#1
8 Months ago, I bought a Marshall Bluesbreaker, loaded with 2x12 Celestion Greenback Speakers. 3 12AX7 Preamp Tubes and 2 5881 (6L6) power amp tubes. At the time, I was very obsessed into blues, jazz and classic rock, and believed that this would be the best amp to get. However, I was mistaken. It was good for blues and jazz, but not so much classic rock. As time progressed, my musical tastes changed. Now, I'm still into blues and jazz and classic rock, but I'm also interested now in hard rock, heavy metal, modern metal, thrash metal and SHRED etc. And sadly enough, although this amp is a stunning incredible amp, it's too focused on a select type of sound.

So I'm planning on selling it soon, but that means that I need to find another amp to replace it.


Price Range is maximum $1250 (U.S. Dollars). I'm looking for a tube amp that I will be able to use when I practice with my band, as well as gig with a band (Thrash Metal/Speed Metal/METAL and some Hard Rock), and something that is more portable than a 66.6 (METAL) pound combo. So I'm also looking for a head+cabinet. Try to get both to fit under the price range. I am willing to go used.

Some amps I have been thinking of:

Carvin Legacy Head+Cabinet
Marshall JCM800
Marshall Vintage Modern 2466/2266
Peavey JSX


Too long, didn't read?

Essentially,

I want a different amp.

- Budget is $1250 for head+cabinet.

- Will go used

- Tube Amp for Band Practice and Gigging

- Must be well rounded for blues, hard rock, thrash metal, modern metal, classic/heavy metal and shred (shred being Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Buckethead, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, etc.)

Thanks. I eagerly await your answers.


TS is here

TS is not here
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#4
If you love your Bluesbreaker why not consider a nice pedal or two?

It'll give your amp some more overdrive and suitable for all genre's if you pick the right one

Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ SD Alnico Pro II's
Fender Aerodyne Telecaster & Stratocaster
Marshall JCM 800 4104 combo


E-Married to Funny_Page
#5
From those choices you listed the JSX or legacy are the best bet. They are the most versatile. JSX has better cleans. Carvin does a better light crunch. However, blues wise they are so so. Not the greatest but useable if needed.

the vintage modern exactly as described. a vintage voiced marshall with a few added twist to it. You have to crank it to though to get a very sweet warm sound. When i played it it reminded me of a Laney gh50, with a little of the edge taken off of it.

The jcm800 is a classic one channel amp. provides a great punch for 80's metal and shred, However for progressive sounds there are better amps. Not to say it cant do those tones. It can but like the jsx and carvin for blues , theres better. Also it depends on which jcm800 you look at. Two channel ones are different from one channel voicing wise


Other suggestions: Mesa Mark IV (used) combo(heavy). used Mark III combo(runs 800 bucks) versitle little guy

You're bluesbreaker should get into shred territory with an eq and od. but thats just from my experience with the one i played
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
Last edited by mexican_shred at Aug 3, 2009,
#6
Quote by Harrisfun
Van Halen half stack, crunchiest head i have EVER heard


Never tried one. I'm looking for one in my area.

Quote by stephen_rettie
your tl;dr needs a tl;dr

jk, but id recommend the carvin V3 over the legacy for the styles you stated, id go V3 or JSX/XXX

haha I thought you were serious until I read the "jk". I would love to try the V3, but I have been unable to locate any Carvin Dealers in the U.S. I loved the Peavey JSX, never tried the XXX, but I'd be willing to try it.

Quote by Chrisiphone
If you love your Bluesbreaker why not consider a nice pedal or two?

It'll give your amp some more overdrive and suitable for all genre's if you pick the right one

Well, I did consider that (as my Metal Zone actually gives a pretty good thrash metal tone), but it's been a pain trying to find some sort of pedal that would give a good shred sort of tone.

Another problem with the bluesbreaker is that it is 66.6 pounds, and I'd love to have something more portable (a head).

