Amp shopping philosophy

JiveTurkey

Goatlord
TGF Recording Artist
Messages
12,580
So in modelers; we look for full feature sets and options. As well as ability to sound good-great. With amps; I have a different mindset altogether. Initially; I look at the deeper feature'd Boogie stuff (IIC+, etc.) with toggle switch and slider knob overload. It appeals to the modeler junkie in me for that reason; only to realize I want like 6 knobs/single channel face melt. That seems to work best for me. The elusive (non-existent) sweet spot.








Obviously; I have a Peavey Invective (you know; 3 channels and 47 button footswitch) in my sights rn :oops:
 
Distortion/Drive first, adequate clean preferred, non emulated line out essential, series FX loop (for keyed nose gate) essential.

Oh, and power/standby switches on the front. I would love an EVH, but that's a deal breaker.

Set and forget on back is fine, but I use the damn power switch every day.
 
Fortunately for me, my amp choices are just for quick “plug and play” in the house. And occasionally at a friend’s house. So I’m just looking for a couple sounds and a footswitch.

For any serious gigging or jams (which I’m not doing at the moment) - it’s a modeler for me…

But that doesn’t mean I don’t eye some of those more capable amps and wonder if I could/should make room for one. Or three. LOL.
 
I'm totally with you, as my current amp would prove that.

Ironically though, A LACK of options usually works best for me. For example, two of my favorite all time amps have been the Marshall DSL and Peavey Classic, both have a shared EQ. Usually, when I have options, that's when I start getting into trouble.
 
yep, agree. had a sig x for a while that had tons of tweakability but now i just look for the fx return and bypass everything lololololol. even if I was using the amp as an amp though i would gravitate towards more simple. more knobs, toggle switches, and sliders for me is a recipe for man that sounded great last time how do i get that again and then a ton of messing around with it. vol, gain with a simple eq is perfect for when you wanna show up in a room and get a good sound right away. might be nice to have all the different options in a studio environment if you have the time but that's about all i can think of right now.
 
If I had to pick an amp right now that I’d be “stuck with” for a length of time I don’t know which direction I’d go in. My gut keeps saying Friedman but my history heavily leans Mesa. It’d either be a JJ or a JPIIC+, fairly opposite ends of the spectrum and I’m directly in the center of it looking both ways with a gleam in my eye.
 
If I were in the market for an amp, I'd look for versatility of tones, powered by the most common tube types, and some sort of MIDI switching capability. And it would most likely have to be a Mesa. I just love their amps & cabs, and feel quite comfortable with their quality. Although tbh, I'd probably want to do a little digging to see if I can find out if the bean counters at Gibson have changed anything in the quality department since they acquired MB. Which is really unfortunate that I'd even think like that. Hopefully Randall Smith worked out a deal with Gibson that involves them continuing to uphold Mesa's reputation, even though I have no idea if that's really possible.
 
If I had to pick an amp right now that I’d be “stuck with” for a length of time I don’t know which direction I’d go in. My gut keeps saying Friedman but my history heavily leans Mesa. It’d either be a JJ or a JPIIC+, fairly opposite ends of the spectrum and I’m directly in the center of it looking both ways with a gleam in my eye.

I'm similar. I LOVE the modded Marshall sound, and have since the 80's, when I hear it, BUT, I love more of the Recto tone when I play it. It's weird, and annoying :LOL:
 
I tend to lean toward the one trick pony that does it's trick perfectly. I have a couple of versatile, knobs and switches galore amps. As much as those amps can do I tend to land on the same setting each and every time. I don't like fiddling with a bunch of knobs. So for me a minimalist single channel to get it where I want and stay there is what works best for me. Though I do wish more amps split the mid knobs to low-mids and high-mids.
 
I typically look for the ones that produce the type of tones that I’m after. Been looking real hard at the D. Kowalski Dark Gene Green model. Pete Thorn did a review of it on youtube and of course it sounds incredible like everything else Mr. Thorn touches lol. Only thing holding me back really is I don’t know how loud a .5 watt amp could be and I’d be running it into a Marshall 412 loaded with WGS Retro 30’s and Reaper HP’s. Granted I’d only be playing it at my residency at Madison Square Bedroom, I still dig turning them up for a while when I’m able. If anyone has any info regarding this, I’m listening…

idris elba GIF
 
I'm similar. I LOVE the modded Marshall sound, and have since the 80's, when I hear it, BUT, I love more of the Recto tone when I play it. It's weird, and annoying :LOL:

The only cure is to taste the rainbow and get them all! Exactly why I went with modeling, too many tones I want and not enough money or space to buy the actual amps!

But I know I’ll end up with a Friedman amp at some point. I’ve played my buddies JJ a bunch and it’s everything I thought/hoped/daydreamed it’d be. And there’s not one in a Fractal!
 
The only cure is to taste the rainbow and get them all! Exactly why I went with modeling, too many tones I want and not enough money or space to buy the actual amps!

That's what I have aimed for in 20 years of amp-diving. I want to have access to vintage cleans,
edge of break up, Marshall Plexi to JCM800 tones. Mesa. 3 or 4 varieties of Mesa. :lol

That requires multiple amps. I tried some of the do-it-all amps and there is always a compromise
somewhere. I feel like I am fairly set now. I can't see anything new being released that will move me
more than what I have, or have owned and sold. I tend to prefer the vintage options far and above the
so-called "improved" takes on those iconic amps.
 
I'm with @MadAsAHatter . With my Mark-type Mesas (Mark IV, Quad, TriAxis), I always set them to the settings that seem the most common.

I also generally used only one dirty and one clean sound. In my rock bands, I just used a 5150 without effects. Granted, in my 90's cover band I used an Axe-Fx, but with only a few amp models to get close enough to the variety of bands we covered.

I'd rather play than tweak. Give me one killer tone and I'll have oodles of fun developing my technique to get the tones I want.
 
So in modelers; we look for full feature sets and options. As well as ability to sound good-great. With amps; I have a different mindset altogether. Initially; I look at the deeper feature'd Boogie stuff (IIC+, etc.) with toggle switch and slider knob overload. It appeals to the modeler junkie in me for that reason; only to realize I want like 6 knobs/single channel face melt. That seems to work best for me. The elusive (non-existent) sweet spot.








Obviously; I have a Peavey Invective (you know; 3 channels and 47 button footswitch) in my sights rn :oops:
Sounds like you'd love the Mesa Triple Crown or Badlander amps. Simple, crushing, with a lot of tonal options mainly from the knobs.
 
Proceed with caution on that Peavey. I was not a fan. Had a decent sweet spot but a whole lot of sour ones, too.
 
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