Amp Evaluating Advice Needed...

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Viking Power, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Viking Power

    Viking Power Gretschie

    492
    Jun 11, 2018
    Mountlake Terrace, WA
    First of all- 1 day, I will have a Mesa and I have you to thank for the idea. They were not on my radar before. I had no clue.
    Second, the Greer pedal does pretty well but maybe I could do better for my high gain stuff. Also, it’s my first distortion pedal so I don’t know what to really compare it to. The guy at the shop called it a Marshall in a box and told me it would get me punk and metal in my Princeton. You have any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  2. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    I wouldn't like to comment on the Suckerpunch until I'd played one myself.
    If you like it and it's serving your needs - that's all that matters :D
     
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  3. Viking Power

    Viking Power Gretschie

    492
    Jun 11, 2018
    Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Awesome. Appreciate that.
     
  4. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Great starting point with the Princeton.

    That said, the fun is just starting, when it comes to FX in general.

    So many variables to consider, from your style/playing technique, guitar type, pup type, and most importantly, what your ears tell you.

    One man's heaven is another's hell, with the exact same equipment.

    All I can say is get your clean sound set first, then start adding one at a time for OD, distortion etc.

    You may go through several that just don't cut it for you, but getting your different FX working well with each other is the end result.

    Just part of the game. Best to you on your tone quest.
     
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  5. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Age:
    68
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Took the words right out of my mouth. Particularly good advice about getting rid of all 3 and get a Tone Master.
     
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  6. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Will a Tone master cover all the ground he wants to cover? Metal to punk to country and all sorts of stuff in between? If selling all three I think he would be better served with something Like a Mark five 25 or 35 or 90. I don't have one but they cover a heck of a lot of ground. Probably should figure out what the current favorite can and can't do first.
     
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  7. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Your pedals are a good starting point. Looking at your list of music it seems like you need to investigate the clean boost to medium drive/distortion area more. it's unbelievable how many different types of pedals there are in that area. Just make sure when you try them out it's through a Princeton amp preferably yours.
    Also make sure you use the volume and tone controls on your guitar while trying pedals. It's amazing how a few minor control adjustments can really change the gain structure and tone of the amp.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  8. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    No it won't. The only thing that the Tone Master will do is give power options that the Princeton doesn't have. The Tone Master doesn't have any built in effects other than a reverb and tremolo - it's just a modeled light weight version of a Black Face Deluxe reverb with a built in power attenuator . Like I said you can get a great amount of sound variation a lot cheaper with pedals through the Princeton.
     
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  9. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    You don't need to buy a Mesa to get Mesa overdrive. They make a few nice pedals that can do that through your Princeton. I've been using a mesa V-Twin 3 channel tube preamp pedal since 1994. It's a great sounding pedal with 3 different gain levels. Mesa also makes other more recent drive pedals that are really nice. Mesa amps are great but a little bit overkill for most bedroom jam sessions...:D.
    If you are going to perform live with the amp as well then that's a different story.
     
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  10. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    No, it won't. Like the Princeton, it would be an excellent pedal platform. Its advantage is getting that great Deluxe Reverb (at 4 or 5) tone at any volume and it has the ability to safely turn off the speaker in order to drive a small headphone amp from its line out.

    You can get some pretty good grind from it by diming it and lowering its power output to as low as .2 of a watt.

    Nigel (@Trash Kidd) has been having terrific success with his playing punk. I don't know of anyone who has tried playing metal through it but I would imagine with the right pedal it would do the job. @Robbie has been cooking out delicious blues on his. @TSims1 has been wringing his out every week in professional applications and seems delighted with his. I've been recording a lot with mine - exploring its limitations and how it interacts with various pedals - and I think it would be up to the tasks Viking wants.

    Best of all, it isn't a very expensive solution. US prices show the Tonemaster DR listing at $899, the Princeton Reverb that Viking has at $1099 and the Mesa's starting around $1550. Don't misunderstand, Mesa's are excellent amps (I have owned four) but like Fender, they have their own thing going and aren't everything to all people. If Viking likes that Fender sound the Tonemaster DR is worth checking out as it will easily do everything his Princeton can do but carries the benefits of doing it at any volume.

    This does not denigrate the Princeton Reverb at all. I have three (sold one) and could easily live my life with one of those beauties as my only amp. I have a ton of amps - including many vintage amps - and as much as I love most of them the humble Tonemaster has fascinated me with its versatility (for my needs) over the past several months. If nothing else it is worth looking at.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  11. manunk

    manunk Gretschie

    Confused as heck here...thought the Katana was so close to tube sound that you can not tell the diff, and because it has an added bonus of an acoustic model, was going to order one. Any opinions on the Fender Hot Rod IV ? I too love my surf, country, hard rock and metal...
     
