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  1. #1

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    Just curious to hear from people who own one or more of these amps. Some kind of comparison would be helpful. I know verbal descriptors have their limitations, but, if you could do a quasi-review it might give me some idea of how these amps compare to one another.

    I've read where some of the newer ss amps nail the (or a) "tube sound." Also, have you heard any new ss amp that really surprised you because of how good it sounded? I'm a lifelong tube amp fanatic but I'll have to admit the Fender Tone Master series of amps shocked me because of how good they sounded.

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  3. #2

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    I currently have 5 amps in the stable:

    Henriksen Blu 6
    Henriksen Blu 10
    Acoustic Image Clarus Series 4 (I have 3 Raezer's Edge cabinets (2 of them were made by the late Rich Raezer) for use with this head)
    Mesa Mark V 25 Combo
    1964 Fender Princeton (non-reverb) with a JBL D-110F speaker.

    The Solid state amps and the tube amps are a different thing. I like them both and will always have both, even if I downsize. If I find the Tonemaster to do what a tube amp should, that might work, but neither of my two tube amps are heavy (by design...I have sold all of my heavy tube amps) so I am probably good to go for the foreseeable future.

    The Solid state amps are thick and clean. The Tube amps have that shimmer and are always on the verge of break up. Apples and oranges.....

  4. #3

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    The Fender TM Deluxe Reverb blew me away. Especially if you update the firmware to remove the "bright cap". It has that slightly squishy 6V6 amp feel.

    My Quilter Aviator Twin Ten is also a very nice SS amp. It has a very warm sound. It's a little more direct sounding than the Fender, ie. it doesn't have as much of that sag/compression - but it does behave in a very tube-like manner. It has stacks of headroom - it would give a Fender Twin a run for its money - but also has a very nice overdrive that isn't overbearing.

  5. #4

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    I'm a "tube guy," too, but appreciate the convenience of the SS amps out there, and have owned/played most! They all have their pros, with few "big" cons, IMO (unless you're wanting very specific results).

    Sound [including "tube"] is quite personal, but I think Henriksen, Raezer’s Edge, and Quilter are making fantastic amps right now! The "tubiest" one I've played recently was a student's Quilter Superblock US - pretty cool amp!

  6. #5

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    The Henriksen and Quilter (and Fender ToneMaster) amps are different animals from each other.

    The Quilter and Fender ToneMaster amps aim to recreate, as closely as possible, the sounds available from old classic tube amps at considerable reduction in weight. Some zealots say they're indistinguishable, some zealots say they're really close, and some zealots say there's a world of difference. Play some and make your own evaluation. The Fenders appear to be aimed at emulating one thing (Twin|Deluxe|Super Reverbs) with familiar controls, while the Quilters, or at least some of them, have settings meant to emulate a variety of amps.

    The Henriksen amps, on the other hand, are more like small high fidelity PA systems. They don't sound much like classic tube amps. They're clean as the day is long and don't impart any of the "character" that many people like in the Quilter/Fender ToneMaster/classic tube amps. They're different enough that I'd say the Henriksens are for a different application than the others. Some models of Henriksens also depend on interaction with the walls and floor, so they can be a little fussy with respect to placement; I don't know if all Henriksens are that way, but the Bud is.

    For calibration of what I said, I own a Henriksen Bud, and I've played the Quilter and Fender offerings. For my purposes I prefer the Bud, but if I wanted a more traditional sound I'd be happy with any of the Q/FTM amps.

  7. #6

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    Everybody has different applications and needs, one man´s floor is another man´s ceiling, this is just one story.
    I use a Quilter Superblock US, paired with a TOOB 12R speaker.
    Excellent combo that has put all my valve amps out of work.
    I own a Mesa TA15 with a Mesa Thiele cab, a Mesa Express 550 1x12, a nice old Fender Vibrolux and a Fender Twinolux.
    All these amps have seen frontline duty as gigging amps over the years.
    The Quilter does the same job well and weighs next to nothing in comparison.
    Played a big hall last Saturday with a seven piece soul band, around 250 people attending.
    The venue had a professional sound system and really good sound guy. Just ran a line out of the Quilter, into the PA and used the TOOB as a stage monitor.
    Sounded good to me, sounded good to my bandmates, and most importantly, sounded good to the audience (according to people I trust!).

