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Old 12-19-2014, 01:09 AM   #1
Will Lane
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My Proper "What Amp Should I Get?" Thread

The previous thread I made had issues. I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't know exactly what I wanted. Now, I'm slightly less ignorant.

Budget: Under $400. The lower the better, of course.

Genres: Alternative, Post-Rock, Ambience, Shoegaze, and Jazz.
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If you want an idea of my ideal sound, it is a mix between this for backgrounds and crispies:
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and this at 2:30 for solos:
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Raise your shields, they are both Christian worship songs.

New or Used: Doesn't matter, although I would prefer new if it's in the price range (wouldn't everybody?)

Home or Gig: Gigging. Largest space I play at is an auditorium that fills 500+ people. It has a PA.

Closest City: Let's say northeastern NC. I'm not willing to drive to Raleigh to pick up an amp, but I'd drive a reasonable distance.

Current Gear: Washburn X-30, Micro-POG, Soul Food, RAT, RP-155, The Analogizer (tone boost), Hotone Liftup (volume boost).

So, it is now time for me to make a decision on what amp I want to slave over working for. My effects chain varies from, in progressive order:

Simple, warm cleans
Echoplex-inspired rhythms and light overdriven leads
Delay-heavy chordage (plus medium overdrive)
Reverb wash chordage (plus medium overdrive)
Crisp, high over-drive leads with boosts, use of octave-up whammy
Reverb and Delay-saturated pad
Grungy distortion sag

And I need an amp that can take all that. The clipping issues I mentioned in my older thread have been extensively fixed by turning the RP-155's effects levels and master volumes down, turning my mix up, and using the cabinet simulator on the Behringer Ultra-G direct box. It's a potential issue, but not one I'm too worried about.

The three main requirements of this amp are that it needs to have a modest, well-voiced light, warm overdrive, it needs to be able to take my effects-saturated signal, and it needs to have a line/mix/whatever out.

I need the OD so that my gritty tone sounds more natural with the distortion from the RAT and Soul Food. The RAT would be used for devastating, sag-like saturation, while the Soul Food will exhibit more soulful and crisp, sparkly qualities.

I need an amp that is able to take my effects. Instead of "giving up" when trying to push my tone by clipping itself, the amp should be able to round my tone so that the little discrepancies of the delay, reverb, and other effects can be heard without gnarl or actual sag.

It needs to have a "out to mix" port. I can use some of the amp's volume, but not a lot. The Church building I normally play at is just big enough for me to be able to do all the stuff I do, but just small enough that I would have to turn the amp up too loud to mic it. I tried putting an amp in a back room, but the volume level is overbearing for anyone in that vicinity. So, I need an amp that has an out port (and of course, the out signal needs to sound good.)

I would like for the amp to have an FX loop but it is not mandatory.

Here are some amps that I've been looking at:

Peavey Classic 30: A well-rounded tube amp with a good rep. It has an FX loop and an "extension speaker" port, which I'm not sure if it would work as a out to mix port. I would have to buy used most likely, and I'm not entirely sure if it could handle my effects very well.

Peavey Vyper (probably the 100w): A modeling amp with versatility. I don't really care for the modeling. It has a decent rep and two outs. As the Mustang's Metal rival, I felt I should consider it for the capability it might have. It doesn't have an FX loop it seems.

Fender Mustang (probably the 100w): Another modeling amp with versatility. I don't really care for the modeling, but I care a bit more about it than the Vyper. It has a decent rep and two XLR outputs. I might use the modeling/software patches once or twice just to shape my tone and leave it. It doesn't have an FX loop it seems.

Fender Superchamp X2
: A tube modeling amp. I might use the modeling/software once or twice, as with the mustang. It has a line out but doesn't have an FX loop. I've heard a demoer that I follow play it and he was able to get some nice tones out of it. I'm afraid that the max 15w it can put out will cripple my tone.

Fender Champion
(probably the 100w): The last modeling amp, and this one with a not-so-good rep. It seems to have an ok sound (or maybe people are using it wrong). It does have a FX loop and a 1/8 headphone out which I might be able to utilize with an adapter, but I'm afraid that it might cripple my tone.

