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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    I also love Johnny Smith's tone. Can't help you there- I have no idea what amps he used over the years, only that he was NOT a fan of Leo's blackface mid-scooped circuit, and used some strange solid state amp for awhile.

    As for suggestions: for the smokey Burrell thing, a 5E3 or similar (I'm going to buy a Swart AST). For the blackface thing, I'd just get a Fender. If you want to spend more $$ for a hardwired boutique copy of a fender, that's cool too. But I think many boutique amps are overrated- in their tone, not their construction. A vintage fender Princeton/Deluxe... even Twin... depending on volume requirements... would no doubt give you the ultimate blackface tone. No need to go boutique (unless you want a NEW amp with VINTAGE construction... like the Swart I'm going to buy. The AST is basically a 5E3, with tighter bass, reverb, and tremolo. Smokey all the way.)

    But for JS, I guess his mini humbucker FLOATING pickup played a role in that tone... I might look at Quilter, maybe, if I was trying to recreate that sound? I'd love to know what amps he used when recording "The Sound of the Johnny Smith Guitar", and "Moonlight in Vermont"...
    Yes that Moonlight sound is very nice.

    I narrowed my tone hunting down to Pat Martino on El Hombre. I think he used a twin and an L5. Lots of punch on that record.

    I agree that boutique amps are ways of making you part with more money but Fender amps have very wild higher trebles that hurt my ears. Most tube amps under £2k do. So there is something in that higher end stuff having minute differences that to someone like me, make an amp usable or not.

    The old story of my friend who had about 6 amps when I met him. Some older Fender stuff, a Princeton etc.. He's a sound guy and an electronic engineer.
    I told him about this Two Rock I'd just tried and that it was the real deal. He tried it, bought one and soon after sold all his other amps.
    The only amp he wont part with now is his Two Rock and that 1972 Guild X500 I sold him for £600.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #27

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    If you're looking for a BF sound check out the Fender Tone Master series amps. I've found them very impressive, especially for jazz. The power attenuator and light weight just add to the features of these amps. Outstanding amplifiers.

  4. #28

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    I have a Gries 35–basically a blackface Vibrolux Reverb circuit with a mid pot, master volume, a 12” speaker in Deluxe Reverb size cab. This amp has more than enough punch to cave your chest in, I’m sure.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I agree that boutique amps are ways of making you part with more money but Fender amps have very wild higher trebles that hurt my ears. Most tube amps under £2k do. So there is something in that higher end stuff having minute differences that to someone like me, make an amp usable or not.
    I hear it too. Not only in Fenders, but especially in Fenders. I think their use of a bright cap on the volume control may have something to do with that, "clipping the bright cap" is a popular mod.

  6. #30

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    Still confused re what you want the amp for. You don’t seem to be talking venues, styles, etc so I am assuming not primarily a gig amp? Aren’t you building guitars to sell at some point? Have you considered you will need to invest in an amp that shows your builds in their best light? In that case, I think you will need to divorce your thinking from any and all opinions re SS, tube, mid scoop et al and pick whatever technology (amp, spkr, pickups) that will do the trick. You certainly showed us you spent pounds of pounds on your workshop, but you have marketing expenses coming to show off your first baby!

    FWIW (I’ve mentioned elsewhere ) I’ve used a Walter Woods (MI-100-8) for 30+ years that has become unreliable. (I also use a. ‘74 PR with a 12”, 5751s, Bendix 5992s with over sized iron).I had a Quilter 101 and could not get a smooth Woods tone out of it. So I checked in with Quilter, asked their advice and bought a 101 Tone Block (and keep the switch in the FRFR position). Total magic! Only sound I have ever heard that compares to the Woods. Tal, Barney K, Charlie B, Herbie E, Ray Brown (very big four string guitar))) all used the Woods. Walter is quite on in years nowadays and there have been few new builds in the past five years, much less repairs so I had to find an answer. I can’t play out anymore due to illness, but this 101TB would be my first choice if/when I do. (Positive thinking). I also tried the Interblock but was not impressed.

  7. #31

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    Every brand seems to have its own sound. If paying the kind of money Twin Rock amps cost, i'd have to be really fond of their sound. But they seem to move pretty easily, so a safe bet buying used.

    I 'll also be trying to get my hands on a Quilter sometime soon, cause my new Zt Lunchbox reverb died on my last gig, and i need to replace it with something extra portable. The new Quilter mini heads seem insteresting, especially since i already have a nice compact speaker that would work.. There just isn't anything as portable as the Zt Lunchboxes that you can gig with... I knew i shouldn't have sold the previous one..

    I don't think any other brand can give you the real sound of a Princeton on Twin reverb, i 've owned both, plus a Henriksen. They can get close, but if paying top money, you can get the real thing for much cheaper.. Unless you really prefer the other brands sound!

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Gitman: - it sounds very nice and lovely playing btw. Is that a reverse stinger on the neck? YES !

    I've heard of Evans but rarely see one and if it breaks down I'd have a job fixing it. My amp tech once looked it over and said it's built to withstand a nuclear blast so I have no worries at all ....
    I still think I've heard more punch from an amp. Always so hard to tell when the cab isn't mic'd and you're listening on YouTube through a laptop.


    I posted this only to "debunk" your broad statement re SS amps - there are just as many lifeless/bland/shallow sounding TUBE amps out there as there are SS models and the development/advancement of pro-level SS amps in the past 15 years has shown that these pre-conceived notions and broad statements are no longer viable.
    You described yourself as a "newb in amp-things " so I write this in the best interest and to share my experiences over the past 40 years in all things concerning amps and stuff ..... keep an open mind.

