Finding the right amp for your bedroom and smaller clubs, can be a challenge. During the last decade, the market has been flooded by affordable tube amps in all price ranges and while most of them will cover your basic needs, there are some distinct differences that will have an impact on your tone. In this feature we’ll look at a handful of models with David Gilmour’s tones in mind.

The large tube stack phenomenon started in the late 60s, when bands moved to bigger stages and needed more volume and wattage. Prior to this, a small combo would do the job nicely. The whole thing escalated in the 80s with the ridiculous, although cool looking, walls of Marshalls.

By the early 90s, the low wattage tube amps were almost forgotten in favour for the transistor. But trends tend to get their rennaissance and once again, guitarists demands the timeless sound of the tube amp.

Large stacks or small combos?

No doubt, most guitarists’ dream is to own a 100w tube head and a matching 4×12” speaker cabinet but in truth, they’re quite a hassle. A 100w or even a 50w Hiwatt or similar, would be all too much for a 300 seats club, not to mention having to carry the whole thing to and from the gig.

In a studio environment, a smaller amp would usually be easier to tame and to mic properly, compared to a loud stack. High wattage has little to do with how fat or huge your guitar sounds on the recording. Not least, a bedroom setup require something small that doesn’t piss off your neighbours and wife.

Not all pedals are suited for lower volume and smaller amps. See the Overdrive and Distortion feature for some tips on versatile pedals for your Gilmour tones.

Tubes or transistor?

You might be skeptic towards tube amps and think they’re just too loud and expensive. That’s not the case. A tube amp will allow you to get a dynamic clean tone even at the very lowest volume levels, whereas a transistor tends to sound quite dull and lifeless without the proper volume. Tubes will also react more to your playing and the pedals, which means that you can easily bring out the nuances of your tone with very little volume.

Many of these low wattage tube amps feature a built in power scaling. This means that you can scale down the output to a minimum and still be able to drive the tubes for warm, crunchy tube distortion without tearing down the walls.

In terms of price, – moving production to low cost countries, means that you can get great value for much less. Thankfully, most brands also understand that musicians nowadays demand quality, so even though the tag says Mexico, China or whatever, you can expect a rugged design.

My best tip is that you consider how you’ll be using your amp. If you’re mostly playing at home, then go for something small. A 5-15w will be more than enough. 15-30w will usually be more than enough for studio, band rehearsal and smaller clubs. If needed, use an attenuator like the THD Hot Plate, for your bedroom.

All amps are tested with the following in mind: 

– Overall sound. I’ve concentrated on replicating David’s tones but the amp should be versatile enough for all genres.

– The amp’s ability to maintain its character at even the lowest volume levels.

– The amp must be able to handle most of the typical Gilmour related pedals.

- Features, – EQ, channels, effect loop etc.

Bugera V22
Bugera’s Vintage series offers a wide range of models with a classic tube tone that’s affordable for most budgets. The V22 combo sounds very much like an AC30 with a powerful clean channel and that British, late 60s drive channel. The amp will handle most pedals, although you should consider overdrive and distortions with more mid range, and it suits just as well your bedroom as a rehearsal setup. Check out the V5 for a more modest setup and the V55 combo or head for even more power for your stage setup.

Output: 22W

Tubes: 3x 12AX7 (pre-amp) and 2x EL84 (output)
Speaker: single Bugera 12” 70w

Controls: clean volume, gain volume, master, bass, middle, treble, master, presence, reverb, channel switcher, mid boost feature

Channels: clean and drive

FX loop: yes

Laney Cub 12

The Cub series are among the cheaper models in this category but, in my opinion, some of the better sounding. Typically British with a familiar 70s Marshall/Hiwatt-ish character. Lots of headroom, a nice mids hump and a warm, smooth top. Crank the tubes for a creamy overdrive and distortion that’ll take you from ZZ Top to Sabbath. The featured 1w power scaling, also makes this an ideal choice for the bedroom setup. All of the Cubs handles Muffs and overdrives nicely but I recommend the stack for a bit more headroom.
Output: 15w (1w scaling)

Tubes: 3x 12AX7 (pre-amp) and 2x EL84 (output)

Speaker: 2x 12” 50w Celestion G12E

Controls: Gain, Treble, Middle, Bass, Volume, Tone, Reverb

Channels: one

FX loop: yes

Fender Blues Junior III

The Blues Junior is one of Fender’s more popular amps and with good reason. It’s got the classic Fender tone, with a nice chime and plenty of headroom but with considerably more mid range and compression than a Twin and similar amps. This makes it ideal for bedrooms and even smaller clubs and it can handle most pedals, including the more demanding Big Muffs and fuzz pedals. The stock speakers can sound a tad too bright, so consider replacing these with some darker ones, like the Eminence Cannabis Rex.

Output: 15w

Tubes: 3x 12ax7 (pre-amp) and 2x EL84 (output)

Speaker: 1x 12″ 50w Fender Lightning Bolt by Eminence

Controls: Volume, Bass, Treble, Mids, Master, Reverb, FAT

Channels: one

FX loop: no

Buyer's Gear Guide - Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 head
The Tubemeister is perhaps not the obvious choice for your Gilmour tones. It’s a modern sounding rock amp, far from the classic tones of a Hiwatt or Fender. Still, this amp is extremely well built, it’s packed with all kinds of features, like power scaling and direct recording and, it can handle pretty much any pedal you throw at it. The clean channel is super pristine, with tons of headroom. The drive channel ranges from clean to near metall. A good tip is to use the drive channel for pedals, as it has more mids and compression. The clean channel with pedals sounds fizzy and thin.
Output: 18w (1w and 5w scaling)
Tubes: 2x 12AX7 (pre-amp) and 2x EL84 (output)
Speaker: extension cab sold separately

Controls: Volume (clean), drive and volume (drive), treble, middle, bass, boost

Channels: clean and drive
FX loop: yes

Blackstar HT-5H
The Blackstar HT series has already become classics. The clean channel has lots of headroom and a versatile transparent tone that’ll handle most of your pedals. The drive channel is pure metall and that’s perhaps where this amp differ from the rest. Still, with a bit of tweaking, you can easily get some nice creamy Marshall tones. The 5w is best suited for your bedroom but check out the higher wattage models also for rehearsals and smaller clubs.
Output: 5w

Tubes: 1x ECC83 (pre-amp) and 1x 12BH7 (output)

Speaker: HT-112 extension cabinet with a single Blackbird 50w speaker

Controls: clean volume, clean tone, overdrive volume, gain, bass, middle, treble, ISF, channel switcher

Channels: clean and drive

FX loop: yes

Peavey Classic 30
The Peavey Classic has gained a high reputation and with good reason. This is an incredibly versatile amp, good for almost anything you would want to play. It’s no doubt based on the classic Marshall tone, with a noticeable mids hump and a nice amount of compression, giving the drive channel an almost OCD/Rat quality. The 30 is perhaps a bit too loud for your bedroom, but the amp deliver fat tones even at the lowest volume levels and it can handle any pedal you plug into it.
Output: 30w

Tubes: 3x 12AX7 (pre-amp) and 4x EL84 (output)

Speaker: 1x 12” Peavey Blue Marvel

Controls: Volume , Bass, Treble, Mids, Presence, Master, Reverb, Boost

Channels: clean and drive

FX loop: yes

Be sure to check out the full Classic series. The Classic 50 combo offer the same tone and features as the 30 but might be a better choice for larger venues and frequent touring. The new Classic 20 head, is ideal for rehearsal, smaller venues and recording, with the same tone found in its bigger brothers and lots of features for a convenient recording setup.

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III

Perhaps the world’s best selling combo, the Hot Rod Deluxe is more or less a bigger version of the Blues Jr with a few more features. Great all-rounder with classic Fender tones – warm, dynamic clean channel and two drive channels for different types of gain. Like the Blues Jr, the Deluxe has a bit more mid range and compression, compared to other Fender amps, which makes it easier to combine with different kinds of gain pedals. With its 40w this is perhaps a bit too big for your bedroom but excellent for studio work and smaller clubs.

Output: 40w

Tubes: 3x 12AX7 (pre-amp) and 2x 6L6 (output)
Speaker: single 12” Celestion G12P 80w

Controls: clean, drive, more drive. presence, reverb, master, middle, bass, treble, drive select switch, drive volume, bright switch
Channels: clean, drive, more drive

FX loop: yes

Hiwatt T20
Compared to the MaxWatt and Hi-Gain series, the Tube series produce a much more vintage tone, true to the classic Hiwatt Custom models. The clean channel offer a great basis for your pedals, even the more demanding ones. The drive channel is surprisingly smooth and takes the amp closer to a vintage AC30. The series feature a wide range of models, from the bedroom friendly 10w to the stage ready 40w – all available as both combos and stacks. All models also feature power scaling.
 An excellent, and more affordable, choice if you want the classic Hiwatt tone.
Output: 20W (10w ps)

Tubes: 2x 12AX7 and 1x 12AU7 (pre-amp) and 2x EL84 (output)

Speaker: GH112 extension cabinet with a single 100w Fane 12” speaker

Controls: Volume (master), reverb, treble, middle (push/pull frequency shifter), bass, overdrive volume, normal volume
Channels: clean and drive

FX loop: yes

Laney Lionheart L5 StudioLionheart Studio L5
Laney’s Lionheart series offer boutique tones at affordable prices. Like all of the Lionhearts, the Studio is a two channel class-A tube head, with a 3-band EQ and master tone control. The clean channel is similar to a VOX AC30, with a nice chime and lots of headroom. The fact that you can tweak the mids range, which is missing on the AC30, makes the clean channel very versatile. The drive channel offer early Marshall tones, similar to a JTM or Plexi, with plenty of headroom, a warm break up and tons of presence. The attention to both tone and design is hard to beat at this price point. The Studio L5 is ideal for bedroom playing and recording, packed with all kinds of features for power scaling, direct recording etc.
Output: 5w with 0.5w power scaling
Tubes: 3x 12AX7 preamp and 1x EL84 output
Speaker: No, head only
Controls: clean volume, drive, drive volume, bass, middle, treble, tone, reverb, bright/normal modes
Channels: clean and drive
FX loop: yes

Be sure to check out the full Lionheart series. The L20 combo and head are ideal for rehearsal, smaller sized clubs and recording, while the L50H head will provide a full 50w for larger venues. The series also feature speaker cabinets of different sizes.

All price tags are based on what a new amp generally would cost on EBay USA. These may vary from country to country. Be sure to check out your local store for discount campains and used items in the classifieds.

Feel free to use the comments form below and share your experience with these amps and recommendations for other models!

1,163 Responsesso far.

  1. Alexis says:

    Hello Bjorn!
    I was wondering if you already watched this video on Youtube:

    I didn’t know anything about Morgan Amplification before watching it. I’m really curious about this amp (RCA35R) because, on the manufacturer website, they say it is kind of a Fender Blackface amp, but it has, at least to my ears, much more mids than a classic Fender amp, and kind of a natural compression when cranking the mids. Moreover, it sounds really close to DG classic Hiwatt tones IMHO.

    What are your thoughts on it? Maybe the Youtube player and my ears are just playing a trick on me, but I’m really intrigued! :)

    And by the way, I listened the teaser videos from your new solo album and it was really great! I can clearly identify your Gilmour inspiration, and if I wasn’t aware of the video title I could have think this was a new record from DG himself! ;)


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Alexis! The reminds me very much of the Laney Lionheart amps, which has the ability to cover a lot of tones. Set clean they are both somewhere between a Fender and Vox. It’s got the chime and headroom but enough mid range and compression to cut through. The gain channel has more mid range and compression, although a pretty open sounding tone. The gain is moderate and similar to the Fender Bassman and early Marshall JTM/Plexi.

  2. Gábor says:

    I have got a Little D, with the optically WEM 1×12 ‘marketing’cab( loaded withFane AXA) The story of the purchasing was a very negative experince regarding Hiwatt services and customer support…I have found some dead pots too, they built in the cheapest Chinese pots of the Globe.. in 0,5 W mode, the headroom was limited, but it is still too loud( as a CUB head on full)Changing the tubes( JJ certainly) improved the tone. 20w mode is awesome, indeed, I love it. Till today I did not make a comparison to my Hiwatt Custom 50 SSD combo, which is my main amp.
    I shall do it at once, keep you informed, community of Gilmourish!
    Generally I do agree Björn in this issue, this is clearly Hiwatt marketing activity, using our emotions for extra business. And we buy it:-)
    On the otherside the amp is not bad.
    Check some latest short videos of Illy Project, on its Facebook site, I use the Little D and a Two-Rock Coral combo( what a fantastic 6L6 ‘Dumblesque’ amp)
    Kind regards : Gábor

  3. Skyler Humphrey says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    I just recently picked up a Marshall 4×12 Cab and was wondering what head would be best for it?? I’ve been looking into both Hiwatt and Reeves.. so which would be the best for tone purposes? (The cab is a model: AVT412XA with four celestion lead speakers.)


    • Bjorn says:

      What sort of tones are you looking for? Hiwatt and Reeves custom range is basically the same amp…

      • Skyler Humphrey says:

        I’m just trying to get a classic clean and warm Gilmour tone. I was just wondering what you would recommend..

        • Bjorn says:

          The Reeves Custom is based on the original late 60s/early 70s Hiwatt specs so they’re basically the same amp. Paired with a Stratocaster with vintage style passive low output single coils will give you the platform you need for most of your tones. Mind that these amps are extremely loud and probably not waht you want for a typical bedroom setup. If you want something smaller there are lots of different amps to choose from. Personally I prefer amps with emphasis on the mid range, with a bit of compresison but Fenders like the Blues Jr or Princeton are also great for the tones you want.

  4. Aliaksei says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I play strat with vintage specs (1956 custom shop). Play mostly blues and rock, 95% of time at home. I use Classic 30 (not tweed version) but I am not very happy with its quality of manufacture and have some problems with resonance noise from the tube area when you play some bassy notes.
    So, I am thinking about changing it to some other amp. What would you recommend as a replacement for Classic 30? Maybe Blues Jr will be better choice or any other options?
    My pedalboard consist of Crybaby 535q, Boss DS-1 Ultra Keeley mod, OCD, Flashback delay if it matters.

    Thank you in advance,

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! The Blues Jr is a great sounding amp so you can’t really go wrong there. You might also want to check out the new Bassbreaker from Fender. I also highly recommend checking out the Laney Lionheart amps. Very versatile and great for blues, jazz and classic rock and they also handle pedals very well.

  5. Martin Jørgensen says:

    Hey Bjorn.
    What do you think of the Bugera infinium series? Is the G5 any good?
    I did have my eyes out for the Laney Cub 12 stack, but I read so many bad reviews about it, so now I’m looking in the Bugera direction.
    If it’s any good, what kind of cab would you recommend for it?

    Love your work on this site, really really useful and a good read!



    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the G5 so I can’t really tell. Based on the reviews I’ve seen and read it seems OK and it can provide a wide range of tones, typical of both Fender and Marshall. All I can say about the Cub is that it’s great value for the buck and the tone is great. Not the best build and perhaps nothing I would tour with but for home and studio use, it’s well worth checking out. Handles most pedals very well.

  6. Jason says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Hope things are well in Norway!

    Quick question! After all the years of listening to your playing, as well as wanting a second amp for wet-dry/stereo type of stuff, I finally broke down and ordered a Laney Cub (12r, not the stack though). I expect I’ll enjoy it and I may not replace the speaker, but as I’ve always loved that old school Hiwatt tone David gets, I may replace the stock speaker with a Weber Thames. Is there any reason you chose the ceramic over the alnico?


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jason, check out the Weber site for a detailed explaination. Keep in mind though that the Weber Thames are very bright and has a lot of headroom so you might find them a bit bright and flat sounding if you’re not used to that sort of speakers. Celestion V30 or G12H might be more appealing and certainly easier for your pedals.

      • Jason says:

        There’s some good stuff on his site!! I’ve always been a bit heavy on the treble on my amps, so I’d say it’s fair that I like brighter amps. My first (and as of now, main) amp is a Peavey Delta Blues, but I always have the treble reasonably high. Do you still have the ceramic Thames in your Cub cab, or have you since swapped it out for something different? I ask because I do love the way it sounds from your videos, and just curious on a basic comparison kind of way :-)


        • Bjorn says:

          I have a pair of Celestion V30s in the cab now. In both my cabs actually, stage and studio. I still have the huge Sound City cab with the Webers but I rarely use it. The Webers are very bright and has a huge headroom. They sound really nice but I don’t recommend them unless you really know what you’re about to buy. Coming from your typical Celestions to these can be a bit of a shock.

  7. Dimitri says:

    So i got 1000 euros to spend on a solid amp (prefer a head) to nail the Gilmour sound. Above i cant make up my mind what to choose.

  8. Dimitris Kovaios says:

    I think, I found the solution to home practice amp… Yamaha THR5! Nice tones, effects, easy to record via USB, compact. Quite a bargain!
    Just a guitar jam, based on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, hope you enjoy it!

  9. Nima says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I have the chance to pick a laney 12 cub stack and a UK made laney VC15 combo with a 10 inches speaker for same price which one is better for gilmour tone ? l already have most essential pedals but my Marshall tsl 602 is very loud and I can not cranck it up at home and some of my pedals are not working properly in tsl fx loop so I’m going to get rid of it thanks.

  10. Jesse Morgado says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    A bit off topic, but did Gilmour use overdrive from the amp or did he solely rely on his pedals for that? Any idea what his tone settings were on his Hiwatts?


  11. Eric Weiner says:


    I really appreciate the thoroughness of your reviews and articles. Very enlightening. has an extensive list of mods for the Blues Jr. III, and I was wondering if you performed any mods on yours other than the speaker?


    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you, Eric! I sold mine years ago but I know the previous owner did some stuff, including pushing the mids a little but I don’t have any details.

  12. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    The pre-tube preference and questions about power tubes: Ruby vs. JJ vs. … has been brought up multiple times in this page, so I don’t want to make a redundant post here, although I thought I highlight my particular experience. It may help users have more info. My Reeves Custom 50 sounded harsh and too in the face in the high-mids when using overdrive, and high-mid frequency spike with the treble of Vick Audio Overdriver. The previous owner put Electroharmonix 6CA7 power tubes in there. Listening to the comparisons in the web, I knew EH6CA7 is very open sounding because of that extended highs (compared to JJ) but the payoff was harsh high-mids. I was trying to see if I can tame the high-mid so I bought JJ 6CA7 and replaced them. Before doing that I recorded a piece in my looper downstream of the Butler Tube driver which is pretty much the last gain pedal in my chain, and positioned two mics one SM57 in front of my early 80s 50w Fane and one in front of Eminence Tonker. I positioned them to have maximum clarity, punch, body, etc. for critical listening. With all things the same JJ 6CA7 gave a spike around 1 kHz that I didn’t have before from EH, but also I lost some of that openness (extended high frequencies) that Fane gives me. The tubes were making intermittent pop sound so I needed to return them to seller. It reminded me of the replies in the forums from people who recently experience quality control issues with JJ tubes. Bill at Reeves suggested Ruby EL34BHT that handles high plate voltage so I decided to give them a go. I used the same method to compare the tone of EH 6CA7 and Ruby EL34BHT. I found my extended highs are still present but sounds richer and easier to listen. My mid range improved quite a bit. It wasn’t the spike I got from JJ 6CA7, rather the whole body of the tone was more present compared to EH 6CA7, almost like you widen the Q of an EQ and it helps bringing up the whole range of midrange. It also sounded solid and pleasing. The lows are much tighter. That’s the area I never had a tight low before. I don’t know if it is Reeves Custom 50 or speakers (I have 2xFane & 2xTonker in X pattern in a closed back high quality cabinet) but the power tubes make a big difference in the tightness of the lows which I believe contributes to make the low-mid expression also come out nicer. Also that was the only time I could actually allow myself to increase the presence and treble further to add to the expression of highs and high-mids without feeling overwhelmed, and although the frequencies are all there and sounds open but it sounds pleasing and easy to listen to. I must say my pre-amp tubes are a bit different. I use medium gain long tube NOS Mullard E180CC in my first position, NOS Mullard NOS 5751 (slightly less gain that 12AX7) in V2, and NOS Mullard ECC83 (full gain 12AX7) in 3rd gain stage. The phase inventor is left with what Reeves put in it (NOS RCA 12AT7). I found low gain in V1 brought a lot of string picks even in the overdrive tone, rather than high gain 12AX7 created two much saturation and masked out some of those details. I know you pointed out that master volume (3rd gain stage in the pre-amp) is sensitive to create breakup or sounds harsh if dialled above 9 or 10, but with using lower gain tubes in V1 and V2 it has more headroom for the 3rd gain stage so I can dial it much higher if I want to, and it has a smoother transition to louder sound. The other good thing about having a thicker wider mid-range tone and tight lows with Ruby EL34BHT is that I can bring the master volume lower without making it sound thin. This is definitely a benefit for basement musicians.


  13. John says:

    I’m so curious about the fender bassbreaker series… Bjorn? Anyone?

  14. Norman says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    As well as your great demo’s, I came across this one of the Laney 5W, thought it might be of interest to you and your readers. Feel free to delete this email if you feel it is out of place..

  15. james says:

    hi bjorn
    ive played a fender cyber deluxe for years , and with quality pedals i’ve gotten great tones from it. would this amp be considered tube or transistor? how do you think an effectrode fire bottle would react with it? i mainly just use the 65 deluxe setting with a few exceptions ; figuring with a clean, sweet tone i am free to shape the tone with the pedals. thanks for your websight; it is a godsend and been very enjoyable to a hopeless gearhead!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi James, the Cyber Deluxe is a sold state/transistor amp. I haven’t tried the Fire Bottle with a solid state but it is designed to be used with passive pickups and tube amps so I doubt you will get its full potential. It will work as a volume booster and you will get some colouring, depending on what hi-end cut you choose but I don’t think it will interact with the amp in the same way as with a tube amp. You’re probably better off with a TC Spark Boost or Boss BD2.

  16. What are your thoughts about the Laney L20 4×10 combo? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Very similar to the L20 stack. The 4×10 has a tad less low end and perhaps not as much headroom but how that eventually sounds depends on how you’ll be using it. The Lionhearts are awesome amps!

  17. Gerard Smulevich says:

    Dear Bjorn: I posted this on al older blog entry so I’m reposting it here, I hope you don’t mind :)
    I wanted to ask you for your advice on amp eq/settings/gain/etc ect for my Lionheart L20 set-up:
    I’m playing an L20 head (all NOS tubes) through a 212 cabinet loaded with 2 x 1980’s Fane Classic 12/50’s.
    My guitar is a Black “Frankenfloyd” I’ve built with a nitro Eric Johnson body, a 1992 AVRI maple neck and CS69/CS69 and SSL-5/ KGC brass Megamass trem block.

    My pedalboard is essentially:
    PureTone Buffer #1
    DB Vibe machine
    MH Iron Bell (also alternate with a Vick Audio ’73)
    Chandler + BK 80’s Tube Driver (12Au7)
    Xotic EP booster
    Throbak Overdrive Boost
    GE-7 eq
    90’s Electric Mistress (missing the dot on the “i” version)
    PureTone Buffer #2
    TC Repeater delay —>Ernie Ball Volume pedal—-> output to the Lionheart L20 head

    What amp settings would you use/suggest as a baseline? I will be practicing with a full 5 piece band next week so it will be at normal rehearsal-room volume…..also any pedal re-order suggestions?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I usually have my L20 set up like this: gain channel, bright, drive 1.5 (edge of breakup), volume 7-8, bass 6, middle full, treble 3, tone off (you might want to have this a hair below 1 to open up the top end a tad. Keep in mind that these settings are fairly dark but they fit my guitars, pedals and tone preference. You might want to tweak the amp to match your setup and speakers.

  18. Burgus says:

    Hey Björn!
    I got my hands on a Hiwatt T20 HD.
    Now I’m not sure which Cab I should get.
    I live in Germany and it’s really hard to find Hiwatt products here, I got lucky with the T20, it was on ebay. So it is veeery unlikely to find a Hiwatt cab here, I have already been searching the internet for a while.
    Not being able to buy a Hiwatt cab, which cabs can you recommend? I’m looking for a sound that gets close to what Gilmour sounded like between 1971 and 1975 (but mostly DSotM and WYWH).
    And I probably want a 2×12 cab.

    If you can not or don’t want to recommend a certain cab, maybe you can name a speaker and some specs that might be important? (like how much power it can take, impedance etc. I really don’t know much about it)

    • Bjorn says:

      The Hiwatt and WEM cabs David used are very large and much bigger than your typical Marshall 4×12″. Still, for a 2×12″ you could pretty much go for anything. I prefer closed back cab for tightening up the low end and getting a bit more punch. David used Fane Crescendo speakers and there are lots of great sounding clones out there. I’m using Weber Thames in my cab. I’ve also found the Celestion g12Hs to fit nicely.

      • Markus says:

        Thanks for your answer!
        After some more research I found something that really caught my eye:

        I think I’m gonna get one of those, it seems that the speakers they produce come very close to the classic Fane speakers.
        I have also read of a company called Hi-Tone, who also focus on building Hiwatt and Fane replicas. I didn’t find a offer for those in Germany but for the Reeves I did, so I think I’m gonna get it.

        What are your thoughts about that?

        • Bjorn says:

          Seems like a good match. My experience with Reeves has been nothing but positive. I haven’t tried any of the Hi-Tone stuff but I know they make some really great and fateful stuff.

  19. Roger says:

    Outstanding information Bjorn. Must say, I am big fan and value your input greatly. Since you have a great deal of experience with Reeves, I wanted to get your input regarding their current lower output amps. Of the 10HG, Custom 12 and Custom 18, which would you recommend for bedroom as well as band situations (will mic during rehearsal and shows). My primary objective is to stay somewhere near the Gilmour tone. Primarily using custom shop strats, pedals for boost, od, distortion and Axe Ultra for effects. Thank You for your valuable input.

    • Bjorn says:

      HI Roger, thanks for your kind words :) All three of those amps are based on the early Marhsall Plexi and Super Lead designs. The higher wattage models does have some headroom but they should not be confused with Hiwatts. I love those early Marshall tones though and although some pedals, like Muff and fuzz, tend to sound a bit more aggressive with those amps, you can easily dial in some great versatile tones that’ll also get into DG territory.

  20. Dale Schenekl says:

    Try a Fender Deluxe or an Orange Dual Terrior. If you pair any of these with the Tech 21 Leads pedal you are there.

  21. Gerard Smulevich says:

    Bjorn: My neighbor Bob Bradshaw (yes, that one :) ) just gave me a LAB L5 ss amp chassis, fully working minus the reverb tank. I plugged it into my 212 Fane speaker cab clean, no effects. Sounded incredible, I would say as warm and clean as my L20H. I was blown away never thinking I would care for a solid state amp again. Any thoughts on the LAB L5/?

  22. Nick L says:

    Hello Bjorn! Have you seen the new about the new EHX Mig 50 head? Supposed to be a reissue of the old Sovtek Mig 50, but with better components and built in the USA. The old Sovtek 50’s were built like a tweed bassman, but with higher voltage. Somewhat similar to early plexi’s but solid state rectified. They are listed at $575 which is incredible pricing for a US built 50 watt head. I plan to pick one up soon so I will update when I get a chance to try one, but if’s it’s as pedal friendly as the old Sovtek’s it should make a phenomenal Gilmourish amp for very little cost.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi haven’t seen much about it. I know the old amps were very poorly made but please keep us posted on this one :)

  23. clément says:

    Hello Björn

    Thank you so much for all your precious advice …

    I have today a Fender Hot Rod deluxe 40W, very good amp, but too loud for me (I play only in my room) the sound is too crystal to my taste (even changing tube / decreasing the treble) and I’m not sure It works best with my pedals (Effectrode pc2A compressor / Tube driver / BYOC Large beaver / Elec lady / TC electronic flashback).

    Hence my question (Resolution 2017 ;-) : I would like to change it by a less powerful amp and approaching the sound of gilmour tuning with my pedals: I was thinking about the Hiwatt T20? What do you think ? An other idea ?

    Thank you for your reply, thank you for all your articles, and happy new year !

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! The Hiwatt is quite loud as well and it can sound a bit bright on lower volume, as you won’t be able to drive it properly. My best tip, for the tones you describe, would be a Lionheart L5 Studio. It’s the ideal bedroom amp, with power scaling and lots of mid range and compression, which will ensure a warm and big sound even at the lowest volume levels. It can also take pedals very well.

      • Clément says:

        Thanks Bjorn.
        Wich cab should I use with ?-> small one (Lionheart too big combo too / and price 200€)
        As i told you, I play in bedroom with small space :-S

        • Bjorn says:

          Any 12″ speaker cab would do. You can either buy an empty one and install a speaker yourself or get one with a Celestion V30 or a G12H.

          • Clément says:

            Hello bjorn
            Thank you for this valuable advice. I saw the Harley Benton G112 with the CV30 12 ” at a very good price, and the correct size. But the laney cub 12R (1w / 15w) Is it not the best solution ?? (price twice as cheap as laney studio + cab) and small size …

            • Bjorn says:

              That’s certainly an option :) Great sounding amp.

              • clément says:

                I finally bought the laney cub head 15W with a Harley Benton Ceslestion Vintage 30. It sounds pretty good, although I find the Hot Rod clean better.
                Anyway I lost his strident Fender’s song (Especially with bridge position), and I can play calmly at home … (This from my wife) :-)

                The amp sounds well with pedals and guitar (hot Rod deluxe)> Effectrode PC2A, Tube Driver, Elec lady. BUT but … my BYOC large beaver that sounded so good on the Hot Rod is totally metamorphosed. A muffled sound, as if the tone was at 0, especially when I use the TDriver.

                Bjorn helps me, because I really like this pedal! I found video with the same materials as me, and it sound different…

  24. Norman says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I currently have a laney cub12 and am thinking about upgrading to a lionheart. Reading the posts I often read that people say the L5 has a lot less headroom than the L20. I only play at home, at reasonable volumes (ie my ears don’t bleed after playing).

    Is the only benefit of the extra headroom that you can play at louder volumes without experiencing distortion or are there other benefits? The salesman in the shop told me the L20 will sound better than the L5 even at the same lower volume -not sure if its true – they don’t sell the L5?

    Could you also please give your advice on where to invest. I currently have…
    Laney Cub12
    no frills MIM strat HSS, factory pickups
    a bunch of noce pedals (patriot, evolution, P19, flashback etc)

    Do I..
    1. Get a set of D allen echoes for existing strat
    2. Upgrade to a lionheart L5 or L20
    3. Upgrade Strat to an American Std


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi, I think your biggest improvement would be a new amp. The Cub is great but changing pickups will only provide a subtle change. I do recommend swapping pickups perhaps later on but an amp will no doubt be a bigger change. The L20 does have more headroom, which is important for pedals. You don’t want too much breakup when you’re basing your tones on pedals. The L5 does have more than enough headroom for bedroom playing but I think an L20 is a better invesntment if you can afford the extra. It’s 20w though and it is loud. Still, it plays very well on lower volume and you will notice that it will sound bigger and warmer, even on the lower volumes, compared to the L5.

  25. NIco says:

    Hi Bjorn!!
    I hesitate on the choice of two tube heads to play in an apartment: the H&K Tubemeister 18W and the Laney Lionheart L5 Studio.
    I looked at some tests of the L5 and found that this one was perhaps too dark and too bluesy, did you have this impression? So I searched for another head, and I was really amazed by the sound of your jam sessions with the TM18…
    Both are pretty much the same price and I know they are really different.
    The L5 has a headphones output and I think we can also listen the TM18 with headphones with the XLR output (perhaps you don’t use it)???
    Regarding the cab, the Laney lt112 features G12H 30W and the TM112 features Celestion V30!
    Which is the best and are they interchangeable according to the choice of the head? If you know an other cab (a better option) for a gilmourish bedroom setup, i’m open mind!! ;-)
    Sorry, I know I ask many questions!!!
    Happy holidays year-end, I look forward to discovering your new album!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Nico! For bedroom playing, home recording, pedals and Gilmour sounds I would go for the Lionheart. No doubt. I can be a bit dark but you have some many tweakable parameters and I’m assuming you will use pedals as well. The TM is much more modern sounding and I got one because I wasn’t primarily looking for a vintage Gilmour tone but something versatile and easy to record. Keep in mind that I do mostly record non-Gilmour stuff. Again, for the things you describe, I would go for the Lionheart.

  26. oyobass says:

    About the Monoprice 15 watt amp Alexis asked about in January- I recently got one. The internals are nearly identical to the Cub 12, except with a tiny real spring reverb rather than the Cub’s digital reverb, and a real Celestion Seventy/80 speaker rather than the generic one in the Cub.

    My really nice low budget Gilmorish set-up: SX strat into a Behringer CS400 compressor then on to the 1 watt input, with a Zoom MS70 CDR in the effect loop for chorus, delay and reverb, (the built-in spring reverb is pretty awful when the level is set above 2 or 3, I plan on putting a full-size reverb tank in it soon for more usable range).
    Regularly on sale for $200, I got mine on Cyber Monday for $150.
    How is that for bang-for-the-buck!?

  27. Christian Stephan says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I have a Laney l5t combo and a Cub12r. I sometimes use the Lionheart with RecycleSound 10db attenuator for crancking the clean channel for a kind of Peter Green tone.I tried a Princeton reverb 65 ri at a store, and a Marshall Slash 5w combo and also considering a Vox Ac4 hw1.Would any of these add much to my tonal palette or should I stick to upgrading the Cub speaker that I play with the Lionheart speaker connected (Celestion g12h 70th anniverssary) Would a Celestion G12m Heritage 20watts be good for either Laneys? I liked the Fender but found it only did the Fender sound,so I would only be having it for the thrill of owning and playing a 51 year old design.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Cub are kind of a mix between a Vox and Marshall and you already have the Lionheart as well. Whether or not you need anything else, or what, depends on what tones you want. The Cub sounds great with the g12h as well.

  28. Émile says:

    Hi again!
    I finally bought a LionHeart L20t-112…
    LOVE IT!
    Clean Channel is bright as a fender, drive Channel is perfect for my Vick Audio Ram’s head!

    Thank you Bjørn for this awesome website!

    Question about muff and buffer: Buffer is supposed to be First in chain. If I only have a Compressor (ironfist) between it and the muff, is it enough? You mentionned That buffer shouldn’t be close to fuzz/muff…

  29. Roberto says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    what do you think about the Hiwatt Little D rig?
    Thanks for your answer

  30. Tom says:

    Hey Bjorn, do you think a Fuzz Face (silicon) would sound ok through an AC15c1? Or what about a Big Muff? I’d imagine it might be a bit too bright. Cheers!

  31. Ken Koch says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    When touring away from home what is your preferred list of Gilmourish amps that are widely available for backline rental? Which work best with your standard pedal board?

    Thanks for the amazing site!

    • Bjorn says:

      To be honest, as long as I know what I’m getting, I can work with pretty much anything and I always keep spare gain pedals suitable for differently voiced amps. I’ve been using Mesa Rectifiers a lot because I know them very well and although very different from what I usuall use, you can always count on them sounding great and they’re popular backline amps. I usually ask for Hiwatt Customs but not all places keep those.

  32. Emi says:

    Hi Bjorn! and all the guys here!
    I have a Laney Cub12r. I found it very lowfi sound sometimes. I think I need a more professional/ boutique sound for all my pedals. I’m also looking for easy recording solution, Fx loop and headphones output for late night.

    Do you think that the new Laney Lionheart L5 Head (made in china) is the way to go?
    Hughes and Kettner tubemaister 18?
    something else?

    I think that the tubemaister doesnt have headphones output, is better looking but the sound and quality construction is more important to me.
    Wich one is best sounding?
    Wich one is best build?

