Amplifiers

A pic of the entire rig.  Nive amplifiers, with five sharing speakers from the other amps, particularly the Mesa Cabinet.  This rig has the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s covered.

A Tone King Roylist 15, a Marshall 1974x , and a Mesa 2×12 cabinet.   The Royalist 15 is Tone Kings first attempt to reproduce the classic British Tones of the 60s era.  This dual EL-84 amp puts out about 18 watts of creamy bliss.  It also has a built in attenuator that allows for playing at lower volumes without sacrificing tone.  This attenuator is more natural than the THD Hotplates, as it takes a different approach to using resistors to attenuate the volume.  The Marshall 1974x is an incredible little amp.  It has little headroom, and with humbuckers it growls somewhere between a Vox and a creamy late ’60s Plexi.  Handwired all around with dual EL84s.  Crank it up with a Fulltone TTE and a reverb pedal in front it and you’re in tonal heaven.    I complement all the amp heads with a Mesa Boogie 2×12 cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30s.

A Magnatone Varsity and a ‘64 Fender Super Reverb.  The Magnatone is a dual EL84 offering that just knocks your head off!  It sounds more like 20+ watts rather than the 15 to 18 watt rating.  It’s a bit of a blend of American clean and British grit.  I’m still messing with it, but so far its a real keeper.  The Super is my first vintage amp.  Supers are powerfully clean, but will crunch rather nicely when pushed over the 5 mark.  It has the original RCA power tubes to boot.  One of the finest amps I’ve ever heard.

A 65 Amps Producer EL, a ‘74 Marshall Super Bass, and a Vox AC30.   The Producer EL is a 2 channel 45 watt wonder.  It replicates both the British Plexi and American Black Face offerings incredibly well, with some twist for adding a little more crunch.  It uses a high current/low voltage approach which save your tubes while gushing tonal bliss!   The Super Bass is…..is…..indescribably vintage Marshall 100 watt.  A tonal monster; not as bright as a Super Lead, but delivers plenty on the top end.  Sourced this from Rumble Seat Music in Carmel, CA.  Every Gibson I have has the pickup selector on Lead!  The AC 30 Power and Output Transformer, along with the choke, have been upgraded with Mercury Magnetics versions.  The AC30 is a very clean amp, but turning it up using a Hot Plate and you get this incredibly creamy, belltone like overdrive, thanks to their Celestion G-12 Alnico Vox Blue speakers!!

Here we have a Jackson Britian 30, a Fender Deluxe Tweed Head, a stereo rig with a turntable, a G-Force rack system, along with 2 Furman power racks.  The Jackson Britain 30 is just a monster of tonality!  It is a 2 channel amp featuring 4 EL84s, and emulates both an AC30 and an AC15.  It shares a unique power control that acts as an attenuator , but controlling the voltage.  The cool thing is that you can blend the channels!!!  The AC15 channel also has a boost pedal to really knock it into overdrive.  The AC30 channel is more clean and articulate.  A supplied pedal adds a little crunch to the tone, and a Fulltone ABY selects the channels.  The Tweed Deluxe Head has headroom up to about 4, then off it goes to creamy city!   I love it best with the Strats and Telecasters, though the 335 sounds pretty tasty as well.  Simple Volume and Tone control is it has, and all you need.  The TC Electronics G-Force rack system used through the effects loop in the amps that provide one.  It adds distinctively clean digital effects, such as reverb, delay, and chorus.  Lastly, I have over 700 vinyl from pre CD days, so spinning records is still part of my listening experience.

Ok, I know I already spoke about the ‘74 Marshall Superbass, but had to show it with the ‘73 Bass Lead cabinet!  4 Greenback 25 watt speakers.  You can only imagine how it sounds……..

A few of the THD Hotplates that I use in conjuction with the amps, which allows you to turn up the volume, and not have the police at your door.  They dissipate volume by way of heat, but let the tone of driven power tubes come throughc and provide the legendary crunch and creamy tone, so identifiable with Rock and Roll.  The top unit is custom built by my Amp Tech Todd Marquart, which allows me to switch up to 10 different amp heads to use through the Mesa Boogie cabinet.  So freaking convenient!!

It sucks that I can’t fit all of the amps in my music room, but these are very close by and are plugged into the rig within a couple minutes.  Here we have a Fender Deluxe Reverb, and a Fender Acoustic SFX for my acoustics; (camera shy is my Roland JC 90).  The Fender DR sounds just like a real mid 60s version.  I replaced the Power and Output Transformers, the choke, and the Reverb transformer also with Mercury Magnetics upgrades.  As a final upgrade, I replaced the standard Jensen C12K with a 1964 Jensen C12N that I found on on eBay.  The amp sounds nothing like it did when I bought it.  The trannys just open it up, and the speaker is brighter and more sparkly.  Gretsch and the Fenders really shine through it!    The Acoustic SFX uses a Bose concept with the speaker system giving the amp a much more spacial sound.  It is loaded with effects as well.