#1
Bunch of amps I'm currently looking at.

Engl Gigmaster 15
Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-2
Peavey Bandit 112
Fender M80, Studio/Deluxe 85
Sunn Lead amps
Vox AC15VR(real AC15 a bit too heavy for meand lacks the awesome OD2 channel)
Blackstar HT Studio 20
Jet City JCA20

I'm looking at more or less every decent tube ss and hybrid under $500 or so. I have to discount the orange stuff though, even though that's ideally what I'd most likely to have, they're just too impractical feature wise. The Tiny Terror has hardly any clean headroom, and no effects loop. The combo is also crazy expensive.

What do I play? Alternative rock with a fuzzy edge like Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, Placebo, Queens of the Stone Age etc. so I need something with enough clean headroom to not fart out when i use it with a fuzz pedal(my AC4TV does this). I also play some higher gain stuff, and post punk goth rock which tends to require a more trebley lower gain sound. I think I'd like a tone from the amp that's something similar to the Smashing Pumpkin's(when they weren't using the Big Muff on Siamese Dream, that's a giving). I liked that big fuzzy distortion. I believe that was the ADA or Marshall preamp, depending on the album. I'm not interested in copping an exact sound though.

It has to sound good at bedroom volumes, and be enough for small gigs. Pref. 2 Channels(since I require both clean headroom and a higher gain sound; and good OD at bedroom volumes), effects loop and in built reverb. Anything over 40lbs is also a bit of a no-go for me.

Voicing wise I was leaning more towards the trebley sound of the AC15VR but now it and amps like it sound a little harsher to my ears. The Studio 20 is currently riding on top, the direct out is very useful for me as my apartment sucks for micing. The Gigmaster also has that, and has the advantage of being really portable, but no reverb and a 12" speaker. The problem is that while I'm looking for a warmer sound, a lot of warm sounds sound uncharacteristic to me. I would also like it to be able to do brighter tones especially at lower gain.

The main worry with the Studio 20, as with the Bandit, is that they might be a bit generic sounding. I love the Marshall and Peavey kind of sounds, but they can get tiring too. Actually, this is a concern with most guitar amps in general for me. Only a few, like most Oranges, sound really awesome to me anymore.

I would like a good Solid State for reliability etc. but there aren't many I'm GASing for in this price range. The Bandit's nice but the HT-20 seems to have a similar range of tones, and while it costs more it sounds better to my ears, the Bandit sounds "tube" like but the voicings and gain structure are a bit ho-hum.

The Engl probably has my favourite clean breakup of the bunch, with the HT20 second, then of course the Vox. That sort of sound is essentially for me. The HT20 seems to have an almost Vox-like sound on the clean channel, which is great.

I'd be worried about how the HT20 performs at lower volume. I hear the speaker is inefficient though, so that could be handy - hook it up to a 4x12 for gigging. However - would it also be an idea to get a HT-5, and swap in a super efficient speaker like an Eminence Red Fang? That might give me similar volume levels in a more portable box. I'd lose the reverb and bigger speaker, but oh well.

A few of the amps I listed do seem to have 10" speakers. Are 10" speakers always less Bassy than 12"s? I think in theory you could make a 10" speaker with the same amount of bass, given a lot of bass practice amps have 10" speakers. However the ENGL has the same 10" speaker as the HT-5... which I imagine isn't enough for roaring metal based on what I've heard.

I'm open to more suggestions as I keep finding out about new amps I hadn't heard of - the Mesa Subway Rocket for instance, is really cool, sounds good and has a direct out. However I hear it has issues with hiss. I want to get away from that, as my practice device, a Korg Pandora, drives me nuts with hiss.

I'm swapping a Vox AC4TV for this amp. The AC4 had no real clean headroom, and obviously isn't enough for gigs. It also got farty and saggy and high volumes. Just before it hit that, it had a cool sound, more like an Orange than a Vox. It was much rounder than the larger AC amps.
Last edited by GURREN LAGANN at Jun 22, 2010,
#2
Damn that is a long post. Try a Flextone II or III on eBay <300USD. Versatile
1. The SG stands for “solid guitar.”
#4
tl;dr

go with Jet City
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Quote by soundjam
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#6
you're aware the ac15vr isn't tube, right?

personally i'd be looking at the engl, jet city and the mesa. that's just me, though, and I haven't tried all the ones in your list (including the mesa LOL).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
consider the orange thunder 30, its out it august.

