Author Topic: Baritone Amp Suggestions  (Read 382 times)

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Offline The_Spell

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Baritone Amp Suggestions
« on: June 20, 2019, 02:50:51 am »
Hi, Everyone,

For the longest, I've been routing my Vipre 200-B through the "Studio Pre" profile on my Mustang GT-100. As you might be able to guess, the sound isn't really cutting it for me anymore.

I was looking at getting an amp just for my baritone (the GT-100 works well for my EC-256), but the problem is I don't have a lot of cash (I get all my stuff through Zzounds) or room to buy a 4x12 and a head. I'm don't gig or anything and it would mostly be used for bedroom practice and playing.

My idea was, if I find a Fender 100w amp for cheap- like a Champion 100 or something- and replace the speakers with some of those Swamp Thangs by Eminence, would that be able to handle the baritone or would I need to look elsewhere? I really like Fender amps for their awesome cleans, but if I need to include something like a 5150 or a Blackstar to my arsenal then I'll just have to do so if a Fender in any capacity won't be able to do what I need; even the Hotrod Deluxe.

I'm open to suggestions!
Thanks in advance!
Rock/Metal player
Guitars: ESP-LTD EC-256, ESP-LTD Vipre 200-B, ESP-LTD F414FM
Amps: Fender Mustang GT-100, Fender Rumble 100, Fender Studio 40
Pedals: Boss DS-1, Boss Super Chorus CH-1

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 03:39:50 am »
Baritone guitars are a very specific species. I mostly go for the twangy clean stuff with a baritone, so anything loud and clean (i.e. Fender, Ampeg or Hiwatt style amps of min. 50W or bass amps) with a speaker cabinet that can handle juice and does not break up works fine. If you are also going for distorted tones it will get more complex as some of the speakers that handle clean power well may not translate distorted tones to your liking. And, none of the amps I mentioned are exactly bedroom amps. I am afraid there is no way around trying out some different set ups and see what you like.

Good luck
Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, HB2, Cruisers, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T set, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, SD, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set, Super Distortion S; Norton

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 10:43:11 am »
For speaker cabs I recommend the highest wattage you can get away with. DV Mark's Neoclassical cabs (1x12, 2x12 - what I have - and 4x12) have 150-watt Neodymium speakers that stay tight and clear with whatever volume or pitch I throw at them. A little speaker breakup at higher tunings is nice, but the lower you go, the more mushy and unpredictable it becomes. The DV Mark cabs are a little pricey new, but can be had for pretty good money used (I see the 1x12 pretty regularly in the $300 range).
As for amps, you ideally want something higher wattage not because of the volume but because of the headroom. With lower tunings, you want as clean power as you can manage, or you'll lose both clarity and projection with your low notes. A 5150 III 50-watt (I like the EL34 one, but either way make sure you get one of the new ones with separate gain and volume for the blue and green channels) will cover a lot of ground, but the lowest volume it reasonably does is still "pretty darn loud".
If you want to make a bit more of an investment, the Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 sounds really really good, has a ton of functionality that works great with lower tunings, and gives you 200 watts clean of class D power. It's about as loud at the end of the day as the 50-watt 5150, but the volume range is a lot more usable. I have the Grandmeister Deluxe 40 (basically the 40-watt tube predecessor) and the voicing (which the Black Spirit keeps, it's a pretty signature H&K thing) is killer for lower stuff. The DI on both of these is basically the best built-in solution you can get, so if you want to do any recording it's a great option and scales up very well.
Any of these will be like twice as loud as your Mustang though, but the H&Ks will both go pretty quiet. They all also have cleans ranging from pretty-darn-good (5150) to really good (Grandmeister) and will cover the full breadth of baritone sounds I can think of off the top of my head.

Offline Guitar74

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 10:21:03 am »
What about ev guitar speakers? They have a much higher power capacity.

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 05:17:49 pm »
What about ev guitar speakers? They have a much higher power capacity.
EVs are sound great, I just find them prohibitively weighty.

Offline The_Spell

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 02:07:02 am »
These are all really good options and good advice for when I get a little bit more cash, but are there any combo amp options? I know the 6505+ has some, and the Hotrod Deluxe moreorless inspired dudes like Mesa Boogie to improve on that blueprint; if my history is correct.

Like I said, I just don't really have the room or cash for a 2x12 or 4x12 and a grand or more header.
Rock/Metal player
Guitars: ESP-LTD EC-256, ESP-LTD Vipre 200-B, ESP-LTD F414FM
Amps: Fender Mustang GT-100, Fender Rumble 100, Fender Studio 40
Pedals: Boss DS-1, Boss Super Chorus CH-1

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 03:14:50 am »
These are all really good options and good advice for when I get a little bit more cash, but are there any combo amp options? I know the 6505+ has some, and the Hotrod Deluxe moreorless inspired dudes like Mesa Boogie to improve on that blueprint; if my history is correct.

