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Old 04-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
Mslone
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Looking for the Van Halen Sound...What gear should I buy?

Folks,

I have a few questions, I just built a Frankenstein Strat to get me back into guitar after a 12 yr absence and need some guidance/advice...

So the Guitar is finished, I used the actual EVH Frankenstein humbucker so hopefully the guitar is set and ready to scream..... I basically want to play mostly VH music. Or at least as a project to get me back into the hobby. what is some good practice gear to get me in the ballpark of that classic VH sound. I'm not planning on playing gigs or joining a band anytime soon, Just need a good proactice amp and effects to start my quest of rockin out some VH! So I don't Plan to buy the EVH 3,000 Amp for my spare bedroom concert...

So surely there are some VH fans here that have done the homework and have the gear list i need!

So what Amp?
I was looking at the Fender 15W Champ tube amp The local shop has this one on clearance for $199. and was considering the Marshall 15W mini Stack. Any opinions one either for playing VH music?

Next waht effects? Should I go with one of these all in one borads... or get individual pedals?

What Pedals do I need for Playing Classic VH? like ( Van Halen I up through 1984 ) Distortion, Flange, Phase, Delay? Any certain brand or particular ones?

ANy videos ya'll have with your gear playing VH would be great!

Thanks for all the help! I'm really looking forawrd to getting back into this!
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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Early EVH tone is a '68 Marshal super lead 100w into Marshall cabs with g12m speakers.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=5122822
That is a guy from the Metro board who posted clips in a thread about Ted Weber's speakers.

Last edited by al112987 : 04-20-2009 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to UG. I wouldn't get the Champ or the MG.


What is your budget and closest major city?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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MXR Phase 90?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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If you're only going to yutz around in your bedroom playing VH, I'd just get a little SS Roland Cube 30. Gets a pretty decent metal tone for its low price ($179 US, I think?).
Obviously, you'd need an echo/delay, phaser, & flanger to get closer to that sound, but that amp may have the FX in it. I haven't played around with them much.


This won't give you a true VH tone, but should be acceptable for a while. I play a ton of VH, & I use a re-amped 50W non-master volume Mojave Scorpion (which is basically a high-end 50W Marshall plexi clone). Like Andrew said above, the only way to get the true VH tone is using a plexi-type amp that must be cranked like crazy to sound good (which is why you re-amp it into a power amp like Eddie used to do).
I also have a 5150 III, but it doesn't sound as authentic to the old tone as my re-amp rig.

Edit: I don't have any video demos, but in my profile are some VH-ish clips using the re-amp rig.
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/.../all/play547200

Don't Drink a Ton Before You Play Teh Clips
Beer-induced VH ripoff
One more Eddie style cleep

I use a bit less echo & reverb than Eddie, though.

shameless clip plug , but he did ask for demos........
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Last edited by riffhog : 04-20-2009 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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The cheapest option to get tube amp modelled after a Plexi would probably be the Peavey Windsor half stack, though it will probably be too loud for bedroom practice. Anyway since it's just for Bedroom practice you should look into British voiced tube amps...I've heard good things about Traynor YCV50.
As for effects, well a delay pedal, and a phaser should do, for most of his stuff, he used a MXR phase 90, MXR flanger and a echo plex... you could maybe get a overdrive (though EVH didn't use one for his infamous brown sound).
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:45 PM   #7
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:46 PM   #8
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I live in Houston TX. and My Buget for just the Amp is approx. $300. and another $300 for the effects.

Like I mentioned I'm not going out on Tour anytime soon. But would like to get as close as I can for the money. I might go $400 on the Amp if it is a huge difference.

The guy at the Music store was pushing Vox for great tone...?

Last edited by Mslone : 04-20-2009 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_wayward_one
The cheapest option to get tube amp modelled after a Plexi would probably be the Peavey Windsor half stack, though it will probably be too loud for bedroom practice. Anyway since it's just for Bedroom practice you should look into British voiced tube amps...I've heard good things about Traynor YCV50.
As for effects, well a delay pedal, and a phaser should do, for most of his stuff, he used a MXR phase 90, MXR flanger and a echo plex... you could maybe get a overdrive (though EVH didn't use one for his infamous brown sound).

I think those two amps would be good on a budget along with a Peavey Classic 30.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mslone
I live in Houston TX. and My Buget for just the Amp is approx. $300. and another $300 for the effects.

Like I mentioned I'm not going out on Tour anytime soon. But would like to get as close as I can for the money. I might go $400 on the Amp if it is a huge difference.

The guy at the Music store was pushing Vox for great tone...?


Take that $300 for effects and throw it into a decent amp then get pedals here and there it would be more beneficial to you and your tone. Trust me...
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:05 PM   #11
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Try a Traynor YCV20WR.
See if you can find a Variac - plug the Traynor in, turn the Variac down to less than what the amp normally runs at (won't do any damage), and crank it as far as it'll go at a sensible volume. It's a far fetched idea but you'll get the best results.
But in general, the Traynor is a good choice at 20 watts (comes with pretty much the same speaker Eddie used too!), and with something like a Digitech Bad Monkey boosting your input signal a bit into the lead channel you'll get a satisfying Eddie-esque crunch.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
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I'd personally forget about the effects and just focus on getting a decent amp. If you have any spare cash a used Phase 90 would be cool but not required. or a Bad Monkey as suggested. Not sure if the YCV20 would have enough gain - never played one.



stuff....

