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Worst guitar amp you have ever heard


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#1 JapanAxe

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 11:23 AM

I nominate the Line 6 Spider 30 - an indescribably hideous aural caricature of a guitar amp!

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#2 Fisheth

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 11:26 AM

I was just about to nominate that or the Marshall MG for the worst amplifier I've ever heard!
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Posted 02 October 2016 - 11:41 AM

View PostJapanAxe, on 02 October 2016 - 11:23 AM, said:

I nominate the Line 6 Spider 30 - an indescribably hideous aural caricature of a guitar amp!

Bring it on...

Yes +1
My guitarist in my old band had one of those. It sounded like a wasp buzzing around in a tin can!
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Posted 02 October 2016 - 12:17 PM

Marshall MG with a Line 6 POD in front of it...
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#5 RhysP

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 06:21 PM

Anything Marshall that hasn't been modded.

#6 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 09:00 PM

View PostRhysP, on 02 October 2016 - 06:21 PM, said:

Anything Marshall that hasn't been modded.

I used to be quite fond of my brother's 70s JMP Master Volume combo, unmodded. That sounded good. I'd agree with all the mentions of the MG series though.

#7 BigRedX

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:04 PM

Vox AC30.

Been in a couple of bands with guitarists that used them.

Always sounds completely pants until it reaches a volume where everything else is drowned out including the drums.

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#8 Danuman

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 10:23 PM

I seem to be most disappointed when I find out I'm playing through a Randall amp, but I imagine some other people have found 'their' sound in one. Maybe I only played duds.

Luckily, I usually find something to like in most amps. :)



#9 NancyJohnson

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 12:29 PM

The Line 6 comment was a bit harsh!

I've got a Spider IV 75w...while I honestly couldn't care less about the bulk of the presets (which I guess is what it's sold for), it is pretty simple to dial up a decent tone. OK yeah, for sure I'll admit it's probably not the hardy amp you'd want to take out on a mahoosive tour, but for general use, recording and so forth, it's tiptop. I've used it on everything I've recorded in the last three or four years. New these are currently less than 200 notes, second-hand half that. What's to complain about?
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#10 Bassnut62

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 07:40 PM

A horrible small combo by Trace Elliott with a vertical slit for a baffle board. V weird and truly awful sounding.
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Posted 09 October 2016 - 09:41 PM

I'm seeing a bit of context here: you expect a small, cheap amp to sound a bit crappy and an expensive one to sound good (subjective considerations aside of course). In that context the biggest disappointment for me was a (very pricey) Fender Vibroverb reissue I had some years ago. No matter what I did I couldn't get a decent sound out of it - actually thinking about it I can't quite recall why I bought it in the first place. This opinion may be coloured somewhat by it's horrendous reliability record - 3 major failures (and two new power supplies) in as many months. When it went pop for the third time I told the shop to keep it and took home a S/H Mesa Boogie Studio .22 instead. Much more like it!
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#12 paul h

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:47 AM

I remember the old Marshall Valvestate gear sounding pretty terrible.

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#13 randythoades

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 02:14 PM

I quite like the old Marshall Valvestate! Wouldn't buy another though to be fair...
I think it depends hugely on the player. Not bigging myself up here, but the previous guitarist in our band had both a SS Fender Ultimate Chorus and valve JCM Marshall DSL 2x12 and played a custom shop strat. Amps so far polarised to each other as you could hope to find. They both sounded complete pants in his hands. I borrowed his Marshall for an impromptu heavy rock session (Sabbath, Purple, Rainbow, Quo, Motorhead, Ozzy etc) as I have an AC15. I played my homebuilt Esquire through it and it sounded immense.
Although have also borrowed of the Two Rock amps which everyone seems to rave about and couldn't get a good sound out of it and plugged in my backup amp (a SS Fender Frontman) and was so much happier!

Edited by randythoades, 10 October 2016 - 02:14 PM.

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 02:22 PM

View PostNancyJohnson, on 04 October 2016 - 12:29 PM, said:

The Line 6 comment was a bit harsh!

I've got a Spider IV 75w...while I honestly couldn't care less about the bulk of the presets (which I guess is what it's sold for), it is pretty simple to dial up a decent tone. OK yeah, for sure I'll admit it's probably not the hardy amp you'd want to take out on a mahoosive tour, but for general use, recording and so forth, it's tiptop. I've used it on everything I've recorded in the last three or four years. New these are currently less than 200 notes, second-hand half that. What's to complain about?

The biggest problems I've found are the basic clean tone (not to my taste, not necessarily their fault of course!) and, more importantly, they seem to be really unresponsive to dynamics.

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 03:07 PM

Marshall JCM 800.

Although that was probably because I didn't understand it properly...
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#16 GarethFlatlands

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 05:06 PM

View Postpaul h, on 10 October 2016 - 08:47 AM, said:

I remember the old Marshall Valvestate gear sounding pretty terrible.

I used to own one of the original Valvestates and used to get complements on my clean tone fairly regularly. Same generation VS15R's are supposed to be very well thought of for high gain home recording to the extent there's 4 on Ebay ranging from £60 to £195 which isn't bad considering I paid a little over £100 for mine brand new back in about 1998. The next generation had a load of built in effects and I thought they were awful though.

