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  1. #11
    Fender Deluxe
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    Hmmm, I forgot about Carvin. I had thought briefly about the Vintage 16 a while back. The only problem with Carvin is you can't test drive them around here unless you happen to find a used one somewhere. I looked at a few vids and most of them sounded pretty bad, but they were all amateurish recordings. The Epiphone might be a little too small and basic for what I need. Sounded very boxy in the vids I found, but again done by amatuers.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  2. #12
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    OK, so I finally took it on the road to check out some tube amps today. I had a meeting not far from one of the Sam Ash stores on Long Island. They had a pretty good selection of amps and I played the Bugera V22 ($380), Fender Blues Junior ($499) and two Blackstar amps the Club 40 ($699) and the Studio 20 ($599).

    The sales rep was very helpful and after I explained what I was looking for he instantly recommended the Blackstar 40. He got me an American Deluxe Strat to plug in and gave me a quick intro to the amp. He said that the company was created by a couple of amp engineers who left Marshall in the UK to be free to design their own amps. They are made in Korea. The Blackstar 40 is two channels with reverb, nice cleans and warm and smooth overdrive. It was pretty easy to dial in great tones. The Blackstar 20 was sounded very similar to the 40 but had a couple less bells and whistles. Plenty loud enough at 20W. Minuses: Only that they are larger and heavier than most combos with a single 12" speaker. The 40 weighs almost as much as my CyberTwin (54 lbs.) and the 20 is a hefty 45 lbs.

    The Bugera was very nice for the $$ and sounded really great set to clean. The overdrive tones tended to be a bit buzzy and ragged, but I did manage to get a few good OD tones out of it. It's also two channel with reverb, and weighs 42 lbs.

    Finally, I plugged in to the Fender Blues Junior. Typical nice Fender clean tones, decent reverb. The overdrive was overall pretty good, but when pressed sounded a little flabby. That's the book on the stock speaker in the BJ. Lots of users recommend upgrading to a Vintage 30 or Cannabis Rex. Nice size and weight (31 lbs.), but the downside is that is only a single channel amp so you can't switch from clean to OD on the fly without pedals.

    I can see this process is going to take a lot more field work to narrow things down.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  3. #13
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    I've got a Carvin Nomad. It probably has the best clean channel out of any combo I've had. I think I like it even a touch more than my new AC15. But it's a 50 watter with a ton of headroom and it's so darn loud when you crank it. It's a little too much for home practice. If Carvin's Vintage 16 sounds as good it would be worth a look. I probably should have gotten that over the nomad but I'm still happy with it.

  4. #14
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    I definitely would consider Carvin, but I never see any around here. I'll have to keep a sharp eye for used ones in my travels.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  5. #15
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    So I had an interesting development in my amp search today. I had a meeting again in a town where there was supposed to be a Traynor dealer. I had been intrigued by the YCV-20 model. I had actually tried to locate this dealer last week, but the road it's on goes by two different names and my GPS sent me to a location that didn't exist. So I put in the other road name today and this time the GPS brought me to a small strip mall and the address turned out to be a dance studio. However, a few doors down was another music store called Murphy's Music that I had heard of before and I figured - what the hell - I'll see what they have. As I was walking up to the place one of the employees came out for a smoke and I asked him about the Traynor dealer and he said they had gone out of business. So I walked in and asked about Traynor and the other store and joked with them about my GPS exploits. Finally, I explained to one of the guys what I was looking for and he showed me some Orange and Marshall amps. And then he says, "We also have this used Ampeg that's really nice". I look at it, its a Reverberocket, and it looks brand new. It brings me back because my first amp was a '65 Ampeg Gemini. Also I had some work done a couple of years back on my old Kustom amp by a Long Island amp tech named Jess Oliver who was a lead engineer for Ampeg back in the day. So I was intrigued and asked for a Strat to plug in. First I played the clean channel and it sounded fantastic. Crystal clear and chimey and real nice reverb. Then I hit the switch for the overdrive channel and nice warm overdrive bloomed out all over the place. Just outstanding vintagey tone. They were asking $399 and we negotiated a bit and I got it for $375.

    Specs: 50W, 1X12", 2 X 6L6, 3 X 12AX7, spring reverb, 2 channel, vol/gain/master control, bass/mid/treble EQ, 2 way footswitch, 45 lbs.

    So it didn't take as long as I thought.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  6. #16
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    Smokin' deal on the Ampeg. If you get a chance just for sh!@s and giggles check out a egnater tweaker pretty amazing lil amp.
    Viverere commune est, see non commune mereri.

  7. #17
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    Even though the new amp is a 1 X 12, it's still a little larger and heavier than I had hoped. So I bought a set of Ernie Ball casters and installed them today to reduce excessive stress on my back in transport.

    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  8. #18
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    50 watts, wow, I bet that thing screams.....looks very cool. Congrats, D-man.

  9. #19
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    Yeah, I finally got around to checking out some pedals with it today. I tried out a Blues Driver 2 and a Bad Monkey. Whooo-eee, it definitely screams. Sounds real sweet at reasonable volume too.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "We're all mad here 'n stuff."

  10. #20
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    My first amp was a Gemini as well. My father bought it new for me when I was young and taking lessons. I still remember how good it sounded.

 

 

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