Best Power Amp on the Market

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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby mijknahs » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:58 am

Just use an older (1970's) Fender Twin Reverb. Upgrade parts according to Waldo's site and make sure it is modded so you can bias the power tubes properly (if necessary) and get some good new power tubes. You'll get a killer tone and plenty of power to drive both speakers.

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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby unnbrokenchain » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:31 pm

Anyone use a Mcintosh Mc2105? 105 watts at each channel, good front panel with meters, most in original walnut cases, under 1,000 bucks? Sounds like it would drive two Jbl E120's pretty well.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby mijknahs » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:14 pm

I believe a few guys here own and use the MC2105. It will definitely drive 2xJBLs really well. The amp weighs about 65 lbs. Kinda heavy but half the weight of a MC2300. I've owned/used a MC2100 and those are the same amp as the 2105 but without the blue meters and glass face plate. Get a 2105 if you just want to just keep it at home but get a 2100 if you want to gig with it or move it for practice/rehearsal.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:56 pm

If you are using a preamp like a modded twin or an SMS you are going to almost double the "Wattage" or sound out of the amp. My MC50 with the twin preamp gets as loud as my 120 watt Mosvalve combo head. The 2100 is the best for overhead and versatility and will make 4 JBLs sing well.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby unnbrokenchain » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:04 pm

Really? I'm going to get a custom cabinet to fit two Fender amp chassis, a 65 reissue Twin Reverb and a 1972 Bandmaster Reverb. I play through both wile I play and I love it. Instead of working with just one preamp, you have two to shape your sound. I set the reissue Twin Reverb on the clean channel Treb 7 Mids 6 Bass 1.5, so I get my clean sound with a good warm sound which sets the foundation of my sound. Then I set the Bandmaster Reverb on the reverb channel (it has spring reverb like no other amp around) treb 10 Mids 5 Bass 0, the bandmaster tops off the Twin Reverb's warm clean sound with piercing crisp highs and a natural bassy bottom the speakers in the cab have. One benefit of having my setup this way is that when playing, my dynamics can effect the level of the two amps, stretching from a real clean and direct sound to an extreme reverb sound, which sounds exactly the same as the ones you can hear on Europe 72' on "Jack Straw" or "You Win Again" when they were playing in those great halls and theaters. That's how I like my reverb. The Bandmaster Reverb really is what completes and makes my sound. I could replace the reissue if I had to easily but I'm not getting rid of the Bandmaster. That's why I wouldn't just take the easy route and get a sarno rack preamp because it's cheaper to use what I already have, and I can't imagine it being better than the bandmaster.

As great as this set up is, it's huge! The cab for the Bandmaster is so big I could easily fit 4 12" speakers. On top of the cabinet I have my Fender twin Reverb, and on top of the twin I have the Bandmaster amp head which is so big I could fit two 10" speakers in. A towering stack of amps and cabinets almost 6 feet high. So, with creating my new rig, all of this huge mess will be gone. I would have guitar > Preamps > Mc2105 > 2X12 cab (one preamp going to one channel feeding into one JBL E120 and the same for the other preamp). I will have the two amps once they are in the new cabinet serviced, turning them into preamps with all of Waldo's recommended mods.
Once I get enough money it will be all possible which will hopefully be soon.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby mijknahs » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:34 pm

If you love the way your Bandmaster sounds now, it will sound different when you preamp it to the McIntosh with the JBLs. You might prefer the "old" sound of the Bandmaster if that's what you're used to.

You will sound more '80's than early '70's with the McIntosh and JBLs.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:40 pm

You don't want to send line signals into your other amps anyway, you will be better off doing the preamp modification to your twin or other fender amp and using the Mac for the power section. Many ask, "why when you have perfectly good tube amps?" Well, I prefer the sound of SS amps with a tube preamp. That is what I have always played through with my Mosvalve and have grown to like it and developed my sound from it. I don't like the Tube compression and the maintaining that comes with a tube amp. New tubes, always a different sound with new ones, good tubes hard to come by under 100 bucks. by the time you buy a few sets of tubes you could have a bunch of other stuff. But, a Tube preamp is a staple of the bunch.

