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#1
Hey y'all, long time reader, first time poster here.

I've been looking to buy a tube head for quite some time now, but I'm at a complete loss as to what to get.

My problem is basically that I play alternative rock with my current band, but also progressive stuff that requires that I have absolutely pristine Fenderesque cleans, but also great distortion. I'm looking for a head that can do both really well, as I'm not going to want to be upgrading this anytime soon. I was checking out the Orange amps after finding out that Omar-Rodriguez Lopez from The Mars Volta plays through them, but unfortunately, while I like the clean channel tone on the Rockerverb series (somewhat gritty), I'm afraid it's not going to be pure enough. I was thinking the Thunderverb 200 would have enough headroom for nice cleans, but it's out of my price range right now, and I haven't had much luck finding used ones.

I'm looking at spending at the very most $1700 on a head, as I have a cab at school I can use until I can save up for one. This is my first experience buying a tube head, so any help is appreciated!
#2
fenders have amazing cleans

edit: i just realized that u already noted the awesomeness of fender cleans
Gear

Guitar:
Squier Strat

Amp:
Fender Roc Pro 1000 Half Stack

Pedals:
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah
Digitech Cool Cat Chorus
#4
Used Mark IV or III
#5
Used Mesas (F-series, Mark Series, DC series, ect), used Peavey XXX or JSX, Carvin V3 might be good....hmm...I know there are more...
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#6
If you need Fender cleans and awesome OD its really hard to beat a Rivera, Paul Rivera was employed at fender and Marshall and his amps designs are a combination of both with his own flavor mixed in. Great amps with great cleans and killer distortion.
Quote by Cachao

Johnbryant you are obviously a genius

My Gear
Custom USA Standard Telecaster
Peavey Triple XXX 212 Combo
Peavey MS412 Cab Celestion G12K-85's
POD 2.0 (the ultimate practice setup)
Guild DV6
#7
mesa boogie road king? i think thats what its called.
Quote by BryanChampine
It was like a orgasm in my ear.
Chea_man is the best.
#9
You want one of these.

Rivera KR7
Highes and Kettner Triamp MkII
Mesa Road king(II, not I. the II has the Lonestar clean circuit, very fendery)

They're in your price range used i think, the road king might be a little bit more or right at 1700.
#10
B-52 At-100
B-52 OWNERZ LINK!!!

GUITAR
Gibson SG Special Faded Brown w/ Duncan Blackouts
AMP
B-52 At-112 60 Wat All Tube Combo
PEDALS
MXR 108 10 Band EQ
ISP Noise Gate
SETUP
SG --> MXR --> ISP --> B-52
#11
Quote by gpowsang
B-52 At-100


no

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I know I say this alot but...


used 5150-3


possibly this

or
two words
egnater tourmaster
Quote by progbass
right Metallica is a given. Personally I like to pretend the bus exploded and killed them all in '86.

GUITAR PEDALS FOR SALE
#12
Check out a Randall MTS head of some sort. That way you can pick out just what kinds of clean and distorted modules you want; three different Fender modules along with everythuing from a plexi crunch to T3H BR00T4LZ. Also as said above consider a used Mesa Mark IV or used Rivera. Any idea on how many channels you want? What are some specific tones you like?
Last edited by ameer at Dec 11, 2008,
#13
Mesa DC-5 or 10 head and a Mesa 2x12 or 4x12 or a Marshall JCM 800 4x12 (not the 1960 cabs, the JCM800 cabs; from the 80s). Head will run about 7 or 8 hundred used, and the cab from 3 - 6. You're under budget and left with enough money to change tubes if you'd like or maybe buy a helluva lot of strings. ^_^

If you can splurge for an Orange and you like the sound of them go for one. I'd personally love an Orange (in addition to my Mesa of course :p ).
#14
Hello,

I know exactly what type of amp head you need. a custom amp head maybe.. depends.
I know an amp maker, Private Message me, i think you'll be interested.
Sam-Jacob
#16
Quote by imsamjacob
Hello,

I know exactly what type of amp head you need. a custom amp head maybe.. depends.
I know an amp maker, Private Message me, i think you'll be interested.



will i need to wire you $1400 first to unlock the funds in my inheritance?
#17
Quote by ameer
Check out a Randall MTS head of some sort. That way you can pick out just what kinds of clean and distorted modules you want; three different Fender modules along with everythuing from a plexi crunch to T3H BR00T4LZ. Also as said above consider a used Mesa Mark IV or used Rivera. Any idea on how many channels you want? What are some specific tones you like?

yeah I forgot about the Fender modules.

do you or anyone have any idea how close those are to the real thing?

I played a 5150-3 the other night but not for very long. The whole concept intrigues me greatly. Fender tone and high gain metal tone with the stomp of an amp channel (or module in the Randall MTS case)


#18
Its all about the TUBES. Not so much of the amp.. or the name ect ect..

