like it will explode when pushed really hard.

Fender Bassman silverface 100 watt heads. Cheap, sound great for guitar and bass.

Avatar makes great reasonably priced 2 x 12" cabinets. Plywood, not particle board, lots of speaker options.

Marshall JMP or JCM 800 heads. Can be found used for $600 and up.

Used Mesa Subway Rocket 1 x 12" combo. Pretty cool and can sound really big. I don't see these used much.

These of course are just suggestions so the grain of salt and the token YMMV apply.
Old 20th July 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

thanks for the quick response guys, are the ac-30's you guys speak of new or vintage? I just saw a ac30cc2 for 1000 $ on sweetwater. is this a decent amp or is it one of those times where the manufacturer *****s our a famous name for a **** product made by korean children?
Old 20th July 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Kris75's Avatar
 

A well priced amp that I have just heard and recorded recently is the Mesa F-50. Suprisingly nice for the price. They also make a cheaper version called the F-30, but I have not heard that amp yet.
If you go the cabinet/head route, why not get a fender hot rod deville. The speakers in them suck, but if you use an external cab they sound great for a variety of tones, and you can pick up one for about a $1000 canadian.
Old 20th July 2006
  #7
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for smaller combos maybe go for a fender deluxe reverb, a mesa mark 4 an 18 watt marshall stack if you can find one, there are lots of smaller combos by badcat/matchless/victoria. most of which are based on some classic or other. the main difference IMO is the power tubes they run on. Vox is class A EL84s, most marshalls are EL34s and a lot of fenders are 6L6s. Mesa do an amp called a roadking which runs on whatever valves you want and has 4 seperate channels so it may be the most versatile option. I think you can run four seperate cabs of ti as well. it stills sounds like a mesa a lot of the time but you can get good marshall/ vox/ fender tones as well. hope this helps.
J
Old 20th July 2006
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
TheRigaletto's Avatar
 

1. Dr. Z Maz 18
2. Vox AC 30 with Blues
3. Fender Twin
4. Old Marshall Plexi
5. Matchless or Bad Cat for the last just not sure
Old 20th July 2006
  #9
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gwailoh's Avatar
 

I've just gone through the same process. FWIW, here are the choices I made:

Vox AC30 CCH -- the new Chinese-made head with a 2x12 cab. I hear rumors of spotty build quality, but the one I bought is great. I love the fact that it's got both the top boost and the "classic" circuit, and that they can be bridged with the throw of a switch. Also, an output voicing switch, and an output power toggle from 30 to 22 watts. The amp sounds fabulous and all these options combine to offer great breadth of possible tones.

Marshall 1974x. This is their re-issue point-to-point 18 watt practice amp. Nails the Marshall tone at reasonable volume.

Fender silverface Twin Reverb. I already had this amp, but I had it modded for recording. Converted the circuit to blackface spec; put in one Eminence Red White and Blues speaker and one re-issue Jensen; had it re-capped. The total cost, if you bought a used silverface and did these mods, is about what the re-issue blackface Twin Reverb would cost, but, this is the best sounding Fender I've heard in ages. I particularly like the Eminence speaker.

Tone King Imperial. These aren't made any more, the current Tone King model is the Meteor II. Tone King amps nail the classic Fender sounds, IMO better than the reissue Fenders, and they have IMO more character than other Fender-inspired amps such as the Victorias. The rhythm channel is like a blackface Deluxe, with the addition of a pretty amazing 3D projection and tons of character; the lead channel is like a tweed Deluxe, with a "mid bite" knob that moves it more into Marshall territory. The Imperial is a loud 20 watts. I also have a Tone King Comet 40 watt that I love, particularly for clean Fender sounds. You have to shop for these used. The current model, the Meteor II, is a wonderful amp, maybe the most natural-sounding amp I remember hearing. I went for the older models because I didn't really want that much naturalness, rather wanted more character.

I've also got a Mesa Rectifier Recording Pre and a 20/20 power amp. These are ok-sounding, but I don't use them much.

