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Transistor Amps


Bruce Flea

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Has anyone ever heard a good sounding transistor amp? I dont mean modelling, just old solid state. Does anyone even know of a famous player that has used them? So far the only ones I can remember are Daniel Ash, and sometimes Neal Schon.

:wave:

Sorry I'm late. I had to tame a wild honeymoon stallion for ya'.
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The Norlin Lab Series amps were popular for awhile in the 70s & 80s. They were excellent sounding clean amps. Used at various times by Elliot Easton of the Cars, B.B. King, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Ty Tabor of Kings X (as a preamp only) and myself. :D

 

The Lab front end worked very well with pedals for distortion. The amp itself didn't dirty-up very well on its own.

 

Randall amps are also SS and very popular with shredders for their distinctive distortion. Dimebag played Randall amps.

 

Roland amps have exactly one very high quality clean sound. The built-in distortion has a unique (IE. CRAPPY) sound. These were very popular with skinny tie bands in the early 80s (Men at Work come to mind). Adrian Belew also used Roland in the 80s. He relied on pedals (usually a Big Muff) for distortion.

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Welcome to the forum! well NO I dont know of any right off hand...and actually everytime Ive seen Neal he was using Marshall stacks. Well the guitarslayer with the DOORS used to youse Acoustic Electronics amps but I he sure wasnt known for anyting special amp sound wise. I had Peavey Renown amp for awhile and it had a pretty good sound kinda...nothing like my Marshalls but not bad I guess.
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Neal did use a tranny back in the day. I think the company was Baulder or something like that. From what I remember the sound wasn't very smooth. I have a Trace Elliot Supertramp from the 80's that doesn't sound too bad, that's why I'm curious about this topic.
Sorry I'm late. I had to tame a wild honeymoon stallion for ya'.
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Roland JC 120 is a great ss amp. I have a Roland Supercube from the 80's that's ok for clean. It's dirty channel isn't great per se, but has a ton of gain and can be fun for just wailing away. But probably not useful live.

I've played a Laney that was pretty good, too. Wish I could remember the model, something like a TF200? I think it might have a tube in the preamp, though, so it's not totally solid state.

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The great ones:

 

Webb

Evans

Peavey Session 400

 

You'll notice these all started life as pedal steel amps. LOUD and CLEAN. Jazz guys love 'em, although the Polytone amps are considered by many to be very good, though their main advantages are small size and light weight.

 

Also, some "acoustic" amps have great sound too, for jazz and acoustic music...Ultrasound, Fishman Loudbox, Roland AC100, Shertler, and a couple others.

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Check out: http://www.bluetoneamps.com/ The technology is analog solid state (FET.) They're modeling a "vintage Marshall amp." Listening to their recordings, they've done a good job. I'm impressed with how well they've emulated the "touch response" of a tube amp set up on the edge of clipping, nice and clean with soft playing, blending smoothly into a nice crunch as the guitar volume comes up. I haven't played one of these. I've only talked to Dave the company sales guy and listened to recordings. They have sold several to big name players. They don't give 'em away for endorsements.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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Ronnie Montrose used to endorse Lab Series and Pierce SS amps. Chuck Berry, BB King, and Al Di Meola have used SS amps a lot. Di Meola was endorsing the Roland Blues Cube, which I liked when I tried it out. I've also heard some Gallein Krugers that sounded hot.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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that is so true. when i first had a listen to a "minibrute'? i was blown away. here was this little cube with an 8 inch speaker and a matching cab filling the local store! i had to look twice to verify the sound was indeed coming from the tiny little thing. and it was big, clean and sweet.
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Originally posted by Ricochet:

Check out: http://www.bluetoneamps.com/ The technology is analog solid state (FET.) They're modeling a "vintage Marshall amp."

Man, I'm impressed. I'd love this amp as a head. Imagine that... with my tube screamer, and a hot Strat (perhaps with some of those awesome Kinman pickups), I could be SRV, or heaven forbid... Yngwie!!! HAHAHA. (kiddin'... I'm nowhere near those two. ;) )

 

In any case, impressive stuff. :)

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As far as I know, Joni Mitchell Uses a Roland JC as well, and as has been pointed out, solid state amps are used mainly in Jazz and Nu Metal.

