Good Amp for Hollowbody?

RickP

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Just picked up a PRS SE Hollowbody Standard. Any Amp suggestions?
Congrats on the new guitar! I don’t have that model, but do have three PRS hollow body guitars. I think you’ll find that any amp or modeler you like with other guitars will suit your new baby just fine. They’re not difficult to get good sounds from, and not as susceptible to feedback as most hollow or semi-hollow guitars. Good luck!
 

FoldedFaces

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Nice choice!
Buy the best amp you can afford, plug in and rock out!
Was plugged into a Mesa Boogie California Tweed 6V6 4:40 at the shop when I bought it and that sounded great! Can’t afford the $2K behind the Hollowbody purchase though. It actually sounds OK through my Fender Acoustisonic 15 so that will do for now.

Maybe a Fathers Day gift!
 

Em7

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If you are not opposed to solid-state, take a look a Quilter Aviator Cub. A lot of former vintage and reissue Fender combo amp users have switched using a Quilter Aviator Cub. It is $650.00, weighs around 20lbs, and there are no tubes to fail or replace. If you have ever heard of QSC power amps, QSC is Quilter Sound Company.



 
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RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
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Was plugged into a Mesa Boogie California Tweed 6V6 4:40 at the shop when I bought it and that sounded great! Can’t afford the $2K behind the Hollowbody purchase though. It actually sounds OK through my Fender Acoustisonic 15 so that will do for now.

Maybe a Fathers Day gift!
I’ve got a California Tweed and can attest to it making every guitar sound sweet. Drop those Father’s Day hints!

Failing that, the CT is derived largely from Fender amps like the Deluxe Reverb. You can find those used at a good price if you look around, and can even try the new Tone Master series (non-tube) new under $1k and down in the $650-750 range used.
 

Em7

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There are a lot of sub-$1K options that are more than good enough for the non-touring musician.

I will never purchase another Mesa product and I no longer work on them. Mesa's quality has declined significantly over the last twenty-five years or so. The last well-built Mesa amp was the Mark III . From there, Mesa has progressively incorporated cost reduction techniques that were first introduced with the Caliber series in the eighties into their entire product line (the Caliber series were sold as budget Boogies). In many ways, a DRRI is better built than almost every current Mesa product, which is shame. All of the tube sockets are chassis mounted in DRRI, which is important to the long-term repairability of the amp (plus, any decent amp guy can turn a DRRI into a handwired Deluxe Reverb if so desired, which makes the amp even easier to repair). Mesa has always board mounted preamp tubes, but now they are board mounting power tubes, which is a huge no-no in my book. Preamp tubes draw very little current because their job is voltage amplification. Power tubes are the complete opposite in that their job is current amplification.. A power tube failure is usually a much expensive proposition with board-mounted power tubes because if a power tube carbonizes a socket or shorts, it usually takes the power tube board with it. With chassis mounted power tube sockets, one usually only has to replace the socket. The reason why the old tube amps are still with us is due in large part to the fact that they support component-level repair. Amps that require board swaps have limited self lives due to the fact that when an amp goes out of production, the clock on available spares starts to count down.
 

LSchefman

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If you are not opposed to solid-state, take a look a Quilter Aviator Cub. A lot of former vintage and reissue Fender combo amp users have switched using a Quilter Aviator Cub. It is $650.00, weighs around 20lbs, and there are no tubes to fail or replace. If you have ever heard of QSC power amps, QSC is Quilter Sound Company.



Sounds very nice - but also very solid state, especially the transients. This isn't a criticism - it's just an observation.

I did notice that it has a nice resonance, and brings out the tone of the guitar well; as with many high quality, clean SS amps, you hear the guitar more than the amp, and that can be a good thing, depending on what you're after.

One way I can put the difference into words is to say that most tube models sound more liquid and have greater elasticity/bounce. This amp has that stiffer SS vibe. You can hear it when he hits a note harder and leans into it. The timbre doesn't change much, it just gets louder. One great thing about a tube amp is that as you lean into it, the timbre and vibe of the amp changes - obviously that's mainly distortion of various kinds, but it's cool to have that!

I realize these words mean different things to different people, but that's my take on it.

