Your favorite amp EVER

4x4uk said:
they are both old but I like them both

Marshall MGP9001 love all three channels but especially the lead channel and whilst its a full solid state amp the Calsbro Stingray lead built in the mid 80's beautiful clean channel and the reverb is lovely

Often use both together give a really nice rich/full sound
I agree, the sound coming out is pretty full! I saw a video on YouTube and was stunned:) I even downloaded the video file on my PC with YouTube converter and sometimes rewatching it:)
Time to revive the thread :).

First I should say hello: hello, my name is Tom and I am RJM distributor in Poland.

Let's get to the point: I've got three "never to sell" amps. To give you a full picture I would have to write few things about Tom. Tom is probably the most awesome amp guru in Poland and one of the best in this part of Europe. The only problem is that amps are "just" Tom's hobby, so it is extremely difficult to get him do some work on your amp, even tougher to get an amp built by him. Luckily he is my friend :)


1. Hellstone Prodigy
Hellstones are handbuilt by Tom. There were only three Prodigies built and it was extremely hard to get one. This is the most complex amp Tom has ever made and it is completely hand-built by him, including transformer winding. One could say that it is a Dual Rectifier clone to some extent, but it is more accurate to say that full DR is included in it's featureset :), since you can make it sound like a Recto, but this is only one of it's many sides. Here are some tech details:
Preamp using 6N2P-EW tubes, which are military soviet versions of 12AX7 (there is a switch for each tube socket so I can replace them with 12AX7 if I want to), power amp using 6P3S-E tubes, which are USSR military versions of 6L6GC and are the longest lasting and best sounding 6L6 versions I've ever used (including Groove Tubes, JJ, Sovtek and others) - cool thing is that you can still buy them NOS here (for 8-10 $ per power amp tube and 2-3$ for preamp tube! :). Three channels - Heaven/Clean, Earth/Rhythm Hi Gain, Hell/Lead Hi Gain, all with separate Presence, Master, Bass, Treble, Mid and Gain. Clean channel has Plexi/Tweed mode switch and Vintage/Modern mode switch. Both hi gain channels have Crunch/Lead modes (which changes gain) and Classic/Modern switch - classic means Recto, Modern is the real Hellstone :) - no other amp sounds like that, so it is quite hard to describe. Great sustain, warm sounding and filtered in specific way that cuts great through the mix and is incredible in recordings. There are also four switches that dramatically change hi gain channels voicing - Freak, which moves some filter frequencies (for two completely different sounds), harmonics on/off (that enhances high end), Low EQ I/II that moves lower frequencies boost and Mid/Low boost :). That's not all - there is also plenty of switches on back panel, including Triode/Pentode mode (which changes power and sound in range of 60W/120W), Channel mode (works the same like channel cloning on rectos - so you can either have vintage/modern, modern/modern, vintage/vintage), Headroom Low/High, Deep On/Off :). There is also a effects loop assign rotary selector, two masters and slave output. Many functions can be controlled by footswitch (and Mini Amp Gizmo/Amp Gizmo does great job with that).

This amp is an all tube Pod - there are endless combinations, for example you could use Plexi/Modern mode on clean channel, crank up the gain, switch headroom to low and voila - EVH-type sound :). Change to tweed mode, put something like BB Preamp or tubescreamer in front and you get Andy Timmons kind of sound etc. The only thing that this amp is not capable of is a very cleanish bright clean. No worry, I've got another amp for that:

2. Hughes and Kettner Triamp MK1
This amp was extraordinary when I bought it, but got even better after some hotrodding (made by Tom from Hellstone :). Another all in one amp, 6 channels, built in midi interface, sounds covering bright cleanish clean, thicker not so clean clean :), two marshall style crunch/overdrive channels, two great higain channels. I also went on tubehunt for this amp, found 4 NOS Teslas e83cc with goldpins and used them for Marshally channels, and RFT ECC83 for the rest.