Quote by mexican_shred
From those choices you listed the JSX or legacy are the best bet. They are the most versatile. JSX has better cleans. Carvin does a better light crunch. However, blues wise they are so so. Not the greatest but useable if needed.

the vintage modern exactly as described. a vintage voiced marshall with a few added twist to it. You have to crank it to though to get a very sweet warm sound. When i played it it reminded me of a Laney gh50, with a little of the edge taken off of it.

The jcm800 is a classic one channel amp. provides a great punch for 80's metal and shred, However for progressive sounds there are better amps. Not to say it cant do those tones. It can but like the jsx and carvin for blues , theres better. Also it depends on which jcm800 you look at. Two channel ones are different from one channel voicing wise


Other suggestions: Mesa Mark IV (used) combo(heavy). used Mark III combo(runs 800 bucks) versitle little guy

You're bluesbreaker should get into shred territory with an eq and od. but thats just from my experience with the one i played

Well, I'm probably going to look at the JSX and Legacy more then (if I can find a Legacy that I can try out). As with the Vintage Modern, that's what appealed to me (the vintage sound with extra modern features). And I'm no pussy with volume, I'm willing to crank it. I crank my 30 or 50 watt Bluesbreaker (not sure about the wattage, because for a certain time, they were 50 watts, but I bought mine used, so I do not know) all the time. Never tried the Laney GH50. I believe there was one at a Guitar Center I visited a few days ago, but the head and cabinet weren't plugged in! And there was no outlet nearby (and I'm not going to try to drag that around).

And thanks for the Mesa Suggestions, but I don't think that I'm going to be able to work with a combo because of the weight issue with combo amps.
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#7
If you don't want the bluesbreaker, you could always donate it to me
Quote by Kensai
You'll find whisky very different, but try it and you'll grow into it, soon you and whisky are one, but still two, lovers dancing across a frozen lake under moonlight, wrapped in honey and warmth.


Sums up whisky perfectly
#8
Quote by Chrisiphone
If you love your Bluesbreaker why not consider a nice pedal or two?

It'll give your amp some more overdrive and suitable for all genre's if you pick the right one

This.

A pedal or two can push a Bluesbreaker into metal territory, believe it or not. Also, (to TS) a Metal Zone isn't that great of a pedal.

-Gibson LP VM
-Silvertone Kentucky Blue
-MXR CC Delay
-Ibanez TS-9
-Egnater Rebel 20
-Avatar 1x12

My rig is simple
Haha. UG's Chuck just said chuck. haha
You're not truly playing guitar unless you know theory.
#9
Quote by Jak Archer
If you don't want the bluesbreaker, you could always donate it to me


haha if I was rich, then I would =)


Quote by jc349
This.

A pedal or two can push a Bluesbreaker into metal territory, believe it or not. Also, (to TS) a Metal Zone isn't that great of a pedal.

Any pedal suggestions? Although the Metal Zone is probably not the best pedal, but I find that with some eq'ing and tweaking, I can get a really nice thrash metal tone (as mentioned previously). However, it's too, how to describe this, shrill for a good shred tone. The shrillness at times can interfere with the metal tone as well.
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#11
Quote by Zep_shizzle
dont get the carvin amp.trust me.

I'd rather hear reason then just a bold statement. Care to expand on that?
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#12
bump
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#14
Quote by Junnage


Well, I'm probably going to look at the JSX and Legacy more then (if I can find a Legacy that I can try out). As with the Vintage Modern, that's what appealed to me (the vintage sound with extra modern features). And I'm no pussy with volume, I'm willing to crank it. I crank my 30 or 50 watt Bluesbreaker (not sure about the wattage, because for a certain time, they were 50 watts, but I bought mine used, so I do not know) all the time. Never tried the Laney GH50. I believe there was one at a Guitar Center I visited a few days ago, but the head and cabinet weren't plugged in! And there was no outlet nearby (and I'm not going to try to drag that around).

