tone deviation/high end amps worth it? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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tone deviation/high end amps worth it?

i know sound is a very important to every musician. and to all serious musicans, money is no object when it comes to getting the right sound.

but what i want to know is, is shelling out 3k+ for an amp head alone (i.e. bogner, soldano, diezel, dumble) really worth it. is a personal sound valuable enough to be priced that high?

i love my tone, i play Evolution equipped Carvin thru a line 6 flextone III. I have played a bogner ecstacy and a soldano SLO 100 but havent had the pleasure of playing a diezel or dumble. The line 6 comes close, but doesnt have all the tonal characteristics of the SLO and XTC. but i didnt pay 3k for this amp and, being a combo, probably weighs less than these amp heads.

is it really worth spending that kind of money to sound a little better?

i think not, but thats just my opinion. personally, i think id sound the same thru any amp and i think if steve vai were playing a tele thru a fender twin you could still tell it was him playing which brings my to my next idea.

tone comes from mostly from playing style and note choice, not equipment. of course your not going to be able to play country on a mesa boogie dual rectifier with a jackson soloist, but equipment doesnt make that much of a difference especially not cords (thats the biggest bunch of bull**** ive ever heard, a cord does not effect that much of your tone). if you put the same equipment and environmental settings in front of two different players, they will sound quite different.

and its all about style, you have vai and satch play over a blues, thru the same equipment, they wont sound the same, because their styles are intrinsically different. and their note choices identify themselves as each other. unless you spend years learning every nuance of vai's or satch's playing, you wont sound like them, even then the tonal qualities will be noticibly different.

o well, thanks for listening to my rant
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 10:58 AM
 
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First of all, if you find a Dumble for $3K, let me know-I'll take it!

Tone is 100% subjective. So is whether or not something is "worth it" or if something is "overpriced". If a Bogner or a Soldano is more than you can afford, then obviously it will appear overpriced.

Is there a difference? Hell yeah! When I was in my Class A, hand-wired amp phase a couple of years ago, I picked up a Matchless Chieftain half-stack and a Fender ToneMaster head/cab. The Fender setup ran about $1200 for the head & cab. I paid $2600 for the Matchless set. The difference was night & day. The ToneMaster wasn't bad, but it had nowhere near the clarity and sheer tone that the Matchless had. HUGE difference.

Since then, my needs and my tastes have changed. I'm actually working on buying my Matchless back from the guy I sold it to a year ago. It was a great amp, and I miss it. However, I love my Riveras as well. They're completely different types of amplifiers, but they do what they're designed to do, and the do it well.

It all comes down to what your ears think sounds good and what your bank account can comfortably afford.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 02:42 PM
 
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mmm

I heard Bucket head play country/chicken picking style on a Jackson V with a mesa boogie... u can play anything with anything, its just nice to have a tone you like. Ive used 3000dollar amp heads, but one of my fave sounds is still that of a mesa solo recto, im just familiar with it... hell if it sounds good to me, what do i care...
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
When I in my Class A, hand-wired amp phase a couple of years ago, I picked up a Matchless Chieftain half-stack...
And how exciting is it to find out now that the Matchless wasn't even Class A. You still have ways to go. Only I'd look for single-ended amps if you want true class A.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:16 PM
 
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So Micro, to what would you attribute the cost : value and cost : tone ratios , I've seen and played quite a few amplifiers ( one Dumble super OD and a couple soldanos along with the boogie stuff I now own) granted, they sound GREAT, but ultimately the circuits used are just refinements of an already existing technology. I have a hard time justifying the $4000.00 or more on some amplifiers that are re-hashing the same premp and power configs with the only difference being some changes in tone shaping or biasing methods.
The componants themselves aren't typically very hard to find, its not like these amps ship with all NOS tubes that won't be around in a few years nor are they using all gold or platinum runs or contact points or superconductors.
In your opinion, would you say that you're paying for engineering or a name?


Bamm
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:18 PM
 
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That bastard Mark Sampson lied to me then! I couldn't care less if it was a "pure" Class A amp or not. It sounded incredible, period.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:32 PM
 
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we all have different subtleties in our playing.....pick attack, dynamics, vibrato, touch....etc. I think we all just have to find the right amp/setup that will really really bring out those unique qualities in our playing. Regardless of whether it's a marshall or a bogner....whether it's tube or solid state....rack or pedals.....there's a perfect setup out there for each and every one of us. Too bad it takes a lot of time, effort, and money to find it <sigh>
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 04:42 PM
 
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i would say its worth it through and through, i use a cornford hellcat and it was worth every penny.

thats all i can realy say. i use a line 6 flextone 2 also as my practice amp but the tone is no comparison at all.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 05:06 PM
 
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I think you can look at it one of two ways. If you're a pro, you defiately want to have a "serious" sound. That doesn't mean you have to spend $5k to be good, but if you plan to make a living on your music, you shouldn't be taking shortcuts.

If you're just a hobbyist (play at home, in a band, basic recording, etc), then it comes down to pure enjoyment. If you can afford what you want, I say why not go for it. If you think you'll enjoy playing more through a Bogner and you can afford a Bogner... then buy a Bogner. Pretty simple. It's nothing more than doing what will make you happier with your sound. If you're happy with playing through a $200 Laney... and it's not holding you back or making people throw sharp objects at you for sounding so horrible... then save your cash.

There are times when you can be inbetween these two. But I never buy the comments people make like "You're not good enough for that amp" or whatever it may be... if spending a fortune on gear turns you on, do it.

