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The amp Thread!


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#41 _pete_

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE (Deadwing @ Oct 26 2007, 07:54 AM)
Very interesting results indeed. Good advice from 1-0-0-1-0-0-1 on the tubes.

In terms of warmth, I'm curious as to how long you had the Switchblade running before you made comparisons between that and the ZenTera. I know it is inconvenient for many people, but a tube amp really needs to be worked before you start getting a warmer sound. If you can get that pretty much instantly with the ZenTera then that is awesome. Good for you! smile.gif

Another question I had was already answered, and probably explains a lot as well. If the Switchblade only has 2 preamp tubes in it, my guess is that neither of those is a rectifier tube. So because of that, you're not going to get a whole lot of warmth compared to other tube amps, and you definitely are not going to get any natural warm tube compression and sustain, or "sag" as it is called. Then again, the fact that a digital amp had more warmth to it, I have to admit, is a bit of a mystery to me. Tone circuit of course will also still say a lot about that in any amplifier. The tone circuit in the ZenTera is probably a far better design than the Switchblade.

You will still get more punch then a digital or solid state amp though, due to the 4 EL34s in the powerstage.

Considering the ZenTera faired better than the Switchblade, and I had little luck with the ZenTera, well, that leads me to think that the Switchblade is definitely not something I would enjoy, though I would still check it out for myself.

I always have had tube amps in the 30+ years I've been playing.
When I was on the road years ago I used 50W JCM 800's with EL34's.
I had a Vox Valvetronix breifly and it was ok but the zenTera killed it. The zen is the first solid state amp I've owned and used live.

The SB was running for over 6 hours straight so it was definitely warmed up.

The SB has a digital preamp stage but I think it's a completely different design than the zen. I guess there's a reason the zen lists for over twice what the SB does.

I'm not going to worry about the details. For the Rush tribute band I'm in now, the zenTera literally nails every sound I need. It's plenty loud, is very dynamic and responsive, and sounds like a million bucks.
If I didn't need a thousand different sounds for the band I'm in, I'd probably be using an old Marshall Plexi and a Fender Twin.

I'll mess with the SB a bit more but right now I'm 99.9% positive I'll keep the zenTera.
When you don't worry about your tone you tend to play much better and With the zen I get great tone. I may just add a rack mount Decimator to control the noise and be done with it.

This has been a good discussion and it was worthwhile to me to get the SB. Guitarists are always looking for that elusive perfect amp & tone and for me at least, I think I now know that I have it.

Edited by _pete_, 26 October 2007 - 08:33 AM.


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#42 Deadwing

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE (_pete_ @ Oct 26 2007, 09:31 AM)
QUOTE (Deadwing @ Oct 26 2007, 07:54 AM)
Very interesting results indeed. Good advice from 1-0-0-1-0-0-1 on the tubes.

In terms of warmth, I'm curious as to how long you had the Switchblade running before you made comparisons between that and the ZenTera. I know it is inconvenient for many people, but a tube amp really needs to be worked before you start getting a warmer sound. If you can get that pretty much instantly with the ZenTera then that is awesome. Good for you! smile.gif

Another question I had was already answered, and probably explains a lot as well. If the Switchblade only has 2 preamp tubes in it, my guess is that neither of those is a rectifier tube. So because of that, you're not going to get a whole lot of warmth compared to other tube amps, and you definitely are not going to get any natural warm tube compression and sustain, or "sag" as it is called. Then again, the fact that a digital amp had more warmth to it, I have to admit, is a bit of a mystery to me. Tone circuit of course will also still say a lot about that in any amplifier. The tone circuit in the ZenTera is probably a far better design than the Switchblade.

You will still get more punch then a digital or solid state amp though, due to the 4 EL34s in the powerstage.

Considering the ZenTera faired better than the Switchblade, and I had little luck with the ZenTera, well, that leads me to think that the Switchblade is definitely not something I would enjoy, though I would still check it out for myself.

I always have had tube amps in the 30+ years I've been playing.
When I was on the road years ago I used 50W JCM 800's with EL34's.
I had a Vox Valvetronix breifly and it was ok but the zenTera killed it. The zen is the first solid state amp I've owned and used live.

The SB was running for over 6 hours straight so it was definitely warmed up.

The SB has a digital preamp stage but I think it's a completely different design than the zen. I guess there's a reason the zen lists for over twice what the SB does.

I'm not going to worry about the details. For the Rush tribute band I'm in now, the zenTera literally nails every sound I need. It's plenty loud, is very dynamic and responsive, and sounds like a million bucks.
If I didn't need a thousand different sounds for the band I'm in, I'd probably be using an old Marshall Plexi and a Fender Twin.

