Other Amps

Need amp advice

1

I am a bass player that finally landed his dream guitar. I always wanted to learn guitar but had my mind set that I wanted nothing other than a Gretsch 6120. Finally scored one off ebay that should be here in a few days. Now for an amp. What I am looking for is something that would be great for practice in my small apartment but could also be used to play gigs in small venues should my level of playing get that high. Think small bars and backyard parties etc. Easy to store and move about. I would say that on guitar my musical taste would lean primarily to rockabilly and 50's/early 60s rock n' roll. I think the Fender Blues Jr. would fit the bill but any recommendations would be appreciated.

2

Blues Junior, Princeton, Deluxe reverb all good choices, versatile and all would sound great with a 6120. Maybe a tweed deluxe clone if you want an edgier more mid focused sound (You can find kits for these and build your own,,which is a cool thing to do) though for 60s stuff you'd probably want reverb and tremelo. Also get some sort of simple echo pedal. If you want to play rockabilly. slapback echo is almost essential.

3

Welcome aboard! Nice First Gretsch!

It really depends on what you want to play. Toxphilite's Fender list is spot on. Also consider a Vox AC10 or AC 15, Peavey Delta Blues or Classic, Ampeg Jet Reverb. There are many boutique amps as well, in many flavors.

For a good small gig worthy amp that's still safe for home practice use, 15-20 watts are where you want to be. Transistor amps will often have a headphone out, where most tube amps won't.

Get comfortable with whatever rig you get before you dive into pedals. That's a whole 'nuther thing.

4

You woudn’t happen to own a Bassman already?

https://batonrouge.craigsli...

There’s a store advertising on craigslist with a 71 Vibrolux and other nice amps.

There’s a Princeton Reverb II on craigslist, but I’m not sure what that is like, seems expensive, and a Peavey Delta Blues 2x10.

5

Special guitar deserves a special amp. And tone-wise, your amp contributes as much or more to your sound than your guitar. But you needn't break the bank. I recommend the amps from Vintage 47.

http://vintage47amps.com/#home

I play through a Ric Style. But were I buying today, I'd probably go for the The VA-185G.

6

Fender BJ plus Boss DD3 and TR2 and you’re set. Can’t go wrong with it. This is my setup for years.

A Peavey Classic 30 is hard to beat too. Both amps have master volume which is very handy when practicing at night.

7

On-line research is a good starting point in your amp quest.

However you should (IMO) spend some time taking your 6120 to as many local brick and mortar shops as you can and spend time playing through as many "candidates" as possible. Keep in mind that a real challenge here will be finding shops where you will actually be able to HEAR the amp. Guitar Centers are typically BAD news in this regard, especially on weekends, with their piped-in music and a host of teenage shredders....... Some G.C.'s have a separate acoustic room and may let you take an amp in there for a few minutes if they don't have customers in there.......

Over the years I've found the best places for trying amps are local "mom-and-pop" stores (if you can find one).

8

Agreed. Try as many as you can. Don't overlook the Vox AC10C1's. Great little amps for the price point, with great tone and a nice reverb too.

All of my Gretsches sound outstanding through mine.

9

Everybody has their own recipe.

I'd recommend getting an Egnater Tweaker head and running it into a 1x12 cab with a single Jensen C12N speaker in it.

That will get you all the sounds you need an amp to deliver in a tidy 15 watt package. Pedal friendly, versatile, and not expensive.

I'm not a fan of Blues Juniors as they come stock. There are whole websites dedicated to modding them to get them to sound good. That should tell you something. Higher end Fender amps are expensive for what you get and aren't built particularly well. If I was going to buy a single amp setup for an apartment or home...that would be it.

10

Thanks for all the pointers. Unfortunately I do not own a Bassman and while the one hammerhands linked to looks mighty sweet I don't have a grand at hand. My bass amp is a Fender Rumble 100. After some more investigating I must say the Peavey Classic 30 and Fender Deluxe Reverb have both caught my eye. What can I say, I like tweed.

11

A Deluxe Reverb isn't tweed. Tweed Fenders have less of a mid scoop to the sound and they overdrive better than blackface Fenders. As far as cleans go, tweeds are a bit thicker and woolier. A blackface Fender has that shimmering sparkle to the cleans that's more modern. A Tweaker has lots of switching options to get lots of different sounds: from Vox to blackface Fender to Marshall so it's more versatile than a Deluxe Reverb except for the fact that there's no reverb. As far as channels go, a DR has that but they aren't switchable so unless you want the ability to put two instruments through the same amp, there's not much point. I like a nice reverb pedal like a Hall of Fame for my reverb anyway...again: more versatility.

13

Get a Fender made before 1980.

– Billy Zoom

Couldn't agree more. Silverface DR or PR from the 1970s.....although the PRs have climbed up in price. I recently got one from 1972, put a 12" speaker in it and honestly, it will do anything. Sound guys (and gals) will love you and the pedals these days are amazing.

14

Princeton Reverb-- IIRC you can still find an original PtP silverface for less than the circuit-board reissue--or an AC15 depending on which style of amp you prefer. IMO the Princeton is much more versatile than the Deluxe, especially the tweed-style 5E3 design. modern AC15s are quite affordable...i paid $450 for mine used, and you can do better if you're willing to watch and wait a bit.

for a budget option it's hard to beat the Peavey Classic 30, which i think is much better than the small modern Fender amps a la the Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Jr. and can be had used for dirt-cheap. it's also more than loud enough to get up over a loud drummer.

when i tried the Tweaker i found that though it had many sounds, i didn't care for most of them and didn't like the two or three i did like enough to put it on my list.

15

IMNSHO...A Deluxe Reverb is worlds better than a Princeton. Vibrolux Reverbs and ProReverbs are wonderfull too. Twins & Supers are just OK.

