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!

1,680 Responsesso far.

  1. Lrnz says:

    Hi Bjorn! ive been using your site for the past 4 years atleast but its the first time writing to you, and its, ofc, to ask for help :).

    Im currently using this setup : Mex Strat Deluxe with an SSL-5, my pedals are, the TopTone DG2 (buyed thanks to you) TC elettronics Flashback (same as the DG2) a Trex comp-nova, Movall overdrive Minotaur (recommended by the store where ive buyed the strat, years ago, he plays Gilmour too) and the mini mooers, both ensemble king and the ninety orange.

    the problem is, im using a VOX Valvetronix +20 and i just cant make it sound decent, i cant deal with the volume, the gain, the master and the power knob aswell, idk if im doing something wrong or it just the amp that cant keep up with the pedals.

    The amp its 10 years old already,
    bought it when i was just a teen and pedal-less :D
    i really want to buy that Laney 12 cub stack, but im stil in doubt.

    Any advice?

    • Bjorn says:

      What’s the issue with the amp. What do you feel is lacking in the tone? My experience with smaller Vox amps is that they often sound thin, bright and lack that mid range you need for a lot of the typical Gilmour pedals and tones. You really need to drive Vox amps hard to make them sound big and fat. I can’t really praise the Lionheart amps enough. Awesome sounding amps and pedal platforms.

  2. Ratan says:

    Hi Bjron, Hope you are doing good. I had a question about two amps: 1. Boss Katana 50 watts and 2. Laney Cube 12R. I understand both are different amps (transistor vs tube) and need, but how do you compare to each other, considering tight budget, do you recommend Boss Katana? It for bedroom hobby playing and considering Gilmou’s tone in general and looking for more versatile solution.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Katana has effects built into it so in that sense, it’s more versatile I guess. Nice pedal platform too. The Cub is a more vintage sounding amp with a distinct tube flavour. I like both. Depends on what sort of tone and features you need.

  3. John Hargnett says:

    What did you think of it?

  4. Cyril says:

    Hi Bjorn, first a real big thank you for your amazing work on this website. I’m also a huge fan of your solo albums, can’t wait for the next one. Hope to see you in concert someday in France.
    My question is: I hesitate between 2 heads to buy. Laney Lionheart L20 head and Hiwatt T40 head, both with their assorted 2×12 cabs. I plan in a Pink Floyd tribute Band, in venues from 500 to 2000 people. My amp is always « sounded » with a microphone to the sound system.
    Witch one would you go for ?
    Thanks for your reply.
    Regards from France.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Cyril! Obviously, for both amps you’d have to mic the cabs and use fron monitoring. I swap between my Lionheart and Reeves/Hiwatt and both deliver on similar types of venues. Personally I think the Lionheart has more character, while the Hiwatt is no doubt a more Gilmour type of amp.

  5. John Hargnett says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Great stufff as usual. Have tried a Marshall Origin 50?

  6. Greg Kala says:

    Hi, Bjorn! I already own an Orange Rocker 15. I just got a Red Pig Hoof, and I’m thinking about getting an additional amp for bedroom playing that might be better for the Gilmore tone. Do you think a Laney Cub stack would be very similar to the Orange, so why bother? Thoughts for an amp to combine with the Pig Hoof? Thanks so much!!

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re somewhat similar, both being British with that mid range and compression. I do think the Cub is much more vintage sounding though, with more headroom. Great pedal platform.

  7. Seth says:

    Hi Bjorn:

    First, thank you for this amazing site and trove of great information! Love it.

    I’m picking up a HK 18 and I’m curious as to which specific JJ tubes you would recommend for it. Can you provide some guidance here?

    My apologies if it was discussed elsewhere on this thread. I read through the comments, but didn’t seem to come across it. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about tubes in general, so your help would be greatly appreciated.


    • Bjorn says:

      I had a H&K 18 for some time and I think I had JJ goldtips same value as the stock tubes in it. Made a huge difference. Be sure to use the gain channel for your pedals though. The clean channel is way too open for pedals.

  8. Sound Chaser says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I’m in the market for a new “pedal plateform amp”, using a good clean sound as a basis and my pedalboard (overdrive, fuzz, modulation). It’s only for home recording and practizing, no gig. Quite interested in a solid state amp like the Boss Katana, what do you think? Did you try your pedalboard with the Katana? Many thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      The Katana is a great pedal platform. I haven’t spent too much time with but I definitely got some great tones with lots of different pedals including Muffs. It is a solid state so you won’t get that tube compression and dynamics, which will have an impact on your pedals but that’s probably not an issue in e bedroom/small studio setup anyway. Check out the Roland Blues Cube as well.

  9. Jerry says:

    Hi Bjorn, I really appreciate the site, and have learned so much from your videos. I have a question about your amp and pedal chain you used to record the song, Out of Reach. Your solo in that song has to be one of the most beautifully phrased solos I’ve heard. Can you let me know what amp (Reeves 50? Lionheart?) and pedals you used for the solo? I think I’m hearing your Dunlap Crybaby as you progress up on some of the notes and possibly a phaser. That solo nails the sound I’d like to achieve if possible. Thank you so much for your time – Jerry

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jerry! Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s years since I recorded that solo so I don’t really remember for sure. I think I used my Reeves and a Les Payl with PAF humbuckers. Effectswise I think I used a cray baby > AnalogMan Boss DS-1 and all of the delays were added in the mix using stock plugins in Logic I think… Listening to the solo I was probably playing very loud to get the sustain and feedback :)

  10. Hi Bjorn. Fender Bassbreaker is a good plataform to EHX Russian Big Muff and Crayon?

  11. Edmund Taylor says:

    Hi Bjorn. You’re playing is incredible and sharing your knowledge is really helpful. I have a Peavey Classic 30, but am thinking of switching to the Hiwatt Tube Series 40w.
    My chain is a Fender MIM Strat with Custom 69 pickups> Electronic Orange Pig Hoof>Vick Audio Overdriver>Electronic Orange Moon Vibe>Mooer ElecLady>MXR Carbon Copy>Ditto Looper>Peavey Classic 30.
    I’m chasing a Gilmour tone, and have a few questions.
    1. Is swapping the Peavey for a Hiwatt worth the investment to get a more gilmourish tone?
    2. Is the Hiwatt versatile? I have no stores near me that carry Hiwatts to try one for myself before buying.
    3. Is my signal chain Ok?

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard one to answer. I guess it’s worth it if you got money burning in your pocket but I think the Classic 30 is great and you can definitely get some really nice Gilmour tones with it. Your chain looks great! What do you think? Is there something missing in your tone? Do you feel the need to buy a new amp or should you experiment more with the amp settings and pedals?

      • Edmund Taylor says:

        Something seems missing from my tone. I ordered an iron fist compressor. Maybe that will solve the problem. I also plan on buying in the future evidence audio cables, a pedalboard with isolated power, and maybe an analogman 109 SunFace. I plan to add these things slowly over time when my budget allows. Thank you for your input! I’m also using the Peavey Classic 30 at low volume level for playing at home. Will that effect the EQ? I’m using the settings you recommended for the Peavey Classic 30. Thanks

        • Edmund Taylor says:

          UPDATE: I tried the iron fist compressor and it is what was missing from my tone. My tone now sounds very Gilmourish. Thanks again for all the great advice and info on this site.

  12. Geir says:

    Hi Bjørn. I keep coming back to your site, thanks for the excellent (and no doubt time consuming) work for everyone interested in guitars. I hope people hit the Donate button now and then, I do. (If not and you are reading this, it’s on the About page!)

    Now having bought and concentrated on keyboards and mixer/recording for a while, I want to pick up my guitars again. They are Fender as well as custom Strats (one with original Fender and one with EMG pickups) and Teles. (I have had Gibson, Gretch, Guild and more over the decades, but it seems I am a Fender guy.) I am strictly a basement home studio guy nowadays, no band or gig playing.

    I have a Soundcraft Signature hooked up to a Mac running Logic X. The Soundcraft has all my keys connected, and with the 3 “big” Strymons chained into stereo AUX. I also have a few standard and boutique pedals, Tube Screamer, OD1, Blues Driver and DD7 delay.

    After playing a Mesa combo for many years I finally realised it was never going to leave the house again, and overkill for my basement, and replaced with a Princeton Reverb. Perfect for most of my playing.

    Then visiting this site again wondering if I should shell out for a custom muff, I realised that EH had released the Green Russian, which I can get from my local gear shop at a price which won’t ruin me. And the Triangle, which I guess is more of an untamed beast. So of course I thought I would try one.

    But reading your comments made me wary if the Princeton is the right amp for a muff. So I started looking at the amps section, especially what caught my eye was the Lionheart L5 Studio. I understand this can in fact be connected to my Mac directly through USB for recording. And can be used without a speaker cabinet for this and though headphones. So that sounded intriguing.

    Now after a long winded intro, I hope I can ask the following. Please note that I am not aiming to do perfect sounding Pink Floyd covers, although the right equipment might change that, this is mostly to apply those wonderful sounds to my own songs.
    1. Assuming I want Gilmour type muff sounds, do I want another amp than the Princeton? (Assume for arguments sake that money is not an issue. It is, but let us pretend it’s not. :) )
    2. Assuming I want another amp, is the Lionheart that much better than say a Cub that it makes sense?
    3. Have you tried running the L5 directly though USB? Does it work well enough that I can skip a speaker and mike?
    4. Am I right in assuming that the Green Russian would be a “nicer” alternative for me than the Triangle?
    Then between them, my Strymons, Boss DD etc I am sure would cope with the rotary sounds and delays etc.

    TIA, Geir :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hei Geir! Takk for hyggelig post! Regner med du er norsk, men la oss ta det på Engelsk :)
      I don’t think you can find a better sounding and better suited home practice/studio amp than the Princeton. You can’t really compare it with anything else. I’m using a Lionheart L20 for a lot of stuff and it’s really one of the most versatile amps that I’ve played. The clean channel is kind of a Vox AC but not really :) The dirt channel is kind of a JTM 45 but so much more :) The Studio 5 is the same amp only smaller. I wouldn’t swap the Princeton for it unless you’re not happy with it. That being said, the Lionheart is definitely worth checking out. Not least for its studio features.
      The Cubs are great but I’d rather keep the Fender.
      I’ve only tried the Studio running it as a regular amp. Haven’t tried the studio features. The clips I’ve heard sounds OK but I think it really shines if you use it as a pre-amp and re-amp your signal using plug-ins.
      The Green Russian is a more mellow sounding Muff, with more mids and compression. Two different pedals really. Depends on what you need :)

      • Geir says:

        Norsk ja. :)
        Thanks for the reply!

        I am not suggesting I swap the Princeton, that is a keeper. Rather to buy an amp like the Lionheart to complement it, for where I want those «British» sounds. I am not big on using plugins, although Logic has some nice amp sims. I could buy the Studio head and a speaker cab, but If I am not gong to use the built in interface anyway it would be cheaper to buy the 5W combo and mike it the old fashion way.

        If course, If I can get those «Gilmourish» sounds from the Princeton somehow, I’d rather save the money.

