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  1. #1

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    Without access to either, I'm wondering how these two compare, generally. The Luna Combo in either closed- or open-back with any of the three speaker choices, versus the Blu 6. Obviously, the setup of the Luna will affect tone, projection, etc. But in general, which is better for Polytone-like tones? The Luna is rated at a higher wattage and has options for a significantly larger speaker; which will project better in a room, and are there any concerns about power in either?

    Will either the Luna Combo or the Blu 6 be sufficient for an indoor gig with a B3 organ trio?

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    Last edited by Fusionshred; 11-28-2021 at 02:10 PM.

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  3. #2
    I can only speak to the RE Luna, as I own it with a RE 2x8 cab. Volume has never been an issue as the combo can be extremely loud.

    What I really like is the clarity and range of tones I get from the amp and low to high volumes. Another post said the tone can go from dark/modern to brighter and more traditional thanks to the EQ with great mid controls — and that post was correct. The amp handles dense chords and single lines without a problem.

    Lastly, I personally like the onboard reverb (not a fan of spring reverb), and I can dial in a nice slushy near-tubey type tone.

  4. #3

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    Hey Fusion,
    These are both fantastic amps!

    Your questions, though, are quite varied!
    - how do they compare?
    - which is a better Polytone amp?
    - which projects better? and
    - can they hang with a B-3?

    If you opened this up to, "Which guitar amp on the market can give me polytone sounds and is loud enough to hang with an organ?" you'd get a lot more options/ideas!

    My quick answers to your questions:
    - both great amps, but quite different in sound;
    - Luna is more "Poly" (although I wouldn't call it that);
    - both project well by themselves;
    - B-3 bands tend to be loud; Luna combo has a bigger speaker, so it will seem louder; Blu with a good extension cab can handle anything!

    Good luck!

    Marc

  5. #4
    Cool info! thanks, guys! VERY surprised, actually, to hear that the Luna is more POLY sounding - I suspected that the Henriksen would be the darker, more smoky jazz tone whereas the Luna would have a more Fendery tone due to the EQ. That's surprising.

    I'm still a bit concerned about the sheer diminutive size of the Blu when it comes to fullness (organ trio, loud combo, etc.)

  6. #5

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    The plain truth is that the smaller the speaker, the less sensitive, i.e. efficient. To make a 92 dB speaker sound as loud as a 100 dB speaker, you need a multiple of power. On the other hand, the smaller, the broader the projection. I don't have experience of either combo but have to tell you that my RE Luna 200R head isn't particularly loud for the rating. Interestingly, I believe, both amps share an IcePower power source/power amp module, so the tonal differences stem from preamps, speaker choices and cab architecture. I do stand corrected.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fusionshred
    Cool info! thanks, guys! VERY surprised, actually, to hear that the Luna is more POLY sounding - ...
    Well, to clarify, I don't think either is a "poly" sort of amp, I was just responding to your question as to which is "more like" a poly. If you're looking for that sound, other amps would be closer.

  8. #7

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    My Blu 6 has done some pretty loud gigs even without an extension cabinet. My Blu 10 sounds a lot like my old Polytone Mini-Brute 2. I cannot imagine a jazz gig where that amp could be overpowered.

    I cannot speak to the Luna. The two Henriksens have become my go to amps for all gigs.

  9. #8

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    Here’s a trick I discovered years ago to make my small amps project more widely and evenly with no beaming. I put the cabinet on the floor with the speaker facing the wall (assuming there’s a bare wall behind or adjacent to the playing area and no obstructions like drapes for at least a few feet on both sides and above). By moving it closer or further away over a range of about 8”, I can adjust the response and dispersion a fair amount. If you have a corner behind you, aim the speaker directly into it. Start at a 45 degree angle and turn it a bit toward the stage to increase volume for you and the band. Turning it a bit more toward the side wall increases sound a bit to the audience.

    This has worked well for me with everything from a Phil Jones Cub with two 4” drivers to a Vox 8” cab driven by my Quilter Microblock and my Little Jazz. Cabinet design doesn’t seem to matter - ported, closed, open all seem to sound louder and are heard better throughout the room.

  10. #9

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    I've been busy with various organ-trios for the past 25 years and have used my BUD 6" for gigs since I got it about 4 years ago. Not all organists/drummers play at the same volume level, many venues have a rather strict decibel limit and in case you DO want to have an even bigger sound (I personally don't try and compete with the organ bass...) you can just hook up an extra cab to the Bud and double the volume /spread. In the critical frequency range between the drums/cymbals and the organ's lower midrange/bass I have no problem cutting through. On a large stage like at a festival etc. I use my 200 watt Evans RE200 which has a 10" speaker in a half closed cab. There I can usually experiment with placement, volume levels and eq to stay below the feedback threshold. The guitars I most often use are a Super-400 CES and a Trenier Jazz Special with a laminated top/back.