16

well, i guess it depends on one's personal preference. they are very different.

always wanted to try a Vibrolux, but have never been in the same room as one. a friend i played with a lot in the 1980s used a blackface Pro Reverb that was great, but nowadays they're probably much too dear for the original poster.

17

IMNSHO...A Deluxe Reverb is worlds better than a Princeton. Vibrolux Reverbs and ProReverbs are wonderfull too. Twins & Supers are just OK.

– Billy Zoom

Couldn't agree more Billy. If the Princeton has a 12" speaker it's a lot better than the 10" versions for sure. I have a '66 (BF) Pro Reverb and a '71 (SF) Vibrolux Reverb and they're terrific. Neither one suffers performance drop-off from being played at living room levels.

Regardless of some vintage SF models gaining slightly in cost, they beat the ass off any reissue Fender makes today and at [usually] a cheaper price. Put on a grounded plug, change the caps and you should be pretty much good to go.

Of todays' crop of amps that can be had inexpensively, I'd look at a Peavey Delta Blues 115. It has a single 15" - as opposed to the 210 which has 2 x10's. Great warm, clean, clear tone.

18

Welcome to the GDP, you're in the right place for all things Gretsch, you picked a great guitar to start out with. I'm also a very resent member of the community, I came on board last May, after buying my first Gretsch guitar. The tremendously knowledgeable and respectful folks here, allow for growth with dignity. That's pretty rare these days, and it's what keeps me here.

I've resently discovered the Boss (Roland) Katana amplifiers. The Boss Katana 100 watt in either 2x12" or 1x12" speaker configuration is a very practical and easy to use amplifier. I have the 2x12" version, and it weights in at 45 lbs, obviously the single 12" speaker version is lighter. It has a power selector that allows the amp to be 0.5 watt, 50 watts or 100 watts. It also has an "amp type" selector for : Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown (think late 70's EVH), and Acoustic. The Acoustic channel has dedicated circuitry for acoustic instruments.

The Boss Katana 100 watt and it's 50 watt little brother are incredible amplifiers, especially when you factor in price. I read that the Boss Katana 50 watt amplifier is the hottest selling amplifier on the market today, and for good reason. You have access to 58 different Boss effects (via the USB port), 15 on board simultaneously, addressable via the top mounted controls panel or the optional 6 button (2 function each button) foot switch. I have the foot switch and wouldn't do it any other way for live performances. I'm blown away by this amp, and I'm very picky about what amplifiers I use. I decided to go whole hog and get the 100 watt 2x12", so I wouldn't have that niggling feeling that "I should have gotten the bigger one".

I've always advocated tube amps, and still have my 1980 Fender 75 Lead amp, but it weights about 70 lbs (that's more than a sack of cement mix). I decided to take a look at a modern alternative a few months ago, and the Boss Katana was IMO, the best thing available without breaking the bank. Regardless of price or the fact that it's solid state, it's just a great guitar amplifier. It seems like solid state technology has finally reached the point where it is totally doable (for me) in some of the new guitar amplifiers.

19

A Deluxe Reverb is a smaller model of the classic blackface amps. A Princeton is a Champ with an extra tube...there are still too many parts missing.

20

I use both a '65 BFPR and a '68 SFDR for gigs - the Princeton has been modded with a 12" Jensen C12N speaker, solid state rectifier, and 5 881 tubes. It's obvs the choice for a home amp, and the Deluxe is a superior club amp, albeit a heavier choice. Still, I doubt you are looking to drop a grand or more which is what these things cost nowadays.

I'd look at Quilter honestly. - inexpensive, light, and scales really well for home and club use. I will always love and use my vintage gear, but its as much because I bought most of it when they "were" the inexpensive alternative as much as anything else.

21

well, i guess it depends on one's personal preference. they are very different.

always wanted to try a Vibrolux, but have never been in the same room as one. a friend i played with a lot in the 1980s used a blackface Pro Reverb that was great, but nowadays they're probably much too dear for the original poster.

– macphisto

I have a '66 Vibrolux and a '66 Pro Reverb. Both terrific, the Vibrolux with Jensen C10Ns being the greatest all around amp I have ever owmed, and brother I have owned a LOT of amps. The Pro weighs 50 lbs and the Vibrolux weighs 40lbs and hardly ever leave the house anymore.

22

I have a '66 Vibrolux and a '66 Pro Reverb. Both terrific, the Vibrolux with Jensen C10Ns being the greatest all around amp I have ever owmed, and brother I have owned a LOT of amps. The Pro weighs 50 lbs and the Vibrolux weighs 40lbs and hardly ever leave the house anymore.

– spike

Both great sounding amps; the Vibrolux being preferred over the Pro; mostly for weight. 40 lbs. is about all I want to schlep any more, and I'm really trying to keep it under 30; one more reason why I love the Princeton Reverb; grab 'n' go. I will say that the PR with a 10" speaker didn't do it for me; the 12 made all the difference.

Another route is to buy a less popular amp head, such as a Bandmaster or stray Tremolux head and put them in a combo cabinet. Of course by the time you buy speakers and have the cabinet made, there isn't a whole lot of saving unless the amp head is very inexpensive. I did this to my Tremolux; put the head in a 2 X 10 open back cabinet, tweaked the tone stack to accommodate going from a closed back to open back cabinet and it sounds great as a clean vintage Fender. I'd love to find a cheap Bandmaster Reverb and put it in a 1 X 12 cabinet; the one amp that Leo Fender never built; a single 12 with two 6L6 power tubes and reverb.

23

“Special guitar deserves a special amp.” -Strummerson

This is the most correct thing.

Don’t skimp.

24

“Special guitar deserves a special amp.” -Strummerson

This is the most correct thing.

Don’t skimp.

– hammerhands

This works.


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