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Good Solid-State Amps
 
 
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Author Good Solid-State Amps
estragon
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Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Good Solid-State Amps Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cause fuck tubes, man. Mainly looking to play freeform guitar wreckage in the vein of Keiji Haino and the Dead C, will probably also be used for some more chromatic projects I have in the works. I already have a good little tube amp (Diason Tallboy) and an 80 watt Roland something (not a Cube or Jazz Chorus) which is just okay.

What I like:
Feedback
Early Breakup (depends on the amp)
Sufficient volume
Spring Reverb
Reliability
Portability (I don't really have the means to lug around a quaddie w/ 200w head)

What I dislike:
Lots of knobs
Built in FX/models/blergh
Creamy Clapton tones
Approval from Johnny DeMarco

Some good preamp/pedal recommendations for added dirt would also be greatly appreciated.
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Just me
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll get killed for this, but I like Peavey for transistor amps. (Older ones without all the digital crap.) A Deuce or Artist come to mind first.
An old MXR Distortion makes things very dirty. Taping a couple strips of parchment paper to the speaker cone will really get 'em buzzing.

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dualmono
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Check out the Lunchbox.
http://www.ztamplifiers.com/products/

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Christopher Winkels
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I used to love the '80s Roland Cube series amps back when I actually tried to play guitar.

I have no idea if it's rose-tinted nostalgia glasses or actual affinity for the sound, but I rather liked mine . The chorus circuits on them were fantastic and the overdrive wasn't bad either.
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stk
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How 'bout a Roland JC-120 (I have an old one, dunno about the reissues)?
Bulletproof reliable, great spring 'verb, enough volume to compete with almost anything and still take your fucking head off.

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sduck
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are something like 9,583,583 kinds of solid state guitar amps. And some of them are even pretty good. You should be able to find one that you like fairly easily - just go to any guitar store and try a bunch of them. I had one of those auld peavey things justme mentioned, played it in bands and it sounded ok. The second guitarist in one of my bands had a music man amp that kicked ass. Yamaha had a line of solid state amps back in the late 70's that absolutely ruled. And never forget Sunn amps. The Crate powerblock is awesome.
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estragon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

stk wrote:
How 'bout a Roland JC-120 (I have an old one, dunno about the reissues)?
Bulletproof reliable, great spring 'verb, enough volume to compete with almost anything and still take your fucking head off.


Nice amps, but the problem is that the prices they go for here (Australia) are fucking ridiculous - I may as well save up an extra hundo or two and get one of those newer tube Fenders, or even an old Twin. It's the same with old Sunns, especially in a post-Sunn 0))) world.

Quote:
Yamaha had a line of solid state amps back in the late 70's that absolutely ruled.


Oh fuck, I forgot about these. I've seen a bunch of people play them and sound real good. There's a second hand music store near my uni that carries a bunch of shit like this, I should check in soon.

Could anyone recommend this? Fulfils most of my critera and is literally around the corner from my house.
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sduck
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ya, that peavey is of the vintage that justme and I were talking about. That may even be the model I had - can't remember, it was 1976 that I had it - that was a few years ago.

And since you uttered his name you must submit to your punishment.



And just when you thought you were safe - there's 2 of them!


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Last edited by sduck on Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Just me
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I could make a simple demo of the sound of one those old Peavey's, but I'm not sure I could suffer the barbs that would ensue about my 'playing'. (or complete lack of abilty to do so.)
Pawn shops (Or whatever they are called down under) are a gold mine for amps. Around here, you can expect to pay abot 20-40cents on the dollar for a 'name' amp and 20 to 50 dollars for any no-name amp.
Fender Princeton Chorus 212's are around $100 at any given time and sound pretty good. Roland JC-120's are always around $400. Kustom Amps are always inexpensive compared to Sunn or Vox.

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tuj
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fender Squire Frontman 15R. Spring reverb, dual gains plus master, 3 band eq. Surprisingly loud. I used to piss off a bandmate who had a Marshall half-stack because this little thing was louder. Very light.

My fav cheap solid state available new is the Line 6 Spider IV. Pretty good little amp.

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Morley
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Session Sessionette is cool.
I love my old HH VS Musician. Massively loud. Early breakup? No but it has an overdrive option which is pretty cool..
These were used by tons of artists in their day..

