Other Amps

a sad realization

1

Was out @ GC in Alexandria and they have this stunning Twin, better than it looks here, w/ paper, footswitch, and I say it's orignal cover, and tags -- straight outta 1979.... The Noble 135 Watt Beast. No one wants it. Of course it's heavy as hell.

Back then no one cared because it was pretty portable compared to a Marshall stack.

GC used is full of deserving silver panel Twins needing a home. Someone should get this

https://www.guitarcenter.co...

2

Every bar should have a Twin, you could show up and plug in.

3

The mention of a Twin Reverb or Super Reverb brings a certain feeling of nostalgia, with an inner dialogue that goes something like, "Gee, they're not expensive and I remember how good they sounded back when...." But in those days (the 70s) I can't recall the amp ever being miked, even on outdoor gigs. These days, the only time stage volume is an issue is when it is too loud. I brought a Deluxe Reverb to a show in a theatre last year and the sound guys told me the amp was too loud, and , "What were you using at the dress rehearsal? It was perfect." It was a Princeton Reverb.

So, on the one hand I agree with the idea that there is no reason not to have a Twin, or SR for that matter, until I think about lifting and moving them, and the fact that I could never play past two and a half on the volume knob. I'm not suggesting they are total dinosaurs; some people do still use them and take them to gigs or request them as backline, but if I did have one, it would sit unused most of the time, and I'm guessing it is the same for most of us. Still, they can be had for a song and yea, that one I had way back when really sounded great dialed up to eight on the volume knob.

4

Even guys like Marty Stuart used to blow loud thru Twins... they went to Princetons, which later agreed didn't quite cut, and moved up to Deluxes.

Still it's just weird how many clean nice ones are just sitting around here, in the modern world. Maybe all the better PA stuff caused it.

5

End of an era. There's no need to carry a heavy 85 watt amp when a light 15 watt amp will do. PA technology has much improved over the last 40 years. Interestingly, the 15 watt amps that started us out way back when are still viable today.

6

I have used Twins and Supers for gigs - the Super wasn't too bad to lug to gigs but the Twin was soooo heavy! Now of course I wouldn't even bother with a Super.

But the very small amps like the Princeton just don't cut it for me. They just don't have enough oomph without the low end blowing out. It may be heresy to some but a lot of the little Fenders need bigger transformers to sound a bit more solid IMO. I found from looking into Badcat 15W amps that a bigger set of transformers will help get a big amp sound from a small amp.

I would love it if Fender would do a line of amps similar in concept to their "Journeyman" guitars. They are guitars which look old and have all the bit we love from old guitars but a lot of the bits we don't like fixed. I would love a Fender Princeton with a bigger power transformer for example. I have built a tweed Vibrolux to original spec but with a bigger power tranny and it sounds just like an old Vibrolux but with twang power! Play rockabilly bass runs without low-end flapping. Lovely.

7

In graduate school I had an acoustic brand (raise your hand if you remember them) 6 x 10 cab, which I powered with a Kustom 100-watt head. I lived on the 3rd floor of a 19th century pile which housed theological school students and a few overflow grad school fools. I was one of those. (My roommate, Millard Fisher, was headed for the ministry. I wasn't.)

I played some jam gigs with area musicians. It being New Jersey and 1976, this meant a lot of Bruce covers in one configuration, and Peter Frampton, Bad Co, Skynyrd, and Allman Bros with the other.

I was 5'7" and weighed in at 120 lbs. It took me three trips up and down those cupped old stone staircases to get cab, head, guitar, and a couple pedals where they had to go. I embraced the cab - which came purt near up to my neck - clutched it to my chest, leaned back, and did what had to be done.

43 years later, my sad realization is that I was nuts.

8

I haven't used my Roland JC in years now... not quite so heavy as the twin, but heavy enough, dammitt. Still, it's a lightweight when compared to my old mainstay- Peavey Musician iii. The head alone was about 40 pounds, and the speaker box with 4 x12 Scorpions in it was another 50 or so. Even worse, in one band I also packed along a pair of 15" Black Widows in two homemade cabinets to use off the clean side of the Musician, which was doing double duty as my bass amp in that band (we traded instruments around as part of the act) Add in my Gretsch and Precision bass and I think the whole load was about 200 pounds of gear! To think I stopped being a drummer because the kits were too big and hard to move around!

