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Thread: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    A 1x15 peavey is your favorite 1x12 Fender ? Lol


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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Bill View Post
    Fender doesn't really make any amps nowadays that interest me in the slightest. I've owned several BF and SF amps over the years, and Fender 75 and a Super Champ with the EV 10". I'd love to have the Super Champ and my '64 BF blonde Tremolux rig back, but other than that I'm totally happy with the Mesa amps I have now. I suppose a ProSonic or a Concert would work if I had to, but in the direct comparisons I've done, there's nothing Fender has that I would choose over a Mesa.

    For the price you're talking, you could easily obtain a fully-loaded Mark III combo with EQ, reverb, Simul-Class power and EVM speaker. Mark IVs sell for not much more, and give you a more versatile R2 channel, a programable efx loop, and more power amp and tube options. Whether for stage use or recording studio, Mesa's are far better made and more versatile than what Fender has to offer. I'd much rather use the amp's natural tube distortion than spend my life (and my money) in the never-ending, eternal search for the dirt box(es) of the month.

    Fender, and Marshall, have made some great amps over the years, and I've owned quite a few. I just got tired of being frustrated with them.

    YMMV

    Bill
    Thanks for this. With basic Fender 1x12's going for up to $2500, as we see, yeah, I'd go look at a Boogie! I've always considered them a bit expensive, but very well made.

    And of course I tend to associate Mesa with shred-ready high-gain amps. I know they have always favored the 1x12, looking at their catalog they still do. It's still almost the only format of combo they offer! I found one twin!
    I'm not a big fan of high gain, so I would probably not be that interested in these:

    Rectifier Series: original shred 3 channel / 50/100 swithchable, classic hard rock amp
    Triple Crown: "aimed at rock's high gain throne" per their catalog, 50 and 100 watt versions

    Which leaves:
    Express: basic two channel, power switchable: 5/15/25 watt and 5/25/50, A/AB modes - price leader? $1300
    Lone Star: Class A, "botique amp" $1900 for the combo. Switchable power per channel: 30-15-5 EL 84s, 10-50-100 6L6 (Class AB for high outputs)
    and
    Mark Series: Original "Carlos" amps, incredible fancy wood enclosures. 3 channel, many modes.. lots of models $2000 and up.

    I'd have to agree that their amps seem pretty exceptional in a couple of ways: flexibility (with all the multi-power level, multi-channel and multi-mode), fit and finish on the high end ones, and are not expensive anymore but actually right in there, especially their Express models.

    I think a lot of Fender and old-school Marshall lovers appreciate the utter simplicity of single channel amps. And believe (right or wrong, I don't know) that they tend to offer better tone than a similar multi-channel. I noticed most of the people who have responded to the thread have picked single-channel amps, and most of the 15 or so models listed above are single channel. But then your point about "dirt box of the month" sort of addresses your feelings on that.

    I read a review of the Express 5 50 combo just now and it said: "It's also got that modern Boogie characteristic of a slightly soft attack when compared to the fast response of many vintage-style hand-wired circuits, with a smoothness that almost feels like some light studio compression has been applied somewhere in the signal chain." That sort of odd sounding. Anyone else experience this?

    Thanks for your thoughtful post.
    Last edited by dr0; 01-09-2018 at 08:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    My 100% bone-stock 66-67 Fender Blackface Deluxe with original glass (tubes) and cover:

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    Super Toneologist Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    This thread got me thinking. I think my perfect amp would be a 1x12 with a Princeton BF channel and a tweed (champ/5e3) channel.

    Anything like it out there? Fender or anywhere. I liked the supersonic 22 and will check it out.


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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    This thread got me thinking. I think my perfect amp would be a 1x12 with a Princeton BF channel and a tweed (champ/5e3) channel.

    Anything like it out there? Fender or anywhere. I liked the supersonic 22 and will check it out.

