View Poll Results: Which Amp sounds best with a Gibson Les Paul?

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  • Fender Twin Reverb

    4 33.33%
  • Fender Super Reverb

    2 16.67%
  • Mesa Boogie Electradyne

    2 16.67%
  • Mesa Boogie F50

    1 8.33%
  • ENGL Thunder 50 Reverb

    0 0%
  • RIVERA Chubster 55

    0 0%
  • RIVERA Clubster 25 Doce

    1 8.33%
  • Peavey Classic 30

    2 16.67%
  • Mesa Boogie Subway Blues

    3 25.00%
  • Fender Deluxe 112 plus

    1 8.33%
  • AER Compact 60 III

    0 0%
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Posts 1 to 33 of 33
  1. #1

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    Mega Guitar Amplifier Review !! (part 1)
    Eleven guitar amplifiers through the iconic Gibson Les Paul.
    Covid19 and the quarantine that followed gave me enough time to prepare and carry out this MEGA guitar amplifier review.
    In the coming days I will publish the review with some different guitars!
    Next coming is a Fender Stratocaster through the same eleven amps, followed by a tele, a D' Angelico and a Gibson L5.
    Enjoy!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Thanks for this! That was great!

    I already knew I was a neck pickup guy, but this confirmed it.

    I thought the Twin/neck sounded best.

    I liked the AER more than I might have expected.

    No argument with how the test was conducted, but I assume the tone control positions on these amps don't all mean the same thing.

    So, another way to do it, would be to dial in the best tone (in the player's view) from each. That adds a wildcard, so I'd have done it the same way makam did, but I just want to acknowledge that adjustment in the tone controls can make a big difference.

  4. #3

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    This just proves that guitar players spend way too much time obsessing over amps and tone. I think they all sound fine.

  5. #4

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    I wouldn't agree that they all sound fine, but to each his own. Depends on what you are looking for from you and your rig.
    That ENGL ??? The Mesa's all sounded good, warm and full, as did the Rivera's, but the TWIN neck did shine didn't it? Also, the Fender Deluxe 112 was a pleasant surprise. A few were sort of boxy, or choked sounding. I can see where trad jazz players would go for the AER, but not for me, just dull sounding.
    One also has to factor in that there were probably stock speakers in each = a wide range of timbres! Did anyone say that all the amps went thru a single spkr. cab?

    Can't wait to hear the TELE and the L5. Thanks Makam, well done, and well appropriated.

  6. #5

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    I really didn't like the AER or the Engl. My favorite by a large margin was the Mesa Electra, then followed by the Rivera 25, then the Twin Reverb. The rest were just kinda OK.

  7. #6

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    I really liked the mesa electradyne best, weird, i want to play one now...
    i always loved fenders, and already have one

  8. #7

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    Nicely done, Makis. Did you have the tone knobs set at 5 across all amps?

    (Hey folks, this guy could make a cigar box strung with rubber bands sound fantastic!)

    Makis Ablianitis: Makis Ablianitis – Μάκης Αμπλιανίτης

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    ...I think they all sound fine.
    So that was a bit flippant. The video proved to me something I already know: for single note playing I like the sound of a neck position humbucker.

    As for the amps, does anyone play with all tone knobs in the middle? I don't and I don't know anyone who does, but what's a tester to do? So I have to agree with RP.

    Seems odd to me that I found the Electrodyne to be one of the least attractive of the bunch as I've played Mesa since '76. I can't help feeling I could get something better out of that for my ears. Which are shot BTW.

    RE the first half of my post, trying to find the 'great sound' can be a distraction from something far more important: what are you playing. Seems like guitarists are more consumed by gear than anyone else except photographers. I speak as someone who has suffered under the affliction. I paid the big bucks and waited like 6 months to take delivery of the first Mesa on my own tone quest. A long and winding road.

