I'm 52, trying it again & need amp suggestions...
I'm 52 & played some back in the late 60's/early 70's. I'm trying to get back into it again..I just bought (pick it up next week) an Eric Clapton Signature Strat, & need some amp advice. I sorta like the ol' Cream, Guess Who type sounds...A guy at The Guitar Center tries to steer me away from Marshall amps, & toward Line6 & Mesa Boogies...I had a soft heart for Marshalls when I was younger. I sorta heard the Line6's & they sound sorta "phoney" as far as the effects, etc...Not real familiar with the Mesas, though the LoneStar supposed to be great, but never heard em'. I was talking to the Guitar Center guy today & he was hell bent on steering me away from Marshalls..I've ALWAYS WANTED a Marshall head/cab set-up (not a combo) & always thought tubes were the way to go..He told me the Marshall AVT150 Head/Cab set-up wasn't that good..Any suggestions?..The older guys might know what I mean when I say I sorta wanted the Eric Clapton/Cream sorta sound..Any suggestions?...Thanks in advance!...
I've read that Layla was recorded with a 6 watt TUBE Fender Champ (one of the greatest amps of all time, and you can find nice used ones for $200-400, though the older ones can get pricey). Unfortunately, they're not made anymore. The Fender Pro Junior can capture some of the Champ vibe with a little bit more volume. I've seen Clapton play through a Fender Bassman (great blues sound, but loud), but I've read (here I think) that he's currently touring with a Fender Blues Junior.
The whole stack thing seems appealing from a rock god daydream perspective, but I think the sound you're looking for will probably be found in a low wattage tube amp. This will allow you to crank it and get to that sweet tube distortion you're looking for.
I don't know jack about Marshalls, so I'll leave that to someone that does.
Thanks..I'm sorta leaning towards a Marshall (all tube-no solid state) amp or Mesa Boogie..But I don't have a clue?..Which Marshall series are all tube..Are the Mesa Boogie amps tube?...
I also like Fender amps and have played the Blues Jr. and now own a Hot Rod Delluxe. But as for the Marshalls, here's a website listing the different model lines:
Basically, the AVT series is a hybrid (tube preamp, solid state power amp) and the Vintage, TSL and DSL models are all tube. I think you can tell by the jump in price which ones are all tube and which are not. The real deal is quite pricey.
Here's some info that indicates that Clapton was a Les Paul man back then:
In Cream, Clapton switched to 100-watt Marshall heads (JTM 45) and 4-12 cabinets (two full stacks). He also used a Vox wah-wah and occasionally a fuzz. After his Blues Breakers-era Les Paul was stolen, Clapton had several more Les Paul model guitars (presumably 1960 models because the neck on the 1960 model was significantly thinner than on previous models). He used Les Paul guitars exclusively until 1967, having used at least three different Les Paul Standard model guitars in 1966 (the latter two â€” one of which was borrowed â€” with Cream). Sometime in 1967, Clapton started using the 1961 Gibson SG-style Les Paul (the famous psychedelic guitar). He switched to a single pick-up Gibson Firebird I during the Spring of 1968 and then switched between the Firebird and a Gibson ES-335 "block" guitar for the remainder of Cream and for Cream's farewell concert.
The above paragraph was found at:
I am a huge Cream fan too. Here is a pic you'll enjoy, Cream live at the Orange Bowl in 1968.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis
I had a soft heart for Marshalls when I was younger. I sorta heard the Line6's & they sound sorta "phoney" as far as the effects, etc...
I have to agree with you, I think that Line6's and alot of modeling amps are ok if you are in a cover band but I personally just don't like the way they sound. I'm not bashing new technology I just think those amps and effects are no replacement for tubes.
May also want to look at the DSL line. All tube and come in 50 and 100 watt versions. Gives a wide range of tones from a good clean all the way through to full blown overdrive.
Yes, if your looking for that guitar sound and tone from that time frame an all tube amp is the way to go. There are amps on the market that offer outstanding performance, their called boutique amps, theres a number of company's that make them.One that offers the ability to change both preamp and output tubes without re-biasing the amp and has a built-in attenuator is an amp built by THD UniValue. Worth checking into.
Full stack or even half stack Marshall or any amp over 15 watts for that matter is hard to run at their saturation point and be in the same room, the shear volume alone will be hard on your hearing without some sort of attenuator or dummy load. I've got some great sound from many small 10 watt or less all tube amps that will surpass the their larger relatives and not have your ears ringing for hours afterward. A 10 watt amp is louder than you think, just cause the numbers may appear small compared to a mega watt ( 6 watt vs 100 watt). Doing the math 6 watts is 53% as loud as 50 watts. The 6 watt Fender Champ is far too loud for many needs, and so is the 5 watt Crate VC508.
You'll be surprised how many studio musicians and songs have been played on small tube amps. run them at there saturation point and put a mic in front of them you'll be getting some. Being at this time I'm running both Marshall and Mesa Boogie amps they both have their own unique sound and tone. Combined with rack mounted Equalizers and attenuators they'll put you tone heaven.
It really comes down to the amount of funds your wanting to spend. Other more known commercial amps to consider would be Ampeg, Crate, Epiphone 10, Fender, Peavey, even Kustom has a few, other less advertised amps would include Dr. Z Amplification, FAB Scamp, Top hat, Kendrick, Rivera, Trace Elliot, and this doesn't include kits for low watt amps AX84, Allen Amps, Torres Amplification to name a few. They can also be bought already to Rock an roll.
The industry continues in self-contradiction, thinking in terms of the irrelevant measure, consciously realize tone comes before volume, tone comes before special effects, tone comes before everything. Specifically EQ, preamp, EQ, tube power amp, guitar speaker, then miked, EQ, time-based effects, and monitor speakers.
Hope this helps
Thanks for the replies..Are you saying to just buy a small tube amp (low wattage..like a small Marshall, Mesa Boogie?..Tom
I would if i was you. since your just gonna be practicing at home with it. Unless you plan on gigging, yet i still would buy a small amp for practice in the home setting. This tends to go over well with spouses as well. Now you come home with a 120 watt amp and she might get a little upset at you.....LOL
I usually, when looking at amps will go for tone, not brand name, yeah marshall's kicks and so do mesa's . so what i do is go try them and the one that seems to call me is the one i will buy. As a matter of fact, i'm going to go get a new amp this weekend. a small practice one. And you never know, i'm liable to come home with a Crate or a Peavey.
" Are you saying to just buy a small tube amp (low wattage..like a small Marshall, Mesa Boogie? "
Yes, Unless your hearts desire to have a full stack then by all means get one. if your looking for that highly sought after saturated tube sound and tone at volumes you'll enjoy then a small watt all tube amp and a Eq would be a great place to rekindle the passion for playing.
Some don't realize that 10 watts is at its saturation point is darn load. I even use Attenuators when using my old Gibson Falcon 12 watt amps. I don't need shear volume to get my guitar to Talk. Lately I've been using a Boogie 50/50 power amp set at 15 watts with an attenuator the into a Marshall power amp..
If you look through some of the other Questions about amps in this section of the forum you'll find here and there, were I've listed a number of great all tube amps and setups I experiment with on my Quest for sound and tone. it all comes down what you want and then making the choice.
Not sure if this is a factor, but I bet most of the 40+ y.o. guys who have been dealing with big beefy amps for years are really tired of hauling them around. If you are going to be moving this amp a lot, keep the weight/size in mind. Lot's of great sounds in smaller tube amps, and they are surprisingly loud. Don't buy any bigger than you really need.
-=tension & release=-