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Todays amps define CHEAP. We are all being ripped off

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CzarMike, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Its come to my attention that ALL mainstream amp manufacturers today produce equipment of incredibly low quality. Every large brand has gone dirt cheap on every aspect of their amps except the badging. Brands with respect behind them like Ampeg, Marshall, Mesa and Fender are of the same quality as Crate (seriously!)
    Every amp tech that I have spoken to rants and raves of how bad modern solder points are, how overly confusing the circuits are & how terribly they are assembled. Solid-state & tube circuits are carelessly combined, digital processing is used to synthesize tone as opposed to creating it. Equipment labled "analog" is completely digital, tone sucking caps & resistors are used for every connection (ok, so Mesa uses Orange drops... does that make up for the hotglue they use to cover up their mindless electrical worksmanship?)
    So you have just bought a brand new "high-quality" amp, the salesman assured you it is right! Even the tubes themselves are rejects from companies that were already producing low quality tubes, my $300 Ampeg preamp came with Generic Chinese tubes of unknown origin in it from the factory, and SO DOES YOURS! And please look at the brand-name of the speakers in their cabs & combos, they are usually the value-speakers or generic company rejects.

    Amplifiers today are manufactored with the sheer intent of becoming completely worthless in 3 years, large bands are instructed to completely ditch every piece of large equipment they own between tours, and insurance on amps older than 4 years is non-existant.

    I'm posting this to assure anyone else who is feeling decieved by modern electronics, to let them know of a good solution:
    Buy TUBE equipment from the 60's & 70's and have a tech do a full inspection. You will be in possession of a fine piece of equipment that modern companies could never assemble on their current budgets. This is the ONLY way for today's musician to sucessfully get a high-quality amp & great tone, without having to dish out thousands for boutique replications of past masters.

    I don't think people are capable of understanding how low-quality their modern amps are, that or they are in mass-stupified denial because of the beautiful nameplate on the front.
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Paging captain crazy:

    I like my eden, and I assure you it sounds NOTHING like a crate. Color me "MASS-STUPID" but my gear sounds great, and it is reliable. IMO good tone didn't happen in the era you speak of.

    This thread sucks.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    So when will you spam us with an ad for your vintage bass gear for sale website? :D

  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    By the way, you're not that troll that got booted out of the Pro Sound Web forum, are you?
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Whew. Good thing you're around to tell us these things.
  7. OH NO! They're on to us Bob. What do we do now?! :eek:
  8. I'm not worried about today's amps, since I'll probably buy one tomorrow. Thanks for the warning though.
  9. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    I'm with FC.

    I bought an amp yesterday, and I may buy another one tomorrow.

    But today's amps are right out.....

    I didn't realize I wasn't the only one that felt this way.

    Of course, now that today is almost over, we are all safe to buy amps again.
  10. You're talking about tube amps, right?

    I don't care, it's obsolete technology anyway....... :smug:

    I'd take any badly produced digital, solid state, class D, 3000W, 20 lbs. 3.5" high amp with "QSC" on it over any pre-WW2-design, dual pentode, class AB, 300W, 80 lbs, 8" high amp with "Ampeg" on it. For half the price. Not only will I make you crap your pants with my 125 dB 31 Hz, my 2 1x12 cabs will fit into my estate AND I'll still have a back in the 10 years doing so. Plus, my rig will sound more like my bass than like my rig.

    But that's me. ;)

    Hey, all in good fun. I hate the sound of tube amps. I'm strongly in favour of digital gear. I think it sounds better. That's my opinion. I shouldn't have to defend it.

    But..... back to the original topic. I think many amps are of questionable quality because they are a LOT cheaper than they were then, relatively. Make a comparison of how much you earned back then and now and divide that by the price of a nowadays "good" amp. I think you'll see they're dirt cheap.

    There's also the fact that with the current state of technology, printed circuit boards are made in only two grades: hard paper and glass epoxy. There's nothing above that. Except hand work. Which gets you into the "shop" amps, something that'll show up right on the price tag.
  11. Sorry if I pissed you guys off, I just needed to vent. No I don't sell anything and I haven't ever been kicked off of a forum.

