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  1. #1

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    Hi Everyone.

    I'm about to buy an amp and could use some advice.

    The options are:

    1) Two Rock Studio Pro 35w (discontinued, not easy to get hold of) £1500-£2000

    2) Two Rock Burnside 6l6 £2400 (This amp is designed to be more tweed than black face but they have changed the spec from 6V6 to 6L6. No reverb or line out)

    3) Two Rock Signature Studio £3600 new or £2600 used, if and when they come up (The successor to the Studio Pro 35w)

    4) Quilter Aviator Gold £900 (Or if anyone knows which one is the best for Jazz? There seems to be a lot of options)

    5) Henriksen

    I want a punchy, black face, tone. The punchier the better.
    I'm leaning towards Quilter based on availability, spec and price but I haven't quite heard what I'm looking for in their YouTube demos.

    So in your opinion, which Henriksen or Quilter, is best suited for the job of doing a good Princeton/Twin Reverb/Two Rock impression?

    I prefer 12" speakers having never been truly convinced by 10"s (yet).
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 12-05-2021 at 05:32 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Why not get one of the many Blackface Deluxe clones ? Have you tried the new Tone Master series from Fender ?
    The verbage is - once again- problematic : define "punchy" please. When you mean by this a direct and fast response with a pronounced lower midrange
    content then a closed back cab will help. So will an amp (and speaker) that has a balanced/non-scooped bass and midrange response. To my ears a typical
    Blackface amp has more of a scooped midrange which could be slightly altered with an appropriate speaker.
    The Two Rock models you mention are very nice and well-built machines and their big iron trannies make for some seriously deep and 3-D clean tones.
    A Princeton will never be able to get there, it's got it's strengths elsewhere.
    My own Henriksen BUD is a punchy little tone machine and gives up the goods at very reasonable volume levels, i.e. the tone "lives" without having to turn up.
    I can also testify from my own 30+ years as a playing pro that at least 50% of the "punch" you want to hear and feel lies in the way you play, how you attack the string,
    the action on the guitar, the type and gauge of the strings you're using, the shape/thickness and substance of your pick ... it might not be noticeable next week but working on one's
    picking technique is never a waste of time. When the energy doesn't get transferred into the string it will never come out of the speaker.

    Check out this Quilter Aviator Mach 3 - from what I've read here and elsewhere it might be the ticket and save you a bundle on top.

  4. #3

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    Quilter here with the 12" speaker option.
    Mach2
    If you call guitarsnjazz you can get an excellent short video in an intimate club setting.
    Crisp sparkle light @ 21lbs and powefull , powerfull!

    My .02cents

  5. #4

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    Punch tends to come from the lower midrange, so I don't quite get how a scooped blackface amp will give you that; to me, 'blackface' is about other things.
    Leo never liked punch, from what I can gather from various Fender histories. He liked treble & bass, not much midrange, apparently..

    Your list is very Apples & Oranges; 3 tube amps and 2 SS amps. If you already know the sound you want ( sounds like you do) then go for the 2 Rocks.
    I have never used a Quilter, though I gather that they are Fender-based, or at least some of them are. That could be a good, economical alternative.
    I don't think Hendrikson will give you a blackface sound, I've had a couple. For one thing, the Eminence Beta PA speaker they use ( in common with many other 'jazz" amps) is geared to a darker, denser sound, anything but 'scooped'. Low midrange Punch, yes they can do that.

    But I suppose it depends what you want it for...if it is for demoing or voicing new guitars, that it's worth bearing in mind that many or most jazz players will be using SS amps, and the Hendriksen amps are probably the most popular SS amps, or at least the most ubiquitous. It's fair to say that a reasonable test for a new guitar might be ' does it sound good through a Bud, or a Blu'?. ( 40 years ago it would have been "does it sound good through a Minibrute..".)
    If something sounds good through one of these, it's likely to sound just as good or better through an exotic tube amp.

