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Best tube amp for the traveling musician? And why?

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  • Best tube amp for the traveling musician? And why?

    I get this question all the time. I know it depends how much someone is willing to spend and what kind of music and how big the venue and so on and so on...... I'm curious to hear from techs and players right now. I know what my answer is, but we all have different opinions. Let's say your customer is looking for a versatile mid weight (45lbs tops) tube amp that can handle small venues and larger through a PA.....well that could be a lot of amps right? Could be new or it could be vintage. Now, based on repair history and trouble shooting? What amp is a real work horse, solid and dependable that could endure night after night.

    I'm sure there are several threads already on this topic. But opinions change.

    flood gates open!!

  • #2
    Princeton Reverb loaded with a 12" & beefed up OT. Great cleans, great overdrive, great reverb, great tremolo when operating correctly, dependable & compact. Not as impressive looking as a stack, but sounds huge, especially when mic'd up.


    • #3
      There's a reason the BlackFace Deluxe Reverb stays popular.
      Something in a princeton-sized box with a 12" speaker and the slightly higher power of the DR seems about right for me.


      • #4
        Leo Fender started out as a TV/Radio repairman, so he knew the value of equipment that was solidly built, AND easy to service. Fender amps built between 1955 and 1975 will be working fine LONG after your new amp is in the landfill.


        • #5
          It's tough to beat any vintage PTP Fender amp as a workhorse, for many reasons:

          1- Built like a brick sh*thouse, and of good materials

          2- Parts readily-available and substitutable

          3- All good tube techs (and even many not-so-good ones) can service them

          4- Easily-modified for personal tonal tailoring

          5- Little REALLY goes wrong with them

          6- Sound great

          The only caveat is that if you DO buy a vintage Fender, have a GOOD tech go through it and make it solid by addressing all of the known problem aging points like electrolytic caps and squirrely plate resistors, etc. An excellent alternative is to have a new one built from a Mojo kit.
          John R. Frondelli
          dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

          "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "


          • #6
            I'm just about to build a DR myself..... to go with my "Vibroclone". I love BF Fenders !!!!

            The Tube Guy