Roadhouse 30 or ...

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lefromagegrand
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Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by lefromagegrand » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:15 am

Hi all, first time post so here goes:

I have a few questions about the Roadhouse 30 and in particular its performance at gig levels.

Firstly - clean headroom and pedals. Most of the demos and info i've found suggests that the RH30 can do Clean and Crunch (via the boost) OR Crunch and Lead. Can you achieve a decent clean sound thats loud enough to play with a moderately energetic drummer - loud enough to then kick in a fuzz or drive pedal to effectively go from Clean to Lead? Is the volume jump between a clean setting and a lead setting via the boost set high, too great to be usable live?

Secondly, how does the boost setting sound if it is further boosted by a clean boost or OD pedal?

Thirdly - does anyone have any experience with other similar amps i.e. Orange TH30 and if so how do they compare?

A bit of background. I play in two bands, one is a covers band that only gigs a few times a year, the other is an originals band that plays folk, blues and rock. I'm basically looking for the ubiquitous three tones - a great clean, a great crunch and a great OD (mainly for leads). My main guitar is a Strat, although i do also play a LP with P90s and a occasionally a HH superstrat.

Until recently i played through a Marshall Vintage Modern 2266c. I suffered from buyer's regret within a week of purchasing it but soldiered on for 18months. In some ways it is similar to the RH30 i.e. single channel amp. However i found it almost unusable live - it was great when everything was on 10 and you were playing G'n'R tunes but otherwise it was frankly pants, it wasn't very good taking pedals and the clean tones either sounded overly warm to the point of muddy or brittle, plus the EQ did literally nothing.

Unfortunately i live a good 4hrs drive from Andertons so whilst a road trip isn't out of the question it is not something i really want to do unless it is likely that i would return with a new box of joy! One of my local music stores does have a Roadhouse 30 combo for sale (at the old price of £799) but frankly i know its been there for at least 3years, its pretty shop-soiled and when i have demo'd it it hasn't sounded great. However its general condition and the policy the particular store in question seems to operate regarding gear generally - i.e. they'll try and sell you anything, leads me to believe it isn't representative of Roadhouses in general.

So, if anyone still has the will to live after reading all of this and could answer my queries then that would be very much appreciated.

Cheers

:smile:
Cornford Roadhouse 30c
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59Bassman
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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by 59Bassman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:15 pm

...if you don't like the sound of the RH30C you have already tried, then either you didn't dial it very well or this isn't the amp for you.

Think of the El34 model more like a VOX than a Marshall equipped EL34. The store RH you tried should sound awesome with P90s - mine does! Take yours along and re-audition it. A Transparent Drive (aka Timmy) or a clean boost in front helps add more lightness to the tone.

FYI: Other amps I use are: Fender Supersonic 60 combo, Fender Super Reverb, Tweed Deluxe, Pignose G40V (2x6L6) and a Session Rockette 30

See my link for emulating a 'Tweed Twin' tone/vibe...

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2114#p10471
Last edited by 59Bassman on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Still toying with:
PRS Soapbar ll, Les Paul Studio, Yamaha SG2000s, Gibson 335, 1973 Strat
into a Cornford Roadhouse 30 Combo (+ ext 1x12 V30)
BOSS ME5 - With Custom 'Boutique' Upgrade Set - see below:


http://boss-pedals.jimdo.com

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by richard » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:41 pm

Playing an RH in a shop at low volume won't give you much of an idea. They need to be cranked to about half way to show their true colours. I've had mine for years and I love it, best amp I've owned.

However, I play blues to classic rock and don't need any Fender-ish cleans. I'm mainly in the 70s Marshall crunch area. This is where this amp excels. It cleans up really well with the guitar volume or if you set the gains low but if you have a need for pristine cleans I'm not sure this is the amp for you but I'd still suggest that you get to Andertons and play it loud.

You are correct that it can't be set to go from clean to liquid lead because there is too big a volume difference. It does take o/d pedals really well though.

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by Gixxernutter » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:35 pm

From your post, I'd be looking for an MKII or a Hellcat, more money but they cover all the tonal ranges that you want.

Good luck.
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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by ian29gte » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:13 am

richard wrote:Playing an RH in a shop at low volume won't give you much of an idea. They need to be cranked to about half way to show their true colours. I've had mine for years and I love it, best amp I've owned.

However, I play blues to classic rock and don't need any Fender-ish cleans. I'm mainly in the 70s Marshall crunch area. This is where this amp excels. It cleans up really well with the guitar volume or if you set the gains low but if you have a need for pristine cleans I'm not sure this is the amp for you but I'd still suggest that you get to Andertons and play it loud.

You are correct that it can't be set to go from clean to liquid lead because there is too big a volume difference. It does take o/d pedals really well though.

I'd echo Richard's sentiements entirely. Apart from the Hurricane I've just acquired, the RH30 is the best amp I've ever owned.

