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Discussion Starter #1
Popped into the local store & fired up a classic 30. I gotta say - what a great sounding amp. Full-bodied tone on both channels & loud as thunder.

Minor quibbles: a) the clean channel breaks up rather early

b) loud-ass pop when powering down

I've read where most classic 30 owners end up ditching the infamous 'blue marvel' speaker & tubes as well.

I'm this close to pulling the trigger, so feel free to lay some speaker/tube recommendations on me.
 

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I just bought a Classic 20 actually. They are a little tougher to find. It's kind of a work in progress because I know I need a new speaker and new tubes, but it's sounds damn good already. I like the cleans, but without a doubt they are more of a 'dirt' amp. A new speaker will give me some better bass response, and likely some more headroom. I'm sure the same things apply to the 30.
 

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Go for it man, it's my favorite amp by far, and I have tried quite a few amps.
For live playing mic'ed or not it's my go to amp, if I'm just noodling at home I like my mesa.

The most popular upgrades are a celestion G12h30 and JJ tubes, Eurotubes have retube packages for 3 different gains...I picked the Blues package with higher headroom. The speaker and tube swap make a world of difference when you crank the little beast. I also installed a Fan with its own power cord(this amp will eat power tubes if you play out alot).

The bad stuff:

The reverb is not great...just good enough.

The drive channel sounds good, but only for medium to low volume...ex: you have the clean vol. on 4, you will need to crank the gain channle to 12 to get a vol. boost:zzz:

The boost button when used sounds worse than bad:mad:

The tubes are unprotected on some models, they can be yanked out easy if you rush things.

The whole thing rattles and shakes under the mighty power of the lowend on this amp ( does not bother me in a band situation).

No standby switch.

I love my C30 and will never sell it. For playing with a band I usualy have the clean channle on 3.5 or 4 to get a smooth break up with a boost/overdive in front of it(any type of tube screamer will give you a nice fat boost) this is loud enough for most clubs.

If you go louder on the clean channel, like 6 or 7 it sounds just like the drive channel, rendering the drive channel useless, vol. 7 on the clean lets you use your guitar's volume for boosts incase your pedal is screwed, you just wont be able to get a fat boost, the amp is bright at that volume, the tubes are cooking and so is the speaker:rockon2:

IMO it's a true good'un regardless of price point.
 

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Good sum up of the shortcomings of the amp. The Classic 20 is even worse. It has no tube retainers whatsoever, and no backboard on the cab that covers them. The tube rattle is so bad, that the tubes actually almost shake right out of their sockets. I have no clue what they were thinking not even putting tube retainers on some of the versions of the Classic amps.

But, there is a $20 thing on eBay you can buy called a "Tube Tamer" that will solve the above issues.

They are a great sounding amp as I said in my first post, but there are definitely some bad design elements. But any amp in that price range will likely have it's shortcomings.

One suggestion when it comes to buying a Classic 30 used. I see tons of these with new speaker, tubes and the tube tamer mods already done. In the case of the Classic 20 I had to take what I could get because they are getting tough to find, but used Classic 30's are pretty easy to find.
 

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I used a C30 for 3 years and did nothing to it. The stock speaker sounds fine, it's loud and the dirt channel is fantastic (EH 12ax7s an JJ el-84s). I don't know if I just got a good one or what but I didn't experience any of the problems commonly associated with the amp. I don't use much reverb and use my volume knob for clean. There's a pop when you turn it off, but that's common with any nonstandby amp. Of course the clean channel breaks up early, it's a 30 watt amp. go for a 50 watter if you want cleans at high volumes.

I thought the mid boost switch on the amp was useless. mud city.

since I see this one brought up so often, I found it very easy to get a decent metal tone out of the amp as well. The entire time I had it I never had to run it past 5.5 onstage.

My ultimate suggestion if anyone is looking at buying one of these.....pick up a 1x12 closed back ext cab. I find the lows in most open back combos pretty flabby, and adding a 1x12 cab will focus and tighten up the lows.
Overall the C30 is the best bang for the buck amp on the market imo.
 

