Fender amps?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Daniel Desmarais, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Daniel Desmarais

    Daniel Desmarais Member

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    Looking hard at a figured 335. Perfect for country/blues/jazz/classic rock/fusion. I’ll need an amp. Looking at a Blues Junior.

    Is it true that it I plug a Gibson (or Epiphone) guitar into a Fender amp that it opens a worm hole?
     
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  2. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    I have to send you a photo of my studio, it's devastated !

    Try to get the latest version, because every time I read about how great the early versions are, they are always so after tubes swap, speaker replacement and mod kits installed. Great amps ! Right ...
     
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  3. Gary

    Gary Member

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    Fender Blues Junior will give you that boxy sound, if it’s what you’re looking for.
     
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  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    If I won a Blues Jr. in a raffle my first move would be to sell it.

    There are so many better 15-20w amps out there you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to shop around more. JMHO
     
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  5. Daniel Desmarais

    Daniel Desmarais Member

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    Well don't leave me hanging, brother. Like what?

    I initially looked at tube amps because "You're suppose to." But I read that tube amps don't really sound that good unless they're cranked, and this will be a practice amp for playing in my house. I don't want to drive my wife & pets out of the house while I practice new songs badly.

    Plus to get the features I really want in a tube amp - Stand by switch, spring reverb, effects loop - you're really looking at a much more expensive amp, and it will probably be 50 watts or more. But if I could find a 20 watt tube amp with all those features (stand by switch, spring reverb, effects loop), name brand, sounds good clean & sounds good dirty, then I'd pay a reasonable price for it. $500-$600, if such an animal exists.

    There are plenty of inexpensive 10-20 watt digital amps. But it seems like they're all modeling amps. I don't want that degree of complexity. I don't want to have to use a smart phone to control my amp. And I'm not tone questing like a heroin addict chasing the dragon. Keep it simple - 20 watts, two channels with foot switch, effects loop, name brand, sounds good clean & sounds good dirty. Whatcha got?
     
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  6. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Traynor YCV20, Egnater Tweaker 15, Monoprice 15W to name just those. I'm sure a few more will follow. BTW why a standby switch ?
     
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  7. Daniel Desmarais

    Daniel Desmarais Member

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    I’ve been looking at the Monoprice 15. I just assumed anything that feature rich at that price had to be total crap.

    stand by switch so I can plug & unplug cables and not get loud CRACKS. I figure that MUST be bad for the amp.
     
  8. Kostas Kritsilas

    Kostas Kritsilas Member

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    If you aren't in a hurry, and are willing to buy a used amp, there are a lot of tube amps, and many are about half of the $500-600 price you are looking at. My amp is a Peavey Bravo, an 18W amp based around 6BQ5/EL84 tubes. Sounds good clean, sounds good cranked (don't use the ultra boost switch, its very noisy, and the amount of gain is unusable). There are others, like Vox AC20s (might be a little more money), various Peaveys (Classic 20, Blues 20), Crates of various types, Laneys, and on and on.

    I don't know if they still make them, but Planet Waves had guitar cables with a switch built into the 1/4" plug that could be used to mute an amplifier when activated. Then you change guitars, plug in, and deactivate the switch. Prevented the clicks/pops from the amp.
     
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  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I can speak best for the one I own. It's the 15w Egnater Tweaker Jean mentions.

    The only feature it lacks that you specify is an onboard spring reverb but it does have an effects loop so run the best spring reverb pedal you can find through the loop and you'll have an emulation of one along with other reverbs if you choose.

    I use a Hardwire RV-7 with Lexicon reverbs. Best I've ever owned. They're no longer available new but there are used ones for sale and dozens of other great sounding new ones available as well ranging from $50-$150 or so in price.

    I'll post a link to the Tweaker so you can do some research of your own. It's available as a 15w head only or a 15w 1x12 combo and you'll find a good supply of them used as well. I prefer the head only so I can match it with either one or two 1x12 cabs of my choice depending on need but the Egnater cabs w/Celestion speakers themselves are also very good.

    http://egnateramps.com/EgnaterProducts/Tweaker/TweakerHead/TweakerHead.html

    What do I like about it?

    Three different amp voices (US/Fender, AC/VOX, Brit/Marshall) all done with analog circuits and easily accessible with a switch on the front panel. The manual even suggests potential EQ and other settings for each voicing.