    One more thing that I'd like to throw out there for discussion: ever since my first listen to Kenny Burrell's album "The Tender Gender" :

    I was/am chasing the tone he got on that recording. VERY slowly I came to the realization that so many aspects responsible in creating this sound are simply beyond my reach, such as :
    - it was made in 1966
    - he probably used his D'Angelico New Yorker > un-obtainium
    - it was recorded in Chicago and he in all probability did not bring his own amp to the session but used what was on site - could have been anything from a Tweed
    Deluxe, any model Brown or Blackface Fender, Ampeg, Magnatone, Standel, ....
    - the producer of the record and his sound man had a specific idea of how it should sound, the room had a specific sound
    - their choice of mic/preamp/eq/compressor was crucial
    You get the idea : what we hear on any given record is the sum of too many small parts that make up the final outcome - we fool ourselves when we believe that with the right amp + guitar we can cop a sound we hear on a record. Pat Martino often plugged directly into the board so there was no amp at all ! Jeff Beck recorded with a Fender Champ and it sounds like a wall of cranked Marshalls - it's all in the choice of mic, the placement, the preamp, the outboard eq/compressor and the guy at the faders.
    Last-but-not-least: the heart and soul and fingers of the player + the time spent in the woodshed.

    Does anyone here know of a LIVE recording of any guitarist on which his or her tone is as punchy/lively/deep/smooth/ etc. as on a studio-recording with comparable material and from roughly the same time frame ? I'm wondering as to how much this "punch" comes from the amp+cab/speaker, the guitar, the player and the microphone that catches all that - or not. Hmmmmm......

  9. #33

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    Wzpgsr - Sounds great! I'll keep an eye out.

    Ruger9 -Sounds about right. Good to know it's not just me.

    JazzKritter- You and Franz1997 are absolutely right and it's very savvy of you both, to pick up on the need for a good amp to showcase my Archtops.
    This is the main reason I'm choosing a Two Rock. I've not heard a clean sound like it. I know Franz wants me to grab something more often used by Jazz guitarists and I will.
    But something sounding its best, is what inspires people and I really want the chance to do that.
    It might be that the TR sound doesn't suit Jazz and the pickup loading on the previous Studio Pro, is what I was really looking for becuase it changes the impedance between single coil and Humbuckers etc.. so as a test amp, it would work very well. The new Studio Signature doesn't have that feature.
    That said I've managed to snag a used (mint) Studio Signature stack, for the same price I can sell it on at, so if things don't work out, there's no loss.

    I might be purchasing an Evans tomorrow and I will go and grab a Quilter head, which might work well with the two rock ported cab 12" I've just got.

    I appreciate that I've laid out some money to do this business but bare in mind, if I can't make a success out of it, the machines, tools and equipment, all have residual value, which is roughly 70% of the layout, so it's not too bad. And you have to take risks in life.

    But your advice is well appreciated and very sage, so please keep it coming.

    Alter - I agree that the new price of Two Rocks is getting uncomfortable. The amp costs nearly the same as my Campellone. I'll get on to doing some sound test and will keep you guys posted. I would love to get the real thing but I can't use Fenders, unless apparently you mod the trebles and I have no intention of modding an amp, or buying a modded amp.
    If you're in the UK Wembley drum centre has some good deals on quilter at the mo.

    Gitman - Thanks to your advice I'm looking into buying an Evans tomorrow.
    I managed to play it yesterday and it did sound good. Loved the little knobs for shaping the tone (not the tone knobs, the other ones lol).

    I don't disagree that SS amps can't achieve 70% of what a tube amp can and I don't or rather didn't, rate tube amps for Jazz; hence why I've never bought one.
    I don't really think I'm chasing a tone because as you rightly pointed out, it's impossible and I don't consider there to be 'one' jazz tone. Wes, Martino, Benson, Smith, Burell, they all have a different tone.
    I can tell you I don't like Tal Farlows and Joe Pass's tone but then my favourite jazz guitar recording, is El Gento by Joe Pass. The guitar in that is my golden jazz tone. A tone that isn't even quintessential of the person it comes from.

    I actually don't listen to Burrell. He has a nice dry, slightly thin tone but it's not my preferred tone. My preferred tone is a wet, punchy tone.
    Pat Martino in 'Just Friends' is what I like but not exclusively.

    I also love the lush, creepy sounds, of a David Lynch movie, so a Country Gent with a tremolo, will have me disappearing for hours and Two Rock do that 3d clean, that you can dive into, very well.

  10. #34

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    Here's the Two Rock Studio Signature I just bought.

    I'll do a NAD thread and put my findings on both this one and the Two Rock Thread.

    Amp Help-1-1-jpeg

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    One more thing that I'd like to throw out there for discussion: ever since my first listen to Kenny Burrell's album "The Tender Gender" :

    Well there's ANOTHER Kenny Burrell album I need to buy...

  12. #36

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    Well this all escalated quickly.

    Two Rock Studio Signature 35W Head

    Two Rock 12" Ported Closed Back Cab.

    Evans Custom AE200 8"

    Quilter Mini 101 Head

    Amp Help-1-1-jpeg Amp Help-1-2-jpeg Amp Help-1-3-jpeg Amp Help-1-4-jpeg
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 12-09-2021 at 01:07 PM.