Miscellaneous Rumbles

When Did You Decide The Right Amp For You?

26

''God forgive me but I've been looking at Quilters recently, my local luthier had one in his studio and I thought it sounded really nice, plus Tommy Harkenrider gets a great sound out of one."Tsar

Not only will he smile, but you'll be blessed for eternity. Been playing a Micro for 4-5 years now and it's my #1 go to amp. They take a little time getting them dialed in as each control is sensitive,but is well worth the effort. Not a fan of the boost selection( I prefer my pedal board) but for the roots stuff I dig it's the cats meow. I do own several flavors of 60's era tube amps and love 'em for the one or two things they do well, but for diversity with no noise ya can't beat the quilter. Your back will thank you as well!

– Opie

I’m not worried about my back just yet, but it would be nice to have something that just works all the time.

27

If I was pinned to the wall and forced to name my favorite - or at least most often and longest used amp - I'd have to eeny-meeny-miney between the Music Man RD110-50 and the Peavey Classic 30. They aren't necessarily the most spectacular, or the most specialized for particular applications, but overall they're the ones I've been most comfortable playing - such natural extensions of the way I hear and the way I play that they became "my tone." (Whether to anyone else's - or just my own - ears, I can't say.)

My other all-time-favorite amp, the Seymour Duncan Convertible, eventually broke my heart (along with its own overheating, vibration-compromised circuit boards) when I couldn't keep either of the two I delightedly owned working.

That said, I hold onto other amps, even through a modest fit of down-sizing (well, 10% of my stuff, maybe) because they're so good at some particular thing or just sound so good that when I audition them before listing for sale...I can't bring myself to do it.

Those include my Josh Bradshaw-modded blackfaced silverface Deluxe (for what a Deluxe does), the incredible EV-loaded Music Man 112-65 (for an unmatched combination of punch, lush, 3-D clarity, and detail), a 1-15 Peavey Delta Blues (for being the natural big-brother evolution of the Classic 30), a pristine mid-60s Ampeg Reverberocket (for being an entirely different voice from Fender); and my last-acquired amp, an AC-10 (which sounds like...a classic Vox).

I've never owned a Marshall. For most of my playing life, I've judged an amp by its clean tone, and Marshalls didn't impress me in that capacity. It wasn't till the last 10 years or so that I've learned to appreciate where and how to deploy the classic-est of Marshall tones (via models and amp-in-box pedals), and even the purpose of Marshall cleans. But it's too late in my game to want an actual Marshall, as I'd never have the opportunity to make it loud.

For one reason (sentiment) or another (appreciation), I keep another 10 or so amps which are unlikely ever to see much use - mostly because they're Too Much Amp for Any Currently Conceivable Application. Sentimental sojourners include my old 2-12 Bandmaster, Silvertone Twin Twelve, and blue sparkle tuck-n-roll 2-15 Kustom. Pride-of-ownership of coveted or rare birds explain a 2-12 fliptop Ampeg guitar (not bass) amp and a NOS-quality '61 tweed Princeton.

As any of those are probably worth more to the market than my actual favorites, they'd easily be the first to go in a serious reduction. I halfway keep them partly because they're "famous classics" that I don't like as well as cheaper, less well regarded amps - so I can always prove my favorites weren't chosen out of ignorance or deprivation.

But the question was WHEN we decided the right amp for us. As DaveH says, that changes over time.

Surely we all love our first amp, because it makes electric guitar possible. Then, whether the scales eventually fall off our ears - or simply because whatever we don't have starts to seem preferable to that old familiar thing we do - I think most of us sell off (usually for cheap), trade, or otherwise abandon our first for Whatever Comes Next. My first amp was a Silvertone Twin Twelve - and was the "right amp for me" for several years. I really didn't replace it with anything better till several amps later. (And eventually I found another to replace it.)

