Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:49 pm Post subject: Buying an amp
Hey guys, I brought this topic up a while ago, but I never actually followed through with any of it (basically because I was unclear of what I wanted). I have figured out what my requirements for an amp would be now though and would love some direction (trusting that your words and opinions might be a bit more wise than mine). I'd like to pay 600-700 dollars for an amp as well so keep that in mind.
Here's my what I'd like to hear (or close to if compromise is, and probably will be, needed):
A smaller amp. 40 watts at the very most.
A bearable clean tone (can be great, but it's not a neccessity)
A nice dirty/breaking up tone. Think Andy Timmon's Electric Gypsy or Richie Kotzen's rhythm tone (yes please!) Just a thick yet very defined and precise sound.
An acceptable crunch tone, and Dream Theater type stuff is the most distortion I'd ever use.
And a lead tone that I don't know best how to describe it. Although, I have found several clips that could display the basic gist of what I'm trying to convery. I want it to be ballsy. Very in your face, but not muddy at all whatsoever. It's a transparent sound though. Like the notes are bouncing off of glass. The notes are poppy, yet possess no 'boom' qualities. I've heard Guthrie display this type of sound in a couple of videos, but I can hear it in a lot of modern jazz/blues players such as Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Derek Trucks, and Allen Hinds. It's sort of like an intense Holdsworthian blues sound. . . if that makes any sense at all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdqua5jJBwQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGdB0WVt-8o&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et_4zxne_OE&feature=related
These videos definitely have varying amounts of gain, but generally sound similar. In your face, but clear. I hope I'm not making a fool of myself here.
Some thoughts I have gathered were to get a single channel amp with capabilites of the first 2 (possibly 3) requests, and then buy a pedal for the fourth (the AC Booster by Xotic effects seem to do a wonderful, and I plan on buying one anyway sometime). So I was looking at the Vox AC15. Although good, this amp also looks so classy! The Laney VC15 also looks very tempting, and has some gain on it. Even though the clean tone isn't the biggest priority to me, it's becoming the deciding on which amp I may get. This is beginning to seem like a long, self-absorbed, post so I'll be ending it quick. Advice and guidance is very very much appreciated. Again 600-700 dollars is what I have, but I think 1000 dollars would be my limit. Thanks again.
Just for a preference on clean tone: I like a very balanced clean tone. Most fender clean tones sound way too thick for me, although Eric Johnson does get some amazing tones out of them. The The Princeton Reverb is one of the only Fender clean tones I like. Not overly thick and punchy. But glassy, like I said earlier. The clean tone Guthrie finds here seems to be like a pretty standard clean tone that I'm interested in:
Geez, it's easy to keep on writing, BUT I'm stopping now! Gracias again!
Also, they're used to be a Shawn Lane and an eight finger tapping video from this same clinic for about one day. Does anybody know where it went. I feel lucky to be one of those people that got to see it if it no longer exists.
I honestly think that you're being a bit too specific, for the price range that you mentioned. You should definitely look for something used (if you're only spending around 1000.)
My advice would be to try out as many different amps as you can, and when you find the one you really want, buy it! (Regardless of the price..)
If you buy something that you're only partially happy with, you'll end up selling it, and you'll eventually front out the rest of the money for additional cheap amps, when you could have bought what you really desire, to begin with.
In that price range I'd look at Orange Rocker 30 or Thunder 30 (TH30), Laney amps, Cornford Roadhouse 30 (but has no dedicated clean, need to work the guitar volume), and maybe if you're lucky you could find a Egnater Renegade used.
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