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?

It almost goes without saying. A loud 100w, or even 50w stack (head and speaker cabinet) is way too much for your bedroom and smaller clubs. In most cases you’re better off with a lower wattage amp.

Obviously, volume is an issue. You don’t want to blow the windows or your audience’s ears but the main issue is really tone. To be able to drive a 100w tube amp you need to play loud. At low volume the amp will sound dull and flat. It is designed for arenas and loud volume so you can’t really translate that to a small bedroom or 300 seats club.

A power attenuator will allow you to scale down the wattage and utilize the amp’s gain stage for your overdrive and distortion sounds. But, as I’m sure most of you are looking for, is an amp that can be a powerful platform for your pedals, meaning that the amp needs to be clean but you also have to be able to control the tube and speaker breakup.

David Gilmour has always set his amps, large or small, just at the edge of breakup. You don’t want to hear the crackle but rather feel that it’s there. You can’t do that will an amp that’s too loud. You need one that fits your environment. In most cases a 5w or 10w is more than enough for a bedroom and even a studio.

Tubes or transistor?

There was a time when tube amps was incredibly expensive and you really couldn’t find any in the lower wattage range. That’s not the case any more. In fact, now it’s almost the other way around. I can’t remember last time I stepped into a guitar store and found a wall of transistor amps.

It’s a matter of taste. One isn’t better than the other. Both tube amps and transistors has come a long way in providing great relieable tones. I do recommend tube amps though. They’re often better platforms for pedals and, in my opinion at least, they sound more organic and dynamic. Try both types of amps and listen to how they respond to your playing and how you set them up.

Amps and pedals

We’ve all been there. You’ve either bought a new amp or overdrive pedal and when you hook them up it sounds like shit. What happened? Well, not all overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals are designed for all amps.

Depending on the model, Fender amps typically has less mid range and compression. British amps like Marshall and Hiwatt, typically has lots more mid range and compression. So, a pedal like the Big Muff, which has less mid range and compression will often sound bright and thin on Fender amps but paired with Marshall or Hiwatt, which will compensate for the lack of mids and compression, will make the pedal sound smoother and fatter.

I would say that choosing the right is the most important thing and buy pedals based on that but if you already have a large collection of pedals, then you might want to do some research on how they will work with your new amp or the amp you’re about to buy. More on choosing the right pedals for your amp here.

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.

Buyer's Gear Guide Boss KatanaBoss Katana
The Boss Katana amps are incredibly impressive, with a typical Boss quality and attention to detail. As I, you may be sceptic, but the fact is that these amps sound awesome. If you’re on a really tight budget, then this is probably your best buy. Each model come with a wide range of built in effects and amp modelling presets but you can tailor your tones to your taste and the amps are great with pedals as well. The featured effects loop also allow you to utilize the classic built in Boss effects with your own pedals.
Output: 30-100w depedning on the model. All models has power scaling.
Tubes: transistor
Speaker: custom Boss speakers
Controls: channel volume, master volume, 3-band EQ and presence, effect controls
Channels: clean, crunch, lead, brown
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, master, 3-band EQ and tone, reverb

Channels: one

FX loop: yes

Laney Lionheart L5 StudioLaney Lionheart
Laney’s Lionheart series is a collection of incredibly versatile amps capable of delivering classic British tube tones and tons of value for the buck. To say that they’re British is too loose. The clean channel has that slightly scooped Vox AC flavour that can sound almost like a Fender on lower volume but hit you straight in the face once you crank it. The gain channel is distinctly early Marshall, with all of the awesome qualities of the Plexi and JTM amps. It’s not a Hiwatt but you sure can get some awesome Gilmour sounds with these amps and pretty much anything from warm jazz to classic 70s rock and metal. The Lionheart is a great pedal platform too. The series feature a wide range of different heads and combos and for your bedroom and recording studio I recommend checking out the L5 or L5 Studio.
Output: 5-50w depending on the model. The L5 Studio has power scaling.
Tubes: 12AX7 preamp and EL84 output
Speaker: Celestion V30 and/or G12H depending on the model
Controls: clean volume, drive, drive volume, 3-band EQ and tone, reverb, bright/normal modes
Channels: clean and drive
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/gain, master, 3-band EQ, reverb, fat switch

Channels: one

FX loop: no

Buyer's Gear Guide BassbreakerFender Bassbreaker
Fender’s new Bassbreaker series is basically a rewamped Bassman, with hints towards the Blues Jr. It has all the classic elements of a Fender tweed era tube amplifier, with a bit of that creamy mid range and compression and lots of modern features, including more gain, effects loop and three different channels. The Bassbreaker 15 is an excellent bedroom and studio amp and a nice platform for most of your pedals as well.
Output: 7-45w depedning on the model
Tubes: 12AX7 and EL84
Speaker: Celestion V-type (15w model)
Controls: gain, master volume, 3-band EQ and bright, reverb, effect controls
Channels: one (with tone modelling)
FX loop: yes

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, master, 3-band EQ and presence, reverb, bright switch
Channels: clean, drive, more drive

FX loop: yes

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: clean volume, drive and volume, 3-band EQ, boost

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. 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.
Output: 30w

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

Speaker: 1x 12” Peavey Blue Marvel

Controls: volume , master, 3-band EQ and presence, reverb, boost

Channels: clean and 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: 18W (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: master, reverb, treble, middle (push/pull frequency shifter), bass, overdrive volume, normal volume
Channels: clean and drive

FX loop: yes

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

1,381 Responsesso far.

  1. Raphaël says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    First of all good job for this site ! verry usefull, thanks a lot !

    Few questions about amp.
    Im playing with a strat with EMG and have the opprotunity to buy a hiwatt custom 50 for a good price.
    I’m wondering if 50w is not too much for playing in an house (not an appartement) but i would like tu play with a drummer and a band. On this amp i can set separately the preamp volume and master volume so maybe enough do crank the preamp. But what about the power stage ?
    Would it be preferable tu use a laney 20w ? but not found of the cruch channel quite fuzzy and not tipically british.
    Or maybe would it be ok withe a 1×12 ?

    Im intend to use PC2A comp, Buffalo patriot fuzz, and Wampler Plexidrive or Vick Audio Tree of Life.
    Do you think theses pedal, especially fuzz and overdrive are situable for this hiwatt amp ? what about the laney amp with thoses pedal ?

    Thanks a lot

    • Bjorn says:

      The Laney goes very well with those pedals. It is a very British amp but keep in mind that Vox and early Marshall, which the Lionheart is losely based on, is very different from Hiwatt. I would say that a 50w Hiwatt is too much for a house. It depends on how you’ll be using the amp but it seems that you’ll mostly be using pedals for your gain tones. It’s no problem getting a clean tone on low volume but it will sound thin and flat. I would go for something with less wattage so it will be easier to get the right balance between the pre and output stages.

  2. Phil says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I just checked out the page and they seem to have renamed their amp lines. The T20 is now named “HIWATT T20/10 MK III” and on the front of the panel it even says “Maxwatt”, which is or was the transistor line, wasn’t it? Kinda strange they would add that in …

  3. Silvio says:

    Hi bjorn! I wanted to ask you for advice: I own a fender hot rod de ville made in Mexico first series immediately after the model made in u.s.a, 2×12 cones eminence. I saw that Hiwatt did an affordable price amp (T40 2×12 fane speakers 150w). What would you do? would you change the fender hot rod de ville in favor of the hiwatt t40 for a more british and gilmourish tone or do you think it’s better not? Yours sincerely

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, they’re two very different sounding amps so it’s hard to compare. You can easily get nice Gilmour tones with a Fender and the De Ville, and David’s been using Fender amps a lot in the studio since the early 90s. The Hiwatt is perhaps closer to what he’s using live though and the tones you probably associate with him. My best tip is to try the Hiwatt and decide whether you like the Fender or the Hiwatt… or both!

      • Silvio says:

        Personally the David Gilmour sound that I prefer is that (in the studio) is what goes from “tdsotm” to “final cut”. In that period, then, did Gilmour use Hiwat to record those five masterpieces or various amps? I asked you for an opinion on the fender hot Rod de ville 2×12 Eminence speaker because I saw that you only talked about the de luxe third series speaker celestion and are, in my opinion, two very different amps. I think the de ville has much more compression than the de luxe and, despite the eminence, an average band slightly higher than the de luxe. I would like to know your opinion about it.

        • Silvio says:

          Hi Bjorn. Today I was in a musical instruments shop, Dealer Hiwatt and I tried the T 40 combo: I found it incredible! Inside was all the British sound of this world and David Gilmour was there, in front of me, in every note he played. Compared to the Fender Hot rod de ville I noticed a lot more personality, an authentic sound while with the de ville everything was generic and in comparison seemed to have no personality. Perhaps (but I’m not sure) the T40 Hiwatt is slightly less versatile but the beauty of the sound I heard coming out today is unmatched. In addition it is much more transportable and usable at home or in the studio. Tomorrow I’m going to get the T 40 Hiwatt. A real gem finally at an affordable price. Best regards

  4. Francis Mulvaney says:

    I recently got hold of a Hiwatt T40 HD and to me, that’s the closest I reckon I’ll get to the Gilmour sound unless you get the “Little D” (Gilmour custom Hiwatt Amp)

    • Bjorn says:

      Yep, those are great :) The Little D is not a Gilmour Signature amp. Hiwatt wrongly claimed it to be or marketed it that way but it’s far from being a “clone”. Do a quick search for the Little D here on the page for my views and comments on that. Cheers!