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indexofmetals
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

an older peavey and if you're going for the sound of those guys (thumbs up) get your guitar tech to have a look at it and tell him to make it bullet proof. I had an old peavey (used a jpn jazzmaster) when I lived near Windsor, Canada and I continually destroyed the amp doing the type of sound I think you're aiming for and eventually I showed the guitar guy the type of thing I was doing to the amp and he set it right and it never blew again.

btw, take a listen to flying saucer attack

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Tall Midget
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

+1 on the ZT Lunchbox, those amps are LOUD. Tech 21 amps are nice too.
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stk
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

estragon wrote:
stk wrote:
How 'bout a Roland JC-120 (I have an old one, dunno about the reissues)?
Bulletproof reliable, great spring 'verb, enough volume to compete with almost anything and still take your fucking head off.

Nice amps, but the problem is that the prices they go for here (Australia) are fucking ridiculous - I may as well save up an extra hundo or two and get one of those newer tube Fenders, or even an old Twin. It's the same with old Sunns, especially in a post-Sunn 0))) world.


Yeah, I bought a "vintage" one about a year ago, paid probably much more (1k) than I should have, but then I've always wanted one so :shrug: ..just should've given in and bought one back when they went for $400..

Quote:
There's a second hand music store near my uni that carries a bunch of shit like this, I should check in soon.


Are you in Melbourne, by any chance? And if so, you talking about the Swop Shop on Elgin, down from Melb Uni?

Edit: oh, and +1 on the older Peaveys.
Years back I had an Austin 400, 2x12" + horn, spring 'verb, originally designed for lap steel players, great amp.

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estragon
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes and yes. Excellent establishment (Swop Shop, not Unimelb).
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stk
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

estragon wrote:
Yes and yes. Excellent establishment (Swop Shop, not Unimelb).
hihi indeed, place has claimed much of my disposable income for the past 17 years or so!
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denim dan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

best solid state amps ever in my opinion, and i've played quite a few (in addition to the tubies of course!)

whether "bass" model or "guitar" model, they absolutely rule!



and stay away from the new production "acoustic" brand heads and amps. i'm not sure what they do well other than coffee shop struggling artist bass tone, but they are a far cry from their vintage counterparts.
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JRock
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My Fender Deluxe 1 x 12 is my workhorse. It's awesome for metal and hard rock. It has clean and distortion. No fancy shit. Distortion is 1 On/Off switch, Gain, Volume, Bass/Mid/High.

It has a spring-reverb that I never use as well.

It sounds so good I don't use a pedal.

It's so loud I've never actually turned it up all the way. oops

And it's portable enough that I used to carry it on my shoulder, as well as my guitar, to the bar about 8 blocks away for open-mic nights. (YMMV)

I get everything from nasally punk to Bottom-Heavy Chugga-Chugga.

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Danotranto
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


sunn beta lead


these are legendary for being awesome and crushingly loud, lightweight too, kinda rare though

http://sunn.ampage.org/site/museum/betalead/

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denim dan
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

the sunn beta lead, unless you're going to be CRUSHING it in larger venues, really needs an attenuator. that thing is so loud. it sounds like shit though (imho) when it's not dimed. and if you do use a sunn beta and crush it, please get one of these and take it next level.

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de_raaf
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

i have an old yamaha b212, cheap, loud ,kind like fendertwin, in controls etc
good solid state amp from the 70's
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Danotranto
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I thought attenuators were only useful with tube amps?
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denim dan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"attenuator" might have been a little misleading there. that word is specifically used in the guitar marketing world to describe something that lets you pump the glow through the tubes while keeping a reasonable output level. i should have said attenuation, generally speaking.

while on most ss amps an attenuator or brake or power soak is useless because of ss output circuits, on a few they really help the cause. the sunn amps in particular. think of it as a secondary (or tertiary) master volume mixer control. the amp head sends to the speakers and the speakers distort, etc. to produce a sound that you either want, or don't want when it's really loud. using an attenuator in between with an ss amp, you can "trick" the system into producing something you want. obviously an attenuator on a built-in ss combo amp would be pretty useless.

case in point: i played and toured all over N.A. for several years in a few bands, "punk" genre i suppose you could say. we would rarely get our amps mic'd, much of it was diy showspace type stuff. before one of our last tours my sound city 120 head took a total shit, so i got a sunn concert lead instead to drive my ampeg v4 cab.

with the sunn cranked i could get this blistering tone that had a HUGE amount of attack in it, which i loved. but it would drown out everything but the cymbals. this attack didn't really exist at lower volumes, the tonal nature was kind of the same at low vol, but the sonic quality was greatly diminished. it sounded farty. few days later my pal gave me like some $10 volume box attenuator pedal, and that absolutely solved the problem.

i could get the same tone, with all the color and expression i wanted from my playing, at a reasonable enough volume.

a volume pedal would work, also. i didn't have luck with only the volume pots on the guitar though.
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Tubeampguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

bump!