Lots of people here know I've gone through more than my share of gear... much of it I didn't need. But eventually you settle down and figure out what you really want/need for yourself. Whether it's expensive or not doesn't matter so long as it's what you want.

Make sense?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
That bastard Mark Sampson lied to me then! I couldn't care less if it was a "pure" Class A amp or not. It sounded incredible, period.
Yep. And that's what we care about the most. I just wanted to point out that low-mid gain amp doesn't have to run Class A to sound awesome.
microdmitry is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 06:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bammbamm
So Micro, to what would you attribute the cost : value and cost : tone ratios , I've seen and played quite a few amplifiers ( one Dumble super OD and a couple soldanos along with the boogie stuff I now own) granted, they sound GREAT, but ultimately the circuits used are just refinements of an already existing technology. I have a hard time justifying the $4000.00 or more on some amplifiers that are re-hashing the same premp and power configs with the only difference being some changes in tone shaping or biasing methods.
The componants themselves aren't typically very hard to find, its not like these amps ship with all NOS tubes that won't be around in a few years nor are they using all gold or platinum runs or contact points or superconductors.
In your opinion, would you say that you're paying for engineering or a name?
Bamm
Even having the circuits at hand it's very difficult (nearly impossible) to make an amp that sounds exactly the same. Why? Mainly because of the custom made output transformers. So Dumble can't be duplicated _entirely_ at home, although one can make an amp that sounds pretty close. Will it be close? Yes. Will it be 100% close? No. Will it be _better_? It depends on what you want from it. You may not sound exactly SRV, but you may like the tone of a Dumble "ripoff" more than that of original Dumble. The trouble is, unless you owned a Dumble and compared it side-by-side with your homemade amp, you'll never be quite sure if you're "there".

Also, people who make boutique amps don't sell amps per se, they sell the knowledge necessary to make these amps sound like they do and you pay the premium price for the privilege of having the amp made (and fine-tuned) by THEM. If you think about it, one/two guys will not make that many amps per month, and if they have families to feed and there's someone on the market willing to pay top dollar for high quality handmade stuff, so be it. Just because someone can't afford it doesn't mean that their prices are not justified. If they buy parts in small quantities, materials necessary to build just one amp (enclosure, chassis, parts, tolex, etc) can easily cost $600-700 per amp or more depending on the quality of the parts. Heck, one pot can cost $12, and set of transformers can be $150-200 or more.

As with anything, the last 10% of performance make the biggest difference for someone who knows what he (or she) is looking for. People can spend really big bucks for whatever feels right to them. Some will do this just based on the hype, but some will really need this piece of gear to express themselves in full and take their "relationship" with the instrument to the next level.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 07:41 PM
 
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spencer if youve already played a few high end amps and you cant really see the need to spend all that money on one then youve answered your own question. Your ears and personal taste leads you to the conclusion that a Line6 will be just as close for you. "For you" being the important part since your spending the money and your listening to the sound of the amp every time you play. What everyone else in the world says doesnt really metter then becouse thier not the one playing it. You are. I couldnt dissagree more with you about your conclusions but Im not you and my opinion shouldnt mean anything to you. Its really as simple as that. I know how hard it is not to buy into hype though. It is tough.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 07:56 PM
 
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Of coarse, as Ive posted many times spencer, I couldnt disagree more with your last few paragraphs. The tone of your equipment is extremely important. If what you said was totally true then guitarists, like Vai, would play whatever then had handy. You wouldnt have people who play the same rig for 30 years or that scour the globe for certain things.

Ill repost a quote by Al DiMeola that I think nails the tone vs fingers argument:

"A pro guitarist may sound better with a $50 guitar and amp rigg then a beginner or hobbiest with a 10k setup, but he wont sound anywhere near as good as he does when playing his own rig. A good tone is inspiring and commands you to play better."

Good tone is subjective and its not subjective. On record many things can be made to sound certain ways and are. But when your actually playing an amp thiers certain things that make someone play better. The responce of the amp. The sustain. The presence. And others. Those are things that are the same to all guitarists. The exact equipment they use to get that are different. Many people dont care as much or would rather sacrifice for convenience. Others arent as sensative to the differences. But equipment is important as well as your feel nd technique.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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interesting arguemnet

good dimeola quote, but, if i may, bring up a rebuttle towards the necessity of equipment.

one just needs to listen to jason becker. i have an old bootlegged video of him playing at a high school concert playing yngwie's black star. his equipment (from what i could see) was a piece of **** strat and a practice sized, solid state peavey amp (i know cuz i used to have the same amp, it truly is a peice of ****, weighs 80 lbs and smelled bad and sounded like tin). his tone was clear, articulate and full, something that seemed impossible with the rig he was using. no pedals were used (you can see the cord going straight into the amp, short cord).

all in all, i believe that as long as you like the way you sound, there isnt much of a problem regardless of what your opinons are and what gear you use.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2003, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microdmitry
Yep. And that's what we care about the most. I just wanted to point out that low-mid gain amp doesn't have to run Class A to sound awesome.
I couldn't agree more My Riveras are currently the overall best sounding, best feeling amps that I've had the pleasure to have owned...so far.
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amp head , amp heads , bogner ecstacy , boogie dual rectifier , dual rectifier , fender twin , flextone iii , gibson les paul , jackson soloist , jason becker , les paul , mesa boogie , mesa boogie dual , mesa boogie dual rectifier , peavey amp , practice amp , soldano slo , steve vai

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