Recommendations for an amp to complement an Archon 50 combo

ADP

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I've just bought an Archon 50. Actually, I bought an Archon two months ago and received it less than a week ago. I'll spare you the details. Fortunately, it all worked out.

So, now I've finally started down the path of proper amps - I've only ever had modelling amps before - and I'm looking for my next fix.

I'd love a DG Custom 30 and an HXDA but I'm strictly a hobbyist and from what I've read, I'm fairly sure that I wouldn't get the best out of them at the kind of volume I play at. Also, I'm in the UK, and they don't sell either of those in Europe, which both simplifies and complicates matters somewhat.

So, bearing in mind that I'd like a cool amp that I can use at sensible volumes without bothering the neighbours and I'm a huge fan of David Grissom's tone, what would you recommend?

I have my eye on a Tone King Imperial mark 2, but perhaps there's something else out there that would suit me better.
 

ADP

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I guess like a lot of guitarists, I'm really looking for a good variety of guitar tones. The Archon does great clean to high gain and offers a lot of flexibility, but it's a very modern amp. I'd like to have a more classic amp to complement it with blackface cleans to vintage Marshall via Tweed crunch.

I suppose what I'm asking is this: would the Tone King Imperial and judicious use of pedals get me anywhere close to David Grissom's tone?
 

Boogie

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I suppose what I'm asking is this: would the Tone King Imperial and judicious use of pedals get me anywhere close to David Grissom's tone?
Maybe. One of the keys is bass response, and getting the speaker to respond to the power abuse, which doesn't come at low volume. But you can get a pretty good rendition with one of several ODs, which he's used over the years. Personally, I like a Klon, but you might check out DG's latest Jetter signature pedal. And don't try matching his tone without his guitar. ;)
 

ADP

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Thanks for that. I'm all set on the guitar front; I have a couple of DGTs (more than a couple actually, but who's counting?) and a few pedals that David Grissom has used (an EP Booster and a Plimsoul). I also have an ARC Klone, but the new Jetter looks interesting, too.

I really wish PRS would make the DG Custom available as a combo in Europe.
 

Boogie

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The one little trick that works for me: slam the *#%^ out of the amp's input. That also means you have to have an amp designed to like this technique, but if you do, it transforms a relatively clean amp into a dynamic crunch beast. Then it works perfectly with the guitar controls for gain control. I have the EP Booster after my Klon because I like the buffer in the Klon being first in the chain, but the two together play well with my amp and can get a DG-like result. The rest is up to my ability to crank the master and then, of course, my ability to play reasonably. The latter is shaky, at best. ;)
 

ADP

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One of the reasons I'm looking at the Tone King is the Ironman II attenuator. It sounds like it could be ideal for pushing the amp hard at low volume to get that sound. I'm not even thinking about technique and ability at this point; I'm hoping they'll come free with a pile of cool gear. That's how it works, isn't it? ;)
 

Boogie

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Some people get great results with an attenuator...I'm not one. While you do get to push the power stage into the sweet spot, I've found that that's only about 40% of the equation. The rest comes from the speaker abuse and cab dimensions. And the guitar response from the sonic impact is the real secret sauce. All of that comes at the price of volume.

I'm not helping at all. :oops:
 

ADP

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Well, it's good to know that some of what I'm looking for is volume dependent. If I can't get the full sound for that reason, I guess I'll just have to accept that limitation, so what you've said helps a lot.

At the same time, an Imperial will probably give me the nice clean jazz tone I'm looking for, and I'm very fond of the sounds Mark Knopfler coaxes from one and I wouldn't need to annoy the neighbours to get those, so it might just be the right thing for me.
 

ADP

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I have an Xotic SL, and perhaps that's really all I need. I guess I'm just exploring my options in terms of amps and trying to find some quality gear to do justice to the nice guitars I have.
 

