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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink What's everyones favorite surf amp?

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OK, since I am on a roll now, here's my current favorite GUITAR amp.

VOX AC10. Ten watts(!!) of all-tube goodness!

These days, 95% of my playing takes place in my home studio. Playing guitar and bass in there is my Number One creative outlet and I've been fortunate to record songs in there that have received worldwide airplay. I'm currently working on an instro project that isn't exactly surf but isn't very far removed. Earlier this year was in the market for something with a unique sound but would have capabilities for both "clean" and "dirty". My initial choices were a Fender Princeton Reverb or a VOX AC15.

In the past I've had a couple of Princeton Reverbs and two VOX AC30's, all of which are long gone. This time I wanted a smallish amp that would provide the tone and headroom needed in the studio but also provided a more natural overdriven sound than I was getting from a Tube Screamer or an OCD.

A good guitar buddy who is also an amp freak like me recommended the AC10. 10 watts?? How am I going to get a good clean sound with 10 watts? I liked the price so I tried one.......HOLY CRAP!

It can get loud enough to gig with unmiked in a smallish venue and both the clean and dirty sounds blew me away. The one I bought is the Limited Edition version that comes with a Celestion V-type speaker and different Tolex. It was only $20 more then the standard version, so that was a no-brainer.

I've always been a dyed-in-the-wool Fender amp guy but I've also been a fan of the VOX sound as well. For the intended purpose I just can't imagine a better choice, especially considering the $499 price tag.

image

Jack
aka WoodyJ

The Last Mariners (2021-present)
HulaHounds (1996-2005)
The Mariners (1964-68, 1996-2005)
The X-Rays (1997-2004)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1978-1990)

You can get some great sounds out of the Vox circuit. The Shadows sound was Vox based.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

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

Fender Blues Deluxe is always a safe bet. As long as you use a outboard tank snd not the internal one. Its not the best sounding reverb imo

It's nice to see the Blues deluxe getting some love on SG 101. Smile I replaced the tubes on my mid 90's BD with JJ's and replaced the speaker with a vintage Fender speaker from the mid 70's. These "mods" improved the overall tone. I agree when compared to a fender tank the reverb falls short, but I notice a hint of drip when using it. The BD lacks the clarity of my Bassman brown face, but still a nice amp for the price point. That said, it's not my favorite. No

I always thought the early 212 DeVille had a superior on-board reverb over the Deluxe. Before I got a tank years ago in the early 1990s, I used a DeVille and it had excellent drip. Ones I tried in later years also did, but some were better than others just like I think some reverb tanks are better than others. I say if it works for you, then that's all that matters. I even had a 70s Pro Reverb that had superior on-board reverb than my first reissue tank.

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

Anyone know if any replica brownface clones?

Deluxe Amplification Hand wired '64 6G6-B Blonde Bassman Clone

https://reverb.com/item/2715767-deluxe-amplification-handwired-64-6g6b-blonde-bassman-clone?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImuGFqJfL4gIVyLXACh0-ZgZwEAQYAyABEgLNZfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&pla=1
For the price I would look for an original.

SHADOWNIGHT5150 wrote:

Anyone know if any replica brownface clones?

This fellow is building me at 6G14 with a 4 & 8 ohm switch for around $2200. It takes three months and the expected delivery is the end of July. He mostly makes 52f Princetons and such, but he also makes custom ones like the one I'm getting. So basically choose your circuit and he'll build it. The aesthetics are not Fender vintage accurate, but I'm okay with that.
I'm super excited to hear it!

Carl's Custom Amps
www.carlscustomamps.com
575-640-6833
2600 Apodaca RD
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Daniel Deathtide

This my favorite, its a swiss army knife of clean amp tones
image

Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 19:12:16

I surf with an AC15...it works well...reverb is ok, but I use a Hardwire RV7 to really dial it in.

Love it.

Last edited: Jun 27, 2019 10:08:17

depend where im playing.....love my 65 drri....with outboard reverb .....got the 68 trri too....big n loud...but the 65 drri sounds better....(miss my old silverface pro reverb tho)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvyn2YjySGI&t=59s
have a listen ....all me

So is this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kcgXZ8Cj7M&t=20s
let me know if ya like!

Quilter is my new amp of choice. I have all the Fender gear I could want, but I play out with this little beast. And, it's a fraction of the weight.

Hear it roar!
image

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

Last edited: Aug 11, 2019 16:35:03

When you guys buy a new Amp do you look for one with 6V6
Tubes or 6L6 Tubes or EL84 Tubes. I ask this because I'm
looking for a new Amp and for me to play Surf music I can
see an Amp like the Tone King Galaxy 60 Watts & 2X12. So
to me that would be the perfect Surf Amp. To me it's like
the Fender Dual Showman with a little more Head room.

Lou D

Twinreverb wrote:

When you guys buy a new Amp do you look for one with 6V6
Tubes or 6L6 Tubes or EL84 Tubes. I ask this because I'm
looking for a new Amp and for me to play Surf music I can
see an Amp like the Tone King Galaxy 60 Watts & 2X12. So
to me that would be the perfect Surf Amp. To me it's like
the Fender Dual Showman with a little more Head room.

That’s what I’d call a good question.

Early Surf bands tended to use Brownface Showman amps and the sound they got was a bit stronger in midrange than a Blackface amp. But that’s not to say that you need such an architecture to produce good Surf. I’ve used all three of the power-tube types you mention and gotten some very serviceable Surf sounds. Actually, my favorite is a Winfield amp which is quite similar to a Brownface Princeton. It’s adequate for small venues and at big venues it can be mic’d.

The Vox family of amps can give some surprisingly good Surf sounds and the breakup characteristics are somewhat different, meaning that you can push them a little closer to the edge before the sound loses definition. While the Shadows were not a Surf band, they had a sound that works pretty well for Surf and were using AC 15s and, eventually, AC 30s. The earliest AC 15s had a pentode as the first preamp tune and had a very wide plateau between clean and broken up. I’ve used another AC 15 inspired amp, a Winfield Cyclone, for Surf and loved the sounds.

I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention my Faux-Showman, a Fender Twin RI in a piggyback cabinet with a single Eminence Commonwealth 15” speaker. The 15 gives it a very rich character and the amp really works for Surf, but only in communities with lax noise regulations. Smile It is one LOUD mutha.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

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

Mesa Boogie Mark V with a GenzBenz G-Flex 2x12 cab loaded with Altec 417 8-C and Altec 417 8-H.Outboard reverb tank with Harmonic Trem built in. I can get perfect Ventures tone on channel 1 then perfect newer DD tone on channel 2.

Hello, guys!
You might actually be able to help me decide which could be my favorite amp. Should I swap my Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue with Warehouse G12C/s speaker for a blonde Twin Reverb reissue? Both are from the 90s.

In the beginning was reverb

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

My 65 twin reissue is the best sounding amp in the world for surf, but man is it loud and hard to find any venues to use it at. The Deluxe loses some of the tone, but I've used a bandmates in the past and it was pretty solid with good overall sound.

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!

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:

My 65 twin reissue is the best sounding amp in the world for surf, but man is it loud and hard to find any venues to use it at. The Deluxe loses some of the tone, but I've used a bandmates in the past and it was pretty solid with good overall sound.

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?

In the beginning was reverb

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

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!

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

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