  8. #7

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    I have not one tube amp anymore. And I was a long time Fender & Music Man guy.

    Among mine now, my three favorites are my Quilter Combos, Henriksen Bud 6, and Genzler combos. FWIW, they're all great, but every day I lean more toward the Genzler for what *I* do. I think Jeff really hit it out of the park with these "acoustic" guitar amps. I have both the full Pro and the Mini.

    Bass Amplification Archives - Genzler Amplification

  9. #8

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    To each his own. I have several amps some I like more than others. For tube I have Whitney and Maven Peal Ganesha. The whitney is incredible amp that sounds amazing. The Maven Peal is disappointing a little with all the hype around them.

    I also have a Mambo, Evans and an older Acoustic image series II which all the three are my absolute favorites.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  10. #9

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    So while I get the fascination with Tube Amps. They really don’t make sense any longer with the options available. By that I mean
    Quilter and Fender basically offer the same thing without the maintenance,weight, or voltage issues at different venues affecting your sound.
    I used tube amps for over 40 years with great and sometimes not so great results. But the trade off of service, new tubes, weight,etc
    is not worth the hassle! Plus pedals are so good nowadays you could probably just go that route if you have a monitor or in ear mix.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Box;[URL="[URL
    tel:1158197[/URL]"]1158197[/URL]]Everybody has different applications and needs, one man´s floor is another man´s ceiling, this is just one story.
    I use a Quilter Superblock US, paired with a TOOB 12R speaker.
    Excellent combo that has put all my valve amps out of work.
    I own a Mesa TA15 with a Mesa Thiele cab, a Mesa Express 550 1x12, a nice old Fender Vibrolux and a Fender Twinolux.
    All these amps have seen frontline duty as gigging amps over the years.
    The Quilter does the same job well and weighs next to nothing in comparison.
    Played a big hall last Saturday with a seven piece soul band, around 250 people attending.
    The venue had a professional sound system and really good sound guy. Just ran a line out of the Quilter, into the PA and used the TOOB as a stage monitor.
    Sounded good to me, sounded good to my bandmates, and most importantly, sounded good to the audience (according to people I trust!).
    thanks so much for that Will .....
    thats a real world opinion from a previously all Tube guy ....

    its interesting that the Quilter SB is all
    analogue and that most of the other
    contenters are using modelling including
    the very well liked Fender Tone master amps

    I’m starting to think that the success
    of all these designs might partly be due to
    them having some ‘sag’ in the power amp
    /speaker interaction ....
    Last edited by pingu; 11-16-2021 at 10:03 AM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I have not one tube amp anymore. And I was a long time Fender & Music Man guy.

    Among mine now, my three favorites are my Quilter Combos, Henriksen Bud 6, and Genzler combos. FWIW, they're all great, but every day I lean more toward the Genzler for what *I* do. I think Jeff really hit it out of the park with these "acoustic" guitar amps. I have both the full Pro and the Mini.

    Bass Amplification Archives - Genzler Amplification
    First I've seen of these. Very interesting

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I lean more toward the Genzler for what *I* do. I think Jeff really hit it out of the park with these "acoustic" guitar amps. I have both the full Pro and the Mini. Bass Amplification Archives - Genzler Amplification
    Interesting! I'd forgotten all about my Genz-Benz amplifiers. GB was the original line from Genzler, and they were stellar amps at amazingly reasonable prices. At the time (about 25 years ago), I think they only made bass amps, which were my choice for solo jazz guitar. The company was great and their products were rugged & reliable. But after passing 50 years old, I began to move to smaller, lighter amps and went with a GK MB150. I was rewarded with a series of dramatic failures of 3 GKs before going to SWR for a few years.

    The Genzler company is apparently the current incarnation, and I'm sure their stuff remains great.

  14. #13

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    I don't own a tube amp as the are heavy. I have a Clarus R2 with Rich Raezor's speakers he made for me way back. I have an old polytone tarus that I can run thru the RE speakers too. SS has is correct the tube amps and SS are just different animals and are hard to compare.