  11. #10

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    Why not a polytone?


    You could probably get any model you want, have it completely serviced so it's ready for another 40 years, and save half the money.

    If it doesn't have crusty old SS tech, it won't sound, or more importantly FEEL like an old polytone.

  12. #11
    Why not a Polytone? He he! I'd love one! Have had many throughout my playing time. But I'm looking for something new with a warranty... I agree, though, really the feel will only come from that old, SS tech. I had a Mega Brute and an old Jazzamp at the same time, years ago, and they were both great but that old Polytone had some mojo baked in. Although, I'm not sure that the power would have been sufficient had I been gigging with a B3 and drums at the time... I just don't know...

  13. #12

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    For big band i take my Bud 10 or Forte.

  14. #13

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    If you need gobs of power, RE offers the Luna700 - 710 watts @ 8 ohms, with or without reverb. I can't imagine the hearing protection I would need if I were close to the speakers, but it's available. If 710 watts isn't enough, you really need several PAs.

  15. #14
    Yeah I think the 700 is overkill. I just need enough to play a medium sized gig without struggling to keep up with organ, drums and/or horns.

  16. #15

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    I don't know if he still makes it, but Jazzmus on this forum created a Brute EQ pedal that has impressed a number of members with its fidelity to the Polytone amp.. I bought one myself, and although I've never owned a Polytone, I like the sound I can get with the pedal hooked up to the FX Loop on my Bud. It can also be used as a preamp directly to a PA.

    If he is still making the pedal, one has to PM him to order one. There is a thread about the pedal here.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    If you need gobs of power, RE offers the Luna700 - 710 watts @ 8 ohms, with or without reverb. I can't imagine the hearing protection I would need if I were close to the speakers, but it's available. If 710 watts isn't enough, you really need several PAs.
    Keep in mind that doubling the power output in watts only means a theoretical increase in audible loudness of 3 dB from the same speaker. It’s actually less than that because a speaker is nonlinear, and there are energy losses everywhere, eg in the voice coil, the surround, and even the wiring between amp & speaker.

    A 3 dB increase in SPL yields a barely perceivable increase in audible loudness. So going from 200 to 700 watts with all other parameters unchanged means an increase in maximum loudness that’s audible but far from dramatic. And pushing an amp that makes even 50 watts to its rated limits except with power chords is more than most of us will ever do. The most significant benefits (unless you want a little crunch) are lower distortion at the same SPL and the ability to add multiple speakers.

  18. #17

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    The Henriksen can sure hang with an organ trio, no experience with the Luna. A lot has to do with what you need on stage, how loud does your guitar have to be for you to feel comfortable.

    Also it has to do with how loud the organ player is. But for an average player, especially if they use a leslie cabinet (or play on relative volumes), a tube amp of 15 watts and up, or a solid state of 40+ watts has worked for me on most gigs.

    Playing an organ trio gig on Friday, I'll try a Victoria 518 (a fender champ clone!) 5 watts only hehe.. But there's a sound system, and I'll have a lunchbox reverb also as a second amp solution. If it works out I might buy the little bugger!

  19. #18

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    i think Wes Standell SS amp were All solid-state electronics with about 70 watts RMS of power and a JBL D-130-F speaker i dont remember if he used with the ORGAN players point being here he did not use huge amps.

    Joe Herb Benson many others used Plytones which were hugely powerfull but certainly enough to get most jobs playing situatons done. Of course time has passed,

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Keep in mind that doubling the power output in watts only means a theoretical increase in audible loudness of 3 dB from the same speaker. It’s actually less than that because a speaker is nonlinear, and there are energy losses everywhere, eg in the voice coil, the surround, and even the wiring between amp & speaker.

    A 3 dB increase in SPL yields a barely perceivable increase in audible loudness. So going from 200 to 700 watts with all other parameters unchanged means an increase in maximum loudness that’s audible but far from dramatic. And pushing an amp that makes even 50 watts to its rated limits except with power chords is more than most of us will ever do. The most significant benefits (unless you want a little crunch) are lower distortion at the same SPL and the ability to add multiple speakers.
    Yes, and almost nobody ever plays with the amp full open and the guitar full open. That's the only way to get close to the rated power. Also, there are few speakers available rated for anything close to 710 watts. I think the need for really high-powered amps to play with an organ is over-rated. Either of the amps cited should be sufficient, coupled with a suitable cabinet. As for which sounds more like a Polytone, I have no opinion. But I've heard recordings of the Luna, by Mark Kleinhaut, and it may be the best sounding amp I've heard. If someone broke into my house and stole my amps, that's what I would buy to replace them. All of them.