  10. #9

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    To me the biggest surprise was how good the deluxe+ (Isn't that a budget solid state amp?) sounds and how different the AER was to all the other amps. BTW to me the Super sounds better than the Twin – a little more mids I guess? YMMV.

  11. #10

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    It also shows that a Les Paul is pretty nice for jazz, if you can live with the weight and size.

  12. #11

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    Nice job. I appreciate videos like this where I don’t have to listen to someone blather on and on for 10 minutes before getting to the actual demo.

  13. #12

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    Really enjoyed that. And yes, being consistent in placing all controls in same position might mean you miss the ability to tweak any given combo into different territory, and listening on computer speakers etc...so normal caveats apply. That all said, I was surprised at how much I liked the Mesa Subway and Electra, they sounded very pleasing on all pick-up positions. That AER sounded ok to me but seemed a bit muted. What I reacted to mostly was how much I disliked the bridge pick up on almost everything else, even the Riveras. I'd never play that pick up with tone controls wide open but, again, the Mesas seemed to make even this set up ok. Thanks for this, I suspect I'll listen a few times.

  14. #13

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    The type of tone control must be considered. A Fender type with bass and treble turned all the way down is close to “flat” for example, where an Ampeg or Henriksen on 5 is “flat”.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    Nice job. I appreciate videos like this where I don’t have to listen to someone blather on and on for 10 minutes before getting to the actual demo.
    Thank you wzpgsr!

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Nicely done, Makis. Did you have the tone knobs set at 5 across all amps?

    (Hey folks, this guy could make a cigar box strung with rubber bands sound fantastic!)

    Makis Ablianitis: Makis Ablianitis – ????? ???????????
    Thank you Gitfiddler !!

    Yes tone knobs all set at 5.
    If I put the settings I like, most of the amplifiers would sound nice but similar ...

    However, I never put the knobs in the middle when I play, especially since this setting is unfair primarily to Mesa Boogie, RIVERA and Peavey, but it is very favorable for Fender, which is mid-scooped.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Mack
    Can't wait to hear the TELE and the L5. Thanks Makam, well done, and well appropriated.
    Tele and L5 are coming !
    Thank you Jimmy.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic
    The type of tone control must be considered. A Fender type with bass and treble turned all the way down is close to “flat” for example, where an Ampeg or Henriksen on 5 is “flat”.
    Flat response on guitar amplifiers is very confused and I've been looking for it in detail in the past!
    What Fender says flat is: TREBLE = 0, MIDDLE = 10, BASS = 0 and that's because Fender is very mid-scooped.

    On the other hand, Mesa Boogie considers flat or as a standard starting point: TREBLE = 1:00, MIDDLE = 8:00, BASS = 1:00 (clock position) but the pots are so interactive that you need several hours of searching, but in the end you will bring the sound of your guitar where you like it!

    RIVERA suggests: TREBLE = 6, MIDDLE = 1, BASS = 4

    Peavey: TREBLE = 12:00, MIDDLE = 10:00, BASS = 1:00 (clock position)

    while ENGL: TREBLE = 5, MIDDLE = 5, BASS = 5

    Go figure!!
    Last edited by makam; 05-28-2020 at 06:11 PM.

  19. #18

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    I liked all the Fender amps the most. Rivera's came second after the Fenders. Among the Fenders Super Reverb sounded the best to me. Mesa's cleans were relatively unremarkable.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 05-24-2020 at 10:59 AM.

  20. #19

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    I liked the Mesa F-50 the best. I also liked the Super Reverb and the solid state Fender (that one surprised me!) quite a bit. And I have always liked a Lester for jazz.....

    Thanks for doing that and I look forward to the other 4 tests.



  21. #20

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    Mesa's sound like they have more mids and mellower highs compared to Fender's. They might sound better in an band setting than solo or duo IMO.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Mesa's sound like they have more mids and mellower highs compared to Fender's. They might sound better in an band setting than solo or duo IMO.
    I have had quite a few Fender tube amps and a few Mesa tube amps as well (In fact, the two tube amps that I own are a Fender Princeton (1964 non-reverb with a JBL D-110F) and a Mesa .50 Caliber). I think you are right about the mids and highs. I like the Mesa sound a tad better than the Fender sound for jazz guitar myself, but it is a matter of taste.

