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Discussion Starter #1
Well? What do you think? You don't see too many boutique amps even in big cities like To and Van (unless you're friends with Faracaster), and yet in rural Illinois you'll find shops with every amp known to man. What is it about Canadians that makes us more likely to blow our dough on high end guitars than high end amps? Is it because the dealers here won't take a chance on boutique amps or is it because we think they are a waste of coin?
 

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I have more amps than guitars and they are all boutique, vintage or personally hand made.

Yet my guitars are worth 3 times as much...

To answer your question, I have no idea but I do notice the same trend. I also know that I'm more willing to buy an amp unseen from the states than a guitar, which may explain it a bit.

.02
 

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supply and demand. people in the states spend quite a bit more on hobbies than we do therefore it creates a market. canada has a guitar show the u.s. has several per year. it took me a year 2 sell 2 high end prs guitars here and the boys who got them got deals of a life time!!!! the canadian market sucks flat out
 

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Another possible factor....

Service/repair & shipping considerations might play a role as well. Many high-end amps have solid warranties but builders insist that they determine what's needed and then perform the work...which is entirely reasonable. The cost (and potential pitfalls) of moving it back-and-forth however are considerable. Personally, I prefer vintage amps as a great deal of info, experience, and advice regarding their performance is readily available. Just a thought.

Steve :food-smiley-004:
 

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fastrack said:
300 millions americans. 35 million Canadians.
I used to joke that as Canadians we had the buying power of the state of Rhode Island but that's not really accurate. Population-wise California would actually be a bit closer. Supply vs. demand as satim noted.

Please. Don't get me going on duty, taxes and experiences with the various courier companies.
 

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Maybe we Canadians realise that most of your tone comes from our fingers/technique not always the equipment you use. I,ve seen guys with what would be considered low end guitars and amps just blow me away with the sounds they get.

Tarl
 

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Tarl said:
Maybe we Canadians realise that most of your tone comes from our fingers/technique not always the equipment you use. I,ve seen guys with what would be considered low end guitars and amps just blow me away with the sounds they get.

Tarl
A big +1 there.
It is all about the player and their own voice. As a teenager, when we would try to sound like Clapton, Hendrix etc., we never discussed gear as the determining factor. It was always technique and feel. And what guitar suited you best.( Gawd I didn't even have a second guitar till my 2nd year of playing professionally.) I had a Traynor Bassmaster with a 4x10 cab and a Strat back then and I swear I could make it sound like anyone I wanted. Most guys in High school had Gibson SG's with Traynors and they all sounded completely different from each other.
If you want to see the living proof of this, go see Mike McDonald at Grossman's tavern on Spadina on any Wednesday night. This cat is great, he has been playing there since the early seventies (I know, This was the very first bar I ever played in. I sat in with Mike when I was in Grade eleven.). He has used the same gear since then. A black faced Super Reverb and a Gibson SG Special. Mike can make that set up sound like any thing he desires. It is all with his fingers, heart and mind. His SG shows it too. Have you ever seen anyone with a huge wear divit on the tone control !!!! Mike plays Hendrix, Clapton, Beck and a rather large catalouge of blues and reggae. This is what I'm talking about folks, a master guitar player that bought his gear decades ago and has/is reaping the benefit of it through his talent and hard work.



Having said all that..........

My name is Peter and I'm a Ampaholic.
 

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oddio said:
I used to joke that as Canadians we had the buying power of the state of Rhode Island but that's not really accurate. Population-wise California would actually be a bit closer. Supply vs. demand as satim noted.
California, or New York and surrounding area.
 

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Tarl said:
Maybe we Canadians realise that most of your tone comes from our fingers/technique not always the equipment you use. I,ve seen guys with what would be considered low end guitars and amps just blow me away with the sounds they get.

Tarl
Technique comes from brain/fingers.
Tone comes from the pick/strings/pickups/guitar/cord/amp/speakers/cab/mic.
Why did EVH use that same old Marshall head for all those years??
Maybe he could have had the same tone with an old Fender Twin?
lol.... not likely!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I agree - great playing comes from great fingers and a great brain, but I have heard some terrific players sound horrible through bad amps. I've also heard some 3 chord wonders sound great through a great amp. So I think you can separate tone and technique though having both leads to a better music listening experience. I also don't think Canadians think tone comes from the fingers and therefore have shut out boutique amps - I think Canadians are doing the best that they can with what amps are available. I mean Traynors are the most moddable Canadian amp - you can practically turn them into anything you want and we have. But surely if we would get to try badcats, /13, tophats, matchless, 64 amps, tworock, etc etc some of us would buy in because it would be a way to get that sound we are looking for with no hassles and no weekly trips to our tech with out Traynor or Garnet trying to make it sound like amp X. The reality is when we get to see the boutique stuff here in Toronto in stores - it is so marked up that no one in their right minds would touch it. What would be great is if someone opened up a used boutique shop, got some amps and geetars in used and sold the boutique gear used up here. I'm sure guys would go for a small markup on used gear to try the stuff they've heard about but that would never spend big dough on new. Or maybe that's just a recipe for a bankrupt business.
 

