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Which modern amps have surpassed your vintage amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by john9, May 28, 2011.

  1. john9

    john9 Banned

    May 19, 2011
    I'm talking about the situation where the newer amp is a modern take on the vintage amp in terms of tube type and character. I'm also interested about when the vintage amp has proven to be better than the new thing?
  2. I don't have any vintage amps, but I've heard some from time to time. Blackstar HT series is making me forget all about the vintage stuff. I wanted to find one today to plug into, but didn't get the time.
  3. Of course, now that I think about it, this is a bass forum so that probably meant nothing to you guys :D
  4. If you're referring to reissues, Ampeg has done two that could be argued either come close or surpass the originals. I own an SVT-VR and it sounds like the classic ones to my ears.

    Rumour has it that the Heritage B-15 is pretty amazing, but I haven't played through one. In principle, it appears to outdo the vintage B-15 by combining two different classic architectures into one amp.

    I'm told that the Acoustic 360 reissue is pretty amazing and outdoes the original. Again, haven't used this one myself.
  5. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Well, I've owned an Ampeg flip top, Sunn 200S, EMC 2x15, etc., all in the 60's and 70's. I'll take a Genz Benz Streamliner 900, Shuttle 9.0 or even Markbass LMII/III for tone, portability and power over the oldies but goodies.
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I'm 62 and started playing in the '60's, so I've used whatever was available then, which was mainly Fender and Ampeg. Once SS heads became available, I never looked back, with one exception: the Ampeg B15N. I have never heard a modern head and cab , tube or SS, that had the tone of that little beast. Have'nt heard the new version from Ampeg, but, since I am an old coot now, I can't see lugging around a heavy rig anymore. I'm also one who does'nt see a whole lot of difference between tubes vs ss stuff. Not saying there is'nt any difference, just that, for my gig situation, I can get the tone that I need with much lighter weight stuff, except for that old '67 B15N !
  7. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    The only amp I've played that l like better than my old SVT is the new Reeves Custom 400.

    The price differential will probably keep me on the old guy, though.
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Seriously, get some modeling, They go from vintage, to modern, to sounds not heard yet.

    They're modeling down to component levels. They're getting the golden originals of amps from collectors to create the models from. Manufacturers put their names on the models. Fender, Ampeg, GK, Orange, ...

    You can switch between any model instantly.

    Going to modern you can stretch parameter to extremes that can't be physically exist. Or back them down to subtle sound that customize your own signature sound.

    Pick any power amp, and a good hifi cab like the fEarful and you're set.
  9. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Other than the fact they sound different
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I don't own anything built after about 1981, so I don't know, but would like to find out.
  11. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    +1,000,000 :D :D :D
  12. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    I earn a living in a studio that is looking for that last 1% and therefore models absolutely nothing. Therefore thankfully seamonkey is quite wrong according to my entire customer base.
    He isn't half annoying though to professionals who have actually bothered to purchase restore and maintain all the classic kit for the use of others who value that last 1%.
    A lap top a pod and a few shareware plug ins, just don't cut it in my trade.:spit:
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    In blind tests musicians can't hear a difference. There is no audible difference.
    Visual only. And the old vintage can't do new sounds like the modelers.

    In long run modeling will win. It's winning guitarist over now, those with really good sound. Look around
    Physical modeling is big in the VSTi industry.
    It just takes bass player a little longer to get over the technology hump.
  14. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    This musician/engineer can tell and makes a living out of being able too.
    So if I extrapolate what you are saying, vintage tube studio tools like fairchild 670 compressors would sell for the same money as the UA rtas version instead they are about $30,000+ and if anything increasing in value.
    There is a high end anamod ss hardware version:
    it sounds nothing like Jasons real one that Chenzo Townsend uses at miloco.
    You are so wrong at this level its almost laughable, if it wasn't just "sad have not denial syndrome".
    Perhaps plastic blow up women are improving too but I still don't really care.:bassist:
  15. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No the modelers absolutely do not get it. It has wayyyyy more to do than simply warming up the tone. We've used them in the studio only for songbuilding sessions, but used real amps when it came to tracking. Dynamics and tone have interaction and are everything to do with it.

    But the OP asked about modern takes vs the originals. The only one I can comment because of my experience is the 63 Fender Concert 4x10 I have sitting here. My guitarist has a modern Deville 4x10 and the two sound nothing alike. The 63 is still creamier sounding and has a better 'pluck' to the attack as you strike the strings.
    There's a couple of guitar players down the street here, and yesterday I waved one over and told him to take the 63 to his jam practice. He came back later with the biggest grin of amazement on his face, said they couldn't believe how great it sounded.
  16. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    It did to me!

    Just picked up an HT-5 halfstack used, and just swapped the speaker in the cab for a Vintage 30, and it sounds AWESOME at low (bedroom) volume!!!

    Back to the OP's question. The SVT-VR is fantastic! I won't say it's 'better' than the original, but it does have a few features the original doesn't, so that's one plus, depening on your perspective...

  17. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Of course, what you guys say about modelers they were saying the same about amplifiers back when they weren't vintage - but brand new amps.

    Those that have bad experiences with modelers probably didn't use them right.

    Modelers have captured and archived all the dynamics and nuances of the amps they used for reference. If they don't capture your own amp - then your own amp doesn't sound like the golden reference amp used.

    They really are that good now. It's a choice for those that want to go modern.
  19. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic

    I'll take real over digital any day as long as I can.
  20. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Could you give an example of a good B15N modeler ? I have tried the VT pedal, the Bass pod, and some Roland stuff, but nothing has nailed it quite yet.

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