    Mesa amps are built with circuit boards, but of the highest quality, so they are long lasting just like the vintage Fender amps. The one knock on Mesa amps that is totally true is that they require a LOT of fiddling with to dial in the sound you want (they have very interactive controls). A bass player that I have done many gigs with is a close friend of Randy Smith, Mesa Engineering's founder/owner and has told me that Randy is a jazz guitarist. I think all of the Mesa amps from the 70's through the mid 90's are capable of great jazz guitar tones. Some of the models since then are geared to the Rock playing crowd and may not do jazz quite as well.

  23. #22

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    What nice problems to have! All sounded fine, and the rather subtle differences get diluted in a band setting anyway. I don't even try to arrange these amps into an order of preference. That the bridge PU position was to nobody's liking is no surprise, given which Forum this is. Instead, that neck+bridge sounded so close to neck alone was a surprise to me. Jazz players should try the combination more, to get both the round bass end and the treble-end timbre. Overall, the Fenders were brighter than the rest - again, not a surprise. In a test like this, where you (assumably) place the mic quite close to the speaker, you lose the presence and dynamics of a twin as opposed to a smaller amp. It would have been interesting to have a cherished Polytone and a contemporary solid-state amp such as Quilter, Acoustic Image or Raezer's Edge among the herd.

    Interesting to hear the other guitars, especially the L-5. This may turn out to be a guitar rather than amp test in the end.

  24. #23

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    I like the Electra Dyne best-it sounded different, but in a good way to me. I recall Kevin Eubanks played one on the Tonight Show.
    My Mesa has treble, bass, midrange, presence, and EQ-sliders (not to forget a clean & fat switch)-so if you can't get tone you like, it's not the amp! There was no amp I truly disliked in this roundup.
    BTW-No one does a shootout/comparison like Makam--Thanks!

  25. #24

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    Makis had done a comparison video set playing "Fly Me to the Moon" on different archtops all else the same which helped me greatly when I was considering to buy my Hofner New President. He played Gibson L5, L4, Heritage archtops, Eastman archtops and a D'Angelico.


  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Makis had done a comparison video set playing "Fly Me to the Moon" on different archtops all else the same which helped me greatly when I was considering to buy my Hofner New President. He played Gibson L5, L4, Heritage archtops, Eastman archtops and a D'Angelico.

    Is it just me, or did all those guitar sound quite similar?

    I would have preferred to hear them with a little less brightness. I thought they all sounded a little harsh. Of course, the tester has to make choices about how to present the guitars -- and all knobs up full with amp flat makes complete sense for the comparison. But, as for the amp comparison, I'd also like to hear each one adjusted by the player for the best tone. That's how I would do it if I was testing them to purchase one, but I'm not saying the tester should have done that. It introduces a poorly controlled variable. So, I appreciate what he did, but I couldn't pick a guitar based on it.

  27. #26

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    I agree with you and this helped me simplify the problem of buying my first ever archtop guitar (although lot of people would say they sounded different this way or that way which to their ears is probably true :-). I thought that the New President was 1/4 of the price of an L5 and did not sound that different and I could make it sound to my taste with different amplifiers/pickups/EQ and saved myself $4K. Plus the German build quality is more consistent than Gibsons. I later purchased Max405's Heritage Johnny Smith and a couple of other nice archtops (Peerless and Epiphone) and I am set for life.

  28. #27

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    Interesting and gives me ear fatigue but fun. Maybe in the listeners end of this there is not a huge difference between any of them? To me I agree with SS a Les Paul makes a fine jazz guitar, please no fenders of any kind for me. I was surprised that the Twin did not grab me at all but maybe the Super Reverb was my favorite nice on the neck PU. I thought the AER was pretty nice too really. I also found the Clubster 25 to sound better than it bigger brother and I have no idea why but it clearly did in my book. The Mesa's were fine not I have completely forgotten but I guess the 2 that stand out are the Super Reverb and AER.

