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Old 12-08-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
pete-c
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Need a new amp, suggestions?

Hey :] So, I desperately need a new amp.

I've been stuck with a Marshall MG15 for many years (before I'd heard about how they're bad) despite having played for about 10 years now and have upgraded almost all of my gear except for the horrible amp. Since I've finished uni now and have a job, I actually have the money to upgrade (hoorayyyy!)

Budget: Fairly flexible, 100-400 since I don't mind saving up for an extra month or two. Don't want to buy anything too cheap since it ideally won't be replaced for a long time (so needs to last) but I don't feel like I need to go crazy. I've toyed with my brother's Roland Micro Cube which sounds much better, but it still might be a bit too cheap for what I'm looking for.

Styles played/tone: I realised a lot of my favourite guitarists use Marshalls - I play lots of grunge, 90's alt-rock and classic rock, some blues here and there, so from clean-ish tones to a fair-ish amount of distortion (my Big Muff fuzz and DS-1 get a fair bit of use, towards the more distorted end of stuff). Most of the time though, I seem to find myself with only a pinch of distortion, so a good clean tone would be a big plus.

-I hear good things about tube/valve amps, so that'd be a bonus, but not a deal breaker.
-Needs to be good at low-ish/bedroom volumes. My MG15 rarely goes above 1-2 which is loud enough to hear clearly through the house, which is a bit unfair on those I live with. I don't gig currently so it doesn't need to get too loud.
-A big bonus if it takes to pedals nicely. Plugging them in is faff sometimes though, so any kind of built in gain would be useful, also reverb (again, not a deal breaker).
-Willing to buy used.

The rules suggested I do a little list of gear, so apart from the pedals mentioned above it'll be played with mostly my Fender Strat + Jazzmaster.

(TL,DR: suggest a high quality small amp, good tone at low volume, suitable for low-medium gain)

Help much appreciated!
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Last edited by pete-c : 12-08-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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Bumpity bump! I'd heard good things a couple of years ago about the Orange Tiny Terror and Marshall Class 5, any thoughts on those? I think there was an Epiphone amp too some people liked?
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #3
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Yeah, so...
The class 5 is a nice amp!
Though it doesn't have a gain control so you won't get any dirt unless you get loud, which doesn't seem like something you wanna do.

That Epi amp some people liked is the Valve Jr.
That's nicer than the class 5 if you ask me, mostly because of the tone stack - tone knob instead of treble, mid and bass.
That doesn't have a gain control too, so beware you'll have to get loud.

Now, 3 options come to my mind:
1. Either the Epi Valve Jr. or the Blackheart BH5 if you want a conventional tone stack + a decent cab.
No frills, no complicated stuff, juicy cleans, takes pedals well, is pretty cheap.
2. The Egnater Rebel, combo or with cab, whatever you may prefer.
Bigger, with gain control, (IIRC) 2 channels, veeery nice sound even without pedals.
3. A Vypyr Tube 60.
Compact, tube power section, digital pre so you have yourself every kind of sound and funny useless effect you could ever think of.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
Dave_Mc
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how quiet does it have to be? your budget is within range of actually pretty nice tube amps from the like of jet city, but if you have to play at whisper volumes it might be better to avoid tubes.

EDIT: ^ the VJ has no tone knob at all

Also i haven't tried the class 5 but the first batch rattled like crazy, I think.

EDIT #2: also if you want to keep volume down I'd stay well away from the 5 watt tube amps with no master volume. a higher wattage amp with a master volume is normally a better idea. that way you can still get (preamp) distortion at half-sensible volume levels.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
EDIT: ^ the VJ has no tone knob at all
Aaah, **** google images and **** these damn thousands mods...

The 5w amps may be a good idea if he wanna stay on the cheap and he would be using his pedals for distortion.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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and yeah true.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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If you're using pedals for gain, the Valve Jr could be a good fit. They're cheap so you'd have money left for a vintage preamp tube and some mods(master volume?) if you know how or know a tech.

The Rebel 20 is single channel but blues through grunge are the range of tones it does best. It can also go from bedroom to practice room to stage unless you're playing jazz.

If its just for home practice with limited volume the lil Yamaha THR amps are frickin' awesome. Kinda pricey but they sound amazing.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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eh i wouldn't put too much money into a VJ, there are better options available for not much more money. you can get a jet city 1x12 combo for ~250, for example. way better.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
eh i wouldn't put too much money into a VJ, there are better options available for not much more money. you can get a jet city 1x12 combo for ~250, for example. way better.

I don't mean spend a lot on it. Not sure the exchange rate but it'd cost a total of about $150(US) if you were to buy the amp used, including a new(old?) tube and mv mod.

You're right though, its a weird way to go and there are more efficient options. I'd trade mine for a THR if I could. It is a great lil bedroom amp for what it cost.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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yeah i didn't realise you meant one used which was already modded. I suppose that might be worth considering, but you'd need to be sure that the person who did the modding knew what he/she was doing. you don't want a botched amp or one which is dangerous, etc.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
Cing Krimson
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I've got a Laney VC15 and I think it's brilliant. Tube amp, reverb, good distortion, and it's versatile. I got mine for 150 second hand but they go around 300 new.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
pete-c
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Thanks for a the suggestions guys! I'll have some prodding around for reviews and sound tests etc and might report back shortly :]
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:37 PM   #13
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How come nobody mentioned fender champion 40? Did u finally buy a new amp? Let us know =)
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
pete-c
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Have looked a bit more at the Marshall Class 5, and sadly I'm not a fan of the tone from the samples and video reviews I found. Even with the treble maxed (and through a Telecaster) it still sounded a bit fluffy/undefined for me, and I like slightly brighter/sparklier cleans.

The Orange Tiny Terror apparently really doesn't take well to fuzz pedals, so i r sad So another no there! Similarly, I hear similar things with the Valve Jr - I don't know too much about amps, but I assume one with a seperate clean channel won't have that problem? Similarly to how on my current MG15, fuzz pedal through the gain channel even with the amp gain super low = fuzz tone ruined, ridiculously compressed flat tone.

I looked at the Laney VC15 and liked what I heard! Thanks for that one, Krimson. Do you know if it takes to pedals well? (edit: the more I hear of it, the more I like! Might be onto a winner here )
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Last edited by pete-c : 12-12-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #15
Cing Krimson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete-c
I looked at the Laney VC15 and liked what I heard! Thanks for that one, Krimson. Do you know if it takes to pedals well? (edit: the more I hear of it, the more I like! Might be onto a winner here )


I only have a Boss Mega Distortion, and it sounds ok. I think the default amp distortion is brilliant so I just bought the footswitch for it to change between clean and distortion. I also have a cheap vox wah pedal but I only use it really on the clean channel or with little gain.

You would have to try yourself with whatever pedal you have because I have only tried those two, but it's good enough for me on its own just now!
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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Dual terror. The fat channel makes the amp. Quite a bit of gain and they are solid. I use mine more than any other amps i own. Plus whisper quite at night.
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