#1
Oh wise and knowledgeable Oracles of the Amplifier, I humbly beseech your assistance.

Right, now that formalities are out of the way, I currently have a Cube 30. Its nice, I like it well enough, but higher notes leave something to be desired. It may be my lack of EQ skills, but I feel the time has come to upgrade to a tube amp. Budget isn't a constraint, but I am moving in a few weeks to a tiny apartment, and don't think I will be able to get away with cranking the amp like I have been able to in my current apt. I do jam with my friend, so I would need an amp quiet enough for practice, yet loud enough to still be heard in a band setting. Should I just stick with my cube and practice with headphones? I apologize for my ignorance, I should probably spend less time in the Electric Guitar forums and lurk moar here.

I play mostly Metallica, Megadeth, Standard tuned Dimmu Borgir, Maiden, etc.

Thanks,

Joe
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#2
If you want to go tube, check out the Blackstar HT-5 (think that's what it's called), and maybe the various Blackheart amps. The Blackstar is 5 watts, and from what I heard, it should play those genres, otherwise get an OD.
And on the seventh day, I said "Go to your room!"


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#3
if money isn't a constraint, then get a Randall RM50 Combo with the Blackface and 1086 mdoules, then get the 1086 mod'd by Pete Turely (okstrat on the MTS forum). I have the 1087 (pete's mod) and it is perfect for any kind of metal. The Blackface has a nice clean, but i haven't had a chance to hear much from it b/c it has some bad preamp tubes.

Just to clarify, this is an all tube amp that uses modular preamp. Each module is based off of the circuitry of a certain amp. Each module also uses two 12AX7 preamp tubes. The stock power tubes are either 6L6's or EL34's, but if you want less than 50W, you can put in some JJ 6V6S's (only JJ or else you will harm your amp). They will get you about 25W (which is still pretty loud). B/c of the bias section, you can put almost any tube in there w/o going to a tech; all you have to do is bias them to the correct level. the 6V6's you should bias to b/t 18 and 22 mV.

MTS Forum: http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/index.php
Sound Clips: http://www.bandslink.com/randall.htm
Amp: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-RM50B-Amplifier
Blackface: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-Blackface-Module
1086: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-1086-Module
Pete's Site: http://www.gigmods.com/index.html

And don't be afraid to look used. There are usually some great deal on ebay and craigslist. But check the MTS forum before anywhere else.

Any questions, just ask.

Good Luck.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
Last edited by JKMV11 at Jul 22, 2009,
#4
one of the small blackheart amps might do well for you. they range from 1w to 5w as far as amps that can be played relatively quieter. there are louder ones of course, but these might be best for your new apartment. and for playing with a band the 5 watts MIGHT be just enough depending on how loud your drummer is. and if thats the case throw a mic in front of the amp and go through a PA system.
-----------------------------------------------------------

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G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#5
Quote by JKMV11
if money isn't a constraint, then get a Randall RM50 Combo with the Blackface and 1086 mdoules, then get the 1086 mod'd by Pete Turely (okstrat on the MTS forum). I have the 1087 (pete's mod) and it is perfect for any kind of metal. The Blackface has a nice clean, but i haven't had a chance to hear much from it b/c it has some bad preamp tubes.

Just to clarify, this is an all tube amp that uses modular preamp. Each module is based off of the circuitry of a certain amp. Each module also uses two 12AX7 preamp tubes. The stock power tubes are either 6L6's or EL34's, but if you want less than 50W, you can put in some JJ 6V6S's (only JJ or else you will harm your amp). They will get you about 25W (which is still pretty loud). B/c of the bias section, you can put almost any tube in there w/o going to a tech; all you have to do is bias them to the correct level. the 6V6's you should bias to b/t 18 and 22 mV.

MTS Forum: http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/index.php
Sound Clips: http://www.bandslink.com/randall.htm
Amp: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-RM50B-Amplifier
Blackface: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-Blackface-Module
1086: http://www.dcmusicstore.com/Randall-1086-Module
Pete's Site: http://www.gigmods.com/index.html

And don't be afraid to look used. There are usually some great deal on ebay and craigslist. But check the MTS forum before anywhere else.

Any questions, just ask.

Good Luck.


holy **** that sounds complicated
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#6
Flextone or Vypyr Tube
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#7
Quote by Bright Light
holy **** that sounds complicated

It really isn't. If your referring to the tubes and everything, then it is actually quite simple. All you need is a multimeter that reads millivolts. The tube bias section has a common (negative) for the black wire and a test point (positive) for each tube for the red wire. All you have to do is use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the bias to the proper level, but be sure to use very very small turns, it is very sensitive. Once it is set to the correct level, then you can play. This saves a lot of money; you don't have to spend a hundred dollars or so to get a tech to replace and bias tubes for you, you can do it all on your own.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#8
Hmm, are there any larger tube combos that have a headphone jack? The more I think about it I would rather have a step up more than a step diagonally. I really don't mind playing through headphones.

