Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Instruments > Electric Guitar
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 10-06-2012, 12:47 AM   #1
Markisawesome
Registered User
 
Markisawesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
A Good Discussion About Amps And Recommendations.

Okay, so I've been floating around some amps, and I must say, everyone seems to suck at giving a good opinion as to what makes a good amp, most especially for my kind of purposes. *note: I don't mean to start any arguments, I just want a good discussion about the best types of amps*

I go to GC, I'm testing some amps, Ok. So I get around to the Line 6 amps. I play the $100 Spider, and I'm like "Oh what a cool amp. Small, light, versatile. I think I'll buy this."

So I buy the amp and all ( A GREAT goddamn amp, too), and the cashier's like "Oh those are O.K., but you've got to get a Marshall stack. Only way to go. At least get a tube amp. It just has to have tubes."

I'm standing there thinking to myself "What the ****? I just wanna buy a goddamn amp!"

A few months from then, I go, I buy this Line 6 Valve Mk.II, and the in-store luthier is all like "Oh no, these are ok, they'll get you by, but what you've really got to get is a full stack, with full tubes and none of these channels and effects."

Again, I think "What the ****?! I wanna buy a goddamn amp, it sounds great, it has tons of nice features and cool sounds, and it has tubes and all, why does everyone have to be ignorant about suggesting what amps I should use?"

So I propose this question to the community: What makes a good amp? Must it have billions of presets, channels and effects? Or must it be a bare-boned, solid full tube stack, and you go out and get effects separately? And at that, does it really HAVE TO be either? I respect Line 6, and Peavey and stuff alot, but I also really respect Fender amps and Marshall amps and stuff. Anyone care for a good discussion?
__________________
:::::::: *******

AAAHH! OH NO! STOP SHOOTING ME!!!
Markisawesome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
dazza027
Serial Pain in the Arse
 
dazza027's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Ive got 2 amps that I use, ones a fender solid state which I like to use with my fx pedal because the clean channel is so clean on an SS Fender... My tube amp I dont really use much because its temperamental when the volume isnt up high, it wants big volume to make it sing. However Im a pretty strong believer in having a bit of everything... The argument about SS's and Tubes sounding better or worse than each other is bullshit, at least at volumes that the majority of us would play at anyway. I'll admit that the tube amp does have a nice voice when its wound right up but to be able to do that without pissing people off is pretty rare. And besides that, the SS will do damn near anything the tubes will do and do some things the tubes wont do. Theyve both got their pros and cons and thats why I like to have a bit of everything.
__________________
Gibson Les Paul Satin Fire Burst
Epiphone Les Paul Classic Maple Trans Amber
Jackson Performer PS-1
Ibanez Artcore AS73 TBS
Squire 20th Anniversary Strat
Fender Princeton Chorus
Digitech RP255 multi fx
dazza027 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:10 AM   #3
Markisawesome
Registered User
 
Markisawesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Finally, someone who believes in reason. I haven't met anyone like that in a long time. I guess my GC is just full of old-fashioned people who don't understand that SS can be good as well as tubeage. I've always been confronted with this when buying an amp, even as I buy a tube amp, it seems that people who only believe in tubes must berate SS. It's always been quite an uncomfortable nuisance. Thank you.
__________________
:::::::: *******

AAAHH! OH NO! STOP SHOOTING ME!!!
Markisawesome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
AcousticMirror
loves cheesecake
 
AcousticMirror's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
what just play a decent tube amp and then make your own decision.
__________________
buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
AcousticMirror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
 
W4RP1G's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
I personally think digital modelling is going to replace tubes as the standard within the next 10 years. Tubes will become more of a niche market full of snobs and people who refuse to accept change, much like vinyl records.

What amp did you get? Why Line 6? The Peavey Vypyr series blows the Spider series away.
W4RP1G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:38 AM   #6
Markisawesome
Registered User
 
Markisawesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Well I actually forgot to mention something... for the past while, my live setup has consisted of a simple sony pa system, hooked up to my POD, hooked up to my l6 footboard, hooked up to my guitar. I've actually gotten GREAT sounds with that. I took that to a talent show, just friggin destroyed the place.

