1. #1

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    Does anyone know where I can find recordings of George Benson using a JC120? And the polytone as well? The reason being I’m having a difficult time deciding which amp to get next, and I’d like to get as many examples as possible together to compare - not just trying them in person of course. I can’t even find a polytone to do this for example. Also curious about Wes’ Standel recordings..and if there’s a similar type solid state amp out there available.

    I’d be quite happy with a nice Fender tube amp, but the cost and lack of headphone jack puts me off (mostly the cost).

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2

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    If you are on a budget and can't afford one of the newer "boutique" solid state and/or tube amps that are specifically designed for a "jazz" sound then
    you could look at these older specimen on the used market :
    - Yamaha G series
    - Music Man RD 110/112
    - Peavey
    - Fender Jazzman
    - Fender Montreux
    - Polytone Mini Brute I, II, III
    - Ampeg Gemini
    - Traynor

    There are too many actually and I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions but do try and play as many as you can because the variables are numerous,
    your specific guitar will not pair favorably with some amps/speakers and you simply need to learn and remember tones so you can actually compare
    one combo's performance with others. As per your first question : I'm pretty sure that GB did not opt for the JC120 when he was doing a studio recording since
    a) he already had a promo deal with Polytone and b) he used the Fender/Ampeg etc. amps that the studio provided.
    You might get close with the Polytone-in-a-box-pedal that some fellas on this here forum have written about. It would be a cheap solution, too.

    The original hand-built Standel amps were expensive, rare and the newer copies are even more rare and expensive. Wes' sound varied quite a lot during his career and differs from one recording to the other and I'm pretty sure that he also used just about any amp that was available when on tour. The common denominator is the specific technique
    of the player, his touch, how he set up his guitar, etc. and it takes a lot of practice and dedication to develop this. There are no shortcuts.....

  4. #3

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    In answer to your question, there was a long period when Benson toured with both a Fender Twin Reverb and a Polytone MiniBrute V. Coupled with his Ibanez version of the Johnny Smith, then later with the GB-10, this setup was "THE George Benson sound."

    It's more difficult to know what he actually used in the studio, of course. For example, my understanding is that he would often use his Gibson Johnny Smith to record things, but would not be seen publicly with anything but one of the Ibanez guitars he was endorsing. Studios are the haunt of sexy, vintage amps. It's entirely possible that Benson could have been recording using, say, an old Ampeg Super Twin Echo--an excellent choice for getting a great jazz sound--instead of his Polytone or a Fender.

    We'd be none the wiser. I understand that one of today's big jazz guitarists who endorses Vox AC30 amps actually uses nothing but one or the other of his favorite, personal 5E3 amps in the studio. Same thing. (Scofield, of course )
    Last edited by Greentone; 11-12-2019 at 09:59 PM.

  5. #4
    Thanks for the replies so far. I suppose I’d really just like a smaller fender tube amp, for home practice/small gigs in the future. I’ve started another thread about the Pro Jr., which I’m now leaning towards. I’m thinking I can get a benson-Esque tone from that, at lower volumes?

    At the same time, I would really like a way to practice with headphones without sacrificing tone - I’ve gone off any of the sounds I can get out of my Yamaha THR10C modelling amp. Maybe it’s because of the feel as well with the modeling? Feels/sounds like a toy in comparison to when I had a Twin and a Blues Jr. The headphone thing is why I ask about solid-state tone and the jc and polytone amps. I should mention I’m playing a Yamaha SA2200 (335 type) these days.

  6. #5
    Are there any amps that sound both great with headphones and the speaker? Or is this just not possible because of the way it works. I understand the speakers on my headphones will be different. I use AKG K701 reference headphones, which weren’t cheap..

    If this is the case, maybe I just keep the THR10 for headphones only. Hmm.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    In answer to your question, there was a long period when Benson toured with both a Fender Twin Reverb and a Polytone MiniBrute V. Coupled with his Ibanez version of the Johnny Smith, then later with the GB-10, this setup was "THE George Benson sound."

    It's more difficult to know what he actually used in the studio, of course. For example, my understanding is that he would often use his Gibson Johnny Smith to record things, but would not be seen publicly with anything but one of the Ibanez guitars he was endorsing. Studios are the haunt of sexy, vintage amps. It's entirely possible that Benson could have been recording using, say, an old Ampeg Super Twin Echo--an excellent choice for getting a great jazz sound--instead of his Polytone or a Fender.

    We'd be none the wiser. I understand that one of today's big jazz guitarists who endorses Vox AC30 amps actually uses nothing but one or the other of his favorite, personal 5E3 amps in the studio. Same thing. (Scofield, of course )

    hi greentone
    my ears says that george benson plays old L5 or johnny smith on records.
    I have no idea about amp, maybe twin reverb or ampeg as you say.
    sound more tube then solid state on records.
    Never use ibanez on records.

  8. #7

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    archtopdream63,

    I agree with what your ears are telling you.