EDIT- Or would just buying a head be feasible? When I play with my friend I have to drive back home, so I could just leave a cab there and take the head with me?
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
Last edited by Kahn89 at Jul 22, 2009,
#9
Quote by Kahn89
Hmm, are there any larger tube combos that have a headphone jack? The more I think about it I would rather have a step up more than a step diagonally. I really don't mind playing through headphones.

EDIT- Or would just buying a head be feasible? When I play with my friend I have to drive back home, so I could just leave a cab there and take the head with me?

not sure about the headphone jack; that would be really useful in my RM80, but i don't think tube amp come with headphone jacks, mostly b/c of how loud they get.

as far as the head and cab vs. a combo, its all about preference. Combos are often more affordable, but heads/cabs give you a little bit more versatility. If i were you, i would just get a combo.

Also, Randall is coming out with a RM22 soon. They used to have the RM20 which was like 20W with one channel. For some people that wasn't enough. the RM22 is going to have two channels and 20W. Not sure about the price, but if you are worried about the RM50 being too loud, then the RM22 is probably worth waiting for. If you are interested, take a look at the MTS forum.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#10
Quote by JKMV11
not sure about the headphone jack; that would be really useful in my RM80, but i don't think tube amp come with headphone jacks, mostly b/c of how loud they get.

as far as the head and cab vs. a combo, its all about preference. Combos are often more affordable, but heads/cabs give you a little bit more versatility. If i were you, i would just get a combo.

Also, Randall is coming out with a RM22 soon. They used to have the RM20 which was like 20W with one channel. For some people that wasn't enough. the RM22 is going to have two channels and 20W. Not sure about the price, but if you are worried about the RM50 being too loud, then the RM22 is probably worth waiting for. If you are interested, take a look at the MTS forum.


The RM22 does look quite nice. I'm not going to lie, it took me about a half hour to figure out how all the modules and stuff work, but I think I understand now. Plus it will be a while before I can get the cash together, so this should work out quite nicely indeed. Thanks a ****load for your help JKMV11.
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#11
why not keep your cube as a practice amp, with or without headphones, and shop for a seperate gigging/jamming amp?
#12
Also a reasonable idea. What would you suggest, Grisky?
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#13
Quote by Kahn89
Also a reasonable idea. What would you suggest, Grisky?


did you already say that? ok, +1 for you.

EDIT: oh, HA! you're TS... I'm all ****ed up today...

yeah, I like the suggestions for low watt amps in general for your case, don't get me wrong (not to mention how much they help with stage volume... don't get me started), but if cash isn't an issue, or atleast won't be at some point down the road, I say (1) wait til you're in your new place, (2) keep the cube for practice with headphones if that's a neccessity, and (3) look for a pure gigging amp.

...what amp to gig with really depends on the sound you're going for.
Last edited by GrisKy at Jul 22, 2009,
#14
Quote by GrisKy
did you already say that? ok, +1 for you.


No sarcasm intended mate, I was honestly asking for your opinion.
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#15
are you looking to replicate the tones of the bands you listed earlier? if so, Hammet has a module designed for himself for the Randall modular series.
#16
I don't want to just copy someone's sound, I want to make one for myself, but I want an amp capable of enough gain for some good thrash, also able to dip into a bit of death and black metal.
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#17
Quote by GrisKy
are you looking to replicate the tones of the bands you listed earlier? if so, Hammet has a module designed for himself for the Randall modular series.

Ya, i hear some of his modules are ok. There are also a few mods that can be done to them to make them sound amazing.

TS, if you listen to those sound clips and look around on the MTS forum, i am positive you will be hooked on the MTS series. The amount of versatility is endless. You can change the tubes, speakers, and modules to get a different tone, or you can even get the modules mod'd. You can practically get any sound you want. And thats not even getting into what pedals you use with it! I'm looking into some Maxon pedals right now to go with the RM80 i just got. The RM80 is pretty much the same thing as the RM50 i mentioned, except it is a 212 instead of a 112. They don't make it anymore, but you may be able to find one used somewhere. But if not, the RM50 is still good; one advantage is that the RM50 has a built in reverb tank.

EDIT: if you are into death/black metal, check out the 1666 mod that can be done to the 1086 i recommended. Anthony (Salvation on the MTS forum) does the mod; he is in the Czech Republic, but all you have to do is ship it to his P.O Box in California and within 4-5 weeks you will have your module. According to him, shipping will cost around $30, with the mod being about $175-$200; not a bad price for an insanely brutal module! Here is a clip.

http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?t=7373

Not only does it sound good, but it just screams "death metal." Eventually i'm going to get another stock 1086 and send it to him

Good Luck.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
Last edited by JKMV11 at Jul 23, 2009,
#18
Quote by JKMV11
Ya, i hear some of his modules are ok. There are also a few mods that can be done to them to make them sound amazing.