  6. #5

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    Gitman: - By punch I mean the notes have a real pop to them, of course depending on how hard you hit the string. My Roland cube doesn't have much of it. SS amps have traditionally suffered from a lack of it and it is something that is usually attributed to a tube amp.
    I usually use my Roland with the mid rolled all the way off, so I suppose I naturally prefer the Black Face tone shape but you can still get more, or less, dynamics (punch) per note, depending on the response of the amp. Again, the Roland Cube not being particularly good in this regard.
    The Two rock has as much of it as I need, whether you can find more through different tube configs, speaker configs or what have you, is more icing on an already well iced cake (imo).

    What I want to know is, can Quilter and or Henriksen, provide that same 3D Two Rock clean tone. IF they can, which one and which model does it best?

    The Quilter Aviator sounds good in the clip you provided. There's an Aviator Gold head and cab (12") I can buy for around £900 quote close to me. I can't really find the point in Quilters models. Even their website seem vague. If anything from what I've gathered, the Aviator is a small tube (blues Jnr) SS replacement, which is not the sound I'm going for at all.

    Jazz Improv: - I'm in the Uk so calling them might be a bit tricky. Thanks for your 0.2 cents. I'll spend it wisely


    Franz 1997 - I just wrote a long response to you post and got logged out before sending so it's all been deleted. I haven't the heart to re write it all again so I'll do a quick fire and we'll talk more in person/dm's etc..

    Interesting to know about Leo. It do enjoy bass and treble. I've tried using mids on some amps and never found it to be the tone I want.
    I think the best thing to do is buy a Quilter and a Henriksen, A/B them and pick the best one. If neither of them do the job, then I'll head to Two Rock.
    Regarding tine shaping and punch, I'm sure amps have more or less of it regardless of your tone stack. My Roland Cube has quite a flat response, no matter what you do. An AER has no punch at all etc..

    Your last point is very interesting; I hadn't thought of that. We'll have to discuss more.

    Here is someone playing a Two Rock Burnside. He's playing the 6V6 option which has 18W. The new Burnside has 28W and is 6L6. What it doesn't have is reverb, mid control and a line out, which I would love to make easy recordings.
    Gotta say though, the amp sounds fantastic.





    If the Quilter or Henriksen can sound like that, have a line out for recording, a full EQ with reverb, then problem solved.

  7. #6

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    Interesting, that guy does get a nice sound with that amp, but it is not at all the sound I would normally associate with Two Rock or a BF Fender. In the past they have been known more for a clean loud BF Fender sound like John Mayer's, who used to use them. As well as a Dumble lead channel.

    This amp is supposed to have an early tweed amp sound, totally different from a BF scooped sound. Much more mids and a nice smoky vibe.

    In short, not a BF sound to me (I've owned a BF DR for , gulp, 50 years? But a unique sound and worth pursuing if that is what you're after. I hadn't seen this one before, it's pretty cool and unusual.

  8. #7

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    I agree with the above; that Burnside clip DOES sound punchy, but not ( to me) 'blackface'. It sounds Tweedy - and as you know, the Tweed tonestack is quite different from the Blackface tonestack, with lots of lower mids and harmonic distortion, and no mid-scoop. I can understand why that sound is desirable for jazz. Many older tube designs used a variant of the tweed tonestack, as did Fender until the early 60s. Fender also used a "flatter-sounding" ( semi-tweed??) tonestack on some designs 1959-61 in the Blonde and Brown face amps

    A couple of techy points:
    -A tube amp will usually have more perceived 'punch' than a SS amp ( because of current feedback characteristics, slew rate, compression, other stuff too geeky to go into)
    -As I said before, many SS combos try to compensate for this by using PA speakers with ceramic magnets, which tend to sound lower-midrange--heavy, and respond quickly.

    There is a UK amp made by Award Session that claims to be as punchy as a tube amp via a technical innovation. No personal experience of it though. Not widely used, I think.

  9. #8

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    2 things:

    1- if you know you want a blackface tone profile, don't bother looking for "imitations", just get a blackface. I disagree with the above poster who thinks BF amps don't have "punch". They do... but they also have spank and sparkle... while I love my PRRI (w/12"), and get cool tones with it, if I were looking for a "jazz only" amp, the PRRI would not be it; I like jazz tones with more midrange (Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall). But seriously- I've played "what ____ sounds like ____". Don't bother. If you think you want a BF, just get one. Live with it awhile. You may love it, or decide it's not for you.

