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Thread: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

  1. #21
    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeJustesen View Post
    My experience with the Hot Rod series was with the USA made DeVille that I owned. It is a good sounding amp, with great cleans. It took pedals very well, but I didn't like the gain side of that amp at all. It was muddy and very uninspiring. I don't know how the newer revisions compare, but I did some modifications to the circuit to get a more usable amp on both the clean and gain sides. I think that the DeVille did well with single coils and low output humbuckers, whereas the Classic 50 wasn't as picky. The newer revisions might have fixed all the issues I had with the DeVille. I never ended up using the gain side even after adjusting the circuit, I got better gain from pedals than what the amp could do without.

    On the flipside, the Classic 50 just sounded good stock. The clean was a bit chimier than the DeVille, but both amps had good cleans. For clean tones, it would come down to the preference of clean characteristics, but both sound great. The Classic 50 takes pedals as well as the DeVille. Where the Classic 50 wins for me is on the gain side, it sounds really good! I didn't need any kind of pedal to get a great overdrive or distortion. However if you wanted to use pedals for gain, they sound good through the clean channel too.

    I have since sold both, but I have frequently thought about adding the Classic 50 to my collection. I have never thought about buying another DeVille. If I were to get a Hot Rod again, I would seek out the Blues Deluxe. It was my favorite of the series several years ago.

    Cole
    I had a Hot Rod DeVille 2x12 that was awesome but way too loud and powerful for any of my needs. The Blues Jr. and Hot Rod Deluxe are my two got to amps now.

    The Peavey's DO have a better gain channel but I didn't care for the clean channel like I did my Hot Rod Deluxe. I had a local amp company mod my Hot Rod Deluxe gain channel to be similar to a Mesa and it rocks but I still prefer the clean channel with my pedals.

    I don't think the OP could go wrong with the Peavey or Fender option here, my personal clean channel preference is saying the Fender but I admit that the Peaveys sound awesome.

  2. #22
    Tone Member ColeJustesen's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    The clean characteristics are different, so it comes down to preference. I think a Blues Jr. would be worth looking at too.

    Someone mentioned the Egnater Rebel, I would also suggest the Tweaker 15. I really enjoyed that one too, and it took pedals well.

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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    I disagree, Mine takes pedals better than any of my Mesas and Marshalls ever did.
    Yeah, you already said that. That's your opinion and that's fine because it is subjective...can't argue with the experience others have had.

    But when you said "bang for buck", and "on the used market Hot Rod Deluxes can be had for under $400", now, that's more objective. Getting an amp for a reasonable price, and bang for buck are two very different things.

    Notice I said "way over priced for what you get". The Fender is a good sounding and good performing amp once you put in another $100 for a better speaker. But, then, that's all you've got...an amp...(plus a decent reverb, of course).

    For about the same price ("on the used market") you can get so much more. THAT is what "bang for buck" means. And that is what I was talking about. You can disagree with that all you want, but it doesn't change the facts. The Rebel 30 and the Tweaker give you everything that the Fender does, but so, so much more. Just the addition of the effects loop doubles the functional value, but there are also so many tone shaping extras on those amps that the Fender doesn't even compare in the same ball park for "bang for buck".

    Don't get me wrong...I'm not bad mouthing Fender. I've had 4 or 5 Fender amps and loved every one of them. But I wouldn't say any of them were a good bang for the buck (except maybe my '68 blackface Bandmaster head plus 2x12 box that I bought in '68 brand new for $500...I added 2x new JBL D130's for an additional $110. I later added another new 2x12 cab loaded with JBL's for another $350). Man, would I love to have that amp again!
    Last edited by GuitarDoc; 02-05-2016 at 06:15 AM.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  4. #24
    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Yeah, you already said that. That's your opinion and that's fine because it is subjective...can't argue with the experience others have had.

    But when you said "bang for buck", and "on the used market Hot Rod Deluxes can be had for under $400", now, that's more objective. Getting an amp for a reasonable price, and bang for buck are two very different things.