    About pedal. Wich one is best for pedals? I have a:
    -Bk Butler Tube Driver 5 Knob
    -EHX Big Muff Deluxe
    -Boss Blues Driver BD-2 Keeley Mod
    -Boss Chorus Ensemble CE
    -Boss Compressor Sustainer CS-2
    -Mxr Phase 90 Vintage ’74 – Script
    -Proco Rat 2
    -TC Electronic Flashback
    -Boss EQ G-7

    I read ALL the comments here, but I wish to to read your answer =)
    thank you so much for your time Bjorn. You are unique.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Cub is a nice amp but it’s a fiarly low priced starter/bedroom type of amp. The Lionhearts are the obvious step up and they’re very well built and they sound awesome. The Tubemeister is no doubt the most modern sounding but for David’s tones, I’d go for the Lionheart.

      • Emi says:

        Hi Bjorn,
        I don’t know what people means when said that the Lionheart is a true vintage sound. And the tubemeister has more moderns sound. What that means?
        Before I buy the Laney Lionheart I was wondering… Can the Lionheart sound like this? or similar? This is the sound are I’m looking for too (and Gilmour’s of course):

        Guitar n°1

        Guitar n°2

        Guitar n°3

        can tubemeister do it better for this sounds? or Lionheart?
        I just sold my Cub 12 and I want to be completely sure that can be versatile enough before I buy the next amp.

        I just don’t have word to thanks you Bjorn, you´re me guide!!! =)

        • Bjorn says:

          Hi! It’s always hard to describe a tone but by vintage I think of the older tube amps, like Marshall and Vox from the 60s and 70s. They have a distinct tone and much of that tone comes from the combination of their circuit and the guitars and effects that were used with them. The Lionheart has much of that flavour and the drive channel has a moderate gain and works best for classic rock and blues. The TubeMeister has a brighter tone, more pristine and the gain is more aggresive and better suited for modern rock and metall.

  33. Gerard Smulevich says:

    Thank you. Yeah i tried tgst site. Color comes closr but wrong pattern. I believe the Lionheart blue tolex is propriatary…. .

  34. First off I would like to express my gratitude to you Bjorn, for taking the time to read and reply (in great consideration and detail) to all of these posts, it’s something you don’t have to do as you are a very busy musician, but you do it anyway, and for that I cannot express my thanks and appreciation enough.

    Moving forward…I just bought Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III to use in studio. For Gilmour tones would you recommend any upgrades to the amp/speaker/etc? (it’s got a stock Celestion G12P-80) (I mostly intend to use the amp’s clean channel with pedals)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Glad you enjoy the site :)
      Any upgrades comes down to taste and preference I guess. The amp is a nice platform for David’s tones, so I’d experiment with different settings and hear how that goes with your guitar and pickups. Pedalwise, I’d go for overdrives and distortions that has a bit of mid range and compression, like a Fulltone OCD for overdrive and something like a RAT for distortion. They will compensate for the often bright and uncompressed Fender sound. Read more about that here.

  35. Hey Bjorn!
    Would you (or anyone reading this) happen to know where I could find blue tolex as used on Laney Lionheart amps? I want to have a custom cabinet made for my L20 H but in searching online I can’t find a single vendor offering the exact match to that blue tolex + weave pattern used on the Lionheart series. Any leads on that?

    Great site as always!

    gerry in LA

  36. Andy says:

    Hi All
    Has any one tried the Roland Blues cube hot? I’ve heard good things

  37. Jasper says:

    I play at home for my own pleasure only and own 3 tube amps: A Fender Pro Jr., a Fender Silverface Champ, and a Champion 600. I love the Silverface Champ and the 600. The Pro jr is going to take a trip down the road. It’s too loud for home use unless you want to go deaf and PO the family. It sounds too sterile and lifeless to me.

    • Jasper says:

      Edit: Many players make the mistake of buying too big of amp for home use.

    • Gerard Smulevich says:

      I’m playing a Champ 600 with an NOS RCA blackplate 6v6 out through a 2×10 cabinet loaded with an Eminence Copperhead + Weber 10f150-p, both ceramics, mixing brit and american “types”. Sound is unbelievable!! Loud but not stage-loud, almost too much for bedroom level but just “there” and the tonal range is fantastic. I’m having that Champ 600 chasis transplanted into a custom-made combo 1×12 cabinet now that will double up as an external cab for my 63 blonde bandmaster. The Champ’s 5 watts sound HUGE through 2×10 or a 12. Just have to be sure that the drivers have a tight low end.

  38. Émile says:

    I want to buy a tube amp and I want to Know what is the best: the clean sound of a Fender Hot rod deluxe 3/ blues jr 3
    That cannot handle Big muff…


    A Marshall amp (Wich one?) that allowed big muff/but not as clean as the Fender…

    (Sorry for the poor english)

    • Émile says:

      And if Fender win, what’s the best muff-like pedal I can get? Or does a vick audio 73 Rams head a good option for one of the two previous fender?

      • Clive says:

        I’d strongly advise against a Fender and Vick 73 combination. I had them (a Fender Blues Jr. ) and ended up selling both, it was sooo fizzy! I bought a Lionheart 5W combo and use a Pig Hoof MKII and a buffalo FX Patriot, and BOY what a fabulous combination, I’m finally nailing the elusive Gilmour tone in the bedroom!

    • Bjorn says:

      As you point out, Fender amps tend to make Muffs sound bright and sometimes harsh. Marshalls on the other hand, can make Muffs sound too saturated and compressed. For Fender amps I recommend pedals like the Fulltone OCD and among the Marshall amps, the DSL series are nice. If you can afford one, check out the Silver Jubilee series as well. My hottest tip though, is the Laney Cub or Lionheart series. Really nice amps that will give you the tones you want.

      • Émile says:

        Thank you for the advice, I’ll go with the laney cub or the lionheart

        Awesome website Bjørn!
        Thank you from Québec, Canada!

  39. Armin says:

    Hi Bjorn, I bought Laney Cub 12r and SM57 for recording.
    Which mic stand do you recommend?
    Does the quality matter?
    Which one do you use?

    Best wishes,

  40. ratan says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am planning to buy a tube amp for bedroom practice at low volume without disturbing family and neighbours. I am looking for Gilmour tone and somewhat versatile amp sounding close to Hiwatt with lots of headroom. Most of the shops are selling transistor amp here, so i have to buy tube amp online which means I cannot try myself, cannot hear their sound. I was focusing on following amps:
    1) Laney cub 10 combo, 2) Laney cub 12R combo , 3) Bugera V5 combo , 4) Blackstar HT-1R combo 5) Vox AC4C1-12 combo 6) Laney LC15 combo
    Which one will you recommend? I am not sure between cub 10 and cub12r which one has more headroom and which has best clean sound for Gilmourish tone? What kind of overdrive (Boss BD-2) and distortion (Proco RAT 2) will go good with Cub12R ? Like dark or bright, mid scooped or mid prominent for Gilmour tone? Please see this two links:
    1) combo
    2) head
    Do you think the head is same as corresponding to combo circuitry/sound wise or it is different head? Is a combo is better option or head + some 1×12 cab will be good option? Thank you so much for your patience and answering my question.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Ratan. Sorry for my late reply. For David’s tones and the pedals you have, I’d go for an amp with emphasis on the mid range and compression. You want headroom but not too much or the gain pedals will sound too fizzy. The Laney Cubs are right in between a classic Marshall, Vox and Hiwatt. Great tones and I’d go for the 12W for the most headroom. I’d also look into the Laney Lionheart Series. They have a new 5w out now, which is great for the tones you describe. Check out this feature for some tips on getting the right amp.

  41. Eivind says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I sold my vox ac15 a time ago and has always been wanting a fender deluxe reverb reissue (blackface).
    What are your thoughts on having a deluxe reverb compared the hot rod series? I dont play in a band, but love to rock out at home, so, i can’t play too loud.
    I like SRV, beatles, red hot chili peppers and all kinds of rock that isn’t too heavy (like metal).

    I have a standard american stratocaster (fat 50s pickups), keeley mod+ ibanez ts808, and an original marshall blues breaker.

    Second question: I can’t live without the ts808. Do you know of any pedals that work well with it (stacking).
    And, I have been looking for a good compressor and delay pedal.
    I would kill for the sound David G. has in the original “time” solo, and also the sound he has when he plays “a great day for freedom” in Gdansk!
    Some thoughts on what i should do?

    Love your webpage!

    – Eivind

    • Bjorn says:

      Hei Eivind! Beklager veldig sent svar… denne havnet av en eller annen grunn i spam-filteret. I guess you could go either way with those amps. They might be a bit too loud for bedroom/livingroom setups though… depending on how close your neighbours are :) You might want to check amps like the Laney Lionheart series as well, which are awesome for the tones you describe and you have the power scaling on the new Studio 5w.
      The TS808 goes nicely with both Fender amos and the Laney but it’s not the best pedal for stacking, as it has a lot of compression and mid range, which can make other pedals choke. For more gain, I’d check out pedals like the Rat (or clones), Buffalo FX Evolution and even the Fulltone OCD. Hope this helps :)

  42. Mick says:

    Hi Bjorn, did you find you had to tweak your Laney Cub settings to accommodate for the brighter Thames?

  43. Jonas Carlsson says:

    I take it you’ll keep your eyes skinned for the new Sound City amps, courtesy of Fryette.

    • Bjorn says:

      Yeah, I saw those. There was a company a few years back that used the name, but these were cheap knock-offs that didn’t last long. These new amps seems to be the real deal.

  44. Nathan says:

    Hi Bjorn ive been hunting a hiwatt t20 for a while now and ive finnaly tracked down a store where i can get it shipped to me, but i’m torn between getting the T40 head or the T20 head. The t40 head might be a bit overkill for bedroom practices and its too big to fit on my 60w 1×12 but it is plently loud for getting the clean sounds i want at high volumes, while to t20 has lower power scaling for practicing. My main concern is getting volume out of it (t20), since i plan on using it for my clean sounds (most of what i play) and also for bass (rick 4003 bridge pickup into the head with a bass cab for high end in conjunction with the neck pickup into an ampeg pf20 for the low end) so im not sure if the t20 would be loud enough for both applications in a typical gigging situation.
    Any help is appreciated.

  45. Clive says:

    Hi Bjorn, Firstly thank you so much for all the demos and reviews, you’ve helped me considerably in shaping my tone. I’m currently using a Vick 73 Ram’s Head into a Fender blues Jr. III and find it sounds like an angry bee, its horrible and fizzy. I can only play at low, bedroom volumes and have a Pigs Hoof MkII and a Buffalo powerdriver both on order, do you think these to would work well into the Fender, OR as I do have the opportunity to swap it in for a Laney Lionheart 5watt 1×12 combo so do you think the Laney amp would be better with the two new pedals rather than the Fender? especially at low volumes? Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Clive! I’ve talked about this issue in this feature. Take a look. Compared to many other Fenders, the Blues Jr has a bit of mid range and compression but it’s very bright (depending on the speaker) and as you’ve experienced, it doesn’t go that well with Big Muffs and vintage style boosters. If you want those sounds, I would either go for something a bit more versatile, as discussed in the Overdrive and Distortion Buyer’s Guide, or go for the Laney, which goes very well with most pedals.

  46. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I own a Bugera V22 which is a really nice amp, I really love it, and that was thanks to your article! ;)
    But in order to have a more Gilmourish tone and a more transportable gear, I am looking for other type of heads and cabs. From what I’ve read so far in this page (comments and articles), my list came down to the Laney Cub and the Hiwatt T20HD. But, after reading all those good comments and tips about the H&K Tubemeister 18, I’m also considering this one. So I need your final advices to determine which will be the choosen one! :)

    How is the tone of the H&K? I know you say this is a modern sounding amp, but after changing the stock tubes is it closer to vintage tones? And is it a mid scooped or a more mid-boosted/hiwatt-ish amp? Important thing for me since I read multiple times your post about tone, pedals and amps and how to correctly choose and stack them.

    My goal is also to find an amp that will magnify my Muff and TD-X pedals, as I think I can’t make the best use of them on my Bugera. I also need the power scaling feature (which is on the 3 amps) to play in bedroom, and the DI red box output is a plus on the H&K to record some works. And of course, I would like something of good quality that will stand transport.

    Considering all these points, which one would you recommend? Do you have other ideas? And which cabs would you recommend? (I know that you recommend using Celestion V30 speakers, is it easy to change a speaker on a cab that is doesn’t equipped with?)

    Once again I had a lot of questions! ;) Thanks in advance, I hope you’ll have time to deal them!


    • Bjorn says:

      It’s always hard to recommend just one amp. It ultimately comes down to taste, use and needs… The Tubemeister is a modern sounding amp in every way and changing tubes won’t do much other than making it, in my case, a bit smoother and warmer. What I like about the TM is its ability to sound big on even the lowest volume levels. It can handle pretty much any pedal you throw at it and it’s really easy to record. I have a 18w and I bought it with home studio recording in mind. Not so much David’s tones, although I can easily set it up for that as well. Very versatile. I also recommend the Peavey Classic 30 or the new 20w head, which is great for home and studio use. Also, the Lionheart Studio 5 is hard to beat. Both in terms of tone and versatility.

      • Alexis says:

        Hi Bjorn,

        Thanks a lot for your answer. I took a look at the Peavey Classic 20 Mini Head, and I must say that it is really impressive! It has beautiful clean sounds and a nice drive channel too. So I have the H&K and the Peavey in my final list to choose from.

        Would you recommend a closed-back or an open-back cab? And is the size of the speaker important in terms of frequency response? I’ve read somewhere that there’s a loss of low frequencies when you reduce the size of the speaker, but maybe it depends also on the type/quality of the speaker? Moreover, I’m looking for a setup I’ll be able to carry on holidays, so I have to find a compromise between sound/quality and size/power.

        Cheers, Alexis

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on how you’ll be using the cab and with what amp but based on what you write, I would go for a closed one and, if you intend to use pedals, I’d go for a 12″ speaker. That will provide a full and punchy tone and the speaker will have enough headroom for your pedals.

      • Alexis says:

        Hi Bjorn,
        Following your advice, I finally bought a Laney Lionheart Studio L5 second-hand, and am very pleased with it! :) I plug it in an Orange PPC108 cab (1×8″ speaker), and it sounds good enough for practicing or going on holidays. I’ll try to connect it to the 1×12″ speaker of my Bugera V22 to hear the difference, until I have a dedicated 1×12″ cab for the L5. I also have some JJ replacement tubes for it.

        Which are your usual Gilmourish settings for the L5? Did you try using the drive channel with low gain settings in order to have more presence, headroom or mids in your tone (and I assume, a more Hiwatt-ish tone)?



        • Bjorn says:

          Mine is a L20 but it’s the same amp. My settings are usually something like this:
          gain channel, bright mode, gain 1.5, bass 6, mids full, treble off and tone off. The volume is usually pretty high. You might want to add a bit off tone if you keep the volume low.

  47. Nicolas says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’d be very curious if you have any opinions on the Roland Blues Cube for bedroom use? I was surprised nobody has mentioned it.

    I’m aware it’s not a tube amp but think it shouldn’t be dismissed and encourage anyone to give it a try. I tried out many of the amps mentioned in your list and in the discussion and wasn’t really considering the Blues Cube as an option as it’s solid state. But I ended up trying it out just as a curiosity after seeing some good comments on it.

    I was leaning towards the Laney Cub 12R but after spending quite some time switching between it and the Blues Cube Stage I actually ended up buying the Blues Cube. I did find the Laney to have a bit more character and a more authentic tube tone. But it felt a little boxy and small to me and maybe a bit harsh. The Blues Cube had such a beautiful, round, open tone and sounded like a large amp. It also felt more versatile. Maybe to me the Laney had a too defined tone. But of course that’s completely a question of taste.

    The Blues Cube is having some rave reviews and the Andertons videos on Youtube for instance are worth a watch, including the blindfold test comparing the Blues Cube with a modeling amp and a real tube amp.

    I honestly don’t love the fact that the Blues Cube has some digital thing going on (I listen music almost exclusively on vinyl for instance), but I found that for my use, this was the best choice and solid state has it’s advantages in terms of maintenance for instance. It’s also dead quiet.

    You can switch it between various different power settings and at 0.5W you get beautiful break up on the clean channel at very low volumes and great response in general. It’s also supposed to take pedals very well, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test that much yet.

    It’s pricey for a solid state amp for sure, that’s maybe one of the main concerns I would have. In addition, if you want an effects loop, you’d have to go for the more expensive 80W Artist version (you also get a tremolo effect). The new Hot version has only one channel, but is a little more affordable.

    Finally, the tone capsules are a very interesting prospect, drastically changing the way the amp sounds, especially depending on who might collaborate on new ones. There are currently a Robben Ford and a Eric Johnson capsule, plus an “Ultimate Blues” one. I find them extremely expensive however at 300$…

    Anyway, that’s my experience after long research and a lot of testing, I would love to hear any comments you or any others might have!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the insights! I actually haven’t tried the Blues so I can’t really add anything. I have focused on the amps I believe are good for replicating David’s tones, mainly based on price and what I have experience with. There are lots of other great souding amps out there in addition to my list :)

      • Nicolas says:

        No problem, thanks for the reply and, I have to say, for the absolutely fantastic website! This list was extremely useful for me in finding the right amp and there’s just so much great information…

        I found it interesting that you mention in your comment just below that one of the Tubemeister’s strengths is sounding big at low volumes and that was one thing that really drew me to the Blues Cube. I was used to big amps (Fender The Twin red knob most recently) and wanted to keep that feel as much as possible.

        I also noticed I forgot to mention anything regarding getting Gilmour tones out of this amp in my original comment, but I believe this is a great choice for that. It’s actually modeled on the Fender Bassman, has that really nice Fender clean tone and loads of headroom on the Stage and Artist models.

        Even though I chose this amp, I do think you really have to carefully compare it to a real tube amp to see if you are willing to accept the trade off of solid state vs. tube amp. I think this thing gets amazingly close in sound and how it reacts to playing and pedals, but there’s that final 10% missing in liveliness and something undefinable that you only get with valves. But again I recommend giving it a try if you want something that works well really at bedroom levels plus has more than enough volume in a band setting too.

  48. Eric De Wilde says:

    Hi Bjørn,
    I thinkin’ to buy the set ‘HiWatt Little D + WEM cab’.
    I Guess the cab will do fine.
    But noticed the fact that on ‘’ there’s nothing about it, I have doubts about the head.
    I guess it is PCB and not PTP?
    What is your opinion about that amplifier?
    Looking forward to your answer for wich I’m very thankfull already.
    All the best for you and your wonderful work.
    E D G. Marie

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Eric! To be honest, I don’t know much about the specs of the amp but I’m sure it is a nice sounding one and sturdy for the road. The reason I haven’t written about it or recommended it is that I don’t think the way Hiwatt presented it is fair. They’re fooling their customers into thinking that it’s endorsed by David and, that it’s a replica of one of his amps. It is not. It has nothing to do with David apart from being somewhat similar to the Hiwatts he’s been using since the early 70s. Again, I’m sure it’s a nice amp, I have no reason to believe otherwise, but I will not promote it based on the above.

  49. Ratan says:

    Bjorn, This is an excellent website where i keep coming and re-reading older post and look forward for newer post eagerly :)

    My question is that have you used AMP simulator anytime? There are some AMP simulator by Tech 21 character series and Joyo pedals which simulates following AMP.

    JF-13 AC Tone = Tech 21 Character, Liverpool or VOX AC AMP Simulator
    JF-14 American Sound = Tech 21 Character, Blonde or FENDER 57 DELUXE AMP Simulator
    JF-15 California Sound = Tech 21 Character, California or MESA BOOGIE AMP Simulator
    JF-16 British Sound = Tech 21 Character, British or MARSHALL AMP Simulator

    Which one do you think will be closer to Laney Cub12 or Laney Lionheart sound with more mid range ? or which AMP simulator will simulate more mid range ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks Ratan! I’ve never tried any of these pedals but I guess the JF-16 would be the closest. The other three have a more brighter, mids scooped tone.

  50. Joao Bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn, how are you?

    What you recommend in a bedroom setup, one cab with 2 speaker 12″ or with 1 speaker?
    I know it’s a stupid question but I would like to know your opinion.

    I play a Strat with a Hiwatt T20.

    Best regards

    Joao Bicudo

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the amp and the speaker and whether you’ll be using it with pedals or not. Too much headroom on bedroom levels, will often sound thin on lower volume. Too much compression, will make it hard to use certain pedals without getting too much noise and gain. But, in general, I would say that a 1×12″ is enough for a bedroom setup.

  51. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, What do you think about Reeves Custom 50 PS (with power scaling). I have a potential in this city which is rare and I love the idea of having Hiwatt tone with EL34 in a more home friendly volume. Please comment. Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      Do a search on the site and see my previous comments on the PS. Whether the PS useful or redundant depends on how you’ll be using the amp.

  52. Andrew says:

    I’ve been on the hunt for a new amplifier for a while now, and am doing most of my playing at home these days, with only the odd gig. Because I only want to own one amp though I want something that can accommodate both situations.

    I’ve recently tried a Fender Princeton and Deluxe, a Marshall 2061X, and my brother owns a Fender Blues Jr with the Bill M mods. The thing about all these amps is that I get you can get them working without excessive volume, but they all sound “small” to me and seem to lack any low end and ooomph to the notes. When I plugged into a Tweed Bassman after playing the Princeton and then Deluxe it just had a much bigger authoritative voice.

    I’m looking at an amp by a company called 3rd Power called the Dream 40 American. Its 40W 6L6 tubes, but has a really good master volume system. I realise for home use the master will be choked down a long way though. Do you think its better to get a smaller amp so that both the preamp and power section can work?

    • Bjorn says:

      For low volume bedroom setups, I find that amps with emphasis on the mids tend to sound bigger than say a typical Fender or Vox, which often need a bit of volume. Marshalls, Peavy Classic and the Laney Lionheart are amps that I’ve used at home with great success. Usually, a 15w amp can do most gig situations but you can also mic it.

  53. Philip Tamimi-Sarnikowski says:

    Hi Bjorn

    First of all excellent website, all information in here has really helped me in achieving similar tones to Gilmour :)
    I would like your opinion on the: Laney Lionheart L20T-410 20W 4×10 Tube Guitar. It might be a long shot, but if you have tried it, does it come close to the L20 combo? I have found a really good offer for one of these, so thought it might be a good oppurtunity. Thank you in advance !

    – Philip

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks Philip! As you might know, I’ve been using the Lionheart L20 head with a 2×12″ cab for some years now and most of my pedal demos are recorded with it. I haven’t tried the 10″ but although the tone would be the same, you’d probably have less headroom and low end. Still, I think the Lionhearts are hard to beat in that price point.

      • Philip Tamimi-Sarnikowski says:

        Hej Bjorn

        I see ! Thank you for the input. Is your 2×12″ cab also lionheart? and if not could you recommend a cab that would go well together with the L20? I am considering the L20T-112 as well, since i am mostly going to play in my bedroom, but play from time to time in a band as well. Once again thank you for taking the time to help me :).

        • Bjorn says:

          Yep, my main cab now is the Lionheart with a pair of Celestion V30s. As long as you get a decent quality cab, it’s the speakers that matters and whether the cab is open or closed back.

  54. Rick says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Would love to know your thoughts on the WEM Dominator mkiii
    Do you have any knowledge of this amp and would it go well for DG tones?
    Any Advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks as alwaysRick.

  55. Dimitris says:

    For some first recordings I am after the Fender sound. Volume is not a problem in this case.
    In particular I am interested in Fender vintage reissue amps. Deluxe, Super, Twin Reverb and the ’59 Bassman.
    My main concern is the construction quality. I see many boutique makers, do their version on all sorts of classic and vintage amps, with point to point electronics etc (Achilles, Hitone, Friedman), which I can’t try (Greece, again…). They gain much reputation over their “official” counterparts and I am worried if for example, a modern Fender Twin is really that good.
    What is your opinion?

    • Bjorn says:

      The overall quality and build of the Fender amps is very good, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The clones often have improved details and the tone might have been tweaked slightly.

  56. Emi says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I was thinking to upgrade my Laney Cub 12r, for a more defined tone and for more full sound.
    Was thinking to upgrade the pre amp tubes (from Ruby Shuguang 12ax7/ecc83) and speaker (from HH).

    Which one do you think is the best tube? (best for DG’s sound of course):
    -Tung sol’s 12ax7
    -Sovtek’s 12ax7
    -jj’s 12ax7
    -mullard’s 12ax7
    -Any one else?

    And which speaker do you recommend (again, best for DG’s sound):
    -Celestion G12m Greenback 16 Ohms Parlante 25w
    -Celestion Parlante Classic Vintage 30 60w 16 Ohms
    -Celestion G12h 70th Anniversary 16 Y 8 Ohms Parlante 12 30w
    -Any one else?
    ( I cant find Weber Thames Speakers here in Argetina)

    What Ohms is best? 16 or 8 hms?
    What watts is best? 60w, 30w, 25w? (for Laney Cub 12r)

    I play on the living room at moderate volumen. Could I hear any difference if I make this upgrades to the my Laney?
    Thank you so much! you are my guide! =)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I’m using JJs myself. Always have. They’re nice and warm, but punchy enough for pushing the amp properly. They’re also the closest to the old Mullards. Weber Thames are based on the old Fane Crescendo speakers, which are very bright and loud. Perhaps not the best match for the Cub although I’ve used them for some time and like the sound. I’d probably go for the V30s or G12H. The V30s can sound a bit flabby and dark in an open back cab but on low bedroom volume, they’ll add a nice warmth and presence. The G12H has a nice upper mids chime and sparkle. You’ll definitely notice the upgrades and I think they’ll make the Cub sound much tighter and more balanced. Whether these are the upgrades you like or not… You decide :)

  57. Chris Milne says:

    Hi. I’m very lucky to have the Lionheart L5 Studio and both Lionheart LT112 and LT212 cabinets. On the whole, I prefer the head through the 2×12 as it sounds warmer and more open. The 1×12 still sounds great but is a little more ‘punchy’. The 1×12 is quite new so it will only sound better as the speaker beds in. I plan to get the L20H and see what that sounds like running at 4ohms through both cabs :) I can’t recommend the Lionheart series enough, beautifully made, lovely to look at…oh and they sound sweet too.

  58. Armin says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am searching for a good tube amp for quite time now…
    I am really confused and am not sure what to get.

    I want to use an amp for both home, recording and live.

    So basically, what confuses me is amplifier headroom, I know what it means, but what I don’t know is if I need it.

    So basically I’ve came to two choices

    1. Laney Cub stack
    I love that it’s 15w and has 1w for home playing. But I’ve read some reviews on this amp and many people said that this amp doesn’t have a lot of headroom, so I guess it wouldn’t be suitable for band practice?

    2. Fender Blues Deluxe
    I’ve always wanted a Fender amp for its cleans, but I read as well that this amp breaks at around volume 4. I don’t know how loud it is, but pretty sure it would make my ears bleed at home at vol 4.

    What really makes me even consider Fender Blues Deluxe is the price I could get it for used. €600 (looks like new, could maybe lower the price to €550) from a guy in my town.

    Whereas I’d buy Laney cub stack bundle from
    for €450 excl. vat. So with vat I’d pay it around €500 for sure (also please check the link so I don’t buy the wrong amp if I choose to buy it )

    So I ask myself is €100 worth paying more and getting Fender Blues Deluxe?

    As for the sound, I won’t lie, I like Laney’s sound better for Pink Floyd.

    Now the main question, if I went with Laney cub stack could I play live with it (if mic’ed), and since you already own it, how much can you turn it up before it starts to break? And what would you do if you were me?

    Sorry for the long post, really wanted to get this off my chest :/

    Thank you :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Armin. Well, only you can decide what type of amp you need. Great answer, right? But it’s really the truth… Both the Laney Cub and Lionheart have that British flavour. Kind of a mix between a Vox, early Marshall and a hint of the Hiwatt. The Cub doesn’t have a lot of headroom but enough for bedroom practice and neighbour friendly recording. The Lionheart has plenty of headroom on both the clean and dirty channel. Fender amps usually have more headroom than most amps but they usually also lack some of that mid range and compression, which makes it sound very different from the typical British amps. My opinion is that you’re often better off with a darker sounding amp for bedrooms, meaning more mids and compression, because you want to compensate for the lack of tube and speaker compression you get from playing loud, which is crucial for getting those smooth tones. Which amp you should choose, depends on what tones you’re looking for, what sort of music you’ll be playing, how you’ll be using the amp and with what pedals and guitars.

  59. Fran Henarejos says:

    Hi Bjorn, what do you think about the Bugera BC30 ? compared with the V22 and V55 is not 100% tube but it have 2×12 celestion speakers…

  60. Eric says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m going to live in a small apartment with many neighbors and thin walls and I want to buy an amp…Which tube amp could I choose if I don’t want to wake up everybody!
    Is it possible to play guitar in a tube amp with headphones with a special output (like the backstage ht1 ) or with an attenuator (in this case I would choose a planet cub 12r…) I’m ready to play with headphones. Alternatively there is the fender mustang iii v2 (100w is it too loud for a modulation amp? There is also the I and the ii ) or the yamaha thr 10 v2 which is good but I can’t use my pedals effects and I want to keep them! I’m very perplexed and I don’t know at all which I should select…

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Eric! Check out the new Laney Lionheart L5 Studio. It’s packed with cool features and aimed specifically for bedrooms and studio players. Great, classic tone too!

      • Eric says:

        Great, thank you!!! The specs are right for me! Just a last thing: if I buy a cabinet with it, which should I choose? LT212 or LT112?
        There is a stack head + 2*12 cab for 1000€
        And the head with the 1*12 cab (sold separately) cost me aso 1000 €
        So which is the best for gilmourish tones?

        • Bjorn says:

          Both works nicely for Gilmour’s tones. Depends on how you’ll be using the amp. For a bedroom type of setup and studio, you’re fine with just the 112 but for rehearsal and stage, you’d probably want the 212 for more headroom and power.

  61. Massimo D'Annibali says:

    Hi Bjorn and thanks for your always precious answers. I have got a fantastic sounding lunchbox Laney L5 Studio, i’d like to pair another lunchbox with another good sounding emulated output (i always use the emulated output on the laney); what do you suggest to me? Peavey Classic 20, Blackstar HT, Bugera Gx Infinium…thanks very much !

    • Bjorn says:

      The Peavey… between the ones you mention :)

      • Massimo says:

        And adding the new Fender BassBreaker 15 and HiWatt T20 (with external cabsim)? Thanks again

        • Bjorn says:

          Depeds on what you’re looking for. Something similar to the Laney or something very different? The Fender would be the least similar and it would provide a nice pristine clean tone, to the darker Laney.

          • Massimo D'Annibali says:

            so the fender would be brighter than the laney and/or peavey. have you ever tried the peavey valve king 20MH? what about its clean channel compared to the peavey classic 20MH (drive channels are completely different, i know)

            • Bjorn says:

              I haven’t, sorry. Most Fender amps, has little compression and either a flat mid frequency or scooped. The Lionheart, Peavey Classic, Marshalls, Hiwatts etc are just the oposite of that. They have lots of compression and mids, and are therefore darker and perhaps also easier to combine with a wider range of pedals.

              • Will says:

                I have a Laney Cub head and recently purchased a Fender Bassbreaker 15 head. The Fender Bassbreaker actually sounds almost identical to the Cub (through the same 2×12 Cab with Celestion G12H-30s). The Bassbreaker Series are pretty much Marshall Plexis, they sound nothing like a typical Fender. You should try it out, Bjorn. If you like the Laney Cub, you’ll love the Bassbreaker Series. Highly recommended

                • Bjorn says:

                  Thanks for the tip! The Cub is very close to those early Marshalls and Fenders, so that makes sense :)

                • Emi says:

                  Hi Will! how the Cub 12’s sounds with Celestion G12H-30s? (G12h anniversary, I guess)
                  I read that it can sound unbalanced, bright and harsh. And the clean sound with a stratocaster is not the best.
                  How are the clean and distortion sounds?

                  I want to update my Laney cub 12r speaker, to play Gilmour tones of course. I in between the G12h anni and V30. I know that the two of them could fit nice, but i want to pick up the perfect one. Any tip could be great!

                  Here is the source:

                  • Will says:

                    The Celestion G12H-30 (yes, Anniversary) CAN sound very bright, but the Laney Cub has a Tone knob which can make the amp brighter or darker. After trying a couple of speakers, I personally feel that it’s the best type of speaker for the Cub in an open-back cabinet. IMO, Greenbacks and Vintage 30s only sound good on closed-back cabinets. Another speaker that I recommend for the Cub is WGS Reaper 30. It’s their version of the G12H-30 (Anniversary), super high-quality and made here in USA.

                    Here’s the link:

  62. Christophe Arnaudin says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Thanks again for sharing your technical knowledge. It does really help!
    I just would like toknow what would be your approach regarding the INPUT to use when you plug your guitars into laney Lionheart? I know you’ve got Humbucker guitars (LP), telecasters, Strats with Vintage type of Pickups (Cs 69), Strats with ACtive EMG SA pickups….

    What would you recommend? Hi Input? Low INPUT?

    Best regards,


  63. Hi Bjorn, I really would like to go for the Thames Weber`s for my Cub Cabinet . I just feel for bedroom use the Weber`s could be a waste not being able to drive them to there full. What do you think of the Celestion V30s . Maybe I will just go for the Weber`s in the end. Kind regard Stu.

  64. Hi Bjorn, What was your view on the Rocket 50s that are in the Laney Cub Cabinets. Are they any good for bedroom/home use. Some people say they are terrible and others say they are good.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on how picky you are, I guess. I often think that when people say things are terrible, it’s either because they want to show off or, they haven’t really tried to make it sound good. The Rockets are OK. A bit flat and not overly exciting but on low bedroom level, it’s hard to tell the difference between a good and bad speaker, with the same specs. It’s more down to how you set the amp and pedals to compensate for the lack of mids and compression you get from playing loud. If you can afford it, I’d look into V30s or G12H, which both goes nicely with the amp and provides a bit more tone.

  65. christophe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I’d like to have some of your advices before buying a new tube head.
    You ‘ve written that the laney CUB head has “a familiar 70s Marshall/Hiwatt-ish character”. Compared to the Lionheart wich is a JTM / early Marshall type of amp, would you describe the CuB HEAD as a 70’s type of Marshall, which would mean a “Metal face” JMP area Marshall? Or do you mean, the Cub sounds more like a “end of 60’s” Superlead ?


    • Bjorn says:

      Well, it’s neither I guess. The Cub doesn’t really sound like any other amp but it has a typical British flavour, combining a bit of the Vox/Hiwatt chime and the early Marshall JTM mids and compression. It’s really not that different from the Lionheart but the Lionheart sounds tighter and, with the two channels, much more versatile, covering more ground.

  66. Sayan says:

    Bjorn – Great article and very very helpful for those who are struggling to find a classic Gilmour sound. I am actually looking for a small amp for home practice and I have seen you have recommended quite a few including Laney cub. But can you please tell me about the Vox AC4C-BL 4W with Top Boost Blue amp. I saw this one in local guitar center with very good reviews specially about clean tones. It also very compact and not very pricey

    – Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried that one, so I can’t really comment on it. Vox amps in general have a very scooped tone. Meaning that they lack the mid range presence typical of the amps David often use and rely on. If you do get one, I’d go for mid range oriented overdrives and distortion pedals for the best results. Read more about that in the Buyer’s Guide for Overdrives and Distortions.

  67. Wilmer says:

    Hello everyone,

    Would a Mesa/Boogie 50. Caliber (EL-84 version) do the job? I own one, but haven’t tried to get Gilmour tones out of it, because I don’t yet own a Big Muff and a CE-2 Chorus; etc, but will soon in the future. But again… Will the 50. Cal be any good as a pedal platform for Gilmour tones?


    • Bjorn says:

      You should be able to get some nice Gilmour tones with it. Don’t have much experience with it myself but it’s kind of a bridge between the classic Fender-ish Mesa amps and the more modern Rectifiers. Slightly scooped but enough mids and compression to give a nice basis for most Gilmour pedals.