    2- in all my amp experiences, the punchiest amps I have owned over the years, have been ones with solid state rectifiers (not tubes). It doesn't matter much lower on the volume dial, but as you turn up the sag increases. Personally, for jazzy tones I LIKE some sag (again, think Kenny Burrell playing a 5E3 on "Midnight Blue"), but sag and punch are on a sliding scale that's mutually exclusive, IMO. More punch=less sag, and vice versa.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    2 things:

    1- if you know you want a blackface tone profile, don't bother looking for "imitations", just get a blackface. I disagree with the above poster who thinks BF amps don't have "punch". They do... but they also have spank and sparkle... while I love my PRRI (w/12"), and get cool tones with it, if I were looking for a "jazz only" amp, the PRRI would not be it; I like jazz tones with more midrange (Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall). But seriously- I've played "what ____ sounds like ____". Don't bother. If you think you want a BF, just get one. Live with it awhile. You may love it, or decide it's not for you.

    2- in all my amp experiences, the punchiest amps I have owned over the years, have been ones with solid state rectifiers (not tubes). It doesn't matter much lower on the volume dial, but as you turn up the sag increases. Personally, for jazzy tones I LIKE some sag (again, think Kenny Burrell playing a 5E3 on "Midnight Blue"), but sag and punch are on a sliding scale that's mutually exclusive, IMO. More punch=less sag, and vice versa.
    BlueJayBill - I agree with what you say and have read as much through forums. Interestingly the new Burnside whilst still a 'modern tweed' has changed from a 6V6 to an 6L6 and increased power from 18 to 28W, to create more bottom end and more head room. Sounds like it's leaning more into what I'd be looking for. Perhaps a Tweed/Black Face tone?

    Franz1997: As mentioned above in my response to BlueJayBill, the Burnside is a modern tweed style, whatever that means. It doesn't have a 'mid' control so not sure how the tone stack responds.
    Based on what you said, I went and had a look at the amps used by the guys back in the day and it seems they often used tweeds. Perhaps a tweed, black face style, is what I'm after?

    If Im free of quarantine tomorrow, I'll pop over to Wembley and try their Quilters. I'll take two guitars. A floater and a humbucker.

    Ruger9 - Thanks for chiming in.

    I like Kenny's tone but I also like Jonny Smiths. Grant Green's is one of the best too!
    It seems that Grant often used a tweed and so perhaps the argument is no over punch but over amp responsiveness?
    When you play a Tele, or a Strat through a Two Rock, you get that beautiful glassy, dynamic tone, that people claim Two Rock does, like no other.
    They refer to it as a 'modern black face tone' or in the case of the 'Burnside' "a modern tweed tone with Two Rock cleans". Which I suspect means a combination of black and tweed.

    Do you have some suggestions? I'm open to something outside of the Two rock, or Quilter/Henriksen range but from my experience, which is quite a bit, the only tube amp I've played and enjoyed is a Two Rock. The only SS amp I liked that I thought had good dynamics and punch, was a metal faced, Polytone Mini Brute II.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 12-06-2021 at 11:47 AM.

  11. #10

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    Well, it looks like you are conflating BF and tweed tone in your response, or at least hoping for a combination of the two. While I have seen (and have) amps that are said to be a blend of BF and brown amp era tones, I have not seen that with BF and tweed, but that doesn't mean it's not out there. In fact Quilters have preamps that are said to do all 3!

    But the tube preamp topology is quite different for these two types, as someone said, and I'm not sure combining them is in the cards or even possible. Perhaps the Burnside takes a twee preamp and cleans it up a bit, compared to the vintage examples. That might be just the thing for you.

    BTW you can get more versatility for jazz out of a BF amp by simply adding a boost in the low and middle mids, which any good EQ and many good OD pedals can provide. It's better if the amp has that tone at the source, but it's hard to find. Tube amp makers seem to be mainly focused on BF clean sounds and secondly OD tones, they are not exactly looking at jazz players for their sales!