When I did, it was my piggy-back blackface Bandmaster w/2 JBLs in the 2-12 cab - my main amp through many many gigs in the late 70s and early 80s. By that point I'd been playing for over 10 years. Other guitarist in the band had one as well, and we were proud of not using reverb. That's hard to imagine now. Mine was modded by a shop in Athens, OH to cascade one channel into the other, for Boogie-style saturated gain in a channel-switching format. Pretty cool.

Then another trade-through sequence of mostly Peaveys till I came upon the Music Man 110 in the mid-80s. That saw tons of gigs across several genres, and was my IT amp till I discovered the Seymour Duncan Convertible 100-w 1-12 combo, with interchangeable preamp modules, sometime in the early 90s. It's hard to express how completely I loved that amp. So versatile, so huge-sounding, so LOUD. And so heavy and so hot and so compactly built that the combination of vibration and overheat baked the boards brittle till the circuit traces started flaking off.

So, again a succession of OK amps, some of which I still have, and which alternated gigs, sometimes this and sometimes that - not so much because one was better than an another for the purpose, as just for variety. Until I played through a used Classic 30, maybe around 2005, which I bought right pronto. And that was it for me, despite lots of other candidates and alternates. I'd still come back to the lowly C30 and its balanced, even tone and clarity without stridency. Good pedal platform, nice tube tubiness.

The criteria by which we judge amps, our purposes for them (what kind of gigs, what music, studio, home, etc), our ears, and our tastes evolve over time, so it's a bit misleading to say "I'd been playing for [X] amount of years before I found my sound." That is, I suspect most of us find "our sound" at least several times over our playing careers, and different amps are right for us at different times. But, for what it's worth, I guess I'd been playing for 34 years or so before stumbling into the Classic 30 - and it's remained my home base for the last 18.

BUT. It's all but irrelevant now, because for the last several years virtually all of my playing has passed through modeling of some sort on its way to amplification. Whether the Kemper, Helix, Mooer GE-300, iOS apps, or plug-ins in a DAW, I haven't really needed the characterful front ends in actual amps. If I'm making noise in a room rather than in headphones or studio monitors, for final output I still want guitar cabs and speakers - so I run out of the device into the power amp sections of my Tech21 Trademark 60 (and its 12" Celestion), the Quilter Interblock with Cave Creek 1-12 Neo cab, or the effect returns of the Classic 30s.

And, either amusingly or depressingly, despite the hundreds of pur-durn-authentic ampulations available in the various modeling environments I use, I gravitate toward models/profiles/emulations of my favorite hardware amps. Generally I've spun the dials through everything available - paying only partial attention to the cute coded names, which I can't always immediately decipher - tweaked some knobs when I found something close, and THEN realize I've landed on familiar territory.

My ears just like what they like.

28

I’m not worried about my back just yet, but it would be nice to have something that just works all the time.

Wellsir, the Quilters are real-deal marvels.

I've also had an unaccountable blast with Hotone's Nano and floor series. While their tones are awfully good in emulating a wide range of amps, the Nanos, at 5 watts, are probably too small for any kind of gigging. (Though they're impressively loud.) But the 75-watt (measured by the Grain of Salt method) floor series - BritWind (Vox & Marshall) and MojoAttack (Fender and Boogie) channel switchers with reverb are tons of fun. You just need a light cab to pair with them.

Or hey. The Boss Katanas and Roland Cubes get rave reviews from pretty much anyone who tries them. Even if I remain committed as a Luddite to tubes in principle, I'd look at the new tech for compact, light, reliable and versatile modern gig rigs. If it just has to look like tubes, there's the new(ish) Fender Tone Master modeled Deluxe and Twin, which I can testify from experience sound every bit as good - and likely better - than the "real thing." (If only because the "real thing" isn't always tubed and tweaked to its highest potentials, and the models certainly are.)

So many great options out there, now that we live in the future. Like my garage - a mini-museum of Internal Combustion V8s - my studioffice looks like a museum of the Age of Tubes. But what I use, for hours of playing satisfaction every day, is The Digital Horror.

29

I have an old ADA Rocket 10 amp. As soon as I heard it it was a done deal. Everything else I own can go bye bye.

