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tbonesullivan

Looking for a Versatile 50-60 Watt EL34 Powered Amp

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So, I'm finally going to trade in/sell my Marshall TSL122. It's too heavy, too loud, and the clean channel is too freakin crappy.  Problem is, what to get to replace it?

I've been eyeing a used  Rivera Fifty-Five Twelve R55-12, which i have heard has one channel that does good fender sounds, and another that does good Marshall type sounds. I also was looking at the Friedman Runt 50, but it doesn't have reverb, something I really have found myself to need, especially if I'd be using it for clean playing. I don't think I own an amplifier without reverb. The Mesa Boogie TC-50 is also something I considered, but I'd really like to have a bias control if I am going to throw some nice (SED) EL34s into it.

I had considered a Marshall DSL50 head from the early 2000s, but I think I really want to go more towards combos. I'm not sure though, as I already have some good cabinets, so I could definitely save on shipping by getting heads instead of combos. Also Marshall amps are not known for their Cleans, even on the JCM2000 series. I don't know if things have changed recently.

Any ideas?

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That’s a tough one. I’d wager any 2/ch, 2x12 combo is going to weigh a lot. 

Maybe  Mesa Mk5:25 or mini Rectoverb heads thru a separate cab?

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I was thinking Mesa TC-50 right up to where you mentioned you'd like a bias control. That said, the SED and Siemens EL34s I tried in my old Stiletto made a marked improvement over the stock tubes. Would being able to fine-tune the bias made a much bigger difference? Maybe, but in almost thirty years of owning Mesa products, that's one thing I'm glad I don't have to concern myself with.

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Wait, you said 50-60w. Oops. Ok, just get the full-sized versions of the above amps. 

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Just now, RobB said:

Wait, you said 50-60w. Oops. Ok, just get the full-sized versions of the above amps. 

I'd wager the Mk5:35 could hang with most 50w amps.

 

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I'd get a Mesa Royal Atlantic.  Yeah, they are 100w, but switchable to 50w with a separate power soak for each channel.  You can find them for around $1100 if you keep an eye out.  Great clean channel, good verb, and really shine when you run the third channel as more a boost for leads and use the second for EL34 goodness. 

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+1 on the Mesa TC.

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Posted (edited)

My Orange Rockerverb 50 head has very nice cleans--and an awesome dirty channel as well. It has tube-driven reverb, too.

Edited by Thundersteel
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You mentioned the Rivera 55-12.  This is an awesome amp.  You could do a whole bunch worse.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, tomteriffic said:

You mentioned the Rivera 55-12.  This is an awesome amp.  You could do a whole bunch worse.

I'm with Tom, it sounds like what you want. A Koch Twin Tone is a solid choice as well. 

http://www.koch-amps.com/guitar-combo-twintone-3.html

https://reverb.com/item/13262636-koch-twintone-50-watt?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI09mpquyW3AIVzrbACh2v5AiuEAYYASABEgJeWfD_BwE&pla=1

Edited by bubs_42

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Just bougth the Friedman Runt 50 and I must say, it has the best clean sound I`ve heard from an EL34-driven amp. 

I`ve always used reverb pedals so for me the lack of reverb is not at big deal. 

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7 hours ago, tomteriffic said:

You mentioned the Rivera 55-12.  This is an awesome amp.  You could do a whole bunch worse.

I mention it mainly because there is a pretty nice one, or was a pretty nice one used a few hours away, and I could potentially trade in the TSL122, which really helps save on shipping costs, which would not be small on a beast like the TSL. It's one of those amps that "seemed like a good idea at the time" but really wasn't.

This will hopefully also help get the TSL into the hands of someone who actually wants/needs that type of destructive power.

The Mesa Royal Atlantic is something I considered, but it's not quite the type of amp I'm looking for. It seems really designed for getting serious power tube overdrive, with the built in power soak.  They actually brought back the multi-soak control for the Triple Crown 100. It really is more of an evolution of the Royal Atlantic, with the same clean hi lo setup, but more versatile switching and control.

