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What Amp Surprised You the Most?

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  • What Amp Surprised You the Most?

    For this thread I am talking about when you initially heard the rumor that an amp was coming out or you saw the advertisement, etc of such and such amp coming out and then you finally heard said amp and or played such amp and was surprised.

    It could be that it sounded better than you ever imagined.

    It could be that it sounded worse than you ever imagined.

    Ultimately, it was something you just didn't expect. Pick an amp and let's roll.



    For me, It was the PRS Archon.

    I was surprised PRS would put out an amp that could sound so heavy and sound great doing it. I was also surprised at how great the clean channel was and the fact they put both together in one amp.

    I was very pleasantly surprised by the PRS Archon.
    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

  • #2
    Roland Microcube. It sounds pretty darned good stock and sounds like a real amp when you swap the speaker.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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    • #3
      Diezel VH4. For as much as I'd heard about the amp, when I got to actually try one, I was shocked at how much I hated it. I don't think I've ever heard an amp with so little character, a high-gain amp that's so... boring. There's nothing overtly offensive about it (although the low end really is rather excessive, and not in the "wall of sound" Uberschall/Recto way, and not in a loose way either, but rather in a "this is really dark and boomy for no reason" way), but I also couldn't find anything about it that excited me at all; it was just totally sterile and lifeless, with neither aggression nor heft. It took me about 3 minutes on it to decide I'd rather go back to playing on the 20-watt Silver Jubilee sitting right next to it.

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      • #4
        The Peavy Classic 20 head shocked me. I got the classic cleans I was hoping to get from the amp. The high gain the amp delivers without the aid of pedals is wild. The amp has such a wide range of tones.


        | Gear Reviews | Beer | Babes | The Internet's Only Unedited & Uncensored Musician's Forum | Sports |

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        • #5
          The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. It is a great Fender sound at half the weight, more power and an XLR out. It is awesome for gigging players.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            PRS MT 15. After getting a chance to play one at a local shop it shocked me how good the little amp was. Later I found a great on line deal on a new one so bought it as an inexpensive grab and go small rig. Quickly found out it was much more and it became my #1 amp. Liked it so well I bought a PRS Archon head and sold my Boogie DC 5.
            The Archon is the real monster and is unlike anything else I have ever owned. However I would have never seriously considered the Archon with out owning the little MT 15.
            The new Sewell designed PRS amps shocked me as before he came on board I did not care for PRS Amps now I'm hooked! Want a 2 channel Custom C head next.
            Ascension
            Mojo's Minions
            Last edited by Ascension; 10-21-2021, 10:35 AM.
            Guitars
            Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
            Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

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            • #7
              Bassbreaker 15 was the last amp I remember surprising me a lot. That's a damn good rock amp.
              Epiphone Les Paul Tbte Plus (SD custom shop humbucker & SH2b neck)

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              • #8
                Hiwatt DR103 - didn't know how clean that amp really is. It takes a lot to get it to distort.

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                • #9
                  My Vox AV30. I had sold my AD50VT after years of use but lower back issues demanded a lighter amp. After trying a few others, I was directed at the AV30. It has a single 10" speaker but I'll be damned if it doesn't keep up with a very loud drummer in a full band setting. I was very surprised at how loud this thing gets. And the tone is great.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Benjy_26 View Post
                    Roland Microcube. It sounds pretty darned good stock and sounds like a real amp when you swap the speaker.
                    a) Is that hard to do?
                    b) What speaker do you recommend?
                    Originally posted by Bad City
                    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                    • #11
                      Marshall 2555 - I figured it would be good, but it was epic IMO....

                      That said, I bought the Mesa Stiletto. because Epic. On Steroids. x 2 channels and 50/100 watts. And Crocodile front.
                      Originally posted by Bad City
                      He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                      • #12
                        In retrospect, Crate Vintage Club 50 combo with 3x10" speakers. This was my first real amp, and was in storage for a decade before I sold it. I gave it a swing again just as it was leaving the house, and whilst it wasn't what I wanted from an amp, I think it sounded great for what it was meant to be, regardless of the fact that it said Crate.

                        Marshall 9040/9100 power amps. Whilst the tube power amp sounds better, the difference just isn't large enough for me to bother with the extra weight, so in my rack rig I am running a SS power amp on my own volution (I will be getting a SD power amp at some point and see if I can cut weight without cutting tone).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aceman View Post

                          a) Is that hard to do?
                          b) What speaker do you recommend?
                          A) Not at all. I removed the four screws that hold the grille on, removed the screws holding the speaker in, and basically shoved the replacement speaker in after connecting the wires. The screw holes are not in the same place, and the hole in the baffle is *just* too small for the replacement speaker, so it's basically a friction fit. I only use it around the house, so it doesn't get banged up too much, but the Vox model now gets pleasantly grindy, the Mesa model has lots of thump and roar, the Marshall model crunches pretty well, and the Blackface model lost all the flub and fartiness in the low end while retaining the sparkle and spank that it always had.

                          B). I used a Jensen Mod 5-30. It's built much heavier than the original, but it's an 8 ohm speaker vs the original being a 4 ohm speaker. This does cut the amp's overall volume, but that just makes it better for late night practice. It's a win-win for me.
                          Benjy_26
                          25's Nemesis
                          Last edited by Benjy_26; 10-29-2021, 08:54 PM.
                          Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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                          • #14
                            Fryette Sig:X. I don't think there's anything it CAN'T do.

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                            • #15
                              The Boss Katana Mini. Much better than expected.

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