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe:
The one you are probably cheering for. It has a great sound (of course) with a good rep. It has an FX loop and "Two 1/4" Parallel (Internal and External)" for speaker/output jacks. I assume the internal goes to the built-in speaker and the external goes to a cab, or in this case, it will be used as a line out. I'm worried that using the external jack as a line out will cripple my sound or hurt the amp. Also, I would certainly have to buy used, and that's sketchy considering my price range and the desire for this amp.

I am currently leaning towards the Hot Rod Deluxe and the Superchamp. The HR would more than likely have better capabilities, but the price, availability, and unknown max effects-load is concerning. The Superchamp is definitely workable, but its power rating, lack of FX loop, and meh rep is concerning.

Edit: Adding the Vox AC15VR and the Valvetronix VT20. Leaning heavily to the AC15VR.

Thanks for your suggestions c:
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Last edited by Will Lane : 12-19-2014 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:41 AM   #2
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The Classic 30 or A Peavey Tube 60.
And no, the extension speaker out on the Classic 30 is to plug into a cab, not a mixer or other device that expects a line level signal.

My Peavey Vypyr 30 has a line out connection. I imagine the Tube 60 version does as well.

Also, you should look into the Vox Valvetronix amps.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
And no, the extension speaker out on the Classic 30 is to plug into a cab, not a mixer or other device that expects a line level signal.


So what would happen if I said "screw the rules" and plugged it into a direct box (with or without a cab sim) to a mixer board anyway?

Also, I do like the feel of the Peavey VYPYPR Tube 60.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Lane
So what would happen if I said "screw the rules" and plugged it into a direct box (with or without a cab sim) to a mixer board anyway?

Also, I do like the feel of the Peavey VYPYPR Tube 60.



Depends on the box
Look into some of these : http://www.radialeng.com/
I believe they do make DI boxes that would suit your needs.
I'm not real familiar with their products so perhaps someone else could point you to the right options for your needs.
Or you could contact them and tell them what you need.


If you said "screw the rules", you would probably see smoke somewhere and need to buy another amp.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:11 AM   #5
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I have and love my Fender HRD. It is a great workhorse of a guitar, and you can play anything short of the most aggressive, distorted genres.

...Because its drive channel is bad. Not just mine in particular, I mean the amp model itself.

If you really need to have a good distortion channel, look at Peavey or Vox before the HRD.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:21 AM   #6
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I seen some tube ampegs used for under 500 bucks, they take pedals extremely well I dunno about your multieffect though. Other options include the crate blue voodoo and im sure there is a used mesa in your budget if you gi used... think f series, dc other less popular mesa models.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losing battle
I seen some tube ampegs used for under 500 bucks, they take pedals extremely well I dunno about your multieffect though. Other options include the crate blue voodoo and im sure there is a used mesa in your budget if you gi used... think f series, dc other less popular mesa models.


Do you know anything about the older ampeg models? Most of their amps are for bass... frustrating. They also don't seem to have a line out.

I was doing some research on Daniel Carson (the guitarist for the first video) and I learned he uses (or used in 2012) a Vox AC30, which makes sense. However, I can't afford an AC30 so what about these:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...uitar-combo-amp Sounds solid, but only has an external speaker jack for out ports.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...uitar-combo-amp Inexpensive, line out, but the low price concerns me. It has AC15 and AC30 simulations. Has higher-end models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
Depends on the box
Look into some of these : http://www.radialeng.com/
I believe they do make DI boxes that would suit your needs.
I'm not real familiar with their products so perhaps someone else could point you to the right options for your needs.
Or you could contact them and tell them what you need.


If you said "screw the rules", you would probably see smoke somewhere and need to buy another amp.


I'd be going from the amp "head" in this case to a Behringer Ultra-G GL100. I know that there is a thing called "load bearing" which I guess is making the external speaker source take enough power so the amp doesn't fry, involving ohms and impedance. With the AC15VR and 30, the internal speaker shuts off when an external speaker is plugged in, requiring an 8 ohm speaker to operate correctly. Potentially, I could use a loudspeaker that has that rating with a line out of sorts. Might that work?

In confusion and misleading information from Musician's Friend, the 30 does not have a headphone jack.