    Notice I said "way over priced for what you get". The Fender is a good sounding and good performing amp once you put in another $100 for a better speaker. But, then, that's all you've got...an amp...(plus a decent reverb, of course).

    For about the same price ("on the used market") you can get so much more. THAT is what "bang for buck" means. And that is what I was talking about. You can disagree with that all you want, but it doesn't change the facts. The Rebel 30 and the Tweaker give you everything that the Fender does, but so, so much more. Just the addition of the effects loop doubles the functional value, but there are also so many tone shaping extras on those amps that the Fender doesn't even compare in the same ball park for "bang for buck".

    Don't get me wrong...I'm not bad mouthing Fender. I've had 4 or 5 Fender amps and loved every one of them. But I wouldn't say any of them were a good bang for the buck (except maybe my '68 blackface Bandmaster head plus 2x12 box that I bought in '68 brand new for $500...I added 2x new JBL D130's for an additional $110. I later added another 2x12 cab loaded with JBL's for another $350). Man, would I love to have that amp again!
    So you call me out for being subjective by being subjective yourself? Overpriced for what you get–according to what standard? You are being just as subjective as I am sir. I traded a used MIM Strat with a gig bag case for a MIA Hot Rod Deluxe that came with the Eminence Legend and it sounds awesome and I also bought a Blues Jr. used with an upgraded Cannabis Rex speaker...both on the used market within that budget.

    "bang for one's (or the) buck: phrase of bang 1. US informal, value for money; performance for cost."

    The phrase itself is super subjective–what determines value? Go back to your economics class, what is more valuable a bucket of water or a bucket of diamonds? Depends.

    The Pro Jr., Blues Jr., Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe all offer an awesome tube clean tone well within the budget addressed in the OP. You are not stating facts, you are stating your opinion.

    I just searched for the Rebel 30 and looks like there is one 15watt head only for $397, the rest are way outside that budget.

    A used Hot Rod Deluxe in the OP's Portland, OR CL is asking at $325, a Pro Jr. for $250, a Blues Junior for $300, etc. while there is only one Egnater Rebel available at $350. It will be easier to talk the seller down on the Fenders because there are so many available.

    The OP wants a great clean amp for pedal usage, I gave three examples of great clean sounding amps from his area that are well under his budget.
    Last edited by treyhaislip; 02-05-2016 at 07:53 AM. Reason: I can't type today :)

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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    So you call me out for being subjective by being subjective yourself? Overpriced for what you get–according to what standard? You are being just as subjective as I am sir. I traded a used MIM Strat with a gig bag case for a MIA Hot Rod Deluxe that came with the Eminence Legend and it sounds awesome and I also bought a Blues Jr. used with an upgraded Cannabis Rex speaker...both on the used market within that budget.

    "bang for one's (or the) buck: phrase of bang 1. US informal, value for money; performance for cost."

    The phrase itself is super subjective–what determines value? Go back to your economics class, what is more valuable a bucket of water or a bucket of diamonds? Depends.

    The Pro Jr., Blues Jr., Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe all offer an awesome tube clean tone well within the budget addressed in the OP. You are not stating facts, you are stating your opinion.

    I just searched for the Rebel 30 and looks like there is one 15watt head only for $397, the rest are way outside that budget.

    A used Hot Rod Deluxe in the OP's Portland, OR CL is asking at $325, a Pro Jr. for $250, a Blues Junior for $300, etc. while there is only one Egnater Rebel available at $350. It will be easier to talk the seller down on the Fenders because there are so many available.

    The OP wants a great clean amp for pedal usage, I gave three examples of great clean sounding amps from his area that are well under his budget.
    OMG! You're really getting hung up on this, aren't you?! No need to get so hot and bothered. No need to be so derogatory and condescending. I didn't "call you out" for being subjective. I acknowledged and accepted that. I didn't disagree with anything you said about the tone, quality, or price of the Fender amp. In fact I complimented Fenders. I only pointed out that there are many other amps available with great basic tone (like the Fender), but with many additional features that contribute to the amp's function and tonal possibilities.