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 06:27 PM

I used to gig a valvestate head, and as long as you relied on a good drive pedal to provide the dirt, it sounded pretty nice. I've also played the 212 combos quite often, they might get a bit thin on loud volumes, but perfectly serviceable. In my experience, the trick is not to push them, but I suppose that holds up for most transistor-based amps.

#18 RhysP

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:52 PM

View Postleftybassman392, on 09 October 2016 - 09:41 PM, said:

I'm seeing a bit of context here: you expect a small, cheap amp to sound a bit crappy and an expensive one to sound good (subjective considerations aside of course). In that context the biggest disappointment for me was a (very pricey) Fender Vibroverb reissue I had some years ago. No matter what I did I couldn't get a decent sound out of it - actually thinking about it I can't quite recall why I bought it in the first place. This opinion may be coloured somewhat by it's horrendous reliability record - 3 major failures (and two new power supplies) in as many months. When it went pop for the third time I told the shop to keep it and took home a S/H Mesa Boogie Studio .22 instead. Much more like it!

The Vibroverb reissue is a pretty terrible amp as are most, if not all, of the Fender reissue valve amps in my opinion.
Crappy, unreliable PCB construction being sold for hand built point-to-point prices.
I tried a load of them last year when I was looking for a decent valve combo & I thought they were all rubbish.

Funnily enough some of their cheaper amps, especially the Mustang 3 combo, are really good little amps. I'd have one of those over a reissue 65 Deluxe Reverb or Princeton any day.

#19 JapanAxe

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:16 PM

View PostBassnut62, on 09 October 2016 - 07:40 PM, said:

A horrible small combo by Trace Elliott with a vertical slit for a baffle board. V weird and truly awful sounding.

That was a bass amp, the BLX80 I think.
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#20 Danuman

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:24 PM

Haha, you're right! We had one of those at my secondary school. Absolute pants. 😂

#21 paul h

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 10:05 AM

Well the guitarist in my old band made his Valvestate sound pretty terrible :D I guess I must have just had a bad experience :D

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#22 Hobbayne

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 10:35 AM

I had a Laney Linebacker once. Never again, dreadful sounding crap.
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#23 Rich

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 11:45 AM

The guitarist in one of our support bands turned up with a beautiful Les Paul, a Marshall 4x12, and a 6U rack case containing Marshall pre- and power-amps and a whole bunch of flashing lights. He'd basically spent the GDP of a small country to get absolutely the worst guitar sound I have ever heard. I mean, hilariously dreadful.

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#24 leftybassman392

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 03:51 PM

View PostRich, on 12 October 2016 - 11:45 AM, said:

The guitarist in one of our support bands turned up with a beautiful Les Paul, a Marshall 4x12, and a 6U rack case containing Marshall pre- and power-amps and a whole bunch of flashing lights. He'd basically spent the GDP of a small country to get absolutely the worst guitar sound I have ever heard. I mean, hilariously dreadful.

I had an amp setup like that once (think I had 212 x 2 from memory): the monoblocks (I assume that's what they were) were fine, but the real trick (IMHO of course) was to work out where the good sounds were on the preamp (which I'd guess was a JMP-1) - there were some good ones in there; you just had to spend time finding them is all. Old school 'It's a Marshall so turn everything up to 11' guitarists definitely wouldn't have liked it... :rolleyes:

Edited by leftybassman392, 12 October 2016 - 03:53 PM.

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 09:40 PM

View PostJapanAxe, on 10 October 2016 - 08:16 PM, said:



That was a bass amp, the BLX80 I think.

It could well have been, cos it sounded terrible for guitar; but it was owned by a guitarist I played with and I hated the sound of his guitar though it.
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#26 landwomble

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:18 PM

BLX80s are great bass combos! I

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 11:57 AM

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:17 PM

Marshall Mode Four. 350 watts of yuk.

#29 skankdelvar

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 07:24 PM

Worst guitar amp? But there are so many candidates...


* Marshall Class 5. Only sounds good outside the room with the door closed. Up close it's just soggy mush.

* Small Blackstars (as above). The much-vaunted voicing control makes almost no difference to the sound.

* Any Mesa Boogie - throttled, constipated tone

* Modern Orange amps (what's the opposite of versatile?)

* Any Silverface Fender with the Ed Jahns ultralinear transformer / master volume circuit


All IMO, one's mileage may vary, of course :)

Edited by skankdelvar, 15 October 2016 - 07:26 PM.


#30 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 07:38 PM

View Postskankdelvar, on 15 October 2016 - 07:24 PM, said:


* Any Mesa Boogie - throttled, constipated tone


I've heard a few people sound good with them, though I must say that John Scofield sounds so much better since he switched from Mesa to Vox and moderated his chorus pedal usage. I feel like their repuation as a "Swiss Army" amp is well deserved. With a Swiss Army knife I could open a bottle of wine, cut up food and trim my toenails, but I'd much rather have a proper corkscrew, kitchen knife or scissors to suit the task at hand.





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