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Author Topic:  Best sounding lap steel amp?
Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2018 7:09 pm    
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Alright... My wife has given me instruction to pull the trigger for her on a new Clinesmith cast aluminum lap steel.

I'd like to surprise her with a nice amp, since she graciously let me get a Little Walter for my pedal steel.

I've thought about getting her a Little Walter 22 for her lap steel, but I'm open to suggestions. It will mostly be used around the house and in our home-studio. It probably won't ever get cranked super loud.

She really likes this sound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwjBar9xPzA

She likes the Eddy Arnold type stuff, but she doesn't need to have that EXACT sound... I just want her to have something that sounds nice- big, warm, and smooth.
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Bill Creller

 

From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2018 7:29 pm    
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Sounds nice Dave ! Very Happy
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2018 7:36 pm    
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Thanks Bill! But just to clarify... A Little Walter 22 isn't what is used in the video. I'm not sure who that is playing, and I'm not sure what amp they're using. I'm just looking for amp suggestions, and I'm considering the LW 22, but I'm open to other ideas! My wife liked the tone in the video.
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Brad Davis


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2018 7:39 pm    
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I see what looks like some kind of silver face Twin Reverb behind the guy in the video, although I can't tell if that's what he's using. Given the quality of the tone it certainly could be. There are re-issues of Princeton, Deluxe and Twin Reverbs and others in both black and silver face styles and they all sound wonderful, I think. Almost anything sounds good through one. Twin might be much for a home studio. Anyway these are old fashioned tube amps with old circuits, a tad noisy, lacking some modern features, so just understand what you are getting, but you're already considering the LW so I'm guessing not an issue. The LW might be great also. These Fenders do feature just about the most wonderfully rich built-in reverb to be commonly found anywhere in a combo, especially the Deluxe. Sounds good dry also.
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2018 7:48 pm    
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I initially thought about getting an original 1965 Princeton Reverb, but I'd like something a bit newer and perhaps less in need of future maintenance. Hence, the Little Walter idea.

I might take a look at the Princeton Reverb reissue. But I also think the LW might sound really nice... it's hard to tell for sure. I don't think any of these options will be mediocre-sounding.
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Norman Evans


From:
Tennessee
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 5:22 am    
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Have you seen these Vintage Sound amps? I'd really like to try one of the jazz series 35 amps.
https://www.humbuckermusic.com/pages/vintage-sound-amps
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 6:38 am    
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Allen Amplification can offer anything from a class A Champ style amp up to a dual 6L6 amp. David also has the capability of swapping out the preamp triode for an octal tube pre-amp setup (not advertised). I've had great luck with the Encore amp he sold me (kit but available pre-built). Am currently going for an Allen Chuhuahua model, 6 watt class A amp with 3 spring tube reverb and a Champ style circuit minus the tube rectifier. You can go from a clean blackface to a more dirty tweed sound on most of his amps with the twist of a few knobs.


http://www.allenamps.com/kits.php
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 6:51 am    
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I have a Clinesmith cast aluminum and I can say I finally, after a lot of trials, found the perfect steel for me!

For amp, the best I found, to my taste, is a small Quilter amp! Its a micro block 45 that I paid 200$!!!
I use a JBL K-120 with a Tommy Huff cab.

I love this setup so much that I sold my Fender Twin 1971!
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George Macdonald

 

From:
Vancouver Island BC Canada
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 7:14 am     Lap steel amp
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Another vote for the Quilter Micro Block 45 amp head. I play lap steels through this little amp into a Tommy Huff cab with a Telonics 15. It also has an aux. input for your tracks. It has limited eq. on it, but most lap steels have a tone control to roll off some highs.
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Bill Creller

 

From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 7:37 am    
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Of course it's all a matter of what our ears tell us. The Fender Tweed Deluxe and the Princeton Reverb didn't do it for me.

And also had a Princeton Chorus once, and had a Acoustisonic Reverb ? ( can't remember the name) Had that one for a month, and gave it away to my niece !! So much for solid state amps.
Still have a Fender Vibrosonic Reverb, an 83 LB 100 watt rig, that needs a new home !
These days I just use one of the ones that I built, 15 watt National based design tube amps...
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 9:16 am    
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Jean-Sebastien,

Does the quilter have enough lively, tube-like quality to keep your steel from sounding sterile? Also, did you try any of the other small quilter amps? I wonder how a tone-block or the mini head might be.
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Todd Clinesmith


From:
Lone Rock Free State Oregon
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 11:12 am    
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Hi Dave,
I have heard good reports on the Quilter amps sounding very tube like. I know Lee Jefferies swears by em, and I value his tonal opinions quite a bit. Mikiya Matsuda has one as well, and I think he likes it quite a bit too.