    No need to give a definition of "bang for buck". We all know what it means. Neither you nor I misused that phrase. I just added, ironically, what you have just included in the definition...greater value for the money, and more performance for the cost. Certainly there is some subjectivity in "value" (what is of great "value" to you may be of less "value" to me, and vice versa), but there is mostly objectivity in "more performance" (which could include more features and more tone shaping ability).

    What kind of a search did you do to find a 15 watt Rebel 30?!! (The Rebel 30 is ONLY a 30 watt amp!). Coincidentally, that is why it is named the "Rebel 30".

    The subjective quality of "tone" is a constant in your post re Fender and my post re other amps. What is objective (that is, NOT subjective) is the cost (I was not subjective there), and the effects loop (not subjective there either), and the amount of tone shaping features (not subjective there either). Those are objective facts. The Fender does not have an effects loop, it does not have a second channel, it does not have a tight nor a bright switch, the Fender does not have a tube mix control for going from EL84 tubes to 6V6 tubes, the Fender does not have a vintage/modern switch, the Fender does not have a gain control, the Fender does not have a hot/clean control, the Fender does not have a usa/ac/brit voicing control. These are not subjective but rather OBJECTIVE features/facts. These features absolutely, objectively contribute to the "value for money; performance for cost" (your definition of "bang for buck".

    Please don't condescendingly tell me to go back to my economics class. I have had more education than you can even imagine exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    The OP wants a great clean amp for pedal usage, I gave three examples of great clean sounding amps from his area that are well under his budget.
    I'm sure we all appreciate your research and examples of amps available to the op. No one is belittling you for that. No need to be so defensive. But, depending upon which pedals the op may end up using, an effects loop may be absolutely essential. Thus the suggestion may be useless.
    Last edited by GuitarDoc; 02-05-2016 at 09:04 AM.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  6. #26
    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    OMG! You're really getting hung up on this, aren't you?! No need to get so hot and bothered. No need to be so derogatory and condescending. I didn't "call you out" for being subjective. I acknowledged and accepted that. I didn't disagree with anything you said about the tone, quality, or price of the Fender amp. In fact I complimented Fenders. I only pointed out that there are many other amps available with great basic tone (like the Fender), but with many additional features that contribute to the amp's function and tonal possibilities.



    No need to give a definition of "bang for buck". We all know what it means. Neither you nor I misused that phrase. I just added, ironically, what you have just included in the definition...greater value for the money, and more performance for the cost. Certainly there is some subjectivity in "value" (what is of great "value" to you may be of less "value" to me, and vice versa), but there is mostly objectivity in "more performance" (which could include more features and more tone shaping ability).
    Hot and bothered? Derogatory and condescending? How about you cool down a bit, k?

    This is what you said,
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    "For about the same price ("on the used market") you can get so much more. THAT is what "bang for buck" means. And that is what I was talking about. You can disagree with that all you want, but it doesn't change the facts."
    You are just plain wrong–plain and simple. There are no facts for what is the "best bang for your buck here", its extremely subjective.

    My "condescending" reply was simply stating that you were being just as subjective while saying I was being subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    What kind of a search did you do to find a 15 watt Rebel 30?!! (The Rebel 30 is ONLY a 30 watt amp!). Coincidentally, that is why it is named the "Rebel 30".
    I did a Google Shopping search for Egnator Rebel 30 sorted by lowest price and a 15 watt head was the only sub $400 one there, my bad it is called the Tweaker (a Rebel 20 is listed for $425.) You are right, it is not a 15 watt Egnator 30, but still I stand by my search though and it looks like the Egnator Rebel 30 is on the higher side of the budget, especially compared to the Blues Jr and Pro Jr. in the Oregon Craigslist.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    The subjective quality of "tone" is a constant in your post re Fender and my post re other amps. What is objective (that is, NOT subjective) is the cost (I was not subjective there), and the effects loop (not subjective there either), and the amount of tone shaping features (not subjective there either). Those are objective facts. The Fender does not have an effects loop, it does not have a second channel, it does not have a tight nor a bright switch, the Fender does not have a tube mix control for going from EL84 tubes to 6V6 tubes, the Fender does not have a vintage/modern switch, the Fender does not have a gain control, the Fender does not have a hot/clean control, the Fender does not have a usa/ac/brit voicing control. These are not subjective but rather OBJECTIVE features/facts. These features absolutely, objectively contribute to the "value for money; performance for cost" (your definition of "bang for buck".
    The Hot Rod Deluxe has two channels–the Blues Jr and Pro Jr don't. The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe does have a bright switch but the Pro Jr and Blues Jr don't...sounds like you need to refresh yourself on what a Hot Rod Deluxe actually is.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Please don't condescendingly tell me to go back to my economics class. I have had more education than you can even imagine exists.
    Are you so sure? And yes I am telling you to get back to your economics class because your argument proves you do not understand how subjective you are being. You are listing things the OP did not mention as a necessity–arguing whether something is a better value is subjective. Had the OP mentioned he needed the extra things the Fender doesn't have then yeah, you'd make a valid point. But the OP wanted a good clean amp for pedals.