 

And not to be a smart-arse or anything, but if we are talking about amps IN GENERAL, I'd say that there's no shortage of solid state bass and keyboard amps that sound great! :)

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Pearse made a great line of SS guitar and bass amps, combos and heads, back in the '80s and maybe into the '90s. They actually sounded very good for overdrive and distortion voicings without the need for any pedals. Excellent sounding amps in their own right, better sounding than lots of tube amps, and I'm pretty much a tube snob! They may have been the best SS guitar amps that I ever plugged into.

 

Personally, I hate the sound of Roland Jazz Chorus amps, and I've never exactly been endeared to anything solid-state from Peavey. I mean, for me to actually be plugged-into and playing, that is; lots of people sound great through either of those. I just can't find a satisfying control-setting for myself on a Roland Jazz-Chorus or ss PV, clean or dirty! Blechk.

 

However, Roland's SS "Blues Cube" line was quite a surprise, they sounded very good and much like a tube-amp of the variety with tight low-end and a high degree of speaker-damping (not loose, but controlled). Warm and fat and good sounding.

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Hi,

 

This is Dave from Blue Tone.

 

Many thanks for your kind comments, Ric!

 

About famous players using transistor amps....

 

Yes, our amp is endorsed by Pete Townshend, Uli Jon Roth, Micky Moody, Mick Box, John Jorgenson, and more recently Jon Pousette-Dart. On our website there are also lots of customer comments which we prize, too! Our amp is compared very favourably with the Polytone, but it also does that Marshall kerrang too, with all the dynamics you'd expect from a vintage amp.

 

Cheers

 

Dave

www.bluetoneamps.com

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This is good stuff. To be honest, I've been playing for over 25 years and the only tube amp I've ever owned was the Silvertone amp that came in my first guitar case. To be honest with you I've missed that smooth even ordered harmonic response that I get with other people's tubeys. The closest I've gotten was with my current Trace Supertramp. But even that can't do the slightly clean/slightly distorted tone without fizz. I just can't live with the size/price of tube amps. I miss the sound of tubes like an amputated limb though, and I've never been satisfied with modelling/digital stuff.
Sorry I'm late. I had to tame a wild honeymoon stallion for ya'.
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Originally posted by Darklava:

Frank Marino still uses ss but he makes his own.

The only SS I've ever liked was a crate td-50

Hybrid 2x10 stereo chorus tube preamp.

I've got a solid state Peavey Studio Chorus 210 that I will not part with. It's got two 10" speakers stereo, 35W per channel, chorus, reverb, Peavey's SUPER SAT distortion circuit, a mid frequency shift switch, and a gain boost switch on the SUPER SAT channel. It's a great amp. Too bad Peavey doesn't make them anymore. :(

 

I got it about the time I got out of high-school, so it's over 10 years old now. I graduated in '94. To me, Peavey always had the best sounding solid state amps.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

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First, welcome to the forum!

 

I have a couple of Marshall Lead 12 (not the stack the combo - 5005) amps. They are solid state but they have a nice raunchy overdrive that crunches nicely when you crank it up.

 

They won't get very loud on clean but in overdrive they'll rattle the windows. :D

 

It's only a 12 watt amp and they haven't been made in a long time (since the 80s). But it's the best sounding SS Marshall I've heard.

 

I am using one of them as my main practice amp (that and my Mini Z). I am going to give the other one to my nephew.

 

I've been looking at the Lead 12 mini stacks on eBay with any eye toward buying one of those. The head is the same amp section (Marshall 3005) as the Lead 12 combos I have. The cabs have the same 10 inch Celestion (G10D-25) drivers as the combos I have. The one I've heard sounds even better than the combos I have.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by Bruce Flea:

Has anyone ever heard a good sounding transistor amp? I dont mean modelling, just old solid state. Does anyone even know of a famous player that has used them? So far the only ones I can remember are Daniel Ash, and sometimes Neal Schon.

:wave:

You bet ....

 

Jordan, Standel, Acoustic, Roland JC-120, PolyTone for a start.

 

As far as who used them .... look at the Woodstock 69 documentary ... maybe 1/2 the bands there used the Acoustic amps.

 

CCR used Kustom SS amps.