I kept the whole thing in the basement (one flight of well-painted, shiny, slippery and narrow cement stairs down) in the house we lived in at the time and struggled weekly to bring everything upstairs on Thursdays and cram it all into my 83 Toyota Celica coupe, which thankfully had a folding rear seat or both guitar and bass would have risked being crushed on a weekly basis. It`s been three decades or more, but I can still recall the loading order

Trunk: two 15-in cabinets and gig bag with pedals, cords, mic, etc Mike stand (with base removed or it won`t fit!)

Back seat (folded): 4x12 cabinet and head. Lay the bass case on top and slide the Gretsch case between the big black box and the front seats. Leaves room for my then-new wife in the right front when she wanted to attend.

But she had to hold my stage wear in her lap.

9

Too late for the old far.., uhh, guys - but large cabs can be 'rolled' up stairs, end over end. It takes a bit of practice and planning, especially when you get to the 'caster' side. The trick is to get a solid purchase on a stair with each roll. I moved 2 X 15" bass cabs for years doing this. Never had a mishap or a back problem. It took less energy than pushing a car.

A few times, I moved a pair of Klipsch LaScala Industrials (160+ pound PA enclosures) up or down stairs alone. With this method, you are never lifting the full weight of the cabinet. Your back stays straight and you are using a bunch of mechanical advantage.

No one will find this useful............

10

Too late for the old far.., uhh, guys - but large cabs can be 'rolled' up stairs, end over end. It takes a bit of practice and planning, especially when you get to the 'caster' side. The trick is to get a solid purchase on a stair with each roll. I moved 2 X 15" bass cabs for years doing this. Never had a mishap or a back problem. It took less energy than pushing a car.

A few times, I moved a pair of Klipsch LaScala Industrials (160+ pound PA enclosures) up or down stairs alone. With this method, you are never lifting the full weight of the cabinet. Your back stays straight and you are using a bunch of mechanical advantage.

No one will find this useful............

– beatbyrd

Ya never know, I still have that JC downstairs... may try it.

11

It took less energy than pushing a car.

Well that right there is a ringing endorsement of this method!


My most colorful gear move saga (repeated weekly for a couple of years when I played in this particular band) involves the leader's pair of SVT cabs. (I mean, you need two, right?) A requirement for membership was showing up at his house before every gig to load.

His house set up an ivy-covered embankment from the street, with a porch about 28" above the bank and a crawl space under that - fronted with a latticework trellis. You know the look.

We practiced in the basement, and that's where the gear was. Roger had knocked out concrete foundation blocks in the basement wall from about chest-to-head height, making a hole which opened into the crawl space under the porch. That crawl space was likewise dug down into the good earth with enough room to wheel the SVTs out on their backs. The drill was to remove the plywood partition from the basement wall, slide it out into the channel under the porch as a floor, help heft a cab up and through the hole, wheels first onto the plywood, then guide it to the bandmate(s) waiting at the front of the porch to retrieve it through the hole in the latticework made for the purpose, down the embankment to the sidewalk, and then to the van.

Other equipment went out the same way - like the SVT head on a mechanic's creeper, PA cabs, etc. But the SVT cabs were the killer. Prison-break though it sounds, it was engineered pretty cleverly and thoroughly for what it was, and it beat carrying the cabs up and down the twisting rickety basement steps.

Oh, did I call it a basement? It was a cellar. Damp dank dusty musty dreary moldy. Bare light bulbs. Cracked uneven concrete floor. Cool and damp in the summer...colder in the winter, except next to the furnace. Smell of fuel oil.

The entire band, I realized years later, was actually built around that SVT rig and Roger's Rickenbacker bass. He always had other musicians - a regularly rotating roster, as you can appreciate, given the working conditions - but he was the mainest singer, and I really think he could have done a gig with just his bass and a drummer. It covered that much sonic range, and was that loud.

And did we play big gigs? We did not. We played grungy local concrete-floor bars for crowds of 30 to maybe 150 sweaty beery souls. One club in town had carpet, and was named for it: The Orange Carpet Lounge.

Well, the carpet had once reputedly been orange. I can still smell it.

SVTs.


Now Wabash Slim or Parabar will pop in with B3-and-Leslie stories. I carried a few keyboards, but the heaviest was 80 lbs. I can't compete with B3 stories.

