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Old 02-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
AmIEvil?
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New amp head + cab

So, new amp head + cab.

I'm looking for a middle-y, crunchy sound. I like to have a lot of gain at my disposal but I'm not looking for a high-gain amp persay, nor do I need huge bottom end. I'm in a (post) hardcore band, but I'm looking to make a long term investment so I need versatility. I need enough power to cut through bass and drums (I'm the only guitar player) and ability to play small club gigs. Here's the kind of sound I'm going after in the gain department:


I prefer getting a head + cab, since I love having 2x12 speakers and usually combos are 1x12. Also I have an old 1x12 cab lying around at my apartment and I don't want to be dragging a huge combo around back and forth.

My budget is 650 (=900usd), and bying used is definitely an option. I live in Finland, so prices are usually higher than in the states.

I've been looking at Blackstar 20HT and 50HT heads, and Orange tiny terror heads. Also I've tested some Orange combos and I've always loved the sound. How do you guys see these amps and what else would you recommend for me?

And what about a cabinet? I'm looking for a 2x12, I really don't have much experience here. Is the only consideration the speakers within the cabinet, or is there something else? There seems to be a lot of difference in prices, some go for like 100, some for 1000.

edit: Looking for a tube amp! Also budget may be bumped up a bit if need be.
Thanks!

Last edited by AmIEvil? : 02-27-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Regarding cabs:

Yes there's much more to consider other than speaker type.

First and formost open back or closed back can make a huge difference.

Typically an open back will sound airy and open, which can be great for cleans and bluesy type tones. They also tend to spread more sound across the room.

Closed back cabs are tighter more focused and more direct. They're louder if you're directly in front of them but don't spread the sound around the room nearly as well. Generally this is better for high gain applications.

Beyond that, the size, type of wood, baffle, whether it's ported, quality of construction and even the grille cloth all have an effect on your tone. You could install 4 V30s into a Marshall cab and then take those same speakers and put them into a Mesa cab and there would be a large and noticeable difference in tone.

Now before you get too overwhelmed, you shouldn't be concerned about anything that specific. Just know that cheaper cabs are cheap for a reason... They're bad and they'll make any amp sound bad...

Basically... Don't cheap out on the cab

Also, have you considered a 1x12 combo and a 1x12 extension cab?
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
AmIEvil?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icronic
Regarding cabs:

Yes there's much more to consider other than speaker type.

First and formost open back or closed back can make a huge difference.

Typically an open back will sound airy and open, which can be great for cleans and bluesy type tones. They also tend to spread more sound across the room.

Closed back cabs are tighter more focused and more direct. They're louder if you're directly in front of them but don't spread the sound around the room nearly as well. Generally this is better for high gain applications.

Beyond that, the size, type of wood, baffle, whether it's ported, quality of construction and even the grille cloth all have an effect on your tone. You could install 4 V30s into a Marshall cab and then take those same speakers and put them into a Mesa cab and there would be a large and noticeable difference in tone.

Now before you get too overwhelmed, you shouldn't be concerned about anything that specific. Just know that cheaper cabs are cheap for a reason... They're bad and they'll make any amp sound bad...

Basically... Don't cheap out on the cab

Also, have you considered a 1x12 combo and a 1x12 extension cab?


Thank you for the informative post!

Would you say getting open back cabinet with V30's is a good idea for what I'm looking for? I liked the discription of an open back cab.

I did not think of a 1x12 combo + 1x12 extension, but that's definitely an idea. Still I think a head + 2x12 would be easier, but if I get a great combo at a great price then it doesn't matter that much.

Last edited by AmIEvil? : 02-27-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AmIEvil?
Thank you for the informative post!

Would you say getting open back cabinet with V30's is a good idea for what I'm looking for? I liked the discription of an open back cab.

I did not think of a 1x12 combo + 1x12 extension, but that's definitely an idea. Still I think a head + 2x12 would be easier, but if I get a great combo at a great price then it doesn't matter that much.


Head+Cab is definitely easier, but it's also more expensive. A lot of people will end up with a good head but a crappy cab because they've got a limited amount of funds and end up coming back and asking why they can't get a decent tone. You can generally buy a 1x12 or 2x12 combo for only a couple hundred bucks more than a head alone and then add an extra cab when you can afford it.

If you can afford an Orange Tiny Terror plus a matching 2x12 then that would certainly be a good route to go. Although I think a Dark Terror would get you a little closer to the tones you're after.

As far as wattage go... Do you need cleans? If you do then you might consider something with a bit more power if you don't then anything over 15 watts will give you way more than enough volume for a club.

