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Ultimate Guitar Amp

  1. Jun 3, 2008 #1
    What is the ultimate tube amp?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2008 #2
    Old fender twin, can't beat it.

    Or a Dr. Z they sound freakin great.
  4. Jun 4, 2008 #3
    A couple hundred year old spruce top flamenco with Augustine red strings.
  5. Jun 4, 2008 #4
    I'm surprised Turbo hasn't commented yet. If I wasn't just a casual picker I probably have one to recommend.
  6. Jun 5, 2008 #5
    Vox AC30

    John, Paul and George from the Beatles used it,
    Pete Townshend from The Who
    Radiohead.... uses it, enough said.
    list goes on but those are just a few I recall..
  7. Jun 5, 2008 #6


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    Hard to beat a Fender Tweed Deluxe (think early ZZ Top). I built a clone of the 5E3 model Deluxe, installed a Weber speaker designed to match the early Jensens, and it was a killer. The great part about these amps is that you can jumper the channels (they are in phase with each other) and get some really fat tones that you can't get from either channel separately.

    Another fantastic amp is the Carlson Turbo Pup. 40 watts through 2 10" Weber California speakers. The builder is a good friend of mine and I encouraged him to get into production. I have serial number 2, although since I never play out anymore, my little Vibro-Champs are all I really need, and I ought to sell it. Those are 40 LOUD watts.
  8. Jun 5, 2008 #7
    Turbo, a friend of mine and I are planning on making stompboxes (all types of pedals, except whammies and wahs, too hard) to pick up some cash this summer. Think it'll work out?

    My friend has a nice Marshall (dunno any model or what have you, it's pretty new and was only $150-200) that is sweet, with AWESOME distortion built in.
  9. Jun 6, 2008 #8


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    A nice little 30 watt Orange.
  10. Jun 6, 2008 #9
    Marshall is known for for good "crunch" although if you mean built in distortion as in it has its own distortion or overdrive effects built in then that is a different story. But Marshall amps are known for having a wonderful crunch sound from just cranking the gain, volume and adjusting contour on what ever non-clean channel is given.

    really the type of amp you need is a bit based on what kind of music you want to be playing. ie. you may not want to play your cat stevens covers from the same amp as your slayer covers. Some amps are great overdriven to the max, others shine with brilliant clean channels. I don't know if there is one "ultimate amp"

    I currently live in an apartment and thus can't play screaming loud. I use a 30 watt Marshall MG30DFX which is solid state and not tube but as said earlier, it has good crunch. It has a decent reverb effect so I can play clean channel fairly well though my Danelectro electric has some weird buzz issues so a noise suppression pedal would be nice like a Boss NS-2
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  11. Jun 6, 2008 #10


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    If you want to do that for fun, go for it. If you want to do it for money, you're going to lose your shirts. You'll be competing with the big boys, and they can afford to stockpile metal cases, drill them, powder-paint them install switches, circuit board, and jacks and still sell the stomp-boxes cheap enough so that stores can retail them for $50 or so. Unless you buy a LOT of cases, switches, jacks, etc, you will never get them cheaply enough to compete on price. Also, the big boys have teams of people populating the boards, wave-soldering them and testing them, so their production rates are very high and production costs are minimized.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade, but you'd be better off buying transformers, chassis, tube sockets, tag-board, etc and building simple but sweet-sounding tube amps like the Tweed Deluxe or a souped up version of the Champ. At least you'd be targeting an audience that is used to paying boutique-amp builders. You still probably won't make a lot of money, but you'll have a more salable product.
  12. Jun 6, 2008 #11
    Yeah, but we live in a hick town. There's a fairly nice music store here, and in the next town over. Just over the border (NM-CO that is) there's a few nice music stores. We were thinking, both to cut costs and make a statement and selling point, that we could scrounge parts for these so they'd be "green" pedals with recycled parts. Tubes scare the sh!t out of me, with their huge voltages and such. Ebay is an option too. BTW, both my friend and I have experience in electronics like this, so its not like it's a brand new thing where we have to learn to solder, etc.
  13. Jun 6, 2008 #12


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    It sounds fun, so why not?