No built in reverb, but it does have a loop, from clips it should do what you're asking.

Then get a rangemaster.
#9
Quote by GURREN LAGANN
THat'll be like twice my budget

then change your budget. a budget is simply a financial plan, plans change every day.

also try a rebel 30.
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#10
Ah i didnt realise you were talking USD. Nvm.

What about the vox night train?

You could probably get one used in your budget then find a cheap cab somewhere.
#11
Quote by gregs1020
then change your budget. a budget is simply a financial plan, plans change every day.

also try a rebel 30.


I annoys me how unrealistic people are about these things. Even the stated budget is "pushing it" for me. I literally only have so much money saved up. Rebel 30s are nearly 800 on Thomann. I literally can't afford that.

Given there are plenty of amps in my price range already and I'm having trouble discerning which to buy, it's silly to add things I can't even afford.
#12
Quote by GURREN LAGANN
I annoys me how unrealistic people are about these things. Even the stated budget is "pushing it" for me.


well imo the best options you listed would be the mesa or the ht-20. but honestly, i wasn't all that impressed with either. i haven't tried the engl or vox vr so i can't comment on those.

either way no offense. just trying to get you to wrap your brain around saving for something really nice.

good luck

edit: try a tweaker if you can. i like mine, it's pretty versatile and was cheap.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Jun 23, 2010,
#13
I don't have any money to "save up". I have a set amount of money saved up and I know what I can afford, roughly. Unless I get a proper job, then no I can't afford to save up for an amp without cutting into day to day activities like actually going out once in a while.
#14
if you haven't tried any of these amps, then you are out of luck in trying to find a solution to all the requirements you are asking for

with a channel switchable amp, you are already moving away from the practice amp range (which means costs go up)

I would just get a Line 6 Flextone cause it has 75w mono 150w stereo for your bigger shows and has flexibility of a POD. has 2x12 cab i think in it so it should take care of your bass request. As a modeling amp, it should be fine as long as you spend the time to dial in the sound.

modeling type gear has headphones or bedroom level sounds usually
#15
The Flextone has older modelling tech though. I'm kind of looking to get more of a proper amp. If I was getting a modeler I'd get a seperate one so I can do straight to PA, and use my Lunchbox as a monitor.
#16
Quote by GURREN LAGANN
The Flextone has older modelling tech though. I'm kind of looking to get more of a proper amp. If I was getting a modeler I'd get a seperate one so I can do straight to PA, and use my Lunchbox as a monitor.



if it is still an option, get a X3 live/Pro or a GT10/Pro

i figured if you were using those small amps above, you have access to a PA so a modeling system is right up your budget and has even more options then the ones above

on a GT10 i can use cab simulations(2x 4x12!:P) and adjust bass and high freq response

dont think of a modeler to mimic exactly what the real thing is, just think of them as something you can use as a base to find the sound you want.

if ebay is an option, a GT10 with 8% bing cashback makes GT10s or X3 lives around the $370 mark(can get cheaper if you hunt a bit)
Last edited by iampeter at Jun 23, 2010,
#17
Yeah, add the Tweaker to that list.
Although I haven't tried it lol
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#18
I have a pair of studio monitors, and a Korg Pandora. They're not great, but they're good for mixing music. They don't really replace an amp for me.

The Tweaker is a bit pricey over here.
#19
I looked on Thomann and it's cheaper than the Engl
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#20
The head, not the combo. Though if I could get the head on B-Stock or second hand, it'd be well worth pairing up with a lightweight cab. I wish the combo wasn't so crazy expensive.

It's only got one channel though so I don't know about Headroom.
Last edited by GURREN LAGANN at Jun 23, 2010,
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
you're aware the ac15vr isn't tube, right?

personally i'd be looking at the engl, jet city and the mesa. that's just me, though, and I haven't tried all the ones in your list (including the mesa LOL).