Mesa Transatlantic might be worth looking into, but I'm not sure how much they go for over there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icronic
Head+Cab is definitely easier, but it's also more expensive. A lot of people will end up with a good head but a crappy cab because they've got a limited amount of funds and end up coming back and asking why they can't get a decent tone. You can generally buy a 1x12 or 2x12 combo for only a couple hundred bucks more than a head alone and then add an extra cab when you can afford it.

If you can afford an Orange Tiny Terror plus a matching 2x12 then that would certainly be a good route to go. Although I think a Dark Terror would get you a little closer to the tones you're after.

As far as wattage go... Do you need cleans? If you do then you might consider something with a bit more power if you don't then anything over 15 watts will give you way more than enough volume for a club.

Mesa Transatlantic might be worth looking into, but I'm not sure how much they go for over there.


Yeah I do need cleans, but I don't need clear cleans at a high volume. Slightly distorted cleans are good enough.

I've never tried a dark terror, is it as versatile? iirc tiny terror already has a fair bit of gain. What about the dual terror? that's 30 watts I believe.

When you say "with a matching cab" do you advocate getting the matching cab from orange? I already have a place where I can get a tiny terror used, I would probably be trying to get a used cab as well. If I can't get an orange cab what would be a good alternative in your opinion?

Mesa equipment are crazy pricey here, I think a trans atlantic head goes for 1000+ new...
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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Dont do what i did and get the cheapest cab you will not be impressed. But im upgrading the speakers so that will make it kinda cheap

Dark Terror's are nice if you like One channel amps and know how to use them correctly. I have a 2 channel Stiff Amp and it is all kinds of awesome. Long Story short its a Krank Amp revoiced and given more life and bottom end. And you can score one within your budget on there website. Its all direct.

20w is good for me but if you want good cleans at high volume you may want to go above it if you feel its what you need. I think 20w is friggin loud and will deafin me at 8 Oclock but thats my damaged hearing for ya.

Good luck hunting Man!

(people that seen me around are probably like really will you stop referring that damn amp?......NO! )
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmIEvil?
Yeah I do need cleans, but I don't need clear cleans at a high volume. Slightly distorted cleans are good enough.

I've never tried a dark terror, is it as versatile? iirc tiny terror already has a fair bit of gain. What about the dual terror? that's 30 watts I believe.

When you say "with a matching cab" do you advocate getting the matching cab from orange? I already have a place where I can get a tiny terror used, I would probably be trying to get a used cab as well. If I can't get an orange cab what would be a good alternative in your opinion?

Mesa equipment are crazy pricey here, I think a trans atlantic head goes for 1000+ new...



Here's a good comparison video for the two...


The Dark Terror definitely have more gain, but I would say that really the difference is that the Dark is more modern sounding while the Tiny is more vintage sounding.

Dual Terror is definitely a more versatile amp as it's got two channels instead of one. Also it has more wattage so it would stay cleaner at louder volumes if that's what you were looking for.

That was what I meant when I suggested a matching cab. It's purely personal preference but pairing an Orange/Orange Mesa/Mesa Marshall/Marshall you know you're going to get a good sound. Don't get me wrong though, there are plenty of companys that make really good cabs that will make any amp sound great. Avatar cabs tend to sound good paired with just about any amp head, but again I'm not really sure how available they are where you live. Personally I'd suggest testing out as many cabs as you can to see what you like best. The more volume the better.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icronic
Here's a good comparison video for the two...


The Dark Terror definitely have more gain, but I would say that really the difference is that the Dark is more modern sounding while the Tiny is more vintage sounding.

Dual Terror is definitely a more versatile amp as it's got two channels instead of one. Also it has more wattage so it would stay cleaner at louder volumes if that's what you were looking for.

That was what I meant when I suggested a matching cab. It's purely personal preference but pairing an Orange/Orange Mesa/Mesa Marshall/Marshall you know you're going to get a good sound. Don't get me wrong though, there are plenty of companys that make really good cabs that will make any amp sound great. Avatar cabs tend to sound good paired with just about any amp head, but again I'm not really sure how available they are where you live. Personally I'd suggest testing out as many cabs as you can to see what you like best. The more volume the better.

Thanks for sharing the video!

As for getting an alternative cabinet, what companies have a good price/quality ratio when it comes to cabinets? I checked and avatar cabs aren't sold here.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:39 PM   #9
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I know that you said you prefer a cab + head, however, a perfect amp in my opinion for you would be a Fender Deville 212 which is a combo with a 2x12. I've played in post hardcore/screamo/emo bands very similar to defeater before (in fact people had the nerve to call us a defeater ripoff), as well as hardcore bands I know what sound you're going for.