  13. Francesco Cagnacci says:

    hey bjorn, have you tried the new hot rod deluxe? i was considering buying it

  14. fabrizio goria says:

    hey Bjorn how are you ? legend site that keeps getting better congrats !!!!
    some help please……I own a DR 103 1972, last service the technician said that is nearly time to change the transformers , where can I get those partridge transformers ? and if they are not available what should I Buy ?

    thanks for your help


    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! I really don’t have any experience with that. I’d do a search and maybe post a Q on a vintage amp forum. Sorry…

  15. Dorian says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    I have a question, I notice a more loud or sharp sound when I play a bend on the ground string, I can take the example of Shine on you crazy diamond second solo, when I play the first note on G string, I feel that it is more acute than I want. can I improve this with my amp (fender bassbreaker midnight oil) or with a pedal? You have an idea ? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to tell when I haven’t heard your tone and this also sound more of a matter of taste than something being wrong. David’s Hiwatts has a lot of mid range and he’s using a tad overdrive and a bit of compression. That produce a warm punchy tone, with a bit of bite and high end roll off. Your Fender amp is very different sounding but I’d probably start by setting it up clean, rolling back the treble considerably and roll back the guitar volume control to about 8. Maybe a hair higher or lower. You can also consider a compressor but a cleaner overdrive, like a BD2, would do the job.

      • Dorian says:

        Hello I use bk Butler tube driver and the blue comp, based on the cs2, by alh effects.
        It is difficult to me to explain the sound but i notice a difference beetween position.
        Equalisation is difficult To understand for me, I also notice I have a buzz like a sound saturée in the base.
        Difficult :-(

        • Bjorn says:

          Well, I have no idea. When you say buzz it could be a frequency in the amp that you can try to tame with the EQ controls. Could be a string that’s either causing fret buzz or that’s too close to the pickups.

  16. Chris chaney says:

    Thank you for your answers. I have been wondering about that for a while i doesn’t change amp but it scoops out some of the mids and that helps the amp sound less aggressive on clean channel.

  17. Chris chaney says:

    Big question bjorn. I have a button on my Marshall dsl that when i punch it the mids are scooped and it sounds less aggressive will that help with pedals like tube screamer and others that dont like mid heavy amps its a fairly new feature on amps that allow players to get that scooped metal sound but, maybe i am just dumb but, seems to me that would bring the amp closer to a fender or allow you to use different pedals.

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think it turns your amp into a Fender but perhaps a more modern sounding distortion. I guess that makes it easier to use mids boosted pedals. I haven’t tried the feature on that amp so I can’t really comment on how it sounds.

  18. Rodrigo says:

    Hello, Bjorn

    Thank you very much for all information in your website. Really impressive work. I have to tell you that i was
    using Line 6 digital pedal boards and never get any closer to Gilmour sound.

    Following your sugestion, i changed my gear to a BOSS KATANA 100, and achieved excelents results on Gilmour sounds and other tones for my Classic Rock band. Very happy with the amp! Thank you so much!!

  19. Bryn says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Can you give an idea of how loud/quiet the Laney Cub 12 is in <1W mode? For example, could it go louder than a dreadnought acoustic played hard? If using it as a clean platform for pedals, does it make any difference to the sound quality to use the 15W channel with volume turned down? Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s definitely louder than an acoustic but it obviously depends on the volume and gain settings combined. 15w will sound fuller and more balanced but the 1w does the job.

  20. Arthur says:

    Hi Bjorn
    what do you think about the last Fender Hot rod deluxe IV? It seems to be a little different from the III, do you think it works good with pedals?

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it but the Hot Rods do have a bit more mids than your typical Twins etc. Nice pedal platforms although I’d go for the more mid rangy pedals.

  21. Chad from Dallas says:


    As always, thank you so much for your info. I am playing through a Hi-Tone HT50 right now and love it, but have come across a Cieratone Hey What in my area that is at a killer price. I plan on picking it up. I have a 2×12 cab, that has a Marshall vintage g12 on one side and nothing on the other. I need to buy a speaker for that side. I really no nothing about speakers. My first question is if that g12 is any good. If so, could I pair it with something that would sound complimentary. If so, what would you recommend. If not, what would you recommend I buy as a pair. If i need 2 new speakers I can go that route. I’d like this rig to maybe be a bit different, but still cover the Gilmour tones. Tahks for the help!


    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve been using different speakers with my Reeves Custom 50 but settled with G12H and V30s. They sound great in pairs and mixed.

  22. Chris chaney says:

    My next pedal will be a bd2. I wondered for years when watching pulse how he went from clean to just above clean for the two solo sections in coming back to life now i know it was a tube driver type pedal.

  23. Chris chaney says:

    I spoke to you recently about my marshall dsl 40cr new 2018 model revamped and not so bright anymore with new celestion speaker it is a g12. My question is what are the best overdrive to use with this amp my green russian works because it has a classic clean channel like the old jtm 45s seems to have a lot of headroom it will get loudnon that channel before i can here breakup. Just give me some suggestions with modern Marshall tones in mind.

    • Bjorn says:

      It still has that mid range so I would probably stay away from the more mids oriented pedals. How about a BD2 or something similar?

  24. Fabrizio says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m a bedroom player and I’m thinking to buy a Kemper Profiler Amplifier Guitar Amp Modeling Processor, I know for these I need to get a full range guitar cabinet speaker, can you please give a suggestion for that?
    Many thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t really have that much experience with different types of speakers. Personally I mainly use Celestions. The G12H has a nicely balanced tone but enough character. I currently use V30s but they are pershaps a bit too colourful for what you’re looking for.

    • Fabrizio says:

      As always thanks very much Bjorn, I appreciated everything you do, and all your precious help

  25. Greg Kala says:

    Hi, Bjorn,

    I’ve been looking at the Hiwatt Custom Shop Little D Rig with the WEM cabinet, but I’m also reading a fair amount of negative statements from players saying stay away due to cheap build quality and because of the tubes, the head will always sound like a Marshall. They steer towards a Hi-Tone for better quality and more true Hiwatt sound. Any thoughts on the subject? Thanks so much.

    • Bjorn says:

      The amp is very much a Hiwatt and although the tube configuration is similar to Marhsall, the amp is certainly not a Marshall. People tend to have a lot of opinions about Hiwatt but my best tip is to always trust your ears. Doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks or say if you like it. I haven’t tried the amp my self but the reviews sound nice. I have spoken out about how the amp is marketed and how they claim it to be a David Gilmour signature amp. It’s not. As for the tones… I’m sure it’s a great amp. That being said. A Reeves or HiTone is probably a better built amp.

  26. Bryan says:

    Hi Bjron, the amp I am currently using a Behringer VTX50. The amp does get quite distorted at high volumes or usually sounds flat and muddy.

    My pedals are in this chain
    Boss CS2
    B.K Butler Tube Driver 911 and sometimes a BD2
    Big Muff (Green Russian) the resissue
    Boss GE7
    ND1 Nova Delay
    Boss RT20
    Boss CE2

    I’m trying to get the tone of sorrow, the pulse version. It sounds a bit too flat. Is it anything to do with my equipment or should I look at specific amp settings

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried your amp so I can’t really comment much. It seems that it has a low headroom, meaning that it distorts easily but you should be able to set up a clean tone, with the pre gain low and the master high. Maybe there is a channel selector. I’m not really sure about the specs. I think I would try to stick to the BD2 and maybe the TD and set them up for fairly mild overdrive tones. Your amp is not a Hiwatt so don’t pay too much attention to how David sets his pedals. You might also want to look into pedals like a Rat, OCD or similar that will privide more mid range and compression. This will probably suit your amp better.

  27. Space says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I use Google traduction.
    I’m looking for a small head and light enough. Thank you to also tell me if these amps are usable With a band.
    I do not know if you had the opportunity to try the victory amp? or to consult some videos of these amps … among these 3 models of this brand which one would you advise me?
    Victory V40,
    Victory Sheriff 22,
    Victory RK 50?

    And Also :
    VOX – Night Train G2 NT15H
    EGNATER rebel 20
    EGNATER tweaker 15
    Marshall 2525H Mini Silver Jubilee
    gurus 5015

    thank you very much !

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Victory amps so I can’t really tell. There are lots of reviews out there on all of these amps so do check them out. The ones I’ve listed here are amps that I’ve played and that I recommend for Gilmour tones.

  28. Greg Kala says:


    Thanks so much for everything you do, including your playing! Amazing! I’m a “bedroom” player looking for an amp to chase down David’s various tones. I know you use a Reeves Custom 50, but do you think the Reeves Custom 12 PS with the power scaling is going to help me get close? I also like the Blues Junior IV, but I’d need to hook up an attenuator, which isn’t quiet the same as power scaling. Preference? Thanks so much!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words and support Greg! Glad you enjoy the site! The Custom 12 is perhaps closer to a Marshall than a Hiwatt… or something inbetween. It has a nice headroom for pedals but expect it to be more aggressive compared to a Hiwatt. Unless you plan on using the amp’s gain to produce distiortion and overdrive the PS is pretty redundant. The amp is capable of delivering nice clean tones on low volume as well. Depends on what you need. Cheers!

      • Greg Kala says:

        I already have an Orange Rocker 15, so it sounds like the Reeves would be pretty similar. I’ll check them out, but it looks like the Blues Junior IV and maybe the Hiwatt T20 may be my best bets. Thanks, Bjorn. Input from any other readers is also welcome!! Thanks.

  29. Frankp says:

    Hi Bjørn, i really like the blues junior III, but what about the limited edition lacquared tweed with Jensen speaker, it’s a good option too?


    Bjorn, have you ever tried de Vox MV50 amps?

  31. Matthew Brookfield says:

    Hi Bjorn. I have the B.K butler tuber driver with bias control but it doesn’t sound good at all with my fender 65 deluxe reverb. Is this amp not fit for this pedal ? Thanks bud

  32. Chad from Dallas says:

    Bjorn and Readers,

    I just wanted to put out some information as I am always get so much from this site. Like many of you that frequent this site, I have been n a long journey with guitar in general and more specifically that Gilmour tone. Bjorn your site has really enabled me to dial in my sound using a variety of amps and pedals. Regardless of the set up, I can find a Gilmour tone close to what I am looking for. I thank you for all your articles and tutorials. They real do make a huge difference.
    This all came into fruition the most with my recent purchase of a High-Tone HT50. I have gone through many amps on this journey including a Laney Lionheart, Mesa Lone Star, DV Mark 40, Reaves Custom 50 1×12 and now this Hi-Tone. For the money, I think the DV Mark is incredible. It dials in great tone and only weighs 47 lbs, in a 2×12 all tube combo. I must say though that the Hi-Tone delivers BIG. It sounds incredible and for those chasing the Gilmour sound, it is there for sure. It also sounds fantastic for rock and blues tones. I have to say I couldn’ be any more pleased with my tone. I also want to give Bjorn credit for his dialing in tone article. The sound I orginally dialed in wasn’t even close to what I got after I read the article on dialing in your amp. I set my Hi-Tone up almost exactly like your Reeves Custom 50. The M1and Tube driver sounds are exactly what I had been working for for years. The Boss OD-3 and DS-1 mod also sound killer. As far as the clean shine on sound goes, I have a Buffalo FX power booster and it sounds spot on for that first intro.
    To be fair to the Reeves I purchased, it was a 1×12 and I was using a G-system for my effects, so I do not think it was a fair comparison. Since I stopped using the G System and going through the loop, my overall tone has really opened up. I also had not read the Article you put out about dialing in the amp. I am sure it rocks equally as well, had I dialed it in the same way.
    Overall though I just wanted to share with the readers that the Hi-Tone amps are the real deal. If you are reading this wondering about them, don’t!


  33. Cyril Jablonka says:

    Hi Bjorn. Thank you so much for the huge and terrific work you’re doing on this website. A real Bible to me.
    Would you please tell me if you ever tried the Laney 212r cab? I have a Fender Hot Rod 2, but I would rather change for something more “British”. The use I’d make of it: venues from 100 to 1000 people.
    Best regard.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanksfor the kind words! The Laney Cubs are really great. Hard to describe the tone but somewhere between an early Marshall and Hiwatt. Certainly capable of producing great tones and it’s nice pedal platform. Personally I consider it more of a bedroom or practice amp. A bit too small for gigs but then again you can always mic it and have a front monitor.