  68. Mark Price says:

    I have been looking over your site, and am a fan of David Gilmour’s tone. I know he used to use the Alembic F2b preamp as part of that tone. I have created a PCB inspired by the Alembic F2b, I call the Frog Tube Preamp PCB. It is unique because the size of the power supply allows you to install it in a standard sized foot pedal enclosure. You can also choose Russian submini tubes or standard ECC8x tube configuration. I plan to start making them for sale in 2017 (after FCC certifications are complete), but the PCB is available now. What is the procedure to get a mention on your site? This is the biggest David Gilmour site and probably the most popular site that contains Alembic F2b info. Any thoughts would be appreciated. The PCB is already being sent to Europe and Canada and USA.

  69. David Du says:

    hi, Bjorn, I’m asking this question for my friend, who want to know which marshall amp is better for DG’s tone. they are: JCM800,1959Marshall Plexi 100W, 1965Marshall JTM45 Bluesbreaker, Marshall JTM45.
    you know, he is a big Marshall fan.
    Thanks for your advice!

    • Bjorn says:

      You can pretty much use all of these, given that you know how to set them up for the right tones. The only Marshall amps I would keep away from, are the amps aimed at the heavier sounds and most of the transistor amps. The old Plexi and JTMs in particular are great for Gilmour’s tones.

  70. Paul Kantor says:

    I just picked up the 

Laney Cub 12 stack, and I a SOOOOO happy that I did!!! I am floored by the quality of the tone coming out of this AMP, especially one in this price range!! This is my first tube AMP and I cannot believe I waited this long to purchase one! Thank you for pointing me in the right direction! You guys are awesome!!

  71. Artemiy Biryukov says:

    Hey Bjorn. Thank you for a wonderful range of amps for the Gilmour sounds you brought us. I really want a Blues Jr, but my only worry is that it hasn’t got an FX loop, which could be quite handy when it comes to delay and so on. Is the FX loop crucial enough for me to straight up abandon this amp ? Thank you :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Unless you want to use the amp for overdrive and distortion, there’s no need for a loop. Just set the amp up for a nice clean tone, and run all the effects into the front end of the amp.

  72. patrick crum says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Absolutely love the site. I’ve spent a lot of time reading and trying your recommendations to get “that tone” and I’ve come very close..Many thanks. My pedal board : (buffer, compressor, muff clone, clean boost, into the input, then the flanger, phaser, delay, and a tremolo (not for gilmour stuff, but more for stones and others) running via the effects loop… All this is through a Traynor ycv20wr amp… sounds good, but “not quite.” Although I love the amp, I’ve given up on getting “HiWatt clean punch” out of it and will relegate to other pursuits (it’s great for other styles/tones. from AC/DC to Rolling stones…but no Gilmour…)
    So, my question is– in the sub $6-700 (USD) range.. what would you recommend for a dedicated Gilmour rig? I’m leaning heavily towards the H&K tubemeister 18, and am currently playing with a borrowed Egnater Tweaker… I don’t play out 15-20 watts is all I need…
    Thanks in advance!

    • Bjorn says:

      The H&K is great but perhaps not the way to go if you’re looking for a better Gilmour than what you already have. Although I rarely use it for Gilmour stuff, I can get some nice Gilmour tones with it and it can handle pretty much any pedal but the overall tone, is very pristine and modern. Perhaps a tad above your budget but I’d look into the Peavey Classic 30 or the Laney Lionhearts. Both series feature amps in different sizes and wattagem, including smaller studio/bedroom heads.

  73. Seb says:

    Ok, thanks Bjorn!

    So, what would be your suggestion to set the head “as close as possible” to a Fender Bassman…. Clean or gain channel (and what would be your settings’ advice: Hi or Low Input, knob settings…)

    Thank you for your help!


    • Bjorn says:

      My main settings are loosely based on that Bassman/JTM tone, only a tad darker I guess… drive channel, bright mode, drive a hair below 2, volume as desired, bass 6, middle 6, treble 3, tone either off or just a hair below 1, reverb off. Try this and tweak your way around that for your pickups and pedals.

  74. Sebastien says:

    Hi Bjorn.

    When you write that the laney L5 head is like an AC30 with more tweakable mids, do you mean that it an be set like a fender bassman ? (would you set the mids to a very low setting?). Any advices of setting for a clean fender tone?

    And, is there a big difference between the L5 studio and L20 head (home practice )?

    best regards,


    • Bjorn says:

      The 5w and 20w is the same amp and for a bedroom/livingroom, the 5w will be more than enough. It has plenty of headroom too. The Lionheart is not a Fender and although you can get sounds somewhat similar to a Bassman, I think it’s much more in that British tradition, closer to the AC30 and the early Marshalls. I know the Bassman and JTMs are more or less identical, but there’s more of the Marshall sound that a Fender.

  75. Bernie Heerey says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am looking for your experience and knowledge again on a number of questions – hope you don’t mind! I am seriously looking at an upgrade from my Laney cub 12r to the Laney Lionheart L20 combo. In your articles on amps you mention that it is best to go with low wattage amps for bedroom use so that you can open them up by raising the volume and finding that sweet spot. Is the Laney L20 too much for a bedroom situation to get the best from it or would I be better off with the Laney Lionheart 5 watt, though i wonder if the headroom would be sufficient with the 5 watt? I know you say you can easily get Gilmour tones with the Lionheart and yet obtain other tones for different styles too, this is one of the attractions of this amp for me. Any advice, tips etc would be much appreciated. Once again thanks for this awesome site from which i continue to learn so much.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Bernie! I think the L20 would be too loud. It is for my house, anyway :) The 5w, or the new Studio 5w, is more than enough and they have lots of headroom. The Studio would probably be the best choice, as you can downsize the wattage. These amps are loud :)

      • Bernie Heerey says:

        Thanks for the quick response as usual Bjorn. I hadn’t consider the studio 5w head, this sounds great and cheaper than byuing the L5t – 112 as I like the power scaling on the cub for not upsetting the wife or neighbors lol. I already have a Thames Weber 80 w speaker that I use.. How does the Laney Lionheart sound with the Thames as I know you too have these speakers. still want the Gilmour tones but also want the versatility of my own tones. Once again thanks for giving your time to help us beginners find what we seek!

        • Bjorn says:

          I think the Lionheart works best with some tighter sounding Celestions, like V30s or the stock GH12s. The Fanes/Webers are too bright and even a bit flabby in the lows, with the Lionheart.

  76. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    My Blues Jr. has either a bad tube or multiple bad tubes. I want to get a full set of JJ’s from Eurotubes but they have so many options, I wondered what your opinion is. They have the regular JJ’s and the gold pin JJ’s which are supposed to be more smooth and rich. And you can have the option of maximum headroom, moderate headroom, or early breakup. I play mostly low volume at my house. Which set do you think would be most Gilmourish? Also, what is a good replacement speaker for the Jr.? The stock speaker seems a bit shrill.


    • Bjorn says:

      By Gilmourish, I assume you mean, which is the closest to what David’s using. Keep in mind that tubes are just a very small part of his tone and the differences between tubes, are minimal. How they sound, depends on the amp, pickups and pedals you use with them. Anyway, I use gold pins with moderate headroom. They works nicely with my amps. They sound punchy and focused. Not too clean but with lots of headroom still.

  77. berni says:

    hi bjorn, first of all, thank you for all your info here, helped me a lot. I have a Hiwatt T40 Combo. Sounds realy good to me. Now i will get a Yamaha ra Leslie Speaker, i found. I wonder how to combine these two amps. I dont realy know where i have to split the Signal. Before the pedalboard ?- so that i have the clean (undistorted Signal) to the yamaha and the distorted (Muff, TD) signal after the pedalboard to the Hiwatt ? – or do i have to split it after the pedalbord, so that the distorted Sound goes to the hiwatt and the yamaha? I realy hope you can give me some advise. Many Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      I recommend that you dry different setups and decide based on what you like. In regards to David’s tones, he split the signal after the pedalboard so that both the Hiwatts and Yamaha got the full effected signal, with modulations and delays.

  78. Angus says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I’m looking for a Gilmourish amp and I’m tossing up between the Hiwatt T20 or the Laney Lionheart 20 head. I found a second hand T20 at a pretty cheap price, but I’m not sure if I should wait for a Lionheart to pop as they are rare second hand. Any preferences between these two heads? Stuff like cleans, taking pedals, cutting through the mix etc

    Thanks heaps!

    • Bjorn says:

      You can go either way and it depends on what speakers you use with the head. The Hiwatt might provide a more accurate Gilmour tone but, in my opinion, the Lionheart is a more versatile amp, especially if you want to play other stuff as well.

  79. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, I just saw this little intro article about Sound City Master 50 introduced in NAMM 2016. I’m hoping it would offer the 70s Hiwatt Custom 50 tone but a bit more affordable:
    If you end up having a chance to test the amp, please let us know.

    • Bjorn says:

      Interesting! I know some bought the Sound City lisence a few years back and did some really crappy stuff but this looks different. I hope to try it out.

  80. Peter J says:

    Those who have extra money to spend I recommend Mario Punsola ( from Barcelona. I myself come from Slovakia and have full trust in this gentleman. He made for me a custom head based on DR103 circuit. Scalable 10-5-2W. Sounds and looks fantastic … Y

  81. David Du says:

    hi bjorn,
    how are you!
    I just got a Hughes & Kettner Matrix 120 combo from my friend, and I want to use the return socket in the fx loop, and it turned out the tone changed when I switch different channel. it’s wired, because the return socket should go to poweramp directly, it should not change anything when I switch the channel. Do you have any idea of this?
    by the way, it is a 212 combo with celestion G12T-100 speaker, is this one option for DG’s tone?


  82. Massimo D'Annibali says:

    hi, bjorn; once again a question for you! do you use a particular brand of tubes or new old stock one in your tube amps? can you suggest me something good for my new laney L5 studio (nos siemens, jan-ge, mallard or new genalex, jj…) thanks again for all your precious help

  83. Pete W. says:

    Well, I just picked up a Carvin Belair 2×12, and it’s AWESOME!!
    Comparable to the Peavey Classic 50 212, but at half the price.
    I don’t know why Carvin amps get overlooked so often, but a really good product.

  84. Patrick Kennedy says:

    Mr. Riis,
    Thank you for your efforts creating and maintaining this site. It truly is a wonderful resource.
    Out of curiosity, have you ever tried using two amps simultaneously? The goal, as I’ve read, is to combine a scooped amp (eg Fender) with a more midrange-prominent amp (eg Marshall) and blend the best of both worlds.
    I have recently learned of this watching the “That Pedal Show” YouTube channel featuring Daniel Steinhardt and Mick Taylor (not the same Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones.)
    For the gigging musician, I suppose it creates some practicality issues, but Mr. Steinhardt (creator of the GigRig pedalboard switching system) is a renowned tone chaser and swears by this type of set up. Just wondering.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Patrick. I have but I usually just have one amp in the rig. David did something similar for the Division Bell recording sessions, with a stereo setup consisting of two Hiwatts and two Fender Bassmans.

  85. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Congrats again for this wonderful website ! :)
    I’ll need to change the tubes in my Laney cub12r and I would like to have your advice on the type and brand that will better fit my little combo. Do you have any suggestion ?

    Many thanks in advance for your answer.

    Kind regards,


    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you David! I’ve been using JJ Electronics tubes for nearly 15 years now for all my tube applications and I’m very happy with them.

  86. Gerard Smulevich says:

    After about a month, I couldn’t be happier with the Reeves Custom 12 PS head. I’ve matched the head with a 212 custom made VOX style cabinet loaded with 80’s era Fane Classic 50 speakers. I found one on Craigslist for $90 located here in Southern California and the other one in London via Ebay for $120 shipped. Speakers are virtually identical, 8ohm each. I then bought an early 60s Mullard 12ax7 and two matched NOS Tungsram EL84s from a guy in Spain. OH the TONE through this rig! It has a lot of headroom and is really more hitwattish than Jim in my opinion. I think the Fanes at a huge role in that regard. I paid $770 for the Reeves head used in. mint condition off I know Bjorn you suggest JJ tubes and that’s what this Custom 12 had in it but the right NOS tubes really help with the tone and like I mentioned… Fane is not in vane!

  87. Josh says:

    Hi Bjørn! Thank you for all your hard work and this amazing site! I wanted to get your thoughts on a a low wattage amp for use in an NYC apartment to serve as a good Gilmour clean/pedal platform–I’m currently looking at the Fender Princeton Reverb Reissue or the Reeves Custom 12 power scaling. Which would you recommend?

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re two very different sounding amps and although not typical for David’s they should both give you a nice basis for your pedals. Neither has tons of headroom but depending on how lou you play and your pickups, the headroom should be enough. The Fender has more mids and compression than most Fenders but there’s still that unmistakable Fender tone. The Reeves is very similar to an early Marshall, with more mids and a crunchier breakup.

  88. Hi Bjørn! Thank you for a wonderful site. I’m basically basing all my purchases on your recommendations and have now bought a 5w Laney Lionheart :) My question is if you know if the Laney can easily be used with an attenuator, and if that is something you would recommend?


    • Bjorn says:

      Glad you enjoy the site, Anders! Yes, you can easily use the Lionheart with an attenuator. There are several models out there, including Weber, THD and Suhr. They’ll all do the job but they have different features so do a quick search and check them out :)

    • Huy Tran says:

      Hi Anders,

      I also have a 5w Lionheart (although the studio version with 0.5w but I use it on the 5w 90% of the time) and was just wondering if you can’t get good tones out of it with decent volume?

      Or do you need to have it on really low volume?

      I guess I’m lucky in that I live in a fully detached house and none of the neighbours complain even when I crank up my 22w Fender Supersonic.

  89. Huy Tran says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Having the Lionheart myself I was reading some stuff on the internet and people have reported getting a volume increase and more highs when they patch the FX Loop. Or even just put pedals in it, just as long as the FX Loop isn’t bypassed.

    Have you tried it? At work at the moment but I will try it when I get home and let everyone know if it worked.

  90. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I was wondering if you could suggest a low wattage amp that is in par with the tone and quality of Laney Lionheart L20H head but something perhaps easier to be found in Canada. I bought a Laney Cub head but I found the wattage is not quite there unless I use the gain knob. I found out it reduces the sparkle and definition to some degree if I bring the gain to 2 (as you suggested). At 1 or below, it is decently clear but too low output. I like something that works well with Laney Cub though so I get a relatively balanced coverage with a stereo setup (using both left and right output from my delay pedal). I have two cabinets and I can balance out the tone a bit between them. The separation of gain volume and gain amount, plus the clean volume and bright switch in L20H is a flexible enough signal flow. I don’t know any amp that is made in US or available in North America offers this kind of signal flow in the low wattage design. Something that has a presence control and not too scooped (have a bit compressed thick mid-range) while having a nice clean tone that the sparkle can come throughwithout cranking the treble to make it sound shrill. I don’t know if that combination exists since most amps either have a thick mid-range or sparkle but lacking compression hence the mid-range is not thick enough. If I have to choose between the two, I guess I should pick the one with more mids to match the Laney Cub.

    Thanks a lot,

    • Bjorn says:

      Hmmm… tough question. I really haven’t found an amp that has the same features and tone as the Lionheart. You could go for a vintage sounding Marshall I guess, and some of the newer “classic” models could do but other than that I’m not sure. The Hiwatt Custom and Tube series could also do the job. I’d check around and look for amp reviews in your price range and category.

      • Arya Boustani says:

        Thanks Bjorn for your reply. How about Bugera V22 or V55? You mentioned it has a sound like a vintage AC30. Do you think I will have too much high frequency in my face to counteract getting a nice smooth overdrive end result. I’m hoping my amp would tame some of that harsh overtones from my tube driver or other dirt pedals not to accentuate it!
        Bugera is easier to find in Canada. Also there are some older used Laney units like VC-30. Are they also similar sound like Vox AC30?

        • Bjorn says:

          I think they’re based on the Matchless amps, which has obvious similarities to the AC30. You can’t really compare it to the AC30 though, as the Bugera has much more tweakability. Both amps makes a nice basis for most of David’s pedals but again, how everything will sound eventually, depends on how you’ll be using the amp and with what pedals.

  91. Cameron Lee says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m looking for a better amp. I play blues as well as a ton of Gilmour/Floyd. I was originally going to buy a reissue Deleuxe Reverb or reissue 59 Bassman, but then I saw I can get a real 70’s Hiwatt DR103 for around the same, and then run it through a Marshall cab I have. Which of the three will be best for me?

    I’ll be playing in the studio and stage, so no amp is too loud. Will I be able to get the cleans of the deluxe reverb with the Hiwatt? I plan to run my amp completely clean and use something like an OCD for grit.

    I’m having a hard time here so any adivce is greatly appreciated


    • Bjorn says:

      The Hiwatt DR103 has all the headroom in the world, so no worries there. Personally, I think either a Bassman or a Laney Lionheart L20, which I’m using myself, is a much more versatile amp and especially for the stuff you’re playing. I’d consider one of them at least.

      • Rocco B. says:

        …or both! Using multiple tube amps and blending the tone to taste is a brilliant tone technique and doesn’t get enough consideration in online discussions that I see.

  92. Massimo D'Annibali says:

    hi bjorn, i’ve just bought a new H&K Tubemeister Deluxe 20; I find it very crystal on clean sounds but a little harsh with distortion sounds. The redcab simulator is even harsher. Have you tried it? How do you rate the old Tubemeister 18 with direct Redbox? Thanks regards

    • Bjorn says:

      The clean channel on these Tubemeister amps is somewhat similar to a loud clean Fender, so the lack of compression and mid range will make your gain pedals sound fizzy. I’m using the gain channel on mine, which is much closer to a Marshall, with lots of mids and compression. Try setting it up for either 20w or 5w, roll the treble down to 9:00 or even all the way down, bass 2:00 and mids 3:00 or all the way up. Set the gain at aprox 8:00 and the master volume as desired. You may have to fine tune these settings for the right amount of high end and headroom. Hope this helps.

      • Massimo says:

        Thanks bjorn, have You tried the new deluxe 20? It seems to be different from the old 18 and more similar to the TriAmp

        • Bjorn says:

          No but I think it’s very similar to the Tubemesiter standard models, with a few extra features.

    • Carmine says:

      Hi, do you suggest ti buy deluxe 20 ?

  93. Greg says:

    I am pursuing gilmourish tones, and was considering the Hiwatt little d but after reading less than ideal reviews, the little d probably isn’t going to be a contender. I am looking for an amp suitable for bedroom setup and am seriously considering the Lionheart l5t, Lionheart l5 studio and the cub 12. The Lionhearts seem to be quality amps but which would you recommend for a bedroom setup to really dial in gilmour tones? Thank you for all you do!

    • Bjorn says:

      Of the three, I think the new L5 Studio would be the most versatile. The Lionheart has two channels, the clean being close to a AC30 and the dirt similar to an early Marshall and you got all these features for both attenuation and recording. It handles pedals very well.

      • Greg says:

        You recommend the L5 Studio for a bedroom but should I get the combo or only the head? I’m assuming the combo head and cabinet??? I’m new to this so I apologize but I noticed in an earlier post you recommended the L20 to use many pedals. Does this mean I should get the L20 for my bedroom? If I’m going to spend the money I’d like to do it right. I want a good amp that is going to last and I want an amp that will allow me to nail the Gilmour tones. I’m willing to do what it takes, but the volume level probably wont ever exceed playing in my house. Thanks Bjorn!

        P.S. I’m trying to get tickets to any of the Gilmour shows in Europe, preferably first row. Are there any websites you’re aware of where I might find tickets other than Stubhub or Viagogo?

        • Bjorn says:

          The L20 has more headroom and although it works nicely in a bedroom, you might find it to be a bit too loud. The Studio is great and should fit your needs. I don’t think it’s available in combo though.

          • Huy Tran says:

            I got the L5 Studio on a whim and it is fantastic. Heaps of great features too.

            I also tried out the settings you use for your L20 Bjorn, and they actually make for a good pedal platform.

            Was just wondering your reasoning behind turning on the bright switch and turning off tone?

            Thank you Bjorn,


            • Bjorn says:

              It seems to work with my pedals. The tone opens up for too much brightness, I think. That’s the only drawback with this amp. I wish it would either allow more fine tuning or, that they’d change the frequency range to 5-6k like the Hiwatts. Engaging the bright mode and rolling back the tone gives you a similar effect, with a more balanced high end but more presence. I’m mainly using the gain channel for more mids, with the gain all the way down to point 1 and the volume pretty high. That boosts the output section for a fatter tone.

              • Huy Tran says:

                I tried your settings and they really are the best platform for pedals.

                Now that the speaker is finally breaking in the amp sounds so good Bjorn. I can even get a kind of Fender overdrive tone by having the gain on 9oclock and the volume on 2:30 oclock and pushing it abit more with the Wampler plexidrive (tried using the buffalo TD-X but it’s too dark).

                This gives me a massive flabby (in a good way) low end and a jangly harsh pick attack (again in a good way). Very happy with the amp as this is like THE Blues tone that I personally love. Like a cross between SRV and Peter Green.

        • Paul says:

          I had an L5 combo in bedroom setup, and while it was really nice something (headroom?) seemed to be missing. Exchanged it for an L20 combo and couldn’t be happier. Awesome amp.

          • Greg says:

            You don’t find it to be too loud for a bedroom?

            • Paul says:

              Not for me … of course, I can always set volume on about 2 and adjust levels on pedals if need be. I generally run it at about 4 or 5 without issue. I don’t have any neighbors to worry about.

  94. Heidi says:

    Hello Bjorn, I have already learned a lot from reading on this website, it’s a treasure on the interwebs ! Thanks for all the effort you put in to this…
    I have a queston, I own a fender Princeton 68 Vintage Modigied amp, its 12 watts and starts to break up at 4 or 5. That is in my home office/practice room way too loud for my ears , so my question is if I don’t want to use an attenuator can I change things to my room so that i can play the amp louder without destroying my hearing?
    I ask this beacause in the guitar shop I was able to play this amp at 5 and even 7 so have you any advice for me?
    Thanks in advance, Heidi

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Heidi :) Since volume is an issue, I assume you use the amp for gain? Otherwise you can just turn it down and use pedals :) Anyway, for that slight cruncy clean or distortion, there are different solutions available. Some place their amp in a locker, with mattresses and blankets covering it. There are also isolation cabinets available, but they require some space and they’re fairly expensive. You can also use a volume pedal but that will attenuate the gain also, if you rely on that. The most effective and cheapest way of handling volume is to use pedals for dirt or an attenuator.

  95. Emi says:

    Hi Bjorn! I just bought the Laney CUB12r combo. Its sound is nice but maybe i have to change the speaker, maybe a Celestion G12h 70th Anniversary 8 Ohms? Will i notice the difference? I’m playing at bedroom.
    Anyway, late night I have to play with headphones. It seems that the Cub12r don’t have an output headphone jack (I searched on internet somehow, and nothing). But!! Then I plugged the headphone to the “External Speakers” jack and IT WORKS!! only one side of the headphone speakers. Do you know somehow to properly plug it to the CUB? and to works well? Thanks!!! =D

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m currently using Celestion V30s in my Cub cabinet and they sound great. It’s an open back cab, which can make the V30s soound a bit flabby but you shouldn’t have any problems in a small bedroom/living room. You get only one side since the output is mono. I’m not sure about the load though… I wouldn’t do it… at least check with someone who knows more about these things than I. You don’t want to blow anything :)

      • David says:

        Hi Bjorn,

        I allow myself to jump on that post ! :)
        If I want to upgrade my Cub12r combo with Celestion V30, to I have to buy a 8 or a 16 Ohm ?

        Many thanks in advance for your answer.

        Best regards,


  96. Denis says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am ready to purchase one of the amps of the Lionheart series. I have been really happy with the cub head for about 4 years now but I feel is time to kick it to next level now. But I am undecided on which one to get : the L5 combo or the L20 combo? I play in a medium size garage and the cub’s 15 watt input is loud enough for my ears. I figured since I am spending so much on a pristine amp I don’t want to miss out on L20 if is a better choice of the two. I know you have the L20 head but have you ever played the L5. If so is there any difference in headroom and tone. I have a pedal board with about 8 in chain. The difference between the two is L5 packs 1 el84 while the L20 has 4 el84. Don’t know if that makes a difference. Thank you for having the best site in the Internet! You are awesome!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Denis, sorry for my very late reply. I’d go for the L20. You get the same tone as the L5 but much more headroom, which you will need using many pedals. The L5 is a great bedroom amp and it’s quite loud but the L20 will give you more to play with and be a great amp if you decide on playing live on stage as well :)

  97. Nathan says:

    Hey Bjorn I’ve been trying to hunt down a hiwatt t20 head for some time now (practically impossible to find in Canada) and I’ve been trying to decide if I should keep trying or move on and get the cub12 head instead. I’ve heard some people say that the tone of the t20 is somewhat dull and flat and that the drive is just too fizzy. How comparable is the sound of the cub12 head and the t20 and would it be worth it tonewise to hunt down and pay more for the hiwatt compared to the easier to find laney cub? I know the cub sounds great but I’m not sure how these two amps compare to each other.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Cub is closer to a Marshall, with lots of mids and quite a lot of compression for that smooth breakup. The T20, although perhaps not as good sounding as the Custom series, does produce the Hiwatt tone. I think the reason why some complain is that they either expect it to sound just like the Custom heads or, they forget that a Hiwatt is a fairly flat and neutral sounding amp that needs volume to really open up. These amps will give you a nice basis for most pedals, but they will sound even flatter and more fizzy (if you want it to distort on its own) on bedroom levels.

      • Nathan says:

        Thanks for the help. Il still try to hunt the hiwatt for another while but if it proves too difficult Il probably go for the laney. I know the laney doesn’t quite have the same clean headroom for gigging as the hiwatt due to only having one channel so I’d still prefer the hiwatt, but il keep my eye out for the t20.
        Thanks for the help.

  98. Adam says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a couple questions I’d like to ask. What’s your opinion on the Vox AC15? How do you think it would compare to something like the Fender Blues Jr, with Gilmour’s tones in mind of course, but also as a versatile amp?

    And also, do you have an opinion or preference between the Fender Blues Jr 2, and the Fender Blues Jr 3? I believe the 3 is the regular stock model that is commonly sold new in stores, but I’ve heard some people say that they think the 2 is better. Do you have an opinion, or know of any noticeable difference?

  99. Gerry in LA says:

    Thank’s for your response. Well, I bought a Reeves Custom 12 PS for $770 shipped (in the US), will report on it next week when I receive it. After reading reviews and watching demo’s, I decided that between the $369 of the Cub 12R head and the under $800 Reeves, that latter was a better piece of kit and the variable power scaling would make the amp more “tuneable” to my practice space (a large double-height studio space but with neighbors on one side, unfortunately). Tone-wise, we will see. I might still get a Cub head and compare and see which to keep but your own comments lead me to assume that the 12 is in the “Hiwatt ballpark” ? . I’m a bit surprised that being an owner of a Reeve’s that you wouldn’t have preferred the Custom 6 or 12 over the Cub12R head. Do you think the Cub is a better “scaled-down” version of a Hiwatt than the Custom 12PS?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Reeves is no doubt a much better amp, both tonally and build, compared to the Laney. I rarely use the Custom 50 anymore but I have lots of different amp and usually keep some smaller, cheaper ones in my home recording studio just for convenience.

  100. Carmen says:

    How about with Fender Princeton Reverb Silverface reissue? Thoughts on this amp?

    • Bjorn says:

      Great sounding amp with a classic Fender tone. Great for recording as well.

      • Carmen says:

        Yeah, it sounds great. A little pricey but I think I’m gonna settle in on that. I moved and now need to downsize. Thanks for your input. I’ve read through your website and you really seem to know your stuff. It’s hard to find good info from people. You can ask the same question from 10 people and get 12 different answers sometimes but you seem to really know your stuff.

  101. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn! Great information here. I have a question about pairing a Colorsound with a low wattage amp such as the 1W Laney Cub that you mention. You mention that the Colorsound requires a lot of volume to really sound full, and that playing it at a softer volume won’t bring out the true sound we are all looking for. But I am not sure if I follow completely. If you play the 1W Laney input and crank it up, wouldn’t you be pushing the tubes, and thus helping the Colorsound? Thanks for all of your hard work to provide such a great site and reviews!

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, yes kind of. Volume attenuation is often used in amps to allow the guitarist to get that tube distortion, or saturation, without playing loud. You can the set Cub for 1w and raise the gain until you hear the clean tone almost start to break up. That will give you a nice punchy basis for the Colorsound and your tones in general. However, to really get that warm and smooth tone from the pedal, you need a bit of speaker compression as well, and obviously you won’t get that on low volume. You can compensate to some extent by pushing the amp as described above, adding a clean booster after the Colorsound and perhaps also, a compressor in front of it. Mind that the pedal also needs a bit of mid range to smooth out that otherwise spiky top.

  102. Bryan says:

    Thanks for the info Bjorn,
    PS – Can’t wait for you to tour with Airbag Down-Under :-)

  103. Gerry in LA says:

    fwiw….I just read a post on some forum where a guy with a Hiwatt needing speakers installed Weber Thames as Fane-clones but it didn’t wuite nail the original tone (he said it was close but not spot-on) but then said that he tried the Peavey Sheffield and it was much closer-sounding to the original Fanes that he once had before.

  104. Bryan says:

    Greetings from Australia Bjorn!
    I was wondering your thoughts on the Hiwatt Signature Series Little D Rig?
    I’m specifically using it for bedroom levels and currently have a Laney Cub12R but can’t seem to get those David Gilmour tones I’m looking for…

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bryan! I have commented on the Little D before and know that some people here has first hand experience with it. It’s a Hiwatt with the classic tone and everything you can expect in terms of David’s tones. However, and this is what I’ve commented on, it’s got nothing to do with Gilmour and he has not endorsed it in any way. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy it but Hiwatt is marketing it as THE Gilmour amp, which it ain’t.

  105. Carmen says:

    I was wondering how you feel about any of the Vox amps. I know they are known for a cleaner sound but I found one in my budget.

    • Bjorn says:

      To be honest, my experience with Vox is only the AC15 and 30 and the Night Train. Not a huge fan of Vox but they’re obviously classics and you can get some nice Gilmour tones with them. Keep in mind though that they don’t have a lot of mid range, unless you really crank the living hell out of them so you might want to use more mids oriented overdrives and distortions, rather than the typical fuzz, Muff and Coloursound-ish overdrives.

  106. David says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I’m looking at getting a Laney Lionheart H20, and was wondering whether you recommend a 2×12 cab with G12-H Anniversary speakers or the V30’s. Both cabs I’m looking at (H&K Tubemeister 2×12 and Laney Lionheart 2×12) are closed back and the cab with V30’s is $100 more than the the one with G12-h Anniversary’s. In your demos lately (which are great, loved the Boonar video review!) I’ve noticed you use the Laney H20 with a 2×12 with V30’s, and the tone sounds nothing short of amazing.

    Thanks for all you do, this site and your work has been a Godsend in my tone quest for that Pompeii-WYWH tone.


    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you David! I’m using the Lionheart 2×12 cab but I replaced the stock G12H 70th Anniversary with V30s. Obviously, very different from David’s high wattage Fane speakers, which has more headroom and an overall brighter tone, but I’m more into a darker rock tone these days and I think it works nicely with David’s tones as well.

  107. Mark says:

    What do you think about the Marshall JTM 30, and the DSL series? Would this be good for his 80’s and 90’s tones?

    • Bjorn says:

      They all got a nice classic Marshall tone. The JTM perhaps more than the DSL. Marshall might not be the ultimate Gilmour amp but these models that you’re referring to has a nice clean tone, with a nice amount of mid range, which is what you want for those smooth tones. Goes well with most Gilmour pedals but you might need to tweak the amp differently compared to a Fender or Hiwatt. Having said that, you can’t really beat the versatility of a Marshall :)

  108. David Du says:

    hi Bjorn,
    As you know, I have a Laney irt studio with a cabinet from peavey 6505+112 combo, which loaded a 12” Sheffield Speaker, did you have hear about this speaker? is this the one to use for DG’s Tone?

  109. Raphael says:

    It would be very nice to know your take on some transistor amps, like the Peavey Bandit, for example. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t really have that much experience with transistor amps really. I used to have a couple but I’m really more into tube amps. A few years back that was regarded as snobbery but you can get a great sounding tube amp these days for a fraction of the price and not much more expensive than a transistor so it’s really more down to taste, rather than budget. My opinion is that tube amps has more character and are more dynamic towards the pedals, pickups and your playing. Transistor amps are more consistent and you can depend on it delivering the same tone in any environment.I haven’t tried the Bandit so I can’t really comment on it.

  110. nietzschol says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    What do you think about the Fender 57′ Champ reissue. A guy is selling one for 700€ here in France I absolutely love this amp however it is really expensive and the thing is I do not play in a band (only for bedroom usage) do you think it is a good opportunity ? Also do you think I can easily get the sound of Gilmour with it ? I’m currently playing a Epiphone Casino and i’m looking for the sound of beginning of Gilmour era (A Saucerful of Secrets etc.) Otherwise I will probably go buy a Laney Cube 12 which sounds great with a fuzz pedal. Let me know.

    Thanks so much for this website.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I don’t really have that much experience with the 57 Champ but obviously, having only a volume control and normal/bright input, it has its limitations. You might find it hard to dial in those smooth Big Muff tones etc, but a RAT, OCD or similar sounding pedals would get you close. A fine amp no doubt and you will be able to nail most of David’s tones with it but it depends on how accurate you want to sound.

  111. Lui Sutil says:

    Hi Watt All the way,… but for budget minded people, there are the Bugera amps that are just killer!!! I have the V55 which is the same as the fist combo featured here but with more power and it’s the head rather than a combo and I also use the ridiculously loud but amazing 333. I got two of those amps for less than 200 dlls each… the clean channel sounds as good as any other I’ve played… specially after putting new JJ tubes in there,… they are 100 watts but even in my bedroom with a good Xotic Sp compressor and pedals it sounds absolutely amazing live or in my studio… Buy Bugera, buy tone not the name!!!

  112. Anaon says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I am very curious to have your opinion (again ;)) : I want to replace my Ibanez TSA15 for something more… vintage and British, I was thinking of the Hiwatt T serie but it seems quite hard to find them, I thought about a Cub but I’m not sure about the building quality and then I saw your comment about the Lionheart L5T. It looks like a good quality amp. I need a nice warm clean tone to go with my Gilmourish effects and vintage fuzz, it’s an amp I’ll use only for recording at low level and I won’t trying to make the clean channel crunch as my lead sounds come from pedals. Do you think it’s a good choice? Many thanks!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Definitely. My main recording amp is a Lionheart L20 so yeah, warmly recommended and great for Gilmour’s tones.

      • Paul says:

        I’m in same situation as Anaon. I actually just sent an L5T 112 combo back, though, because I felt it was missing just a tiny bit of headroom. Do you think the L20 is too much for a bedroom amp? Neighbors are not an issue. Here’s what I’m considering:

        1) LT20 head and 112 or 212 cabinet
        2) L5T head and 112 or 212 cabinet

        Laney L5 combo was pretty awesome, so I know I love the tone. Which option do you think would best fit my circumstances and give me the little push I feel I need without blowing out my ear drums?

        I’d get the Reeves Custom 50 for the vintage Hiwatt tone if I thought it would work better than other options at bedroom levels.

        For reference, I also play (mostly a signature Strat but also a Tele Select) through the clean channel of Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. Volume set at 4 sounds wonderful … more than that, not so much.

        All insights greatly appreciated.

        • Bjorn says:

          As long as you’ll be running the amp clean then the L20 would fit a bedroom perfectly. Even at the lowest volume levels, it sounds balanced and handle pedals well. Volume becomes an issue if you want to crank it, as there are no power scaling. I’d get the 212 cab.

      • Anaon says:

        Thank you so much Bjorn!! I found a second hand L5T made in UK (recent models are made in China and have a different speaker and reverb, slightly different amp), I think I will have to change the tubes as it has never been done but the sound is already great! Very different from my Ibanez TSA15! Thank you Bjorn because I didn’t know this Lionheart range from Laney at all, I don’t like blue but… Only sound matters ;)

  113. Paul says:

    Thanks for the reply Bjorn. I’ve spent the last week tweaking knobs and playing with pedals. As you say, made a big difference, even toggled to half a watt. By headroom, I guess I meant that the L5 sounded a little constricted to my ears rather than expansive. Sounds great now, but I do wonder if I might add an Lt112 cab for stereo effect.

