Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Classics and Specials

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tubiux
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Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by tubiux » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:09 am

I used to own a classic 10/50/100 model, and I loved it, but the weight of this thing with 2x12, was just too much, and I needed the money to fund an extravagant guitar purchase. Now, a few years down the line, I'm still missing my LSC, but I'm wondering if an LSS, might work for me instead. There're no stores who carries these amps nearby, but I'm hoping some informed guys here can direct me.

I'm missing the fat clean mode on my LSC, and how does the clean on the LSS hold up against the classic? How's the headroom? I need the clean to be really clean, and have no break up at all, and still be quite loud. Should I even consider the LSS?


Thanks!

mixsit
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by mixsit » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:01 am

tubiux wrote:..I'm missing the fat clean mode on my LSC, and how does the clean on the LSS hold up against the classic? How's the headroom? I need the clean to be really clean, and have no break up at all, and still be quite loud. Should I even consider the LSS?...
My one regret with the LSS is it simply isn't cutting it for clean head room at stage volumes. I'm currently working on options that I'll be trying out as I gig; either a slave amp and second cab, yuck, bulky! Or going back to my old Pearce with this second cab.
I'd like to try an Express 5:50+.. again- I did try the Express(non '+) against the LSS when I chose it in the store- which gives but a glimpse of an amp I suppose? Now the nearest dealers is a hundred klicks away.
Other than that, the cleans are bea-utiful!

dodger916
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by dodger916 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:26 pm

tubiux wrote:I'm missing the fat clean mode on my LSC, and how does the clean on the LSS hold up against the classic? How's the headroom? I need the clean to be really clean, and have no break up at all, and still be quite loud. Should I even consider the LSS?
Having spent hours demo'ing both amps (and owning neither), you will not get the big, bold, broad-bottom LSC cleans from the LSS. It's just not in the DNA of an EL84. But if you run two or three speakers, that might help keep the LSS output levels to where headroom isn't completely sacrificed.

I'm done lugging 70-80 pound amps too! Have you considered getting a LSC head with separate cabs?

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tubiux
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by tubiux » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:45 am

Yeah, I'm considering getting the LSC short head, but they're quite rare on the used market. There are some reported issues on these as well.

djw
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by djw » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:52 am

I have both amps and love them both. If you need clean headroom, the Classic is the way to go. The Special is gorgeous but won't hold the spanky clean together nearly as well.
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

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BluesAndBooze
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by BluesAndBooze » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:04 am

I've both 1x12 combos, each tweaked in different ways. You won't get the clean or headroom out of a LSS that the LC gives.
A Lefty
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Abandoned
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by Abandoned » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:40 am

It's great they there's a couple guys on here that own both. That's gonna be very helpful, thanks for chiming in guys.

So can yall describe the CLEAN tone personality differences on both these amps? I know the headroom has been discussed but how are there clean tones different?

And then how does the way they react to overdrive pedals differ? For example, does the classic when hit with an overdrive pedal just get bigger and fatter whereas the special gets more compressed and greasier? Things like that I'm looking to know.

dodger916
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by dodger916 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:15 am

The easiest way to describe it: The Classic has the traditional big, clear, 3-D, boomy tone reminiscent of a Fender Twin (Class A/B 6L6s). Very articulate. Clear focused highs, balanced mids and those luscious broad, thumpy lows. Not much power tube compression unless you really crank the volume. The Special has the chimey/jangly compression of a Vox-style, Class A EL84 amp. Not as articulate, highs are sweet, and not as bright or crystal clear as the Classic. Mids are more prominent, and the lows not as broad or boomy as the Classic. Being a Class A-style amp, the Special will compress earlier volume-wise than the Classic, and EL84s will not have the big, broad voice of 6L6s. The Special will run out of clean headroom well before the 100 watt Classic.

I can't say for certain, but I suspect the preamps are very similar. I believe it's the power sections that better define the voice and character of these amps.

I really can't speak to the pedals as I haven't played thorough either with pedals.

There are plenty of vids; here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=69&v=m2IFV-_nlF8

Mk IIA->C+ DRGX head "Cold Sweat" in GTS shell
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djw
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by djw » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:24 pm

What he said. ^^^

I'd add that the Special is quite twangy compared to the Classic, which has more oomph and breadth. The clean breakup is smoother on the Classic, whereas the Special seems grittier and crunchier. I judge this by way of how I set my clean channels mostly, which is with a bit of hair -- Gain at about 1-1:30.