  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Sounds very cool!
     
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  13. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I can only speak for myself but I could tell the difference instantly. I don't have a ton of experience with the Katana asI only played on once for ten minutes but no.

    I have owned a Hot Rod for a short time (4x10") and moved it along. It sounded ok but was really loud and heavy. Lots of folk like them.
     
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  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Well you shouldn't be confused Manunt.
    Seems you've beleived the advertising BS.

    Katana is a very good solid state amp but does not sound close to a good tube amp imo.
    Like all solid state amps the best and closest it gets is with clean tones.

    But once you move to overdrive and distortion Katana shows it's just another solid state amp that's no closer to a tube amp than another 50. As always, even these newish top of line solid state amps are only ok as a pedal platform imo. For me they are unusable for overdrive and distortion by themselves :)

    And Fender Hot Rod ?? - it's just another old style Fender amp with good cleans and reverb. Good for country, surf, rockabilly but it does not have gain any more than light overdrive. So it cannot do anything hard rock, metal etc. It's like the Princeton - you need pedals for anything with gain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Tony - Nigel plays clean trashy stuff - not punk.
    Very light overdrive is the furthest he pushes gain.

    Tonemasters clone the originals and have no more gain than a Princeton.
    Very good solid state amps for cleans and reverb but it offers no more tonal variation than a Princeton.

    Really... many clean players just don't get it because they don't use distortion, so have no need for it, or a versatile amp. Because they never use distortion they never discover it's nuances, different flavours, how to re-produce it, or how to EQ it.

    I fully respect many are experts in the clean/reverb area.
    But they're not in good position to be recommending amps that do great cleans, overdrive, mid gain and high gain distortion for hard rock and metal players :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  16. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I stand corrected regarding Nigel (@Trash Kidd). Apologies to all.

    You are correct, the Tonemaster has no more gain than a Princeton - except you can run it on 10 without the missus screaming at you.

    Waxhead my friend, you are making a lot of assumptions about other people's knowledge base. Many of us have played all kinds of different music over some very long time periods. Many of us have owned/used/heard many different amps over our tenure and are very aware of the capabilities of the gear.

    We have presented different viewpoints on how to best achieve our friend's goals. That is sufficient. We are each entitled to our own opinion and since our friend asked for them, we would be remiss not to offer them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  17. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    You are very correct Tony. I've gigged thousands of shows playing everything from Buddy Holly to Metallica and to cover those sounds I took out 3 amps. A Vox AC30, A Marshall 800 and a Fender Deluxe and a crap load of pedals. Why? Because I knew I couldn't sound like Metallica on a Deluxe or like Buddy on a Marshall. Even carrying those three amps had some limitations but it got me very close. Yes I owned several Mesa Boogies along the way - good amps but it was a joke to think that those amps on their own could cover what the AC 30, Deluxe, and Marshall could - not even close. The Mesa Triaxis did metal and hard rock very well but the cleans were always too brittle for me. Same way with the Dual Rectifier. The Mark III and IV had very sweet and punchy overdrives but the cleans were never clean enough for me. Always had a hint of grit which didn't work well for the Fender & Vox type cleans I was looking for. After 50 years of playing live and recording I found out every amp has strong points and weaknesses - that's why I own many different types of amps. Old, new, tube, transistor, modeling, etc. The real test is when you put on a track and start plugging guitars into different amps, mic them up and see which one works best with a track. After a while your instincts tells you which direction to go in and then you start narrowing down guitars and amps until you find the right one for that certain song. It takes a long time to develop that ability - usually after thousands of hours in the studio. After that you can carry it over into the live situation. The more versatile your band is the harder it is to find the right amp(s). It's very easy for instance if you play AC/DC all night.
    An SG, Marshall and a Gretsch, Marshall setup and you are mostly there...:D.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Great points but the truth is, the only people concerned with nailing an exact tone of a group is the guy playing the guitar. People out front rarely care and a large number can’t even tell the difference in break up between some pedal and an amp cranked up in the bar. Sadly behind the strings are the pickiest people on the planet in many cases and that means we all wind up with amp collections, guitar collections, picks pedals tubes, etc, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
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  19. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Great point as well. I guess I'm speaking from a creation point of view. When writing, producing and recording a new song developing a guitar sound is an important step in making that recording have it's own sound. It's very true that most people in the audience of a live show don't know the difference between one sound and another but they can sure tell if the sound is crappy. If tones aren't blending it can make the whole performance sound muffled or overly bright and annoying. They don't know why but they can tell when something is not right. It's up to us as musicians and sound men to do our job right and make a show a good listening experience. As a musician and sound engineer I strive to do the best job I can. Crappy sound can turn an otherwise great performance into a bad show.
     
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  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have that problem just sitting at home! Although that might be more operator error than anything else!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
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