You want clean? Vox made the ac-30 and had great clean/dirty tubes. They used 4 x EL84's.

You want a good strong rock gain/dis tone? Marshall used 4 x EL48's

and Fender used 6v6's.

What I say, get a custom head maybe. pre-tube 6v6 and 1 EL48 and 2 EL84's.


The amp maker I know has something like this.. goto www.fargen.com he has his own shop... makes them himself, hes a genius!
Sam-Jacob
#20
Triamp mk II hands down and you may get lucky and find a used one close to your range.

I now have a SLO 100, JCM 800 and my Triamp. I have had or owned a slew of others including boutiques such as Bad Cat, Divided by 13, Orange, Laney, many Marshalls, Fenders, played Bogners, Mesa RK and IV, played 5150 and more than I can think of or want to try and think of.

The Triamp has a great clean channel, both 1 and 2 can stay clean or you can feed a little gain to 1b to get a bluesy sound ala Fender. Channel two is pure British crunch and I can dial in with the eq. Orange Rockerverb and vintage Marshall in 1a. ACDC and stuff is perfect for 1a. 1b has more gain or crunch and sound perfect for 80s rock and even Metallica. 2b with gain around 5 or 6 is perfect for Zep. 3a and 3b are the high gain monsters and the best channels on this amp. I like 3b better than my SLO, no ****. 3a has just a little less gain and a little less in the 400hz to 2k range just for a voicing difference. Not thin at all, but not as heavy and will still cut through any mix like a hot knife through butta.
2008 Gibson LP
1968 Gibson LP
2005 Am Strat Del

88 Marsh JCM 800 1/2 stack
05 Marsh AVT50
08 H & K Triamp Mk. II
07 Orange PPC 212
08 Dr. Z 212
Last edited by 996ttcab at Dec 11, 2008,
#22
Diezel Einstien.

But its out of your reach unfortunately

In all seriousness that thing does it all.
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
Pitchblack | Bad Horsie 2 | DS-1 | BF-2 | ISP Decimator | DD6
YouTube Channel
#23
Quote by chea_man
mesa boogie road king? i think thats what its called.

You realize that amp costs $2700?
Quote by alkalineweeman
If by "clean" you mean "get a finger right up in there and do a good bit of spelunking" then i guess "at any given opportunity" is my answer.


mah hardcore band
http://monstersvsaliens.bandcamp.com/
#25
if you get it used then it could go for 1700.

and diezel's imo are very overpriced. they sound awesome and very modern, but they never really have character at all..
#27
Quote by Vandals572
You realize that amp costs $2700?

you realize that you can buy one used?
Quote by BryanChampine
It was like a orgasm in my ear.
Chea_man is the best.
#28
Trust your ears, and try it out yourself. Maybe Mesas work well for a bunch of well-known metal bands, I think the distortion on them sounds like fuzzy SH*T. And the clean channel isn't even that open and "3-dimensional". Overall, they're retardedly verstile with the spongy, n bold, n diode, n normal, n mixed tubes, blah blah blah...and still don't have a great tone.

SOLUTION?

MARSHALL JVM 410H

Perfection in Amp Form. The best distortion, the most amazing shimmering cleans..It's all very 3-dimensional and full too. Clean, Crunch, OD1, OD2. You're getting a super smooth clean sound, 1959 Plexi Head Crunch, JCM800s stock and Modded, and with OD2 you're getting a scooped mid ridiculously high distortion monster.

After playing this all the other amps sounded very unprofessional. For the best, most versatile, and professional sounding amp, you've gotta go JVM.

NOW..if you disagree..Don't bash. It's just my opinion. Which brings me to the point that you need to try it yourself! This amp might not suit you at all because of your guitar or whatever.

Good luck!
#29
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
yeah I forgot about the Fender modules.

do you or anyone have any idea how close those are to the real thing?


Not specifically; I haven't played enough Fenders to compare. However, here are some nice clips of the various modules. I can say however that the Blackface mod makes my Edwards LP sound fantastic; very Strat-like when I'm using the neck pickup. With an actual Strat, it has a lot of high end and a rather scooped midrange; I prefer to use the Plexi mod with low gane when I'm using a Strat.
#30
Quote by Pacarazzi
Trust your ears, and try it out yourself. Maybe Mesas work well for a bunch of well-known metal bands, I think the distortion on them sounds like fuzzy SH*T. And the clean channel isn't even that open and "3-dimensional". Overall, they're retardedly verstile with the spongy, n bold, n diode, n normal, n mixed tubes, blah blah blah...and still don't have a great tone.


