Reappraising Modern Transistor Amps #1

February 1, 2019

This is the audio from our YouTube video here:

In this video we revisit a contentious subject for TPS: transistor amps. Dan and I have never been fans, based on those we’ve owned and played to date. Before you accuse us of snobbery, it's a matter of pure personal opinion – clearly, loads of people LOVE them. 

However, we’ve played a few things recently that have perked up the ears. Roland’s JC-40, the new Boss Nextone amps and also the Amp1 Mercury Edition by Thomas Blug in particular. So in this episode we compare the Nextone with an AC15 and a Hot Rod Deluxe, as well as having a listen to the Amp 1 with Thomas. (For the record The Amp1 uses a Nanotube in conjunction with the class D output stage, but it’s nothing like a traditional valve amp. At all.)
In part 2 (next Friday), we’ll add a Quilter 101 Reverb and more Blug Amp 1 and head into wet-dry territory.
We hope we can move the debate along. Just as there are valve amps we like a lot and not so much, so there are transistor amps likewise. We’d like to add a couple of our faves to the TPS arsenal and use them alongside everything else.

I will answer this here, so I don’t have to do it 18 thousand times in the comments (Mick here)…
Q: Why didn’t we explore the drive sounds in Nextone or Amp1?
A: Dan and I use cleaner, higher headroom amps for our rigs/boards/TPS in general, and we’re looking at the Boss and BluGuitar products in that context.


Pedals & Amps in this episode…

• Schmidt Array SA525 Switcher Board

• Boss TU-3S Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Analogman Sun Face BC183 Fuzz

• Fulltone Octafuzz
UK & Europe:

• J Rockett The Dude
UK & Europe:

• Thorpy FX Warthog
UK & Europe:

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man / Maxon OD9/808 Mods Classic, With Bad Bob Booster

• Tru-Fi Colordriver

• Klon Centaur
No longer made

• Boss DC-2w Dimension C
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man ARDX 20 Dual Analog Delay & Amazeo

• Free The Tone FT-2Y Flight Time Digital Delay
UK & Europe:

• Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe CB-3
UK & Europe:

• Fulltone Mini Deja Vibe CS-MDV2 MKII
UK & Europe:

• Supro Tremolo
UK & Europe:

• Neo Instruments Mini Vent II

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- What are we doing? 1:30
- Tube snobs: 2:30
- When Thomas came to see us: 6:30
- Amp1 Mercury and Matchless King Cobra: 9:05
- …clean, Dan’s Tele: 10:45
- …D&M Drive & Macmull: 12:40
- What is Class D? 22:33
- Back to Nextone: 28:40
- Making the dB meter soooo much better: 30:20
- Boss Nextone Artist: 31:02
- Four ‘valve’ types: 32:00
- Mick’s gone Android: 35:25
- Comparing the AC15 and the Nextone: 37:00
- Tone cut control on the AC15: 40:00
- Four output stages in the Nextone: 42:45
- Nextone,AC15 and J Rockett The Dude: 44:40
- How loud is the Nextone? 52:00
- Nextone and Fender Hot Rod Deluxe? 53:45 (55:18)
- Hot Rod Deluxe knob settings: 58:40
- …Tube Screamer and a Sun Face: 1:03:00
- Settings for the last sounds: 1:09:25
- …and Dan’s Huber: 1:10:40
- What are your impressions? 1:13:33

Guitars and amps:

• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• PRS DGT - Mick’s video at
• Nik Huber Krautster – Dan’s video at
• Boss Nextone Artist
• BluGuitar Amp1 Mercury Edition
• Vox AC15 C1 (Celestion Greenback speaker)
• Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III
• Matchless King Cobra

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USA: Riff City Guitar & Music Company
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