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faracaster said:
If you want to see the living proof of this, go see Mike McDonald at Grossman's tavern on Spadina on any Wednesday night. This cat is great, he has been playing there since the early seventies (I know, This was the very first bar I ever played in. I sat in with Mike when I was in Grade eleven.). He has used the same gear since then. A black faced Super Reverb and a Gibson SG Special. Mike can make that set up sound like any thing he desires. It is all with his fingers, heart and mind. His SG shows it too. Have you ever seen anyone with a huge wear divit on the tone control !!!! Mike plays Hendrix, Clapton, Beck and a rather large catalouge of blues and reggae. This is what I'm talking about folks, a master guitar player that bought his gear decades ago and has/is reaping the benefit of it through his talent and hard work.
I must stay in Toronto one Wednesday ( I work roughly downtown) and see this guy
 

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Robert1950 said:
I must stay in Toronto one Wednesday ( I work roughly downtown) and see this guy
man, U then also need to stay some monday to catch kevin breit at the orbit room.
same deal. the guy has been using the same gear forever and does that wonderful tele cranked thru a vibrolux and does it all from the volume & tone control on the gee-tar.
i also must say that i've contemplated opening up a boutique amp store (maybe guitars?) but only since joining the gear page.
 

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Tarl said:
Maybe we Canadians realise that most of your tone comes from our fingers/technique not always the equipment you use. I,ve seen guys with what would be considered low end guitars and amps just blow me away with the sounds they get.

Tarl
Totally agree! I was in a store today and saw someone play some incrediable Wes Montgomery licks on a cheap hollowbody thru a piece of shit solid state amp. He sounded great.
 

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I think we just don't have a big enough market for the boutique stuff... James Peters makes boutique amps in Calgary and I would like to know how many amps he sells in the states compared to here... Maybe he will chime in on that.

good amps are more important than good guitars for me. and I have both. a great amp can make just about any guitar sound good, but a great guitar won't do much to improve the tone of a crappy amp.

I agree, some good players can make a cheap setup sound good, but only if it suits their style perfectly and isn't too loud (bedroom volumes as opposed to gigging volumes). I have heard a number of really good players sound rank through cheap gear and it always spoils it for me..:mad:
 

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I have met James personally and have played through a Peters, and I gotta tell ya they kick the (....) out of alot of other amps I have played through. Definately worth checking out, Its next on my big things to purchase.
 

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Maybe it has the distance amps have to be shipped. Guitars packed are what,... about 15 lbs?? Amps are what,... about 60 and up??? Picking them up and hauling to to where ever???

What's the chance of guy like this surviving in Toronto or Vancouver or Montreal: http://www.allenamps.com/index.html.

An operation like trinity amps (http://www.cohrs.ca/staged/Products_Main.htm) may have a better chance because has a matchless, marshall and tweed clones (and is the only Tone Tubby dealer in Canada). Could you imagine him making 10 varieties of tweed and black-faced available to the Canadian market.

Wiith the Cdn $$ at .90 US, Steve at Trinity would be making less by exporting to the states these days too.

Warranty and shipping back to the US for repairs have made it less likely Canucks would be willing to gamble on buying form the US, even if it good,
 

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wordsonyou said:
Well? What do you think? You don't see too many boutique amps even in big cities like To and Van (unless you're friends with Faracaster), and yet in rural Illinois you'll find shops with every amp known to man. What is it about Canadians that makes us more likely to blow our dough on high end guitars than high end amps? Is it because the dealers here won't take a chance on boutique amps or is it because we think they are a waste of coin?
I think for the most part, dealers/stores have to make dollar commitments to the manufacturers and amps are a little less transiant than guitars. Though, I was in the new L&M in Markham last week and they had a DRZ RT66 and A Victoria, as well as the Boogie and Soldano stuff. The ARTS in Newmarket, one of the best stores in the country, carries RIVERA, KOCH, and soon MATCHLESS, as well as full line MARSHALL and FENDER. They also carry Music Man, Gibson, Fender, PRS, Martin, Taylor, Larivee.
However they are reaching out to serious tone guys as well as everyone else.
Naturally demand dictates who is going to carry what and there a very few
that will go full out.
All we need now is a TWO ROCK and FUCHS dealer under one roof so we can a/b them side by each.
mark
 
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