12

don't even get me started on the year when i lived in a third-floor apartment with a loft above, and schlepped a Twin up and down eight flights of stairs every time i played outside the loft. i'm 5'8" and at that time topped out at a hulking 135 pounds...i cannot even imagine how i did that today. nowadays i have a 2-wheeled hand truck to haul stuff to/from the car. i specifically bought a AC15 rather than a AC30 because the Laney, which is more or less an AC30 with a Marshall t/m/b tone stack, is really a lot to move around.

13

My son used to carry a bandmaster for gigging. Now he use a Princeton 68 with an E609 in front.

14

I remember my College roommate and I moved a large piece of furniture we wanted out of my family home up a flight of tight stairs from the basement. After that school year, in May, we moved it back...our basement was our hangout...pool table, darts, hi-fi, TV, etc.

No problem, took 3 minutes each way...Basement to Truck,Truck to Basement.

That piece of furniture didn't move until my brother and I needed to empty the house after my Father passed. The Home Clean Out service had left it in place.

He looked at me, I looked at him...and I said I'm not 20yo anymore, I'm 50.

We made the Clean Out Service come back and get it.

My Ampeg B15NC was lugged around quite a bit, then I also had a Sears Silvertone 8*10 Cabinet with a SS Head. Never thought twice about it.

The Princeton Reverb was a blessing, though.

We all eventually wimp out.

15

I've got a 50-watt Peavey Classic that must weigh 50 pounds. It's a great clean amp with a lovely reverb and top-shelf tremolo, but I can't give the thing away. No one wants an amp that big anymore.

16

Took me a long time to sell my Fender Super Twin. 180w, 6 6L6 tubes, 100 lbs.

17

I'd still like a Twin, or preferably the silverface. 50W 2x12 with two 6L6 tubes (ProReverb?). I'd either stick the amp in a separate top cab and use the main box as a 2x12 cab, or replace the speakers with a couple of neos.

18

I'd still like a Twin, or preferably the silverface. 50W 2x12 with two 6L6 tubes (ProReverb?). I'd either stick the amp in a separate top cab and use the main box as a 2x12 cab, or maybe replace the speakers with a couple of Jensen Jet Tornado neos.

19

For a few years I was in a band with a keyboard player who toured with his B-3 w/ Lesley. We used Voice of the Theater PA cabs. Those were the days when I didn’t complain about carrying my own drums. There were usually at least 2 alpha males in the band who you could get to heft these behemoths simply by doubting aloud their ability to do so.

20

Voice of the Theatre.

The biggest "band gear" I ever had the misfortune to help wrangle were a pair of custom-built cabs that had hung in Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, OH, probably from sometime in the late 40s or early 50s until sometime in the 60s. You need to know that Vets Memorial was a 4,000-seater, the largest indoor concert facility in Columbus - where I'd seen acts from Janis to King Crimson to Aerosmith to the Jeff Beck Group to Dave Mason to Mahavishnu Orchestra...but I digress. (I just now read that Vet's Memorial has been torn down. Shocking!)

After service there, hanging 100 feet or so overhead in the center of the place, they were acquired for the historical old wooden auditorium at the Lancaster Methodist Campground.

And now, sometime in the mid-80s, they were leaving there. My band's drummer, a masterful wheelerdealer, acquired them (I believe for the hauling away).

They were a lot bigger on the ground than in the air. We're talking a deep-mounted Altec bass driver, which I believe we measured at 24" (I hadn't known anyone had made such a big wooooooofer), topped with a military-industrial-looking multi-cell horn with a driver the size of a VW tire on the back.

Took two guys to tip the front of one up enough to back the pickup truck just under it, then all four of us to heft the rest of it up and slide it in.

And that was the load. ONE cabinet per pickup truck. There was some room left around it, maybe enough to slide a Peavey column or a couple of guitar cases in beside it.

We got them delivered to the drummer's house where they sat on the ground-level concrete slab of his front porch unto doomsday. I don't recall we ever even connected them to an amp - though that seems an opportunity much too juicy to have missed. The house - a glazed block company house in an increasingly abandoned company town (which made...glazed block) has long ago been razed. How those cabs left, I don't know. (I've been to landfills, though, and I'm all for them. I think of them as fields of gold for future archaeologists.)

A lot of history had passed through those drivers, though.

21

It took less energy than pushing a car.

Well that right there is a ringing endorsement of this method!


