#1
Not that I plan on making this purchase in a long time, but I'm interested in reviewing some amplifiers that would handle the studio better then the beast amps that are Marshalls and Mesa's, etc.

I play nothing harder then Muse stuff that I would want to record. Ideally I would be going for full tube saturation and manageable volumes that a really good ribbon mic could handle.

I'm sure loads of you are going to recommend amp simulators, which I'm not saying are bad, but I'm a physical elitist, and you can't beat the sound of full tube drive through a high dollar ribbon mic. Ever.

So, to recap. There is no budget, I play nothing heaver then Muse, with main focus on 80's/70's blues/rock with some modern influence. Nothing to experimental, pretty basic. Wattage/volume should be manageable enough to record at full(ish) volume on a ribbon mic (ribbon mics can be damaged if to much power is put through them).

Any suggestions? Boutique or mass-produced doesn't matter.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#2
Orange Tiny Terror
Blackheart Little Giant or Handsome Devil
Egnater Rebel 20
Fender Princeton
Dr. Z Maz 18
MY GEAR

Guitars
- Gibson SG Standard(Ebony)
Amps
- Vox AC30
Pedals
- Vox V487A Wah
- SansAmp Classic
- EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
- MadeByMike Custom Overdrive
- HBE Germania 44
#3
Quote by guitarzephyr
Orange Tiny Terror
Blackheart Little Giant or Handsome Devil
Egnater Rebel 20
Fender Princeton
Dr. Z Maz 18

I've heard good things about the Dr. Z. Tiny Terror isn't what I'm looking for. It's a very limited amp, to be frank.

The Blackhearts and HTs are good amps, don't get me wrong, but that's not quite what I'm looking for.

Does anyone know if Budda makes good low wattage amps? I've also good things about the Hayden boutique amps as well. Any comments on that brand?
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#4
Come on.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#8
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^ I played that amp. +1

not a lot of headroom tho and I didn't get a handle on its versatility. drive was real nice tho.


That's the point, you need next to 0 volume in the studio, so a harly would sound like sonic bliss through a $$$ ribbon mic.
#10
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
What about a Splawn, like a Quickrod, Competition or Super Stock? Or Street Rod?

I thought Budda made an 18 wattr but I'm not real up on those.

Splawn would be great actually.

What's the wattage on that, sir?
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#11
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^ I played that amp. +1

not a lot of headroom tho and I didn't get a handle on its versatility. drive was real nice tho.

6 Watts is all that I would need probably.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#12
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Splawn would be great actually.

What's the wattage on that, sir?


Depends. The Quick Rod (most readily available used) is 100w half switchable to 50

Comp is 50/25
SuperStock is 100/50 but more geared toward lower/mid gain I believe
Street Rod combo is 40/20

I'd go used if you can as the waiting list for new is 3-4 months. New however, you get a lifetime warranty.


Quote by Weeping_Demon7
6 Watts is all that I would need probably.


Then you don't want a Splawn

Harlequin or Ceriatone may be the way to go.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 5, 2009,
#13
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Depends. The Quick Rod (most readily available used) is 100w half switchable to 50

Comp is 50/25
SuperStock is 100/50 but more geared toward lower/mid gain I believe
Street Rod combo is 40/20

I'd go used if you can as the waiting list for new is 3-4 months. New however, you get a lifetime warranty.


Then you don't want a Splawn

Harlequin or Ceriatone may be the way to go.

Hmmm. I could probably manage 20 watts. But that's pretty high.

Does the Harlequin do alright gain wise? Not crazy metal, but enough?
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#14
Harlequin has plenty of gain and nice gain at that but not considered a high gain amp as you know. I was pleasantly surprised when I played one. Might be perfect for you. Don't know anything about ribbon mics or studio business
#15
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Harlequin has plenty of gain and nice gain at that but not considered a high gain amp as you know. I was pleasantly surprised when I played one. Might be perfect for you. Don't know anything about ribbon mics or studio business

Ribbon mics are just kinda fragile with the sound the can record. Like, if it's in their volume range, it's the best sound possible, but if you exceed it you destroy your mic.

But, Harlequins sound nice.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#16
yeah, so...

what's the problem with the low spl 20w'er I threw your way? if your ribbons can't handle that... you might have shitty ribbons... or not know how to use them.
#17
Quote by GrisKy
yeah, so...

what's the problem with the low spl 20w'er I threw your way? if your ribbons can't handle that... you might have shitty ribbons... or not know how to use them.

Oh. Mate I didn't see that. Lemme go have a look real quick.