  114. Jova says:

    Hi Bjorn. I have a few questions regarding Laney Cub 12 and Lionheart L5T-112.

    1. Which one would you recommend as being more neighbor friendly?I know Cub has 1W output so maybe it is better suitable for home? I’ve also seen Lionheart 5W head and it has 0.5W output but I’m not sure if it is the same amp as L5T-112, and it is more expensive alternative…

    2. You said that Cub has more Gilmourish character, than Lionheart which is something between Vox and Fender… Can Lionheart even produce Gilmourish clean? I’ve heard some You tube demos, and it seems as a very versatile amp, but to my ear it isn’t very Gilmourish although it has very sweet sound.

    3. If you had to choose only one, between these two, which one would it be and why (but I think I already know the answer to this one :-D )?

    All the best!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jova :) My main stage and recording amp these days is the Lionheart L20 head and cab. The amp sounds phenomenal and I couldn’t be happier with it. Perhaps not the typical Gilmour amp – only Hiwatt and certain Fenders are – but I have no problem tweaking it for Gilmour tones and anything else that I want. Extremely versatile and the clean tone is beautiful. Please check out my YouTube channel and watch all my gear reviews from the last couple of years… that’s the Lionheart. The 5w is the same amp only with lower wattage and perhaps a tad less headroom but again, the same amp. Mind though that there’s nothing Fender about it. It’s a cross between a Vox AC30 and early 70s Marshall. The Cub is very different and closer to a Hiwatt meets Marshall. It’s darker, with more mids. I would no doubt go for the Lionheart.

  115. Daniel says:

    Hello Bjorn! Great blog. What do you think of the new Fender Bassbreaker series? i’m thinking in buying the 007 for home use when they come to europe

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks Daniel! I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell. They do sound nice based on the reviews but again… I really don’t know.

  116. Charlie W says:

    What would you pick between a fender blues junior and a laney cub combo for a bedroom amp that could be used for small venues/ which is more versatile? cheers

    • Bjorn says:

      Both sound great but it depends on what tones you want. They do sound very different. The Fender is no doubt a better amp quality and build wise…

  117. Adrian says:

    Hey Bjorn.

    I got a Hot Rod Deluxe III based on your suggestion here a couple of years ago, and it’s a great amp with plenty of clean headroom. Brilliant advice on your part, so thank you.

    The HRD is a bit heavy for lugging around to practice sessions regularly, though, and a bit too loud for a bedroom amp. So, I’ve been thinking of getting myself a Laney Cub 12R. I was considering getting the combo, as that would be less bulky, less expensive and more travel friendly than the stack. But, I just noticed you said the stack would offer more head room.

    What makes the stack have more head room? Is the head of the stack not the exact same as the head on the combo?

    Thanks for all the solid information over the years,

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply. First of all, and as I’m sure you know, the Laney is a very different amp compared to the Fender. More a Marshall, meets a Hiwatt and Vox. As British as it gets. A stack, with it’s two speakers, has the same amp distributing the same output to two speakers so you can push them harder than just the one speaker.

      • Adrian says:

        Hey Bjorn,

        Thanks for the reply.

        What I might do is get the combo for travelling with, and down the road get the cab. Then I could plug the combo into the cab and have the headroom at home for recording, etc.

        Think plugging the combo into the cab would sound the same as plugging the head into it?

        All the best,

        • Bjorn says:

          I guess so although I haven’t tried it. Does the combo have a speaker out jack?

          • Adrian says:

            It does, I think. Though, interestingly it’s different to the head which seems to have two outputs (8 & 16 ohms). The combo looks like it only has one output for both.

  118. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn? Have you ever tried the Hiwatt Little D? If yes, what do you think about it?? :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t but I have commented on it several times on this site. Judging by the specs it seems like a nice amp and I’m sure it it. You should be able to nail most of David’s tones with it depending on what pedals you use :) Keep in mind though, that despite what Hiwatt wants you to believe, the amp has nothing to do with David Gilmour. He has not endorsed it and they have not used his amps for the design.

      • Gábor says:

        I have it, with a FANE AXA loaded 1×12 WEM “mini”cab. The project was very slow and complecated, and pricey, how to get it.. The amp itself is nice, almost the same sounding as my HIWATT CUSTOM DG 212. Very nice midrange, great headroom, handling muffs very well! The 0,5 W option is very loud, 3 times louder then the LANEY CUB head on 1 W setting. The amp has the cheapest Chinese pots, I have ever seen, especially the Presence dos not do its job properly.
        Depends on, what you need? The spirit of Dave Reeves is there, but for a price..I would not purchase it again, I would go for a HIWATT Custom20 head with the original specs.( when the HIWATT logo means )

      • Giovanni says:

        Thanks a lot, Bjorn! If I try it I’ll tell you how it sounds!

  119. Gerry in LA says:

    Hey..first time posting here. So much experience and knowledge accumulated! Here goes mu question: I’ve been building my DG tone around a vintage Blond 1963 Fender Bandmaster (2×12 piggy, 6L6 30W). I also have the possibility of borrowing/having a Crate V30 (blonde Palomino, 4xEL84 + 1×12 Celestion). Would the Crate V30 get me closer to a Hiwatt kind of midrangey tone as compared to my Bandmaster? My guitar is a 2010 Road Worn 60’s Strat (nitro, 3 color burst) with 2 CS69’s and an SSL5 in the bridge. Any suggestion in regards to that V30 amp for the DG tone thang?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Gerry! I haven’t tried the Crate so I can’t really comment on it. From what I’ve read it’s perhaps closer to a Marshall but again, I don’t really know. The Bandmaster is nice amp and works great for David’s sounds. Both amps should do well so it’s more a matter of what pedals you use with them. Then Crate is perhaps better with the typical Gilmour pedals like Muffs and Tube Driver (and similar sounding clones), while the Fender might need more mid rangy pedals like OCD, RAT, Tube Screamer etc…

      • Gerry in LA says:

        Hey Bjorn: I’ve been looking to get “closer” to the Hiwatt tone/sound and came across the Reeves Custom 10 and Custom 12 with the “power scaling” option. Both are at or under $1,000US new, $600/$800 used in mint condition.

        Do you have any thoughts an these lower-output Reeves amp heads and would one be more “gilmourish” than the other?

        BTW I just put togther a 212 cabinet with a J-Design custom cab (kind of Vox 212 design but with Hiwattish grey grill cloth and piping) with a Vintage 30 + 1980’s 50W Fane I found on locally here in California (White lable with horizontal line graphics under the FANE logo). Best/Gerry

        • Bjorn says:

          The Custom 10 is pretty much based on the classic Marshall tone, so although you can dial in some nice Gilmour tones with it, its not typical or something I would recommend. The Custom 12 is kind of in between a Marshall and Hiwatt, with more headroom and a nice amount of mids, but again, somewhere in between. Of the two, I guess the 12 is the way to go.

  120. bobize says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    I have a hiwatt t20, and i like it, compare to a blues junior, there is more mids, and it stay clean more long time.
    But i find that the crunch ,when i boost it (with banana boost 9v) a little to dry.
    Have you some infos about a brand or a type of tube to make the amp a little more round and fatty?
    There is ruby tube at this time.
    Thank you for all your work.

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply. Don’t know what you mean by dry but the Hiwatt amps has more mid range so they do sound more direct, with more presence and perhaps not as soft or smooth as a Fender. They’re two different amps really. I’m not sure what speaker you have but changing it for something warmer can do a difference. I’m using JJ Electronic tubes, which I think adds a nice punch but also warmth. Obviously, it also depends on your amp settings, the pickups and guitar you use and the other pedals you use with he Bananaboost.

  121. Rob says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Over the years I have taken your advice. Peavey Classic 30, have a AC30HW and found a used Swart AST a nice boutique tweed style amp. Really a nice sounding amp and has been my main amp. But the other day I was at a music store looking for a new amp that may be more like the HK Tubemeister 18. Well they had a used Hiwatt Custom 20 head. I played it and knew I had to have it. Bought a 112 cab by Dr. Z and got it home. I have finally found that tone. It was incredible the tone I was getting with my pedals. The Musket just rocks. I have a Sovtek as well and running those through the Hiwatt gets me any Gilmour tone I want. Tried the TS808 with a Soul Food and my chorus and was getting On An Island tones. The 20 works great in the bedroom was getting fantastic tones even at low levels. Just wanted to share with others. If you can find a Hiwatt Custom 20 get it. Clean and simple amp that just eats anything you throw at it.

    Thanks for all your hard work on this site. First class operation.


  122. Tiago Oliveira says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thank you so much for everything man! You´re an amazing person doing all of this research! It’s incredible! I actually bought the Laney L5T-112 they are 600€ which is basically 650$ here in Portugal. The thing is… I have a Marshall MG50DFX (solid state 50W amp) and after 10 days playing with the Laney I found that the Marshall sounds like 10 times better… It is really hard for me to get a nice sound with the Laney… I mean eventually I can get an okay sound but still not as good as the marshall (using mostly the clean channel without any pedals) . The thing is with the Laney either I get a ridiculously bright sound that hurts your ears or I get a muddy sound like the sound you get when you roll your guitars tone control. I literally put them side by side and you can get an instant awesome sound from the Marshall but have to work your ass of to get a nice clean sound! shouldn’t a 650$ tube amp sound good? cheers mate!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Tiago, sorry for my very late reply… They’re just two different sounding amps. Marshall are known for being very plug-and-play kind of amps and you should have no problem getting a decent tone from them. The Lionheart is a class A tube amp, two channels and a much more demanding amp, in terms of you having to really explore its potential to make it sound the way you want it. Keep in mind also that amps do sound different. The Lionheart is not a Marshall and it might very well be the case that the Lionheart isn’t for you. I love it and couldn’t be happier with it. I can’t really tell you anything else than to consider them as two very different amps and that you continue to experiment with the Lionheart. Don’t try to make one sound like the other.
      I mainly use the gain channel and the bright switch engaged. Set the drive between 1 and 2 and the volume as desired. Set the bass at 6 and the middle all the way up, with the treble around 3 or 4 depending on how bright your pickups are and the tone all the way down. This should be a good start for a punchy clean tone and a basis for most of your pedals. The louder you play, the lower you want the tone. If you keep the volume barely above zero, then you might want to raise the tone to 2 or 3, Hope this helped.

    • Diogo Martins says:

      The L5T-112 for 600€? That’s a hell of a bargain! Where did you get it, mate?

      • Tiago Oliveira says:

        Hey Mate! It was 599€ at Thomann but after I returned it… it when back to 799€ :( I guess I should have tried to sell it instead of returning it! Maybe they had the wrong pricing on the web site

  123. Dimitris says:

    4 years ago you tested pedals on the Reeves and the Cub, but now on the Lionheart instead, as I see in your pedals’ reviews.
    The Lionheart and Cub are considered the low wattage amps, as you mention in pedals’ ratings? Or something in-between and with low you mean e.g. a Cub10 and an L5combo?
    Also, any experience with Jet City jca20hv, with the 2×12 vintage30 cab? Not many sound samples, but seems a nice British voiced amp and I much appreciate the cab (compared to the CubCab). Appealing price, too!
    One last thing. It is said, that boosters (rangemaster, ep booster, coloursound pb) make the signal bigger, so to make the amp distort, though if you crank them they clip in some level too. Also I hear many people refering to mid scooped OD pedals, as boosters. In case of the VA Overdriver, which others say it’s an OD pedal, others say it’s a booster, what is the case? With the drive knob you set its own clipping, and if you raise its volume, you make the amp’s preamp distort as well?

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Dimitris. The Lionheart is more of a Vox AC30 meets early Marshall, while the Cub has more of a Marshall/Hiwatt kind of tone, with more mid range and an overall darker tone. Both are low wattage bedroom type of amps, although the Lionheart L20 is definitely big enough for medium sized venues.
      I guess “boost” can be used to describe different pedals and applications but I think what it refers to are those early pedals, like the treble boosters and the Powerbooster, which aren’t fuzz but rather transparent frequency and volume boosters than were designed to drive amps into distortion. The more modern sounding Tube Driver, Boss BD2 and even the Tube Screamer can also be used to boost, which David Gilmour, Steve Ray Vaughn etc does/did but they can also produce overdrive on their own and are often used as overdrive pedals on cleaner amps.

  124. Jonathas says:

    Bjorn… Resuming….
    Laney 20h x hiwatt custom 20…
    What in your opinion is the best. I know that the custom Hiwatt is much more expensive than the Laney … but this price is justified?

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s two very different sounding amps so it depends on what you’re looking for. Both are versatile amps, they can handle pretty much any pedal and they can do smaller venues. The Laney is kind of a mix between a Vox AC30 and an early low gain Marshall, while the Hiwatt has a tone of its own. I think the Laney is perhaps the most versatile of the two but the Hiwatt is perhaps the most Gilmourish.

  125. Mark says:

    Any comments about Monoprice’s 15 watt (3x 12ax7)+(2x EL84) + 1×12 Celestion speaker tube amp @ half the price of a Blues Jr.?

  126. BinsonJones says:

    David which input used in his HIWATT in 1971, normal input or bright input?
    …. on a fender hot rod deluxe which input i have to use for Pompeii tones, I have a face fuzz hendrix bc108

    • Bjorn says:

      As far as my research goes, he didn’t link the inputs until the Wall tour in 1979. Before then, he only used the normal input.

  127. Corey says:

    Hi bjorn, I have a Vox AC10C1 amp and I can’t seem to get a decent gilmour guitar sound out of it and I was wondering if maybe you could help me solve this problem. I use a fender road worn 50s strat with a proco rat 2, Vick audio 73 rams head, mooer elec. lady, and and EHX crayon overdrive.

    • Bjorn says:

      What do you feel is missing? Hard to give you a specific answer but in general, Vox amps doesn’t have a lot of mid range, which is needed for those smooth sustained tones. Your RAT should do the job but Big Muffs and cleans might sound a bit harsh. You can compensate for some of the lack of mids by rolling off the bass and treble but not so much that you lose all the character in the tone. You can also try to add an EQ and boost the frequencies around 400-1000Hz. Pedals like the RAT, Tube Screamer and other mids oriented pedals should also be a better choice than Big Muffs and the typical Gilmour pedals.

  128. Uwe says:

    Hello Bjorn, I’d like to know if you ‘d consider to make a full review about the Laney Lionheart L5 – Studio. Would you recommend it for home practice?
    Is it really similar to the L20 – Head ? Will I get the same tone with the JJ tubes fitted inside?


    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t own a L5 so I can’t do a review… unless I spend a few hours with it in a shop. I will do a review of my L20 at some point though. I love that amp. It’s the same amp but the smaller cab makes them sound somewhat different… as the lower wattage. They serve different applications. I think mine came with TAD tubes, which I replaced with JJs… as I always do. The amp sounds a bit smoother and punchier now.

  129. David says:

    Hey Bjorn! I’m looking for a new head for gigging with at least 40-50 watts for a clean gilmourish sound. However all my local dealers only stock Marshall, Fender and a few Blackstar amps. Should I go Marshall or Fender? Some of the videos of people trying to get a Gilmour tone out of a blues junior have sounded pretty harsh, especially with a muff. Any nice Fender or Marshall heads out there that can take demanding pedals like the muff easily and are at least 40-50 watts? Thanks heaps mate!

    • Bjorn says:

      For Muffs and fuzz, to get David’s tone, you would need an amp with lots of mid range. I guess, between the ones you’ve mentioned, Marshall would be your best choice but obviously, Fenders like a Bassman or even some of the typical blues amps should do the job nicely. The Blues Jr is harsh but you can easily replace the stock speakers with someone darker and get a really nice amp.

  130. Dimitris says:

    Happy December, Christmas everybody!
    I am waiting my VickAudio Overdriver to be delivered any time this week, but it’s not the anticipation as for other pedals I’ve got some time ago. I feel that something is already missing…
    4 months now I play a great Strat through a Cub10. Loud for home practise, but in my new band’s studio HAS to be played through a 2×12 cab, but still doesnt blow me away. Driven (gain up to punchy, volume turned way up), or clean with fuzz sounds just OK. It lacks some of the dynamics and mojo I ‘ve noticed on the Lionheart 5combo, which I’ve owned but sadly had to give away. For studio use,
    1. How do you think the L5combo would stand with a 6men band?
    2. Will it handle BC109, Overdriver etc?
    3. Should I look for Cub 15, cause L20head is too loud?
    Also something technical.
    1. When you turn the volume on non master amps(lionhearts, fenders, early marshalls), you drive the power amp, or both pre and power amp?
    2. You ‘ve said in earlier replies that 12″ speakers are better than 10″, if you use pedals, am I right? Why so?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Dimitris, sorry for my late reply.
      1. Depending on how loud you play, I think you’d have a hard time hearing it over the drums. The L20 is a better option.
      2. Yes but again, it’s loud enough for home practice but not with a band.
      3. The L20 is definitely a better and more versatile amp so if you can afford it, then I strongly recommend it!
      4. The interaction between the volume controls depends on the design of the amp, how many channels it’s got etc but in general, the master volume is what the name implies, – a control that controls the total amount of volume from the amp. The channel or main volume will control the amount of signal that is fed into the pre stage of your amp and subsequently into the power or output stage. The more you crank this, the more distortion you’ll get from the pre stage but the louder the amp will sound as well. The master acts like an attenuator, allowing tube distortion, with less volume and speaker distortion. By adjusting the volume and master volume accordingly, you can get more of the output stage and less of the pre stage, meaning more headroom and a cleaner, fuller tone.
      5. 12″ speakers has a bigger tone and more headroom.

  131. Emilio Melo says:

    Please, have you already considered test a Roland JC-120?

  132. Rocco B. says:

    I’m running that stock Laney L20T-410 alongside a very good 59 Bassman LTD that’s been re-tubed with 5881’s and a 5R4, both amps are powered by a variac @ -17VAC to keep the B+ down. I can run this setup either quite loud or very quiet, and it is providing studio quality classic rock tones with an extensive all analog pedalboard across the volume range.

    Maybe it’s the Jensen 10’s but I prefer the bright switch off on the Lionheart and the master tone fully clockwise: Input High, Clean, Bright Off, Bass Full, Mid Full, Treb 6, Tone Full

    Nice warm real authentic tones without ever getting fizzy or harsh, even when I take Sorrow tone over the top… ;-) Getting lots of compliments from folks who don’t share our musical taste too.

    I can imagine the tone improving a bit when I get around to re-tubing the Laney, but for a NIB, dead stock 20w amp it sounds pretty damn good and I’ve got 8-10″ speakers in open back cabs swirling in glorious pseudo-stereo.

  133. Hershel says:

    Hi Bjorn!, another question, would a bugera v55 head (that has an impedance switch for the speaker cab) go well with the laney cub 2×12 extension cab?

  134. Fish says:

    Bjorn do you think the Vox AC15 is a good amp? Or are there better ones on this price and wattage range?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s a very nice amp but perhaps not that ideal for replicating David’s tones, if that’s your goal. You would need one with more mid range or something closer to what he’s using. My best tip is the Laney Cub series. Great sounding amps!

  135. John Paul Jones says:

    I have got a Fender frontman 15r for practice at home, What setting do you recommend for the use with my fuzz (jimi hendrix fuzz face)?…. mid, treble and bass?

    • Bjorn says:

      Check out this feature for some amp set up tips.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        that feature only help when you have a valve amp :(

        • Bjorn says:

          Things have change a lot over the last decade. Tube amps used to be for people with money to burn but now you can get great sounding tube amps, with classic tones, for a fraction of the price. Still, there are lots of great sounding solid state amps out there as well. Doesn’t really matter what you own as long as you like the tone and that the amp compliments your guitar and pedals.

  136. Angus says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m in the market for a new amplifier, I’m after Gilmour tones obviously but I also want to really nail that classic Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson fender tube screamer type sound too. Should I get a nice Fender amp or look more towards a Laney or Hiwatt? Cheers mate!

    • Bjorn says:

      I’d probably stay away from Hiwatt as you may find it hard to dial in Johnson and Vaughan. A Fender Bassman or, if you can track one down, a Bassman 100 head, or a Marshall JTM. You may also want to look into the Lionhearts. They’re kind of a mix between a AC30 (clean channel) and a Marshall Bluesbreaker, although the amp has a lot more to offer.

  137. Hershel says:

    Hey Bjorn, in your opinion, what is better, the Fender hot rod deluxe or hot rod deville 4×10/2×12

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh… depends on what tone you want. They’re not that far from each other, being two Fenders but my best tip is to bring your guitar to your local dealer and just try them. Most shops carry these. For the most headroom, as I assume you’ll be using pedals, I’d go with 12″ speakers.

  138. Chad from Dallas says:

    I just came across a Laney LH50 head and 410 cab for 400 US dollars. I have listened to numerous Laney demos, but always the Lion heart and cub. How is this model? I know the price is very good, but how does it compare to those other models. It would be used as a gigging amp.


    • Bjorn says:

      I’m using a LH20 myself and I couldn’t be happier. One of the coolest sounding amps I’ve played. They’re based on the Vox AC30 but they’re much more than that. The gain channel reminds me of those early Marshall amps, with a nice amount of mids and warm breakup. Very dynamic and responsive to your playing and it can handle pedals very well.

      • Chad from Dallas says:


        I got caught up and very busy and never saw your reply and unfortunately missed out on this one. I am currently looking at a Marshall class 5 combo that I came across at a great price. It seams as if it would be good for home use with the low output mode. Any thoughts? Also, I am finally going the see the man himself live at MSG in April. My cousin scored us 4th row seats! I couldn’t be more excited, although I am going to see Steven Wilson again a few weeks prior and that show is one of the best I have seen period!

        • Bjorn says:

          The Class 5 has some nice classic tones but I’ve tried a few of those and each were really crappy made. I’ve no idea if that’s the common opinion out there but I was very disappointed. I recommend checking into the Laney L5 instead. Not quite the same but definitely similar. Enjoy the show!

  139. Jonathas says:

    Hey, Bjorn…I have the vox vt40, but I want to buy a new amp…so, I’m doubt between the fender blues jr and Hiwatt T20.. What do you consider better for the gilmour’s tones… And to play at home, pubs, churchs….?

  140. Nils says:

    Have you tried the Laney vc-15 Combo with the 1×10.
    If so, How does it compare with the Lionheart?

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re somewhat similar, as they’re both based on the AC30. The VC15 is kind of Laney’s version of that amp, while the Lionheart is a mix between the AC30 and an early Marshall, although much more versatile than that.

      • Nils says:

        I took a gamble and bought a vc-15. Found a really cheap used one.
        I Love it! May not be the ideal Gilmour amp but still great.
        I use it as My Livingroom amp. I’ve tried blackstars HT-5, but this one to me is more usefull at low volumes despite its 15 watts. The blackstar was way loud and hard to play at lower volumes.

        Is it just a better quality amp or is it the smaller 10″ speaker that makes it easier to drive at low volume?
        Anyway I have learned not to stare myself blind at wattage.
        I’ve tried a couple of amps ranging from 1 – 15 watt. And this one is the best livingroom amp so far. (Should note that some of the amps have been cheaper ones).

        Your website have been a great source of information to me.

        Kind regards, Nils

        • Bjorn says:

          They’re two different sounding amps so obviously you found one that fits your taste and style better :) Amps are often considered as something to provide volume but it’s really the second most important unit in your rig, after the guitar. I always recommend that you get the best guitar and amp that you can afford and worry about the pedals later. No pedal will sound great if you don’t like the amp :)

  141. Nils says:

    Hi Björn.
    I have a question about master volume amps. I’m sure my answer is already on the internet somewhere.
    My question is:
    What makes the volume “master” volume?
    the presence of a gain control or presence of channel volume + mastervolume?

    Is master volume when you have a channel volume and a separate master volume? (i.e. 2 volume controls( + eq and gain))
    Or can a master volume be on a single channel amp, with just tone, gain and volume control? (i.e. 1 volume control)
    I realize this really is amps for dummys, but I am confused….
    Thank you in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Nils! There are differences between amps and some use different names for the controls but most amps are designed like this:
      the guitar is fed into a pre amp, which basically boosts the guitar signal. That’s the gain or volume. The signal then often goes through the tone section and then into the output amp, which makes the signal louder. That’s the channel volume, master volume or simply volume. Presence is usually a boost around the 6-7k range, which is high mids or low treble. Tone is usually a treble cut control that interacts with the treble control.
      Usually, when you want lots of gain, you want the preamp loud and the master moderate. If you want a cleaner tone, with more headroom, then you want the preamps lower and the master high.

  142. Georg Hellström says:

    Hi Björn,

    Thanks for a great source of info on the sweet things in life!

    Just wondering if you’ve played around with the H&K 18 Red Box at all? Is it useful? Would be interesting to hear a comparison with your setup!

    I live in an apartment building so playing through a cab can be difficult at times.


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! I’ve tried it a couple of times but it sounds flat and processed. Don’t see myself using it for a recording.

  143. tzoannop says:

    Hi Bjorn. Sadly, Hughes & Kettner doesn’t have a dealer in Greece, and the capital controls imposed on the country make procurement from abroad a rather complicated procedure. The options I’m left with are the Laney L5T-112, the Fender Super Champ X2 and the Egnater Rebel-30 112 MkII. Do you have any experience with the Fender and the Egnater? What’s your opinion on them?

  144. Joshua says:

    Hey Bjorn! Thank you for answering my question about by BD-2 and Black Secret. I wanna get a new amp and I was thinking either the Blues Jr or Laney Cub Stack. I was wondering how well can the Blues Jr take a big muff and would the matching cab for the Laney be Ok for now since they changed the speaker? I mostly play at home and money is a little bit of an issue so that’s why I was asking. Finally which amp would you recommend me getting? Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Fender amps usually makes Big Muffs sound less smooth and warm, compared to the more mid range oriented amps, like the Cub, Marshall, Hiwatts etc. The Blues Jr is great but if you’re looking for an amp that can handle fuzz and Muffs, then the Cub might be a better choice.

      • Just to piggy back on that Bjorn since I recently bought the new tweed Blues Jr, if you are looking for that “Final Cut”/Animals live ‘cutting’ big muff then the Blues Jr. is actually pretty great. A couple musician friends noticed a pretty striking change in my last video and I hadn’t told them I was using the Fender. They said it was a lot more ‘bitey’ and I agree. On my more mid-range amp I usually needed the BD-2 to boost my Ram but I noticed that with the Blues Jr just a cranked Muff sounds really good.

        Part 1 is plain Muff + Elec Lady, part 2 is adding a BD-2 to boost for reference, this is the Blues Jr. I’m still getting used to my cleans from the Fender but so far I feel like I was always supposed to have it. Hope this helps Joshua.

      • Giovanni says:

        And what about a Fender Bassman 59 LTD? It is quite bright but is more balanced than the other Fender amps like the Twin Reverb, thanks to its more robust low range (and it is also less mid-scooped than other Fender amps)! In your opinion, it could take Big Muffs and other gain pedals easily?

        • Bjorn says:

          I don’t have that much experience with Bassman combos. I had a 100w head years ago, which I loved but it sounded very different. True, the Bassman has a bit more mids but you need to keep both the treble and bass fairly moderate to avoid harshness.

  145. Bas Oud says:

    Hi Bjorn, I see you use the Reeves Custom 50. I’m also contemplating buying a Reeves and have a hard time choosing between the Space Cowboy and Custom 50. Have you also heard the Space Cowboy and if so what were your reasons to buy the Custom 50?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Best regards,


    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve had mine for years now and they didn’t offer the Space Cowboy when I bought mine. I guess the Custom 50 is a more authentic sounding Hiwatt clone, while the Space Cowboy is kind of a beefed up version, with more headroom, a boost function, reverb etc.

      • Bas Oud says:

        Thanks! Was kind of my impression as well. Space Cowboy is more of a Hiwatt DG meets John Mayer sig Two Rock (specially on the Clifton Broadbridge demo), Both sound amazing but will probably mean a trip to Germany to see which one holds prefference.

        Love the playing and sounds of your demo’s :-)

  146. George says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’ve owned the Lany Cub Head and Cab for almost a year now, but soon I am going to switch the stock tubes to some JJ Electronic tubes and I want to switch two the speakers in the cabinet and I saw what you said about the Celestion V30s and that sounds pretty right to me, I was wondering what Ohm version of the Celestion V30s your use, would you recommend 16 or 8?

    The amp often goes beyond bright and easily getting ice picky especially on the bridge pick up, forcing me to use the tone controls on the guitar and often on the amp.

    Thanks and keep up the spectacular work!
    – George

  147. Patrick says:

    Just had a couple of questions in regards to amps. Is there another amp out there that is comparable to a laney 12 that is better built with a little more power available around the 20 watt range. How close is the Lionheart tonewise in comparison to the Cub? I’m looking for a head that will get me the same tones, using a cab with 2 eminence tonkers. The eminence tonker is kind of like the Weber Thames except the Tonker is more open and doesn’t mush up like the Thames tends to do. Was interested in the Hughes tm 18 as well, but was wondering is the gain side bright on the amp or dark? Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      The H&K sounds very bright with the Webers, so I wouldn’t go there. The Lionheart is a fantastic amp. Somewhat similar to the Cub but much more of a hi-end quality. The clean channel is close to an AC30 and the gain channel, which has lots of headroom, sounds close to an early Marshall. Mind though that there’s a lot more to it than that as you got a wide range of modes and controls. It goes very well with pedals too.

  148. Rocco B. says:

    Bjorn, this website is an amazing resource that I’ve referred back to again and again over the years now. I find we hear things alike and your reviews have been spot on from my chair. I’d like to stop and say thank you, to all of the contributors on this page as well. When I read here recently that Laney had done a 4×10 Lionheart combo I had to find one. Possibly the last known nib from a shop in London for 499GBP ;-)

  149. Simon says:

    Hi! Is better the hiwatt t20hd or bugera v22 for Gilmour tone? I have aa fender strato USA with EMG pu and tube driver BK.

    Thanks a lot


  150. Pat says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have a Laney Lionheart 20 head and cab that I’m loving. Only problem when I play high notes it they can often sound very loud and actually hurt my ears a little. I have the treble and tone on the amp lower than what you use (shown on your other website) and its most noticeable when using my Muff (Skreddy P19).

    Did you notice this before you changed the speakers to V30s? and if so did the V30s fix this problem?

    I’m basically looking for a speaker that sounds less harsh on these very high notes, but still sounds aggresive when using overdrives/muffs.


    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Pat. Are you using the bright mode? What’s the tone control set to?

      • Pat says:

        Hi Bjorn,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Bright switch is on, otherwise it just sounds very dull (especially with a muff).

        I’ve tried with many settings on the tone control. I’m not at home now but I think it is around 6. Any lower sounds too dull and any higher is even more ice-picky.

        So I’ve been putting up with the high pitch harshness in order to keep it from sounding too dull. Its not incredibly harsh, but after playing for 20 minutes at a moderate volume the high notes start to give me a headache, when the rest of the tone doesn’t seem that loud.

        I’m just not sure how to dial this out without making the amp dull, this is my first proper amp so I don’t have much experience.

        I just figured speakers might be the way to go, so that I can keep the amp tone high and ‘lively’ sounding, but not break my eardrums.

        Thanks again,


        • Bjorn says:

          OK, it’s a matter of taste as well but I spent some time figuring out the bright switch and the tone control. The Lionheart can get very dark and very bright. My current settings are: hi input, bright engaged, drive channel gain 1, volume as desired, bass 5, mids 8, treble 2, tone 0.8 (all numbers are marks on the Lionheart). It may sound dark to you but I think this setup works great for most pedals and for recording. You might want to adjust slightly, depending on your pickups, pedals and room. Hope this helps.

  151. Michael says:

    So basically amps that uses EL84 or 6L6 tubes are the way to go to get a Gilmour type tone?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the voicing of the amp but yes, that would at least give you something very close to what he’s usually using while recording.

  152. John K says:

    Hey everyone!

    Wanted to know what you thought of the Mesa Lonestar for a Gilmourish tone? I know the cleans are some of the best around but wondering how the lead channel is and how it compares to the Reeve’s amps? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Lonestar myself but from what I’ve read, it’s in that Fender/American family, tonewise. It’s much more than that, but it’s somewhat based on the classic Fender tone. The Reeves is a Hiwatt clone 1:1. The main difference, is that although both has a pristine clean tone with tons of headroom, the Lonestar has a slightly scooped tone and a crispy top end. The Reeves has lots of presence, high mids boost and a generally flatter response in the lows and highs.

      I’m sure both are great for replicating Gilmour’s tones, although I’d go for the Reeves myself. The Lonestar may be a more versatile amp though, for other tones and genres.

      • Nick Love says:

        Hello! I wanted to chime in here on the LoneStar. I had a Mesa LoneStar Classic combo with the stock C90 Black Shadow speakers and I was getting some PHENOMENAL gilmourish tones by running the clean channel with pedals in front. I found the voicing to be somewhere in between a Hiwatt and a Twin, it has the less scooped, presence heavy with mids tone of the old Hiwatts with the clarity and roundness of an old Twin. While it won’t get you all of the way to the sound of the Hiwatt, it will get you 90% of the way there with some tweaking, and, as an added bonus you can do a much better job of covering David’s Fender tones IMO. Also, the second channel has a great vintage low to medium gain sound to cover a lot of vintage classic rock tones. I sold my Lonestar to buy a Hi-Tone (which, like Reeves, build amps to the near exact specs of ’71-’74 Hiwatts) and I’m actually going back to the Lonestar due to it’s versatility. The stock C90’s are a very neutral speaker that allows the character of the amp and effects to shine through, so much so that, when I ran my Hi-Tone through the Mesa C90 extension cab I have I noticed very little if any difference to the Fane loaded cab I usually run it through. The best comparison I can give is the Hi-Tone/Hi-Watt/Reeves will give you the sound of David live, the LoneStar will get you closer to his studio sound.
        As a side note, I have a Mark V, which I’ve seen several people ask about on this forum. I want to add that, despite Mesa’s insistance that the Mark V cleans are based on the LoneStar, it is a much brighter and punchier amp with more of a ‘scoop’ to it’s EQ and less suited to Gilmourish tones, although I think overall it will still get players close to his sound with some tweaking. If you play with low output single coil guitars like myself you will spend a lot of time adjusting the presence and treble controls down.
        If you are looking for an amp that will cover a ton of tones VERY well and do a reasonable approximation of Gilmour, then get a Mark V, if you looking for a slightly less versatile Mesa that will get you much closer to a Gilmourish tone than go with the LoneStar.

  153. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thanks for this great article. I’m just in the process of buying Laney Cub head. The only one I found in Canada!!!
    They don’t have the Laney Cub cabinet in Canada and it is probably very expensive to ship it from US.
    I was wondering if you tried your Cub head with other cabinets and if so, which speaker you found suitable for Gilmour tone. Generally speaking if you have any section of your web page mentioning and reviewing cabinets that are highlighting that British amp tone. I’m hoping I get the same configuration as the Laney Cub cabinet: 2×12″ 50W each 8ohm cabinet.
    I have a Carvin 100 watt tube amp with 2x100W Carvin British series speakers that are apparently very good (80s manufacturing), but they are each 8 ohm and they suggest using a 4 ohm output mode on the Carvin amp. Laney Cub doesn’t have a 4ohm mode (only 8 ohm and 16 ohm) and I don’t want to have a mismatched situation in case it can damage either the amp or the speakers (probably the amp).
    I appreciate your comment.

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply… I’ve tried a couple of different speakers with the Cub 12. My first setup was two Weber Thames 80w speakers, similar to David’s old Fane Crescendos. It sounded great. Lots of headroom. They’re very bright though so if you’re not into that crispy Hiwatt tone, you might want to try something different. I’m currently running two Celestion V30s in the cab, which fits that Hiwatt/early Marhshall tone perfectly. Warm and a nice mids boost.