So this is a pretty wide range of tones. I'm really happy with this selection.

Hope this helps!

--Mark
Old 20th July 2006
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I just looked up Avatar. what a sweet company! thanks Colin
Old 20th July 2006
  #11
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Do a search around here on the Randall MTS system. Also check out the clips of the MTS modules on their site, made by Michael Wagener. Very versatile stuff, I have a 2x12 combo that I love and it's not some modeling crap...it's real tube stuff.

War
Old 20th July 2006
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
TheRigaletto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B
thanks for the quick response guys, are the ac-30's you guys speak of new or vintage? I just saw a ac30cc2 for 1000 $ on sweetwater. is this a decent amp or is it one of those times where the manufacturer *****s our a famous name for a **** product made by korean children?
These Vox's you speak of are garbage. They dont stock alnico blues in the one for 1k and I have yet to play a newer Vox I actually liked. An older Top boost would do the trick


I LOOOVVEEE my AVATAR cab!!! You cant beat the price and you can pick from SOOO many different speaker configurations. I got the Premier cab with a hellatone 30 (broken in vintage 30) and a G12H30 and it sounds amazing!!! and for 400.00 new!!
Old 20th July 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 
frontierfran's Avatar
 

or save a bunch and look into one of those Egnater M4's with the pre amp modules. you can get a ton of tones, then just get some 1960a's or some avatar's with different type celestions. you wont have the "big names" to wow the clients...which might be worth getting those big names alone...but youll have pretty much the tones...and a fraction of the cost.
Old 20th July 2006
  #14
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gwailoh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRigaletto
These Vox's you speak of are garbage. They dont stock alnico blues in the one for 1k and I have yet to play a newer Vox I actually liked. An older Top boost would do the trick
The Blues really do matter. I bought the new head and the Blues 2x12 and am very happy.
Old 20th July 2006
  #15
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
although the amps mentioned above are GREAT!! these are some others to consider(all around or under a grand, if prce is an issue):

Cornford Harlequin - low watt botique amp specifically for recording (killer tone)

Epiphone valve Jr. - hey, it's $100! it can only get a few sounds, but they are good ones . . and did I mention it's only $100

Fender Blus jr. - If ya don't want to drop the bucks on the more pricey Fender amps this one is a good runner up

Soldano, Astroverb - I prefer this to mesa amps and it's cheaper and suprisingly versatile (although I have the Mesa Recto Recording pre - I made the move from my pod to amps gradually!)

my wish list (besides my quest to own every amp ever made!!) is an AC30cc and a THD univalve.
Old 20th July 2006
  #16
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian
1. Vox AC30
2. Matchless DC30
3. Fender Twin
4. Marshall JCM 800/900 (with 1960a 4x12 cab)
5. Mesa Boogie Dual/Triple Rectifier

That should pretty much cover all the bases for the standard tones you'll need (although I will admit that some are a bit pricey in that list).

good list, but add an orange combo, or an AD30 with that 1960a,

and possibaly replace the mesa with a deisel, or a real mesa from the early 90's, if money allows, heh


i personaly cannot conceve not having an orange amp available in the studio, and IMO the fender Hot Rod Deville is the best amp for feedback in the studio, ever, if thats your sort of thing
Old 20th July 2006
  #17
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

5 amps every studio should have?

- Fender Twin Reverb
- Fender Deluxe Reverb
- Marshall 1959 100 watt plexi w/ Celestion-loaded 4x12 cab
- Vox AC30
- Roland JC120

(I'll probably get a lot of flak for suggesting the Roland, but I still think that amp is second only to a Twin as the universal journeyman amp for a studio where you don't know who or what is coming through the door next.)
Old 20th July 2006
  #18
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross
(I'll probably get a lot of flak for suggesting the Roland, but I still think that amp is second only to a Twin as the universal journeyman amp for a studio where you don't know who or what is coming through the door next.)