Edit: sounds like a sick amp. 4,000 is pretty steep, but if I go out and play it, and if I think its worth it, then that's not really a problem.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

Last edited by Weeping_Demon7 at Dec 6, 2009,
#18
If you want a versatile amp, the Randall RM20 is as versatile as it gets. 18 watts, removable preamps (20 something available, plus the modders can modify them to where they are deadringers for other, non-stock classic amps). It's like 500$ for the amp, and 150 per module (if you go used). These are THE most versatile high-quality amps on the market, bar none (you name an amp, I can challenge it with this). Models range from heads/combos in the 18 watt range all the way to 100, as well as rack items. The RM20 has 1 slot, but coming out very soon is the RM22, which is a similar amp with 2 slots. Note, these were designed for small gigs and recording, and have record-outs and the like to assist in recording (including Randall's "mic-eliminator" plug)

Edit: If you can swing 4,000, I'd go with this, and just get a shitload of preamps and modded preamps. You could get a larger model, but you only seem to want low-wattage, so... :P There are perfect mods for Soldano SLO's, Mesa Mark Series, anything Marshall or fende,r and much, much more
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Dec 6, 2009,
#19
Quote by Phantom123
If you want a versatile amp, the Randall RM20 is as versatile as it gets. 18 watts, removable preamps (20 something available, plus the modders can modify them to where they are deadringers for other, non-stock classic amps). It's like 500$ for the amp, and 150 per module (if you go used). These are THE most versatile high-quality amps on the market, bar none (you name an amp, I can challenge it with this). Models range from heads/combos in the 18 watt range all the way to 100, as well as rack items. The RM20 has 1 slot, but coming out very soon is the RM22, which is a similar amp with 2 slots. Note, these were designed for small gigs and recording, and have record-outs and the like to assist in recording (including Randall's "mic-eliminator" plug)

Edit: If you can swing 4,000, I'd go with this, and just get a shitload of preamps and modded preamps. You could get a larger model, but you only seem to want low-wattage, so... :P There are perfect mods for Soldano SLO's, Mesa Mark Series, anything Marshall or fende,r and much, much more

I didn't know those came in such low wattages. Sounds like a brilliant amp as well.

...so many choices....!
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#20
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
I didn't know those came in such low wattages. Sounds like a brilliant amp as well.

...so many choices....!


It's an incredible amp series. Right now, I've personally got a Plexi, JTM, Brown, Ultra, and Recto as far as modules.

Ultra: Randall's "classic Hi-gain sound". Tons of different versions of this were released (Ultra, Ultra LEad, Ultra XL). Modders love to modify these to make good high-gain modules; I am gonna get mine to be modded to Soldano SLO spec.

JTM: Based on the classic JTM45 series from Marshall, this is an incredible little module. It can do cleans, but it breaks up pretty quickly, giving it a level of character that I personally feel outshines the blackface (fender twin module), Topboost (Vox AC30 module), or clean (just straight clean). The hair makes it incredible for blues and the like, and it loves my neck P-90.

Plexi: It's a Marshall Plexi. This thing is surprisingly versatile for one reason; It can remain clean for a pretty damn long time. It reflects the truth that the famous Marshall plexis were, often times, meant to be clean, and you had to crank it to get the classic distortion. However, it does have the distortion! It gets me to AC/DC, and just a bit more. It's not the hard rock/hair metal tone (The SL2 does that; actually, the SL2 is probably the most popular stock module, it's JCM800 based). That reminds me, most of these modules are designed with 'oomph'; they are made to hit the target square on, and have just a bit of gain left over to go one step above; that SL2 can hit some soldano territory as well as JCM800's max at about noon on the gain.

Recto: This is my current lead/rhythm channel for metal. I can't compare it to the Mesa Dual Rectifier it was based on, but this thing has a shitload of gain, and I love it ever so! Interestingly, instead of cleaning up with volume, it goes "vintage"; Dunno how to describe it. It feels like every quarter of a turn is -10 years on the day it was made. I use low volume to hit a Hendrix-y fuzz sound, and at 3/4ths, it does a jangly (Hell if I know where the jangle is from) rock sound. And of course, full blast, it is just metal heaven.

