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hamerhead

Gear that shouldn't have worked great but did.

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We've all probably thrown together an odd combination of gear that worked waaay better than it should have, either by accident or necessity. I had a really cheap 4x10 guitar cabinet - I'm talkin' like $20 cheap - and the second you pushed it, even a little, it totally farted out, worse than any holey/tore speaker you might have heard.

One day me and a buddy were surfin' for speakers for his Bronco and came across 10" subwoofers with some absurd power rating - new-in-the-box for $5 each. Light bulb came on. Hell yeah! I pulled the speakers from the cheap cab and for $20 replaced them with those subs. I'm currently running a 400W SWR head into this thing and it sounds unbelievably good. Even real bass players like it.

It shouldn't have worked that well (at all, for that matter), but we use it at every jam.

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I have a room full of examples for when you start the "Gear That Should Work But Doesn't" thread.

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4 hours ago, hamerhead said:

We've all probably thrown together an odd combination of gear that worked waaay better than it should have, either by accident or necessity. I had a really cheap 4x10 guitar cabinet - I'm talkin' like $20 cheap - and the second you pushed it, even a little, it totally farted out, worse than any holey/tore speaker you might have heard.

One day me and a buddy were surfin' for speakers for his Bronco and came across 10" subwoofers with some absurd power rating - new-in-the-box for $5 each. Light bulb came on. Hell yeah! I pulled the speakers from the cheap cab and for $20 replaced them with those subs. I'm currently running a 400W SWR head into this thing and it sounds unbelievably good. Even real bass players like it.

It shouldn't have worked that well (at all, for that matter), but we use it at every jam.

But you doubled your investment in that cabinet.  You'll never get your money out. :ph34r:

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A friend of mine likes to do things on the cheap. Had a bunch of guys over one day and there was some really expensive boutique stuff in the room. Jeff shows up with a Fender Musicmaster bass that he modded, a Bad monkey OD, and a Fender something or other that he got on sale at G/C for $79.00.  He's probably got $350.00 in his whole rig. 

He sounded amazing. Everyone was kinda like oh... er.. um..ok. 

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I had a '59 Supro Dual-Tone (not really a good guitar) I was playing through a Boss ME-50 into a Roland Blues Cube. It really sounded good, so good that the drummer commented on it. He'd previously played with some west coast badasses - Troy Van Leewen told me that he knew the guy -  and had gotten off a tour as Nick Oliveri's drummer, so I figure he knew tone. I just never really bonded with that guitar, and sheer stupidity led me to getting rid of the effects and amp.

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In order to achieve a certain sound for live shows (I didn't have a single semi-hollow in my stash), I recently picked up an Ibanez AS73 for $250 via local CL. It came with the proper HSC and was loaded with Gibson '57 Classic/Classic+ pickups. After my first rehearsal using it, the other guys in the band were gushing about how rich it sounded. I figured that their reaction was merely related to the fact that it was a semi-hollow versus solid body, but in retrospect (after listening to parts of the rehearsal on an iPhone recording), it does sound damn good. Much, much better than $250, that's for certain. Who'd have thunk it? Not me. 

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Posted (edited)

My main amp for the last 15 years has been an approximate clone of a Marshall 18 Watter.  I decided to build an amp, but didn’t want to deal with the metalworking needed on the chassis.  So I decided to start with a donor amp and covert it to a guitar amp.  The Bogen CHB20A that I found cheap on eBay seemed like the perfect starting point, but in the end it required a complete gutting and re-wiring.  Nothing was right about that amp, not the tubes, not the B+ voltage, not the phase inverter layout, nothing... but I slogged through and eventually finished the transformation.  Then I built a pine cabinet for it, and stuck in a Celestion G12-H80 which I bought cheap, not knowing that it really doesn’t sound anything like its cousin, the G12-H30 that everyone recommends for 18 Watters.

The amp sounded brilliant, right from the first time I fired it up.  No credit for this can be given to my “skills” because I simply didn’t have any.  My guess is that the 18 Watter is such a simple, robust design that it’s just impossible to mess it up.  It has become “my sound” and I haven’t played any amps I’ve liked better in years.  (And that includes some fancy boutique amps.) I’m going from memory, but I’m pretty sure it sounds better than the 2203 and 2204 heads I played back in the day.

So yeah, sheer dumb luck, but my perfect amplifier.

Edited by Rich_S
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I'll 2nd Kiz on this!

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5 hours ago, Biz Prof said:

In order to achieve a certain sound for live shows (I didn't have a single semi-hollow in my stash), I recently picked up an Ibanez AS73 for $250 via local CL. It came with the proper HSC and was loaded with Gibson '57 Classic/Classic+ pickups. After my first rehearsal using it, the other guys in the band were gushing about how rich it sounded. I figured that their reaction was merely related to the fact that it was a semi-hollow versus solid body, but in retrospect (after listening to parts of the rehearsal on an iPhone recording), it does sound damn good. Much, much better than $250, that's for certain. Who'd have thunk it? Not me. 

I’d wager that this is due to you being a rather tasty player who knows how to set their kit up :)

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Posted (edited)

Behringer TO800 pedal in green plastic housing. It worked great until it didn`t 

Edited by hanspanzer
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11 hours ago, JES1680 said:

A friend of mine likes to do things on the cheap. Had a bunch of guys over one day and there was some really expensive boutique stuff in the room. Jeff shows up with a Fender Musicmaster bass that he modded, a Bad monkey OD, and a Fender something or other that he got on sale at G/C for $79.00.  He's probably got $350.00 in his whole rig. 

He sounded amazing. Everyone was kinda like oh... er.. um..ok. 

I have a '74 Musicmaster bass amp that sounds great with guitar. Interestingly enough, it lacks bass, but it's still a great little amp and takes pedals well. 

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On 3/19/2019 at 10:30 AM, hamerhead said:

We've all probably thrown together an odd combination of gear that worked waaay better than it should have, either by accident or necessity. I had a really cheap 4x10 guitar cabinet - I'm talkin' like $20 cheap - and the second you pushed it, even a little, it totally farted out, worse than any holey/tore speaker you might have heard.

One day me and a buddy were surfin' for speakers for his Bronco and came across 10" subwoofers with some absurd power rating - new-in-the-box for $5 each. Light bulb came on. Hell yeah! I pulled the speakers from the cheap cab and for $20 replaced them with those subs. I'm currently running a 400W SWR head into this thing and it sounds unbelievably good. Even real bass players like it.

It shouldn't have worked that well (at all, for that matter), but we use it at every jam.

I guess that "absurd power rating" was for real. Good on ya.

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Digitech Bad Monkey.  Every once in a while the big boys hit it out of the park.

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