I recently sold my 59 Bassman with plans to replace it with a smaller amp. Yeah, I know, who the hell sells a 59 Bassman. It was just too valuable to take out of the house much and louder than I need. My other amp is a mid 60’s Deluxe Reverb with a Milkman Neo ( JBL clone ) that got all the play time anyway. Works great with 6 string, lap and pedal steel. Pretty much anything you can throw at it. Lots of slidey stuff, alt tunings, big strings. I’d like to pair it up with another small cleanish amp that’s easy to cart down to LA or up to the Bay for work, etc. Head and cabinet or combo. I’ve always played old amps but some of the new stuff looks pretty solid.
A good friend has the Fat Jimmy Jr. and swears by that, so it’s high on the list. Here are the options that I’m thinking.
Fat Jimmy Jr. – Head or Combo
Fender – Chris Stapleton Princeton
Fender – 6G2 Princeton vintage
Two Rock – Studio Signature
Matchless – Laurel Canyon
Milkman – Pint
Thanks for the input,
I’m partial to the old 6L6 Fender stuff myself, so Tremolux is as small as I’d go onstage.
Those are getting pricey too, (Tremolux = Brown Vibrolux in a head) so worth checking out if you can find one to try. 2x6L6 with a small OT and a tube rectifier, kinda ideal.
As to the other amps on your list, you can’t go wrong, it’s just a matter of taste.
For purposes of disclosure, Two-Rock and Fat Jimmy are built by close friends of mine, and either would be a great choice depending on exactly what you’re going for.
The TR leans more modern, the Jimmy more of a Brown Fender vibe.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Matchless I didn’t like, and I’ve never played a Milkman, so there you go.
Intuitively, based on your comments I’d think the Matchless and Fat Jimmy deserve the most attention.
Those would be the modern amps most likely to extend and complement what you’re already running,
The TR Studio Signature is the kind of amp that would either replace your Deluxe or you’d never play it because you already have a Deluxe Reverb.
Anyway, that was my take on that specific TR.
I can’t recommend any of the modern Fender stuff, but you can’t go wrong with an old 6L6 Fender, that’s about it.
Good list, you’re on the right track.
Thanks for the response. I’ll try to check out a tremolux. I had a tweed tremolux in the 90’s that made a great studio amp. You’re intuition is right though as I am leaning towards the Fat Jimmy and I’ll be in the Bay Area soon for 6 weeks mixing a film so I can pick it up. If the Matchless were 15lbs lighter I would be more intrigued. You like heads better than combos, right?
Thanks and I’m really digging your Satellite record. Great sounds, playing and the vocalist!
I went to the Matchless factory yesterday and tried out the Laurel Canyon. The amp is pretty stellar with a ton of clarity and note separation. It sure reveals any playing flaws. Back to the wood shed for me. The master and eq work great and you can get those Lindley / Jackson Browne tones and in head form it’s pretty light. Definitely worth checking out.