And thanks for the Mesa Suggestions, but I don't think that I'm going to be able to work with a combo because of the weight issue with combo amps.

There mark III heads http://cgi.ebay.com/Mesa-Boogie-Mark-III-Blue-Stripe-SimulClass-w-rack-WOW_W0QQitemZ200368291073QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2ea6e17d01&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Better amps than the Carvin and JSX IMo.

The gh50/100 are great heavy amps but as well need to be crank. if you're serious about buying, tell them you are interested in buying and need to try out. for those tones i still prefer the 50 to the JSX or legacy.

The JSX is a nice amp that can do alot of things. just none of them super well. Clean is about the best channel on the amp. Crunch is too high gain for crunch but perfect for leads, metal when boosted. Ultra anything past 1 o clock is slightly unusable. The crunch and ultra a little too mid heavy though imo. Thats just my two cents on it. A tube swap helps it in case you're wondering

edit: as for a pedal to push the blues breaker there hundreds of good overdrives out there to help break it through. Even common place Tube screamers can do a good job of pushing into metal territory.
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
Last edited by mexican_shred at Aug 3, 2009,
#15
Quote by mexican_shred
There mark III heads http://cgi.ebay.com/Mesa-Boogie-Mark-III-Blue-Stripe-SimulClass-w-rack-WOW_W0QQitemZ200368291073QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2ea6e17d01&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Better amps than the Carvin and JSX IMo.

The gh50/100 are great heavy amps but as well need to be crank. if you're serious about buying, tell them you are interested in buying and need to try out. for those tones i still prefer the 50 to the JSX or legacy.

The JSX is a nice amp that can do alot of things. just none of them super well. Clean is about the best channel on the amp. Crunch is too high gain for crunch but perfect for leads, metal when boosted. Ultra anything past 1 o clock is slightly unusable. The crunch and ultra a little too mid heavy though imo. Thats just my two cents on it. A tube swap helps it in case you're wondering

edit: as for a pedal to push the blues breaker there hundreds of good overdrives out there to help break it through. Even common place Tube screamers can do a good job of pushing into metal territory.


I've never actually played a Mesa Boogie, although I've heard phenomenal things about them (and terrible things as well). I'd be willing to crank a nice tube amp, and one of the reasons the Laney appeals to me is because I believe Paul Gilbert played a GH100 back before he started going with Marshall amps...and Paul Gilbert is one of my favorite guitarists and people...ever.

I agree with every single thing you said about the JSX. It was a nice amp from my recollection, but there was nothing about it that really made me want to buy it. After reading so many things from everyone on this topic, I thought that I might give it another look, but now I know that I'm not alone.

How would the Ibanez Jemini fare in front of a Bluesbreaker? And what kind of Tube Screamer would be the best? One of the reasons I ask is because supposedly, the Jemini is like a Tube Screamer and a DS-1 stuck together
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#16
I completely disagree with you guys on the JSX... I think the gain on the crunch channel is great, and on the lead channel I have it around 5-6 so.... I don't know. Just sayin'
I have a huge fear if rays.
#17
bump
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#18
I'd go for an orange, theyre great for it.

(black sabbath, Cage the elephant, i think monster magnet)

and Ive used my friends, Im not sure on cost though, does anybody here know, Im thinking of getting one too
Bands I must see in concert
Silvertide
The Black Crowes
Jackyl
Black Stone Cherry
AC/DC
StoneRider
Freedomhawk
The Darkness and/or the sideprojects of the band members
Buckcherry
The Answer

Theres more. But those are the main ones
#19
How about you keep your amp and get a 2nd one that you'll A/B ? that way you can get one only for the gain, such as a jcm800, and then you'll have all the sweetness you can want =)

or get a good pedal, such as a radial tonebone hot british, or a jerkyll and hyde, or something
Last edited by Darkflame at Aug 4, 2009,
#20
Quote by ChrisBW
I completely disagree with you guys on the JSX... I think the gain on the crunch channel is great, and on the lead channel I have it around 5-6 so.... I don't know. Just sayin'

