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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink What's everyones favorite surf amp?

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I think you are onto something, Bill. A closed back cab is the common thread of a lot of great Surf amps. A Tone Ring Brownface Showman has a great sound, but it’s not the only great sound. Bandmasters have always had an enthusiastic group of fans, and with good reason.

The sounds of the Aquanauts is nothing to sneeze at. Listening as I write, the balance of clarity and substance is perfect. It avoids the icepick syndrome but never devolves into mudd. (SIC) I couldn’t suggest any way to improve upon the sound.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

I love the Bandmaster. I had two, but I traded the Blackface/Blonde 64 for that Magnatone that I now have. But I favor the Bandmaster over the Showman. In the old days, the Showman was needed, but these days that much power isn't necessary anymore. I still have a Showman, but I never use it and it's been up for sale for a while now. It's the last one that I have and I had quite a few of them at one time...lol. I actually think my Bassman is a better amp than the Bandmaster, but they are very close in their sounds, in my opinion. But I would say that the best sounding head/cab combination is the Bassman.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Skippy and the Skipjacks: 2018-
Skippyandtheskipjacks.net
https://www.facebook.com/skippyandtheskipjacks
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-2015
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

synchro wrote:

The sounds of the Aquanauts is nothing to sneeze at. Listening as I write, the balance of clarity and substance is perfect. It avoids the icepick syndrome but never devolves into mudd. (SIC) I couldn’t suggest any way to improve upon the sound.

Thank you! That is very kind. Icepick syndrome is a great term. I hadn't thought about that but yes a single coil pickup'ed guitar through a blackface Fender amp can approach that territory quickly. I'd like to think I made a conscious effort to steer clear of those tones with my Aquanaut rig but I would leave some of the credit towards pure nickle flatwound strings that were probably on that guitar for many months at the time of those recordings. I probably couldn't muster up an icepick sound if I wanted.

"as he stepped into the stealthy night air... little did he know the fire escape was not there"

https://www.facebook.com/reluctantaquanauts/
https://www.facebook.com/TheDragstripVipers/

Favorite, definitely a Silverface Twin Reverb. Just too heavy to carry around. Use a Princeton though.

facebook.com/theoutpostmusic

I'm new here, just discovered the forum about a week ago. Pleased to see it's still active.

Anyway, as of yesterday I became the happy owner a Silvertone 1484 (minus the footswitch which I'll have to pickup on eBay probably). I'm going to pick up a Weber Mini Mass 50W attenuator as well so I can actually play the thing in my apartment Rolling Eyes

I really like my 1974 Silverface Vibrolux, sounds great to me and breaks up nicely. My Fender 65 DRRI is good too but seems voiced a little shouty

DRRI’s are like that at low volumes. The classic Blackface Vibrolux had a bright switch which allowed you to select a high-pass capacitor which allowed high trebles to bypass the volume control when the switch was in the “Bright” position. The higher the volume control is set, the less effect this bright cap has on the output. It added flexibility to have that switch. On the DRRI, there is a bright cap, and it’s always in effect. At lower volumes, this can make the amp a bit “shouty”, but at gig volumes, it’s not much of a problem.

The narrowness of the Deluxe Reverb chassis doesn’t leave room for a bright switch. Some people cut the bright cap, although I wouldn’t recommend it. My ‘68 Custom Deluxe Reverb doesn’t have a bright cap on the Vibrato channel and it sounds a bit lifeless, to my ear. A Graphic Equalizer might be the best tool to take the wild bright cap.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

That's interesting and makes a lot of sense, thanks Synchro! Yeah that's right, my 70s Vibrolux has the bright switch but I almost never have it turned on. On the Bassman (66BF head) however, its always on. Closed back cab and other factors though. Really like the DRRI though, best amp Fender has made in years among those I've managed to get my hands on. It actually breaks up nicely. My 70s ProReverb never did that.

elwrongo wrote:

That's interesting and makes a lot of sense, thanks Synchro! Yeah that's right, my 70s Vibrolux has the bright switch but I almost never have it turned on. On the Bassman (66BF head) however, its always on. Closed back cab and other factors though. Really like the DRRI though, best amp Fender has made in years among those I've managed to get my hands on. It actually breaks up nicely. My 70s ProReverb never did that.