I'll mess with the SB a bit more but right now I'm 99.9% positive I'll keep the zenTera.
When you don't worry about your tone you tend to play much better and With the zen I get great tone. I may just add a rack mount Decimator to control the noise and be done with it.

This has been a good discussion and it was worthwhile to me to get the SB. Guitarists are always looking for that elusive perfect amp & tone and for me at least, I think I now know that I have it.

Yeah I had a feeling if there were only two preamp tubes then they must be the phase splitter.

I agree it's been an interesting thread and I've certainly learned something just from the few posts here. I have to agree about the ZenTera being the best emulator amp out there.

With your experience, if I run into anything that I don't know how to deal with, I'll certainly know who to ask.

...that is if you don't mind of course?  wink.gif  

#43 _pete_

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (Deadwing @ Oct 26 2007, 09:13 AM)
Yeah I had a feeling if there were only two preamp tubes then they must be the phase splitter.

I agree it's been an interesting thread and I've certainly learned something just from the few posts here. I have to agree about the ZenTera being the best emulator amp out there.

With your experience, if I run into anything that I don't know how to deal with, I'll certainly know who to ask.

...that is if you don't mind of course?  wink.gif

Well, I know a lot more about guitars than amps!


Did you try out a zenTera head or combo? The speakers have a lot to do with the tone too. I'm using four Celestion G12M-65's that I took out of an old Marshall cab before I sold it. I think they're one of the best Celestion guitar speakers and they are getting hard to find.
I think the combo (and the H&K 4x12) uses Celestion V30's and I've never been completely in love with them. All the ones I've heard have a brittle high mid sound that I don't care for.

Edited by _pete_, 26 October 2007 - 01:08 PM.


#44 Deadwing

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE (_pete_ @ Oct 26 2007, 02:06 PM)
QUOTE (Deadwing @ Oct 26 2007, 09:13 AM)
Yeah I had a feeling if there were only two preamp tubes then they must be the phase splitter.

I agree it's been an interesting thread and I've certainly learned something just from the few posts here. I have to agree about the ZenTera being the best emulator amp out there.

With your experience, if I run into anything that I don't know how to deal with, I'll certainly know who to ask.

...that is if you don't mind of course?  wink.gif

Well, I know a lot more about guitars than amps!


Did you try out a zenTera head or combo? The speakers have a lot to do with the tone too. I'm using four Celestion G12M-65's that I took out of an old Marshall cab before I sold it. I think they're one of the best Celestion guitar speakers and they are getting hard to find.
I think the combo (and the H&K 4x12) uses Celestion V30's and I've never been completely in love with them. All the ones I've heard have a brittle high mid sound that I don't care for.

Well, the rig I was testing out was a head and single cabinet, but the speakers were Vintage 30s. No question speakers have a lot to do with it, depending on the voicing and frequency response, as well as the specs of the cabinet itself. I may go back and try one out again with a different cab if the store still has that ZenTera there.

I'd actually like to take my speaker cab with me with the Fanes in it, now that I have it since hunting for an amp a while back. I'm curious as to how the ZenTera would sound through it. The Fanes are particularly bright sounding. It will make a difference for sure. I'm just wondering how much and if I'll like it.

Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know if I end up doing that and post my results.

trink39.gif  

#45 _pete_

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 06:03 AM

I made up my mind this weekend. The Switchblade is going on Ebay in the next few days.

The zenTera does everything I need and sounds better doing it. I started using the G-Major's noise gate and that took care of the noise issue so I'm done looking at other amps.

What really clinched the decision was how much the zen can sound like the amps Alex used. One example is the tone on Hemispheres (Hiwatt BTW!). I can absolutely nail that one with the zen  and the SB doesn't get close.

#46 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (_pete_ @ Oct 29 2007, 07:03 AM)
I made up my mind this weekend. The Switchblade is going on Ebay in the next few days.

The zenTera does everything I need and sounds better doing it. I started using the G-Major's noise gate and that took care of the noise issue so I'm done looking at other amps.

What really clinched the decision was how much the zen can sound like the amps Alex used. One example is the tone on Hemispheres (Hiwatt BTW!). I can absolutely nail that one with the zen  and the SB doesn't get close.

Damn, I should have borrowed your zenTera for my latest (actually, first) recording project. My Marshalls aren't quite nailing that Hemispheres tone.

Looks like the SB is one of the many new tube amps with too modern a tone. I think I can scratch that one off my list.