Have you ever listened to Carlos Santana's Abraxas album? Hell, go look up "Into the Night" on YouTube, although I'll agree that the Recto series isn't their finest work.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#31
Quote by Raijouta
Have you ever listened to Carlos Santana's Abraxas album? Hell, go look up "Into the Night" on YouTube, although I'll agree that the Recto series isn't their finest work.

Yeah, the MarK series, Stilleto Deuce, Lonestar, heartbreaker. All great amps. The Express and F-series are great lower end amps.
#32
Quote by Raijouta
Have you ever listened to Carlos Santana's Abraxas album? Hell, go look up "Into the Night" on YouTube, although I'll agree that the Recto series isn't their finest work.


That's why I said at the bottom of my post it's an OPINION...

There are bands I like that sound great using Mesas. I don't know how they do it, but they do. However, I prefer the Marsall sound.

I said PERSONALLY, for MY tastes, when I'M playing them..I don't like their sound at all. I also do not think that they compare to Marshalls, and I especially don't think they compare to the JVM or JCM's.
#34
ALSO..after talking to a lot of people at Guitar CenterS..yes, more than one..Mesa Boogies get brought in for trouble surprisingly often. Say that's BS, or they're biased, whatever, I don't care. To be honest, I don't think they were lying, because if they had convinced me to buy a Mesa I would have spend more money with them than I did on the Marshall. And they had many more Mesas to get off the floor.

It just really seems like Mesa's don't live up to expectations in terms of tone or reliability..If you have a different experience, right on. Welcome to planet Earth..where people have different opinions..
#35
Quote by acdclandon
no


possibly this

or
two words
egnater tourmaster

Why no on the AT??? The cleans are immaculate, and very Fender-esque, and the distortion is apocalyptic.
#36
Quote by bulletrocks522
Why no on the AT??? The cleans are immaculate, and very Fender-esque, and the distortion is apocalyptic.


nice adjectives, the guy has a 1700 dollar budget, and can buy a whole slew of nice amps, the b-52 is good on a budget, when you go up in price range you can get better amps
Quote by progbass
right Metallica is a given. Personally I like to pretend the bus exploded and killed them all in '86.

GUITAR PEDALS FOR SALE
#37
Quick post before beddy-bye time.

So I'm hearing quite a few in the Mesa line are rather versatile. I'll have to check those out.

Rivera amps and the 5150-3 got a few good testimonials. Will do some research.

After that review on the JVM 410H, I'll definitely look into it. I've always admired Frusciante's solo tone through a Marshall, but I've honestly never played one.

Engl Powerball was suggested a few times.

To elaborate on what I'm looking for, basically, I'm 16, I've been playing 4 years, and I play in an alternative/jam band type group at the moment, but eventually I'd like to play prog along the lines of Porcupine Tree (best comparison of varied guitar tone I can think of off the top of my head). I'd love to buy an amp that could last me through college right away, so I don't want to skimp out on anything or make a hasty decision.

Also, chances are I'm going to have to drive a long ways to get to the nearest music store around here, so I'd love to be able to compare a dozen amps all at the same time.

And I guess I could list some influences... The Mars Volta, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Between the Buried and Me, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Steely Dan, Goldfinger, King Crimson, Muse, White Stripes, Joe Satriani...

So ideally, brutal rhythm distortion, killer leads, pure cleans, jazz leads, gritty blues, funky OD, etc.

Thanks a ton for the help guys, I'm a noob and any and all suggestions are appreciated!
#38
Quote by acdclandon
nice adjectives, the guy has a 1700 dollar budget, and can buy a whole slew of nice amps, the b-52 is good on a budget, when you go up in price range you can get better amps

True dat, I didnt see the 1700 USD part. To TS:
Go Peavey 5150 Combo used, and then buy a Roland JC-120 with a A/B selector switch. Or an ENGL. ENGL's kick ass.
#39
Quote by ameer
Check out a Randall MTS head of some sort. That way you can pick out just what kinds of clean and distorted modules you want; three different Fender modules along with everythuing from a plexi crunch to T3H BR00T4LZ. Also as said above consider a used Mesa Mark IV or used Rivera. Any idea on how many channels you want? What are some specific tones you like?

I would go with this or the Egnater Mod amps. They are higher quality handbuilt amps that have the same concept of switchable preamp modules.
#40
Quote by acdclandon
nice adjectives, the guy has a 1700 dollar budget, and can buy a whole slew of nice amps, the b-52 is good on a budget, when you go up in price range you can get better amps



then buy two of them, problem solved
B-52 OWNERZ LINK!!!

GUITAR
Gibson SG Special Faded Brown w/ Duncan Blackouts
AMP
B-52 At-112 60 Wat All Tube Combo
PEDALS
MXR 108 10 Band EQ
ISP Noise Gate
SETUP
SG --> MXR --> ISP --> B-52
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