  34. Rotem says:

    Hi bjorn!
    I got a really good deal on a jet city(basically cheaper soldanos – in quality and price) amp. I quite like it for my bluesy kind of sounds, but i was wandering if it would be able to cover gilmour tones. Specifically lead tones.
    I would love to hear your opinion .
    Thank you very much, rotem

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t really have any experience with the Jet City amps. I know a Soldano, although fairly hot and aggressive, can easlity be set up for some really nice and warm bluesy tones and it has quite a lot of headroom too so based on that I would say yes in regards to David’s tones.

  35. Felipe Mac-Auliffe says:

    Hey Bjorn! I ended getting a Cub Head and a Lionheart LT212 cabinet (G12H speakers) as a present, I still can’t believe it haha. Thank you as always for all your help and this incredible site, greetings from Chile.
    -Felipe Mac-Auliffe-

  36. Simon says:

    Do you have any experience with solid state modelling amps? I own the Yamaha THR10 and I sometimes download presets from other users online and load into the amp when its connected to my computer. That way I have gotten some nice Pink Floyd sounds and I also bought a Maxon OD808 to drive it further (tubescreamer copy).

    However it would be nice to know if there were any other pedals that could get me closer to the gilmour sounds that some people, like yourself, can dial in on their more expensive tube amps..

    It does handle pedals well so maybe I should buy myself a Big muff or something.. If you haven’t got any suggestions?

    I was almost keen to buy a Laney Lionheart L5T 112 or Cub 12r but then I noticed they don’t have any headphone jack so I can’t really play it most of the time at my apartment.. So I might stick with this Yamaha and get me some pedals and hope for the best. Hope you can help me! Cheers

    • Bjorn says:

      I have very little experience with the THR, only played it without pedals, so I cqn’t really comment on how well it goes with pedals. A Muff might wrk but I think I’d go for something versatile that might suit the amp better, like a RAT type of pedal, or OCD something similar, with a bit of compression and mid range. These types of pedals seems to work better with smaller amps. The Lionheart L5 Studio has USB and headphones outs.

  37. Charles says:

    Greetings Bjorn. Looking for some amp advice. Currently, I’m playing a borrowed Blackstar HT-1. I’m on an extremely limited budget. Looking at the little $100 Hotone Legacy amps. It would surprise me if you’ve played them, but maybe you know enough about them to suggest one? There’s a few flavors, which one would be closest to the Hiwatt/Gilmour ballpark?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Charles! I haven’t tried the Hotones so I can’t really tell. I’ve seen some good review but I really don’t have a clue. Don’t have much experience with micro amps but I must say that both the Boss Katana line and the new mini amps from Laney are very impressive. Obviously, an alternatve would also be to go all digital with a software of some sorts, like Amplitube or similar.

    • Frank Bizzoco says:

      Charles; I can vouch for the Boss Katana mini 5w amp. It is 100 USD, and sounds pretty killer with clean/crunch/dirty channels. It will actually take my big muff, compressor, and mistress very well if you want to get more authentic. It has a phones/cab sim out, and aux in for mp3 on the back. Batteries actually last a good while (6 AA), or it will take a Boss power supply. Also has on board digital delay, and the harmonics are great. Headroom isn’t the best because well, it’s a 5 watt. But if you are looking for a little amp that you can mess around with, jam on, sounds great, and is cheap, katana series is the way to go. That’s my “real world” experience with it. There are also quite a few reviews of it on the Tube. Hope this helps you in your quest.

      • Charles says:

        I have one actually. I’m looking to pair something with a cabinet with some more oomph though. The Kat mini comes out when I’m wanting to play at 3 or 4 in the morning. It certainly sounds awesome for what it is, but it’s not gonna give you what a proper cabinet will.

  38. Daniel says:

    Is there a major difference in tone between a Hi-Tone DR 50 and a Reeves Custom 50? It appears that Hi-Tone is basically Hiwatt carried on and Reeves just used the name. I’m just trying to make a decision on which to grab. Is either more of a true replica of vintage Hiwatts than the other? I see that Hi-Tone offers NOS mustard caps. I just don’t want to regret any decision I make.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t done an A/B test so I can’t really tell. I’m sure there are lots of opinions out there… All I can say, based on my experience, is that both amps sound amazing and probably as close as you can get to those old early 70s Hiwatts. I’ve been using a Reeves Custom 50 for years and I really couldn’t be happier. Awesome pedal platform and very easy to record.

  39. Zach says:

    Hey Bjorn, any thoughts to the mesa lonestar special in handling the more demanding pedals such as fuzz/big muff? I know mesa’s are more fender based but some have more Britishy tones in the channel switching stuff. In reading through the comments I see you’ve used a mesa rectifiers in the past.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Zach! The clean channel is very based on classic Fender, with a nice chime to it, while the crunch channel is more a Plexi style Marshall with more compression and mids.

  40. John Nebus says:

    Hey. Bjorn !!!
    I understand that you play through a Reaves custom 50… Have you had the opportunity to test it side by side to a Hiwatt custom 50 or a D series signature 50 ??? It’s next to impossible to get a Hiwatt shipped here to the U.S. but if the Hiwatt is the way to go… I will find a way 🎸😎🎸

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve tested it with a new Hiwatt Custom 50, with the same speaker cabinet. Sounds very similar. If anything, I think the Reeves had a slightly smoother breakup and to my ears the EQs responded better.

  41. Cyrus says:

    Hello Bjorn. My new Hiwatt T20 just arrived here in the US. However, the power cable that came with it is a European style “schuko” plug. Because the US only has type A and B outlets, I have no where to plug my amp in. Wondering if you know any safe and compatible alternatives to powering up my new T20. I really look forward to powering it up. Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh… I’m really no expert on the technical stuff and I certainly wouldn’t try to give you any advice that could damage your amp or give you a electric shock. I’d send Hiwatt an email or contact a local tech who knows tube amps. Don’t mess with electronics unless you know what to do and don’t listen to online experts. That’s my best advice.

  42. Frank says:

    Hey Björn, do you have any experience with Laboga amps? I‘ve got the Alligator in mind. Great Site!

  43. David says:

    Hello Bjorn, I am thinking of purchasing my first tube amp. At this point my pedal collection is growing and they don’t work well with a modulation amp. I am thinking of Laney Cub10 or the Cub12R. They have different power tubes, 6v6’s for the 10 and EL84’s for the 12. Can you explain the difference between these 2 sound wise? Does one of the 2 work better with a big muff and/or tube screamer (clone)? I like the fact that the 12R has <1 watt input for bedroom levels but do you know if the 10 is too loud for bedroom purposes? Are they both loud enough for band practice in a small room if connected to an external 2×12 cab? Do you suggest saving some more money and go for the head and a cab or perhaps a Lionheart?

    p.s. love your site and your work. Keep up the good work.

    • Bjorn says:

      6v6 are slightly darker and smoother, while EL84 are brighter and punchier. Keep in mind though that the difference is subtle and, you are comparing two different amps here, even though it’s the same model. The fact that one has 10″ and the other 12″ plays a big role in the tone. I would go for the 12″ since you use pedals. You’d need that headroom. The scaling is useful in a bedroom situation but I’m not sure if the amp holds up in a band setup. Maybe on a stage where you’d mic it but probably not in a rehearsal room. If you have the oportunity I’d strongly consider he Lionhearts.

  44. F Javi says:

    Hi Bjorn. About two amps, also for people who have tried them.
    DV Mark Little Jazz and ZT Lunchbox.
    With the right pedals like compressor, Big Muff, OD, Delay, etc., which of the two amps would be better to get Gilmour tones, mainly from Pulse to the present?
    I read well from both amps, about DV Mark very good clean very warm perhaps more jazz oriented, and ZT Lunchbox maybe better for rock, but maybe too loud …
    Thank you !

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve only tried the Lunchbox and it took all pedals pretty well. Very loud though…

    • Chad from Dallas says:

      I can’t speak for the little Jazz, but I have a DV Mark 40 210. It is extremely good for Gilmour tones. I use a Buffalo FX M1 and a Butler Tube Driver for my main drives and they both sound incredible through the DV Mark. I would highly recommend the amp. I have had a Reeves Custom 50, Laney Lionheart, and have a Peavey Classic 50. I prefer the DV over all of them. All of them sound great, but for the price point, lightweight and the sound itself, I highly recommend the DV. I cam by mine by accident, when I borrowed it for practice, because my Reeves was being re-tubed. I bought it on the spot and it has been my main amp since.

      • F Javi says:

        Hello. Certainly… I have acquired a DV Mark Little Jazz, and although it has no tubes, it has an excellent warmth and dynamics, perfect for Gilmour tones in bedroom setup, as well as for jazz, blues and rock..

        The guitars I use are Fender Strat American Special and Gibson Les Paul Studio and I usually play with MXR Dynacomp Custom Shop Script + Buffalo FX Evolution + BD-2 + DD-7 + Mooer Ensemble King Chorus (for flavor pulse).

        The result is very good, especially for medium and low saturations, for higher gain themes I still have to make adjustments in pedals and amplifier, but I’m sure it is also possible …

        DV Mark Little Jazz is a Little Great amp…

  45. Hi Bjorn, fantastic post, do you have any idea of the new Marshall Origin Series, Do you think its a good choice to get a Gilmour tone or a good pedal plataform? i really like the Laney CUB series, but i want something with that classic style of old marshalls, i heard that the Origin series are close to plexi tone, with tons of compression and headroom, greetings from Mexico.

    • Bjorn says:

      Those early Plexi models aren’t that different from early Fender and the tweed models David often use but the they are more aggressive souding due to the compression. Perhaps a bit brighter as well. I love those amps and they’re great with most pedals but you might find that Muffs and some fuzz pedals sound very aagressive and perhaps hard to tame properly.

  46. Pierre says:

    Hi Bjorn. Looking for an amp (head) for a Gilmour tone, that is pedal friendly (espacially fuzz), not mid scooped, low wattage and not too heavy as I need to carry it every week. What would you suggest? I would love a small Hiwatt or clone but I do not know which ones are really good. I am currently considering the SUHR 18-watt Badger with the power scaling feature which has great reviews. I have a Bandmaster 1964, Blues Jr with Cannabis Rex and a Dr Z Maz 38 combo. I like all the amps but would like to try something like the one I described above. As always, you’re the man! Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Pierre! I guess all the one mentioned will provide a great platform for the tones you describe. Personally, at least for similar tones to David’s, I don’t really like Fender amps and fuzz but that’s a matter of taste. The Badger is an awesome amp but slightly more aggresive compared to a Hiwatt… and Fender. One of my favourite amps is the Laney Lionheart. They come in different shapes and sizes. Very versatile and a great pedal platform. Not too heavy either… for a class A amp.

  47. piazzi says:

    I have a Bugera V22 combo. I also have a Peavey classic 20 Head.

    I bought the peavey to get the mids I was not getting out of my Bugera.

    Bugera’s been fantastic for me, One thing that baffled me for a while was to get a fuzz pedal to sound good with it. I traded out of a few fuzz pedals with little success.

    I tried some of the suggestions by Bjorn with distortions instead of fuzz and they worked. I had almost resigned to accepting that Bugera V22 and Fuzz would not mesh.