See my screen name eek!
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sduck
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's nothing in this thread for you then, move along

There are plenty of tube amp threads - feel free to sing along!

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Nuuj
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I use a Gallien Krueger Backline 600 into Ampeg cabinets for both my Bass and my modular. I have a friends who uses it or guitar. Great SS distortion.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

sduck wrote:
There's nothing in this thread for you then, move along

There are plenty of tube amp threads - feel free to sing along!
angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! Haha! you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn you kids get off my lawn Russian Roulette Russian Roulette Russian Roulette Russian Roulette Russian Roulette Russian Roulette
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Kent
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My favorite in the "If I could only keep just one" vein is the Crate VTX200S. An outstanding amplifier in many, many ways.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:20 am    Post subject: Re: Good Solid-State Amps Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have a PCL Vintage Amp Stagemaster 75 which I'm using with a Tube Town 1x12" box with a Jensen NeoDym. It has been developed by Jrgen Rath who is quite well known for his amp designs in Germany.

Quote:

What I like:
Feedback dunno (never tried)
Early Breakup (depends on the amp) dunno
Sufficient volume check
Spring Reverb check
Reliability check
Portability (I don't really have the means to lug around a quaddie w/ check200w head)

What I dislike:
Lots of knobs check
Built in FX/models/blergh check
Creamy Clapton tones dunno
Approval from Johnny DeMarco check

Some good preamp/pedal recommendations for added dirt would also be greatly appreciated.


I like to use a Digitech BadMonkey before going into it.

The downsides are:
- This model is not produced anymore (the SM60 mini-top is somewhat similar)
- Rarely be found on the second hand market
- I guess they are not that easy to get outside Europe
- Distorts pretty fast in the lead channel when not modified

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MrBiggs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Resurrecting a dead thread rather than starting a new one.

I was staying at pulse-divider's studio in Akron last month and played through this amazing crazy solid-state amp he has. I also recently built a Noisy Cricket 1w amp in a pedal enclosure and really really like it. My tube amps (a Rivera Venus 3 and a Vox Night Train) are both terrific, but break up quick and I often just want a nice glassy clean tone and low noise to run with pedals.

I have a 2x10 cabinet wherein I plug the Noisy Cricket and the Vox, and I'm thinking I'd like to find a solid state head with personality. I don't need or want DSP or effects or modeling. I might even end up finding a DIY project and building it, so recommendations to that end are nice as well.

Hit me!

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Just me
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As much as I hate to say it publicly (not really, I like this stuff!) Try older Peavey amps. They are dirt cheap, bullet proof and some are REALLY good. The red stripe envoy110 or Bandit 112 are favorites here. The old Artist 40 and Studio Plus were super flexible little amps. Most of the time, a speaker swap to a prefered voicing can make them shine for a lot less than the cost of a tube amp or mess of pedals to get a sound.
And I'll admit to there only being 3 Peavey, 2 Fender and a Blackstar in the studio now. (Not counting 3 Leslies) The Bandit is the one hooked to modular today.

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MrBiggs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks. Yeah, Peavey. I had a Peavey keyboard amp in the 80s.
Ideally I find a head to use with my 2x10 cabinet rather than a combo.

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colorbars
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Any of the Roland JC's nanners
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beyourdog
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fender Amps from the 90s are relatively solid and sound OK.

I had a friend who had a Fender Performer and we pushed it to its limits....

I must admit I still had my Fender Bronco bought in 1995 or 1996 (distortions i wild), it works well, I use it with my Moog, I use it with my guitar...not perfect, but I still enjoy it despite having as well a good old Fender tweed...

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Gripp
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Can't believe nobody mentioned Pearce yet. seriously, i just don't get it
I have a G2r and it really is a happening ss amp. Good feel and tone both clean and dirty I think.
It is very patchable too with a lot of ways to split the two channels and use the stereo power amp.
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sduck
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pearce amps never really made it here in the US - they're really rare. And I seem to recall that they had some kind of bad reputation for reliability back in their day, but that may be incorrect. I always wanted to try one though - they had some great ads.