  5. Elliott says:

    Hey again Bjorn,
    I was looking at get the hi tone eclipse 1×12 cab. It is supposed to be as close to the original fane crescendo as possible and it sounds great. I have never boughten a tube amp head before so I’m uncertain what amp Head would compliment this. Ideally I would really really prefer the amp head to be no more than $500. Also this would be used in my bedroom in my house 80% of the time. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Elliott says:

      Also the speaker is 150 watt 16 ohm only.

    • Bjorn says:

      You might want to check out the Hiwatt Tube Series. For David’s tones, they’re a great match for your cab. The Laney Lionheart amps also go very well with Fanes speakers. You should be aware though that those Fane speakers are very bright, with a huge headroom. There shouldn’t be any problem but if you’re looking for something that might be a better and easier option for bedrooms, then you might want to check out a pair of Celstions or similar as they often sound much better on lower volume levels.

  6. Martin Stewart says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I currently am using a Mesa Mk 3 Combo. I never see any comment on Mesa amps for Gilmour tones .

    I don’t mean to waste your time on this but I am curious if you have had any experience using Mesa and whether you think they are a viable option to achieving his tone.
    I can certainly vouch for the head room in this amp, it has stacks especially with a 59′ NOS 5751 in the clean channel and evidence siren for the speaker cable to help with the dynamics etc…

    I seen Dave use a couple on a late night show one time but they rarely get a mention other than him using one as a pre-amp.


    • Bjorn says:

      There are lots of mentiones of Mesa amps on this page. David did use a MkI head as a preamp during the Wall 1980-81 and About Face 1984 tours as well as a MkIII during the 1987-90 Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. His main setup for the 1984 About Face album was a combination of a Boss HM2 and the MkI for distortion sounds.
      I use the Dual Rectifier a lot myself. Mesa amps are by and large based on Fender amps, with a fairly mids scooped tone and lots of headroom. Some of the newer models has multi channel options for more British tones as well. Great amps and definitely well worth checking out for David’s tones.

      • Martin Stewart says:

        Thanks for the reply Bjorn,

        I was at the Wall shows in 1980 at Earls Court, two nights and seen him on the About Face tour at Hammersmith Odeon both nights too. I wasn’t aware he was using Mesa but then I was only 18 when I seen the Wall and only playing guitar for 18 months, so i was oblivious to all that.

        Obviously I missed the comments about Mesa on your page so I apologise for that.

        I’ve had this particular amp since August 1988. I got it the day after Floyd played Manchester on the Momentary Lapse Of Reason Tour.
        I just wanted to check if it was a decent platform to base those kind of tones on. Most of the comments seem to be based on Laney, Hiwatt (obviously) and Reeves, Fender etc.

        Thanks for the feedback, best to you


        • Bjorn says:

          The Mesa is hard to spot and he did only use it as a preamp combined with pedals and the Hiwatts but it’s there :) You’re so lucky to have seen those shows! Cheers!

  7. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Happy New Year to you and greetings of the season. I’ve got a Laney Cub head and cab which is fantastic! Really like it. I’m looking to buy a L20 combo to use as well. Just wondering, can you tell me what the differences are, if indeed there are any, between the 1×12 and 2×12 versions?

    Kind regards,


    • Bjorn says:

      Sonically they’re identical but the 2×12″ will give you a bit more headroom and obvisouly more volume. You will probably notice a bigger and more balanced tone as well with the two speakers but it depends on how you’ll be using the amp and how loud you need to play. For bedroom I would say that the 1×12 is more than enough.

      • Ben says:

        Thanks for the reply. I’m planning to use it for small to medium gigs, rehearsals, jamming and home use. Something to cover all the bases. I think that the 1×12 will be more than enough but I like the idea of the headroom that the 2×12 will give. Decisions, decisions!

    • Baris says:

      Hi Ben,
      Bjorn answered your question technically and nicely, also I read ( if I am wrong please correct me Bjorn ) L20 Combo 1×12 comes with Celestion G12H BUT L20 Combo 2×12 comes with Celestion G12H and Celestion Vintage 30

      • Bjorn says:

        Yes, I think they’ve combined those two on the current model. Mine came with two G12Hs but I’ve replaced them with two V30s.

  8. francesco cagnacci says:

    Hi Bjorn =! what do you think of victory amps?

  9. Henk Jongedijk says:

    Hi Björn. Your is a realy great site!
    I have also a question: I have a Stratocaster and ordered now for pickups SSL-1 on the neck-position and SSL-5 for the bridge-position. Next month I want to buy a tube amp and I’m serious looking for a Fender Blues Junior Lacquered Tweed. It has a 12 ” Jensen-speaker. what do you think, is this a good choise for the Gilmour-sound?
    Thanks advance from a ‘young’ (73 years) gitarplayer.
    Henk Jongedijk, The Netherlands

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Henk! Thanks for the kind words! The Blues Jr is a great sounding amp and it goes very well with David’s tones. Like most Fenders, it lack some of that compression and mid range you need for smooth fuzz and Muff tones so if you’re considering pedals, I would perhaps for something a bit more versatile. Read more about that here.

      • Henk Jongedijk says:

        First of all, best wishes!!. Talking about pedals: a few years ago I saw your videoclip for Electronic Orange, very nice sound so I bought the Pig Hoof (unfortunately, it gaves a big hum on my Mustang III) and I have also a Boss ME 80. So I think I can get (hopely) the most of the Gilmour-sound. I hope the Pig Hoof works better on a tube amp.

  10. Elliott says:

    I don’t have access to my computer so I couldn’t do a word search on this page to see if this has already been talked about. Any thoughts on the hiwatt little d rig? It’s $2,000 for the 20 watt little d head and wem cabinet. I know there has been info known for sometime about the company that currently owns hiwatt as being shady and this could possibly be a cash grab. Just curious if you have ever played this, if so what were you thoughts on it? Also if none of the above have you heard bad things and it should be avoided? Any info would be super greatly appreciated. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon

    • Elliott says:

      Sorry I was able to find out how to do a word search on my iPhone and see you have given your input on this many times. Sorry for the inconvenience and not need to respond. I see it’s pretty cheap and uhhhh a scam lol.

  11. Petter Janse says:

    Great work Bjorn. Do you, or anyone know if David did a lot of channel switching on his amp(s) or did he leave it on a clean channel and git his ‘ dirt’ out of pedals?

    • Bjorn says:

      He’s mostly used single channel amps, like Hiwatt and Fender tweeds. They’re set clean or at the very edge of breakup and all his dirt tones are pedals.

  12. Luigi says:

    Hi I have been following you for many years and you are now the leading expert in the Gilmour style sound. Also I am passionate and playing I built my setup. The amplifier I chose is a Hiwatt custom 20 sa210 (by audiobrothers) is very powerful (almost too much) to play in the rehearsal room and also for the evenings in pubs so I have to keep the volume a little controlled. What seems a bit ‘a problem is that the gain is too crunch for me already halfway while I expected a little’ cleaner. Also the tone is too high and I have to compensate by raising the bass a lot and keep the lows less than 12 o’clock (stat + amp excluded effects only) I like the sound of the live gdansk 2006. What do you think of the Custom 50 sa212 combo? which years according to you has the best production of course the vintage but they cost too much. Thank you, sorry my English but I hope I was clear

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! Sorry for my late reply. I’m no expert on the Hiwatt history although the early 70s models seems to be favoured. That being said, I would think that a new UK model would be just as good. I’m not that familiar with your SA210 but 10″ will have less headroom that 12″. You should be able to dial ina nice clean tone in any case. These amps has lots of headroom. Have you checked the tubes lately? What sort of settings do you have? What sort of pickups and pedals do you use? Everything has an effect on the headroom.

  13. Felipe Mac-Auliffe says:

    Dear Bjorn:

    What about the Roland Jazz Chorus 120?

    Love this website btw, thank you for all.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! A little too bright and clean for my taste but you can definitely get some nice Gilmour tones with the right pedals.

  14. Felipe Miranda da Rocha Ferreira says:

    Your site is fantastic. Congratulations.
    What’s you opinion about Marshall Plexi for replicate Gilmour’s tone, handle with pedals, specially Big Muff?
    Thanks again.

    • Bjorn says:

      Marshall is much more aggressive sounding than Hiwatts, Fenders etc. You can easily dial in some nice clean tones but the mid range, top and compression will make most gain pedals sound considerably heavier or more aggressive. Muffs especially. Still, you should be able to get some really nice and suitable Gilmour tones with it. You can compensate some with lower output pickups and pedals with less gain.