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by lienffur » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:56 am

Regretfully, last month I had to let my Carrera, for no reason other than being a bit cash-strapped. :cry:

If you've been following the 'Victory' thread, you'll know I was considering whether to grab another Cornford, while stocks last, or hang on (until who knows when :question: ) for Martin Kidd's new venture...

Well, yesterday I bit the bullet & made the trip to Andertons.
I wasn't sure whether to replace the Carrera (since most of my playing is at home/recording), step up to a Hurricane, or get a Hellcat while there's some left (MK50IIs have already sold out).
In part, the decision AGAINST the Hellcat was made due to a lack of matching cabs (both the 1x12 and 2x12 Oxbloods are all sold out).
And in case I end up gigging again, I felt I wanted something a little louder than the Carrera...

So the toss-up was really between a Hurricane, and the Roadhouse...

In the end, I decided I wanted to go the head & cab route, rather than a combo. So I've brought home an RH30 and matching 2x12 :biggrin:

Have to say, plugging it in, that the crunch/lead tones are very close indeed to the Carrera. I think I'd need them side by side in order to tell the difference, but all of that trademark Cornford 'brown-ness' from the handwired P-T-P amps is there in the RH, and with good note separation even on high-gain chords.

I tend not to play 'clean', and am happy to achieve that by backing off the guitar. In any case, most of what I do is recording, so it's not critical to be able to switch between tones in the same way as a live performance might require. Having said that, I'm certain I'd have enough flexibility between volume control, the blower switch on my Suhr, and the boost on/off options on the amp, to cover everything I'd want.

So to say I'm delighted with it would be an understatement :thumbup:

That's without having tried it with my pedal board yet, which has both a Suhr Shiba drive and a Way Huge Pork Loin, for a little extra front-end push if needed.

One thing I do (only slightly) miss is a touch of the Carrera's spring reverb, so I'm considering a new pedal.
I already have a couple of TC Electronic Toneprint pedals, which I'm really happy with.

Anyone have any experience using a 'Hall of Fame' reverb in a Cornford's effects loop?

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by lefromagegrand » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:16 am

Thanks for all of your replies above - your input and advice is very much appreciated.

Further to my earlier post, I know that the particular local example of a RH30c that i've tried is not representative of the Roadhouse series in general, or any Cornfords for that matter, as a good friend has a Carrera which sounds awesome. The RH30c being sold by my local store is in a frankly shocking state and i suspect at least needs new valves and a general clean of the internals etc.

In light of this I've taken the plunge and ordered one from Andertons, together with a TC Spark Booster clean boost. It should be here this afternoon :smile:
Cornford Roadhouse 30c
Fender CS Custom Deluxe Telecaster
Fender USA Standard Strat
Gibson LP Studio P90s
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FX Patio - contributions from T-Rex, Mesa Boogie, TC Electronics, Line 6, etc

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by Gixxernutter » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:13 pm

Anyone have any experience using a 'Hall of Fame' reverb in a Cornford's effects loop?
Got one in my Hellcat loop - very versatile pedal for the money.
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Hellcat Head NM 0001 - Black Tolex...hmmmmm...

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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by richard » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:22 pm

Crank your new baby up and let us know what you think. Hope it works for you.

I'll be very interested to hear how you integrate the booster into your sounds. Personally I'd hire a rehearsal room for a couple of hours to experiment with the amp cranked to gigging levels - half way or more. It took me a while to get used to the interaction between the gain and the boost. The gain feeds the boost - the higher the gain is set the more juice you'll get out of the boost. With the gain set low the boost will not get you into creamy overdrive. I have my gain set at about 1 - 2 o'clock for a great crunch sound and the boost set anywhere from 9 - 2 o'clock depending on mood. Keep the boost low to add a little more vintage hair or higher for fluid sustaining lead. When the gain is cranked the boost will give mainly more saturation but not much of a volume boost.

When I was in a 2 guitar band I used a GE7 in the loop for a solo boost and this worked really well. Your booster is a lot more versatile and sounds like it would work equally well in front of the amp or in the loop depending on what you want it to do.

Have fun.
Last edited by richard on Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lefromagegrand
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Re: Roadhouse 30 or ...

Post by lefromagegrand » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:45 pm

richard wrote:Crank your new baby up and let us know what you think. Hope it works for you.
It took a day longer to deliver than expected, but the good wife informs me its now arrived. Looking forward to getting home and giving it a spin :thumbup: . Unfortunately i won't be able to crank it until Monday :sad:

Will update as soon as i can.
Cornford Roadhouse 30c
Fender CS Custom Deluxe Telecaster
Fender USA Standard Strat
Gibson LP Studio P90s
Fender GDEC-3
FX Patio - contributions from T-Rex, Mesa Boogie, TC Electronics, Line 6, etc

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