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music mann amplifiers

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BROKENBONES, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. BROKENBONES

    BROKENBONES Active Member

    i'm trying to make a desicion between good guitar amplifiers.i'm thinking of a music mann dual 12" i have tried one and prefer the tone over the fender twin.was wondering what the general concencus was regarding this particular brand of amplifier and its reputation.
    thanks
     
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Both are Leo amps.You didnt mention which model of the MusicMan amps you were considering. Both amps are superb at what they do. The MusicMan stuff tends to have a soft saturation point in its power curve.This can be good or bad depending on what sound you're looking for. What I mean by this is when driven hard it will distort in a very sweet way whereas a Twin will probably never distort unless its on 6 or so which is way too loud for most venues..You may have another take on this however.I've owned both and prefer the Twin for very clean jangly guitars and the MusicMan(both 65 watt and 130 watt) for a smooth driven sound.A great example of a MusicMan sound can be found on Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard record...He was really into the MusicMan amps at this time as well as the Strat.
     
  3. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    If you want a fast plug and play, versatile tone, the MusicMan amps are great.

    If you are willing to invest some time, knowledge and money, the '65 Fender Twin will take your sound over the top.

    The MusicMan amps are a hybrid design. The power section is transistor, the front end is tube. Great sounding amps. And loud if you need it to be. Can be a bit sterile.

    Loud, clean, high headroom '65 Twins are tone machines, and it is possible to set them up for early powertube distortion. A new factory stock re-issue from Fender will be somewhere in the middle and feature the U.S.A GE tubes. Reverbs are dripping wet and are superior.

    The Twin has high and low gain inputs, for both the dry and reverb channels, so you can choose how you want to drive the preamp.

    The reverb channel in the Twin is reverse phase to the dry channel due to the extra driver tube for the reverb.
    What this means is, you don't want to run both channels together or you will get a bad sound. This is unlike other amps that you can use "A","B", or "A+B" switches with. Cannot daisy chain the input channels as can be done with other amps.


    You can have your tech select tubes and bias the Twin to your preferences.

    The truly amazing new GE made-in-the-U.S.A. 6L6 power tubes from Groove Tubes are graded by numbers in three catagories, low(1-3), medium(4-7),and high(8-10). They sound like the good old days. I have a matched quartet of 6L6's rated "5" in mine. I also have the re-issue Mullard 12AX7 holy grail of preamp tubes.
    The aforementioned tubes are in high demand, are hard to get, expensive, and worth every penny. :twisted:

    USA/GT reissue which is 95% USA components made on the original General Electric machines, the original tools, dies, materials and processing formulas as acquired from the liquidation for the last American tube factory in Owensboro Kentucky. Stunning clarity, and tone that is reminiscent of Carl Perkins through Jimi Hendrix... both of which mostly recorded through Fender amps in a period when they only use this tube. The most expensive (because of the the high US content)
     
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Tommy... your dissertation of the Twin is great...however the MusicMen amps were all tube.. my 65-210 had EL34's in the power section as did my 130 head.. these amps were released around 1974 and they were in business until the mid 80's... my amps were both from 1976.There may have been a late model with the hybrid setup like you're saying but all the original ones were tube...most of them had a power switch on the transformer and you could power them down to half the output.In a recording session this was really cool as they would break up much earlier .I totally agree with you about the Twin sound being very forward and present.This something I could not get with my 65-210 and was the reason I sold it for a 1965 Fender Pro-reverb..which is basically a 50 watt Twin.
     
  5. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Thanks DDog, I didn't know. :)

    lol, dissertation, :lol: Would you believe my kids make fun of my tendency to overexplain. I don't have a clue what they're talkin about. :?
     
  6. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    You're both right. Musicman had both all tube and hybird designs. I could be wrong as it's been awhile since I've seen a hybird unit but the front end may have been solid state rather than the other way around. A tube power section instead of a preamp section always sounds much better to me in a hybird amp. Fender also did a later model Champ amp with this design which actually sounded quite good. I generally have as much respect for Musicman as I do Fender as they are both built off of those basic tube circuits. Twins are cool but they're too friggin' loud. I prefer natural distortion and most clubs won't let you crank it up loud enough. Great for clean playing though. A lot of guitarists will use two amps in a gig. A twin for the clean stuff and a black face deluxe for easy lower volume break up.
     
  7. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Musicman amps are sweet, at least the ones I've played were. The gentlemen above here have really provided good info as to why.

    I've got my eye on a little Music Man combo with 2 10" speakers.
     
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I own a couple of Musicman amps-an RD65 and a 130. There are a lot of "urban myths" about them out there, and some of them are wrong! LEO FENDER HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AMP LINE OF THE COMPANY! He stated this in an interview in a 78-79 Guitar Player magazine. He said that he was an advisor to the group that started the guitar line.
    They NEVER had solid-state power sections!! ALL were tubes (usually American versions of EL34s, some 6l6s, and some 6550s).The earlier amps (like mine) had a transistor FRONT END, with a 12ax7 used as a driver between the pre- and power-sections.Later, that tube was replaced by an entire solid-state circuit. This gave them a harsher tone. Some Musicman amps did have a tube preamp, as well as a compressor circuit, a phase shifter(!), and some of the earliest designs of channel-switching.
    I was in the music retail business when Musicman came on the scene, and was one of their first dealers in the South. It was pretty easy to sell them to Fender-lovers because the Fenders from that era were soooo bad! The staple Twin was EATEN ALIVE by the 130, and the 130 was cleaner and quieter for chicken-pickers.More reliable,too. And then Hartley Peavey came out with an amp that "emulated" them and at half the price (and quality)...
     
  9. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Great stuff, Moonbaby! Thanks for sharing.
     
  10. Norville

    Norville Guest

    The definitive MM forum is at ...
    http://www.pacair.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi?pg=topics
    A lot of great information there for MM fans.
    The early models with 12AX7 phase-splitter are apparently slightly warmer at very high output. MM removed the 12AX7 from the later models, as failure was inclined to take out the output tubes, and often the transfomer as well, apparently.

    My 210-HD130 is pushing 30 years old now, and still has the original tubes! It still sounds great to me, although it's a little noisy though, so it's probably time to replace them.
     
  11. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    More great stuff! Gotta love this place.

    Thanks Norville, and welcome to the forums.
     
  12. BROKENBONES

    BROKENBONES Active Member

    thankyou to everyone for some great advice and knowledge. :D
    looks like i'm leaning to buying a MM.
     

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