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Author Topic: Guilty Pleasure Amp
scott

Posts: 5
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Post Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 11, 2012, 21:24
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I work in an office with some seriously nice amplifiers. Just within a 20ft radius of my desk is an original '64 Deluxe Reverb and a late '60s drip edge Vibro Champ.

I should have something pretty righteous that I mess around with, right? Well, angled up next to my desk, by to a Les Paul loaded with Bonamassa pickups I fool around with, is a...Crate GFX-15.

This amp has maybe a 4" speaker and fake digital effects. It's not a coveted piece of gear by any means and is for newbie guitar players, but for messing around at work I can't think of a better amp. In fact, they're so cheap on ebay I'm thinking of getting one for my house too.

Any of you have a guilty pleasure amp??

MNMagnus

Posts: 15
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 11, 2012, 21:59
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My first amp was a Crate, in fact my first 3 amps were Crates. I still have a 60w combo that I use for a test bench amp, and a gt-200dsp 2x12 combo that I plug in from time to time.

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 12, 2012, 10:45
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I have a Peavey Rage 158 practice amp that I've done literally hundreds of gigs with (mostly solo, restaurant/lounge type gigs). I cracked the speaker a couple of months ago (after eleven years of use), and am now somewhat frozen, trying to decide how much I spend to fix an amp that cost $63, tax in. I don't love the thing, but it's so light and practical that I can't imagine having something like it around. I just got a hand built 20watt amp stuffed into a Hammond micro-enclosure, and have had some good luck plugging it into an old EHX Freedom Brothers amp cabinet with two 4 or 5 inch speakers. Sounds pretty awesome, for what it is...
Ultimately, if it ain't in your head/heart/hands, it won't come out of any amp, boutique, cheapo or otherwise.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 12, 2012, 12:46
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I started on a Rage 108. Actually found ways to like it in the end by using it for lightly but distinctly distorted and edgy sounds. Probably would have worked for covering Joy Division and early New Order. Gave it away in part to not have to deal with an intermittent input jack.

Do the recent solid state Vox Pathfinders fit? Really like mine, a fun plug and play that somehow captures some AC-30 attitude, though you're not going to fool anyone who really knows. Takes pedals well, nice but shallow trem, and good enough reverb at low settings. There's a well known mod to remove the LED clippers to increase headroom and nix the metal-fuzz gain behavior -- gonna do that before I ever try to play it out and about.

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 12, 2012, 12:54
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I gotta add my ancient Pignose Hog 30 to this list. I'm not at all sure how to describe the tone, but sometimes it's right on - especially in dropped tunings.

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 15, 2012, 02:04
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Some of the early seventies Gibson/Lab Series solid-staters are pretty great sounding, and surprisingly reliable for the era (looking at you Fender Zodiac series). Heck, BB King used his Lab Series amps for about twenty years. The old Roland Cubes from the eighties are remarkably toneful and reliable, as well.

mwseniff

Posts: 149
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 15, 2012, 10:47
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Quote from Double D on September 15, 2012, 02:04
Some of the early seventies Gibson/Lab Series solid-staters are pretty great sounding, and surprisingly reliable for the era (looking at you Fender Zodiac series). Heck, BB King used his Lab Series amps for about twenty years. The old Roland Cubes from the eighties are remarkably toneful and reliable, as well.

Those Roland Cubes IMHO were sort of nightmares internally from a service standpoint. It took a lot of labor to replace a switch or pot. They were marginally better than the later series like the "Blues Cube" tho'.

My guilty pleasure would be my Paia Pygmy amp which was a kit and their version of a Pignose. I used to leave it unlatched and put a bungee cord around it and my foot to get a sort of organic wah sound for 4 track rcrdings. I also used it's headphone jack to overdrive my Sears/Danoelectric guitar case amp (like a VibroChamp). Sounded cool with my 1968 Jaguar.

joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 15, 2012, 19:25
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Wow — did you save any of those bungee recordings? I'm familiar with the notion of moving the mic around the amp by swinging it by its cable and such, but it never occurred to meto move the amp around the mic.

Except:

I did a bunch of session in the ’90s using the Rocktron Banshee, their version of the Talkbox, but with a LOUD internal amp. I'd play guitar while swinging the hose around a pair of stereo mics for a chaotic, quasi-Leslie sound.

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 16, 2012, 03:17
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You two are a little sick, in the best possible way. Take that Univibe! Take that wah! Yeah! I get so many good ideas from the combo of your afflictions. 😉

mwseniff

Posts: 149
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Post Re: Guilty Pleasure Amp
on: September 16, 2012, 06:58
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Quote from joe on September 15, 2012, 19:25
Wow — did you save any of those bungee recordings? I'm familiar with the notion of moving the mic around the amp by swinging it by its cable and such, but it never occurred to meto move the amp around the mic.

Except:

I did a bunch of session in the ’90s using the Rocktron Banshee, their version of the Talkbox, but with a LOUD internal amp. I'd play guitar while swinging the hose around a pair of stereo mics for a chaotic, quasi-Leslie sound.

I think so somewhere, I transferred most of that stuff to CD many years ago. To be honest it was a sort of a weak wah sound, I mainly did it because I had very little extra cash to spend on pedals. I did a lot of weird stuff to work around my lack of toys back then. I didn't so much move the amp rather than open and close the amp case to change it's frequency response. We did at one point hang the mic by it's cord and rotate it to wind the cord up then hit record and let the mic spin as it unwound while playing a previous recording of the bass parts,it sounded like a wonky phaser.

In the first starwars movie they did the lightsaber sounds by recording the sound of the high voltage supply in tv. It made a very buzzy electronic sizzling sound. Then they played it thru spkrs in the studio and swung the mike like a lightsaber while recording to get the final recording a very primitive but effective method of sound production.

By contrast the available digital FX and soundfile manipulation is far more useful at least to me. I never would have tried any of the things I did back then (1981) if had access to even the freeware tools available today. I wouldn't even have had a 4 track cassette had I not been able to borrow it from the place I worked. I mostly used a pair of cassette decks and a crappy Heil mixer. If I did any of that today it would be to use it for a digital model.

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