They both take pedals very well. I don't generally use TS-style pedals, but I think the Classic takes Marshall-style pedals slightly better; the LSS can be a little too glassy with that type of OD voice unless you nudge the pedal's tone control back a teeny bit. Splitting hairs here, really, but there's a subtle difference.

It may be just a function of which preamp tubes are in each amp, but I find that my LSC has a little more sag and compression, whereas my LSS resists just a little more and doesn't quite have the same sustain as my LSC.

Again, they're both awesome amps. If I had to pick one, I'd go with my LSC, but they're both great and these days I actually use my LSS more often because it's easier to move and has lower wattage options that my 50/100 Classic.
LP Std Gold Top | LP Special | AmDlx Strat | AmStd Tele | SG Std 60s | ES335 | FSR Tele
Lone Star Classic
Lone Star Special
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Mini Rec 25
TransAtlantic 15
Lone Star 27, 23 & 19, RA 27 1x12, WBCB 1x12 Cabs

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Abandoned
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by Abandoned » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:13 pm

Cool, Thx guys.

I'd really like to pick up a used LSC combo but can't seem to find the right one for the right price.

0rpheus
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by 0rpheus » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:26 pm

I've owned the LSC for a couple of years now and every time I play through it I love it more. In 2010 I bought the LSC head and got rid of it because I thought it sounded bad but I was so ignorant. So I got an used 1x12 combo from GC and it now lives in a head with the LSS color. I own a Vertical 2x12 that matches the head (bronco) and also a got a LS 2x12 cabinet that also matches and today I pulled the trigger on an used 1x12 cabinet that matches. I know, this is too much.. too many cabs.. the thing is that I got the vertical with a MK V from a friend... but I'm not using the MKV as much and will probably sell it soon. I've been searching for that LS short head or just the shell for a while now. Getting it directly from Mesa is about $370 + Shipping. Way too much and for the benefit I'll get. I have the 23" head so I know it's not gonna be much different if I get the shorter version.. Idk. the thing is that It looks so cool/portable yet it's still a beast of an amplifier. I will probably be selling the vertical 2x12 as well as the MKV. The music I play can be covered with the LSC alone. I've purchased all this things so I can have my own experience and determine what I really like.

Image

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here is a improv that I recorded back when I first got my combo.. I never thought that people were going to praise the tone so much. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_R1D_gT8lU

I also want to mention that both cabs have V30s as I think they balance the tone of the amp.. as many of us think this amp has too much bass.. the V30s are tighter than the C90s/Black Shadow speakers. But recently I also bought an empty LS 1x12 cabinet 23" (black)-(I thought I was never going to find the 1x12 that matches the head) and put a Black Shadow speaker that came with the LS 2x12 cab and I am loving it too. So before, I hated the Black Shadows because I thought they were to bassy and dark.. Now I think the same way but I kind of like that. The top end is sweeter than the V30s. So that's going to be my battle for the next month or so. All my cabs have come with Black Shadow speakers including the actual combo, so I have a bunch of these speakers around and I have thought of selling them but never did because If I ever sell a cab I'd rather sell it with them instead of v30s. So yeah, I will now have 2 1x12 LS cabinets a black and the cream/bronco that matches, but yeah I will get rid of the black one as I won't need it. Although I only paid $130 for it which is not bad, I now have too much gear around that will not really use or get money from.

Portability is what's in my mind lately. I'm not a rockstar in a touring band so now that I have explored I need to settle but in a clever manner.

Here is some information that you might be interested on:

LSC Head 23” - 43 lbs
LS 1x12 Cab 19” - 29 lbs
LS 1x12 Cab 23” - 36 lbs
LS 2x12 Cab 26” - 49 lbs


I think that the LS Short Head could look cool and could make a great combination with these cabs:
Mini Recto Slant 1x12 19” 32 lbs
Mini Recto Straight 1x12 19” 34 lbs


I shut up now.

djw
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by djw » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:03 am

Look up Saxon Cabs. They made a custom short head for me, it looks great and almost passes for a Mesa shell. This is mine atop my 27" 1x12 cab. This was before I had the bright idea to take the Mesa badge from my combo shell and screw it onto the front of the head, which looks much better now.

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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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plan-x
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Re: Special vs Classic - clean sound & headroom

Post by plan-x » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:18 am

You got a Mark V also! Wth! :shock: Some nice looking rigs there.
Fillmore 25 head
Lonestar Classic (LSC) 2x12
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Plan-x
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