    BTW, a nice used Marshall Studio 15 showed up at my friend's music store, selling for about $300. I would have bought it had I not just completed building my Tweed Deluxe clone (for lots more money than that, BTW). It's a 2-6V6 amp and though I am not real fond of Marshall's build quality, it sounded pretty good.
  14. Jun 6, 2008 #13
    Yeah, I need to get an electric, like a Squier Strat, to screw around on. I've played cello, am learning mandolin, and can play some guitar so I have a fairly good grasp of basic music theory so it's not like totally learning from scratch.
  15. Jun 6, 2008 #14


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    If you're just starting, here's a secret. Don't concentrate on learning lots of different chords in the root position - you will learn them of course, but if you want to be able to advance very quickly, you should try to concentrate on barre chords using major, minor and 7th voicings at first. This will give you the ability to jam with other musicians, and change keys at will. If you learn Stormy Monday, for instance and you normally play it in the key of A, and a singer wants to sit in and prefers to sing that song in the key of B, you just move your barre progression two frets toward the bridge and play away.

    If you want to practice switching smoothly from major to minor progressions, get an early Allman Brothers CD and play along. Their songs were structured so that Dwayne and Dickie could swap leads - Dwayne using his open-tuned slide guitar for major runs and Dickie playing his leads in usually in minors or minor7ths.
  16. Jun 6, 2008 #15
    Wow, that was sudden immersion. For the most part I just like to come up with stuff and learn some of my favorite songs. And this mandolin playing is getting a little annpying as their are some wierd chords that are hard as hell to hold.
  17. Jun 6, 2008 #16


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    I use a lot of barre chords - actually almost exclusively. For example, play an E minor at the nut. Easy! just two strings are fingered. Now instead of fretting those notes with the index and middle finger, fret them with the middle and ring finger. Why? So you can play a progression of minor chords up and down the fret-board using your index finger as a "nut" spanning the strings. You can extend this logically to A minor, A7, E7, and other simple chords that you can make with your middle, ring, and little fingers, and use your index finger as a bar to act as a movable "nut". What's even better is that you can develop little bends, runs, etc to toss in between the chords. I don't mind playing rhythm so some other player can show off their chops, but "chord, chord, chord" gets pretty monotonous when you can throw in a double stop bend or little glisses here and there as accents.

    Learn all the simpler chords that require 3 or fewer fingers in the root position, and play them with your middle, ring, and little fingers only, so that you can quickly slide to another fret with your index finger barring the new "root" fret. These chords are generally majors, minors, and 7ths of E, A, and D. If you learn to make these with those last three fingers instead of the first three fingers like the stupid chord books show you, you can progress VERY rapidly. Now you don't have to slide one chord pattern up and down the neck - that sounds pretty lame, but think about what you can do if you can make E, A, and D variants in a single position anywhere on the neck by barring the "root" fret with your index finger. If you can do this, you've developed the skill to play 1-4-5 chord progressions (the roots of blues and rock) anywhere on the neck (in any key required). You'll learn more, of course, but you should make this your first goal - learn to make simple 2-3 finger chords with fingers 2,3,4 and leave that critical index finger free to bar the fret that you want to play at.
  18. Jun 6, 2008 #17
    I'll keep in touch if/ when I come in need of a tutor/ help. Thanks
  19. Jun 6, 2008 #18


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    It's a lot easier to show than to tell, and you are on the opposite corner of the country, but if you read my last post and take it to heart, it will get you a LONG way fast. I have played blues and rock with some pretty talented guitarists, and they all have mastered these basic techniques. Very few of them have practiced scales, modes, etc, except as ways to add touches to their solos. In fact, of the most talented and soulful guitarists I know, not a single one can read music.

    One father used to make a 60-mile round-trip to a blues jam that I hosted just so his son (too young to be allowed into a tavern unaccompanied) could play and learn. On breaks, that kid would ask me how I made certain bends, or transitioned from one chord to another in a way that reminded him of some particular musician. It was always fun to see him try to work these techniques into his playing and it was really gratifying when he finally nailed it and looked over with a big grin.
  20. Jun 6, 2008 #19


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    Mesa Boogie?
  21. Jun 6, 2008 #20
    Yeah, I can (used to be able to) read music, but prefer tabs so much.
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