    Good luck! BTW tweed amps were used by almost all jazz players in the late '50's; I have read that the house amp at Rudy Van Gelder's was a tweed amp. So Green, Burrell, Wes, a lot of them would have been using that until BF amps came along.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    "a modern tweed tone with Two Rock cleans". Which I suspect means a combination of black and tweed.

    Do you have some suggestions? I'm open to something outside of the Two rock, or Quilter/Henriksen range but from my experience, which is quite a bit, the only tube amp I've played and enjoyed is a Two Rock. The only SS amp I liked that I thought had good dynamics and punch, was a metal faced, Polytone Mini Brute II.
    I'm not sure that you can combine 'tweed' and 'blackface' sounds, because they mean almost opposite things. "Blackface' refers to a tonal response that has much of the midrange sucked out, so the tonal response is "V" shaped. "Tweed" is a tonal response that can range from glassy to very fat and midrange heavy - a'flatline' response. Adjusted via the two volume controls!!

    It's ironic that you also liked a Polytone, which is about as far away from a 'blackface' as you can get, with a flat response and a naturally solid, heavy midrange.

    Options would seem to be:
    -look for that Burnside Tweed model. Sounds great
    -try one of the Quilter amps that offers 3 sounds, as mentioned, including blackface and tweed modes. No experience of these myself, but there are threads about them.
    -buy a graphic equaliser, again as mentioned. These give great tonal versatility to any amp at the price of a cheap pedal. A graphic equaliser can turn a Princeton
    into a tweed-ish amp with little difficulty. The limiting factor is usually the speaker.

    Again from the guitar marketing point of view, more potential buyers will be likely to be using polytone - or quilter-style amps than tube exotica.

  13. #12

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    Ruger9 + Franz 1997:

    I'm certainly confusing things due to my lack of amp knowledge. To me:
    BF = 6L6
    Tweed = 6V6
    Marshal = El84

    Interesting video on the Quilter 101 Reverb



    I'm just in negotiations over a Two Studio Signature so we'll see if this is all academic shortly. I can't help feel the 6L6 Burnside would be a really interesting amp. It's a shame it doesn't have reverb and mid control. Although pedals can be used to replace them.

    The Quilter has line out, which two rocks don't; reverb and good tone shaping. Again if it sounds 80% of the way there, it's enough to not need pedals, amp mic'ing and the weight and hassle of tubes.
    Plus the money saving.

    Here is the Two Rock Signature:



    In the end, does the Quilter sound like the Two Rock Studio Sig? I don't hear it. Perhaps the line out on the Quilter kills a lot of the vibe coming from the mic's cab on the TR.

  14. #13

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    There is a world of difference between the Quilter 101 and the new Superblocks (I've had both).

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu
    There is a world of difference between the Quilter 101 and the new Superblocks (I've had both).
    I've heard the new blocks aren't up to much. Can you elaborate on your experience with both.

    Cheers.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Ruger9 + Franz 1997:

    I'm certainly confusing things due to my lack of amp knowledge. To me:
    BF = 6L6
    Tweed = 6V6
    Marshal = El84
    No. There are both 6L6 and 6V6 tweed and BF Fenders. Tweed vs BF is more about the pre-amp stage than the power stage. The blackface sound comes from the preamp circuit that most of the BF amps have in common. This gives a common voice to all of them (as well as some others, as the Princeton Reverb, which is a somewhat different circuit), with sonic differences coming from differences in power, rectification, transformers, speaker configuration, and cabinets. Pre-amp differences in tweed amps vary more from model to model (and from year to year within a model) than BF because Fender had not yet standardized as many things. It's an oversimplification, but in general, Tweed=more mid range and more distortion; BF = more scooped sound, less distortion because of differences in the pre-amp and tone stack design (not power tubes). Brownface is somewhere in between. It gets more complicated again with SF, with the lower powered models not changing much and the higher powered ones getting cleaner and more powerful. Leo thought distortion was bad, and the trajectory in Fender designs that carried through to the CBS era was toward "clean".