30

I have had too many amps move through my hands. DRRI, PRRI, Egnater Rebel, THD Univalve, Fender Supersonic 22, a 63 Ampeg Jet, a 90s Ampeg Jet II, superchamp modlers, Vox Valvetronix, a couple of Oranges, a Fender blues Deluxe and who knows what else. I keep coming back to the Vox AC 15C1. I even like it better than the hand wired version though I flirt with trying a hand wired AC4. The only thing that bums me out about the AC 15 is the weight. So now I’m waiting a few more days until UPS brings me the next one, a Swart Atomic Jr. which will be a different beast altogether but I hope as much fun.

I think the best amp I have ever heard would be a Victoria Double Deluxe, but it was like 15 years ago and I wonder if I would still be as smitten with one today. Wish there were one nearby to test drive, the local shop that carried them (and an impressive array of Gretsch pro line guitars) is sadly long gone.

31

My first amp came with my first electric which was my BST. It was a Gretsch labelled SS amp "Broadkaster 50" or something like that. It was horrible, so no Tim, my first am will never be the one.

I finally obtained overkill with my Kustom head and 4 x 12 cabinet. I never figured out how to get the right tones with it. It was designed to bridge with a twin amp head for like 800w and was supposedly left behind at Bull Island by Ted Nugent. I only had the one and never purchased the mating twin head. Heck, who would ever need that much power but I didn't know.

I played through a SS Dean Markley amp for some time and as JChiggy says above, it was a pretty decent amp. Tim Harmon actually played through it at a local gig once when his amp was bugging out. He sounded really nice through it.

I finally obtained a Fender Hot Rod Deville. It fits my needs but it really heavy and loud. That works for some of my needs but at practice I have to tame it.

I have a little 5w Gretsch amp at home and it gets some nice tones for home, so I guess I'm happy overall.

32

But what I use, for hours of playing satisfaction every day, is The Digital Horror. -Prot

Speaking of digital horrors, I mentioned earlier that my go-to has become a Roland JC-77, but it has largely stayed under its custom-made cover (thank you, Karen) while I play hours of noodling, learning, writing and occasionally jamming with a bud through a silly little digital thing - a Roland Boss JS-8 that I got on sale about two years back for around $100.

A modelling amp (nearly 100 tweakable presets) with a surprisingly decent digital reverb, it also has USB capability to allow the user to play along with MP3s of anything they wish, from the Vienna Symphony (in my case for the William Tell Overture) to the Ventures or Van Halen. I run my pedalboard into it using one of the several clean channels (it has one that emulates Duane's sound nicely), then sit back and have fun without worrying about the person in the next room while the JC sits in the corner, looking sad and forlorn (hence the cover. I figure that like a bird in a cage, if you keep it covered up, it won't get too upset).

33

Looking for super clean, rich tone years ago, I took the advice of Rick12string and got a Gretsch Executive. Tremendous amp and makes my '72 Super Chet with original Ray Butts pups sound amazing. My '66 PR is best for my Gibby Gent though. My '71 VRR is also tremendous and often forgotten as a nice mid power/size amp. Makes any guitar sound good!

34

When I bought my Vox Ac10 Custom amp I felt like I had found the best amp for what I do. That was about 4 years ago. At 10 loud watts it works perfect for any gig I play. I do mic it when I play outdoors or at larger indoor gigs. It does clean nicely although there is always a little “hair” to the clean. this amp comes alive with the gain turned up and crushes it with an overdrive pedal in front..... Bottom line it’s incredibly versatile and loud enough but not too loud, has reverb and well..... chicks dig it!

What more could you want?

35

When? 1970. Who? Randy Bachman. What? American Woman. I was only 8 years old, but when I heard that intro riff I knew something special was going on with his amp. Endless sustain. I didn’t know it was a Herzog pushing a BTO. Always wanted a big Garnet amp. Gar Gilles built those to last two lifetimes. Still searching.....