    Yeah, the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. It's a lot like the SuperSonic 22, that is a 22 watt amp based on the Deluxe Reverb. The CDR has one channel modded to be like the Bassman, a very tweedy sound. It has the Silverface look, but it's the "Custom" channel that makes it sing. The SuperSonic is DR + 5150 vs Custom DR is DR + Bassman. It's not a channel switcher, though, which I think the SS is.

    This guy gives both the DR and CDR a pretty good workout.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UPNGQQ_QRI

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    I have a pair of 60’s blackface Deluxe Reverbs, each with a 75 Hz Celestion G12H30 12” speaker and gently modified (Reverb on both channels and a little more gain) by my brother Bruce Collins of Mission Amps in Denver.

    Those would be my favorites.

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    This thread got me thinking. I think my perfect amp would be a 1x12 with a Princeton BF channel and a tweed (champ/5e3) channel.

    Anything like it out there? Fender or anywhere. I liked the supersonic 22 and will check it out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ive modded my '66 deluxe reverb a fair amount over the years trying to get different things. at this point i basically have a mildly modified vibrato channel which does all the glorious bf fender reverb tones you want. the normal channel is gutted so there is just a volume control. the only eq is shelving up the bottom in the circuit so its not mushy. its not footswitchable but i use an a/b switch to switch between them. not quite a 5e3 tone but it does that type of thing well. lets me have a scooped sound with reverb and a fat non-reverb sound and that covers all the ground i need most of the time

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr0 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of high gain...

    Which leaves:
    Express: basic two channel, power switchable: 5/15/25 watt and 5/25/50, A/AB modes - price leader? $1300
    Lone Star: Class A, "botique amp" $1900 for the combo. Switchable power per channel: 30-15-5 EL 84s, 10-50-100 6L6 (Class AB for high outputs)

    Mark Series: Original "Carlos" amps, incredible fancy wood enclosures. 3 channel, many modes.. lots of models $2000 and


    I read a review of the Express 5 50 combo just now and it said: "It's also got that modern Boogie characteristic of a slightly soft attack when compared to the fast response of many vintage-style hand-wired circuits, with a smoothness that almost feels like some light studio compression has been applied somewhere in the signal chain." That sort of odd sounding. Anyone else experience this?
    Random thoughts...

    You don't need the exotic wood cabinet on a Mesa amp to have a great amp. They are beautiful, but you do pay for it. They also do custom vinyl.

    The Triple Crown amps have a more "British" feel with their EL34s, but along with high-gain, they do clean and mid-gain very well. Channel Two is amazing on this amp! The Santana-esque soaring lead tone is there, and beyond. I'm a blues-classic rock-pop-country kind of guy...the TC-50 can handle anything.

    Mesa has done several 212 combos in the past: the Nomads, Heartbreaker, Trem-O-Verb, F-100, Royal Atlantic, TA-30, Maverick...to name a few. But THE 212 rig to have is one of their 112s, like a Nomad 45, DC-3, Mark III, or Mark IV, et.al. on top of their 112 Theile cab. I prefer the EVM speaker. Two pieces, so it's more portable and a smaller stage footprint, and it elevates the knobs to a much more comfortable level. Mesa has really explored this for many years. I have the DC-3, Mark III, Mark IV and Mark V:35 combos, and use a 112 EVM Thiele when I gig with my band. For a local jam, I can take just the combo. They also make a 112 Wide-Body Closed Back cab that is Thiele-ported. My big Mark V combo has the Celestion C90, and the WBCB cab has a V30. I LOVE THIS RIG! It sounds huge, even on the 10-watt setting.

    You should also include the Mark V:35 on your list of possibles. I love my big bottle amps, but there are not many gigs you could not do with this amp...especially with the Thiele. And the Cab-Clone lets you practice silently with headphones, or feed the board directly in a live situation.

    Regarding the "simplicity' of single channel amps...

    Is having a one trick pony amp and four distortion pedals simpler than a two-or three channel amp? Really now. And yes, those Deluxe Reverb amps sound great cranked. Until you want to use a delay...doesn't sound very good now...unnatural. Most of those amps don't have efx loops...unlike the Mesas, which have very good loops.