    Marshalls use many different output tubes, but the classic 50 or 100 watt stacks mainly use EL34's (some have 6L6's and some have KT88's). There are some lower powered ones with EL 84's. Vox's are known more for using EL 84's. Some Fenders also use them (e.g., Blues Junior, some Tremoluxes).

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Interesting video on the Quilter 101 Reverb



    I'm just in negotiations over a Two Studio Signature so we'll see if this is all academic shortly. I can't help feel the 6L6 Burnside would be a really interesting amp. It's a shame it doesn't have reverb and mid control. Although pedals can be used to replace them.

    The Quilter has line out, which two rocks don't; reverb and good tone shaping. Again if it sounds 80% of the way there, it's enough to not need pedals, amp mic'ing and the weight and hassle of tubes.
    Plus the money saving.

    Here is the Two Rock Signature:



    In the end, does the Quilter sound like the Two Rock Studio Sig? I don't hear it. Perhaps the line out on the Quilter kills a lot of the vibe coming from the mic's cab on the TR.
    In the Toob video, the Quilter seemed more BF (or SF) Fender-y than than the other two amps (less midrange, more high treble). It's hard for me to judge that Two Rock sound. It seems more midrange-y to me than the Quilter. But they're played through different speakers, recorded differently, and involve different players and guitars. There's also no sense of how loud these are in the room, and very little sense of the bass response. Overall, I find videos pretty much useless for assessing amps.
    Last edited by John A.; 12-06-2021 at 06:16 PM.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Ruger9 + Franz 1997:

    I'm certainly confusing things due to my lack of amp knowledge. To me:
    BF = 6L6
    Tweed = 6V6
    Marshal = El84
    During all my years as an electric player I've never been able to tell the difference between ANY type of powertube except in situations where
    I was able to dime the amp and drive the poweramp stage into saturation. Most often it was oppressively loud ....
    Sure, playing an AC30 on "7 or 8" or even a pushed Marshall 50watter driving a 4x12" cab can be a fun thing but where except on a (large) stage with a rock group can one
    partake in this pantleg-shaking experience ? Taming the amp with an attenuator takes much of the fun out of it but for recording purposes it is a useful tool.

    Re your statement : "SS amps have traditionally suffered from a lack of it (punch) ..." - kindly listen to this clip I recorded some 10 years ago and tell me that this doesn't sound like a great guitar/pickup combo into a super nice SS amp (which I still own and use when I need more oomph on stage) :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGPstnJIcCk


  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I've heard the new blocks aren't up to much. Can you elaborate on your experience with both.

    Cheers.
    I don't really know what that means, but the Superblock has much more of a tube-like response than the 101, and through an efficient speaker seems like it has a more authentic power rating -- on par with other similarly rated tube amps (Deluxe Reverb, etc.). Plus with an active EQ, it is much more versatile in the range of tones available (not to mention the 3 different tone stacks). It also takes pedals better.

    Feel free to peruse any of the recent Superblock threads. It has received near-universal acclaim, apart from those who just don't like the Fender sound.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    During all my years as an electric player I've never been able to tell the difference between ANY type of powertube except in situations where
    I was able to dime the amp and drive the poweramp stage into saturation. Most often it was oppressively loud ....
    Sure, playing an AC30 on "7 or 8" or even a pushed Marshall 50watter driving a 4x12" cab can be a fun thing but where except on a (large) stage with a rock group can one
    partake in this pantleg-shaking experience ? Taming the amp with an attenuator takes much of the fun out of it but for recording purposes it is a useful tool.

    Re your statement : "SS amps have traditionally suffered from a lack of it (punch) ..." - kindly listen to this clip I recorded some 10 years ago and tell me that this doesn't sound like a great guitar/pickup combo into a super nice SS amp (which I still own and use when I need more oomph on stage) :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGPstnJIcCk

    Gitman: - it sounds very nice and lovely playing btw. Is that a reverse stinger on the neck?

    I've heard of Evans but rarely see one and if it breaks down I'd have a job fixing it.
    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.

    Jehu: - Intersting. I've heard some say they don't prefer them to the combo amps. Perhaps they think something is taken away by the size?