    It sounds great at lower volumes. I live in a multi-unit building with noise restrictions and never get complaints. Just set the MV at 2 o'clock and run the gain low at 9 o'clock or a little less. Use OD pedals for low volume breakup and a Clean Boost for lower output single coils if you need to.

    When you can crank it up it has plenty of gain on tap and a "Hot" setting that adds and additional 9dB of gain. So while it sounds great at lower volume it can also get outrageously loud when cranked up through 2x12" speakers. It can be gigged with a full band without any trouble at all. It's loud.

    The amp can run 4ohm, 8ohm, and 16ohm loads so you have complete freedom as far as the speakers and cab you can run. That's switchable on the back panel. It can also run 110/117v to 230v AC without an external step down transformer so capable of both US and International use.

    And last it can also run any pair of octal tubes you like without biasing. 6v6 are standard but I've also run EL34s, 6L6s, and currently a pair of US ANOS Tung-Sol 5881s. KT66s, KT88s, and 6550s provided they fit the enclosure. I like the 5881s best for the US and AC settings and EL34s best for the Brit setting but that's all a matter of personal choice.

    I also have a Roland Blues Cube 60 when I want a 1x12 SS combo to grab and go but I sold my BOSS 100w Katana head in favor of keeping the Tweaker. It's simple enough for an "old school" guy like me yet extremely versatile and very well built as one would expect any amp from Bruce Egnater to be.

    Lemme know if you have any more questions about it. I've also had some experience with the Monoprice (but not the Traynor). It's lower in cost but I would not buy one over a Tweaker especially when you can buy a used Tweaker head for the same price and a loaded 1x12 cab for under $200.
     
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  10. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    Check out the Blackstar HT-20RH MkII or Blackstar HT-5RH MkII. Or a combo.
    The reverb can be a pedal.
    5 watts at home is very loud.
    You can turn the volume down when you switch cables.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    One more thing I might add is the decision of whether you prefer a 6v6/6L6 powered amp or an EL84/EL34 powered amp because there will be some noticeable tonal differences.

    The other decision is between single ended Class A types and A/B types. There are 5w Class A types using 6v6 or EL84 tubes and Supro even produces a 15w Class A using a 6L6 tube.

    So including both new and used you can find quite a few amps in the $500-$600 range or less with an output of anywhere from 5w to 20w and 8" speakers to 12" speakers as combos.

    Some are also available as head only which allows you more freedom to match the head with a cab and speaker(s) of your choosing as I did and also in some cases save on weight.
     
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  12. Xtypeintn

    Xtypeintn New Member

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    I’ve only had a few amps over the last 10 years or so.

    First, there was the Line6 Spider V 60 MKII. It was a recommendation from a local guru at one of my fav shops in Melbourne FL. Being a modeling amp, it could “Do it all” and was a nice match for my EPI LP Nightfall with EMG’s and a Floyd Rose. It seemed like the sound was “One step removed from reality”, which is a hard thing to pinpoint. The rig just felt “Digital”. And while versatile, you could get lost just fiddling with the amp and not playing.

    When that amp moved on, I went with a VOX AC15C1 with a Greenback. Nice amp. Pure VOX sound, all analog, only 15 watts, but still a beast for a condo. It was, hmmmmm... “Jangly” and almost felt like broken glass at times. Guess that’s the Brit Tone thing. But playing the Gibson LP through the VOX gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling compared to the Line6. Smooth, yet spicy, and breakup was musical and full, compared to the Line6.

    After moving on from the VOX, I spent some time on a couple of borrowed amps. One was a 15 watt Carver tube amp that was very finicky, as in not always coming on and such. But since it was borrowed, I didn’t fuss with it. Really nice clean tones, and breakup didn’t require window shattering volume like my VOX.

    Then my friend lent me a MESA Lonestar and I fell IN LOVE with an amp. It had a soulful clean that felt like smooth cream with whip cream and a cherry on top. And as you played with the gain it woke up and felt like a thunderstorm, in a good way...lol. I had no idea it was a breathtakingly expensive piece until after I told my friend how much I loved it he said he could let it go for “A little over two grand” Gulp.

    Sorry if I tend to go on, but...

    My current rig works really well for me and my EPI LP ES Pro.