+1 to that (I haven't tried the ENGL though)

also, if you can find a DC-3 its only 5w louder and has the benefit of a graphic EQ, which is well worth it IMO.
Last edited by SwampAshSpecial at Jun 25, 2010,
#23
Oh no, not more of this "it has to sound good on stage and when I'm playing with myself in my bedroom" guff. Get the amp you want for stage and a little $50 headphone amp like a Vox Amplug. And if you are on a limited budget wtf are you looking at new amps for? Go used and you'll get twice the bang for your buck.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
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Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#24
Quote by SwampAshSpecial
+1 to that (I haven't tried the ENGL though)

also, if you can find a DC-3 its only 5w louder and has the benefit of a graphic EQ, which is well worth it IMO.


me neither
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Quote by Cathbard
Oh no, not more of this "it has to sound good on stage and when I'm playing with myself in my bedroom" guff. Get the amp you want for stage and a little $50 headphone amp like a Vox Amplug. And if you are on a limited budget wtf are you looking at new amps for? Go used and you'll get twice the bang for your buck.


Wow what a twat.

I have a Vox Amplug, I don't really like playing through headphones.

THere are plenty of amps out there that sound good bothi n the bedroom and on stage, so it's not too much to ask. Most of the choices I've posted are viable for both.
#27
Quote by GURREN LAGANN
Wow what a twat.

I have a Vox Amplug, I don't really like playing through headphones.

THere are plenty of amps out there that sound good bothi n the bedroom and on stage, so it's not too much to ask. Most of the choices I've posted are viable for both.

Cathbard isn't a twat, he's talking sense... unless you're a rich bastard like me and can afford a really good attenuator, any valve amp over 10-15w or so is gonna be waay too loud for most people's houses. If your neighbours mind you playing at any sort of volume, buy a nice modeller and a gigging amp and leave it at that.
#28
i dont know why you are still waiting for help on this, unless someone posts some boutique non mass produced amp (that wont be within your budget)

you already listed a number of amps that you have researched on your own and then when people give suggestions you also have critiques of those suggestions.

you know what you want better then anyone on this board

sound: you want a AC15VR but it sounds too harsh (EQ out possible?)

12inch speaker = i went through this debate in the past, separate 1x12 is only way go get past it if you want a specific amp/sound. blackheart or epiphone offer a cheap 1x12. a 12 speaker is less efficient then a 10 speaker at lower volumes i think so that may not be preferable for bedroom play. you get less highs too so maybe you should stick with a 10.

you mentioned the amp breakup is being favorable, but this probably meant a non breakup tone that you dont want. maybe start with a great clean tone then get pedals for your distortions. JC-55/70 or JC120?

hiss i think will always be there in any high gain/low price amp. just play guitar to get rid of it, can't hear hiss over scales! or sometimes you can roll the volume off(get a volume pedal!)

you wanted solid state reliablility, so get a flextone used or digital modeling stuff. Roland Cubes or Vypers. Flextone may be older tech, but it still sounds good for the cost and versatility

you said someone was unrealistic, but he was also showing you the reality of things too. you can't get everything you want in a cheap package without something that you hate (cheap great sounding manufacturer, but has 10inch speaker no FX loop, or great sound, but low Watts and 6inch speaker)

i think maybe a HT20 series seem good (assuming its just a higher Watt HT5) cause it has tube power fx loop and 2 channels. you can buy extra speaker cabs if its not 12inches

increase your budget to get more Pros on your side (like great sound, fx loops, big cabs, tubes) if you cut costs, dont expect the manufacturer not to do the same (cheap celestions speakers that wont sound good, no FX loop, cheap chinese tubes)

speaking of which...i bet many of those amps you listed could sound better with tube swaps...

buy 2x egnator tweakers and A/B them as your channels XD

p.s. dont be mean to posters that give suggestions, at least they are posting in your threads. iv made questions like this and less then a page of responses before the thread dies
Last edited by iampeter at Jun 25, 2010,