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Basic 'Character' of Different Brands

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Timmah, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    So I have been wondering what the characteristic sound of an amp/brand means to you- what you hear in your head when somebody says the name.

    Essentially, if you had to pick the stereotypical Ampeg sound, what would it be? GK? Aguilar? Trace? MarkBass? (etc...)

    Just looking to start a cool conversation by the way, not 'x is better than y'.
  2. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Okay, quickly off the top of my head for some I have owned Ampeg punchy clean mids, Markbass warm, Fender "eggy", GK hard (the ones that I owned years ago), Orange deep, Mesa loud and dominant. Oh and SWR I would have to call bland. All highly subjective of course.
    Shoot me down as you wish.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The problem with exercises like this is that one person will sound one way when they plug into an amp and another person will sound completely different. Nikki Sixx, Stefan Lessard, and Pino Palladino use SVT's and none of them sound alike.
  4. And to continue with what Jimmy said, some companies, particularly Mesa, have amps that tend to sound quite different from one another even within the same line. (The Walkabout Vs. the rest of the Mpulse line is the common example)

    With cabs though...I think you can make some more broad generalizations. I would say that Ampeg 8x10's generally have a certain sound to them that is quite their own. Granted there is some variation within that, I'd still venture to say that they all have that certain sound to them.
  5. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    As others have said, most amps are capable of producing very different sounds.

    Amps have tone controls that can make them sound completely different with different settings. That's kinda what they're for.

    Cabs I would see being more this way... but most companies have different models of cabs that sound very different from each other. For instance, the Ampeg 410HLF sounds very different from the 810E.
  6. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I agree with all of this, but the OP was asking about "basic" character of different amps and I am sure that no matter what cab I played with the three tube heads I am currently most familiar with its character would still be there. I am talking here about Orange, SVT VR and the new Fenders. I could EQ as much as I like but there would still be a basic color that belongs to the amp. IMO these three are all superb heads, and I would be happy with any of them for a gig but I want them for that character. Who wants bland? I agree with WhoDidThe Elf that some companies have amps/cabs that sound different through the line though. But OP was asking what you "hear in your head" when someone mentions a particular brand and it is an interesting question but obviously reliant on opinion as we may all be different on that one.