doing a bit of research on amps, looking to buy one. thought it would be fun if everyone contributed what they know about the pros and their amp choices. for example, i think everyone probably knows kurt used polytones and then switched to twin reverbs..what else do you know? lage lund, julian lage, gilad, ben monder, mike moreno, kreisberg, etc etc.??
pros amps(19 posts)
I know that Kreisberg uses a Twin Reverb. Saw him with it live maybe 2 years ago. He sounded great. Don't know about the rest, although I'm willing to bet they all have webpages with a "Gear" section.
Are you sure the Twin was not rented? Last time I checked he used other amp... I guess I know the amps most of the other guys use but I am not sure if I got them from their website, don't remember anymore.
For Lage Lund, this interview :
"AAJ: What kind of amps are you running through?
LL: I'm always experimenting with amps, and I've gone through lots of different models. I still really like older Polytones, they're great amps. I've also gotten into the sound quality I can get out of a good tube amp. Lately I've been using an '81 Fender Concert that I modified to give me some of those Polytone qualities, along with that sparkle you get from a tube amp. On the record I was using a Music Man, but I'm still experimenting with that part of my sound. I used to only play solid state amps, but now I'm checking out more tube amps, so that part of my playing is evolving right now.
AAJ: You travel a lot with your group and as a sideman. Do you find that it's easier to find say a Fender amp when you're overseas than a Polytone, which might be harder to get?
LL: Absolutely. You can always depend on finding a Fender Twin or Deluxe no matter where you go. It might not be great, but at least you can get used to it as it'll be consistent. So that's part of it. The Jim Hall is more adaptable to that kind of situation, more so than the larger archtop I used to use. I really like the Sadowsky for that reason, among others. It's a great guitar for bringing into the studio and for taking with me when I hit the road"
For Mike Moreno, he said to me in 2007 he used a Mesa-Boogie f-30.
On http://www.5passion.com/yosvany/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/presskite_completa.pdf , you can see : "1 guitar amp, preferred: Mesa Boogie (Mark V) or Fender Twin River".
I can't remember the amp he played with when I saw him last time in Paris.
I can confirm Moreno uses Mesa F30 because I used to own one he used. He generally pairs it w/ a Polytone in stereo. Seems like he runs the Mesa on the 'crunch' channel w/ the gain set very low.
Julian Lage uses a Fender Twin RI with his guitar mic'd and sent to the FOH - so amp mixed w/ the acoustic sound from his guitar.
Seems like I recall that Adam Rogers uses a Fender Princeton on his more modern gigs, but don't quote me.
awesome guys! keep it coming! i've been trying to get into the fender tube thing, but i'm not sure. granted, i've only tried a few new models of the twin reverbs and deluxe reverbs at stores like guitar center, but I've never found one that has a sound i like with my guitar. so far i've prefered the sound of the hot rod, I just picked up a used one yesterday. still, I dont' like that high "twangy" sound you get on the high strings. i'm also having trouble dialing in the sounds so that I can minimize that sound, and minimize how bassy the low strings sound, but still get a clear, present sound. every amp is different it seems...
Ben Monder used a Musicman 112 RD-50 for many years.
Lage Lund - modified Fender Concert (Rivera) to be closer to a Polytone (maybe Baxandall eq?)
Julian Lage - Twin mixed with piezo
Gilad - DRRI I think?
Monder - modified music man and old princeton and deluxe (modified too?)
Kreisberg - modified Princeton with an EV and a Polyrtone
Mike Moreno - Boogie and Polytone
Kurt - 80s Polytone, modified Twin, Port City
there is a video of kreisberg on youtube playing through a mesa boogie too. not sure if it's a regular choice though
In that video he also uses a polytone - he«s a big fan of tube / ss stereo. But since it's in Europe it's rented for sure.
I didn't see Nir Felder listed but I know what he uses.
Fender Tex Mex Strat - TS9 or TS808 - Zvex Box of Rock - Line 6 DL4 - Line 6 Verbzilla - Polytone 15".
We talked about gear a bit in one of our lessons and he said the only amp he will completely avoid is the Roland JC120.
I understand his feeling, one of the worst amps I have ever played.
It's alive and dead in the unfunnest ways possible(... And that's not even touching that distortion push pull pot ).
Just curious: none of them plays with the "new" amps solid state type like Henriksen, Acoustic Image, Evans,...?
I just know Corey Christiansen who plays an AI.
Corey is much more "traditional" than the other players... Evans are not that used in jazz as far as I know their main focus is steel players (and for their price you can get a very good tube amp); AI are famous with double bass players and guys with solid archtops and floating pickups; Henriksen is more mysterious indeed, they are supposed to be better than most Polytones but these guys still stick to Polys...
Just know that not all twins are created equal. Obviously there were a few variants in the design through the 70's silver face models (some were rated at 100 watts with master volumes) but even your every day Reissue will vary. Reason being the speakers and tubes. I have a reissue that I blew the speakers on and replaced with eminence swamp thang speakers. Quite a difference in tone, but not as warm as I'd like. I really think the Jensen speakers that come in the modern reissues sound best, or celestion vintage 30's. And you have to run the treble very low. I run mine on about 2.5-3 depending. With the right guitar twin reverbs are one of the best combo amps.
I dont suggest the deluxe reverb amps just because they have no mid knob (just a personal preference to have one).
My absolute favorite amp is my marshall super lead plexi reissue. It has some of the warmest full bodied cleans I've ever had in an amp. Many people equate marshall to heavy rock but they actually have beautiful cleans in the plexi models. The problem becomes having to bring a big cab with it.
Another avenue to consider is using a bass head. I've had very good results with some ampeg and hartke solid state bass heads. Keep in mind it might say its 500 watts but thats not as loud as a 100 watt guitar tube head. I also have not run distortion into them so I dont know how that would sound (if you use distortion). But next time you're out try one mated to a guitar cab with the correct ohms. They have nice tight low end. You might be suprised.
A buddy of mine has a music man hd130 4x10 combo that is loud as heck. It also sounds great. I would compare it tonally to a classic fender sound.
I was never a fan of the hot rod series but they can, at times, sound good with the right guitar. I would try a tweed bassman over them.
You can also find vintage bassman heads pretty cheap (5-600 range). Just make sure theyre healthy with good tubes and capacitors and you're good to go. (also a 3 prong power plug is a smart upgrade). I tried one once through a single 15" speaker and it was one of the best tones I've ever heard. It was sold the next week unfortunately!
Good luck on the hunt
Around 2009 I saw heckselman using a jazz master ultralight ( solid state ); as far as Evans , ron eschete was recommending them ( around 2002-2003 ... He is a seven string van eps type dude ).
AER amps are ok for super clean stuff . I've heard them often and it always feels very mid centric ( like you're playing through your home stereo - which once the novelty of your guitar coming through three way speakers is gone , you see that it doesn't showcase everything. But I also don't really care for the sound of Godin guitars ( if that's any barometer of my taste ). Someone who uses AER that I think fits what they do would be John stowell.
In a previous thread on this forum I googled "Gilad Hekselmen gear" and it brought up a rider for the Qilad Hekselmen Quartet. Specifies (in order of preference): Fender Twin Reverb, Twin Reverb II, Twin Amp, Concert, Deluxe Reverb.
I understand that Jonathan Kreisberg requests a Deluxe Reverb and a Polytone with a 15" speaker as a stereo rig on tour.
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