Late to this thread, but a lot of interesting comments!
A beginning player in the mid-70s, the vaunted Boogie amps made a serious impression on me. And then the Marshall tone was everywhere, Gilmour’s Hiwatts were other-worldly, and I’d grown up listening to Fenders and Voxes. Pedals and the refrigerator-racks became a thing in this period, and making cool sounds was an art. It was a good mix, and I see the influence of these sounds in my choices to this day.
The above explains a lot of why I mostly play a Fractal Audio Axe Fx these days. All of those sounds in one place. But that’s another discussion for another thread.
The PRS HX/DA 50 is high on my “best amps ever” list, and cover my entire list of Plexi-amp needs. I already went on and on and on about it in another thread, so I’ll just point you there:
Ok, after totally hijacking Rapdog’s HXDA market thread, I thought it was time to get back in my own lane! A 50 watt version HXDA head is “Out For Delivery” to my humble abode, and the obligatory pics will follow soon. I am looking forward to it as it’s as close to an old Plexi as I am ever...
My first Boogie was a wood/wicker Mk III, and it changed my opinion about what quality tone was. Not the “hour in a music store” test impression that so often fools people that different is better, but the 10-years gigging it and still getting smile-inducing tones from it sort of convincing. I played Boogies exclusively for decades. I still have a Road King II 2x12 and a Nomad 55 4x10… super
amps. I was depressed to see Randall sell to Gibson. It was the true end to an era.
Fender and Vox amps are as comfortable as old jeans, and just sound familiar to me. I’m a fan of certain blackface era amps. I own a 1964 Super Reverb and a Deluxe Reverb reissue that I sent to George Allessandro to have the circuit boards torn out and a handwired blackface circuit put in. Both sound like Fenders should sound.
My Vox urge is scratched by a 1991 30th Anniversary AC30TB. Great amp from the Rose Morris era. I had a tech go over it, and he commented on how much better the RM and Korg amps are built than anything since. I’m no expert, but once I put Celestion Blue speakers in, there was “that” sound. The amp came with 20 watt Greenbacks, which I love, as Blues weren’t being made in the early 90s, but nothing sounds like an AC30 through Blues. The GBs are safely stored
My urge to get Gilmour-loud was handled by a Carol-Ann Tucana 3. It is a KT88 powered wall of sound that any original DR103 fan ought to check out (If you can find one). The Hiwatts had power, and could get loud dirty or clean in a way most amps can’t. The CA could do that, and with three channels, was more versatile. It’s the kind of amp you have to play to understand. Unfortunately, Carol Ann is no more, since Alan Phillips quit building amps several years ago. I sold my Tucana 3 a while back, and rely on the Axe Fx when I need it.
I have others, but that covers everything that means anything to me tone-wise. I love the sound and tech of the Axe Fx, and it needs no excuses made. But I also love the simplicity and immediacy of playing a good tube amp. There’s no animosity between them for me. The UA Ox Box mixes tube amps and tech processing, and makes even my loudest amps usable anywhere. It is another super option for anyone looking to bridge the two worlds.