  15. John Nebus says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Love your new album. I have a fender bassbreaker 45 head. Do you have any experience with them ???
    I have a pedal setup almost identical to DG and I was wondering if you could offer any advice on setting the head. I have replaced the stock tubes with Mullards and that was definitely a change for the better. Haven’t really had the opportunity to crank it up yet. Way too loud for my home studio.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s sort of a mix between the Bassman and Blues Jr. Perhaps a bit more compression and gain than both. I think it sounds great but like all Fender amps, it’s got less mid range and compression than a Marshall or Hiwatt. Settings are always hard to recommend because it depends on your guitar, pedals and how you’re using the amp but I’d start with setting the amp up for a nice clean tone. Be carefuk with the treble and try to increase the mids a little. Find the right balance between the pre and output stages of the amp and you should have a nice platform for your pedals. Again, this is not a Hiwatt, so you would have to set your pedals to match the amp and not copy any of David’s settings.

      • John Nebus says:

        Thanks Bjorn, that is very helpful. I was trying to use Daves settings that you provided and it is muddy as hell. Guess it’s experiment time.

        • Bjorn says:

          Always a good idea to experiment. Settings rarely translate between different amps. Nor between two seemingly identical rigs.

          • John Nebus says:

            Thanks again for your advice Bjorn, and while I was working on getting the right clean amp tone to start i got an early Christmas present. A providence chrono delay.😀 I.plugged it in on its own after establishing my clean tone and flat out nailed run like hell.Now it’s time to start tweaking the rest of the pedals.
            Thanks again and have a Merry Rockin Christmas 🎸😎🎸

            • John Nebus says:

              After about an hour. I’ve got my clean down and I’m getting ready to break out the pedalboard. But I remember someone asking you about how David got such sustain on 5 a.m.
              Well… The chrono does it on its own. With a low echo hardness(tape) 300 ms with the beat split at 8 o’clock I am able to hold or bend a note with incredible sustain without hearing the echo.
              Pass it on

            • Bjorn says:


  16. Dimitris Kovaeos says:

    Hi, Bjorn!
    I recently purchased my first tube stack, a new Lionheart 20 head with the matching 2×12 Celestion G12 cab.
    Still getting to know it, but what I noticed is that my Vick Audio Overdriver (especially) and Analogman BC109 Sunface don’t sound, well…what I expected, they would!
    1. The amp has less compression, than what I expected, it reminds me of a Vox AC15, I once had. Would you suggest some settings, that would make the rig work better?
    2. I also believe I must replace those two pedals, with something more versatile, without compromising that vintage flavour. Something that relies less on the amp you are playing through…
    I think Buffalo TDX…But what about the distortion unit?
    Any ideas would be much appreciated!
    Have a lovely holiday!

    • Bjorn says:

      The clean channel is definitely in that Vox vibe, while the gain channel is closer to a Marshall JTM/Fender Bassman, with more compression and mids. Settings depends on your pickups, pedals and where you’ll be using the pedals. Try my settings but keep in mind that they might not fit your setup:
      gain channel, bright mode, drive between 1-2 depending on how hot your pickups are, volume as desired – I play loud! – bass 6, mids 6, treble 2, reverb off, tone 2.
      Those vintage circuit pedals are very sensitive to the amp and its character. The Lionheart has a lot of compression but not as much mids as a Hiwatt so you might want to look into something more versatile. The TDX goes very well with the amp. Do check out the OCD and Vick Audio Tree of Life too. All three doubles as distortion and compliments each other very well.

      • Dimitris Kovaeos says:

        So, boosting bass and mids, while lowering treble and tone (which doesn’t work, as the presence control in other amps, right?).
        Tone and Bright controls, homework needed..!
        Without (too) much amp volume the Overdriver sounds nowhere near its potential. This pedal is unlike anything else I have ever tried, but many times I struggle making it work!
        I might try Buffalo Powerbooster and TD-X. As of distortion a V2 by Vick Audio, or a more modern and versatile Muff, Patriot, or Vick’s Muffs.
        Most mid rangy and compressed pedals I have heard don’t sound appealing to me…

  17. Fabrizio Di Cicco says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I bought a Blackstar HT5 combo based on your reviews.
    Great amp indeed but I would love to upgrade speakers for more headroom I was thinking about the G12M greenback, or the G12M-65 Creamback witch one you suggest, any of these or something else?
    also I was thinking to change the stock tubes to JAN-GE 12AX7WA NOS 12BH7.

    What’s your thoughts please.

    Thanks in advance

  18. Julien L says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m Looking for an Hiwatt, on the second hand market i can buy an Hiwatt T20 and a Hiwatt hi gain for 150€ difference. According to you, which one sound better for Gilmour tones and bedroom setup ?
    Do you know the difference between an Hiwatt Hi gain and the Hiwatt SA 212 ? I saw on forums the Hi Gain had the same clean circuit than an hiwatt custom but I find that hard to believe…what do you think?




    • Bjorn says:

      Both amps are great and will definitely provide a powerful Gilmour basis for your pedals. The High Gain has a normal channel or mode that’s very similar to the old amps. You can switch it up for more gain. The T20 his based on the old Custom range, with a couple of modern features. You could go either way but ultimately it depends on what you’re looking for and how you’ll be using the amp.

  19. Karl-Friedrich Jung says:

    Hello Bjorn! Thank you very very much for all your effort you put into your work. It helped me a lot and your knowledge is impressive.

    I’m going for the Laney Lionheart L5. The head (L5) + speaker (Laney LT112) costs approximately 150 € more than the combo version (L5T112). Would you still recommend buying the head + speaker version instead of the combo? And could you please explain in a short way why? Thank you very very much indeed!


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t A/B tested them but they should operate more or less the same. The 212 cab has more headroom but the 112 should be the same as the combo.

  20. Barış says:

    Hi again Bjorn,
    Sorry for lots of questions by me. :)
    What do you think about Hi-Tone amps with Eclipse cabs? Did you try them or heard anything?
    And do you know the major or minor differences between Reeves and Hi-Tone? Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the HiTone amps but they are based on the original Hiwatt specs. Based on what I’ve read, they seem to get superb reviews. The guys invlved are also closely associated with the Dave Reeves estate, The Reeves amps are very close and I doubt that you would hear a difference unless you do a properly set up A/B test. I’ve had mine for years and couldn’t be happier.

  21. Felipe Miranda says:

    In terms of Gilmour’s tone, what do you think about Fender Twin ou an amp with dumble’s sound.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what you’re looking for. The Twin and Dumble are on the far oposite sides of the tone spectrum so you can’t compare the two.

      • Felipe Miranda da Rocha Ferreira says:

        I’m sorry for the question, I’m a beginner in guitar. In Brazil we have a great dealer of boutique amps called T Miranda that recreate this two amps. I would like to by a new amp. I love the sound of Twin, but I’m afraid how it react with a Big Muff.

        • Bjorn says:

          I’m not familiar with that brand. The Twin Reverb has very little mid range and compression and you will probably find that Muffs sound harsh and bright with it. The best Fenders for Muffs are the old Tweeds, like the Deluxe and Bassman.

  22. Baris says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m planning to buy a Strat along with a decent amp. I’ll buy a MIM Std Stratocaster but I’m having trouble with the amp choice. I don’t want to pay more than I need. I never played electric (or any) guitar before. Can you recommend a amp within a price range 250€-450€? I will use it at home all the time. I cannot play it at very high volumes because of the neighbours but mostly there will be nobody in the home and the neighbours won’t hear much unless volume is very high since it’s not an apartment. I thought about a lot of amps but cannot decide so please recommend me the ones that first comes into your mind within that price range. Also I don’t think I’ll buy pedals for a long time so amp should some built-in effects I guess. Waiting for your answer before buy it :)
    Have a nice day,

    • Bjorn says:

      My best budget tip is the Boss Catana. My best overall tip is the Laney Lionheart Studio. It’s perfect for bedroom playing, you’ll get a tube amp that will last decades and it’s a perfect platform for any pedal.

  23. Ian Babbitt says:

    Now this is going to sound really, REALLY friggin’ weird…but any opinions on the EVH 5150 III LBX II? NOW, before I get lambasted since the thing is marketed as a high-gain Über rock/metal amp, it IS still a Fender amp and it DOES have a sparkly, jangly clean channel with the Green channel; imagine a Blackface-era amp with more mids and a little bit more compression (on top of the basically non-existent compression in Blackface Fenders). Unorthodox? Definitely. Usable for those Gilmourish cleans? I think so (case in point, here’s a clip of it being played bright and clean with a Fender Tele.

    • Bjorn says:

      Never tried one so I can’t really tell. Based on the specs alone I would say that with the right guitar and pedals, it would do the job but again, I’ve never tried one.

  24. Elliott says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I’m looking at three different amps right now and all of them are the combo versions due to somewhat tight funds. I don’t know if I have a particular era Im shooting for I guess anything the wall and before that mostly. The amps are a Hiwatt custom 20, Laney Lionheart l20t, and Laney cub 12R. At the moment it is just for my house but I am looking into finding a band again so that could change as far and playing in small venues go. Is there one you would recommend over the others. Right now a have a American start running into a SUF rams head, Whammy, jam waterfall, dp boonar into crappy amps I would rather not name in public or my ego would be hurt lol. Thanks for any help!