W4RP1G, You're right about digital modeling. Tubes are cool and all, but they're too troublesome for nowaday purposes.
But I must disagree with you on the vinyls. They're still really cool to have around. Especially actual classic stuff like YES and Jethro Tull and Zeppelin and stuff.
And I like peavey vypyrs, they're friggin AMAZING amps, and I have one that I bought pretty recently, but I love l6 so much. mostly cuz of the POD, but their amps are just as good as any peavey.
__________________
:::::::: *******

AAAHH! OH NO! STOP SHOOTING ME!!!

Last edited by Markisawesome : 10-06-2012 at 01:47 AM.
Markisawesome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
JesusCrisp
UG's Jesus
 
JesusCrisp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austria
For me an amp has to have the kind of tone I'm looking for, no matter how many channels and modes an amp has, if the basic tone of it is meh, it's just not worth it for me.
Hell, I've been testing guitars in a store through a Marshall JVM, switching through all the channels and gain stages and couldn't find a tone that was really "my thing".

On the other hand I really had a lot of fun with a POD HD.

Tons of effects and possibilities are awesome, but you really have to know yourself what you realistically need.
I'm playing a 2-channel tube amp myself. I sometimes think it could have another channel or 2, but I'm not gigging or something ATM, so it's not an issue.

2 friends of mine play in a prog-metal band and use 4-channel-amps with MIDI-switching and a POD HD since they really need a whole lot of tone changes during their gigs.
__________________
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
JesusCrisp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:25 AM   #8
Kevin Saale
Talks to empty chairs
 
Kevin Saale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In a desert, next to a chair
I think you missed something with those guitar stores. Of course they want you to buy something bigger and better, they're trying to make money.

Moving on pretty much everything about guitar amps is subjective. Build quality is really the only objective part of an amp, and a lot of times its not even considered. Look at all the spiders, mgs, and bugeras that get bought, none of which are very reliable.
__________________
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not.

Quote:
Get three coffins ready.

My mistake, four coffins.
Kevin Saale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:50 AM   #9
AeolianSeventh
Sperm Whale Messiah
 
AeolianSeventh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
What makes a good amp? For me, it's really simple: it has to sound good and it has to feel right--the way it moves air has to be dynamic. I don't care about channels, I have fuzz pedals for that. I don't care about effects, I have pedals that do those better than any built-in preset I've ever heard (yes, including Axe-FX). I just want it to take whatever signal I feed into it and make it sound and feel good.

So far I've found one SS amp that sounded right and one SS amp that felt right. No, they weren't the same amp. A lot of SS amps sound good for cleans, but I haven't found many that worked for any distortion other than full-bore scooped-mids metal saturation. I've heard exactly one modelling amp that sounded good and musical to me at all gain levels and could take pedals acceptably (the Kemper) and it didn't feel right--I couldn't play right plugged into it, because the...I guess you'd call it the feedback was wrong. The interplay between me and the sound. So I react the same way to people recommending things like the Spiders and Vypyrs and even Kempers and Axe-FXs that you reacted to people telling you to get a Marshall.

I'm not saying modelling amps can't sound great. I'm just saying they don't do the same thing as tube amps yet. Will they eventually? Yeah, probably. Can they get close enough for most people? Definitely. Are tube amps obsolete and only holding on because guitarists are terrified of anything new? Nope. There's still a place for both.
__________________
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
AeolianSeventh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:04 AM   #10
GaryBillington
Grumpier than normal.
 
GaryBillington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Trow Vegas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markisawesome
everyone seems to suck at giving a good opinion as to what makes a good amp

Here's your problem. This statement is completely wrong. Everyone is really good at giving an opinion as to what makes a good amp.