My most colorful gear move saga (repeated weekly for a couple of years when I played in this particular band) involves the leader's pair of SVT cabs. (I mean, you need two, right?) A requirement for membership was showing up at his house before every gig to load.

His house set up an ivy-covered embankment from the street, with a porch about 28" above the bank and a crawl space under that - fronted with a latticework trellis. You know the look.

We practiced in the basement, and that's where the gear was. Roger had knocked out concrete foundation blocks in the basement wall from about chest-to-head height, making a hole which opened into the crawl space under the porch. That crawl space was likewise dug down into the good earth with enough room to wheel the SVTs out on their backs. The drill was to remove the plywood partition from the basement wall, slide it out into the channel under the porch as a floor, help heft a cab up and through the hole, wheels first onto the plywood, then guide it to the bandmate(s) waiting at the front of the porch to retrieve it through the hole in the latticework made for the purpose, down the embankment to the sidewalk, and then to the van.

Other equipment went out the same way - like the SVT head on a mechanic's creeper, PA cabs, etc. But the SVT cabs were the killer. Prison-break though it sounds, it was engineered pretty cleverly and thoroughly for what it was, and it beat carrying the cabs up and down the twisting rickety basement steps.

Oh, did I call it a basement? It was a cellar. Damp dank dusty musty dreary moldy. Bare light bulbs. Cracked uneven concrete floor. Cool and damp in the summer...colder in the winter, except next to the furnace. Smell of fuel oil.

The entire band, I realized years later, was actually built around that SVT rig and Roger's Rickenbacker bass. He always had other musicians - a regularly rotating roster, as you can appreciate, given the working conditions - but he was the mainest singer, and I really think he could have done a gig with just his bass and a drummer. It covered that much sonic range, and was that loud.

And did we play big gigs? We did not. We played grungy local concrete-floor bars for crowds of 30 to maybe 150 sweaty beery souls. One club in town had carpet, and was named for it: The Orange Carpet Lounge.

Well, the carpet had once reputedly been orange. I can still smell it.

SVTs.


Now Wabash Slim or Parabar will pop in with B3-and-Leslie stories. I carried a few keyboards, but the heaviest was 80 lbs. I can't compete with B3 stories.

– Proteus

Prote, I learned my B-3 lesson long ago. I'm using a Korg BX-3 and a SV-1 thru a small PA rig. The entire rig weighs less than the Leslie alone. The RT-20 pedal replaces the Leslie nicely, and I can carry it in one hand. After horking the B and Leslie up a few flights of stairs, my back said, "No more!!" Decades of unloading staging, and light and sound rigs from semis reinforced that.

Still have a pair of pristine Voice of the Theater A-7-500 cabs that I'm not hauling around anymore. Just can't see dumping them in the trash. Even with everything on wheels, you still need help with stairs and loading into trucks. The A-7 cabs are tiny compared to the 6X15" straight horn A-1 cabs nd sectoral horn clusters that our theater had.

22

I sold my old 68 TR to Ben Haggard, Merle's son, about 5 years ago. I miss it, but it was heavy. Nothing like a good Twin Reverb.

23

The BX-3 was too big for me. Nord Electro III here. Magnificent.

The best B3 emulator might still be Emu's single-rack-space, cleverly named, B3. Its interface is NOTHING like a B's, and it's cryptic to tweak, but it sure Bees with the best. It's also packed with electromechanical and Mellotron patches. Everytime I decide to sell it, I hook it up to make sure it's working, and then I keep it.

But - code being code - the most compact...well, anything...you can get is a pennies-on-the-hundred-dollar iOS app. If you have the iPad (or iPhone), 20 bucks or less gets you all the B you could ever need.

Of course what can't be replaced, at any price, is the experience of being in a room with a real Leslie. The best emulations, played though the best speakers, sound like great recordings of a Leslie - and probably better than a Leslie sounded, mic'd, from the back of an auditorium. But not as good as a Leslie sounds when you're standing within range of its speakers.


It took several months, but I Reverbed all my genuine keyboards last year: Rhodes Stage 73, Wurlitzer 2A, and that worn Hammond X5 I hauled away from your garage a decade ago. I never got it working, but it sold to a guy in NJ and I made money on it. Helluva packing job to get it shipped, as you might imagine - but UPS took it, and no trouble.

24

It took less energy than pushing a car.

