Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

I finally got the chance to test all these lekker goodies. Was like an afternoon in amp heaven.
Before i start to tell you about my experiences i want to point out that am not biased in any way, meaning affiliated to any guitar company etc.
To start with the Marshall which was a DSL 401 Combo. Mmmh... nothing special. The least appealing amp of all. Neither the clean nor the lead channel impressed. I would only prefer that amp to the bass amp i have right now.
By the way i tested the amps the following way: First the clean channel afterwards lead channel by playing For the love of god, Crushing day, Far beyond the sun, Cry for you+ some Blues improvisation. That`s the kind of stuff i play and need an amp which fits the bill for shred, Blues and with a very good clean channel.
Carvin legacy combo- sorry Steve i love a lot of your work- but not exactly this amp. Sounds ...cheap compared to the high end stuff. And ok it is cheap compared to the other amps- you get what you pay for.
Mesa Roadster head: Ok amp but not for me. maybe i didn`t tweek enough but i want an amp which gives me instant gratification and not one you sit half a year tweeking.
Mesa Stiletto Deuce head: Didn`t work- and was never turned on before according to the salesman. In my opinion another example for the quality problems Mesa has. Followed the Boogie board for quite a long time and can`t help myself but there are really a lot of people having problems with their Mesa stuff.
Elmwood Modena 90 head: Good amp, a little bit nasal but not bad at all. And without doubt the sexiest looking head of all. I could fall for that one.
Bogner Shiva: The best clean sound and a very very good lead sound to. Not so compressed lead sound as the Diezel Einstein but i liked that one second best of the amps i tested. lekker....
Cornford:MK 50: Ok amp but i hate the company. i would rang it as the fourth best
Bogner XTC: Very fine lead tone, not as good cleans as the Shiva but very fat lead sound. But i would prefer the Shiva every day- the Shiva is a killer.
Diezel Einstein 50 Watt combo. This amp doesn`t look exactly appealing. A nasty unsexy amp but man i loved the sound. Maybe a bit dark but a very very good clean channel and a lead tone which makes you want to marry that amp. Very compressed, very good sustain and absolutely no need for Pedals and very good sound at lower volumes too. Here in Europe i pay 1800 Euro for the Diezel compared to 2200 for a Stiletto Deuce or 2800 for the Roadster, so no doubt you get a lot!! for the money.
The trip was really worth every penny. I couldn`t test out the Diezel VHT because it was sold but they told me that one was even better.
Hope you enjoyed my report.
Best wishes to you all Andreas
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I have one question though: why do you hate the company Cornford (I don't know anything about them, didn't know they existed until I saw Guthrie Govan use one on Youtube)?

Aside from that I think it's very hard to just compare amps like that. On some amps the eq works in a rather weird way, so just setting everything to mid won't always give you a good starting point. And some amps are very wild and responsive, and you really need to learn how to control them.
At first such amps may not convince you, but if you play on them for a while, and get the hang of them, they may be more rewarding than amps that give you instant gratification.

I don't really know how to select amps. I just bought a Marshall years ago, because back then the ValveState series was the only affordable amp that was reliable and had a reasonable sound. That, and ofcourse my heroes of the time played on Marshall.
I just stuck with Marshall since then, because I know how to play and use them.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

What was the volume at which you've tested them? Tube amps don't sound the same at lower volumes. Legacy and Marshall in particular rely heavily on being cranked. I had a couple of different Marshalls and they both only came to life at skull crushing volume levels (which is why I got rid of them).
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Quote:
Originally Posted by microdmitry View Post
What was the volume at which you've tested them? Tube amps don't sound the same at lower volumes. Legacy and Marshall in particular rely heavily on being cranked. I had a couple of different Marshalls and they both only came to life at skull crushing volume levels (which is why I got rid of them).
i was about to ask the same question. also, it's kind of hard to compare combo (like the dsl401) to heads unless you were running through similar speaker enclosures. the 401 is a 1x12 and i'm guessing you probably ran all of the heads through a 4x12. you probably should've tried a dsl50 head for the sake of fair comparison.

