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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher FAN4EVER's Avatar
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    11.15.17 @ 05:12 AM
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    Default New head and cab

    I have been looking for "that sound" that sounds right to me. Not anyone else's sound, just the one that sounds good to me. I know you know what I am talking about. So my latest attempt is a Hughes & Kettner Tube Meister 18 head and a Blackstar Artisan 212 Cabinet. Picked up the head new and the cab used. Has any one here had experience with either or both of these? If so, can you let me know your opinion and anything else you think you want to share? So far only played about 20 minutes after getting home, but pretty happy so far.
    Thanks
    Aint life grand!

  2. #2
    Little Dreamer
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    I've the got the Tubemeister 18 running through a Randall 2x12 cab using PV Wolfgang guitars. The one sound I haven't been able to get is a really good crunch. The H&K does an exceptional clean and a really good lead sound. You may also find that channel 2 is really buzzy sounding, a tube change will solve this problem. I ended up with Mullard EL84's and Tung Sol 12ax7's.

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    [QUOTE=FAN4EVER;1663885]I have been looking for "that sound" that sounds right to me. Not anyone else's sound, just the one that sounds good to me.

    I believe those of us who play guitar on this forum are searching for "that sound". It is a never ending quest that changes as you go through life.
    Good luck my friend and rock on !!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

  4. #4
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    I think it's impossible. You may find "That sound" for a particular song, but there are so many variables that no one component like an amp, is going to deliver it.

    Here's an example:
    As I've grown older, I've learned to appreciate the tone more than the quality of the distortion. Transparency and note articulation in an amp rank higher on the list of priorities to me than how much gain it can produce. I've determined that I prefer a medium gain amp pushed into overdrive with a good quality boost pedal to get my heavier sounds.

    The result of this has been that the construction and electronics of the guitars I use has become drastically more important. You can really tell a huge difference between different guitars plugged into my rig. So now, I have to really pay attention to things like the hardware quality, pickups, and even the type of wood, because they all sound different.

    There's not one combination that I use for everything. Some songs, I achieve "That sound" by using my Strat in position 2 with lead channel on my amp on, and my overdrive pedal off. Some songs, it's the Wolfgang with the amp's lead channel on with the overdrive pedal on. Some songs, it's my Les Paul through the amp's clean channel with the overdrive pedal on.

    That being said, there are some constants that I always use to achieve a sound that I like, and probably identifies me to the casual listener. I basically have two effects setups that I always use through the effects loop. One is a small amount of delay with a touch of chorus set low on the rate to add some richness. The other is a small amount of delay with a harmonist set to zero for a doubling effect. Those settings are for my overdrive settings. For clean, I just add a bit of reverb, and increase the level on the chorus.

    My amp is a PRS SE30 combo, and my overdrive is a BSIABII.

    One thing to always keep in mind though. No matter how much we geek out about our tone, most people in the audience won't be able to tell the difference between my rig and a Line 6 Floor Pod. All the tone talk is really just for our own gratification.
    "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.

  5. #5
    Hot For Teacher FAN4EVER's Avatar
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    11.15.17 @ 05:12 AM
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    Default

    Thanks for the words of wisdom and advice. It is absolutely correct that the guitar, amp, effects all work together to get to any particular sound. And that different sounds are good for different songs. What I find interesting is after 30+ years of playing that now I seem to work more at the sound than the actual song I am playing- or trying to play... I spend just as much time turning nobs and switching guitars as actually playing. Not saying that this is not fun. In fact, I think it is quite a bit of fun. Here is a rundown of my "toys" that are part of my never ending quest. I think I have plenty of nobs and buttons to keep me entertained.
    Head and Cab: Hughes & Kettner Tubmeister 18 / Blackstar 2x12
    Combo Amp: Peavey Bandit 112
    Guitars:
    PV Wolfgang - Red (American made, completely original)
    PV Wolfgang - Amber (American made, completely original)
    Strat - put in a stacked humbucker in the bridge position and a 500k pot
    Strat - EMG 81 with 2 EMG S single coils - 500k pot, locking tuners and graph tech saddles
    Effects:
    Pro Co RAT2 Distortion
    BOSS BD2 Blues Driver
    MXR EVH Phase 90
    MXR EVH 117 Flanger
    Cry Baby Wah
    Way Huge Aqua-Puss analog delay
    T-Rex Whirly Verb Reverb
    Aint life grand!