You can't deny the sweet tone of tube amps though, and when I met Mcintosh I realized how close a SS amp can come to the tone and warmth. It really is the best of both worlds. I am going to upgrade to an Mc2100 to fuel my 2x12 properly. I have been loud enough though with an MC50 and a twin pre with a 1x12. Its like a blues Jr. on meth. I love it.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby unnbrokenchain » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:07 pm

mijknahs wrote:If you love the way your Bandmaster sounds now, it will sound different when you preamp it to the McIntosh with the JBLs. You might prefer the "old" sound of the Bandmaster if that's what you're used to.

You will sound more '80's than early '70's with the McIntosh and JBLs.


I will be getting the twin modded not the bandmaster. Bandmaster is just going to get the preamp mod and also have it as noise and hum free as possible. That way I have the best of both worlds. I'm also going to get another cab with D120's for that early 70's sound with the Bandmaster, further down the road when it becomes available. As far as I now Macs started popping up during 1972 or earlier in the band's stage gear.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby mgbills » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:15 pm

What is John K using? I saw a thread (now buried in my brain & on this site) where he discusses the Electro Harmonix LPB-1. Sounds right by description, but is that the group thought on how he clips? I've seen DSO 50-75 times on the Left Coast, and his tone is pretty damn good.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby playingdead » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:01 pm

Ray's correct; all my sound is out of the AxeFX now, direct to the board. It has a very adjustable power amp simulator (class, tubes, sag, etc.), but I actually bypass that on my Jerry patches.

When I was running the Egnater preamp, I tried a Crown XLS-402, which had plenty of power, but was a bit too ice-picky. The Focus 2R was warmer and more organic, plus it's only 7 pounds and had a preamp in front of it and digital reverb if I had a rig failure, so that was nice. It's not cheap, though. They don't make the Focus anymore, but its replacement is basically the same amp. I liked it, a lot, especially the fact that I could run both channels of it, one for the preamp and the other for just reverb in parallel, so the bulk of my signal didn't have to go through the RT-921's tube stages (it was less noisy that way).

I'd be tempted to get a smaller Mac if you're not doing much gigging with it. Might as well go the full nine!
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby unnbrokenchain » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:18 am

mgbills wrote:What is John K using? I saw a thread (now buried in my brain & on this site) where he discusses the Electro Harmonix LPB-1. Sounds right by description, but is that the group thought on how he clips? I've seen DSO 50-75 times on the Left Coast, and his tone is pretty damn good.
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It does sound like he's using some kind of volume boost. If he does have an LPB-1 it's gotta be at the noon position or over because the distortion is very prominent in his sound. I do the same exact thing. I use a replica Alembic booster that I built about a year ago or so. Its just like the LPB-1, in a MXR size pedal box and has the on/off button with the gain knob.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby zambiland » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:47 pm

paulkogut wrote:A lot of jazz players who do the preamp/poweramp thing use a Walter Woods for the power section. (John Abercrombie, Steve Khan, Jim Hall). It seems to me it would work in a Jerry rig, too. They can be pricey new, but you never know when you'll run across one on the second hand market. I've been using mine with Brad Sarno's pre and am really happy with my sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYueQKxUULI

Good luck in your tone quest.

PK


Paul, you sound great! Really nice playing and it sounds like a good trio. I love hearing people who love the GD music, but play other stuff and let the influence come through, no matter how subtly.

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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:29 pm

I believe John K's power amp of choice has been the QSC GX5. Not positive, but I think so.

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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby JonnyBoy » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:06 pm

I also think John K was talking about getting the clipping right using his Trio he was modding himself. He was having trouble with his OD pedal alone and added the LPB1 to top it off or maybe use it alone to push the preamp. If you have a good tube preamp you can push it just right with that booster which is an old school trick, like making your guitar go to 13. I like mine, but it does different things in the transistor amps. I tried it on the mac and you can really push that baby into almost unusable clipping, but at the right amount with the right gear it is a real handy classic OD pedal.

I am always tweaking my OD situation, I bounce around with things, but lately I have been finding cool combos with a boss EQ and a Boss OD. I was real into some biyang pedals and found my boss to nail my tone almost the same with a smaller footprint in my pedal shelf, although the boss are buffered and I prefer true bypass, I just don't have room.
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Re: Best Power Amp on the Market

Postby strumminsix » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:44 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:I believe John K's power amp of choice has been the QSC GX5. Not positive, but I think so.


Kinda funny. JK's guitar rig is powered by the same poweramp that I used for my band's mains.
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