LSchefman

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I have a DG30, and love it. I'd say the closest thing to it in the Tone King line is the Sky King, which is more Tweed-ish in the overdrive channel. But the DG30 is a unique sounding amp, so even an amp in that direction isn't going to be a perfect match (and maybe you don't need a perfect match). One nice thing about the DG30 is that when the Boost function isn't engaged, it's not a terribly loud amp, even with the Master turned all the way up.

With the Boost function, it's loud.

Grissom also has the DG50 amp that's more in a vintage Marshall direction, if that helps you refine your search.
 

ADP

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The DG Custom 30 is one of those amps that I will probably wind up owning at some point. Unfortunately, I'll have to import it, which won't be cheap. In the end though, I suspect that I would also be happy with any good amp that gave me blackface cleans and grit, and there are a lot of great amps out there to try.
 

LSchefman

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In the end though, I suspect that I would also be happy with any good amp that gave me blackface cleans and grit, and there are a lot of great amps out there to try.

You bet. I mentioned the DG30 because you specified the DG tone. It's different from Blackface tones, of course, and it's not simply the grit. It's a less scooped, more midrange-centered tone, with a different kind of tone stack, compresses more, has less headroom, etc.

I grew up on Blackface tones and had them back when they were new in the 60s (I'm old). Grissom's tones with the DG30 are from an earlier era.

I can get kinda-sorta close on the dirtier channel of a Mesa Lone Star that's in my studio, but it's an approximation at best, even with pedals. The Lone Star can do a decent Blackface tone. But there's a unique voicing in the DG head and cabinet that's one of those "hard to describe, but you know it when you hear it" kind of things.

Dirt with judicious use of an EQ pedal might come closer than dirt alone.
 

ADP

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I know exactly what you mean. I've just heard a YouTube video of Mike Ault playing a DG30 with the gain on 10 and master on 1, which makes me think it might well be usable at home, but when I said I would be happy with Blackface cleans and some grit, I was thinking about the kind of sounds I'm looking for in general; not specifically from a DG30. I suppose I just need a collection of amps to cover all those bases.
 

LSchefman

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I suppose I just need a collection of amps to cover all those bases.

I swing wildly back and forth between wanting a ton of amps, and being happier with just one or two.

I'm not a modeler kind of guy. On the other hand, looking at a studio crammed full of amps and cabs and going back and forth between them didn't work for me in the past, either. So I basically flipflop around on the question of what to include, and what not to.
 

Boogie

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I swing wildly back and forth between wanting a ton of amps, and being happier with just one or two...I basically flipflop...
There's no sense in making solid, final decisions now; we've all waffled on philosophies and tweaked our standards so many times in the past, it's bound to happen in the future, too. Oops, I just altered one while I was typing this.

SQUIRREL!!!
 

DreamTheaterRules

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I've got a suggestion that will buy you some time while you decide. Get a Barber Gain Changer to use with your Archon clean channel. That pedal is phenomenal! The low gain side is the sweetest low gain pedal I've heard and with the 3 way mids switch, it does great flat, slight mid boost of big fat mids. Then kick it over the the higher gain side and prepare to really be blown away, Smooth singing gain, again with the mids switch it can be lots of things.

The tones it has vary greatly from the Archon overdrive and honestly it's just a pedal every guitar player should have anyway. It will give you some of the tones you're looking for and much more, and buy you some time to decide what the best next amp is.
 

NeubyWanKaneuby

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I swing wildly back and forth between wanting a ton of amps, and being happier with just one or two.

I'm not a modeler kind of guy. On the other hand, looking at a studio crammed full of amps and cabs and going back and forth between them didn't work for me in the past, either. So I basically flipflop around on the question of what to include, and what not to.

This is why I have some tube amps (Archon 100, Custom 50, & Panama Inferno 100) and an Axe FX. If I can't find what I want in my tubes that day, I just turn on the Axe. In all honestly, I don't really "need" my tube amps anymore, but I like them, so I haven't gotten rid of them (although I've tried).

As far as attenuation/speaker issues, I have a Torpedo Studio that covers those bases when I need to record silently.

BTW, whatever the Archon can't do, the Custom 50 can. Between those 2, I can imagine you can get just about any tone you want.
 
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