    Funny you should mention that soft compression. In the late '70s, early '80s, I got a chance to demo two Dumble amps. Both the original Mesas and Dumble amps were based on BF Fender amps. That bit of compression and sustain is what I remember most about those Dumbles. Hard to describe it...very touch dynamic, yet liquid under my fingertips. A very seductive feel. I never felt that with any of my Fenders, but when I bought my first Mesa, a 180-watt Mark III head, there it was. Had to have the Master above 2.5, but once in the sweet spot it is glorious! That little bit of compression is not a bad thing.

    Finally, if you're trying to compete against a guy with a 50 or 100-watt half-stack and your little Ampeg ain't cutting it...well, neither is a 15-22 watt open-back combo. Need a minimum of 35-50 watts.

    With a Theile cab!

    Bill
    Last edited by Boogie Bill; 01-13-2018 at 02:19 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    I don’t know if they ever made it in a 1x12 but the Prosonic would be my pick. I haven’t tried any of their newer more modern designs.

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Voltage View Post
    I don’t know if they ever made it in a 1x12 but the Prosonic would be my pick. I haven’t tried any of their newer more modern designs.
    Bruce Zinky wanted the Prosonic combo to be a 1/12 but Fender insisted on the 2/10's. Bruce built a handful of 1/12 Prosonics at the custom shop all in Red Lizard with Vintage 30's.I converted one of my Black Combos to a 1/12 and ran it for a number of years until Bruce built me the Velvet. Wicked good amps!
    I miss the 120 watt Prosonic head with reverb I bought off Brad Whitford now that was a BEAST!!!
    Used her in the studio for these tracks with my old band.
    https://app.box.com/shared/3chz5vojtx
    Here is the same song live running my 1/12 Black Prosonic combo.
    https://app.box.com/shared/0l9jn5x5bd
    Last edited by Ascension; 01-11-2018 at 03:07 AM.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Well, I dig reverb, and I love Fenders for their clean channel + pedal ability, so channel switching with a more modern 'overdrive' channel isn't important to me (and I don't like the way it sounds on the Hot Rods, anyway).
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  12. #32
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    Default Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr0 View Post
    Yeah, the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. It's a lot like the SuperSonic 22, that is a 22 watt amp based on the Deluxe Reverb. The CDR has one channel modded to be like the Bassman, a very tweedy sound. It has the Silverface look, but it's the "Custom" channel that makes it sing. The SuperSonic is DR + 5150 vs Custom DR is DR + Bassman. It's not a channel switcher, though, which I think the SS is.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    ive modded my '66 deluxe reverb a fair amount over the years trying to get different things. at this point i basically have a mildly modified vibrato channel which does all the glorious bf fender reverb tones you want. the normal channel is gutted so there is just a volume control. the only eq is shelving up the bottom in the circuit so its not mushy. its not footswitchable but i use an a/b switch to switch between them. not quite a 5e3 tone but it does that type of thing well. lets me have a scooped sound with reverb and a fat non-reverb sound and that covers all the ground i need most of the time
    This is great, thank you both. It feels like a 68 CDR with some modding love might be perfect.

    Could I get a cleaner vintage channel and dirtier bassman channel but similar volume just by swapping the tubes?

    My main problem with with one channel amps is getting louder clean tones.


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    Last edited by Blille; 01-11-2018 at 11:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr0 View Post

    Probably my favorite color is the Classic Brownface 1961-1983. Also, seeing as I find Reverb over-rated ...

    Attachment 86010

    If you are really into Brownface amps, look into Cutthroat Audio Amps. The Down Brownie is it.
    https://cutthroataudio.com/product/down-brownie/
    Last edited by hamerfan; 01-11-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    This is great, thank you both. It feels like a 68 CDR with some modding love might be perfect.

    Could I get a cleaner vintage channel and dirtier bassman channel but similar volume just by swapping the tubes?

