Monday, January 14, 2013

Perfect Amp Tone?



In this video Nic Clark is playing my Mission Chicago 32-20 amp, with zero effects, not even delay.  To my ear this is perfect amp tone:  Warm and full with a bit of crunch.  It gets some sag and sings with overtones, although that does not come across as well in the video as it did live.

The tone is not shrill and the grit is not ratty or overdone.  It is not boxy or nasal or muffled.  Perfect.

When I say "perfect" I mean it is my ideal harp tone.  It is what I had in my head when I was helping to design and develop this amp.  I know full well that amp tone is subjective and there is no such thing as perfect tone, but if you ever wondered what perfect tone means to me, this is it.

8 comments:

Moe said...

Hi Rick, sorry to bug you but I had a question about an amp and your name came up frequently in my Internet research. I'm planning on buying one of Bruce's amps but I'm having some trouble deciding which model to get. Any advice as to what the pros and cons of the different models are? Which model would you recommend out of the 2x10" or the single 12"? Is going to the 50 instead of the 32-20 something you'd recommend or will I be okay with the 32-20? I know line out is always an option so I'm thinking 32-20 will work. Any thoughts for a rookie looking to get a good amp? Thanks and if this is out of place please let me know.
-Matt

Rick Davis said...

Hey Matt-

The Mission 32-20 is a good place to start. It has plenty of power and volume for all but the loudest blues jams. And it has great tone, as you can hear. Bruce does not really make the 1x12 version any more. (special order only) I played a 12+10 version that I *really* liked. You might think about that model. The 2x10 model is the biggest seller.

Yep, all 32-20 amps come with a line out and level control for the line out. Very handy, and it sounds great.

Good luck and happy harping!

Moe said...

Last question...What advantage does the 12"+10" give me over the 2 x 10"? Is really worth the extra money?

Rick Davis said...

The 2x10 is more articulate and has a kind of human vocal quality to the tone, and is slightly cleaner. The 12+10 is a bit darker and bigger sounding, with slightly more crunch. The differences can be subtle. Eihter one is a great sounding amp.

Moe said...

Thanks a bunch!

Ben Griego said...

I bought a 2x10 Mission last year. I recieved it around September. I know this is a hard decision. As Rick stated it does have a cleaner sound than what I had heard on his you tube videos with the 12 & 12/10. I gigged with it last week at at a jam. I tried it with some effect pedals. I didn't have time to see what sounded good with what pedals. I use Randy's pedals on my pedal board. I turned them off and gigged all night with no effects. I used a SM57 mod from Greg Heumann with a bulletizer. Awesome mic! I also used on a song a JT30 with a cm. This amp needs nothing! I bought the 32/20 2x10 because I assumed it would be a little cleaner because of the speaker configuration. So it would be more pedal friendly.

Spritty said...

I received the 32-20 as 50W version and 10-12 speakers and I can recommend it. I generally like amps with different speakers- and -sizes. When the mix is good - the sound is good. But that's all only personal taste...
greetz from Austria

Mike B. said...

I love the 32-20. It's a great amp. The tone is fantastic. I am very please with it. I have the 2x 10 amp.