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Ideas on Blues tones

The Whale

Inspired
Don't give up on the Fenders too quickly for blues.

The Bandcommander with xformer match turned down a little bit, output comp set to feedback mode, and a post cab block 5-band passive GEQ with a frowny curve, is a very dynamic responsive amp.

For me, even more than the crunch, I want miles of clean headroom, so that I get real nuanced, when I play the blues. That really sensitive dynamic feel is what I go for.

In front, one of many dirt pedals add some nice stuff too. Like the SDD preamp.

Cab choice with the bandcommander?
 

curious

Experienced
What cab did you use for SRV tones? I ask because I can imagine that amp being super bright with the bright switch on and the gain at 10:00. Love to see a screen shot of the amp
I believe I used the Marshall 4x12 TV Mix. I will go back and see what I did and try to post it.
 

unFILTERed

Power User
it's all preference...I personally don't know why you'd pick the AC20 or the AC30 when the DC30 is there, lol

that's another good one which i would choose over a Vox. Plain fact, morgans, matchless amps etc...are better build amps, with better / more consistent components.

I just A/B ed morgan and dc30 with same IR. I still like the Morgan more cause you have more options-channels. but i can almost tweak them identical without too much effort. Where as with the Vox models it takes effort and are not giving me the feeling, sound like plug&play. I hear some boxiness compared to Morgan or Matchless.
 
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Sonofiam

Power User
Blues is more about how you play as opposed to what you play through so it all comes down to what tone you like and does that tone inspire you. That said, I personally gravitate toward amps like the Wrecker Lvrpool, Nuclear Tone, and Plexi derivatives.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I’m waiting on my AX8 still, but I understand it has a Mesa Lonestar model. They are an incredible blues amp because of the Class-A power amp. I have a real one that I use for blues with both Strat and Les Paul guitars and a band mate always wants to use with his Telecaster. Keep the preamp clean, or on the very edge of distortion, and let the power tubes distort.
 

RKF

Inspired
I’m waiting on my AX8 still, but I understand it has a Mesa Lonestar model. They are an incredible blues amp because of the Class-A power amp. I have a real one that I use for blues with both Strat and Les Paul guitars and a band mate always wants to use with his Telecaster. Keep the preamp clean, or on the very edge of distortion, and let the power tubes distort.

I think only the Lonestar Special is Class-A. The model in the AX8 is the 100w Lonestar Class-AB model. If I'm wrong about that, someone please correct me.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I think only the Lonestar Special is Class-A. The model in the AX8 is the 100w Lonestar Class-AB model. If I'm wrong about that, someone please correct me.

You’re right in that the 5 watt setting is pure Class A but even the AB setting (15 watt) on the Special is very good for blues. It’s where I leave mine 99% of the time. In general the amp has a very nicely tuned power amp section that sounds old.
 

RKF

Inspired
You’re right in that the 5 watt setting is pure Class A but even the AB setting (15 watt) on the Special is very good for blues. It’s where I leave mine 99% of the time. In general the amp has a very nicely tuned power amp section that sounds old.

Agreed, one of Mesa's best for sure.
 

Cainer

Experienced
Give the Dr Z amp(s) a shot - I find them really good for Fender-y but not Fender tones. Other than that I really stick with the Fenders - Superverb, Vibroverb and sometimes Deluxe.
 

Al C

Member
Agree with the posts suggesting a JTM45. It's worth a try. The Blues Society in my city hosts a monthly blues jam which is well attended by dozens of long time south Texas blues players from here and surrounding cities. A couple of month's ago, the host band supplied the regular backline of "blues amps". But they also had a 1965 JTM45. In my decades of playing, I'd never played a "real" JTM45 before and was amazed by how great it sounded as a blues platform. Beauty of the AX8 or FX is that you can try it out for yourself to see if it fits what you're looking for.
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
I think only the Lonestar Special is Class-A. The model in the AX8 is the 100w Lonestar Class-AB model. If I'm wrong about that, someone please correct me.
You are correct. i owned a Lonestar Special for quite a few years (finally sold it to one of my guitar students). It was a great amp. Very versatile and just sings. At the 30w setting it was amazing how loud that little sucker was. 5w setting was good for studio and the 15w setting good for small venues. One of Mesa's best, IMHO.
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
One of the great things about the FAS stuff is the ability to combine speakers and amps that wouldn't work in the real world; for example, the Diezel VH4 with the gain low and master cranked through the Oval 6 inch speaker can easily sound bluesy enough for a live gig or session :D
 

artzeal

Experienced
Don't forget the Tweed Twin: Its like fried chicken: Soft crunch on the outside and greasy on the inside. Spice it up with a hint of boost or drive. Several cabinets pair well: Try 022 Brown 2x12 Super or a 4X12 with Greenbacks. As other posters have pointed out: 50w Plexi, JTM45 or DC30 are very fulfilling. Gotta take the Lonestar for a spin: thanks for the tip!
 

jiagap

Inspired
Don't forget the Tweed Twin: Its like fried chicken: Soft crunch on the outside and greasy on the inside. Spice it up with a hint of boost or drive. Several cabinets pair well: Try 022 Brown 2x12 Super or a 4X12 with Greenbacks. As other posters have pointed out: 50w Plexi, JTM45 or DC30 are very fulfilling. Gotta take the Lonestar for a spin: thanks for the tip!

Tweed twin??
 

chucma

Fractal Fanatic
My definite favourites for blues are the SuperTweed (I love this for a Joe Bonamassa'ish type of tone), and then the VOXAC15 for a slightly cleaner (but still with a very nice breakup into a little bit of gain if you need it). The AC15 is a VERY responsive amp with a huge dynamic range, I couple it with a drive block now and then to tighten the bottom up a little when I want a more aggressive blues sound.
 

RKF

Inspired
Except, it's not actually Class A.

From Matchless:

"Thirty very conservatively rated watts from a quartet of EL-84’s, through two channels, each with unique voicing and tone control layouts, produce a world of tone choices. True “Class A” configuration gives rich, complex harmonics whether played clean, mildly overdriven, or with all out power tube saturation. This means you should sound great in any situation, in any music style."

From Vintage Guitar:

"Preamp Tubes: One EF86, three 12AX7s (one for PI)
Output Tubes: Four EL84s in class A, cathode-bias.
Rectifier: GZ34"

It has the bounce, sag and compression of class-a so whether or not it's "true" class-a in a technical cork-sniffery sense, it doesn't really matter to me.
 

JRFarmer

Inspired
It has nothing to do with cork sniffing, and it doesn't matter if Matchless or Vox calls it class A.

It's a matter of electrical engineering. It simply is not class A. It's an objective fact.
 
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