    What would you suggest in terms of the block and what do you consider to be an efficient speaker and why is that important?

    Total amp newb here.

  20. #19

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    I figured out the tone I'm looking for is the punch Pat Martino gets in Just Friends or the album El Hombre.

    I've just pulled the trigger on a used 35w Two Rock Studio Signature Head and matching 12" cab (closed back).

    Studio Signature - Two-Rock Amplifiers

    If I don't get on with it, I can always sell it for the price I paid.

    I might try and grab a quilter too and A/B them. Whichever one wins, I'll keep.

  21. #20

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    A couple things to consider:

    I don't know what you plan to do with this amp. Nobody ever seems to mention that when they ask what kind of amp to buy. Are you looking for a clean jazz sound or will you also want some grit and overdrive? You mentioned a punchy blackface sound, but there's clean punchy and driven punchy. If part if what you want is a dirty, overdriven sound, a 35-watt Two Rock may be way overpowered unless you're playing very loud in large venues. If you just want clean it may not matter. Having said that, the Two Rock is a beautiful amp if you're willing to schlep it around.

    The Hendriksen is a beautiful amp too, but I don't associate it with a blackface sound. If that's what you want it may not be your cup of tea. The Quilter might get you closer to what you're looking for, but to my ears there's no substitute for real tubes if that's the sound you want, except arguably a modeling setup (quite arguably).

    Finally, there's the question of where and how you play. If you're playing gigs with a loud rhythm section I think any of those amps will give you enough power and headroom. However, if you're just playing at home by yourself you the amps you've mentioned have way more power than you need. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, except that power is part of what you're paying for. For a lot less money you could get a very nice 10 or 15 watt amp that would be fine for playing at home.

    Whatever you choose, good luck with your selection. I hope you find something that inspires you.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996
    A couple things to consider:

    I don't know what you plan to do with this amp. Nobody ever seems to mention that when they ask what kind of amp to buy. Are you looking for a clean jazz sound or will you also want some grit and overdrive? You mentioned a punchy blackface sound, but there's clean punchy and driven punchy. If part if what you want is a dirty, overdriven sound, a 35-watt Two Rock may be way overpowered unless you're playing very loud in large venues. If you just want clean it may not matter. Having said that, the Two Rock is a beautiful amp if you're willing to schlep it around.

    The Hendriksen is a beautiful amp too, but I don't associate it with a blackface sound. If that's what you want it may not be your cup of tea. The Quilter might get you closer to what you're looking for, but to my ears there's no substitute for real tubes if that's the sound you want, except arguably a modeling setup (quite arguably).

    Finally, there's the question of where and how you play. If you're playing gigs with a loud rhythm section I think any of those amps will give you enough power and headroom. However, if you're just playing at home by yourself you the amps you've mentioned have way more power than you need. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, except that power is part of what you're paying for. For a lot less money you could get a very nice 10 or 15 watt amp that would be fine for playing at home.

    Whatever you choose, good luck with your selection. I hope you find something that inspires you.
    Thanks Jonathan. You raise some good points and as a tube newb, I haven't considered the power other than, I think that 35w is enough to give me clean head room and 50w is way too much for home use.

    The Two Rock Burnside has no master volume so that's a problem for home use. The Studio Signature has gain and master, so I should be able to dial in some dynamics from the gain at lower volumes.

    My experience comes down to sitting in Andertons (a guitar shop) and playing through all the amps at a volume that's sensible in a practice room (a big one mind). The Two rock is the amp that stood out by a country mile, even at low volume.

    Other than that, I don't have much else to go on. The Roland Cube was always just about good enough and I was always complimented on my tone.
    I'm sure the Quilter, like an Evans, like a Henriksen, will all be a step above the Roland Cube but single coil pickups through a Two Rock just sound too good.

    I can still hear them from the practice room some 6 years ago.

  23. #22

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    This was mentioned above, but punch does come from mids. Blackface amps have scooped out mids. Tweeds, OTOH, have emphasized mids. A Tweed Deluxe is likely to be a good bet for you. I have three, myself. Everyone you can think of who recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio--think Wes--used one.