Myles S. Rose

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Yeah, the Roland JC-120 is a great amp. In alot of rehearsal studios-- well to be frank the ones that look like the gear gets beat to death-- I plug into them most times.

 

Walter Woods makes great amps, jazz guitarists can use them quite well.

 

My little Fender Harvard Reverb II is a great little solid state amp.

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http://home.mia.net/~phaeton/Anklebiter/amp_front.jpg

 

kekekeeeee!! :D

 

Actually, I much like my 1975 Peavey Pacer. It's got its uses and I can get lots of sounds out of it. I recently played a brand new Peavey combo at a store that I was pretty impressed with, but I forget what it was. (I was also playing a Daisy Rock guitar at the time, and was impressed by it too!).

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I had a Fender M-80 a while back - great little box in a cheesy, Velveeta cheesy sort of way - neat distortion circuit, passable clean, decent reverb, but couldn't take the pounding it got in the trunk of my car - kept falling apart. My little Laney Hardcore screams like a banshee, withstands tons of abuse, and comes back for more. It's a bit dissonant and shrill, but I really admire its resilience.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I have a Peavey Bandit 112, that i bought in March. it hasnt dissapointed me yet, i'm getting rid of my metal zone pedal because the distortion on the amp is so much better. the clean is amazing too, very "3-D" sounding. My school just got two new Roland Cube 60s which i find weak in comparison to my peavey. they have modeled chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, reverb, and delay, and about 8 modeled amps for the lead channel. they sound ok but just too fake to my ears (hard to explain but i think you guys know what i mean), i much prefer my Peavey. although my inner rocker yearns for a marshall TSL stack, i could see myself being happy with solid state amps for the rest of my playing life.

 

peace

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Originally posted by Dr. Taz:

Hi Dave,

 

I was just curious... have you ever had requests to:

 

1. Build a separate head version of your current amp, or anything with your technology in a head?

 

2. Insert a bypassable series/parallel effects loop in the amp?

Hi,

 

Well, we're looking to develop this 'thing' a lot further - it really is the best solid state amp ever, period, and to get more people using it we do need more product line, so heads, 2 x 12 combos and adding effects loops and, shock, horror, even reverb, are all 'under consideration'. If anyone hasn't seen the Guitar Player review of the amp then take a look here... http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=6&storycode=10167

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Blue Tone

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Originally posted by Bruce Flea:

This is good stuff. To be honest, I've been playing for over 25 years and the only tube amp I've ever owned was the Silvertone amp that came in my first guitar case. To be honest with you I've missed that smooth even ordered harmonic response that I get with other people's tubeys. The closest I've gotten was with my current Trace Supertramp. But even that can't do the slightly clean/slightly distorted tone without fizz. I just can't live with the size/price of tube amps. I miss the sound of tubes like an amputated limb though, and I've never been satisfied with modelling/digital stuff.

Hi Bruce,

 

I couldn't resist replying direct to your mail....the PRO 30M is the first, and only, solid state amp that can do the 'in-between' clean and distortion with a vintage valve/tube vibe thrown in for good measure. No fizz - absolutely guaranteed.

 

Have a look at John Jorgenson's comments on our website...and Jon Pousette-Dart, who has just received one from us, said..." This amp is just stunning in that it puts out an unbelievably creamy warm articulate tone no matter where you set it, and no matter what volume. It has beautiful harmonic overtones, that require no effort to get to. They are just there, no matter what tone you go after.. Best, is, the layout is dead simple and logical. You guys have nailed it. I'm not going to throw out my Bogner, or my GT soulo, or my Fender Deluxe, but I am gointg to put them in the closet. This thing is going wherever I go. It is just a killer amp and exactly the right size for everything these days. The Bogner has a great tone, but it wants to wind up to a much higher level to get there ala Class A. This thing just sings no matter where you put it. Not sure how you all accomplished that solid state, but man you did it in spades".

 

Honest!

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Blue Tone

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Originally posted by Darklava:

Frank Marino still uses ss but he makes his own.

The only SS I've ever liked was a crate td-50

Hybrid 2x10 stereo chorus tube preamp.

What was his amp on Mahogany Rush live?

 

 

I think the tech 21 amps are about the best solid state amps I've yet to hear

 

excellent road beaters

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