• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and recently moved to a new hosting platform. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! WE ARE HAVING PERIODIC ISSUES WITH DELAYED RESPONSE TIME! DOING TROUBLESHOOTING! PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH US UNTIL WE IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin

DEMO: Tech 21 Trademark 60... Solid State, WTF!!!... ReWind PAF1s

Ed A

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,686
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bak1-Q1iV4M

So let me start with the usual tube snobbery. I currently own a stock ‘69 100W plexi, a Royal Hiwatt hand wired Jimmy Page 100W replica, Ceriatone hand wired 36w, an early ‘80s hand wired Deluxe II and an early green board Blues Junior that I use for gigging with a 50-year-old JBLD120. Previously I've owned about a dozen vintage Plexis, ‘65 Pro Reverb and I’ve had Matchless, Bogner and Blockhead boutique amps. I gig with the Blues Junior because my aging back and aging ears can’t do the big stuff anymore. The only problem with the Blues Junior is for some gigs it just doesn’t have loud enough stage volume. So a buddy of mine said you got to try this Tech 21 Trademark 60 1x12. I said no way you’re going to get me to play a solid-state amp. He said don’t be a dick and just try the damn thing... So not only did I try it but I bought two of them LOL! One for gigging and one for rehearsals. Not only did it it’s solve my problem of getting great tone at any volume but I can truly say it’s one of the better sounding amps I’ve played. And at about $250 it’s quite easy on the wallet too. Stock speaker was good, but I threw in a vintage '70s JBL K120 and got my tone. And I will put this amp up against anything for great tone. At 40 pounds with the JBL this little thing is versatile, lightweight and kicks some serious ass. It is not a digital modeling amp. It is an analog solid-state amp. Somehow, much more organic than modeling amps... I don’t know how they did it but I really dont think anybody out front is going to know this thing doesn’t have tubes. Plus the reliability and the fact that it consistently sounds great is a plus. The various tone and volume controls are very interactive. Channel 1 does convincing Tweed and Blackface tones. Channel 2 that I used for this demo is very Marshall... Anyway just wanted to share my enthusiasm, there are plenty of these out there on the used market. Get one if you dare! Here is a demo..... Oh and the guitar is an '18 R7 with newly installed ReWind Electric PAF1s... Great pickups!
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,980
Firstly let me comment again that your playing is delicious and nutritious. I really enjoy it.

I have played and own several SS amps I thought sounded good when I bought them. Every one of them ends up disused because after a short while I start feeling like the distortion on them is too 'forced'. 'Bees in a box'. It does not sound natural. I agree the front row at a gig probably won't care. I enjoy my fillings where they are though.
 

barman

New member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
61
I love a good solid state amp when I come accross one. The Tech21 stuff I really like.
I must stress that when talking about vintage tones, a lot of early SS circuits made in the 60s sounded great.
I have a fond memory of a 1968 WEM solid state PA amp that worked great for guitar, ER100 was the model. I used to have one about 20 years ago, when I was in my teens.
The sound was to die for but it had no master volume (typical) so in order to get crunch, you had to turn it up to window-shattering levels.

Here's a sample:
http://www.theampfactory.com/downloads/wem-er-100-1968-6-profiles/

I don't know why Solid state became the stuff of entry-level practice amps in the 70s, when you can really make a high-end, great sounding SS amplifier with a little know-how and good parts.

Check the guts of that WEM ER100:
ER40-pre-amp.jpg


8499ba37.jpg
 

Mars Hall

Active member
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
1,829
An unknown great sounding SS amp is the Peavey Bandit 65. A 1x12 combo amp that can be found used for less than $200.
 

sonar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
3,589
It's been a few years, but really enjoyed the Tech 21 stuff when I had the chance to play them. Great demo Ed!

The Randall RG series from the early 80's, specifically the RG80, are excellent sounding amps that can go from rockabilly (Alvin Brothers from The Blasters) to metal (Dimebag).

The Vox Pathfinder 15R from a few years back is another really good sounding SS amp for dark, Jazzy stuff. Check out Kid Ramos Youtube Vids.

