#1
So I've been looking for just the right amp within my budget for quite a while now and have run into sort of a road block. If anyone can help me out I'd love it!

Here's the story. For about a year now I've been running a PRS SE Custom into Peavey JSX 212 combo amp and about 13 pedals in the effects loop. I've taken the time to really get the right pedals in the right order and for the most part have been happy with my tone. My band plays something between Incubus, Radiohead, and Dredg with a little more groove and the JSX has always been sorty muddy and has way more gain than I need. Currently the gain knob on the crunch channel sits at about 2 to 3 and the Ultra channel between 1 and 2. Needless to say, this really sorta messes with the tone as the amp never hits that sweet spot where you really get the speakers and tubes going. So I've been looking for a new amp for quite a while.

I have a Peavey Classic 30 at home for a practice amp, and one night I cranked that up on the dirty channel and was blown away by how great the amp sounded. It was a really good thick and dirty distortion, but it still kept the integrity of each note when playing chords. But the 30 is a bit small for the gigs we play...so I got a Classic 50 2x12 on eBay. I was really pumped to get the amp home and get a new set up together, but after hours of playing on the amp and tweaking with the controls the 50 is just SOOo bright and edgy that anything on the top two strings becomes an ear piercing scream, and not in a good way.

The guy that owned it before put new JJ Tubes in it a bit before I bought it and that's what's running in there now...but aside from that the speakers (Peavey Blue Marvels) and amp are completely stock. I've had my 30 for quite some time, and it's been broken in pretty nicely and I just want this 50 to sound like the 30 with more power!!!

Different tubes? Vintage 30's? Just get a different amp? What can I do to get some of this brightness out of the amp and make it a thick, throaty, gutsy rock amp like my 30 seems to be?
#3
I don't know what your budget is, but I would save for another amp. There are a lot of basic flaws in the Peavey classic series that are impossible to overcome (the printed circuit board is difficult to work on and not worth upgrading the cheap components). Like you said its a great practice amp, but falls short in a lot of ways. If you want some amp suggestions, PM me. BUT if you can't afford a new amp right now, I would change the following in order of preference:

Upgraded speakers - stock speakers can ruin an otherwise good amp. Vintage 30's have a great character to them, lots of throaty midrange to bring out the crunch in your tone. Bass response is ok, but will be improved if you have an open back combo. If you have the cash, look at Ted Weber speakers, I've had wonderful results with his products.

Take your effects OUT of the effects loop. The effects loop is really only for a few effects, namely delays, reverb, and maybe chorus. You definitely want all overdrive, boost, most modulation, wah, etc pedals in front of the preamp stage. Most modern chorus effects are even designed to go in front as well.

Tubes are good - JJ are very high quality. If you swap the speakers and still find the tone too harsh, try mellower tubes. However, I'm betting money its just the amp thats giving you troubles. You may want to consider swapping a preamp tube. Put a lower gain 12AT7 in the V1 position to tame the amp a bit.
Suhr Custom, Flaxwood Rautia or Grosh Tele thru
HBE Medicine Bawl Wah
Analogman BiComp
Texas Two Step OD
Fulltone Ultimate Octave/Fuzz
Boss CE-2
TC Nova Delay
SLO-100, 65 London or Bogner Shiva
Ask me about any of this stuff!
#4
I'm all for another amp, but my budget isn't huge.

I'd love an Orange AD 140, but until I sell the JSX and the Classic 50 I won't have the funds for that. Any other suggestions for an amp? Otherwise any other ideas to work with the Classic 50 I'm open to as well.

Do you think taking some stuff out of the loop would effect the tone of the amp at all? The amp is solid, it's just I can't get that edge out of there even if I roll the presence almost all the way out.

The other thing I thought of was running the Classic 50 for a clean tone and a little dirt (which I use a pedal for), then running the 30 with an extension cabinet for dirty tones. And since the 30 is 30watts it pushes the tubes and speakers more and gets a bit more natural break-up, which is nice. But I ran into issues with the FX loop of two amps in that case and needing like A/B and A/B/Y switches to even make it work. But if I take FX out of the loop and put them before the amp that could maybe be an option.
Last edited by chrija03 at Jan 11, 2010,
#5
on guitar center there is a video of eric johnson and how he sets up his rig look fo it because i think he explains cleary what you would need to do in your situation

wait i thought it did but it doesnt
its still a good video to watch if you are into using a lot effect
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERFFXvPV9XE
Last edited by sbinlb at Jan 11, 2010,
#6
Taking stuff out of the effects loop. If you are running distortions in there, that is probably part of your problem with excess high end. You may also want to consider mic-ing your amp. At most gig's you'll need to do this anyway for overall level control (drums are never loud enough for big gigs). A good mixer/monitors is an investment, and you can use your Classic 30 until you save for the amp of your dreams.

If you want to get something new now, here are some thoughts. If you are looking at the Orange (around $2000 right?) then you definitely have lots of good options, especially if you look used. Look at a used Bogner Shiva (Fender cleans, old Marshall overdrive, 80 watts), Bad Cat Classic Cats (EL84 tone, 30 watts, but a very loud 30 watts), or a Soldano HR50 (more modern tone, but would be great for Incubus type stuff).
Suhr Custom, Flaxwood Rautia or Grosh Tele thru
HBE Medicine Bawl Wah
Analogman BiComp
Texas Two Step OD
Fulltone Ultimate Octave/Fuzz
Boss CE-2
TC Nova Delay
SLO-100, 65 London or Bogner Shiva
Ask me about any of this stuff!
#7
Yeah, I've looked into Bad Cat's and Bogners...but that's an eventual thing I think cuz I'll have to build some funds up for that.

For examples sake, I love Fender Deville tone for cleans (obviously) and for dirty Johnny Greenwood type solos, but it can be buzzy for chords and the throaty chunk isn't there when palm muting. That's why I like the classic 30. It's got dirt and thickness to it without ever getting into the more metal sound like the JSX does, and without an edge that the Classic 50 has.

I've tried Egnater's, and they've got a good crunch to them, but they're sorta thin sounding.

I just want tone that's Rock without sounding Metal...sorta bluesy without any twang...thick and full without being muddy or edgy...
#8
It might not be that helpful, but my only advice would be to simplify your setup. Get rid of lots of pedals and just find an amp that you are happy with by itself (for the most part). Is mic'ing your Classic 30 not an option? Maybe get a good PA system instead?
#9
When I've been playing on these amps typically I plug straight in without any effects to get the tone of the amp just right before involving the pedal board at all. Like you said, best to be happy with the amp itself before getting pedals in the mix.

Yeah, I always mic my amp. We have a pretty nice Yamaha PA, and onstage I always mic as well. I just wanted something a bit bigger if for no other reason than I like having a bit more behind me than a little 1x12. For now maybe an extension cabinet and an unloaded cab or something and just stick with the 30.