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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink What's everyones favorite surf amp?

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ArtS wrote:

Reatavlos_88 wrote:

So I think it depends on how you are going to use it. If volume is no concern, then Twin, if your live shows and home practice space has sound constraints (in my case=wife No ), then the Deluxe. GOOD LUCK!

Thanks for the answer!
In reality I have some constraints, but I'm a sucker for the fender tone. Isn't it possible to disconnect one speaker or half of the power tubes?

That answer is way over my pay grade so I will defer to some of the more knowledgeable SG101'ers. All - please weigh in!

So I just tried the twin and we decided to swap for a couple of days and then decide.
I like the sound from the jensen speakers. It might have been a little noisy, but I'll look into that tomorrow. But man... It was way louder than the super reverb I used to have. I feel stupid, but I kinda want a big blonde amp that plays louder than the city's earthquake alarm.

In the beginning was reverb

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj--qQ5WXp7SWDWcJJOjoow?sub_confirmation=1

Reatavlos_88 wrote:

I feel stupid, but I kinda want a big blonde amp that plays louder than the city's earthquake alarm.

Like this? MUAAHHAAHAHAHAHAAA

I’ve read that you can pull two tubes (inner or outer pairs) and half the wattage. So that’d leave you with a 50w-ish amp. I haven’t tried this. I read a few folks saying it changes the tone.

image

Daniel Deathtide

I wouldn’t buy an amp just to modify it. A Twin is a powerhouse. I have one which I use for outdoor gigs with no sound reinforcement and, indeed, it sounds awesome, but for anything expect a big outdoor show, it’s way more than you need. A Deluxe Reverb is one of the best sounding, most versatile amps you can buy. I have a ‘68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, which has a Bassman tone stack on one channel (from the factory) and sounds great for Surf. I did piggyback a resistor onto the negative feedback resistor, decreasing its value and restoring the clean headroom. I also have a Winfield Elizabeth, which is quite similar to a Blackface circuit, but single channel, no tremolo and much lighter. It’s about 45 watts and has exceptional reverb.

I love Twins, but it’s like bringing a battleship to a sailboat race.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

I love Twins, but it’s like bringing a battleship to a sailboat race.

Ha Ha - Yeah, that kind of sums it up. Great to have when you want to serve notice to all other guitarist on stage or getting ready to play Big Grin

Surfcat
Halloween Single-Ghost of Tom Returns
Agent Octopus on the Web!!!
Blue-Eyed Surf CD - BANDCAMP
AGENT OCTOPUS - - Surfcat Logo by Shawn Dickinson

Reverb Galaxy Website
Angle of Attack CD - BANDCAMP

ArtS wrote:

synchro wrote:

I love Twins, but it’s like bringing a battleship to a sailboat race.

Ha Ha - Yeah, that kind of sums it up. Great to have when you want to serve notice to all other guitarist on stage or getting ready to play Big Grin

One frequently overlooked factor is that the characteristics of sound change with volume itself. This is described by equal loudness contours. So, here’s the problem. Someone goes to a music store, cranks up an amp and it sounds wonderful. They buy it, take it home and turn it down to an appropriate volume for their home setting and, guess what, it doesn’t sound nearly as good. In fact, it can be disappointing. Now I’m talking about just volume at this point, not distortion. If you had a perfectLy clean amp outputting 1 watt it would sound different than the same amp at 5, 10, 20 or 100 watts, even if the clean headroom of the amp was much higher and the speakers were capable of handling all of that power without distortion.

So that’s one factor, but it’s not the only factor. Distortion comes into play. Now I’m Mr. Clean, when it comes to my sound, but all amps introduce some distortion, tube amps distort differently than typical solid state amps (FET amps are a bit different) and, of course, we all know that cranking a Deluxe Reverb to a certain volume is going to yield more distortion than a Twin at the same volume. That’s axiomatic. But when someone is amp shopping, it adds complexity to the mix.