I have yet to try one.
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James Kerr


From:
Scotland, UK
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 12:04 pm    
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How does this sound to the ears, a Vox VT30 Watt
Tube front end, Tranny back end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAE76yLxEA4

James
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 12:05 pm    
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In case anyone else is interested... I asked the original poster of that Youtube video what amp he was using, and it was a 1970s Princeton Reverb.
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 1:34 pm    
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Dave Stroud wrote:
Jean-Sebastien,

Does the quilter have enough lively, tube-like quality to keep your steel from sounding sterile? Also, did you try any of the other small quilter amps? I wonder how a tone-block or the mini head might be.


Yes Dave its very surprising! But I love clean tone. I have a Gibson BR-9 amp and a Skip Simmon's Stromberg-Carlson model 32 that have very nice and lively tone but I still prefer my Quilters because of the very lively AND full range tone!

I also have a mini 101 that I also love. Those amp are crazy light, cheap, have great vintage tone!

Also you have no noise!
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 3:16 pm    
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Dave Stroud wrote:
In case anyone else is interested... I asked the original poster of that Youtube video what amp he was using, and it was a 1970s Princeton Reverb.


Funny, Princeton Reverb (maybe one modded with a 12" speaker) is what I would have recommended - the PR is the king of warm, but still Fender-ish clean tones at lower volume levels, and it has a great reverb, perfect amp for the type of sound posted in the clip.
At a somewhat higher price level, in the same tonal family, but with the ability to go a bit louder than a PR, if needed, is the Carr Rambler, one of the best "clean tone" amps ever made - that's what I'm using, totally killed my need to ever try any other amps...
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Rick Abbott

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 4:20 pm    
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It's a bit on the low volume side, but I have a Fender Deluxe clone and use a Wampler faux spring reverb, they sound very, very good. I use a goodrich 7a and the 2nd input on the normal channel to get max headroom. It's the best tone I've ever had on a non-pedal steel. The speaker is very important for any low volume tone.

The Princeton Reverb is a +1 though, and the Carr is also. Carr is good stuff.
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RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Remington T-8, Wakarusa 5e3 clone
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2018 4:31 pm    
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The Carr Rambler is a bit too much power I think. Has anyone tried the Carr Sportsman?
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2018 12:32 pm    
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This topic belongs in Electronics, not Steel Without Pedals. Moved. Carry on!
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Larry McFall


From:
Huntsville,Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2018 3:07 pm     The Clinesmith Cast Aluminum Lap Steel Sound!
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Dave, that YouTube on the “Clinesmith” sounded great. I have never heard a Clinesmith before and assume that it has a wonderful sound as demonstrated. However, I am sure that the amp he used added a boost to that great sound.

Of course the artist obviously made it sound great! Who was it?
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Randy Gilliam

 

From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2018 7:59 pm     Best Amp
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Whatever I am selling at that time!
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2018 9:02 pm     A Great Small Amp.
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I use this at home for Pedal Steel, occasionally gig with it for guitar.
. I did have it recapped and put a Rajin Cajun 75watt speaker in it.
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Mike Brown

 

From:
Meridian, Mississippi USA
Post  Posted 28 Mar 2018 12:40 pm     Best Sounding Lap Amp
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Classic 20 if you can find them.
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Dave Stroud

 

From:
West Texas
Post  Posted 28 Mar 2018 1:00 pm    
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I'm surprised there isn't anyone chiming in yet about trying a Little Walter with clean lap steel. We're gonna try a 22 watt or a V40 and see how it goes!
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 28 Mar 2018 3:14 pm     Before you drop 2 grand
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Hi Dave,
Before you drop 1 or 2 grand on one of those really fancy amps consider one of these nice little Danelectro Nifty Seventy amps.

I got mine locally off Craigslist for $60.00 and it sounds great.
Was designed to be a practice bass amp and it sounds wonderful with both my aluminum Clinesmith and even with my new T-8 that Todd finished last week.
Has an 8" bass speaker and is solid state, very simple amp. No hum, no issues, just good playing.

Sure I'm keeping my eye open for a good deal on an older tube amp, but until then this is just fine. I've even taken it with my Clinesmith JM Lap Steel on my motorbike to jam with other bands and it was fine.
Thats my 2¢ worth and a great value for what you paid me! Rolling Eyes Laughing Very Happy




_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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