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Sound Quality

I play punk, black metal, experimental, but I also mess around with clean sounds and effects. Generally I bought this amp for its clean tone. It is a Fender, so what more do I need to say? It does have that Fender clean sound, but I think the vintage Fenders sound a bit better. Then again, it may have to do with the hallucinogenic qualities of silver face screen. I've tried a few Marshalls, and this little amp sounds superior to all Marshall heads I have tried. Very nice tone. 95% of my playing is with a Boss Metal Zone and a MXR Dyna Comp. With this amp and my Carvin Ultra V, the crunch is devastating. I am constantly amazed at how the amp retains clarity, despite my adding the MZ (about the gainiest pedal around). I get a shredding crunch yet it retains a clean sounds and i can hear each string I play without it getting loss in a muddied fuzz (like the Marshalls that I tried, and solid state amps that I previously owned, and my practice SS Randall amp). However at high volumes, the amp begins to overdrive too much but I get into this later. I don't ever use the dirty channel because I simply add pedals to the clean channel. The second channel, however, has some nasty cool gain to it, but it is better suited for rock and screaming blues than for my needs. I always have the tone (5-6) and presence (maxed at 10) at the same setting and I only adjust the bass and middle to change my sound. I use only a hint of reverb. Volume-wise, this amp is about as loud as a 50 watt should be, but it is a little underpowered for my needs. While this amp sounds really LOUD in an apartment, it isn't so loud in a jamspace with a full band. Unmiked in a gig, this amp would definitely not have the juice for one of our metal gigs. This may be speaker-related though. For the first 4 years I had it, I played through a 100W Celestion 2x12 cab and had decent results. I recall hearing that these heads normally came with a 4x10 cabinet which seems about right. Today, I play with a louder set of musicians and I found that this amp and cab does not cut it, so I had to borrow a Marshall JCM800 and 2 4x12's. I recently bought a Boogie 4x12 hoping this would solve the problem but I have not tried this setup yet with the band. I don't think it will solve the problem from the tests I've done at home. These speakers sound a hell of a lot better though! I also really dislike running my amps maxed out all the time. I found that pushing the volume past 5 or 6 starts to ruin the tone and at this level, some notes and chords struck a certain way makes the speakers crap out and pushes the LED into all red (Keep in mind that this is with a BOSS Metal Zone and lots of crunch). It might work better with clean sounds but again, this is not my main type of sound. At times I have found that this amp really acts like a 60 Watt amp, and specifically, a 60 watt Fender. I swear 50 watt Boogie and Marshalls are louder.

Reliability/Durability

I've had this baby for about 6 years. I've retubed twice, but I didn't use the amp all that much in those years. I'd say that I used it perhaps twice a month for about 3 of those years, the rest was about twice a week. The biases are set by the way, so some say you need matched tubes. I've never bothered and just buy tubes that come from the same production batch. It seems pretty solid and weighs about a ton. Everything seems to be of great construction, the pots are smooth, and the casing is thick. I've never had it in a rack case, but then again, I'm not moving it around much. Moving without a case can be a bitch as there's no handles to hang onto. I keep thinking it sure would look cool in a rack mount with an EQ and a processor. A long time ago the volume started to crap out on the amp, so I took it back to the store where i bought it used. It was still under the store used warranty so they shipped it to a local guy. He fixed it but I had the same issue one week later. I think I remember seeing the words "another transistor" on the repair slip. Ever since then, no problems. It's a tube amp, so I consider this stuff to be normal maintenance.

General Comments

I swear by Fenders. Their clean tone is simply the best, and IMO the best clean tone makes for the best foundation for effects, and in my case, killer distortion. This amp is no exception. I do NOT speak on behalf of their solid state amps! I don't know why more metal bands don't use old Fender amps, because I simply love them. I guess people only think they are good for clean and bluesy sounds. Well it can remain our little secret!!!

 

Unfortunately I might soon sell this amp. I really want to keep it simply for its clean tone and the fact that it is in a convenient rack mount, but I need money for my next amp. If I'm lucky, I'll get $400 for my Big Muff and I wont have to sell it ;)

 

My next amp will be a 100 watter as this amp does not *seem* to be able to keep up to my noisy band. However, if this amp is noticeably louder with the 4x12 I'll be delighted and keeping this little puppy. If not, I'll be looking to buy a 100W Dual Showman or whatever else will peel paint.

 

Ah who knows....Ideally I'd love to keep the Super 60 and use it for clean in conjunction A/B with another amp for dirty. We'll have to see how good Santa is to me this year.

 

If you are looking for a great amp, and come across one of these used, plug one into some nice speakers and the amp will speak for itself. It's also cool because the Super 60 is kinda obscure and was only made for a few years. For a good price, scoop one up.




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