My own answer is simple, mic’ the amp through the PA and use a smaller amp. I typically use a Winfield Tremor for a Surf sound, which is essentially a Brownface Princeton, with a couple of improvements to the circuit. 12 watts or so and great sound through a Weber Blue Dog 12” speaker. I set it at a comfortable living room volume and let the sound man put me in the mix at the right level. Hopefully he gives me a good mix in the monitors and I hear what the audience hears, including my guitar sound, right through the monitors. Actually, one of the best sounding amps I ever played was a 5 watt, single ended Class A amp which could be carried in one hand. Stick some reverb in front of it and through the PA it sounded as big as a Showman.

My most recent gig, 5 days ago, didn’t work out that way and our stage volume had to be high, which made everything more painful.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

A twin with the tubes pulled is pretty lifeless and only drops the volume slightly. As far as twins and clubs go, I see more twins at the shows we share with other bands than any other amp. They are still quite popular if you can lug one around. I don't miss lugging mine. Although the amp I use now for gigs is a Quilter PB200 I still lug a 1x15 cab with a vintage EV SRO. Not as heavy as a twin but close. It's the perfect sound.

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

image

Guys... I kind of fell in love with this thing. I might have to keep it... I mean, I'll have to go back to the gym and start using pedals for spaghetti western fuzz, but for surf this thing is just wonderful.

In the beginning was reverb

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj--qQ5WXp7SWDWcJJOjoow?sub_confirmation=1

You describe my situation... I still lug my 80-pound silver face Twin around and to be honest, I'm getting a little tired of it. I've really been contemplating going the Quilter PB200 route paired up with my 1x15 Lansing cab.

stratdancer wrote:

A twin with the tubes pulled is pretty lifeless and only drops the volume slightly. As far as twins and clubs go, I see more twins at the shows we share with other bands than any other amp. They are still quite popular if you can lug one around. I don't miss lugging mine. Although the amp I use now for gigs is a Quilter PB200 I still lug a 1x15 cab with a vintage EV SRO. Not as heavy as a twin but close. It's the perfect sound.

The Men in Gray Suits (Montreal, Canada)
Facebook: The Men in Gray Suits
Instagram: The Men in Gray Suits

Jimbones, I have a 63 Bandmaster sporting 2 D120's and a Blackface modified to Brown BM with 2 D130 cabs but the rig that gets played everyday is my quilter along with the EV. Beautiful tone. It sits far left.
image

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

Last edited: Oct 31, 2019 14:20:08

Sweet machines, indeed! I'd only do local shows with that kind of set up, though, I think. We're going to hit the East Coast next summer (Cali bound) and I'm thinking ahead and thinking ease-of-transport! I really dig the Quiter's sound and power.

stratdancer wrote:

Jimbones, I have a 63 Bandmaster sporting 2 D120's and a Blackface modified to Brown BM with 2 D130 cabs but the rig that gets played everyday is my quilter along with the EV. Beautiful tone. It sits far left.
image

The Men in Gray Suits (Montreal, Canada)
Facebook: The Men in Gray Suits
Instagram: The Men in Gray Suits

Reatavlos_88 wrote:

image

Guys... I kind of fell in love with this thing. I might have to keep it... I mean, I'll have to go back to the gym and start using pedals for spaghetti western fuzz, but for surf this thing is just wonderful.

No explanation needed. I love my twin and have no plans to part with it any time soon. Enjoy!!!! (BTW - Nice Rig!!! (that's what she said-Michael Scott))

Surfcat
Halloween Single-Ghost of Tom Returns
Agent Octopus on the Web!!!
Blue-Eyed Surf CD - BANDCAMP
AGENT OCTOPUS - - Surfcat Logo by Shawn Dickinson

Reverb Galaxy Website
Angle of Attack CD - BANDCAMP

Last edited: Nov 01, 2019 13:55:26

Now I have super/vibroverb clone that I love. It has a JBL speaker. Is it worth anything? I think it's good. 15".
image
image

In the beginning was reverb

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj--qQ5WXp7SWDWcJJOjoow?sub_confirmation=1

I posted this in the Gear forum yesterday, but I'm hoping it'll gain more traction here! Smile I recently got my hands on a Fender Bassman 100 silverface amp head (tube)...I think it's a '75. I'm getting it overhauled at the moment (cap job, redoing cold solder pots, new tubes, etc.). I haven't had the chance to really try it out, but I'm thinking of running through my 1x15" Lansing ('64) speaker cab. Paired up with my tank, I'm hoping for some nice sounds... anyone else have one of these heads? If so, any stories to share?