The trouble is, it's only their opinion. Their opinion will be different to yours. That is why the only way to decide what amp (or guitar, pedal, etc etc etc) is right for you is to get out there & try as many as possible so you can form your own opinion.
__________________
.
Gibson LP Studio x2 (Worn Brown Satin & Swamp Ash)
MXR M132 Super Comp > EHX Worm > TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30 210 + GS112VE cab
Jet City JCA22H
GaryBillington is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:11 AM   #11
Markisawesome
Registered User
 
Markisawesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
I've attempted using pedalboards and complex rigs with tube amps and I can't say it's any improvement over a good SS with the same effects and a good speaker. Well I guess I like my Valve MkII, as it is the best of both worlds, it has tubes AND complex modelling tech.
__________________
:::::::: *******

AAAHH! OH NO! STOP SHOOTING ME!!!

Last edited by Markisawesome : 10-06-2012 at 03:12 AM.
Markisawesome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:20 AM   #12
trashedlostfdup
land of white cannibals
 
trashedlostfdup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south
for me i like something simple two channels, basic independent EQ and a master volume. hence the splawn promod and nitro. sound good pretty however you drive it in.

the two most recent amps i have bought have been the opposite a VHT Sig:X and a mesa mark IV. they are really fussy and takes more time to dial them in, and both are three channels. tons of features, tons of different tones on either one.

all tube. the only amp that is SS that i would ever consider would be a Roland JC120, an Ampeg VH140, Randall RG100ES (have owned two), or a Randall Century (i have a combo 100 watt version) or Randall Warhead. they all sound good for what they do

(and i am a pantera fan so that is where i get the randalls from, they sound better than the way dime EQ'd them)
__________________
FRYETTE SIG-X
SPLAWN KT88 NITRO
SPLAWN KT88 PROMOD
MESA TREM-O-VERB
MESA MKIV...

Ibanez Prestiges
Gibsons
and Wolfgangs

WTLT
trashedlostfdup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:20 AM   #13
AeolianSeventh
Sperm Whale Messiah
 
AeolianSeventh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markisawesome
I've attempted using pedalboards and complex rigs with tube amps and I can't say it's any improvement over a good SS with the same effects and a good speaker.

Subjective! I can say it absolutely is a massive improvement. For me. It apparently wasn't for you. I find the sound of my guitar through my pedals into my amp much better than the sound of a guitar through a Line 6 AnythingEver. Presumably you don't. This is why there isn't one amp company with an absolute monopoly on the industry because they made The Amp. This is why there isn't a book that explains how to put together a rig with ideal tone that every beginner reads. Because from your perspective, you're right, your modelling amp is every bit as good as any tube rig. From my perspective, you're wrong, the Spider Valve doesn't match up to the tone of a quality tube amp and a set of nice analog effects. And we're both completely right.

I guess we're stuck genuinely enjoying the sounds of our equipment and regretting nothing.
__________________
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
AeolianSeventh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #14
AcousticMirror
loves cheesecake
 
AcousticMirror's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
i mean the problem is that the digital section of the spider valve isn't that great.

it's better then a lot of stuff but it is hardly the best digital modeling section ever.
__________________
buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
AcousticMirror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:28 AM   #15
Kevin Saale
Talks to empty chairs
 
Kevin Saale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In a desert, next to a chair
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
i mean the problem is that the digital section of the spider valve isn't that great.

it's better then a lot of stuff but it is hardly the best digital modeling section ever.


Totally agreed. Hardly the best digital modeling line 6 has done. I hated how the volume jumped when changing presets, that ended my demoing of the spider valve short.
__________________
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not.

Quote:
Get three coffins ready.

My mistake, four coffins.
Kevin Saale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 05:20 AM   #16
BledGhostWhite
Stop being a centipede
 
BledGhostWhite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
For me, a good amp is marked by versatility; just the same as a guitar. I like my amps to be able to do as much in as many directions as possible. I like to be able to pull the treble down, and get a nice warm jazz tone. I also like to be able to crank the gain and bust out some awesome death metal riffs.

But that's also probably because I play progressive metal for the most part. I need something that can cover some serious ground. My dream amp is a Boogie Mark V. dat tone...