36

I've got a 1980 Fender 75 watt Lead combo amp w/15" speaker (stacked on a Fender 4x12 cabinet). It's a very loud and heavy tube rig that has a lot of clean headroom. I used it as a pedal platform, and it is great for that. It pushes a lot of air, and was a great "Pig Pickin" party gig amp. It was my main amp until about ten years ago, when I started having severe back issues. The music scene had changed a great deal as well, and behemoth guitar amplifiers were out of vogue.

I went through several smaller amps until finally settling into a Boss Katana 100 watt 2x12 combo. They're pretty cool amplifiers, with an output power attenuator for half a watt, fifty watts, and one hundred watts which makes it a very good variable power amp. The dashboard is very intuitive and it employs a six button (dual function) footswitch and expression pedal. I have access to over sixty different Boss pedal effects (downloadable), and can have fifteen different effects on board simultaneously. It's keeping me satisfied and I have no complaints or regrets about it. These amps weigh 45 lbs, or about a third the weight of my big Fender rig.

37

I've bought and built a fair number of amps over the years and most of them have had something good to offer. Marshall, Vox, Musicman, Badcat, Yamaha(!), Fender of course, and then finally homebrew. From fairly early on in my gigging days I began to have "That sound in my head" I was chasing.

Gretsch was the first little revelation, and I have refined what "Gretsch" means overs the years. Most of that time it was a 6120, evolving into a Setzer SSLVO. Recently it has become the '59 VS Jet, which has focussed the sound even more.

Chasing that sound led me to learn how to build amps because the amps which had a tight enough low end sounded too thin and harsh, and the amps which sounded warm and fat had no twang. Trying to get both has been an obsession for ages. My tweed Super 1x12 with KT77s has made me very happy for 5-10 years now. Beefing up some parts while letting other bits be traditionally under-sized has been working nicely!

38

When? 1970. Who? Randy Bachman. What? American Woman.

Ha! I'd heard that sound before even "No Time," out of my own guitar - plugged into the tape recorder in the console hi-fi system Dad had built in the early-mid sixties - and (as I've said innumerable times in the past) wired to speakers in every room of the house.

I remember the recorder as a Webcor, with the fabulous "Magic Eye" tube as a recording level meter. But in tonight's research, I can't find exactly the model I remember. I do find a Heathkit that may be a candidate - and as the receiver/amplifier in the hi-fi was Heathkit, it makes sense.

For those who don't know the Magic Eye, you should google it and fascinate yourself. There were several versions, but this one had vertical glowing green "irises" that would close in horizontally from both sides as current increased. The idea was to adjust gain till they were as close as possible to each other without meeting in the middle. If they overlapped into each other, you were clipping.

I quickly learned that's where the fun started - and maxed out, the eye glowed like Sauron's (only green). The result (with tone backed down a bit on the guitar), pouring like molten lava out of every speaker in the house, was as close as who-cares to the Randy Bachman tone I wouldn't hear on record till a couple of years after I found it.

That I could get such a sound out of a guitar amp didn't occur to me (the Silvertone Twin Twelve to which Dad finally relented to get me off his hi-fi wouldn't get there) until I heard a Big Muff - which kinda approximates it.

When I think about it, what Dad accomplished by initially forbidding a guitar amp was to introduce me to a much more sophisticated rig. Jimmying the tension arm for the transport let me play through the recorder without rolling tape - essentially turning the recorder into a preamp. I could max its level for that tone (or adjust to anything from there down to clean) independently of the output level (and treble and bass controls) of the tuner/amplifier. Voila! Whole-house cascading gain, circa 1968.

He must have been proud of having built his own hi-fi from components (mostly of the money he'd saved), but I don't think he ever got any satisfaction from having built me a cutting edge whole-house guitar amp. None at all, in fact!

39

The choice was made for me before I picked up a guitar. Discovering the Beatles got me started, so a vintage Vox AC30 was my goal from day one. And it had to be vintage, not least of all because circa 1990 I had no idea that Vox still existed. Same with Gretch (though to be fair, it barely did).

