Best amps for blues

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by DK1984, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    Solid state and tube are both welcome to discuss.

    One amp I cannot figure out what model was used...the one in the movie Black Snake Moan with Samual L. Jackson (2006). it had a unique sound to it (at least to my ears).

    But I am looking for a nice dirty blues tone that isn't going to be too muddy.
     
  2. Silver Sky Surfer

    Silver Sky Surfer Have you seen my baseball?

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    I love my 5e3, a Fender 57 Custom Deluxe. Have not even looked at another amp since I bought it January of 2019.
     
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  3. Egads

    Egads One, Two, THIRTEEN!

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    Care to toss out some easily identified reference tones you like? What guitar are you playing with? How much money are we talking? Do you prefer pedals or amp gain? Where are you playing? Home, studio, bars, clubs? It all matters, and gives everyone a frame of reference. A tweed deluxe is killer. BB made a 100w solid state amp (Lab L5) sound killer. A Dumble makes a killer blues amp. There are as many answers are there are blues players without some focus.
     
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  4. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    That amp is a stage prop. It started out in life as a seventies Peavey Classic, which was a hybrid amp with a solid-state preamp and a 2x6L6 power section. That amp was a popular first real amp for many guitarists when I started to play guitar back in the mid-seventies. It is a nothing to write home about amp that sold mainly due to its price point and the fact that Lynyrd Skynyrd started to pimp Peavey amps. Serious teenage guitarists eventually moved up to a 50W Marshall and a slant 4x4 cabinet when they could afford and find one.
     
  5. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    That is what I find perplexing when someone asks for a blues amp recommendation. Do they want to do the pop-like John Mayer tone? Or do they want the heavy blues-rock tone used by Joe Bonamassa? There is a huge pallet of usable blues tones between the two.
     
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  6. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    If you want a blues tone that isn’t muddy, I’ve heard the Sonzera sound very good in the right hands, very articulate on top. But not everyone can make them sound good - I can’t. Seems many single coil players get good sounds, beyond that I’ve got nothing!
     
  7. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    well I want to have a dirty overdrive for chords but not too muddy...not so concerned about lead right now as I suck at lead playing and need to improve on that. I guess an amp that can have a darker blues drive but clean up nice too. Tough, I know. I'm struggling myself to find it. If I had to pick another player who's tone would be closer to what I'm trying to go for...it would definitely not be John Mayer, though he has a good tone with the Dumble's etc. Mayer is a player (with the women too).

    I just haven't found a blues amp or pedal yet that can maybe get me into the driven tweed territory but have a darker sound to it. That is where I hope to get at least an idea of where to go. The Sonzera is an amp I never played on yet.



    Check out the tone on this video, the solo is pretty good too.
     
  8. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    playing on a PRS Mira X with P90’s , fender 80s HH Strat , fender players jaguar S/H
     
  9. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    What amp was it?
     
  10. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    The folks who ask for a few examples are on the right track. The tones change a lot, even by the same guitarist. This was one thing that moved me towards the FAS Axe Fx, as I could swap amps, cabs, and FX until I found what I was looking for. I’m not sure how committed you are to the chase, budget wise, though.

    The best thing I can say is to learn the licks you’re hearing. A lot of them are the language of the blues. Nail that, and you’ll have a better shot at nailing the tone no matter what your amp.
     
  11. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    I told you what the amp was in my previous post. It is a stage prop that was made from a seventies Peavey Classic. The guitar you hear was not recorded with that amp. Here is what the amp looked like before it was turned into a stage prop:
     
  12. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    sorry, misread it before. That's a shame it was just a prop...I'll never know what they actually used to record the track.
     
  13. Egads

    Egads One, Two, THIRTEEN!

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    Well, for the rhythm in that video, a lot of the tone you are hearing is a big a$$ hollowbody with sparkly pickups. I like the Mira X and I LOVE P-90s, but in my opinion you'll be hard pressed to get very close to that.

    The solo parts sound like ithey were recorded with two different guitars (to me), but I could be wrong. I think I'm hearing something like a Les Paul with humbuckers, and a Les Paul Special, with P-90s. I could be way off, though.

    You didn't mention a price range you are willing to dive into.

    The Sonzera would give you a little variety, and help you get close to some of the solo tones. It's a reasonably priced PRS tube amp (imported). RickP is right on about learning some of the licks, and playing them with conviction will help.
     
  14. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    I never knew that a hollowbody could do that kind of a tone. I just want a darker sounding blues tone that's got grit to it. The solo was done by Lp Jr or SG jr is my guess. Def sounds like a P90 to me.
     
  15. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    Since you appear to be a relatively inexperienced guitarist, I will offer a much more tweakable alternative to a tube amp that sounds just as good; namely, a BOSS Nextone Stage or Artist. I own three different hand-wired tube amps, one of which is my design, and a Nextone will be my next amp purchase. The channels are infinitely tweakable using the Nextone software, which will allow you to experiment with different amp voicings. Plus, you will not be stuck with a compromise PCB-based tube amp if you are not willing to shell out big bucks for a quality tube amp. Shane does a good job of showing how shapeable the Nextone amps are with the software. A lot of guitarists pooh-poohed these amps because they did not like some of the stock voicings; however, changing them requires little more than tweaking in software. That beats the heck out pulling out a soldering iron and trying different interstage coupling and cathode bypass caps on a tube amp.

     
  16. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    It's funny you mention that because I see a lot of these out on the used market and I was wondering what the deal was. Usually Roland doesn't put out crappy stuff. I'm still learning guitar but I've been a guitar gear junkie for a while. Focusing more on playing/tone now.
     
  17. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    The Nextone amps seem to get eBayed quickly because people expect plug and play. That is not the way it is with multi-voice, multichannel amps. Believe it or not, the same thing happens with Mesa’s more complex amps. The only difference that people will often stick with it long enough to dial in their sound on a Mesa due to cost. A used Nextone is a buy, especially since version 2 of the software was released. The reason why I suggested the Nextone is because these amps can be tweaked. A Nextone will give you the opportunity to see how different parameters affect tone without costing you a fortune.
     
    #17 Em7, Apr 5, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  18. DK1984

    DK1984 New Member

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    Checking it out, the blues cube hot is interesting too...but the capsules they offer for Eric Johnson and Robben Ford are the cost of a new amp almost! Nextone is def a better buy
     
  19. Silver Sky Surfer

    Silver Sky Surfer Have you seen my baseball?

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    If you’re playing at home only get a 70’s Silver Face Vibro Champ. You can turn it up and get creamy blues tones plus you get one of the best sounding tremolos I’ve ever heard. You can find the for $500-$700 online. I bought one in my local GC 3 years ago for $425.
     
  20. Burton L

    Burton L New Member

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    Seymour Duncan Convertible combo is by baby. You can find great deals on this 100 watt tube amp although they don't make them anymore. The pre-amp tubes are swap-able via cartridges so you can tone your sound! Killer vintage amp with tons of tone. I often get compliments.
     
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