But between SS and tube, I'm somewhere in the middle. I recently got a Blackstar HT-100 head (all tube), and I love it. For me, nothing beats the tone of a cranked tube amp with analogue pedals, and a naturally nice sounding guitar. But I won't discredit SS amps. I practice with either an L6 Spyder or a Roland 30x Cube, and I really want an SS head for a backup. Not only are they generally more reliable, but I like some of the brutal metal tones you can produce out of them. I don't find them to have as much "feel" per se, but I find them more responsive for doing really fast start-stop kinda stuff. Dime certainly had a rad tone, and often got his sound from SS Randalls.

tl;dr They all have their place, and should be treated as such. I don't think either should be totally void of consideration for anyone.
BledGhostWhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #17
krehzeekid
Me like guitars
 
krehzeekid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Edmonton
with amps, it all comes down to what you want to do with the amp. little modelling amps are brilliant if that's what you need (small, quiet, versatile and tolerable tones). no, they aren't appropriate for live use, nor do they have the quality of tone required for recording. However, they are perfect for home practice use- which is, incidentally, precisely what they're supposed to be good for.

The monstrous single-channel stacks are, in my mind, the most useless thing on the planet. yes, they are extraordinarily good for producing a single loud and raw sound (and deafening you in the process), but they are hardly useful for anything else. Big channel switchers (like most mesa boogies or engl's) are somewhat more useful because they cover a much wider range of tones. However, these big, hulking and complicated amps are very time consuming to set up and are frankly too loud for home practice (I have one...). you cannot use them in place of a little modelling amp, nor could you use that modelling amp in place of a tube-loaded monster.

the issue with amps is that there isn't- nor will there ever be- a "one amp for all occasions" sort of amp. yes, any amp can conceivably be pressed into action in any scenario, but that hardly means it is appropriate or at all good for that scenario. depending on the needs of a particular guitarist, there are any number of amps that may be necessary in order for that guitarist to feel like they have the amp they need. by the same token, some guitarists- due to simpler or more limited requirements- really only need 1 small amp. if thats the case, then that is sort of the end of the story.
__________________
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things...
krehzeekid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 09:21 PM   #18
Markisawesome
Registered User
 
Markisawesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Well now I really wonder about the future of amps. I know that for now, absolute tone at exceptionally high volumes is best left to tube amps. I understand that SS amps don't move air like tubes do. BUT I do believe that such volumes don't necessarily need to be achieved by the amp itself, but rather a series of exterior speakers that i've rigged onto it. I make it sound pretty damn rad, but I can't say I have the patience enough to deal with a totally plain amp. No matter how 'good' it may sound over a modeling amp.
__________________
:::::::: *******

AAAHH! OH NO! STOP SHOOTING ME!!!
Markisawesome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #19
Don't Panic Ok?
Clive Dunn
 
Don't Panic Ok?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Walmington-on-Sea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markisawesome
So I propose this question to the community: What makes a good amp?

A good amp is one that you like.
__________________

DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC!
THEY DON'T LIKE IT UP 'EM!
Don't Panic Ok? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #20
Arby911
Finding the Pattern
 
Arby911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markisawesome
Well now I really wonder about the future of amps. I know that for now, absolute tone at exceptionally high volumes is best left to tube amps. I understand that SS amps don't move air like tubes do. BUT I do believe that such volumes don't necessarily need to be achieved by the amp itself, but rather a series of exterior speakers that i've rigged onto it. I make it sound pretty damn rad, but I can't say I have the patience enough to deal with a totally plain amp. No matter how 'good' it may sound over a modeling amp.



And here's the problem.

I don't care what you use, if you like it more power to you. In the end that's all that matters.

But you don't know shit about amps, as evidenced by the bolded portion above.
__________________
The man who holds to a belief because of tradition, or hides it because he fears he may be shown to be wrong, does not love the truth but manifests a coward’s faithfulness to his prejudices.
Arby911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:37 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.