3. Extremely hot rodded Ashdown Fallen Angel 180
This one was an experiment. I hated this amp's original sound, but it had some nice and unique features - so during 2:00 am skype conversation with Tom, I asked him if he would like to experiment with it and he agreed. I bought it for a very good price when I was working for Ashdown distributor and it was the last one they had (they were discontinued). Tom changed it a lot and changed overdriven channel to an awesome Bogner Uberschall meets Mesa higain - it is extremely tight and distortion is very similar to Bogner Uberschall, but tonewise it is different, with richer mid content. It also received presence control, and a switch that adds a cap somewhere, that changes lows from tight to tighter ;). What's really cool is that gain control changes tone a lot (gain enhances harmonic content), but even at max settings it is still tight, clear and reacts great to playing dynamics. This amp works great with 7 and 8 string guitars too. Add to this some if it's original features:
6x EL34 for great headroom and lows
2 effect loops assignable to channels
Gain boost on channel 2
Huge transformers
Looks nice ;)
I got a Mark V about a month ago and so far am not loving it.
I want to like it, but something is just not right with it.

I have a TriAxis and 2:Ninety that floors the Mark V in the tone department.

I also have a Mesa Lonestar 2x12 which I only like here and there.
I will say that the clean sound on the Mark V is the best I've heard come out of an amp in a long time.

**UPDATE - Something indeed was wrong with my Mark V. It developed major issues. I sent it back to Sweetwater and they sent me a new one. It's friggin awesome. I'm considering selling the TriAxis and 2:Ninety.

My curent favorite is the Mesa Stiletto Ace 1x12

Here's why:
Three voices per channel with the option of having two crunch channels or a crunch and lead (no clean if you like it that way).
A choice of two clean gain settings that sound great on their own and work well with pedals in front of them.
A great overdrive channel that captures Marshal-esque sounds that take a boost in front without getting fizzy.
A switchable effects loop/no master volume amp setting.
A slave output that allows me to isolate my time based effects if I want to (and create wet/dry setups easily).
Multiple switching options.
It's on wheels.

I dont like how heavy it is, but that's only a problem when I have to lift it into venues where stairs are involved.

I dont see any need to change in the future as I have played metal, modern rock, early rock, blues, country, jazz, funk, you name it with this amp so it's versatile and sounds good in the mix. It works with humbuckers and single coils with minimal adjustment.

For all of this it's still easy to get your own sound going on.
Fun looking at this old thread. A lot of Mesa amps in this list. Which doesn’t surprise me because my favorite is a Mark III, blue stripe.

Picked it up used in 1995. Played many hundreds of shows over 15 years. Then it sat practically unused for almost ten years while I changed careers and had a family. When I plugged in again, it just didn’t work for a lot of reasons known and unknown . So I sent it to genius Mike Bendinelli and got back a sound that fit hand in glove—like hanging out for the first time in years with an old friend and picking up like no time has passed.

Love the clean. Love the crunch. Love the lead. And with the PBC 10 and a lot of other new toys for my ten loops, it’s never sounded better.

Any other favorite amps out there?
Wow, and old thread, back from the dead! Mostly, I build my own amps now (because I just don't have enough to do around here!) Primarily modded Marshall type amps. I get the urge to build one every few years or so, it seems. I do like the Mesa Fillmore 25 quite a bit, quite a versatile little combo. And I have a Friedman JEL20, which is amazing how big it sounds for its low wattage.
I’m not sure I could narrow it down to one, so I’ll go to two- my Swart SST-30 is a swampy, grindy monster, and I love it. Fantastic MV, and my favorite character amp. My other favorite would have to be my Carol Ann Tucana 3. It’s a 75 watt beast (dual KT-88s) and does nearly everything short of modern metal well. It’s a professional, well composed and perfectly voiced amp.
Honorable mention goes to the Swart Stereo Master 20. You guys gotta check these things out- the stereo is so, so good. Great amp.