#1
Hi,

I am looking to buy a new tube amp. I currently have a Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo. However, it has too many knobs and switches for my needs. It's also quite heavy and loud.

I occasionally do session work so versatility is very important. However, I don't play metal so an amp with a ton of gain is not needed. I am looking for an amp with the following features:

- 1-2 channels
- Straightforward control layout
- Spring reverb
- Great cleans
- Smooth overdrive (Nothing that requires a pedal to sound good!)
- 40W max.
- Combo or head/2x12 cab
- Less than $1500CDN

To sum it up, I am looking for a versatile, boutique style amp. A Dr. Z on a budget, if you will. I have been looking at a few amps including the Hughes & Kettner Statesman Dual/Quad EL84 and the Vox AC30. What do you guys suggest? Thanks in advance!
#2
dont know how much they are in Canada, but maybe a Mesa Lonestar?? it has one of the best cleans i've ever heard
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#3
I've tried the statesman (20w and 40w combo versions) and it sounded beautiful. Creamy smooth and bright crystal clear tones and a great sounding overdrive tone that could sound smooth anywhere from blues to classic rock.

Definitely worth a try if your not planning to play anything heavy with it.
Gear:
Fender Highway One HSS Strat
Art & Lutherie Cedar Acoustic
Line6 UX2
No amp ... Help me find an amp
#4
Bogner Alchemist maybe? (Don't know how much they are in Canada though, although here in the US they're $900.) I played one at Best Buy countless times and here's my 2 cents on it: its standby switch allows you to choose between 20W and 40W, the cleans are really nice (although the clean channel's volume control is notoriously sensitve), distortion is pretty good- I got a really good punk tone out of it (if that's what you're looking to play, although from what I've heard it's a pretty versatile amp), and it has onboard reverb (three types, one of which is spring) and delay. I couldn't get either one to work when when I tried it, but that was probably because I didn't tweak around with it enough. Also I've only tried the head, I haven't gotten to try the combo yet. Either way though, I don't think you could go wrong.

Here's Guitar World's review of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfcajpMiz9w
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Last edited by rocknrolldude43 at Jan 9, 2010,
#5
Shredftw, Mesa Lonestars are quite expensive over here. I checked out the Express 5:25 and it seemed like a nice little amp.

Mrxtreme_4, I played a Statesman for a few minutes yesterday. I loved the clean channel but there is something I didn't like about the drive channel. It almost sounds digital. I never turned the gain knob past 12 o'clock. I think I might just be used to my Mesa Mark IV.

Rocknrolldude43, the Alchemist doesn't sound too bad. I will see if I can find one to try out.

I have heard great things about the Traynor YCV40WR and decided to try one out. Like the Statesman, it had a great clean channel but the drive channel left something to be desired. However, I heard they really open up with new tubes. What do you guys think?

Please keep the suggestions coming!
#6
I have also tried the YCV40, and I agree with you on the fact that it has a great clean channel. The drive channel sounded good, but was nothing special. The Statesman and the Traynor are both excellent choices for clean sounds and as for your disappointment in the overdrive channels perhaps it's because the amps may really shine when they start to get cranked.

Also I'm sure if you snoop around you can find some tube or speaker swap suggestions to help you get that sound, but I would imagine you'd like to buy and amp stock that has the sound you want.

To finish off, might I suggest the Peavey Classic 30? Nice shimmering cleans and a great classic rock gain. Simple layout, 30 watts, not to expensive and just an overall solid amp. However the cleans may not completely satisfy you if your really picky, but it's definitely worth a look.
Gear:
Fender Highway One HSS Strat
Art & Lutherie Cedar Acoustic
Line6 UX2
No amp ... Help me find an amp