But before I managed to hunt down an AC30, first good amp was a ‘64 blonde/blackface Fender Bandmaster. I have to get another one of these days. Maybe it’s my memory playing tricks on me, but I could swear that my ‘65 Gent through that Bandmaster was the best tone I ever had.

40

Those blonde transitional blackface Bandmasters are the mutts particulars. I miss mine a lot, but I could never use it now.

I don’t have any aspirations to play any whopping big venues any more, I just want to play some r&b in a pub.

41

It's funny that I can get/feel "that" sound with the same settings and equipage that I have, but not all the time...wot's, uh the deal? It's all in my head, isn't it? You know when your tone is spot on for you and it feels/sounds so delicious? I run thru an assortment of guits from Gretsch 5129 to Ric 330, Tele's, Dano 12, LP Standard and so on. Each guit paired with a different amp can put me in that "zone" or not. Guess that's why we keep chasing or running down a dream as Mr. Petty phrased it.

42

A lot of guitars are really quite amp dependent. I've never been able to get a good sound out of my old AC30 with a Les Paul, or indeed any other guitar with humbucking pickups, but it is magical with a Stratocaster.

Conversely, I can get great sounds with a Les Paul from a Carr Rambler although that amp has a distinct tendency, with a little knob twiddling, to make any guitar sound good.

My Guild archtop is at its' best through a Blackface non-reverb Princeton and my Rickenbacker, teamed with a Musicman, is quite stunning.

There's definitely a lot of truth in the "right guitar and the right amp together," tone theory.

43

When? 1970. Who? Randy Bachman. What? American Woman. I was only 8 years old, but when I heard that intro riff I knew something special was going on with his amp. Endless sustain. I didn’t know it was a Herzog pushing a BTO. Always wanted a big Garnet amp. Gar Gilles built those to last two lifetimes. Still searching.....

– Powdog

My brother Spencer was a sales rep for Hough & Kohler up in Western Canada and hung out some with Gar Gillies. I ended up with( and still have) a Herzog out of that. It really does do that "No Time" thing, especially with humbuckers. I learned many years later it's basically a Tweed Champ clone without a speaker, and when I had it refurbed a few years ago, my guy installed a 1/4" jack. Sounds just like my long-gone '58.

44

The right amp for me? In a way, I'm still looking. I used to be a Marshall, and a Mesa Boogie nut in the 90s, and I gigged for a couple of years with a Peavey Classic 50 (the one that used 4, EL84s, and 2, 12" speakers - that thing weighed a ton), that was a decent sounding amp. For a couple of years I used blackface Fender heads (a '62 Tremolux, and 65 Showman, and a 65 Bandmaster), but I didn't care for their all or nothing volume - they were not very good for medium volume applications. Too quiet, or too loud, with nothing in-between was their forte, so I gave up on those.

I've also been partial to the so-called Transtube Peaveys (especially the Bandits, and the Studio Pros), but they're not as common around here as they used to be, and the used ones from my personal experience, don't hold up very well, over time. My current amp at the present time is a Blackstar Silverline 50, 50 watt modeler, with a 12" Celestion, that has both British and American amp voicing, both clean and dirty, and sounds good at the low power levels I have to play at to keep the neighbors happy, while it has plenty of volume for gigging IMO (if I ever get out gigging again with an electric band).

Acoustic-wise, I'm very happy with my Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge. It is plenty loud for the church band I play in with its 60 watts of power (I've actually had a few times where I've been told to turn it down, because I was too loud). I also like the Li Ion battery pack it has, that eliminates trying to find somewhere to plug in, on a church stage with very few power outlets. My 12-string Taylor 150e sounds great through it.

45

I Have one of the first 10 or Loudbox Charges ever shipped. A workhorse and good for lo-vol bass in these acoustic scenes I am part of. Out in a bluegrass music field somewhere w/ no ac around.

I manage to cover all my needs w/ just 4 amps.

