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Thread: Boutique Amps?

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    On Fire Ed shred's Avatar
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    Boutique Amps?

    Are boutique amps really worth the price? All these great amps that I see on ebay and stuff go for at least $2000.00! That is a lot of money, cut that price in half then we can talk. Does anybody have real experience with all these expensive amps?

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    Many of the boutique amps are handwired and that makes them harder to come by. Manufacturing just takes more time. Bad Cat, Matchless, Bogner...these are great amps, but mediocre playing through a great amp still sounds mediocre...Look up Sligo Amplification on the web...reasonable prices and I've heard nothing but good things...
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    Sligo appears to have no website, but the reviews are good. An 18-watt Bluesbreaker clone for about a thousand bucks, and a Bassman clone for about nine hundred? Now I'm interested.

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    http://sligoamplification.com/


    Also, Carvin's vintage series and Vai Legacy amps are incredible for a VERY reasonable price...
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    I play my Bogner 101b 90% of the time. It's a GREAT amp. But, it is only a tool, as is any amp. But, they do have a great sound, and more importantly a 'feel' to them.
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    I'll share my experience with the boutique amps I've actually played through.
    First one I had a chance to try was a Top Hat Emplexidor. It belonged to my lead guitar player. He made it sound great, and the amp was outstanding, but alas, he was still on a quest for the perfect tone. The next amp he got was a Germino. It was basically a modded Marshall Plexi. It had tons of tone, but he was still not satisfied. He now has what he considers to be, and I agree with him, THE perfect amp tone for him. He has a Straub Cantus. http://www.harrystraub.com/amps/products.html
    This will nail just about every classic Marshall tone, and will go up to, and beyond Eddies Fair Warning tone. The Straub is all handmade from the best components by Harry Straub. I believe Tom said it cost him about $1200 for the head. That is no more than most Mesa stuff. Now, like I said, all his amps were pretty much the classic Marshall Plexi, or modded Plexi tone, so you can't really compare these amps to anything on the market today, because nobody builds amps like Marshall used to except the boutique manufacturers. It's pretty much like buying an old 60s Marshall, but with all new components, and some new mods. How much would you pay for that?

    I have owned vintage Fender(1964 Bandmaster), Mesa(F-50 and Nomad), and Peavey(5150 and Classic 30) amps. All had a good tone. I recently came across a Budda Superdrive 18 at a guitar shop. I was completely blown away by the tone. It does vintage gain, and modern gain, as well as doing clean very well. And this 18 watt amp is the loudest 18 watts you will ever hear. The Budda just smokes any other amp I've owned. I loved it so much, I traded my beloved Cherry-burst Axis for it. So, yes, the boutique amps are worth the money.

    One thing about boutique amps, or any really good amps. You may find that when you play through one, all of a sudden, your playing sucks. At first, you will try to adjust the amp to cover your sloppy playing, but you will not be able to hide it. I believe this is because the really good amps, that have serious tone are very touch sensitive, meaning that they actually let the true sound of your pickups, and guitar come through. Really good amps are more responsive to finger pressure on the neck, and pick attack. People get lazy with their technique because their amps cover up alot of their sloppiness on the cheaper amps, but there is nowhere to hide on a really good amp. Those amps force you to become a better player. Once you clean up your technique a bit, you fall in love with the tone.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

 

 

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