Come to think of it - I don;t think I've ever been in a studio that didn;t have one . . . though I've never used one personally. . .
Old 20th July 2006
  #19
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
. . . well except mine
Old 20th July 2006
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Valvetech Hayseed (2x12)
Dr Z Maz 18 Jr (2x10)
Fender Super Reverb
Marshall JMP 50w or Orange head
a small funky amp that can be overdriven madly - Champ, Pro Jr, little old Gibson, etc.

4x12 w/ Greenbacks
2x12 w/ G12H30s

I'd personally choose a Hiwatt/Sound City over the Marshall/Orange, but tons of people gravitate towards that Marshall sound.

sub the Maz with a high gain brute if you do a lot of that stuff. I like to layer cleaner tracks for my aggressive tones, but some doods just need that maximum brewtality.
Old 20th July 2006
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

does anyone have any opinions about the Egnater M4's verses the randall's? I haven't given up individual amps yet, but the idea of getting a few options in one amp sounds intriguing. I think the avitar cabs are the way to go though
Old 20th July 2006
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

a couple of you have mentioned getting a cabinet with mixed speakers. I wouldn't have thought of that, what a great way to squeeze a couple of different tones out of one amp. is that pretty common or is more of a slutty studio thing?
Old 20th July 2006
  #23
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gwailoh's Avatar
 

Totally aside, mention guitar amps on Gearslutz and get 20 responses in 20 minutes! :-)
Old 20th July 2006
  #24
I would get a Fender deluxe, doing jingles do you really need that much shred?
If you do a 50 watt JCM 800 and a pedal will get you there, and take the pedal away for the 80's rock thing. the AC30 is a good idea, I have a custom classic head which has worked just great here. I would also get the randall system with a few modules that kinda cover the other bases. BTW rather than buy combos, for as many of these things just get the heads and maybe get 2 different cabs, with different speaker setups. This way the head stays in the control room the cab is in the live room its much easier to dial in a sound. For the classic rock thing the Matchless is pretty cool or get a Hiwatt, which is still my favorite amp.
Old 20th July 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
TheRigaletto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasta4lnch
Epiphone valve Jr. - hey, it's $100! it can only get a few sounds, but they are good ones . . and did I mention it's only $100
those things are crazy! its the newer model of the epiphone galaxy but has an amzing tone!!!
Old 20th July 2006
  #26
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by-tor's Avatar
 

Budda

These amps sound amazing.
Old 20th July 2006
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
music friend's Avatar
 

Best I've heard after many, many, listening tests, in no order:

Hi Gain - Soldano SLO 100 or Cornford Ritchie Kotzen

Budget Hi Gain - Traynor YBA1, Marshall JCM 800 (stacked inputs), Marshall JMP

Clean - Fender Deluxe Blackface (OG), Tone King Meteor II, Fender Twin

Class A - AC30 (some good reissues, some good old ones, just have to do some homework), AC50 head, Matchless DC30

Classic Marshall sound- Germino Amps


I would stay away from Mesa Boogie.






Old 20th July 2006
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Totally aside, mention guitar amps on Gearslutz and get 20 responses in 20 minutes! :-)
__________________


I know, I couldn't be happier. thanks everyone for all your responses !!! I kind of new this would be a hot topic.
Old 20th July 2006
  #29
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GYang's Avatar
For sound and versatility packed in the most reliable modern package amp ENGL 670 Special Edition. It will cover 90% of what you might need.
Well, add Vox AC30 and Fender Twin Reverb, if you need those sounds.
Old 20th July 2006
  #30
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robmix's Avatar
I'd get the same five amps I already have:

Dr Z. Mazerati - the amp that everyone tries to buy from me !!!

Top Hat Emplexador - two flavors of Marhsall

Orange AD-30 - classic rock tones

Mesa Dual Rec - for all your heavy stuff

Marshall JMPmkII - when nothing else will do

Add the Mesa 2x12 and an Orange 4x12 and there's nothing you can't record.
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