All these amps can be had for $250 or less. I've seen (and purchased) used Pathfinder 15 amps for as low as $75.


I've played some crap SS amps over the years, yet the worst guitar amp I've owned had tubes in it.
 

Ed A

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,686
I love a good solid state amp when I come accross one. The Tech21 stuff I really like.
I must stress that when talking about vintage tones, a lot of early SS circuits made in the 60s sounded great.
I have a fond memory of a 1968 WEM solid state PA amp that worked great for guitar, ER100 was the model. I used to have one about 20 years ago, when I was in my teens.
The sound was to die for but it had no master volume (typical) so in order to get crunch, you had to turn it up to window-shattering levels.

Here's a sample:
http://www.theampfactory.com/downloads/wem-er-100-1968-6-profiles/

I don't know why Solid state became the stuff of entry-level practice amps in the 70s, when you can really make a high-end, great sounding SS amplifier with a little know-how and good parts.

Check the guts of that WEM ER100:
ER40-pre-amp.jpg


8499ba37.jpg

Great soundfile!.... sweet cleans and nasty crunch!
 

Ed A

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,686
It's been a few years, but really enjoyed the Tech 21 stuff when I had the chance to play them. Great demo Ed!

The Randall RG series from the early 80's, specifically the RG80, are excellent sounding amps that can go from rockabilly (Alvin Brothers from The Blasters) to metal (Dimebag).

The Vox Pathfinder 15R from a few years back is another really good sounding SS amp for dark, Jazzy stuff. Check out Kid Ramos Youtube Vids.

All these amps can be had for $250 or less. I've seen (and purchased) used Pathfinder 15 amps for as low as $75.


I've played some crap SS amps over the years, yet the worst guitar amp I've owned had tubes in it.

I had an RG80 back in the mid 80s... I dont know that amp really did sound SS to me with buzzsaw high end... The Tech 21 I think sounds so organic and smooth... of course my iphone once again doesnt do it justice thats for sure...
 

Dave P

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
1,006
I had a Tech 21 amp for a while, it was pretty good. I have a red stripe 1 x 12 Peavey transtube amp that actually sounds pretty good for low volume noodling. The Boss Katana amps sound surprising good if you download the software onto your computer and tweak the amp settings a bit.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,980
The first one I had was a Standel with 6-10's in it. One unit. It actually sounded very good but had NO distortion. At ALL. But if you wanted clean it was pretty fine. I wonder why you never see them anymore. Used to be all over the place.
 

mdubya

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
1,038
Very nice, very credible endorsement, Ed. :dude:


I have a first year, 1976 Marshall 2204 and a 1978 Champ. Both sound great. However, about 95% of the time, I play through my Fractal AX8, the other 5% I play through my Marshall Lead 12.

I have a Tech 21 British pedal, recommended to me by several JTM 45 owners who agreed it was a more practical solution. Into a powered speaker or into a DAW the T21 British sounds fairly incredible. The active controls are a bit touchy, but once dialed in, it is great.

I also briefly owned a Tech 21 Trademark 10. The tweed and blackface settings were great, but the Mesa and Marshall settings had some problems, bad/dirty switching or dirty pots or...something. I ended up returning it (bought used via GC) instead of messing with it myself. You have me thinking again, though. :peace2

One real upside would be, I could run the AX8 through the effects loops and get amp in the room sounds. As it is, I run the AX8 through my Champ and 2204 as often is anything, straight into the front. They add an organic and amp in the room dimension that a powered speaker does not/cannot.

Point being, as good as my Champ and 2204 sound, other than using them for monitoring, they don't get used much.
 

sonar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
3,589
I had an RG80 back in the mid 80s... I dont know that amp really did sound SS to me with buzzsaw high end... The Tech 21 I think sounds so organic and smooth... of course my iphone once again doesnt do it justice thats for sure...

I thought the RG80 combo (with 1X12 Celestion G12-80) sounded pretty good for the 80's metal thing and had surprisingly good Fender clean tones.
 