46

I've also been partial to the so-called Transtube Peaveys (especially the Bandits, and the Studio Pros)

After the Bandmaster, mid-80s, I did go through a short happy time with the Bandit's immediate predecessor, the Pacer - a straightforward and tonally-balanced single-channel solid state combo with a 12, in a taller cab than the Pacer. When the Pacer came out - with channel-switching and built-in dirt - I traded "up" (easy, as I worked for a Peavey dealer)...then discovered the Bandit had a less satisfying clean tone than the Pacer. So I sent it away.

For a time I played through a small 4x6L6 high-watt Peavey combo I remember as a "Special" (though the only ones I find in Peavey history are solid state), with a 12" Black Widow. With that clanging bell of a speaker, I know it seems more like a down-sized pedal steel amp than a guitar amp - but I liked the clarity and ripping high end at the time. (But I was competing with an electric banjo. We were unaccountably popular for what had to have been an unpleasant-sounding band. Maybe it was the youthful good looks and gregarious personalities of the front-line guys.) The amp weighed as much as an equal-sized stack of concrete blocks (two would do it), and ran so hot it melted its plastic knobs.

Amazing amp, in its way. But I happily traded it on the Music Man 110 when I found it. Even at the tender age of 30 or so, I appreciated the even smaller size and much lighter weight of the MM. (Not to mention the gorgeous tone.)

So yeah, Peavey. Along with Fender, the other constant thread in my amp history. I've played through the Classic 50. It's a beast! Incredible tone, like the C30 on steroids. But, you know. Too big, too heavy, too loud.

Too loud. Buncha guitarists, fergawdsake, whining that our favorite amps are Too Loud. Never thought I'd see the day.

47

For me it's been an ongoing evolution, as my needs and tastes changed. It's also been informed by the fact I've usually been more of a keyboard player than a guitarist, and in my younger years budgetary constraints required me to find something that worked for both.

My first amp was a silverface Fender Bassman circa 1972, with a 2x12" cabinet. I was playing big Gibson hollowbodies and a Rhodes electric piano, ad the Bassman had enough oomph and beef for both of them. It was mising reverb, which wasn't ideal, but the tone was there, and everything else I could find with reverb was either designed for guitar only or way outta my price range. It did just fine, until I got a gig as second guitarist for a loud rock band doing lots of Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, & Clapton type stuff, and they needed me to be louder. They built many of their own cabinets using 12" Cerwin Vega speakers, and running two of those cabinets (2x12") from the Bassman helped, but in hindsight I still didn't have enough treble bite to keep up at full throttle. Eventually I parted ways with the band over the old "musical differences," as my heart and ears were pulling me toward jazz, fusion and R&B, so the original Bassman rig was back in rotation.

A few years later I was deeply into Indan music, playing sitar and bamboo flutes (and sometimes French horn and concert flute) in a 10 piece East-West fusion band, along with our own Rhythmisking on soprano sax. I sold off all my electric stuff, but needed to amplify the sitar, so got a FRAP pickup and a silverface Fender Champ, which worked nicely. Eventually I got another electric guitar (Peavey T-60) and played it through the Champ occasionally. I was still mostly about clean-ish tone, so it was fine for my needs at the time.

Eventually, though, I got back to playing electric and needed something with some overdrive capabilities and reverb. Was mostly broke, though, so it hadda be fairly inexpensive. I was working at a a friend's small music store, so tried out everything there, and ended up with a Holmes solid state amp that I could get good sounds from, both clean and dirty. Like this one: (The company is no longer in business).

My next amp was a Peavey Austin 400, which I bought mostly because it had three inputs and 210 watts, so I could use it for keyboards. At the time there were no dedicated keyboard amps, and although its open back design was less than ideal for keyboards, as it lacked punch and the lower mids and deep bass, it worked well enough, with the Holmes still in use for guitar. The Peavey also had a lot of tone variability, so I experimented with it for guitar, but rarely used it for gigs.

When I finally got a serious rack-mount system for keyboards, I wasn't playing all that much guitar in public, so the Peavey and Holmes were sufficient. Eventually, though, the Holmes wasn't satisfying my ears, and hard times required me to sell the Peavey (which I was rarely using anyway). I got a Line 6 Spider 2 with 75 watts and a 12" Celestion, and that was perfect for writing, recording, practicing and the occasional gig.

