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Amp like LMII for guitarist?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DoubleD, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. DoubleD


    Jul 23, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    Our guitarist is considering getting a half-stack. He played through my Little Mark Tube / Peavey Tour 410 and loved the way his sound didn't get "flattened" as he turned up the volume. It sounded nice.

    Can someone recommend an amp for guitar which is similar to the little mark's (LMII, LMIII, LMTube) sound, which I would describe as transparent, clean, fast, and powerful. He wants to avoid tubes.

    I'm not seeing too much in my searches for a small, powerful, solid state guitar amp that would perform similar to my LMTube.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Quite a few of the more jazz oriented guitarist I play with on occasion use the Acoustic Image Clarus heads (they changed the names now... I think they actually make one specifically for guitar now). Beautiful fat, warm but uber clean tone. That head, with a nice one way 110 or 112 cab really sounds great for that kind of tone.

    The AI stuff with guitar reminds me of the old Polytone amps.... warm, somewhat tube-like tone, but always clean and even and 'constant' at all volume settings.

    Edit: The new guitar model is called the Corus+
  3. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Ken- I don't think they are making a separate head for guitarists. The Corus just refers to a "Contra" combo with a different (non long-throw) downfiring 10", more suitable for guitar and keys. (and maybe bass, I haven't heard the Corus but I suspect it sounds a bit more mid-forward). the Corus just has the regular Clarus head in it.

  4. +1 I see now that the revoicing is due to the cab, not a special 'guitar version' of the head.

    That being said, the Clarus+ is a great guitar head for the 'clean but warm' jazz type player, or I guess any guitarist who want a relatively warm but clean, relatively transparent platform to run pedals/effects through.
  5. Maybe A Roland Jazz Chorus 120?
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    +1 to the JC120

    Frankly an old Silverface Twin with upgraded speakers will retain it's punch and clarity up to frighteningly loud volume levels. Yeah - it has tubes in it.

    There have been plenty of guitarists with rack rig's too ...
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Walter Woods amps have been filling that niche for decades. Many of my friends who formerly used them have ported over to the AER line. Euphonic Audio and Acoustic Image also seem to get a lot of love.

    JC-120s and Twins are hardly small!:cool:
  8. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    The markbass is a great platform for a guitar preamp. The EQ may not be suited for the guitar, but there is a lot more clean power and headroom than most guitar amps.

    I would think that a pedal in front of the markbass would sound pretty good for clean tones. Put an eq and a chorus or reverb pedal and you would be good to go.
  9. DoubleD


    Jul 23, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    The JC120 is a combo amp, right?

    Is there not much choice when it comes to separate amp / cab, as he's very interested in a half-stack?

    Or, is the half-stack route the wrong one to take?
  10. That JC210 is a combo, and a relatively large combo at that. It is a nice transparent, clean platform for guitar though.

    There aren't that many small combo's that I'm aware of that have the 'pure, solid state clean' sort of voicing, since most guitarists are actually looking for that 'tube' variation in tone as you push the volume and gain, etc.

    A small head like the AI with a one way 112 (I play with a few guys who use those 'Razor' cabs or whatever with the AI stuff) is a nice way to go, again, if you want it small and light and 'studio board' sort of pure and clean sounding IMO. I think Polytone is still making amps, so that might be a direction to look into also.

    Finally, per Wilbyman's point, even though AI doesn't make a head specifically voiced for guitar, the Clarus head with the cab they voice for guitar (the Corus combo or whatever it is called) might be a good, super small (if expensive), lightweight option for him.
  11. I am really amazed that there arent more amps like this for guitarists. as both a guitar player and bass player I giggle that my bass rig is literally half the size and weight of my guitar rig!

    if guitar players could only get their head outta their asses and realize you don't need an amp w/ 4 channels, ridiculous amounts of noise inducing EQ and that a good tranny and fet amp can be just as soupy as tubes it'd be a whole new ball game!
  12. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
  13. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    The "trend" I'm seeing with guitar players (those who have no need for a half-stack) is the modeling amps most are solid state and use the digital voice of a "dialed in" amp.

    Many are being made right now by Line 6, VOX, and Fender among others. These are basically clean amps that allow the amp to have something "like" a VOX AC-30 or Twin Reverb vibe as needed. The 1x12 is what I see the most, light small and portable and around 50 watts!


    Felixyeahthumb. ... A 50 watt VOX modeling amp
  14. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    My own personal experience will show through a bit on this. He probably doesn’t need to be louder and I doubt he needs a half stack. That is the problem with most guitarists. They think they need 4-10s or 4-12s ‘cause it looks cool. Unless you are playing to a stadium full of people something smaller will make your band sound much better. Why they want to carry around all that s**t is beyond me. As a bass player if I could stroll in with a little 1-12 and have enough volume to peel wallpaper that’s what I would do. Unfortunately for bass that doesn’t work as well.

    Anyway, I would go with a small tube (or solid state if that is his preference) amp around 20-30w with 1-12 speaker. Stick a mic on it. Get a board for effects and a volume pedal or boost for leads. Done.

    My last band had a guy that had 4-12s and 135W. We played small to mid-sized bars. He blasted everyone anywhere near the line of sight with the thing. The high end fried the hair off the audience’s heads. Meanwhile he was mic’d and getting some back in the monitor and still ‘couldn’t hear his leads’. Oh and you could forget about hearing any vocals – ain’t gonna happen. With a small combo your friend can point the thing back and up at him so he can blast himself (funny how people will turn down when it is aiming at their own head). The mix will be much better because the sound person can control it and the dispersion in the room will be much more even.
  15. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    It sounds like what your friend likes is the sound of the bass frequencies not distorting at higher volume. Check out mojosonic.com and the mojo mini 110 with or without tweeter. It will handle the 20-30 watt SS amp that others have recommended with no problem. Or have your friend look into a Line6 or other floor-based amp and FX modeling device and powered PA cabs. The modeler will approximate (can't say duplicate here :D) the tube and speaker breakup sounds for him (if he wants) with the reliability of digital signal processing (DSP). The SS power amp and PA cab will reproduce those sounds faithfully. Look at 8 and 10" speaker sizes. Most of those will have a ~100 watt internal amp that's split ~70/30, woofer/tweeter, which will be plenty of volume on stage. This is what my guitar player has and it works just fine with drums and all.

    Or just get him a smallish bass combo.
  16. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    One of my guitarists uses this and it blows me away.

    Runs it to a small Avatar cab.


    Check it out here.

    The Univalve from THD Electronics. Clever self biasing design.

    The Univalve.
  17. i have one of those in the studio...my new favorite amp!
  18. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I could be wrong but I don't think you gain much with a halfstack (4x12) vs. a single vertical 2x12, for guitar purposes. I'd go with a 2x12 and a pre/power rig myself, if I were into guitar, I think. The light power amps coming out are really spiffy, and a modeling pre would do just great I bet.
  19. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Had a BiValve, the big brother to the Uni. It is NOT a light amp. Nor would I call it transparent or clean. The clean headroom on 15 W is pretty darn low, and the THD stuff is designed to have a pretty quick breakup (depending on the tubes, obvs.).

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