TS, if you listen to those sound clips and look around on the MTS forum, i am positive you will be hooked on the MTS series. The amount of versatility is endless. You can change the tubes, speakers, and modules to get a different tone, or you can even get the modules mod'd. You can practically get any sound you want. And thats not even getting into what pedals you use with it! I'm looking into some Maxon pedals right now to go with the RM80 i just got. The RM80 is pretty much the same thing as the RM50 i mentioned, except it is a 212 instead of a 112. They don't make it anymore, but you may be able to find one used somewhere. But if not, the RM50 is still good; one advantage is that the RM50 has a built in reverb tank.

EDIT: if you are into death/black metal, check out the 1666 mod that can be done to the 1086 i recommended. Anthony (Salvation on the MTS forum) does the mod; he is in the Czech Republic, but all you have to do is ship it to his P.O Box in California and within 4-5 weeks you will have your module. According to him, shipping will cost around $30, with the mod being about $175-$200; not a bad price for an insanely brutal module! Here is a clip.

http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?t=7373

Not only does it sound good, but it just screams "death metal." Eventually i'm going to get another stock 1086 and send it to him

Good Luck.


I'm sold! Many thanks for your help!
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#19
Quote by Kahn89
I'm sold! Many thanks for your help!

No problem Always glad to help!
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#20
JK: I've seen you post about a few different mods to the Randall modular amps. What all's out there for these? I have very limited experience with this series, but from what first hand knowledge I've gathered, seems like they're very customizable. Do all of the modules have independant gain stages, or do they respond to each other? Like, if I were to run the Bogner Ecstacy module with a MkIV module, would the Bogner mod sound different (share gain stages) if I had the other slot filled with a blackface (or whatever) module?

I'm not in the market for amps, but I'm always interrested in what's out there, and I've come across supprisingly few of these... they seem like a great idea, all tube, maybe people are scared off by the Randall name? Seems to me like this concept would be a marketing touchdown... a "you build it" amp for the kid in a garage band who's an engineering degree shy of actually building his own amp, meanwhile the company mass produces housing units/poweramps and watches sales trends to decide how many modules of each type they should build and what parts of the country/world they should send them to... extremely efficient... win/win... but I digress.

What modules do you find do a good job of impersonating the amp they're a clone of (mods included)?

EDIT: TS, sorry bro, I totally just hijacked your thread... I'll lurk from here on out unless addressed directly. Thanks.
Last edited by GrisKy at Jul 23, 2009,
#21
No worries Grisky, I got what I came for, I hereby hand ownership of this thread to GrisKy.
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#22
Quote by GrisKy
JK: I've seen you post about a few different mods to the Randall modular amps. What all's out there for these? I have very limited experience with this series, but from what first hand knowledge I've gathered, seems like they're very customizable. Do all of the modules have independant gain stages, or do they respond to each other? Like, if I were to run the Bogner Ecstacy module with a MkIV module, would the Bogner mod sound different (share gain stages) if I had the other slot filled with a blackface (or whatever) module?

I'm not in the market for amps, but I'm always interrested in what's out there, and I've come across supprisingly few of these... they seem like a great idea, all tube, maybe people are scared off by the Randall name? Seems to me like this concept would be a marketing touchdown... a "you build it" amp for the kid in a garage band who's an engineering degree shy of actually building his own amp, meanwhile the company mass produces housing units/poweramps and watches sales trends to decide how many modules of each type they should build and what parts of the country/world they should send them to... extremely efficient... win/win... but I digress.

What modules do you find do a good job of impersonating the amp they're a clone of (mods included)?

EDIT: TS, sorry bro, I totally just hijacked your thread... I'll lurk from here on out unless addressed directly. Thanks.

Well i haven't had quite enough experience to answer your question completely, but i'll try.

As far as mods go, there are several different people on the Randall MTS forum who will mod the stock modules for you. The ones i know are Pete Turely (okstrat), Anthony (Salvation), David Friedman (Jaded Faith??), and Voodoo Labs. I have yet to hear of a modification that made the module sound worse; most, if not all of the mods make the modules sound 100X better.

Mods can consists of several different things; altering the circuit by changing capacitors, resistors, or other parts. Some mods also consist of adding new switches that give the mod itself different settings. There are many different things that can be done to it. The result of these mods is usually adding warmth, clarity, and readjusting the EQ or gain range. If you want to know exactly what they do, join the MTS forum and PM one of the modders; they'll be happy to explain it for you.