it would also be helpful to tag the cost of each of those amps in your report. i'm aware of the huge difference in cost between something like a legacy head and a bogner, and as you noted, in many cases you do get what you pay for. but sometimes an amp can just be too overpriced.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

My Marshall is the exception to the rule...
It can be switched to 25/50/100w, and has a special low volume compensation circuit which actually works. I can get a good classic Marshall tone even at bedroom volumes... but ofcourse nothing beats blasting the thing at high volume That just has to do more with the physical aspects of loud guitars than with the actual tone.
I bought it as a recording (pre)amp, and it works just fine that way.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Hei,
regarding Cornford: I have to apologize. Amy from Cornford gave me an offer for a MkII had which was 1700£ which is actually a fair deal. But for one or another reason i managed to make a mistake when calculating and came to the conclusion that 1700£ was 2700Euro and that without VAT. But thats actually wrong 1700£ is about 2200Euro which makes it a fair offer and me an idiot. Sorry Cornford people i am ashamed of myself.
To Scali: I thought the same as you insinuated. I took a lot at your homepage. Really good playing and good tone. And by the way almost all of my influences played at some time Marshall too. So i don`t want to bash on these amps but when A/B ing it with the Diezel they were no match with regard to everything. I played pretty loud- came out with a Tinnitus. Maybe the difference would have been less if i had played even louder but with regard to my ears i find an amp which only sounds really good at levels where amboss and malleus dance tango in the middel ear not very attractive. I played everything through a 4x12 besides the Diezel, Shiva, Legacy and Marshall which where Combos. To be honest right now i can`t imagine how any of the other amps could sound better or as good as the Diezel. But as said maybe at ear bleeding volumes.
The prices of the amps where in Euro: Legacy: 1100, Diezel: 2300, Marshall: ?, Bogner Shiva: 2700, XTC: 3600, Elmwood: 2300, Stiletto: 1990, Roadster: 2800.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleMind View Post
To Scali: I thought the same as you insinuated. I took a lot at your homepage. Really good playing and good tone. And by the way almost all of my influences played at some time Marshall too. So i don`t want to bash on these amps but when A/B ing it with the Diezel they were no match with regard to everything.
Thanks.
Anyway, I know the newer DSL/TSL amps can't be compared to my 6101 at all. The basic poweramp is the same, but you don't get all the switching options that mine has (half/full power, triode/pentode mode, hi/low speaker damping), and the preamp is completely different.
Still I quite like the DSL amps. They are very responsive to picking and guitar volume and such, so you can get a lot of sounds without even switching channels on the amp or adjusting the gain/eq. Just use your guitar and playing technique. This is something which I learnt over the years with playing Marshall, and something that not a lot of other amps can do as well as Marshall does it.
I have an old Marshall VS230 aswell (basically the same preamp as used in the MG series now), and although a lot of people say it's a really ****ty amp, it does allow you to control your sound in a way that's very Marshall-ish. It's just very responsive to what guitar you use, and how you use it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

I won`t argue with you about that because you really have good tone. But if you get the chance to try out the Diezel Einstein compare it to other amps stripped for any effects- i think you would be surprised. By the way the following clip gives a pretty good idea of how the amp sounds. I for myself have never heard an amp even close as good without effects. And by the way the clean channel is to die for too. I said the Shiva had the best clean but they were really close. I sound like a Diezel salesman but i am not. I also could put it in other words:My playing came out best with the Diezel. The sales guy liked the Shiva better...

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=V0uYQa20Eao
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=mZytPm...eature=related
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 06:00 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

I've never tried a Diezel... There's some Diezel Herbert models on my Zoom G9.2tt modeler, but I never use those. I rarely try out other amps because I'm not in the market for one anyway.