To each his own. I've owned the jsx since it first came out,and it wasnt until a recent tube change that i got a comparable sound to use along side my mark IV. Its a great little amp for the price. but the crunch to be a crunch channel is too high gained. It makes a nice Lead channel though for smooth playing. The Ultra Channel is just a higher gained voiced crunch channel that's quirky with the mids which makes it not smooth at all. Sometimes too much some times to little with very little distance in between. A tube change from the stock china el34's make its better. But i cant use the lead channel without an EQ pedal in the loop. The crunch is fine without one though. its not as quirky with the mids.
but thats just my two cents on how its voiced.

I've never actually played a Mesa Boogie, although I've heard phenomenal things about them (and terrible things as well). I'd be willing to crank a nice tube amp, and one of the reasons the Laney appeals to me is because I believe Paul Gilbert played a GH100 back before he started going with Marshall amps...and Paul Gilbert is one of my favorite guitarists and people...ever.

I agree with every single thing you said about the JSX. It was a nice amp from my recollection, but there was nothing about it that really made me want to buy it. After reading so many things from everyone on this topic, I thought that I might give it another look, but now I know that I'm not alone.

How would the Ibanez Jemini fare in front of a Bluesbreaker? And what kind of Tube Screamer would be the best? One of the reasons I ask is because supposedly, the Jemini is like a Tube Screamer and a DS-1 stuck together

For me Mesas have been generally god. Im not a fan of the recto series. But a huge stiellto, lonestar and mark series fan. Try them all out if you can. if you're willing to dish out cash for them no hurt trying them out.

The GH is you're not afraid to crank, and you know how to use the volume and tone knobs on you're guitar is a great amp for a whole array of sounds. Same with the vintage modern. However both these amps at lower volumes are eh alright.

I've never tried the Jemini. So i cant say.
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
#21
Quote by Aerokizzombie
I'd go for an orange, theyre great for it.

(black sabbath, Cage the elephant, i think monster magnet)

and Ive used my friends, Im not sure on cost though, does anybody here know, Im thinking of getting one too

Hmm, I'm not big on Orange amps to be honest

Quote by Darkflame
How about you keep your amp and get a 2nd one that you'll A/B ? that way you can get one only for the gain, such as a jcm800, and then you'll have all the sweetness you can want =)

or get a good pedal, such as a radial tonebone hot british, or a jerkyll and hyde, or something


I'm selling my amp to get the extra cash with which to buy my amp. In my dreams, I'd love to A/B it. I love to try stuff out before I use it, but I've never found either a Radial Tonebone Hot British or a Jerkyll (Jekyll?) and Hyde.

Quote by mexican_shred
To each his own. I've owned the jsx since it first came out,and it wasnt until a recent tube change that i got a comparable sound to use along side my mark IV. Its a great little amp for the price. but the crunch to be a crunch channel is too high gained. It makes a nice Lead channel though for smooth playing. The Ultra Channel is just a higher gained voiced crunch channel that's quirky with the mids which makes it not smooth at all. Sometimes too much some times to little with very little distance in between. A tube change from the stock china el34's make its better. But i cant use the lead channel without an EQ pedal in the loop. The crunch is fine without one though. its not as quirky with the mids.
but thats just my two cents on how its voiced.


For me Mesas have been generally god. Im not a fan of the recto series. But a huge stiellto, lonestar and mark series fan. Try them all out if you can. if you're willing to dish out cash for them no hurt trying them out.

The GH is you're not afraid to crank, and you know how to use the volume and tone knobs on you're guitar is a great amp for a whole array of sounds. Same with the vintage modern. However both these amps at lower volumes are eh alright.