Brown: This was based on Van Halen's brown sound, actually, and it hits pretty well on mark, give or take some gain. This is my lead module when playing Rock, with the plexi as a rhythm under it. The Brown does a good job of covering Van Halen, minus a tiny bit of gain (However, I am playing in P-90s, not humbuckers, so that could well be it). With EMGs, this would be outrageous, actually.
---
Those are just modules I have. There are another 15 or so stock, and ultimately, EVERYONE wants the modded ones. If you want, I can send clips of what you might want, depending on your genres. This is basically the studio amp du jour, as you can get almost any tone stock, and unlike other amps, if you really wanna mod it, you don't need to spend as much money or time to get it done, as the modules are easy to work with, and many people specialize in 'em

Edit: I just noticed you have an SG! Love 'em!
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#22
Quote by Phantom123
It's an incredible amp series. Right now, I've personally got a Plexi, JTM, Brown, Ultra, and Recto as far as modules.

Ultra: Randall's "classic Hi-gain sound". Tons of different versions of this were released (Ultra, Ultra LEad, Ultra XL). Modders love to modify these to make good high-gain modules; I am gonna get mine to be modded to Soldano SLO spec.

JTM: Based on the classic JTM45 series from Marshall, this is an incredible little module. It can do cleans, but it breaks up pretty quickly, giving it a level of character that I personally feel outshines the blackface (fender twin module), Topboost (Vox AC30 module), or clean (just straight clean). The hair makes it incredible for blues and the like, and it loves my neck P-90.

Plexi: It's a Marshall Plexi. This thing is surprisingly versatile for one reason; It can remain clean for a pretty damn long time. It reflects the truth that the famous Marshall plexis were, often times, meant to be clean, and you had to crank it to get the classic distortion. However, it does have the distortion! It gets me to AC/DC, and just a bit more. It's not the hard rock/hair metal tone (The SL2 does that; actually, the SL2 is probably the most popular stock module, it's JCM800 based). That reminds me, most of these modules are designed with 'oomph'; they are made to hit the target square on, and have just a bit of gain left over to go one step above; that SL2 can hit some soldano territory as well as JCM800's max at about noon on the gain.

Recto: This is my current lead/rhythm channel for metal. I can't compare it to the Mesa Dual Rectifier it was based on, but this thing has a shitload of gain, and I love it ever so! Interestingly, instead of cleaning up with volume, it goes "vintage"; Dunno how to describe it. It feels like every quarter of a turn is -10 years on the day it was made. I use low volume to hit a Hendrix-y fuzz sound, and at 3/4ths, it does a jangly (Hell if I know where the jangle is from) rock sound. And of course, full blast, it is just metal heaven.

Brown: This was based on Van Halen's brown sound, actually, and it hits pretty well on mark, give or take some gain. This is my lead module when playing Rock, with the plexi as a rhythm under it. The Brown does a good job of covering Van Halen, minus a tiny bit of gain (However, I am playing in P-90s, not humbuckers, so that could well be it). With EMGs, this would be outrageous, actually.
---
Those are just modules I have. There are another 15 or so stock, and ultimately, EVERYONE wants the modded ones. If you want, I can send clips of what you might want, depending on your genres. This is basically the studio amp du jour, as you can get almost any tone stock, and unlike other amps, if you really wanna mod it, you don't need to spend as much money or time to get it done, as the modules are easy to work with, and many people specialize in 'em

Edit: I just noticed you have an SG! Love 'em!

I appreciate you telling all about this. I'm very impressed actually. Thanks a bunch.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
The SG Owners Unite
Marshall Amplification
EHX Users Guild

The True Eccentric Tea Drinking Appreciation Preservation Society

#23
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
I appreciate you telling all about this. I'm very impressed actually. Thanks a bunch.


I'm glad to help. I got lucky when I found this, no one told me jack shit about these amps. I'm glad to get a chance to help someone else. What genres do you like? I'll pull up some module sounds for 'em. On a side note, egnater makes a similar line, but I didn't mention them as they were it's a 50 watt. However, their rack-mount would be good, as their modules are 2 channel (Normal channel, then another with higher gain). The advantage is, of course, two channels. Disadvantage is that fewer modders use these, the modules are more expensive, and unless you get a larger combo/head, the Randalls will only play channel A of those (but the big ones can be modded BY RANDALL (they'll do it) to play both).

Whatcha wanna hear?
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#24
hmmm... *debating which way I want to go with this*

Randall's modular amps are a great solution for many live players looking to personalize their tone arsenal.

They truely are perhaps the most versatile, best bang for your buck amp in mass production today, and several of the modules are great. several of the modded modules are greater. some of the modules are pure sh!t... so watch out.

I have a hard time recommending against an RM, but at the same time, give me a pair of royers and a two rock in a studio... you see where I'm going with this.