I’ve had a DRRI and still have a ‘68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. I also have a Winfield Elizabeth, which for all intents and purposes is a Pro Reverb but without tremolo. At one time, our band rehearsed in a fairly large space and I used the DRRI almost exclusively. In that setting, and on indoor gigs, the DRRI was almost perfect. Much of the time, I simply plugged into it directly. If I wanted the perfect Surf sound, I could use a tank. What always struck me is how great it sounded with just a guitar, a patch cable and an amp.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

It was always a Bassman with a reverb pedal, or a Twin...but for the past three years now, it is my Quilter Micro Pro Mach 2 head. Seven pounds, great tone on the "Surf" setting, pumped through a Weber 15" California speaker it is just perfect for gigs inside or outside.

I own a Ceriatone Steel String Singer Dumble replica head with some custom options and it’s a all in one surf or any clean tone monster
It can go from clean Vox or Deluxe reverb with the flick of a switch or go Brownface punch or balls to the wall plexi if wanted.

it’s a all in one clean amp and the reverb on it sounds super surfy. Almost don’t even need to bring a Reverb tank

If I was playing guitar in a surf band at the moment, this would be my go-to. '62 Pro, factory D-130 and a rare tube rectifier.

image

Jack
aka WoodyJ
The Mariners (1964-present) http://themarinerssurf.wordpress.com/
HulaHounds (1996-2013)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
X-Rays (1997-2004)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1978-1990)

Last edited: Sep 17, 2020 17:43:43

WoodyJ wrote:

If I was playing guitar in a surf band at the moment, this would be my go-to. '62 Pro, factory D-130 and a rare tube rectifier.

image

BEAUTIFUL!

Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Skippy and the Skipjacks: 2018-
Skippyandtheskipjacks.net
https://www.facebook.com/skippyandtheskipjacks
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-2015
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

I'm currently using a 1966 Vox Viscount with a killer reverb! I use to have a mid '70s Fender Bassman 10 w/reissue Fender reverb tank. It too was top notch! I miss it!!!
image

I had that same exact amp and LOVED it. Great sound from a solid state!

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Skippy and the Skipjacks: 2018-
Skippyandtheskipjacks.net
https://www.facebook.com/skippyandtheskipjacks
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-2015
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

LOVE THE CLOSE UP SHOTS!!!!

Agent Trey "Shadowhawk" Montgomery - MI6 Cool
AGENT OCTOPUS

AO WEBSITE
ON APPLE MUSIC
ON YOUTUBE
Blue-Eyed Surf CD - BANDCAMP

Here goes... I’ve never been a traditionalist. I’m about as far from a gear snob as you’ll find. I know why people feel the way they do about vintage gear, but I’ve never been in a position either financially or really any other ...ly to go down that rabbit hole. Consequently I’ve always used new gear. If I have a thing that gets me 98% of the way, but works every time I hit the power button, I’m not gonna sweat the 2% that no one in the audience cares about. And let’s be honest... if they do care, it’s because they’re listening with their eyes.
That being said... (rant over!) I used a tech21 trademark 60 for 20 years! Sounded absolutely amazing. It never failed... until it did. (When we were opening for Surfer Joe!) it was in the last song, and I thought... ok old friend you’ve done your job. The downside... they are no longer made. Just then the fender tonemasters came out! Eureka!
A deluxe reverb! Fender tone! Light weight! I’m in!
But...
Not perfect.
Until the firmware upgrade....
Now.
One amp to rule them all!
It’s AMAZING!!!
I hope they release a tonemaster version of all of their classics amps so we can all get our favorite tone recipes happening!
I run a really stripped down setup...
Modified Reverend Reeves Gabrels signature into a Dunlop mini wah then a Mesa boogie flux 5 overdrive... into the amp. That’s it. It ROCKS! It RULES!!!
Thanks for listening...

www.facebook.com/vertigogo.surf
www.instagram.com/vertigogosurf

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