Good Sounding Amps.

Registered User
Joined: 06/09/00
Posts: 107
I've never heard a truly good sounding distortion tone from an amp aside from one blackface fender bassman. I use a Mesa Boogie, a Line6, and a Bassman. I have played thru countless mesas, but i've never heard a tone that makes me sweat, you know. What are your thoughts on good distortion tone, fellows? I myself think they don't exist, or maybe I'm just nuts.

# 1
Senior Member
Joined: 06/08/00
Posts: 360
I've played through Mesa/Boogie heads and thought they sounded good when I turned it up pretty loud.
Ain't nothin' but a Gear thang, baby!
# 2
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
I play through an old Ampeg VT-22 2x12 combo. Its claim to fame is being loud and CLEAN. For distortion I use stompboxes or a Peavey Rockmaster preamp. I have to admit the omly time I personally got a distortion tone that 'made me sweat' was when I cranked the 'peg up to 4, with the output connected to a pair of Garnet 410 cabs. It was loud enough to make your ears bleed!
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# 3
John O'Carroll
Senior Member
Joined: 04/13/00
Posts: 173
There are a number of things that contribute to that "good distortion tone", as Atomic put it. And it's no coincidence that a blackface Fender Bassman was the amp that provided it. The blackface Fender amps (Bassman, Deluxe Reverb, Vibrolux Reverb, Pro Reverb, Super Reverb, Showman, Twin Reverb, among others) are the most sought after vintage amps for a reason - TONE ! In a tube amp, the types of tubes used and their condition (both power and pre-amp), the bias setting, the internal component wiring, and the types and sizes of speakers all affect the final output. Depending on the types of tubes used, the bias setting ("hot or cold") and the speakers (2x10" 4x10" 1x12" 2x12" 4x12" 1x15" 2x15" with either ceramic or alnico magnets), the Fender blackfaces can range from extreme clean at loud volume (Twin) to early "breakup" (aka distortion) at lower volume (Deluxe). (You'd think I work for a Fender vintage shop !!!). Fender got it right back in the late 50's through the 60's. BTW, their Reissue series of these old amps illustrates the high regard the old blackfaces are held in (they come close to the originals but ... they're not the orignals).
# 4