Amplifiers that change the way you view your gear...

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Thread: Amplifiers that change the way you view your gear...

  1. #1


    Join Date: Nov 2014
    Location: Norman, OK
    Rig: Mesa Rectoverb 50

    iTrader: 0

    Amplifiers that change the way you view your gear...

    As some of you may know, I've had a few amplifiers over the last couple years - sold, traded, etc., all of them away for one reason or another.

    My last trade was a 6505MH for the Laney Ironheart 60H I currently have. I don't regret that trade - I felt that the mini-head was a one-trick pony (and it truth it may be that my skills are developed enough to teach that pony new tricks.) The Laney worked out fine, offering me options for tone and style.

    Saying all of this, the Blues Jr. I picked up a couple weeks ago has turned all that on its head. That little machine is so versatile. It doesn't do metal, of course, but it'll get up and growl or scream with an overdrive. It does southern rock, blues rock, 80's/90's hard rock, excellent cleans... and the reverb on it actually sounds good.

    So now, I look at my setup in a completely different light. The Blues Jr. is my practice amp, it's my fiddling around amp, it's my go-to unless I just want to pick up the V and melt the walls. And in those cases, I almost feel like I miss my early 5150 or a 6505+.

    This is going to sound like a stupid question, but here you are anyway:

    Have you ever picked up an amp that completely changed the way you look at your gear? A "game-changer," if you'll excuse the well-worn cliche?
    All I can ask is that I suck a little less each time I pick up my guitar...

  2. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Deep South, MS
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    Before I bought my first Mesa, a Nomad 45 2x12, in something like 2002, all I ever had for overdrive tones was a Boss Hyperfuzz and an ART Xtreme+ pedal into a pair of 1x10 combo amps; a Crate 15X and a Kustom. For one thing, having an amp that tight forced me to tighten up my playing!

  3. #3


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner
    Rig: Budda SD30

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    My Budda is still the amp by which I judge all my others. It's not perfect (temperamental, loud, shared EQ in the channels) but the way it feels and sounds when I play it make it feel like "home" to me and totally changed what I was looking for in an amp.
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

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  5. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel SoCal Custom
    MB: Spector NS2000Q4
    Rig: Dual Rectifier (Reborn)

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Before I moved over to the Rectifier I was a 5150/6505 user. Practically everything sounds the same going through a TS + 5150 The 5150-ness absolutely dominates. I mean, you could obviously tell which guitars shone better and which were somewhat poorer quality guitars, but not to the extent of when I moved over to the Dual Rec. Man, that thing eats bad guitars/pickups for breakfast. It really made me have to readdress a few things, chiefly what pickups I used, and get my entire guitar stable up to par.

    Also, due to the rawness of the distortion and the way the bass blooms, it makes for such a dynamic playing experience my playing has to be consistent as fuck or it really really shows me up.
    www.numbskullaudio.com
    Recording. Mixing. Mastering. Editing. Re-Amping.

  6. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS Custom 22
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I thought high gain heads were incredible until a dr z 38 (18?) On a 212 rendered my halfstack irrelevant during a guitars-only jam. It cut like a knife and I sounded messy in comparison.

  7. #6


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

    iTrader: 15 (100%)

    No. Definitively no.

    The more gear you get the more you realize it doesn't really matter and you start to wish that all the time you had spent focused on gear would have been better spent playing/practicing.

    Dead serious. The only thing that really ever changed my stance on playing was the passing on time and listening to people more knowledgeable than me. There were loads of times where an old guy tried to clue me in that I was just approaching something wrong and I was just like, "No, I'm pretty sure it's the amp. I need different tubes and pickups, and the room needs to be more humid."

  8. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: CS USA Soloist 7
    MA: Ovation Elite Standard
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rec

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post
    Man, that thing eats bad guitars/pickups for breakfast. It really made me have to readdress a few things, chiefly what pickups I used, and get my entire guitar stable up to par.

    Also, due to the rawness of the distortion and the way the bass blooms, it makes for such a dynamic playing experience my playing has to be consistent as fuck or it really really shows me up.
    Exactly my experience moving from my Marshall to the TripleRec. I spent the first 3 months feeling like I couldn't play AT ALL. Now I just feel like I suck.

  9. #8


    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    ME: Ibanez JEM7V
    MA: Enema Bag W/Piezo's

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Yes and no. It's made me realize that it doesn't matter what gear I play through, something in the way I hit the strings creates this fucking mid-range that drives me insane. I know it's not actually "creating" mid-range, but something about my playing accentuates it, to the point that I don't think I'll ever be able to play with a completely mid-scooped sound. Dual Rec's, a DAR head, a Stilletto, a few 5150/6505's/Krankenstein/Rev 1....same fuckin' thing. Different guitars too.
    "It's ONE WHOLE MILLIMETER"

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