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What Are Your Current Top 3 Amps and Cabinets?

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  • #124078
    bonin in the boneyard
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    Okay, so now… I have no more SS stuff, and I suppose that I should. What would be the ultimate, simple, flexible SS amp? I’m not afraid to DIY.

     

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    #124086
    Jim C
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    Well you don’t like SWR so that’s out.  Too bad since a mint SM500 was $250 shipped to my house.   Maybe rack mounted pre-amp / power amp?   Still have an Ashdown ABM500 and a GK 1001RB that I’d recommend assuming you like the signature GK sound.  I won’t recommend an Ampeg 3Pro or 7Pro. I love Ampeg but neither worked for me.  If you don’t mind the weight, I’ve used 4 Pro’s on back line gigs and thought they slayed.  Haven’t tried a Mesa but all the other Class D’s didn’t work for me. MB, Aguilar, GK, and I forget the other. No slam and adding bass made mud and didn’t add any heft to the note.  Some guys love em though.

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    #124095
    Armyadarkness
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    Okay, so now… I have no more SS stuff, and I suppose that I should. What would be the ultimate, simple, flexible SS amp? I’m not afraid to DIY.

    Oh man… The hook is sunk deep with you bro. I hope Jesus lets you win the lottery.

    First, whack the driver, then, off the passengers. I want everyone in the car whacked off.
    ... Al Capone

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    #124104
    Armyadarkness
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    Well you don’t like SWR so that’s out. Too bad since a mint SM500 was $250 shipped to my house. Maybe rack mounted pre-amp / power amp? Still have an Ashdown ABM500 and a GK 1001RB that I’d recommend assuming you like the signature GK sound. I won’t recommend an Ampeg 3Pro or 7Pro. I love Ampeg but neither worked for me. If you don’t mind the weight, I’ve used 4 Pro’s on back line gigs and thought they slayed. Haven’t tried a Mesa but all the other Class D’s didn’t work for me. MB, Aguilar, GK, and I forget the other. No slam and adding bass made mud and didn’t add any heft to the note. Some guys love em though.

    Love SWR and technically, I still have the SM900, however, “simple and light” are not properties which it displays. It’s not a head to just flip on and go in a pinch, it’s a studio head.

    As for the SVT3; I adore the tone, but I never bought one because the watts were so low… Then, when I no longer cared about watts, the reliability of the head was seriously in question… accompanied by extreme over-pricing. Overpriced for a Chinese head which was reliable, stupid overpriced for one which was not.

    I never played through a GK, but this video has some really cool pickup information, and it’s a musician whose bass sound I like… AND it looks like he uses the same cabs as I do, with GK heads.

    First, whack the driver, then, off the passengers. I want everyone in the car whacked off.
    ... Al Capone

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    #124108
    bonin in the boneyard
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    Oh man… The hook is sunk deep with you bro. I hope Jesus lets you win the lottery.

    I’m amp GAS free, thankfully.  It is possible!

    I mean, there’s one more I want to get, but I’ve already picked it out, tried it for an extended period of time, and sold another to make space for it.  I’m just waiting for the right deal to coincide with the timing of my allowance 🙂

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    #124112
    bonin in the boneyard
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    Well you don’t like SWR so that’s out. Too bad since a mint SM500 was $250 shipped to my house. Maybe rack mounted pre-amp / power amp? Still have an Ashdown ABM500 and a GK 1001RB that I’d recommend assuming you like the signature GK sound. I won’t recommend an Ampeg 3Pro or 7Pro. I love Ampeg but neither worked for me. If you don’t mind the weight, I’ve used 4 Pro’s on back line gigs and thought they slayed. Haven’t tried a Mesa but all the other Class D’s didn’t work for me. MB, Aguilar, GK, and I forget the other. No slam and adding bass made mud and didn’t add any heft to the note. Some guys love em though.

    Love SWR and technically, I still have the SM900, however, “simple and light” are not properties which it displays. It’s not a head to just flip on and go in a pinch, it’s a studio head.

    As for the SVT3; I adore the tone, but I never bought one because the watts were so low… Then, when I no longer cared about watts, the reliability of the head was seriously in question… accompanied by extreme over-pricing. Overpriced for a Chinese head which was reliable, stupid overpriced for one which was not.

    I never played through a GK, but this video has some really cool pickup information, and it’s a musician whose bass sound I like… AND it looks like he uses the same cabs as I do, with GK heads.

    Eff yeah.