Like I said, I just don't really have the room or cash for a 2x12 or 4x12 and a grand or more header.
There's a 5150 50-watt combo but it's still a chunky boy and probably still louder than it seems like you want.
H&K has the Tubemeister 36 combo, but the Deluxe versions (of the Tubemeisters and the Grandmeister) are literally just better in every way - the caveat is they're only available as heads, but there's a matching 1x12 that sounds pretty good. You can  They just announced a Black Spirit combo http://hughes-and-kettner.com/products/spirit/black-spirit-200-combo/ which will probably land around $1200 (since the head is $999)
umm lemme see what else. . .
You could try to pick up a used Mesa Mark V 25 or 35 combo, but those are closer to $1400 used, or you can get the Rectoverb 25 combo for like a grand used, if Mesas are your thing.
For a really unconventional pick: get a Boss Katana (the Artist if you really want a combo, or the head + 2x12, and the GA-FC with either one). They sound killer, are pretty affordable ($599 for the Artist 1x12 combo, $399 for the head, and $359 for the 2x12, plus $99 for the footswitch with either one), and since you want it for a baritone, here's the kicker: I literally use my Kat head for recording bass and I can't make the darn thing sound muddy no matter what I do.
It's not tube, it's not boutique, but the only problem with it IMO is the onboard boosts/drives/distortions (the amp distortion sounds fine, it's just the effects) are kinda noisy if you use them for gain and it really needs a computer and the Sneaky Amps to go from "really good for the money" to "actually pretty good, period", so you'll have to budget in like $5 for a USB cable for it. Also works for direct recording if you're not set up with an interface.

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 04:46:26 am »
It's not tube, it's not boutique, but the only problem with it IMO is the onboard boosts/drives/distortions (the amp distortion sounds fine, it's just the effects) are kinda noisy if you use them for gain and it really needs a computer and the Sneaky Amps to go from "really good for the money" to "actually pretty good, period", so you'll have to budget in like $5 for a USB cable for it. Also works for direct recording if you're not set up with an interface.
Quick demo: the first bit (kinda loud, sorry) is my Strandberg Classic 6 (stock pickups) straight in to the Brown channel in Drop C, then my Kiesel CL6 with the Kiesel Lithiums in Drop A (same Edguy riff). The bit of fizz on the latter is from the Lithiums, the Katana's already bright and the Liths are a little (a lottle) trebly.
Couldn't get it to attach here so link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s4P3KjDegr3TzM0KY79l8sNLQg8lXtAo
The cleans are the CL6 in Drop A, first with both humbuckers split for the picky bit, then the neck humbucker full on for my decidedly mediocre off-time rendition of Autumn Leaves.

Offline The_Spell

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 05:09:36 am »
It's not tube, it's not boutique, but the only problem with it IMO is the onboard boosts/drives/distortions (the amp distortion sounds fine, it's just the effects) are kinda noisy if you use them for gain and it really needs a computer and the Sneaky Amps to go from "really good for the money" to "actually pretty good, period", so you'll have to budget in like $5 for a USB cable for it. Also works for direct recording if you're not set up with an interface.
Quick demo: the first bit (kinda loud, sorry) is my Strandberg Classic 6 (stock pickups) straight in to the Brown channel in Drop C, then my Kiesel CL6 with the Kiesel Lithiums in Drop A (same Edguy riff). The bit of fizz on the latter is from the Lithiums, the Katana's already bright and the Liths are a little (a lottle) trebly.
Couldn't get it to attach here so link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s4P3KjDegr3TzM0KY79l8sNLQg8lXtAo
The cleans are the CL6 in Drop A, first with both humbuckers split for the picky bit, then the neck humbucker full on for my decidedly mediocre off-time rendition of Autumn Leaves.

Good Christ, dude! Your tone is massive! Those cleans are really good, too! Yeahh, that's exactly what I had in my ear for what I wanted to go for as far as my tone goes.