Here's a video of me playing with various amp and guitar sounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrIfK7K24H4
I just recorded it by putting my phone on top of the amp, the quality is not that good, but hopefully the idea comes across anyway
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:01 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Actually, no. The tone does change as you crank the amp, for several reasons. For one thing, as the power tubes begin to compress, they "shave off" the spikes on the distorted preamp signal. The tone gets fatter and sustain increases, the effect of your tone control settings diminishes. Then at some point the output tubes begin to distort, and that adds its own flavor to the sound. The second reason is the sag. As you crank the amp, the plate voltage on the power tubes drops, further increasing compression and sustain, because input voltage swing remains the same, and there's less of an output voltage range (AKA headroom) available. Finally, there's speaker response changes wrt volume, but from what I've read, those contribute to this effect the least with modern speakers (unless you have a greenback and count on the cone distortion).

I feel this is why people don't like Carvin Legacy. The amp was designed to be run with master volume at 10 all the time. Folks buy it, set it to 8 o clock and it "doesn't have enough gain". Of course it doesn't - power tubes don't even begin to compress at that volume.

Both the compression and the sag can be replicated at lower volumes very precisely using power scaling, but none of the mass produced amps (that I know of) have it.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Oh, and there's one more thing that affects the perception of guitar tone. The ears. There's Fletcher-Munson curve, which says that a lot more power is needed in the lows (below 500Hz) at lower volumes for things to sound "the same". This, to a lesser extent, applies to the highs as well (above 6KHz). This means that all other things being equal, even without compression, the tone will get more "low end" as you increase the master volume.
Then at high SPL's the ear itself begins to compress and distort. So what you're hearing is not what, for example, a microphone would be "hearing".
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:32 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

The low volume compensation circuit on my amp compensates for the Fletcher-Munson curve. It has a really powerful bass response at any volume, which is quite unique for a tube amp. The only thing you really notice when you crank it, is the increased feedback and some poweramp distortion...
Even at low volumes the sustain on that amp is crazy. Not sure how it does it, but it does.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 05:12 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Axe-Fx has power amp modeling which really lets you hear how the power amp behaves as you crank the master, but without the increase in the actual volume. One side effect of that is that nearly any amp model can be made "high gain" if master is cranked high enough, because master volume in the model goes quite a bit beyond of what's possible on the actual amp (on some models, not on all). You can adjust the sag, overall damping factor, depth and presence in pretty wide ranges, too.

All this stuff really emphasizes one point - each amp has its own unique sweet spot(s) in terms of master volume, preamp gain and presence settings, and that sweet spot depends on the guitar and the cab you're using with the amp as well. Currently, I'm using a JCM800 model with master at around 3 o clock. It really sounds amazing, but with a real amp that would have been the kind of volume that can easily blow the windows out. This is the volume that this amp was designed to shine at.

Which is to say that if the amps were compared at low volumes, some amps might have been unfairly discriminated against.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 05:24 AM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

OTOH, now that I think about it, I've discriminated against some amps on the same basis numerous times. If it doesn't sound good at practice volumes - I don't really care if it sounds godlike when cranked. Now, however, I can have the best of both worlds. And I apologize if this sounds like an ad for Fractal Audio.

In fact, I suggest the OP to take a good look at Axe-Fx before investing into the actual amp. You may decide you don't need the amp (and believe me, I was skeptical). It sounds and feels great, and it doesn't need to be cranked to reach the sweet spot.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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Re: Amp test Bogner/Mesa/Marshall/Diezel/Legacy/Elmwood/ Cornford

Y u no like Mesa.

I have a stiletto deuce stage II. It is so gnarly. I shopped for a long time and tried most of the once you mentioned before i bought it. If you tried that stage I the i could understand, that amp wasnt voiced to well. And as far as mesa's quality control i have found its top notch. Their customer support in the U.S is outstanding too. I guy sat on the phone with me for 2 hrs showing me cool settings for the amp.

Mesa=rad
Sorry you had a bad experience.
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amp distortion , bass amp , bass response , bogner shiva , carvin legacy combo , diezel herbert , guthrie govan , preamp gain

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