Ok, so here's the skinny. I got an Ashton tube stack from the guy who used to own our new house that looked like it was in perfect condition, three days later the power filter sh*ts out and I'm looking at selling my kidneys to get it fixed. Thankfully given that I got it used, I had some money left over (which I had planned to use to buy a small practice amp head). So I'm back looking at a new amp for about $600-700AUD, but I'm not too picky.

Now, here's the catch.

I would prefer the amp to be solid state. Reasons for this being:
- I'm going to uni next year and will be in a dorm, so I'd want the amp to have a headphone jack so I can practice at night and sound good at low volumes.
- I'm scared of the maintenance costs of tube amps. I know that most of the time odds are that they'll be fine, but once bitten twice shy. And since I'm gonna be paying for my living costs and most of my tuition, I don't want to have to stress the night before a gig about finding a new power tube or similar with loose change in my wallet. Especially because I'm not brilliant at looking after my stuff.
- Over here, tube amps are expensive as all hell. A Crate V18 or Valveking are just under $1000, a Marshall DSL will set you back $1200 if you negotiate and don't get me started on Orange pricing. Long story short, we get f*cked over. And after my bad experience, there is no way I'm going with the standard "used tube" recommendation, so don't even go there. I'm also leery of used SS (unless it's a JC-120 or old Ampeg, in which case reason goes out the window) so don't suggest that either.

Plus, I'm a punk/hardcore/grunge guy anyway so I'm more than willing to trade a bit of tone for the savings. I have a Nano Muff and a MI Audio Crunch Box for distortion and fuzz along with my Modtone Aqua Chorus and 2nd-gen Digitech Whammy, so gain isn't as important as clean is.
I will be using the amp for gigs, and while I am aware of the existence of PA systems and aware that SS doesn't sound as good (to some- the decent ones I tried sounded good IMO) as tube at high volumes, I would want to have decent clean headroom. Since I haven't gigged much up to now (and when I have I've just borrowed an amp) I'm not too sure what that is, although 50w SS seems to be generally defined as OK.
No modelers; I know the sounds I want, and I've never been able to find them on a Cube or Valvetronix, good amps they are.

I visited my local guitar store today to try a few amps. The two that stood out for me were the Hiwatt G100R (bit more expensive, but great JC-120-esque cleans and takes pedals very well) and the Hughes and Kettner Edition Blue 60R which I had previously planned to get, which was smaller but cheaper and had a more bluesy clean, different to the Hiwatt but still nice. I can't really seperate the two, which one would you say is more reliable and more value for money? Reliability is a biggie because this amp's gotta last me through uni and until I can afford a rack setup, which is probably a few years away.

Just as a reminder:
- Please, no "get a real tube amp" posts. I'm not a n00b, I know what I'm after and I'm seeking experienced knowledge, not bandwagons.
- Anyone who recommends a MG or Spider can go straight to hell.
- Please don't let this become a flame war about the merits of SS and tube.

Thanks guys.

Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
Didn't know Hiwatt made SS amps o.o

Either way, you should be pretty good, as both amps are tough and reliable as hell from what I've heard.

To rephrase my above statement, as I appeared to have contradicted myself, I've heard both COMPANIES are reliable as hell (with the exception of a single H&K MIDI footswitch for the Switchblade).
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Last edited by Shinozoku at Nov 28, 2008,
I have a Fender FM 100 head that I play through a cab I built myself. I think it sounds pretty good, especially for a SS and for how cheap it was. I just checked out reviews to make sure mine isn't a fluke and that I don't have terrible taste (which is also possible) and most people seem to have a pretty positive impression of it. It might be something for you to look into.
I'm not loving the Frontman series. Their cleans are OK, but I found when I tried one it didn't take my pedals as well as the Hiwatt or H+K.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
I've played an old H&K Blue at a gig a couple of years ago, I think it's an excellent amp. Especially for a hard rock tone.
sorry, but...bump? You can't tell me no one else has played these amps.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
I have the H&K Edition Blue 60 DFX (which is almost the same, except it has some digital FX).

The cleans are really great, I think one of the best solid state cleans.
However the drive channel is not that great, at lower gains it's pretty good for blues, but at higher gains it gets muddy, and well, it doesn't cut through in a band situation.

But as you've said you've got some nice distortion pedals, I think this problem is solved .

If you'd buy it, make sure you try your pedals with the amp.

Edit: And if you'd buy it, tell me how it sounds with the MI Audio Crunch Box, because I'm lookin' for a nice distortion pedal.
Fender MIA Stratocaster (with SD Twang Banger)
Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Johnson Acoustic
Palmer FAB5
Last edited by hansolo1106 at Nov 29, 2008,