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Thread: Advice on a new amp

  1. #1
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    Default Advice on a new amp

    Hi guys, I've started a project where my trusty Fender Blues Jr simply isn't keeping up. The tone I'm getting through it is good for what we're doing (garage/rock/blues sorta thing - we even use some slide guitar!). So I think I just need a bigger Blues Jr... ?

    My offsider plays a Sunn Model T 50w combo and a Rickenbacker 330, which he's getting some big fat juicy tones out of, so I want to hit those higher, raspy, dare I say 'ice pick' tones. Maybe be a tad cleaner than he is too as his tone gets quite woolly. I play a US Std strat.

    My initial thoughts were to get a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe - similar design to the Blues Jr, but 6L6 tubes @ 40w.

    Then I saw there's also a Fender Blues Deluxe - also 6L6 @ 40w.

    Then today I remembered the Peavey Delta Blues amps, which I've never tried.

    Or should I go all out and get a Fender twin? We will be gigging soon so I'd prefer something portable though. The twins are HEAVY...

    Anyway, over to you guys, what do yas reckon?

  2. #2
    Our Neighbor Totoro FuseG4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    The bigger hot rods, especially the 60w DeVille, are great basically made for those who like that modern hotter fender sound but like and clear and clean and bright.
    Twin is probably overkill but I do like the blackface sound a lot more than the hot rod sound. Hot rod is good but blackface is like... Timeless.
    I don't gig but I went with the supersonic 22, it's got a blackface tonality to both channels and the drive channel is a good cascading design that is more mesa like than other fenders, but can also be used to match the clean channel by lowering the gain and scooping the mids. Very versatile and is bright and slightly dirty at Rock n roll volumes.
    Deluxe reverb with an efficient speaker will probably get you what you want if you like a touch of breakup you hit it
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    Thanks FuseG4! I hadn't considered the Supersonic.. It may be a bit quiet for what we're doing at 22w but its worth trying. How about one of the older Rivera era Deluxe Reverb II amps? I think they're only about 20w though..

    We don't really play anything clean, there's always some dirt in there. Not what I'd call 'distortion' in an 80's rock sense, but dirt ala 60's and some 70's stuff.

  4. #4
    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    Please ask your friend to sell me his Sunn.
    green globe burned black by sunn

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    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    The Delta Blues amps kill...especially the 15" speaker version. Better yet, find a Classic 50 212. Heavy as hell, but they sound great and are bullet proof.

    Still, the SuperSonic is a badass amp. The Blues Deluxe is louder, but its OD isn't as good as the SS.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    A Boogie, perhaps? Or a PRS / PRS SE?

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    the hot rod amps are fine utilitarian amps, reliable and sound decent but a speaker swap helps for sure. a cannabis rex in your blues jr will make it noticeably louder, thicker too

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    Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    If you like the "pure classic" Fender tone the Hot Rod DeVille will give you everything you will ever need and prices for used ones are a bargain:


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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    i dont find that to be true. when i think "pure classic fender tone" i think blackface deluxe reverb, super reverb or twin reverb. the hot rod is a fine amp but doesnt sound like those "classic" fenders to me.

  10. #10
    Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    I agree that it doesn't sound like a blackface deluxe (6V6 tone is unique), super reverb (4X10 speakers more responsive and highs). It does sound almost exactly like a clean twin..the DeVille has the advantage of overdrive channels....guess it's what classic tone being talked about...if you go back to the 5E3 as the ref std then it doesn't sound anything like it....

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    i was going to mention the tweed tone too, very different, just as classic, and not really available from these amps. i dont think the hot rods sound all that much like a bf twin, the voicing is different. loud and clean for sure, but a hd deville 2x12 doesnt sound like a bf twin reverb to me. nor does the 4x10 sound like a super. again, these are not bad amps at all and some people might prefer the throatier nature of the hr over the bf

  12. #12
    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    the hot rod amps are fine utilitarian amps, reliable and sound decent but a speaker swap helps for sure. a cannabis rex in your blues jr will make it noticeably louder, thicker too
    This.

    The Blues Deluxe is slightly warmer and has a more usable stock drive channel than the Hot Rod Deluxe, IMO.

    I've had the Blues Jr with the C Rex speaker upgrade, Hot Rod Deluxe (highly modded with the Drive channel modded similar to a Mesa Rectifier) and currently have a highly Modded Blues Deluxe (Fromel Supreme Mod and Eminence Texas Heat speaker.) I basically use them for Fender cleans and use a couple Distortion/OD pedals for gain...both stocks drive channels are just not that great for how I want a drive channel to sound.

    All three are great amps for Fender Cleans on a budget and all 3 take pedals very well. There are plenty of mods out there to greatly improve these amps but stock they are still great amps for the price.

