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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After years of searching, I finally managed to obtain the amp I have been dying to hear and play. An original Demeter TGA-3, circa 1992.

Dean DeLeo of STP is one of my favorite guitarists, and has an incredible live tone. For those familiar with Dean's rig, he uses the preamp version of this amp (TGP-3) into a VHT power amp, in stereo with an AC30. Being an important influence in my playing, I have always wanted to achieve his tone - this is it AND MORE. Other notable users include Sonny Landreth, Bonny Raitt and Michael Ward.

Three channels:
1. Yellow - bassman cleans
2. Green - plexi crunch
3. Red - melt your face (think STP's Purple album).

Running NOS 6L6s, 75W of power. Options in the back include a slave out / stereo effects loop allowing me to run in to another power section...haven't tried that just yet.

What can I say? after dialing it it just right, every guitar I put through it (strat, tele and LP) sounds amazing. The cleans are springy and smooth, no ice-pick highs even with the highest of output pickups. The green channel is everything I would want for classic rock, but can take me to QUOTSA too. And the red channel has a musicality and grit that has to be heard. Jammed with her for the first time last week, and it just sounded better and better as the night went on...I can't explain it...but I love it.

I'm running my Teese wah, empress comp, MJM vibe, Wattson EFY-6, Monsterpiece Scratch Snatch and Barbershop in to the front, and the Diamond Trem, MLJr, Spring Chicken, Arion SCH-1 and Ecstasy (for a vol boost), in the loop. First time using an effects loop and it is wonderful.

I managed to obtain a Voltage 2x12 cab (no longer in business) off a guy locally. Currently has EMI Private Jacks in it, that sound excellent. Looking to have a 1x12 tweed cab made that I can drop an EVM12L in, which is supposed to be great for this amp.

I haven't been this excited about a gear purchase in a long time. Such a pro piece of kit. Every time I plug in I'm inspired by what comes out of it....if ever you should come across one - you gotta try it!

She ain't pretty, but should still manage to turn a few heads!





 

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Wowzers! That's an amazing piece, congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Can't stop playing this thing!
 

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Dude! Im happy youve found your sound...Im thinkin you should be a marketing writer for some sort of equiptment you prefer...Ive never heard of what your talkin about, but after reading what you wrote about it, i wanna buy one & try it for myself!

Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Austin, TX.

I was very fortunate. The seller had two and actually had it up on TGP a year ago. I opened the discussion back then, but shied away. I got the itch again this Christmas and reached out to him on a wimb. He didn't bother re-posting and had it sitting in the closet!

It was meant to be I guess!
 
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Hi there,

Congrats. on your purchase! I have a question about your TGA-3. I bought a nineties TGA-3 a few months ago, and the guy I bought it from could not give me a year it was made. So, I contacted Jim and asked him, and he said it was from the late nineties, as my serial number is 138(1998?). I noticed that yours is 14o something, maybe 149, and you stated it was a 1992. It was kind of funny when I talked to Jim because, it seemed that he was a little unsure about the year. The person you bought it from said 1992, right? Also, when I bought it, I asked the person if it had the Dean Deleo mod, and he said no. But, I find out after messing with the knobs, that in fact it does have the mod. Check your FX/Submaster(Red Channel), it should be a push/pull knob. Jim also stated that a lot of his TGA-3 amps came with the mod, but he does not know which ones.... He also stated that these amps sound best with 6L6's or 6550's, not EL34's. Anyway, congrats! Let me know about the year....
 

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There was another TGA for sale in Toronto or GTA last month, I think. I was surprised to see it in a buy/sell group on FB.
 

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I'll be honest, I'd never heard of these before this thread. Neat rig, congrats.
 
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it looks like an early '70's Soundcraft mixing console had an incestuous affair with a tweed bassman, and they had a baby

it is cool though. what is it, 3 completely different preamps?

I saw Ben Harper play live, circa 200 i think. burn to shine. he had a Demeter amp as well. sounded great!
 

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well. 200 would have been Roman times....

circa 2000
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi there,

Congrats. on your purchase! I have a question about your TGA-3. I bought a nineties TGA-3 a few months ago, and the guy I bought it from could not give me a year it was made. So, I contacted Jim and asked him, and he said it was from the late nineties, as my serial number is 138(1998?). I noticed that yours is 14o something, maybe 149, and you stated it was a 1992. It was kind of funny when I talked to Jim because, it seemed that he was a little unsure about the year. The person you bought it from said 1992, right? Also, when I bought it, I asked the person if it had the Dean Deleo mod, and he said no. But, I find out after messing with the knobs, that in fact it does have the mod. Check your FX/Submaster(Red Channel), it should be a push/pull knob. Jim also stated that a lot of his TGA-3 amps came with the mod, but he does not know which ones.... He also stated that these amps sound best with 6L6's or 6550's, not EL34's. Anyway, congrats! Let me know about the year....
Hey Travesty,

To be honest I'm not 100% on the year. I communicated with James a bit (nice guy!) to figure out the correct way to run a slave amp (you have to run in to both returns on the stereo effects loop in order for the slave out to engage). I just checked and I don't have the mod (cue disappointing music)....can you describe what it does for the sound? I bought this amp because of Dean!

