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Thread: Amp Advice

  1. #1
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Amp Advice

    Bonjour tout le monde!

    Iím thinking about amps. I have a couple low watt tube amps (Montgomery Ward and Ampeg) that will be coming my way soon. I have a Marshall GR15 CD solid state that I love too. But Iím thinking abut something a little bit bigger and a little more versatile.

    Wish list:

    combo
    20w or less
    10″ or smaller speakers (a pair if possible)
    completely solid state or with a tube pre-amp (hoping to save weight)
    two channel switchable.
    master volume
    balanced (xlr) line out
    effects send & receive for both channels (if poss)

    Does anyone think such a beast exists?

    Merci beaucoup!
    Daniel

  2. #2

    Default Re: Amp Advice

    I have a Vox VT40+ which does most of what you want is seriously loud for its size. But you would need to get handy with the soldering iron to get your send and return option. It’s a fairly straight forward job which involves putting some extra sockets in it does make it that bit more versatile.
    I believe that the larger wattage models had an effects loop. But they might be bigger than you want.
    I don’t know about other amps as I only have a couple of other ones neither has your wish list.
    Although my Gibson valve junior will be getting some mods done before too long.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Maybe check out a Roland jazz chorus. It doesnít have a balanced line out, but you could get a cheap DI like an imp to make one of the line outs balanced. https://express.google.com/u/0/produ...xoClH4QAvD_BwE

    Edit: they also have smaller wattages, but this is the one with 2x10s

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  6. #4
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nestlerode View Post
    Bonjour tout le monde!

    I’m thinking about amps. I have a couple low watt tube amps (Montgomery Ward and Ampeg) that will be coming my way soon. I have a Marshall GR15 CD solid state that I love too. But I’m thinking abut something a little bit bigger and a little more versatile.

    Wish list:

    combo
    20w or less
    10″ or smaller speakers (a pair if possible)
    completely solid state or with a tube pre-amp (hoping to save weight)
    two channel switchable.
    master volume
    balanced (xlr) line out
    effects send & receive for both channels (if poss)

    Does anyone think such a beast exists?

    Merci beaucoup!
    Daniel
    Have you looked at Schertler, AER, or Acoustic Image? They have multi-channel amps with effects loops, but I don't know if they are switchable. You could also look at keeping your lower power amps and just putting a switchable DI in front, like a Grace Felix.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Not sure about the Schertler but I have both an AER and an Acoustic Image but both are outside Daniel's wish list in terms of power. The AER Compact 60 is rated at (Duh!) 60 Watts and my Acoustic Image (The Coda) at something like 400 Watts - you'd never know by its size. The Coda is sold as an acoustic bass amp but it copes admirably with anything I care to plug into it - acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, guitar synth etc. "It weren't cheap tho'" as we say in these parts; but it's only money! (They're made in the US and they sell them at Thoman.)

    The nifty bit about the Coda is that you can take the amp section out of the cabinet and operate the amp/pre-amp remotely.

  9. #6
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Thanks gents,

    I pulled the trigger last night on a recent Marshall MG30FX. It's 30w rather than 20. It lacks an effects loop, which seems to be a feature only of larger amps. The output is a 3.5mm jack instead of an xlr, but I can rewire that if I want to.

    It has 4 channels, and a single 10" speaker.

    The idea was to have something stage worthy that could be fed to the PA if 30w were a bit too weak for the room. The only effects I want are a bit of reverb, something to shape the eq, and a bit of boost. Seems to me, 4 channels ought to cover most of that. We'll see what the onboard effects have in the way of reverb.

    Now I'm looking fore the correct footswitch!

    Will share after it arrives from the other side of Paris and I've had time to monkey with it.

    Best,
    Daniel

  10. #7
    CP Mandolins
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    I use an AER 60 for my mandolins - love it!

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  12. #8
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Thanks Chris!

    I have tried AER amps. In fact I played my first JBovier electric mandolin through and AER at the AER booth n the 2010 NAMM show. They turned me down because Al Dimeola was about to demo the AER line and I was too much sonic interference.

    Yes, I was shushed by the great Al Dimeloa!

    For electric solidbody instruments I find AERs too clean. For my clean tones, I want a little bit of overdrive/break up if I push it. Think Buddy Miller or Gurf Morlix.


    Daniel

  13. #9
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Normally I prefer to not depend on the amp for overdrive/compression, and use a pedal to be independent of that. Lately, though, I am using the little Trace Elliot “Elf” which is a bass head. Its built-in compression fattens the otherwise tinkly and thin higher notes, and is fitting in nicely at jazz sessions. The expressive function is very much like a little overdrive, helping it sing without noticeable distortion.

    I also prefer a separate speaker, as only a small box is needed for most rehearsals, folk dances, sitting in, etc. But modern solid-state heads like the Elf sound great with a bigger cabinet, also, and that head is 200w into 4 ohms and way more than enough for mando, acoustic or electric.
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  14. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    Roland AC 60, 6" speakers , stereo, (for the Chorus to matter)

    But it heavy not due to tubes, But brcause of the Power Supply Transformer..



    Carvin 3 Amp Powered Mixer is Lighter , because it has a transformer-less, switching tower supply.
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  15. #11
    Registered User vwfye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    I really like the 1968 Univox U45B. Great clean sound and takes pedals well!
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  16. #12
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amp Advice

    I picked up a Marshall MG30CFX based largely on my experience with the G15R CD.

    It has an impressively clean 'Clean' channel. The Crunch channel is more overdriven than crunchy, and the two overdrive channels are largely unusable unless you're a gormless metalhead.

    I have been able to tame the Crunch channel to get a usable tone.

    For both channels I'm running an Origin Effects SlideRig (original large box). It's a pair of chained preamps/compressors based on the UA Audio 1176's that Lowell George recorded with. This adds 2 stages of boost plus a bit of compression (or a tonne of compression if I want) and it improves tone.

    The 'store' function allows me to dial in the tone I want and then save it. No need to worry about where the knobs are.

    Forget about the effects. But the reverb is nice. Two types, spring and plate. I'm enjoying the plate at a subtle setting right now.

    Will take it to practice tonight


    Daniel

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