    My suggestion, go to a guitar store and try to play through the Hot Rod or Blues Deluxe and see what you think. The Eminence Cannabis Rex is a great speaker for the Blues Jr. and is something to consider as well.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by treyhaislip; 09-14-2018 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Figured "more usable" was a better word choice than "better"

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    I poop my pants and wear KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    If you are gigging, you only need an amp at most for some stage volume to keep up with the drummer. I have to say, without knowing much more (music, venues, frequency of gigs, PA situation, scene, etc), I like the the Hot Rod Deluxe. Those are the Peavey Bandits of the Fender line. Great working man Fender amps.

    A Twin is big, heavy, and god-aweful loud. Are you going to be gigging without a PA? I hope not. A lot of places in the world aren't going to let you even come close to mildly running that twin. So, unless you are playing big stages, are filling the room with just the amp, and have roadies - No!
    Last edited by Aceman; 09-14-2018 at 04:08 PM.
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  14. #14
    Our Neighbor Totoro FuseG4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    I have 40w Marshall Haze and lol I use it as a 112 extension cab for my supersonic, it's a little darker as the impedance is mismatched but it's loud and has good spread.
    Also I don't think the hot rod amps sound like the old bf stuff. Too "hot", definitely more mid focus.
    A used SF bassman/showman would be in the right vein.
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  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    I'm firmly in the Mesa camp. I think you would be better served with something like a Mark III or Mark IV, DC-5, Lonestar Classic, et. al. The Mesas will be better made, for starters. They'll have better distortion tones and more tonal versatility.

    A compact Mark III combo with reverb, eq, EVM, and Simul-Class has a smaller footprint than a Deluxe Reverb, yet with a 112 EVM Thiele extention cab can hang with many full stacks. Or drop the power to 15 watts for practice or small clubs. The Mark IV will give you more control over the R2 Crunch channel.

    And if you can afford a new Mesa, take a look at the Fillmore and Triple Crowns. And I LOVE my Mark V:35 combo, and use it with a Thiele cab.

    Take a long look at what Mesa has to offer. Decide if you want to keep buying amps, or if you want to buy one that will last for a lifetime.

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  16. #16
    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    I would say it is time for a Fender Twin. Yes they are loud but they have a master volume to tame the volume. They are also a great pedal platform they sound great with any modulation and echo. They take to overdrive and boost better than dare I say any amp out there. Depending on the stomp you can go from slight break up to screaming metal. They are big but still small enough to fit in most cars. The extra headroom you have will be handy if you find yourself playing outdoor gigs or bigger rooms. Keep in mind the Twin was the most recorded amp in the 60's and 70's. The arena rock bands used walls of Marshalls on stage but most recording studios of that era had a trusty twin as a house amp. The Fender Twin is the tone of most of your favorite recordings. There is a picture out there of Jimmy Page recording at Headley Grange with a Twin, Electric Ladyland had Twins.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    Appreciate all the advice and replies guys, thank you!

    Today I visited one of my fave local stores and they had a good selection of Fender amps on hand - HRD IV, a HRD Ltd ed with a Jensen P12N, and an original 68 Vibrolux. All sounded great really, but there was a notable difference between the two HRD's, and then a bigger difference again when I hit the Vibrolux.
    HRD IV - sounded like my Blues Jr only with a fatter bass and warmer mid range. The reverb was less crazy as well. Clean and Drive channels were both really nice, extra drive channel was not great.
    HRD Ltd Ed - vastly similar to the IV, though the bottom end and mids were not quite as warm. Again the 'extra drive' channel was pretty bad.
    Vibrolux - Beautiful cleans and amazing reverb. The dirty tones were not as amazing as the cleans, but still decent. A little 'tighter' than the HRD's if that makes sense.. I had to crank it up to get some dirt out of it too. The price tag counts this out but it was fun to try!

    I'd still like to try a reissue 68 Deluxe Reverb, and also a Blues Deluxe. If I can I'd definitely like to try a Peavey Delta Blues as well. I may also rent an old Twin at our next rehearsal.

    I'm in no rush so I'll keep posting my notes here.

    We'll be playing shows of 30~150 pax, so I think I'm in the ball park in terms of wattage, its just a case of finding cool tones - which I'll probably pull out of any of these amps really!
    Then there's the portability - light weight is high on my agenda.

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    The classic side of the Supersonic should be better at the 68 Virbolux vibe than the Hotrods. There are 6L6 Supersonics on the used market to consider as well if you don't think the SS22 will be enough.

  19. #19
    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    + 3db speaker sensitivity over the stock speaker turns a 22 watt amp into a 44 watt amp in terms of loudness.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Advice on a new amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Lake Placid Blues View Post
    + 3db speaker sensitivity over the stock speaker turns a 22 watt amp into a 44 watt amp in terms of loudness.
    Nah that's +10dB

    This is more like 22 >> 30w

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