Joined: 15 Aug 2013 Posts: 560 Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:36 pm Post subject: MTS Keeps Winning!
Ok, so I've been meaning to do a little write up on my sporatic inclinations to extricate myself from this MTS addiction/obsession, so here goes...
While I love my MTS rig, and just the concept and flexibility in general, I often tend to spend more time tone chasing and tweaking, than I do playing, practicing, writing, etc. And, as a result of the flexibility of this system, and the ability to cheaply and easily try out tones from other amps, I sometimes run across something that I really dig - and therefore want to try 'the real thing'. So, between these two issues, I've tried several of the real thing, hoping that I'd be blown away, and satisfied enough to let go of this MTS deal, and liberate myself from the tweaking, and recover so much of that time spent tonehunting.
However, I have yet to find anything that actually sounds as good. More specifically, I've been unable to find anything that does the Clean/Dirty thing as well. I mean, going from the deep, spanky cleans from my Vybe Deluxe, to the chewy crunchy bliss of my 50R, to the brutality of my Blackout - nothing can compare (so far) to the versatility of just my RM100. So many great tones in one package!
In any case, here are the best ones I've tried:
Bogner Shiva (Older one (with 'symbols' as Serial #), EL34, with Reverb):
The Shiva was the closest to being the replacement for me - absolutely wonderful amp. Thick, beautiful clean channel that also responds excellently to OD/TS pedals. Thick, chewy gain channel. Contrary to what I've read online, it can easily do metal - just have to hit it with a good OD/TS or clean boost. Overall, pretty much the 'perfect' amp.
But, side to side with my RM, I could get almost exactly the same OD tones from a JF XTC or my old JF R'Verb, and while the Shiva cleans are great, and unique, they werent 'better' than my Vybe Deluxe. The Shiva did have a 'feel' and subtle tonal differences that set it apart from my RM. But, not enough so to justify it's price comparatively ($1500).
The ED is kinda like a poor mans Shiva, but with a subtle 'Mesa character'. It has THE BEST cleans I have ever heard from Mesa. Better than the LoneStar IMO. Great reverb as well. It also took pedals wonderfully. The blue channel (OD1) was very open, crunchy, fat and articulate. Great gain channel. Kinda like a cross between a Marshall JTM and first run Dual Rec - but more British than American. The 'red' channel (OD2) was a more saturated and brighter version of the blue channel - would be great for leads, though I dont do leads and it's not as good as the blue channel for rhythm.
Same as with the Shiva, it just couldnt edge out my RM in any particular category. Also as with the Shiva, it has a great feel - just 'feels alive' if that makes sense. All around, a great amp - but not great enough. Back to GC it went. Best bang for your buck around though (about $850).
Orange Rockerverb 50 MKII:
Now, I really thought this one was gonna do the trick. I've loved every Orange mod I've tried, and love so many YouTube demos of these amps. But, I really just didnt like it much at all. It does have a nice clean channel, but it has little headroom, and is very dark - tough to get any cut or spank out of the clean channel. And, this is my biggest problem with the RV - the clean channel can not take OD/TS or clean boost pedals. They all sound like garbage thru the clean channel of this amp - almost like running a pedal straight into a PA. The amp just doesnt respond to them. I cannot be stuck with just two usable tones, and cannot deal with guitar volume changes etc while playing gigs (already have too much to deal with). So, that was a deal ender right off the bat... In any case, it did have a great gain channel, but I still just didnt jive with it. It was dry and felt 'boxy' to me. It didnt have that big, open character that I expected - and that was there in spades from the Shiva and ED. And, surprisingly, the RV seemed to prefer both single coils and neck pickups. Never woulda guessed, lol. Did not jive well with my LP... I was disappointed in this one.
Those were the big contenders. I tried a few more (Marshall JCM800, JMP, Mesa Dual Rec, etc), but they were more common and I figure most here have tried those.