    My main problem with with one channel amps is getting louder clean tones.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    by putting a hot tube in the bassman side and a 5751 in the deluxe side you might be able to get closer to what you want. the reason my amp works so well is because there are only two stages of gain for the dirty channel but they are hotter than a normal fender circuit and there is no loss due to the tone stack. the vibrato channel has three stages of gain in normal fender reverb style and normal losses due to the bf tone stack.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    5e3 tweed deluxe never fails to deliver...but i would buy a handbuilt clone rather than a fender branded one. Just as nice but a lot less bucks.
    Dirty, rude, rich. Just generally pure rocking tweed attitude.

    Deluxe reverb for reverb and a lot more clean headroom, but for this one definitely a clone. Much superior build quality, although i guess getting a fender means you can probably sell it for more or less the same value you buy it for (if you go second hand). Sweet, refined, spacy but with enough raunch for a lot of stuff if you crank it.

    These two amps are pretty definitive. The rest are all just good workhorses. Whatever you do, make getting a solid pine cabinet a priority.
    Last edited by Chickenwings; 01-11-2018 at 05:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Just found out about the Rivera modded 68 CDR, wow is that amp killer. But, for $950 more than a standard 68 CDR I'd never be able to justify buying one, since I play mostly heavier styles.
    As far as the Mesa's go, if you aren't into super high gain or complicated controls, used Lone Stars, Electra Dynes, and Blue Angels go for less than new Deluxe Reverbs, Subway Rockets for considerably less. Mk II-IV combos are usually under $1000 as well (except IIC/C+)

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    First off thanks for this long posting. I've learned a lot spending time here and reading the thoughtful replies people like you write.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Bill View Post
    Random thoughts...

    You don't need the exotic wood cabinet on a Mesa amp to have a great amp. They are beautiful, but you do pay for it. They also do custom vinyl.
    I appreciate the beauty of their amps, but I don't even have guitars that fancy. I'm sort of a black Tele kinda guy, so basic black amps are great with me.
    I assume something like that is a "Trophy Amp" that you keep at home in your music room. I don't even like taking my Marshall JCM-800 on gigs much because it's in such nice shape for it's age (and is a factory red tolex combo). I can't imagine carting a purple flamed maple Boogie into some dive bar.

    The Triple Crown amps have a more "British" feel with their EL34s, but along with high-gain, they do clean and mid-gain very well. Channel Two is amazing on this amp! The Santana-esque soaring lead tone is there, and beyond. I'm a blues-classic rock-pop-country kind of guy...the TC-50 can handle anything.
    That's great to know I'll see if I can find one. My idea for my "next amp" is combining my two favorites, the JCM-800 and the Bassman Reissue. I've already sort of scoped out the Mesa Lone Star 4x10 cab as the ideal speakers I have in mind for it.

    Mesa has done several 212 combos in the past: the Nomads, Heartbreaker, Trem-O-Verb, F-100, Royal Atlantic, TA-30, Maverick...to name a few. But THE 212 rig to have is one of their 112s, like a Nomad 45, DC-3, Mark III, or Mark IV, et.al. on top of their 112 Theile cab.
    Yes, this makes sense. I see this size of small stack, with either a combo or small "lunchbox" head on the top is a new thing right now and agree it makes sense. What is the "Theile cab" and what makes it so different from other 1x12 extension cabs?

    I prefer the EVM speaker. Two pieces, so it's more portable and a smaller stage footprint, and it elevates the knobs to a much more comfortable level. Mesa has really explored this for many years. I have the DC-3, Mark III, Mark IV and Mark V:35 combos, and use a 112 EVM Thiele when I gig with my band. For a local jam, I can take just the combo. They also make a 112 Wide-Body Closed Back cab that is Thiele-ported. My big Mark V combo has the Celestion C90, and the WBCB cab has a V30. I LOVE THIS RIG! It sounds huge, even on the 10-watt setting.

    You should also include the Mark V:35 on your list of possibles. I love my big bottle amps, but there are not many gigs you could not do with this amp...especially with the Thiele. And the Cab-Clone lets you practice silently with headphones, or feed the board directly in a live situation.
    I think that a 35 watt might work. The Bassman RI is only 45 and it's plenty, a never turn it up past noon. I did find out that 15 watts isn't enough through experimentation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's just not quite enough, and sometimes it's WAY not enough. It's a great size for practicing alone though.