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,524
Great Demo, Ed! :applaude

Tech 21 has some really good stuff.

I have the Fly Rig 5, a Blonde Deluxe Private Stock, A Bass Driver Deluxe and a power engine 60. (Not all at once, of course). You can dial in some great tones with these.

No, these are NOT digital computerized modelers. So don't lump them in that category.

All of their products I have are very useable and very portable.

Pedals in front are ok, but just keep in mind, your signal is as clean as your dirtiest component. Alone, Tech21 is great without the massive size and weight.

The Blonde Deluxe, and Bass Driver have xlr outs to the power engine so no worries about cable length, type or other cable snake oil sorcery. Xlr balanced cable retains signal up to 6000 feet. I can also use them as DI right to the console and power up with phantom power. You go live with these and can XLR right to the board. Your sound guy will love you. You can go to a gig with your guitar and this in your pocket. That's it

FWIW, I met one of the guys that works there a couple of years ago when he was in for a session. He was saying they don't put out stuff that sucks. It's all made in NJ. He had a Fly Rig 5 right there on the floor in front of him in the live room.

 
Last edited:

J.D.

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
10,043
Wow, listening to the youtube clip I'd guess it was a tube amp.

I agree, those '80s Peavey transtube solid state amps sound surprisingly good for the cost, and they are damn near bullet proof reliable.
 

Hiwatts-n-Gibsons

Active member
Joined
May 10, 2024
Messages
144
It's been a few years, but really enjoyed the Tech 21 stuff when I had the chance to play them. Great demo Ed!

The Randall RG series from the early 80's, specifically the RG80, are excellent sounding amps that can go from rockabilly (Alvin Brothers from The Blasters) to metal (Dimebag).

The Vox Pathfinder 15R from a few years back is another really good sounding SS amp for dark, Jazzy stuff. Check out Kid Ramos Youtube Vids.

All these amps can be had for $250 or less. I've seen (and purchased) used Pathfinder 15 amps for as low as $75.


I've played some crap SS amps over the years, yet the worst guitar amp I've owned had tubes in it.

Yeap, I've played and been impressed by all the above, but tbt a vintage Pathfinder blew me away when I tried it. When I looked in back to see the guts and saw it was SS I was like, wtf, no way.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,575
A good thread resurrection, to hear @Ed A on that gold top!

I still have my Tech 21 Trademark 60 and also a Roland Blues Cube Artist (and other Cubes) in my SS amp stable.

And a Tech 21 Power Engine which you can run anything with a preamp, amp-in-a-box pedal, or digital/modeler thru (I don't have any proper 'profilers'). Great pure amplification on the back end, and light.

Also a small Orange Crush with batteries and built in tuner.

All great for grab n' go and other situations, and just having around for situations where you don't want to damage tubes because of whatever transportation or environmental concerns.

I've been toying with the idea of the big Orange Super Crush head, but it's down on the list of GAS.

Another interesting trend: those 'small tubes' in the pre- with SS amplification, not just pure SS. Think Vox ValveTronix/ToneLabs and some pedals with built-in tubes...
 

Hiwatts-n-Gibsons

Active member
Joined
May 10, 2024
Messages
144
While I have never owned one of their amps my original late '80s SansAmp is by far my favorite amp like boost or overdrive I have ever used. When I say amp like I mean it adds that gorgeous milkshake thick low midrange oomph and sweet drive you get from cranking an amp's powersection up to near meltdown levels. It smooths out the highs and rounds out the lows in a delicious way with oodles of natural sustain that lacks piercing frequencies and bees in a can buzz.

It gives some nice tube warmth to SS amps, thickens up and adds flavor to high gain tube amps like a slab of fat back in Collard Greens, and gives amazing vintage overdrive through loud clean platform amps like my Hiwatts.

Honestly speaking I tend to prefer using Treble Boosters these days, but I still like keeping my SansAmp on a board for a different flavor. Variety being the spice of life and all that.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: J T
Top