Best Amp for Gretsch-y Blues?

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Gretschie
Dec 20, 2020
201
Kansas
Hey fellow guitarists! I just bought my first Gretsch (post in Electromatic thread) and I’m looking to upgrade my amp. I’ve always played through a Vox AC4 with my Fender strat, but I’m starting a rock band and looking to go to blues jams with my new Gretsch. What’s a budget-friendly amp that can hold its own on stage and bring out that great Gretsch sound?
You could do worse than a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb.
 

longtortoise

Electromatic
Jul 28, 2022
39
Sacramento, CA
you'd be very surprised by a Vox Pathfinder 15R. They have boost mode, Reverb and Tremelo. All analog solid state. I would have never paid attention but my friend Kid Ramos
will bring a couple to coffeehouse gigs. So I grabbed a used one for $150.. holy moly what a great amp w a good amount of power. I thought I'd be swapping out the speaker, but
that little celestion actually has some strength and tone, especially with a good preamp pedal in front of it. I mean, $150.. Most of my tube amps start at $2000. I think moving to a Vox AC10 is the next step toward tube, w reverb and sounds very good for an econo amp. I hope I get to hang onto my AC30 handwire, even though its on the firing line.. but if I cant, I'll get a Vox AC10 to help the wound :) Until then, this little secret amp is stayin forever. (even sounds good w our korg sv-1 stage piano)


I think I need a big Marshall cab!
 

mmannaxx

Electromatic
May 16, 2011
26
Ohio
I want reliability so that kills my using a tube amp....yeah, people will say there is nothing to worry about but using a solid state is one less thing to worry about. I'd love a small tube amp for home use.

My recommendation is a Roland Blues Cube Artist. I really love the tone and is fantastic with both of my Gretsches. It has a decent reverb, not so great 2nd channel for overdrive but is nice for "light dirt" and a great built in tremolo.

The tone is key, bringing out the clean Gretsch goodness with depth of tone. I also love the built-in attenuator which has 4 different setting at 80W, 45, 15W,and .5......it retains the tone you might like at louder volumes when dialing in at .5W......and even at .5 W it gets loud. Great amp w/ an FX loop. Great tone and really gets very bluesy.

@Slap_Back had a great suggestion too with Fender option and also has an attenuator for the solid state combo.
Well not so sure about ditching a tube amp due to reliability concerns other than can you get tubes, which are hard to get right now. I have used tube amps for last 20ish years without any reliability problems.
but if going SS you might also consider the Fender Champion series, either the 40 or 100. With some pedals it might get you in the neighborhood. Would be cheaper than others mentioned.
 

WalATX

Electromatic
May 3, 2021
24
Illinois
I have used tube amps exclusively for over a decade, they’re not unreliable. Imho.

Nothing against solid state. I’d love to have a Roland Blues Cube in the arsenal.

Having owned a Princeton Reverb and a customized Deluxe Reverb clone (via Weber amp kit), I can recommend both of those. They are classics for a reason eh?

I have a Supro Delta King / Blues King 10 that is way better than it should be at the price. Put a Tung Sol 12AX7 and a JJ 6V6 in there… I will be selling the Princeton Reverb and keeping the Supro as my bedroom size amp.

I also recently played an Orange Rocker 15 that sounded really neat. I would have bought that if not for already owning 3 amps.
 

hogrider16

Gretschie
Oct 18, 2017
407
charles town wv
I want reliability so that kills my using a tube amp....yeah, people will say there is nothing to worry about but using a solid state is one less thing to worry about. I'd love a small tube amp for home use.

My recommendation is a Roland Blues Cube Artist. I really love the tone and is fantastic with both of my Gretsches. It has a decent reverb, not so great 2nd channel for overdrive but is nice for "light dirt" and a great built in tremolo.

The tone is key, bringing out the clean Gretsch goodness with depth of tone. I also love the built-in attenuator which has 4 different setting at 80W, 45, 15W,and .5......it retains the tone you might like at louder volumes when dialing in at .5W......and even at .5 W it gets loud. Great amp w/ an FX loop. Great tone and really gets very bluesy.

@Slap_Back had a great suggestion too with Fender option and also has an attenuator for the solid state combo.
I’ve had my Fender Deluxe Reissue since 1994 and it’s been in the shop twice. Hardly a reliability problem. In 50+ years of playing on stage I’ve had one tube amp fail on stage and seen two others band mates tube amps fail. But just in case, professionals bring backups.
 

TyPierce

Electromatic
Nov 3, 2014
50
Midwest
Lot of good suggestions here… “Blues” is a pretty broad range, and I think a big question is whether you want to get your dirt from a pedal or from the amp?

If you’re a pedal user, I’d go with a Deluxe Reverb Reissue. Great size and portability, great reverb and plenty of clean headroom for blues jams. You could also do a Princeton, but I prefer 12” speakers and the extra headroom of the DRRI.