#47 PlanetJeff

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:20 PM

I have to get a new amp because mine broke, I was playing an Ibanez 10 watt amp, it was ok for my first amp, I got it used from my brother who bought it and the tone wasn't very good. What kind of amp would you guy's suggest I get? My main influence's for playing guitar is David Gilmour and Alex Lifeson so I want a tone like those two probably and I dont play gig's so I just want an amp to jam with and loud enough to jam with a band if I find some musicians to jam with. I'm probably willing to spend 250 dollars but I would prefer to spend less but still get an awesome amp. Thanks in advance

#48 Lord Revan

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:43 PM

Roland Cube 30-X, I'm a digital man. LOL

#49 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 05:10 PM

I'm considering one of these:

user posted image

Marshall JVM410C 100 Watts 2x12 Combo

I'm normally not drawn to the newer amps (they just don't make 'em like they used to), but this new Marshall has features that I can't ignore: All-tube design, four channels (each with three gain settings, and a good clean channel), a programmable parallel/series effects loop, and totally MIDI controllable. It sounds great, and it's versatile as hell. You can get anything from the old Plexi tone to the JCM800 tone to total saturation.

It's pretty expensive, though...$2300 USD, but I could probably get it for two grand. I'd wait till after I get some Christmas money, and I can always sell one of my other amps...I dunno.

#50 PlanetJeff

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 05:25 PM

I'm thinking of getting the Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w 1x10 Guitar Combo Amp. I never played one but I might take my chances with it.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Vox...ombo?sku=481959

#51 mortkort

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 07:44 PM

i miss my hughes and kettner amp  sad.gif  i want it back!

#52 rushfanNlv

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 10:21 AM

QUOTE (_pete_ @ Oct 29 2007, 03:03 AM)
I made up my mind this weekend. The Switchblade is going on Ebay in the next few days.

The zenTera does everything I need and sounds better doing it. I started using the G-Major's noise gate and that took care of the noise issue so I'm done looking at other amps.

What really clinched the decision was how much the zen can sound like the amps Alex used. One example is the tone on Hemispheres (Hiwatt BTW!). I can absolutely nail that one with the zen  and the SB doesn't get close.

Did you put the SB on Ebay or do you still have it?  I talked to someone the other day who may be interested in it.

#53 _pete_

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:50 PM

QUOTE (rushfanNlv @ Nov 29 2007, 10:21 AM)
QUOTE (_pete_ @ Oct 29 2007, 03:03 AM)
I made up my mind this weekend. The Switchblade is going on Ebay in the next few days.

The zenTera does everything I need and sounds better doing it. I started using the G-Major's noise gate and that took care of the noise issue so I'm done looking at other amps.

What really clinched the decision was how much the zen can sound like the amps Alex used. One example is the tone on Hemispheres (Hiwatt BTW!). I can absolutely nail that one with the zen  and the SB doesn't get close.

Did you put the SB on Ebay or do you still have it?  I talked to someone the other day who may be interested in it.

I put it on Ebay and it's already gone. I had to drop the price twice though.
I ended up breaking even. Grrrr.

#54 Rand

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 05:54 PM

The vox is a cool little practice amp.  Good tone, decently loud but it won't keep up with a drum kit.  

#55 CygnusX-1Bk2

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:22 PM

Ok, I am hooked on AmpliTube. I may trade in my Line 6 stuff, since their is plenty of crossover and I am thinking that AmpliTube sounds better, AND it is easier because the guitar can be directly injected into the recording interface via a preamp or DI. This eliminates all of the POD hardware. For studio situations this is ideal. If AmpFarm were available on anything but HD-RTAS exclusively I would be using it, instead AmpliTube has filled the market need for the same thing for VST, DX, AU, or RTAS. Plus AmpliTube is way more versatile because it has dual signal path capability, and when used as a plugin you can route multiple amps (depending on the routing capabilities of your DAW software).

I know it's not a physical amp, but this sounds so good. I highly recommend it. AmpliTube has the same amps modeled in POD, minus a few, but these models sound a little more convincing and the effects don't make the sound mushy like I think the POD does. There are way more effects available too including stomp and rack style effects. Plus you can choose mic placement and distance, with a variety of mic models to choose from including an Shure SM 57, Neumann U 87, Senheisser 441 & 421 and AKG 414.

For all you virtual geeks out there like me!

#56 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 11:16 AM

Now HERE'S what I call a Christmas tree!

#57 PlanetJeff

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 08:07 PM

I recently bought the Ampeg BA 115T and I'm very fond of it, I've jammed with a drummer and it was loud enough to hear the bass clearly while only having the amps master volume turned up halfway. It has five eq style selections and I get a great tone from it but it's been bothering me a lot because I keep getting distorted sounds and the speaker stops making sounds sometimes, it usually stops when I change the eq and tweek the volume but it really scares me when that happens.

#58 rushfreak13

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:42 PM

i got a pretty kick ass line 6 spider III 150W  

#59 TheresThatThing

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 03:52 AM

Im a broke mother, im using a Marshall Mg 15wt. Leave me alone, I like how it sounds.

Ill soon upgrade.  1022.gif  

#60 missionman

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:17 AM

Lee Jackson XLA-1000 plugged into a 6-12 cabinet




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