 

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5 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

I mention it mainly because there is a pretty nice one, or was a pretty nice one used a few hours away, and I could potentially trade in the TSL122, which really helps save on shipping costs, which would not be small on a beast like the TSL. It's one of those amps that "seemed like a good idea at the time" but really wasn't.

This will hopefully also help get the TSL into the hands of someone who actually wants/needs that type of destructive power.

The Mesa Royal Atlantic is something I considered, but it's not quite the type of amp I'm looking for. It seems really designed for getting serious power tube overdrive, with the built in power soak.  They actually brought back the multi-soak control for the Triple Crown 100. It really is more of an evolution of the Royal Atlantic, with the same clean hi lo setup, but more versatile switching and control.

 

I used one for some pretty quiet gigs, but it shook out that a combo made more sense for those.  Aside from just being large, it had a fantastic master volume and was useful in a lot of situations. However,  for loud gigs, the Friedman is just too good, and I don't really like super-clean clean channels. 

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18 hours ago, LucSulla said:

I used one for some pretty quiet gigs, but it shook out that a combo made more sense for those.  Aside from just being large, it had a fantastic master volume and was useful in a lot of situations. However,  for loud gigs, the Friedman is just too good, and I don't really like super-clean clean channels. 

I do wish the clean on the Friedman had some kind of "dirty" mode.  Having mesa boogie amps has gotten me used to things like pull boosts and voicing controls.  The rivera has two modes on each of the channels with the "Ninja" and "boost" switch.

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I’ve got a Rivera Chubster 40 and I love it.  They make them in a 50 watt similar to 55-12 too.  The deeper cabinet gives you nice low end. The only knock, and it’s not a big one, is that the clean (American voiced) channel doesn’t have a lot of head room. It starts breaking up fairly early but in a very musical, almost blackface Fendery sort of way.  Depending on what you’re looking for it could be a good thing. The British channel is everything an EL34 powered master volume amp should be.

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I've got a Rivera 55-12.... I will NEVER sell it.

Really good crunchy Marshall tones and EXCEPTIONAL clean/slighty od fender tones.

Its not a light throw-it-around amp though. Its a tube amp w big heavy transformers.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Check out the PRS Custom 50 amp. Truly a sleeper amp. Huge cleans and great Marshall crunch, very versatile. And they're priced pretty fair too.

Edited by santellavision

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On 7/12/2018 at 2:18 PM, Eric Weston said:

I've got a Rivera 55-12.... I will NEVER sell it.

Really good crunchy Marshall tones and EXCEPTIONAL clean/slighty od fender tones.

Its not a light throw-it-around amp though. Its a tube amp w big heavy transformers.

Can't be heavier than the Marshall TSL122 I am hoping to trade in for it. Weighs around 70s. Levels small buildings and makes children cry 100 miles away.

If it had the sounds I wanted at a volume level I liked, it would be a keeper. But I've tried to like it, I really have. But the totally crappy cleans are just a no go, and it just seems so fizzy, even with good tubes in it.  Marshalls are designed to be run loud, and I don't play live. I need something that sounds pretty good without shattering windows.

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I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest a Bogner Shiva, as the cleans are pretty exceptional. But it's probably disqualified due to its weight (especially the combos) and volume. Possibly cost prohibitive as well.

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The bogner shiva is nice, and has a great feature set. I'm trying to figure out how they are getting 80 watts out of two EL34 tubes.

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2 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

The bogner shiva is nice, and has a great feature set. I'm trying to figure out how they are getting 80 watts out of two EL34 tubes.

Combination of possibly rating off peak power vs. RMS, plate dissipation and output wattage being different things, EL34s being able to pump out a bit more juice than the 25w watt figure, and Shivas having a pretty smoking plate voltage I'd guess. 

Bad ass amps when you can open them up a little. I wish I could have afforded to keep mine.  

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17 minutes ago, greenfreak said:

Get a Dumble Overdrive if you have an extra hundred grand laying around!

I know there are people who make some good clones...

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17 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

I'm trying to figure out how they are getting 80 watts out of two EL34 tubes.

Big Iron.

When I had my Uberschall in for a slight detune in gain, ( cap removal), Tech was commenting on that it was pushing 130 watts easy when we had it dimed.

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