Next up was a Peavey Valve King, 50w 1x12, $399. I liked this amp pretty well, but I think it was much more than I needed. Clean channel was bright and lively, boost channel was – wow! boosty, very nice crunch, insane over saturated tones. I didn’t spend much time with this amp, mostly because it was too much power and not really my tone spectrum. In retrospect (after looking at Peavey’s web site), I should have asked if they had a Classic30, which would be much more in line with what I’m looking for. I’ll go back and see if they have one. Next!
Now we get to the Fender portion of the show, a Fender Blues Junior NOS, 1x12, $579. (linkity). I’d tried a different Blues Junior previously, and it was okay. I used a straight boost pedal sans dirt last time, and it sounded great clean or barely dirting, but didn’t deliver that well. This amp, with the Proco, sounded aMAZing when the preamp was really cooking. Totally, utterly rocked. This particular Blues Jr has a different speaker than the ‘normal’ Bjr’s. I tried a different lesser Bjr, and that speaker made a huge difference, much much punchier on the NOS version. That said, Guitar Center had the “unleaded” Bjr’s marked down to <$400, so maybe I should just get one and swap out the speaker?
The last amp was a VOX custom classic ac551, 1x12, $579. I need to go back and play this amp again, because I didn’t get a good impression. It looked like there should be two channels on the thing, but there was no switch on the panel; there must have been a foot-switch missing, but it wasn’t around, and my Help Sales Person (he actually was really helpful) wasn’t to be seen at that moment. So I just messed around, and got some basic clean, and just a little dirty out of the amp, and came away unimpressed. Which is odd, because these amps have a really good rep, so something wasn’t right.
At that point I finally had road-stare and felt I’d tried out a decent selection, so I called it a day.
Urgent request: Anyone have an opinion on Traynor amps? That 15w combo for $299 may walk away, and as much as I’m drawn the Bjr, that Traynor really rocked, and its a steal! I may just go buy it tonight, but I don’t know if the amp or company have good street cred or should be avoided. Thoughts? Anyone?