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davey's picture

Why did you get "that" amp?

Hi, the subject of this thread is something I've been asked many times. So I'm curious and asking if you could please post what was your first experience, or why or what brought you to use Music Man? Thank you.

Mine was many years ago, I needed a new and better amp and found an ad in the local newspaper for a Music Man 2/12/65 combo. All I knew then was Music Man was somehow related to Fender gear. The guys I was jamming with wanted me to buy a Yamaha 100 watt combo that somebody was selling. But I liked the way the MM looked and loved the reverb (I was a big reverb junkie back then.) That sealed the deal. Dave.

( I'm hoping I'm not stepping on another thread somewhere. )

mm210's picture


I originally started with MM because I was selling them! I worked a music store in 75-79 or so and sold them new. Had a 2-12-130 for a while(wish I had kept it) and used to "borrow" 130 watt heads to take out an play. Had a 130 watt head of my own and still have the chassis (long story) but it's decommissioned right now. Use my 65-2-10 when I get a chance. The MM' s had a good clean sound but I was never really satisfied with the dirt they produced. Much better to pedal them, and use the clean when you need it.


Many reasons....

When I was a teen (late 70's) I used to frequent a local music store in my city. They carried Marshalls and Music Mans. Both amps looked great and both amps looked like they were build to last. I could not afford either. Fast forward .....

In the mid 80's ('84) I started on my road to be a country player. Albert Lee quickly became a hero of mine, and Albert lives and breaths Music Man Amps (still does) so that peaked my interest again. A little later ('87) the band I was in did an opening act tour with Southern Pacific (John McFee on Guitar, Stu cook on Bass, etc....). John McFee traveled with Music Man amps, so I got to hear them "live" night in and night out. Fast forward.....

or back ...... One of my guitar hero's when I was younger (back to very early 80's) was Brian "Too Loud" McLeod. He played with Chilliwack and later the Headpins. His guitar tone was HUGE... I cannot express that enough - bigger than anything I have ever heard, or ever heard to this day - especially his work with the Headpins. In 1989 when I first moved to Winnipeg I saw the Headpins at a local club... What was he using - you guessed it, a wall of HD130's and Sixty-Fives's - all of them cranked! It was then I realized how he got his tone, and his nickname "Too Loud".... Brian left this world just a couple years later, far too young (39) from cancer... RIP Brian...

NOTE: To anyone out there that likes Music Man amps.... If you have not heard Brian "Too Loud" McLeod, you have not heard what these things can do! Strat > Cable > Amp.... That's it! Chilliwack "OPUS X" or the HEADPINS "Turn it Loud" (just 2 of many examples)... Get the CD's, the you tube clips do not do it justice.

Finally in '97 the opportunity came to purchase a '79 212 Sixty-Five at a price I could afford. I have never regretted it, and actually added one more (an '81 212 Seventy-Five). At this point in time, any time a Music Man comes up at a reasonable price I will grab it. In my area - they are very rare.... so my bank account (or lack of) is not likely to take a beating :)

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it..... :)


I was looking to upgrade from

I was looking to upgrade from my silver face Bandmaster. Went to the local music store and saw this used 212 HD 130. Traded in the Bandmaster and have been using the MM ever since 1978.

bill_moore's picture

I got mine from a widow of a

I got mine from a widow of a good friend I used to play with. A few years back I picked up a Fender cable pull steel, and was trying to learn something on it. I ran into my friends widow, and told her I wished Ted was here to help me out, although he probably make fun of my guitar. She brought me his Sho-Bud a few days later, but said she wouldn't sell it.
Last year she asked if I would buy it, and I of course said yes. She brought me his 115RD 100, which was dead, and gave it to me. I got it up and running, and wouldn't take for it now!
(I really appreciated this forum while repairing my Music Man!)



Initially I was snared by their fantastic guitars.That would have been around 2005. I've had a Les Paul since 74 and a Tele since 85 but the MM guitars are (for me!) Soooooooo much better. I currently own 3 different config of the Albert Lee guitar, a hardtail EVH and last year sold on a fully loaded JP6.
Anyways, back to the amp.... a good friend of mine repairs/wheels/deals in amps and has a lot of great old Fenders/Vox/Marshalls/Hiwatts that will ultimately become his retirement fund. He knew that I was after an RD50 112 and had snagged a fantastic RP65 112 - mint condition still with the Sylvanium valves in it. He let me have a great deal on it and I still have it.
Then I was let down bad on a RD50 112 but I still kept on looking until one day I managed to score one. Still have them and still play them live.