    • Bjorn says:

      I can’t really praise the Lionhearts enough. In any case I recommend testing a couple of amps to get an idea of how different types of amps behave with different guitars.

  25. Frollo says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I’m currently playing on a Blackstar HT5 (head with 2 celestion V30), only on the clean channel but I’m not really happy with the dynamic of the sound.

    So i’m considering chnaging it with a Laney CUB Head or Peavey Classic 20H.

    Which one seems to be the best choice for you?

    Will I be able to get good british tone, like on the Laney Cub, with the Peavey?

    I’ve already take a look on the Laney Lionheart 20 but it seems way too loud for bedroom playing…

    Thank you in advance!


    • Bjorn says:

      I think you would find the Peavey to be too similar to the Blackstar. They’re not identical and the Peavey has a more classic 70s tone but they both have that massive mid range and lots of compression. The Cub is kind of a mix between a Vox and early Marshall with a more open sounding character. Great platform for pedals. I strongly recommend looking into the Lionheart L5 or Studio. They should fit any bedroom/livingroom environment and personally I think they’re supperior to the ones you’ve mentioned… but that’s my opinion :)

      • Frollo says:

        Thank you so much for your reply!

        Is the L5 as good as the Cub in term of pedal platform?

        And last question, do you think that the L5 is enough for small venue (Bar, club, etc…)?

        Thanks in advance!

  26. Barış says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    I’m gonna buy combo Laney Lionheart L20t with 1×12 Celestion Heritage G12H. But I’m not sure if I should change the speaker with Celestion V30 or maybe I can buy L20t 2×12 with Celestion Heritage G12H and V30. I wanna learn your opinion about changing the speakers. Lionheart with Celestion Heritage G12H is it ok for the job and can handle any pedal I pluged in or do you have a better advice about speaker or amp for Gilmourish sound?

    • Bjorn says:

      I think both speakers works very well with that amp and the combo of both is a good approach. The main difference between the two is that the G12H has a bit more sparkle and emphasis on the high mids, while the V30 is an overall darker and perhaps smoother speaker. I like both.

      • Barış says:

        So do you strongly recommend Laney Lionheart for Gilmourish sound?

        • Bjorn says:

          It’s not a Hiwatt so it’s not dead on David’s amps. What I like about the Lionheart is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can easily get some nice AC30 sounds on the clean channel and even some early Fender Tweed tones. The gain channel is typical for early Marshall Plexi/JTM sounds. Still, it’s lots more. A great platform for pedals as well and although it doesn’t have that Hiwatt chime and bright upper mids thing, I would have no problem doing a Floyd show with very convincing Gilmour tones. Definitely one of my favourite amps.

  27. Marcelo Angeko says:

    Hey Bjorn, congrats for the site!

    Do you have any experience with the blues Jr. Tweed?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Great sounding amp, with a bit more mid range and compression than most Fenders. Great with pedals. As far as I know the Tweed is the same as the stock version but you can get these with different speakers.

  28. piazzi says:

    A friend of mine got a bugera G5 (some say its a copy of blackstart HT5) at a discount.

    He almost hated it — too much gain!

    he was at the point of returning it, which would be shame because of all the bells and whistles packed in that amp

    i came across this article

    he took the amp to a tech, and mentioned the article, the tech kept the amp for a couple of days and recommended a change to 5751 instead of the tubes mentioned in the article

    40 dollars later and my buddy is a happy camper. he says he is addicted to the drive channel of the amp

  29. Zane says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Do you have any suggestions on what kind of cabinet would sound good with a Bugera V22HD?

    • Bjorn says:

      The amp is based on the AC30 and I think they sound good with Celstion Greenbacks G12M. Tight low end and a bit of sparkle, without sounding too spiky.

  30. piazzi says:

    I have a Bugera V22 (modeled after VOX) that sounded amazing on its own and with some pedals. But gave me so much frustration when I wanted to go thick soft growl or thick distortion (like AC/DC) or fuzz,

    Biorn’s posts and responses opened my eyes (and ears:-) and set me on my path of looking for pedals that would work with my amp

    the beauty of a clean channel is that one can shape the sound so many different ways with the right pedals — and the right pedals were a lot easier to narrow down with the wealth of info here

    I have three pedals before my Bugera’s pre-amp: Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII, Wampler Slostortion, and Fairfield Circuitry’s Crossover fuzz. Only Catalinbrad and one of the others are on at any time.

    I have been able to get any sound I thought I heard in my head :-|) from clean strums and arpeggios to thick cascading distortion — only three pedals before pre-amp — with only two on at a time. I could also manage set each pedal to a setting I don’t have to change. I just switch things on and off and do the rest with my guitar’s volume knobs.

    I usually play humbuckers of either my PRS or ES339

  31. piazzi says:


    have you tried any of the Mooer amp heads (AC model, Fender Bassman model)?

  32. Juanse says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m using a Vox Ac30 C2. I love his clean sound, and I’m happy with the overdrive tone (Wampler Plexidrive). My problem is the distorsion sound (Carl Martin Plexitone Single Channel), sometimes it sounds with little gain or too skinny.

    I usually combine the Plexitone with Dyna Comp or Plexidrive, depending on the song.

    Do you think it’s a good combination? What would you recommend me?

    • Bjorn says:

      What do you mean by too “skinny”? Does it lack low end? Most Marshall pedals has a bit of low end roll off and lots of mid range and compression, which can sound a bit thin at times. Epescially on lower volume and smaller amps. Try a pedal with more low end but also try to roll off the treble on your amp.

  33. Greg G. says:

    How would I set the EQ on a Bugera V5 since it’s only one tone knob on the amp

  34. Jack says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Firstly your website is incredible! I remember discovering it a few years ago and being blown away by it (mostly by how little i understood!). Having rediscovered your website again recently, it has encouraged me to take the guitar back up again after a long hiatus and so am looking to upgrade some of my gear.

    I am looking to get a more substantial amp than my current tiny Fender practice amp. Budget demands that i look for second hand amps, the things you suggested above are either not available secondhand (currently at least) or are out of my price range. As such, a Vox VT30 at a reasonable price has caught my eye. Not sure if you’re familiar with these amps. but they are modelling amps with a tube power amp which supposedly gives you a tube like sound. This particular model also has a power scaling option allowing you to scale from 30W to 1W, which i hope will allow me to get the most out of the amp (and pushing it at low volume to achieve Brian May style mids boosts!) without getting into trouble! I am currently using a relatively cheap and nasty Epiphone SG (not my first choice) with humbuckers, not sure of the type/make but they are the stock ones.

    My question is about Vox amps and their tone – i’ve seen you say that Vox amps are similar to Fenders in that they don’t have much mid range or compression, however this particular model of amp allows you to adjust bass, mids and treble. Would this allow me to compensate for the scooped mids and allow more diversity with pedals? I have seen you state that Vox type amps should not be used for fuzz, muffs, powerboosts etc. however may these controls allow for fuzz/muff? The modeling amp also has an AC30 preset (not sure how accurate it is though!), i have seen you say in comments that Muffs goes very well with the AC30 – do you think i could use this preset to carry Muffs?

    Is this not the case with all amps also? I know from your site that Fenders/Voxs have a different EQ profile to Marshalls for example, but can this not be adjusted and compensated for with the treble, mids, bass settings? Surely you could run a mids scooped pedal through a mids scooped amp as long as the settings were correct? Or can you do this with a pedal – e.g. using an overdrive to smooth a muff for a vox?

    Apologies for this essay and barrage of questions! This information is all very new to me and a bit overwhelming. I know all of these questions are very subjective and that you’re not overly familiar with the Vox modeling amps, but any advice you could provide would be incredibly helpful. You are the guru and know infinitely more than me about all of this, so it would be really great to be pointed in the right direction.

    Thank you so much for your help and this incredible site, long may it continue!


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jack! Thanks for the kind words! I have written about this in the Knowing which pedals to choose for your amp feature. Vox amps are, as you mention, similar to Fender in that they typically have a scooped tone, with emphasis on the bass and treble rather than mids. You can compensate to some extent by rolling back the treble and bass to make room for the mid range, which is what Brian May does and high volume will also make the speakers and tubes produce mid range and compression. For David’s tones I usually recommend something different than fuzz and Muffs for Fender and Vox as talked about in the linked to feature. Increasing the mid range on a Fender won’t make it into a Marshall. There is much more to an amp than the EQ controls.

