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Old 11-27-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
AlongcameFred
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Lunchbox Amp Head

Wow, it's been a long time since I last posted on here. I'm looking for advice about small valve heads

I'm thinking about replacing my old Randall RG50TC with a lunchbox valve head. The RG50TC has been a fantastic amp, but I need something smaller now. Lugging a heavy combo on the train from London to Cornwall is just not an option.

The music I play is mostly metal, but with a bit of other stuff on the side such as alt rock, blues and funk. The style of metal I play is a fusion of alternative, melodic death, groove and sludge.

The guitars I have currently are an Ibanez DTT 700, PRS SE Singlecut with a Dimebucker (it's not a bad pickup!) and Jackson DKMG.

The heads I've looked at so far are the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18, Orange Dark Terror and Jim Root model, Egnater Tweaker and Engl Gigmaster 15.

Any advice or comments on the following amps would be appreciated greatly. I am currently drifting towards the Tubemeister because of its powersoak and built in red-box, but ultimately still could be dissuaded from getting it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
FatalGear41
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Carvin V3M 50-Watt is a good one, if you like the lunchbox amps.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
AlongcameFred
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Good call, didn't even know that amp existed. But I haven't got 900 to spend. My budget is up to about 450 for the head. Also I'm in Reading, Berkshire.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
FatalGear41
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OK, that narrows it down quite a bit. Of the amplifiers you've described, I have heard the best reviews about the Orange Dark Terror. I'd go with that one out of the bunch you listed.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #5
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The new DSL15 head from Marshall is built on the same platform as the old Haze15 which I have and that is a pretty deadly head, from what I understand they added the majority of the stuff that I wish my Haze had. I also own a TM5 and if you are already looking at the TM18 I would probably heavily suggest that amp, I effing LOVE my TM5 its an incredible amp for what I paid and what it is and the TM18 is only better, if possible check out the TM36 if its in your price range I don't think any other amp can come near that beast, they are a force to be reckoned with. I have tried all the Orange amps and they are pretty damn sweet amps they would certainly fit the bill but I know here in Canada they command a higher price then similar amps, I paid $350 less for my Haze15 and a 1x12 cab then a Tiny Terror and a 1x12 cab would have cost.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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I prefer the Jim Root terror over the Dark Terror. Mostly for the EQ section and the FX loop. IIRC it's way less scooped in the mids, which I like.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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Ibanez TSA5H/15H?
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Krank Rev Jr
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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I have the tubemeister 18 and it is a great amp, but definitely try before you buy if you play mostly metal. It's great for alternative, blues, hard rock, punk, etc. but the lead boost sounds like ass (to me). It sounds really fake to me, however I didn't even try to get a good sound with the lead boost as I don't play metal. If you like it, then hey, it's a great choice for you. It's inexpensive, takes pedals well, and its very versatile.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
iamcline
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Krank and Orange both make excellent lunchbox amps.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:38 AM   #11
GABarrie
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Ok, my best recommendation is the Orange Jim Root Terror, I love it and it's the 2nd best small head I've played (the best is too classic rock and not enough metal for what you describe), it's pretty much on your budget though. It obviously kills for metal, but it cleans up nicely too.

As for the tubemeister, they're good amps, however the power soak is only useful if you're looking for large amounts of power amp distortion (and short tube life) and most of the genres you listed are more based off preamp distortion, and the built in red box.... well they never sound as good as through a cab, never, we've tried just about every built in DI and attenuator etc. on the market. Get a good amp, and save up so when you need to record/do big gigs, you can invest in a good mic.

The shop I do my amp tech work at sell it for 439 (but I don't earn any money out of sales so this is just me recommending my favourite shop, it's why I work out of there) but if you find it cheaper ring us and we'll price match, it also comes with a 5 year UK warranty from the shop, all the work is done by me we'll also cut you a deal if you need a cab too.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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i wonder what those dvmark lunchbox heads are like? Never tried them, though. most (not all) of the lunchbox heads are aimed at lower gain tones.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
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Marshall Class 5, Orange Tiny Terror, Ampeg GVT15H, there are a few others but those are the only ones i can think of off the top of my head that are any good. And i think those are right on the edge of your budget right?
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
AlongcameFred
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Thanks for all of the suggestions, I didn't realise that there were this many of these heads in existence. I would get one of the Krank's but unfortunately there is no Krank dealer in the UK currently, so those amps are out.

I'll go and check out the Jim Root Tiny Terror, and try to find somewhere locally which has the Tubemeister to try. I must say some of the online clips show the lead boost not to be fizzy at all.

Can the dvmark 15 watt head even do high gain?
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:22 AM   #15
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no idea. i was thinking of the higher wattage ones on the basis that they're still pretty small and light. granted right at the upper end of your budget. maybe even slightly above.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:44 PM   #16
AlongcameFred
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Checked out the prices and yeah..... Just a but over my budget.......
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #17
FatalGear41
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You could always hit Cathbard up for one of his Jack Daniels tinbox amplifiers. The man clearly knows his craft, they're each handmade, and you can always find the maker right here on the site.

http://cathbard.com/amps.html

It might be worth looking into. I have no idea whatsoever what he charges for those things, though.
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