    Until I witched the amp from pentode to triode. I am not not sure what it does to the circuits, but I can say the amp gets into saturation a lot faster, doesn’t gets too trebly, and somehow mids appear out of no where and my fuzz pedals sound very good

    I have a Fairfield four eyes cross over fuzz (amazing pedal) and and DOD Carcosa (very bold and ballsy – raspy) and they both sound good on their own, I also have a EHX OD glove that I sometimes run in front of the fuzz and then things sounds bombastic — really, really good. And if I want to play a bit cleaner to do blues or something, all I have to do it take the fuzz off and just hit the amp in triode with the OD Glove


    Bjorn, Fender Bassbreaker or Blues Jr III?

    • Bjorn says:

      Could go either way I guess. They’re very similar. The Bassbreaker is perhaps a tad more modern sounding and slightly darker.

  49. Dan says:

    Hi Bjorn, I do not understand why you removed the BUGERA amps. I own a head lamp infinium british 1960. It is a very beautiful machine. The sound is amazing for handmade wiring (China). I had for a long time a Hi Watt Max Watt transistor which was awesome. But the choice of this head convinced me. I’m sorry, I’m French and I use google trad. I use this amp with the Ram’s head 75, CS2, Boss chorus, TC Delays 2290, MXR custom shop phaser 90, Maxon overdrive DD 808, blues driver and other pedals. With a deluxe strat, fat 50, CS69 and SSL5, another standard AM strat from 1993, a vintage telecaster 52. It’s a great amp and that faithfully reproduces British sounds. Musically, a French gilmourish.

    • Bjorn says:

      I didn’t remove it because I don’t like it but I didn’t want too many on the list and I wanted to update it with newer models as well. It’s indeed a great sounding amp well worth checking out.

  50. Liung Yit says:

    Hi bjorn,
    What do you think about BOSS mod. SP-1 (SPECTRUM) pedal ?


  51. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Björn, do you think about Fender Champion X2? Other question, What better choice between the Fender Blues Deluxe and the Laney Cub 12?

    • Bjorn says:

      Two very different amps. The Fender is bright, with little mid range and compression, while the Laney has more mid range and compression. Sort of a mix between a Hiwatt and early Marshall. Depends on what you want. You can get nice Gilmour tones with both amps and the right pedals but personally I think the Laney is easier to set up. Especially for low volume bedroom tones. See this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedals.

  52. Hello Bjorn. About the Laney Cub 12. I have a Laney TI15 Tony Iommi signature with the same basic characteristics Laney Cub 12. It has a single channel that works clean with low gain. Do you think my Laney TI15 works well with pedals you recommend? Especially muffs and overdrives?

  53. caramel duo says:

    Hey Bjorn. I have a fender blues deluxe, which i love. Too big I know, but I dig it anyway. Blue Jr just sounded too small. Drive channel is poo, but that’s what pedals are for. Anyway, lately I’m wondering if I “need” a low watt Marshall style amp as well.The reason being, I love fuzz in all it’s flavours. Reading your blog has me questioning whether my big muff needs a new friend. What do you reckon, oh wise one?

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, I won’t be responsible for saying that you need anything, ha ha!, but yeah, fuzz pedals often sound better on amps with more mid range and compression. I grew up with, and still are a huge fan, of Kiss, Sabbath, 80s hair metal etc so when nobody can see me, I crank my Les Paul and Marshall Silver Jubilee 20w combo. It’s an awesome amp. Based on the JCM800 I think but it can easily be set up for more vintage Plexi tones and the clean channel is decent enough. Great pedal platform as well.

      • Nick says:

        Ha glad to hear it’s not just me. As much I love to chase Gilmour’s tone at the end of the day it’s hard to beat a cranked Marshall (especially the Silver Jubilee – love those harmonics from that amp)

  54. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Have you ever tried using an attenuator DI box like Two Notes Torpedo or the JHS Little Black Amp box on larger tube amps to crank the tubes while keeping volume at low level via these devices? From what I read, Gilmour cranked his Hiwatt amps at full throttle to get tube breakup with his setup. I have a 120 Watt Peavey amp and want to test this out to get full tube saturation on clean channel for full sound at bedroom volume which is what these devices provide. Wondering what to use for pedals if this works out. Would I use standard fuzz+boost+OD chain on my larger tube amps? This would solve the issues with small bedroom amps and let me keep my large amp head for full power using the DI/attenuator box as line volume bedroom levels while getting the tube breakup which is what Gilmour did.

    • Bjorn says:

      Attenuators are often used to be able to drive the preamp for distortion but lowering or attenuating the output stage for lower output volume. You get the tube distortion on lower volume. David has always set his Hiwatts for a clean tone but hot enough for the tubes to be working fairly hard. The tone is punchy and you get a bit of that tube compression but the tone is clean. Attenuators doesn’t do much on clean amps but there’s lots of things you can do to get a fat sounding tone on lower bedroom levels. Check out this feature for some tips on setting up your bedroom amp.

  55. Thomas Johansson says:

    Hi Björn
    Have you tried Hiwatt little D?
    Best regards
    Thomas Johansson

    • Bjorn says:

      Nope. I have commented on it many times here on the site. Fine amp I’m sure and do check it out, but I don’t like how they marketed it. Do a quick search here on the site :)

  56. chris gala says:

    Bjorn, I have recently purchased a Peavey Classic 30. Can you recommend a replacement speaker? Gilmourish, obviously :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I think they come with Celestion Midnight 60s now, right? They’re not bad but I guess I’d go for either G12H or V30s. The G12H has a nice upper mids sparkle, which can open up the fairly dark C30, while the V30s are darker but with a very nice low end.

  57. Hello Bjorn. Is Clean chanel of the Marshall dsl5cr a good pedal platform?

    • Bjorn says:

      Marshall isn’t known for good clean tones but with a bit of tweaking, yeah I think you should be able to get some nice tones. The DSL amps are fairly bright so you might want to roll back the mids a bit below noon and the treble considerably down.

  58. Hey Bjørn, I have some questions about the Laney amps that you mentioned:
    1. In the Laney cub family (combos only), what amp you consider the best?
    2. How is the Cub212R compared to the 12R?
    3. If I get a 12R, what is the best speaker you would recommend to me to change?

    Thank you for this useful page, as always.
    -Felipe Mac-Auliffe-

    • Bjorn says:

      The amps are identical, with different features. The higher wattage models has more headroom and a 2×12″ cab will also provide more headroom. I like the Celestion Celestion G12H. They fit the amp very well. You can also go for the V30s. These are a tad darker sounding.

  59. Gilad says:

    Hey Bjorn

    What do you think about the princeton 68 as a Bedroom amp – can it deliver a Gilmour sound?
    im torn between a small Reeves with the POWER SCALING or maybe a blues Jr? I dont know which way to turn and would appreciate your comment?

    Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      See my previous reply. As for the Reeves… you can definitely go for one of them. Great amps. But keep in mind that those smaller models are based on early Marhsall and not Hiwatt.

  60. Gilad says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    im a big fan of your website and thank you for all the time and help.

    I would like to know which Amp options are the best for a Gilmour sound that can handle all the pedals and used in a bedroom volume? like 2-3 best options?


  61. Hi, im a big fan of your page and also of pink Floyd, so i have a question, im about to get a Fender deluxe 5e3, beacuse i love that blues Tone but also want to get a gilmour style tone, i use a big muff, zvex box of rock, Analog delay, univibe, and Reverb. Thanks.

  62. Win says:

    Anybody have experience with the Jet City 20HV?

  63. Dudley Nostrand says:

    Hello Bjorn – have you ever tried or considered some of the new amp modelers like Line 6 or Axe-Fx or Kemper to get Gilmour tones? I’m curious what your thoughts are on today’s modeling technology and amps, effects, etc.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m a bit behind on that stuff. Been using Line 6 and Amplitube for years and I’m very happy with those. Use them a lot for recording demos and writing songs. Haven’t checked out Axe or Kemper but I see they can do some interesting stuff. The technology has come a long way and it’s amazing how they replicate different sounds but I guess that regardless of what you use, even if it’s the cheapest stuff you can get, you have to know how to use it. I think that all of these processors and plugins are very good at certain stuff but you can’t expect them to cover it all. One of the reasons is that tone is very much a result of your playing and how you go on choosing different gear and setting it up.

  64. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Bjorn, or anyone else in Gilmourish land; does anyone have any experience with the “lunchbox” type of amps? There are quite a few of them out there, like Orange, Joyo, Peavy, Bugera, and even one called Wangs (pronounced Wongs). I am sure it is pretty easy to get them to go into overdrive at low volume, since most of them are 1-5w. Just curious if anyone had any experience with these little guys. Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      Most of these has very little headroom so they’re not always the best pedal platform. The ZT amps are well worth checking out and the H&K Tubemeister amps are great too. If you want more of a plug-n-play kind of thing then the Orange Tiny Terror is hard to beat.

      • Frank Bizzoco says:

        I have never tried the tiny terror. I think Orange discontinued it. but there is the micro terror, which is solid state in the power amp. They are all over Reverb, and Sweetwater, I just wish I could try it with my BYOC triangle. I am curious on how it takes BigMuffs.

  65. Andrew says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Any idea what channel would be best for Gilmour tones on a Katana? Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you want and whether you’re using pedal or not… and what pedals.

      • Are Molund says:

        im using a katana 100 with an xotic booster, OCD, blues driver, russian big muff, some cheap ass compressor and a carbon copy. still not feeling im getting the gilmour tone i want. looking for the “smooth creamy overdrive”

        • Bjorn says:

          What sort of pickups do you use? What’s your amp settings? It’s always hard to describe a tone because what I consider as smooth might be very different to your ears. Not least how you can achieve that on different rigs. See this feature for some amp set up tips and this one for some tips on getting great bedroom tones.

  66. Matt Gilbert says:

    Hi Bjorn, massive fan of this site and your videoes. You are as we say in Australia, a “dead-set Legend”
    I recently had to sell my beloved Strasss SVC-30 (3x12AXY/4xELb4) 3o watt 2-channel 1×12 combo. Ever since, I’ve realised that it was the best pedal platform amp I’ve ever owned. So I have a chance to buy, at $500, the cub stack w/so;ver grille. I was thinking of speaker upgrades all round for my combos, Cannabis Rex>Junior, Creamback 75>Bassbreaker, V30>Cub12r Combo.

    Thoughts? I use Muffs, Rats, Klones, Bluesbreaker, Tubescreamers, BD-2(s) and Jetter overdrives. Thanks. You ROCK!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Matt! Thanks for the kind words! Those speakers seems to be a good upgrade. The JR sounds awesome with the Rex. Considerably darker but it does great justice to the amp. I haven’t tried the Creamback 75 with the Bassbreaker but it shouldn’t be too off from what it came with but a nice upgrade. Based on your pedals you should have a very versatile setup.

  67. Nick says:

    Hello! I had a question about Delicate Thunder/Pulse tones and amps. I notice several instances where you recommend a Hiwatt for those tones, but wouldn’t a Fender or similar amp be a better fit? As far as I understand the power amp just amplifies the weaker signal Inputted by the Preamp. In the case of his live rigs, his Preamp was an Alembic circuit similar to the Dual Showman or similar scooped blackface type circuit. The preamp also contains the EQ section so the power amp would have no impact on the EQ. I only ask this because I’ve had a EMG equipped Strat with a Hiwatt and found myself constantly rolling the SPC controls or amp mids much lower when using these together to avoid getting a muddy or choked tone.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to tell how he used those Fender amps. They might have been modded and he also did use different preamps. He did swap these for the Hiwatts later on so what you hear both Delicate and Pulse are the Hiwatts. The alembic was used as the main preamp in the 80s and fordriving the rotary speakers in the 90s. Again, hard to tell how he blended the Alembic and Fenders/Hiwatts in the 80s but David’s often combined Fenders and Hiwatts for a bit of both worlds – those scooped Fender cleans and the more aggressive mid rangy and compressed Hiwatts.