  35. emmanuel gathellier says:

    Hi Bjorn
    ever heard of this brand ?
    they produce high quality amps and a very intriguing DG20 (DG like…you know)
    “Are you into that floydian psyche rock from the 70′ ? Well at Fxamps, we definitely are, and to honour its maestro guitarist, we offer you the DG-20, with that fantastic deep and ultra dynamic clean sound, heard on so many records. The DG-20 is also a superb pedals platform.”

    but it seems quite expensive…

  36. Pierre says:

    Hi Bjorn, wow what a great website you have! By far the best!! I want to get as close as possible to the Animals sound. I have a few amps and after reading your Tone section it kinda explained a few things about them. How would you, if possible, classify these amps that i own.
    1. 1997 Blues jr (considering changing the speaker for Eminence Rex as you suggested or Celestion Vintage 30)
    2. 1964 original Fender BandMaster
    3. Dr Z Maz Sr 38 combo older version from 2004 with Celestion Vintage 30 and G112

    I would then build my pedalboard based on this; and i want to use a Big Muff like Muffeleta. I live in Canada and some of the amps above in your article are difficult to get. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      All three are fairly similar, with a distinct Fender character. Still, they all have a bit of mid range and compared to a Twin they’re much more pedal friendly. In regards to the Blues Jr I would definitely go for the Rex speakers. Don’t think the V30s sound that good with the amp.

  37. Guilherme Kubaski says:

    Make a review for the Katana, and how it takes pedals for gilmour stuff! It would be great for bedroom setup options.

  38. Rafael says:

    Hi Bjorn, congratulations for your great Website and many thanks for your work. My current amp is a Blackstar HT-5R. I think it sounds great and the overdrive channel is fantastic, but when using it with my pedalboard I think I need an amp with a better clean channel and a bit more headroom. I play at home at moderate volume and I am also interested on having a headphone connection for night practice. Looking your comments here and some other sources online I think that the Laney Lionheart L5-Studio head would be a very good option and I have two questions for you:

    1. Do you use the FX loop on your Lionheart or do you place all your pedals in front of the amp?

    2. Can I use the head with headphones without connecting any speaker? I think this could be very bad on a normal head but maybe the L5 Studio is ready to run only with the headphones connected.

    • Bjorn says:

      I run all my FXs into the front. The clean channel has lots of headroom but I mainly use the gain channel with the gain around 8 o’clock, which provides a nice crunchy clean tone with a bit of mid range hump.
      I think you can use the earphones as a load but I’m not 100%. Check out their site for details.

  39. Michael s says:

    Hello, I read your site all the time it is full of fantastic information. I have a 57 fender tweed twin and was wondering if you had any recommendations on the treble and bass settings. Also I have a rat that sounds well, but is there a good pedal to use as colorsound power booster.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! Amp settings depends very much on what tones you want and how the amp interacts with your guitar and pedals. In general I wuold keep in the EQ controls fairly moderate, around noon, with the treble slightly rolled back. The Colorsound can sound very bright and harsh on Twin amps so you might want to look into pedals with more mid range, like the Boss BD2, Fulltone OCD, EHX Crayon etc…

  40. Phil says:

    Hi again Bjorn,
    more stupid questions from me :D

    Have you tried the Hiwatt Custom 20 Combo or Head and/or can give an impression on it?
    It only has the 3-band EQ, but I assume it sounds similar to the “big brothers” the DR504 and 103?!

    Looking to get one maybe next year or so…


    • Bjorn says:

      It has the classic Hiwatt tone but less headroom than the bigger Custom 50 and 100. Still, you can get nice clean tones with it and it plays very loud.

      • Phil says:

        OK thanks! Yeah the less headroom is obvious ;)
        I tried one last year in England, but didn’t know how it compared to the DR504 or 103 and I couldn’t test how much I can turn up the gain to come close to breakup, because it had a Hiwatt 2×12 cab assigend to it and was too loud for the store :D
        I assume you can turn up the gain to maybe 4 or 5 without breakup though …

  41. Chad from Dallas says:


    I wanted to throw this out there for your many readers and also get your opinion, if you have experience. I have owned or played most of your usual suspects as for amps, chasing the Gilmour Sound. These would include the Laney Cub and Lionheart, Peavy Classic 30 and 50, Blues Jr, and I owned a Reeves Custom 50 combo for a while. I will say I wish I had gone with the head and cab on the Reeves. I didn’t keep the combo for very long, mostly because I didn’t feel it sounded better than my Mesa Lone Star, for the price difference. I will say it was a bit cleaner and more transparent, but I could dial in almost identical sounds and the Lone Star cost me about 1k less American$. The other day however, I had to try a new amp out for practice, because my Lone Star was getting serviced. It was a DV Mark 40 2×12. My band mate brought it to practice so I could try it out. I figured it would get me by for the night. By mid practice, my entire band was scratching there heads like where has this thing been all this time. We were all blown away. The amp sounds fantastic clean, but equally incredible with my Tube Driver and my M1 Fuzz. All the Floyd tones were in there and it took me no effort to dial them in. Another great point about the amp is that it only weighs in at 47 lbs for a 212 combo. I have to be honest and tell you I spent the entire practice trying to talk myself out of buying it……it just didn’t seem possible. I had never even heard of the thing. After we played CNumb, it was a wrap, and I purchased it on the spot. Here is the kicker, $400 US. I got a killer deal on it, but you can find them for 500 to 550 all day. It has 2 ax7’s pre and 1Ax7 plus 2 EL 34’s in the power section. I am happier with my Gilmour tones than I ever have been and would highly recommend it to the fans on this site, especially for a budget rig to not break you bank or your back! Do you have any experience with this amp?


  42. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Hello, Bjorn. Would you recommend any solid states at all for people who don’t want to deal with tubes, or are on a tight budget such as Orange or a Marshall, or anything that comes to mind? I know solid state has come a long way since it’s inception.

    • Bjorn says:

      Indeed and I haven’t really had the time to explore the “new” generation solid states. One of the more exciting surprises was the Katana from Boss, which I think is a phenomenal practice and bedroom amp. Having said that, tube amps has come a long way too and you can get great stuff for very affordable prices. My best tip, regardless of whether you decide on solid state or tubes, is that you spend your money on the guitar and amp and worry about the pedals later. Going for the cheapest alternative ampwise will cost you later, when you try to find pedals that can “fix” the amp. That doesn’t mean that you have to buy something expensive but try a couple of models within a price range that you think is reasonable to get an idea of what’s out there.

  43. zoot says:

    re: fender blues jr
    1 does not sound as a classic fender at all!
    2 does not have a classic fender sound!

  44. Seth Heaster says:

    Hey Bjorn! I have a 1974 Peavy VT Classic Series. It’s a 50W 2X12. The CD loop is way underpowered. I’m thinking about building a little box that has an input jack into a volume potentiometer, and then an output jack. Then after that I’ll have my effects loop pedals, then at the end my Ernie Ball volume pedal. I have two questions about this. 1) if that first volume box isn’t powered will it let the signal through, and 2) will it bring up the volume of does it have to be powered to do so? Thanks Bjorn!

  45. Bjorn: I’m ready to move “up” to a higher output amp than the Laney LH-20 (excellent amp). I’m looking at your beloved Reeves Custom 50 vs the HI-TONE HT50-DG. They are comparable in price and specs. What thoughts do you have on how they compare? I’m playing at medium/small stage levels with a full-on PF tribute band.

    I have a used/road-worn HI-TONE 2×12 cabinet with their custom-made Fane replica speakers ( somewhat dark sounding with the Lionheart) and another custom built 2×12 open back cabinet with a an Avatar Fane copy and a Warehouse Speakers ET-90 (also close to a Fane speaker). thoughts?

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Gerard. Although I haven’t tried the HiTone amps I will assume, based on the reviews I’ve read, that they are very similar to the old Hiwatts and the Reeves Custom amps. I guess you could go either way but I’m very happy with my Reeves.

  46. Francesco Cagnacci says:

    What do you think of the Kemper?

  47. Mr. Arctor says:

    Where is the Marshall dsl-40c?! Outstanding amp.

  48. oliver says:

    hey björn, im about to get a 1977 custom hiwatt 50. the seller offers me a 2×12 fitte with tone tubby red inside( the ones with the arm on it)

    do you think the will do the job to get the right sound out of the hiwatt? or what do you think about the weber crescendo clones?

    any other tips for the hiwatt?
    Thanks oliver

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m no expert on Hiwatt history so you probably want to ask on a vintage amp forum. There are different opinions on the different eras of the amp but in any case I would be very careful with buying old vintage amps unless you know what you’re doing and trust the guy. Old amps has often seen a lot of abuse or been stored away so you should expect some wear and possibly some required maintenance.

      • Oliver says:

        thank you so much for your info.
        did you ever try the tone tubby alnicos?

        woukd you recommend the old sound city 2×12 with standard speakers?

        thank you for such an amazing website and all your hard work, oliver

        • Bjorn says:

          Haven’t tried the Tubbys. The old Sound City cabinets usually had Fane or Sound City/Dallas Arbiter speakers in them. They sounded more or less the same. Lots of headroom and fairly bright.

  49. Zane says:

    Guten Tag Bjorn,
    How do you think I should setup the Equalizer on a Bugera V22HD to emulate the tones on Dark Side of The Moon?

  50. Lozo says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I was wondering if you knew any rack valve (pre)amp that I could pair with the Two Notes Torpedo Live? (with a good british-type clean).

    The website is a mine of information. It’s awesome! Keep up the good work.