      • Arya Boustani says:

        Thanks Bjorn, I will look into Weber Thames speakers later but for now I got a custom cabinet built with Peavy cabinet but the tech put two Celestion G12H-90s in it. I compared it with my Carvin British series 2x100W speaker and it had a more pleasing and complex sound in the high mid and high frequencies and more open sounding. Also mids are warmer sounding, low mids and especially lows are bigger and doesn’t sound muddy (lows have good enough definition). I just tested with guitar plugged directly to Laney Cub head with 15W signal route, volume at 5 to 6, tone at 8, treble at 3, bass at 5, mids at 5, gain at 2. Didn’t try to see if <1W would give the same response. I tried the 15W signal route in the garage. It's good for me to find the settings that work with <1W for inside the house when other people are around. Did you find you need to tweak the amp variables beyond what you mentioned in your "What is tone? (part 3)" for <1W signal route?
        BTW, I'm also going to try with this custom cabinet putting the Boss GE-7 in the send / return of Laney Cub head to see if it is beneficial for further frequency tweaking especially if I use the higher gain settings on Laney Cub head. I found Laney Cub Head at higher gain (let's say up to 4 for <1W and up to 7 for 15W input) still doesn't show breakup and just adds to the overtones but the frequencies change quite a bit. Brilliance goes down and low-mid bumps up and looses the definition. So with GE-7 I can add to brilliance (6 to 7 kHz) and reduce the 3 kHz a bit to allow sparkle to reveal a bit more, and reduce the low-mids to balance out the overall response.
        Thanks again for your advices.

        • Arya Boustani says:

          Just to add that when I hooked up my pedals to Laney Cub head and the cabinet, I started finding out that I can push the gain on the Wampler Plexidrive without loosing the uniformity of the overdrive overtones. I think my problem (breakup sound from Plexidrive) that I asked you for advice earlier was because I didn’t have enough harmonics blending things together in the power stage of the amp because I was running at 10-15 percent of my 100 watt amp power prior to using Laney Cub. Also with the pedals (Boss CS-2 to Plexidrive to Chorus/Delay) I found out that your Laney Cub clean settings works great!!!
          Thanks a bunch. I was so lucky to bump into your knowledge base and finding Laney Cub head in Canada!
          Cheers!!! :)

          • Bjorn says:

            Cheers! Overdrive pedals and gain effects in general are very sensitive to how you set them up and experimenting with different combinations, settings etc will create some very cool sounds.

        • Bjorn says:

          I tweak the amp settings all the time, based on what guitar and pedals I use but yeah, I do adjust them slightly whenever I select a different power scaling. I usually need more mids on lower wattages to compensate for less tube and speaker drive.

  154. Anaon says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m thinking of replacing my Ibanez TSA15 head by something that could produce the same very clean sound but more in the Highwatt vein. Do you still like the Laney Cub head? It seems that it doesn’t have as much headroom as the Ibanez but I don’t play loud at all, it’s just for recording you know. Does the Laney gives a good crystal clean sound as a basis for pedals? Thank you for your help :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Anaon. The Cub is a great budget amp and tone wise it’s right up there with the Hiwatts and Marshalls of the late 60s and early 70s. Classic, warm British tone. It does have plenty of headroom and with the right speaker and new tubes, you should be able to play quite loud without any breakup. You might also want to look into the Laney Lionheart series. A bit more expensive but awesome sounding amps and great value. Check out the new 5w Studio model.

  155. Maxx says:

    Good Afternoon from Italy (excuse me for my english)!
    For my room (and with my budget) I’m looking for:

    – Hiwatt Maxwatt Series G15R
    – Fender Champion 20

    I’ve a 2001 Mexican Strato

    What’s the best for Gilmour’s sound?

    I’m very undecided… Thanx!

  156. David says:

    Hi Bjorn !

    Ones again, great website and advises !!! You’re definitely the Gilmour sound reference !!!!
    I have a little question for you. I have the opportunity to buy a Laney Lionheart L20t410 (4×10′ jensen speakers) for a very decent price (400 euros). What do you think about this amp ? Do you think it can cover a drum kit and maybe be use on small stages (club/bars/…) ?

    Many thanks in advance for your answer.



    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, David! I’ve been using the L20 head and matching cab for a couple of years now and I couldn’t be happier with it. Great tones and extremely versatile. I haven’t tried the combo version so I can’t really tell how the 4×10″ Jensen speakers fit with the overall tone of the amp but I think the Lionheart series deserve much more cred for being amazing sounding amps for a reasonable price.

  157. Gabriel Medeiros says:

    Hello, Bjorn.

    Recently i bought a Zoom G3X effects and amp simulator unit. I’m on a budget and couldn’t spend more than i did, since things here are very expensive. The unit has HiWatt and Sound City simulations, and all the classic Gilmour pedals, like the Fuzz Face, Muff, ProCo Rat, modulations and etc. I would like to know if you think this equipment would be suitable for just playing at home, real bedroom playing.

    My gear is a 1996 American Fender Stratocaster with a Staner Kute 60 amplifier.

    Chers from Brazil.

  158. Rick says:

    Cheers Bjorn :)

  159. Rick says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Following on from your recommendation I went and bought a Laney Cub12r head :)
    I bought it off eBay from a guy an hour down the road from me.After establishing we were both massive Floyd/Gilmour fans,he asked me was I aware of Gilmourish,to which I told him that’s where I had got the recommendation about the amp (he too had bought the amp from your recommendation) very small world indeed :)
    Can I trouble you for another recommendation on a cab to go with the head please.The current Laney cub cab seems to have quite a few bad reviews regarding the HH speakers(the guy who I bought the head from used a Orange ppc112 and recommended it highly) I was just wondering would you go for the ppc112 or maybe something else what would befit Gilmourish tones?
    Massive thanks for all your hard work and dedication to the site,it truly is a godsend for us Gilmour tone chasers(and I bet,quite a few amp and pedal manufacturers too) :)
    Kind regards

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Rick! Thanks for all your kind words! I’ve tried a few different speakers for the cab, including Weber Thames, which are replicas of the old Fanes WEM used back in the days, but currently I have a pair of V30s in it and it works really well with the cub. Warm and smooth mids, with a nicely balanced low end. I’m sure you can go for pretty much anything but the V30s are worth looking into.

  160. Hey Bjorn, so the new Blues Jr. is out and it’s the tweed edition. Everyone says they hate it and it sounds boxy, which it can I guess, but it makes Ram’s Head clones sound way more like what I want than my Ephiphone Blues Custom 30, however I think I like my Epi’s clean better. Have you tried to the new Blues Jr. Tweed?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the new Tweed but it seems to be the same amp as the stock one. The Blues Jr can come off as both boxy and bright but you can tame that to some extent by experimenting with the settings. I know a lot of people replace the Jensen speaker, with something a bit warmer. Check out this article for some tips.

  161. Nathan says:

    Hi Bjorn I just was wondering about you opinions on the Hughes and Kettner tubemeister 5w head. I noticed that you used a tubemeister 18w head a few times on youtube and I just wanted to know if you think there is any potential for Gilmour tones (clean or effect heavy) on the 5w Head? Unlike the 18w it doesnt have an effects loop so I’m not sure if the 18w is much different than the 5w despite the obvious volume difference and a few features. I own the a tubemeister 5 head and I run it through a Huges and kettner 60w 112 cab with a project strat (squire) with general electronics, hardware, and shielding upgrades. I don’t have many good pedals but I do have a boss cs3, a boss distortion ds1, a modern reissue big muff (used mainly on bass) and an outlaw delay.

    Greetings From Canada!

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the 5w but the 18w sounds great. I use the gain channel for pedals. The clean doesn’t handle pedals very well. Try this:
      gain channel, bass 12:00, mids, 1:00, treble 9:00, gain 8:00 and master volume as desired.

  162. chris says:

    bonjour Bjorn , merci a toi , grace a tout tes conseils , je me suis equipé au mieux . Laney cub , dyna comp , evolution buffalo ,tc elect delay ,, me manque le chorus ! a venir !! plaque 50 s , 69s , ssl5 d occasion mais qui marche super pour funk aussi !! et jouer avec les 2 tones ! pour les bons reglages !!
    Seule point faible dans tes conseisl sur BLackstar ht5 ,,, c est de la merde !!!! sa ne sonne pas du tout et y a que 2 lampes !!! dailleur je le vends , si ca interesse !!
    Bientot j ai rendez vous avec maestro AVIGNION EN FRANCE , de la balle !!!! September
    Chris de saint etienne!

    • Bjorn says:

      Translate, please?

    • chris says:

      Hi Bjorn , thank you to you, all thanks to your advice , I equipped at best. Laney cub , dyna comp , evolution buffalo , elect delay tc ,, I miss the chorus ! coming !! plate 50 s, 69s , ssl5 opportunity but also works great for funk !! and play with 2 tones ! for the right set !!
      The only weak point in your conseisl on Blackstar HT5 c ,,, is shit !!!! its not at all and are only 2 lamps sounds !!! dailleurs I sell if interested ca !!
      Soon I have an appointment with maestro AVIGNION IN FRANCE , the ball !!!! September
      Chris St. Etienne !

  163. gregckd says:

    Hi Bjorn, Thanks a million for your amp reviews. Based on your review I have just bought the new upgraded Laney L5 Studio with Cab and I just can’t believe how good this is. I have a Conford amp and this small amp is up there if not better than the Conford particularly as it is far more versatile. I have the amp plugged into to the 0.5w socket and with the volume at just under half it is very loud with incredible tones. I am not using any pedals just my music man sss silhouette special, the combination is outstanding and the tone I have been searching for. Very pleased and thanks again.

  164. Thomas Johansson says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What do you think about BadCat Minicat compere to the Lionheart LT5?
    I only play in my bedroom.

    Best Regards
    Thomas Johansson

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the MiniCat so I can’t really tell. I’m sure it’s a nice amp, as the rest of the BadCats but based on the reviews I’ve read I would think that the Lionheart is a it more versatile in terms of channels and controls. Soundwise, they both cover that early British tone.

  165. Chris D says:

    Hi Bjorn, hey whats the proper length of cable from pedal to amp?

  166. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m still looking for a tube amp that could work for Gilmourish sounds… Since I want a lot of headroom and a nice clean sound from the amp do you think the Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 could be a good choice? I’d like to use it on the clean channel or in the crunch one (with a low gain setting) in combination with some Gilmourish pedals such as Big Muff, Tube Driver, analog or digital delay, chorus, flanger and univibe!
    In your opinion wich channel works best with pedals? And, even though this amp has a very modern character, can I get a good Gilmour 70’s tone with it?
    Thanks :)

    • Bjorn says:

      The Tubemeister amps are great but as you say, they are very modern sounding. Still, with the right pedals you should be able to nail pretty much anything. They go very well with all kinds of pedals – mind though that you need to use the gain channel set all clean. The clean channel doesn’t handle pedals. I also recommend looking into the Laney Lionheart series for some vintage and versatile tones.

  167. Dimitris says:

    Hi Bjorn! I just got me a new strat and a Laney cub10 for home practice! Now I get what British tone is, especially when I drive the poweramp volume a bit more. it even handles my bc109… Well, sort of handles! :P
    I am on a purchase of a bigger amp for studio and concerts and I’d like your opinion. It’s the only reference I’ve found so far, but the 50w stack sounds a bit thinner, than the 100w one. Is it because of,
    1, the 50w vs 100w power of the amps, both handling a 4×12 cab, or
    2, the plywood vs particle/plywood cabs
    If it’s a matter of number of speakers in the cabinet, would a 2×12 sound fatter with a 50w hiwatt head (not necessarily the SSD one, I am more of a custom DR504), given, that the 50w combo features a 2×12 configuration.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to determine of an amp actually sound based on a clip like this. What’s important is that you get an amp that fits the tones you want and that matches your pedals and guitar. You can experiment with different speakers and speaker cabs but the difference between all this comes down to nuances and taste. A 100w is usually too big for bedrooms, rehearsal and smaller clubs. You wouldn’t be able to drive it hard enough to reach that sweetspot. Whether that is clean or for the gain. A 50w might be too much as well but it depends on how loud the amp is and how much headroom it has. I have several amps but the one I often use is a 20w tube head with a 2×12 cab. It works well for both recording and for smaller venues.

  168. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    I’ve been in the market for a lower wattage amp in the tone realm of a Hiwatt (I have a Fender HRD at the moment). I wonder if you’ve ever come across Hi-Tone Amplification?

    What caught my eye was there “DG” series amps and the fact that they have a selectable 30/15 watt class that has pre-linked inputs specifically for Gilmour tone junkies.

    From the website:

    “The DG series is based on the amps used by one very comfortably numb guitarist.
    Internally you will find the classic 1972-1974 preamp with internally linked inputs.
    – Two channels with a “Linked” input jack
    – Standard with Sozo capacitors and available with NOS Mustard caps and optional NOS Mullard tubes in the preamp.”

    The only odd thing about the amp is the fact that it uses 6v6 power tubes. So if I were to buy this amp would I be seriously missing the el34 tubes that are more associated with the Hiwatt/British sound?

    Thanks for all your hard work Bjorn!

    P.S. I received my Buffalo FX TD-X and it is awesome! It took a bit of tweaking to sound right on the Fender HRD but once I figured it out it was tonal bliss! Sorry for the long winded post :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never tried their amps and haven’t read that many reviews either but the company is runned by Dave Reeves son (Dave designed the old Hiwatt amps) and Mark Huss, who is an authority on old Hiwatt amps. Look around and see if you can find any reviews.

  169. madcelts says:

    Hi Bjorn — I have just started using a Damage Control Womanizer together with a Buffalo-FX Evolution as my front end for a direct-to-DAW set up, and it is pretty fabulous as an easy Gilmourish solution for those of us who need to not wake our kids when recording!

    As you may know, Damage Control was the same company as Strymon, and the incredible sounds on their Strymon demos (they told me) come from using the DC Womanizer Pre-Amp (which is tube + EQ + opto-compression) and their various pedals. I phoned them up to make sure the Evolution would play well with the preamp (they assured me that it was designed to take pedals) and hey presto — killer tone! DC preamps are no longer made, but they seem to come up regularly on eBay. The Womanizer is the one I have tried: don’t know how the Liquid Blues or the Demonizer would work.

    FWIW, I put the channel I described together with a gate, a bit of EQ boost in the DAW, plus a tape echo and hall reverb from the DAW. I am very, very, pleased, and looking forward to enough time to really dial it in.

    Also, I haven’t tried it yet, but I am going to try running this into an old late-80s solid-state Fender Power Chorus amp I have (clean channel) as well. That amp is praised for its clean sounds, and (rightly) denigrated for its on-board distortion. ;-) I think pedal + DC Preamp + amp could be a really nice little combo.

    I am still hoping to lay my hands on a Laney, but this is a great (and very affordable)

    Thanks! Karl

  170. Lewis says:

    For anybody struggling to get a good valve tone at low volumes – I’d like to recommend the new Laney Lionheart L5 Studio Head and 1×12 cab, just released. It’s a 5w amp, but there is also the option for 0.5w – ideal for cranking those valves at low volumes. Mine arrived yesterday, and I’m in low-volume valve-tone heaven. I previously owned a Laney L5T-112, but even that was too loud. The new Laney L5 Studio running at 0.5w is freaking awesome, I love it :)

    Check it out here:

  171. David says:

    Hi Bjorn! Hope all is well, loving the music you’ve blessed us with in Airbag!

    I’m looking for a small tube for gilmourish tones, I have a Marshall DSL 40C but it’s just way to loud for bedroom use, I’ve never had the volume above 2. Anyways I want a low wattage quality amplifier for bedroom use and I’m tossing up between the Laney Cub 12 Stack, Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 or perhaps even the Laney Lionheart combo.
    Now I’m a little confused about which Laney is better for me, in the above comments I got the impression that you think the Lionheart is a better overall amp but the cub is better for Gilmourish tones? Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s just what I gathered. The cub would obviously be more practical for me with it’s one watt power scaling.
    I’m also a bit in the dark in regards to the tubemeister. Do you use the clean channel at all? Or do you just use the gain channel for pedals with the gain setting low? I apologize it’s just a little confusing for me.

    Anyways I’m most likely going to get the cub or tubemeister just because they have the power scaling and you seem to praise them for bedroom use. Could give any insight into which of the two you prefer in terms of a Gilmourish tone and general quality? Much appreciated, thanks again for this godsend of a site!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi David! The Cub is similar to a Hiwatt and the early Marshall amps. It handles pedals pretty well and you can easily tweak it for some nice Gilmour tones. The H&K is a modern sounding amp and perhaps not ideal for David’s tones but certainly capable of it. I use the gain channel. The clean doesn’t handle pedals at all but the gain channel has enough headroom. The Lionheart is perhaps the most versatile amp of all three and I can’t really praise it enough. It’s become a huge part of my tones. Check out their new studio version.

  172. david moss says:

    hi Bjorn.
    best web site on the internet. im thinking of trading in my vox ac15c2, for a hiwatt t20.
    do you think i will gain anything by this or should i stick to the vox i am happy with the tone
    im getting sort of but could the hiwatt improve on that.
    many thanks for a great site.
    regards Dave.

    • david moss says:

      hi, Bjorn,
      sorry forgot to say also looking at fender blues junior which could be a better option.
      regards Dave.

      • Bjorn says:

        Bit of the same as a Vox. It doesn’t have that much mids but the tone is classic Fender. Again, depends on what tones you want. All three are great sounding amps but very different from each other.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi David! That’s two very different sounding amps so it depends on what tones you want. Queen/U2/Beatles VS Floyd/Who? The Vox doesn’t have a lot of mids but the Hiwatt do. I’ve always found the Vox to be a tad too aggressive and overly punchy, while I’ve always found the Hiwtat to compliment pedals much better.

  173. Angus says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m looking at getting the Laney Lionheart combo seeing as a I cant find a stack anywhere in my area. I’ll mainly be playing by myself or sometimes jamming with my mates, does it get loud enough to be heard over drums in a rehearsal? If not are there any other amps that sound as good as the lionheart?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’d go for the 212 L20 combo. It should be more than enough for rehearsal and smaller clubs. A good tip is to angle the amp upwards or placed on a 4×12 cab so that the sound hits you in the neck and not through your legs. Also, be sure to keep the mids fairly high. The Lionheart has a scooped tone so for it to cut through you need to boost the mids a bit.

  174. Riff says:

    I was thinking of buying a Hiwatt T20 head but not easy to find one close by to try so I sent some questions to the Hiwatt tech department about the cab ohm rating of the T20, on the back panel of amp I noticed it says 8ohms. The dealer in Australia said it should not be used with the 16 ohm cab I use & most tube amps are that way! So I mailed Hiwatt UK direct to get the story straight from the horses mouth, well a few weeks later & no joy from Hiwatt so I think I will pass on buying one. Seems a bit strange that they can only be used with an 8ohm load though, most amps I have owned have been 8 or 16 ohm rated. Got any info on this you could pass on to me Bjorn? Cheers & keep the great work going…

  175. Tom says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Is it possible to get close to Gilmour tones with a Mesa Mark iii (red stripe)? I’m really interested in it out of influence from Trey Anastasio of Phish. I like that it has the two rhythm channels (which i’m assuming the 2nd, or “Marshall” channel would be better for David tones) so I can cover a lot of ground. I was also thinking that setting the eq to mid boost and switching it to “auto” (on for lead channel) could function like a booster for the fuzz pedal if i set the drive low enough. also toying with the idea of customizing a cabinet to have one fane and one celestion speaker to give me sort of a unique combo of David and Trey’s tones. Just wondering if all these are reasonable assumptions, and in the end it’s just the Gilmour vibe that I want, I’m not really looking to replicate his tone exactly in an OCD sort of way.

    Cheers and thanks for all your previous responses (and this site which I’ve spent most of my free time reading lately),


    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have that much experience with that amp but you should be able to get some nice Gilmour tones with it. It has a nice amount of headroom, although you can’t really drive it too hard before it breaks up. The tone is perhaps closer to a Fender but yeah, it should fit your description.

  176. Roger Sartori says:

    don’t mind about my question on changing tubes… I read it on your article.

  177. Roger Sartori says:

    I just got this Laney Cub 12 combo, and it’s wonderful! It “talks” to all my pedals! It’s a perfect match! I’m thinking now in making it even better. YBjorn, you have a Cub 12 too, right? Did you try changing its original tubes for new ones, other brands? I’m loving it! People, search no more! If you all want a very good amp: LANEY CUB 12 it’s the answer!

  178. Roger Sartori says:

    Just bought a Fender Vibro Champ XD and my experience is not so well… when used it with only a guitar plugged, it’s OK, but when I try using it with my pedals, oooohhh… it really sucks! Also have a CUB8 and it’s infinitely better!! That Fender shouldn’t be called a “TUBE” amp! People, just run away from modelling amps, tube or “tubeless”!!! I’ll stop spending my money on things I don’t know if it works or not! Go on something that’s for sure: LANEY CUB12 will be next acquisition!

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the amp but these smaller Fenders, which dates back to the very early days of the company, are meant to be practice amps. Plug and play. The fact that they also got a mids scooped tone, means that you need to use pedals that have a mids boost, like Tube Screamer, RAT or similar pedals. If you do want to use a wide range of different pedals you should stay away from smaller Fenders and Vox and stick to amps that are designed to be used in small bedrooms or at least least can handle pedals at low volume, like most of the Laneys, Hiwatts, Marshalls etc.

  179. Chris says:

    Bjorn, can you recommend a few fuzz, maybe overdrive pedals, i have a H&k TM 18 its my first tube amp, bedroom setup..chasing that time tone or something close to it, I know fuzz needs volume, does that matter with the amps powersoak? Do i even need overdrive with this amp? Something versatile would be cool..thanks for all you do..

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Chris! I have a TM 18 in my home studio and usually, I run it on 5w on the gain cannel with these settings: treble 9:00, mids 11:00, bass 12:00, gain 8:00 (o’clock) and the volume as desired. Depending on your guitar, pickups and speaker, these settings should provide enough headroom for a warm clean tone. You could go for fuzz pedals etc but I recommend something a bit versatile since these pedals often need a bit of volume. For distortion, I’d go for the Buffalo FX Evolution. It can go from classic distortion to Big Muff and fuzz. Check out a RAT clone, like the Mooer Black Secret if you’re on a tight budget. For overdrive, you definitely need one, I’d go for a Wampler PlexiDrive or Fulltone OCD. These works nicely on the TM18. Again, for a nice budget model, check out the Hustle Drive or Blues Mood from Mooer.

    • Giovanni says:

      Hey Chris! I can recommend you the Costalab Custom Muff if your aim is to have a pedal that can sound as a very vintage overdrive and also a powerfull fuzz: it is very versatile since it can cover almost every David’s tone (from Dark Side Of The Moon to Pulse) and it’s easy to use it in “bedroom setups”! Bjorn has done a review of it:

  180. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Björn. I love vintage amps, like the Gibson GA-15R Goldtone or the Fender Excelsior. I know they are not the best for Gilmour tones and they are very limited to any tone at all ! You were already asked about the Excelsior for trying to change its tone with a pre-amp pedal. But my question is dumber: ‘can I colour it with a simple EQ pedal, like the Boss GE-7?’. Can I achieve the same tone as if the amp had the bass, mid, treble controls built in? In this case, it would make any difference if I put the EQ pedal at first in chain or at last? Best regards, my friend. You are the ‘tone guide’ for us!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Roger! Using an EQ isn’t quite the same as tweaking an amp’s controls. Depending on the amp, the EQ or tone section can either passive or active and often interacting with the amp’s pre and power stages. An EQ pedal, is, like a studio unit, a tool to shape the tone you get from your guitar and amp. If the amp lack mids, then boosting the 400-1500 range will compensate to some extent but it won’t be the same as cranking the mids control on the actual amp – as explained above. Nor will it be the same to have active tone controls on the guitar, like David’s red Strat. The lack of tone controls on an amp will limit your option but an EQ can be used to boost or cut certain frequencies, allowing you to compensate to some extent and shape the tone of your guitar or a pedal.

  181. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Björn. What settings do you normally use on the Laney Cub 12 when you have gain pedals on it? I was looking for one Cub 12 but the videos on line show that this amp is easily crunched even at lower gain settings… what do you do when you want to play it loud? Cheers.

  182. Brad Roller says:

    Keith I wouldn’t sell the Reeves lol but that’s just me. I love mine. I would try to find a way to buy the other amp by selling some other stuff or just saving up over time. That’s just my opinion. You know what you really want! If you do get the amp let me know how much you like it!

  183. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, and others feel free to give your opinion! I’ve been considering selling my mint, not a scratch anywhere, Reeves head, and using the money for a Kemper profiling amp. I have some questions, and a lot of thinking to do first. I know that my friend Stephen has one, but is super busy, but has said that he loves his, and that it nails pretty much any tone if the amp it’s emulating was profiled right. Anyone have experience with the Kemper? Have you had a chance to try one Bjorn. If anyone has experience with the Kemper, please reply to this post. I can get one new at a price that is low enough where I’d probably have some cash from m the Reeves left over!

    Thanks, any info appreciated, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      Selling your Reeves? Hmm…. :) I don’t have any experience with the Kemper. Seen some raving reviews though and I’m sure you can get some very convincing tones with it.

    • Chris says:

      Wait, your selling the Reeves?…I thought it was the REEVES!!

  184. Giovanni says:

    Good article, Bjorn! Do you think a Vox AC30 could work for gilmourish sounds?
    Thanks :)

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s not the ideal amp as you’d want one with more mids but it has a nice clean tone and with pedals that has focus on the mid range, you can get some really nice Gilmour tones with it.

      • Giovanni says:

        Thank you, Bjorn! Maybe I could use a Stratocaster with the EMG DG20 set in order to have more mid range using the SPC control! However, I could also pedals focused on the mid range, like you said! I really appreciate the Vox AC30 clean tone when it’s near to break up: very warm but also very defined (almost like a Bassman 59)!
        What do you think? :)

  185. Dimitris says:

    This site’s only getting better and better!
    I am after a full bodied british clean sound, I tried a Marshall jtm 45, but I think Hiwatt offers what I need. For home and small studio use, I believe their Little D with its power scale is the best deal.
    I ‘ve noticed in Black Strat book Gilmour with one head and one cab, in Obscured by Clouds studio sessions, but that period he used two cabs with each head live, right? Other players, eg Hendrix did that too, I think.
    The only difference I can think of, apart from wider more stereo sound on stage, is that two cabs give more headroom before speakers start to distort. Also on live performances Gilmour boosts his fuzz/muff, while on studio he doesn’t.
    So, what’s the difference between one and two cabs, on one head?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s all about the size of the stage. Back in the late 60s, when the 4×12″ cabs appeared, guitarists started to play bigger venues. Often outdoors. The PA systems was small and there was no front stage monitoring. In fact, Floyd didn’t start using monitors until 1973, when they brought on backing vocalists. Hendrix used his huge backline for monitoring. So did David. Naturally, it does something to the sound. You could play loud and that would create overdrive, compression and sustain. David often used his Hiwatt+WEM cab in studio sessions. He still does, but in reality it’s a bit of overkill, as you would need to play at a reasonable volume to be both able to record properly and tolerate the volume. Most guitarists will use a smaller setup when recording, because it’s easier to tame the tone and you can always add reverb and delay in the mix to make the sound bigger.
      In case of David’s setup in the 70s, he would use two Hiwatt heads (a thrid for backup), feeding two WEM cabs. Later on, he would use four WEM cabs that were linked. He actually didn’t start using stereo until 1980s Wall. Having more cabs doesn’t really do much for the headroom. The Hiwatts have lots of headroom and David would run them clean using pedals for overdrive and distortion/fuzz. Again, the reason for the big set up was volume.

    • Gábor says:

      I have got the Hiwatt Little D, purchase last June from Denmark Street..Commenting the quality and services of the existing Highlight Ltd: it is ugly indeed! The amp head lost its clean sound during the autumn, I have changed the tube set for JJs, but it was not enough. They did not respond to my written complaint, the solution was a local technician, who went through the wiring diagram,( getting from the dealer, not the manufacturer) and noticed, that the dia itself is wrong!? Type of one tube is wrongly written..changed the presence pot, which was the cheapest Chinese issue..
      To tell the truth till today the whole story speaks about frustration and problems. Distributor compensated the costs of the repair, which has been done without the participation of the manufacturer…from that point the Little D works very well.. On the other side I have got a Hiwatt Custom SSD212 combo too, which is the best unit for gilmourish sounds.

  186. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m very curious about your opinion on the Yamaha THR10 amp for practicing and jamming on backtracks. It seems a powerful tool for those, like me, doesn’t have many occasions to play loud with that bigger tone. So, have you ever considering it for bedroom playing and recording? It has so many handy features, and there are a lot of good sounding reviews, that I’m planning to have one near my Laney!


  187. Jack Kittel says:

    I was wondering if anyone knows if the Fender Super Champ XD is any good? I’ve done some research but I’m fairly new to all this stuff, any advice would be great!

    • Bjorn says:

      A Nice practice/bedroom amp, with a classic Fender tone. Handles pedals pretty well although I’d go for models with a bit of mids boost, as Big Muffs and vintage style fuzz pedals can sound a bit fizzy.

  188. chris says:

    Hi Bjorn, thank you for this wonderful site, I have learned so much from you and all the guys here.. I read where you say you replace the tubes on a new amp, I’m picking up my TM 18 this week should I swap the tubes, and what should I put in, I’ll be using a V30 speaker..

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you Chris! I can’t rememebr what tubes it came with but mine sounded harsh and had some hiss. I replaced them with same value JJ Electronics. The amps sound noticeably warmer and smoother. Be sure to do a search for a guide to tube replacement on the H&K. You don’t want to unscrew the wrong screws :)

  189. Olivier says:

    As I pursue my quest for tone (TM) I am now looking at upgrading my Laney cub &cab.
    The head will see the ruby tubes replaced by JJ.
    The cab is more difficult to figure out.

    It now comes with HH drivers, which are a bit dry and life less.

    I’ve been looking through heaps of comments and reviews and I’ve narrowed the search to:
    – Celestion Vintage 30
    – Weber CERAMIC THAMES 12
    – Jensen C12Q
    – Celestion G12H Anniversary

    The main drive for the Jensen is that they wouldn’t be as loud, as the cab is mainly used for beadroom playing…

    Any advice?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve used Weber for some time but you should know that these are loud and very bright. Personally I don’t like Jensen speakers with Marshall-ish amps. They sound better with Fender. It’s a matter of taste. The V30s are fairly dark and has a nice mid range. They can sound a bit flabby on open back cabs but they seem to work nicely with the Cub cabinet. The G12H are very similar to the V30, with a bit more presence in the upper mids and a tad more low end.

  190. Matt says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was wondering about the Fender Blues Jr. and the H&K Tubemeister 18 head. I’m looking for a small tube amp to replace my Fender Mustang 1 and I’m going between these two. The H&K seems like the better option what with the power scaling, FX loop, RedBox DI, and a Drive Channel. My only reservations are the fact that the H&K is close to $100 more expensive, even if I just by the head and run direct to a mixing desk. If I do want a cab it’ll be another $300-$500. What are your thoughts? I normally run my Mustang into a mixing desk via headphones jack when I play, and I normally play with headphones anyway. So even if I just buy the head by itself is it still a better bargain then the Blues Jr.?



    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Matt! Depends on what tones you want. The Blues Jr is pure Fender, with that bright scooped tone. The H&K has a much more modern flavour, with a pristine tone and clarity. Personally I favour the H&K. It’s clean channel sound fizzy but the gain channel has enough headroom for pedals and it sounds really nice. The Blues Jr has a bit of a noise issue and it doesn’t handle Muffs and fuzz pedals that well. Both amps will fit nicely in a smaller club.

      • Matt says:

        Hey thanks. Like I said, I was already leaning towards the H&K. I also just discovered that Alex Lifeson from Rush has been using H&K amps for the last 10 to11 years. That’s good, because I love Rush and their music just as much as Pink Floyd, and an amp that can do double duty for Lifeson and Gilmour tones is awesome.



        • Bjorn says:

          The H&Ks makes great concert amps. They’re loud and the pristine tone cuts effortlessly through the mix.

  191. Adrian says:

    Hey again Bjorn,

    I got a Hot Rod Deluxe III over a year ago based on the advice you gave in this article, and it instantly became my no. 1 amp. I’ve entirely stopped using the Marshall DSL100 stack I had been using for nearly 8 years before that. I just couldn’t get near the tones I wanted with the Marshall. Thanks for the sound advice, it always seems to be on the ball.

    With that said, the Hot Rod takes some careful tone pot manipulation to tame the “fender tone” and create something more subtle. I love that fender tone for Blues playing, but it’s a bit too bright for Gilmourish tones. I’ve gotten close to the tone I want on the clean channel with the treble and bass set around 4, and the middle and presence up around 8 and 9. But whether these settings work well or not seems to depend heavily on the volume I play at (usually between 2-3).

    Can you give any suggestions how to get a great clean tone from a Hot Rod, as a basis for getting Gilmourish tones with pedals? Do you have any suggested settings? Where’s the sweet spot on the volume dial? Would you leave it open back, or place the back of the speaker cab against a wall? Maybe build a wall in front of it. :)

    Thanks again for more than 2 years of solid advice now, since I first discovered your site.

    Le meas,

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Adrian! The acoustics of an amp depends very much on the room and environment you’re playing in so whether or not you should put it up against a wall or how you should set the volume should be based on what works best for you. A good rule is to keep amps away from windows and corners to avoid unwanted resonance. Most Fender amps have emphasis on the treble and bass and may lack some mids compared to a Hiwatt. Although David often use Fenders in the studio, he’s mostly using a Hiwatts on stage and you would need to compensate for the lack of mids either by using pedals that have more mids, like Tube Screamer, Rat or Sovtek Muffs, or use an EQ or even humbuckers.

  192. Videet Parekh says:

    I’ve been using the Laney LX12 for about two years now, and for the past couple of months it’s just been going flat and dead. Doesn’t sound as good as it used to and clean/distortion is either very harsh or not enough. I’m looking for an amp for home use, and I play very versatile music, anywhere between soft rock to metal. I have a budget of about $120. Is there any amp you’d suggest for the same?

    • Videet Parekh says:

      Also, I don’t have any analog pedals to use. I’m presently using a Zoom G5 processor board for any effects.

    • Bjorn says:

      Usually when that happens, it’s because one or more of the tubes needs to be replaced but this is a solid state amp so it can be a number of Things I Guess. I assume that you’ve eliminated any other sources in your rig? My recommendations are listed in this buyer’s guide. Budget range amps tend to be very similar so I’d just try a bunch and pick the one I’d like the most. Mid range is crucial both for David’s tones and for smaller amps to sound bigger, so I’d stay away from Vox and Fender and perhaps look at some Laney, Marshall or Roland.

  193. Lucas says:

    Hi Bjorn, Great Site man, organized and lot of usefull info. Heres another of my questions: In Pulse, did Gilmour uses his hiwatts and Alembic at 10 (full volume)? can you appreciate any difference beetwen using it at half volume or full volume?.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Lucas! Sorry for my late reply. I’ve seen different settings for the Alembic but it seems that a common volume setting was about 50-60%. The Hiwatts was also set fairly moderate as explained here. Still, this is quite loud with 100w amps and the four cabinet stereo setup. The Hiwatts has a lot of headroom but if you drive the preamps hard, they will distort as you can hear in Pete Towsend’s tones. Driving the master or output stage will probably make the amp sound too loud but it will maintain much of the headroom.

  194. Andoni says:

    Hey bjorn! If I buy a transistor amp, can I get a gilmour tone? If I buy one, do you think that the marshall mg102 is a good decision?

    Thanks, Andoni

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what guitar you have, what pedals you use and how you set the pedals and the amp. The MGs sound very modern and perhaps not ideal for David’s tones but you should be able to get a decent clean tone as a basis for pedals. There’s nothing wrong in using transistor amps. It’s just a matter of taste. They may not be as dynamic and responsive as tube amps but they’re reliable and most amps today sound pretty good anyway.

