Still searching for the right amp. The options seem endless....
I play Ibanez-era Bobby. I need a very clean amp that will allow me to be loud enough, yet retain the glassy, almost crystalline sound from my poor-man's Cowboy. I've tried a number of amps - the best to my ears so far is my Fender Showman Reverb TFL5000D (Fender Twin) head. Problem is that unless I'm playing outside, I really don't need that powerful an amp - I probably never go past 3 on the volume dial. I suspect at that volume, I'm not hearing the amp in all its glory.
My sound has lots of upper mids & highs. I need an amp that won't sound harsh when loud. Of course, this could be a function of the speaker too, so please recommend a speaker that's best-suited for the task. With most amps I have tried, I have found that when increasing the volume, the mids overtake the highs and the glassy nature of my sound is lost. That's no good.
Some other considerations:
- I'm small and can't carry heavy equipment. I'm (very) open to a head plus cabinet solution.
- Although I like the Fender tube sound, I'm still testing a solid state solution (ie: IVP -> power amp). Problem is that I don't currently own a solid state power amp.
- I've heard lots of negative talk regarding 70's (?) Fender amps with a master volume. I recently sold my MusicMan HD-130 head (probably shouldn't have...) and I really liked the master volume as it made the amp very flexible, plus, this amp sounded great. Seems like an amp with a master volume would allow me to play clean or dirty (for non-Bobby roles).
- I currently use a JBL M31-4 speaker in an open-backed cab. This speaker is supposedly a 4 ohm version of the 15" JBL D130F, however, I saw a "K" written somewhere on the speaker, so it may have been reconed as a K130? Would a K speaker not be a good match for me?
In summary: clean sounding, portable solution with no ice-pick highs, loud enough for smaller clubs and still glassy when loud.
Should be easy, right?