    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! I don’t really have that much experience with rack preamps. I use a UA 610 myself but I haven’t tried that with the Torpedo.

  51. Hi Bjorn, thanks for all your hard work. You are doing us all such a favour with this site.

    What do you think of an older Laney VC50 with 2×12 HH Invaders? I can get one for a reasonable price, I reckon it will take Muffs better than a Blues Jnr. I have my 10W Strauss for home use.

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have much experience with those. From what I can remember, the cleaner channels are based on American Fender tones, while the gain channels are more Marshall. It’s an overall vintage voiced amp but a lot of gain. The HH speakers are pretty flat sounding.

      • I picked it up, and the speakers have to go. Maybe look at some from the WGS range, or perhaps a set of Greenbacks. It’s a good, versatile amp (you are correct about the difference between the channels), but the speakers are pretty awful. Too “fizzy”.
        The drive channel can be run as a hi-gain channel or a very hi-gain, for grunge/metal sounds. If you roll back the gain so that it is just breaking up a bit, like a bluesy tone, the amp takes Muffs quite well.

  52. Blille says:

    Thanks for an awesome website. I’ve been using it as a reference in particular about Muffs.

    I use a 5e3 and while I love it, it’s not clean at all so I’m thinking of adding another one more as a pedal platform. A couple of questions: thoughts on the Vox MV50 clean?

    Also, speakers are very important. I assume for a Gilmour tone it would be 12″ ceramic Celestions?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! Thanks for your kind words! Sorry for my late reply.
      I usually don’t recommend Vox amps for David’s tones or in combo with Big Muffs beacuse they lack the mid range and compression, which you need to get those smooth tones that cuts through. One of my favourite amps is the Laney Lionheart series. They can do pretty comvincing Vox tones with the right settings but also early Marshall and it has enough mid range and compression to handle pretty much any pedal.

  53. Dimitris says:

    To all Gilmour fans…I ‘ve already posted a loose jam based on Shine On. This is the lap steel solo part, using again the THR-5 amplifier.
    Highly recomended!

  54. Fabrizio says:

    Greetings Bjorn,

    I’m about to buy a tube amp based on your suggestions, and I wanted to ask you, how can i plug in headphones, and eliminated the sound come from the speakers? the amp has a Speaker emulated output.
    Thanks very much indeed in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      There are severa models coming out that’s aimed at home recording and bedroom setups. Check out the Laney Lionheart Studio 5. Awesome amp and a great platform for pedals.

  55. bluthos says:

    So after month of experimenting I believe I need some help. I have a Cub 12R which I love, but it’s difficult for me to get my big muff to behave itself. Do you have some recommendations for big muff settings which could work a little better without getting so thick and muddy?

    • Bjorn says:

      What pickups and Muff do you have?

      • bluthos says:

        Pickups: ProBuckers on Epi Les Paul and whichever ones were stock on a Mexican Strat from 1997.
        Nano Big Muff Pi.

        I can get close to useful tones by adjusting pretty much every setting on both the amp and the IL Torino OD into which the Muff frequently runs using boost mode.

        • Bjorn says:

          I think the main issue is your pickups and Muff model. Nothing wrong with it but it’s not quite what David’s using so you will have to compromise. Probuckers and the Standard MIM pickups has a pretty high output and a lot of mid range, which can make them sound dark with a Muff. The Muff you have is also much darker and more saturated than the early 70s Muffs David used. I would try to keep the settings on theMuff fairly moderate with the tone around 11:00 or noon for more top end and set the amp as clean as possible and maybe roll off some low end. See this feature for some amp setup tips.

  56. Israel says:

    Hi! Please: Plexi or Bassman? All copy handmade 15w.

  57. Bankholmes says:

    Hello bjorn,
    For bedroom usage and occasionally home recording, which one is more suitable. Laney lionheart L5 combo or laney lionheart L20 combo.


    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on how loud you’re able to play. The L20 has a bit more headroom with the higher wattage but the L5 is more than suitable for a typical bedroom setup and recording. Tonewise they’re identical.

  58. Kane Dypka says:

    I picked up a used Laney L5 studio this weekend for £260. Already getting better tones than my fender 68 Princeton that cost 4x the price. The L5 came with a cheap subzero 1×10 cab. Any recommendations on a better cab? Or would you recommend buying a different speaker. The weber Thames are hard to get in England and fane crescendos cost a bomb. Any recommendations for a different cab or speaker would be a great help….I bought the amp off your recommendation and it turned out great. 5w is easily enough for bedroom levels and now I can push the amp and it improves the tone so much. Can’t thank you enough for all the information on this site..

    • Bjorn says:

      I would go for either a V30 or preferably a G12H, which has a nice sparkle that goes well with the amp. You can pretty much get any cab and get these speakers separately or, check out the Lionheart LT112 or a 1×12″ Marshall, H&K or similar. Personally I don’t think a Fane is a good match for these amps.

  59. Francesco Cagnacci says:

    Hi Bjorn, what do you think of HiWatt Combos?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the model and how you’ll be using it but for bedroom, practice and smaller venues they’ll give you a nice platform for your pedals.

  60. Bernie Heerey says:

    Thanks for your quick response Bjorn. So it looks like the laney L5 combo may well suit my situation best, being a bedroom player, ( i can play a bit louder at times lol) You mention using the drive channel for more mids but run clean. Does the drive channel have enough head room to stay clean with a number of pedals and can you get to the L5 amps sweet spot and maintain headroom.. Once again a big thanks from someone still learning all this!

    • Bjorn says:

      The clean channel is more than capable of handling your pedals but personally, I prefer it when tube amps are pushed slightly. Setting the drive to 1.5-2 (markers) adds a nice compression and a hint of breakup, which makes your pedals sound wamer and more natural. You need to find the right balance between the amp, your pickups and the pedals you’re using.

  61. Bernie Heerey says:

    Hi again Bjorn. As mainly a bedroom only player,I am now very seriously thinking about upgrading my laney cub 12r with THAMES WEBER speaker to a Laney lionheart L20 combo as i want a greater versatility of tones – not just Gilmour.. You mention in one of your comments here that the L20 sounds bigger and warmer even on low volumes so I would just like to be sure that the L20 is a bettter choice than the L5 combo for me, especially as i use a number of pedals with my Classic players 50 strat.. Will I lose any tone quality by not being able to push the L20 as much as an L5 at home volumes – or as you say, it is so versatile that it will still sound way better than my Cub. Any thoughts and advice would be very welcome. Thanks again.

    • Bjorn says:

      I think the Lionheart is superior to the Cub but having said that, I think you’ll have a hard time finding a better British sounding amp than the Cub in that price range. The Lionheart has a wide range of tones and I think you will find it much more versatile but it does have less mid range than the Cub so you will have to tweak your pedals a bit to match the new tones. Defining a “bedroom” is hard because it depends on how loud you’ll be playing. If your amp will be set to a voluem that’s barely noticeable, it doesn’t really matter what type of amp you’ll be using because you won’t be able to utilize the amp’s character nor the speakers. If you’re allowed the play a reasonable volume levels, then I would say that the L5 is more than enough. It’s loud and it’s got the headroom you need for you pedals. If you’re at garage levels and need the amp for teh occasional rehearsal and gig, then the L20 is the way to go.

    • Paul says:

      I had the L5 in a bedroom studio but traded it in for the L20 for the extra headroom and glad I did. Recently bought a Tone King Sky King though, so have the L20 listed at a killer price on Reverb right now.

  62. Phil says:

    Hello (again) Bjorn,

    just had some weird issues with my Amp/Pedalboard: I removed my Soul Food to make space for a TC PolyTune 3, that I will be receiving soon. Also I like the sound of my BD2 better with the Laney Cub 12R, which is another reason I ditched the Soul Food ;)
    The pedal was placed before my VA Muff and when I turned on the amp and tested the sound it instantly sounded a lot brighter with the Muff on. So I put the Soul Food back in and I think it was back to the “old sound”. I removed it again, tweaked the VA Muff a bit (I had touched it somehow and changed the settings…) and I think it then stayed the same “old” sound as it should be?!

    I was getting worried about my new Laney mocking up maybe, which messed up the sound for a few seconds, cause I don’t think it’s an issue with the pedalboard.
    Could it be down to the Soul Food taking away a bit of my signal, cause it is not True Bypass?
    Or did the Laney briefly failed?

    Maybe you have an answer or idea what caused this bollocks, Bjorn…
    I do wanna point out that it might also be just my ears that tricked me somehow haha I am still confused about that incident.

    Thanks for any help/ideas!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to tell for sure as I haven’t tried your setup but as far as I know, the stock mode on the Soul Food is true bypass and you have to open it up to select buffered. From what you describe, you replaced the Soul Food with a BD2, right?, which has a buffer and therefore, there signal will be brighter because the buffer drives the signal through. The Muff will also sound brighter. Nothing’s wrong. It’s just the nature of your pedals.

      • Phil says:

        Yeah you’re right! My ears just tricked me lol
        I turned down the tone on the Muff a bit and it’s cool now :)
        I did turn off the in the TC Polytune 3 included “Bonafide Buffer” though, cause I don’t think I need 2 Buffers, right?