I should also mention that one of my favorite guitar tones - the Cure's 'Seventeen Seconds' album - was recorded with a solid state Roland Jazz Chorus amp. But it's all about the music, the context, and what you like to play through.

Whatever works for the player and the music, works. But we're all different. I think a player investing in a SS amp like this one is making a choice for a certain set of tones. Wouldn't be my choice, but might be a perfectly fine choice for a different kind of player.
 
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Em7

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Sounds very nice - but also very solid state, especially the transients. This isn't a criticism - it's just an observation.

I did notice that it has a nice resonance, and brings out the tone of the guitar well; as with many high quality, clean SS amps, you hear the guitar more than the amp, and that can be a good thing, depending on what you're after.

One way I can put the difference into words is to say that most tube models sound more liquid and have greater elasticity/bounce. This amp has that stiffer SS vibe. You can hear it when he hits a note harder and leans into it. The timbre doesn't change much, it just gets louder. One great thing about a tube amp is that as you lean into it, the timbre and vibe of the amp changes - obviously that's mainly distortion of various kinds, but it's cool to have that!

I realize these words mean different things to different people, but that's my take on it.

I should also mention that one of my favorite guitar tones - the Cure's 'Seventeen Seconds' album - was recorded with a solid state Roland Jazz Chorus amp. But it's all about the music, the context, and what you like to play through.

Whatever works for the player and the music, works. But we're all different. I think a player investing in a SS amp like this one is making a choice for a certain set of tones. Wouldn't be my choice, but might be a perfectly fine choice for a different kind of player.

Les, I mean no disrespect, but you appear to be stuck in mid-sixties to mid-seventies guitar tone mode. That is nothing wrong with that preference, but it does not work for all styles of music. Guitar has changed quite a bit from that point in time and not all tube amps are elastic. In fact, tube amps started to adopt a more immediate feel in the mid-seventies, which became even more immediate in the eighties. Mark and Caliber Series Boogies can be quite stiff. They are biased cold and have more power supply capacitance than fifties and sixties designs. Marshalls became stiffer with the introduction of the metalface amps and became even stiffer with the JCM 800s and 900s (Marshall reduced the amount of bass they were allowing to flow through to the power amp to reduce the load on the power supply). An amp with give in it is good for music up to blues-rock, but after that point has been reached, that spongy feeling can be a negative, which is why tube-rectified amp designs fell out of favor in the eighties. An amp has to have a more immediate feel with faster transient response and less sag to play neoclassical fusion well. In many ways, neoclassical fusion has a lot in common with bebop in that both styles require an amp that tracks very well when playing fast passages. The need for a more immediate feel with less give is what gave rise to the ADA MP-1 and the Marshall JMP-1 with corresponding solid-state power amps. One of the reasons why the paring of an SD-1 with JC-120 became so popular in the eighties was its more immediate feel with fast transient reponse. Most of us know that the JC-120 dominated the stages of pop and new wave bands in the eighties, but it appeared on the stages of a lot of eighties metal bands too.
 

Cato

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Just picked up a PRS SE Hollowbody Standard. Any Amp suggestions?
Good thread question and responses! I just got the PRS HB II a few days ago and it sure has a different sound than my solidbody guitars. I have a Supro Delta king 12, 15w amp and a vintage 68 Princeton reverb. I haven't quite found the sound yet for the HB II on the Supro, so thinking I will see if I can dial it in on the Princeton and play the solidbodys through the Supro. I have an ABY pedal that will make it easy to switch back and forth depending on the guitar. My other two are solidbody SE Custom 24-08 and an S2 McCarty 594 double cut.
 

ScottM65

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It may depend more on the style of music than the type of guitar. I love my Quilter. Many solid state "jazz" amps are much more versatile than you might think. A few pedals and you can do anything with a Polytone, Quilter, Henriksen, etc. I played everything from Duke Ellington to Santana to Merle Haggard with a Polytone for about 25 years. I am also really liking the Tone Master amps by Fender.
 

Greywolf

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It really comes down to what style you play. My HBII sounds delightful through all of my amps , it is so versatile. For Jazz , the Mesa Rosette puts it in the ES 175 area.
 
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