I'm running 6L6's and I love em'. This amp just has so many tones that I'm ready to quit the dirt pedal game altogether....none of them come close!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll be honest, I'd never heard of these before this thread. Neat rig, congrats.
It is a somewhat rare beast and certainly has a particular sound...if you dig a little you will see the reviews are all pretty stellar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There was another TGA for sale in Toronto or GTA last month, I think. I was surprised to see it in a buy/sell group on FB.
Wow. Wish my timing were better...I paid $500 in duties and taxes alone to bring this thing in from Texas.....live and learn on the shipping front, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There was another TGA for sale in Toronto or GTA last month, I think. I was surprised to see it in a buy/sell group on FB.
Wow. Wish my timing were better...I paid $500 in duties and taxes alone to bring this thing in from Texas.....live and learn on the shipping front, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
it looks like an early '70's Soundcraft mixing console had an incestuous affair with a tweed bassman, and they had a baby

it is cool though. what is it, 3 completely different preamps?

I saw Ben Harper play live, circa 200 i think. burn to shine. he had a Demeter amp as well. sounded great!
Yes, Ben Harper uses/used one as well. Not sure if it was on Burn to Shine, but perhaps given his sound on that album.

3 different channels, 1 preamp.
 

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Hey Travesty,

To be honest I'm not 100% on the year. I communicated with James a bit (nice guy!) to figure out the correct way to run a slave amp (you have to run in to both returns on the stereo effects loop in order for the slave out to engage). I just checked and I don't have the mod (cue disappointing music)....can you describe what it does for the sound? I bought this amp because of Dean!

I'm running 6L6's and I love em'. This amp just has so many tones that I'm ready to quit the dirt pedal game altogether....none of them come close!

Thanks for responding! Also, the info. about the slave amp is very helpful. Anyway, I use this head with either 6550's or 6L6's. The 6550's give it more grit, which sounds phenomenal with the dirty channels, and actually sounds pretty good with the clean channel. Jim said to use them to get that "Dean Deleo" sound. The Dean Deleo mod is like a mid-hump boost, as it smooths out the high-end, and makes it have a more "rounder" sound if you will on both the green and red channels (You might want to check all your knobs to see if you have it, if you haven't already). I especially like it with my Telecasters.

My next purchase for the head is either going to be a 2x12 with Vintage 30's, or a 4x12 cab. At the moment, I have a oversized 1x12 with a 1994 Groove Tube CC12 Speaker(Celestion G12K100), which sounds really good. It handles the power very nicely, and it doesn't "fart out" when I am playing my humbuckers through it.

These amps are pretty rare.... I have wanted one for years, and when I had the chance, I took it. Good Luck! If you find out anymore info. on these amps, let me know and I will do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for responding! Also, the info. about the slave amp is very helpful. Anyway, I use this head with either 6550's or 6L6's. The 6550's give it more grit, which sounds phenomenal with the dirty channels, and actually sounds pretty good with the clean channel. Jim said to use them to get that "Dean Deleo" sound. The Dean Deleo mod is like a mid-hump boost, as it smooths out the high-end, and makes it have a more "rounder" sound if you will on both the green and red channels (You might want to check all your knobs to see if you have it, if you haven't already). I especially like it with my Telecasters.

My next purchase for the head is either going to be a 2x12 with Vintage 30's, or a 4x12 cab. At the moment, I have a oversized 1x12 with a 1994 Groove Tube CC12 Speaker(Celestion G12K100), which sounds really good. It handles the power very nicely, and it doesn't "fart out" when I am playing my humbuckers through it.

These amps are pretty rare.... I have wanted one for years, and when I had the chance, I took it. Good Luck! If you find out anymore info. on these amps, let me know and I will do the same.
Great to know about the 6550's. I currently am running it through a Voltage 2x12 with Eminence Private Jacks, but am going to give a 2x12 Mesa with C90's a shot. The Private Jacks sound good, but I'm hoping the C90's will enhance the low-mids a bit more...will report back. From what I've read, EVM12Ls are aupposed to be the bees knees for it. Just a bit harder to come by...and add a ton of weight.

The amp just sounds great with all of my guitars - strat, tele and Les Paul. Such a swiss army knife.

I've got a Top Hat Supreme 16 (ac15 circuit), and have yet to run them together in stereo to get closer to Dean. I'm waiting for a day when wife and kids aren't home :)
 
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