        Pedal chain now is: TC PolyTune3>Mooer YellowComp>Mooer Orange Ninety>VA Muff>Boss BD2>Mooer ElecLady>TC Flashback

        • Bjorn says:

          No, one buffer is enough although I would prioritise having a buffer first, to drive the signal through the board and all the way to the amp. Try engaging the Poly and switch off the Flashback buffer…

  63. Phil says:

    Just received my Laney Cub12R yesterday and I tested and compared it with my Fender Mustang, slowly building up from clean sounds to overdrive and the “grand finale” test with my VA Ram’s Head :D

    I noticed on the amp drive setting all the way up, which sounds quite good with my Strat, there was a lotta noise coming from the amp, although that is to be expected I assume (also running in 15W mode). Also my pedal board seems to cause a fairly amount of noise in comparison to the Mustang, which again I think is normal?!?!

    The best sound (so far) was definitely the VA Muff and the Laney! My god that was a huge difference compared to the Fender Mustang and it sounded so creamy and smooth. You were right on that, Bjorn, when you mentioned it to me a while ago ;)

    How would you set up a Boss BD2 with the Laney for a slight crunchy clean tone, like you’ve done it in your latest video featuring the Keeley D&M Drive?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Cub is a very different sounding amp, as you’ve now discovered :) The increased mid range and compression makes mids scooped pedals, like the Big Muff, sound much smoother and warmer that with a Fender. The increased mid range and compression can often increase the noise level as well but it’s more down to how the amp is designed and what parts are used. I’d keep the BD2 fairly moderate with the volume slightly above unity/flat and the tone around 9-10 o’clock.

      • Phil says:

        Yeah it is quite the difference and I am happy to have my first proper tube amp :)
        Thanks for the settings of the BD2! Moderate means the gain also at 12 or more like 9 o’clock?
        I am also looking into a setting for boosting the Muff, but I’ve read elsewhere, that the VA Muff doesn’t necessarily need a booster, which I would agree with. Still I’d like to find something to sound like for example live versions of “Pigs” on the Animals Tour ;)
        Any recommendations?

        I have now tested the VA Muff with my Squier Classic Vibe Tele’s Vintage Style PU and noticed quite the brighter sound in comparison to my Strat with the SSL-5 PU. I think the Tele PU lacks the mid range of the SSL-5?!
        Sorry for all the Q’s :D

        • Bjorn says:

          Moderate is relative to how high you’ve set the amp’s gain. The more headroom you have on the amp the higher you can allow the gain on the pedal. VA Muffs have a 3-way mid range boost/cut switch and when set flat or boosted, you don’t really need a second booster.
          The SSL5 have a much higher output, with more mid range and compression, compared to the Classic Vibe so they do sound different.

          • Phil says:

            OK, I had set the gain for like 10:30 o’clock when I tested your recommendation and it sounded quite good. Amp gain on the Laney is like 1.8, so close to breakup.
            Yeah I tried to boost the VA Muff but it sounded kinda choked and a bit dull in Flat mode, so I guess I should switch off the BD2, when I wanna use the VA Muff ;)
            As for the Tele and Muff: I have to live with the different sound then :D

            Thank you, Bjorn, for explaining/helping me out here!

  64. CT says:

    Hello. Any consideration for the Vox AC15, or Roland JC 22?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what sort of tones you’re looking for. Both are on the brighter side and lack the punchy mid range typical of Gilmour’s tones but with the right pedals and a bit of tweaking, you should be able to get close. They’re well worth checking out and they’ve obviously got some classic tones.

  65. Bernie Heerey says:

    Hi Bjorn I have what i hope is a quick question . You mention that the Celesteon G12H speaker is better in the Laney LionHeart L20 than the Thames Weber and also it is a good speaker for the Laney Cub..I currently have a Thames weber in my laney Cub12. Could you tell me which GH speaker you are referring to as i have found a G12H m, a G12 55 ,a G12H 65, a G12 75 anniversary. All of which have different specs..Would the Celestion G12H be a better speaker for the Cub too as the Weber can sound a little bright ? harsh sometimes . Help please!

    • Bjorn says:

      As you know, the Weber Thames are high wattage, with extremely high headroom. They’re really designed for much bigger amps than the Cub but I too had a cab with them for my Cub and it worked nicely. At least for the tones I needed at the time and the Cub can easily be adjusted to compensate for the high end. I’m very fond of the Celestion G12H 70th Anniversary, which has a slightly brighter top end compared to the V30s, which is also nice but works better for a closed back cab.

  66. Daniel says:

    Hello Björn,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. I had originally purchased a blues deluxe and you had suggested it was too bright and loud so I took your advise and I am in the process of exchanging the amp for the Peavey classic 30. I haven’t played the amp yet but I’m sure I will like it since everyone I’ve spoken about it says it’s a great amp. The reason for my comment is that I have recently been looking at the Fender Bassbreaker 45w which is advertised as being more of a British style sounding amp with power scaling from 1w to 45w to go from bedroom to arena and everything in between. It has 3 12AXT preamp tubes and 2 EL84 (power amp) tubes and 2×12 celestion G12V-70 speakers. Unfortunately it does not have an Fx loop or reverb which I don’t care too much about either way. It’s also described as a pedal friendly amp and it sounds warm to my ears from the reviews I’ve seen on YouTube, some even describe it close to a Marshall sound. In your opinion, does this sound like another option that may have not been reviewd by you yet? Or maybe by the specs mentioned would it be a good option to get the sound we’re looking for? I would greatly appreciate your advise. Thanks again!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Bassbreaker has some of that early Marshall flavour, which again was based on the classic Fender Bassman. Compared to most Fender amps, it’s got more mid range and compression but it’s still got that Fender quality. I haven’t had the chance to try it with pedals but I would imagine that it can handle most pedals pretty well although I’d probably go for something versatile, as described in this feature, and stay clear or be careful with the vintage style fuzz and boosters.

  67. Baris says:

    I decided to buy Fender Super Champ X2 instead of Laney Cub 12R. Good or bad choice? I’m after Gilmour’s magical sound. :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, only you can decide whether that was a good choice or not but I think you should be able to dial in some really nice tones with the Fender :)

  68. Barış says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I am about to get my first electric guitar (standard strat m.i.m.) and not sure about which amp I should buy. I was planning to buy a Laney Cub 12R but read a few not-positive review about it.
    This is the guitar I’m planning to get:

    Also I’m not sure about the hardcase. I found this bundle but not sure about the quality of the case :

    Looking forward to see your answer. Have a nice day,

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Baris. I think the Cub amps are great and hard to beat if you want that classic British tube tone for an affordable price. You can’t expect boutique quality design for that price so I warmly recommend it for practice and studio use but for shows and touring, I’d go for something a bit more rugged.

  69. BBieber says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    May you recommend 2×12 cab to use with jtm45. Now I hesitate between laney lh212 and mesa 212 rectifier. Which one will be more suitable.

    Thanks, your website is superb.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s the speakers that matters. I often favour the Celestion G12H due to their fat lows and high sparkle. You could also go for V30s but these can often sound a bit too dark… for my taste anyway. As far as I know, the current line of Laney cabs feature a combo of both speakers.

  70. Hello Again Bjorn!

    What about the LAB Series L5 amp? I have one that was given to me by Bob Bradshaw (formerly my neighbor here in LA) and it’s running through two Jensen C12’s that by their code are probably vintage (220424). This amp sounds amazingly good. BB King uses is as an alternative to a Twin Reverb which is a gilmoursih amp. I know it’s an SS amp…but it really has a great tone. I also have a Laney LH 20 running through 2 Fane Classic 50’s but in band practice I’m maxing that amp out. Any thoughts on the LAB Series as an alternative to a Twin?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi, I’ve never played one myself but I always thought they were similar to the JC-120, which I guess isn’t that far off the Twin…

  71. Ed Goncalves says:

    Hey Bjorn congrats on the new album! I was just curious how you set up the Peavey Classic 30? Do you use the clean or drive channel? Boost or no boost? Thanks for all your dedication and helpfulness you give to us all!

    • Bjorn says:

      Usually the clean channel with no boost and the EQs fairly neutral. Perhaps a bit of treble roll off.

  72. Matthew says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Great selection of amps, I was curious about your thoughts about the Fender Mustang amps for really tight budgets, I wouldn’t probably take them to stage even the bigger ones but I use my for home recordings and I’m always surprised how well they sound. Here is couple of my covers if you’d like to take a look:



    Mild Overdrive’s:

    • Bjorn says:

      I have never played those so I can’t really tell but if you’re considering the bigger ones, I would recommend looking into the Laney Cub series. About the same price and you get a classic tube amp with great tones.

  73. Alan Bird says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Been reading your site for a while now and find it very informative and entertaining. I have been a massive Floyd/Gilmour fan since I was a teenager in the 80’s – so good that there is still so much interest.

    Just a quick question regarding amp choice. I am soon going to go back out to do some live gigs after quite a few years, and I need to get a decent amp which can compete with a very enthusiastic drummer as well as bass, keys etc. without being able to mic up to a PA, so I am going to need something fairly high powered. I currently play through a Blues Junior.