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    #124128
    NSYMCE
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    Okay, so now… I have no more SS stuff, and I suppose that I should. What would be the ultimate, simple, flexible SS amp? I’m not afraid to DIY.

    The ultimate? A big scary 80s looking rack rig with some uptown channel strip, of course. Out of my three DIY rigs the one rack mounted one is likely to be the keeper, although it doesn’t really matter, they all sound essentially the same — with as little character as I can build into them. So, totally not your style, or most people’s for that matter. I can’t sell any of them legally though, and to me it’s not cool to sell non-approved Class D stuff.

    Since the last episode I have finally started my 100 watt-ish tube amp build though. I’m just gonna do the power amp part and then see what it wants for a front end. I’d like it to work for me for guitar too, more feasible since it has switching capability for half power. The vendors I’ve been getting parts from for this build have been amazing, you can tell they must be hungry. I’m going to want to pick your brain on cosmetics since it’s your bag, I’m thinking maybe two tone powder coat with laser etching for the control graphics. Anyhow, it’s been great to get away from battery powered carp a bit and work on something more substantial. One more round of parts orders and I could be making noise sometime next week. I had the chassis vendor do the heavy lifting on metalwork with his CNC cutter/router, what a luxury.

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    #124129
    bonin in the boneyard
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    Since the last episode I have finally started my 100 watt-ish tube amp build though. I’m just gonna do the power amp part and then see what it wants for a front end.

    I hope you post more about this project as it progresses.  Sounds cool!

    Are you using a particular amp design as a starting point?

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    #124144
    NSYMCE
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    Since the last episode I have finally started my 100 watt-ish tube amp build though. I’m just gonna do the power amp part and then see what it wants for a front end.

    I hope you post more about this project as it progresses. Sounds cool!

    Are you using a particular amp design as a starting point?

    I bought a few surplussed NOS Genz-Benz power amp boards and power transformers from some old horse. The boards are set up for either EL-34 or 6L6, so for this first build I chose EL-34 and the Hiwatt DR103 output trafo. I could maybe eke out a bit more power with a different OT and tubes in a later build, the PT is very robust. His design used a transformer driver inverter/driver section, which could be very cool for overdriven stuff. One main application is going to be slide bass, and a clean/dirty dual amp rig is probably in the cards, because I can.

    I may just start with some existing preamp boards I have left over from a preamp build I did for a friend back in 2013. I used one 6SL7 and two 6SN7 in that one, but I’m thinking 5751 and/or 12AU7 for the back part this time. Tone controls are active 3-band, more or less a true Baxandall config, not James stack like a B-15 or whatever. Here’s what that preamp sounded like on a gig, DI just after the preamp straight to the board:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuEoosHOwrI

    It sounds very different with his 6 string active bass though, naturally. Damian’s an Aguilar endorser, he just used this pre on casual weeknight dive gigs in town (PDX) once in a while along with his Aggie rig and someone happened to be shooting a promo vid that night.

     

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    #124149
    bonin in the boneyard
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    Wish I could hear more, but what I do hear sounds pretty good!

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    #124150
    Jim C
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    I never loved my GK MBF800.  Nothing wrong with it but not my thing.  Nearly sold it twice but it was the back up head.  Now it’s in a 2-space rack with an Ampeg tube pre and it kills in my basement.  Looks like we are playing outdoors on Saturday so maybe it will workout.   While the band is pretty tight, we normally rehearse once a week. It’s been over 2 months since I’ve seen my band.  Need to wood shed a little before the weekend…  Clam city ahead for the drumist. The keyboard player is rock solid as is the singer and one guitarist. And I’m a pro at faking it. Mistake? Hell no; play it twice in a row and it’s jazz baby.

     

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    #124158
    Jim C
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    Since the last episode I have finally started my 100 watt-ish tube amp build though. I’m just gonna do the power amp part and then see what it wants for a front end.

    I hope you post more about this project as it progresses. Sounds cool!

    Are you using a particular amp design as a starting point?

    I bought a few surplussed NOS Genz-Benz power amp boards and power transformers from some old horse. The boards are set up for either EL-34 or 6L6, so for this first build I chose EL-34 and the Hiwatt DR103 output trafo. I could maybe eke out a bit more power with a different OT and tubes in a later build, the PT is very robust. His design used a transformer driver inverter/driver section, which could be very cool for overdriven stuff. One main application is going to be slide bass, and a clean/dirty dual amp rig is probably in the cards, because I can.