The modules are independent of each other; if you have an XTC and a Blackface, then the XTC will still sound like the XTC no matter what is in the other slot.

Well in essence, this is kind of like "build your own amp." You get to choose the channels and mod them to your liking. If you can mod it yourself and know what everything does, then you can build whatever tone you want. That's what i want to do; i want to learn how the amp works and learn how to mod it.

As far as, "do they sound like the original amp the copy?" I can't really say that, but some people say they do, some say they don't. It depends on the module and what settings you use. The Tone King put a vid on youtube comparing the SL+ (Marshall Super Lead), to a JCM800 and concluded that the SL+ was spot on, but matched it at half its gain. So the SL+ was able to go farther than the JCM!! He said it sounded more like a Soldano (which apparently picked up after Marshall).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUh3gI8rdJ0

I'm not worried that they sound like the amp they copy; i'm worried about how good they sound. If the Recto sounds like a Mesa Rectifier, then fine, but im worried about how good it sounds. And if a module doesn't sound good to you, then you have many different options:
1) Get a new module
2) Get the module mod'd to your specifications
3) Change tubes and see what happens
4) Use different pedals to try to make it sound better (i.e. OD or EQ to tighten it up).
5) Change the speakers
6) Keep fiddling with the knobs to try to find a good tone.
7) Try a different guitar/pickup setup.

As you can see, this amp has many options when it comes to customizing. My first impulse when a modules doesn't sound good, even after fiddling with it, is to send it to someone to have it mod'd. Thats what i'm doing with my Ultra Lead; when i get the money, i'm sending it to Pete for the Mesa Mark mod, which sounds amazying:

http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?t=7919

If your ever in the market for a new amp, then check this amp out, b/c, well, i think i've already convinced you why If you have any more questions, just PM me and i'll answer to the best of my ability. Another person you should ask is Shinozoku; he has helped me a lot in getting this amp. And if we can't help, then join the MTS forum and ask everyone on there; if they can't help, the no one can.

Good Luck.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
#23
^^^

Friedman is Racksystems.
_______________________________________________
GEAR GOES HERE
Last edited by Silenced7 at Jul 23, 2009,
#24
That Mesa Mark sounds amazing!!~
Quote by Black-Metal
you sir, are my favourite american


When god gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!
#25
Quote by JKMV11
It really isn't. If your referring to the tubes and everything, then it is actually quite simple. All you need is a multimeter that reads millivolts. The tube bias section has a common (negative) for the black wire and a test point (positive) for each tube for the red wire. All you have to do is use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the bias to the proper level, but be sure to use very very small turns, it is very sensitive. Once it is set to the correct level, then you can play. This saves a lot of money; you don't have to spend a hundred dollars or so to get a tech to replace and bias tubes for you, you can do it all on your own.


no i was talking about the different modules to purchase and swap out of it and all that. I've never heard of a something like that. and then everything you just said on top of it all too much for meh

that does seem really cool though. are the modules very convincing sounding to originals?
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#26
Quote by Kahn89
That Mesa Mark sounds amazing!!~


Check out the Framus Cobra module and Diezel VH4 module from Salvation mods.
_______________________________________________
GEAR GOES HERE
#27
Quote by Bright Light
no i was talking about the different modules to purchase and swap out of it and all that. I've never heard of a something like that. and then everything you just said on top of it all too much for meh

that does seem really cool though. are the modules very convincing sounding to originals?

Again, i haven't had enough experience with it to tell you how accurate they are, but with all the options available, i don't think it really matters too much. If you don't like it, you can either get a new one or send it to someone to get it mod'd. If you get it mod'd, your almost guaranteed an awesome sounding module. If you know what you want done to it, you can tell the modder what you want and he will do a custom mod for you. Not sure how much that will cost, but probably in the $200s; WAY less than the price of a new amp.

And it isn't difficult to swap out; all you have to do is slide it in, push it into the contact, and tighten the thumb screws.

If you get into the actually electronics of it, then it will be extremely complicate, but the concept isn't. But if you prefer something simpler, thats fine too. But if you change your mind, then the MTS series will always be here

EDIT: yes, the mesa mark mod is amazing. again, if you send a module in to get mod'd, there is a very small chance that it will sound bad. If you like mesa clean tones, check out this mod:

http://mtsforum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?t=7915

I'm going to have Anthony do this mod to my clean module once i get the money and once he is caught up with his work.
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x + y + z. Work = x; y = play; and z = keeping your mouth shut."
--Einstein

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
--Einstein
Last edited by JKMV11 at Jul 23, 2009,
#28
hey man, thanks for going into more detail and for posting some links up. I'm set on my live rig, but it'd be nice to have many affordable options when I build the home studio (which is as of now a wet dream... but one day!).