    If you want to get this sound from one of the amps you listed, go with the Quilter.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    This was mentioned above, but punch does come from mids. Blackface amps have scooped out mids. Tweeds, OTOH, have emphasized mids. A Tweed Deluxe is likely to be a good bet for you. I have three, myself. Everyone you can think of who recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio--think Wes--used one.

    If you want to get this sound from one of the amps you listed, go with the Quilter.
    Thanks GT.

    The Quilter will definitely get a look in. There is a couple down the road (so to speak).

    The TR Signature I've just bought from Ebay has 3 gain options at the back. A Tweed a BF and a TR (John Maher) option. So three amps in one (apparently).
    I hope this will help me dial in the right tone and confirm what many here are saying regarding the tweed v:s bf in regards to punch.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven

    Ruger9 - Thanks for chiming in.

    I like Kenny's tone but I also like Jonny Smiths. Grant Green's is one of the best too!
    It seems that Grant often used a tweed and so perhaps the argument is no over punch but over amp responsiveness?
    When you play a Tele, or a Strat through a Two Rock, you get that beautiful glassy, dynamic tone, that people claim Two Rock does, like no other.
    They refer to it as a 'modern black face tone' or in the case of the 'Burnside' "a modern tweed tone with Two Rock cleans". Which I suspect means a combination of black and tweed.

    Do you have some suggestions? I'm open to something outside of the Two rock, or Quilter/Henriksen range but from my experience, which is quite a bit, the only tube amp I've played and enjoyed is a Two Rock. The only SS amp I liked that I thought had good dynamics and punch, was a metal faced, Polytone Mini Brute II.
    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"...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    No. There are both 6L6 and 6V6 tweed and BF Fenders. Tweed vs BF is more about the pre-amp stage than the power stage. The blackface sound comes from the preamp circuit that most of the BF amps have in common. This gives a common voice to all of them (as well as some others, as the Princeton Reverb, which is a somewhat different circuit), with sonic differences coming from differences in power, rectification, transformers, speaker configuration, and cabinets. Pre-amp differences in tweed amps vary more from model to model (and from year to year within a model) than BF because Fender had not yet standardized as many things. It's an oversimplification, but in general, Tweed=more mid range and more distortion; BF = more scooped sound, less distortion because of differences in the pre-amp and tone stack design (not power tubes). Brownface is somewhere in between. It gets more complicated again with SF, with the lower powered models not changing much and the higher powered ones getting cleaner and more powerful. Leo thought distortion was bad, and the trajectory in Fender designs that carried through to the CBS era was toward "clean".

    Marshalls use many different output tubes, but the classic 50 or 100 watt stacks mainly use EL34's (some have 6L6's and some have KT88's). There are some lower powered ones with EL 84's. Vox's are known more for using EL 84's. Some Fenders also use them (e.g., Blues Junior, some Tremoluxes).



    In the Toob video, the Quilter seemed more BF (or SF) Fender-y than than the other two amps (less midrange, more high treble). It's hard for me to judge that Two Rock sound. It seems more midrange-y to me than the Quilter. But they're played through different speakers, recorded differently, and involve different players and guitars. There's also no sense of how loud these are in the room, and very little sense of the bass response. Overall, I find videos pretty much useless for assessing amps.
    Sorry John I missed your post.


    Thanks for your input. I understand now what's being pointed out regarding the tubes and the BF, Tweed differences.
    The Two Rock in the video might sound more mid focused because the amp had 3 different gain stage options and the one selected could be more mid focused.
    I originally thought the Studio Signature (TR) has 3 gains, BF, Tweed and TR clean but it doesn't.
    It has BF, Two Rock Clean and John Maher (who ever he is). Judging by what you're saying and others, one amp can't have a tweed and BF tone. They are two opposing ideas not only sonically but mechanically.
    The Two Rock has a lot of spank, sparkle and depth when used with a strat. I'm hoping that translates into my Archtop tone. I think it's going to have lots of clean punch.
    I've just bought a used Two Rock Studio Signature (the amp in the video) off ebay. I pick it up on Wednesday.
    We'll see what it does.