    In some ways for me a Fender Twin Reverb still has that sound that nothing solid state will ever duplicate. Sure that is nostalgia and a setting but wow it is that a sound. In my mind I hear Kenny Burrell playing his Super 400 with the Fender Twin on those late 60's recordings, or he has his D'angelico NY. In both case the Fender Twin was his baby and the SS amps just don't do that sound.

    However all things being equal at my age and lack of muscle power I demand a light SS amp.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Interesting! I'd forgotten all about my Genz-Benz amplifiers. GB was the original line from Genzler, and they were stellar amps at amazingly reasonable prices. At the time (about 25 years ago), I think they only made bass amps, which were my choice for solo jazz guitar. The company was great and their products were rugged & reliable. But after passing 50 years old, I began to move to smaller, lighter amps and went with a GK MB150. I was rewarded with a series of dramatic failures of 3 GKs before going to SWR for a few years.

    The Genzler company is apparently the current incarnation, and I'm sure their stuff remains great.
    Yes Fender(?) bought out Genz-Benz and promptly killed it to market their own line of Fender acoustic amps. So Jeff started his own company again and his things are really stellar. I was always surprised Fender allowed him to use his name in a new company in their buyout agreement. Seems like a lapse on the legal team. But I'm glad. He's really accessible and answers emails himself.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Yes Fender(?) bought out Genz-Benz and promptly killed it to market their own line of Fender acoustic amps.
    They also bought and killed SWR, another great brand for jazz guitarists. I had a Baby Baby Blue for a few years and thought it was fantastic. And I still have the 8” SWR that was my studio bass amp and an easy carry when I didn’t feel like dragging a heavy tube amp. My son uses it as a practice amp for his Roland e-drums.

    Those older small bass amps from top makers like SWR are available used for peanuts - they’re great bargains, very reliable, and easily converted to extension cabs if the electronics fail beyond cheap and easy repair. They sound wonderful with archtops and humbuckers in planks. They were designed for popping and snapping, so they cover a range that’s wider than most small guitar amps.

  17. #16

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    My only issue with these SS or Class D amps is repairs. In the old days you could take your Fender/Marshall/MM etc tube amp in your car to any good local guy to fix no problem. Not so with these new amps.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    They also bought and killed SWR, another great brand for jazz guitarists. I had a Baby Baby Blue for a few years and thought it was fantastic. And I still have the 8” SWR that was my studio bass amp and an easy carry when I didn’t feel like dragging a heavy tube amp. My son uses it as a practice amp for his Roland e-drums.

    Those older small bass amps from top makers like SWR are available used for peanuts - they’re great bargains, very reliable, and easily converted to extension cabs if the electronics fail beyond cheap and easy repair. They sound wonderful with archtops and humbuckers in planks. They were designed for popping and snapping, so they cover a range that’s wider than most small guitar amps.
    Yeah I always thought this one looked kinda cool.

    SWR Strawberry Blonde Acoustic Amplifier | My Kindatown | Reverb


  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    My only issue with these SS or Class D amps is repairs. In the old days you could take your Fender/Marshall/MM etc tube amp in your car to any good local guy to fix no problem. Not so with these new amps.
    True 'nuf - but amps like this 12" SWR are selling for under $100 (this one's on Reverb with an asking price of $99). The failure rate is so low that I'd be comfortable gigging with it, as long as I had my Microblock in the bag for backup. The 8" SWR my son's using right now is a smaller version of this one and has been in constant daily use for many years. I did modify any older amp like this with a switched jack wired to the speaker if the internal speaker's hard wired, so I could immediately use it with a backup head if it did fail. I did this with a few bargains I picked up over the years, like an original orange Roland Cube, largely to avoid having to take a good amp to a dive bar. With an original EHX LPB-1, I was amazed at how good these things sound for the blues too.