    I prefer to use fuzz pedals and muffs for dirt, so I will need a fair amount of headroom and I have a budget of around £1500 UK.

    I’m thinking Fender Bassman combo or Laney L50H head with a suitable 212 cab. What do you think? Or any other suggestions?


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Alan! Being a huge fan of the Lionheart amps, I will recommend that one. The Bassman is obviously a great choice but I like the versatility you get from the Lionhearts. Great classic tones and they can handle almost any pedal you throw at them.

  74. Danielmour says:

    First of all thank you Bjorn for all the hard work you’ve put into this site. It has definitely made my life easier in finding the Gilmour sound. My question is: I’m getting ready to purchase a fender blues deluxe reissue amp which is similar to the hot rod except it’s more intended for a clean tone. Would you recommend this amp? (I have a Vick audio overdriver on its way to add to my signal chain) and would it be suitable for a concert/amphitheater type venue? Also, how would you recommend micing the amp?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! Sorry for my late reply. I’m sure you’ve already decided but the Blues Deluxe is very loud and I wouldn’t recommend it for a typical bedroom setup. It works nicely for rehearsal and clubs. It has more compression and mid range than other Fenders, including the Twin but you might fin that mids scooped uncompressed pedals like the Overdriver, Fuzz Face and Big Muff sounds bright and harsh. Better to use more versatile pedals with more mid range and compression. Check out this feature for more tips.

      • Daniel says:

        No worries Bjorn, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. So, I got the Blues deluxe but I it seems to de defective , I bought it used so I will most likely return it and will be in the market for another amp. My questions to you would be, which amp would you recommend for my current set up? Currently I own the Vick audio overdriver and the ’73 Rams head among the other essential Floyd pedals and of course a Strat with SSL-5’s . We plan on performing both small clubs and amphitheater style venues. What I would like is an amp suitable for both and would mic the amp through the PA for larger venues. We’re going to be playing Pink Floyd mostly. I’m looking at the Laney 50h but don’t know if it would be too much for smaller clubs. Please advise, and thanks in advance!

        • Bjorn says:

          I can’t really praise the Lionheart L20 enough. I have the head with the 2×12″ cab and it such an incredibly versatile amp. It can handle just about any pedal your throw at it and it sounds awesome with the guitar plugged straight into it as well. The L20 is loud and I have no problems using it on bigger venues with a couple of thousand seats. It’s obviously mic’ed with a monitor in front but that wouldn’t be needed at smaller clubs with 2-300 seats.

  75. Edmundo says:

    Hey Björn! Great article! Between the Marshall1962 Bluesbreaker Combo and Laney Lionheart LT20 212 : Which one do you think is better in terms of versatility,pedal friendliness and achieving Gilmour’s tone?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Laney for sure. I use it all the time for all of my Gilmour stuff (and my own stuff too) and it’s such a verstaile amp. The Bluesbreaker is great too but it doesn’t have the same headroom and it can sound a bit too aggressive with some pedals, like a Muff.

  76. Kane Dypka says:

    Hi, I’m currently looking at getting a new amp. Atm I am using a fender Princeton 68 but it doesn’t sound right for my pedals. I have boonar delay, moon-vibe, buffalo fx power boost, bd2 keeley, cali76, buffalo fx patriot, fuzztone 70s. I’ve been thinking of the laney cub 15w head and cab or the hiwatt t20 head and cab. would either of these make a good floyd sounding setup or is there a better option around that price/watt range? Thanks..and great site Bjorn

    • Bjorn says:

      The Hiwatt would probably be your best choice between the two but I also recommend checking out the Laney Lionheart series. Very versatile amps and they can handle pretty much any pedal you place in front of it.

      • Kane Dypka says:

        Hi Bjorn Thanks for the reply,
        I did look briefly at the lionheart l20 after watching your boonar demo. I’m pretty sure with the hiwatt t20 you can switch the watts from 18-10. On your laney l20 is it just 20watt or is there another input or switch to drop the watts. I’m just playing in my bedroom but i play quite loud so i think the lionheart l5 might be a bit to low for me.

  77. Phil says:

    Nice you swapped the comment section around I noticed with the new stuff now being atop the list :)

    Just a small correction: I recently checked out info on the Hiwatt T20 combo and I will likely get on of these in a few months. So hard to come by though here in Germany…
    Anyway the output is actually 18 and 10W instead of 20 and 10, Bjorn ;)
    Doesn’t make a huge difference though I guess…

  78. John says:

    Hi Bjorn, Im a newbie who has built his own stratocaster with 2x CS69 and SSL-5 pickups.
    I’ve been playing it now for 6 months and time to get an AMP!
    Would the Laney Cub 12R be the most suitable Amp for bedroom/at home playing that you would recommend? The Cub12 can be had here for £220 which seems really reasonable. Is the 12R just added Reverb feature?
    My goal is to be able to play the solos for “Sorrow / Brick in Wall 2 / What do you want / Comfortably Numb / Have a Cigar”. I also really like the sounds Prince got from his solos.
    Thank you for the reply, John.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi John, the Cub is a great start I think. They sound great at low bedroom volume and they can handle pretty much any pedal you place in front.

      • Phil says:

        yeah yesterday I tried the 12R with the Boss Blues Driver and that sounded awesome! Did not test it with a Muff though, as the store only has the EHX reissues and I’m not a fan of those.
        I think it would work nicely with my VA Ram’s Head though, wouldn’t it, Bjorn?

        I mentioned earlier that I’m looking into getting a Hiwatt, but it’s too much of a hassle, so I tried the Laney 12R combo, enjoyed the sound and will likely get on of those soon :)

        Also hope the release of your album today goes well, Bjorn! I will definitely check it out!

  79. 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.

  80. 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

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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?


  89. 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.

  90. 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.


  91. John says:

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

  92. 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..

  93. 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.

  94. 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!

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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/?

  100. 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 :)

  101. 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…

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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!?

  105. 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.

  106. 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…

  107. Roberto says:

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

  108. 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!

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. Gerard Smulevich says:

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

  112. 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.

  113. 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

  114. Andy says:

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

  115. 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.

  116. 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!

  117. 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,

  118. 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.

  119. 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 :)

  120. Mick says:

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

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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 :)

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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…

  138. 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.

  139. 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:

  140. 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,


  141. 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.

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

    • Bjorn says:

      Send me an email post(at)

      • Andre Kovacs says:

        Hello Bjorn, have you managed to review the Frog PX1. I’m planning to build one myself and I wonder if you have ever had the chance to test an Alembic F2b preamp, for suggested settings and necessary mods to try to catch DG’s tone. Best, Andre

        • Bjorn says:

          Don’t have any experience with these, sorry. I know there are several people here on the site that own a F2b. Anyone care to share?

  147. 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.

  148. 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!!

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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

  159. 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?


  160. 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

  161. 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.

  162. 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.

  163. 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.

  164. 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!

  165. 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.

  166. 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.

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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 ?

  171. 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.

  172. 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.

  173. 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,


  174. 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 :)

  175. 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.

  176. 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?

  177. 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.

  178. 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.

  179. 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.

  180. Bryan says:

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

  181. 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.

  182. 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.

  183. 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.

  184. 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.

  185. 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 :)

  186. 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?

  187. 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.

  188. 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.

  189. 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!!!

  190. 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 ;)

  191. 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.

  192. 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.

  193. 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.

  194. 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…

  195. 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.

  196. 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!

  197. 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.

  198. 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.

  199. 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.


  200. 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

  201. 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.

  202. 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.

  203. 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.?

  204. 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.

  205. 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.

  206. 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.

  207. 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.

  208. 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.

  209. Emilio Melo says:

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

  210. 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.

  211. 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?

  212. 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!

  213. 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.

  214. 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.

  215. 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.

  216. 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!

  217. 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….?

  218. 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 :)

  219. 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.

  220. 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.

  221. 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?

  222. 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.

  223. 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 :-)

  224. 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

  225. 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.

  226. 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 ;-)

  227. 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


  228. 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.

  229. 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.

  230. 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.

  231. 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.

  232. 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.

  233. 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!

  234. 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.

  235. 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.

  236. Rick says:

    Cheers Bjorn :)

  237. 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.

  238. 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.

  239. 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.

  240. 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 !

  241. 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.

  242. 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.

  243. Chris D says:

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

  244. 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.

  245. 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.

  246. 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.

  247. 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

  248. 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:

  249. 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.

  250. 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.

  251. 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.

  252. 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…

  253. 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.

  254. Roger Sartori says:

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

  255. 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!

  256. 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.

  257. 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:

  258. 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.

  259. 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.

  260. 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!

  261. 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!!

  262. 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? :)

  263. 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.

  264. 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!


  265. 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.

  266. 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 :)

  267. 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.

  268. 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.

  269. 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.

  270. 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.

  271. 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.

  272. 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.

  273. 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.

  274. 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.

  275. 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.

  276. 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.

  277. 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

  278. 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! :-)