Back when I actually was in a rock band, I played a relic-ed Custom Shop "Pre-CBS" Fender Tele (among other axes) through a genuine Pre-CBS Vibrolux while the other guitarist played his various guitars, both humbucking & single-coil, through a Mesa Boogie. True, the Boogie has more testosterone but my Vibrolux sounded so lovely, when I got out of the rock-and-roll game he asked to buy the thing. As far as I know he still plays through it. Meantime, just to keep a toe in the electric guitar world I have a Carr Rambler in the living room. I also still have that Tele.
@edcyn what Mesa where they using back in the day? I think a Pre-CBS Vibrolux is a killer piece, sounds amazing with single coils. Too bad you got rid of the Vibrolux.
Not being a smart a$$ but the SQ of the Fender will sound more like a Fender. There is just a signature sound of their early 60's amps.
@three_easy_payments That is obviously true, but in what ways does the Fender sound differ from the Mesa sound for these particular amps, in your opinion?
I still have a little Mesa .22 Studio from around 1992. It sounds very neutral to me compared to the vintage Fenders which benefit from more headroom - brighter and sparkling and able to playing "chunkier" without breaking up.
davey -- To put it simply, I just don’t play any electrified instruments anymore. Just like one of my band members happily/mistakenly exclaimed about the Grateful Dead during one fleeting moment back in the previous century, I’ve gone completely acoustic and haven’t looked back.
Electric guitars have to weigh a ton if you want any tone out of them. It’s tough on the shoulders and back. And feet. More importantly, I preternaturally crave acoustic sounds. That Carr amp in our living room hasn’t been switched on in several years. As for the sound difference between the Fenders and the Mesa, three-easy-payments has it right on. Sparkle, headroom and dynamic range are currently out of style. Instead, players seem to crave power and punch...not that this is a particularly bad thing in the rock universe. When you’re duking it out with other electric performers it’s not subtlety you generally want, anyway. You want to make your presence known. You want the audience/listener to know how bruised and angry you are at the current state of existence.
@edcyn I hear where you are coming from, but I also think that a lot of the tone comes from 'playing the amp' which is what i try and do. With my Fender single coils, I can get pretty much any tone I want, depending on my playing and the amp setting. I don't particularly like the heavy weight guitars that you seem to be alluding to ( Gibbo's?) .
Agree that sparkle, headroom and dynamics are out of style, but then i guess my playing is also out of stye..oh well.
My favorite Fender amps (used with 60/61/62 Strats) were Black and later 70’s (75-76?) Silver faced Champs/with add-on Fender reverb tanks (miked through a PA for gigs).
Black face Princeton Reverb (still miked for medium sized rooms) and Deluxe Reverb (could play straight (no PA) for smaller venues.
Always loathed the Super Reverb (loud/clean, but no soul), and owned two.
If my Strat/amp combo could not pull of the "chime" thing that a good mating could do I was not interested.
Oddly enough I played through a Leo Fender Musicman amp in the early 80’s with my last remaining Strat (63) @ a local Guitar Center when looking for a guitar for a friend’s young son and the sound was killer (SS preamp/tube power amp maybe, but not certain).
I may have had the first "master volume" in a Champ that a neighbor/electrician modified in 1965, or so.
It was a few electrical parts wired to a volume pot hanging off/taped to the back of the amp (he wanted it to be completely reversible).
It allowed me to achieve sustain @ much lower volumes when practicing.
He (Don Burns) was also into HiFi.
Owned various other guitars, but my favorites were always the Strats, plus an oddball Ibanez PF-300 that I picked up (for its easier action) after breaking the crap out of my left hand.
Think I've posted about if before, but in the late 70's/early 80's I used "special' Mesa Boogie hookup wire for speaker wire.
It was only supposed to be used for repair of their amps, but a friend/musician who worked @ a local shop gave me a partial roll for such use.
As far as I recall (40 years ago - thank you) it had a Blue covering/clad and was perhaps 16 gauge /stranded.
The Mesa guy did something with HiFi in the 80's but I forget and am too lazy to look it up.
@dekay I used to own a 70's silver face Champ, could never get it to sing, but back then i was using a crappy hum bucker Epiphone...probably would have a different opinion with my Strats and Teles today.
We're brewing a great thread here. I'll drift it a bit further into the weeds. My first electric was a Strat, and opposed to most of the musical instruments I've donned it is extremely comfortable to wear. I think my wife still has a Strat somewhere, hidden in a closet. The trouble is, I could never get a strat to sing the way others could. On the other hand, when I wielded a Telecaster I could boing, scream, twang, and make this big city kid feel like an outlaw country boy. It's possible that my Les Paul is hidden in the wife's closet, as well. An LP can sing like Pavarotti but it also weighs as much as the dear departed Luciano. The short scale and high frets give me fits, too. I appreciate the one-and-a-half steps you can choke out of a string but I never could never achieve the gentle touch needed to play the axe in tune. Bottom line, when it comes to guitars I guess I'm just a steel string acoustic guy.
@dekay ; Ernie Ball made the Music Man amps - not Fender! They had a SS preamp with a tube output stage. I saw Johnny Winter use them in concerts!
@edcyn Nothing wrong with a steel string acoustic, I totally love my Taylors. Not totally enamored of the fact that they require mediums, but that is probably why the sound is to die for.