Well that right there is a ringing endorsement of this method!


My most colorful gear move saga (repeated weekly for a couple of years when I played in this particular band) involves the leader's pair of SVT cabs. (I mean, you need two, right?) A requirement for membership was showing up at his house before every gig to load.

His house set up an ivy-covered embankment from the street, with a porch about 28" above the bank and a crawl space under that - fronted with a latticework trellis. You know the look.

We practiced in the basement, and that's where the gear was. Roger had knocked out concrete foundation blocks in the basement wall from about chest-to-head height, making a hole which opened into the crawl space under the porch. That crawl space was likewise dug down into the good earth with enough room to wheel the SVTs out on their backs. The drill was to remove the plywood partition from the basement wall, slide it out into the channel under the porch as a floor, help heft a cab up and through the hole, wheels first onto the plywood, then guide it to the bandmate(s) waiting at the front of the porch to retrieve it through the hole in the latticework made for the purpose, down the embankment to the sidewalk, and then to the van.

Other equipment went out the same way - like the SVT head on a mechanic's creeper, PA cabs, etc. But the SVT cabs were the killer. Prison-break though it sounds, it was engineered pretty cleverly and thoroughly for what it was, and it beat carrying the cabs up and down the twisting rickety basement steps.

Oh, did I call it a basement? It was a cellar. Damp dank dusty musty dreary moldy. Bare light bulbs. Cracked uneven concrete floor. Cool and damp in the summer...colder in the winter, except next to the furnace. Smell of fuel oil.

The entire band, I realized years later, was actually built around that SVT rig and Roger's Rickenbacker bass. He always had other musicians - a regularly rotating roster, as you can appreciate, given the working conditions - but he was the mainest singer, and I really think he could have done a gig with just his bass and a drummer. It covered that much sonic range, and was that loud.

And did we play big gigs? We did not. We played grungy local concrete-floor bars for crowds of 30 to maybe 150 sweaty beery souls. One club in town had carpet, and was named for it: The Orange Carpet Lounge.

Well, the carpet had once reputedly been orange. I can still smell it.

SVTs.


Now Wabash Slim or Parabar will pop in with B3-and-Leslie stories. I carried a few keyboards, but the heaviest was 80 lbs. I can't compete with B3 stories.

– Proteus

I never had to actually move a B-3 and Leslie my own self, although I know guys who did, and can remember watching the team of (usually 4) guys it took to do it. By the time I started gigging on keyboards, there were already decent clonewheel organs with drawbars and Leslie simulators. My first was an Italian-made Viscount Intercontinental OP-3, which in its flight case weighed about 80-some pounds. My heaviest pieces of gear were the Rhodes Stage piano and a rack with mixer, Peavey CS-400 stereo power amp (over 40 pounds ust by itself), digital delay and a Yamaha TX-81Z, plus power strip and hella cables. Each of those was around 100 pounds, give or take, and lugging them (plus the organ, two synths, a big-ass speaker cabinet and a heavy suitcase full of cords and pedals) up the flight of 20 stairs to my basement apartment at 3 am after a gig was not something I eagerly anticipated --- although it kept me in decent shape without having to go to a gym!

25

When I was gigging regularly, most of my keyboard gear stayed in the back of the truck (under a camper shell, of course) through the week unless we were practicing.

Since 1979, I carried what was essentially my own PA system for the keyboards: at first a pair of Peavey columns (2-12s, 2-10s, 3 piezos) with a matching head; later, a honking big 15-horn cab with a cast-frame EV, wide-dispersion horn with Peavey driver, and piezos, along with a Peavey 260 power amp. (Later, when gigs were less frequent, I went stereo with a second cab and a QSC amp.)

I generally carried three keyboards - a couple for synth/string/organ sounds and a primary keyboard on the bottom. At first it was a Yamaha CP-30 (which the internet says weighed close to 100 lbs), later the Korg SG-1D Sampling Grand, at 80 lbs. (Which I still have, as it has my all-time favorite weighted action and makes a great MIDI controller.)

And since I doubled on keys and guitar, there was always a guitar amp and pedalboard of some sort. My favorite amp was the little MusicMan 110-50, which sat atop the rack which held my keyboard mixer and power amp, which sat atop the 15-horn cab.

Seems nutty. But part of the attraction of this whole enterprise is the gear, after all. Boys and tinkertoys.


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