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recommend me an amp


so I've gotten the itch to buy another guitar amp and I am looking for suggestions from you folks. I am a songwriter and home recordist and am heavily influenced by artists/bands such as Elliott Smith, The Beatles/George Harrison, Built to Spill, and Quasi. Perhaps that will give you an idea of the direction I'm headed.

I currently have one of the new Chinese-built AC30s and am looking to add another color to to my palette.

Any general and/or specific ideas of what I may like?


Pro Audio Guest Mon, 09/04/2006 - 18:16
well, im not really familiar with those bands (except beatles...). I think elliot smith is mostly acoustic, right? anyways, a cool amp would be some kind of fender combo. They'd have great cleans and nice bluesy overdrive. then you could also get a marshall combo. i don't really know the sound you want or the guitar you have or how much you wanna spend, so i can't help you too much....

CombatWombat Mon, 09/04/2006 - 19:13
Thanks for the response.

I guess I should add a little more info, huh?

Basically, I don't really know what sound I'm going for, just something different. I'm just trying to compile some sort of list, I guess, of amps that I should test drive.

I tend to prefer combos and my two electrics are an American Telecaster and an Epiphone kinda both ends of the spectrum.

As far as price range goes, I definitely don't wanna spend more than about $1200. That's gonna be the top end of my budget.

P.S. Elliott Smith is definitely not mostly acoustic, though most of his songs that became even remotely famous (famous is a stretch) were, for the most part, acoustic songs. He is actually my biggest influence and I am most interested in the electric sounds that he has produced.

Tommy P. Tue, 09/12/2006 - 18:47
CombatWombat wrote: Thanks for the suggestions so far guys. I will be out and about this weekend trying things out.

Anyone familiar with that new Fender Super Sonic? Might go check one out today just to see what it's all about.

I havn't played the Super Sonic yet, but heard a lot of good things about it. Fender claims it goes Vibrolux to Bassman at the flick of a switch. Has modern features like effects loop and channel switching too.

Coupla months ago I picked up a brandy new Bassman reissue LTD, its a great great great amp. Bare bones classic tone. It gets the big cleans, but compresses just right when you bite down into it. You gotta do the channel jumper thing, then blend the volumes to suit your taste. This lets you dial in the touch sensitivity to your playing style, balancing the amount of clean headroom to the amount of harmonic breakup.
Believe me, this amp is so good, you'll want to plug in without any effects.
This Bassman circuit is what all the others copied.

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 09/05/2006 - 22:46
I'm a bassplayer, first and foremost, so I don't know jack about guitar rigs. One of the guitarists I play with has a flextone III from line6 and I originally suggested he get a "real" guitar amp, being the resident gear geek. I'm glad he didn't. The sounds let him replace quite a few pedals, and it's still simple and easy to record. To me it sounds alot better than his old gear with much less hassle, and the many options are cool. Everything from mellow tubey blues to screaming odd order transistor death metal. It's pretty cool. Make sure to get a footswitch with it though.

Once you settle on a few brands and models, check out and find the reviews database of guitar amps. It will have reviews by brand and model, I'd suggest you read up on what other people think of the gear before going with any certain choice.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 09/06/2006 - 13:56
what exactly is the difference between a chinese built AC30 (all gimmick marketing aside)

i mean i think you have a great amp already if the specs are the same to the original AC30. if you want something different stick to marshall, fender, and possibly gibson.

the bassman, twin reverb
jcm 800, 1959sp
dont know much about the gibson ones but theyve got a few that are really good sounding

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 09/07/2006 - 16:05
I would recommend the 4x10 Fender DeVille or Bassman. Also, if you have an american telecaster or epiphone anything, you might want to upgrade the electronics to get a more full tone. If that's what your going for. As far as Line 6 goes, I'm not a fan of the company. I don't believe digital anything is going to accurately replicate analog circuitry and good ol' tubes.


Pro Audio Guest Fri, 09/22/2006 - 20:47
If I were looking for an amp for that use I would look into a DR Z Carmen Ghia. They are an 18 watt head or combo that only have a volume and a tone knob. The first time I saw that I thought it wasn't enough knobs, but the tone adjustment covers a lot of range. I have seen 1x12' combos going for well under a grand, and heads from $650.00. I currently have a Maz Jr. model from them and it is great. The next one that I get will be a Ghia for certain. Check out thier site and maybe you can find a dealer near you and check one out.

Davedog Sat, 09/23/2006 - 03:10
LOVE the DR.Z stuff. Love the Matchless, Bad Cat, Bogner, Carr. Of all of them the Bogner feels the best.....the Badcat is the most 'aggressive'...The Matchless is the smoothest, and the Carr is the most repeatable as far as settings go...The Carr comes closer to Marshall than the others....the Bad Cat has that 'chime' to it with Fenders.....The Bogner just sounds GREAT with every guitar and has the most complex tone....The Matchless gets something in between a Vox and a Fender...AC30 and a Deluxe.... Dr.Z seems an offshoot of this thinking.