By this time I had accumulated quite a few guitars, and was getting serious about tone, with a much more specific sonic pallette in mind, so started looking at tube amps again. I got a ridiculously good deal on an Epiphone Blues Custom 30 (2x12" Eminence speakers, channel switching, and switchable for 15 or 30 watts), and it sounded just like I wanted it to, so that became my mainstay, with the Line 6 as a great versatile practice amp.

A few years after that, I was in my favorite local music store --- not looking for anything particular --- and they had a used, like new Mesa Boogie Nomad 45. Three channels, 12" speaker, interactive tone controls. I tried it out and realized how much potential the thing had (complex tweakery required to get optimum sounds) but even in 20 minutes at the store I was getting creamy overdrives a la Larry Carlton, Robben Ford and Carlos Santana, bright cleans a la Steve Cropper, warm jazz like Wes and Kenny, and crunchy rhythm a la Keith Richards, so it's mine now! It also does that scooped roar so popular with metalheads really well, but I haven't found an application for that yet.

A little over two years ago my sweetheart, who was an accomplished Celtic harpist, succumbed to cancer, so I inherited her little Vox DA-5. It's proven to be just the thing for backyard jams with acoustic players in this time of COVID, when I never know what styles will turn up, and I don't want to futz with pedals or lug anything big or heavy around.

So currently it's Mesa Boogie, Epi Blues Custom 30, Line 6 and Vox, which cover all the bases for me. I'm not chasing anything else, but the reviews I've read of the Katana are intriguing, so if I get an opportunity to try one out, I will, and who knows?

48

Yeah - it's hard to beat a Boogie. Basic Fender clean bones built out in every wonderful way. Always kinda wanted one, never came across a compelling enough deal - but I find that I frequently land on Boogie models in my expansive digital domain.

And I love the DA-5, for all the reasons you mention. Have you noticed the rotary speaker effect is dynamically sensitive? Go easy, slow rotation. Whang it harder and it ramps up authentically. Pretty cool. The amp also sounds great though larger cabs. I've lentgiven mine to Tru-Arc Brother Steve, who is learning some guitar.

I've always done dual duty in bands - keyboard and guitar - as well, but never tried to amplify both with the same rig, at least not after I started playing with a band who had paid gigs. For a time I used the band's previous PA - a pair of Peavey columns with 2-12s, 2-10s, and 3 piezos - along with a ludicrously hissy Tapco keyboard mixer and a Peavey power amp. It was as tall as I was, and wider.

Eventually a guy built me a very robust 15-horn cabinet loaded with a monstrous EV and Peavey 22A driver, short and squat at the perfect height to set my guitar amp de jour on top. I've driven it with a variety of rack-mount mixers and power amps ever since. I still drag it to Roundups. Love the tone. HUGE. (And it's on burly casters.)

But if I was gigging seriously on keys now, I think I'd have a couple of small but mighty keyboard amps, so I could do stereo and annoy the other side of the stage too.

49

I have a Boogie DC2 that is a very good sounding amp, especially the first channel as it's cleaner and more open sounding on top. It also has plenty of gain for when I want some dirt. But the character of the dirt is not as cool as my 5E3 style amp (Clark Beaufort), or my English Rose (Marshall 18 watt variant). And the Boogie's clean tone isn't as good as my 1964 Deluxe Reverb, or my Winfield built Princeton Reverb Clone, or my Victoria Regal II. But of all my amps, if I had to go to a gig without a pedal board, just guitar into my amp, I would probably choose the Boogie. With a pedal board though, it would have to my Victoria Regal II for sound, but it's so damn heavy, especially because I put an Altec 418B speaker in it! It's pretty close to 60 lbs!

In a studio on the other other hand, I could never choose just one amp.

50

Folks were talking Music Man, and I just HAD to pull my two out of the shed. Haven't set up a six-string rig on either one yet but they both do real well with steel, especially the 2-12 HD150. I'm pleased!


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