The Men in Gray Suits (Montreal, Canada)
Facebook: The Men in Gray Suits
Instagram: The Men in Gray Suits

I only took a look at the circuit (CBS No. 010303).
The architecture is pretty much a Twin without reverb and tremolo.
The "bass instrument's" tone stack is slightly different, the "normal" channel's tone stack is standard fender.
The voltages and the power supply are pretty much the same as in the SF Twin Reverb, so you can expect similar dynamics and headroom.
Since it does not have reverb, you don't have the third triode stage in the reverb recovery path, which adds some gain to the tone.
But this way both channels are in phase, so you can use them in bridged mode, which offers a lot of possibilities (e.g. one channel dry guitar, one channel reverb unit etc.).
The output transformer expects a load of 4 ohms. If your 1x15 is 8 ohms, there is a mismatch. Maybe compare it to a 4 ohms cabinet and decide for yourself.

Andreas

see you at monokinibeach

How much does the amp matter? Would you be able to pull off a surf tone with a strat, some reverb, a Danelectro TunaMelt and DanElectro Echo?

KikaiderCaster wrote:

How much does the amp matter? Would you be able to pull off a surf tone with a strat, some reverb, a Danelectro TunaMelt and DanElectro Echo?

Hook up to a clean amp with that gear and you've got surf.

KikaiderCaster wrote:

How much does the amp matter? Would you be able to pull off a surf tone with a strat, some reverb, a Danelectro TunaMelt and DanElectro Echo?

Amplifying in Surf Skater’s comment: getting a good Surf sound isn’t that difficult. If you are trying to perfectly copy the sound on some particular Astronauts or Dick Dale track, that could be more challenging, but tone-chasing has always been a thankless task and only rarely succeeds. A good clean sound, some reverb or echo and you are in the right zone.

Think about the first generation Surf players. They tended to be young and inexperienced. They were on the leading edge of a musical development, but there was no handbook they could read for sound secrets. The more successful acts tended to use a Showman and an tune reverb, but there were plenty that started with much more modest equipment.

My take is to get a sound I like, and not compare it to anyone else’s sound. Personally, I use less reverb than average. I use tremolo fairly liberalLy and echo/delay at times and I’ve never had an audience complaint with regard to my Surf sound.

Mostly, just enjoy what you play.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

KikaiderCaster wrote:

How much does the amp matter? Would you be able to pull off a surf tone with a strat, some reverb, a Danelectro TunaMelt and DanElectro Echo?

Like Syncro is saying

All that will work. But it really depends on recording verse playing live as well. Most recordings didn't use the same gear or guitars on sessions (even players as well in many cases) as playing live. Generally recording used smaller amps. There is a certain range of volume needed for the quote "Surf Sound" recording wise, its better to have a small amp with a 6 inch speaker cranked sitting on a chair then a bigger one at low volume as a example as far as recording sessions go. Mic placement has a lot to do with it as well.

I have a Avid Rack Eleven with over a hundred grand worth of rig set-ups inside it if I actually bought the real units modeled inside, etc. So I tried a lot of different combinations by now.

What I found is its a combination of Guitar - Amp - Cabinet - Speakers - Mic's and Tank Reverb and also tape delay to get that classic old surf sound (If that's what you want). Any rig and combo will work but each will require different settings depending on the combinations your using. That's the hard part, finding the settings needed to find the sound. So if your recording you can find similar sounds with different gear and guitars, generally.

Delay pedals would work getting the tape delay machine sound. You can fake tank reverb as well somehow else like reverbs on the amp..

Strings make a big difference as well. Try that first before blowing money on different pickups or rig set-ups or buying new guitars. You can burn a lot of money on gear changes.