Traynor YCV40 $450
http://houston.craigslist.org/msg/1130215984.html

Line 6 Flextone III $350
http://houston.craigslist.org/msg/1129476770.html

Marshall JCM601 combo $475 (you'll have to ask someone about this one)
http://houston.craigslist.org/msg/1126572215.html

motivation
http://houston.craigslist.org/msg/1123620139.html

Peavey Classic 30 $350
http://houston.craigslist.org/msg/1087888192.html
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #13
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If you want a cheap amp that'll get you close (not super close, but close) to a JMP/Plexi sound, look for a used Sovtek Mig.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:54 PM   #14
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:27 AM   #15
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Now ya'll have me spending like $700 - $1000 on just an amp... I'm just getting back into the hobby and need something to practice on in a Bedroom...

The 15W Marshall Mini Stack is getting some really good reviews on all the sites for a great practice amp. They claim it has great Tone for $.

Not sure what the difference is between the Zakk Wylde Mini Stack vs. the Plain Marshall Mini Stack? Anyone have these and care to chime in? Both are getting great reviews.


So I'm proubably going with eiather one of the Mini stacks or the Peavey 15W tube XD Champ. I can get the Marshall Mini Stach for $299, The Zakk Wylde Min Stack for $250 or the Peavey 15w Tube XD Champ on clearance for $199.

Marshall Mini Stach for $299
Zakk Wylde Min Stack for $250
Peavey 15w Tube XD Champ for $199

If you like playing Van Halen which one would you buy for a practice amp?
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Pig
Try a Traynor YCV20WR.
See if you can find a Variac - plug the Traynor in, turn the Variac down to less than what the amp normally runs at (won't do any damage), and crank it as far as it'll go at a sensible volume. It's a far fetched idea but you'll get the best results.
But in general, the Traynor is a good choice at 20 watts (comes with pretty much the same speaker Eddie used too!), and with something like a Digitech Bad Monkey boosting your input signal a bit into the lead channel you'll get a satisfying Eddie-esque crunch.

Unfortunately, Variacs don't take away much volume, but simply take some stress off the output stage when dimed. I have a Variac, but rarely use it because the amps I use are built to run wide open for extended time periods. It doesn't really change much of anything tone-wise.
To the TS, if you buy one of those mini stacks, which it appears you're set to do regardless of the information you get here, you'll be back soon enough asking for VH tone recommendations again, because those just ain't gettin' it. Vh has clarity in his tone, something you'll never get from those amps.
If you want cheap, just GO TRY a few amps. I seriously recommend the Cube 30, because it's dirt cheap, & can do as close to VH for that price as your fingers will take you. We're just trying to keep you from wasting your money, but you seem hell-bent on doing that anyway.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:53 AM   #17
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I wouldn't get any of those amps for Van Halen. The Fender Champ could get similar, but those Marshalls are the worst of the worst amps. They are the MG line and are awful. "Marshall" is a name no longer synonymous with quality and anything decent from them will cost you a fair wad.

The best amp within affordability is probably the Peavey Windsor STUDIO - not the halfstack. The studio is an affordable 15 watt tube combo that is essentially Peavey's take on Marshall. You also have the advantage of a power sponge which means you can play with the same great tone at volumes you can click your fingers over, to volumes you can keep up with a band at. It's around $400 I think and worth every penny. I wouldn't suggest much else in your price range unless you went used.

Once again, don't be fooled by the nice logo, or what the sales assistant tells you, those Marshall mini stacks are sh!t. A used 80's lead 12 however, is a whole other ball game...

Good luck, but don't come telling us if you got the Marshall, no one will congratulate you lol!

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Old 04-21-2009, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mslone

Marshall Mini Stach for $299
Zakk Wylde Min Stack for $250
Peavey 15w Tube XD Champ for $199

If you like playing Van Halen which one would you buy for a practice amp?

None. If you mean Fender Super Champ XD its a good amp for $199. Also check out a vypyr, the 6505 model on it is pretty close to the actual amp it's trying to emulate/imitate.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:58 AM   #19
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Sorry for the double post but this might get missed if I just edit

TS, understand this:

Your super duper Eddie Van Halen pickup will be worthless played through a Marshall MG Zakk Wylde ministack or MG ministack. Pickups of that kind of quality are only going to realise their potential through a halfway decent amp - the existence of which you seem blissfully unaware of.
You will do well to find a decent amp for $200. But it's very unlikely.

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Originally Posted by gregs1020
None. If you mean Fender Super Champ XD its a good amp for $199. Also check out a vypyr, the 6505 model on it is pretty close to the actual amp it's trying to emulate/imitate.



It's the early sound he wants. But having said that you aren't giving the worst advice as he would prefer to play through an MG for those classic Van Halen licks

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Old 04-21-2009, 11:00 AM   #20
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