  195. Olle says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    What amp would you suggest for bedroom practice only? I already have a loud enough amplifier at the rehersal space, so it wouldn’t be used for playing with a drummer or anything.

    I tried a Laney Cub 12R at the local music store, and was quite impressed by the sound, considering it’s very reasonable price. I also tried the Blackstar HT-1, but I was not much of a fan (not sure why; just didn’t sound “right” to me).

    I was also considering a used Laney L5T-112, but that would be more expensive and perhaps too loud for bedroom playing?


    • Bjorn says:

      The Laney L5 fits a bedroom nicely but it might be a tad too loud if you have very sensitive neighbours. I’m mostly using a H&K Tubemeister 18w in my home studio. It’s a modern sounding amp and perhaps not the most exciting tone wise but it’s small, affordable and the pristine tone makes it a perfect fit for all kinds of pedals. It also has scaling down to 5w and 1w.

  196. Matt says:

    Hey Bjorn, do you know anything about the Hiwatt Bulldog? It appears to be a 40 watt, two channel combo. They have one at my local Guitar Center and I wondered if it would be a good choice for Gilmour Tones?

    • Bjorn says:

      I have never tried them but from what I understand they’re based on the DR series. I guess it was Hiwatt’s attempt at designing an amp similar to the new combos that emerged in the late 70s, like Mesa etc. I think it should go nicely with David’s tones. It’s seems to be a tad more aggressive than the DRs, not by gain but overall tone, but it should have enough headroom.

  197. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    What do you think about a Marshall Super Leaf or any Plexi-style amp for Gilmour tones?

    • Bjorn says:

      I guess both would go nicely with most of the typical Gilmour related pedals and sounds. The Super Lead is somewhat similar to a Hiwatt, while the early Plexi amps, like the JTM45 are closer to Fender.

  198. tiri974 says:

    Hi Bjorn, I noticed my Laney L5t is becoming a little noisy. Could be the tubes, they are stock TAD from 2007, or maybe not. My Strat is completely shielded and I use good cables from Reference plugged straight into the amp, so I can’t think about anything else. Any suggestion? Are the TAD’s good tubes or would you swap them for your favorite jj’s anyway? I think you did the same for your L20t, didn’t you?

    Always many questions, sorry :)


    • Bjorn says:

      Cheers, Luca :) I always replace the tubes when I get something new. I prefer the JJs so it’s just something I do. TADs are very good but they do sound a bit different from JJs. It’s about taste. 2007 is a bit old. At least for the output tubes. It depends on how much you play and how hard you drive the amp but a good rule is to swap the tubes once a year or at least be aware of any changes in the tone once a year. What kind of noise are you experiencing?

      • Luca says:

        The amp is one of the very first built in 2007 and the previous owner told me that he didn’t use it much so he left the stock tubes. The amp feature a pronounced hum effect and with hi-gain pedals, especially with the RAT, it become microphonic. I can hear the backing tracks go back from the near monitor into the amp :( But it could be a problem of ground loops?

        Thanks for your help Bjorn!


        • Bjorn says:

          These things are always hard to tell when you’re not standing in front of the amp. Hum could be a number of things and a gain pedal will always amplify that. I’d go to the whole chain and make sure that all the cables and powering is OK. Make sure that the pedalboard and amp aren’t on the same circuit as your computer, fridge, TV etc. Plug the guitar straight into the amp using a cable you know is working. Add one pedal at a time to see of any of those are causing the noise. If nothing solves the problem then I’d take the amp to a tech.

          • Luca says:

            Bjorn, I did some tests with the guitar plugged straight in the amp with a high quality cable (Reference RICS01, if you like to check these out) as you suggest, and the amp seems ok. When I turn on the hi-fi or the pc monitors in the same room some problems appears and the gain pedals make the amp more susceptible and noisier. So, I have no idea how to put the amp and pedals on another circuit in my house and I’m thinking to use a better power supply for pedals with isolated outputs, could it be a solution? Anyway, thanks for the help!


            • Bjorn says:

              Could be a power issue but I assume you’re sitting close to your computer and it seems that your guitar is picking up on the noise generated by the electrical components. There’s really no other way to get around this than to turn away from them.

  199. Gábor says:

    Dear Bjorn!
    Pairing in stereo setup with my formerly mentioned HIWATT Custom Little D(with 1×12 Fane AXA loaded Marshall cab) 20W Head, I hunted for a smaller combo. I have found it finally:
    It is from TONE KING Amplifiers(USA) and it is its FALCON modell, 12w, 1×10 Emince Patriot(Ragin Cajun) speaker, and with a built in fantastic and silent Ironman atenuator! It is not cheap, BUT, it has got the clean with the chime:-)
    Headroom is great, eats my whole pedalboard, works very well with Big Muff pedal too!
    Works perfectly in bedroom, at home, studio, and on smaller venues too!
    I have found almost the same HIWATT sound in it:-)
    Probably TONE KING’s other modells are great too, especially the bigger IMPERIAL MKII. 20W, with built atenuator too! Review is available in Guitarist magazin actual No. 393 issue
    Highly recommended for Gilmourish community!
    Yours friendly:Gábor

  200. madcelts says:

    Hi Bjorn —

    Thanks again so much for this site! I find myself studying and re-studying stuff to really take it all in, and that is a real pleasure! :-)

    I have gathered the funds for my Gilmourish bedroom setup amp. I have narrowed my choices to 3: the Laney Cub, the Laney Lionheart, and the Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 head + cabinet (which cabinet do you use, btw?).

    My pedal setup will include a Buffalo-FX Evolution (on the way!), a Buffalo-FX Power Boost, and compressor (maybe the Iron Fist?) and a delay, chorus, and univibe to be named later. I will be building this kit as I go, and my opening hand will be the Buffalo-FX Evolution + Amp (I can add the other effects in my DAW [Digital Performer + Reason] for now).

    My goal is to get the same lethal tone you got on your Evolution demo in a bedroom setup with a volume that won’t frighten my kids whilst they are asleep.

    I notice you do a lot of your YouTube Demos with the H&K, and I love the way they sound. I am leaning that way, but obviously the Cub would be cheaper, and you’ve raved about the Lionheart. My guess is that the H&K sounds closest to the Reeves you played on the demo.

    I can afford any of them (phew!), so I am all ears as to your suggestions. Thanks for your help! karl

    • madcelts says:

      Btw, I notice you replaced the tubes in the H&K right away. What did you replace them with, and where did you go to buy them? Did you change tubes or mod the others as well (I think you changed speakers in the Laney Cub, yes?)? Thanks!

      • Bjorn says:

        I don’t remember what the stock tubes were. Some cheap China stuff I think. They sounded sterile and bright. I replaced them with a full set of JJ Electronics, which has more headroom and an overall warmer and more dynamic tone. I use JJs in all my tube applications. The Laney cab feature V30s.

        • madcelts says:

          Got it — so you would replace the tubes in anything (the Cub, the Lionheart, and the H&K) with the JJs? Great tip! Given that price is not an object do you have a recommendation between these three amps: the JJ modded Cub [with the speaker upgrades], a JJ modded Lionheart, or a JJ modded H&K [did you change the speakers in the cabs there as well?]. I won’t hold you to anything — it just would be a help for me to get a clearer sense, esp. because testing a floor model won’t tell me all I need to know. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Karl! The Reeves is obviously too loud for a bedroom and although the Lionheart is one of my favourite amps at the moment it too is a bit too much for a small bedroom. The H&K is a modern amp. There’s nothing vintage about it but what I like is its ability to take any pedal you throw at it and it sounds very warm, fat and dynamic even at the lowest volume levels, which is what you want for your bedroom setup. The Cub is great but I personally think the H&K is a better amp. Both in terms of build and tone. The clean channel of the H&K is OK alone but sounds very fizzy with pedals. I using the 5w scaling and the gain channel set all clean. That’s what you hear on most of my recent clips :)

      • Karl says:

        Cool! What cab do you use with the H&K and did you replace the speakers? Thanks for the help — I’m delighted to be on my way here. :-)

        • Bjorn says:

          I’m using the old Cub 2×12″ cabinet that I’ve loaded with Celestion V30s. It’s an open back cab, which isn’t ideal for the V30s, at least not for me, but it works nicely on my small home studio. I think the stock H&K cab is also loaded with V30s… or at least some Celestions.

          • madcelts says:

            Hi Bjorn — I unexpectedly got to play a Lionheart 5W yesterday with an EH Muff and a Soul Food (both by itself and as a clean boost), and it rocked! :-) I plugged into both channels — the high and the lo. I got great sounds out of both, and the lo channel with a Soul Food cranked gave great tone and reasonable volume! Hats off to Aboslute Music in Fairborn Ohio for all their help!

            You are right: H&K sells a 2×12 with V30s.

            I have got this all narrowed down to the Laney Lionheart 5W and the Tubemeister 18 Head + the 2×12 V30 cab. If you have any last suggestions on this, let me know. I do feel I’ve got the gist thanks to you!

            I am going to taste test the H&K sometime in the near future. The H&K + Cab is about $1200, and I can get the Laney for about $800.

            My gut sense is that the H&K is the better choice. I’ll know after playing it — I sure love the tones you get from it!

            I cannot thank you enough for your help in getting this narrowed down to this point — it is a huge help. When my Evolution arrives and I get my amp, I shall take my first step to Tone Nirvana! :-) Karl

            • Bjorn says:

              Cheers, Karl! Hard to choose really. The Lionheart is a true vintage amp while the H&K has a modern character. I guess it depends on taste and whether or not you’ll be playing shows. The Lionheart may be a bit too small for playing live but the H&K is fully capable of that. Personally, I’d go for the Lionheart.

              • madcelts says:

                After playing the Lionheart, I can see why! After thinking it over, I actually think I will choose that, if for no other reason than it will let me support my local music shop. :-) I’m good on amps, OD/Fuzz (my Evolution is being made now), so my next quest is for Boosters and Delays. I’ll be back in touch when I can afford them. :-)

                Thanks Bjorn — you are a prince! :-)

              • Pat says:

                Hi Bjorn,

                Adding my own question to this. Just wondering why you would personally take the Lionheart, but most of your videos I have seen you are using the Tubemeister?

                Just curios as I am also looking to buy the Lionheart I think.



  201. Toni says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I have the chance to get a brand new Mesa Boogie Mark V combo with a huge discount (real huge). I didn’t consider buying that amp since it’s really expensive but the discount makes it impossible not to consider.

    Among its large virtues I outstand its versatility. That’s something I truly need since I play many different styles which require different sound/tone approaches. Mark V several channels bring me that versatility.

    But I was wondering, though I truly need that versatility, what I enjoy mostly is when I play through the clean channel with my beloved pedals Shine on, Have a cigar, Dogs… from certain british band (I guess you have heard of them) :-) Is it possible to obtain some Gilmourish sounds through Mesa Boogie Mark V clean channel with pedals?

    I truly appreciate your opinion. Please, tell me something so as to help me make up my mind.

    Thanks a lot and… shine on Bjorn!

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the amp my self. Only the previous IV. From what I’ve read and heard, it’s an incredibly versatile amp and much more so than the previous models. The clean channel is Fender-sih although a bit more boutique. The second channel is typical Marshall, while the last venture into rectifier heavy distortion territory. Based on that I would say it’s a versatile amp and probably a great basis for pedals.

  202. Jason says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was curious. Have you ever run a bass through your Laney Cub?

    I’m on a guitar forum and one of the guys mentions that he does that, and seeing as how I’ve been wanting one anyways, I’d be tempted to buy the head and just get a bass cab, but I’m curious how it sounds with bass. One of the guys I know who does it, uses an old Fender Champ with a bass cab and he said it sounds good, but I also know that the old Tweed Fenders are a bit brighter tone-wise than the Cub which is more dark British…

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never tried that. It does have a Marshall/Hiwatt flavour to it, which I would imagine would work nicely with a bass.

  203. Kris says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Have you tried or know anything about the Hiwatt Little D Rig they came out with I think last year. Looks like it has a built in power scalling option down to .5w which would be great for bedroom volume. Wonder how it takes pedals.


    Hiwatt Signature Series Little D Rig

    The Hiwatt Little D rig is based on the amplifier modified by Pete Cornish for David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. The Little D featured 3 inputs, normal, brilliant and linked. the linked input allowing users to blend the tone of the normal and brilliant channels. The Hiwatt Little D rig comes complete with a scaled down 1×12 fane loaded WEM Starfinder cabinet and is perfect for home, studio and live use.
    • 3 inputs Normal, Brilliant and Linked

    • Class A

    • 20/0.5W Switchable

    • EL84 + ECC83 Valve Configuration

    • Starfinder Fane 1×12 Cabinet

    As always thanks for the info!


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell about the tone. I’m sure it’s a nice little amp though and it should go very well with pedals. I have commented on this amp earlier and what I don’t like is that it looks like a marketing scam by Hiwatt. They make it seem like a Gilmour signature model, which it’s not. It’s not even similar to the Cornish modded Hiwatts because I don’t think anyone apart from Cornish, Taylor and Gilmour knows what those mods are. The linked input is fine but that’s very common and not a Gilmour invention. The WEM cab is also a scam. It’s not anything near the old Startfinder cabinets. Anyway, that aside, there’s no reason why this amp won’t sound great :)

      • Bjørnar says:

        Hi Bjørn!
        Thanks a lot for your fantastic site and all your effort put in to it. It does wonders for all of us!

        Regarding the HiWatt little D:
        I understand your position regarding HiWatt’s marketing “fraud”.
        You wrote in another comment that you will not test or write about it because of that.
        Since it is doesn’t have anything to do with David and he is not endorsing it.
        But isn’t that also true regarding all the other Amps you have written about and testet.
        They maybe use different marketing focus and promisses, like this will give you the ultimate tone or capture an erea or style etc.
        HiWatt only says Little D is based on. Not a copy or replica of Davids gear. Based on one of the other Amps in theire line.
        So the “fraud” is not huge.
        Almost all the other brands out there having stuff that’s known to influence Davids tone in one way or the other, use that fact, or claim, in theire marketing one way or the other usually.

        Who knows? Maybe Little D actually will give you DG tone and feel in a studio/bedroom setup?

        Would it not be fair, IF you have the possibility, to review it based on it’s tone and features? Not on it’s marketing words only?

        You have a gift in describing what you hear. And when I have a bought equipment based on your reviews it normaly fits well with your descriptions.
        So I know that a review from you is with Gilmour tone in mind and it gives us a common frame set of description, vocabulary and comparasin.

        Maybe you by the power of your site can reveal to the world that it is a fraud, tone wise as well, if that is the case.
        Or maybe it actually is a gem for Gilmour fans, even if Gilmour is not endorsing it?
        I think it will be highly appreciated among your readers to see a unbiased review on this.

        Keep up the good work!
        “In Bjørn we trust”


        • Bjorn says:

          Hi Bjørnar, thanks for your comment! You make a fair point but let me explain. When Hiwatt first presented the Little D a few years back, I think it was during a NAMM show, they made no mistake in linking it to David Gilmour. I understand why they did that, obviously it will cause some attention, but I think they mislead guitarists and Gilmour fans, or at least some, in believing that it was an endorsement, which it’s not.

          Now, I don’t have any interests in the Gilmour camp and I’m not trying to defend Gilmour or speak on his behalf in any way but I think their initial marketing was a fraud.

          Based on that, I think it would be wrong of me to review the amp. The way I see it, it could potentially harm the integrity of my site and my opinion about gear. Perhaps I’m paranoid and stupid but I’ve always had a policy that I never review anything unless I choose to do so and, that whatever I do review is something that I can stand by 100%, which is not the case if you’re a magazine or sponsored blog. Gilmourish is neither.

          I also hope that people understand that I’m in no position to just review tons and tons of gear. For one, not all gear is available here in Norway. Second, I’m certainly in no position whatsoever, to spend money on gear just for a review. I either got things sent to me or I borrow.

          What I have been saying in every comment is that I think they did a poor marketing job but regardless of that, I’m sure the amp sound killer and I urge everyone interested in trying it and look for reviews. I know there is a debate out there about Hiwatt’s current quality and state but they make some good stuff and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Little D sounds great.

  204. Tim says:

    What are your thoughts on the Fender Supersonic tube amp (coupled with custom Strats and LP’s)?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven only tried the 22 very briefly. It’s very similar to the Deluxe Reverb, with a classic Fender tone. I liked the cleans and it goes very well with pedals. The gain was a bit harsh for my taste. Nice amp for both bedrooms and medium sized venues.

  205. Matt says:

    I was just looking at the list of amps above. (Way above when you are down here at the bottom of the comments. :) I notice you have no Vox amplifiers. Since they are fairly mid heavy, wouldn’t they make a good choice for Gilmour tones? Or is there another characteristic that makes them unsuitable? I’m looking at a Vox AC-15. I play in a bunch of different bands and I need something extremely versatile. With the Vox, I’ll get good U2, Queen, and Switchfoot tones since they all use Vox amplifiers. But Gilmour is the odd man out in regards to amp choice. Above, you mention the H&K Tubemeister 18. I’ve seen you use one on the Sorrow jamming video and it sounds spot on. Will the Tubemeister be able to give me good Gilmour tones and tones for those mentioned above? Or will a Vox do the job for Gilmour tones?



    • Bjorn says:

      Vox can certainly cover Gilmour’s tones but personally I’m not a huge fan. I think they’re just too aggressive in the sense that even set all clean there’s really nothing subtle about the tone. Also, I think the typical AC30 needs to be played loud to really shine, meaning full tube and speaker saturation/distortion. That’s not what you want for your pedals. It does have a nice middy character but this presence also depends on the way you set the treble and bass controls. Increase these and you get a very scooped tone. The H&K has a modern tone that perhaps lies closer to Marshall than Fender but what I like about it it that is has a very pristine tone, which goes well with pedals and, it sounds great on bedroom and home studio settings :)

  206. Marco Crespi says:

    Dear All! I ended up with buying a BRUNETTI SINGLEMAN combo! it has great headroom and tonal variety.

    it is a single channel master volume clean amp you can select 1/4/16 watt or 2/4/35 watt. is dealing with all pedals very very well.

    I can harldy recommend it. very transparent tones which can be adjusted to taste in many ways.

  207. Keith Masciantonio says:

    Hey Bjorn, Well, a lot has happened since we last spoke… You’ve become a solo star & We are just coming out of the coldest winter in 20 yrs. here in the NE US. Had a question, if you ever tried a Mesa express 5-50. I have the chance to get one fairly cheap and was wondering how Gilmourish it would sound coupled to my 1960 Marshall 4×12. P.S. glad to see you’ve liked the Nova delay…with your help i’ve been enjoying mine for months now.
    Thank you for all your work as always, Keith M.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Keith! The 5-50 has an unmistakable Fender character, similar to a Twin. Still, it’s much more than that and, IMO, a more versatile amp all together. Goes great with most pedals. I’m not sure how it will pair up with a Marshall cab although I think the combo feature a Celestion speaker.

      • Keith M. says:

        Thank you Bjorn. Your knowledge is 2nd to none! I will pick up the amp this weekend and let you know how i make out {& probably bug you for some use tips}
        Thanks again, Keith M.

      • Lorenzo Brusò says:

        Hi Bjorn,
        I’ve got the same amp. When you say “most pedals” do you mean “even Buffalo FX and Effectrode stuff” ?



        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on how picky you are tonewise. Fuzz and some Big Muffs might not sound as Gilmourish as if they were paired with a Hiwatt or something similar but it can handle the more versatile stuff like the Buffalo Evolution and TDX, Wampler PlexiDrive etc.

  208. David says:

    I wanted to point something out to other people here on this board. I had been looking at this amp for over 6 months and finally purchased via online here in the US in February. I received the amp last week, but noticed a few things which concerned me.

    I want people here on this board to know that during that time, Laney’s specs had changed for the Laney L5T-112, please see below:

    1. They went from a British made Heritage Greenback to a Chinese Made Celestion 70th Anniversary G12H-30. 2. Amp is “designed and engineered in the UK”, but now built in China.
    3. They changed the reverb from a type 4 large spring line reverb to a digital reverb.
    4. It comes with a serial effects loop with a -10db/0db/bypass switch

    The speaker change and reverb change greatly concerned me. I am getting most of my reverb from a Strymon Lex and BlueSky, so I can live with that. But I wanted the option of a real tank reverb. The speaker was another concern. So after much research I called Celestion and spoke to a well known US rep. My concerns for the speaker have been lessened after the 15 minute call, as well as a lot of online research. If worse comes to worse and the speaker doesn’t work out, I can replace it.

    I have an email out to customer support at Laney with a number of questions. Have not gotten a response yet, but I will follow up here once I hear from them. Just wanted everyone here to be aware of the changes. The US sites selling these amps still have the old specs and have not updated their web sites. That is also disappointing.

    Once I hear from Laney I will make a decision whether to keep the amp or send it back. Kind of on the bridge and feeling a little duped with the bait and switch.

  209. Thomas Johansson says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I read Gilmourish every week.
    I vant decide which amp should buy.
    H&K tubemeister 18 or Lionheart L5.
    I Only play at home. Which has the most hedroom?
    Will it be any difference IF I plug in an extra speaker?
    For example 112 or 212 or maybe 2×112.
    Best regande
    Thomas Johansson

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Thomas! They’re two very different sounding amps. The Laney has a warm vintage character. Kind of a mix between a Vox AC30 and those early Marshall JTMs. The 5w has more than enough headroom for pedals and a bedroom setup. The H&K doesn’t really sound like anything else. It’s modern and pristine, with lots of headroom.

      • Thomas Johansson says:

        Hi Bjorn,
        Thank you for your quick answer. Do you think i will get more headroom if i
        connect a Lionheart Cabinet LT-212 to the Lionheart L5T-112? Is the Laney more
        Gilmourish than the H&K Tubemeister? Thanks again for your website. It,s a
        goldmine for a true Pink Floyd fan.

        Thanks again!
        Thomas Johansson

        • Bjorn says:

          Probably. You’d be able to push the amp a bit more without getting speaker breakup. The Laney is definitely a more vintage sounding amp so in that sense I guess it’s more Gilmourish of the two.

  210. Carlos says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I love the new site and I appreciate your dedication to the art of everything Gilmour. Quick question. I read your comments regarding the Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 head and I was wondering if you have tried the Hughes & Kettner TM18/12 TubeMeister 18W 1×12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp. I currently have a Peavey Classic 30 but I am looking at something that has the scaling abilities (1w or 5w).

    Thanks for everything.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Carlos! Yes, it sounds very much like the head. You can get a bit more headroom with the head I guess, depending on what cab you use with it. It’s a very nice bedroom/home recording studio amp, with the scaling and all and it also maintains a rich character even at the very lowest volume levels. You should use the gain channel with pedals though, as the clean makes everything sound very fizzy.

  211. Allan says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First I want to say thanks! for finding the time & energy sharing lots of infos, you are awesome! Ok just got my Laney Cub 12r with the HH speakers (combo) base from your recommendation (you should get something from LANEY! lol) and she’s perfectly paired with my strat. Have you got issues with it now yours is probably 3 or 4 years old?, reading . I got a matched pair oj JJ EL84s and just waiting for the JJ 12ax7.


  212. Jerome says:

    Hey Bjorn – I wanted to share my amp experience with you, but also the commenters on this page. As you do, I love to get a great transparent EQ sounding clean tone with plenty of headroom. I use 3 amps, but many times just use one depending on the venue, etc. – MODDED Fender Blues Junior, Rivera Chubster 40, and a Hiwatt Custom 50. The Rivera(Modded with a Weber Thames and EA speaker cable) and the Hiwatt are clean and transparent, but have a nice midrange bump so you can dial in some modern Gilmour, but also have the flexibility of getting more spongy mid sounds. If you are looking for just more than Gilmour tone, the mids with the combo of a Tube Driver or SS-3 etc can help you achieve that SRV type tone, etc.

    Now, to the more important piece: the Blues Junior. The stock version of the amp is OK. But the tone stack with the speaker, transformer, board, wasn’t very much to my liking. Plus the Fat switch just didn’t sound right to me. For anyone who has that amp, and wants a more versatile version that can do Gilmour, but also a more tamed Vox AC30 sound for the middy sound with your overdrives :

    1 – Fargen Hot Mods Super Sustain MOD– basically a cap/resistor replacement for a more authentic tone stack, plus Mercury output transformer. Evidence Audio speaker cable. Combined, makes a world of difference.

    2 – Swapped speaker for a Weber Thames. Really a different sound. Great midrange, tight lows.

    3 – Swapped tubes for JJs. Pretty typical on this forum.

    The most impt pieces are the transformer, speaker, and cable in my opinion.

    This amp really shines now. The tone stack sweep is not huge, but for Gilmour stuff, it’s perfect. The big bonus here is the Fat switch is now sounding much better. You can really cop a nice VOX AC 30 cleanish sound with the Fat engaged. While I love love love Gilmour’s tone, I have to admit when you dial in a more mid based cleanish tone right on the edge of breakup (with the FAT switch), with a Tube Driver, SS-3 (or anything with transparent or scooped mids), the tone is to die for with a Strat with vintage single coils. It’s not a Gilmour authentic tone; it just makes your sound palette much more vast for those who like the TS mid hump pedal sound. It’s spongy, punchy. Really adds versatility to the Tube Driver base tone stack in my opinion.

    To me, it turns the Blues Junior into a great two channel amp. The traditional mid scooped Fender sound, and a more wirey, mid based Vox/Hiwatt sound. So for those looking for 2 cleanish tone palettes for a strat, this is what works for me.

    Now I do realize that you can do this with an EQ pedal, a Mid Boost pedal, an OD with a mid hump, or even the EMG DG-20 pickups, but isn’t it nice when you can do that with just your amp and vintage single coil guitar, and save space on your pedalboard? LOL. I have become a minimalist as a get older as a guitarist.

    Just food for thought for all of you that are looking for versatile amps that handle Gilmour tone and beyond.

  213. didi says:

    Hej Bjorn, thx again for the endless amount of info. Really appreciated.
    Have you ever played bandmasters? What are your thoughts about these amps?

    • Bjorn says:

      Very briefly. It’s somewhat similar to the Bassman and Showman heads, perhaps the Bassman 100 in particular, with a warm tone and lots of headroom.

  214. Ai says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    My amp is Wem dominator III Recently the sound has been on and off while I’m playing.

    A friend told me it might be the tubes. My question is do you have recommendations which tubes types and brand that I can buy to replace the old tubes?

    Btw what do you think of Vox ac4tv amp? Im also looking for a second amp that can be played in my office.


    • Bjorn says:

      Sounds like the tubes. Could be a number of things but tubes are a good place to start. I swear by JJ Electronic for all my tube amps and pedals.

  215. otto grawe says:

    Hi Bjorn, great web for all is a place full of tips like a paradise guitar player. Bjorn i like to know your opinion about the Egnater Tweaker amp (15w)… and what you think about the vox ac4tv amp… thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have much experience with Egnater but they get a lot of praise. Both amps are great for practice and bedrooms I guess. Both are in that AC territory, although the Egnater has a few other options as well and it’s perhaps a more versatile amp.

  216. Peter says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    What do you think of Laney VC15-110? Lionheart series seem to be a kind of VC made of better components. But you may find VC15 a lot cheaper used and it is a great pedal platform with “voxy” type of clean sound (and some overdrive too, though I wouldn’t take the overdrive seriously). It also has a Jensen speaker.
    What do you think of it?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never been much a Vox fan and the Lionheart is much more versatile than the VC I think. The clean channel is very similar to a Vox but the gain channel is more like a Marshall. But, the VC is a great Vox amp and if that’s your thing, then they’re well worth checking out :)

  217. Kris says:

    Thanks for the advice on my HK Bjorn! Thought I’d run it by you since you have one. I ended up bringing the head in to my local amp repair shop here in IL to take a look. Figure mine as well since its under warranty. They tech there seemed to think something may be wrong since it hums with nothing plugged into it. We shall see.

    On your HK 18 tubmeister what are your settings for the EQ and lead channel? I had mine at Base, Treble, Mid at 12:00. Lead Channel volume maxed and Gain at 8:00 or so.

    • Bjorn says:

      About the same as I. I tweak the EQs a bit depending on the guitar but I usually keep all three at noon, with perhaps the treble rolled down a tad.

  218. Ratan says:

    Which is better in the below: for gilmourish sound as i am extremely tight on my budget:

    Laney CUB10
    Laney CUB8
    Fender Vibro Champ
    Fender Champ 600

  219. Tom says:

    Hey Bjorn, do u think the Lionheart could also cover those Beatles Abbey Road tones? Fenders are so expensive here that a Laney Lionheart 20 combo is almost the same as a Blues jr..

  220. Kris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I think I have asked you about this before, but thought I would get your opinion on it. I bought my Hughes and Ketner 18 head and 1×12 Hughes and Ketner cabinet a few months back and ended up swapping the head for new one after a month of trying to unsucessfully daignose a noticable low humm/buzz when the volume on the lead channel is cranked with the gain at 8-9:00 or so. On my new head it has the same issue only the buzz/hum is maybe less loud on the lead channel. The humm/buzz increases of course as I turn the gain up on that channel. The clean channel with volume and gain cranked is dead silent. I have checked the tubes power and preamp, they are fine, and even replaced them with JJ’s and still have that same low hum/buzz only on the lead channel. I have quality cables evidence siren speaker, and evidence guitar cables as well plugged into a furman power surge. There are no tv’s/cell phones/florecent lights in the room. I’ve checked other outlets in my house and have the same issue. This low hum/buzz occurs even when nothing is plugged into the amp. Plugging my guitar and pedalboard in has no effect on the low hum/buzz. Not sure If I should look into getting the EHX hum debugger, ebtech hum x, tripp lite power isolator etc. or this is just normal for this amp considering this is the second one I have had with this. Do you have any experience with these hum eliminating devices or can recommend one? As always thank you in advance and good luck at your shows. Maybe someday you can come to Chicago :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Kris! I don’t remember what I answered last time but I don’t have this issue with mine. Using the gain channel will probably make the amp pick up or amplify more whatever noise there is since the gain channel has less headroom and a more active preamp (I’m sure there is a better way to explain this). Could be that the amp is picking up a low frequency hum in your house’s electricity system or a generator nearby. It could be a number of things and almost impossible to suggest something without having seen your home and nearby surroundings. A power conditioner of some sort might help. I don’t have much experience with these but it should help if the problem reside outside of the amp.

  221. Josh J says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I am purchasing the Laney cub stack. But the cub cab is out of stock everywhere. I was wondering if there is a different cab that would go just as well with the cub head? Or would i be better just waiting it out?

  222. Dimitris says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    I need your help now, more than ever! I am selling my Lionheart L20H and one guy suggested we traded it for an Earth Sound Research built in 1971!
    Do you have any idea or experience with these? From one (and only video I ‘ve found) it sounds interesting, plus it has EL34’s in power-amp section. The only problem is I can’t hear it myself because he’s not near me at all. That’s the amp in a greek site, but you can see at least some photos!
    Great job with the site by the way, now I ‘ve got some reason to start reading all over again!


    • Bjorn says:

      Never had any experience with these amps myself so I can’t really comment on it. I think Earth Sound mainly produced clones of contemporary amps but I don’t have much info to go by.

      • Dimitris says:

        I see…
        Not much info on the net either, but the guy said it’s a 100watt amp! I was thinking of giving the L20 for something lower in wattage cause I can’t fully use it (bedroom playing and recordings), maybe I ‘ll trade it with one that told me today about a 5watt Lionheart.
        1) Does the 5watt combo, handle all of these demanding pedals well as the 20watt?
        2) Can you achieve tube breakup on the clean channel without driving the neighboors mad?

  223. Sean says:

    Hi Bjorn, nice new website! Any thoughts on Fender Hotrod DeVille?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Nice amp. It’s solid state but you got that classic Fender tone. It might be a bit loud for bedrooms though but great for rehearsals and smaller stages.

  224. Tom says:

    Hmm, thanks, it looks like the Laney is leaning towards me. Thank you very much Bjorn, cheers

  225. Kostas X. says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    What’s your opinion about Vox Ac 4 Tv ?

    Thank you sincerely!

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t really comment on it. Depends on how you’ll be using the amp and what tones you’re looking for. It’s a small amp so you shouldn’t expect a huge tone and lots of headroom but I’m sure it’s nice for practice and bedrooms.

  226. Tom says:

    Hello Bjorn! Im really loving the new design, congrats on that! Hope you don’t mind, but I got a question regarding amps… I’ve narrowed my search down to the Laney Lionheart 20 Combo and the Peavey Classic 30.. Im searching for a powerful vintage-ish tone that works as a great basis for my pedals, with enough headroom for small gigs (mic-ed) Both combos cost the same in my country.. which one would you recommend? Something tells me that the Laney is better.. but your opinion would be great!
    Thank you sincerely!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you want :) The Peavey is great but it sounds like a Peavey, which means that it’s loud and very aggressive (although with a huge headroom). The Laney is much more vintage sounding IMO, warmer and smoother. I’m very fond of the Lionhearts but the Peavey makes a versatile all-round amp too :)

  227. Matt says:

    Sweet! Thanks!

  228. Paul says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I’m in the market for a new tube amp, and amongst other tones, I’d like it to be able to nail Gilmour as well as possible. Since neighbours are something to consider, I was looking at either the Vox AC4HW or the Blues Junior NOS Tweed. Any thoughts on these amps? I’ve noticed you’re not exactly a Vox kind of guy, but that AC4 is handwired and sounds awesome for everything else I need.

    Also, what’s the difference tone-wise between the normal and the Tweed Blues Junior?


    [I think the Blues Jr are more suited for David’s tones. I haven’t tried the new Tweed but I think the main difference is that the stock feature a fairly bright sounding Eminence speaker, while the Tweed is loaded with a vintage voiced Jensen, which should sound a bit warmer. – Bjorn]

  229. Matt says:

    How do you like the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III? Is it a good choice for Gilmour tones? Will it do Wall and Dark Side tones?

    [Classic Fender :) Goes very well with Dark Side especially. Wall is more of a Hiwatt album but you shouldn’t have any problems getting the tones you want… depending on what pickups and pedals you use :) – Bjorn]

  230. Arne says:

    No problems Keith :D – I’ve had to get reading glasses myself. Now I feel really old…
    Well, the Cub 12’s preamp is cathode biased. Those tubes are the ones I’ve replaced now with JJ’s, and they work very well. I haven’t replaced the power tubes yet – and from what I’ve been able to find out, they are voltage biased. Still, from what I’ve read, people agree with what Bjørn says that as long as you replace them with a matched pair of the same model, you’ll most likely be fine. I will probably switch out the speaker before I consider the power tubes, though – I’d like something a bit louder and brighter – or sparklier or a little more twangy or something. Hard to describe these things properly :D

  231. Huy Tran says:

    Hi Ho Bjorn,

    I was thinking about the Lionheart. I am not sure whether to get the 5watt or 20watt.

    With the CUB12r I use the 15watt input and crank the volume to 7. Will the 5 watt be loud enough? Does it also have enough headroom for the Butler Tube Driver?

    I want to get the 5watter as I want to crank it and in live situations it is always mic’d so I don’t have to worry about the amp being super loud. I am just worried about volume and headroom.

    Just wondering if I will be better off getting the 20watt. Price isn’t really an issue. Just thinking that the 20watt might be too loud for home.

    If I get the 20watt Lionheart I’d want a combo just so it is easier to carry to gig and practice but is the stack a lot better? I see that you highly recommend the stack.

    Thanks again Bjorn.

    [I haven’t done an A/B between the Lionheart 5w and Cub but the Lionheart is pretty loud. I think however that you would struggle with the headroom. Especially since you’ll be using pedals. I’m not sure how loud you want it on stage but in any case, I think the 20w is a better buy. It’s very loud but it sounds great even on the very lowest volume so no worry for using it at home. You’d also have an amp better equipped for different venues. – Bjorn]

  232. Jason says:

    Oh, that’s good to know!! Hearing that the Weber Thames has decent headroom and the fact that I like simple things, I may go with the 12r 1×12 combo and switch to the Thames. I could always add an extension 2×12 for more headroom later. How is the reverb on the 12r? I’ve heard guys say that the reverb kinda sucks. I’m betting the 12 (non-r version) might be a little cheaper and I’m saving up for a Red Panda Context anywho… Thoughts on the reverb?

