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Like a Fender but with more muscle
I've owned my Ampeg R212R for about 10 years now and have had a love/hate relationship with it (although "hate" is a strong word for such a fine amp). Most of the time, I love it. However, I've encountered some problems with getting it to stay as clean as I want in certain applications, especially when a gig calls for some delicate ambient guitar work. I finally buckled down to do some major experimenting by using various combination of tubes, running through different cabinets, etc. I can say I'm pretty close to getting the amp to it's ideal spot, and have learned in the process that this amp is something like a Fender but with more "muscle". The amp has punchy cleans and plenty of "bark", but that sweet-singing sparkle that I enjoy so much is harder to find on my amp. I made the biggest impact by replacing every tube with it's Tung-Sol equivalent. I later switched to TADs in the power section briefly to see if I could get something a little more bodied, but the clarity suffered a little. In the end, I like Tung-Sols in the power section, but I think I need to get creative with my preamp section. A JJ ECC803S at V1 and a Mullard 12AT7 at V3 will be my next approach to working on the tone/breakup. The distortion channel has never been an issue, and is very desirable, although I tend to run pedals for everything. This Ampeg is my go-to in the studio for some mid-heavy guitar work, and it's a match made in heaven with my Les Paul.
People looking to purchase one of these amps should expect something that is hard to beat for jazz and blues. The best way to describe the clean sound is that, to my ears, it produces the guitar in a way that shares some tonal characteristics of a nicely compressed signal. The shimmering/breathy highs are less noticeable but the trade in this area for it's punchy and articulate attack is something that can easily work well for a variety of applications.
I actualy own a Reverberocket R12R
It is a amazing piece, i paid 340$ (good luck finding one for that price) . have matching tubes, and the reverb is amazing! it works great with most pedals, and will never let you down. only difference for r12r is only a single speaker. Will never get rid of this amp.
I owned an Hot Rod Deluxe, but this Ampeg is way better. Equipped with two channels - clean and dirty - it is oustanding in every way. Warm, thick, and perfect sound, the definition of the American amp sound is this Ampeg. I'm most fortunate to have one and it's my favourite. Incredible!