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Vintage vs New amplifiers Your dream Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Guild B301, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Since many of us have nothing better to do except dreaming of gear because of “social distancing”.......If money was no object, (and neither was carrying your own amps and gear,) would you rather play a vintage amplifier (possibly large, heavy, and possibly less reliable with fragile tubes) OR a modern amplifier (probably smaller, lighter weight, and more reliable)? Or, do you have a thing for early vintage solid state amps? Which model would you choose. And WHY?

    I searched and could not find an earlier post about this. (But, I’m kind of new here.) Please don’t insult anyone else for their choices - Just explain yours, and why you like it. I’ll go first....I like an old vintage Marshall Major 200 watt with a Marshall 8 x10” cabinet, or Ampeg SVT with 8 x10”s. I have the Marshall rig - but I am still dreaming of the Ampeg.
    6239A7CA-A07D-43F7-9C48-E7C0103197AB.jpeg 9E914E76-3BC7-4F66-BB34-D485F5858FC4.jpeg
  2. Modern/Vintage - Milkman Half n Half

  3. Why do you choose this one?
  4. IF I had the money to spend, I'm a new amp guy, if for no other reason when people bring up 'vintage' amps, I've played through a lot of them already . . . . when they were new. They're just old amps from back in my young years. Geez, now I'm as old as those amps !

    Remembering some of their foibles (a lot of speaker bins were the weak point by far, the individual drivers today are light years past what I grew up with), I would not want to revisit those days. Especially as by now they're quite elderly, and even though we have great repair shops here in Nashville, I can think of 200 other things I'd rather do with the money than to keep these old guys in fighting shape.

    For me, these days, Andy's WD800 and a pair of Subway 12 singles (or maybe the 15's) would suit me fine, or James Demeter's 'modern fliptop'. These things alongside those old boys are like comparing F22's to Sabre jets.

    If I had BIG disposable income, Bag End: A self-powered and crossed-over 15" INFRA sub with a powered HyDrive 15 on top, with a 747 Avalon feeding the stack. Boy, that's a 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless' rig.

    But for younger guys or real vintage guys, there's certainly some appeal and value. Just not for me, been there, done that. I used to laugh when I'd see the bass amps with presets and realize just how many of them I'd actually played . . . . . before they were algorithms !
    Indiana Mike, Dabndug, smogg and 3 others like this.
  5. Hand-wired, point to point by a guy called Tim. Modified Bassman circuit that I love. 700 watts clean power. Beautiful tone. Looks cool.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Sunn amps and news cabs would be fun.
    My Sunn 2000 or 200 with a light, low and loud 2x15 or 2x1x15 would be great. Especially the efficient cabs that make 100-103 db ratings.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    Gizmot, JRA, kjp360 and 3 others like this.
  7. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    My 68 Sunn 200s with the matching cab is sonic goodness ... I don’t need or want a Kemper that does 167 different voices. Someone come up with a modern amp that is voiced like that with simple control layout. That would interest me.
  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Had it in the late 60's, Sold it, Wish I had it again...
    garak7, JRA, dab12ax7ef and 9 others like this.
  9. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Eh. As opposed to vintage guitars, vintage amps are over-rated from a performance perspective. Sure, it's cool to have an old Sunn, Ampeg, Marshall, etc., but the reality is there are multitudes of modern choices that weigh a tenth of the weight of the vintage gear, don't have anywhere near the level of maintenance required, and sound as great as the original vintage gear.
    mambo4, roberts67, Charlzm and 3 others like this.
  10. I have my dream amp. For my tastes nothing compares to it old or new. I suppose one could call it "vintage" but this term is misused. I prefer to call it a really good older amp. As stated above, most "vintage amps" are great until they don't work anymore.

    Dream Amp.jpg
    SJan3, BassBlue, murphy and 8 others like this.
  11. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I suppose it's all a matter of taste. No doubt the new stuff is more efficient, lighter with more bells and whistles. But, because of my age and if given the choice, I would prefer to get my hands on a 1969 Mustang Shelby GT than a 2020 Mustang whatever. just sayin. ;)
  12. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Nice rig ... I like it when people take care of their gear... I bet you have covers for that. Am I right? ;)
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  13. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I'm a vintage tube amp nut. Especially 60s/70s British tube amps. I probably own too many vintage amps already but I have a recording studio so I can justify having them around (or so I try to convince myself...). I've got Hiwatt, Selmer, Ampeg, Fender, Carlsbro, Marshall, Supro, Orange, Vox, etc. but there is still one specific amp that I'm REALLY lusting for:

    Matamp Series 2000

    I've never heard another amp that will deliver THAT tone!

    If I can find (and afford!) one of those in good condition my lust for vintage amps would end (...well, maybe I would want a Blonde Bassman too, I used to have one in the studio and kinda miss it).

    I've considered the currently manufactured Matamp Series 3000 but although they are undoubtedly great amps they're not exactly the same as the 2000 so I don't think it would satisfy my GAS completely.

    Sadly the Matamp 2000s I've seen for sale were either in horrible condition (literally falling apart) or insanely expensive. And I mean INSANELY!!! I desperately want one but I'm not prepared to sell my house for it, I'm not THAT crazy about amps.
    JimB52, 10cc, dbase and 1 other person like this.
  14. Yes, I do use covers. I try to take care of my stuff but inevitably things get banged around. In the bands I play with most of the damage has been caused by clumsy band mates. My rule is set up last, breakdown first! With some band mates my axe goes into the case on set breaks! I also do not allow anyone to use my amp as a table.
    dbase likes this.
  15. Modern all the way for me- Light, reliable and low maintenance.

    I’m pleased as punch with my Mark 121p. Plenty of power for what i do now and I can always add the 12” extension for more air if/when needed
  16. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    My current and probably my last rig.
  17. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Full disclosure, I've never owned a tube amp. (Tube Preamp, yes) I've always wanted to have a Reeves tube head, but never the need. I generally use Tech 21 preamps or a GK head. Have always got great tone. If I had the disposable income & a nice studio, I could see purchasing a vintage amp, but otherwise no.
    dbase and Guild B301 like this.
  18. I’ve always been curious about Aguilar, but it’s the one brand on my wishlist I haven’t been able to demo. I get the impression they’re a nice balance, in between modern/clean and vintage? (One owner told me “halfway between a GK and a Rumble.”) Some of the videos (like some George Porter Jr clips) sound just killer!
    dbase and Guild B301 like this.
  19. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    I'm an old cat, and I used a good number of the classic rigs back in the day. Never liked SVTs all that much, but I bought and gigged an Ampeg SB-12, a Vox Essex, a Fender Dual Showman, a Polytone Brute, a Sunn 200S into a 2000S cab, and an Acoustic 371.

    I gotta say, my all-time favorite rig is my current Mesa Subway WD-800 into a pair of the Subway cabs.
  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Different approach to a similar mindset, I've been gigging my big ole tube amps with small/lightweight/efficient cabs lately.


    On the dream amps front - I was looking for the right vintage DR201 when I bought this amp. I stopped looking for the 201.


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