  6. #6
    On Fire Bluto's Avatar
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    06.23.15 @ 06:07 PM
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    Default Looking for new amp

    I don't mean to revive a dead thread, but I didn't think my question warranted a whole new thread. I am on a really tight budget, and I am looking for a new Marshall style amp. I don't have anywhere near the cash to drop $1k+ on a Marshall. I found out about the Bugera amps and saw the 1960 Infinium (basically Plexi clone with MV so I can crank it and not have my head explode) and the 1990 Infinium (JCM 900 clone I believe) I mostly play Van Halen, Metallica, Scorpions, AC/DC, and lots of classic rock. For anyone who has played those amps, which is the better choice for that style?

  7. #7
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    I would stay away from Bugera amps. Your money would be better spent on a Peavey Classic 30, and a Mad Professor 1 pedal, or a BSIAB II if you can solder.

    You would be able to achieve a pretty convincing Marshall tone with that set up. You could improve the tone of the amp by replacing the Blue Marvel speaker with a Celestion Vintage 30.

    Option number 2 would be a Blackstar HT Club 40. This amp will achieve a Marshall tone out of the box, with a great variety of other tones too, using the ISF control. For the money, it's probably your best bet. I would strongly encourage you to go with the Blackstar over the Bugera.
    "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.

  8. #8
    On Fire Bluto's Avatar
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    06.23.15 @ 06:07 PM
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    Okay, thanks for the advice. I'll check those amps out. I've heard good things about the Blackstars.

    If I may ask, why not Bugera? I have read about the amps failing, but I thought that was just an issue with older models. Or are they just low quality in general?

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    11.28.17 @ 10:33 PM
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    You can get a decent 5150 I for $600ish and probably less if you really search. I was playing through my old GK 250ML tonight and, when you turn the chorus off, it really gets an amazing tone. BTW, I have $1000 into my Soldano SLO 100, which is also pretty close to the sound. But you'll never find one for that kind of money. I traded a super nice ES-335 I had $1000 into for it and the SLO had one hour of playtime on it. I played a Two Rock head today and it made me consider it for a few min. until I bought the guitar I was playing through it and then decided I'm gonna be poor.

  10. #10
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
    Okay, thanks for the advice. I'll check those amps out. I've heard good things about the Blackstars.

    If I may ask, why not Bugera? I have read about the amps failing, but I thought that was just an issue with older models. Or are they just low quality in general?
    Bugera is basically a line of knock-off amps that are very cheaply produced. They achieve a decent sound, but build quality and durability are sacrificed. Burgera is owned by Behringer. They tried making some modeling amps under the Behringer name, and Bugera is their line of tube amps.

    The bottom line is, you will get some halfway decent tone until you have a problem with the amp. Once you do, repairs will cost more than the amp is worth. They have been known to have some issues with connections in the power section of the amp.

    Either way, Blackstar is a much better choice. I mentioned Peavey because the Classic series is a time tested, great quality, bulletproof amp. Real spring reverb tank, and great versatility.
    "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.

  11. #11
    On Fire Bluto's Avatar
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    06.23.15 @ 06:07 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Bugera is basically a line of knock-off amps that are very cheaply produced. They achieve a decent sound, but build quality and durability are sacrificed. Burgera is owned by Behringer. They tried making some modeling amps under the Behringer name, and Bugera is their line of tube amps.

    The bottom line is, you will get some halfway decent tone until you have a problem with the amp. Once you do, repairs will cost more than the amp is worth. They have been known to have some issues with connections in the power section of the amp.

    Either way, Blackstar is a much better choice. I mentioned Peavey because the Classic series is a time tested, great quality, bulletproof amp. Real spring reverb tank, and great versatility.

    Wow, thank you for the warning. Now I'll definitely be looking at the Blackstar and the Peavey now. I watched some demos of both those amps and they sound really great!


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  12. #12
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Bugera is basically a line of knock-off amps that are very cheaply produced. They achieve a decent sound, but build quality and durability are sacrificed. Burgera is owned by Behringer. They tried making some modeling amps under the Behringer name, and Bugera is their line of tube amps.

    The bottom line is, you will get some halfway decent tone until you have a problem with the amp. Once you do, repairs will cost more than the amp is worth. They have been known to have some issues with connections in the power section of the amp.

    Either way, Blackstar is a much better choice. I mentioned Peavey because the Classic series is a time tested, great quality, bulletproof amp. Real spring reverb tank, and great versatility.
    This.