So, in the end, worry not - your MTS rig is every bit as good, toneful, powerful, ballsy, etc as the top of the line amps the MTS mods are meant to emulate. I'm gonna keep my eye out for a couple more I might try (Orange OR100, OR80/120, Bogner Shiva 20th Anniv, Germino/Metro JTM, Mesa Royal Atlantic), but I think I'll give my local GC a break for awhile, lol. _________________ Band Sites (Corium)
RM100, RM20, JF Vybe Deluxe, JF Twox, Salvo Mash-oldano, Zinky 4x12, '72 Deluxe Tele and PRS Mira
Nice write up. While I do have a small collection of amps, I can never get myself to let go of the flexibility of MTS. I simply cover too much ground. _________________ I've been known to have a module or two.
Joined: 02 Oct 2011 Posts: 371 Location: Wherever there's a guitar shop
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:36 pm Post subject:
Thanks for the mts review, a very good read.
Personally my collection of mods been fluctuating a lot in size last 2 years, but currently downsizing in favour of some badly needed guitars I'm mostly selling amps not mts.
In fact when A/B-ing mts vs the real deal I mostly don't hear any pronounced difference, and when I do it's often a very slight difference in character which not always is in the original amp's favour. _________________ Good deals with; bduersch, mikegyver, Steven Latch, frodgemo, krok, mr.air, Petrucci, guitarzan, list goes on..
I have to agree. It's fun to get new stuff, I have been playing a Jvm 410 head through a EVH cab for the last yr or so. Love it and it is a very versitile amp. But it always sounds like a marshall. Just tonight I plugged in to my rm50 combo that I have owned since they were just getting started and it just rocked. Used a stock BLackface that sounds great with any fender guitar, and pedals. Really lets the pedals tone come out. Then I was playing the Tele through my super v and it's just sounded so good with that guitar. These amps are so versitile. I do need to sell the combo as I have the 50 in head format. Just not sure I want to Yet. _________________ RM50B
Pete modded SL+
Joined: 13 May 2012 Posts: 944 Location: Beacon, NY
Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:09 pm Post subject:
FWIW, I had the same problem with the R50 Module from Salvation as you had with the Orange amo. It's not a problem, per se, as Salvation designed it to match the circuit AND it's outstanding...the problem was with me
I had not played this amp before although I have loved the sound of a Rocker 30. The mod lacked a little sizzle for me. Running it off 6L6 changed that mod to exactly what I wanted. big and full yet a little more shimmer on top, and with an overdrive it sails into liquid and punch and buzzsaw Orange if I crank the gain.
I'm always looking at amps and wondering.......but no. _________________ RM50, RM4+RT2/50
CrazyNuts' Dirty Sanchez, Salvation: C-Watt, 50R, DuoPlex, Selma, Supra, custom Twinface
SG, LP Std., Strat
The flexibility of MTS still blows me away. I have an RM50 set up w/el34s and used for Marshall-ish mods and another with 6L6's. When I put a Marshall-ish mod in the 6L6 amp it is like a different amp and vice versa. So with 20 mods it is like having 40 different amps. I have also found that certain guitars sound better with certain mods. I have a JF Dr.Z and it is ok but when I used my MM Cutlass with the single coils, I fell in love with it. Kind of like Corium, I can get carried away with all of the different tones MTS is capable of. "I wonder what this mod with this guitar in this amp with these tubes will sound like?" and then I am off and running and into a tone trance again.
I have the RM100 head and the 20 combo. I am newer to this, but pretty impressed with several of the stock modules. Such a great idea, and implemented pretty well. I am afraid of the rabbit hole with all the mods available.
Yeah....you are so screwed with this rabbit hole if you like the stock modules. the moddded ones truly blow them away. I always got to a gig with two in the RM50 and two more just in case. I used to have a "go to" modules or two but not so much anymore as I go back and forth a lot and am perfectly happy with most of them.
What stockers are you using to get going with this?
Joined: 19 Aug 2016 Posts: 14 Location: Los Angeles
Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:57 pm Post subject:
I love my MTS modules and RM50, however for me it doesn't replace the amps I already own (Orange OR50, 78 Marshall JMP, 71 Fender Twin, Fender Blues Jr). It might be an emotional attachment I have with the other amps but to me they all have something special.
That being said, every time I consider buying a new amp I look to the MTS first. It just covers so much ground and is so economical in the long run. The whole concept is just brilliant to me.
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