Fulltone Ranger - incoming


Hmmm? The Tv Classics in my Jag Tan Annie are incredibly suited to classic rock. I play a wide range of covers from T-Rex to Pink Floyd to Elvis Costello..... Thin Lizy...... all going into the Vox.


Yeah I can't think of a better pickup for classic rock


It may well be that a 6120 is simply not your kind of guitar! It's almost entirely maple which is a bright, twangy wood. And a lot of the Hotrods have an "ebonised" rosewood fretboard which means that you don't have real ebony to tame some of the very high end. When I had a Hotrod (and I've had a few!) they all sounded a little brighter in the very high end because of the RW boards. The ebony rounds it off just enough.

But the midrange of a 6120 will always be in a different place from a Gibson. I compare my SSLVO to a 335 or 225 or even a Les Paul and while I can get a midrange honk out of all of the them it is a higher frequency midrange in the Gretsch. It's interesting to me that my Jet which has a mahogany neck and back can get so close in tone to the 6120 - but it has a bit more midrange, just enough to make it even better with dirt than the 6120.

As Hipbone has pointed out the midrange of a Vox works really well with a Gretsch. I used to see a guy play locally (30 years ago??) who played rockabilly/pop/rock with a '65 6120 into an AC30. It sounded incredible - twangy when he played twangy songs, fat and full when he cranked it a bit more. Great sounds.

So I tried Voxes and they were a little too compressed/dull for me even though they are known for their chime. I don't get on with Voxes. But I do get on with Badcats which are based on the classic Vox circuit and they sound killer with a 6120. It's the extra midrange I guess.

So now I use EL34 or 6V6 tweeds and they sound perfect for me. And I like "Marshall" flavoured overdrives. The OCD is not one of them! Nor is the Tubescreamer - too compressed and woolly for me. The biggest revelation for me was discovering the Badcat Two-tone overdrive. Keep the bass and treble knobs low (around 9.00) and the overdrive is perfect for a 6120. FWIW the only BF amp I like with e Gretsch is the Super because apparently it has more midrange than most. I have never got on with a Princeton Reverb.

So if a tweed Twin in the normal channel with a Rockett Majestic is too shrill for you I don't know what I could suggest. It rocks for me! Maybe a 6120 is not your guitar.


Well, as for amp drive, I currently have a Bad Cat Hot Cat with EL34s... can get quite Marshally. No lack of mids.

But I've had EL84 amps, 6V6 (not bad), 6L6 (better but was too loud at 60W)... its entirely possible that a 6120 just isn't my type of guitar... when I listen to archtop players OTHER than Setzer and Pigat (not counting straight jazz guys), it's all ES-295s, ES-Les Pauls, ES-335s, Johnny As... (El Twanguero & Johnny A, El Twanguero, Guthrie Trapp, and Johnny A, respectively...)

I can actually get kind of a Johnny A sound out of the Hot Rod, but the others? No way. And I can get a more authentic Setzer sound using my old tele than I can using the Hot Rod. Go figure. I think T-Armonds will be next for this guitar, then likely dog ear P90s. I've already put a mud switch in it, and I've had it so long now, resale value is of little concern. While I enjoyed playing it yesterday, clean, thru my Princeton, it's still not the sound I hear in my head.... (and I played it the whole time with the mud switch ON, in both positions.... mud switch open was like cutting glass lol)


Apologies for the thread derail....


I have a Badcat Hotcat! It's a 2x12 I gigged with around 10 years ago. I actually used the clean channel with a Badcat Two-tone pedal, a delay and a Gretsch Hotrod. It sounded fantastic!

I modded mine because the dirty channel was too dirty for me in the end, so I got rid of the first gain stage. Now it's more like a Matchless/Vox top boost channel with a master vol. It's rather heavy though.


It is VERY hot. I'm going to try swapping out lower-gain tubes in mine, so I can open up the lead channel's gain control more. How did you "eliminate" a gain stage? Did you literally go in and remove it from the circuit? The clean channel isn't clean- lots of guys say it does a great classic rock crunch when turned up, but I think it gets too compressed for that when turned up, so less gain in the clean channel would be good for me too (to get a clean sound, the gain control has to be barely cracked open, at like 8:00).... so I figure I'll drop V1 down to a 12AY7, then see how that effects everything... then got to V2, etc....


The clean channel sounds incredible cranked. But loud. Yes I went into the amp and bypassed the first gain stage and made it a regular top boost preamp - all it took was bypassing the first tube (tube 2) of the dirty channel altogether. So there is a knob on the front panel which now does nothing.

I don't use the amp much these days but may come back to it.


I just realized the Ranger has an internal bias trim, will have to investigate that today.

Register Sign in to join the conversation