The reason is you're not actually wanting a lot of gain, you want a lot of presence. The gain channel on these amps aren't a conventionally great sounding gain, but if you boost if with a TS it gives you the sound you're looking for. You also want cleans and these amps that you can boost with a TS as well.

Just my 2 cents, my defeater type band is here:
lifemoves.bandcamp.com
if you want to check out the guitar sounds, they were recorded with mostly a Fender Deville 410, there's also a Marshall JCM 2000 with a AVT 412 in there. (I played bass in this band though, but I'm the owner of this deville)

This is also way more easily in your price budget if you go used you can buy yourself the pedals and all the things you need with no problems (maybe get an extension cab to beef up the low end as well)
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l3p4rd
I know that you said you prefer a cab + head, however, a perfect amp in my opinion for you would be a Fender Deville 212 which is a combo with a 2x12. I've played in post hardcore/screamo/emo bands very similar to defeater before (in fact people had the nerve to call us a defeater ripoff), as well as hardcore bands I know what sound you're going for.

The reason is you're not actually wanting a lot of gain, you want a lot of presence. The gain channel on these amps aren't a conventionally great sounding gain, but if you boost if with a TS it gives you the sound you're looking for. You also want cleans and these amps that you can boost with a TS as well.

Just my 2 cents, my defeater type band is here:
lifemoves.bandcamp.com
if you want to check out the guitar sounds, they were recorded with mostly a Fender Deville 410, there's also a Marshall JCM 2000 with a AVT 412 in there. (I played bass in this band though, but I'm the owner of this deville)

This is also way more easily in your price budget if you go used you can buy yourself the pedals and all the things you need with no problems (maybe get an extension cab to beef up the low end as well)


by presence do you mean that even at some higher gain situations you can clearly make out all the notes? As opposed to the other end of the spectrum (like a nu-metal distortion sound) where stuff like 7, add9 etc chords will sound like shit.

Thanks for the input, I checked your band and I really like the sound (nice band btw, good stuff), it's pretty close to what I'm looking for.

edit: any difference between a 4x10 and 2x12 deville?
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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Thomann.de has Harly Benton 2x12 Vintage cabs for cheap, and it comes with V30 speakers which will suit the style of music you want to do just fine.

Look for a diecent used Marshall JCM2000DSL50/100, Laney VH100r, Peavey JSX
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #12
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Thomann.de has Harly Benton 2x12 Vintage cabs for cheap, and it comes with V30 speakers which will suit the style of music you want to do just fine.

Look for a diecent used Marshall JCM2000DSL50/100, Laney VH100r, Peavey JSX

I thought harley benton is a cheap brand (by cheap I mean very so and so quality) or am I wrong?
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AmIEvil?
I thought harley benton is a cheap brand (by cheap I mean very so and so quality) or am I wrong?

Yes they are, but that cab is a great deal. It is a plywood cab and it is loaded with 2 celestion V30 speakers. 189 is the price, and that is almost what the speakers alone would cost you.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:54 PM   #14
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You're not wrong about Harley Benton. I'd stay away myself.

Presence is basically the region of sound beyond the treble. Not enough presence and your amp will sound like it's got a blanket over it. Too much presence will make your amp sound really harsh and unpleasant.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:56 PM   #15
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You're not wrong about Harley Benton. I'd stay away myself.

Presence is basically the region of sound beyond the treble. Not enough presence and your amp will sound like it's got a blanket over it. Too much presence will make your amp sound really harsh and unpleasant.

The Harley Benton guitar cabs with V30s are probably the best deal on a 2x12 cab (if you want V30's) in all of europe, that is new
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmIEvil?
by presence do you mean that even at some higher gain situations you can clearly make out all the notes? As opposed to the other end of the spectrum (like a nu-metal distortion sound) where stuff like 7, add9 etc chords will sound like shit.

Thanks for the input, I checked your band and I really like the sound (nice band btw, good stuff), it's pretty close to what I'm looking for.

edit: any difference between a 4x10 and 2x12 deville?


By presence I mean more of a punch rather than a high gain application. Chords will be more clear this way and it's better suited for the noodly parts of screamo and stuff.

The difference between a 410 and 212 is preference, I've heard that 212's have more bottom. I usually put a 412 under my 410 anyway. But you were saying that you like the 212 sound so it only makes sense.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:40 PM   #17
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I might have a chance to get a used Mesa express 5:25 head used, does anyone have any experience with that amp, could it produce the sound I'm after? Would like to hear an opinion before I contact the guy to test it (I would want to do it pretty quick, don't know how long it lasts)
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #18
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Mesa express amps are nice. Not exactly alot of gain on tap but you said you werent looking for a high gain amp. There very nice Hard Rock amp.

You might also look into a Stilleto. Its a Hotrodded JCM2000 with Mesa on the front.
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