  68. Alexis says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I have some questions for you concerning amps:
    1) What do you think of the new Blues Junior IV? It sounds really different from the previous one to my ears, as it seems that Fender reworked the EQ section and replaced the bright speaker. Is it still for you a good amp for Gilmour tone (or even better), or would you advice to go for the Blues Junior III and replace the original speaker?

    2) I finally managed to finish the assembly of my pedal board (a Custom Pedalboard with Boss ES-8 switcher and SIS patch cables, will post a picture soon), but I had to change the place of my amp and cab. So now the cab is closer to the wall of the room, there’s only a 5cm space between the wall and back of cab. My issue is that I experience now a more bassy sound than I’m used to, and I didn’t changed the amp settings nor the pedals. Is it only a trick from my ears, or would you suggest to adjust the bass and mids a bit on the amp settings? My amp is the lovely Laney L5 Studio, drive channel with bright mode set low for clean sound, bass at 2:00, mids full, treble at 10:00, speaker is a Celestion V30 housed in a semi-open back cab.

    Thanks in advance for your advices and tips! :)


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the new BJ but the old one that I had sounded very bright so, for my taste at least, it needs darkers speakers – I had mine fitted with Cannabis Rex – and also a bit more mids. I know there is a popular mid range mod you can track down. If they’ve done something similar to this I would imagine that the amp is even more suited for David’s tones than the earlier models. The Bassbreaker is also worth checking out.
      Amp placement plays a big role in how the amp sound and how you perceive the tone. Corners pick up all the low end and placing the amp close to a wall will make it resonate more. If you don’t like what you’re hearing then either try to manipulate the sound with the EQ controls or, move the amp.

      • Alexis says:

        Hi Bjorn!

        Thanks for your quick answer, I’ll give a try to your tips as soon as possible.

        Concerning the Blues Junior IV, I spent more time on the Internet to have a better idea of what the “improvements” are compared to the previous version of the amp:

        A) The speaker in the BJr IV is a Celestion A-Type, I compared its technical informations and frequency response to the Eminence Cannabis Rex, and it appears that they are almost the same (link to the Celestion page: ) (link to the Eminence page: ). They’re both told as “modern American voiced speakers”. So it seems that Fender addressed that popular speaker replacement users of BJr III did.

        B) I read that a lot of people changed the PCB of their BJr III, or at least replaced some components, in order to change the EQ section and give to the amp more fullness, especially in the bass frequencies and a bit in the highs too, and avoid the harshness at hi-gain settings. Fender seems to have done the same kind of job in the BJr IV. Maybe this is similar to the “popular mid range mod” you’re talking about?

        C) Another trick I read is to replace the original tubes of the BJr III (Groove Tubes) with JJ tubes, in order to give more headroom and mids to the amp. From what I’ve seen on pictures, the BJr IV seems to have Groove Tubes as original tubes, so a little upgrade on this side can be a good and affordable investment I think.

        Anyway, I’m very interested in this new version of the old Blues Junior, I think I’ll give it a try soon!

        I hope the information I gathered on the web will help other guitarists who have an eye on this amp. ;)



    • Matt Gilbert says:

      Hi, I have the older Tweed BJ Mk 3 (NOS) w/Jensen and it is very bright and scoopy. I love that blonde tweed look do you know if the new IV series come in that finish?

  69. Nick says:

    Hello Bjorn! Hope everything is going well for you. I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have recently picked up a Dr Z KT-45 for a great price. It’s very much in the Hiwatt vein, with a Live at Leeds tone when cranked, but with a loud clean punchy British tone. The mids are slightly relaxed compared to a Hiwatt. They are not scooped, but more neutral like a tweed amp.
    My question is, in a loud clean amp with flat mids, is it better to get a muff with midboost like the Vick 73 ram’s head, or a “stacked” muff pedal like the Skreddy P19? I most like would not be pairing it with a booster.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you want. A stacked Muff sounds much more satured and compressed, while a Muff with a mids switch will retain much of its original character.

  70. Brad says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have a Fender Bassman reissue. I normally jump the channels. To get the tone I want. I need both channels at or above 4. The band I play with likes a lower stage volume and lets me get about halfway there. Any suggestions for a softer amp with that tone?


  71. Yit Liung says:

    T-PEDALS mod. NUKEBOOSTER………to try……….

  72. Massimo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    do you know FREDAMP? He makes tube preamp pedals (to use with cabsim like torpedo cab or similar).
    In order to play/record with a silent environment, what kind of setup would you suggest (what kind of tube preamp pedal in particular)?
    thanks in advance, massimo

  73. Konrad says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Great website and lot’s of useful info. Anyway, I’d like to ask you for a some advice :)
    I want to downsize my rig. My Peavey Classic 50 is too big (heavy), and still too loud for most gigs. It’s a raliable good sounding amp but it lucks dynamics and I want something more responding.

    Actually I need two sets: A – gigs, light (max. 15kg) after 20 years of playing this is a important factor :D budget (200-400€) amp combo, or head + cab
    I was thinking about Laney Cube 12 but after reading your post I have an impression it will not work on the road (realiability) and also will not have enough headroom, I often use clean, for funky comping, chords but also use pedals for heavy sounding leads and cruncy rock sounds, pretty much versatile story ;)

    Set 2, B – bigger venues, musicaly more demanding stuff (up to 1000€) I want to get rid of my Egnater Tourmaster (4-channel 30kg head! ) I has to be copact too, 20kg max:) I also consider head + cab if it’s worth it.
    We all know amps needs to be pushed to sound properly, and I’ve never had a chance to pass 3 on master volume, it’s always too loud for FOH ;)) I think I need 25-40watt. It will be miked anyway, but I like to have a bit more powere in case;) 15Watt might be not enought and I will lost clean when I crank it to the limits?

    I know, the best way is to plug own stuf and check if it works with particular amp, many factors like playing style, music, guitar etc., but your advice based on “rig experience” will definitely narrow my choice and help make a decision without days of searching and testing.

    Maybe one quality 12 cab plus budget amp and pro amp will be the best idea? So I can use little or bigger head with the same cab (if they mix together well) depending on what situations I am involved (cover club gigs or opan air concerts)

    I am testing budget micro amp – VOX MV50
    I pretty much like the sound but dedicated VOX cab with Celestion V-type seems to lack mids.
    I would keep this litte amp (0,5 kg!! :D) if I got propper sounding cab.

    I am taking into consideration little fender amps like junior, junior tweeded (is this the same amp?) will they have a beeter headroom than Laney Cube 12?
    Few days ago I heard Ibanez TSA15 amp and I was impressed. It sounded so much better comparing to Blues Junior. Do you have experience or knowledge on it?

    keep rockin’!

    I am looking forward to hear your tips!

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, this is the big question isn’t it :) As with buying guitars I think that the most important thing is that you get an amp that you’re comfortable with. Doesn’t really matter what I recommend if you don’t like it. Guitars and amps should be extensions of you and your playing so I guess my best advice is to bring your favourite guitar to your local dealer and just try a bunch of amps.
      Sounds to me that you need something versatile for different applications and I can’t really praise the Laney Lionheart amps enough. The L20 head and cab is one of the most versatile amps I’ve ever played. A dream to record, plays very well on lower bedroom levels and it has enough headroom for most pedals. The clean channel is very Voxy, while the gain channel sounds closer to an early Marshall Plexi/JTM.

  74. Charlie says:

    Between the Bassbreaker and the Blues Jr, which would you use as a Gilmour style pedal platform?

  75. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What’s you’re opinion on the ELECTRO HARMONIX mod. LPB-2UBE ?


  76. Matt says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Amazing website, I’m just diving into it and it’s such a great resource. Well done. This is my first post/question.

    Although I love David Gilmore and his tone, not everything I buy is based on chasing his tone. I do play on a 57 reissue with 57/62 pickups, but I just bought a 65 DRRI with a C12K speaker and don’t know what Fuzz will work with it.

    My question is, what Fuzz’s work well with the DRRI and do I need to stay away from any in particular?… ie. Fuzz Face vs Big Muff or Silicon vs Germanium.

    Right now my pedal setup is Boss TU-3 tuner>Diamond Comp>Jesse Davey Duellist>Xotic EP Booster> Strymon Brigadier> Boss RC3 Loop. I also have a ProAnalog Manticore on the way, but I need a fuzz.

    So, in your opinion, (or anyone’s on here), what is the best fuzz to compliment my pedal board and DRRI? What do i need to know when choosing options? I recently found the Jesse Davey pedals and bought the Duellist and it is incredible. The Jesse Davey mini fuzz or vintage fuzz both look and sound amazing from videos, but i dont want to splurge for it not to work with my already purchased gear.

    Any advice is much appreciated. Sorry for any repeated questions that may have already been answered.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work!


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Matt! Thanks for the kind words! Glad you like the site :) Please read through this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedals for your amp. Let me know if you need more help :)

    • Frank Bizzoco says:

      Matt FWIW, fender amps like the reverb lack midrange, and compression. A muff clone like the Vick audio rams head, or BYOC large beaver have a mid range toggle switch that add mid range to a mids lacking amp. Toggling it on will give you the edge you need for your amp. Also from what I read on Bjorn’s excellent big muff review section, he gives very high praise to the Sovtek big muff reissue because it had boosted mid range naturally. It is also the cheapest of the 3 pedals at around 80 USD. I have the BYOC triangle, and I am very happy with its versatility. Hope that helps.

  77. Reverend Kansas says:

    How much of the traditional Gilmour tone is the amp versus the speaker cabinet? The reason I ask is because I have a Fuchs Clean Machine, which is a very versatile 150 watt tube monster. I’m currently running it through a cabinet loaded with an EVM-12L, but am thinking about acquiring a second cabinet. My options are a Fane Studio 12, a pair of WGS ET-90, or I could save my pennies and get a Hi-Tone WEM repo.

    • Bjorn says:

      Speakers are a significant part of the tone but amp, pedals and pickups is really what defines your tone. Depends on how close you want to get and the wrong speakers with the wrong amp can sound pretty horrible. I haven’t tried the Clean Machine but you should be aware that those old Fanes has a lot of headroom and they’re bright. They need to be pushed a bit to really open up. I’ve used Fanes for years and I still do but I often prefer lower wattage and darker sounding Celestions to get a more dynamic tone.

  78. Alfredo Martínez says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I have a question, a tube of the preamplification of my Laney L20H is damaged and I want to replace them with JJ electronics tubes, but now my question is whether I should only change the 3 tubes of the preamplifing (12ax7) leaving the original EL84 tubes or I need to change these too with new JJ electronics tubes …?

    Thank you very much for the help and thanks for your immense work …….


    • Bjorn says:

      Preamp tubes usually last a lot longer than output tubes but there are no rules as to how often you need to replace tubes other than if you experience a change in the tone. I’d replace the preamp tubes first and hear how that sounds.

  79. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Bjorn, have you tried any of the amp modeling pedals by Mooer? So far, there is no Hiwatt, but there is a fender and mesa boogie, and 8 others. Apparently, you put them in the FX loop, and it overrides your preamp. I have a solid state Orange amp, and I am just curious if they would give it more of a tube like character, even though I already really enjoy the voicing of my amp with David type pedals. I know my Orange cr60 never be a tube amp, but I am having a hard time believing these pedals will give my amp the dynamics and reaction a real tube amp will have to pedals like a muff. I also have a pod hd500, and it has amp models like a hiwatt in it, and I sometimes run my physical pedals through it. Just curious if these new mooer pedals would be more authentic to the real thing. Thanks.