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I can dime the lows on mine with no flabiness since i instaled the G12H30 speaker. I also like the loose feel of the open back cab....great for blues and forgiving with sloppy playing :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
torndownunit said:
I just bought a Classic 20 actually. They are a little tougher to find. It's kind of a work in progress because I know I need a new speaker and new tubes, but it's sounds damn good already. I like the cleans, but without a doubt they are more of a 'dirt' amp. A new speaker will give me some better bass response, and likely some more headroom. I'm sure the same things apply to the 30.
Yeah... you don't see many 20s around these days & no doubt about the 20 & 30 sharing the same pros/cons. Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
SCREEM said:
Go for it man, it's my favorite amp by far, and I have tried quite a few amps.
For live playing mic'ed or not it's my go to amp, if I'm just noodling at home I like my mesa.

The most popular upgrades are a celestion G12h30 and JJ tubes, Eurotubes have retube packages for 3 different gains...I picked the Blues package with higher headroom. The speaker and tube swap make a world of difference when you crank the little beast. I also installed a Fan with its own power cord(this amp will eat power tubes if you play out alot).

The bad stuff:

The reverb is not great...just good enough.

The drive channel sounds good, but only for medium to low volume...ex: you have the clean vol. on 4, you will need to crank the gain channle to 12 to get a vol. boost:zzz:

The boost button when used sounds worse than bad:mad:

The tubes are unprotected on some models, they can be yanked out easy if you rush things.

The whole thing rattles and shakes under the mighty power of the lowend on this amp ( does not bother me in a band situation).

No standby switch.

I love my C30 and will never sell it. For playing with a band I usualy have the clean channle on 3.5 or 4 to get a smooth break up with a boost/overdive in front of it(any type of tube screamer will give you a nice fat boost) this is loud enough for most clubs.

If you go louder on the clean channel, like 6 or 7 it sounds just like the drive channel, rendering the drive channel useless, vol. 7 on the clean lets you use your guitar's volume for boosts incase your pedal is screwed, you just wont be able to get a fat boost, the amp is bright at that volume, the tubes are cooking and so is the speaker:rockon2:

IMO it's a true good'un regardless of price point.
Your sentiments echo all I've heard/read about this amp. I plan on installing a standby switch with the help of the Ultimate Tone books I just ordered. That should take care of the pop & cathode stripping (?)

I was actually quite surprised at how good the stock blue marvel speaker sounded. Past experience led me to believe this speaker shoulda been called 'poo marvel'. More proof that a given speaker is only one element in the chain.

Reverb is a non-issue since I never use it. For time-based effects, a little delay & chorus has served me well over the years.

All in all, I'm gonna try & tame the clean channel to possibly use outboard od/dist.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
hoser said:
I used a C30 for 3 years and did nothing to it. The stock speaker sounds fine, it's loud and the dirt channel is fantastic There's a pop when you turn it off, but that's common with any nonstandby amp. Of course the clean channel breaks up early, it's a 30 watt amp. go for a 50 watter if you want cleans at high volumes.
Right you are, the stock speaker does indeed sound fine.

Regarding the early breakup, right you are about higher wattage/more headroom, but it's been my experience the design of the circuitry plays a big factor. Case in point - I have a vht super 30 - 4 el84s / 30 watts & the clean channel is noticeably cleaner up to & past noon. Probably due to it's dedicated (separate eq) channel. While the 25W johnson loredo I have only stays clean (when the master is up) with the gain/vol at 9:00 max. Then again, it's a single channel design, so there you go.



hoser said:
My ultimate suggestion if anyone is looking at buying one of these.....pick up a 1x12 closed back ext cab. I find the lows in most open back combos pretty flabby, and adding a 1x12 cab will focus and tighten up the lows.
Overall the C30 is the best bang for the buck amp on the market imo.
Exactly. My favorite all-around setup is a 112 open-back combo sitting atop it's matching closed-back 112 cab. Thanks for your input.
 

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...i have been wanting one of these for the longest time. i want a newer one, as i like the redesigned look.

i played one in a store, and fell in love with its personality. i even had an opportunity to compare it with several other popular combos.

i hate the fact that there's no standby switch - i would definitely have one installed, as well as a tube tamer.

-dh
 

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the huge a$$ 15" speaker and a tromolo circuit, the amp is quite a bit bigger as well, IMO the C30 with a speaker swap is more fun, it's light, small and powerfull. The delta blues is way too bassy for me even with a strat on the bridge pup.
 
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