Edit: just did some research, for some reason I was thinking they were British made or something. But they were made in Buffalo New York. There are a few for sale on eBay right now. Maybe not as rare as I was thinking!

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sonicwarrior
Super Deluxe Wiggler


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Last Visit: 20 Dec 2014

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Location: Cologne, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

sduck wrote:
Pearce amps never really made it here in the US - they're really rare.

I guess Rath and PCL Vintage amps are rare in the US, too. The don't have a distributor, so you have to order directly although I bought mine some years ago from Tube Town in Germany. But this also means customizations are very easy to order. Since I wrote my posting in 2012 I got some other loud speakers: WGS Retro 30 and Invader and use them with the Stagemaster 75 when I want more color. They are meant to be used with my Gossmann isolation box which enables quick exchanging of the loud speakers in a very clever way. I hope I'm not becoming a loud speaker collector because of that feature. eek!

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MrBiggs
I see dead people


Joined: 09 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

colorbars wrote:
Any of the Roland JC's nanners


There's a mid-90's JC55 for sale near me for $250. I might take a chance on it this weekend.
What I'm hoping is whether it's easy enough to unplug the internal Roland 8" speakers and run cables to my 2x10, which I have wired so that I can use each speaker individually at 8Ω or at once at 16Ω.*
If so, I might be tempted, as a "hey let's make this more hassle than we should!" kind of project, pull the chassis and see if I can make it a head for my cabinet.

*(I found a 2x10 cabinet put to trash on the sidewalk last year loaded with two crummy Peavey drivers, some awful wiring, and a terrible smell. I ordered a couple of Webers and wired it so I could use one at a time at 8Ω (stereo!), or both at 16Ω. It sounds really really good with my little 1w Noisy Cricket, and just amazing with my Rivera Venus 3. I often unplug the Rivera's 12" Celestion and use this 2x10. Smell is gone now too.)

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MrBiggs
I see dead people


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Question about the Jazz Chorus amps, specifically the JC55, if anyone knows.

How are the speakers connected to the chassis/amp? Are there two cables, one for each speaker? Would it be simple to merely unplug the two speakers and plug in my 2x10 (wired where I can use each speaker individually...)?

My current combo allows me to just unplug the 12" speaker -- it's got a TS jack connecting the speaker, which I can just unplug from the chassis. I haven't found any photos online that allow me to see if the JC55 is similar.

thanks

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moremagic
Learning to Wiggle


Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Last Visit: 26 Sep 2014

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Location: NC

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just me wrote:
As much as I hate to say it publicly (not really, I like this stuff!) Try older Peavey amps. They are dirt cheap, bullet proof and some are REALLY good. The red stripe envoy110 or Bandit 112 are favorites here. The old Artist 40 and Studio Plus were super flexible little amps. Most of the time, a speaker swap to a prefered voicing can make them shine for a lot less than the cost of a tube amp or mess of pedals to get a sound.
And I'll admit to there only being 3 Peavey, 2 Fender and a Blackstar in the studio now. (Not counting 3 Leslies) The Bandit is the one hooked to modular today.
seconding this
i have an ancient rage 158 which is a fine little practice amp, and with the preamp out, its my main distortion unit!
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MitchXI
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I recently pulled my old ibanez sound wave 65 out of the closet, it's a bass amp I found myself with in high school. Not expensive.

Together with my 40$ undesirable rackmount multi-effect processor I'm getting luxurious, squashy stuff out of it that I had previously thought was not allowed in the solid state game.

The conclusion I'm drawing is this: any solid state amp will sound great with a bit of no-name compression and reverse reverb.
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Liquidcolor
Metalbox


Joined: 24 Jan 2008
Last Visit: 30 Oct 2014

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Location: Flint

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just repaired a bandmates Richenbacker TR25. Luscious tremolo and 'verb and "interesting" distortion.
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Crowyote
Common Wiggler


Joined: 04 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I really want to get a Rivera Sedona 55 or Lite Split Grill. Supposedly the solid-state channel of the amp is really clean and noiseless as is the tube side of the amp.

I used Fishman Performers/SA220/Loudboxes for years . .. eventually I grew to hate the hiss they put out. Really nasty to listen to for hours on end.

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