  80. Anders Svensson says:

    Hi Björn.
    After a lot of research I’ve narrowed it down between a used Vox Cambridge amp 15w or a Boss Katana head 100. The boss amp can be scaled to to 0.5w and has built in speakers in the head. Which do you recommend?

  81. Pete Juzl says:

    I use the Tubemeister 18 and have gigged it. The clean channel gets incorrectly accused of being fizzy with pedals. This is because users have the channel gain set too low and the pre-amp gets overloaded. Set the clean channel gain fairly high (which you can do as it has lots of headroom) and you will have excellent results with pedals. The amp brings in more lows with the gain control set higher, and more highs with the master set higher, so you have to balance the two. I use the amp with all effects going in the front end including delay and reverb and have no problem and only use the clean channel for everything. I use a gutted open backed Blues Junior cabinet with a Cannabis Rex speaker. The open back 1×12 gives great dispersion so everyone gets to hear what’s going on including me. I am now also trying out a Blackstar Artist 15 (not Artisan). Promising so far but not nearly as neutral as the TM18 clean channel which manages to be neutral and chiming at the same time. The Artist clean channel is more mid pushed. Just my opinion of course, but if you are having fizz problems on the TM18 please experiment with the gain to master reaaltionship, you will be pleased you did.

  82. Ricardo says:


    I am in a low budget and I wan’t to chose between a Boss Katana 50w or a Laney Cub12r (combo).

    It’s mostly for home use, so both seems to be good in that department since Laney can be turned into 1w mode. I want to have a nice clean setting too cause I played a long time in a Twin Reverb. which one you think can get me into a richier clean sound with a nice headroom and good reverb.

    Thanks Keep up the good work ; )

    • Bjorn says:

      I would probably go for the Katana if headroom is your main concern. The Cub has enough headroom for most pedals but it’s a single channel amp and depending on your pickups, it breaks up fast.

  83. Hello Bjorn! Please, tell me what you think about Sound City 120 head? I have a hot rod deluxe, and a guy make me a propose to trade the head for the combo? What do you think? Should I get a better sound? Thanks a lot.

  84. Dark Star Gear says:

    I’ve been a little torn on my rig lately. I’d love nothing more than to have a Little D and matching cab but I’m mixed as to how much closer it will get me than my Mesa Mark V:25 and 1×12 V30 is now. I certainly don’t have the mids that the Hiwatt has but if the headroom is there how much more do I need? Is a head worth the jump to use with my existing cab?

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, that all depends on how much you want the Hiwatt tone :) It’s two very different sounding amps and while they both have a lot of headroom, their character is very different.

  85. David says:

    Can the laney cub12r handle playing smaller gigs/bars or would it be better to go for a blues junior or bassbreaker?

  86. Hugo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m looking to buy a new amp and I’ve been thinking about the boss katana 50. Currently I have a fender mustang 1 and it sounds pretty nice clean but as soon as I turn my green russian on, it doesn’t sound very good. I was wondering if the katana would handle big muffs better. What do you think?

    • Bjorn says:

      The “problem” with the Fender is that it doesn’t have a lot of compression and mid range. Great for cleans but not for pedals that lack the same. You could compensate by using more mid rangy and compressed pedals, like a RAT or similar but the Katana can handle pedals better I think.

      • Hugo says:

        Thanks for the input. I also have the option to buy a used Cub12r with a Celestion Rocket 50. Would that be much better than the Katana?

        • Bjorn says:

          Different sounding amp. Much more vintage and the single channel provides both a nice headroom for cleans and a smooth breakup. I would change the speakers though… they sound pretty dull.

  87. Paweł Kaczmarek says:

    Dear Bjørn,
    Do you think that Laney cub12 head with vintage 30 2×12 would keep up with an average hitting drummer playing Floyds, RHCP and stuff like that? I don’t mind getting some breakup , but still more clean than crunch.
    Also, in a <1W mode via 1×12 with V30 could it be used in a home situation (let's say as loud as an acoustic piano) while maintaining decent tone? It's going to by my first tube amp with such a low wattage so I don't really have any idea about those things.
    I really value your opinion and want to thank you for all the work you put into this site, you yt channel and much more! :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think the Cubs would stand up to a drummer. Especially not in a rehearsal environment. On a stage yes but then you would mic it. Check out the Lionheart series. The L20 is an awesome amp.

  88. Alex says:

    Great article! have you try The Orange dualterror

  89. Baris says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I am looking for a 2×12 cab. I can choose 8 ohm or 16 ohm speakers. Which one I have to choose? Ä°s it really important or I can choose whatever I want? I mostly play at home and rarely on stage.

  90. Zane says:

    Where’d the Bugera go?

  91. David Liss says:

    Hey Bjorn. First thank you so much for this website it is incredible. I am interested in getting a Blackstar artist 15 amp. I want to be able to sound like gilmour but also play different things. The pedals I own are an MXR compressor, Big Muff Nano, EHX Glove, MXR phase 95, and a TC flashback mini. What do you think? Would you recommend a different amp?

    • David Liss says:

      I mostly play stuff off of Wish you were Here, Dark Side of the Moon, and a couple songs off the Wall. I am interested in playing echoes

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, David! The Blackstar amps have a fairly modern tone and although they can handle pedals pretty well they do lack some of the headroom needed for your Gilmour tones. They’re definitely worth checking out though. Check out the amps recommended in this guide as well.

  92. Gabriel says:

    Hey Bjørn love the site! It’s taught me more than you can imagine on not only Gilmour tones but given me an overall knowledge of everything you include on the site. I see that you’re a big Laney Lionheart from a lot of your answers on the blog and I wanted to know your opinion on the Lionheart L20 2×12 combo. It’s an amp I’ve been interested in but I also want to make sure it’s an amp that takes on muffs/fuzz and transparent overdrives well. Get back as soon as you can thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Gabriel! Thanks for the kind words! The L20 2×12″ is one of my main stage amps at the moment. Been for years. It’s kind of a mix between the Vox AC and early Marshall/Fender Plexi/Bassman. It’s not overly mid rangy but it can handle Muffs and fuzz pedals very well. You might want to add an EQ or booster, like the Xotic EP, for adding a bit more mids to cut through.

      • Gabriel says:

        Ohhh alright thank you so much for the advice! By EQ would you suggest something like the boss EQ pedal?

        • Gabriel says:

          Sorry that I keep adding on but would an overdrive like a buffalo fx power booster do the job along with an EQ? Or would the xotic be more ideal?

          • Bjorn says:

            The Xotic is just a clean boost, with a bit of mid range, so you can’t really compare the two. The Power Booster is much more scooped (less mid range) but it also double as an overdrive, with a lot of gain on tap.

        • Bjorn says:

          Yes, that would be a good choice but there are some boosters, like the Xotic EP, that has a lot of mid range and boost. A dedicated EQ might be more versatile but it depends on what you need.

  93. Alex says:

    Hi, Bjorn! Thank you a lot for this amazing article! Just need you advise.

    My goal is to have an amp like Lionheart and use it via an attenuator (external) and a speaker simulator. I love this compressed and slightly overdriven power tubes tone, so I’m gonna use the amp with maximum output volume to get the tube at the edge of break up. No matter how wattage it has, there will be an external attenuator with DI output.

    In your opinion, which amp would be right for me?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hm… hard one but I do recommend checking into the Lionhearts. The L5 Studio has a built in attenuator and outputs for direct recording.

  94. Zach says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    First of all, thanks for creating this site and putting all the research in to it. The question I have is that I’m looking into getting my first all tube amp and I can’t really decide which to go for. I’ve narrowed it down to the laney cub, fender blues jr, and the fender bassbreaker. Obviously as these are mentioned in the recommended amps so they can handle Gilmourish stuff but I’m also looking for something that can do early Clapton (cream/blues breakers) as well. Any opinions which you could give would be appreciated. Also what is your experience with the laney cub reliability wise as through researching these amps I’ve found several complaints from several years ago of overheating/quit working. Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Zach, you could go for all three I guess. They’re all low gain amps that provide a nice pedal paltform and classic tones. The Cub is perhaps the closest match for David’s Hiwatts but yes, they do have reliability issue. I wouldn’t trust it on the road but I’ve never had any problems with mine in my home studio. The Bassbreaker is well worth checking into. I like the Blues Jr but it’s noisy and depending on teh speaker, it can be very bright. The Bassbreaker is very similar but a bit more tamed and modern sounding.

  95. Eric says:


    Have you had a chance to fool around with a kemper? I have a L20h and tons of pedals, but man those kemper sure sound nice. I’ve just never heard one in person. Everything ive seen on the net is that its amazing. Pricy though.

  96. Sam Sherlock says:

    Bjorn, I need your help man.

    My local guitar shop just posted a second hand Laney LC50-112 combo for a good price. AUS$690. First question, the obvious one, will it cover Gilmour tones? I’m assuming, being a Laney, that it will be rich in all the right places?

    Second question, is it better than the Hiwatt T40/20?

    Third question, I’m currently playing through a Fender Princeton Chorus and can’t find any info on it… do you know anything about these amps?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never played a LC50 so I can’t really describe the tone or fully recoomend it. Based on the clips I’ve heard, it has a classic British tone similar to the AC and Plexi so I would assume that it’s both a nice pedal platform and suitable for David’s tones.
      The Hiwat T would be a very different amp. Brighter, more mid range and headroom. Which is best depends on taste.
      The Princeton amps has more mids and compression than your typical Twin and similar. Kind of a Bassman but much more open sounding I think and the breakup is smoother. It can handle most pedals but as with all Fender amps, I would go for versatile mid range oriented pedals for David’s tones rather than fuzz and Muff.

  97. Nick L says:

    Played through a JCM800 for the first time. I always associated them with 80’s Metal, but I was getting some gorgeous cleans through the low input and single coils and it sounded killer with OD’s and distortion pedals on the clean settings. A rat and some delay got me some killer Gilmourish tones. I was really surprised how versatile it was, although it certainly isn’t a bedroom amp.

  98. Sam says:

    Hey Bjorn! Huge fan of the site and your work. Been reading for over a decade… in fact, I used to email you with my set up issues it’s been so long! Anyway, few questions:

    1. I’m currently rocking a beautiful Fender Princeton Chorus with black knobs and I can’t find any info on whether it’s a classic, scooped-mids Fender or not. Any ideas?

    2. I’m thinking of adding a Laney Cub stack to my rig. How loud can it get, for example, could a Bose portable speaker keep up with it or is it louder than that? Could I play gigs with it (in combo with the Fender for stereo sounds of course)?

    3. Or should I save a bit more money and go for something like a Badcat amp… which… do you know anything about Badcat amps? Are they scooped or boosted mids? I’m equal parts Stereophonics fan as I am a Floyd fan and Kelly Jones uses Badcat, hence my thinking here.

    Any help here would be hot. I just spent ages tracking down a Vick Audio Rams Head and I want to use it to its full potential every time I play…

    Thanks brother.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you!
      – See my reply to your other post regarding the Princeton.
      – I’ve never compared the Cub with Bose but I would imagine that it’s louder than that. Depends on the amp settings and what pedals you use I guess. You’d probably mic it anyway on a gig.
      – I don’t think you could compare Badcat and the Cub. Two entirely different amps both soundwise and not least quialitywise. I wouldn’t hesitate at all if you could afford a Badcat. They’re extremely versatile and can handle pretty much anything you place infront of them.

