#174146  by Cumtax
I already stressed Jon in private on TGP and the discussion was coming up in another thread, so I'll take the opportunity to post a dedicated topic to collect more opinions.

Before getting into the topic, please bare in mind I'm a power new so I don't want to sound aggressive or judgmental (I'm not an English speaker so I lack that kind of dexterity), my questions come just out of pure curiosity. I may be missing some key elements here so that's another reason to open a dedicated thread.

About power amps, I've always been puzzled by the scarcity of options suggested. I know we humans are creatures of habits and we tend to do\emulate things that belong to a specific (sub)culture (deadheads searching for Jerry's tone, in this case) but still, I don't get why there are so few options mentioned besides:

- Vintage Mcs
- Carvin DCM200L
- Mosvalve

All these 3 units are vintage and they require people to look for good opportunities if they ever rise up as all these 3 options are out of production. Mcs are rare, expensive and heavy if you decide to compromise and not get the 50; they are also old so they require extra attention, good servicing and probably some mods. Carvins are cheap but they are getting rare. Mosvalve were a good mid-tier alternative; I remember Sarno explaining how these units behaved similarly to valve power amps, but they are getting rare too.

I saw a couple of posts around here in the last few years about Sarno suggesting ART SLA-1, but that's the only modern option I've seen.

Now, the whole guitar player shtick is to praise tube warm tones and valve power amps are mostly responsible for that. I know that people here love valve-powered Mcs so I'm wondering if there are modern units out there that are reliable, that behave similarly, that are available and have modern appointments. Maybe vacuum tubes?

The same goes for SS power amps. Among a sea of infinite options, is ART SLA really the only viable option for Jerry-like tones? I mean, it's only one option and the price range for Powe Amps is huge so shouldn't be there cheaper or more expensive alternatives, maybe better ones?
 #174147  by Darkstar860
I think i stated in the other forum page, I emailed SMS directly and asked them what they would recommend and they are the ones that mentioned the ART SLA-1 power amp I use. But i did come on here and ask around, i almost bought a Carvin unit that a few folks on here use. In the end i chose the ART SLA-1 because thats what the company making the Classic Tube Preamp said would be a good power amp to get to match with it. Its light weight, small and does its job very well. But as you have discovered in the other thread, there are many to choose from. But i think a lot of us have found what works and kinda stick to that overall. I have no messed around with many other power amps with my SMS and im sure there are better power amps than what im using. So this is a good thread as id love to know more as well :-)

Thanks for posting this.
 #174148  by NeilG1
2 cents:

The vintage McIntosh power amps are solid state. Which is why the carvin and mosvalve amps work well for Jerry players. I have a mosvalve. It’s great, but like you say, you need to find one.

A close friend swears by his Seymour Duncan Power Stage. Not sure which model. But it’s a pedal, puts out like 150 solid state watts, and sounds fantastic. I’ve never checked the price though.
 #174149  by tdcrjeff
NeilG1 wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:41 pmA close friend swears by his Seymour Duncan Power Stage. Not sure which model. But it’s a pedal, puts out like 150 solid state watts, and sounds fantastic. I’ve never checked the price though.
This perhaps?
https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-pr ... rstage-170
NeilG1 liked this
 #174150  by Jon S.
For the record you didn’t stress me out the least. :p
 #174152  by Cumtax
NeilG1 wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:41 pm The vintage McIntosh power amps are solid state. Which is why the carvin and mosvalve amps work well for Jerry players. I have a mosvalve. It’s great, but like you say, you need to find one.
ah yes you are right the MC50 is a solid state, sorry for the mistake
 #174153  by Darkstar860
Just like someone else mentioned with the Carvin, and the ART light weight SS power amps that take up less room. 1U rack space for a power amp is pretty incredible. But if size and weight doesnt matter, some of these older more sizable power amps are good stuff for sure. But let me tell ya after 20+ years of carrying 2 Twin Reverbs with me, its nice to have a light weight package that delivers everything i could possibly want. I am able to keep up easily with 2 drummers, 3 guitars, bass, keys and multiple people on vocals no problem. I have not been in a situation where this wasnt enough and nor should I. If weight and size didnt mean anything, id love to own a Mcintosh unit. But im very content with what I got. Im curious what other power amps folks have tried and what the results were.

Im glad i have the weight of my setup split up with my 2x12 being the heaviest peice of gear with them e120's. But its on casters with handles on the sides. Compared to moving a Twin Reverb combo with those JBLs in it, this is NOTHING in comparison haha. Def make sure you get a Furman power conditioner for your amp and board. This made a great deal of difference when moving from venue to venue where the electrical can really vary. But as you saw in my pics i have my setup in a head cab case with Furman, SMS and ART and i think it weighs... 13lbs ?
 #174154  by Darkstar860
Oh i forgot to mention something. I ran my SMS into my modded Hot Rod Deville head thru the power amp in (where it skips the preamp). I was shocked at how well this sounded. Im not sure if it would sound as good hooked up to a stock hot rod, but it was a nice surprise. Also the One Control BJF-S66 Solid State Fender amp I have (A really sweet amp if you have not checked it out) sounds great thru the ART and Hot Rod. The One Control has an effects loop, weighs 4 lbs and can deliver 100watts, 66 or 33watts depending on Ohm. But you can also just use its preamp section. It has reverb and trem. It sounds like 4 different Fender amps. Not as good as the SMS, but one of the best Solid State amps ive ever played thru.


But this is def another option.
 #174155  by strumminsix
To answer your question, let's look at gear:
1) there are fewer rack mount preamps for musicians
2) small production sound systems are geared towards powered speakers
3) musicians have moved away from rack gear

Don't think the market is there. And What little market there was (modelers) have now been replaced with either small amps on pedalboards or using a powered PA speaker.

Here are ones to look for:
TubeWorks - love it!
MosValve - love it!
Mesa - love it!
Carvin - sounds great, never owned
Art - sounds great, never owned
Crown - sounds great, never owned
Fryette - have only read about and heard clips but think they're the last real deal guitar poweramp maker!!!

I've tried the small, pedal-sized class D amps like the Seymour Duncans above and found them to be dark and lifeless. But YMMV.
 #174157  by lbpesq
It’s amazing how small and light we can get these days after all those years of schlepping big heavy equipment. The Carvin Mach 100 pedal power amp is a cool little piece of kit. Boss pedal size, 50 watts/channel stereo into 8 ohms. Great little backup or for a micro amp system. I paired one with the Valeton mini Coral Amp pedal (2 channels: 8 clean amp models on one side, 8 hi gain amp models on the other) on a Pedaltrain Nano board just for sh*ts & giggles.

Bill, tgo


 #174158  by Darkstar860
As a few folks have mentioned. A lot of the SS pedal amps sound too dark and dont have that snap that ya need to really get the Jerry thing going. So they are convenient and work, but your not gonna get the Jerry tone abd the reaction of the amp your looking for. Need to have that snap ;-)
 #174160  by Jon S.
I loved my old Rocktron Velocity 300 power amp but it weighed around 17 lbs. I replaced it with a 4 1/2 lb. Carvin DCM200L.