    Here is what the OP specificially said,
    Quote Originally Posted by Mukobi View Post
    "The only real requirement of is that the amp needs to be able to get a reasonably good jazz tone as the other genres I can easily get with good pedals.
    No offense, but the stuff you are listing are not a necessity here...its like a car salesman trying to sell a construction company heated seats and a Bose surround sound when all they need is a plain truck.

    Tone itself is subjective but Fender Tube Amps have quite a reputation for a great clean tube sound as a base for pedals–I'm not alone here and am not making it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    I'm sure we all appreciate your research and examples of amps available to the op. No one is belittling you for that. No need to be so defensive. But, depending upon which pedals the op may end up using, an effects loop may be absolutely essential. Thus the suggestion may be useless.
    This website is a discussion board, correct? Or have I been looking at this site wrong the whole time...
    Last edited by treyhaislip; 02-05-2016 at 10:03 AM.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    I see that the op currently uses a DS-1 which should be good in front of the amp. But if he ever wants to go with an EQ or chorus pedal, those are much better in a loop.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    OP here, wow that was a lot of arguing!

    Here's my take on it: the Egnater Rebel or Tweaker series and the Fender Hot Rod series are both good in different scenarios. The Egnaters have more on board tweaking options for messing with your tone while the Fenders are regarded as having that sparking Fender clean sound. People say both have pretty good baseline tones and can take pedals really well (btw the Hot Rod Deluxe has an fx loop). They are kind of equal value overall, so what has more matter is what price you can get one at on the used market.

    I had already seen those Fender craigslist listing that treyhaislip had mentioned, and I made an offer on the $325 Hot Rod Deluxe and got it down to $250 and I'm picking it up today. I would consider that a good deal value for the money.

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    Tone Member ColeJustesen's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukobi View Post
    OP here, wow that was a lot of arguing!

    Here's my take on it: the Egnater Rebel or Tweaker series and the Fender Hot Rod series are both good in different scenarios. The Egnaters have more on board tweaking options for messing with your tone while the Fenders are regarded as having that sparking Fender clean sound. People say both have pretty good baseline tones and can take pedals really well (btw the Hot Rod Deluxe has an fx loop). They are kind of equal value overall, so what has more matter is what price you can get one at on the used market.

    I had already seen those Fender craigslist listing that treyhaislip had mentioned, and I made an offer on the $325 Hot Rod Deluxe and got it down to $250 and I'm picking it up today. I would consider that a good deal value for the money.
    For $250, I think you should be set. I would take the extra savings and get yourself a different speaker. That stock speaker is just okay, and with a change it can really benefit that amp. I am not sure if it is an older model with the special design Eminence or the newer model with the Celestion G12P-80, regardless the speaker change will be beneficial.

    Cole
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    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukobi View Post
    OP here, wow that was a lot of arguing!

    Here's my take on it: the Egnater Rebel or Tweaker series and the Fender Hot Rod series are both good in different scenarios. The Egnaters have more on board tweaking options for messing with your tone while the Fenders are regarded as having that sparking Fender clean sound. People say both have pretty good baseline tones and can take pedals really well (btw the Hot Rod Deluxe has an fx loop). They are kind of equal value overall, so what has more matter is what price you can get one at on the used market.