  99. Guilherme says:

    Hey Bjorn! Have you tried the crunch channel on the H&K 36W Tubemeister? It looks like it has a really cool vintage tone. I’m seriously thinking about getting a 36W Tubemeister due to its recording/low volume capabilities but I’m afraid about the modern sound on the 18W lead channel.

    Thank you!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes. I wouldn’t say that it’s a Plexi but definitely vintage Marshall and much more so compared to the 18w.

      • Guilherme says:

        Awesome! Do you think this crunch channel would be more suitable to Gilmour pedals and tone than the Lead channel?

        • Bjorn says:

          The clean channel has a lot of headroom and very little compression. Kind of a Twin. Doesn’t work that well with gain pedals.

  100. Phil says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I just got my Hiwatt T20 Head and a Palmer 2×12 V30 cab. From the first tests yesterday it sounds phenomenal, although I’ve read that the V30s need some time to “warm up”, so maybe the sound will improve further :)
    The clean sound is so transparent and less dark/muddy in comparison to my Laney CUB, really brings the CS69s to life especially :)

    I’ve set the Hiwatt like this: Master Vol 8:00, Reverb off, Treble 9:30, Middle 1:30 (tone-shift off), Bass 10:00, OD gain irrelevant, Normal gain 1:00
    I must say that I underestimated how loud even 10W can be on a 2×12 cab 0_o
    Anyway is this or similar how you would set the amp up in general? With a Fender Black Strat (CS69s and SD SSL-5) btw ;)
    I noticed that the clean channel does not seem to break up at all or barely after like 3:00 o’clock. I have considered rolling down the Normal gain to increase the Master Vol a bit, but wouldn’t that take away the “punchiness” of the clean channel?!

    One weird thing that I noticed: In one, really just one specific angle, in front of the speakers the sound is reaaally bright like ear pinching bright. Is this normal?

    Thanks for your input ;)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Phil! The settings seems OK. You should always match them to your pickups, pedals etc but they’re similar to how I would have set them up. The normal volume controls the pre-stage of the amp and you probably want a bit of that for your cleans to get a nice and punchy tone. Higher master will give you more headroom but also a more flat and brighter sounding tone.
      The speakers are always brighter in the centre so by moving around you’ll hear the tone coming from different angles but standing right infront of the amp can be pretty nasty.

      • Phil says:

        Yeah I figured. I basically kept the amp settings as they were. I might adjust the treble, bass and middle again to see which tone I like the most ;)

        I just wrote with the Hiwatt Office manager and the tubes used in my T20 Head are: 2x EL84s, 2x ECC83 and 1x ECC82 … Interesting, never heard of ECC82s. They are made by Ruby though :D Chinese tubes I suppose … same ones are in the Laney CUB.
        This is the so called MKII amp btw, the new one is the MKIII.

        Very happy with the Muff and the Keeley Phat Mod sound with the Hiwatt though, although I noticed the Keeley being really loud, like I have to turn the Vol down to around 10 or even 9 o’clock on higher gain settings.

        Should a OD pedal like the Phat Mod work with all Pickups and sound good? I’m getting that now, but noticed some issues with the Laney CUB being too bright in the bridge PU.

        • Bjorn says:

          The BD2 or Keeley is a so-called full range overdrive, meaning that it’s capable of producing a wide range of different tones, either scooped or with a bit of mids boost. You might need to adjust the settings slightly between amps and it might sound too bright or too dark on some setups. It’s just the nature of most gain pedals.

          • Phil says:

            I got myself a Shure SM57 and recorded a few things I played and noticed the tone being really dark and muddy, so I guess my ears tricked me at first making me think it sounds good haha
            Following that I increased the treble/tone on amp and pedals a bit and good lord does it sound good now! Really happy with the sound.
            The SD SSL-5 kicks the shit out of the Phat Mod especially, so good :D

            I also like many others recently wanted to thank you for the time and knowledge you put into this site! It has been of great, great value for me as a beginner in understanding amp and guitar sounds in general, not just for Gilmour tones ;)

  101. Gary mills says:

    What about the Roland jc22 for clean tone and good stereo chorus.

  102. John Ciampa says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    Thanks for the incredible website. You get a lot of praise for it, but you deserve a ton more. Awesome inspiration, knowledge and community.
    So, I’m a lifelong rabid Floyd buff, and recently picked up my first guitar to give playing a shot. Of course, the first thing I did was look for youtube vids on how to play some simpler PF songs, which is when I stumbled across some of your videos. Just like everyone else here, I’d do anything to make a guitar sound like that (clearly it’s way more the playing skill than anything else – but I thought a decent rig with some options for gilmourish tone would be at least a good start.)
    Long story short, skipping the details, I grabbed the Keeley Dark Side after reading your review. But I had been playing through a vox amplug, which turned out sounding absolutely disgusting paired up with my new pedal. Like, really, really bad, like a nest of hornets.
    So, I’ve drawn the obvious conclusion that I’m sorely in need of some proper amplification. This article was really helpful, but unfortunately I already blew most of the money I had for an amp on the pedal (maybe not the wisest decision, but I had to have the pedal.) No Laney Lionhearts for me, alas. I am looking for an amp that does everything you describe in this article for around $200 or so tops. That might not exist, but can you help me get closer than I would by just guessing?
    I’m looking at the orange crush20 or micro terror, maybe bugera G5, maybe boss katana mini or something low-end from blackstar? Don’t really know what I’m doing though and pretty scared I’m gonna choose something that sucks for the pedal and be back to square one.
    One last thing: it’s got to sound at least decent with nice quality headphones. 85% of the time I play, my girl is sleeping – sad reality but I’ve got to deal with it. I’ll live for the weekends when I can crank the shit out of whatever amp I get, the rest of the time just focus on technique.

    Thanks a million!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi John, thanks a lot for your kind words! $200 is not much. I always try to stress the importance of a good amp and guitar. That’s your most important tools. It doesn’t mean that you need to pay a fortune but maybe look at the shelf above the cheapest stuff. You have a very good sounding boutique pedal and it won’t sound the way you want it to sound with an amp that’s basically box with a speaker. I’m being very honest now but I don’t want you to blow your money and get disappointed again. Now, I would either save up for a few months or whatever it takes or, look at the used market. You can find some really nice bargains. That being said, I would definitely look into the Boss Katana amps. They are awesome and although I haven’t tried them with the Dark Side pedal I’m sure you can set up some nice tones with it. Another option would be to go all digital and look into something like Amplitube or similar. These plugins has come a long way and it might be a better option for your listening situation as well. Cheers!

      • John says:

        Thanks a lot, that seems like very sound advice. I was over my friend’s house this weekend and had a chance to try a boss katana, it sounded nice probably worth saving up for something like that or a used tube unit. Yeah, reviews online can be somewhat misleading, they make it sound like cheaper amps are such a good deal but there’s no substitute for actually listening to stuff in person to get a sense for quality – you pretty much get what you pay for with gear, right? Anyways, thanks again!

  103. Thomas Johansson says:

    Hi Björn
    What du you think about HiWatt little D compared With the Laney LT5 studio?
    Thomas Johansson

    • Bjorn says:

      Two completely different amps so you can’t really compare them. I haven’t tried the Little D but based on the specs and the clips I’ve heard it’s close to the original Hiwatts, with all the headroom and presence you’d expect. The Lionheart amps are sort of a mix between the Vox ACs on the clean channel and Marshall JTMs/Plexi on the dirt channel. Not as much headroom and mids as a Hiwatt but certainly a great pedal platform and IMO very fitting for David’s tones.

      • Les Helgeson says:

        Bjorn, thanks so much for sharing your wealth of musical knowledge with us! Although Hiwatts are a rarity, I managed to find a Laney L5 Studio here in the States and have to say your recommendation is well founded! The tonal range of this amp is impressive and sweet indeed. The 0.5W setting is perfect for home studio/bedroom use while the ability to record and monitor via USB and headphones is awesome. Steinberg’s Cubase seems a perfect fit for this incredible amp. My beloved Fender Deluxe Reverb is now going up for sale with few regrets, save for the reverb itself!

      • Gabriel Tate says:

        If you would like to see what the inside of the USA Hiwatt Little D looks like let me know and ill email it to yeah and anyone else for that matter. Also, mine has JJ (i hope authentic) tubes in it

  104. Bjorn how would you rate the Laney Cub12r combo for an all-around versatile amp capable of Gilmour tones? I am not happy with my Blues Jnr Mk.2 Tweed w/Jensen. It is too “boxy” sounding.
    Also, I have a Squier Tele with cheap pickups, what would you recommend for that “Run Like Hell” Esquire tone? I would prefer Noiseless if possible..

    • Bjorn says:

      The Laney is based on those early Marshall JTM/Plexi amps, much like the Fender Bassman. Much warmer and smoother sounding compared to the Blues Jr. Two different amps.
      I prefer medium output pickups for Tele, preferably early/mid 60s specs, which is close to what David’s always been using.

    • I have a Laney Cub 12R It is a good combo amp for home and small gigs. Never had enough bass response though. I just modded it with a few caps and tightened up the low end. Added a 4.7uF across C11 from pin 3 V1 to ground and replaced C35 with .068uF. Much fatter especially through a 2X12 cab.

  105. Gabriel says:

    What’s your opinion on fender super sonic head and cab? Is it ideal for Gilmourish tones and a good platform for pedals such as fuzz/muffs and transparent over drivers?

  106. Fab says:

    Good Morning Bjorn,

    Thank you for this review.

    with focusing only only on the best sounding-amp criteria for Gilmour tones, what would be your personnal top 3 amps in this list?
    I’m a happy owner of a vintage Hiwatt Custom 100, but to play at home, it is really far too powerful… at low volume, even with volume boost or overdrive pedals such as Boss BD-2, Pete Cornish SS3 or Tube Driver, I’m unable to get any pretty overdrive sound… or to get any overdrive at all. With the huge amount of headroom, the amp remains clean… quite frustrating.
    So, I’m considering a friendly bedroom (and sometimes small venues) new amp and keep the Hiwatt for the other usages.
    I’m unable to try all the amps you suggest, so I would be glad to know your opinion of the best choice.

    Thanks for your answer.

    (And thank you so much for your awesome site, all the information you provide and for the time you take to give us all all your knowledge).

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! My main amp and favourite is my Reeves Custom 50, which I’m sure you know is a clone of the old Hiwatts from the early 70s. It plays remarkably well on low volume but you really need to set it up differently than to how you’d approach a band setting. The Hiwatt T-series is well worth checking out but I have to say that the Laney Lionhearts are hard to beat… at least in my book. It’s not a Hiwatt but you get the best of those old ACs and Plexi amps, which goes very well with most pedals and alone, whether you want clean AC chime or crunchy Plexi tones.