Yeah,  I'm going to save up the cash and do that! You said that was mostly the Katana?
Rock/Metal player
Guitars: ESP-LTD EC-256, ESP-LTD Vipre 200-B, ESP-LTD F414FM
Amps: Fender Mustang GT-100, Fender Rumble 100, Fender Studio 40
Pedals: Boss DS-1, Boss Super Chorus CH-1

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 05:38:26 am »
It's not tube, it's not boutique, but the only problem with it IMO is the onboard boosts/drives/distortions (the amp distortion sounds fine, it's just the effects) are kinda noisy if you use them for gain and it really needs a computer and the Sneaky Amps to go from "really good for the money" to "actually pretty good, period", so you'll have to budget in like $5 for a USB cable for it. Also works for direct recording if you're not set up with an interface.
Quick demo: the first bit (kinda loud, sorry) is my Strandberg Classic 6 (stock pickups) straight in to the Brown channel in Drop C, then my Kiesel CL6 with the Kiesel Lithiums in Drop A (same Edguy riff). The bit of fizz on the latter is from the Lithiums, the Katana's already bright and the Liths are a little (a lottle) trebly.
Couldn't get it to attach here so link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s4P3KjDegr3TzM0KY79l8sNLQg8lXtAo
The cleans are the CL6 in Drop A, first with both humbuckers split for the picky bit, then the neck humbucker full on for my decidedly mediocre off-time rendition of Autumn Leaves.

Good Christ, dude! Your tone is massive! Those cleans are really good, too! Yeahh, that's exactly what I had in my ear for what I wanted to go for as far as my tone goes.

Yeah,  I'm going to save up the cash and do that! You said that was mostly the Katana?
Thanks dude!
That was all Katana, with the built in red reverb (I think it's a big room or hall or something?) dialed in just to keep it from sounding super dry. Guitar into amp, line out (stock settings, there's some options that I haven't messed with) into my Behringer UMC1820 interface, into Reaper.
Gain at like 2 o'clock, bass at 9 o'clock, mids at 11:30 and treble at like 2, presence at 10:30ish on the Brown channel for the dirty stuff. Channel volume all the way up.
For cleans it was gain at noon, channel volume all the way up, bass at 10:00, mids at 11:00, treble at 1:30, presence at noon on the Clean channel.
Red 'verb at about 8:30 on both.
Mine's still running the 1.2 firmware too, 2.0 and up have a bunch of cool features, I just haven't gotten around to updating yet.

Offline The_Spell

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2019, 12:48:52 am »
Now, is that the Katana combo or just the Katana head? Would I be able to use the head without a cab or would I be better of with the combo?
Rock/Metal player
Guitars: ESP-LTD EC-256, ESP-LTD Vipre 200-B, ESP-LTD F414FM
Amps: Fender Mustang GT-100, Fender Rumble 100, Fender Studio 40
Pedals: Boss DS-1, Boss Super Chorus CH-1

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2019, 02:35:55 am »
Now, is that the Katana combo or just the Katana head? Would I be able to use the head without a cab or would I be better of with the combo?
That's the head with the line out. You can use headphones with it, and it's usable without a cab (either with no speaker volume just in Standby with the line out or at 30 watts with these tiny built-in speakers it has), but if you want the big amp-in-the-room sound (which from what you've said I think might be too loud for you) then you want the cab, ideally.
If you get a Katana combo, you really want the Artist 1x12. The head and 2x12 are like $150 more total, but IMO gives you a lot more versatility (you have the internal speakers, line out, and cab) and if you want to upgrade stuff in the future you can keep the Katana cab with a new head or swap out the cab and keep the Kat head.
Either one will do what you want, it's just a matter of form factor. Same wattage, and you can run a cab out of the Kat Artist combo if you want. I like head and cab because I used my DV Mark 2x12 for seating and the Kat Head's internal speakers as a sound system in my dorm room, and I could pack the head and effects in a duffle bag and carry my guitar in one hand and cab in the other. I had a Katana 50 combo at the same time and had trouble getting the speaker to push air at neighbor-friendly volumes while still sounding passable whereas the head with the internal speakers would be fine if a little thin, but good for practice.
TL;DR: Get the combo if space is really limited or get the head with a long speaker cable and put some cushions on the cab and use it as a stool.

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Baritone Amp Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2019, 03:48:33 am »
So here's an idea

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PtqqScLx5GsADNQPZ066ukDuipjotRZi

Sweetwater was blowing out the Elektron Analog Drive for $99 this past weekend and I picked one up. This is the Analog Drive, straight into my interface, with some random IR I got on the Axe FX forums and a free IR loader (the dirty bits have a noise gate and the clean has some reverb). CL6 in drop A for the first few riffs (the first one is the Big Dist circuit, the second Focused Dist, and the third High Gain), then the Strandy in Drop C (Dirty Drive circuit) and D Standard (with the Clean Boost as a clean preamp of sorts). These are like $200 new, $150ish used, and this (or something similar like the Strymon Sunset or Riverside) with a good clean amp (and the Mustang's actually got a pretty good clean) is a pretty versatile setup. If you want to upgrade the amp, something like a Blues Junior would work well with it.
It's a different approach, depends on what you're looking for. Just a thought  ;)