#1
I've been raised on tubes. My guitar teacher has an old JCM-800 and some old fender silverfaces and stuff. My god father has a custom marshall plexi with real greenbacks, and I've always been around tube amps sounding better than solid state. Hell, I run my speaker system through a tube preamp.

I don't really like my Valveking. It was good for my first amp, but I want something toned back and smaller and quieter. For a long time I was going to get a Blackheart Handsome Devil, and I think I still am. But recently I discovered the Flextone III and I really like the way it sounds. It still doens't sound like a tube amp to me. But damn is it close. I was going to do a bitmo mod on my Blackheart.

I've been playing for about 3 years. I have my PRS and strat. I play blues, rock, some classical metal like sabbath, and other music in that realm. I gig occasionally in auditoriums with PA systems so volume doesn't matter that much.

Which amp would I outgrow faster? I'm still leaning towards the Blackheart cause it's tube. But if I'm not going to get aggravated with a Flextone sounding digital and crap, it might be something to look into.

What's UG's opinion? I'm really at a loss.
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#4
Quote by schecter ftw
3 years and you got a PRS Custom 22?? Damn nice.
It depends really how much do you got to spend?



I got lucky with the PRS. My teachers friend sold it to me cheap because he never played it, it just sat in a case and he wanted it in the hands of a young musician. It's a classic 22 too. Not a custom.

I can afford either one really. My local shop will give me a deal on the Flextone III so I can get it for about 600, and the blackheart will cost me 550 after the bitmo. 50$ isn't too much of a problem for me.


I would get a better amp than those two, how much you got to spend?


I have around 600. The blackheart with a bitmo mod is really pretty damn good for that price range. I haven't been able to find anything I like better. except MAYBE the flex. I was going for a JCM for a while, but their prices sky rocketed.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Nov 23, 2008,
#6
Quote by schecter ftw
I would save a bit more before getting an amp. Wait till you got $2000 so you can get a really good amp you can enjoy. The thing is, you only been playing for 3 years so your styles could change. I'd wait it out for a bit.



No. I'm going to college. Instead of buying a Mesa Mark IV which I really want. I'm putting that money towards college and getting a small small amp. That's what I need. And even if my style changes it'll still be rooted in the same style. It won't change enough to warrant a completely different amp. I'll probably get a really nice amp when I get out of college and I have money. But I need a dorm amp that sounds pretty good that I can use to perform. Hence the Blackheart or Flextone.

If I weren't going to collge or I'd graduated I'd have a Mark IV or a JCM-800 or something.
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#8
Between the 2 I'd probably go with the Flextone, but for the money there is better out there.
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#9
Quote by scott58
Between the 2 I'd probably go with the Flextone, but for the money there is better out there.


What else is there? I've played and looked around.
Classic 30 is too much.
Blues Deluxe isn't voiced how i want it
Ceriatone is too expensive after shipping
I don't like the Tiny Terror
Don't like my valveking
Vintage fenders don't take pedals the way I want them to.
Hate the hotrod's gain and it's too loud.

I'm relatively open to other suggestions, but I've also been looking for 8 months and narrowed down my search a lot. I've played the Blackheart on multiple occasions, and once with a bitmo. It's pretty much exactly what I want. But the Flextone seems to maybe even be a better option.

I want about 10-15 watts tube. Or something solid and better than the flextone.

I really jsut want a comparison between the two unless there is something significantly better out there.
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#10
Go with the tubes dude. Solid state is flashy for a while, and sounds okay, but sooner or later you realize that you just don't have that warmth or that depth of the tubes. I'd definitely recommend the Blackheart.
I'm Joel. I play guitar. I am a student. I look at the cost of tuition, not in a dollar value, but in the guitars I'm sacrificing now, to be able to buy later.
#11
Both of those are good amps
Have you tried the traynor ycv20? You said blues rock and metal. This could probably manage good tones for each. The blackheart would be hard pressed for metal and I wouldn't say the flextone is good for blues.
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#12
Quote by schecter ftw
Then the Blackheart I guess. Might be too loud for your dorm, but it could still work.



define too loud...i play a fender hotrod deluxe in my dorm room with no problem, yea sure, if i get above 2 everyone hates me, but it sounds great at or below that volume.
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#13
I actually have tried the Traynor. But it's a little out of my price range and I can't get a deal on it like I can at my local shop. The Blackheart with the Bitmo can do the kind of metal I want. Especially with a pedal. I know the flextone is a little iffy on blues.

Too loud....I play my friends hotrod which has a huge volume jump between 0 and 2. The Hot rod 2 is a little too loud for my lowest volume. I just wanna get decent tone at bedroom level. I want tube, but I also see the advantages of solid state in this situation. Either way it goes after college, or I get a nicer amp and use it as backup.

and thanks for the replies guys.

I have a pretty good ear of what sounds good. I know the blackheart isn't anywhere near the best. But it beats my VK and it's small. I'm confused by how good the Flex sounds.
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#14
The flextone is about $600 so that's what I figured your budget to be. That puts you in a solid used market. Some of the things you don't like could probably be fixed with a simple tube change or different speaker combination (pedal?). Or maybe flextone it is.
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#15
Quote by scott58
The flextone is about $600 so that's what I figured your budget to be. That puts you in a solid used market. Some of the things you don't like could probably be fixed with a simple tube change or different speaker combination (pedal?). Or maybe flextone it is.


Yeah, a modded Blackheart with the bitmo mod and JJ tubes does almost exactly what I want. Not a Mark IV. But pretty damn good. But I just discovered that flextone.

Does anyone who has played a flextone, or has experience with one have an opinion on how it sounds. I'm just surprised by how nice it sounds. No. It's not a fender twin reverb or a JTM-45. But for it's price range and such, it seems to be very nice. Is it just me?

I went and cranked both of them and the blackheart won flat out as I expected. But 85% of the time i'll be in a dorm and 10% I'll be in a band room. 5% i'll be gigging.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
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Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
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American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Nov 23, 2008,
#16
I love my flextone, it's an awesome amp in my opinion. Huge range of really authentic sounds.
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tool and opeth definitly dont play tube amps . You cant get those distorted sounds out of it. tube is for like beatles stuff right?


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