    • Just to chime -in: I’m playing through a Reeves Custom 50 (re-badged 2005 Hiwatt DR-504 imported to the US by Reeves – (cost me US$1,300 on CL) AND a Laney L20 head – US$500 also on CL (each head plays through a 2×12 cabinet loaded with Fanes). It sounds very good in a garage-sized rehearsal space but also at much lower volumes at home. I send the RT-20 + Eleclady flanger along with full signal and delay to the Laney and the OD’s + delay (minus RT-20 and flanger) through the Reeves/Hiwatt. So I mix-in the Laney (clean channel) just up to where I want the modulation to be heard. I must say it’s made the RT 20 VERY usefull whereas before on a single amp it was coloring the tone too much and the Eleclady was way too dominating when it was in a single chain. I learned it all from Bjorn and the rest of you guys :)

  107. Baris says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Why you replaced Bugera vintage series?

  108. Bjorn: With my PF tribute band right now I’m using I’m playing out ion stereo through two amps: A 2005 Hiwatt DR504 (thru a HI-TONE 212 cabinet) and a Laney L20 H (through a custom cab with two Fane 12’s). I have a chance to get my hands on a 1968 Bassman head, all stock and recapped. Would that be an “upgrade” from my Laney L20? Would it be a better mix with the Hiwatt? Currently the Laney is doing duty as my modulation/wet channel. What do you suggest? Keep the Laney or replace with the Bassman as my second amp (alongside the Hiwatt)? /Gerry

    • Bjorn says:

      The Bassman would be somewhat similar as the Laney is kind of a mix between a AC30 and Bassman/Plexi. The Bassman head has a bit more headroom but the gain channel on the Lionheart has more mid range.

  109. Aykut says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I have a Vox lil night train with v30 cabin. , I am thinking buy a new amp. I play at bedroom. I like mostly Gilmour and Hendrix & Page sound. I am thinking Laney L5 studio is gonna be my best choice.
    Also Marshall announced new Origin Series. Can i get Gilmour sound from it. What do you suggest?
    Thanks for this great site and comments.

    (My pedal board: Fulltone Fuldrive 2 , J Rockett Animal, MXR Dyna Comp, MXR Phase90, Big Muff 2000 NYC, TC Electronics Hall of Fame & Flashback Delay)

    • Bjorn says:

      The Origin Series just came out so I have no idea how they match up with David’s tones and pedals but from what I understand, they’re based on the early era Marshall amps, which has a bit more headroom so I guess they will make nice pedal platforms. The Lionheart is a great sounding amp, pedal friendly and definitely within the Gilmour range.

  110. Ratan says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Laney announced new mini Laney.

    Do you think it will be any good? does it contains valves?

  111. Greg from Cali says:

    Thank you for always providing great info on David Gilmour tones, you are the man. I love how you did the comparison with the amps in this update, I must have read it a million times since you posted it. The format is great. Listen, please, can you answer a quick question? I have a Fender Deluxe clone, 20 watts with attenuator built in. I have a Patriot, 1976 V2 Electric Mistress modded, Free The Tone Tri-Chorus, Ventilator, Strymon digital delay etc… Do you think this is a good amp for those Gilmour tones?
    Cheers from Cali as always long time follower! Updating your site was a event for me man. The new updates are dope…

    • Greg from Cali says:

      I regretted to mention I am after David Gilmour’s Animals, The Wall, 1st solo album tones with a bit of the 80s mixed in

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Glad you liked the new updates :) What do you think? Are you happy with the tone you have? Seems like a good set up but as I always try to stress, what’s important is that you know how to use your gear. With the right knowledge you can make anything sound like Gilmour or the tones you want :)

  112. vivek vijay says:

    hey bjorn,,
    hope u r doing great and music going great..!! i wud like to know ur opinion on which wud be the best practise amp for home use out of these three – boss katana 50,, vox vt20x,,yamaha thr 10 ……… waiting eagerly for ur reply :) :) thankuu………..


    Do you know if there is any difference between the Fender Bassbraker 15 and 007 in terms of timbre? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      The 007 has a 10″ speaker and lower wattage so it would have less headroom and break up earlier. Tonewise, they’re the same but obviously, how you perceive the character will depend on the headroom and how loud you can play.

  114. yasinyalva says:

    Thanks for the review. You’re an amazing person. Thanks for everything you share. David Gilmour is the only reason I play guitar. And you’re the only source we can learn and understand his sounds and techniques.

    I purchased Fender Blues Junior IV today. I hope the new updated version will sound better than the old one.

  115. Pierre says:

    Hi Bjorn. I appreciate all the comments written by you and everyone. But if you had $1,000 USD to buy a “Hiwatt” sounding amp head only (used or new same budget), what would it be? It does not have to be listed here and can be anything you want within that budget. Same thing for cabinet but I need two with a total budget of $1,000 USD This is mostly used for practice and bedroom level so I do not need 100 watt with a 4×12 cab LOL. The idea is that I would leave one cab home and the other one at my practice local; carry only the head. Thanks again for your insight!

    • Pierre says:

      Hi. one important detail is that I live in Canada so to get my hands on a Hiwatt like a T20 is rather difficult.So if you could maybe give me a few suggestions, including Hiwatt nmdels, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

    • Bjorn says:

      Check out the Hiwatt T-series. They might be over your budget but there are different models and you might find a bargain or used model. There really aren’t that many alternatives to the Hiwatts out there. The Laney Cub are somewhat similar and so are the Lionheart, although they tend towards the early Marshall JTM/Plexi models.

  116. Francesco Giagnorio says:

    I would like to create a Gilmour sound using an Hiwatt t20 with an Hiwatt HG112 speaker but I have read a lot of discordant informations in internet about them because are made in China instead of U.K. Can you give me any suggestion?

    • Bjorn says:

      Personally I think the whole debate on where guitars, amps and pedals are made is irrelevant. People seems to be more focused on origin than quality. It’s more about saving cost and you can’t have both. The overall quality of brands and models made in Europe and Asia is very high and in most cases doesn’t stand back from them being made in the country of origin. Times has changed and the competition out there don’t allow bad quality.

      • Francesco Giagnorio says:

        Thanks for your suggestion and all the informations you share! I have learned a lot by reading most of them ! Finally I have purchased it and has got an amazing sound! A great clean sound very close to the original UK made.

  117. Adam says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First I just wanted to say that I absolutely love the site. Found it a few months ago and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about tone shaping, pedal setup and just food for thought not just for Gilmour tones but for tone in general.

    What are your thoughts on the Blackstar Artist 30? Too much for an apartment setup? I have a lot of drive pedals including Wampler tumnus, Buffalo FX TD-X, thorpyfx fallout cloud, JHS double barrel and an Xotic EP booster (just to name a few haha)

    Any recommendations for that sweet singing Gilmour lead tone?

    I use the second channel as a fatter clean channel just on the edge of breakup and I definitely ride that midrange control on the amplifier… I’m thinking the 30 Watts is just too much and it’s keeping me from getting the power tube saturation not just for lead but for rich tone I’m general.

    Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Adam, Thanks for the kind words! Sorry for my late reply. I’m that familiar with that particular model but in general I would say that 30w is too much for a typical bedroom/apartment. But, it depends on how you’ll be using the amp. It can be a problem if you want to use the amp’s gain channel as you would need some volume to drive it properly but as a pedal platform I guess it would be just fine. It has two channels for British (Marshall) and US (Fender) modelling so you’d have lots of tones to choose from and that would work with most pedals.

  118. Adam Wallander says:

    Hej Bjørn!

    I’ve just bought myself a Hendrix Stratocaster and i’m loving the tone im getting out of it. Right now using it with a Champion 20 amp but looking to upgrade the amp while also getting a TC Flashback + a Jam Pedals Fuzz Phrase.
    Do you reckon the Boss Katana will suffice or will the Lionheart L5 be worth the extra money?

    Stort tack!

    • Bjorn says:

      If you got the money I would definitely consider the Lionheart. It’s definitely a better amp and one that will allow you to rehearse, record and even play live for a long time. Great platform for pedals as well. That being said, budgetwise, the Katana is a great amp.

  119. 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.

  120. 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 …

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s strange. Just saw that now… I guess they’ve rebranded the whole series.

      • Gábor says:

        The Brittish Hiwatt has new Canadian owners, Harrisons sold the company. The ownership of the brand Hiwatt is more difficult issue, there is Fernandes, having the rights of usage for North America, and Asia certainly. Probably they think, that a brandswitch, using Maxwatt could open these huge markets.
        All he best Hiwatt, we will see!

        • John says:

          It seems the new owners have been around for about a year. Notice they are not selling those rip off WEM cabs. Hopefully by losing the bad publicity which came with the Harrisons and their bad practices, things might be on the way up for Hiwatt

          • Phil B says:

            Hiwatt finally got a new website! The old one was kinda ancient looking, so … good for them :)

            They published 2 new fuzz pedals in collab with Gary Hurst and in a blog article it says, they’re gonna reissue ALL his classic pedals! So there might be the Colorsound PB in production right now … :)

  121. 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

  122. 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!

  123. 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.

  124. 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!

  125. 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.

  126. francesco cagnacci says:

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

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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?

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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:


  134. 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…

        • Bjorn says:

          Have you tried the pedals on the gain channel? That should provide more compression and mid range.

          • Dimitris Kovaeos says:

            I had not noticed your last comment…Two months later!
            I mainly use the Drive Channel, yes. Drive 3-3.5, Volume 3-4 for the bigger venues we are playing. Even with the Mids control high my Strat (with voodoo 69 pickups) gets lost.
            I will try other pedals too, but I need a smaller amp for 50-100 people bars we are playing now.
            I think of the 5watt Lionheart Combo, with Buffalo FX TDX and Patriot to stay as close to the combination of Overdriver and BC109.
            What do you think? Would they work on such a small amp?

  135. 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

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

  141. 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 Ãœber 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.

  142. 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.

  143. 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!

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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

  147. 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.

  148. 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

  149. piazzi says:


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

  150. 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.

  151. Greg G. says:

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

  152. 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.

  153. 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…

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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…

  158. 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 …

  159. 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?


  160. 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.

  161. zoot says:

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

  162. 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!

  163. 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.

  164. Francesco Cagnacci says:

    What do you think of the Kemper?

  165. Mr. Arctor says:

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

  166. 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.

  167. 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?

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. 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!

  172. 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.

  173. 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.

  174. Israel says:

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

  175. 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.

  176. 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.

  177. 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.

  178. 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.

  179. 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.

  180. 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…

  181. 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!

  182. 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.

  183. 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.

  184. 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.

  185. 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 :)

  186. 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.

  187. 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.

  188. 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…

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. 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.

  192. 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.

  193. 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.

  194. 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.

  195. 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…

  196. 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!

  197. 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.

  198. 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

  199. 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.

  200. 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.

  201. 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.

  202. 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.

  203. 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.

  204. 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!

  205. 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.

  206. 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?


  207. 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.

  208. 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.


  209. John says:

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

  210. 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..

  211. 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.

  212. 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!

  213. 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.

  214. 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.

  215. 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.

  216. 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.

  217. 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/?

  218. 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 :)

  219. 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…

  220. 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.

  221. 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.

  222. 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!?

  223. 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.

  224. 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…

  225. Roberto says:

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

  226. 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!

  227. 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.

  228. 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.

  229. Gerard Smulevich says:

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

  230. 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.

  231. 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

  232. Andy says:

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

  233. 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.

  234. 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!

  235. 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,

  236. 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.

  237. 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 :)

  238. Mick says:

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

  239. 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.

  240. 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.

  241. 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.

  242. 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.

  243. 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.

  244. 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.

  245. 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.

  246. 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.

  247. 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.

  248. 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.

  249. 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.

  250. 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.

  251. 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.

  252. 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 :)

  253. 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.

  254. 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.

  255. 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…

  256. 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.

  257. 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:

  258. 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,


  259. 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.

  260. 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.

  261. 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.

  262. 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.

  263. 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.

  264. 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?

  265. 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.

  266. 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!!

  267. 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.

  268. 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.

  269. 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.

  270. 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.

  271. 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.

  272. 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.

  273. 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.

  274. 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.

  275. 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.

  276. 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

  277. 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?


  278. 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

  279. 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.

  280. 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.

  281. 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.

  282. 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 condit