    [It’s digital and OK. Nothing more. If you like reverb you’re better off with a dedicated pedal like the TC Hall of Fame. – Bjorn]

  233. KEITH says:

    Sorry Arne, eyes aren’t great, time for glasses! I thonk the Cub is Cathode biased, I asked Bjorn about both the cub, and Lionheart, and he said they were both cathode biased, but the Laney site will tell you. As for how to tell what Ruby’s are, I went to one of the tube sales sites, and while I can’t remember that particular site, I’ve seen the info on several sites, try Googling the Ruby tube by the number, and that may tell you who makes that particular tube. I kniw that the Ruby’s in my little Tubescreamer amp were rebranded JJ ecc83 or 13AX7s. But the big tube dealers sites usually tell the company the Ruby’s are really made by. I hope that helps, and ask Bjorn, but I’m sure he said the Cub is Cathode, or self biasing.

    Peace, Keith

    [Hi guys. I think maybe I was mistaken about the Cub. The Lionheart is indeed cathode but the Cub12 might need biasing. I changed the tubes when I got it years ago but I can’t remember if I did the bias or not. The Cub 8 and 10 are cathode but I think the 12 needs adjustment. Still, as long as you get matched pairs and the right model, it shouldn’t be necessary to adjust the bias. – Bjorn]

  234. Jason says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Happy New Year! I just wanted to say (first) that this site because of your thoroughness you don’t often get with certain other people who review guitars and gear, you’ve kinda become my go-to guy for opinions and objectiveness for gear and reviews! Proguitarshop does awesome too, but between you two, that’s where I’m at. Haha.

    Sorry if this has already been asked but the comment section here is HUGE for the amp buyer’s guide. I was wondering if you have ever tried your CUB 12 head (which I decided is my next amp for sure) through other cabs than the Laney Cub cab? I know you’ve said that a 2×12 gives it some balls, but I was wondering about a 1×12 or 4×10 even. I want a cab when I get one of the heads (possibly in the next month or so) with some Weber Thames, but I wasn’t sure between 1-/2×12’s. How about open-backed or close-backed cabs? Any thoughts there?

    [Hi Jason! Thanks for your kind words! The Cub sounds great through a 1×12, say a V30 or similar. You really get that British crunch :) I’ve never tried it with 10″s. I do think that a 2×12″ is a better match though. It gives you a bit more headroom and an overall more open and dynamic tone. Especially if you intend to use it for the occasional gig. The Weber Thames has a lot of headroom though so I guess a 1×12 would do the job. – Bjorn]

  235. Arne says:

    @Keith: Thanks for the info – much appreciated! (btw it’s Arne, not Anne – you’re confusing me with some woman :P).
    Just changed the stock Ruby preamp tubes for JJ’s – and it absolutely had the desired effect. A bit more headroom, and a nicer crunch when I upped the gain a bit. They may be a tad darker. I’m going to play around with this for a while, maybe I’ll switch out the speaker and the power tubes (which I don’t think are cathode biased – gotta do some more research). BTW – how can you tell who manufactured those Rubys? I didn’t see anything obvious on mine – is there a serial# or production code there?

  236. Alex says:

    Greetings, Bjorn. Love your work both as a solo artist and in Airbag. I want to know if you have tried the Egnater Rebel 20. If you have tried it, what are your thoughts on it: being that it’s (or promoted as) “British-voiced”, is it similar to the Hiwatts, Marshall, Vox, Laney, etc? Is it pedal-friendly? Does it have a lot of clean headroom or does the power section distort early? Thanks.

    [Hi Alex! Thanks for your kind words! I’ve never tried that amp so I can’t really comment on it. – Bjorn]

  237. KEITH says:

    This is in response to Anne’s Tube post: You are correct Anne, Ruby’s are branded tubes made by many companies, including JJ,( I had Ruby branded JJ 12ax7s in one of my amps). However many Ruby output tubes are made by Shuguang, and to my ears, the Shuguang EL34s,( Ruby branded), that were stock in my Reeves Custom 50 were excellent tubes. Like Bjorn, I think that as far as new tubes go, JJ makes a great, and consistant product, and when I change the tubes in my Reeves, I will use JJs, unless I hit the lottery, in which case I will buy all NOS Mullards. As far as not touching the tubes, the oils and moisture from your fingers, on the glass, can cause catastropkic failure of tubes, so I generally handle the glass with the thin paper in the box the tube comes in. However, I’ve touched the glass, and installed tubes with no gloves or paper, and then used a chamois to wipe the glass off, and haven’t had any issues doing it that way, but better to be safe, than waste a matched set of tubes. Just get the tubes you want, and plug them in, cathode biasing is a wonderful thing, not needing any biasing, and even after 35 years of tube amps, I still pay $60 to have a professional bias my manually biased amps. Hope this is of some help.

    Peace, Keith

  238. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, did some research on that Laney I had, and it was a Pro Tube 100 AOR, 8 knob version. It was based loosely on the JCM 800, but had an extra gain stage, and the ability to take one tube offline to get a high headroom clean. Only problem was, once I gave it the Townshend treatment, there weren’t any techs in the states who knew anything about working on them, so a friend got it working a little, and I sold it to a pawn shop. Laney stopped selling them in the states fairly soon after, and that’s the; nly one I ever saw, but when it was working, it was a MONSTER!!!

    PEACE, Keith

    [Must have sounded awesome. I always regret selling old stuff… – Bjorn]

  239. Marc says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I think you are the perfect person to ask this question. I’ve boiled my amp search down to a pair of amps- the Lionheart L5t-112 and the Tubemeister 18 (12 inch speaker). It sounds like you have played both and I would love your opinion. The amp will be primarily played in my basement and noise is a factor as I have a young child and wife to keep happy.

    I’m looking for an amp that takes pedals well- I have a Wampler Velvet Fuzz, MXR Badass Distortion, and Carbon Copy. But the Powersoak 1 watt option on the Tubemeister seems great as well. Any thoughts on which sounds better and may fit better for my needs?

    I’m thinking that 5 watts can be controlled fairly well with master volume and guitar/pedal volume but the Tubemeisters get good reviews as well. I have played a Tubemeister 36 before and found it very noisy (buzzing even on low wattage settings). Any thoughts on which amp has the lower noise floor?



    [I’ve never had any issues with noise from the Tubemeister. It’s very quiet… mine at least… so the source may have been outside of the amp that you tried. Anyway, I think both amps are great for bedroom and studio use. Both amps are loud but the HK has a power scaling, which may be a reason to go for it. Be sure to use the gain channel for your pedals. The clean sounds great but doesn’t handle pedals very well. Tonewise, the Lionheart is sort of a AC30 meets Marshall JTM. The HK has a more modern voicing. – Bjorn]

  240. Nick says:

    {Update and another thank you}

    Got my Plexidrive today and I love it immediately. My amp and guitar have never sounded so good.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, and one more time … I thank you. :)

    [Awesome! – Bjorn]

  241. Arne says:


    The Cub12 comes with Ruby Tubes. They don’t manufacture them, it’s just a brand. They can be manufactured in a number of places, but mainly it seems in China. Made in China is not a bad thing in itself, but QC is likely to be … variable … The tubes in mine behaves well, but I’ve not really pushed them a lot.

    Did you change tubes yourself, Bjørn? How did you deal with bias settings? I’m thinking of changing out my preamp tubes for a bit more headroom.

    Oh – and the newer Cubs come with HH speakers.

    [I replaced the tube myself. As long as you don’t touch them you’re alright. The Cub has cathode biasing meaning that you don’t need to adjust it. Don’t remember if mine came with Rubys but they were noisy and had a very bad break up. I use JJ Electronic tubes in all my amps and are very happy with those. – Bjorn]

  242. Klaus says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thanks for your responses to both my questions (in guitars and amps). Your responses didn’t post for quite a few days, I thought maybe that my questions weren’t approved for some reason. So yes, I went ahead and bought the strat (I hadn’t read your reply at the time). You are quite right, a lot of money, but I absolutely love it. I had a vintage 55 strat back in the day (unfortunately, it was stolen in the ’70s) and this one feels almost like it. The neck is perfect (for me) and the guitar sounds better than any strat I’ve personally played. So I guess for me it was “worth it”. Thanks again!

    [Glad to hear! Congrats! – Bjorn]

  243. Nick says:

    Hi Bjorn. Thanks for replying again. I figured out the problem, it was a dodgy power unit. The ‘whining’ was a constant electronic, slightly vibrating tone of about 700hz. I swapped the power supply for an old Boss one that I forgot I had, and it works fine now.

    Now I’ve tried it properly, I am liking the Banana Boost. The clean boost is nice and the mosfet boost has a nice edge to it. And now that I can increase the volume past 2 o’clock without the whining, my amp is starting to OD a bit, which is nice too. One thing I’ve discovered is that the BB much prefers to sit after the Muff and Fuzz. Before them it sounds weird, after it sounds awsome. Can’t wait to try it out with the Plexidrive, when it arrives.

    I’m thinking I might look into possibly replacing the tubes in my amp. When I first got it (a few years ago), I had to replace one to get it working and I noticed the other day that one channel on the amp does sounds slightly better than the other. I don’t even know what tube I put in the amp (I’m such a newb) it was just one the local guitar shop gave me. Time to do a bit of research I think.

    Again, many thanks for your replies and helpfull advice. Best wishes.


    [Glad to hear it worked out :) – Bjorn]

  244. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, a question about the Cub, and Lionheart. Are they Cathode biased? Or is the cub cathode,( self biasing), and Lionheart normally biased? And while I’m asking, how about the H & K, Cathode, or manually biased? Lastly, in around ’83 or ’84 Laney started selling amps in the States, and I bought I believe it was called the ” Pro Lead 100″, a 4 El34, very Marshall like head, that also had a high headroom clean channel. The high gain channel had push pull pots for another gain stage, and was a fantastic c amp, but I was young, and angry, and killed it in, he style of Pete Townsend! Unfortunately Laney didn’t do well, and you never see them in the states, do they still make a similar amp? I’d love to have that amp again, as I believe it was intended to be a Marshall, and a Hiwatt; in one head!

    Thanks for EVERYTHING!!! KEITH

    [Hi Keith! Both the Cub and Lionheart are cathode biased. A matched pair of tubes can be replaced without biasing. The HK has an onboard monitoring system that notifies you if the tubes needs to be replaced. It’s also self adjusting. I’m not that familiar with the older Laneys but the Super Lead was supported to be a Marshall-something I guess. Toni Iommi also used those. – Bjorn]

  245. Debargho says:

    Bjorn, when you say change the stock tubes in the Cub12R, do you mean the three ECC83’s or the two El84’s?

    [All of them. I’m not sure what these amps comes with now but mine, which was new in 2010 had cheap Chinese tubes in it that were total crap. – Bjorn]

  246. Nick says:

    Today was a good guitar day – ish. … I got a reply from the ‘Gilmour Guru’ (Bjorn) and I recieved my BananaBoost. The reason for the “ish” is although the BB seems nice, up to a point, … it may be faulty, or I’m using the wrong power adaptor. If I go past 2 o’clock on the volume I get a terrible whining noise (even on it’s own, with no other pedals). I’ve ordered a lower amperage adaptor, the one I’m using is the correct voltage but may be a bit high amperage. If that doesn’t fix it I’ll need to speak to the supplier. I’ve noticed it whines a lot more if placed infront of any other pedals, especially the Muff or Fuzz.

    Anyhoo, many thanks for your reply. I’m glad you didn’t suggest a different amp. I guess the implication is you think the WEM D. MkIII is ok. I think it’s a lovely amp myself. I love the fact that it was hand built by the man that built some of Hendrix’s kit and probably shook his hand and then touched my amp. Hence my amp could have some actual Hendrix DNA on/in it. Hehe.

    I did a bit of research, and took your advice and ordered a Plexi. From what I can see and hear on Youtube, it sounds very nice and hopefully will give me the quality dirt I’m looking for. :)

    Thanks again.

    [Not quite sure what you mean by “whining” but the Bananaboost, like all true Powerbooster clones, tend to get a little fizzy in the top if you crank the gain. It’s just the nature of the pedal and the silicon transistor circuit. Try lowering the treble a bit. If it’s not that then I suggest contacting Electronic Orange. – Bjorn]

  247. Nick says:

    Hi Bjorn. I’ve not long discovered your amazing website and I am currently reading through the whole thing and learning so much. Thank you for providing such a great source of info.

    I would like to ask you a question about amps if I may? Before I do let me offer some context. I’ve been a mediocre bedroom guitarist for years, playing for pleasure but never really progressing much. My guitar is a standard MIM Strat and I was lucky to have been given, for free, an old 1973 WEM Dominator Mk III amp. The guitar sounds ok, the amp sounds nice, very clean and seems to suit the Strat. I also have a Zoom GFX8 multi effects box, which is ok but fiddly to use and not really that nice sounding IMO. To be honest I didn’t play that much and hence didn’t learn much. A while ago I Decided to try buying separate pedals. I bought a VOX Wah, a silicone Fuzz Face and an Octavio. Yes, as you may have already have guessed I’m a big Hendrix fan. I like the wah. The Octavo is a strange beast that I’ve managed to get some nice fuzz out of but I don’t really understand it well or use it much. The Fuzz Face at first seemed like a wild animal but then I learned to tame it with the guitars volume control and now love it. This inspired me to play a lot more, improve more and to consider more pedals and to upgrade my Strat. I upgraded the Strat with a SSL-5 bridge PU, which sounds nice. I’ll upgrade the other pups later and then probably the bridge and tuners. I then started researching pedals, which brought me to your site, I’ve always been a big fan of Gilmore too. Partly based on your info, budget and availability, I now have a Tube Vibe which is orgasmicaly creamy. A Nova delay. A Carl Martin Opto-Compressor. A Big Muff Pi Wicker version, which I’m thinking of changing for a BYOC Ramshead. Awaiting a Banana Booster. Plus I’m also considering a BYOC Rat.

    So, finally to my question, does my amp (and the pedal choice) suit trying to emulate some of Gilmore’s tones. One main problem I have is not being able to play the amp very loud, and have trouble getting overdrive. I’ve noticed that it starts to OD more if I boost the Tube Vibe a bit. I am also hoping the Banana Boost will help, when it arrives in next few days. BUT I’m wondering if there is a better valve amp choice for bedroom setups? I’d be willing spend a decent amount. Also should I add a buffer to my pedal board?

    P. S. Sorry for such a long winded question. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thanks again for all the useful info already supplied.


    [Hi Nick! Welcome to the site! Since you’re using a lot of pedals I think it’s better to leave the amp clean and use a dedicated overdrive pedal for dirt. The Bananaboost will allow you to get overdrive sounds without distorting the amp but you might also want to look into a pedal with more gain like the Wampler PlexiDrive. Also, since you have so many vintage style pedals I’d stay clear of any buffer. They have a tendency to make those vintage circuits sound thin and messy. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  248. Nils says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    Marry Christmas.
    You’ve probably been asked this already, but you have over 4 years of comments here so it’s hard to find what I’m looking for :).
    I’m in the market for a new amp. Its for home use and I want a tube amp.
    I’ve been looking mainly at the fender blues jrs, and pro jrs, and lately att the cub 12(combo).

    I’m trying to develop my tone and I want an amp that’ll respond nicely to my playing. As you say trasistor amps are a little dull and not very dynamic.
    My worries are…
    For home use:
    Will the fender blues jr be to loud? Will I be able to get the most out of my amp without blowing out the windows?
    And in the case of the cub 12, what sort of scares me is the low price(am I just being silly?)

    I understand that there is a difference in tone between different amps. But my question now is about volume, getting the most out of the amp, and quality.

    Love yout site.

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Nils. The Blues Jr is no doubt a better amp quality wise. The Cub sounds great but I wouldn’t trust it for travelling and doing many gigs. It is cheap but I think it’s one of the better sounding amps in the price range so I wouldn’t worry about that. The Blues Jr is very loud and if you have sensitive neighbours you might find it too loud and hard to tame. The Cub has a 1w power scaling, which comes handy. I strongly recommend replacing the stock tubes on the Cub, with JJ Electronic tubes. It’ll be a huge upgrade. Further down the line you may also want to consider replacing the stock speaker. – Bjorn]

  249. Dimitris says:

    Hello! First, I ‘d like to wish a Happy New Year!
    Not having the opportunity to listen and try all those great pieces of gear side by side, makes me only imagine what each amp brand would sound like. Because only listening to mp3 or even better quality music isn’t enough to give us this experience.
    1. On another post you ‘ve told me that you can make a Lionheart sound -somewhat- like a Hiwatt. Any settings suggestions?
    2. I ‘ve never played any original vintage amp, but I ‘d think that the more mid-rangy tone of a Hiwatt compared to a Vox, or Fender can be heard clearly here, right? To me, his cleans sound nothing like clean and as if everything is about to explode! Nothing to do with the sound of Fender cleans, say Buddy Holly…
    3. On your article about The Endless River, you ‘ve said that David combined Hiwatts and Fenders. This was done for everything, or for example Fender-cleans and Hiwatt-distortions?
    4. Which would be your first choice of a low wattage Hiwatt-style amp? Apart from your Reeves50 of course!

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Dimitris.
    1. It’s certainly not a Hiwatt but try this: hi input, high mode, clean channel, bass 3:00, treble 3:00, mids 2:00, tone 2:00.
    2. Yep. The mids in the Hiwatt makes mids scooped pedals like fuzz and Muff really stand out.
    3. We don’t know. Impossible to say whether he used the amps for specific tones or always combined. I would at least guess that they’d mix them differently when they did the mixing of the album.
    4. Check out the Hiwatt Tube Series.
    – Bjorn]

  250. Kevin says:

    Hi Bjorn, first time writing a comment for me. I want to give a big “thank you” for this site. Awesome!

    Quick question though – I order the Laney amp (Laney Lionheart L5T-112) and it completely lived up to billing! My only issue is that it’s kind of heavy to transport around. A friend of mine brought one of his amps in to a store and had them install wheels onto his amp (not a Laney). Would you recommend this or do you think it’s a bad idea (or maybe have no strong opinion either way)? I don’t think I’ll move it around all that much but it would be nice to have wheels on this thing when I needed it. I don’t plan to sell it but I am wondering if you think it would negatively affect the resale value. Also, maybe you know of some alternate (and better) way to move amps? I know I could just buy a dolly but maybe you have a recommendation for that?

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Kevin. Thanks for your kind words! The resale value might be affected but then again, the Lionhearts are popular amps and it shouldn’t be too difficult to sell it. An option would be a custom flight case with wheels but that’s obviously a lot more expensive than just the wheels. – Bjorn]

  251. Debargho says:

    Hi Bjorn, hope your Christmas holidays are proving relaxing. I was thinking of replacing the 12″ HH driver in my CUB 12R. Can you suggest something which isn’t aggressive and doesn’t cost the bank? I know you’ve mentioned earlier that you use Webers and find Celestions to be aggressive.
    Is there any Celestion model you would consider for the CUB 12R combo amp?
    Would be great if you could suggest a few other options, if possible. Thanks!

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Debargho. I like the V30s but you might also want to check out the G12H, which has a bit more sparkle. I think both works really well with the amp but other than that I’m not sure. I don’t have much experience with other speakers for the Cub. – Bjorn]

  252. john says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    As neutral settings for the Laney Lionheart head (the ones to be favored for using “amp in a box” pedals), you suggested the clean channel with :

    treble / mid / bass at noon
    what about “clean volume” knob and “tone” knob please?


    [Very sorry for my late reply, John. The clean channel will break up when you past noon… how fast depends on how hot your pickups are. I keep the tone at 3:00 and rarely higher but I think noon is the flat EQ. – Bjorn]

  253. Tom from Chile says:

    Well, you named the Classic 30, and it seems that it has just arrived here in Chile. Looks lile a great option. How would you describe the clean tone? I would love to get WYWH tones but also, Abbey Road tones.. So, is it any similar to a Fender? Cheers

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Tom. The C30 has lots of headroom and a pretty fat low end that you probably need to tame a bit depending on the room. Hard to describe the tone as Peavey is Peavey but it’s a very versatile amp. More Fender than Hiwatt I guess. – Bjorn]

  254. Stratmeister says:

    I’m considering making my own bedroom amp to get what I want. Very generally, would you suggest an EL-84 power section for use with the Vick Rams Head? What 10-12″ speaker would you suggest I start my development with?

    I understand these are only opinions but that seems like a great place to start. Thanks!

    [Happy new year! Very sorry for my late reply. The Vick goes very well with EL84s… most power tubes actually. Don’t have that much experience with speakers but for a smaller amp I’d go with something tight and with a bit of high mid range for the presence. – Bjorn]

  255. Klaus says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Very good article. Even though I’ve been listening to Floyd and Gilmour for over 40 years, I just recently started trying to obtain his tones (or get somewhat close, anyway). I have numerous guitars, only one strat, but just bought a Custom shop Gilmour relic black strat. As far as amps go, I have two set ups, would love advice as to which one would be more suitable. One is a Hughes and Kettner tube head, (30 W) on a Marshall 4×12 cabinet with 4 celestions in it. The other amp is a 1973 Fender Twin, (100 W) just had it completely overhauled with all new tubes and all new resisters and caps. Both sound quite nice (to me) but yet very different. I am also in the market for pedals (would really like to put together a pedal board) and I am reading all your great reviews on those. Obviously, the Twin has way more power if I were to gig, but that is not the case right now, so this is basically for home use.
    Thanks much in advance,

    [Hi Klaus! So, you bought the Relic :) Congrats! I answered your previous comment about the Relic but I’m sure you’re very happy with the guitar :) Between the amps I guess I’d go with the Twin. It’s got a nice vintage character and it’ll provide a nice basis for a pedal board. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  256. Dutch Blomenkamp says:


    I need to borrow your ears for a moment (because I’m trying to educate mine). In a comment above, you gave some general settings for the Bugera V22. I assume that was with the mid-boost feature off?

    I realize it’s been a bit, but you compared the V22 to the Vox AC30, sound-wise. I’ve seen you characterize Fender amps as mid-scooped, Vox not having much midrange, and Hiwatts as “dark with lots of mids”. I find this confusing, because when I use the mid-boost on my Bugera, it’s anything but dark.

    You did a piece on EQ, but I’d find it very helpful if you could do a piece sometime on EQing, explainging, and maybe demonstrating, the relationship between terms like “dark”, “bright”, “mid-scooped”, and all those other terms, using a amp typical tone-stack and a typical EQ pedal as a frame of reference. Playing something, and saying “this is what I consider ‘dark’.

    I realize this, especially a demo video, would be a large undertaking, but it’s the kinds of thing I think myself and others would fine very helpful in educating our ears.

    [Describing a tone isn’t easy and we might have different perceptions of different terms or words used to describe the tone. The typical Fender amps and Vox, has very little mid range and are considered to be bright. Hiwatts, early Marshall and similar has more mid range but are considered darker sounding. These descriptions are based on what gear you use with the amps. Back in the old days, guitarists would plug their Strats into a Fender Twin and get the tones they needed. Other guitarists would plug a Les Paul into a Marshall or Hiwatt but needed a treble booster to get top end AND overdrive, as these amps had much more headroom, which is also considered as being darker. So, it’s not easy to describe and it is conducing at times. Thank you for the tip on the article, I’ll keep it in mind :) – Bjorn]

  257. Tom from Chile says:

    Thanks for the response! Im really considering the Cub 12r, but I think I need your help.. Well, I need an amp for bar gigs/bar gigging, and I’ve considered the Cub 12 as it’s fairly cheap, but my fear is that I run out of clean headroom with it. What would you use if you were starting with gigs (smaller ones)? I dont know if it would be better to get a high wattage amp (with “high” I mean like 30 watts) or trust a 15 watter like the cub
    Thanks for the help Bjorn! Cheers

    [Depends on the size of the club. The Cub is perhaps best used in a bedroom or studio although you can use it on smaller stages, mic it and use a front monitor to be able to hear you guitar. It doesn’t have that much headroom so you’re probably better off with a Peavey C30, H&K Tubemeister, Laney L20, Fender BJ or similar… All of these will provide enough volume and headroom and you can turn them down without losing tone. – Bjorn]

  258. Kan says:

    Hi Bjorn!!
    Thanks for the great site.
    You are great in making such site and playing guitar also.
    I’m glad to meet your site.

    I’ve been serching for DG tone also, especially his sharp picking
    tone like the begining part of “Castellorizon “ with some pedals
    BK Butler Tube Driver,top tone DG-2.

    Please tell me your opinion about the difference between Laney Cub 12r combo and
    LIONHEART L5T-112 in picking tone or response or harmonics.

    And If I get Laney Cub 12r combo,what do you think whether I have good picking tone and response by changing speaker to Celestion G12H driver used by LIONHEART L5T?

    Sorry for my english.
    From Japan.

    [The Lionheart is an overall better amp. Both sound wise and in quality. Personally I’d go with it but the Cub is also very nice and it will do in a bedroom setup. I’d definitely change the stock speakers for either G12H or V30s. The G12H has a bit more of that upper mid range, which suits the Cub very well. Keep in mind though that the Tube Driver is not the ideal pedal on smaller amps and low volume. It can sound a bit thin and it needs a bit of volume to really open up and get that smooth tone. You might want to look into the Wampler PlexiDrive for a more versatile pedal with a very similar tone. – Bjorn]

  259. Tom from Chile says:

    Hey my friend, is there any difference between the Gray Cub12 and the more Brown-ish one? Maybe the difference is just in the photos
    Thanks for the help, cheers

    [Same amp. They just change the colour of the grille cloth. – Bjorn]

  260. John says:

    Thank you for your help!

    And could you please answer the sale question for the laney Lionheart L20H;
    What would be a neutral setting on the Lionheart head fitted with the jj tubes?
    … in order to use an “amp in a box” pedal.

    I guess clean channel so:
    Input? Hi or Lo?
    Clean Vol. knob?
    Bass, treble, mid?
    Tone knob?


    [The EQs should be set to noon. For passive pickups I’d use the Hi input and the “normal” or down position on the bright switch. – Bjorn]

  261. john says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

    Thanks for the “neutral” settings above, on the Laney CUB.
    By “gain to about 2″, do you mean 2 o’clock?
    And I’ve uploaded the laney Cub manual.
    They say indeed that the bass / mids / treble should be set at noon for neutral setting.
    They recommend Tone at noon also.

    What do you recommend for volume setting? I can play loud if I want, and also use the 15W input if needed.


    [Sorry… The gain at 8:00. That’s mark 2. You can set the volume all the way up but you might hear a slight break up if you’re using hot pickups. – Bjorn]

  262. Bernie says:

    Happy xmas bjorn. I think I have finally made my mind up on which amp to upgrade to from my Laney cub. I couldnt get to try out a t20 hiwatt and after considering the Blues junior or the laney Lion heart lt20 i feel that The Laney may serve me better for future possible gigs and the versatility of its tone.. I need to get down to the shop to try one now but my question is would you recommend I go for the stack instead of the combo even though most of my playing is bedroom! What are the advantages of the stack over the combo if any and finally is it easy to set up a super clean bright punchy base for authentic gilmour tones and pedals as I understand the L20 is quite a dark amp, not bright and transparent like the hiwatts/ fenders D.Gilmour uses . Sorry for so many questions but your experience is of value as you have played through so many different amps and use the Laney yourself.

    [Hi Bernie! The Cub is very similar to a Hiwatt actually. Transparent and with a bit of mid range. The stack will give you a bit more headroom and with the 1w scaling you’d have no problem running it in your bedroom :) – Bjorn]

  263. Debra says:

    Hi Bjorn it’s me again!

    I took your advice and didn’t get the SL Drive or DS-1X, I actually decided to purchase a Vick Audio 73 Rams Head, such a sweet pedal! It is slightly darker than most Muffs but the Bd-2 that you suggested I get suits it perfectly by adding some brightness, a very good pair of pedals. I can’t thank you enough for your help, my guitar tone has never sounded this good! You’re inspiring me to become a better player. Now I want to upgrade from my crappy little solid state amp. I’m looking at the Hiwatt T20 Head or combo, the Laney Cub 12 Head and Cab or maybe spending a bit more and getting a Peavey Classic 30. Which do you recommend out of these? I play mostly in my bedroom and occasionally small gigs. I think the Laney’s 1w power scaling would be perfect for my bedroom but could it do small gigs on 15w? The Hiwatt sounds great too, the Peavey might be a bit loud but if you think it’s better than the other two I’d be happy to get it if I can find it at a decent price. Thank you Bjorn, I will be buying your solo album soon!

    [Sorry for my late reply. Glad to hear that you’re happy with your tone! The Cub is a great sounding amp but I don’t think I’d gig with it. It’s not loud enough and I’m not sure I’d trust the quality of it. The C30 is a very nice amp for all purposes and it sounds pretty good on low volume too. Same goes for the Hiwatt T20. You might want to check out the Laney Lionheart series as well. Tehy’re a bit more expensive but definitely worth it. – Bjorn]

  264. john says:

    Hi bjorn. Thank you for this advice. But what woul be this neutral setting on the laney cub head fitted with the jj tubes? All knobs bass mid treble on 12 o clock, even tone knob? and gain on zero?

    Is the tone knob basically a presence knob?


    [Treble, bass and mids at noon. Depending on how hot your pickups are you can set the gain to about 2 without the amp cranking. As for the tone, I’m not really sure. I need to look into that as this control works differently on different amps. I would assume that it boosts around 5-7K but I’m not sure where flat is. Usually though, setting it at noon gives you a fairly uncoloured tone. – Bjorn]

  265. John says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Is it possible to set the laney Cub head to sound like a Vox AC-30 without having to buy a dedicated “amp in a box”pedal like Carl martin AC – Tone?

    If YES, what would be your settings of Lany Cub please? (I guess Vox are really mid scoop so mids on zero?)

    If NO, what would be the best settings of Laney Cub, in order to put an “Amp in a box ” pedal in front of it?

    Thank you for helping.



    [Not really. The Cub is more like a Hiwatt or early Marshall, which is very different from a Vox. I guess if you lowered both the mids and presence/tone you’d get something similar. You can use typical amp in a box pedals as any other gain pedal. After all, it’s basically just an overdrive or distortion voiced for a specific tone and not actually an amp in a box. To get the most of the pedal though I’d set the amp as clean as possible and the EQ/tone controls neutral so you get the least amount of colouring from the amp. – Bjorn]

  266. Tom from Chile says:

    Hey Keith ! Thanks for the advice, I’ll check them right now
    Shine on, my friends

  267. Marcelo says:

    Hi Bjorn! Between Laney LH-50, Peavey C30, Bugera V55 and Fender Hot Rod Deluxe which one you would choose considering:
    – DG tone in mind;
    – Using with several effects;
    – Also playing inside bedroom;
    Which one of them has the best stock speaker?
    Thank you!
    Best Regards from Brazil

    [All of these are very loud so it depends on how forgiving your neighbours are :) The Lionheart is no doubt the best sounding amp in my opinion. It’s got the classic tone, it’s very versatile and it sounds great on lower volume. You might want to consider the 20w though :) – Bjorn]

  268. Dlopes14 says:

    Hello bjorn!!!
    Have you got any idea on what were the settings on David Gilmour’s Bassman!? I’ve been obsessed with his tone from the Division Bell/1993 Endless River sessions…

    Cheers ;)

    [Never seen any pictures of it and I don’t own a Bassman myself so I can’t really comment on it. It’s set very clean and I also assume that he’s lowered the treble a bit and perhaps increased the mids but I’m not sure about the specifics. – Bjorn]

  269. KEITH says:

    I don’t know your budget Tom, but Avatar makes great cabinets, and a 1X12 should be very inexpensive. I paid about $200 for my 2×12 vintage Bluesbreaker style cab, and it’s made of the best materials for cabinet building. Check out Avatar Cabinets on the web, they make several models to suit your taste, and cabinet construction is important for tone. 3/4 Baltic Birch, used right, will sound far better than MDF, or cheap, construction grade plywood!!!
    Good luck, Keith

  270. Ste says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    great review, thanks! I’m looking for a small Tube Amp for Home practice which has a nice Fender Clean Tone and adding a tubescreamer sometimes for more distortion. I’ve seen many reviews about the Laney Cub 12r and it looks like a fantastic amp with a lot of cool features for the money, but will it bring a nice fender clean tone? I heard many sound examples of the Blues Junior and it sounds fantastic to me, just wondering if i get the same tone out of the Cub? (Maybe with changing the speaker or tubes?)


    [The Blues Jr has a classic Fender tone, with a bright transparent top. The Cub is darker with more mid range. Kind of a Hiwatt meets early Marshall. Two very different amps but they’re both very versatile and they sound great. – Bjorn]

  271. Tom from Chile says:

    Mmm I thought they weren’t that great at all. What do you think about them? Worth it?

    [The Cub cab? The stock speakers sounds pretty dull but the cabinet it self is OK. – Bjorn]

  272. Tom from Chile says:

    Hey Bjorn, any recomendation on a cheap cabinet? I intend to buy a cheap one (a Vox 112) and switch the speaker for a Eminence (I don’t remember the model, but it was inspired in Fane’s) I would use it with a Cub12 head
    Thanks for the help, my friend and cheers!

    [Why not go with the Cub cab? Material and construction matters a great deal but if you’re on a tight budget I would say that you could go for almost anything and just replace the speakers. – Bjorn]

  273. Kris says:


    Love the HK Tubemeister 18, awesome sound and built in attenuator makes it a no brainer for bedroom levels. I wanted to ask you if you experience a low hum/buzz on the lead channel with nothing plugged into the amp. I’m using quality components all evidence audio cables including a siren speaker cable from head to cab. The hum increases as I turn the master volume up on the lead channel with or without my guitar plugged in. On the other hand, the clean channel has no hum/buzz both with or without my guitar plugged in and cranked. I’ve checked both sets of tubes and they are fine. Trying to determne if the amp is defective or not. Anything you can think of? Thanks!

    [Still using the stock tubes? Change them. They are terribly noisy. I’m using JJ tubes and the amp is dead quiet and sounds awesome :) – Bjorn]

  274. Matthew says:

    Hey there!
    I’m currently debating on whether to buy a BlackStar HT Club 40 or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, would you say that both of them are good for Gilmour tones? In the end, I’m going to ultimately choose what I prefer personally, but I’ll be much more confident knowing that I can have a good Gilmour tone from the amp as well :)

    [Personally I’d go with the Fender. The Blackstar is a nice amp but it’s got a modern tone and can come off as a bit too aggressive for some pedals and tones. – Bjorn]

  275. Josh says:

    I have an AC15C2 and I love it, but it breaks up at low volumes on either channel – if you are looking for cleans at anything but bedroom levels, definitely look elsewhere. I’m considering getting an AC30 of some ilk or a Fender Bassman 59 reissue at some point. That said, the AC15C2 cranked with a Lunar Module is pure heaven.

  276. Bernie says:

    Thanks for the quick reply Bjorn. I have since been looking at your comments on the Reeves Amps and I am very impressed with them. I wonder, given that they are obviously more expensive than the Hiwatt T20, Laney etc, would the Reeves Custom 18 combo or even the Custom 50 head you have be a better upgrade for me. I don’t want to have to buy again if I do the occasional gig though most of my playing is at bedroom level. would the Power scaling on the Reeves give me the best of both worlds or do you think the Hiwatt T20 would give me the tones and do the job adequately? Help Please!