    Used Peaveys are not much more than a new Bugera anyway... and I've seen people drop Peavey amps down 2 flights of stairs, load them in a truck, and go play a gig with them... seriously. Peaveys are built like a tank, and are quality gear. If you don't prefer their sound, that's fine, but no one can knock their design and build quality.

    I would recommend you look into the Peavey Windsor amp. It's their cheapest tube amp (I believe) and it is basically an old Marshall style amp clone. And SUPER CHEAP, even for Peavey.

    I'd put my money on Peavey's cheapest amp (which would get you that old school marshall sound for pennies on the dollar) vs. Bugera's "highest end" amp any day in terms of design and build quality.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 01:08 AM
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    Hey Bluto , good luck on your quest for a new amp !
    I'll have to agree with others on here and say that Peavey amps are great quality , and bang for the buck . You almost can't go wrong with one of their models . I've owned several , from tube heads to combos , rack preamps to transtube effects units . Peavey stuff is built like a tank .

    You mentioned Blackstar amps . They seem to be pretty expensive from what I've seen . Also , I've owned (and quickly sold) some Behringer effects pedals . They were crap quality in terms of build and sound . At least that's my experience with them . I'd be VERY leery about playing through an amp of theirs , or even one made by a sister company .

    As I said - Good Luck
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  14. #14
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    If you can find a good used one for cheap, I would suggest a PRS SE amplifier. I'm currently playing a PRS SE 30 combo, and I'm very happy with my tone.

    You will read reviews about the SE series that are not complimentary. Complaint number 1 is that they are too expensive for what they are. Of course, that is a subjective argument, but I would tend to agree that in the segment of the market that they occupy, the price is on the higher end.

    The second complaint you will hear is that it is a poor representation of the higher end PRS amps, and the design got lost in translation from the original PRS to the SE. Yeah, I'm sure the U.S. amp sounds better. I don't really care, because I like the tone of the SE.

    Here's what I know. I'm very pleased overall with the tone of the amp. It isn't as versatile as the Blackstar HT-40, but the tone sounds more "honest" and the amp seems more transparent.

    Another thing about this amp that i like is the adjustable bias trim pots on the back of the amp. Very handy for tweaking the amp's personality.

    But the thing that I really like a lot about the amp is the build quality. The construction of this thing is top notch for what it is. Even though it is produced overseas, it still has real chassis mounted jacks, full-size chassis mounted pots, and even some of the tube sockets are chassis mounted. The power tube sockets are board mounted, but the board is more than twice as thick as ones I've seen inside of Peaveys or Fenders. If you look inside a Peavey or a Fender amp, you will see board mounted jacks, mini-pots and all of the tube sockets are board mounted on boards with quite a bit of flex in them.

    The electronics layout in this amp more closely resembles the inside of a Mesa amp than it does it's lower line competitors. You do pay for it though. They are about a Grand for one new.

    The good news is, because of the underwhelming response to the amp from PRS purists and the general public that don't understand why it is so much more expensive than it's competitors, you may be able to pick one up used, or catch a blowout on them and score one much cheaper than the list price.

    Just a quick point of reference though. It is a more classic rock amp. For higher gain, you will need to put an overdrive pedal in front of it. It compares most closely to the gain structure of a Peavey Classic series amp.

    The Blackstar HT-40 will get you high gain without an overdrive, plus sparkling cleans and great variety of classic rock tones. It is by far the most flexible of the three. The only problem I have with the Blackstar is that it's not as transparent as the PRS. You actually end up hearing more of the amp than you do the guitar. I know concepts like that are hard to put into practical examples, but here is how I try to explain it:

    -Let's say you have 3 guitars with JB humbuckers in the bridge. One is a strat with an alder body and maple neck, one is a Les Paul with a mahogany body and flame top, and one is an Ibanez RG with a Floyd Rose. You plug all 3 into the amp with the same settings, but you don't really notice much of a difference in tone between them. Then you are hearing more amp than guitar, and your amp is not very transparent.

    If, on the other hand, you do the same thing and you notice a drastic difference between the three, then your amp is very transparent. You are hearing more of your guitar. Things like the type of wood, quality of the hardware, size of strings and shape of the guitar start to come through the amp.

    On an amp that is not as transparent, differences in tone between guitars is more of a function of what type of pickup you are using, and less about the construction of the guitar itself.

    Anyway, besides the Budda Superdrive 18 I used to own, the PRS SE 30 is the most transparent amp that I've owned, but the price you pay for that is versatility.
    Last edited by nobozos; 03.15.14 at 07:12 AM.
    "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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