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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:24 pm 
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I'm sure it's been discussed countless times, and I did a brief search of topics...but the search function keeps giving me an error. So, decided to post... 8)

Title basically says it all. In comparing the two amps, what would you say are the characteristics that differentiate the two amps? I've heard all the myths, and that one sounds better with single coils instead of humbuckers, etc. Obviously there's a wattage difference, and running 6L6's instead of EL84's is a major factor.

Would you say one has a better overdrive, one has a more sparkling clean, etc? I do tend to like Fender-ish, sparkling cleans. I also like smooth Gilmour/Santana/Brian May type lead sounds. I do like this vid of a Special:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGwowcBj ... annel_page

Anyway, tone is subjective and all, that's why I'm just asking for personal opinions from users. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:13 pm 
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Mark I
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I've had a LSS since 2006 when it replaced an F-50 that uses 6L6s. I played the LSC and LSS side by side at Guitar Center and walked out with the LSS. Here's why:

The LSS had more sensitivity to touch or pick attack
It was lower wattage (LSC didn't have the 10w option at that time) and class A - pure tone
Tune-ups - power tube replacements were much cheaper EL-84 vs 6L6
It was 20 pounds lighter and smaller in size (but it's still a [pink] pig)

That said - I'm still tweaking my lead sound but I just gave it a tune-up with the top-of-the-line JJ retube kit from Eurotubes. As often posted, this makes a big difference and warms the tone up. The LSC would get closer to the Santana boogie tone and the Marshall Plexi w/EL-34s than the LSS, but the larger size and weight may not be worth the difference. The Stiletto Ace came out after the LSS and is worth considering if you want a true EL-34 sound. You can always throw an overdrive in front if you really need to go over the top but I tend to play the LSS straight with no effects other than some delay. The LSS has the EL-84 VOX vibe so it would do better with the Brian May tones and I can hit the Gilmour HiWatt and Santana tones as well.

Bottom line - I think the LSC is more versatile but at a cost in size and weight. The LSS is a gorgeous amp and I get nothing but complements on my tone. Either way you will have a beautiful musical instrument that will enhance your playing.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:58 pm 
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Mark IV

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Subjectivity definitely is the word here. I agree you'd probably be happy with either one.

For me, the LSC wins hands down. I don't mind the weight (after hauling around a Marshall half stack for years, the pig is just not a big deal). Anecdotally-speaking, I think I've heard more reliability complaints about LSSs than LSCs, though like any amp they both have their lemons. But the versatility and configurability are worth everything to me. Remember you can run basically any type of tube in the Classic (including EL84s with YellowJackets).

Neither of them really hits its sweet spot at bedroom levels. Practically speaking, the LSS isn't that much quieter than the LSC, but the LSC has scads more clean headroom if you need it. The lead channel in the LSC really needs a bit of volume to be appreciated for what it can do, stock or tweaked. Not ear-popping levels, but louder than is usually apartment-safe.

My limited experience with the LSS makes me want one, but not at the expense of my LSC. The Special seems to have the advantage in the silky-smooth, super-touch sensitive department; but the Classic is extremely touch sensitive as well, and has more spank and oomph. If you like the Fender thing, I think the LSC does that better than most Fenders.

I'd say if you are concerned about the weight and are limited to small low-volume venues, then the LSS is the obvious choice. But the LSC is worth every ounce, especially if you are able to open it up just a little.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:31 am 
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Oh, I don't care about the weight. I haul stacks around to all shows we play. In fact, I'd probably lean towards a head actually and pick up a 2X12 later on if I decided not to haul around my 4X12's. It would likely only be used for recording and personal use unless I got a side project off the ground that was more rock oriented.

I appreciate all of the feedback so far, definitely helpful!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:08 am 
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For anyone in the know, is the preamp exactly the same on both amps, just the power sections that are different?

I could be wrong in my assumption, but I'm going to assume the Special has a more Vox-like vibe where as the Classic would probably be more akin to a Fender?

I also started wondering about the similarities to something like the Bad Cat Hot Cat series? The Special and the Hot Cat 30 seem to be very similar in terms of what they were shooting for, and perhaps a Classic with 34's would be close to the 100? Just trying to nail down some other amps that might be close.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:11 pm 
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Single Recto

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Lone Star Special.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:32 pm 
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Mark IV

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:41 pm
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Not sure how identical the preamp sections are, but I assume they're pretty much the same. If so, then isn't it theoretically possible to match the LSS with an LSC using 4 Yellow Jackets? I only have two YJs, and not having an LSS at home I can't directly compare them. So not sure.

I don't think the LSS really captures the Vox thing, it's a totally different beast. I'm not totally familiar with the Bad Cat stuff, so I can't help you much there either -- some help I am! But overall the LSS is just plain smooth and buttery, and probably has more features and voices than either of those. It will not have quite the gnarly edge that those amps have as a result. The LSC is definitely more along the Fender on steroids thing, with some Marshall around the edges.

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LP Std Gold Top | LP Special | AmDlx Strat | AmStd Tele | SG Std 60s | ES335 | FSR Tele
Lone Star Classic
Lone Star Special
Electra Dyne
Mini Rec 25
TransAtlantic 15
Lone Star 27, 23 & 19, RA 27 1x12, WBCB 1x12 Cabs

http://www.damonwood.com


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:37 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:08 am
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Silverwulf wrote:
For anyone in the know, is the preamp exactly the same on both amps, just the power sections that are different?


I played the two side by side, and I thought that the preamps were a little different. The clean channel sounded about the same (well, it was darker, but EL84s tend to be on the dark side until they're pushed, then they get bright), but the drive on the LSS had more grind. It was definitely a different animal.

If it helps, I tried every current-production Mesa at once, and ended up ordering an LSC (which should be coming any day now :mrgreen:).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:04 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:13 pm
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Location: Rochester NH
Hi Silverwulf,
My take on the two amps is like this.

LoneStar Classic- More of the Fender glassy clean type sound. Channel two has that 60s type of Gain that would have come from a Fender Bassmen.

Lonestar Special - Has the Brad Paisley- country spank - honk type sound like you get from a Dr. Z amp. The El84s are very responsive. Sound awesome with a tele.... The gain channel is great for lead, with that Vox type of gain.

I own the Classic, one of my friends that plays country, owns the Special. Both amps are killer.

Bmarchant


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