    There a specific prayer in the Church called lectio divina where we read over and over a passage of scripture to maybe hear what stands out and what is the Lord telling us. This exercise reminds very much of the same details and level of engagement with ears instead of direct thoughts from God. It also tells me that probably just like guitars in the end we obsess way to much over the details and things that make very little difference. The Twin did not grab me but just put Kenny B with his Super 400 in a twin and what.............WE GOT A WINNER............

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    I agree with you and this helped me simplify the problem of buying my first ever archtop guitar (although lot of people would say they sounded different this way or that way which to their ears is probably true :-). I thought that the New President was 1/4 of the price of an L5 and did not sound that different and I could make it sound to my taste with different amplifiers/pickups/EQ and saved myself $4K. Plus the German build quality is more consistent than Gibsons. I later purchased Max405's Heritage Johnny Smith and a couple of other nice archtops (Peerless and Epiphone) and I am set for life.
    Heritage Johnny Smith is a 'killer' guitar!

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by helios
    I like the Electra Dyne best-it sounded different, but in a good way to me. I recall Kevin Eubanks played one on the Tonight Show.
    My Mesa has treble, bass, midrange, presence, and EQ-sliders (not to forget a clean & fat switch)-so if you can't get tone you like, it's not the amp! There was no amp I truly disliked in this roundup.
    BTW-No one does a shootout/comparison like Makam--Thanks!
    Thank you helios!
    The Mesa Electradyne is 'to die for'. It makes everything so good and sweet ! If it didn't have that weight, which you think is built on the floor

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by makam
    Heritage Johnny Smith is a 'killer' guitar!
    Yes, it sounded very to fine me acoustically as well with thinner carved top. Since I had other archtops with good electric sound and not as good acoustic sound, I had the pickup and all the electronics stripped from it and converted to dedicated acoustic archtop. Lighter and louder.

  32. #31

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    Cool video!
    I've played through of a few of those amps, the video does a pretty job at giving an idea of how they sound. It confirms how I remember those amps sounding in any case.
    My favourite was the Fender Twin. Looks like that Twin has JBLS - that's probably why it's a bit brighter and open sounding than the Super.
    The Mesas were surprisingly underwhelming. Kind of boxy. That said, in a band setting that wouldn't be all that noticeable.
    The Solid State Fender actually was one of the better sounding amps!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by entresz
    Cool video!
    I've played through of a few of those amps, the video does a pretty job at giving an idea of how they sound. It confirms how I remember those amps sounding in any case.
    My favourite was the Fender Twin. Looks like that Twin has JBLS - that's probably why it's a bit brighter and open sounding than the Super.
    The Mesas were surprisingly underwhelming. Kind of boxy. That said, in a band setting that wouldn't be all that noticeable.
    The Solid State Fender actually was one of the better sounding amps!
    Twin has original Fender stock speakers, no JBLs. You are right about Mesa Boogie, it is unfair for them to put the mid control in the middle, but if it were not so, the review wouldn't be so objective! Those who have played with many amplifiers, know that Mesa with proper tone stacking can be heard or approach the blackface sound at 70-80%, but the opposite does not happen! Ok you have to spend a whole evening trying settings and read the manual, but its essential! And that's where I enjoyed and enjoy the versatility of Electradyne or even the little Subway Blues !!
    The poor solid state Fender Deluxe 112 plus is a big surprise, as I think can handle many guitars in different styles so good !

  34. #33

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    I just put a poll at the beginning of the thread. So don't forget to vote...

    The reason doing so, I think it would be good to put a vote in the thread and try (time allowed) in the near future, to play with the 3-4 amplifiers that will be distinguished, but this time having the tone settings where in my opinion they sound better!