    I picked up a Bugera G20 Infinium. Yeah, no tank reverb, but everything else is kewl. I chose the G20 cuz you can play with tubes to your hearts content and not have to worry. It’s an auto biasing class A tube amp. That means that tubes last longer, and you don’t need a degree in Electrical Engineering to swap tubes. It came with EL’s, but I swapped in a set of MESA matched 6L6’s for the warmer tone. For a cabinet, I went with a Seismic 1X12 fully enclosed box, and loaded it with a Celestian Anniverary g12h. Being picky, I made sure I got a “Made in UK” one, not the Chinese version. And to keep a lid on things when I want to push the output tubes, I got a Power Soaker to put in between the amp and cab for my neighbors in the apt. complex. I gotta say, the Bugera/Celestian/Seismic setup is buttery smooth and is as close as I could come the that MESA Lonestar for under $800. And for late night fun, I just plug in my AKG 240’s in the jack, keep the amp on standby and enjoy...yeah, you don’t get that “Output Tube Wail” but everything else just sings out.

    My Reco...go tube, but separate cab and amp, put a Power Soaker in place and enjoy!

    YMMV
    Cheers,
    RD
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  13. Gary

    Gary Member

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    Had an Egnater Twearer. Repaired a few as well. There were a batch with bad output transformers that failed. Getting replacement parts from Egnater was a PITA because they are made in Asia.

    On the one I owned, I tried every tube type imaginable. It sounded best with 6V6 output tubes. But the micro switches start to get loose and wiggle. Sold it.
     
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  14. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Get a $30 tuner pedal. In addition to being a tuner, it works as a kill switch when it's on.
     
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  15. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    I have the same. The overdrive channel is great, but I find that the clean channel is not so great for warm sounds. It sounds bright and "glassy." Is your experience different and what's your secret?
     
  16. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    First - disregard any advise about using a reverb pedal; they've gotten a lot better over the years, but they still can't touch an actual spring unit.

    Second - My son has a Blues Jr., and I can assure you that the only thing wrong with it is the lack of a stand-by. Also, while they will give you a nice version of clean Fender tone, they do break up sooner than most Fenders - which is a downside for me, but that is a matter of taste; I like a clean amp. As for the "tube amps only sound good when they're cranked" line, I (again) prefer clean, and think a non-cranked Fender tube amp with spring reverb is the very definition of "tone".

    "Wormhole"? The onliest thing a Gibson into a Fender opens is the doorway to sonic Nirvana!

    And finally, my advise: If you have $500-600 for a Blues Jr., save the same again and buy an early '80s Paul-Rivera-designed Fender Super Champ; best low-power guitar amp ever made, if'n you was to ask me (which you did).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  17. Xtypeintn

    Xtypeintn New Member

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    Think the switch to the 6L6’s from the EL’s helped.
     
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  18. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    Wow, so much hate for the Blues Jr. in here! I had one of the second editions years ago and I liked it a lot. And umm, you can plug it into a different cabinet if it sounds too 'boxy' (whatever that means).

    Check out the Marshall Origin series if you're into no frills, old school EL34 sounds.
     
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  19. Jimmyzz

    Jimmyzz New Member

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  20. Jimmyzz

    Jimmyzz New Member

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    It's more of a thing that's true about tube amps in general. I was 20 years into my guitar playing before I owned a decent tube amp and that was the first time I was ever truly satisfied with my tone.

    A fender amp? Eh maybe, it was never my thing though. Definitely consider that wattage is not volume. A 100watt SS amp is NOT equivalent to a 100watt tube amp. I'm certain that if you are playing at home, you need to be looking at 1 or 5watts and no more than 20 unless it has a feature that lets you adjust wattage (most modern ones do). Fact is, almost every tube amp is going to feel and sound "real" vs the modeling or solid state. And with a tube screamer you will be able to dial in a tone that covers 90% of music out there.
    It is true that you have to crank them to get the BEST sound, but they still sound amazing at low volumes.

    I used a Peavey 6505+ 112 combo for years and it was my go to amp. I sold it a while back due to hard times but decided not to buy it back. I am gonna recommend either a Marshal DSLR combo or a Blackstar HT combo. I use both, I prefer the Blackstar. I play at home with a Blackstar HT1R and that little thing is loud as hell, just lacking features. It's a great pedal platform. I suspect you would like the Marshall though.
     

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