    I'm sorry to all of you who claim to own newer gear or are planning on buying it, you can open up your amp and see how pathetic they are with your own eyes, constructed with the same methods reserved to hearing aids... Ok that was harsh
    maybe I am captain crazy but I hate new amps.
  12. Well I agree with this actually.
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Mike.....hey man...if the amp sounds good, who cares what it looks like inside. I am trying to remember the last time someone asked me to pop the hood on my Crown. :D

  14. BTW "Class D" is about the same classification that I would have given my old carvin DCM-1500, it sucked. I had an Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp (which originally came with hiss, cold solders & terrible factory tubes) driving it. That setup cost me a decent amount of money, yet couldnt' even stand up to a $50 traynor yba-1.
    Supposedly I was able to have 1200 watts with the solid state amp, and 50 with the Traynor, yet the Traynor Screamed above it.
    I ask the modern scientists to explain this :)

    Just for arguments sake I had both amps playing into an Avatar 4x10 4-ohm cab.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have taken my Eden WT300 to a couple of local techs that I know and trust, as they have been dealing with musical gear since the 1980s - so there's two of them in a small worskhop and the one working on it opend it up and then called the other one over and said - wow, look at the quality of this!! :)

    It turned out there was no problem with the amp itself and all that happened was some foreign body/dust had got in the effects send/return jack socket - but they pointed out loads fo things inside to me and said this amp will last forever and they eulogised for quite a time on how high in quality all the components were and how well put together and soldered it was!!

    Having said that - I can quite believe that some amps are very poor - like Fender and all the cheaper,cost-cutting manufacturers - simple rule :

    You get what you pay for!!
  16. Trouble is, I remember back in the 70's when people were saying the same thing about the new gear that Mike thinks is so great today. I've seen what was suppose to be high quality stuff go up in smoke and I've seen what is suppose to be junk defy destruction. I played a show with the Coasters (now you know how old I really am) a few years back and to be honest, I've thrown away better amps and equipment than a lot of those guys were using. So what is my point? I have no point I'm just an old fart rambling on. I'll shut up not and....................
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Looking for this "completely digital" circuitry that is being labelled analog. Haven't found it yet, please let me know where to look!

    As for the Chinese tubes, well where are they supposed to get the tubes? Not much choice these days. A set of NOS 12AX7 tubes for an Ampeg preamp (it uses FIVE if I recall) would raise the $300 price tag quite a bit. When all the NOS supplies are drained, then what? Even 15 years ago when NOS tubes cost a LOT less, Ampeg sold GE power tubes for the SVT as a $300 option on a $2100 head.

    I've had every amp I''ve ever owned opened up on the bench at one point and I'll tell you that for every well built amp from the old days there were plenty of ones built cheaply, same as today.
  18. Mark Reccord

    Mark Reccord Supporting Member


    I'll add that there's a lot of variability in the mass produced stuff. I've had two identical amps from the same manufacturer (I'm not going to say who, but one of the biggies) apart at the same time. One was immaculate, the other had about 50 cold solder joints and the transformer wasn't bolted to the chassis. That one must have been assembled on monday morning....
    There's lots of modern, really high quality stuff out there. Take the top off an Aguilar for evidence...
  19. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Funny you say that. I dropped my Eden three times. The last time I opened the hatch of a mini van it fell out. At least a 5 foot drop from the cab it was stacked on. Nothing happened to it. The other times the fell off of a 8-10 cab and then a 4-10 cab. Nothing ever happened to it. Granted it was in a bottom line SKB. The screw holes to rail bent a little.
  20. The old stuff that's still around is around for a reason: it was well made. There was plenty of junk then, as now, although I would argue that the proportion of shoddy to quality favors shoddy much more than it used to: i.e.- Behringer; 'nuff said. Times and techologies change, and I would rather trust a proven and stable technology rather than hitch my wagon to the latest wiz-bang and neglect a proven solution. I'm pretty conservative in that respect, but I also don't limit myself to just old stuff. I have tons of vintage bass amps and cabs, but also have a Crown MT2400, an Aguilar DB728, an Acme 4x10, and two Ernie Ball 2x12's that I LOVE. There are a lot of amps out there being made NOW that are head and shoulders above what passed for hi-tech back in the day and there is strong progessive innovation. I think it's more important to examine an amp for its merits rather than just generalize and ignore something that could be really great.

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