    I may just start with some existing preamp boards I have left over from a preamp build I did for a friend back in 2013. I used one 6SL7 and two 6SN7 in that one, but I’m thinking 5751 and/or 12AU7 for the back part this time. Tone controls are active 3-band, more or less a true Baxandall config, not James stack like a B-15 or whatever. Here’s what that preamp sounded like on a gig, DI just after the preamp straight to the board:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuEoosHOwrI

    It sounds very different with his 6 string active bass though, naturally. Damian’s an Aguilar endorser, he just used this pre on casual weeknight dive gigs in town (PDX) once in a while along with his Aggie rig and someone happened to be shooting a promo vid that night.

    Holy shit. These guys deliver. You have to check them out. Great tune, great players, great singers, and they can perform live. Are they still together and do they tour. Love this band and I hate most. Good luck to them and your amp building. Bass sounds great as well as everything else.  Remote truck? Too good to be off the sound board. Very impressive.

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    #124160
    NSYMCE
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    Wish I could hear more, but what I do hear sounds pretty good!

    Here’s one with the active Sjkold, bass solo at around 4:30.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4e6Ow_QurE

    Crappy video quality, pretty decent band though.

     

     

     

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    #124165
    NSYMCE
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    Holy shit. These guys deliver. You have to check them out. Great tune, great players, great singers, and they can perform live. Are they still together and do they tour. Love this band and I hate most. Good luck to them and your amp building. Bass sounds great as well as everything else. Remote truck? Too good to be off the sound board. Very impressive.

    Thanks Jim. I wasn’t at that show but I did see the same production crew at that venue a month earlier on anothe RH date. No room for a truck, but they took splits on everything and brought in their own board.  After that first show I took the preamp back and modded it a bit and Damian has never asked for any more tweaks. Not sure if that band still exists, or who plays bass with them if so. These says Damian tours with Gino Vanelli, Les McCann, and his uncle Peter Erskine in various projects. He also plays with Skerik quite a bit, who’s a real trip and one of my favorite younger sax players.

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    #124231
    Jeff Preston
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    Thought that was Damian Erskine. He’s legit fo sho!

    JP
    G&L USA JB, FrankenJazzuar, Hartke 210 Combo, Darkglass B7K Ultra, Boss GT-1B, SansAmp Programmable BDDI, EBS Fuzzmo

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    #124233
    NSYMCE
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    Thought that was Damian Erskine. He’s legit fo sho!

    Yep, he’s been a friend since I mixed him on some Newgrass club dates with Tony Furtado quite a few years ago. We usually get to see him a few times a year with one band or another out here, Portland is only an hour away.

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    #124851
    metron
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    Top 3? Mesa 400+ and a Walkabout at home just because those are what I have. With fancy Bergantino cabinets. I like the 400+ because its so bright it hurts then I run it into a cab without a tweeter for some reason. Its nice.

    WA was the 2nd best amp I ever owned! Not enough clean power with inefficient cabs though. I guess I miss that one AND the V4B. Why do I have to play so damn loud in rock bands? ………………………….. Oh, I remember now. It keeps the voices in my head quiet

    Agreed sometimes the WA is enough but usually not. I love it in that zone where it actually grinds pretty good. Same with the V-4B. Two of the best sounding amps I’ve ever had.

    The 400+ is really great too. I can say I use it all the time because I haven’t had a gig since 2019 so I don’t have to carry it anywhere ever. So it’s really great especially in a road ready case.

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    #124852
    metron
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    Okay, so now… I have no more SS stuff, and I suppose that I should. What would be the ultimate, simple, flexible SS amp? I’m not afraid to DIY.

    Mesa strikes again! Super cool stuff. If I could have anything I wanted, that head with a simulation of the 400/400+ graphic instead of the subway pre would also be neat. I know people aren’t into sliders these days so not doing that makes complete sense but still. Love the 400+ geq.

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    #124894
    bonin in the boneyard
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    I know people aren’t into sliders these days so not doing that makes complete sense but still. Love the 400+ geq.

    Darkglass seems to be doing a pretty good job of bringing sliders back.

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    #125127
    Armyadarkness
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    I know people aren’t into sliders these days so not doing that makes complete sense but still. Love the 400+ geq.

    Darkglass seems to be doing a pretty good job of bringing sliders back.

    I like sliders, but I don’t have any now to slide.

    When I was 17 years old, there wasnt a car on the road without one of these babies…

    Vintage Car Equalizer Booster

    First, whack the driver, then, off the passengers. I want everyone in the car whacked off.
    ... Al Capone

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