    Regarding the "simplicity' of single channel amps...

    Is having a one trick pony amp and four distortion pedals simpler than a two-or three channel amp? Really now.
    No, not really. It is probably easier to dial in the sound I hear though. I like a very clean distortion, which is easy to get with the two OD boxes I use. One in a while I'll use a digital delay, it doesn't sound bad to me in front of the amp, but I have to admit I haven't used it on an effects look much. Boxes can be a little fiddly, I agree and I do think going with just an amp and maybe some stuff in an effects loop is theoretically the way to go. I've just never worked on it enough to get there.

    When I used to play with my Orange AD-140 I sometimes went pedal-less, or at trimmed down to one OD just to spice things up. Mostly: need a big vehicle for that cab! Here's one from a 15 years ago. Looks like a Maxxon. Digital Delay and Tuner were the order of the day. I like having the tuner in front of the amp for the "instant silent" feature, which I use between songs sometimes. That would be hard to replace on an effects loop.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And yes, those Deluxe Reverb amps sound great cranked. Until you want to use a delay...doesn't sound very good now...unnatural. Most of those amps don't have efx loops...unlike the Mesas, which have very good loops.
    I've noticed that with chorus and flangers, too, now that you mention it which is why I think I never use them.

    Funny you should mention that soft compression. In the late '70s, early '80s, I got a chance to demo two Dumble amps. Both the original Mesas and Dumble amps were based on BF Fender amps. That bit of compression and sustain is what I remember most about thoes Dumbles. Hard to describe it...very touch dynamic, yet liquid under my fingertips. A very seductive feel. I never felt that with any of my Fenders, but when I bought my first Mesa, a 180-watt Mark III head, there it was. Had to have the Master above 2.5, but once in the sweet spot it is glorious! That little bit of compression is not a bad thing.
    That "dynamic yet liquid under my fingertips" is a very good description of what I like about the JCM-800 and Orange that the Bassman just doesn't have, even with a couple fuzz-boxes stacked up in front of it.

    Finally, if you're trying to compete against a guy with a 50 or 100-watt half-stack and your little Ampeg ain't cutting it...well, neither is a 15-22 watt open-back combo. Need a minimum of 35-50 watts.
    Yes, 50 Watts has always seemed like the perfect size to me. A lot of people think (for instance) that the JCM-2204 (50 Watt Version) sounds nicer than the JCM-2203 (100 Watt Version).
    With a Theile cab!

    Bill
    Again, thanks. You've given me a whole different direction to move my thinking and experiments into.

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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Can't pick just one

    Blues Junior III (tweed)
    - Best all around little tube amp for whatever, IMO

    Deluxe Reverb (black)
    - If I'm going classic old school, for really classic Fender, I like this

    Hot Rod Deluxe III (black, mutli-channel)
    - This would be my small band, play-out Fender of choice
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    Deluxe Reverb, or any that are 6V6 based. Mini-Marshall.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Which is your favorite Fender 1x12 tube combo amp?

    I'm a big Fender fan and currently own the following:
    1) '57 custom deluxe 5E3 (a Fender clone)
    2) Excelsior w/ Emi Legend 1518 (discontinued sometime back)
    3) Blues Junior converted to a head.
    4) Supersonic 22 (both combo and head...their issues have been remedied)
    5) Blues Deluxe Reissue

    I love 'em all. Each has it's own characteristics and the necessary application dictates which I use. OP did not state if he is looking to purchase one, but if so, it'll depend on how he plans to use it as to which best suits.

    If I were looking for a new Fender, I'd thoroughly test the new 68 Custom Vibrolux (2X10). Would love to have a '59 Bassman ltd. (4X10), but it's too heavy and loud for my needs.
    Last edited by IM4Tone; 01-13-2018 at 12:09 PM.

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