    I had already seen those Fender craigslist listing that treyhaislip had mentioned, and I made an offer on the $325 Hot Rod Deluxe and got it down to $250 and I'm picking it up today. I would consider that a good deal value for the money.
    That is awesome! Congrats on the new amp! Please let us know what you think.

    I would say see what you think of it before immediately swapping out the speaker–see what you think of the amp and how it responds. That way you will know what qualities you like and what is lacking/needs help (if any, you may like it as it.) I love the Eminence Legend in mine (I have one from the first year they made these, they changed speakers in the early 2000s if memory serves me right) but I just got a screamin deal on two Cannabis Rex speakers and will try one in my HRD.

    A super cheap mod that can help give you more clean head room is this simple mod where you replace the first 12AX7 (from right to left when looking at the back of the amp) with a 12AT7 or 12AY7.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions, love my HDR.

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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    That is awesome! Congrats on the new amp! Please let us know what you think.

    I would say see what you think of it before immediately swapping out the speaker–see what you think of the amp and how it responds. That way you will know what qualities you like and what is lacking/needs help (if any, you may like it as it.) I love the Eminence Legend in mine (I have one from the first year they made these, they changed speakers in the early 2000s if memory serves me right) but I just got a screamin deal on two Cannabis Rex speakers and will try one in my HRD.

    A super cheap mod that can help give you more clean head room is this simple mod where you replace the first 12AX7 (from right to left when looking at the back of the amp) with a 12AT7 or 12AY7.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions, love my HDR.
    The HRD is my first "real" amp, so I don't have anything else to compare the speaker to.

    With the preamp tube swap, do you feel like it improves the gain sounds of the Hot Rod (people say the gain channel sucks a bit stock) or is it more just for lowering the volume and rate of gain of the amp? Also, is there a tonal difference between 12AT7s and 12AY7s in your experience or is the difference just in gain?

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    Senior Member HTT's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Genres I like: Blues, jazz, 70s-80s rock, fusion. The only real requirement of is that the amp needs to be able to get a reasonably good jazz tone as the other genres I can easily get with good pedals.


    A used AC15 would work. I much prefer the Vox chime for cleans.

    edit: crud. I responded to the OP and did not read the whole thread. It looks like you are all set. HRDs are very nice amps.
    Last edited by HTT; 02-09-2016 at 05:25 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukobi View Post
    The HRD is my first "real" amp, so I don't have anything else to compare the speaker to.

    With the preamp tube swap, do you feel like it improves the gain sounds of the Hot Rod (people say the gain channel sucks a bit stock) or is it more just for lowering the volume and rate of gain of the amp? Also, is there a tonal difference between 12AT7s and 12AY7s in your experience or is the difference just in gain?
    Well, just see what you think of it, you got a great price on it and a good replacement speaker can be had for under $100.

    I've only tried the AT7, not the AY7. From the demos (which you can't always write home about) the drive sounds much better. Mine was modded BUT it still sounded better to my ears, not quite as harsh. I only noticed a significant tone change in my Gold Cello pedal, the others sounded better but wasn't a change in tone to my ears.

    For pedals, the added clean headroom was incredible! I tried this mod last September and haven't swapped back yet.

    Here is a thread about it.

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    Default Re: $400 Good Clean Amp for Pedal Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    Well, just see what you think of it, you got a great price on it and a good replacement speaker can be had for under $100.

    I've only tried the AT7, not the AY7. From the demos (which you can't always write home about) the drive sounds much better. Mine was modded BUT it still sounded better to my ears, not quite as harsh. I only noticed a significant tone change in my Gold Cello pedal, the others sounded better but wasn't a change in tone to my ears.

    For pedals, the added clean headroom was incredible! I tried this mod last September and haven't swapped back yet.

    Here is a thread about it.
    Yes, very little if any change in tone. I haven't noticed any. But there is a significant change in the gain...certainly less gain, but as Trey said, it is also a smoother less harsh sounding gain.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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