4-10HD130's picture

Why? Pure Tone!

I heard a guy playing a HD 130 2-12 with a Gibson ES 335.
Real good player. What was going on my ears loved. He played one of Larry Carlton licks and the quest was on for me , that TONE! It's charged me with a fever I never gotten over, that hot sparkling clean but creamy crunchy raw TONE!

scottwally's picture

Sound and nostalgia

Got my first ones in this century after coveting them in the '80's when I couldn't find or afford them when I was actively playing. Guess I'm glad I didn't because lugging them around, or worrying about a band helper dropping them while moving them for me, would have added to the hard work of playing gigs back then.

I clearly remember them as a kid in the '70's when visiting my local music store Swoboda's in Omaha where I grew up. They always impressed me the way they looked so solid, and I liked the black faced MM's compared to the blue/silver faced Fender's of that time. The prices on them made me cringe as we were pretty poor - so I never thought I'd own one. Kind of like coveting a Schwinn bike when you get the used, rattle can sprayed Kmart brand bike that your financial station in life allowed, eh? I own 3 Schwinn's now ;^D

I used old Fenders and solid state Randalls in the '80's because they were available at a reasonable price, and the Randalls were very dependable on stage, but always thought about the MM's, especially when EVH started playing his Ernie Ball MM guitars. After stopping playing live on a regular basis in the '90's, the quest went dead until I moved to Detroit in 2000. I saw a nice 112-65 in a shop in Ferndale, but the owner would not sell it (he was a hoarder who really wouldn't sell anything - don't know how he stayed in business). Finally found a decent, but beat up 112RP when I moved back to Colorado, then an 112RD, then and 100RD w/ 210RH cab (not a space saver, eh?) and finally an 'only played at church on Sundays', old man owned, mint 212 Seventy-Five. I've since sold all but the 212 Seventy-Five having gotten medication for AAS/GAS (Amp/Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) in the form of a small house with no space for all those amps that never got played at a gig.

Already noting that the new Italian models have a few little changes, not to mention they aren't made in the USA, so I don't expect to ever own one. Their introduction should make our OG amps more valuable...but that will only help my heirs as I won't be selling the 212 Seventy-Five in my lifetime.




It followed me home

I was returning some work to a local music shop and was wandering around the back of the store when I found this 115HD130. I'm a sucker for anything with a 15 inch speaker. It is in nice shape and was moderately priced. The cost of the work I did plus $200 got me there. It originally came from Aldrich Music Company in Michigan, so how it found its way to Des Moines, Iowa would make a great story.

mm210's picture


I actually don't ever remember selling a 15" combo amp. THAT would be a nice one to have. The 2-12 was the most used back in the day. Love 15's! Mike.


It was fate...

I was burgled in '81, and all my gear was stolen. I immediately went to the music store a few blocks away because I NEEDED A GUITAR!!! They had a whole big room full of Fender, Peavey, Marshall, and MM amps, and a wall of great guitars. I was looking for an ES-335 type guitar, and I tried every one they had, through every amp. The winner, by a long shot, was an Ibanez AS-200 guitar through the MM RD 110-50. God, what tone! Nothing else came close. A year or two later, I found a used HD 115-65 for $160 in another music store, so I snarfed it too. Now I use them in stereo, with some effects going through both amps, and some only through the 115. An amazing tone, and one that has gotten me a lot of gigs! :0)

PS: I just replaced the original speaker. Out of three speakers I tried, the Eminence Ragin Cajun is the closest - and it's *very* close - to the original tone. FWIW.

Amp Craftsman 86
Amp Craftsman 86's picture

Fender Killer

I was restoring Fenders for a couple years, and my son told me the MM story and how Leo poured all his best tech and design into the development of MM. I read these amps had the nickname "Fender Killer" and it was intriguing. Then I found they were very economical to purchase in "project shape" and got hooked...Son plays a restored MM stack across central florida now and gets a LOT of attention from the other gunslingers...

Rodrigue Planck
Rodrigue Planck's picture

Not quite yet, but thinking about em

They seemed to be everywhere in my misspent youth. Alas, I was a fender kinda guy for a long time. Then I stopped playing for 20 years. Then I got hooked again, and I've really wanted one, with EL-34s. I love great equipment, even if it's unloved, hence my penchant for Hamers n Shishkov guitars, and all my oddball amps.

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