Billy Zoom's Jet Set

Your Amps with X

1

I know you were known for playing a super reverb but I have fuzzy memories about a thread here from years ago when you were discussing another fender model amp that you were using when you started to modify amp circuits to get the desired tone.

Another thing I am curious about is that if it was a super reverb that whole time those amps are only 40 watts and X was playing big clubs so I would expect you to be playing something with even more power than 40 watts.

whats the story?

In a total side note I do want to say I hope your health is well.

3

Be patient. BZ is dealing with a lot these days.

4

I never used a Super Reverb with X. I used a hot rodded 1960 Concert in the beginning, then a hot rodded Quad Reverb briefly. In 1984, I designed and built an amp for touring with X and I used that on every gig from 1984 until 2014. I am now using that 20 watt Cowboy Amp that I built a while back. I'm finding 20 watts to be a lot of fun. BZ

5

Did the hot rods boost the output at all? Still only working with 40 watts. I dunno I am having a really hard time with amps in a live setting.

I am often told by the sound guy that I need to turn down but if I turn down I am not able to get feedback or the desired tone. I also tried playing with the amp facing back at the wall and miced but I that screwed with getting the necessary feed back.

I feel like I need a smaller amp to apease the sound guys and maybe the audience members but I cant get the guitar to sound good without enough power... really high end frequencies seem to be the biggest problem

6

I can't wait to hear you thru a 20 watt amp. Last time I saw you I was belly up against the stage in front of your big amp. No ear plugs. Still can't hear anything over 10kHz!

7

I can't wait to hear you thru a 20 watt amp. Last time I saw you I was belly up against the stage in front of your big amp. No ear plugs. Still can't hear anything over 10kHz!

– Powdog

I saw them this winter in Seattle and the amp (and guitar and the guy actually playing it) sounded great

I saw them on the night they did the semi acoustic style setup

8

Im curious about the distortion back in the Los Angeles through See How We Are days. Distortion pedal / in-amp distortion?

In college my band covered X songs and I used a Rat. Still have it

I saw X in the 80's but didn't notice the pedal setup

9

Powerjet, what guitar are you using? I have been having a lot of fun with feedback out of my 15 watt tube amp and my falcon and CCjr. I have it on a stand and it is pushing 2 12" speakers. It's loud enough for small clubs and practice...

10

Powerjet, what guitar are you using? I have been having a lot of fun with feedback out of my 15 watt tube amp and my falcon and CCjr. I have it on a stand and it is pushing 2 12" speakers. It's loud enough for small clubs and practice...

– Matt Vogt

I am using a 2007 powerjet. which feeds back and but at high volumes... and I like playing loud but I am self aware enough that I dont want to just be some loud ass guy wailing away on stage and it is just drowning out everything else or just killing the people in the front row

11

You're too loud. Pack up your sh** and get out of my club.

12

The 1960 Concert amp was 110 watts through eight 10" Jensens. The Quad Reverb was about 120 watts through four vintsge Celestion Green Back G12-30's. The amp I built in '84 is 55watts or 110 watts, with one or two Celestion 4-12" cabinets. I haven't had it on high power since 1985, and I only used both cabnets for the first year. It's very loud. The Cowboy is 20 watts with one Celestion Vintage 30.

Since I already explained that I never used a Super Reverb, I can't tell you if it was 40 watts, no matter how many times you ask.

13

THis is the amp I used from 1984 to 2014. THis photo was in Brazil a few years ago with Pearl Jam.

14

Hard to find a good photo of the Concert. It was pre-computer era, so most photos are somewhere in a box instead of on a computer drive. It was a 5G12, brown, and it's sitting on a matching brown 4-10" cabinet. The bottom cabinet was actually an optional ext. cab from one of the original Zoom combo amps back when I had my first boutique amp company in the mid-seventies. I still record with that cabinet frequently. Smokey Hormel has the Concert Amp now.

15

And the Quad Reverb, which I used on the 1983/early'84 tour. Ultra-Linear, 120-ish watts, vintage Celestions. When this was taken, I was already building my X super amp.

16

And now I use this. 20 watts, one Vintage 30. I can get any kind of tone I want, and my ears stay happy, even with the hardest power chords. I guess I have nothing left to prove, volume-wise.

17

And always remember: The soundman is there to make the band sound good...not the other way around.

18

I'm back to nothing but single ended amps and loving it. There's just something to them that makes your balls feel they can roar yet keep your ears from exploding. At least for now I'm limiting myself to 20 watts or less.

19

billy the 1960 fender concerts I was looking up all came back as 4x1- 40 watt models. Can you post the 110 watt 8x10 model you used? You did answer my question in that you had quite a bit of power going on stage.. The super reverb comment is obsolete at this point so ignore.

here is the concert model that kept coming up for me looking like this

20

That quad reverb silver jet photo was posted somewhere deep on the internet and read super reverb which is where I got my original comment from.

I agree with the sound guy being their to help me sound good... hence the reason I started this thread... my amps are typically to loud for the clubs we are playing (no more than 350 cap) and sounds guys get upset but I cant seem to get the feedback or tone when going smaller (or havent found the right amp yet) Also the drummer complains that he cant hear guitar (typically sound guy mistakes)

slow and steady but we are still in the stages where we get a good sound guy 50% of the time and a proper sound check 25% of the time

21

I think we have some language issues. Here in the states, if we say something is Hot Rodded, that means it has been modified and is no longer a stock item. Stock brown Concert Amps were around 55 watts and were completely clean.

22

Billy it is all there. The end of the first sentence of this thread was that I had fuzzy memories of you modifying amp circuits... So you answered my question again... Thanks for the info. I live in NYC by the way and am from Kentucky originally incase anyone cares :/

23

Sorry, didn't mean to offend you. Our styles of communicating weren't gelling, but since you're from Kentucky I'll treat you as a friend. By the time X started, I'd already finished Electronics school, opened my own custom amp shop in Hollywood, and had my own boutique amp line for a short time (apparently these ventures require something called "capital" rather than just a bunch of neat ideas). My point is that there was very little Fender left in the Quad; mostly just the cabinet, transformers, and knobs. The first two X albums were recorded mostly using a Traynor 50 watt bass head and the ZOOM 4-10" cabinet I talked about earlier. By the 3rd album, we were on Elektra and had enough time and roadies to have all of my amps ans guitars brought to the studio so I could just pick the most appropriate one. I doesn't seem to have helped much, but it was fun.

24

Here you can see that 4-10" ZOOM cabinet that I used on most X recordings. It's on it's side in this photo because that head won't sit over the handle. It has the cheap ceramic Jensens. They sound great and aren't very efficient which helps keep the sound level down a few db.
I don't have the Traynor Bass head because it was never mine. It was John's first bass amp and he still has it. Terrible bass head, great guitar amp.

25

BTW, that's real 1962 Fender brown Tolex. I had a couple of rolls of it. Long story, but a great score, even in 1972.


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