    [The Custom 20 is based on the early Marshall models so it’s not really a Hiwatt clone. You can get some very nice Gilmour tones with it but its much more suited for classic rock and you might have a problem getting the tones you want from your typical Gilmour pedals. The Custom 50 is probably as close as you’ll ever get to the original Hiwatts but it’s loud and too loud for a bedroom or even a home… unless you live totally undisturbed. The power scaling only works if you intend you crank the amp for gain. That way you can lower the master and still get a nice tube distortion. If you play all clean the power scaling would be redundant. I’d get the T20 or something similar. – Bjorn]

  277. Bernie says:

    I am thinking of upgrading from my Laney cub 12R amp which I like. I love the Gilmour tones so I am considering either the Laney LT20 combo or the Hiwatt t20 Combo. I want a bed room Amp that will be ok to play with friends in a possible small club setting. Logic tells me that as Gilmour played predominantly through Hiwatts that the T20 may be the best choice But I hear good things about the Laney! I would appreciate your opinions on these two amps given my playing situation – mainly at home and my wanting the Gilmour tones. Thanks for your time.

    [The T20 is definitely closer to the Cub. It’s got that classic Hiwatt character. The Lionheart is perhaps closer to an early Marshall but fully capable of producing great Gilmour tones. – Bjorn]

  278. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Any thoughts on putting a Fane AXA12 speaker in a Marshall amp? Have heard they are good speakers for pointing you in the right direction of Gilmour’s tone.


    [I’ve no idea. They’re fairly bright and they’ve got a lot of headroom. Marshalls tend to sound better with darker sounding speakers but I guess it can work nicely with JTM or JCMs. I have experience with the newer Marshall amps. – Bjorn]

  279. David says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Just heard your solo album at my mate’s house, amazing stuff! Truly an inspiration, I’m sure Mr. Gilmour would be proud!

    I have a stock Marshall DSL40C and am looking to replace the Celestion Seventy 80 speaker. Do you know any speakers that can get in the ballpark of Gilmour’s tone by themselves in a Marshall?

    Thanks in advance!

    [Thanks for your kind words, David! I don’t have that much experience with experimenting with different Gilmour speakers in a Marshall but the V30s is a safe option. They’re darker than the Fane’s David’s using but they compliment the Marshall amps perfectly, with a balanced low end and a smooth upper mids. Check out the G12H as well. They’re very similar to the V30s, with a bit more high end. – Bjorn]

  280. Bernardo says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Before I start to bother you with my question I just want say it’s a pleasure to read you site and your reviews on gear! Ok now the question…
    I’ve a Bugera V55 at home and that have been my main amp for a couple of years and for me is a great value as a tube amp, although when I’m playing in rigs I usually get more comfortable with Fender amps if they’re available locally… My main problem here is not picking the right guitar or setup my pedalboard to go to rigs, it’s basically the amp that I’m playing with. I’m thinking to purchase a new amp that is lighter than that V55 combo and after doing deep research I came with very easy amp to do modifications – the VHT special 6 ultra (you only need to change the tubes). For the price, I think you can’t match any brand with an handwired tube amp built on. Do you think is an OK amp for gigs? Should I purchase only the head version and use local stage cabinets? I’m asking this because I definitely need something lighter to travel with me because it’s a problem if they only have different amps available to play.

    Thank you very much in advance and one more thing. If you have time try to make a review of 1776 multiplex pedal, I have one in my pedalboard and those two analog delay heads just slash solos like no other thing, specially when I’m in Binson mode I feel Gilmour’s ambience very natural and not so digital as those tc electronic pedals.

    Best regards from Portugal

    [Hi Bernardo! I don’t have that much experience with the VHT so I can’t really tell. Based on the reviews I’ve seen they seem OK and should fit your Gilmour tones very well. Personally I’d go with either a combo or stack. You never know what you get when you’re borrowing things. Could be a complete mis match tone wise but it could also be a cab that’s been blown to pieces. I rarely travel with my own amps due to shipping costs but I always make sure I get exactly what I want. – Bjorn]

  281. Gil says:

    Hey there Bjorn. Some really great information here, thanks for all of it :) I want to get a practical combo that can go in the bedroom but also on stage (with the help of a PA if needed). I am really stuck between the Fender Blues Jr. and the Laney Cub 12r. I know the Cub has an FX loop and is cheaper… How would you pick between them?

    I run a Standard Strat with 69s through a Keeley BD-2 and a new Bass Muff. I used to have an AC15 but that’s gone now.

    Thanks in advance


    [They’re two different amps sonically but they’ll both give you a great basis for pedals and they’ll let you cover most music genres. The Fender is no doubt a sturdier amp so I’d go with that one if you plan on gigging. – Bjorn]

  282. Eric says:

    Thanks for the input. The lt5 arrived last week. Have to say the tone blows me away. the gilmour sound too Hendrix and srv. quite a nice amp and value. Even though it was 700.00 us.
    im glad i bought it. Great for bedroom and home. Can get quite loud. the overdrive channel with my EVH Guitar covers rock tones well! Lots of room to dial in the amount of gain. The clean channel is so pristine and precise with picking up the sounds and nuances used with the finger pressure on the fretboard depending how hard or soft you press the strings. The amp really is awesome. Not a bad thing to say about this amplifier. Covers the marshall / Vox tones and good close to fender cleans. I Have played the Fender princeton reverb. The options of this amp are way better than the options on the Princeton. I dont miss not having the fender reverb or tremelo effetcts of the fender amps. I like the options that this amp covers at low watts and suits my needs well. I have not used pedals yet. The amplifiers overdrive just is smooth and covers a lot of ground from blues to classic rock and some metal.
    Thanks for your input!
    Much Appreciated!!

    [Glad to hear, Eric! – Bjorn]

  283. David says:

    Hey Bjorn fantastic article!

    I wondering if you have any experience with the Hiwatt G200R? Someone located nearby me is selling it and a cab for only $550! Is it similar to a T20 head?


    [These are solid state two channel amps. You can get some nice classic Hiwatt tones with it but personally I think they sound a bit dull and flat. The T-series are in my opinion a better choice. They’ve got tubes and a very nice classic Hiwatt character. – Bjorn]

  284. Angus says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m not sure how experienced you are with different speakers but I have a Marshall DSL40C amp (I know it’s not really the best amp for a gilmourish tone) and I want to change the stock Celestion Seventy 80 speaker as it’s very harsh, especially on the high end when I crank my amp, the low end is quite muddy also. So I wondering if there are any speakers you would recommend that could get me closest to that clear, smooth Gilmour sound with my Marshall? Should I stick with Celestion and maybe get a Creamback or GT-75, or look for other brands of speakers?

    Thanks for all your effort in helping us get a Gilmourish tone!

    [I don’t think the GT75s are that different from the Seventy 80s. Perhaps a tad smoother but they’re both pretty boosted in that upper mid range. If you’re worried about hi-end, then the Vintage 30s might be a good choice. They have a fairly moderate low end and a slightly rounded off upper mid range. – Bjorn]

  285. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, I finally got a L5T for my bedroom setup, the amp is really awesome and loud! It has tons of tones in it! I have to restart finding the sweet spots for my rig now, any advice? The amp has a little drawback, the leather of the handle tends to crumble and the weight is high, probably due to the big magnet of the speaker and the spring reverb inside the cabinet. But this is not an issue, perhaps is the price of the cabinet’s quality. Nice amp indeed!

    Thanks for your good job on the web for spreading your knowledge and experience. I’m waiting the signed copy of your debut solo album and I think that’s exciting to see an artist, directly supported, growing up everyday getting better and better!


    [Thanks for your support, Luca! I think it’s wise to start from scratch with the new amp. Plug your guitar straight into it and familiarise with its different tones and qualities. Experiment with the settings and try to find the best match for your guitar. Keep in mind that pedals are the frosting on the cake :) Your guitar and amp should be the fundament of your tone. – Bjorn]

  286. Simon says:

    Thank you Bjorn, your message is clear and you confirmed my doubts. I take advantage of your patience and I go to the next question: I’d like to change my blues deville anyway, to get something more similar to david’s amps, probably there is something better I can choose (and cheaper, maybe): what would you suggest for live performances with a 1000-1500 euros budget?

    Thanks again!


    [Well, I’m a huge fan of the Laney Lionheart L20. It’s kind of a mix between a Vox AC30 and Marshall JTM45 but great for Gimour’s tones as well and it handles all kinds of pedals. The H&K Tubemeister amps are also great, with power scaling and the size fits in everywhere :) – Bjorn]

    • Simon says:

      Thanks a lot for your help, Bjorn! I read something about these two amps, and I’m now considering the H&K Tubemeister (if I’m not wrong, it’s the amp you used in almost all of your last videos, and it sounds great!). I noticed you always say that it’s a good “modern sounding” amp, but you suggest to use the “gain channel” to have a better sound from the pedals: so, do you use the “lead channel” with the gain control set to zero? What about the clean sound of your guitar? Maybe there’s a video from gilmourish in which I can understand all these details, in this case I apologize for all these questions ;)

      • Bjorn says:

        Hi Simon! Yes, I’m using the H&K on the last clips. It’s indeed a modern sounding amp. The clean channel is great but it doesn’t handle gain pedals that well. They sound very fizzy. The gain channel however, has a different voicing. A tad more vintage although with a modern twist. It has a lot of headroom so even with the gain at 9-10 o’clock, you can get a nice clean tone and basis for all your pedals.

  287. PeterJ says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I am 46 years old and started to “play” the guitar some 4 years ago. I attempt to play only at home not to annoy others (not because of volume). Thank you very much for this page. Only wanted to share my amateurish experience. Amplifier-wise I ended up with two heads. Hi-Tone 30, which is a very nice piece (excellent experience with customer service, namely Clayton Callaway). Recently I came across by accident with MPF Room One (head with 1 watt of power, two class A 6AK6 General Electric JAN USA pentodes in push-pull at the power amplifier and two 12AT7 JJ at the preamp). I ordered it directly from Mario Punsola (Barcelona, Spain). Mario was sending me pictures as he was building it. Also excellent service. Both these “beasts” are real professional hand-wired built and sound great to my ears.
    Peter (Slovakia)

    [Thanks for sharing, Peter! – Bjorn]

  288. Vlad says:

    Thank you Bjorn, you’re the best.

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  289. Kris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great job on the site, tons of great information for those of us who enjoy all things Floyd! Recently I got the HK Tubemeister 18 as I wasn’t sure if you could provide me with the settings you typically use with your pedals for David’s tone. Thanks!

    [Thanks Kris! Great amp! I’m using the gain channel as the clean doesn’t go well with pedals. I usually set the treble at 11:00, mids full, bass at 10:00, gain 8:00 and the master full. Mine is set for the 5w scaling. – Bjorn]

  290. Eric says:

    Im wanting to pick up a nice little amp for just playing at home. But I want to get a good one. I was looking at the Lionheart lt5 or a fender Princeton Reverb. I dont gig. Its just my hobby. I like Floyd, hendrix, srv, and classic rock stuff. I know a pedal can get the distortion on the Fender.
    The question is bout the reliability of the LT5 not too many places local that work on them if needed. Im looking to get more natural distortion at a low watt amp. I bought a vht special 6 U while back. I love the little amp and can get many tones from the boss me80 I use with it. I guess you could say im looking to compliment my small arsenal with a nice great sounding clean too dirty amplifier. Ive been watching videos, the last year on the LT5. Thing is I also like the fender clean sound. Will the Lt5 give me those nice cleans too….any input is great. If you have another option fill me in….Thanks! Eric

    [The Fender will no doubt give you a great clean tone but they tend to sound a bit bright and thin on low volume, due to the lack of mid range. The Lionheart has a nice amount of mid range and an overall warmer tone. It’s got plenty of headroom and a vintage Marshall kind of distortion. Personally I’d go for the Lionheart. – Bjorn]

  291. sam says:

    I find the Blues Junior sounds best for gilmourish tones when you roll back the treble and gain and turn it up.

    I usually use my BJ for non-gilmour tones but it can do it if you set the EQ right.

  292. George says:

    Hi Bjorn what do you think of Orange amps? I recently brought a Laney Cub Head but i would like to know what you think of them, I tried one out but i couldnt test it with really any demanding pedals.

    [I don’t really have that much experience with them. My impression is that they’re a bit too dark and aggressive sounding – even the cleans – but I don’t really have enough experience to give a good comment. – Bjorn]

  293. Simon says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I’m here again to receive your advice about a “new” hiwatt amp.
    I’m talking about the Hiwatt Signature Series Little D Rig: I don’t know if it’s a new combination of products or I was not well informed, but I’m really curious to know if you had the chance to try it.
    I would replace my fender blues deville, but I’m wondering if this 20w hiwatt head could be enough in live situations (I always use microphones in front of my amps and my blues deville is always set at 3, probably “power” is not so relevant).
    What do you think about it?

    Thanks a lot for your help!


    [Hi Simon! I haven’t tried the Little D, so I can’t comment in detail. Based on the specs and reviews I’ve seen, it seems like a nice amp that should give you a great basis for your pedals and Gilmour tones. I did comment on this particular model when it was launched last year and as you may be aware of, regardless of what Hiwatt may claim, this amp has nothing to do with David Gilmour. It’s a nice amp but marketed with the intention of making fans believe that it’s an endorsed signature or “based on” model, which it’s not. Mind too that the WEM cab has nothing in common with the original WEM cabs employed by Pink Floyd. – Bjorn]

    • Gabor Illy says:

      I have the Little D from Hiwatt. Generally it is great, but! The company does not answer my mails, they delivered it with 8 weeks later, without any written document, assemled with the cheepst ugliest pots ever.. Sounds are nice, with huge headroom in 20w, but 0,5w is too loud too.. And in 0,5 w I have no chimey cleans losing a lot from the headroom. I use it with a Fane Axa12 loaded 1×12 Marshall cab, I did not gulp down the WEM cabinet marketing bla bla. Now I will change the pots, enjoying the amp, and try to forget the Hiwatt as an existing firm..

  294. Max says:

    Hey Bjørn!

    First, thanks for your work!it’s awesome!

    I’ve a question you had maybe already answered before and I didn’t notice it, but which channel recommand you to use on a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe in order to obtain the David’s clear sound and to use all of the pedals?

    Thank you so much In advance!


    [Hi Max! I’d use the normal or clean channel for the most headroom. You may also want to experiment with channel 2, drive, if you find channel 1 too bright. Still, by lowering the treble and increasing the mids, you should be able to get some really nice clean tones with channel 1. Input 1 is for passive single coils, while input 2 is for hot humbuckers and active pickups. – Bjorn]

  295. Vlad says:

    Thank you Bjorn for answering my question !!! I did check out the Tubemestier ,but I don’t know it seems to me that the Lionheart is a bit better as an all-rounder…and eventhough I like to play the old Floyd, I don’t really want to be constrained by that . So after a bit of taught I’ve decided to stick with a more versatile amp that can handle some pedals also.Would you agree that the L5 would do the job ? Thanks again Bjorn!!!!

    [Definitely! – Bjorn]

  296. Jim says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Just have a question, what do you think of the Hiwatt custom 20 ? I’ll be able to get my hands on a new one for 1500$.

    Thanks again for all your hard work !:)

    [It’s basically the same amp as the 50 and 100, although somewhat stripped down with a few less features. It’s got the classic tone and loads of headroom. – Bjorn]

  297. Vlad says:

    Hi Bjorn !!

    I have a question….Is the Laney LIONHEART – L20T-112 any good for my bedroom? Pink Floyd is my fav band and David’s guitar is out of this world…so I tend to replicate his sound from time to time. At the moment I am looking for the best amp that could capture a bit of his magic. I have a budget of about 1160 $ and should I buy the 20 W Lionheart combo considering my fucking neighbours who can’t stand anything loud or should I get the 5 W one on the basis of your good review? I’m looking for the best balance between not pissing off my neighbours and the right amp with the right amount of headroom that could handle my pedals without fucking up the sound too much ( Fx loop considered). Laney really caught my eye…the downside is that I live in Romania and the music shops around here don’t have these amps…so testing is out of the question. Also if you have better alternatives within this price range please let me know. Bearing all of this in mind I would be very greatful if you can help me in making the right choice !!! Thankyou very much Bjorn!!! btw I love your stuff and sorry for stealing your time !!!

    [Hi Vlad! The L20 is loud and although it sound pretty good on low volume I fear it’s too loud for your neighbours. The L5 would be a better choice I think. You might also want to check out the H&K Tubemesiter 18. The clean channel is awful but the gain channel has enough headroom to handle all kinds of pedals. It’s also got power scaling down to 1w. – Bjorn]

  298. Bryan says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Question for you. I’m still having trouble with my Lionheart L5T 5W with good tone and I noticed a real drop off in tone so I think it’s time to try new tubes for it. I bought it used off Ebay so I do not know how many hours are on it.

    The Lionheart L5T uses three 12ax7 and one EL84. Can you recommend a brand of appropriate tubes to get closer to that Gilmour tone?

    The Lionheart currently has a very sharp drop off in high end tone and sounds very boomy on all but the lowest settings so I think it may need new tubes. Hope you can help!

    [Could be the tubes but it’s always hard to tell when I haven’t heard the amp. Changing tubes might solve your problem but don’t expect the amp to change completely. It’s more of a subtle change. I’m using JJ Electronic tubes. They have a nice warm and punchy tone. – Bjorn]

  299. Manuel says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    last month I wrote you asking your opinion about Dizzy 30, a Matchless Clone from Ceriatone. You were right, it definitely does the (gilmourish) job! Amazing amp and it takes pedals perfectly…So thanks for your help!

    [Glad to hear! – Bjorn]

  300. KEITH says:

    @T.Quay, if the Laney cub is Cathode biased, simply plug in a set of matched output tubes, let the amp warm up for about 5 minutes, and enjoy the wonderful difference those JJs will make. However, make sure the amp is CATHODE BIASED, your instruction, or users manual should tell you, or simply Google the question, is the amp cathode biased. If it is manually biased, you can’t plug, and play with output tubes, but with the preamp tubes, change at will, no adjustment is necessary!
    Hope that helps.
    Peace, Keith

  301. KEITH says:

    Getting that Gassy feeling after reading how crappy the RI “Mullards” are designed. Even without a great deal of technical knowledge, anyone can see the tubes are completely different. Why don’t they just call the RIs, Mike Mattews Markateers? LOL


  302. Stephen says:

    @ Keith my brother from another mother,

    “yes” :p It has definitely improved the amp not only sonically but the way to interacts with my playing. These tubes are really great. Is it worth the extra money?? That is a question we all must ask. A great amp like a Reeves is already a great amp, does it need to be better? Well, you already care enough to buy a great amp, so for me the answer was yes.


  303. JAIME FROM CHILE says:

    Hi Bjorn:

    I have a boutique Tweed Deluxe (5E3) amp, the same David in Concert used in Live at Robert Wyatt’s Meltdown.
    I watched the video a hundred times, I search the net on several ocations, but nothing.

    The amplifier is as simple as you can get, but it’s really not.
    Mine has Mercury magnetics FatStack transformers and the 12AY7 on the V1, i think i have the double of clean headroom, but you know that only mean a break in 3,5-4/12.
    So like this amp pots interact all with each others, maybe i’m missing something…

    All in all we know David used this beast

    So if you or other follower may suggest any setting for our gilmour tone, i’ll be very thanks

    PS- Of course i know this is not the best amp for gilmour tones, but i want to know how he used


    [I haven’t tried this amp myself but you don’t really have much to go on other than trying to find the best setting for the tone. You can also try to link the inputs. Place a short cable in the lower bright and upper normal and plug your guitar into the upper bright. Adjust the two volume controls but leave the normal volume higher than the bright. Now, you may find this to sound very bright but try it and see how it goes with your guitar and pedals. – Bjorn]

  304. KEITH says:

    Oh Stephen, my brother from another mother! Sunce you bought thise Nos Mullards, and the Svetlana Winged C’s, you have become a total tube junkie. Are they really making THAT much difference over JJs, or my Mullard RIs? I haven’t read the articles yet, because I know the new mullards are Mullards in name only, but am going to read them now, so I can see the actual difference. Give me a holler!

    Your pal, Grampa Ebb!

  305. T.Quay says:

    He’ll. when you upgraded your Laney Cub 12r to jj tubes did you have to change the bias setting? Any change needed when you upgraded your speakers too?

    [I don’t remember but I don’t think I adjusted it. – Bjorn]

  306. Stephen says:

    Here is another Effectrode just posted about the history of the Mullard Blackburn factory. Its an interesting read for those tube junkies among us.


  307. Stephen says:

    Hey Bjorn and friends, Perhaps you caught this article that Effectrode just shared.
    Two really great articles on the differences between a Blackburn era Mullard made in England and the modern Mullard made in Russia.


    [Thanks for the links! – Bjorn]

  308. Mathias says:

    Waou!! The Lullabies in a Car Crash album preview sounds amazing Bjørn..
    -Definitely gonna buy that one and congratulations with albumrelease.

    I’m thinking about upgrading to a high-end guitar combo and I feld in love with the Fender 57′ Deluxe (Thoug it’s quit expensive). Do you have any evaluation on that one and would you list 3 examples on good amps (in your Gilmourish opinion) in the middle/high-end class?

    [Thanks for your support, Mathias! The Deluxe is a great amp. Very versatile, with a classic Fender tone. Personally, I’m very fond of the Bassman and I do also want to recommend the Laney Lionheart L20. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  309. Toni says:

    Although it’s fairly hard to get at least in Germany, I’d recommend the Traynor Iron Horse. Pretty simple one-channel amp which works well together with all my pedals and can be used in a 15 or 40w setup. Furthermore, it’s rock solid and very small, which makes it easy to transport…

  310. Cameron says:

    Just recently bought a Fender Vibrolux Reverb amp and it’s got an amazing tone to it!!!!! Sounds even better when you run a pedal board through it with a 3 single coil strat. You can get anywhere from Hendrix to Yngwie Malmsteen on it!!

  311. KEITH says:

    I must throw my Ibanez TS 15 H head, and 1×12 Matching white Tolex cab in the amp section for those searching for a great, low wattage, high headroom tube amp. Very Gilmourish tones when not using the built in Tube Screamer, only slight break up at full volume. On 15 watt setting, you won’t get to full volume. It’s the loudest 15 watts I’ve heard. If you can handle yourself with a music shop salesperson, you can pick a new one up for just over $500.00, and just pop in a set of JJ’S, and you’ll be in heaven. It also has a 5 watt setting, and engage the TS circuit, and aaB’d against a 50 watt plexi head, both through a Marshall 4×12 loaded with Greenbacks, the only difference we heard was a bit higher volume from the plexi, but not as much as we expected. It’s a great little amp, for home, or small room jams, just stay away from the 30 watt models, they suck, and are cheaply made. ,the 15 H, is bulletproof, and sounds great. I believe Bjorn played through one with stock tubes, which makes more difference in this amp than any I’ve seen. Perhaps that’s due to the JJ’s being twice the size of the no name Chinese tubes that are stock. The difference is night, and day, and no biasing is needed because it’s cathode biased. I’ll remind you all again in a year, haha!
    Check it out, a quick listen can’t hurt!!!!

    Peace, Keith

  312. rick Serna says:

    I read most of the blog for small combo amps. At 61yrs old I submit the following.
    I’m tired of lifting heavy amps just to gig downtown in blues jams (I live in Bangkok).
    I bought an H&K Tubemeister 18 combo. Great size at 20 lbs. Celestion was a bit mushy with early break up. I did two things to make it a gorilla in a bread box. I changed the speaker to a Weber Neodymium D110. It added about a pound to the total weight. I changed the tubes from Chinese to JJ Tubes. I use JJ for every one of my amps. They are consistent and provide good signal to noise.

    The Weber Neo gave me about 1/3 more headroom and noticeable volume increase before break up.
    I ordered the speaker with a paper dome. The metal one would have been over brilliant and brittle.
    The bottom end thunders for a 10 inch. This amp keeps up with the big boy combos very well now.

    [Thanks for sharing, Rick! I recently got a Tubemeister 18 my self and like you, swapped the tubes for JJs. Awesome sounding amp :) – Bjorn]

  313. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Would the Effectrode Blackbird preamp and lionheart l20 poweramp combo produce some nice gilmourish tones? Have you tried the Blackbird yet?

    [Haven’t tried it so I can’t really comment on it. Send Phil over at Effectrode an e-mail and ask. He’s very helpful. – Bjorn]

  314. Sammucaster says:

    Hey Bjorn, great article as always. have you ever tried Brunetti amps? top notch quality amps IMHO

    [Heard good things but never tried them. – Bjorn]

  315. Ali says:

    Hi Bjorn…hope you’re well
    Do you have any idea about VOX night train 50?

    [Never tried it. – Bjorn]

  316. stephan says:

    Thanks for the advice about Laney Lionheart!

    Please, could you confirm that you replaced the Valves into the Lionheart L-20 with JJ electronics:
    – JJ ECC83 S X3 for preamp
    – JJ EL 84 -6BQ5 X4 for power

    Thnaks again .


    [Yepp, that’s it :) – Bjorn]

  317. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, thanks for your answer and for the new bedroom guide, very useful tips!
    In the previous comment you didn’t mention the Blues Junior, it isn’t a good alternative to the cub for bedroom? And, last question, I see on your fb page you recently swapped the cub with a Tubemeister18, that seems really useful for bedroom and record. What’s your first impression, do you reccomend it?

    Thanks, and keep the good work!


    [The Blues Jr is a great sounding amp. A bit too loud for a typical bedroom perhaps but it depends on how loud you’re able to play. The Tube keister is a really nice amp. Very tight and transparent tone. The clean channel is awesome but doesn’t handle pedals that well so I’m using the gain channel. No worries though. The amp has TONS of headroom. One of the better buys I’ve done in a while :) And its TINY! – Bjorn]

  318. Stephan says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I have a problem with my drummer wich plays hard like a mammoth would.
    I’m back from rehearsals and I’ve decided to uprgarde from my laney Cub head to the next level.
    Of course I’ve seen the many comments about Lionheart and the L20Head that I’m looking at actually… There’s a used one at a local store I’m about to buy…

    Just would like to be sure that I could get the same tones than with Laney Cub head: Gilmour type Hiwatt tones, which stay clean at loud volumes, fitted with Jj Valves like you did, and trough my 2X12″cab fitted with the Reeves Purple Vintage Fane Clones.

    So i’d like to be sure how the Lionheart head works with your Waber thames? (because you’ve written that you use it with celestion V30…)

    Then, if I understand well, i’ll also be able to get Marshall JTM type of tones from the amp. Is it with the drive channel or the clean pushed very hard? Would anyway the amp, once set clean, do a great job as a clean base for Wampler Plextortion or Marshall Guvnor? I mean turning the beast into a JCM 800 with those pedals…
    I’m aware that such expectations would require to plug the head into Celestions speakers…

    And Please, could you confirm that you replaced all the Valves into the Lionheart with:
    – ECC83 S X3 for preamp
    – EL 84 -6BQ5 X4 for power

    I hope this is not too much questions!!!

    have a good night!


    [Hi Stephan! First of all, tell your drummer to calm down. The guitar needs to be heard :) The Lionheart is not identical to the Cub. Not at all. The Cub is somewhat similar to the Hiwatts, with a fairly dark tone. The Lionheart is brighter, although it can be set very dark, and it has a more vintage Marshall/Vox kind of tone. The clean channel is a very nice basis for all kinds of pedals although you might find that Muffs and fuzz sound better on the drive channel with the gain turned almost all the way down. You should also experiment with the normal/bright switch to see which you prefer. The V30s sound more balanced and has a bit more mid range compared to the G12M’s that came with the amp. It works OK with the Webers too but personally I prefer the V30s for this one. – Bjorn]

  319. Adi Corrales says:

    Thanks Stephen, it seems to be what I’m locking for. I’ll check the kemper.

  320. Patrick says:

    I got to say, I bought a Fender 65′ DRRI head and I am blown away. Channel one handles my Gilmour pedals beautifully. Channel 2 doesn’t handle pedals well, but there is a bright cap clip mod that can be done. I also own a Laney Cub 12r, which to be honest I really don’t care for it, always sounds blanketed. As for the DRRI I usually compensate for the brightness through my tone knobs on my pedals. I am kind of entertaining the idea of buying a Blackstar HT20, have you played one Bjorn? I seem to prefer amps that are somewhat brighter.

    [Yes, the DRRI is a very nice amp :) Very different from the Cub and Hiwatts though. My impression of the Blackstar is that it’s a fairly aggressive amp. It has a fair amount of headroom but little mid range, giving the amp and more rock and metal character. Still, you should be able to get some really nice Gilmourish tone out of it. – Bjorn]

  321. Stephen Ford says:

    @ Adi,
    I have not tried that system but the Kemper Profiling amp may be of interest to you. Direct into board, no speakers needed and it can model your exact amp if you prefer that tone over all the other options. It is truly a break through in technology…


  322. T.Quay Williams says:


    As is mentioned elsewhere a great mod for an amp is the Evidence Audio Siren cab speaker wire upgrade. Sam Davidsaver at E.A.R.S. Pro Audio (link on homepage) did me an amazing favor replacing the cab wiring for my Laney Cub 12r 2 x 12 cabinet. Bjorn is right, it is like having a wet blanket removed from covering your amp. I also replaced the cable between the head and cab. Such easily overlooked upgrades are well worth it and Sam is a great source for all things Evidence Audio.


    [Sam is a great guy, indeed! – Bjorn]

  323. Cem says:

    Hi again
    And also, would the Weber Thames in a Lionheart produce some nice tones? Which one would suit the Lionheart better- the V30 or the Weber Thames?
    Thanks a lot!

    [V30s I think. – Bjorn]

  324. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    What is your experience with the celestion v30 s? I find the stock speaker on my Lionheart 20w combo too dark and bassy, and I’m thinking maybe I’ll change it for a brighter sounding one. What would you suggest?

    [I changed mine because I found them too bright in the upper mids but they did have a lot of low end too. The V30s are perhaps a bit more balanced but also warmer sounding I think. They have more highs but appear warmer as they have less of that that spiky tone around 2kHz. – Bjorn]

  325. Adi Corrales says:

    Hi everybody. I’m having the (maybe crazy) idea to build an ultraportable setup, with a mini amp and three or four stomps for that gigs when I don’t want to carry my Fender pro (yes, it’s small, but I’m very lazy). I’ve a small 5w vox DA5 that sound pretty good (decent at least) at low volumes, of course, with the limitations of the 6in speaker. But sometimes 5w in solid state is just to low to keep up with a full band.

    I saw a keyboard player using a 30w Roland CM30 but I haven’t the opportunity to play with it, but I’m wondering if it could be a good portable guitar amp. Of course, I’ll need a direct box and maybe some kind of amp emulator, or carry the DA5 and use its line out (but that means that I’ll have to carry to amps). In the end, it will be similar to connect the guitar direct to a mixer and to the PA.

    The question is, Does anybody have the opportunity of using a CM30 as a guitar amp? How it performs?

    [I don’t… Anyone else here? – Bjorn]

  326. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, congrats for the new site and the last YT clips, the tone and playing are amazing!
    I have some question for my home’s practicing/recording amp. I planned to change the speaker on my Cub 12 r but I had some issue on the amp, last one the reverb is gone, and I’m thinking to change to something more reliable but always for home studio work. Do you think the 15-20Watt range combos like Blues Junior or Laney Lionheart L20T are too loud? Maybe the L5T has enough clean headroom for studio use? Or maybe changing the speaker still worth on the Cub? I would appreciate your suggestion in terms of reliability and versatility always having the possibility to dial in the Gilrmourish tones!

    Lastly, can’t wait to hear the new solo album!


    [Hi Luca! Thanks for all your kind words and your support :) The Cub is a great sounding beginner level/practice amp but now that you’re considering an upgrade I would definitely suggest something better, both in terms of quality and tone. I can’t really praise the Lionheart high enough. An awesome sounding amp, for some many different tones, including Gilmour. The L5 doesn’t have all that headroom but it depends on how hard you’ll be driving it. It may work nicely in a bedroom. The L20 sounds great on lower volume too and you’ll have an amp that will deliver when you move on to stage or in a studio. – Bjorn]

  327. julian says:

    Hi bjorn. Thanks for your answe.
    My only concern about buying only the lionheart head is that it s not good for gilmour tones, am i right? As you stated and as said on many forums, the lionheart works better with dark speakers like celestion g12h and is much like a vox ac 30. It s better suited for deep purple and led zep tones…Far from gilmour tones. Much better using a cub with fane type speakers. I love the airbag second album but it is much more darker than gilmour in terms of guitar. I know you’ve used lionheart on that album. I love the album butTo me honestly the guitar tones are much more ala porcupine tree or anathema. Darker tones ala marshall or vox. Would you agree with me if i told you that the cub is the ideal studio companion for gilmour hiwatt tones, plugged into weber thames or fane clones… and please could you tell me what you thonk about lionheart plugged into your weber thames cab?

    Last question, do you think that the gap in terms of price between laney cub head and reeves 50 w is filled today by a model in the same qality and range of price than the mionheart l20 h? An amp in the same balls park than laney cub and your reeves, but priced more like the lionheart?

    Best regards,

    [I wasn’t trying to emulate David’s tones on the last Airbag album so you’re right in your assumption. And yes, the Lionheart is a darker sounding amp but since you’re asking for my advice I would say that it’s a much better amp than the Cub both in terms of value, design and tone. It’s definitely capable of replicating David’s tones. BUt, I can only speak for my self. I love the amp but try both if you can and make up your own mind :) – Bjorn]

  328. Dlopes14 says:

    Hello Bjorn :)
    I’m seriously considering buying the Lionheart L20H but I have some questions about it’s use on stage…
    Did it handle most of the venues you did with it!?
    Just wondering because I play mostly at small clubs an occasionally some bigger venues (300 + seats) and could really use something a bit more loud and better than my main amp (A vintage boutique amp)

    Cheers ;)

    [No problem. I assume you’ll be micing it and maybe use a front stage monitor as well but the amp is LOUD and you’ll be able to hear it on fairly big stages. – Bjorn]

  329. Julian says:

    Hello Bjorn ,

    I’d like to have your advice before buying an amp head (or two!!). I’ve sold 2 vintage heads (a 1973 Sound city 50watt head + Marshall JCM 900 from the 90’s) a few years ago.

    Now I have 2 cabs left: One fitted with Clestion G12h30 (55): Think Hendrix / Page / Blackmore / Cream
    The other will be fitted in order to play Pink Floyd songs : I’m waiting for Weber Thames speakers.

    Here’s my question: Knowing that I own a LOT of pedals (among them 50 % dedicated to gilmour tones, and the other great “amp like” pedals like Catalinbread / wampler Plexi…), Would you go for Laney Cub head, or Laney Lionheart L20H? I’mlooking for a clean sound base, than I’ll build the tone with pedals.

    As you mentioned many times before, the two amps are differents, Cub being a Hiwatt clone, and Lionheart darker, VoX ac30 to Marshall JTM 45 Clone. I guess the ideal would be to buy the Cub head for the Weber thames Cab, and Lionheart for the Celestion G12H cab, but If you had to buy one? That could handle both situations? What would be your choice?

    Or maybe would you buy anything else?

    I would be lucky if you could help me….


    [Hi Julian :) Both amps sound great and as you’ve pointed out they cover different grounds. That being said, the Lionheart is really in a different league compred to the Cub. The Cub is nice but it’s a bedroom/practice amp. The Lionheart is a great sounding stage and studio amp, although great for bedrooms too :) Given that you’ve owned good amps earlier and have a lot of pedals I’d definitely go for the Lionheart. – Bjorn]

  330. Stephen Ford says:

    Hey Bjorn and Cem, My Reeves Custom 50 has 3 voltage options on the back so I can use it in the US or Europe without any issue. It just needs a different cable plugged in and the switch changed. Works awesome. I am having the same system installed on my Fender Twin!

  331. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    What did you do about the mains voltage difference between the USA and Europe when you received your Reeves Custom 50?

    [They build them upon order so you need to specify the voltage and they deliver the proper setup. – Bjorn]

  332. Joshj says:

    Ive been looking at the reeves custom 12. Any thoughts on this amp?

    [A very nice Marhsall JTM model. Not typical Hiwatt. – Bjorn]

  333. Gibsder says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What do you think about the Hiwatt Custom 7 Head ?
    And what cab can we plug on it ?



    [I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell… – Bjorn]

  334. Lindsay