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randythoades

Solid state amp suggestions?

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I know that this won't get much love but I have been 'relegated' back onto guitar in my long term band so think it is about time to sort out my amp situation.
My current rig is a Hayden handwired Cotton Club 7/15 which is effectively a Vox AC15 clone. I only use the clean channel with treble rolled back a bit and get my crunch variations via pedals (Danelectro Cool cat Trans Drive and Drive pedals) and guitar volume and add a slapback delay and a touch of compression. We play a mixture of pop and rock from the 50s onwards.

I like my sound and don't need massive volume as we have a very considerate drummer and we all go through PA, the only issue I have is the size and weight. I find it very heavy and cumbersome to lug in and out of the car and wonder if anyone is using solid state combos and if any of them are recommended to go and have a look at? I would certainly appreciate the lighter weight and perhaps the reliability. Would something like the Roland cube or Vox Valvetronix take pedals ok or perhaps the Vox Valve Reactor series?

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I'd have a look at the Fender Mustang 3 v2. combo.
I've heard people using these live & they are very impressive, they take pedals well too. Lots of Videos of them on YouTube.

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Hi RhysP
Thanks for this. I had kind of discounted these because of all the modelling / effects etc which I don't really need but I suppose that would cover some bases if I set it to a clean DR or Vox amp model and I could use the delay and compression on amp (as they stay on permanently anyway) and reduce my pedal board size. Thanks, i'll go and have a look.

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[quote name='randythoades' timestamp='1479383137' post='3176062']
I could always get the Mustang ii as a smaller on stage amp as I DI anyway.
[/quote]

The Mustang 3 has a much better speaker than the 1 & 2.

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Just been looking at the You Tube vids and does seem pretty good, but 100w will be seriously overkill for me, I run my 15w at just over half power and it is plenty of power. Essentially I would need it only for stage volume but I am actually liking the idea of the modelling as it cold possibly provide a better DI sound than I currently have. Will go into Andertons and have a look. Thanks

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According to internet lore fender red knob amps are undesirable, but if you want reliable solid state with really good clean channel the 85 and deluxe 85 models are pretty good - I have the 2x12 equivalent which has always been reliable. The distortion channel is pretty meh, but the reverb is nice and the clean channel takes pedals well, internal build quality is good and schematics are readily available. Some sellers try to hype the price because of the radiohead connection, but they do pop up very cheap from time to time.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fender-Eighty-five-Amp/282253565426

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My 15w is just a bit bulky and cumbersome rather than out and out heavy so it is just to try and find something without the big transformer and valves.S happy t look into al the suggestions above, thanks. In the past my experience of SS was sterile and without character, but I know things have moved on..

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check out Roland cubes, I did some hotel gigs in a trio with a 30x, for larger gigs I just miked it up, a 60 or 80w version would be hard to beat unless your in a motorhead tribute band, amp simulations are pretty good on these & built in effects quite useable, mike b.

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Thanks Mike. I did check out the Mustangs, the Superchamp and the Valvetronix series but I didn't try the Roland. All were really good in their own way and I am sure perfectly usable on stage but I realised that I didn't need all the various tones, I just want one good clean (ish) tone and they all felt a little lacking. Just wasn't the same. I ended up buying a used Zoom G5 pedal as well as a small Vox VXII lightweight amp for home jams and thinking now about using my 'big' amp for gigs and the odd rehearsal but using the amp sims on the Zoom straight into PA or into my lightweight bass rig as the ultimate weight and space saving device.

Edited by randythoades

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IMO the classic solid state guitar amp is the Roland Jazz Chorus, so how about their [url=https://www.roland.com/uk/products/jc-22/]30W JC22[/url]?

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Thank BRX, I have never tried the Jazz Chorus and I didn't ask about it. Maybe I should take another trip and have a look. The JC22 seems to only have 2 x 6.5 inch speakers so it may sound a bit boxy but the 40w has 2x10 but that puts the weight up, but hugely lighter than my AC15. I have always been intrigued by them so may have to get up to have a try out.

Cheers

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Mustang III was my first idea, but you should check also theese two
[url="https://musicsquare.co.uk/165617_Boss-Katana-50-guitar-amplifier-50W.html"]https://musicsquare.co.uk/165617_Boss-Katana-50-guitar-amplifier-50W.html[/url]
[url="http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VT100X"]http://www.sweetwate...e/detail/VT100X[/url]

Edited by blank20

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I've got an older Roland Cube 60. Brilliant little thing with plenty of usable sounds from clean (same as the Jazz version I believe) through to crunch and full on distortion. Pretty loud if you need it to be as well. The other amp I have is a first generation Laney LC30. Laney don't have a great name to be honest but the LC30 is an absolute gem and not too dear for an all valve 30 watter.

Edited by Japhet

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Not a solid state, but I've gotten really good results from my Vox AC10 C1 - small, lightweight (12kgs), and lovely sound. If you do need any extra volume (although I never have), you can plug in an external cab.

Always fancied a jazz chorus as well - a different sound, but worth checking out i reckon.

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If your budget will run to it (less than £300 delivered at DV247), try the Tech 21 Trademark 30 - the preamp has analog modelling (not digital) along the lines of their Sansamp GT2 pedal. It weighs just over 14lb, so pretty light.



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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1485166548' post='3221615']
I've took delivery of the Boss Katana 100 and it is SUPERB. The best value amp product I've ever experienced.
[/quote]

That's very interesting. Boss seem to be going down the effects modelling route (as you would expect I guess) rather than copying Vox's amp modelling focus.

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Can recommend some earlier Fender combos, namely the Deluxe 112+.
Made in USA, great pedal platform, fairly light with a 1x12 speaker and very loud!
Great clean tones though at any volume, with lush reverb too. They seem to go for
not a lot of money s/h, c.£100. Best kept Fender secret for years.

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Just got a Peavey bandit for £80, 1990's model, absoloutely fabulous reverb and gain, 80W silly loud, built like a tank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CT9tqogQ5M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKV3DTwCqo8

Edited by skidder652003

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One of the best sounding amps I had was a Fender Super Champ XD. I think it has a 12" speaker and is very light. I think it's 15W. It's been superseded now but I loved the sound of it. It would need PA support in a band, it's not hugely loud.

I haven't played electric for a while but recently picked up a s/h Mustang III. Wasn't sure to begin with but have grown to like the sound quite a lot and it is plenty loud enough for live playing.

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I’ve had three of the original analogue Roland Blues Cubes (3x10 and 1x12 models), as well as the Roland Cube 60, and the Tech21 Trademark 60, and a Fender Mustang. I also had a JC120 decades ago. 

The Rolands are all fine amps. I think the original Blues Cube is very hard to beat. Very versatile clean and overdrive possibilities, excellent parallel fx loop with level control.

Super solid build quality and good vintage looks, totally reliable. I love mine. Shame I don’t use it any more.

My next choice would be the Tech21, also analogue. Quite hard to find, and sometimes pricy. Tech21 customer support is excellent. I loved mine after I put an Eminence Red Coat Governor in it.

Next would be the Cube 60, which I couldn’t quite bring myself to trust, since I felt its build quality was not as good as the other two. But, Roland is top notch gear in my humble opinion.

I had a Mustang III for a while, just to see what it was like. Meh.

Hope this helps you in your quest!

 

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