I've never tried the Jemini. So i cant say.

Yeah...I definitely do not want to get involved in a tube change. Okay, do you think it may be worth it (although you're not a fan of the recto series) to get a dual or triple rectifier? However, I have not heard the best things about their clean channels (which I will be using every once in awhile). And I'd be willing to dish out $1200 for a combo, and $1250 for head+cab.

Definitely looking at the GH a lot. I have recently found out how to use the volume and tone knobs effectively to get an array of tone and sounds. On the amp, I've been starting to figure out with the controls what can and can't be done, as well.


Thanks so much, you've been a great help so far. Any other suggestions? I'm going to be comparing the Marshall vs. Laney vs. Mesa Boogie vs. Carvin...and maybe vs. Peavey as well. Care to say the pros and cons of each amplifier in general?
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#22
bump
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#23
^^^^^^
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#24
Keep the BluesBreaker, save up for a Peavey Windsor Halfstack + AB = WIN (maybe add an OD too)
Ibanez RGA 8 (Dimarzio D Activator 8)->Rocktron Hush->Engl E530 preamp->Marshall 9200 poweramp->Marshall 4x12 closed back cab w/ G12t75's
#25
Quote by wilmearz
I would check out the new jsx 50 for a more old school type sound and maybe add a boost pedal?


That may have been the one I tried out. What boost pedal do you suggest?

Quote by K!nj!
Keep the BluesBreaker, save up for a Peavey Windsor Halfstack + AB = WIN (maybe add an OD too)

Saving for another amp is not practical or feasible.

I'm not making any serious income (partly because I'm 16) and I won't have space for two amps. What OD would you suggest?
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
Last edited by Junnage at Aug 4, 2009,
#26
Quote by wilmearz
I would check out the new jsx 50 for a more old school type sound and maybe add a boost pedal?

This is a good suggestion. I havent been able to try one, so it could be your magic amp.

Yeah...I definitely do not want to get involved in a tube change. Okay, do you think it may be worth it (although you're not a fan of the recto series) to get a dual or triple rectifier? However, I have not heard the best things about their clean channels (which I will be using every once in awhile). And I'd be willing to dish out $1200 for a combo, and $1250 for head+cab.

Definitely looking at the GH a lot. I have recently found out how to use the volume and tone knobs effectively to get an array of tone and sounds. On the amp, I've been starting to figure out with the controls what can and can't be done, as well.

Having to do a tube change isnt necessarily a bad thing. It means worlds of good if you amp comes with adequate tubes.
Honestly you'd have to go try out the recto series to see if you like them. For me they were too bass heavy.But for you they may be perfect. Buying used it the best bet when being any kind mesa.

Just go out there and try them out at various shops. play around on them for along while to see if you like them , and can get a good tone of them. No reason not too if you're dishing out over a grand. Who knows you might hate the other amps you try and loves the jsx.
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
#27
Quote by mexican_shred
This is a good suggestion. I havent been able to try one, so it could be your magic amp.


Having to do a tube change isnt necessarily a bad thing. It means worlds of good if you amp comes with adequate tubes.
Honestly you'd have to go try out the recto series to see if you like them. For me they were too bass heavy.But for you they may be perfect. Buying used it the best bet when being any kind mesa.

Just go out there and try them out at various shops. play around on them for along while to see if you like them , and can get a good tone of them. No reason not too if you're dishing out over a grand. Who knows you might hate the other amps you try and loves the jsx.

Maybe. I'll try to figure out which one I tried and if it's not the one I tried, then try it (sorry about the abundance of the word 'try' and all of it's conjugations in that sentence).

I'm not experienced in changing tubes, so I do not know if I would have to do it myself or go to a shop and do it. Then again, I'd also have to factor in money for a tube change, which might be feasible. I'm definitely going to try out the recto series (as well as other Mesa amps).
My Gear:
Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Charcoal Burst

Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
Ibanez Jemini
Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6