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Old 10-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
mdh2861
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$1500 to spend, help me pick an amp! Mesa/Marshall/Randall etc..

I have $1500.00 to spend, I am comfortable buying used. I will NOT gig with this amp, but will practice with a drummer from time to time. I need this amp to be very versatile because I play EVERYTHING. Early "Big Band", Jazz, blues, 60 & 70's rock, 80's metal and ultra hi gain modern medal.

I am looking for "Decent" cleans, doesn't have to be the best. Great 80's rock, think JCM800 and high liquid distortion think mesa dual recto.... The rest, i'm fine with being something "inbetween".

I DO NOT want a 100 Watt amp.... been there, done that. I have a small, organized home studio and I like lower wattage amps. A big 100W stack would just be silly for me. 25 Watts with enough headroom to play clean over a drummer is fine...... I really like the concept of amps that can switch power, from 25 to say 10 & 15. Some of the amps I am considering are:

Mesa Mini Rectifier
Marshal DSL40C
EVH 5150 iii mini (50w) (No power attenuation, i'll never get above 1!)
Randal MTS modular amps (Low wattage, HARD to find...)
Mesa Mark V (Out of my price range, but in the realm of possibility if need be!)

What else do you all recommend?

Last edited by mdh2861 : 10-23-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
Addonexus408
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The Randall MTS heads are really awesome, they are way versatile due to the swapable preamp modules. The low wattage makes it great for studio use and it can get as clean as you want or as heavy as you want and everything in between. I had a chance to work on one of these acouple months ago and it totally blew me away, really innovative stuff from Randall.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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I like the concept of the randalls too.. I am just not finding a lot of them for sale anywhere.... Looking for a 20-50 watt head or combo, cant really find it! I guess I see a couple 50 watt combo's for sale, but with no power attenuation i'm scared that might be too much wattage for me.

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Old 10-23-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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I was going to throw out Mesa Royal Atlantic but that may be a bit much.

With the broad range of tones/genres you are after you might need to go the modeling route.

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Old 10-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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I'd say the Mk IV would be alright and within your price range. or modelling
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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I recommend the Mesa express 5:50. It's great for practicing or jamming, since it switches between 5 and 50watts.

I has great cleans, and its distortion can go from blusy od, to a nice metal tone, all while hitting all the sweet spots inbetween!
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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Carvin V3. Will do everything you want, extreme distortion plus some of the best cleans on any hi-gain head, and can operate in 100, 50, or 25 watts if the more compressed sound is what you're after.

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/V3

Pair it with a good 2x12 cabinet and you're good to go.


There's also the V3m which is a more compact version, but I've played both and I find the standard V3 is superior as the m has an EL84 power section.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
Addonexus408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdh2861
I like the concept of the randalls too.. I am just not finding a lot of them for sale anywhere.... Looking for a 20-50 watt head or combo, cant really find it! I guess I see a couple 50 watt combo's for sale, but with no power attenuation i'm scared that might be too much wattage for me.

I had one of the 100 watt models to work on so i wouldnt know if the low wattage ones are overpowered done flame me for this but what about a Line 6 DT25? i havnt played one myself but ive seen alot of reviews and they all say great things. 25/10 watts would be awesome for your needs. Look into it man, the demos ive seen sound awesome
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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I feel like the Mark V would be the best for you out of all of those if you can squeeze for it or find a good deal on it. I didn't feel like 90 watt mode was very overbearing, but the lower wattages made things easier.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
ihartfood
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I'll second the Express 5:50 as well. absolutely awesome amps and pretty within your budget.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
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The Mini Recti or Mark V.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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The not wanting a hundred watts limits you a bit, but everyone has the right idea. I will vouch for the v3 and royal Atlantic, both awesome and versatile
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #13
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Look into the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister line. I have a TM 18 and love it and believe it fits what you are looking for. I think they have a higher wattage version and it has built in wattage selector. I believe the 18 is 18w, 5w, 1w, and silent (redbox direct out).

I just checked and they have a 36 (selectable to 36, 18, 5, 1, and RB out) for around 1000$. Anyway, might be worth checking out if you haven't already.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #14
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Keep in mind, with most 100w amps you can pull the two center tubes and operate it at 50w instead of 100w. Just be aware that the impedance changes and it's not capable with all amps (Valveking I know is an exception, along with a few Egnaters IIRC)
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
tukk04
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I know this is only half of what you have to spend, but fender hot-rod or blues deluxes are nice, and extremely versitile. If you want something more boutique-like try an egnater.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #16
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express or mark v
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #17
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Big. Band. Jazz. And. Ultra. High. Gain. Metal.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #18
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Get dat sexy Peavey 6505+, very versatile
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tukk04
I know this is only half of what you have to spend, but fender hot-rod or blues deluxes are nice, and extremely versitile. If you want something more boutique-like try an egnater.



Those are pretty much two or three trick ponies.

I say Mark IV or V if you can squeeze it in. But I think a Fractal AxeFX would be ideal.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campbell22
Get dat sexy Peavey 6505+, very versatile




I for one am not a fan of the V3. I've played the V3M a fair bit in the shop near me and no matter what I just cannot get on with it, it always sounds fizzy in the top end and from all I know it is exactly the same as the V3 but may run on different power tubes??

Anyways, if I were you I'd look into AxeFx + poweramp or try and find a good deal on a used Mesa Mark V. The Royal Atlantic is going to be a bit out of your price range even used as they're not that old, and people seem to like them a fair bit so won't easily part with them either.

The Mark V is one of the most versatile and best sounding tube amps I've ever played. The clean channel is to die for, the crunch channel has some real nice grit to it and the high gain channel is pure Mark series awesome. If you can get one of those I would strongly recommend it.

The AxeFx + poweramp is an even more versatile option, but it depends on exactly what you need. Personally if you dont need to worry about saving space and easy home recording I would snap up a Mark V, but if you do then the AxeFx is a better option. It also has every effect under the sun and known to mankind in it with limitless possibilities for you to create guitar sounds.

TLDR: if you want to be able to record at home and want to save space go AxeFx Ultra + poweramp of some sort. If you don't need that, then grab a second hand Mesa Mark V head. Both will do exactly what you need
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