But all that has to do with recording as far as different rig set-ups and brands. Playing live is where these big powerful Fender amps come into play, then you would probably need decent gear like that to get the sound needed to perform surf at a decent level , even then it depends on the size venue and skill level your at. Generally as far as live goes most guitars sound good with 12 inch speaker except the Jaguar which sounds better to me with 15 inch speakers. If you want clarity stick with 12 inch for most guitars, but even 12 inch have different sounds depending on model, all have a big difference in sound.

I forgot to add, that playing wise Surf is pretty hard to pull off being the volumes are normally higher than other genres and amplifies any bad playing or mistakes on lead. That's why when it comes to power of amps all that needs to be considered. The louder the rig the more sloppy playing will be pointed out unfortunately.

I don't think there is a perfect set up over all or settings, but generally everything sounds good at 12 O' clock but the mid's are sometimes scooped or below 12 O' clock or mid range etc, but even then it depends on the song and rig set-up and guitar used. Generally every guitar type needs a different settings with the same exact rig. So don't be afraid to turn knobs on everything with a different guitar in hand.

I think the trick is volume and tone on lead guitar are both set fairly high and rhythm half that. Or at least it sounds like that to me on the old records.

Last edited: Dec 29, 2019 03:57:14

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote:

KikaiderCaster wrote:

How much does the amp matter? Would you be able to pull off a surf tone with a strat, some reverb, a Danelectro TunaMelt and DanElectro Echo?

Like Syncro is saying

All that will work. But it really depends on recording verse playing live as well. Most recordings didn't use the same gear or guitars on sessions (even players as well in many cases) as playing live. Generally recording used smaller amps. There is a certain range of volume needed for the quote "Surf Sound" recording wise, its better to have a small amp with a 6 inch speaker cranked sitting on a chair then a bigger one at low volume as a example as far as recording sessions go. Mic placement has a lot to do with it as well.

I have a Avid Rack Eleven with over a hundred grand worth of rig set-ups inside it if I actually bought the real units modeled inside, etc. So I tried a lot of different combinations by now.

What I found is its a combination of Guitar - Amp - Cabinet - Speakers - Mic's and Tank Reverb and also tape delay to get that classic old surf sound (If that's what you want). Any rig and combo will work but each will require different settings depending on the combinations your using. That's the hard part, finding the settings needed to find the sound. So if your recording you can find similar sounds with different gear and guitars, generally.

Delay pedals would work getting the tape delay machine sound. You can fake tank reverb as well somehow else like reverbs on the amp..

Strings make a big difference as well. Try that first before blowing money on different pickups or rig set-ups or buying new guitars. You can burn a lot of money on gear changes.

But all that has to do with recording as far as different rig set-ups and brands. Playing live is where these big powerful Fender amps come into play, then you would probably need decent gear like that to get the sound needed to perform surf at a decent level , even then it depends on the size venue and skill level your at. Generally as far as live goes most guitars sound good with 12 inch speaker except the Jaguar which sounds better to me with 15 inch speakers. If you want clarity stick with 12 inch for most guitars, but even 12 inch have different sounds depending on model, all have a big difference in sound.

I forgot to add, that playing wise Surf is pretty hard to pull off being the volumes are normally higher than other genres and amplifies any bad playing or mistakes on lead. That's why when it comes to power of amps all that needs to be considered. The louder the rig the more sloppy playing will be pointed out unfortunately.

I don't think there is a perfect set up over all or settings, but generally everything sounds good at 12 O' clock but the mid's are sometimes scooped or below 12 O' clock or mid range etc, but even then it depends on the song and rig set-up and guitar used. Generally every guitar type needs a different settings with the same exact rig. So don't be afraid to turn knobs on everything with a different guitar in hand.

I think the trick is volume and tone on lead guitar are both set fairly high and rhythm half that. Or at least it sounds like that to me on the old records.

I've learned very much and feel much better about my modest equipment. Still wanna get the Danelectro SpringKing though.

Check out this video before you fall into the reverb rabbit hole

https://youtu.be/s9MDekaiZX0

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