If you’re getting it from the amp, things dial in a bit more to the type of blues tone you want. If you’re going for old-school jump blues stuff, the Vintage 47 amps are as good as it gets. Grab a Bronson, wind it up and go to town! The Fender Blues Junior is pretty ubiquitous, but I’d also look at the Peavey Classic 30 which has a great base tone, tons of functionality and is sometimes cheaper than a Blues Junior.

Try before you buy if you can, and trust your ears!
 

WillyW

Gretschie
May 3, 2022
109
ABQ
SW has the 7ender pro jr for stupid cheap right now AND the Vox ac10c1 is on sale too...

both of mine arrive today..
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2010
404
new jersey
Regarding comments #17 and 18 above, I have both the Champion 100 and the Pathfinder 15R and like them both.

My concern with the Champion is that it is VERY LOUD and gets played in a small bedroom with the volume usually set at 2. Nice amp but I’ve wondered whether a Champion 40 might have been a smarter choice for me. As mentioned in the video, its simplicity is a strongpoint.

The Pathfinder is also surprisingly loud for its size and a good choice. I have recently found myself increasingly liking the Vox-Gretsch sound more and more and wouldn’t mind finding a Pathfinder 15 SMR with 2 ten inch speakers or maybe a Cambridge 15 or 30 for a fuller sound.
 

Bertotti

Gretschified
Jul 20, 2017
10,168
South Dakota
For the coat of admission and the two distinct channels I think you would be amiss not checking out the Winfield Dust Devil.




if you have tue cash in a next higher price bracket you could check out Nocturne amps as well. I have a Baby Blondeshell as well as the Winfield Typhoon and Dust Devil. All great amps!

I have the Jr Barnyard and El Pescadoro these pedals kill it! Think of the Jr as a pedal with an extra control in the box and the El P with reverb. both are great octal style pedals! The only reason I bought the El P was for the reverb. Otherwise tonally they are the same to me, others may disagree.
 

CheapGretschLover

Gretschie
Dec 2, 2019
176
Portland Oregon
You can get them used for right around the price of dinner for four.

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Can I ask where you got that pickguard? Im looking for that exact one for my 5120...
 

rs-guitar

Electromatic
Feb 19, 2021
13
Fort Worth, Texas
After hearing a Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb (digital) compared to the tube version, I bought one (24 pounds) for rehearsals and smaller venues. It sounds remarkably close to the tube version. Great tone, reverb and tremolo.
 

Falconetti

Synchromatic
Sep 18, 2012
570
Bagsville, Oxford UK
As a 25 year Blues Junior user i recommend them as a great portable small venue amp with mojo to spare. I can get every bluesy tone i need on a Blues Junior. No issues with reliability. I only ever replaced them due to theft or catastrophe. They have become really pricey these days but are worth it imho.
 

wildeman

I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
16,360
norcal
you'd be very surprised by a Vox Pathfinder 15R. They have boost mode, Reverb and Tremelo. All analog solid state. I would have never paid attention but my friend Kid Ramos
will bring a couple to coffeehouse gigs. So I grabbed a used one for $150.. holy moly what a great amp w a good amount of power. I thought I'd be swapping out the speaker, but
that little celestion actually has some strength and tone, especially with a good preamp pedal in front of it. I mean, $150.. Most of my tube amps start at $2000. I think moving to a Vox AC10 is the next step toward tube, w reverb and sounds very good for an econo amp. I hope I get to hang onto my AC30 handwire, even though its on the firing line.. but if I cant, I'll get a Vox AC10 to help the wound :) Until then, this little secret amp is stayin forever. (even sounds good w our korg sv-1 stage piano)


Forgot about this gem, and we have one 🤔
I agree, consider this amp IMG_20220909_142629816.jpg mines a little crusty but, damn, Vox's be foxy.
Wish I could find a way to sneak this beautiful AC15 in........I need it soooooo bad🤪 Screenshot_20220909-145836~2.png
 

TV the Wired Turtle

Gretschified
Jul 25, 2009
14,707
Sandy Eggo
@TV the Wired Turtle I take it the coffeehouse gigs were mic'd? or just the amps, curious on how loud they are as I see a few of these for good prices used.

Mic ? No sir, no mic at least not when he plays with Ron Felton on drums w the Memphis Kings in little joints. I will say that I've seen him use two of these
at a time and it tends to be the ol skool harmony w the P13 pickup that he likes to roll the treble back on. Which is direct opposite of when he unleashes the Strat w bigger amps. Since he started using my mysterybrain, he kicks the amps in the #$%& :) Ive had my ears ringing for days when I've seen him on bigger stages w a full blues line up.

here he is w just one Pathfinder in a rehearsal w a drummer
 


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