I am most likely going to have to settle for the valvetronix: it's built essentially the same way as the Valve Reactor anyway. Any other suggestions?
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:31 AM   #8
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Maybe look for a used AC15; They should be in your budget and if you like the VR you'll probably like the AC15 more.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boblittle
Maybe look for a used AC15; They should be in your budget and if you like the VR you'll probably like the AC15 more.


I'd love to get one of the non-modelling amps, but no Vox other than the Valvetronix has a line out port.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:30 AM   #10
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Have a look at the full Valvetronix line:
http://www.voxamps.com/valvetronix

If you are gonna gig, you are gonna need more power than the VT unless you mic it up.
Go as large as you can afford.



They don't make this model anymore, but I have heard good things about them.
Not as many features as the newer models though:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Stor...576-i3724147.gc

Or:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/sea...RONIX&Go=Search
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
Have a look at the full Valvetronix line:
http://www.voxamps.com/valvetronix

If you are gonna gig, you are gonna need more power than the VT unless you mic it up.
Go as large as you can afford.


Shouldn't the line out with the VT80+ be enough power through an amplified PA system?
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Lane
Shouldn't the line out with the VT80+ be enough power through an amplified PA system?


My bad, I meant to write VT20
The VT80 should be good enough even without the PA

If you are only going to use the line out to a PA system, the VT20 may even work.
I don't know where it the circuit the line out system is, but likely before the power amp section, so the wattage may not make a difference there. but I don't know that for sure.
I would have to see a schematic on it.

But unless you have your own PA system, I would go larger than the VT20.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
My bad, I meant to write VT20
The VT80 should be good enough even without the PA


c:

Also, I'm checking out the AD120VT/100 you linked me to. Has line out and fx loop, and of course solid Vox amp models. I'm digging it.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:02 AM   #14
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And I just had a look at the schematic for the AD30VT model to double check.
The line out does come comes before the power amp section.
I'm sure the new models would be the same.
Doesn't really make sense to have the power amp section connected to a line out connection.
Would be the same as hooking the speaker wire to a device designed for a line out signal.

I used to have an AD30VT.
really liked it.
But had to sell it for moving money a few years ago.
Got the Vypyr 30 now, and while I really like it, the Valvetronix was better suited to what I normally play.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
And I just had a look at the schematic for the AD30VT model to double check.
The line out does come comes before the power amp section.
I'm sure the new models would be the same.
Doesn't really make sense to have the power amp section connected to a line out connection.
Would be the same as hooking the speaker wire to a device designed for a line out signal.

I used to have an AD30VT.
really liked it.
But had to sell it for moving money a few years ago.
Got the Vypyr 30 now, and while I really like it, the Valvetronix was better suited to what I normally play.


So, if I'm understanding this correctly, with the AD(x)VT series line out, I wouldn't be sending a high-powered signal through the line out port. Does that also mean I miss out on the tube coloration?
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:18 AM   #16
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The tube is in the preamp section.
So you still get that with the line out.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
The tube is in the preamp section.
So you still get that with the line out.


Sweet. Thank you so much for your help.

If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to mention them. Until I'm convinced otherwise, this is her: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...uitar-combo-amp
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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Personally I'd go with the Peavey Classic 30, it is a nice amp

The Vox VT is a good suggestion, but I wouldn't waist the money on the 2x12. The 1x12 will be plenty for your needs.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
The tube is in the preamp section.
So you still get that with the line out.



Just had another look at the schematic.
It does appear that using the line out does come before the tube.
So using the line out does take the the out of your line out signal.

Sorry about that. (Its almost 6am and my eyes are getting a little blurry).
But the VT line is still a damn fine amp.
And honestly, the tube itself doesn't really make that big of an impact.
I tried different tubes in my AD30VT and couldn't really hear much of a difference, if any.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:29 AM   #20
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lol at "super post rock" being in a spoiler

the HRD would be good for those cleans in the first clip, but as danny says, the od channels aren't so great (though supposedly they've been improved in the newest version, which I haven't tried yet).

that solo is a pretty standard mid-to-high gain overdrive/distortion. I think maybe with single coils. I reckon a tubescreamer-style pedal used as a boost would help you to get a sound like that since they smooth everything out (what I mean is the amp might not have to do that exact tone by itself).
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