    This approach isn't for everybody, but it does offer a very inexpensive route to good sound. I must admit that when I used to take an older amp like this on a gig, I was afraid to turn it off on breaks, because most of the amp failures I've seen have happened when they were turned on. I also bought a Crate Powerblock when they came out to carry as backup in my trunk and 2 more when they were cleared out at $99 brand new with warranties. Thankfully, those days are gone. With a Little Jazz, an Elf, a Microblock, and (if it ever swims ashore) the Superblock I have on backorder, I'm a happy old guitar player.


  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I did this with a few bargains I picked up over the years, like an original orange Roland Cube, largely to avoid having to take a good amp to a dive bar.
    I carry a (tax deductable) insurance policy on my gear, so good gear goes to all gigs, dive bar or not. For me, life is too short to play gigs with gear that does not inspire my playing. OTOH, if having good gear in a compromised venue means that your anxiety level will impact your playing in a negative way, cheap gear may make sense.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit;[URL="tel:1158873"
    1158873[/URL]

    Those older small bass amps from top makers like SWR are available used for peanuts - they’re great bargains, very reliable, and easily converted to extension cabs if the electronics fail beyond cheap and easy repair. They sound wonderful with archtops and humbuckers in planks. They were designed for popping and snapping, so they cover a range that’s wider than most small guitar amps.
    agreed , bass amps are great for jazz
    guitar generally I find ....

    played through a newish fender rumble 100 the other day at a jam session ,
    good clean amp with headroom , light too

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    For me, life is too short to play gigs with gear that does not inspire my playing
    ...as it is now for me. But when I was 40 and a regular sideman on the Philly blues scene, I got called on very short notice (sometimes as little as minutes to hours) to play in some pretty seedy places with bands I often didn't even know. I got a few calls to sub for players who were in jail or hiding. Looking like I belonged was important if i wanted to get called back (and sometimes, if I wanted to survive the night intact). And good gear gave me away as a jazz and commercial guy, which was the kiss of death for blues gigs in the '70s and '80s.

    There was also a lot of physical hazard on those tiny stages or cramped corners where two tables had been moved to make room for us. Patrons and other band members would leave / spill their beers on amps and cases, and everything came home smelling like an ashtray (including me). I watched a very used but fully functional little amp go up in smoke and sparks from that while playing a particularly grungy place called South Street Blues. Dancers would get more than a bit wild, and a few beer bottles flew through the air over the years.

    For jazz gigs in lesser places, I built a clone of a GK MB150 combo cab out of a street sign that had been lying on the ground near our house for a few years, and I loaded it with a series of speakers - the last and current one is a Bag End 12" driver. I still have it - it's fantastic with any amp head, and there's no compromise at all in sound quality or versatility. No one who saw that home made aluminum cabinet wanted it, so it was 100% safe and effective. And it weighs less than 25% of the Boogie Mk 1 or the Twin that I used on most "good" gigs.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    ...as it is now for me. But when I was 40 and a regular sideman on the Philly blues scene, I got called on very short notice (sometimes as little as minutes to hours) to play in some pretty seedy places with bands I often didn't even know. I got a few calls to sub for players who were in jail or hiding. Looking like I belonged was important if i wanted to get called back (and sometimes, if I wanted to survive the night intact). And good gear gave me away as a jazz and commercial guy, which was the kiss of death for blues gigs in the '70s and '80s.

    There was also a lot of physical hazard on those tiny stages or cramped corners where two tables had been moved to make room for us. Patrons and other band members would leave / spill their beers on amps and cases, and everything came home smelling like an ashtray (including me). I watched a very used but fully functional little amp go up in smoke and sparks from that while playing a particularly grungy place called South Street Blues. Dancers would get more than a bit wild, and a few beer bottles flew through the air over the years.

    For jazz gigs in lesser places, I built a clone of a GK MB150 combo cab out of a street sign that had been lying on the ground near our house for a few years, and I loaded it with a series of speakers - the last and current one is a Bag End 12" driver. I still have it - it's fantastic with any amp head, and there's no compromise at all in sound quality or versatility. No one who saw that home made aluminum cabinet wanted it, so it was 100% safe and effective. And it weighs less than 25% of the Boogie Mk 1 or the Twin that I used on most "good" gigs.
    Wild history!

    That story of the street sign cabinet shouts for a pic… Would You share one?